Earning a bevy of awards and accolades, the Billo grow facility prides itself on the tender loving care and attention to detail it puts into every step of its growing process, from fresh clippings sprouting roots to monitoring soil nutrients, light intensity, ventilation and water pH levels—all in quest of the “perfect” plant. Behind it all is head of grow operations Dave Kulberg, who minimizes all stress in the plants’ lives. We caught up with him to get the dirt on what all goes into making a premium product.
Swillin’: How long have you been in Steamboat and how’d you end up here?
Kulberg: I moved to Steamboat in 2008. I was drawn here for the outdoor community and school. What was meant to be a two-year stay turned into 14 years of growing and learning. I now have set my roots with Billo, my wife and 5-year-old son.
Swillin’: What other jobs did you have before working at Billo?
Kulberg: I had many jobs before Billo but none of them consisted of cannabis. I worked as a line cook for a few different restaurants in town.
Swillin’: How long have you been growing (and when did you start at Billo?)
Kulberg: I’ve been growing cannabis for 10 years. I grew for personal use, which was where I learned a lot about the science. I’m one of the founding members of Billo and helped start the company in 2017.
Swillin’: What do you like about it?
Kulberg: I love being able to produce premium quality marijuana for this community. The true passion lies in the pursuit to find unique traits in each plant and new genetics or strains. We’re looking for different qualities and effects each time we bring something new to the table. A plant must check all the boxes before being approved for commercial production. It’s always exciting seeing the final product, but the true allure is learning from and perfecting the process and quality of each specific pant. The job is never done.
Swillin’: What’s the hardest part?
Kulberg: It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been growing, you will always run into some obstacles along the way. On the other hand, these obstacles are how you learn and improve your process. We always learn from our mistakes and more times than not a mistake is what is needed to get to the next level of growing and life for that matter. At this point our system is pretty dialed. Honestly, the hardest part would be managing different people and personalities along the way.
Swillin’: How hard is it to grow premium cannabis?
Kulberg: It’s only as hard as you make it. First it starts with genetics, which are the foundation of the potential quality you can achieve. Our process is a standard operating procedure that produces quality product harvest after harvest. It’s all about giving the plant what it needs, when it needs it. You tend to make it harder on yourself if you skip these crucial moments in a plant’s life cycle.
Swillin’: And you really have to transfer the plants to different rooms throughout the growing process?
Kulberg: The different rooms serve to house different stages of the plants’ life cycle. When the plants are young they require a different environment and light cycle than those of a more mature or flowering plant. Our different rooms allow us to have plants in all stages of life at the same time. We harvest every 21 days.
Swillin’: How long does a typical plant take from sapling to harvest?
Kulberg: Grown indoors, it takes around 120 days from clone to harvest. Vegetative plants with a light cycle that encourages growth take about 42 to 56 days before the plant is mature and big enough to flower. Flowering rooms have a shorter light cycle that forces the plant into producing flowers or buds. The flower stage is generally 60-65 days.
Swillin’: What separates Billo’s growing ops from the crowd?Kulberg: The biggest factor is our team. Their experience and passion is what makes Billo what it is. We’re a family that puts heart and soul into creating something special and worth working for.