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Established in 2014, Kiona farm is located in Benton City, Washington. The golden hills area, known Natively as Kiona, is a renowned terroir for vineyards and craft horticuture. Our all-natural, sun grown techniques combine traditional and modern methods to produce connoisseur-grade Cannabis with minimal environmental impact. Respect for biological diversity and genetic integrity is at the heart of our work. Commercial production of Cannabis has reduced its range of desirable traits and effects. We’re dedicated to preserving the distinctive highs and unique character of great tropical and heirloom lineages. Our curated selection of rare strains includes nearly psychedelic African hazes, spiritual Central American landraces and cherished California “hippie” weeds.
From our master grower’s notebook
Legal psychoactive Cannabis allows for more than just recreational and medicinal use. Cannabis has an equally long, if not longer, history of use for divination, meditation, and magico-religious purposes, as an entheogen, as it does a narcotic. Even in western societies, as recent as the 1960s and 70s, Cannabis was part of the jazz, beat and psychedelic movements, used as a tool for introspection and expansion of consciousness. Over the last 30 years, we’ve seen a focus on Cannabis as more of a stupefacient and narcotic. This is not to say that devotees of traditional Cannabis haven’t been grumbling the entire time. Connoisseurs have been lamenting the loss of intellectually, and spiritually stimulating pot, in exchange for what was at first the infiltration of domestically grown indica, and what later became a genetically bottlenecked, poly-hybridized gene pool, high in THC, and possessing an dizzying array of flavors, but homogeneous in its ability to produce a bland, sedative effect, of limited utility to the artists, gifted academics, and spiritual sages who once embraced the species for its ability to enhance their intellectual and spiritual lives.
Learn about Kiona including who they are, their products, and where you can find them.
Croptober at Kiona
Kiona Tropical & Heirloom Cannabis – Red Mountain AVA with Rare cannabis genetics including tropical heirlooms and Afghanicas
When Washington legalized cannabis, it’s an understatement to say I was excited. Although I had recently gotten a “medical card”, mostly I was familiar with purchasing underground through friends of friends or other connects. This method was hit or miss, and the weed never really came with any info about it other than a name that could just as likely be made up as real. For example, one year in Golden Gate Park a discrete salesman offered me Cherry Pie from his right hand or Sour Diesel from his left. Wow how similar they looked smelled and toked! What a surprise… *cough cough*
At the height of the growing season at Kiona Tropical & Heirloom Cannabis
Legalization for me as an avid cannabis buyer and consumer meant that all the info I wanted to know but knew not to ask was finally going to be available! Many questions hit me all at once!
· Who are these guys that have been growing cannabis undercover for so long?
· What kind of variety of cannabis genetics will stand out from the rest?
· Will any one particular region of Washington become the premier cannabis growing region?
· How will the final products of the same strains vary by region, or will they?
· How big can cannabis plants get with no fear of government helicopter spotters and raids?
· What are (if any) the parallels with grape growing areas and future cannabis grow operations?
That’s really what got me the most fired up about entering the industry. I wanted to create something for people like me- a shop that sourced rare, unique, & authentic genetics that could provide a buyer will all the backstory on that bud! That and my dream of opening an Amsterdam café was enough motivation to tenaciously get The Novel Tree up and running in 2014.
2015 was really the year of the first Washington sungrown harvest. Sure, there was some outdoor pot in 2014, but due to the timing of the WSLCB rollout- the season was rushed because no one got licensed in time to grow a full season. True to our original vision, we partnered up with a number of under the radar grow operations that in our opinion grew much better cannabis than the “top marketing companies that happen to grow weed” that I won’t name but you won’t find on our shelves. To us, Authenticity and Diversity are King and Queen. Kiona Tropical and Heirloom Cannabis was one of the first outdoor farms we identified as this royalty! 2015 harvest season was the first experiment of an outdoor harvest with max potential.
Interestingly enough, we found that the more rare and unknown genetics weren’t quite catching on as much as we anticipated- most cannabis customers were also being hit with a flood of new knowledge and weren’t quite ready to step away from the widely known strains like Blue Dream, Girl Scout Cookies, Green Crack, etc. Kiona THC had a very strong following with The Novel Tree team and scored consistently high marks on our in-house product review forms. Although there existed a very passionate group of Kiona THC customers, many of our customers were just not quite ready for it.
Kiona THC’s operation is like the wisdom of Albert Einstein, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Admittedly, it is a TON to learn however in this setting it is awesome!
I get it- the true Sativas don’t have much jar appeal, but for those that can look past the appearance will get a much richer and truly unique experience. It is a lot of information to deliver and to be absorbed because the question, “What makes Kiona special?”, could be discussed for hours in very fine detail. The short version answer is still lengthy: “Kiona Tropical & Heirloom Cannabis is located in one of the best growing regions of the state. They use permaculture and organic growing practices for their legitimately unique heirloom cannabis strains that have been directly sourced from around the world prior to licensing. They practice a long & slow cold cure for all their cannabis flower that is then packaged in glass jars with Bovedas to keep the humidity in the sweet spot and the lid is then sealed with wax to ensure the jars are air-tight. Oh, did I mention they’re what we consider a top-shelf product for a mid-grade price? Also, those Sativas get as many weeks to mature as they need where most indoor grows do not have the ceiling heights to grow 10+ foot tall beauties.” Woof- it can be a lot to take in especially for someone new to cannabis. Plus, if you’re really new to the experience of “being high” or simply looking for the “typical heavy stone” you may not notice how different of an effect these strains can have.
Now available at The Novel Tree!
It’s now been three years since the first real Washington sungrown harvest. We have had the pleasure of working with Kiona THC and feel now that the market has matured a bit that more people may be looking to break out of the “typical stoned effect” of most of the cannabis in the legal market. The “typical stoned effect” is due to an incredible lackof cannabis genetic diversity. Crossing two hybridized strains to create something “new” is often just a combination of the two previous plants and doesn’t create that much of a different experience other than getting a fancy new name. It’s common industry practice for many growers to clone their stock and trade clones amongst each other, which further lowers the genetic strength over time. Another barrier to diversity is that the WSLCB has rules disallowing the introduction of new genetics after a grow is licensed. Other than in-house bred or farm-to-farm traded, legally introducing new genetics after a farm has been licensed is essentially impossible and illegal, which could result in a terminated license. Maintaining a breadth of cannabis diversity takes a plan, heavy risk, and foresight because it means having a stockpile of heirloom and landrace genetics to compliment a large catalogue of hybridized strains. We highly respect and value this approach for its long-term implications for cannabis user
In early October 2018, we set out to Benton City to test our principles and learn from the team at Kiona. Our first stop was in Prosser, at the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center ( https://www.theclorecenter.org/ ) to learn a bit more about the Washington wine industry, specifically how it might relate to cannabis growing. Scott, one of the co-founders of Kiona THC, met us there to help connect the dots between the wine and cannabis cross-over.
The Novel Tree’s Jeff and Chris with Kiona’s Scott Myers at the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center
Kiona Tropical and Heirloom Cannabis is located on Red Mountain, an American Viniculture Area (AVA) established in 2001. Red Mountain is about 4,500 acres on the Eastern edge of the Yakima Valley, while not really a mountain and more gold than red. It is distinct enough to be the smallest AVA in Washington and located within the larger Yakima Valley AVA, right next to Horse Heaven Hills AVA. 15-plus wineries are located within Red Mountain AVA and many more supply grapes to wineries that source their grapes (think of the Woodinville wineries- they mostly source their grapes from other growers around the state). Red wine grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grow especially well here and the Red Mountain wineries consistently win critical acclaim.
Join us on a tour of Kiona Tropical & Heirloom Cannabis in the Red Mountain region near Benton City, WA.