Puffin Farms – Yakima, WA
Jade Stefano and her husband, Benjamin Short, had been growing cannabis for personal and medical use for almost 20 years when Washington state recreationally legalized it in 2012. Faced with the decision to either stop growing or adapt to the new legal marketplace, they chose to bring their family-owned operation out into the light. Teaming up with Stefano’s uncle, Cliff Goodman, and sister, Cyrena — respectively, the founder/owner and current director of operations at the cannabis-friendly Seattle Glassblowing Studio — the couple founded Puffin Farm in Ellensburg, Washington, just in time to complete their first outdoor harvest before the frost in 2014.
On the sunnier side of the Cascade Mountains, Puffin Farm sits atop the rich soil of the Yakima River Valley, only 90 miles from their primary market and extraction facility in Seattle. In addition to cutting carbon consumption and energy costs, the outdoor locale allows Puffin Farm’s crops the benefit of full solar exposure and airflow, yielding greater variation in strain appearance and flavor profile. Deep purple Tangerine buds bow in the wind beside red fan-leafed Hindu Kush. Helpful predatory insects like lacewings and ladybugs ensure no pesticides are needed, while the cultivars develop higher concentrations of terpenes to protect themselves from the elements naturally. “We try to have the least impact on the environment and on people’s health that we can,” says Stefano.
“In Terpenes We Trust” is Puffin Farm’s motto, and each of their Clean Green Certified strains has been tested and refined for up to five years at the farm to ensure they meet the company’s high standards. The product rooms at their facility in Seattle are a feast for the senses; distinct aromas rise from each bag of dry herb, from the tartness of Strawberry Cough to the grape candy sweetness of Dancehall, one of their signature high-CBD strains. Downstairs, they press cannabis bricks into rosin or refine it into their trademarked, minimally-processed Extra Virgin Flower Oil (EVFO), sold in dab-ready glass syringes, while the excess trim is repurposed for bubble hash. “Everything we produce is something that we’d want to smoke ourselves,” Stefano says. “That’s really important to us, making sure everything’s up to the standard that we’d like to consume as connoisseurs for the last 25 years.”
“Everything we produce is something that we’d want to smoke ourselves.” – Jade Stefano, Puffin Farm co-founder and CEO