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Behind The Bud: HIGH SEASON is Cultivating Connoisseur Cannabis Culture.

Behind The Bud: HIGH SEASON is Cultivating Connoisseur Cannabis Culture.

I first heard about HIGH SEASON (@highseason_ ) from the homies over at High Rise Agency (@highrise.agency) a little more than a few months back. I liked what I saw. So I got in touch with Josh Karchmer, who heads up Marketing and Brand Development over at HIGH SEASON.

Shortly after our first call, I received three fantastic flavors that are individually some of the best buds I have smoked since. Full stop. The strain names of said samples included Wonka, Fatty Mac, and Apple Cookies. A fucking solid lineup.

Fast forward to today, and HIGH SEASON is growing 40-50 strains at a time, and this premium Adalanto Indoor is nothing short of connoisseur grade cannabis. I got back with Josh K so we could chop it up and deliver the good word to readers on what the team over at HIGH SEASON got going on. Spoiler Alert: they are bringing the hottest of the heat.

Josh K and a couple of team members from the Adelanto store tour the facility. Photo Courtesy of HIGH SEASON.

JR: Could you give the readers a little background on yourself?

JK: I’ve been building cannabis brands since 2018. But cannabis is my 3rd career. I have been a culture marketer since the 90s. I started working for labels and managing artists, and I spent another decade advertising. I owned a boutique agency and directed commercials and content for Microsoft, Chevy, and Kia.

JR: What was your first job in the cannabis space?

JK: I have known Billy Maddox (one of the cofounders of MOXIE – the first licensed cannabis brand in California) for over 20 years. Billy used to work for me as an editor, growing on the side, and I eventually followed him to MOXIE, helping build MOXIE and MX brands from 2018-to 2019.

I had a blast while there, and I learned so much about cannabis and brand building. I left MOXIE in 2020 and spent a couple of years consulting with brands like Ace High, MOONWLKR, Triple Js, and a bunch of others. After consulting for a couple of years, I missed being on a team, and I wanted to work exclusively with a premium product, the stuff I wanted to smoke myself. I wanted to go back in-house and help build a brand from the inside.

JR: How did you link up with HIGH SEASON?

JK: My friend Chai introduced me to the owner of HIGH SEASON in November, and it was game over. I am grateful to have the most incredible fucking job in the world, and I am living my dream for real.

JR: What is that dream?

To work with a fantastic team to establish an authentic cannabis culture brand…with bomb flower, of course (laughter). We are growing craft cannabis at scale, and the HIGH SEASON brand represents the best of the best flower we grow. Every week the Product team and I walk the rooms, watch the plants, and cherrypick our favorites to be jarred as HIGH SEASON. We only put out flowers that we’re proud to smoke ourselves and share with our friends and the cannabis community.

JR: Give me the rundown on HIGH SEASON.

HIGH SEASON’s roots are in cultivation, real estate, and retail. A few years ago, the group built HIGH SEASON Park (420 Properties) in Adelanto, CA, a giant indoor cultivation complex that houses some of the industry’s best craft cannabis growers and brands. We are proud to be a part of that community. HIGH SEASON itself has one of California’s largest indoor grows – we have over 63,000 sq. ft of the canopy.

JR: Wow, that sounds so dope; I have to see it!

JK: For sure, I will bring you up there when you’re in town next. It feels like walking around the Wonka Factory to me still. Our whole facility is three buildings, 27 flower rooms, and a team of 100+ passionate cultivators growing that Premium Adelanto Indoor around the clock. 24/7/365. We’ve got three fresh craft indoor rooms coming down every week, anywhere from 40-50 strains at a time. I get to build a brand and community around it. I couldn’t ask for more.

Some fresh clones rooting in a HIGH SEASON propagation room. Photo Credit: RJ Johnson.

JR: Let’s talk about flavors. I love to talk terps with anyone who will listen, and it seems like HIGH SEASON is making some moves to put terps front and center for the consumer. Can you tell me about that?

JK: I just came on in December before Hall Of Flowers, and we immediately started building a team and just finished a complete rebrand of HIGH SEASON.
Instead of using the archaic Indica/Sativa/Hybrid classification, we built our own. We break down our strain lineup into eight categories by interpreting a more accurate flavor/terp profile.

JR: Hell yeah, I saw some of the new packages, and they seem to be trying to push the terpene conversation forward. Can you explain some of the methods your using to do this?

JK: We’re listing terps and flavor notes on our jars’ top and side labels. And we believe that a year or two from now that more consumers will care about the harvested/packaged date and terps than they do THC percentage.

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Our new packaging has eight discrete colorways, one for each type of profile. Cookies/Cakes get a colorway, and Piney/OGs get one. Sweets/Desserts, Gas/Fuel, Tropical/Floral, etc. It’s very similar to the new Emerald Cup strain classification system. We got so excited when they announced it this week – it validated that we were on the right track.

 

Family Shot the new HIGH SEASON jar labels and strain colorways.
Photo Courtesy of HIGH SEASON

JR: Well, I’ve sampled Apple Cookies, Fatty Mac, and the aptly name Wonka so far from HIGH SEASON, and I am for sure excited about what’s to come.

JK: Awesome! Thanks, I’m excited you enjoyed them! The future of premium flower is freshness and terps. That’s why we grow, and that’s what we love to smoke. Very excited to be part of the movement away from effects and THC percentage-based marketing, and it’s where things are headed as they should be. We’ve honed our craft growing for some of the most respected brands in CA for the last three years. But 2022 is the year we start getting the HIGH SEASON brand out there and letting everyone know who’s growing this flower. We’re starting slow right now with fresh drops in select SoCal shops. Our first deliveries went out yesterday (March 3rd, 2022). But it’s going to escalate quickly. We’re getting hit up by new shops every day.

JR: What’s on the Horizon for High Season? Tell the people what to watch out for and what they can expect to see (and smoke) soon from the team?

JK: Big things are coming. This Spring, you’re going to start seeing HIGH SEASON on SoCal dispensary shelves. We’re coming with hot with 18 flavors in a family of jars in 2g, 3.5g, 7g & 14g sizes. With new strain drops every week. Big Apple Shmintz, Banana Cream Cake x Jealousy, and our Adelanto Runtz are a few of my favorites this week.

We are about to launch GRATITUDE, the little sibling brand to HIGH SEASON, with a range of indoor flower products at greenhouse price points. It’s where we’ll start strains that we don’t feel are ready for the HIGH SEASON brand. It’ll follow a similar strain classification system but be more punk rock in attitude and aesthetic.

JR: I love it! Keep me in mind if you need any taste testers.

JK: Funny you say that because someone like you is the exact market we try to cater to. Especially with GRATITUDE. I hope that the quality, consistency, and price points of HIGH SEASON and GRATITUDE will bring people to dispensaries who don’t usually buy dispensary weed. We’re building this for real smokers.

JR: Thank you, Josh. I am excited to stay tapped in with HIGH SEASON. Everyone who loves excellent weed should be following this journey closely.