By Julia Meyer
Founded in 2021, the cannabis brand House of Kush, formerly known as Bubba Kush, was founded to carry on the legacy of the famous Bubba Kush and OG Kush cannabis strains.
Today, the wellness company is focused on changing the narrative of cannabis.
House of Kush acts as a licensing company, working in California with the oldest cannabis retailer in the industry, Harborside, to cultivate their cannabis strains. Soon to be called Statehouse, several cannabis brands make Harborside, such as Loudpack, Sublime, and Urbn Leaf.
House of Kush Origins
House of Kush was inspired by the creation of the Bubba Kush cannabis strain bred for the 1990s Florida club scene by Matt “Bubba” Berger. Bubba is one of the original six Godfathers of the ‘92 OG Kush strain, and created the original Bubba Kush strain in ‘97.
Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of House of Kush, Steve Gardner, explained that CEO and Co-founder, Reggie Harris, was contacted by Berger with an interest in building a brand around the legendary Bubba Kush strain.
“He [Berger] called up and basically had an interest in building a brand around this strain that obviously was very well-known, very famous, but that [it was] not his expertise in the least. Ultimately, as we had the conversation, we wound up acquiring the rights from him to the Bubba Kush name and then we started taking that out to the market,” Gardner said.
House of Kush’s Legacy Strains
OG Kush and Rolls Choice are both hybrid strains, while, Kings Kush, SFV OG Kush, and Pre-98 Bubba Kush are indica strains. All of the legacy strains are known for their sedating and relaxing effects on users.
With Harborside, House of Kush was able to launch their SFV OG strain. Next up will be Kings Kush, Pre-98 Bubba Kush, and Rolls Choice, followed by the launch of OG Kush in late June or early July. House of Kush’s strains will be available to consumers in the forms of pre-rolls, eighths, quarter ounce, and half ounce.
So far, House of Kush has only launched products in the state of California, which are available to purchase in Harborside and Urbn Leaf stores. Gardner explained, “..In the next 12 months [we expect] to be in..one-hundred stores or more..in the state of California.”
Currently, House of Kush has its strain genetics in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Maryland, Ohio, and Oklahoma. Michigan will likely soon be added as well. Gardner also mentioned that House of Kush will soon be launching via wholesale through Loud Pack and Sublime.
Environmentally Conscious Cultivation
With the majority of their cultivation occurring in Salinas, California, Harborside has approximately 200,000 square feet of grow space, and 39,000 square feet of processing space, according to their website.
Travis Higginbotham, Vice President of Production at Harborside, is the head cultivator for Harborside and is growing the House of Kush strains.
Higginbotham told Emerald that when cultivating cannabis, Harborside is focused on implementing sustainable environmental practices. “We produce very high-quality greenhouse flowers. The way that we do this is through implementing environmental practices as well as [using] environmentally conscious materials,” he said.
One of the main reasons Harborside is dedicated to environmentally friendly cultivation practices is because the company is required to partake in these practices. Higginbotham explained Harborside’s growing operation is located in the Salinas Valley, which is governed by Monterey County. The county is one of the most environmentally stringent counties in the United States, which enforces environmental regulations on growing operations.
Higginbotham stated, “We have to follow certain regulations on every single active ingredient on every single salt that we mix for our fertilizer to the material in the substrate, the media that we use to grow the plants. For example, we have to use LEDs, we are not permitted to use HPS (High-Pressure Sodium Lamps) due to energy efficiency. We cannot use perlite or Rockwool, which are typical and traditional substrate materials. We have to use compostable carbon-based substrate materials like wood fiber, redwood, which is all we use.”
Genetically Cultivating the Perfect Strain
In order to craft the most optimal strains for House of Kush, Harborside works with breeding companies responsible for genetically cultivating strains. Higginbotham noted that Harborside receives genetic serum from breeders that are then tried to meet greenhouse requirements.
“We do not risk our production without proven trial data that we have here in our facility before we commit to working with certain genetics. House of Kush was willing to work with us through the trial process, and they did have some genetics that satisfied our requirements from a greenhouse production standpoint, as well as from a sales standpoint. We did move forward with them with the collaboration we’re doing now with their well-performing genetics,” Higginbotham said. All five strains grown for House of Kush have high-performing genetics.
Creating Social Equity by Investing in Minority Communities
As a majority black-owned brand, House of Kush believes the best way to create equity is by maintaining generational wealth through banking, micro-loans, social ventures, and entrepreneurial training programs.
Gardner explained, “For us, it’s really about the economic development side, because at the end of the day, if you get out of prison, but there are no jobs in your community, you’re not growing. What we’re really doing is focusing on getting banking, microloans, social ventures, and entrepreneurial training into largely black and brown communities.”
House of Kush is partnering with the Propel Center, a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) organization out of Atlanta, Georgia, that works to propel Black and Brown communities. House of Kush aims to bring a variety of professional athletes and other influencers to deliver motivational talks on campuses. These talks will be followed up by a business accelerator for students to create business ideas that will help solve community issues and stimulate job creation.
The business accelerator will provide funding, mentorship, and guidance over the course of one full year to help students launch businesses that create a real economic impact in their community. Gardner stated that Propel’s five-year goal is to create $20 billion of economic benefit in Black and Brown communities through the business accelerator.
What’s Next for House of Kush?
Besides flowers, House of Kush aims to broaden its horizons by producing other products, such as concentrates, and to create a sustainable space for social equity.
“As a company, we want to be a leader in terms of delivering really good products and building a great brand that has very clear and distinctive giveback strategies attached to it,” Garder said.
He added, “We’re in this for the long haul. We think that we can get out there and build a great company that’s doing the right things, and with a very real giveback strategy that can powerfully impact black and brown communities especially.”