Pheno hunting is an obsession at Msiku, the east coast cannabis brand founded by CEO Christine Halef—the industry experts at creating new strains. Based in Halifax and operating out of a multi-million-dollar indoor grow, Anthony Giardino, cultivation expert, responsible for cultivation production, product and genetic development at Msiku, likens his quest for new cannabis strains to an explorer seeking out rare species in the wild kingdom crossed with a scientist using beakers to create new forms of life in a laboratory.
Art meets science with ethics and strength to create a superior legal cannabis product.
“Bringing out flavour profiles and creating new offerings is my passion—the idea at Msiku is to produce genetics that don’t exist anywhere else,” says Giardino, mentioning that hand trimming, hang drying and hand packaging flower are just some of the small details the company takes to ensure the freshest, kindest products reach legal cannabis shelves. “Our products are created for the cannabis connoisseurs, for the ones who know the difference and who have tried different varieties and appreciate cannabis presented in its truest form.”
Creating cannabis in its truest form happens at Msiku because they have high cannabinoid, terpene-rich genetics. With an in-house breeding program and a laboratory for examining plant tissue, strains like The Wedding Singer and Cushman’s 11 are unique creations pollinated through Msiku’s exclusive pheno-hunting and years-long experimentation. Giardino says he’s after high-density trichomes and diverse terpene profiles. He knows rare breeds are exciting to consumers who appreciate quality.
“It’s not the cheapest or easiest way to produce a cannabis product, but it’s the way we believe honours cannabis,” says Giardino, adding that his expertise in genetic development, backed by his amazing team, creates not only a differentiation between Msiku and other legal licensed producers, but also offers a leg up for the entire legal cannabis system.
“We want to create things that people have never seen before. At Msiku, we’re creators—and leaders in flower.”
Msiku currently makes diverse and different terpene profiles in industry leading strains, including Star Struck, Frozen Lemons, Bucket List, and ICC x Kushmints 11. In addition to The Wedding Singer, Msiku has new drops scheduled in January, and then summer 2023. Exploring tissue culture to create new cannabis strains isn’t for everyone. But Giardino says it’s what makes Msiku stand apart.
“People joke that I kill more plants than I grow, but it’s because we’re trying to find that unicorn in the clouds and the COA plays a critical role in selecting a genetic to put into the market. We put so much work into our pheno hunts and it can take hundreds of seeds and thousands of flowers and at least two years to produce a single strain,” he says, not complaining, but instead sounding proud of his dedication to craft. “You get attached to the strains and you become like a parent—creating something so special and unique and beautiful in the world.”
To learn more about Msiku and see their full list of products, please see atlanticann.com.