Growers Spotlight: Marcos & Suzy of THE MKT
One thing we love about the cannabis industry is working with so many dynamic, family-owned businesses! We recently caught up with Marcos Cardona and Suzy Bustamante, life-partners and lead cultivators at The MKT.
The MKT is a family owned, cultivation business and flower brand located in Boulder, CO, who’s founders have deep roots in the cannabis industry. Their passion for the plant and putting out exotic and diverse strains has helped to quickly make a name for themselves in the Colorado market.
How’d you get into growing cannabis?
Marcos: We’ve always been obsessed with cannabis! We used to skip school to read High Times and hang out. We were living in Florida, and when you live in a black market state, you don’t even know what you’re buying. You just have to take people at their word. We started growing out of necessity. We wanted to be able to verify the genetics.
Suzy and I were freshman in college when we moved out to Colorado. It was 2010 and the medical market was just getting started. We were surprised that nobody even knew what they had out here! We got our cards, started growing in a tent and selling to a dispensary. It didn’t feel legal! We started going to trade shows, buying seeds, and pheno-hunting.
We just really love weed. We didn’t know it was going to be a career path but it turned out that way. The opportunity grew.
What do you love most about growing?
Marcos: I love observing the plants, I love watching them through all of their stages. It’s comforting for me. Especially when they’re finishing.
What’s your favorite strain to grow and why?
Marcos: I really like ‘Spray Tan’ from Cannarado. It’s a cross of Orange Cookies and Sundae Driver. It has a really nice citrusy-tangerine palette, deep purple flowers, big calyxes, and it coats your mouth and lingers on your palette – complete tangerine goodness. It’s a great seller too – a real winner! I also love ‘Pie Hoe’, a cross of Tahoe OG and Grape Pie. It’s like a legacy cut of OG Kush. I think if you can put out a good OG strain that says a lot about your ability as a cultivator.
Tell me about your genetics – how do you select what strains to grow?
Marcos: We make an effort to go to the Trade Shows and talk to the breeders. That’s always been a big part of our process. We love to pop seeds, grow them, and then make selections ourselves. There’s always a variety of things that we look for. We want to see vigor, yield, thc, terps, color expression and flavor. It has to fit that criteria and it has to meet the demand of the market, but also have that something special to be different.
What’s one thing you can’t live with out in the grow room?
Marcos: A good pair of shears will get you pretty far. I like Chikamasas.
2020 goals for your grow?
Marcos: Our short term goal is to have 50 lbs of weed trimmed and ready to go every week. Long term goal is to have our own breeding project. Since Covid, we haven’t had direct access to breeders like we’ve previously had with Trade Shows. Because of this we need to be more self-reliant. We’re running out of seed stock so we’re preparing for the new wave of genetics. We have such a vast genetic library! We also have the space, resources and desire to do it ourselves. We would love to be the first to grow and circulate a strain. If you create something new that people want, you have control in the market.