Founded in 2015 during the early days of recreational Cannabis, Lifted has grown from their medical roots via hands-on care for the plant, using their top shelf flower as a foundation to build an impressive brand, product line and company.
With a focus on heavy-hitting indica-dominant strains, Lifted’s lineup of flower, infused joints, badders and cartridges covers the spectrum of flavors in award-winning fashion – winning multiple awards at the 2023 Leaf Bowl. A key component in their success is a hands-on approach from the garden to the lab and everywhere in between. From watering to trimming to rolling joints, all daily elements are literally handled by team members with care.
“We’re still focused on hand trimming and hand packaging into glass, so everything gets touched and cared for properly,” explained the sales manager DJ Carter. “It’s nice to have that quality control of a team who cares. That’s a recurring theme you’ll see here, and we do everything by hand. Hand watering … even the entire pre-roll process is all by hand.”
Keeping fingers in the dirt and eyes on the process ensures the quality and consistency that Lifted is known for, starting in the cloning room where only one-third of plants make the cut to be flowered. While it costs more to feed the extra plants that end up being culled, it ensures that only the healthiest and most vibrant plants go into flower. Inside the veg and flower room, beneficial insects are the only form of pest control.
“We put a heavy focus on flower because that trickles into all the other products. We’re constantly looking at what needs improvement, not only reinvesting money – but physically and constantly trying to improve in every aspect,” said Carter. “We’re all smokers and we’re very picky on the strains, so when we get burned out on something, we kill it. We’re always looking for the next big thing and fill our 30 slots with the best possible strains that we can grow.”
Lifted was started by founders Miles Brewer and Tony Ferro, who have their fingerprints on every part of the company. Through self-funding and careful growth, they’ve built an impressive reputation – as well as a company that employs numerous people who embody the same passion from the top down.
“This is owner-operated every step from seed to sale, and we can take over and run the garden if we have to. I had to run the whole veg department for six months when our main veg guy had a family emergency, and my partner Tony had a baby. So I had to leave the sales desk and handle all the clone taking and propagation,” Brewer said with a laugh. “The same goes for Tony, who built the lab and the gardens and does a lot of the pheno hunting. So it’s nice when you have owner-operators that can jump into any department and help.”
Inside the immaculately clean grow rooms, carefully lollipop-pruned plants flower on a cycle that allows the team to harvest every 10 days – keeping a constant supply of fresh flower and trim to feed the processing department, and an overwhelming amount of customer demand. The flower sells out each week and because it’s fresh, the team is constantly busy packaging and delivering smaller-batch orders to shops.
“Another area of pride for us is that our weed is always fresh. With our garden scheduling and the amount of inventory versus demand, we sell through a harvest every 10 days. So our inventory is very lean, which makes it harder from a sales standpoint – but the plus of that is that all our products are fresh,” Brewer explained passionately. “Our best accounts order multiple times a week from us, versus only once a month or longer from other farms.”
Lifted keeps a stable of approximately 30 strains in rotation, using a tissue culture lab for propagation and storage of genetics. Tissue culturing allows a genetic sample of a strain to be stored, or used to grow fresh plants from – with the added benefit of helping stabilize and clean the genetic defects. While the team is always looking for new genetics, certain strains like the Wedding Cake have been selling out since day one – and are still on the menu.
“We were the first to bring Wedding Cake to the market back in 2016, and the first to bring Permanent Marker to the rec space,” Brewer said proudly. “We did a 126 seed pheno hunt and this pheno stands apart from all the other strains, and we grow five times as much of this strain and it still sells out. It’s tried and true … the customers and we love it.”
The love and hands-on approach continues in the lab, where delicious badders are whipped by hand for hours to ensure the right consistency and feel. Their unique extraction focuses on separating terpenes from THCA crystals, which are then finely ground before the terpenes are reintroduced. The THCA is also used in the infused Sugar Stix line, which features full flower blended with THCA crystals, before being hand rolled.
“We are the only facility I’ve seen that produces 30,000 joints a month that are all hand rolled,” Brewer said with a chuckle. “We don’t have a joint rolling machine, we have Angel – and he outperforms the machines. The hand blended, hand filled and hand twisted attention to detail ensures that each joint meets our standard and smokes with a great consistency and smooth burn.”
They also launched a new line of premium flower in even smaller batches, receiving a special cure and new, fully blacked-out jars to keep the flower preserved from light damage and as fresh and tasty as possible.
“The ‘small batch’ line is all pheno hunted from seeds – genetics or rare cuts that we’ve sourced from other breeders. And when we initiate these into production, they only get a half lane – so it’s small batch, released in eighths only, in blackout jars with strain-specific artwork. We want people to be pleasantly surprised because it’s the best and newest we have, and it comes down to the question: What would we want for ourselves? We’re heady smokers who want the best, so we want to put our best in glass for our customers.”