There are four rows of plants in Flower Room 6, and traveling between rows can be tricky. For one thing, the vegetation is hearty and sprawling, buffeting passersby like car wash brushes. What’s more: the gap between the wall and the end of each row is very slim; rather than squeeze through it, Konstantin Grabak, the head grower, prefers to roll under each row.
This setup may seem unusual, but it’s all done in the name of efficiency, The Herbal Cure’s prime directive. Grabak sees potential in every square inch of his garden, and he’s committed to maximizing all available space. Sure, he could shorten the rows by a foot and allow a little breathing room, but that would mean less plants, less yield, and less product.
“We try to utilize all of the space we can as efficiently as possible,” Grabak says. “We don’t have any empty spaces.”
Over 80 strains are packed into the flower rooms, including the impossibly sweet-smelling Panama Punch, the fan favorite Purple Cheddar, and the minty fresh Bali Hai. To get the most out of these strains, Grabak, along with his two garden techs Riley Shields and Taylor Thorne, leverage their intimate knowledge of cannabis science.
Temperature, for instance, can have an enormous impact on the quality of the final product, which is why the flower rooms are set a few degrees warmer than the industry average. The extra warmth allows for more CO2 uptake, and more CO2 uptake leads to bigger buds. Toward the end of the grow cycle the plants are transferred to a cooler room, which helps to bring out the flowers’ colors while helping to preserve trichomes.
The Herbal Cure harvests its plants in nine week cycles, ensuring a continual harvest year-round. Then the flowers go through a one-month curing process. This extended curing time allows chlorophyll – the chemical that can contribute to cannabis smoke burning your throat – to degrade, resulting in a cleaner, smoother smoking experience.
In the midst of an industry that’s chock full of trade secrets, Grabak may seem uncharacteristically open about the garden’s procedures, but that’s because Grabak is proud of his product and his operation, and he puts a lot of stock in transparency.
“[Many] head growers will keep secrets because they want the company to rely on them,” says Grabak, who makes sure his workforce knows everything he does. “If anything happens to me, if I disappear for two weeks, this place is still going to be able to run itself.”