I’m just going to say it—when you think about the Canadian prairies, cannabis probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. A slice of heaven smack dab in the middle of this vast country where you might be more apt to think about fields of wheat, barley or the Saskatoon berry and the notion of being able to watch your dog run away for days is likely a more fitting image. But the team at Mother Labs is changing the cannabis game and they are doing it from the land of living skies—Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!
Sitting down with Adam Brockest, Chief Commercial Officer and Brian Bain, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, was an experience in and of itself. If you ever get the chance, you won’t find a suit or tie on either of them, and you definitely won’t be in a cold boardroom. Instead, you’ll likely find yourself in a semi-circle passing something around and feeling like you are catching up with old friends you haven’t seen in years. However, don’t let the casual demeanor fool you, these two know what they’re doing and will be quick to school you on the details of tissue culture micropropagation, why fire cannabis always starts with fire genetics or the advantages of various grow mediums.
Started by a husband-and-wife duo and fueled by a lifelong love of the plant, Mother Labs isn’t a name you’re going to see on your local retailer shelf when the hottest drops come out. They operate as the secret weapon, the quad-snob pheno-hunters, and the trusted advisors that work alongside Canadian cannabis growers to make sure they are popping off fire genetics and growing what consumers will want. It’s a skill that takes patience, a heck of a lot of plant knowledge, and the ability to understand trends in cannabis (yes, there are trends in cannabis).
“You have to be a fortune teller in this space, and a lot of the time we are setting the trends,” Bain says. Brockest takes the blunt, then adds: “The process of commercialization can be lengthy, up to a year,” he says, “so we look to markets like California and Amsterdam for trends, while also taking into consideration that Canadians are unique and discerning cannabis consumers.” If like us, you’re thinking: How does one do that? Well, for the Mother Labs team, over twenty years of growing experience and strong roots in the cannabis culture of yesteryear helps you out.
Beyond the technicalities of running a cannabis genetics company, if there is one thing that stood out in our conversation with the Mother Labs team, it was their passion. This is a team that lives, breathes and dreams cannabis. They are the consumer, so they understand what weed smokers want and what good cannabis should look, taste, smell and smoke like. These are the type of people who will sit down, look you dead in the eye and ask you what your favorite terpene is. In fact, it was a little inspiring to think that if this is the team seeding the industry, I think we’re going to be alright.
So next time you pop open a bag of terpy goodness to unwind after a long day, take a minute before you grind it, roll it and light it up to appreciate the journey that plant has taken. Recognize the care, the love, the passion, and the thoughtfulness that has been put into her since long before she was that beautiful bud, all to wind up being rolled between your two fingers. And then light one up for the Mother Lab crew, our homies in Saskatoon.