Founded in March of 2015 in Colorado, AlpinStash is a family run, craft cannabis cultivation company with a passion for growing plants and an affinity for natural healing.
Born and raised in Boulder, owner and master gardener Danny Sloat runs the business along with his younger sister Emily, fiancée Murr and family friend Silvia Anchondo. The team cultivates 3,000 square feet of indoor cannabis, each plant grown using non-toxic chemicals, all natural nutrients and organic compost. Down to the finest details, every bud headed for market is pristine.
With a focus on small scale artisanal production, the AlpinStash team is able to dote on every plant from sprout to trichome-glistening bud, bringing utmost quality to every harvest. And it shows. The flowers here look like gems, and seeing everything hand-trimmed and glass-cured to perfection is a real treat.
High Times recently took a peek inside just how divine cannabis can be, including a slide show from the AlpinStash garden.
This all began after a turning point in Danny’s life.
For years, he was hospitalized, misdiagnosed and over prescribed opiate pain medications to treat a bevy of ailments. After six years of 19 prescriptions, obesity, a debilitating stomach illness, a basal cell brain tumor removed, and concomitant crippling depression, Danny grew tired of being disengaged with life.
“I was just in such a bad spot with painkillers, something needed to happen,” he lamented, while showing me around his lush indoor farm.
Standing tall with an athletic build, Danny’s auburn beard reveals a knowing smile as he recounts how cannabis saved his life, and how he’s dedicating the rest of his time here to growing.
“My father encouraged me to turn to medicinal cannabis when I was at an all time low,” Danny revealed.
The way he speaks about his mother and father is a clear indication of Danny’s strong character. This quality shines through in the way he runs his business. Respect for the plants, the clientele, regulations and his team.
AlpinStash is comprised entirely of women, and he prefers it this way.
“My mom, my sister and my grandmother are all strong women. My grandmother was tiny and took zero shit from anybody. Nobody intimidated her,” Danny recounted with a smile.
Strong women are a necessity and have a great deal to offer to an industry as new as cannabis, but sadly, not everyone agrees. Danny’s sister, Emily, experiences a great deal of sexism as a female grower.
“The amount of sexist comments I’ve had said to my face and online is incredible,” Emily confessed with a hint of anger sparking in her blue eyes.
At about the same height as her brother, she, too, has auburn hair and a knowing smile. Not only has Emily encountered outright negativity, she’s also been completely ignored. Men in the industry don’t believe she’s actually a grower at AlpinStash, much less a knowledgeable one.
“I try to be as polite, professional and direct as I can with my responses, but it’s very frustrating,” Emily added. “It’s like they can’t even comprehend that a woman professionally grows cannabis.”
The female foundation at AlpinStash is by no means an accident.
Both Emily and Danny agree that with male growers often come large egos, and the brother-sister duo notice that with women at the helm, there are far fewer struggles with self-importance. Instead, the emphasis is placed on nurturing and communication. The cannabis industry is relatively new and under researched, and the motto here is rooted in the fact that listening, learning, knowledge and profound understanding is what creates the best products.
This AlpinStash team leaves no room for posturing.
Of the many remarkable aspects during my visit, I couldn’t help but admire how the AlpinStash facility is so incredibly clean.
Attentiveness is a common thread throughout the entire operation, and this focus on detail is noticeable in their flourishing, beautiful garden. Bright green colas spring forth at every turn, showcasing tiny bulbs of resin. Rows of original cultivars like CBD-rich Sister Wife and SoDoSoPa (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Alien x White Dawg #5) beckon attention.
Complex aromas flood our olfactory systems. Scents of sweet earth and pine mingle with fuel and citrus notes. Each shimmering bud delivers a slightly different floral sensation than the previous one. Occasionally, Danny will stop and examine a leaf or share a cultivation tip about pollinating flower or air filtration systems. He’s not shy about sharing his knowledge, a rare trait among the industry.
As our tour continued, it became apparent that Danny is more than a master at this; he’s a shaman.
“It’s hard work for sure, but I feel like the plants reflect the energy that we put into them and the energy we give off, even when we’re just hanging around them,” Danny gloated for a second, and I noticed how his love and dedication to this craft has consumed him. “It’s super important that the people who work [here] really believe in what we’re doing, and emit positive vibrations.”
The team works seven days a week, 365 days a year, rotating days off in order to give the plants all the care and attention they need to thrive. His trusted assistant grower Silvia Anchondo, a “jack of all trades,” who prefers working with plants over people, left a large scale industrial grow gig to farm at AlpinStash. Danny’s fiancée Murr joined the team after two years of working in a commercial cannabis bakery and is now handling logistics for the operation. Like Danny, Murr struggled with pharmaceutical pain remedies after sustaining an injury and found immediate relief with cannabis.
It’s evident that the AlpinStash team—Danny, Emily, Silvia and Murr—are passionate about this medicinal plant.
After rows of flowering plants, we happened upon plant tissue culture rooting experiments and a fridge full of tissue culture clones, tiny boxes filled with tiny sprouts.
This is Danny’s latest amendment to AlpinStash.
Recently, AlpinStash partnered with cannabis genetics and research firm Front Range Biosciences. Danny’s farm now serves as a R&D hub for cannabis genetics research. It’s purpose? To further develop and understand the plant; the two entities are working to create the most viable, healthiest clone stock on the market.
“It’s standard operating procedure for the agriculture world, but there’s definitely a learning curve applying advanced tissue culture promulgation to cannabis,” Danny shared. “Things vary greatly strain to strain—what they like, which nutrients are necessary. There are many variables.”
I don’t grow cannabis, but I found Danny’s explanation of tissue culture easy to grasp. Others have found Danny’s explanations relatable, as well (AlpinStash’s Youtube channel with insight and tips about cannabis cultivation has seen over 50,000 views).
In layman’s terms, the team surgically removes small specks of tissue from the tip of the plant from which they breed more perfectly clean specimens, and subsequently disease-free clones. Since the specimens they use are plucked from points not connected to the plant’s vascular system, the specimens are not affected by diseases the plant may have been carrying.
This work with Front Range Biosciences, breeding and cultivating using science-based research and applying contemporary agriculture principles to craft cannabis, is but one example of how AlpinStash sets the bar in the cannabis marketplace and keeps their focus on quality.
“It’s difficult to be the little guy in any industry, but if you’re dedicated, work hard, and have your shit together, it’s accessible,” Danny said.
With regulations continually changing in the cannabis sector, businesses must work extra hard to thrive. Large-scale producers often rely on a wealth of investment capital to survive. But, the winning combination here is all heart and the AlpinStash team’s passion to benefit the lives of others and each other over profits.
“In theory we could be a little bigger,” Danny said, “but at a certain point the quality would suffer.”