By Ryan Wayne Augusta
In January 2008—just a couple of years after the dawn of its medical marijuana movement—Anthony Franciosi moved to Colorado. Including cannabis in the state's infrastructure was new. The potential existed only as an idea yet to manifest. Franciosi had been suffering from sports injuries that he thought could best be treated with a prescription for medical cannabis. Franciosi, however, was interested in participating on a much larger scale; his dream was to produce.
Anthony Franciosi hoped to be a positive force for organic cannabis growing and help spread a shared philosophy to other farming practices. Franciosi’s vision was to continue to create a sustainable growing practice focused on the integrity of the consumer product.
Franciosi surrounded himself with quality, like-minded people. His dreams were developing into the framework of what would be his success. Franciosi practiced honest, chemical-free farming, staying true to the plant genome and avoiding synthetics.
Honest Marijuana in northern Colorado operates with only 49 frost-free days. Franciosi had spent 10 years as a commercial landscape irrigation technician building large-scale irrigation systems for work. A tradesman with a vision, Franciosi has created a state-of-the-art growery.
Honest Marijuana uses natural methods of growing to produce zero waste and to have minimal environmental impact. The final product is chemical-free and a product of nature in its purest state. This gives merit to the simple branding that is “Honest Marijuana.”
Franciosi chose Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as the Honest Marijuana site because it embodies everything he loves about the state—free-flowing rivers and streams, unspoiled meadows and breathtaking mountain views, along with a strong community sense of ecological responsibility. “To ensure that we are never the cause of any harmful impact, we promise zero waste and minimal draw on community or natural resources,” Franciosi said.
Honest Marijuana plants are grown in a fully controlled environment with the following methods:
100% all organic soil grown
Delivered Plant-based nutrients
With no plant growth regulators
By successfully blending love and knowledge, they’ve influenced every aspect of their enterprise. A simple focus on providing the best cannabis product has created a methodology that ensures a positive and repeatable customer experience.
Franciosi hopes to continue setting new quality benchmarks. He believes that preservation is as important as flower quality. With attention to these fundamentals, Franciosi preserves and shares the complete quality of the whole plant—in order to maintain the medical value, recreational value and unique properties of the marijuana plant in the long term.
In 1998, to clarify endogenous cannabinoid molecular regulation the phrase “entourage effect” was introduced. The entourage effect references the whole plant synergy and quantifies the interaction of various cannabis compounds. That means that all components of the whole plant work together in combination better than just a single component, such as THC or CBD. The technical term is synergy. Honest Marijuana focuses on preserving the entourage effect.
Cannabis has thousands of strains, each of which has an individual chemical profile. The recreational use market is beginning to flood the market with high-THC products, leading to a THC-centered market. Honest Marijuana adheres to standards that demonstrate an opposition to these market-derived motivations. Their goal is to grow a product that does not sacrifice quality, taste or safety—at no increased cost to the consumer.
Prices differ between recreational and medical cannabis, although some compassionate people in the industry still provide low-cost medicine to people. Franciosi recommends, “There needs to be some sort of tax break and compassion for sick people who might not be financially well off and don't have the ability to grow their own.”
Honest Marijuana uses full spectrum lighting, which is a little different than standard lighting. Franciosi explained to us that high-pressure sodium gives Honest Marijuana a more genuine plant character. Franciosi demonstrates his accountability to the plant by reviewing all medicinal compounds in testing. Franciosi and his team have seen an increase in overall resin production.
Starting with the soil, Honest Marijuana focuses on probiotics and beneficial bacteria. The bacteria in the soil have a relationship with the root system of the plant. The Honest Marijuana team adamantly refuses to force-feed with synthetics. Honest Marijuana puts in the soil exactly what the plant needs and delivers an honest and true representation of the cannabis plant genetics. This leads to a better distinction, better smell and better overall characteristics. This includes taste, which affects quality.
Mass-produced methods have left behind some of these characteristics. Salt-based fertilizers are being made available and being absorbed right into the plant. They wrap around the nutrient and is a good way to pass the cell wall to directly enter the plant. Franciosi explains to us that this is good for a higher yield and for the bottom line. However, Franciosi knows that the customers are going to say that the result isn't what they wanted.
Honest Marijuana uses plant matter and relies on soil life to break down nutrients. This works symbiotically with the plant and root system, to create a distinct strain every time. Honest Marijuana uses trusted techniques like compost teas and plant-based nutrients in the soil system that allow the plant to develop naturally. The team sees true expression between phenotypes, while some in the commercial industry accept the failure that results from using “cookie cutter methods.” Franciosi states, “We put the good ingredients in and get good product out.”
This is the quality that Franciosi thinks people want. He believes that we are “bastardizing” the cannabis plant—and science would agree. Honest Marijuana is bringing new systems technology to the market and could build partnerships with and licensing for growers in other states.
Look for Honest Marijuana’s new product this winter and find Honest Marijuana at Kush Gardens Elite Organics. Alongside the conscious organic cannabis Enthusiast Golden Leaf, Honest Marijuana will continue to live up to its name.
Honest Marijuana Company
231 Arthur Ave. Oak Creek, CO 80467
—We refer to Arthur Avenue as the “Road to Pure”—our pure and natural methods of growing and nurturing product, which is provided to customers in its purest form, contains few contaminants and deliver the purest way to smoke or ingest.