I’m something of a weed snob. Having spent ages as a consumer, and now several years adjacent to the growing legal industry, I’ve been fortunate to try a lot of really special flowers. While I’m constantly amazed by different growers and new strains, there are very few brands that I seek out by name and stalk for new drops. The first brand on that list, and the one I often call my favorite, is Fig Farms.
Fig Farms is the brainchild of successful entrepreneurs Keith and Chloe Healy, and the company is what I would call an “exotic factory.” While many in this business just look to reproduce the big-name strains that sell across the globe, Fig prides itself on creating and developing its own amazing strains unlike any you’ve seen before, complete with unique structures and original terpene profiles—the kind that leave an impression on your memory and palate forever.
Hailing from Northern California, Fig Farms is a true family-run business. Operating out of one massive warehouse, and tended to by the owners themselves, the brand produces small-batch runs that are constantly improving and consistently impressive by any measure. The love and devotion that the Healys put into each plant is apparent with just a quick glance at their products. This isn’t some run-of-the-mill Cali-chronic; these buds are iconic. For the Healys, if it’s not the most beautiful nug you’ve seen this year, it’s not good enough to be a Fig Farms product.
I sat down with Keith and Chloe over the summer to discuss the origins of the brand, and to attempt to uncover their secrets for creating perfect buds. In the words of their “Chief Pain-in-the-Ass” Mike Doten, “This isn’t just top-shelf bud—this is above that. These flowers get their own shelf.”
“We’re oriented toward a more mature consumer that’s looking for something intriguing and [fresh],” Keith explained. “A true exotic is something that they haven’t tried before. It’s something that’s new and exciting. That’s what we want to do in the community, just keep providing new and exciting flowers… We go through the process of looking through each plant and each pheno to figure out whether it’s worthy of the market or not.”
That’s the thing with this crew: Just growing great weed isn’t enough for them. If it’s not the best, it’s not something they will put their label on.
“The big thing about Fig Farms is, if it’s not worth going in a Fig Farms jar, it doesn’t,” Keith said. “It’s time for a terp makeover, you know. We need to get away from everybody running in the same direction. We need to start bringing all the different profiles that are out there.”
This will become apparent to consumers in California with their next drops. I had the opportunity to check out a few of their up-and-comers while visiting their grow and, let me tell you, the future is bright. Be prepared for some show-stopping buds, from Sleepwalker to Kush Cologne.
“Our Sleepwalker is guaranteed to change your dimension. It gets euphoric, and your mind just starts moving, and you find yourself kind of sleepwalking around,” Keith said. “But #51 is a special flower. We’re not sure what to call it yet, but that 51 will stay with whatever strain name we come up with. It’s a Sunset and Purple Fig cross.” Keith then clarified, “When we pop seeds, every plant gets a number. So number 51 was the 51st plant.”
“I look closely at all of our plants, to see how it grows, the smell, the structure, how beautiful it is, the crystals,” Chloe added. “The 51 is just… I’ve never seen a plant so beautiful.”
“All of our Dutch Treat crosses are just out of this world too,” Keith noted. “Terpenes that people just aren’t really playing with… You know, the idea is that cannabis is somewhat infinite. We don’t want to get locked into one flavor profile when there are infinite flavor profiles.”
Keith is no stranger to the cannabis scene. He began moving flowers in his youth in Santa Barbara, near Figueroa Mountain. While people often assume the name Fig Farms comes from the fig fruit, the brand’s name is actually an homage to Keith’s days near the mountain.
“Back then it was chronic, pretendo and shwag,” he noted. “So if you told me you had the chronic, we’d be like, ‘Yeah, but is it figs?’” Figs was street lingo for dense, thick, pointed buds.
Keith departed from the Santa Barbara scene during college to pursue a tennis scholarship, which kept him clean until an injury got him back into cannabis, though mainly as a hobby at first. After getting married, and then taking over and reestablishing the Slice of Life vegetarian restaurant in Sebastopol, CA, several years back, the pair decided to go after the cannabis market for real.
But the road to get here wasn’t paved with gold. The team had more than its fair share of raid scares, even during the medically legal days, which prompted premature crop teardowns. However, that roadblock wasn’t going to be the end of their quest.
After all of their mother plants were torn down, the team underwent their first real rebuild. On that first pheno-hunt, Keith came across a plant he called Fig because of its dense beautiful buds. The problem was that it was a low-yielder.
“I crossed Fig with… a Silver Haze cross. That’s how we ended up getting us these beautiful, huge purple Fig buds that we now call Purple Fig. That was the start of Fig Farms,” Keith explained.
“I brought the first pound of that Fig to the Berkeley Patients Group—the oldest collective in the world,” Keith added. “He took the first bag and it sold extremely well. From there it just opened doors. People felt the passion that we put into the flower.”
According to Keith, “That’s when cannabis became fun again, when we got to bring the creativity that we’re bringing into other aspects of life into cannabis. My parents are artists, and I believe that the way we grow cannabis is an art. I feel like we’re artists and we’re painting a picture.”
This pair has truly created masterpieces. From its flagship strains to its upcoming releases, Fig Farms is consistently coming to market with new and exciting flavors, many of which can be attributed to Chloe’s green thumb.
“Chloe has a special way in the garden,” Keith said. “Women and cannabis, it’s a huge element. The plants are female, and Chloe just taps into the plants in a way a lot of us can’t. It’s impossible to teach somebody. I’m truly blessed to have her in my life—working with the plants, helping in the restaurant, helping with the kids, helping with everything.”
That “special way in the garden” was certainly getting noticed before too long.
“Fast-forward to 2017, we had crossed Purple Fig with Banana Split, growing basically in our laundry room. Single plant.”
They took two ounces of their crop and entered it into a Cannabis Cup for the first time.
“I ended up with maybe 20 eighths of it or something to sell at that event. Hardly any of it. Most of the plant went into the entry. And then that won the event. That was kind of the first feeling of being recognized for the passion, for the love, for the breeding,” Keith noted. “It wasn’t winning with somebody else’s seed. It was winning with something that my wife created in our garage, and then flowered literally in a laundry room. We weren’t some big company growing a huge amount of plants.”
But they were about to be. Keith’s next move leveraged his Cannabis Cup in ways he wouldn’t have imagined—it helped secure him a lease on his current warehouse. He had been talking with a landlord who, upon hearing about his big win, instantly understood the impact this small company would have on the growing community.
“And now we’re on the other side. Starting construction on phase two, now in 120 of the best stores in California, at the top shelf in every store,” Keith boasted. “My wife and I see the plants every day. We care for the plants every day, and make the best decisions for those plants on a daily basis.”
Even with their growing success, Keith hasn’t forgotten the passion that drives him. He’s not looking to blow up and mass-produce; he’s a lifer.
“One thing that’s huge for us, and something I’m very proud of, is if you buy a Fig flower, it was grown and touched by our team 100 percent. We would never put another farmer’s flowers in our jars. We put our all into every aspect of it. We’re really proud of what we put into our flowers,” Keith said. “Our motto in business is ‘Do better tomorrow than you did today,’ and just trying to keep moving forward.”
This is a common sentiment in cannabis, but one I rarely see adhered to the way the Fig team has. Instead of signing licensing deals and trying to grow their brand far and wide, they’re truly focused on creating the best products anywhere. This is exemplified by the brand’s pre-roll line.
“We do our own in-house pre-rolls. You know, some people just throw their trash in their pre-rolls. We literally have a section of the grow room that we designate toward pre-rolls. [With Fig], you’re getting the whole plant, you’re getting good flowers—you’re not getting the stuff that we want to hide. If we want to hide something, it goes in the trash,” Keith explained. “If you want to be successful, good business is important. You have to have integrity.”
This may seem harder to find in the growing recreational market, where brands are often putting profits over patients, but for the Healys the destigmatization of their business provides other benefits.
“Regarding the recreational market, it’s not so much that I think childproof packaging is great,” said Keith. “It’s more that I want to make sure that I’m there for my family in the future. Coming from nothing and building what I built, I can’t take those risks that I took in a past life.”
At the end of the day, I can talk until I’m blue in the face about how much I love Fig Farms’ plants, but you should really just try them for yourself. I promise this is a bouquet you don’t want to miss. But don’t take my word for it! You might’ve heard the old Biggie lyrics, “Never get high on your own supply,” but the Healys take a different approach.
“We smoke the shit out of our weed,” Keith said. “It’s important to enjoy what you do.”
This feature originally ran in the December 2019 Issue. Read more here!