Inside the Groundbreaking Farm That Boasts Three Pounds of Cannabis per Grow Light

The Birth of ‘Light’

A Colorado Native, Haupt’s early days were rough. After seeking relief from the debilitating grasp of epilepsy, he soon found that cannabis could deliver near total suppression of his symptoms. Haupt began cultivating in his mid-teens and took his newfound passion to Breckenridge, CO, where he began to formulate the early trappings of what would later become his magnum opus, the Three a Light recipe for success. During this time, he spent his days assisting friends and locals in setting up their own cultivation facilities, all while beginning to formulate a master recipe based on his successes.

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According to Haupt, who was interviewed by Gangepreneur earlier this year, the process of completing the Three a Light book was much more tedious than previously expected. What was once thought to be a six-month project took nearly three years to complete due to the intricacy of the photography demands and the need to produce a finished product unlike anything anyone had ever experienced in the realm of cannabis literature.

Designed specifically to be digestive, ‘Three a Light’ comes across more like a baking recipe book than theoretical analysis.

The culmination of Haupt and his team’s efforts came to fruition in late 2015 with the release of his 215-page behemoth masterpiece, a gargantuan text brilliantly outlined with breathtaking captures and a seamless, streamlined, and easy-to-digest approach to his famed nine-step cultivation method. In its massive hard black casing, the book reads more like a coffee table Nat Geo exposé than a typical cannabis cultivation reference text, weighing almost three pounds (not including the case). Chris Freiboth, lead photographer and designer, can be credited for the book’s sleek and minimalist photography-forward style. Every page offers a dynamic visual experience unlike any other book of its kind.

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Many of the existing cannabis cultivation manuals in print today are designed to be comprehensive and are often too dense for novice growers and those with little to no experience in botany and horticulture. Here Three a Light breaks the mold; designed specifically to be digestive, the tome comes across more like a baking recipe book than theoretical analysis. With 11 steps hinging on nine core principles (Temperature, Humidity, CO2, Room Dynamic, Equipment, Genetics, Food & Water, Manicure/Pruning, and Love), the goal is to introduce readers to a singular cultivation method. Oftentimes, new growers pull from many sources to develop their cultivation style. This book saves novice growers the effort and offers an all-in-one approach.

The Flo cannabis strain in its final week of flowering. (Patrick Bennett for Leafly)

A ‘No A-Hole’ Policy

When someone claims that they’re so efficient in their growing to be able to produce three pounds of cannabis per grow light, you really do have to see it to believe it. I know I did. That’s why I had to get out to the Denver Superfarm myself to see what all of the hype was about.

It takes the perfect fusion of culture, philosophy, and practice to pull off what Three a Light produces on a daily basis.

Upon entering the facility, I was met by Nick Costello, long-time friend of Haupt, project manager for Three a Light, and master cultivator at the Superfarm. A driving force at Three a Light, Costello’s energy and charisma are equal parts astounding and palpable.

“We have a no A-hole policy,” Costello proclaims as he winds me though hallways of grow room after room. This self-vetting system applies to all areas in each of their facilities. It lives and breathes in their culture and can be felt in every area of their operation.

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I spent several days touring the Three a Light Superfarms and was surprised to find that every face I interacted with was equally friendly and welcoming, something I can’t say for any other farm I’ve toured in my career. It was after meeting Mike Walsh and Sean McMechen, both master cultivators and general managers at two of the Denver-based Three a Light Superfarms, when I realized the true success this company has been able to cultivate.

What makes this operation so successful (and yes, they are producing three pounds per light, sometimes even four pounds) is much less about formula and more about building culture. Three a Light may be a winning recipe, but without execution on this scale, achieving this kind of efficiency is virtually impossible. It takes the perfect fusion of culture, philosophy, and practice to pull off what Three a Light produces on a daily basis.


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