Cascade Gnome Stays Small For Success

 Cascade Gnome’s freerange pest control.

Cascade Gnome’s freerange pest control.

Microbrewed beer, local farmers market produce, and small batch coffee have always been popular in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re looking for the same experience for your cannabis, Cascade Gnome may be the producer for you.

Cascade Gnome is a tier 3 producer located near Moses Lake in Washington. Although it falls into the largest license for a canopy, Cascade Gnome is run by only three employees. Cascade Gnome owners and founders Benjamin Schuster and Marcus Jasperson comprise two-thirds of the aforementioned workforce and Jasperson’s wife rounds out the crew. While they hire trimmers for the harvest season, this small staff allows the owners to be aware of and part of every decision.

Jasperson heads the cultivation section of operations—managing and caring for the plants. Schuster said that Jasperson spent the last five years working on developing the soil carbon and increasing fertility with cover crops and organic soil amendments.

“He’s someone who’d rather spend every day with plants than people,” Benjamin Schuster said about Jasperson. “We’re in the middle of nowhere so that’s a good thing. He doesn’t really get a chance to see anyone.”

As an outdoor farm, Cascade Gnome relies on the natural sunlight to grow their crop, reducing the use of electricity and helping to improve the sustainability of cannabis. Schuster also said they only use organic pesticides, when necessary, and avoid any flowering applications.

 Marcus Jasperson

Marcus Jasperson

This level of organic production mirrors what cannabis research scientist Ethan Russo, MD, said during a presentation in Seattle in June. Russo gave a talk on the levels of pesticides found in cannabis and the dangers. The talk highlighted that in the Washington, I-502 system indoor farms failed for pesticide content on average more than 75% of the time, while outdoor farms failed around 25% of the time. Russo mentioned that outdoor cannabis counterintuitively needs fewer pesticides outdoors because the environment tends to provide a natural answer to the same pests if allowed to act as a system.

On the other end of the spectrum Schuster handles sales, deliveries, media, and promotions, but with such a small company everyone does everything. This means that when you run into Cascade Gnome at a store, you actually get to ask the owner a question about their products —creating the rare opportunity to get the answer you need.

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“Being an owner/operator is very important to both of us,” Schuster said. “We do this because it’s important to us and we need to be hands-on to ensure things get done the way they should for quality and consistency.”

Cascade Gnome has definitely been producing some quality and consistency. They recently took second place for their “Aliens on Moonshine” in the cannabidiol-heavy flower category at the Inaugural Suncup Invitational hosted by the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association this year. Aliens on Moonshine is a 2:1 CBD:THC ratio with a myrcene-dominant terpene profile that creates a great effect for pain relief and relaxation. Their Gorilla Glue and Pink Lemonade varieties have tested over 3% for cannabigerol (CBG) content. Cannabigerol has been found helpful in treating the pressure related to glaucoma or migraines as well as for nerve pain or inflammation.

With their focus on finding unique cultivars that vary in cannabinoid and terpene content, as well as environmentally friendly cultivation practices, their flower has been finding its way onto shelves in a difficult I-502 market. For more information about Cascade Gnome products and where to purchase them, visit their Instagram page or website at www.cascadegnome.com/.