Yesterday, I stopped in at 2020 Solutions at their Guide location for Vendor Days, to finally meet Christopher Isoji White, owner of West Coast Herbs, out of Bellingham. He was there with the other half of their two-man team, Danny, to show off their latest harvest and talk about what makes West Coast so special.
To start with, their product is exquisite. With a focus on terpene profile and quality rather than high-yield, they grow everything from seed, and their entire process is done by hand—which is amazing considering it’s only the two of them.
What’s more, they’re all ‘veganic,’ meaning their fertilizers and pest control treatments are 100% plant-based, and made in-house. This goes above and beyond the concept of organic.
Christopher points out that even with organically grown cannabis, animal-based fertilizers can contain heavy metals, which are harmful—especially for people with fragile immune systems. “There’s a whole dark side of organic farming, where veganic is the next step forward,” he says.
West Coast Herbs focuses on small batches of heirloom strains—some of which come from decades-old genetics that Christopher has been nurturing since his early years in the marijuana subculture.
Transitioning to a legal recreational grow under I502 wasn’t exactly easy. Christopher explains, “I come from an underground culture, so I was going to grow anyway. I started with a lightbulb in a closet. But, being in a chair and not having a lot of help was hard.”
Christopher was paralyzed when he was eighteen, and cannabis helped not only to lift his spirits, it gave him direction in life. But, as you can imagine, being in a wheelchair adds a universe of challenges to the already difficult job of commercial cannabis farming.
He couldn’t do it alone, but he also wouldn’t receive help from just anyone—he’s an admitted perfectionist obsessed with quality. That’s where Danny comes in. Danny (a medical user himself, who uses cannabis to treat his Parkinson’s) had come to Washington from Atlanta to work in the cannabis industry.
One day, while working at 2020 Solutions, Danny saw Christopher making a delivery, and struck up a conversation. “Do you smoke blunts or joints,” Danny said.
“I only smoke joints,” Christopher said, and they got to talking. Danny, hungry to learn more about cannabis and how to grow the best weed, offered to help Christopher out at the farm.
Christopher said, “You’ll to have to work for free.” He wasn’t in it for the money, and anyone he brought on would have to be just as passionate.
That was fine with Danny. He just wanted to help out and learn.
“You won’t last a month,” Christopher said. But Danny did last. He stuck by Christopher’s side and together they’re rocking West Coast Herbs as a two-man team.
As a boutique grower, specializing in small batches, West Coast sells out fast, and sometimes can barely keep up with demand—all this, while constantly working on new breeding projects. Coming up, they’ve got a Gorilla Glue #4 and a pre-1998, true DJ Short Blueberry that Christopher is particularly excited about.
I wanted to try something of theirs, “I don’t want to get too high. What would you recommend for focus,” I said.
Christopher and Danny both laughed, as if to say, ‘It’s all gonna get you high!’ But after thinking about it for a second, Christopher pointed me toward the Gusher strain—a sativa-dominant hybrid testing at 21.4% THC. I bought a 2g jar, and you can expect a review soon.
And that’s another thing. Their packaging is totally on point. The flower comes in a nice glass jar, with an image of the plant and its genetic lineage printed on the lid. And something I haven’t seen before, a label on the side that tells you how long the plant was ‘vegged, flowered, and flushed,’ which are all important variables in the growing process that help to determine quality.
If you want a strain recommendation, Christopher suggests their Temple Haze for sativa, and West Coast OG for indica—both powerful varieties that will definitely get you there. Also available at 2020 Solutions are:
West Coast OG
Purple Haze/Alien Tech
Goji Gorilla Cigar
2020 Solutions Locations:
2018 Iron Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11:45pm, Sun 9am-10pm
5655 Guide Meridian
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 9am-10pm
Phone: (360) 734-2020
***Photo credits: @wcherbs