Brand Spotlight: Growing Craft Cannabis in Colorado with Billo

Eric Vlosky
Last Updated at
10:11 am
June 14, 2023

Inside Billo's Approach to Cultivating Award Winning Flower

In the ever-evolving world of cannabis, Billo, which is nestled in the picturesque mountain resort town Steamboat Springs, stands out as a boutique indoor commercial grow that has come to represent craftsmanship and quality. With a commitment to producing exceptional flower, Billo's hands-on cultivation practices have earned them a well-deserved reputation across the state. In this brand spotlight, we delve into the insights shared by Dave Kulberg, the Director of Cultivation at Billo, alongside Charlie Peddie, their Director of Operations, to understand how they grow award winning strains year after year. 

Roots in Quality

While Billo was officially founded in 2017 as a vertically integrated grower, processor, and dispensary, its roots in the Colorado industry go way back. As Dave recounted, his journey in cannabis cultivation began by growing for himself medicinally over a decade ago, when some of the first caregiver laws became available in Colorado. When the opportunity to come on board with Billo arose, Dave jumped on it, driven by the goal of reintroducing the core culture of cannabis to the local mountain community. Not long after, Billo’s flower quickly found its way onto shelves in other dispensaries across the state.

When we interviewed Dave and Charlie, they described how Billo is driven by its cultivation philosophy, which revolves around meticulous care for each plant and attention to detail. While their entirely custom-built facility only has about 10,000 square feet of total flowering canopy space, it means that every single plant receives personalized attention, which enables daily interaction and close monitoring. What will be obvious to anyone who has grown cannabis but perhaps not as much to those who haven’t, this completely immersive responsibility is extremely demanding and requires constant effort. 

More than anything, Billo's commitment to hand watering, micro-adjustments for different environmental conditions by strain, and a holistic growing approach developed over many years of trial and error are what ultimately contribute to their success. The growing team uses a proprietary mix of coco coir with peat moss on flood and drain tables in order to fine tune their feeding schedules by phenotype. Another thing working in Billo’s favor is the climate their building inhabits, which is a medium altitude mountainous zone that offers moderate temperatures and low humidity. This allows them to more easily control their indoor environment. Dave’s sincerity when telling us that they treat their plants with care and positive energy was palpable, which is evident in the final products we’ve reviewed

Exploring Genetics

Billo's dedication to offering a wide variety of different strains is reflected in their constantly rotating selection of genetics, which they see not as a luxury but as a necessity to stay competitive in Colorado’s fierce market. When considering new strains to work on, Dave prioritizes potentially unique flavor profiles and terpene combinations above all else. As he puts it, if a strain doesn’t check each box for aroma, bag appeal, flavor, and effect, it doesn’t make it into rotation. By seeking out uncommon genetics from lesser-known breeders, Dave and Charlie both acknowledged that exceptional plants often come from unexpected sources. They value the care and expertise exhibited by breeders such as In House Genetics and Capulator, among many others, as the geneticist’s own growing practices greatly influences the quality of their seeds.

When it comes down to which plants make the cut to head to the shelf and which don’t, selecting the right phenotypes is crucial to maintain their high standards. While many strains aren’t winners and some may not be high-yielding, Billo’s ownership is dedicated to showcasing exceptional quality over quantity wherever possible. This attention to detail allows Billo to curate a collection of strains that cater to a diverse range of preferences and experiences, which they say is critical to keep customers coming back.

“The weed we grow and the genetics we have is the heartbeat of the business.”


Listening to the Community

Another key philosophy that has helped Billo be successful is their belief in the importance of honest feedback. Dave and Charlie were quick to mention that continual input helps them better understand the frequently changing preferences of their employees and customers so that they can refine their offerings accordingly. For consumers seeking the crème de la crème of cannabis, the significance of brand recognition and understanding the origins of the products they purchase is crucial. Billo recommends that consumers take the time to research and choose brands that prioritize quality. It’s our belief at TerpGuide as well that it's not just about chasing strain names or THC percentages which are often misleading; it's about knowing your farmer or extractor and embracing the farm-to-table concept as much as possible. 

What to Expect from Billo

By prioritizing quality, listening to their community, and embracing hands-on cultivation techniques, Billo has established themselves as a perennial contender in Colorado’s cannabis competitions. Their team believes that destigmatizing the consumption of cannabis and providing an inclusive shopping experience are two of the most important elements they can provide for their customers. While they typically only release their finest flower at their single mountain dispensary location, Charlie described how he’s always hunting for other great brands so that they can offer shoppers a curated selection of great edibles and extracts as well. In addition to their store, Billo’s products are also available at select dispensaries across the state.

The reality is that in today’s hyper-competitive cannabis markets, where hundreds of brands and virtually unlimited product choices are available, standing out is a truly tall order for any operation – especially in Colorado. To that end, Billo has set themselves apart by consistently putting out a wide variety of exceptional strains that command a premium. If you’re ever headed up to Steamboat Springs to enjoy some skiing, camping, or mountain biking, make sure to stop by their shop and tell them TerpGuide sent you. 

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