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The History of Grow Lights and the Rise of LEDs

The History of Grow Lights and the Rise of LEDs

led lights for cannabis

Lighting for indoor plant cultivation has evolved exponentially over the last twenty years.

A focus on creating the most cost-effective grow light has led to new technology and lighting applications that boost yields and produce way higher quality plants. 

As long as electricity has existed, people have likely tried growing plants indoors. However most had no luck, as the power of lights back then was so minute compared to the power of the sun that growing indoors didn’t make any sense to the average farmer.

Jump ahead a couple hundred years and into the 20th century, and everything began changing. Cultivation techniques advanced, and so did technology.

The History of Grow Lights

The first patent for the next evolution of grow lights would be for the Metal Halide bulb, patented all the way back in 1912! But it wouldn’t be until the 1960s that this invention saw more practical, widespread use for cultivation. At this same time in 1962, LED lights would be invented. Remember this for later.

The metal halide bulb would act as the catalyst for the beginning of grow-light technology innovations, with High Pressure Sodium lights coming into the fray only four years after Metal Halide. With a higher wattage capability and stronger light spectrum, HPS lighting became the industry standard for decades.

However at this point, most growers were still just hanging bulbs from their ceilings. Also, the only bulbs available were 600 Watts or 1,000 Watts.

More innovation followed the introduction of HPS lights, like ballasts and reflective hoods to increase coverage and power and Ceramic Metal Halide bulbs in 1994, but in 2010 everything changed.

Gavita Lighting International invented the Double Ended Light Fixture in 2010, followed by the first Double Ended 750 Watt HPS Bulbs in 2013. This innovation completely revolutionized the way people could grow indoors, multiplying yields and quality exponentially.

Through all this innovation and technological advancement, LED Lights were slowly gaining steam in the background. Used primarily for home or commercial lighting, over the last decade LED lights slowly began breaking into the agricultural industry.

With more developments in LED tech over the last ten years, fixtures have been created that are now viable for commercial scale indoor cultivation. As innovators in the lighting industry, Gavita released their state of the art LED grow light in 2019 to revolutionize indoor cultivation yet again.

We are now entering what some would say is an infancy stage for LED grow lights. They are growing in popularity among home growers, but commercial and large scale growers are slower to see the appeal. Pair that with a high price point for quality LED lights and its easy to understand why they aren’t widespread quite yet.

Are LEDs Worth the Price?

While LED lights for cultivation are becoming more mainstream and effective, they definitely aren’t the cheapest option. CMH and HPS lighting have been the industry standard, which means more companies have produced economical options for growers at all levels.

Because LEDs have yet to become commonplace, the two options for growers are well-made lights that are proven to work from companies like Gavita for a higher price tag, or cheap, low quality LEDs typically produced in China. For the indoor grower with just a few plants, a cheaper light can get the job done, and it won’t break the bank when you need a new one after it inevitably breaks or malfunctions.

While a large scale grower can greatly benefit from using LED lights and they may even pay themselves off in time, a lot of cultivators can’t justify the high price point when HPS and CMH lights can do a great job for cheap in comparison. Over time the prices of LEDs will drop just like HPS did, and in a few years they will be just as common for growers, hopefully!

Growing Outdoor? Why You Should Consider a Greenhouse

Growing Outdoor? Why You Should Consider a Greenhouse

cannabis greenhouse for outdoor growing

Growing outdoors is cheap and effective, but mother nature can be unforgiving.

High speed winds, rain, hail, and even snow can come in certain parts of the country throughout the summer months. With more people growing hemp and cannabis outdoors than ever before, a lot of growers are going to find out the hard way that they could have benefited from a simple greenhouse.

It only takes one multi-thousand dollar outdoor crop getting destroyed for a grower to seriously consider a greenhouse or moving indoors. While growing indoors is almost always going to be the most expensive, the average grower would be surprised how much a simple, cheap greenhouse can do to protect your plants and even improve their quality.

Plant Protection

A greenhouse is great for protecting your plants from the conditions, but that’s not all. Some animals would love to get into your crop and have themselves a snack.

Keeping your plants covered in a greenhouse will stop them from being thrown around by harsh winds that can throw sediment and dirt that gets caught in your crop. It can protect from hail that can rip off leaves and completely destroy flowers, and a greenhouse can keep pests out.

Cost-Effectiveness

Building a greenhouse can be extremely cheap, or quite expensive depending on how much you want. A simple “hoop house” with curved steel poles and a tarp thrown over top will not break the bank, but it doesn’t offer the best protection.

However if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars getting a state of the art greenhouse designed and built with environmental controls, supplemental lighting and all the bells and whistles, it might be better to just consider growing inside!

Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle, mainly to add a few extra necessities like doors and some tech to control environment, but if you were doing nothing before, even a simple hoop house can make a world of difference.

Environmental Control

When you grow completely outdoors, your plants are at the will of the environment and all of its conditions. Rain, hail, winds, and especially dropping temperatures can all be prevented.

Not only does a greenhouse protect from the dangers of the environment, but it can give you more control over your own. You can keep your environment warmer by keeping the tarp down when it is colder outside. You can then roll up the sides of the tarp when the temperatures pick back to let in fresh air to circulate through your plants.

And with a simple tarp greenhouse, you can completely roll up the tarp during the day to let your plants have full access to sun, but roll it back down at night to keep them protected.

 Plant Quality

When you can build a greenhouse that almost perfectly simulates an indoor grow environment, it should be obvious that you will be able to produce higher quality plants as a result.

Keeping your plants protected from the conditions allows them to grow unhindered by damage. There won’t be nearly as much dirt or earth material in the flowers either because they’ll be protected.

Lastly, if you can control your grow environment even slightly more than just growing outdoors, you can grow better, bigger plants. And who doesn’t want that?

Should I Invest in a Greenhouse?

If you’re justing growing a handful of plants in your backyard, you probably don’t need to worry too much about a greenhouse. If your plants are damaged from a storm or hail, it won’t be a huge loss.

However if you’re growing outdoors at scale, with hundreds of plants to take care of, one big storm that comes out of nowhere can result in the loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars in potential profit. When it comes to your career and getting that pay day, is investing a few thousand into a greenhouse that can completely protect and revolutionize the way you grow that tough of a choice?

How to Prune Your Cannabis

How to Prune Your Cannabis

how to prune cannabis plants

Plant pruning is an essential tool for keeping your plants healthy and keeping energy focused to the parts of your plant that need it most.

If you don’t prune your cannabis plants, the small branches and leaves under your canopy can steal that energy away. It might seem wasteful to cut off any part of your plant that looks like it is growing fine, but it can actually be the opposite.

Why Prune Cannabis?

When your cannabis plants are young and just starting their vegetative stage, they’re small and it’s easy for light and air to penetrate every part of your plants. But that changes as they grow.

As your cannabis grows taller and wider with vegetative growth, the canopy that develops can start to take the majority of light away from the lower portion of the plant. This means that branches, leaves and even potential flower sites can’t get the light they need.

Additionally, as your plant grows thicker and forms a canopy, it becomes difficult for air to penetrate and pass through the whole plant. This causes the lower parts of your cannabis to get stuck in pockets of warm air with little light, and that’s no good.

Pruning your cannabis is simply just getting rid of the parts of the plant that aren’t going to produce flower or benefit the plant going forward as it grows.

How to Prune Cannabis

You can maintain regular basic pruning practices with just your hands, but to really have an impact, you’ll want to use a pair of trimming scissors and have a pair of shears on hand in case you run into a tough branch.

Before you break out the scissors, check your plants for dead leaves, withering leaves, and leaves lower on the plant that aren’t receiving light. Remove these leaves by hand to get a better view of your plants throughout to see the branches and flower sites you might want to remove.

Next, beginning at the bottom of your plants, you want to looks for branches that are growing upward and underneath the canopy. Due to their growth pattern, these branches will never be able to get the light they need to produce harvest-worthy flowers and be cut out.

There may also be flower sites that have formed directly on the stem of your plants. You want to snip those off too.

By cutting out these branches and lower flower sites, your plants will focus more energy on the tops of your plants, producing bigger, better flowers up top.

Don’t Prune Later in Flower

While you can (and should) prune your plants regularly throughout their vegetative stage and early into the flower stage, you will want to cease pruning when they get three to four weeks into the flowering stage.

Cutting off portions of your plant later in the flower stage can reactivate vegetative growth from the sites you cut. Needless to say, if vegetative growth starts up in your flower stage, it’s going to take extremely valuable energy away from your flower sites at the top of the plants.

Best Cannabis Root Supplements

Best Cannabis Root Supplements

best cannabis root supplements

The fastest way to plant your cannabis isn’t always the best, and just putting your plants into the ground and giving them water doesn’t always get the best results.

Just about every ganja grower is planting their outdoor cannabis over the next few weeks if they haven’t already. Especially if you’re growing from clones that you got started inside, you need to take extra precautions to make sure they don’t suffer from transplant shock or rooting issues once you move them to a new outdoor medium.

There’s a few different products we like to use at The Real Dirt that have been tried and true over the years. These are proven root supplements that yield great results, from thriving root zones with fat, healthy roots to lush vegetative growth that gets your plants primed for flowering. If you have other root supplements you love to use, comment at the bottom of this post what your favorites are!

What is a Root Supplement?

To get the basics out of the way, when it comes to plant health and development, there’s three major nutrients that plants need, and you probably already know them: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK).

But NPK isn’t all a plant needs to thrive, and supplementing other micronutrients and beneficial bacteria with your regular nutrients can boost plant development during specific stages. When you want to boost your plant’s root health so they grow bigger and stronger – which will always leader to bigger and stronger plants above ground – you use root supplements.

Best Root Supplements

Here’s our top three root supplements that you should try out.

Elite Root Ignitor

Elite Root Ignitor root supplement

Engineered to perform, Elite Root Igniter is specifically formulated to increase root mass. Like the foundation of a house, a root mass that is thicker and spread evenly will provide stronger support.

This translates to lower stress levels on your cannabis and more effective absorption of both water and beneficial nutrients. Simply put, more root mass is better!

This formulation is a state-of-the-art liquid mycorrhizal inoculant. Mycorrhizae, a species of beneficial fungi, are scientifically proven to increase root mass, and lessen the damaging impacts of medium toxicity.

General Hydroponics RapidStart

general hydroponics rapidstart root supplement product

RapidStart enhances your growing experience by delivering a powerful blend of premium plant extracts, amino acids, and nutrients generating explosive root growth.

This root supplement stimulates prolific root branching and development of fine root hairs that increase nutrient uptake and grow healthier, whiter roots.

Using RapidStart will make your plants explode! And you can use it during the entire growing cycle in all types of growing media, including coco.

Botanicare Rhizo Blast

botanicare rhizo blast root supplement plant product

Rhizo Blast from Botanicare is a powerful root developing tonic that boosts root growth.

Their proprietary formula contains a blend of seaweed, single-celled algae and other mineral nutrients that help generate robust root growth while maintaining a strong rhizosphere.

Strong Roots = Strong Plants

That’s what it all comes down to in the end. Some plants have naturally strong roots that will spread throughout your soil rapidly. Others might need a little help in the beginning to get going.

But with a root supplement at the beginning and throughout your growth cycle in addition to your regular feeding regiment you can create a massive, strong and healthy root zone that will be visible in your plant size, durability and yields.

The Real Dirt on Shrooms with Josh Kappel

The Real Dirt on Shrooms with Josh Kappel

where are magic mushrooms legal

Josh Kappel is Vicente Sederberg‘s founding partner, which specializes in risk assessment for multinational corporations and financial transactions in the highly regulated cannabis industry.

He also regularly offers guidance on cannabis, licensing, regulatory enforcement, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law to patients , caregivers and companies. Josh has recently focused his time on the world’s two largest cannabis markets: California and Canada. 

In this exciting episode, lend your ears to the true cultural hero, Josh, with the rest of the crew of Vicente Sederberg in Denver, as he speaks about how they are helping states to write policies and legalizing the magic shrooms.

I think we’ll see more communities loosen the prohibition on nature, on the entheogens and the mushrooms. – Josh Kappel


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

6:27 – Shrooms changes people
10:54 – Legalizing psilocybin
20:34 – Propagation of mushrooms
29:47 – Medicinal mushrooms in the future
35:13 – Shrooms for consumers
39:18 –  Predictions for shrooms

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Vicente Sederberg LLP

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

Chip Baker: Here we are once again The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, and I’m so excited about today’s episode because today it’s The Real Dirt on Shrooms. Yeah, that’s right. We’re gonna find everything out about legal mushrooms or decriminalized mushrooms here in the US. It’s going on all over Denver, Oakland, Eugene, Portland. I don’t know Seattle. I’m just making stuff up now. But you know who’s not making stuff up? is Josh Kappel. my great friend say hey, Josh.

Josh Kappel: What’s up, Chip, how are you doing?

Chip Baker: Oh man, I’m doing great, man. I’m glad we finally got to chat about this. I got stoned and I missed our last call. 

Josh Kappel: Fact. 

Chip Baker: That’s fair. So, those of you who don’t know Josh, Josh is a partner at one of the leading or the leading cannabis law firm in the world. That’s right. Vicente Sederberg, Josh, has been, you know, with them since the very, very beginning. And we have had so many stimulating conversations and done such great work with with the Santa Fe and you guys and you, Josh, specifically. I want to have you on my show for a while and you stop blowing me off since COVID here and you got some extra time. So thanks for joining me, Josh.

Josh Kappel: Sure. Thanks for having me. You’re absolutely right. I ran out of excuses ever since COVID. Because Hey, I’ve only been in one spot really.

Chip Baker: Why no man, you you like, you know, you’re in LA half the time, it seems like you’re in an airplane the other half the time and then like, you know, you’ve been in, you know, trying to live your life in Denver. right.

Josh Kappel: It’s really amazing how much time you have when you going to travel once a week for quite a while.

Chip Baker: I know it’s nice, man. When was the last time you got an airplane, Josh?

Josh Kappel: I came back from Costa Rica February and might have came back with the virus, maybe not. But that was the last hurrah for me.

Chip Baker: Yeah, you know, I did some traveling in late January, and I think I have a lot of those COVID symptoms, that’s for sure. But who knows, I can’t I’m looking for the antibody test as soon as it has I’m gonna go get it because I think I got it. You know, back in February-January. Man the fever the like the, you know, I thought it was the it was different. It felt different. It kept getting worse and worse the cough, the raspiness. But you know what they’re not talking about is Chip’s cure cuz, well, I can’t even say what my cure is but it involves, like four inch long, you know, pure cannabis joints, right.

Josh Kappel: This is even haven’t been evaluated by the FDA.

Chip Baker: Yeah. I mean, you know, I wouldn’t listen to me or the president for medical advice. It’s all I’m saying. It’s all insane right. So, gosh, I know you guys do all this work with cannabis, whether it’s hemp or ganja or medical marijuana or adult use, recreational use, or limited licenses. But man, just kind of like suicide is kind of a side hustle for you, so to speak, some beside interest, right. In–

Josh Kappel: Cool side interest, yeah.

Chip Baker: That side interest– The way you’ve been growing that beard over the past couple of months. It looks like you may have, you know, been having a lot of interest in–

Josh Kappel: It was an interesting time in Costa Rica. But, you know, we’ve always cared about all the drugs at the Vicente Sederberg, you know, we’ve just [inaudible]

Chip Baker: I know you do.

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] Have a law practice around cannabis. But you know, but it’s like the war on drugs, it’s always been a failure, you know and granted so we had a nice conversation about like, which drugs should be legal or how they should be illegal, should it be prescribed by a doctor or given to you at church or you know just picked up at the corner store with– your overall there’s like probably something that’s happening all the drives besides arresting people–

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, absolutely. Man I mean, I don’t know I’ve had a really open mind about all drug use and, you know, I can understand what drug abuse is. And people can, not that I recommend, it but people can pretty much do whatever they want and not become a drug addict overnight and that’s something that the war on drugs really like, you know, take, you know, says that’s like, Oh you can do this drug and you’re gonna, you know, become a drug addict or you’re gonna be worthless, you know, person society and it might not be, I might not want to hang out with tweakers. But if that’s what they want to do, man that’s on them. Sorry if I’m offending any tweakers out there that listen to the real dirt you don’t have to. But it’s not like, it’s their responsibility. It’s not mine.

Shrooms Changes People

Josh Kappel: And sometimes, just sometimes you can have an experience with some drugs. It’ll change your life forever. For the better, like mushrooms.

Sometimes you can have an experience with some drugs. It’ll change your life forever. For the better, like mushrooms. – Josh Kappel

Chip Baker: Like mushrooms. So, mushrooms are harmless. Mushrooms are great. Everybody should try it. It’s a soft drug.

Josh Kappel: It is interesting; it’s like the first time I ever use mushrooms. I was a young high school student and I was camping as [inaudible] some mushrooms with having fun. And next thing I know, I’m floating down the river on my back, staring at the moon talking to God. And my whole life, my whole life has changed. You know, from that moment on, I was like, there’s something different about this world than what I was taught. I don’t know what the fuck it is. There’s something different out there and forever, sort of like, put me on this path of like, what is it? What’s behind all this? [inaudible] I have to say you should not be doing mushrooms. They’re illegal, they’re not harmless. But I had an experience [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Totally harmless. Yeah, I don’t play an attorney on TV or no, I’ve seen mushroom not like big great for everybody. But in general, they are eye opening, they definitely make you think about things a little bit differently. And I mean you know Terence McKenna in his book archaea revival he postulate says that, you know, our early human brain developed through mind expansion because of eating mushrooms we able to eat mushrooms and have like, you know, this secondary thought to be able to have this vision of like how we were going to do something or make something, right because that’s what it takes is you have to be able to visualize like, the wheel or fire or weapon or stone or knife or a legal defense for someone. You have to visualize it first. And that’s what mushrooms gave us are so [inaudible]

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] there’s different synapses and creates more connections. But hey, I’m not the scientists around here. 

Chip Baker: I’m not a doctor or anything, but it makes me feel good. So I grew up with mushrooms. I grew up with mushrooms. They were readily available. You could pick them in the southeast in cow fields. Growing up, it was still like no fungicides used in grains and the really spray fungicides on the fields and, you know, grass fed cows. You could still pick these mushrooms, right when I was a kid now, it’s still going on, but it’s it’s because of fungicides. It’s not as prevalent as it used to be, but they were, you know, mushrooms were the thing that we could get before weed or alcohol. Right. And, you know, they were six months out of the year you pick them, right.

Josh Kappel: There, just right there. [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Yeah, you know, get a book from the library let go mushroom [inaudible] oh that’s it that’s the one yeah.

Josh Kappel: Man you know I was terrified about picking the wrong ones but–

Chip Baker: There’s nothing like picking mushrooms in the wild and and consuming them both you know psilocybin ones and just edible mushrooms. We have picked Morel, Chanterelle. Maitake, Shiitaki. [inaudible] psilocybin. We’ve picked some mushrooms. So is it legal, Josh? Tell me what’s going on. Because, but people are asking me right. And if they’re talking to themselves, they’re like, is this legal?

Legalizing Psilocybin

Josh Kappel: Is this legal? And it’s like it depends, you know. So what happens is– I was trying to make weed more legal and get people licenses and passionate group of people here in Denver process and said hey, we want to decriminalize psilocybin. Help us do it. And me and Courtney Barnes in our office thought about it for half a second. We put together this measure because we wrote so many, you know, a lot of ballot measures. [inaudible]

  Like hey, we can add we can do one for psilocybin–

Chip Baker: I’m going to stop here, Josh. And for those of you who don’t know Josh is key in legalizing medical marijuana, adult use marijuana in your state no matter what state it is, Josh was there helping you guys. Behind the scenes. He is a true cultural hero. And he really made it happen. He started it and you know, with the rest of the crew descent, Vicente Sederberg in Denver, but he has helped states write policy. He has helped cannabis growers get licenses. When you just say oh, we just write policy we just said write a bill. It’s not quite like that Josh is a superhero pause. And now, after he has helped legalize weed throughout the country, he is now helping to bring mushrooms to you as well. Thanks, Josh. Wow, great man.

Josh Kappel: Thanks, Chip. But, you know, our team has done a lot you know, it’s not just me we have updates, very great here people–

Chip Bake: There’s no I in team man.

Josh Kappel: That’s right. Yeah, but the psilocybin measure, you know this is a compromise is Kevin Matthews the guys it’s for, they’re the real heroes there they just came to us said Well, how do we write the law? So we pull a page morale playbook of the lowest law enforcement priority measures of cannabis. We pull the new page chip. 

Chip Baker: You wrote a new page. 

Josh Kappel: Straight out of Denver’s Sanctuary City law. So Denver has a law that prohibits the city from spending any money on enforcing federal immigration laws. We thought you know what, this is a great template for a psilocybin law if you didn’t want Denver to spend any money on psilocybin enforcement. And so that’s what we have is we have a a three-part law where The laws law enforcement priority measure, the city is banned from spending any money to enforce the state law. And then there’s a committee and oversight review committee to make sure people are tripping safe. And make sure the policy works, you know, the real part of it is like to make sure that the actual policies work, but that’s what we did. So it’s a long winded way of saying, Chip, it’s still illegal, but it’s not as illegal as it was before. But it’s still a crime under state law, still a crime under federal law, but the city of Denver, it’s the lowest law enforcement priority for law enforcement to go after someone who’s personally possessing or propagating psilocybin.

Chip Baker: Oh, wow. Excellent. Well, let me ask you this question. So okay, so two questions one. If I’m downtown Denver, it was just a sector non show and I just walked out I am tripping balls and a walk into the police like what’s he gonna do to me?

Josh Kappel: It depends on Jeb and Rosacea smoking giant spliff outside at the same time. 

Chip Baker: I probably will be. No, Okay, so let’s say I left the spliff at home, okay? Tonight just this night.

Josh Kappel: That’s impossible–

Chip Baker: We’re talking reality here man.

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] If nine so you don’t have a joint in your hand, and you go to the police officer say officer, I’m tripping balls. And then I have some in my head some mushrooms. And yeah, why died?

Chip Baker: You haven’t any mushrooms I’ve got some You want some? Can I say that. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, can you light my joint I don’t have on a lighter right now.

Chip Baker: I’d say that —

Josh Kappel: It still, like, arrest you and charge you under the state–

Chip Baker: Public intoxication

Josh Kappel: Yeah. I wonder the state law

Chip Baker: Oh, state law, okay. But he’s a Denver cop so that’s not gonna happen. What’s could really happen?

Josh Kappel: Should be the lowest law enforcement priority they should follow the will of the voters we’ve heard rumors that there are following the will help the voters so it should be fine until you smoke weed in public. Then they give you a ticket for smoking weed in public, but that’s a fiber also trying to work out.

Chip Baker: Alright Josh, well, hey, listen, let me, it’s a great time for us to pause and take a quick break and when we come back we’re going to talk about the cultivation of mushrooms. This The Real Dirt with Chip and Josh Kappel. We’ll be right back.

Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt. I just want to say hi to all you guys and hey man, I know you’re all holed up in your house, you’re growing weed in your garage or your warehouse and you’re wondering how you’re gonna get your next shipment of soil. Well, the way you do it, is you call up, Cultivate Colorado or Cultivate OKC. You order that pallet of soil, and whatever else you want, we’ll put it on the delivery van and send it to you. It’s that simple. I know in the past, people have like been a little hesitant of maybe ordering directly from your grow supplier to your warehouse, but hey man, things have changed. It’s a different day and time and you can do that. It’s so easy. If you’re a commercial customer, definitely call us up and get a commercial account. If you’re a home grower, man, we can still supply every single thing you need at a we’ll call us call us up and come right to the shop pick it up. You don’t have to go inside. You don’t have to shop, you don’t have to do anything but grow more weed. cultivatecolorado.comcultivatecoloradookc.com. The Real Dirt. And we’re back Josh!

Josh Kappel: All right. 

Chip Baker: How’s that break for you?

Josh Kappel: Not great.

Chip Baker: Usually, during breaks you know as my contestants, I ask my guests to perform, you know, significant feats of cannabis like taking a large six-foot bong hit or rolling the biggest joint they can or something like that. What’s the craziest, like ganja Olympics type thing you’ve ever done, Josh? And you know like, Hey, we’re gonna roll a five-pound–

Josh Kappel: Like the ounce joint for sure. But he’s like the blends together because you know that [inaudible] were like, why did I so try and see how many we could do [inaudible]

Chip Baker: And my friend Shawn Mehensky used to have this, he was my first friend in high school that had an apartment right we all still in high school we had an apartment. And he has six foot bamboo bomb that we made we go there and like just hit the six foot bomb but– Good times.

Josh Kappel: Yeah. Big bombs. I mean, there’s someone else lighted up for you know?

Propagation of Mushrooms

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. You had to have someone light it for you. Absolutely. So when we last spoke, you said cultivation of mushrooms was up the lowest-priority. Let’s discuss that, Josh.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I mean, actually really use the word propagation, but– they have the same with cultivation–

Chip Baker: Propagation, different but meant different but the same.

Josh Kappel: But the whole trick though, is you’re still not allowed to sell that, you know, so–

Chip Baker: But you can eat them. You can consume them. Can I give them to my friends? 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, you can give them to your friends–

Chip Baker: I mean, not me, not me. I’m not giving them away, but you can. 

Josh Kappel: So the prohibition is you can’t use or display the mushrooms in public. That’s one thing that I had to get back to the language. You can’t go walking down the down the street with them so you can give them away.

The prohibition is you can’t actually use or display the mushrooms in public. – Josh Kappel

Chip Baker: You can’t sell them for money, but you can give them. Okay, totally.

Josh Kappel: And that’s about it. That’s pretty simple.

Chip Baker: So could you like trade your, could you trade stuff for mushrooms? 

Josh Kappel: Nah, it’s like for remuneration.

Chip Baker: No, remuneration.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, it’s like nothing. It’s like big giving you know, it’s like giving it to you if you give me that. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, it’s like in Massachusetts, what do they have like, Oh, you buy a T shirt. I’ll give you an ounce with it.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, but the early cannabis says, Yeah, we’re doing $50 washing machine services. It comes with an eighth of weed.

Chip Baker: Yeah, remember the remuneration days in California? [inaudible]

Josh Kappel: But it seems to be going pretty good, though. What’s different between Denver and Oakland is interesting is Oakland [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Denver is not the only–

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] not just psilocybin and mushrooms, but to ayahuasca to [inaudible] to the whole nine–

Chip Bake: Damn it. Did they say add agents? or they actually list substances?

Josh Kappe: They said they added at the origin, so it’s like Peyote [inaudible] Ayahuasca, Morning Glory. Cannabis is actually kind of covered under mushrooms are covered under– But there is actually the taking out Peyote. This is pretty interesting. The Native American church asked for the decriminalized nature campaign, which is great folks. You know, they’re really building a movement here. And they vote so I’m gonna do a quick platform chat. As I tell you, this is if you want to decriminalize psychedelics in your community, talk to decriminalized nature because they will help you put it all together. 

Chip Baker: Oh, well, someone like Oklahoma, if someone was interested in decriminalizing nature, they could contact decriminalizing nature. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, great. But when they removed Peyote from the measure, because I’m requesting The Native American church, because the whole day there’s a [inaudible] shortage and so and so the whole thing is like, well, people who have these steep long traditions and using Peyote and if used it, you know, as part of their sacrament for youngs, to probably get first before everyone else comes in and just try to take it just for fun. 

Chip Baker: You know, the whole world needs enlightenment. Understand it’s a scarce commodity. So that’s a great line. The world needs enlightenment is just too scarce commodity.

The world needs enlightenment is just a too scarce commodity. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: To scarce commodity– Which is why we smoke joints.

Chip Baker: Smoke joints. So Alright, so back to so back to Oakland. So Oakland listed cannabis as an F antigen. Man, you know, I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m kind of serious. I’m kind of joking. Do you think I could be a cannabis shaman?

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I do, Chip. I do, I think yeah, there’s an interesting folks and there’s actually a lot going on cannabis therapies. 

Chip Baker: Oh, dude, it’s I mean, I finally grew up by smoking weed. A couple years ago I finally got it in my childhood. Now cannabis is therapy, man. I mean, that’s the whole part about why it’s medical.

Josh Kappel: And there’s you know, it’s like there’s a lot that’s happening with like this group medicinal mindfulness was doing these cannabis circle. Like an ayahuasca circle, there’s a lot that’s happening you know, cannabis as your therapeutic or religious substance for sure.

Chip Baker: Cannabis is medicine, man. Yeah, it’s true. You know, the most beautiful thing about cannabis is you like, got two or three of your friends and you’re smoking out and like, your heart all starts beating the same you’re all breathing the same air you like on the same wavelength, the same wave. And, you know, it’s easy to communicate that way. You know, I don’t know how many times have been like Alright, we’re having a difficult time a less goes moja. Right? And, you know, whoever’s involved, whatever like smooths out you calm down a little bit. Okay, fish sticks aren’t that bad after all– the argument–

Josh Kappel: Or even like back when we used to meet new people still, you only met him for the first time as Hey well, if we smoked together, everything will be fine. It’s like such a gatekeeper of good people. What’s super interesting about mushrooms is like, there’s also like, kind of legal to get mushroom spores? It’s kind of interesting. So it’s– 

Chip Baker: Kind illegal, like, so okay, we’ve talked about this. we’ve researched it a minute and I once told you Hey, I think Georgia and California the only place you can’t buy spores, is that true?

Josh Kappel: Yes. Taking astep back, it’s like, it all starts in 1971 with the UN Single Convention Narcotics, and they made psilocybin an illegal, but they didn’t make mushrooms containing psilocybin to be or that it makes spores that lead to mushrooms containing psilocybin to be legal. So to possess spores of mushrooms violently psilocybin. And because there’s like 400 varieties of mushrooms that make psilocybin and so it’s like, you don’t even know which one you’re working with. And so they serve just copy that language in most states in the US. So it’s so spores aren’t technically illegal and a lot of places they’re not specifically prohibited, except for California, Georgia, or if there’s like a clear intent to use them to grow mushrooms, but that’s the things get a little bit a little bit dicey. Yeah. The Spanish is called a legal like in between legal and illegal gathering this is a kind of a legal–

Chip Baker: So it’s, like maybe legal to possess store spores in many states, in Denver in Oakland. You can grow mushrooms, propagate mushrooms and you can consume them. Are there other communities where you can do this? I heard like Eugene or Portland or somebody like that was trying to do it too. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, there’s been a lot of communities who have been working, you know, to try and decriminalize ethneogenes and mushrooms. You know, depending on where you count them, there’s can be hundreds, you know, people who are working. We saw one in Santa Cruz, there’s one work in Berkeley. You know, there’s a pushing Chicago. There’s been a lot of a lot of movement to sort of follow suit. And like I mentioned earlier, my technical lawyer is not legal to grab options in Denver. It’s just the lowest law enforcement priority. The police are prohibited from spending money on on arresting.

Chip Baker: Is that decriminalized?

Josh Kappel: Yeah, it’s like it’s as decriminalized as it could be for a city, but it’s still a crime.

Chip Bake: Right. So basically, it gives the local law enforcement a way out of not dealing with much term crimes. 

Josh Kappel: And there weren’t that many arrests before. But–

Medicinal Mushrooms in the Future

Chip Baker: That’s the whole beauty of it, there wasn’t a problem with it before. And you’re just like sticking your toe in a little bit with like, hey, lowest-priority, okay, so medical mushrooms, when’s medical mushrooms, Josh, because that’s the next thing, right? 

Josh Kappel: What’s interesting– 

Chip Baker: Medically prescribed mushrooms–

Josh Kappel: You’ve seen a lot of really successful research coming out of Johns Hopkins and Hafner Institute [inaudible] you know what I’m saying–

Chip Baker: Oh yeah man–

Josh Kappel: That is finding that your psilocybin has been effective in treating resistant depression, and also addiction, you know, amongst a whole other host of different ailments. You know, since you there’s such incredible breakthroughs happening so the FDA actually gave breakthrough drug status to psilocybin and for the depression. There’s two groups compasses one there–

Chip Baker: Whenever you eat mushrooms, you laugh, and laughter is known to get rid of depression.

Whenever you eat mushrooms, you laugh, and laughter is known to get rid of depression. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: Exactly. If you laugh until your cheeks hurt, the chances of being depressed are difficult.

Chip Baker: We’re making light of it. But if if you haven’t ever, if you’ve never experienced mushrooms or you’re you’re like, you know questioning what we’re talking about, and it really does give you an introspective into things that, you know, you might not have seen that exactly the same way and use properly. Mushrooms are incredibly therapeutic. That is 100% for sure.

Mushrooms are incredibly therapeutic. That is 100% for sure. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: I think that’s right. And you know, and it’s, there’s so powerful with the mind that they have the ability to sort of break habits apart. And that’s nice. I searched compass and this nonprofit Usona both have got, you know, breakthrough status from the FDA, to engage in clinical studies for the treatment resistant depression. It’s really it’s really phenomenal. There’s a study, I might slightly misquote the numbers were was 60% of the people who use silent treatment. diction quit smoking six months later. And that and like, chances is the highest like smoking, is the most successful anti addiction drug for smoking. It comes in like 38% and obviously there’s psilocybin one or how many treatments was it wasn’t that many it’s like 60% six months later.

Chip Baker: Wow. Well, there you have it. If you want to quit smoking cigarettes, you’re gonna have to once monthly have a psychedelic experience with some mushrooms for six months, and you’ll quit.

Josh Kappel: I don’t know if that was exactly the protocol, but you know–

Chip Baker: No, I mean, mushrooms are just so fun. It’s hard not to joke about uh, you know, have a good time with it. But it is really serious and I know you know many people that have fought for the laws and like yourself. It is a serious situation and mushrooms are like really incredible therapy, credible and therapeutic natural medicine very similar to cannabis very mild– 

Josh Kappel: And they grow everywhere grow. They are all over the place. Well one you should– Have watch some Fantastic Fungi, Paul Stamets movie?

Chip Baker: No, I haven’t seen it yet.

Josh Kappel: It’s a good one. But my cilia connecting our whole world together. It makes sense it’s like mushrooms are like such a consciousness expander, so you dive into your consciousness in ways that not many other drugs really gives you– or at least not like that.

Chip Baker: I know man, I think I’m going to hang up this podcast right now and eat some mushrooms. Yeah. [inaudible]

 I think micro-dosing is a really great way to expose people to psychedelics a little bit. time because they can. It’s kind of like CBD, right like, Oh, I could try weed without getting high. Oh, I could try my luck in high but then they like get a little high and like well maybe once a week you know I think I could use a full dose–

Josh Kappel: Yeah. [inaudible] a couple of times

Chip Baker: So mostly the path, I grew up with mushrooms like I said picking mushrooms and we’d make mushroom tea right fresh mushrooms you boil up tea. And then it began, you know, dried mushrooms. And then it turned into you know, mushroom chocolates. Chocolates that had extracted mushroom or ground up powdered, whole whole plant material. And now there’s extracts of mushrooms. You know, mushroom goo, mushroom paste. Things are really progressing and changing quickly. Have you have you been talking to anybody on that front of where where they think mushrooms might go for the for the consumer?

Shrooms for Consumers

Josh Kappel: Good question. Good question. You know, the, we have come across a couple different people who you know, have been wanting to explore different mushroom related brands. You know, the difficulty being is that you know, it’s like right now there’s this the protections there’s a state law protections I think, if this measure in Oregon that would decriminalize illegal as being medicinal use of mushrooms passes, then I think we’ll actually start to see you know, companies start to create mushrooms in the CPG products. And you and you do see sound like there’s again Venice and Golden Gate Dolores Park, you see some like, you know, some branded mushroom chocolate product for sure. But it’s not legal yet.

Chip Baker: This has a potential to change the world. And you know, I saw California in Denver do that. California and Colorado do this with medical cannabis. And the medical cannabis just seeped into all the whole medical cannabis community across the world and the knowledge and the expertise and the technique and the strains. Wow, we’re just fixing to see so much cool stuff with mushrooms the same stuff we saw with ganja, right the past 2025 years is going to happen with mushrooms now right that’s gonna be so many cool ways and deducted in the strains and like, Oh, it’s gonna be so cool. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I mean I think it’s super interesting. You know, you mentioned mushroom tea. Like I’ve been waiting for someone to like bottle mushroom tea. Like no one stepped into that world, yet. Or what about other things you hear some of along the microdose in lines and start these like bio hacking flow state blends that are like, Hey you want a little of this psilocybin. A little bit of lion’s name, you want a little bit, you know, sort of like perfect like–

Chip Baker: Ginger and some an adaption adapted ins and total herbal cocktail. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, exactly. For your brain. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, that’s true, man. Oh, it’s man. It just puts a smile on my face. I remember the first time I heard about mushrooms and here’s how it when older kids said something like, Oh yeah, you can eat these black mushrooms and they get you high. And I said no. And I went looked it up the library, though. Huh? Well, maybe. And it was right the library books are right. Wow, man. This is so cool you–

Josh Kappel: I like how your first mushroom though kick you to the library–

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. Well, I mean, it was the original Google. Right? It was original Google.

Josh Kappel: That’s right. Go look things up in books.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Hey mom. I’m gonna go walk five blocks and go to the library. And then look up psychedelic mushrooms psilocybin mushrooms totally. Or make in Georgia and I asked hippie, old hippie friends parents and whatnot. They kind of lead me in the right direction. How’d you find out about mushrooms? People were like, Oh, it’s like mushrooms are gonna get a you get a high. And you just and you use like, oh, it makes feel good. Sure. I’ll take it.

Josh Kappel: It’s like Hey, try this, you know it changes your consciousness and there’s like– I actually grew up super religious. I was like, once you sort of like live religion, it’s like, I want to try everything they told me not to.

Predictions for Shrooms

Chip Baker: Yeah, I spent a fair amount of time in church myself. That’s for sure. It’s Yeah. Man. So I mean, it’s happening all over the country. If you got any predictions for shrooms here in the US?

Josh Kappel: I think what’s also happening to– My point of view of shrooms predictions, we have to take a step bigger. We gotta go higher up into the clouds. There’s other countries, you know. So it’s like, there’s a lot of sort–

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, like Thailand

Josh Kappel: Or Jamaica. You know, there’s a society like professional retreats in Jamaica, you know, so there’s a lot more It’s sort of happening on like the grand international scale as it comes to developing psilocybin and the freedom to use mushrooms and you saw it too It’s like you have like Amsterdam has has smart shops forever they ended up though walking it back together really by the truffle. The truffles are still great though. There’s a time I was in Spain and then some smart shops there and they got these wet mushrooms. And the only palate like mushrooms is that you have to keep them refrigerated as they go really bad and–

Chip Baker: Black mushrooms

Josh Kappel: Yeah, turned into like when we wanted to eat the mushrooms anyways, but as little– as we had to be ready to change them with whiskey and I ended up at this carnival and island community in Spain is the darkest carnival in the dark– Anyway. There’s beautiful [inaudible]

 that’s it.

Chip Baker: Doors of perception broad are all around us.

Josh Kappel: But I think, you know, I think we’ll see your prediction lies, I think we’ll see more communities sort of loosen the prohibition on nature, on the entheogens and on the mushrooms, I think we’ll see, you know, Oregon or another state like that passes statewide measure that will really provide a lot of protection. You know, it’s like how, you know, like when you’re talking about like the legalization of drugs, it’s like most arrests or state arrests, so you really need to change state law. I mean, it’s a federal law too. But we haven’t got there yet for cannabis. I think we’ll see. Like you’re seeing Compass, you’re seeing Usona, develop psychedelic pharmaceuticals. I think that’s gonna be a big push forward, even maps, you know, is taking MDMA through different studies. 

So, I think you’ll see it like more and more accepted. And I think there’s a lot of like pushback that there’s a lot of folks that say, like no, like, let’s not patent or protect psilocybin, that’s like trying to patent weed, you know, it’s like everyone should be on the ground and use it. What does this actually look like? I think there’s still a lot of like, controversy around it all. There’s also a lot of a lot around therapeutic protocols like the ethics of mushrooms, they have psilocybin in therapy, but I think will develop it off. I think it’s like, we’ll get there. 

Chip Baker: Man. I think that the self help group is going to take a really big push in this, and you know, self help at home therapy. You know, groups of people that do entheogens, or ie mushrooms are going to start to spring up, there’s a community that’s already there associated with this, people already want it. So I know that’s already happening. And that’s just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And, you know, they’re almost like, almost like churches or Tupperware party type of things, you know, and it’s some of it might be more fun. Others might be more therapeutic, but there’s already these things that exists throughout the country that’s going to keep growing. Meanwhile, access is going to increase because the communities in Colorado and California are really going to start to propagate mushrooms, right. 

The propagation technology it’s going to like, like expand by leaps and bounds. More brains are going to get involved with just like what happened to cannabis, you know, all the same, techniques are there, and they’re only people and be like, oh, we’ll do it this way. We’ll do it this way. Oh, we’ll do it this way. All of a sudden, like, you know, 10-15 years later, we’re going to have specialized propagation equipment specifically for mushrooms, the spores, you know, the strains are going to be like, you know, like really endless, just like ganja is right now. And you know, man, even those places like, you know, that doesn’t legalize or decriminalized mushrooms or have medicinal mushrooms are going to be flooded. Because, man, I don’t know if you’ve ever grown mushrooms, they just keep on growing and keep on propagating themselves. And that’s what’s going to happen in California and Colorado.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I said, and there is there’s so many so many varieties of mushrooms. Like hey, these mushrooms are for your nootropics you know, make your brain smarter and these mushrooms are to you know, to go as crazy br experiencer. Yeah, lay in the park with these ones. The interesting, the indicas and sativas of mushrooms.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Oh man, it’s exciting. You know, I was looking at mushrooms recently to grow and just see which ones were the most like popular or the– And what I found out was the the Golden teachers, the Island Coast, hose are all mushrooms that came from Georgia, or on the coast there and South Carolina like all right where I was from, and I was picking these mushrooms as a kid, the same varieties and I look at them in books now and I can see it. And man, it’s just amazing that those have now become like, some of the most predominantly grown mushrooms in the country in the world and just out of this small little ecosystem. And now that it’s so much bigger, it’s just all strains and varieties of mushrooms. Just gonna. It’s just gonna blossom. 

Oh, Josh, this has been an awesome real dirt, real dirt on shrooms. It’s been great, man I know we’re going to have a ton of questions about this one people are going to ask a lot more I’m probably going to have around two. You know, and I’ve got some great guys over at Monster Mushrooms monster mushroom grow kits we sell those there Cultivate Colorado, anybody who wants a mushroom grow kit. Look up cultivatecolorado.com or lookup, cultivateokc.com and you can buy a mushroom grow kit online right now. Boom even you, Josh, even you. 

Josh Kappel: I thought you’re sold out. 

Chip Baker: Oh, I’m sold out today but not tomorrow. Oh this is great!

Josh Kappel: I do wonder. I mean, now’s the time grab it and you’re stuck at home. Do you think more people are eating psychedelic at home now with COVID or less?

Chip Baker: Oh, I think there’s more psychedelic use right now. Because you’re like, there’s like no better time– to sit at home I sitting in the freezer. [inaudible] We got some time to kill. I mean, I think maybe psychedelics help prevent the COVID? I think it does. I mean, you know, another claim by Chip, of course, it doesn’t.

Josh Kappel: Not evaluated by the FDA.

Chip Baker: And, you know, I don’t know, I do think probably some people are a little scared of taking psychedelics right now during the COVID. But, you know, it’s dark out there, but then you know, man, that’s the thing about psychedelics is they do show you the light and you know, as the grateful dead saying over and over again, you know, you get shown the light in the craziest places, if you look at it right, and that’s what psychedelics do. Yeah, that’s right. Josh it has been great. Thanks for joining me.

You get shown the light in the craziest places, if you look at it right, and that’s what psychedelics do. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: Thanks, Chip. Thanks for having me.

Chip Baker: All right. Hey, if you guys liked this episode, or you want to listen to others, download them at The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. And hey, if you’re looking at this video right now, you might be looking at it on YouTube. But if you’re not going to my YouTube channel, The Real Dirt podcast, and look up all of the videos that we have and the interviews we have now, hey, there are two channels. I can’t get rid of one. But log on to the one, subscribe to the one that has all the videos, all the most current stuff. And, you know, we’ll keep you up to date. Thank you again for joining me here on The Real Dirt. It has been a pleasure. And yeah, I hope to hear from you soon. Real dirt!

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How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

how to get a job growing weed

Farhaj Mayan is a UI/UX designer, product owner, and passionate storyteller.

He worked as an early employee at 3 startups (Drones, VR, Experiential Marketing) before deciding to transition into a founder. Previously co-founded Fade, a barber booking platform that we successfully launched to Google Play, iTunes, and grew to new revenue.

His latest venture Kanna, is a platform that connects legal cannabis/hemp businesses with vetted, trained talent.

One of the hardest parts within the cannabis industry is to find qualified workers. Let’s all hear from Farhaj and his advocacy to help reduce the cost and stress related to hiring as well as giving you the best job match for the cannabis market.

Trust is a service that is something that the cannabis industry entirely revolves around. The good people doing good work, helping get good progress. – Farhaj Mayan


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

2:09 – Hire Kanna
12:52 – Turnover rate in the cannabis industry
16:58 – Typical problems with recruiting in the weeds
19:28 – Getting a job in the ganja market
27:34 – Future of Kanna
29:16 – Where to find them
30:35 – Employee-employer in the budding business

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Kanna

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

Chip: Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt not today’s dirt. I have my good buddy, Farhaj with Kanna hirekanna.com. And he has developed this great platform where he hooks up workers and employers in the cannabis industry. Finding qualified workers is one of the hardest parts within the cannabis industry. And sometimes you just grow so fast that you can’t easily hire. And one of the things they’ve done is they’ve created a network of employees and employers so if you’re interested in the cannabis industry and want to start at the ground level or if you’re an experienced grower, you can come talk to them hirekanna.com. Really nice guys. Today we talk about everything that you need to be employed in the cannabis industry. Talk about the ups and the downs. We talked about what it’s like to be an employer and the difficulties as employees. So sit back, fire up the largest joints you can and then join us for The Real Dirt.

All right, welcome to another episode of The Real Dirt in today’s dirt. I’ve got my good buddy Farhaj. We’re talking about working in the cannabis industry. Please say hello to all our public people here.

Farhaj: Hey, all super excited about this one.

Hire Kanna

Chip: You know, I met Far here in Oklahoma, a friend of a friend. I mean he operates a business. That’s people management software for the cannabis industry. This is mainly, man like you explain it Far.

Farhaj: Yeah. I mean, the easiest way to say it is you know, a lot of the jobs in the cannabis industry are kind of entry level. What we do is we build a supply side of workers in new markets and then, farmers, dispensary owners can just push a button and hire vetted trained diligent workers on demand. So that’s what we do. 

Chip: It’s, I mean, it’s work placement, almost, but yeah, and the–

Farhaj: Like a home advisor for the cannabis industry. You know, we’re like a thumbtack. That’s kind of what we’re at.

Chip: So to one of the things you guys do is you help people find tremors or growers or laborers, right. In Oklahoma City area or all over?

Farhaj: Right now we’re focused on the Oklahoma State, primarily Oklahoma City, Tulsa and South Oklahoma. But hopefully we’ll get to expand a lot beyond that over there.

Chip: How did you get involved with this? What were you previous to this?

Farhaj: So this is like pretty funny story actually. But for two and a half years before this company, I was actually the CEO of a company called Fade. Essentially it was a barber booking platform that helps you find the right barber for your hair type. So people who are traveling all over black brown dudes who get haircuts every single like two weeks. That’s what we’re focused on. So launch to the Dallas we–

Chip: [inaudible] called Fade?

Farhaj: Yeah, like a Fade.

Chip: For all of the white people out there. A fade means what, Farhaj?

Farhaj: It’s a specific type of haircut. So you can get like a medium fade, a high fade, it’s kind of the blend when you’re having a shoe run against your hair on the side of your head.

Chip: Right, right. Just Yeah, fade back.

Farhaj: Exactly. Yeah, but yeah, so we were working on it, we launched it, we grew through early revenue and right about when we were raising our funding for that round the company, you know, our competitor, won the marketplace, you know, one reasonable load of money and square the payments platform launched, and they were like, outspending us 32 x on all of our acquisition channels. So, long story short, I put the numbers into my [inaudible], and it looked a lot more red than I needed it to be. 

So we decided to wind down the company and literally four days later. Now our partners Zildjian he gave my CTO phone call was like, Hey, man. Fun fact, I have a cannabis farm in Oklahoma. Another fun fact, I just fired my grandma from being a really bad trimmer. The other thing is I need you all to drive up and up. We get the stuff ready to send over to my dispensaries. So we were like, okay, you know, we packed up into a car we came up here to Oklahoma and while we were trimming, he was like, dude, I’m like a $10 supercuts guy, you know, I don’t need a master barber to pull up to my house like why don’t you just make an app where I can push a button and hire cannabis workers? Oh, that’s interesting. That was 23 weeks ago.

Chip: So have you have you launched this yet?

Farhaj: Yeah, so we’re already live in Oklahoma. Right now we’re deploying around 300 workers and we’re running paid pilots with 14 businesses. So far so good.

Chip: And and the the app is that live?

Farhaj: Yes, we have like a web app right now. But we have the full app going to be live in the summer. 

Chip: Oh, excellent. Man. We got in we moved to California in 1997. We got jobs me my wife, girlfriend at the time but now my wife. I got jobs trimming you know we’re in the cannabis industry literally like we went to a medical marijuana meeting right [inaudible] to just become legal we met this guy and he offered us jobs immediately trimming weed and for him it was the best thing ever because he had been growing weed for 30 years but he couldn’t advertise necessarily for tremors. 

So he saw me and my wife were barely you know, were clean cut hippies at the time. Right and he hired us and he really those guys really mentored us and showed us the way. And because because trimming is the entry level job in cannabis right? Like everybody even though if you like maybe already be grown a little bit or like have a little stash or you know, whatever like it always like in the industry that’s entry level.

Farhaj: Yeah. Because I mean, there are like machine trimmers, but they just, I mean, you you told me about that specifically, they just don’t do a good job, right. 

Chip: Yeah. Well, I mean, you still have to have people to use the machines. Right? They still have, you know, you have to like, you still have to have people, right, no matter what if you’re using machines or not.

Farhaj: We were actually doing some research and talk to some of our farms. So they were saying, you know, like, they spent $5 to $15,000 to get like, even the really big machines and they were like, it wasn’t worth it because it was damaging the microbes. It’s like they doing like blood damage. And they’re like, I’m just, it’s not I want to go back. Right. Yeah,

Chip: Yeah, I mean, there’s a there is definitely a space for automation. And you know, there’s a way to use all of the machines right and wrong. You know, we the green bros are really great product. And, you know, we just see people use them as an extension of the scissors and yeah, it might not do as good a job as hair trimmed man with a great bros and unlike some good operators, because that’s the thing is like you have a good operator. Right, man it just helps out like yeah it damages the weed a bit but like you know–

Farhaj: I think it’s [inaudible] a really large farms–

Chip: Yeah, if you have a really large farm, you’re doing extractions if you know if you’re trying to sell a cheaper product like those are all ways you know to use machines but you still got to have people to run it. Absolutely right.

Farhaj: Yeah, we got the visit like Flower One in Vegas. They’ve got huge like farm processing facility. It’s like, right, it’s almost like their compliance is like almost like FDA level almost like they’re preparing for it. But one thing that I saw was like they had all of like the people at hand trim, but they use bucking machines, and they pretty much had like assembly lines to automate like the inefficient parts of the process, which is like box tracking and like destemming the thing and removing the failed leaves and stuff. That’s where they used a lot of the machinery and like for the final touches, they still had a little bit of like human interaction even though it was a massive farm.

Chip: Right? Yeah. 

Farhaj: So 97′ 96′ was when it was legalized in California, right? 

Chip: 96′ was when it was legalized in California. We moved there immediately. We mean [inaudible] already involved with cannabis and cannabis politics when we were in. We met each other University of Georgia and we were involved in this thing called the Cannabis Action Network. And we went to a protest down in action down in in Florida Jacksonville. Oh, this guy Murli, Murli was a doobie tosser and he’d gotten arrested for like, you know, thousands of joints. It was an annual thing he did. Great guy andwe met Jack Herer there and we all stayed at this one little compound that was literally called Board Ganja and Jack smoked me out, man like no ever had. The weed was so good. So good you know I was at the time 23 and he smoked us out and he you know I’m just like so high and he’s you know Jack like tell people these stories and he’d get you into it he played in and we need good people like you to come to California because now we’ve got medical marijuana legalized and now we need to make it you know really happen. And that’s why we moved to California, man. Jack Herer– 

Farhaj: Was that a road trip or a flight? 

Chip: Oh, we packed up the car with a bucket with a box of records. My cat and an ounce a weed.

Farhaj: Oh my God. That is awesome.

Chip: It is Hey man, this is a perfect time to take a break and roll some weed up. Then we get back to the conversation. Okay.

Farhaj: Sounds good.

Chip: Man. What would you roll up?

Farhaj: I usually like to roll up something that has a lot more CBD than THC. So Zildjian actually got me this like 16 to 1 a CBD to THC flower and that’s been great. Everybody has their own type, right?

Chip: I like the blend O the CBD to ganja for sure for about one third CBD, two thirds ganja in it. I like it man. Most of the CBD stuff has grown with just water outside and smoke super smooth you know really good smoking product. And it’s different from ganja but I just can see the– I can see it all.

Farhaj: Yeah, I just really enjoy like the more like relaxed body high versus like the you know, like for me, it’s like my brain is reading like 16 different thoughts at the same time.

Chip: We’re on the same way, man.

Farhaj: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Chip: So one of the problems with employees in the cannabis industry in the past it’s been so like dubious like I was saying about our you know, the guy Nelson who hired us. He wanted to hire people, but you know, he didn’t know anybody.

Farhaj: Yeah

Turnover Rate in the Cannabis Industry

Chip: But you guys are doing something really interesting with the way you guys put it together. So you do background checks and then you train People a little bit. So when they go into an you know, an cannabis operation, they at least have some sort of success, right or some– What do you think the turnover rate is with people coming into the ganja industry, hemp industry?

Farhaj: It is wild. So like retail and hospitality, the turnover is around like 20 to 30%. Right and each like bad higher cost like $3500. In cannabis, the turnovers like six out of 10 employees turnover in the first two months. And a bad hire can cost anywhere from $7500 to $100 grand plus because, you know, they’re definitely like– Trust is a service that is something that the cannabis industry entirely revolves around. The good people doing good work helping get good progress. 

So that’s what we found out in it. I think a lot of times like an entry level worker, are the biggest problem is that there’s like misaligned incentives. You know, the head grower has responsibilities already so much at the start of a day, he has to make sure everything’s up and running and to keep up with his people, he doesn’t really have time to teach the workers coming in exactly what he needs. So when there’s a little bit of context, that changes the entire environment, because now the workers can just take ownership of what direction to go, check in with a leader or a manager of some sort, and just be in constant communication with the grower without taking their time. 

So that’s when we were like, Okay, I think, you know, the problem that really needs to be solved in the cannabis industry is education. And like education, that’s credible. Because like, you know, you can become a grower at a university today, or they’re like some universities offer but– 

The problem that really needs to be solved in the cannabis industry is education. – Farhaj Mayan

Chip: Yeah, you know, many universities have some sort of cannabis course now, University of Colorado, Denver University–

Farhaj: Is that Oaksterdam, right which is pretty popular?

Chip: Oaksterdam, I don’t think they’re part of a state school system or an affiliated schools system. 

Farhaj: It’s a private school. 

Chip: Private air out of, they’re out of the bay area? They’ve helped a lot of people start out. Yeah, educational resources is absolutely the number one thing because you know, previously it was this handed down thing that one person would hand down to the next and give them like the knowledge on how to grow cultivate harvest you know, deal with your money higher you know, trim process, so like it was all this underground thing. But now like so much like, I mean, you can just talk to anybody you can call any professional in almost any industry and they’d talk to you about packaging, distribution, supply chain, point of sale, banking, like I mean it we really, I mean, we’re really legitimate now it’s a, you know, a real business.

Farhaj: Absolutely. And I think that’s what allows these businesses to scale too. It’s like once they can like transition into having like, you know, digitally accessible currency and giving people regular people benefits, insurance and the ability to create an industry that’s credible. Because that, I think we talked about that, right? That’s like if a farmer comes up to you and says, I have 15 years of experience working at this black market firm, like, how are you going to do a reference check? Because like, there’s no real way to translate that experience into real time. But now we’re–

Chip: It’s like, here’s a sack of weed.

Farhaj: Yeah. It’s so dense, like, how do we know we don’t want you to buy that from a dispensary? Yeah, I think it’s really interesting. And I think there are a lot of opportunities. And at the same time, the one incredible thing that I’ve seen about the cannabis community, it’s a very collaborative community. And the people who are leading the charge are so open to helping each other out and setting the pace for the next kind of future generation of workers that are coming in. You know, so I’ve loved that.

Typical Problems with Recruiting in the Weeds

Chip: You’ve got an interesting perspective because, that’s why I wanted to have you on the show, because you get to talk to all of these other cannabis business owners and many of the people that we talk to here they don’t talk to really anybody. It’s just their business, man. You know, you talked to all these people do they have like, common problems on hiring or doing business and–

Farhaj: Yeah, and what was funny is like somebody recently made the, they’ve related the cannabis industry to in and out. So if you look at like employee happiness or satisfaction rates, there’s something infectious about in and out employees, like from the guy flipping the burgers to the cashier, like the smile on their face is so honest, and even the person that the call center has the same kind of energy, but that’s because they don’t see in and out. It’s like a one stop shop to get to that next paycheck and get out to their next part of life. 

A lot of people see it as this corporate ladder of opportunity to actually climb up and build a career in things that they’re passionate about. So just knowing the fact that like, you know, for example, in Uber, what’s like the ultimate success criteria for a worker is to one day become an Uber black driver. Right, they never really evolve into another position within the company in transition into corporate. Because that’s like the best were drivers are the ones who turn over fastest, because they get the money that they need. They get to that next position in life and they’re like, I’m not driving Uber anymore. 

Cannabis, on the other hand, is really interesting because it’s kind of like oil and gas, and it’s like nursing. It’s a huge like employee employer marketplace where people can, if they learn the skills transition into that next step. So a tremor, if they learn what it takes to have the managerial skills can become a team manager. Now they can become a part time grower assistant, if they learn about processing transition to that or extraction or go into cultivation. And in three to five years, get a full time job that’s paying them six figures a year. You know, and I think that’s really interesting. And I think that’s where also education and giving that upward momentum will have huge impact.

Chip: Yeah, it’s really is true. It’s one of the few industries right now that you can get on the job training and move up to the top, quickly if you got your shit together, right.

Farhaj: Yes, if people can trust you, you work really hard and you’re willing to learn and you’re coachable. People like that succeed tremendously in this industry.

If people can trust you, you work really hard, and you’re willing to learn and coachable. People like that succeed tremendously in this industry. – Farhaj Mayan

Getting a Job in the Ganja Market

Chip: All right here I’ve got it. I’ve got a handful of things that I would like to suggest to anyone out there who’s interested in getting a cannabis job right now, no matter what it is, okay? Now I’m not trying to be an asshole or condescending. I’ve hired hundreds and hundreds of people and unfortunately a fired a fair amount of those people too. More people however quit, than fired. So I’m just gonna tell you a handful of things you should do. Right. These are the simplest things, if you already know them, they just look at the huh, Chip, of course. All right, one, show up early, noon, 15 minutes, right. The first time you show up at the shop at the place you’re going to work show up 30 minutes early so you make sure you know how to get there. Right. Number two, is already have your food and everything ready. But the first at least day and see what it’s going to be like some places it’s easy to get food some places it’s not, take food with you. That’s number two. Number three, is show up clean and prepared. This also means not hungover or extremely high on anything especially ganja dabs, right? 

It is a ganja job. But it’s not like it used to be and it’s not like a rasta party here, and there are some farms it might be in good for you don’t get me wrong, but there’s work to do, right? And it’s you know there’s time for puffing up, you know after the job, right? Hey man, if you’re really inquisitive and interested, listen, before you start asking a bunch of questions, right? Just don’t bombard people when you show up on day one or two or three or four or five with a bunch of questions, right. Employers don’t necessarily like that they like you to ask a question and then catch on to everything that they’re saying. If you don’t, of course, ask another question. But shut the fuck up. Keep your head down. And, don’t ask a lot and lot of questions. Because you’re eager and you want to learn, but the best way to do it is just, you know, keep it cool. 

If you’re really inquisitive and interested, listen, before you start asking a bunch of questions. – Chip Baker

Farhaj: I think the whole point of showing up the job one is so you get invited back the next day. 

Chip: Absolutely, all those get you invited back the next day. That’s first day impressions right there. And and you know, we’ve gotten a few people through your organization and they you know, we didn’t ask them back or ask you not to bring it back. They, it just didn’t fit in, right. Man, clean up, be clean, right. Absolutely. They clean up your station, clean up your area, be clean.

Farhaj: Yeah. And I think too like, another thing that we’ve noticed is there’s no opportunity for ego in the industry, right and like, it’s like you’re there to learn, you’re there to be coached, you’re there to be a part an important part of the cogs of the business. And your whole job is to help increase the output and help these owners succeed. And when you do that, they’ll curry favor back to you. So we’ve seen that a lot and you know, the most like successful people within Kanna itself are, generally older or a lot younger. They are people with like, experience working in the service industry, or doing blue collar jobs and are now looking to take a shot at something new. And it’s just an interesting trend that we’ve seen, but they’ve been like, designed for success because, you know, they sit there, they put in their hours they crank it out, and at the same time, there’s always like a good conversation they’re having learning about the different aspects of the industry. 

Chip Baker: Yeah. You know, it doesn’t matter– We work with people of all ages for sure. And, you know, it doesn’t matter to us. You know, we don’t have like a set parameter. I literally look in people’s eyes, if they got this light, right, and I can feel like I can hang out and talk to them for a few hours and then they’ll get hired. That’s actually the biggest thing. And I know that’s like, I mean, we get burned about that all the time. Don’t get me wrong. It’s something like that’s the primary requirement, they have to go—all the rest of this stuff. 

This is what I love about working with YouTube man is here’s how it works with us. We place an ad, well, one, hey, we want to hire somebody let’s write an ad. Two, let’s place an ad. Three, let’s go through all the emails. Four, let’s go through the resumes. Five, let’s start calling people. Six, people come in for interview. Seven, people get eliminated. Eight, we re-interview. Nine, they show up– right. It’s like literally a nine step process before you can even get a job and with you, I’ll call you up. And they’re there the next day, right. If don’t work out 

Farhaj: Hope for 30 minutes early–

Chip: Yeah, they don’t work out, don’t come back. You know, we get somebody else and like, I really like that on– I mean, it’s like tryouts, man. It’s like tryout, right people some people do great, right.

Farhaj: But that doesn’t necessarily mean it translates into like long term relationship. Yeah, but that’s really interesting. Another thing too, that I heard is like this concept about like cherry picking Mandy’s. Have you heard about that? 

Chip: What do you say again? 

Farhaj: Cherry picking Mandy’s, so it’s like in groups of trimmers, right? Usually like the market rate for trimmers by per pound, right? [inaudible] 150 per pound. So cherry picking Mandy’s are people who we see, who are like pretty greedy and it’s like themselves over the group. So they would go out–[inaudible] 

Chip: I don’t like that you villainized a feminine character here. So we’re not gonna call them cherry pickers– and we’re gonna get rid of the Mandy’s Far. Okay, bro.

Farhaj: Okay, I agree. cherry picking Pete’s, right or [inaudible] I’m about to villainize Pete’s

Chip: Cherry pickers. Totally.

Farhaj: Yeah, but it was really interesting. I just heard it from one of our growers. I saw it happen for the first time. And I was like, Oh, you know, it’s like, when there’s a group of 15 people, what people should be worried about is getting to the most amount the fastest together, right versus them individually, kind of and that culture is changing dramatically [inaudible] —

Chip: Because we used to all be by the pound and now definitely by the hour, I should say, right?

Farhaj: Yeah. And I think it makes sense. It’s like if you’re really good grower and you know, if they’re good trimmers, they can do a pound and a half to two pounds a day. It’s like strategically speaking one worker has guaranteed income and now the employer is getting a lot more out of a lot less time. So yeah there’s gonna be a lot of very interesting transitions as the industry progresses but one thing’s for sure is like the fact, like nobody could think about how many jobs could be created just from legalizing this industry because now diversify to this, right from marketing cannabis people to cannabis lawyers to it’s really amazing to watch.

Future of Kanna

Chip: Yeah. Oh, man. There’s there’s so much economy, anything that touches any normal regular business also touches [inaudible]. You don’t just have to grow ganja. or sell ganja to do well or to even have a life in this business. Like there’s plenty there’s plenty of plenty of plenty of spaces, that’s for sure. Yeah. Yeah, man. So this is all just started. This is all just like infancy. Where do you see all this going?

Farhaj: I mean, what we want to build is like a supermarket for all like the apps that you need to manage your cannabis business. And I think that’s where a lot of like the market is headed towards consolidation is people invest heavily in educating individual markets. Eventually, they all come together and be the federal superpower right across the states. And there, I think that’s where it’s headed. Like, if you look at the biggest, now is a very interesting time in the market space. But that’s my thesis that it all comes together. And when people will do is they’ll invest a lot of resources to educate new markets faster. And then access to resources, like banking, insurance benefits, like a lot of these other things will be democratized for the people who are in the industry. 

What we want to build is like a supermarket for all, like the apps that you need to manage your cannabis business. – Farhaj Mayan

I’m learning about it every single day. And like I told you, I’m no cannabis industry insider. I’ve been in technology and startups for a while. All I’m doing is talking to as many people as I can as frequently as I can. And it’s just, and it’s so exciting to watch. Because who would have thought– [inaudible] Oklahoma would have the most number of licensed dispensaries in the states? Like, you know.

Chip: Yeah, more licensing here than anyplace else in the country. It’s an awesome, awesome place to be. I am stoked to be here in Oklahoma, that’s for sure. Especially these days. So hey, man, how do we get in touch with you? If somebody wants to like just follow you on social media or to get in touch with your company? How does it work?

Where to Find Them

Farhaj: My handle is Farhaj Mayan, like the Native American tribe, or actually Mexican South American tribe. Very foreign. Back to back tripping dude. But uh, yeah, look for Farhaj Mayan on Google. It’s pretty easy to find me myself that way. And for our website, it’s hirekanna.com. I would love to connect–

Chip: Kanna with the K.

Farhaj: Yeah. So easy to find, easy to talk to. And I’d be more than happy to have a conversation with anyone who reaches out.

Chip Baker: So man, if there’s, you know, many of our listeners out there either in the cannabis industry or they want to get in the cannabis industry. And I’d like you to give us two pieces of advice. If you’re in a cannabis employer, I want you to give me a piece of advice. And if you want to be in the cannabis industry, I want you to give me something.

Employee-Employers in the Budding Business

Farhaj: Absolutely. One, if you’re a cannabis employer, I think this is a really exciting opportunity to put a little bit more Trust into a lot of different people coming into the industry. And two, I think it’s an amazing opportunity for you to teach them the ropes and haven’t shared clear expectations of what they should do to earn your Trust. You know, that way a lot of people will build solutions to solve your problems faster. And then you’ll have really good relationships that you can rely on. I think it’s like very essential. You know, for us a lot of people like you, Chip, like Dave’s [inaudible], people who put their Trust in us and constantly give us feedback or the reason why we’re able to move as fast as we can. 

If you’re a cannabis employer, I think this is a really exciting opportunity to put a little bit more trust into a lot of different people coming into the industry. – Farhaj Mayan

For people looking to get into the industry, come in with clear expectations. Don’t be misguided by like the hopes and dreams of like this being like, Woodstock is a career, coming with clear expectations, be excited about the opportunity to build a career. As Chip said, be inquisitive, but not aggressive about it. And you know, if you are a good worker, you put the team’s priority over you and you sincerely in the industry to help out, and because you believe in the social impact that it has, you’re going to succeed—no doubt about it. You know, I think it’s about the right time, and it’s about finding your culture fit. Because I think that’s also another thing that’s important for people to realize. 

For people looking to get into the industry, come in with clear expectations. – – Farhaj MayanCLICK TO TWEET

Chip: Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. You know, we’re nothing without our employees literally as business owners, entrepreneurs, we can’t do anything without the people we work with. So big up to all of the people that work with me at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Oklahoma, Growers Soil, Bakers Medical, Certified Seeds. Yeah. All you guys probably missed a couple people out there, but thanks. I appreciate every single one of you.

Farhaj: That industry by the people for the people, right

Chip: Yeah, totally. Great, bro. Hey, we’ll keep chatting later, man.

Farhaj: Sounds like a plan.

Chip: Wow, that was an awesome episode. I really enjoyed talking to Farhaj. You know, we’ve used them several times here in Oklahoma City operations and man they’re really building something cool. I know how hard it is to hire people in personal relationships and cannabis and Trust or you know can be difficult but people like Far have been able to help people like us and other cannabis entrepreneurs and cannabis operators, kind of fulfill their dreams and really scale their operations. 

Relationships with your employees, and employers are the most important thing that you can have as business. I know people say customer is the most important, but without your employees without the people that work with you and for you, you can’t do much at all. If you’re like me in you’re cannabis entrepreneur, ma’am. My head’s in the clouds all the time, not just because I’m smoking ganja every day. But you know, man, I’m just always thinking and dreaming and wanting to build new stuff and you know, without my employees and people that can focus on their particular expertise, Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Oklahoma. Growers Coco, you know, I couldn’t do any of that. 

So, I want you guys to go out right now. Give your employer a call, or give your employee a text or give them a pat on the back and just say thank you. Thanks for being there. Thanks for helping me out. Thanks for giving me a job. Thanks for giving me this opportunity. And, you know, let’s just continue to work on our relationships with our fellow human beings. Love you all. If you liked this episode, and others download it on therealdirt.com. You can also look at us on iTunes The Real Dirt podcast please subscribe and come in on our Instagram channel. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time on The Real Dirt.

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