Cultivating Hemp with Great Smokies Cannabis

Cultivating Hemp with Great Smokies Cannabis

By Seth Connelly

Cultivating Hemp with Great Smokies Cannabis

You may be familiar with Great Smokies Hemp pre-rolls or the CBD flower packaged with Danny Reed’s custom artwork from our shop. We have been getting to know Great Smokies and its Founder, Greg McGuffey, this year since bringing on their product line. Read on for more about Great Smokies, their process, and how Greg’s time as a custom green builder means he is doing things with intention in Hemp.

Greg has been a West Asheville resident since 2009. You’ve likely seen his work around town. Before making a name for himself in the hemp space, Greg's other business Earthtone Builders, has designed and built numerous custom homes that are awarded LEED Platinum and even true Net Zero certification. Not only are these designs built with the utmost attention to detail and with environmental impact in mind, they also have features that make a modern, unique living experience. The homes are also are hard to come by as their boutique services are in high demand.

So while green building is what Greg is known for, there was always a green past, present, and future being cultivated with Great Smokies (are we doing wordplay here, sheesh!?). Great Smokies Cannabis was launched in 2019 with the intention to bring something different to the market, just in the same way Earthtone Builders created a niche for itself in Asheville when it first launched in 2003. Great Smokies Cannabis is both a play on words and a reverence for our Southern Appalachian National Park, yet the intention to branding + packaging is far from a folksy, down-home aesthetic.  

Let’s talk about the packaging - the prerolls come in a slim pack of 7 (0.5 gram) pre-rolls, with a metallic embossing created via Katie Gillikin of Rotanz Design. The logo and branding nod to a connection with nature via the cannabis plant, while also maintaining a “classic” look that carries through the years. Great Smokies hemp flower comes in in 2 gram and 5 Gram “tray bags” that keep the flower looking great.  The hemp flower labels and artwork were created with Danny Reed (Crooked Creek Holler + Hot Stuff Tattoo). Danny's work brings strain names to life with an extra saucy “siracha vibe” to the Special Sauce, Therapy bends the brain, and Sour Space Candy is ready to abduct you from Earth to a higher plane.

 

Ok ok, don’t get too freaked out - it’s just CBD. Point is, these designs and products are unique in the hemp space while being created with local West Asheville talent. The branding itself takes inspo from how some of the best craft brewers launch new product--each strain is a special, limited release that really pops off.

 

 If you are still dancing with this "word party," a la blog, let’s get to the less niche stuff. You’re probably asking, “Seth, how is the flower?” I’m glad you asked. We were able to visit the farm during harvest and see these plants in their prime.  While so many hemp farmers are growing the same strains, Great Smokies is carving out unique lanes with new crosses. 

Crosses = Crossbreeding. This is where a cultivator essentially splices two different cannabis genetics to create unique profiles. These crosses are not only unique to the market, they can produce high CBD / high terpene, visually stunning flower. This year’s harvest has been focused on successful crossbreeding rather than bulk numbers. Farming hemp in Western North Carolina is extremely difficult due to our humid summers in a climate similar to a deciduous rainforest. While still a micro-production compared to others, this greenhouse-grown flower is looking and smelling great, all due to the care and attention Greg puts into each harvest. He cultivates and collaborates with Evan Chender of the Culinary Gardener, located in the Reems Creek Valley. If you’re familiar with Evan’s specialty crops, then you know how important cultivating quality produce is, and the same goes for the hemp flower.

We are hyped to carry Great Smokies Cannabis and look forward to more top-shelf, locally cultivated hemp to share with you. 

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