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The Art of Curation: How Golden Spruce is Setting the Standard For Quality Cannabis

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The Art of Curation: How Golden Spruce is Setting the Standard For Quality Cannabis

The Art of Curation: How Golden Spruce is Setting the Standard For Quality Cannabis

In the Haida Gwaii region in British Columbia stood a marvel of nature—an ancient Sitka Spruce tree so extraordinary, that it was the only one known of its kind. Standing for more than 300 years, this giant tree was revered by the local Haida people and held a special spiritual significance. Known as the Golden Spruce, it was an important part of their culture until a tragic act of vandalism resulted in its demise in 1997.

Today, the spirit of the Golden Spruce lives on—not only as a lesson in ecological preservation and respect for indigenous legacies but also as the inspiration behind Golden Spruce Cannabis. It was the tree's rare beauty and singular presence that sparked a vision in Mark Zealand—founder of Golden Spruce Cannabis—to craft a parallel within the cannabis industry.

Established in 2016, the Golden Spruce Cannabis collective set out to honour the tree's memory by cultivating the "Golden Spruce" of cannabis strains, aspiring to set a new benchmark in quality and sustainability. Zealand believed that the Golden Spruce of cannabis was simply the best of the best, and his team set out to create the finest quality cannabis products.

Zealand's own journey with cannabis took root 30 years ago at the tender age of sixteen, with the simple act of planting a solitary seed. The day after he planted the seed, he returned to find it sprouted. This ignited a deep passion for cannabis cultivation, and he's been perfecting his craft ever since.

From those early days, Zealand's hands became skilled in the art of nurturing growth, with each plant an homage to the Golden Spruce. His ambition was clear: to create a cannabis brand that mirrored the integrity and grandeur of its namesake.

With an unwavering commitment to excellence, Golden Spruce Cannabis' mission is not just to produce the best cannabis, but to create a legacy as special as the Golden Spruce tree itself. From seed to sale, every step is executed with care and precision, ensuring that each product meets the highest standards of quality and purity.

In this feature, we'll uncover the captivating story of Golden Spruce Cannabis - from its humble beginnings to becoming one of Canada's most highly regarded cannabis brands. We'll delve into their ethos to learn what makes their cannabis so sought-after and how they continue to honour the legacy of the Golden Spruce. Be prepared to enter a world where nature, culture, and cannabis come together in one truly special brand.


What drew you to the story of the Golden Spruce, and how did it shape your decision to start Golden Spruce Cannabis?
I wanted to pay tribute to the west coast of British Columbia. My home, my roots. The Haida Gwaii is an extremely special place and home to one of the most powerful indigenous people on the West Coast, the Haida.

As a child, I read all I could about their way of life and as I got older, I learned about this sacred tree - the Golden Spruce. This fifty-meter-tall Sitka Spruce tree seemed to glow with luminous golden needles and was roughly 300 years old. It was sacred to the Haida People and loved by all the locals. This majestic beautiful freak of nature baffled biologists. No other tree on the planet was quite like this golden giant… and then some crazy bastard cut it down.

I wanted to help the Golden Spruce legend live on so I made it my mission to source the Golden Spruce's of Cannabis.

Can you share the moment you knew you wanted to dedicate your life to cannabis?
I didn't think that I would dedicate my life to any one thing. There was never an "aha" moment for me. Cannabis has been a culture of mine since I was 15 years old. I think the excitement of waiting for the school bell to ring so I could go check and see if my pathetic outdoor plants were still growing still resonates with me today. I still have a child-like excitement when I speak to someone about this incredibly misunderstood plant. Yes you can grow your own! Make a salve for your granny!

Tell us about your collective and what sets them apart from other cannabis growers.
I have always focused on Living Soil but celebrate all methods.

With living soil, It just excites me when I see worms springing out of the soil and it hasn't been changed for several years. Essentially attempting to replicate what mother nature has been doing out there in the real world. The plants are not force-fed they just take the food up at their leisure. The soil is alive! The plants are feeding themselves nutrients with the help of other friendly plants like clovers and nettles all through the mycelium network! The farmers have to read the plants, test the soil, make the witches brew (compost teas) and the plants respond. It's just super cool. This process, in my opinion, combined with our water and fresh air produces some of the finest organic cannabis in the world.

That said, my collective is always expanding. Some of the best farmers I know are just getting getting warmed up. Genetics is key, then there is the method. You can grow the most beautiful flowers, but if you don't cure it right, it's all for nothing.

How does sustainability play a role in your cultivation methods, and why is it important to you?
I'm lucky to have grown up on the Sunshine Coast where I was deeply connected to the land and ocean. I've seen firsthand how much of an impact humans can make on our environment, and it's not pretty.

Animal Face

There is a tremendous amount of waste created in the cannabis industry every day in order to fill consumers demands. I know we can improve our methods to reduce such excessive waste. From power consumption to single-use grow mediums to excessive amounts of single-use plastic packing for the end consumer. We have lots to improve on.

I launched with living soil flower in old-school tuna tins to kick start Golden Spruce. That's low-hanging fruit to me. Easy to toss a tin in the recycling bin too.

We have to make it as easy as we can for the end consumer to waste less.
If I see one more plastic pre-roll container on the sidewalk, I'm gonna have a meltdown.

Obviously, growing in living soil is a step in the right direction but many farmers using salts are also making steps. The use of LED lights in farmers' facilities has greatly reduced power consumption from the old-school HPS (high pressure sodium) lights. Technology is helping us take steps in the right direction, but it's up to all of us to blaze the way.

What makes Golden Spruce Cannabis products stand out in the cannabis industry?
Quality speaks volumes.

Rainbow Dancehall

Let's be honest, British Columbians know their weed. I certainly wouldn't go to Scotland and start trying to pass an unlabelled bottle of bourbon around in a bar as a fine scotch. I'd be crucified.

It starts with the farmer and ends with the presentation of the farmer's work. 
I look at curating for Golden Spruce as a big responsibility. Consumers trust the brand. My interpretation of a true quad seems to resonate with a lot of consumers and I take that very seriously. I'm the gatekeeper. It comes down to nose, taste, burn and effect… of course, if it looks pretty then you've checked all the boxes.

What are some unique features of your product line, and what sets them apart from other cannabis products on the market?
Top priority is keeping that flower fresh. Period.

The products that are currently out in the market all take a little extra time. I think the Glass Tip Pre-Rolls are a good example of the extra steps we take to give the consumer the experience of enjoying some of the finer things in life. Life can be a grind, Golden Spruce should be that well-deserved unwind.

Are there any new releases or collaborations in the works?

Yes, I'm pretty excited to launch the new Living Soil Pre Roll Series. Dropping Rainbow Dancehall to get things fired up. Essentially, this is where we take two farms that are using the living soil methods and create a new strain by carefully blending two top-shelf cultivars.

Our first drop will be with Coast Mountain Cannabis (CMC) from Pemberton, BC and Woody Nelson from Nelson B.C. We are using the incredibly high-CBD and super special Dancehall Sativa from CMC and Woody Nelson's stunning and hard-hitting Rainbow Driver to create a whole new experience.

Can you share any future plans or developments for Golden Spruce Cannabis?
Bringing back some legendary strains is top priority.

I think as the dust settles I want to unite as many quality growers as possible across Canada. We are all in this together. If I can help raise the bar on true craft cannabis in Canada then I'm doing what I feel comes naturally.

What is your ultimate goal for Golden Spruce Cannabis?
I think the idea of a budtender anywhere in the world, reaching up to that top shelf and bringing down a classy container of some of the finest Canadian cannabis on the market just as fresh as when it was harvested would be a childhood dream come true.

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