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Grow Tour: Sky High Gardens

“If we weren’t inherently passionate about the plant, the chorus of details we pay attention to would be neglected.”

Photos by Daniel Berman

Sky High Gardens has followed a passion for the plant and people since the brand’s launch in 2015, and their legacy continues to grow with the addition of a new single-source hash lab to turn their flower into fire dabs.

In the years since Washington legalized, few brands have stood the test of time – but those that have thrived have focused on quality and consistency. With strains like the indica-dominant Pineapple Chunk, a classic on the menu since the grow began, Sky High has maintained a balance of classic strains and pheno hunted new cuts to build a unique menu full of hard-hitting, flavorful strains that represent the best of the PNW Cannabis scene.


“Cannabis culture is a love for the plant and represents all the good that it brings to the world. The culture around the plant transcends our differences and unites around a common belief – that Cannabis makes the world a better place. I like to say that Sky High Gardens offers ‘different smokes for different folks,’” said CEO Phil Seda, sharing his philosophy on culture in the garden. “We like our Cannabis [strains] as diverse as the people who support us. Cannabis culture is reflected in our products through the uniqueness of each strain we offer; each offering a distinctive aroma, effect and allure.”

The grow team loves uplifting, longer flowering time sativa strains that aren’t represented enough in today’s market, and one of their top sellers is a special phenotype of Blue Dream that’s been on the menu since the beginning.


“Our cut of Blue Dream is one that I’m really passionate about – it’s one of my favorite smokes. A lot of people have walked all over Blue Dream as if it’s some outdated strain, but it has a lot of complexities when grown right and it just got a bad name in the early push of 502. We’ve grown it the right way and people are picking up on that and going back to the classics – this was a top seller for us in 2023! The high is a euphoric little pop, a nice daytime, knock out your to-do list with ease strain.”

Growing in a self-described maze of rooms in a building that’s been in the SODO area for nearly a century, the team has had to roll up their sleeves and adapt to produce the best Cannabis within the space they have to grow in. Since we last toured in 2020, the team built a new mother room to hold the genetic parents of their select strains, and a hash-squishing rosin lab to transform the flower into bubble hash, and then into top-shelf dabbable rosin.


“Growing and crafting hash rosin is a labor of love. It really is hard work. I believe both are equal parts art and science. So having a connection with the [plant and culture] provides us with a clearer understanding of what it takes to create the tastiest hash rosin on the market right now,” Phil explained. “We listen to what the plants tell us to get the most out of them. So knowing when to harvest, and choosing what strain is ideal to freeze in preparation for solventless extraction takes skill. Even the size of micron bags, heat, pressure, and curing on the back end all alter the quality of our hash rosin. If we weren’t inherently passionate about the plant, the chorus of details we pay attention to would be neglected.”

Inside the building is a hive of activity, with workers moving around the facility, actively watering, trimming and touching the plants as they grow from clones to fully flowering. Everything is grown using LED lights, which has saved tens of thousands of light bulbs from the dump and helps keep the garden sustainable.


“From start to finish we put the plant up front and center,” explained Phil passionately. “Everything is hand watered, hand trimmed, hand touched. Each plant is an individual, even in  a row of all Pineapple Chunk, and each one has specific needs and metabolism if you will, so one might be ready to drink one day where another only needs a top off – so to keep them balanced and happy, we give each plant attention.”

Doing things the hard way, and growing through difficult times is what it takes to survive in the Cannabis game. With heavy taxation, over regulation of a plant, and crime in the Seattle area putting all businesses at risk, the Cannabis growing game is not for the faint of heart. Since 2015, hundreds of gardens and brands have failed – but not because of money alone. This industry is not kind to those who only want to profit and lack passion for the plant and the culture. For Phil and the team at Sky High, the fight to share their weed with the community has only made them stronger. 


“Being here after a decade provides us with a sense of gratitude and grit. We are thankful to be doing what we love … we have endured a lot over the years, which has made us stronger,” Phil said as our conversation turned to the future. “My hope is that the market and consumers start to value smaller, craft operations that more closely align with Cannabis culture.”

skyhighgardens.net | @skyhighwa

Photos by @bermanphotos

About Wes Abney

Wes Abney is the founder and CEO of the Leaf Nation brand family, which began in 2010 as Northwest Leaf magazine. Recognized as the first Cannabis publication in the region, Northwest Leaf defined and developed the medical and recreational Cannabis communities in Washington with free publications focused on quality content and truthful journalism. The model’s success has led to Oregon Leaf in 2014, Alaska Leaf in 2016, Maryland Leaf in 2019, California Leaf in Spring of 2020, and Northeast Leaf in Fall of 2020. Wes’s writing and publishing background began with his college newspaper, The Ebbtide, which included a love for multimedia and creating content on many platforms. The nickname “Bearded Lorax” came after years of publishing millions of free magazines, using his voice to speak for a plant and those that benefit from it. Wes is an activist not only for Cannabis but for alternative medicine treatments, ending the drug war and freeing prisoners who have been wrongfully incarcerated for non-violent crimes. His passion for reaching people with written and spoken words led to the concept of Leaf Life Podcast in partnership with Mike Ricker, which began development in 2018 and launched in January 2019. With the combined passions of Cannabis and a love for broadcasting, the creation of Leaf Life was a natural progression for Leaf Nation as it spread roots across the United States. With over 100 shows recorded, and printing over 100,000 monthly copies, Leaf Nation has become the world’s largest Cannabis media company, while still celebrating the humble roots and truthful journalism that the model was founded upon. Beyond leading a team of 40+ passionate Cannabis creatives, Wes is the father to two beautiful daughters and two furry cats. He lives in Seattle, drinks coffee, and enjoys Cannabis daily, and hopes to eventually transition from a successful Cannabis journalist to a classic coffee shop author as the Leaf continues to grow in the coming decades. In true Lorax fashion, he enjoys hikes in the forest, communing with nature, and reminding people that “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

This article was originally published in the February 2024 issue of Northwest Leaf.

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