The (Pheno) Hunt is On!

Cannabis quality has grown leaps and bounds in its decades of underground and mainstream use. You may hear stories about people who have ended their 40 year smoking hiatus, picking up the bong again and being hit by a torpedo of a high, blown away by what cannabis has become. Yes, that’s the result of decades of improvements in cannabis plant knowledge along with ease of production in new legal markets, but advancements in cannabis has another main contributor: pheno-hunts. And here at The Pass, we just started a brand new pheno-hunt!

When a female cannabis plant produces seeds, and those seeds are grown into plants, each of those new plants have unique and specific characteristics of that particular plant (strain/cultivar). Each of those plants is what is defined as a unique phenotype. While all the phenotypes might come from the same cultivar, they harbor an array of characteristics from their lineage, much like us and our relatives. 

The process of pheno-hunting takes place when you grow and select phenotypes of strains for your preferred characteristics, dialing in on what you love to see, smell, taste, feel, from that particular cultivar. Recently, our cultivation team studied their genetic library and took plant type, terpene expression, yield, and much more into account when they decided to begin an exciting new pheno-hunt for Hot Rod, Tropical Flame, and Sloppy Box. For the past several months they have been growing and analyzing multiple phenotypes of the same cultivar, evaluating every aspect of their physical and chemical composition, in order to find a phenotype that we would be proud to put our name behind. 

This process is so exciting because by pheno-hunting, you’re able to see all the different traits and variabilities just one plant can produce, allowing a grower to take the vast and unique complexities of a plant and shape it into its peak desirability. Luckily for us, our cultivation team found two winning phenotypes for each strain previously mentioned. So where do we go from here? Because our team wants to be as precise and definitive in their decision as possible, they will clone, plant, and grow each winning phenotype once again, in order to decide once and for all which of the two will become the mother plant that we will continue to clone and grow for production in the future. 

In the meantime, the harvested winning phenotypes of Hot Rod, Tropical Flame, and Sloppy Box will be processed and sold in 1g bags in retail, so that our customers can experience and have actual input into this hunt for a new phenotype. In even more exciting news, this pheno-hunt is certainly not the last, as we’ll be continuing the hunt for primo versions of new and exciting strains. 

The whole process feels like a science experiment, a puzzle, and of course a hunt all wrapped in one, the results of which will be shared with the community. While they’re eager to have a new strain hit the menu, the hunt for the perfect phenotype seems to be the most exciting and engaging part of the process for the cultivation team. It will remain a fond reminder of all the hard work gone into their craft when they finally hold the packaged product in their hands.

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