when KrystaLeaves first opened over three years ago In Commerce City, the idea of raising Interstate 70 to weed out was not on the minds of most Denver residents. But this did not deter the Fernandez family; They knew that cannabis lovers from faraway places would eventually make the trip for a good batch of Con Leche.
Miami transplants quickly gained a reputation for stocking some of Colorado’s best flowers, and even launched them into a wholesale operation, Cuban crewto sell their buds outside the Commerce City store. But according to Agriculture Director and Chief Operating Officer, Alexandre Fernandez, the biggest boom has come from the Con Leche, an OG heavy-duty hybrid that keeps experts coming back. How does he know when other breeds of KrystaLeaves are selling out quickly, too? Feedback, lots of it.
Marijuana consumption in the USA is on the rise, with more and more people using it for medicinal and recreational purposes. However, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding marijuana use, and many people are hesitant to openly discuss their consumption habits.
KrystaLeaves could represent the future of flowers: constantly chasing new genetic combinations while allowing customers to experiment with ever-increasing. Fernandez loves to sell multiple phenotypes of the same breed and engage his Reddit shoppers to choose which breeds to keep or weed out, and this business is gaining a growing fan base online. We caught up with Fernandez to find out more about what he got in the park and how his fino hunting affected more than his growth.
Westword: The last time we spoke, in 2018, it just opened. How long did it take to gain this reputation for a wonderful flower? Are there certain moments that lasted along the way?
Alexander Fernandez: After about two years we started noticing a lot of positive feedback. Con Leche was a favorite among the team and those looking for an OG. It was the first breed to be hunted in the Cuban Crow, and now it is the first breed we have chosen for mating.
KrystaLeaves is one of the few dispensaries that sells multiple phenotypes of the same breed. What is the motivation behind it, and what do you think customers gain from it?
Pheno hunting is a genetic lottery that provides us with different expressions and features of the same breeds. By launching multiple Venus, customers can really participate in the selection process. We like to keep the best Venus away from every search if the profiles are different enough, like cake layer #6 and cake layer #9, or Concord crush #3 and Concord Crush #5. What ultimately narrows down the Venus is the feedback we get from customers at KrystaLeaves and Reddit.
Does feedback on these phenotypes influence future growth decisions, or is this your preferred method of releasing them?
It certainly does; We have retired many dynasties and venus based on feedback, while also finding many rangers.
Do you see more farmers doing public fino hunts as you have been doing?
I’ve seen some growing people benefit from this process, and it’s likely that more growth will do the same.
How have you noticed that consumer preferences and growing trends are changing over the past three years?
More requests to grow Sativa-inclined strains is the latest trend I’ve noticed, so we’re in the process of researching several more strains at the moment.
How do Reddit and Instagram influence your growing decisions?
Redditors are great at providing in-depth reviews and constructive criticism. There is more conversation on Reddit than on Instagram, although I appreciate both. I was able to make improvements and make our selection of pheno with the help of Reddit.
Who are some of your favorite cannabis breeders right now? How about some of your favorite breeds?
Swamp Boys, Clearwater Genetics, Greenhand Genetics are some of my favorites [in cannabis breeding]. For breeds, Con Leche, Concord Crush, and White Peaches are personal favorites.
When we last spoke, you mentioned that some of the older breeds like the L.A. Confidential just don’t get enough love commercially. Any classic strains in the works right now?
Traditionally, we like to hunt our own breeds. Early next year, we have a little surprise in the works, however, and you might see a couple of the classics we’ve developed. Keeping a balance can be challenging, but we do run new strains alongside popular ones so there is always variety.
What are some of the genes you are looking to work with in the future?
There are a bunch of things I’m really excited about, but the Gator Bait (Triangle Kush x Chemdog ’91) and our special strain made from our own Con Leche line, Galon de Leche (Con Leche x Juggernaught), are the ones I’m most excited about.
Do high CBD strains still exist? We don’t see them in dispensaries very often.
Variety is the spice of life, and unfortunately, CBD strains tend to be cherry-dominant. But I think there will always be a need for CBD for its medicinal properties.