Q&A with a Cannabis Grower
Chad Culp is the owner of Bloom County, a wholesale cannabis producer in Colorado. Bloom operates
four grow facilities throughout the state (three in Denver metro and one in Pueblo) and supplies more
than 100 Colorado dispensaries with top shelf flower. We sat down with Chad to talk about his company,
advice on buying cannabis and his preferences.
Q: What is your background; how did you become a professional cannabis grower? How did Bloom County start?
I started out growing and selling cannabis in college. Our first warehouse was next door to some friends of ours that were growing as well and we’d help each other troubleshoot. Basically, learning on the fly with a lot of trial and error.
After the recession in 2008 I was looking for a new opportunity and a friend approached me about getting into the cannabis business. We started out as caregivers and kept our plant count around 100. We had 12 flowering lights and produced around 10 pounds a month. We would go around to the local dispensaries with our backpacks on to show off our flower and try to make sales.
There were just three of us that started this business together. We didn’t have money to pay for help, so each of us worked 2 days and had the next 4 days off. We did it all – cloning, transplanting, growing, harvesting, trimming and selling. We did all of this while still working our other jobs that paid the bills
and raising our families. Everything we made we invested back in the business to expand - more lights, more facilities, more people. We each invested about $10k and that’s how we started. A few guys got together and tried something. We worked hard and focused on growing good quality cannabis.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
Oh geez, I do a lot of the business side – finances, meetings, bills, sales, marketing, branding, picking out new pheno’s. I try to hit one of the grows once a day to check out new strains, talk with the team and take photos. I do all of Bloom’s social networking. I work on new projects and expansion into other states – what’s next for Bloom County.
Q: What makes Bloom County flower different?
Quality and genetics. We’re always trying to stay a couple steps ahead in bringing new, high-quality strains to the table.
Q: How do you decide which strains you want to grow?
We’re always pheno-hunting – we breed genetics that no one else has. We look for strains that check all the boxes: smells great, looks great, tastes great, and grows well at scale. Always trying to keep it fresh.
Q: What makes a good cannabis grow?
The team you have is everything. It starts with growers that care and are passionate about growing cannabis. It ends with the trimmers doing a great job to finish the final product. At Bloom, every single plant gets touched every day, we water by hand, keep a good climate control, and use good nutrients. It’s also important to keep our facilities very clean to produce a clean product.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the cultivation business now?
It’s hard for the average person to get into cannabis now because you need so much capital; it’s so expensive. I couldn’t get into this business now if I didn’t start 13 years ago. But I would advise growers to focus on quality.
Q: A lot of people come in and just want the strain with the highest THC. What do you think about that approach when selecting a strain?
Potency is not everything. You could have a strain with 18% THC that makes you feel better than a strain with 30% THC. It’s really the terpenes that determine the effects and how you’ll feel. It’s also very personal.
Q: It can be overwhelming to choose a strain when there are 20+ strain choices in our dispensaries. What advice would you give to people when selecting a strain?
I would say try something new. Buy grams. Buy a taster pack. Smoking cannabis is different from drinking alcohol. Every strain gives you a different experience.
Q: What is your take on defining strains as hybrid/sativa/indica when terpene profiles really determine a strain’s effects?
How a strain affects each person is a very personal thing. A strain could be relaxing for me but energizing for you. At Bloom, we do a lot of testing of every strain and get feedback to help inform its dominance.
Q: What is your preferred method of consumption?
Q: What’s are some of your favorite strains?
We seem to grow something new every month (lately) that I think is really special. Right now I like High Octane Guava (HOG 9), Brain Crasher, Comatose, 10 Second Tom, Apple Tartz, Red Delicious, Punch Mints, Gelaterea. It’s hard to answer – there are so many that I like! I’ll keep trying to find something new until the day that I die. I love it!