SugarTop Buddery’s signature line of pre-rolls. Photo credit: SugarTop Buddery.
The 1960s and 70s were a time that featured grassroots movements, civil rights milestones, and a counterculture that promoted free love and communal living. Another huge aspect of this time period was the introduction of cannabis and psychedelic drugs into the mainstream.
SugarTop Buddery, a cannabis cultivator, processor, and distributor based in Eugene, Oregon, is determined to associate its brand with the same core values as the cultural revolution we saw in the mid-20th century.
Created by brother and sister Jarrod and Anna Kaplan, SugarTop Buddery is a farm founded by artists and musicians. Each sibling discovered an enthusiasm for the arts at a very young age.
Jarrod worked as a child actor for the soap opera The Guiding Light, and was also a world-class percussionist. Anna fell in love with oil painting and ceramics. She attended the University of North Carolina at-Chapel Hill as well as various art schools.
United by their mutual love for art and creativity, the Kaplans sought out a way to parlay those passions into a successful cannabis brand. In 2014 they took the first steps.
Co-founder and CEO Anna was working in Philadelphia when she received a spontaneous phone call from her brother. He suggested that the two venture into the rapidly growing cannabis industry.
“Our mission and our values were always rooted around the five core concepts of music, art, community, love, and integrity.” Anna explains. “If those came through in what we did we knew that we had a brand [….] that was in line with what we felt we wanted to bring to the industry.”
In order to bring these core brand ideas to life, they needed to figure out a convenient way to get their limited amount of product to as many people as possible.
Their solution was to turn a pound of flower into about 450 pre-rolled joints. This line of pre-rolls would go on to become their signature “Bat” brand, named for the joint’s cone-like shape.
Over half a decade later, the Kaplans and their SugarTop brand now grow, distribute, and process copious amounts of flower throughout the state of Oregon.
SugarTop also boasts its very own strains, including Lodi Dodi and Narnia. The latter is described as a “super Sativa.” It is said to be a cross between Jack Herer and Trainwreck.
Breaking New Ground
What started as a small farm is now one of many blossoming cultivators and distributors in Oregon. Specifically, the company grows their craft cannabis in a 5,000-square-foot indoor garden.
A recent development for SugarTop is its partnership with Terra Vera. Terra Vera is an agricultural company that uses the latest technology to ensure the quality and safety of the bud.
More specifically, Terra Vera helps SugarTop navigate the often rainy climate that engulfs the state of Oregon. Even in an indoor facility, it’s tough to protect flower from pesticides, bacteria, fungi, or mold. Therefore, Terra Vera’s all-natural cultivation methods will be integral to quality control.
Carols For Cannabis
Their website itself features a “Serenaded Bud” series. The series is a collection of videos in a similar vein as NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. These videos show various local musicians in the SugarTop greenhouse playing a song surrounded by an audience of cannabis plants.
“Serenaded Buds really came out of the core value of music and how we integrate that with our plants [and] with our products,” Anna tells Emerald.
So what does singing to these plants actually do? Research shows it may help the plants grow, according to a 1962 study from Indian Botanist Dr. T.C. Singh. Singh exposed plants to many forms of music and instruments. In his findings, Singh claimed that the plants he exposed to music experienced a 20% increase in height and a 72% increase in biomass. More specifically, he found that the violin stimulated the most plant growth out of any instrument.
Singh’s research sparked the curiosity of his contemporaries, as many in the agricultural field tried to duplicate his experiments and yielded similar results. Despite this, we still don’t know whether these findings were based on correlation or coincidence.
In addition to jamming out in the greenhouse, Anna and Jarrod maintain the importance of their brand, touting the same revolutionary ideas as the area that inspired it.
Making a Difference
SugarTop Buddery contributes toward a multitude of social justice causes. They regularly contribute to nonprofits and their community as a whole. One area where SugarTop Buddery is vocal is the subject of mass incarceration. She says it’s important to recognize the racist and classist attitudes that made cannabis illegal in the first place. In recognizing that, they see it as their responsibility to do all they can to help those wrongly incarcerated for cannabis.
Anna also serves as the acting president of the Board For Women Leaders of Cannabis, a position she is humbled to occupy.
“[…] There’s always that network to reach in and pull from,” she says. “For women to have that network in cannabis is to be able to really say that we have each other’s backs and to be able to also provide a platform of empowerment and education.”
So why exactly buy from SugarTop?
“When you pick up a SugarTop product you know you’re getting the best quality,” says Anna. But that’s just one reason to buy from this Oregon-based distributor. Customers are given peace of mind that their purchases support the greater good.
Now there’s a tune we can all sing to.