Dawg Star started growing recreational cannabis in 2011. They were the first licensed I-502 producer, a title this team takes pride in. Their GG #4 strain won a Dope Cup in 2017 for Most Potent Flower, and the trophy is proudly displayed on the mantle when you walk through their front door.
Dawg Star’s name and logo are based on an interesting story about the ancient history of cannabis use. The dog star itself is another name for the brightest star and star system in the night sky, Sirius. The nicknames come from the star’s association with the constellation Canis Major which means “greater dog.” The Egyptians believe their gods like Horus and Annubus came from this star and brought the cannabis plant with them. Dawg Star pays tribute to these ancient cultures that discovered, used and passed cannabis use down through the generations. Whether or not the Egyptian lore is true, it’s fact that cannabis has been used as a plant medicine for thousands of years and the growing team at Dawg Star has reverence for not just cannabis, all plants and the entire plant ecosystem.
Dawg Star is one of the main stops for Kush Tourism, a guide service that gives tourists from all over the world peek behind the cannabis industry’s curtain. Kush tourists get to tour a recreational cannabis retailer like Diego Pellicer and producer/processor sites like Dawg Star. Jeff Leonard directs Dawg Star’s tourists and manages the garden six days a week. Leonard meets people from Japan, London, Europe and many other places from all over the world. Most of the tourists that come through their doors have no idea what they’re getting into, and when they see large rooms full of growing or curing weed, peoples jaw hit the floor, and it’s by far the best part of Leonard’s job. Leonard is a larger-set middleaged gentleman that looks the part of an old-school cannabis farmer. He’s sporting a worn-in WSU dad hat, jeans, baggy t-shirt, and the standard lanyard and name badge.
Leonard enjoys showing people cannabis plants for the first time because he is in his own words “a real plant geek.” Leonard has been working with plants professionally for more than three decades and smoking cannabis for around 40 years. His love for plants started back in high school after he took a vocational and technical horticulture class. That class sparked a lifetime of dedication to horticulture and full-on plant love affair. Leonard studied tropical plants at Edmonds Community College before graduating from Washington State University as a Master Grower. He’s since managed and taught bamboo cultivation at Bamboo Gardens, served in the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association and currently sits on their grant and scholarship committee. He also worked in Seattle’s Pacific Science Center in the tropical butterfly house for 12 years.
Dawg Star is Leonard’s first foray into growing cannabis on a professional level. Before he officially started, he put himself through a cannabis cultivation training camp for several months to learn key differences from how cannabis plants operate compared to the thousands of others he’s managed in his lifetime. Learning curves are bound to be spring up regardless of how long you’ve been growing weed, but one of the major ones was figuring out how many strains to grow. At the beginning of the industry, they started with 50 strains, shotgun spraying retailers with options to make sure they checked every box possible. Seven years later they’ve narrowed their process down to manage the best 12 strains they have, to the highest quality they can manage.
Kameron works in the garden with Jeff. He also sports a background in plant education. Kameron studied Sustainable Agriculture in Maine and has only been with the company for six months. Kameron is a mild-mannered gentleman with a slender frame and long blonde ponytail. His quiet demeanor compliments his studious energy as he tends to the flowers.
One of their claims to fame is their Blueberry Cheesecake strain, a famous cross of Blueberry and Cheese strains. Not surprisingly, the strain has aromas similar to its namesake, sweet berries with sour skunk compliments. Dawg Star is working on another strain that sounds just as delectable, Strawberry Banana. This strain is the highest testing flower Dawg Star has grown with cannabinoid hovering around 31 percent according to their tests at Integrity Labs. Strawberry Lemonade brings together the Strawberry Bubble Gum and Banana Kush strains to create a powerful hybrid with fruity flavors and bubbly mindful effects.
Jeff believes a crucial key to preserving these strains flavors revolves around the moisture content, and specifically how its managed during the curing process, which is another word for drying the weed. To make sure the curing process goes according to plan everytime, Dawg Star assigns a single person to manage this step. This person is Joe, and he works upstairs in the curing station.
Dawg Star makes sure they use all of their viable plant material. This allows them to create product lines at multiple price points. Dawg star works exclusively with Xtracted Laboratories to create quality cannabis oil under brands like Northwest Concentrates and Refine Seattle. Refine’s loud resin is one of the most coveted products for concentrate users. When flavors like the Lemon G, Tangie, and Ceasar drop, they have mini-cult followings similar to hypebeast sneaker drops.
Be on the lookout for Dawg Star’s flower and oil collaborations, strains like Berry Haze have been a making its rounds through the industry since the beginning of the recreational industry and has satisfied many stoners.
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