Written by Claire Covino
“Happy weed.” That’s the rough translation of the phrase “khush kush,” which also happens to be the name of one of Washington’s highest quality groweries. “Khush” is the Hindi/ Punjabi word for happy. Additionally, it is a slang term used by many to refer to cannabis, of which many strains originated from the namesake Hindu Kush mountain range.
Sunny Saini and his parents are the brains behind the biz. Khush Kush fell into their laps as recreational cannabis started to makeover its reputation in the U.S. A series of right place, right time events transformed their four acres of empty property into a flourishing cannabis farm and a booming business.
The Cultivation of Khush Kush
Up until Washington legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012, the thought of owning and operating a cannabis business had never crossed Sunny’s mind. He was happily working as a producer and writer for ESPN, and living on the opposite side of the country.
When legalization happened, however, things began to change. His parents nonchalantly applied for a license because they already owned an unoccupied plot of land that would make for the perfect farm. The cultivation license came through, and the rest is history.
They knew there was a market for cannabis in Washington—it was among the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, after all—and the family soldiered on with the simple goal of getting Khush Kush on one dispensary shelf. Since then, their products have made a name for themselves far beyond a single shelf.
Though Sunny and his family might not have been canna-isssouers when they began, that quickly changed.
“It’s hard not to be passionate about this plant and this industry. […] It’s important for us to get the medicine out to the people,” Sunny tells Emerald. “Everytime I look at it, it’s hard not to smile. The flourishing green gardens. This isn’t even work anymore.”
Sustainability is Everything
Khush Kush’s sustainable farming practices make them stand out in the oversaturated cannabis market. Most notably, they don’t use any pesticides.
Their facility is brand new; they built it from the ground up with clean cannabis in mind. This gives them an advantage in terms of pest control because pests were never introduced to the area. For the critters that do manage to break in, they tackle them with “beneficial bugs.” As the name implies, beneficial bugs are species of insects that are introduced to the area to get rid of pests the old fashioned way. That’s the circle of life, right?
Their facility consists of two 2,800 square foot rooms. Every month, they harvest the crop from one room and clean it top to bottom — literally. Foggers spray with a cleaning agent that touches virtually every crack and crevice. That gives the go ahead for the next family of flower to take up that room’s real estate.
The team at Khush Kush developed a system to utilize every inch of their space to its best ability. That includes rolling greenhouse tables, a sophisticated drip irrigation system, and the use of coco coir (a fiber material made from coconut husks) instead of soil for added nutrient benefits.
In the course of less than five years, their crew of growers has developed a system that produces high quality flower. All that to say, their commitment to innovating and simplifying their cultivation practices seems to be a major contributor to their success.
The Award-Winning Flower
Kush Kush’s fine-tuned system earned them the “Best Indica-Dominant” award for their strain, Brandywine, at the 2017 DOPE Magazine Cup. VICE also featured their kush in a video titled, Getting Stoned with Seniors in Seattle. Spoiler alert: the weed was a hit.
Well, what makes their weed so great? Beyond their growing practices, which result in maximized quality, they also put a strong focus on terpene and flavor profiles. Paying attention to those details helps to boost unique qualities of every strain.
The cultivators at Khush Kush also hand trim their bud. As opposed to machine trimming, hand trimming is a much more careful and intentional practice of trimming the flower. This allows them to preserve the terpenes and potency. A strain’s unique and bold qualities can often be lost to a machine trim because the less-thorough process of a machine can damage or entirely remove the flower’s trichomes . As a result, hand-trimmed cannabis is typically of a more premium quality.
Khush Kush seems to be making good on their goal to sell happy weed. Whatever their customers use their product for — pain relief, sleep, relaxation, creativity — Khush Kush weed is an option for any Washingtonian that’s looking for a quality toke.