In Northern Whatcom County, 30 minutes from the Canadian border, Nick Cihlar and Subdued Excitement grow cannabis that is both pesticide-free and the perfect accouterment to any powder day on Mount Baker.
Subdued Excitement growers share a collective love of snowboarding and their location in the far north of Northwest Washington is the best place to pursue both the art of cannabis growing and snowboarding.
We sat down with co-founder Nick Cihlar to figure out which strains he’s enjoying, what exactly “Grown Near Canada” means, and his favorite thing about Subdued Excitement’s newest product: Cold Smoke concentrates.
WhatcomTalk: Do you have a favorite strain you’re currently growing? If so, why?
Nick Cihlar: We have a really deep portfolio of genetics, so it’s hard to choose just one. We have something for every taste, although we are admittedly on the smaller side, so we don’t have the room to put them all on the market at the same time. But I would say, of the beans we have popped so far, the “Orange” line from Obsoul33t has impressed us the most. Orange Cookies (Orange Juice Bud x Girl Scout Cookies) made a splash in California a few years back and we have a bunch of other strains from his OJB crosses: Orange Poison, Orange Sherbet, Orange Bubble Gum and a bunch more. They all have amazing citrus flavors and some of the best terpene profiles we’ve seen.
WhatcomTalk: Why is growing pesticide-free important to you?
Nick: How could it not be? We’ve been smoking our own product for 25+ years. Why would we poison ourselves? Why would we poison our customers? We rely on biologicals and our integrated pest management procedures to keep us pest-free.
WhatcomTalk: Your tagline is “Grown Near Canada.” Just how close to Canada are you and why did you decide to use that phrase?
Nick: We’re less than 30 minutes from the Canadian border and we’re huge fans of Canada. We love Labatt, hockey, Whistler, poutine … all that good stuff. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with U.S. News and World Report’s number one country for quality of life?
The real question is, why didn’t someone else capitalize on this before? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we also stole it from our favorite snowboard company – Lib Technologies – that similarly appreciates our neighbors to the north.
WhatcomTalk: Cold smoke concentrates are one of the new products from SubX. What’s your favorite thing about them?
Nick: We’re very excited about Cold Smoke. We started out as growers; that’s our area of expertise and how we’ve always thought of ourselves. We only started getting into concentrates about four years ago and it was a revelation. It was like a whole new world opening up to us. After a couple years experimenting, we brought in a top-notch extractor – @jackpot502 – who helped us get the full potential out of our strains. We were so proud of the results, we felt we had to start a new brand to give them the showcase they truly deserve. We have all sorts of good stuff coming down the pipe.
WhatcomTalk: Do you have a favorite story or memory from your time with Subdued Excitement?
Nick: To be perfectly honest, this journey has been a long series of problems and disappointments, laced with heavy doses of frustration and anxiety. It has been a rough ride and we have a lot more painful memories than joyful ones. But we have survived and we will continue to survive. Those facts alone serve as a source of pride that probably qualifies as my favorite ‘memory.’ But the thing that really perks us up is unsolicited phone calls, emails and DMs from our customers saying they like our products. It’s an amazing feeling, connecting with people like that.