Gold Leaf Gardens – Lacey, WA
Nate Gibbs, owner of Gold Leaf Gardens, embodies an important business axiom in his business practices: he bridges the traditional with the luxurious. Gibbs, who grew up farming on Hawaii’s bountiful, volcanic soil, now runs a high-end cannabis shop in Olympia, Washington, that is sometimes shut down for celebrities looking to explore new products, including an opulent $3,600 cannabis cigar.
Gold Leaf, founded in 2011, has taken on some business compatriots in the last few years to help round out their business. In 2015, Polar Icetracts and Leira Cannagars joined forces with Gold Leaf under the same license, with the same “like-minded values of what quality means,” explains Gibbs. “We’re all very family-oriented companies and we’ve found a lot of synergy working together.”
When you talk cannabis with Gibbs, the conversation almost immediately shifts to his grow habits. While it’s technically illegal to call any cannabis farm “organic,” as the term implies federal designation and pot is still federally illegal, that doesn’t stop Gold Leaf from following organic practices. “What we’re trying to do with cannabis,” asserts Gibbs, “is create the absolute finest products available, to spare no expense and take no short cuts. Over the years, we’ve found that organic gardening methodology is the way that we’ve been able to grow the highest-quality flower.”
Gibbs and his team have invested a lot in soil. “We had to go on a long journey of exploration,” he details, “to understand what’s going on under the soil and the plants’ relationship with soil and nutrients.” Eventually, Gold Leaf began creating their own nutrients and soils for their operations. “Soil is alive with millions of beneficial bacteria and fungi and insects,” he adds. “We looked at all the soils out there but, in the end, we decided to make our own—it’s like the difference between buying a Pillsbury croissant versus taking flour and water and butter and making it yourself.”