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The Revolution of Solventless Cannabis Extracts

The Revolution of Solventless Cannabis Extracts

live rosin cannabis extracts colorado

We’ve come a long way from hand rolled hash balls tossed in with some tobacco.

While basic concentrated cannabis products are still a popular product in places like Europe, in legal cannabis hubs like the U.S., the competition driving extraction has produced the next generation of cannabis extracts. Chris Williams with his new craft cannabis extract company Souly Solventless is at the forefront.

 

The Evolution of Cannabis Extracts

If you walked into a legal cannabis dispensary in Colorado in 2013, there were only a few options when it came to cannabis extracts. Wax and shatter were the two most prevalent extractions at the time. Both are produced using Butane as the solvent, where it is then heated over time to vaporize the solvent, leaving the extract behind.

Through pouring out the mixture and letting it sit and harden, extractors could produce shatter. By whipping the mixture for a time after pouring, wax was formed. Over the next few years, extractors would hone these methods, creating more efficient processes, and new processes to manufacture new solvent based products.

Eventually extractors began to use a method called distillation, where similar to alcohol, producers could separate the specific cannabinoids they wanted from the plant and create homogenized, purified cannabis extracts. While distillate has much higher THC levels compared to wax and shatter, the distillation process isolates THC from other cannabinoids and terpenes, making the extract nearly odorless and flavorless. This would eventually be made better by reintroducing the desired terpenes for better flavor profiles.

The introduction of more flavorful extracts led to a branching off of consumers. While many still sought high THC cannabis extracts, a new desire for terpene-rich extracts with unique flavor profiles and processing methods became prevalent.

The Hair Straightener Method

Around 2016, a wise extractor decided to try putting some cannabis buds in a hair straightener. With heat and pressure, the oils inside of the cannabis were pushed out, creating the first solventless cannabis extract. Being more flavorful, cleaner and easy to produce, this method would develop over time.

Extractors would introduce hydraulic heat presses, making it even easier to press large amount of cannabis flower to produce higher quantities of the extract. The greater amount of trichome content on a cannabis plant typically meant higher production of solventless cannabis extracts, which led breeders to try and produce the most trichome rich cannabis possible. Others learned that by harvesting their cannabis plants earlier than average when trichomes are still in their final maturation, one could produce extremely clean solventless extract that looked nearly white in presentation.

This new, clean, solventless extract would become known as Rosin. When the plant is picked and frozen straight from harvest and then extracted, it may be called Live Rosin due to the plant being frozen in its “live” stage.

Using the old to make the new

As knowledge about Rosin production has grown over the last few years, extractors decided to bring back an age old extraction method to make it better.

Ice water hash is one of the original cannabis extracts, created by simply adding cannabis flower into a bucket of water full of ice and stirring. The cold water separates the trichomes from the plant matter.

By separating the trichome/liquid mixture and allowing it to dry, you’re left with a cannabinoid and terpene rich, powder-like extract. Pressing ice water hash into rosin created an even cleaner and tastier product, making it the most popular method today.

What Does the Future Hold?

Cannabis extracts have evolved exponentially over the last 5 years alone, with no signs of slowing down. Rosin vape cartridges and rosin edibles are just the tip of the iceberg. When live resin exploded onto the scene, many thought it was the as good as concentrates could get. With Rosin at the front of the pack now, consumers are anxious to see what comes next.

Chris Williams has been making his own Rosin since its inception, and formed Souly Solventless in 2019 to bring it to the public. Now he’s sharing his knowledge and predictions for the future of cannabis extracts.

In This Episode of The Real Dirt Podcast

This week on The Real Dirt, Chip and Chris talk about rosin and the revolution of clean cannabis extracts. The two discuss different methods of extraction and how they have evolved, the new products being made from the latest extraction technologies and what the future holds for cannabis extracts.

Roll one up, heat up the rig, turn on the PuffCo Peak, and sit back and enjoy another awesome episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!

Transcript

Chip: What up! This is Chip from The Real Dirt Podcast. Man, today we are talking about one of my favorite subjects of all time. That is solventless extracts. That’s right water-based extracts. Today, I’m talking with my good buddy Chris from Souly Solventless out of Denver. And man, he’s been really like pushing the bounds of extraction, water extraction, and rosin extraction in the Colorado area. If you’re around Denver, or coming to Denver, definitely check it all out. Hey guys, if you haven’t joined already, please join us at therealdirt.com, subscribe on iTunes, and check out our new YouTube channel. You know, we’re just working on it, but should be all of our episodes loaded up there real soon. I believe that is The Real Dirt Podcast on YouTube. Thanks again for joining us today. And as always, sit back and fire the largest joint you can, and enjoy this episode of The Real Dirt. This is chip from the real dirt. Good morning. Hello, one and all, another episode of The Real dirt Podcast. This is 2021, and today we’re going to talk about extracts, concentrates, how they’re kind of made, and what they are. The first time I ever heard of a concentrated course, it was it was called hash. We didn’t quite know what it was. This guy, Kevin Price, was like, “Hey, I got some hash.” We looked at it, and we’re like, “Man, this looks like rabbit shit. Are you sure this is hash?” And to this day, I’m pretty sure he sold me rabbit shit as hash. We didn’t know any better, so we smoked it. But it’s come a long way. As soon as I got real extract, which was Jamaican Hash Oil back way long time ago, I realized the potential of extracting the trichome and extracting the molecule from cannabis. I have really been fascinated with it since then, in all its forms from traditional, hand-rolled hash, to sieved and pressed hash, to bubble hash, to subcritical CO2, butane, propane solvent lists. I’m really fascinated and interested in it all. And today we have Chris from Souly Solventless. Chris is a good friend of mine. Say hey, Chris.

Chris: How you guys doing out there? Thanks for having me, Chip.

Chip: You know, Chris is an unsung hero. He has some of the finest extracts on the market. They’re boutique and rare to find. And if you ever see them, absolutely scoop them up. They may be a little bit more expensive than the one sitting next to it. But you know what, it is absolutely worth it, isn’t it? Chris?

Chris: I appreciate all those nice words there too. Yeah, I’m just paying attention to detail and really having a love and appreciation for this plant and its power that it entails. You know, we’re small, small batch; we’re just starting out. If you do happen to catch us on the show, like Chip is saying, you definitely got to give us a shot. You won’t be disappointed. And we like to take our time. Like I said, attention to details is important when it comes to solving these extracts. It’s a few things you definitely have to pay attention to, as far as the input, or the material you’re using to get that output that we all desire, or what the customer desire in these days. 

Chip:  One of the biggest things about extract is quality material and get exceptional quality out. Many people just use the trash, you know, to make it, and you can absolutely do that. But to make the best gear possible, you use the best buds possible.

Chris:  That’s right, my friend. Yeah, a lot of credit goes to the actual cultivators first. The flower has to be top notch. the flowers hanging, and at some point, usually, the hash comes out what you would like. As far as quality, numbers, that can all vary from a few different things. Different genetics may yield different numbers in those areas. You know, it’s all interesting; it’s all experimental. It’s just great to learn every day, whether it’s something that really throws down a lot of hash. You know, it’s in the family of the GMOs or the cakes, or something like that. Something that doesn’t really throw it out as much as more of, you know, on the turf side. I mean, that’s all important, you know. It depends on what you’re looking for.

Chip:  What are you starting off the day with? Do you smoke weed at the beginning of the day? Are you one of those people? 

Chris:  I mean, probably like three or four times at the beginning of the day.

Chip:  Four times at the beginning-

Chris:  I mean, the weed I had this morning. I had a little bit of some of my rosin; I made them myself. I call it the Gumbo Mix, or you know, my term for the mix. 

Chip:  That’s right because Chris is actually from Louisiana.

Chip:  Yeah, you’re right. 

Chip:  He’s also our resident go to have anything Southern cooking food as well. He holds the Gumbo and Shrimp and Grits title at cultivate Colorado currently, right? Nobody competed.

Chris:  I mean, I take that pretty proudly. Anybody want to step up? Right on; I’ll take it, you know. But- 

Chip:  Oh man, when you made shrimp and grits down here in OKC, my friend here never had it. And literally the other day, they were like, “Man, that time you guys made Shrimp and Grits.” He actually said, “Chip, you made Shrimp and Grit?” I didn’t take credit.

Chris:  I mean, it was a team effort, man. Come on.

Chip:  We watched you do it. Extracting hash is just like cooking. You can be a cook, or you can be a chef. You got all the right ingredients. You got all your temporaries together. You prepare everything properly, then you got something. Right?

Chris:  Yeah, a hundred percent. You know, a lot of people may not go along with the mix material washes, but I particularly like those because as you were saying, I like cooking, flavor profiles, and things like that. You take two different hashes and mix those together. You never know what you’re going to get, man. You can be in a mood this day. Take a hit of the same hash that you hit two days ago and get different flavor profiles because you might be in a different mood or something. You know, it just really depends. Like today, a mix of Tropicana Banana and Monkey Berries, and I really like that. That’s my gumbo mix for this morning, Tropicana Banana and Monkey Berries. They’re pretty well. They’re about 4% together, so not bad numbers –

Chip:  You’re mixing these you’re mixing these flavors in the bag?

Chris:  Yes, I like to actually mix material together and wash it together at the bag. You can do it separate if you’d like, and then mix the resin at the end, and press it like that if you want. That’s a preference thing, man. Everybody got their own way to do it. The way I like to do it, you know, so it works out well for me. I don’t have any issues with it. It tastes fire, love the taste.

Chip:  So, we’ve been babbling a little bit here. I realized there’s a lot of people that listen to these podcasts that don’t really understand what hash, or, extract, or rosin, or resin, or solventless, or bubble, or co2 or any of this stuff is. Let me get your opinion of it. Let’s start at the beginning. Let’s have like a 101 basic extract course from Chris.

Chris:  I will tell you this. I’m honestly, you know, definitely knowledgeable in the extracts. But as far as an extract connoisseur, as someone who is going to go to a store and buy an extract over flower, that was not me three or four years ago. I would say the hydrocarbon extractions or CO22 whatever you want to call it- those extractions you know, we’re not really that interested in them as far as like dabbing them. But definitely using them for edibles or things like that in which they would come up really well in edibles. So, you know, never really downplayed or anything like that, but – 

Chip:  Let me pause you right there and explain to people what’s going on. So, most of the extracts you see on the shelf at a dispensary say in Colorado or California. It’s mostly some sort of wax, Goo, oil, or shatter. Most of that is made with butane or propane, some type of hydrocarbon mixture. They’re literally just combining all of the plant material. They’re mixing it with the hydrocarbon, and then they’re separating out the plant material and the hydrocarbon. They’re recollecting the solvent, the hydrocarbon, and what’s left is the extract. Right? That’s what mostly is on the shelf. When you have a pen, what’s in most pens, Chris?

Chip:  You get a mix of a few things these days, I’ve seen. You get your distillate pens mixed with terps; I would say. You get your sauce pens, I’ve seen. Lately, you’re starting to see some live rosin pins, kind of new on the market. But mostly distillate and terps, I would say, in which distillate would be just your pure THC. No flavor profile, and then being able to take different terp profiles, and then add that to the distillate –

Chip:  They are some sort of solvent. Those are all mostly solvents. 

Chris:  Yes, correct.

Chip:  But you mentioned rosin. Tell me what the difference is between solventless and the non-solvents? 

Chris:  You know, as you mentioned earlier, with the actual process of collecting the trichomes using hydrocarbon with a non-solvent extraction or a solventless extraction, you’re actually going to be using water as the solvent, or as the carrier, or the lubricant, whatever you want to call it. But like super cold water, so you’re going to use a combination of ice and water to actually collect those trichomes opposed to the hydrocarbon. A healthier way or healthier method, I would say as far as like, approaching the extraction process, but each process equally has benefits for whatever end product or whatever way you want to do with it. But if you ask me, water and ice seem pretty safe and clean to me. Using that to actually strike the trichomes, solventless just really stuck with me when that started coming around. I think nicotine probably is the guy to give respect to that. Started that term from what I understand, and he’s been around for a minute pushing out some great product. Just learning and discovering that really got me really interested in that. And these days, you’re starting to see it. There’s starting to be rosin cartridges popping up, you know, rosin and budder, live jam, sauce, and diamonds. People started to make diamonds in solvents, which is crazy, because that’s like mechanical separations and things like that. 

Chip:  It costs more for a reason, though. You have to put more raw material. You have to take more care in the solventless extract than just a hydrocarbon extract.

Chris:  The material 100% matters. You can do it from trims and things like that. Well taken care of trim reveals some great results, but it’s ideal to actually use your prize buds. When something that your cultivator does really well, you know, you’re going to wash it. You got to collect it. Run it through the bags, then take it from the bag. (It) goes to the freeze dryer. That’s in there for 24 hours. (It) comes out of the freeze dryer, then you have to sieve it. But then you have to, collect it again into your screen bags, and then now you have to press it. So, you know, you press it, then you collect it. And then now it has to cure, whether you want to heat cure, cold cure, room cure, whatever it may be. There are all these different ways you can approach it. There’s no wrong or right way, in my opinion. It’s all great. – 

Chip:  It’s all technique.  

Chris:  Yeah, it’s all technique and preference. You know, some people swear by full spectrum, or like, some people swear that, “Oh, no, it’s got to be the 90 120 or only 90. Man, that’s cool. You know, that’s great. That’s your preference. You can like that. But it’s all out there, everybody like some a little bit different. And it’s great that you have the options with rosin, and you can do that.

Chip:  Also, when you use different material, you get different results. And it’s really hard on the commercial market to have this same exact material over and over again. And that’s the importance of what we’re talking about. You got to watch it; see what’s going on because even one strain grown by one guy might collect differently than the same strain grown by someone else.

Chris: A hundred percent. 

Chip:  Right. And you’ve seen this over and over again, “Wow, man, those crystals are really small. Those crystals are really fat. This is nothing but glands. This is nothing but stalks.” You know? –

Chris: Yeah man, I’ve seen two different growers with two same exact strains, (have) like almost one and a half percent difference, which is crazy. That’s a decent amount of difference, but still great outcomes on that on that particular strain. But you’re right, environment that it’s actually grown in maybe, I’m starting to notice, has a play into that too, and maybe appearance of the actual rosin; whether it’s going to be a little bit lighter, whether that person maybe pulled that product a little bit early, or harvested it a bit early, and things like that. But you know, kind of go into it too. I never really know, so having a good relationship with your suppliers, or where you’re getting your material from really helps. Consistently knowing that you’re dealing with these guys, so it’s going to be this every time. You know that it’s going to put out. You know these guys’ grower perfectly, and boom, everyone does good.

Chip:  Yeah. Well, it takes a slightly different mentality to go for high quality extracts. I mean, many people grow for extract, but they’re just literally trying to grow biomass, or just trying to grow weight. Man, the highest quality stuff though; it comes from when you really take care, just like you would ganja.  Buy all the way to the end, and you finish it the same way. And you dry it, store it, and package it all the same way. I mean, you don’t have to trim it necessarily, but there’s a little bit of processing going on.

Chris:  Yeah, you definitely would like to prep it, I mean, you don’t want to put any leaves that doesn’t have any, any sugar in there. You definitely don’t want that here, in there, you know, so you got to prep it a little bit. But definitely, as far as taking care of it and growing it with the utmost attention to detail. I know you don’t have three IPMs, but you have to minimize those things like that. That really carries over into your end product. Later in your flower cycle when you come up with an issue, that stuff matters, so you got to be on it from the beginning and take care of the growing environment. 

Chip:  You know, many people are familiar with this term, bubble hash or water hash. But let’s talk about how this solventless is different from just a crude extract with water.

Chris:  With bubble hash in the cycle route, to get rosin you pretty much get bubble hash first. But like you said, most people are used to seeing the bubble hash in the form of sand, almost kief rather, than people familiar with the grinders. And you have to keep catchers. But typically, whenever you’re washing the material, collecting it, in bubble bags before the whole freeze dryer thing, at this point, you take them out of the bubble bag, so you got to pretty much dry it at the perfect condition to get it to not mold or anything. To be able to go from the bubble hash process like we’re all used, that’s a pretty intricate process to get that right. For freeze dryers, I guarantee you, I would have failed plenty of times. I mean, I, maybe, tried a few times when I first moved here from Louisiana. Trying to do some bubble hash before rosin was even a thing, and, you know, it came out well.  But that whole drying process is tricky, and lucky out here it’s dry, so it was relatively easy. The learning curve was easy out here. It’s that lack of humidity, but I don’t know if that would happen in Louisiana. But I ended up with some moldy hash, man, you know. A few times, I’m sure.

Chip:  Yeah. You got to control your dry environment- 

Chris:  Yeah, you should, but you know- 

Chip:  But now with freeze dryers, it’s a different story.

Chris:  Yes. Freeze dryers, definitely different story,

Chip:  Pull it out of the bag wet. Press out water out a little bit. Put it in freeze dryer.

Chris:  And even with using freeze dryers, you could press sooner, rather than a lot of people keep it as melt too. You separate, use your bag and use that 90 bags, and get some full melt. People really love that nice full melt these days, it seems like. Different strains are going to give you different meltability of the heads, but usually that 90 through 119 seems to be the one that people love for that good bubble hash melt. Super clean heads, barely any specs of anything in it, but it’s got to be clean. That’s got to be taken care of properly to get to that point. And using the freezer-

Chip:  Man, just freeze-dried bubble can be incredible.

Chris:  Oh, yeah. The few times I’ve had it, it’s been ridiculously good.

Chip:  But to get that high quality, dabbable bubble at that point, it’s really strain specific. You hardly get any yield out of your batch when you do it that way. Kind of like what you’re doing, and you’re extracting as much quality material out of the leaf as you can with water. You’re taking it; freeze drying it, right? And then what happens?

Chris:  Well, from that point, once it comes from the freeze dryer, we take it, and we put it between these nice plates via these Lowtemp plates. I like to use those plates, but they’re great. Heat the plates, Lowtemp, heat and pressure. The bubble hash goes into filter bag, and then between the two plates. That presses out the rosin. You go from the bubble hash, and then those two plates create almost like an environment of pretty much that protective layer on the resin head. You know that the bubble hash burst from the heat and pressure and oozes out all like oil-rosin. Then you collect it into your cigar, or into your bank, or whatever. I’ve seen people do some crazy stuff-

Chip:  So basically, we’re using water –

Chris:  Yeah.

Chip:  And then we’re freeze drying it. And then we’re using a press with some heat on it. 

Chris:  That’s right- 

Chip:  Right. And this is all just water and heat?

Chris:  Natural man, that’s it. Water, heat, a little bit of pressure, and boom, you got some rosin. You got some beautiful extract that you can then take from that state and cure it how you’d like, or you can keep it in the fresh press state. Take it into cartridges. Take it into edibles, which makes some beautiful edibles. Tastes so good. I love that. Some people complain about that weed tastes or whatever. I like a nice rosin taste and edible. In my opinion, it tastes good.

Chip:  Me too. Yeah, I prefer all the edibles with more basic extracts: kief, water, rosin. 

Chris:  Oh, yeah. 

Chip:  Right. I prefer those as extracts for sure. Hey, all of you edible companies out there, man. Don’t just use distillate. Make some with kief. Make some with rosin.

Chris:  Yeah, I know. Your clientele will love it too, I’m sure. They’re start learning to experiment with different inputs. The education of all this stuff will definitely keep growing with more states becoming legal here. As we keep seeing almost weekly, it seems like a state is passing some medical cannabis or recreational laws, which is great, man–

Chip:  Hawaii today. Yesterday, Alabama, Tennessee, people in Texas, New York, New Jersey, like it’s going everywhere.

Chris:  Right? It’s happening, and that’s great. People are going to want to go and learn about it, different states. That’s how it is man. 

Chip:  You know, the thing about private market cannabis and that industry is we always tried to squeeze as many dollars, as many cents out of a square foot or out of a plant as possible because it was gray market, or it was totally illegal. And now, we have these legal markets that allows us to do research and experiment with cannabis on a different scale. Even though solventless, you know, might be twice as much on the shelf, it might be $60- $80 a gram on the shelf. The manufacturer still is not really making a ton of money at that price. Literally, he’s making less money that way than he would if he was doing butane, propane, or CO2. Right? He’s making less money that way than he would if he was actually probably selling the buds for flower too. Right? Solventless extract, it really defines, to some degree, a different segment of cannabis production because it’s not just like the biggest bang for the buck or get the most money out of the square foot. It’s like, I want to make this product, and this is how we make it. The market bears the price.

Chris:  A hundred percent. Yeah, it’s definitely a special product. Like you’re saying, there’s multiple steps to it, man. You know, so-

Chip:  So complex. I mean, it should be worth $120 a gram.

Chris:  I mean, I was just out in California, and that was what it was. 

Chip:  Well, yeah. It’s $120 a gram there, though because of all the taxes that go on.

Chris:  Yeah. And it was a tag. I like to say it’s not for everybody. But if you want to get into it, it’s definitely something that takes a little bit of diving into. There are a few steps to it, few things that you definitely got to pay attention to detail. That’s what this is, man. It’s more like-

Chip:  Like a food or laboratory like environment, right?

Chris:  A hundred percent. Other extraction techniques as well, not to say that’s not how you would treat it with that one. But just particularly with the solventless, like you said, you grow all your flower. You could take this flower and sell it as flower, or you can take it and throw it in this water with this ice, swish it around, and hopefully some trichomes come out. I mean, that sounds crazy. 

Chip:  Yeah, it does.

Chris:  The research and the groundwork that a lot of people have done in the past few years, I would say, have definitely built that confidence. Definitely for curious minds like me, for sure because it was definitely tough for me to dive into it too. I remember thinking about this more than a few years back. I’m like, “Man, that’s crazy. Just take the flower and throw it in there.” I’m like, “Really? Okay.” Now, you learn, and you get educated. You’re like, “Okay, now it makes sense. Okay, cool. I’m definitely going to go take my flower and throw it in there.” Do that because this rosin thing just tastes really good.  [inaudible 24:46] tastes really good too.

Chip:  Sorry, I just had to break for a second. 

Chris:  You guys are over at this door, right?

Chip:  Yes. You got to have security up in the studio, man. All kinds of motherfuckers bowl up here. I mean, Tupac learned it the most. I know,

Chris:  I know, dude. That’s right. I just was watching a couple episodes on Hip-hop Evolution about that sad story, man. 

Chip:  Sad story. Yeah, you know, greatness often is snuffed out too early man. You know, I lost a couple friends this year. Danny Smallwood and Rob Cox. It’s always sad when the flame goes out too quick, man.

Chris:  That’s right. Yeah, man. My condolences. I’m sorry to hear that. 

Chip:  Both those guys, Danny and Rob, loved extract, loved bubble. I was making it with both of those guys in literally 2002. And we got super high on more than one occasion on a handmade bubble that we just made with literally pantyhose and silkscreen.

Chris:  Taking it back, man?

Chip:  Right, but you don’t have to have all the equipment. You can do it at home. You can do simple extractions at home, and people should try. If you’re a home grower, definitely try to do that. Yeah, go to the store. Go to the dispensary. Buy some and see what theirs is like, and then try to mimic it. Right? 

Chris:  Yeah, a hundred percent. There’s a lot of information out there on the web these days. You can follow an array of guys on Instagram too that are really interested, it seemed like, in letting people know how to do this. I gathered a lot of information just from perusing Instagram and following people that I look up to that I know we’re doing big things out here in the industry. If you’re familiar with Colorado’s rosin scene, you know what I’m talking about? You can find some information out there. Don’t be scared of it, man. You can get the equipment relatively easy, and it’s relatively easy to use. Learning curve with anything, don’t expect and just get it. All of a sudden, you got what you- but it takes a little bit. But curiosity, man, you got to want to do it. You know, you got to be about it. That’s all I’m going to say. You know like, do it. –

Chip:  Yeah, no doubt. 

Chris:  If you like extractions or you like smoking extractions, and you have access to flower, and you have opportunity to do it, and you’re in a state that allows you to do it, I say do it. 

Chip:  Absolutely. I believe that state can be a state of well-being.

Chris:  A hundred percent. 

Chip:  Yeah, get out there, grow some weed, man. Make some extracts of it. Roll some joints with it. Pass it along to your friends and your family, and then grow some more. Do it again.

Chris:  Keep it going, man. Keep it going –

Chip:  Just a great chat with you, man. Yeah.

Chris:  Likewise, man. I really appreciate you having me. It’s really an honor being on the show and sharing the information that I possess here, which, you know, take it for what you want. But yeah, man –

Chip:  You know what I love about you is next year you’re going to be on a totally different plane with this. We should do another one next year and see where you’re coming out with it. You just learned so much like a sponge, man.

Chris:  I’ll come out there though. I’ll come see you in OKC next year. We’ll do that –

Chip:  Oh, yeah. Absolutely. We’ll make some. We need to make some this year, and make it work out- 

Chris:  Yeah, we’ll get it going. No worries. We’ll come and do some fishing as well. 

Chip:  I don’t know, man. You tear it up a little bit too much. I need my fish in my pond, catching them all. I look forward to Chris, man. I miss you guys.

Chris:  Likewise, man. 

Chip:  It was good chatting with you this morning. Thanks again. This is Chris with Souly Solventless. How can people look you up, Chris?

Chris:  Oh, you can find us on Instagram. We’re souly.solventless, and that’s s-o-u-l-y-dot-solventless. Pretty easy to find. Check us out. We got some good things happening in here very soon. Yeah, be on the lookout for us.

Chip:  Thanks again, Chris. Man, I appreciate it. 

Chris:  Thank you. Have a good one too.

Chip:  Oh, man, I tell you after that episode, I want to sit back and vape up some good solventless extract, or maybe even go back and get myself some bubble hash and sprinkle some on a nice large joint. You know, I think I might have ruined myself that extract years ago by making a train wreck kief joints and train wreck bubble hash joints. I probably lost a couple of years smoking those. Man, I hope you guys learned a lot about extracts and solventless extracts today. You know, they’re not dangerous. They’re safe. It’s just water. Not that like hydrocarbon products are dangerous either, but that many people have an aversion to them. If you’re interested in you know solventless extracts or bubbles, you should try so. If you can make it at home, you can buy a lot of materials online. You can always check us out at cultivatecolorado.com, cultivateokc.com. Hey, if you haven’t already subscribed to our podcast, please do. That’s The Real Dirt Podcast with Chip Baker. Check out our YouTube channel, man. We’re going to put all of our episodes on there from the past. We’re going to have all our new episodes on there, so you’ll be able to listen to all 70/ 80/ 90 episodes on YouTube at your will. So, thanks a lot for joining us again today. The next time you’re out there in the world, the next time you’re at a dispensary, ask the dispensary about solventless extracts. Ask them their opinion. Ask him to show some. It’s been Chip with the Real Dirt. Thanks again.

The Truth About Delta 8 THC

The Truth About Delta 8 THC

Does delta 8 thc get you high?

CBD wasn’t the only cannabinoid that inadvertently became legal when the federal government passed the 2018 Farm Bill.

We know that there are currently over 100 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. When industrial hemp was legalized on the federal level in 2018, the only cannabinoid specifically kept illegal was Delta 9 THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the common cannabis high.

Leaving over 100 other cannabinoids to fill the space, growers began experimenting. We saw the CBD boom and the rise of CBG and CBN over the past year, but another cannabinoid has broken into the spotlight and has a lot of enthusiasts curious.

Delta 8 THC claims to be the legal alternative to Delta 9, providing similar effects to a traditional THC high. But is it really a 1:1 replacement?

Delta 8 THC explained

Just like D9 THC, our knowledge about the effects and benefits of D8 THC are limited due to lack of research. For the most part, the resources for learning about Delta 8 THC come from first hand accounts of users.

What we do know about D8 THC is that it is chemically different from delta-9-THC by only a few atomic bonds, and according to the National Cancer Institute is defined as, “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuro-protective properties.”

In other words, it sounds a lot like plain old Delta 9 THC. However the experiences noted by Delta 8 THC users reveal some slight differences.

Does Delta 8 THC get you high?

The short answer seems to be yes. Most descriptions of the Delta 8 THC high note that it is more mild or “lighter” than a traditional Delta 9 THC high. User have also said that the high feels almost identical to D9 THC but without the associated paranoia or anxiety many experience.

Other anecdotes note how it can take multiple hits of a D8 THC vape to get a similar effect to a Delta 9 THC vape of similar potency, and that the flavor differs, and not always in a good way. Granted, taste is typically associated with processing, especially when it comes to distillate cartridges.

The most popular form of consumption seems to be vaping and consuming D8 edibles like gummies. However just like CBD, you can also find Delta 8 THC flower and other extracts.

This Week’s Episode

In this week’s episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, Chip sits down with Matt Chandler from Sunshine Connect, a Full-Scale Hemp Product Development, Supply Chain Management & Production company. Matt has been involved with hemp and CBD for over four years, and he’s learned a lot about the different cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including Delta 8 THC.

Learn whether Delta 8 is just a new hype trend that will fade away, or a solid replacement for Delta 9 THC in states that haven’t yet legalized. Plus dive into the science and real dirt behind hemp and CBD, projections for 2021 and more.

Transcript

Chip: Well, here we are. The Real Dirt 2021, thank God. Welcome back. Oh man, it’s so good to be on a roll of Real Dirts. Right now, we’re recording all the season, and it’s just been really exciting. We’ve been doing a lot of market research, really, you know, trying to hear what you guys want to listen to, and give it back to you. And today, man, we’re real fortunate, because one of the most asked about topics we have is hemp, and the chemistry of hemp, and the genetics of hemp, and the genetics of cannabis. And today, I have Matt Chandler, and we’re going to talk about all of that. How’s it going, Matt?

 

Matt: Doing great, man. Thanks for having me.

 

Chip: So Matt, tell me how you’re involved with CBD and hemp.

 

Matt: So currently, I have a brand really focused around more of the experiential side of CBD. And we kind of talk about more of that of like the market. I got into cannabis and hemp about four years ago, I’m actually from Oklahoma where you’re at now. And then you, you were from Colorado. And we switched, right? 

 

Chip: So where did you grow up?

 

Matt: I grew up here in Oklahoma City area, just a little bit east of the city, Choctaw area. You know, around here growing up, cannabis was pretty taboo.

 

Chip: Oh, yeah, this was a really hard place.

 

Matt: Yeah, they’d even have tattoos that were illegal when I was growing up here. You had, people had to go down to Texas to get a tattoo. 

 

Chip: Absolutely, you know. So Oklahoma, for those of you who don’t know about the free lands of Oklahoma, now we have tattoos. We have beer over 3.2. Yeah, totally. There’s breweries.

 

Matt: And cannabis.

 

Chip: And there’s medical cannabis.

 

Matt: Yeah. And when I was growing up, or actually, when I got into cannabis when I was 26. And mainly got into it, because my partner at the time had a hard time sleeping, and was trying to decide between Ambien or that. And we had a small kid and it was like, I can’t do anything. She’s like, in college cannabis helped me a lot. And so I was like, “Let’s do that.” So we went found her some. And at the time, it was illegal. And that year was right before we got into the business. And I think they had 20% increase in incarcerations for cannabis. Yeah, and here it was like a pretty stiff penalty like, two years for possession.

 

Chip: A small possession.

 

Matt: Yeah, it’s ridiculous.

 

Chip: Crumbs, and that’s all changed.

 

Matt: It’s all changed. It’s all changed. So that’s kind of how I got in the industry,  just coming for the plant that way. Really just –

 

Chip: The medicinal side. 

 

Matt: Yeah, the medicinal side.

 

Chip: Man, yeah, that is the true great gateway to cannabis is the medicinal side.

 

Matt: The medicinal weed is the gateway drug. Yeah, exactly. But I feel like I contribute cannabis to really helping me open up my mind to many things. I feel like you know, growing up here, we’re all taught, you know, proctor our own environment what we’re, you know, our experiences growing up and it’s a conservative state, and cannabis was the devil’s lettuce and all that bad stuff, so.

 

Chip: Pass the devil’s lettuce.

 

Matt: That’s right. So – 

 

Chip: You know what Oklahoma’s really done? One of the things that’s obvious for me now, and this is might be a stereotype.

 

Matt: Yeah?

 

Chip: But now we write country songs.

 

Matt: That’s right. We got some good cannabis country songs.

 

Chip: All the time. We just came up with “pass the devil’s lettuce.”

 

Matt: I like that one, man. I like that one. You guys are making hits over here. 

 

Chip: No, it’s me and you. It’s not –

 

Matt: Yeah, right. There we go. Do you play guitar or anything?

 

Chip: You know, I just, I make noise. I make noise. I just picked up a hybrid dulcimer. 

 

Matt: Oh, okay.

 

Chip: Totally pretty cool. You know the dulcimer?

 

Matt: No, I don’t. 

 

Chip: Well, I found out it’s the easiest stringed instrument to play so I immediately excelled at it. It’s the easiest to pick up. Yeah, I started with the banjo and then I moved to the guitar, and I’ve been banging away with those guys for a few years. But I’m kind of new to at all like, maybe three, four years I’ve been playing. My David dulcimer just has this hybrid dulcimer. It’s a Merlin dulcimer. it’s only has, it has four strings. They’re metal, like a banjo. You can play it however you want. You can pick it, you can claw banjo style it you know, you can strum it. Dulcimers are traditionally made to be on your lap. But this Merlin style is more like a guitar. It’s also half. It only has seven frets and I believe the dulcimer normally has 11.

 

Matt: So when do we get cannabis country album this year, dropping this year?

 

Chip: Yeah, let’s drop that shit.

 

Matt: 2021.

 

Chip: You know what it’s, you know what I really like about it, is it sounds it is, so I really love the banjo sound and the banjo tuning, right? You get the claw, the banjo claw to it. And really have a great like, banjo like, sound.

 

Matt: Nice.

 

Chip: Right? 

 

Matt: Yeah, I like the banjo sound, too. It’s unique and different. 

 

Chip: Yeah. I mean it’s all based on that root music back from Africa man. You know, that same tuning. There’s something with the harmonics in the world and like, how that same tuning that’s in many instruments, Indian stringed instruments, and African string instruments. It resonates.

 

Matt: Creates a unique sound.

 

Chip: The universal buzz.

 

Matt: Yeah, I like that.

 

Chip: Yeah, totally, totally. Universal frequency.

 

Matt: Universal frequency, that’s right.

 

Chip: Yeah.

 

Matt Well, sounds good.

 

Chip: But yeah, just kind of like weed.

 

Matt: So yeah, that’s why I got into cannabis that way. CBD was a big part, probably about a year into after I started in cannabis, smoking cannabis. Pretty much on the back porch at night, relaxing, chillin’. Notice that I stopped watching as much TV, it was more of just like, hanging out, having more conversations. And so, it really improved my life in a lot of different ways. And I felt like just some of the patterns I had growing up and programming of what to do in life started to become more aware and more conscious. At the time, my ex-partner had a couple of autoimmune disorders, and we started learning about CBD through it. And it started really helping her improve her energy, and overall mood, and different things. And so at the time, was wanting to get out of Oklahoma, wanting kind of a lifestyle change, because I grew up here my whole life. And we were looking at places in Colorado. It was obviously a big cannabis state. They were big into hemp. It’s probably one of the biggest places in capital for yeah, for hemp. That and Kentucky, I think was two early adopters. 

 

Chip: Absolutely. 

 

Matt: And so moved up there to learn about the plant. We started our own brand. I started consulting with a company that was making CBD isolate at the time, which is about flexing, four and a half, five years ago, so it was pretty new. Yeah, I learned a lot about the chemistry side, started jumping in the supply chain about the growth side, and really just learning good growing techniques, what people were doing, how to grow hemp, because I was unfamiliar at the time. And then how to extract it, and basically for minors and different things like that. So like I said, I’ve been involved with a lot of different areas in the supply chain. But when we first moved up there, it was a brand. When we started up there, I think when we first started CBD, there wasn’t like many manufacturers won’t touch this stuff. There were still a lot of regulations, banking was a mess. And we got shut down several times and banks, and credit cards, and all sorts of stuff. And so it’s just, even now it’s still a little bit challenging, we’ve got a lot better. But really, there was no manufacturers that took touches so we ended up getting our commercial kitchen license and getting some of the licenses we needed to start manufacturing products, and doing products ourselves. Did that for ourselves and other people, and the market’s taken to some crazy turns over the last three years.

 

Chip: It’s been like a rodeo man. 

 

Matt: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, I think with hemp because it’s not, it wasn’t, it had that not same regulations as cannabis did, because it was federally legal, it got a lot more attention and money. So there’s big players starting to dump money in the last three, four years, because there’s a multi-billion dollar market that’s forming. And so people are wanting to get into it. But then, there’s a lot of people that I feel like with cannabis that they’re like, “Oh, it’s gonna be big. We’re all gonna throw money into it.” And so they infrastructure, almost overbuilt, a lot of people started popping up that were making different isolates, and different farming. And when I first started, our farmer made $90,000 an acre on his farm. 

 

Chip: Oh, wow.

 

Matt: Drawing hemp. Now back then, it was I think Colorado had like, three or four years that they had that pilot program that they were able to do that.

 

Chip: Oh man. I tell you, I saw all that happen and I really missed out on it all. I tried to get involved with it, but like, it just, I was just so busy with the rest of my world that I just couldn’t get involved with it. It was an awesome, that was an awesome time to be in hemp. And I mean, it still is.

 

Matt: It is still is, yeah.

 

Chip: [inaudible 9:02] now though, ’cause you know, now you’re like, maybe a couple $1,000 an acre, $3,000 an acre if you can.

 

Matt: If then, that’s when you have to be really efficient. Yeah. Just last year, my farmer that made that $90,000 that I’ve been working with a lot, he ended up getting out of the business, because he made less than he did growing watermelons. And he’s an organic farmer and he’s like –

 

Chip: I grow watermelons, right? They’re just farmers.  Like I grow watermelons more. That was my first crop, watermelons.

 

Matt: And you don’t deal with it, any of the shit. They can sell the whole foods at Walmart. You know, the watermelons, where the hemp market, people that buy it are all over the board, and changing, and it’s constant chaos it sounds like. So, yeah.

 

Chip: The market got flooded in so many different areas. There were multiple bottlenecks, there were multiple issues with it. One thing that happened you pointed out was that the hemp market was flooded with manufacturers of hemp juice products flooded with brands, lots of co-packing going on. So a lot of this stuff was all just the same stuff even, right? It was all, so much of it was just and is still just homespun. Homespun people never dealt with marketers or copackers, and might not realize that like, “Oh man, they just made my hemp product the exact same thing as everybody else.”

 

Matt: Everybody else’s. Yeah, exactly.

 

Chip: Right? 

 

Matt: And then the more it started being acceptable nationwide in the like, stores and things like that, and all the bigger brands that might already have a name for themselves, but just was looking at CBD as another health ingredient, or adding it to their products and their lines, and they already have the distribution set. So I feel like it pushed a lot of the brands out. And then the ones that got in early that were making stuff like us, it made it very difficult, ’cause as soon as the manufacturer started opening up, they’re set up with large facilities to scale. And so if you’re a –

 

Chip: You guys are a boutique style. As nice as it might be, it’s just the volume that’s just boutique.

 

Matt: Mhm. So you got into it, because you had to because the bigger ones weren’t doing it at first, but then after a couple years of regulation changes and them getting more comfortable, they started flooding it in and bring in some of the bigger companies over. And so, I feel like a lot of people that invested heavily in the manufacturing side, which a lot did end up in trouble, you know? And they’re still, some of them that made it survived a little bit longer. But a lot of them those big companies are in trouble. 

 

Chip: Yeah. And it went a couple different ways too, because there was the initial scale that happened where it went from homespun boutique operations to like, the step up, or maybe two steps up even.

 

Matt: Oh yeah. 

 

Chip: For manufacturing. And then hemp was federally legalized, right?

 

Matt: Yeah. Which made it a lot easier.

 

Chip: Everybody could, everybody that ever wanted to grow cannabis could do it. And they did. 

 

Matt: They did, yeah. 

 

Chip: So it seemed like.

 

Matt: No it really, that’s true, that’s true.

 

Chip: Do you know any stats from the last year? I mean, 2019 production?

 

Matt: As far as production, I really, the more familiar set I am is just price per acre. Because you know like, from the farm it was like from 90,000 the first year down to I think it was like, cut in half the next year, down to 10 that was last year, which we were making around $1,000 an acre. And it was like, there wasn’t much sense. They could grow multiple other things. And I think too, it’s just because the amount of hemp licenses I did look at per state, just skyrocketed. I don’t know the numbers off my head, but it went significantly up. And I feel like the supply, basically there’s an oversupply.

 

Chip: Oversupply. Absolutely, absolutely.

 

Matt: Yeah, there was an oversupply of the growth, because people and the growers – 

 

Chip: Was Colorado and Oregon could have probably produced all of the hemp for the country, right?

 

Matt: Yeah, exactly. You know, acres and acres are, that’s a lot.

 

Chip: That’s a lot.

 

Matt: It’s a lot. It’s millions and millions of dollars of actual products.

 

Chip: People went in from the homespun people, the small farmers, the farmers wanted to stick your toe in it. We’re doing one acre, 10 acres, 40 acres. And then all of a sudden it became legal, and I heard multiple people say 100 acre, 1000s acre, right?

 

Matt: Well if you’re a farm that’s a mass farm and you’re growing hundreds of acres of certain crop on your on your farm, you can make sense out of it, out of $1,000. And that’s still a premium than what you’re getting paid over weed, and other things that you can farm and sell. So yeah, the farmers that have bigger farms, I think they’re the ones that are like, kind of coming in and cutting down the rest. I know so many people that came in hemp that wanted to grow those 1 to 10 acre range. And if you’re doing it by hand, it doesn’t make sense for the labor, and your time, and all that stuff for what you’re gonna to sell it for.

 

Chip: There is a market for the smokable, or the higher end hemp that you can get into with those smaller acreages.

 

Matt: Yeah. Which is that, is that popular in the dispensaries here? Or any like, do people buy hemp?

 

Chip: Oh, it’s at gas stations.

 

Matt: It’s at gas stations, so people are buying in there?

 

Chip: It’s a non-weed illegal state, I have been into a gas station that has had hemp or a head shop that has hemp buds for sale.

 

Matt: Nice. Yeah. Which I don’t know if you’d, do you use hemp, have you smoked them personally?

 

Chip: Yeah, totally.

 

Matt: Yes. I’m mixing them with mine.

 

Chip: I mix it with the ganja.

 

Matt: Yeah. I mix them with the ganja. I think it’s good like, I blend it.

 

Chip: Absolutely, it blends great. Because you know, that’s the thing for a lot of the hemp is it’s not fed at all. And it’s just given water, there’s hardly any fertilizer in it. So it might not have the best look. But like, it smokes really great. 

 

Matt: Yeah, it’s more earthy.

 

Chip: Or it can smoke a really good. The quality of the smoke is good. It might not have the flavor, it’s not stunning but like, it’s a really good smoke.

 

Matt: Yeah, it’d be more like more of an earthy blend to me as I’m grounding and mixing it.

 

Chip: Matt, you know what? We’re gonna grow some ganja that way next year.

 

Matt: What mixing them, half and half?

 

Chip: No, no. I’m just gonna grow it like hemp, and only water, and just give it some water, and not pay it any, much attention at all, just for the smoking quality. 

 

Matt: Yeah, okay.

 

Chip: Because then I can mix ganja in with my ganja.

 

Matt: Okay, yeah.

 

Chip: No, water only cannabis is the best smoking cannabis, no matter how you, if it’s ganja or hemp, just –

 

Matt: Just water only.

 

Chip: Just water only. It’s just how it is. The volume of water just changes the composition of it.

 

Matt: Okay. Do you give nutrients and things like that?

 

Chip: Mix it all into the soil.

 

Matt: Soil, right. Caring more about the soil.

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah care more –  or I mean even if you use synthetic nutrients, you just like, give it the synthetic nutrients two, three times and then water.

 

Matt: Yeah. So water is the main, yeah.

 

Chip: Yeah, water. Water. But yes, it’s not. I mean, fat kids love cake. That’s my theory of growing cannabis. And if you want fat cannabis plants, you got to feed them. 

 

Matt: Feed them water. 

 

Chip: No, feed them fertilizer. Fertilizer, if you want fat ones.

 

Matt: Okay, gotcha. Gotcha.

 

Chip: I know that’s not a politically correct statement. But everybody can identify that I was a fat kid. I loved to eat cake, I get it, right? 

 

Matt: That is the perfect analogy. 

 

Chip: Right? But yeah, no, you gotta feed it. Yeah, I don’t know why like, a million people tell me that you don’t after we just said it. But hey, that’s cool. 

 

Matt: Yeah. Do what you do.

 

Chip: No, yeah. Hey, man, if you want to get that price per acre up, you got to spend the money on it in order to put the fertilizer in it to get more out of it. And there is a cost benefit there. You know, like, you can either do it for $10,000 an acre organically, which is a shit ton when we’re talking about 100 acres or 1000 acres, right? Or like, synthetically, it might cost you 500 bucks.

 

Matt: Yeah, exactly. I don’t think that the organic markets quite doesn’t pull that much higher of a price right now, for cannabis in general. I’m a profound proponent of organic farming or [inaudible 16:50] and stuff like that. But I do feel like there’s not enough market right now to differentiate if you’re a grower for the cost sometimes. So yeah, I think it’ll start to pop up a little bit more. There’s gonna be some buyers that are –

 

Chip: No, it already happening. No, it’s already happening. I already see organic cultivation in Oregon. And people ask if it’s organic, you know, and I haven’t seen that for a long time. 

 

Matt: Yeah. Certainly. People are caring more for sure.

 

Chip: Yeah. So hey, man, this is a perfect time for us to roll into a break. 

 

Matt: Sounds good. 

 

Chip: Hey, let’s a take a moment.

 

Matt Alright.

 

Chip: Hey guys, it doesn’t matter if you’re a hemp farmer, or if you’re a medical cannabis farmer. If you’re farming in your basement, if you’re farming out in the back, 40 Cultivate Garden Supplies can help you. If you need anything from truckloads of soil to pints of fertilizer, we have it all. You can contact us online, we ship all over the country and the world. You can look us up at cultivatecolorado.com, cultivateokc.com. And if you need to talk to somebody great, just walk into one of my shops. Ask to speak to anyone, anybody. You don’t even have to ask to speak to someone, we just come up and start talking to you. They can help you solve all of your fertilizer problems, all of your lighting problems. We serve as the largest, most commercial gardens in the country, and the smallest most boutique. And I’m just getting started guys. So please come by. We welcome all of you Cultivate Colorado in Denver and Stapleton, Cultivate OKC in Oklahoma City, and please check us out online, cultivatecolorado.com. Yeah, man. Nice little break. Wow, I can’t believe you did that with that bong man. That was incredible. I can’t even smoke one of those anymore, you know?

 

Matt: I like the bongs. Yeah.

 

Chip: I know, I know. Everybody’s heard about the bong at The Real Dirt studio. Man, the industry kind of, it went flat. It went more than flat this past 2020.

 

Matt: Oh yeah.

 

Chip: Right? Has it recovered?

 

Matt: I feel that it is recovering a little bit. I think most of the people that have flooded the market with like, came into hemp as like, this is a gold mine. Farmers are making 10,000 an acre were used to doing this –

 

Chip: Gold diggers. Gold diggers.

 

Matt: Exactly. They came in and lost their ass in 2019, 2020. And so, they’re slowly getting up.

 

Chip: Oh man, I’m sorry for you guys.

 

Matt: Yeah no, I mean it’s, if you were in those, if you came into hemp for the first time to grow during those times, it was definitely going to be challenging. Not only to grow, but then to sell, because I don’t know about you, but I think every hemp farmer I’ve met, any cannabis grower, the first year is always a learning kind of journey. And you know with hemp, you get one shot that year in most places, at least I think in California and places they might have more growing seasons, but yeah, you had a hard time. And so, most of them I think are got out and so where it’s kind of normalized the supply chain a little bit. Some of the bigger guys that are still in there, they’ve kind of driven the price down, got their price to where they know that they can money on it. And yeah, that the hemp market is completely changed, and it’s really elevated on a global level too. There’s people growing all over different countries, and just like most of the other crops and commodities that we have, wherever the cheapest and makes the most sense to grow for the climate, is where I feel like there are gonna be the most growers, and the most  activity going. And I think that’s gonna be happening with hemp too.

 

Chip: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s that way with every other crop, right? There’s some superior areas to cultivate it. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking, we were talking watermelons earlier. Like man, Florida’s a great place to grow watermelon.

 

Matt: Yes, yeah. Oh yeah.

 

Chip: But weed is harder to grow there, right?  It’s just so humid.

 

Matt: Humid, yeah. I figured it was the humidity.

 

Chip: You know, I mean, it can be done, absolutely and people are crushing it down there. But it’s not as easy as say like, Oregon or southern Colorado, right? Where it’s nice and dry, and you get, all your water comes from irrigation. You can control it all.

 

Matt: Control a little bit more.

 

Chip: You know,  and in Tennessee like, it might rain every day of the harvest season. Yeah. Kentucky’s kind of the same way, but it can be a little drier all throughout the east coast are affected with the hurricane season like, which correlates with harvest season.

 

Matt: Yeah, growing’s different in every climate, I’m sure. Obviously, it changes constantly, and so, yeah. It was –  

 

Chip: Absolutely there’s always something to learn no matter where you go, it’s gonna, it can if you’re open to it, you can submerge yourself into the environment and kind of read what’s going on, understand. If you understand what the plant wants and needs, right? Then you can manipulate both the plant and the environment to do what you want. It might not be exactly the same, but you gotta pay attention.

 

Matt: Oh yeah. And I feel like with cannabis or hemp growing is going to be, if you’re starting out, it’s probably not the best place to start in the industry right now. If you’re looking at doing smokables and growing some higher end stuff, then that’s a little bit different. But I think there is a market for those and they are pulling in the $150 a pound versus right now, I think like, yeah. 5, 10 bucks for you know, or lower depending on you know for points, yeah. It’s pretty high.

 

Chip: I even see people pulling good money on it, on 

 

Matt: Smokable?

 

Chip: Smokable. It  all depends on how they sell it. But you know, it’s out there. So the future, I mean, the history of hemp has generally been CBD, and maybe some like, snake oil medicine and but it’s really started to mature. And this flood, the thing about floods is historically, the flood will come in and they wash off all the trash us humans like, have put in the way, you know? What they leave is fertile ground, for us to like, rebuild on, you know? And then that’s what’s going on right now in the hemp industry. I think a lot of the like, gold diggers came and went big and small, came and went. Some of those gold diggers turned into like, real cannabis farmers and are interested in it and like –

 

Matt: Yeah went to stick with it early –

 

Chip: Went to stick with it and you know –

 

Matt: All the brokers went to PP or the you know, the PPE or whatever equipment [inaudible 22:23] they just follow the money and whatever big industry is there.

 

Chip: “Oh, I’m a broker hemp, oh a broker PPE.” Yeah. There’s nothing wrong with making money, dude. I get it if that’s your hustle like, sell buy, buy, sell. Whatever it is. 

 

Matt: Sure it is, yeah.

 

Chip: I mean, [inaudible 23:42] to this plant. I can’t seem to do anything different beyond it. Or even want to honestly. I mean, I have other interests in my life, but this is the only business I want to be in.

 

Matt: Yeah, no, I’m the same way. I’ve been in it for almost five years now. And I don’t, I’m in it for the long term too. So not one of those quick fly by night.

 

Chip: Because I mean, it is a business plan. People come in to me all the time and they say, “Hey, in three to five years we’re gonna exit,” right?

 

Matt: There’s probably a lot of opportunities with dispensaries and cannabis, especially if it’s been federally Iegalized –

 

Chip: I have seen people do it all the time successfully. And I don’t see anything wrong with it. Tap on, I hope people do it. You know, like lately, “Hey, let’s go do it man,” you know? I’m on different trip, bro.

 

Matt: You like to be in the plan and learn it, yeah. Be in the –

 

Chip: Yeah, totally. I want to be in the mix, man. I want to be in the dirt. That’s why this is The Real Dirt, right? So the real dirt on hemp, cannabis genetics. We just started to like really, like, really get into that right? You know, the first thing is everybody just wanted some weed, wanted some hemp, wanted some CBD oil, wanted some relief, wanted some, those urge for cannabinoids that us humans need and want without even really realize it, but the truth of the matter is coming out. Now there’s all other secondary compounds that are being developed, they’re are already there or have been like, applied. Let’s talk about some of that.

 

Matt: Sure. I think the first one that kind of came out was CBG, because they can, they’re making genetics now that are high-end CBG, which is the first cannabinoid that the plant grows into before it kind of blooms to CBD, THC and the other various cannabinoids. And the genetics, when they’re making that plant high-end, it’s going to grow higher percentages and extract at higher percentages too, that you can make final products with. And I think some of the things that are going on right now that I see in the industry is that on the chemistry side, they’re learning how to take industrial hemp, which is 0.3% by dry weight, Delta-9-THC, and basically formulate through chemistry mainly by sunlight, heat, sometimes pressure to form different cannabinoids. All the cannabinoids kind of like, turn into different cannabinoids, and don’t care which side off the top of my head, but there’s like, a whole entire tree where CBD might turn into CBN, and then after a while, CBN might turn into a CBC. And there’s this whole like, tree that they turn into different ones. And so yeah, I feel like the you know, we’re able to generate from industrial hemp which can be mass harvested through chemistry, turning them and things like Delta-8-THC, which I feel like it’s very popular. We kind of talked about it a little bit. I like how you said a THC light?

 

Chip: THC light.

 

Matt: It’s like THC light to be really honest. But I think it’s awesome for people that are new to it. And like you know, new to THC, or maybe they taken, to me, I feel like hemp is a good stepping stone to people that are like, brand new to the plant. You know, they’re a little sensitive. And so you know, if they took a big bong rip, you know, it’s gonna be a little different experience for them. But taking –

 

Chip: They might pull a Stevie Wonder that’s for sure. 

 

Matt: Exactly.

 

Chip: You know, getting stoned blind and start singing.

 

Matt: Oh, yeah. Definitely, man. Definitely.

 

Chip: Oh, that goes out to my good sister in law.

 

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, nice. It’s a good stepping stone. And, you know, D-8, I’ve experimented a lot recently myself, and I really enjoy it. You know, it’s more of a body high and less of a heady high. It kind of gives me that giggly and relaxed feeling, not taking pretty high doses. I feel like with D-8, especially for me, it’s been like, 100 milligrams, versus like, 20 in the edible that I might do. So it’s probably five, four or five times, I feel like you need more of. But really, it’s been great. And I feel like, you know, if I’m trying to still focus and get something done, but want to relax and have a body high, Delta-8 has been great for me on that. And so there’s just cool that there, I think the market, new market is like-

 

Chip: Let’s talk about Delta for a second. It’s legal in many areas, and only a couple of states have defined it.

 

Matt: They kind of defined it as legal.

 

Chip: Yeah. Right, right.

 

Matt: And who knows what’s gonna happen? Because I think the DEA or the FDA, right now it’s in that gray area, because the only define laws we have are around Delta-9, and that you’re in 0.3% by dry weight. So when you extract it, it’s even in higher percentages, and that’s another debate. But yeah, I think like, some states have came out and said they don’t want it. But overall, the DEA and some of the statements have around from, it’s still derived from the plant, as they term in the Farm Bill industrial hemp. It’s kind of one of those areas where they might come in and interpret it someday, and be like, “It’s too close” and things like that or whatever, but we’ll see. I think in the next six months to a year especially with all the activity we have with like, federal legalization and things like that, we’ll know more on those. But I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity right now, because they’re getting popular, and less people are doing them. And there’s some good alternatives to like you know, I think for more affordable like Delta-8’s pretty affordable in general for you know, comparatively to Delta-9 just because of all the regulations and things you have to do around Delta-9.

 

Chip: Oh, absolutely. Give me the 9’s but hey, I’d love to have some 8 too. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fascinating, we’ve been saying this for years, that it’s not just THC, it’s not just THC, it’s not just THC, it’s not just THC. But be it in Colorado, and California, and some of the other states have really pushed this certificate of authenticity, this high THC number to sell product, or low THC number to sell product. But you know, they’ve just put THC-9 as the boogeyman honestly.

 

Matt: They have.

 

Chip: You know? And the good thing  is it means everything else is pretty much legal on the plant.

 

Matt: Yeah, pretty much. So they focused on that entirely and forgot about the other seeds that are very similar. They play on one of the two receptor cell sites in your body CB1 and CB2 and –

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s good. Now see, CBG was one of the first alternative cannabinoids besides CBD, CB, THC that I had –

 

Matt: Heard about so?

 

Chip: Well that I actually got to use. Like I’d seen like, I’ve seen them all, read papers about so many of them, and there’s like, theories. There’s hundreds, or 15 or –

 

Matt: Gave you used the CBG product? Like have you dabbed it or..?

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah I had CBC, CBG Hash, CBG Key – 

 

Matt: What did you think? 

 

Chip: CBG – first it was a Moroccan style hash made from CBG. She was great, very uplifting, relaxing at the same time, but we literally like, packed a bowl of it thinking it was bedtime. So we packed some hash. And because we also had their CBD hash, this is in in some part of Eastern Europe. Man, we fired up the CBG, we started chatting, everybody started chatting for hours and hours more. Like, “Let’s go get some more food.”

 

Matt: You got more like I guess, energized?

 

Chip: Energized, yeah, totally, totally energized. You know where the CBD is far more relaxing.

 

Matt: Yeah. Some people say CBG is more relaxing too. I don’t know, it seems like everybody’s system sometimes responds slightly different.

 

Chip: It is. I’m a professional user. So it really, it’s similar to how cabo works, that’d be a great description. It’s stimulating yet relaxing.

 

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, I would agree with that. I feel like all cannabinoids are still overall relaxing. I’m more chill. I’m more sitting back, I’m more aware and observant around me. You know, some of them make me a little more tired. CBN specifically makes me a little bit more drowsy when I take CBN. Even Delta-9 sometimes makes me tired, but depends on you know, terpenes have so much to do with that too. 

 

Chip: Sure. Absolutely. Yeah, we’re big fans of Lemon G, and we’ve got a Lemon G Dosidoe. And we also have a Gils and Nils which is a Y cross with Georgia Pine Skunk strain. But none of those are real –

 

Matt: Stimulating?

 

Chip: Yeah.

 

Matt: Also tried those. Yeah. 

 

Chip: Sometimes I’ll confuse those in the evening. And like, like last night, right? Or it’s just so good, because it’s got that pentatonic buzz we were talking about earlier, you know? That I’m just buzzing and don’t want to stop, you know?

 

Matt: Oh yeah, oh yeah. When you do that, does it make you not fall asleep? When you have the [inaudible 32:36]?

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

 

Matt: So you’re up more when you do that? 

 

Chip: Yeah. Totally, totally. 

 

Matt: I always see that I could find like, sleep though when I’m, when I need to even with –

 

Chip: Yeah, you’re like my wife, Jessica. Yes. She’s like, “Oh, I’m gonna go to sleep now,” you know?

 

Matt: That is like me.

 

Chip: You know? And I’m like, yeah, I struggle.

 

Matt: Yeah. Okay. Is that one of the reasons why cannabis helps you a lot, is it? 

 

Chip: Man. I am manic as hell, man. I mean, up and down. I get so excited about stuff. Oh, I’m so excited. Right? And then I mean, I also like, feel it really, too. And I get like, really like, you know, depressed. I shouldn’t say really depressed but like, you know, I really feel it when I lose something, or it doesn’t work out for me. I’m a little bit of an emotional roller coaster and cannabis absolutely evens that out quite a bit. It makes it oh, man, the font’s not exactly right on that, right? Like, you know, instead of just like, “Oh my god damn it. This font’s not right,” right? And for those of you who get into fonts, you’ll understand. “Not that one. Not that one. Oh, man, this, I need this one. Where did the guy get this one?” Yeah, you know, there’s just like, a million fonts out there. You know, I’ll obsess over it. I’ll swing one way or the other. Like, “Fuck it. I don’t care. Use anything. Oh, no, that one sucked. I can’t use that one.”

 

Matt: Not that one.

 

Chip: Not that one. You know? Yeah. So cannabis really helps me with that. But you know, I mean, I also, like, a common problem so many of us have is like, I really enjoy the manicness of it sometimes, too, right? And it’s part of like, who I am. And you know, it keeps you know, things exciting to some degree. I don’t want to just be “brrr” all the time. Yeah, you know, but I need to calm down a little bit. Yeah, I need to calm down a little bit.

 

Matt: Helps you, yeah calm right aways.

 

Chip: Right, right, right.

 

Matt: That’s one thing that’s helped with me too. I agree. I think that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve noticed people overall takes them down a notch, kind of where they, a little more chill, and calm, and look at things from a little bit different perspective.

 

Chip: Yeah, I definitely don’t want any medication over you know, my manicness. But I bet many people with my condition are given it, you know? Or don’t even understand their weed, or do they have like, this simple access to it. Heed on to the nation, man. Hey, I gotta give a big shoutout right now to King Shiloh Sound Systems. If you guys don’t know King Shiloh, I want you to stop what you’re doing, go onto Facebook, go onto YouTube. Look up King Shiloh Sound System. He’s out of Amsterdam. And it’s a group of DJs who previously pre-COVID would go around and have these big speakers and do these big sound Wall of Sound type shows, right? Old school 70’s Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead style. 

 

Matt: That’s awesome.

 

Chip: Right? But the best reggae you’ve ever heard. These guys have the deepest cuts. They have the best, the biggest collection of reggae singles and vinyls I have ever – I love reggae, I’ve been listening to it for 25 years. And these guys absolutely crush it. Nettie? I think he’s one of the DJs, big belly, overalls, a big white beard. Man, he plays just incredible singles. And, you know, interesting thing about Jamaica, is they got all of our leftover recording equipment from the 50’s and 40’s. And back then like, they just made singles and radio stations would have songs and you know, and so they got all of that equipment, started kind of replicating the same type of thing, right? Like, lots of small producers, lots of like, singles every week, singles every week. Anybody could show up and make a single every week. So all this stuff’s off copyright now, right? So King Shiloh, they play it, so it’s all the stuff you’ve never heard of from artists that you know they’ve lost the copyright or publishing or however YouTube allows you to do it.

 

Matt: So they can just take it and run with it then. 

 

Chip: King Shiloh Sound System, YouTube, Facebook, everybody please check it out. Tell King Shiloh Chip from The Real Dirt sent you.

 

Matt: Alright. I like it. I’ll have to check them out. Definitely check them out.

 

Chip: Oh, it’s great. They play a live show out of Amsterdam every Saturday at noon. 

 

Matt: Okay. How many of you been to? You said –

 

Chip: Well, it’s all Facebook now. So he’s got 42 that he’s released since COVID, right? Yeah, and man, if you love reggae, or if you’re even interested in it. That’s how to find out about it. Listen to his 80 hours of reggae.

 

Matt: Nice man. [inaudible 37:45]

 

Chip: I would suggest episodes, some of the mid-teens, 12, 13, 14s, those are some of my favorites.

 

Matt: Okay. Good to know, man. Thank you, reg.

 

Chip: Reggae sidenote.

 

Matt: Reggae sidenote. Reggae and cannabis goes along great though, and there’s something to them that – 

 

Chip: I mean, just music in general and cannabis go pretty good together.

 

Matt: Yeah.

 

Chip: I need more musicians in here. I’m gonna bring some more.

 

Matt: Yeah, you have to have some people play in.

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah well, you know, just talking about getting stoned and you know, using you know, cannabis as a performance enhancing drug.

 

Matt: Yes, exactly, exactly. 

 

Chip: A little PED.

 

Matt: It’s part of the like, a reggae musician prerequisite is cannabis, I think. A  lot of them use.

 

Chip: Yeah, I’ve met a few that have shoved it but not many.

 

Matt: Not many. 

 

Chip: But yeah, not many. You know, reggae’s not really off topic, but we did move along a little bit. So what do you see coming forward for hemp and hemp farmers and hemp industry people?

 

Matt: Sure. Like I said, on the farm side, I feel like the boutique side, the smokable flower side, if you’re looking to get into business or looking for opportunity, that’s going to be a better opportunity. Most of the products and industrial size are going to be mass farms. If you’re not into that, then it’s gonna be hard to compete, and the market’s more of commodity. I think on the extraction side, same thing. It’s a little bit more commoditized now. There’s some large companies that got into it, got a lot of investments, so the price for them to create CBD oil and isolates and things like that have gone way down. The labs that seem to survive and that I work with a lot now, are the ones that are good with minor cannabinoids. Finding ways to produce these minor cannabinoids from hemp, so they can be sold on the market. Like the ones that are Delta-8 are crushing it obviously, because it’s similar to Delta-9, but they’re able to sell it in more states and things. And so, I feel like that’s yet another opportunity. And then on the brand side, I would say, if you’re just gonna say, “I want to set up a CBD product,” it’s gonna be, you’re gotta have to differentiate yourself. You need the target market you’re going to be going to, an audience you’re going to be serving, and really trying to – I feel like with anything, like Dollar Beard, Shave Club or whatever, razors and stuff wasn’t new and it was a huge market already. But they took it, did a little something different with it, made more of a, targeted to a certain audience, had a different experience and packaging and stuff, and then they crushed it, didn’t they? So I think you know, doing those kind of things in cannabis is more what I’m really focused on, and creating experiences around it. Would love to have a property in the mountains and doing retreats and events around it. And really people can come in and experience it in a safe way, as well as try some different parts of it, I think are going to be really popular. You know, and I think overall just the event and experience industry is going to grow starting this year, from this whole last year not having any events and experiences. So, I feel like that’s going to explode as well. So those are the areas that I feel are most going to explode if you’re looking to get into the hemp and CBD industry. You know, the minor cannabinoids, the boutique products and if you’re on the brand side, it’s really finding your audience and unique people that you’re calling to. 

 

Chip: Everyone who had a rough year in 2019 that decided to keep into it they did, they probably scaled back and really realize this year how to move forward with their business. Some people fell apart, some people waited. I know a few big organizations who were just like, “Oh, yeah, we don’t, we’re not going to grow anymore.”

 

Matt: Yeah.

 

Chip: Right? And some of those people may come and go. I think the wisdom of age of the industry is starting to develop. And you know, out of the necessity or the desire or the want, so many businesses and so many products and so many brands have been developed. Nike’s one of my favorite, favorite stories and it came out of like this need for an athletic shoe, right? And even though there were stuff out at the time like, they were the first people who really started to do research on it –

 

Matt: And cornered that market.

 

Chip: And cornered that market. And I think that like, the hemp industry is in exactly that place. The cannabis industry is in exactly that place where now, we have time to do research and development. We have time to like, standardize practices and not just think about it as like, this get rich quick scheme. My friend Stacy Johnson, Stacy J of Harvest House, he likes to say, “Getting rich quick since 1989.” And it’s so true but like. right now, I think it really offers that time. And people had all this hemp laying around the past year, they were able to do all kinds of stuff with it. I think the textile market’s coming down.

 

Matt: That’s different, yeah. I feel like that could be a huge market that really is picking up. Again, I feel like on the growing side, they’re going to be in huge farms that are you know, they’re growing and 15, 20 foot high plants, and they’re coming with harvesting machines that are you know, it’s very efficient, and you get very little bit of a –

 

Chip: I met some guys that have got 1000 acres in like, Nebraska or Oklahoma someplace. They’re doing it for industrial hemp and they’ve got a pressboard plant or something like that, and man, that’s gonna be great. You know, they like, just harvested their crop and like, they’re trying, they’re gonna go and do it all this next year, they’re gonna have their first round of product and, but it’s good.

 

Matt: Yeah, it’s the innovation I feel like that has the opportunity in those areas of like, taking the hemp [inaudible 43:20] from the growers, and making plastics out of certain molds for construction, or developing products from hemp on the industrial side is going to be big. I think the bigger stuff like the growing, or the extracting, and the commodities are going to be tougher to get in. There’s a lot of people in there and prices are pretty far down, but creating and innovating from those are what I think there’s, it’s infinite opportunity. Like Nike, shoes were around forever, but Nike came in and claim this domain and you know, has crushed it, and I think there’s gonna be, there’s a lot of opportunity within industry to be able to do that.

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, man, it’s all just started. It’s all just started. For people who think it’s over with, or you’re not able to like, it’s all like, just starting so hold on to your hats.

 

Matt: Exactly.

 

Chip: It’s happening, man.

 

Matt: It is, it is. A lot of opportunity. Sticking a plant in the ground and thinking, “Alright, I can just do this, follow this process, and make a shit ton of money,” those are over. You know, you had a short window on those, but the opportunity to take something, and do something cool with it. 

 

Chip: Man, I’ll say I’ve been doing it for you know for, wow, a long time. This is my 32nd outdoor year. 

 

Matt: Yeah. You’re OG.

 

Chip: It’s never been that easy to just stick a plant in the ground and pull money out of. Yeah, like some people, I hear that works. But like, it’s not real, dude. That was fantasy. 

 

Matt: Yeah, you’ve had, every year has been learning, huh?

 

Chip: Every year has been great, every year has been a learning curve every year. But it’s just, it is a job. If you want to do it professionally, it’s a job. Go grow a plant in the backyard, you don’t have to do much if you want to, right? But you know, we’ve got great top soil there, you got a water sprinkler there like, you got a fence around, like, you know, go grow a field.

 

Matt: Personal use plants are like that, yeah. 

 

Chip: Right? It’s just a different scenario, but love weed, love everything about it, and just wanted to keep learning more, talking to more people about it, and, you know, helping more people grow.

 

Matt: Nice. Which I know you do a lot of growing supplies. What do you feel like the market for people that are just trying to do things at their house? Or, you know, I think that’s another opportunity to like, growing kits. Especially if things come  –

 

Chip: Yeah, you know, we’ve tried to put a lot of kits  together over time but people, the cannabis industry or DIYers for sure, they just want to buy the parts and pieces, and kind of put it together, right? But I’ll say that part of that is grow tents. Grow tents are, you know, they’re hard to get. I mean, there’s just so many of them out there now. Like, if you are one of the 300,000 people in Oklahoma that got your prescription for medical cannabis, you try  to go by a grow tent, which is like a little 4×4, 8×8 or 4×8 little vinyl type cloth tent that you can erect in your house, and it’ll light tight it so you can flower cannabis. Right. Everybody is interested in that. And I think they’re one of the greatest things in the world, man, honestly. The entry level for everybody who’s wanted to grow a plant, they can easily go do it in their backyard with a bag of soil.  Go pick up a bag of growers, Coco HP, or just drop it in hole in your backyard and plant your plant in it. Like, everybody wants to do that, who’s ever smoked weed or thought about it like, “It’s legal now. Let’s grow.” And honestly, everybody should. Think of how much better it would be. If 150 adult Americans all went out and planted one plant in their backyard. . Alright, let’s split it off into couples and families and just say 50 million Americans went and planted out one plant of ganja in their backyard. Wow, man. We could see some real change in the world.

 

Matt: Yeah, that would be. It would, and maybe there will be that one day. You know, that’s what I was wondering like, you know, coffee people. I mean, they don’t necessarily grow the coffee, but they’re grinding up the beans, they’re French pressing, they’re doing like, you know, all the extracting basically, the coffee right there in the house. And I’m wondering if cannabis is gonna have that same kind of market to where there’s all these at home, kind of little extraction systems and things like that, it becomes like that much of a household plant, you know? Especially as we get deep down of like, learning more about the plant, the different cannabinoids, and growing different strains. I think it’d be interesting you know? Like I want a little more CBD, or this is more for daytime, or this is more for my nighttime. I’m curious of how the market ends out. And I think there’s a lot of innovation in that area. There’s a lot of room to grow.

 

Chip: Oh, there’s tons of room to grow, man. It is just starting. Well, hey, Matt, let’s talk about the brand you’re building, and what’s going on with you and your business?

 

Matt: Sure. Well, thanks man. So currently right now, like I said, I’m really focused on the experience around cannabis. It played such a large role in my life on the way it helped me open up to patterns, and things, and programs that I had that weren’t necessarily serving me, and I feel like it’s a big stepping stone in that. So currently, I have three main core values around our products. Number one is intention setting. So I like to say the analogy of a car analogy. To me, cannabis, and CBD, and hemp are the vehicle that we’re using to get to a place. Our intentions, our navigation, basically like, where are we wanting to go? So we’re really big with for the first 30 days people taking our products, trying to connect with them and find out what are their intentions for taking the products. Is it to sleep better? Is it, why are they wanting to sleep better? Because they’re starting a new business, or whatever it is in life, right? Really be clear  –

 

Chip: The sleep feels good.

 

Matt: Sleep feels good, right. 

 

Chip: No joke but like, you know people, like, sleep is one of those things that people like, oh, you can’t sleep. And it’s like, if you haven’t been in that position, you know not being able to sleep, we talked about this already, you sleep great.

 

Matt: I sleep great.

 

Chip: And I don’t at all, right? And like, man, it is hard, man. Like, you know, and then like, when you start like, taking you know, substances to help you sleep, most of them have some hangover effect.

 

Matt: Yeah. More drowsy in the morning more. Yeah, I agree. And so yeah, cannabis has been one of the biggest things I feel like for what I hear most people taking them for, help them relax and sleep. 

 

Chip: And you know, inflammation, any type of inflammation I see. I see with CBD specifically, I see the aid in, you know, they’re the other, you know, pharmaceuticals they’re using, right? They don’t have to take as much. It means that they don’t have as many adverse side effects from the pharmaceuticals as well, right? And all that means something.

 

Matt: Yep. Oh yeah.  I think that it’s a natural plant that has a lot of different uses. But I think mainly in helping people relax, kind of helping work on the nervous system and their immune system, which is basically taking their inflammation and why people say that cannabis has helped with such a wide range of things, because it usually comes down to those two things. It helps calm their nervous system down, which I think everybody’s a little bit more wired nowadays. There’s a lot more stimulus we have coming at us in COVID and things like that. We just, there’s more nervous system disorders, anxiety, depression, things like that where I feel like you know, definitely cannabis and endocannabinoid system when it’s healthy, helps the nervous system regulate as well as immune system with inflammation. And like I said, it works on a host of different diseases, and I guess conditions that people say it helps with so yeah.

 

Chip: And hey man, it’s fine to self-medicate. Damn right, we do it all the time. Like there’s nothing wrong with it. And, you know, that’s why all the over counter drugs are there is because you can self-medicate. Self-medicating with cannabis is one of the most effective, less, least harmful things that anyone can do. And I know I’m preaching the choir here, because we’ve got 30,000 listeners here that are just gonna say, “Right on, Chip!”

 

Matt: Oh yeah.

 

Chip: But it’s true.

 

Matt: It is true, it is true. You know, and that’s, I think with our brand, it’s more of like, set your intentions, have gratitude around it, and really just focus on like, what are you trying to bring this plant to do in your life? And you know, our deal is building a community where we can support each other in those changes, right?

 

Chip: Are you guys, are you connected on Facebook or Instagram? You have social media platforms you work with?

 

Matt: Yes, we have. We’re on Instagram, @thealchempist.com. The alc-hemp-ist, I don’t know if some people would debate, the name was based on the book, The Alchemist, have you read the book?

 

Chip: Oh, yeah, sure.

 

Matt: Yeah, I love that book. And, you know, to me, there’s a lot of hidden stories in that book and hidden gems in that book of good lessons that you can learn. But for me, it was more about that, you know, the boy that kind of went against the programming that he was taught, and what he’s supposed to be in this world to, you know, discover his own personal legend. And that’s kind of what I you know, with that with hemp. ‘Cause as you know, I kind of was the same way I grew up in a, this was not an acceptable plant, like the devil’s lettuce, like we talked about earlier. And, you know, and finding it, helping in my life and following that path, and my intuition that I’ve discovered my own journey. And so, I feel like everybody can do that with cannabis in their own way. And our goal is to kind of help them set that intention, help them form the gratitudes around it, and then build a community where people that are going in the same direction like, “Hey, we’re all trying to sleep better, we’re all trying to do this.” We can kind of share openly like, “Hey, this is this is working for me. These you know, I’m smoking cannabis at night and I’m using CBD during the day, and this is how it’s affecting me, and these are the dosages I’m doing,” because you know, we haven’t had a lot of research around the plant because it’s been illegal.

 

Chip: Yeah, next to none.

 

Matt: Next to none. Because federally yeah, it’s still Schedule I which hasa prevented colleges and things like that, which I’m sure your listeners know too. But Schedule I, you can’t do any research around as much where you know, you have cocaine and meth and all of them are Schedule II. So it’s just nuts how that works, but I feel that you know, there’s starting to become more research, especially hemp and stuff is least introduced the plant because I you know, I tell people hemp is cannabis, there’s no difference. It’s the same plant.

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. All the time. People are, “Oh, hemp, not cannabis.” I’m like, “Same stuff. Same stuff. ” They’re like, “Well, not the new federal regulations.” I’m like, “Nope, new federal [inaudible 53:46].” Right?  It just the same plant, it’s just –

 

Matt: Government had to reclassify to make them feel better about you know, “Alright, we’re stepping, we’re stopping the line at 0.3%.”

 

Chip: That’s hemp. 

 

Matt: That’s hemp. Now it’s hemp. Now it’s okay. Yeah, exactly. No, it’s an artificial line in the same plant. And so, we’re able to study it from that angle a little bit to kind of see what THC is doing and what, you know, CBD, and CBG, and all these different minor cannabinoids and terpenes are doing inside the body. I feel like that’s going to continually grow. And the more we get into that and more research we get into that, the more we’ll be able to develop products, and have businesses that are focused around certain parts of the plant, and what people are dealing with or need help with in their life.

 

Chip: Hey, Matt. Well, hey, thanks for joining me today, man. This was a great conversation. I was looking forward to it. We always talk so well together about hemp, CBD and cannabis. Next time you’re down here in Oklahoma, we’ll, let’s go track down some of those industrial hemp people.

 

Matt: Sounds good, man. Sounds good. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. 

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. And thank you once again for listening to another episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker and today, Matt Chandler. Hey, you guys. We all love cannabis. And you know, the hemp, and the medical cannabis, and the ganja people, you’re often fighting this wrestling match. And I’m gonna ask each and every one of you to embrace each other. Embrace your cannabis brothers and sisters, it doesn’t matter if they’re a hemp grower, if they’re a medical cannabis grower, they’re a ganja grower, if they’re a personal grower, or if they’re a home grower, right? Hey, we’re all in this together. And let’s work together and really find out the real dirt on hemp, ganja, and medical cannabis. This is it. The Real Dirt with Chip Baker.

How to Ruin Your Weed with a Paper Bag

How to Ruin Your Weed with a Paper Bag

oregon cannabis, colorado cannabis and oklahoma cannabis

People have some whacky ways for curing cannabis, but a paper bag ain’t the way to do it!

When it comes to cannabis, there’s a lot that Chip Baker and Justin Jones can agree on. But when it comes to curing your cannabis in a brown paper bag, the two are at odds.

To Chip, it’s a figment of the past that’s best left there, and age old drying technique before the days of plastic bags and bins. For Justin, it’s a quick and easy way to finish out the drying process that works for him.

The paper bag dry method

Before the days of turkey bags and metal storage bins it was common for growers to dry their flower in brown paper bags. They keep light out and they’re discreet, but that’s about it. The problem with paper bags is that they absorb moisture.

If your flower is sitting in a paper bag, over time the bag will suck the moisture out of your plants. Left too long, your flowers will dry out too much and the bag can instill a strange flavor. But Justin has a technique that he insists works just fine.

Justin puts his flower in a brown paper bag that is extremely dry, so there is no moisture already present. Then with a dehumidifier or fan nearby he can keep the paper bag dry as it absorbs moisture from the plant. After 12 hours doing this process, Justin insists that his flower comes out perfectly dry.

Those days are gone

In Chip’s mind the days of needing to use a brown paper bag are gone. With the advent of Turkey Bags, plastic bins with liners and plain old traditional hang-drying in commercial facilities, not only have brown paper bags become unnecessary, they have become irrelevant.

Legalization has given cultivators access to better technology for harvesting, drying and curing their cannabis to the point where using brown paper bags or cardboard boxes is a figment of the past.

This week’s episode

This week on The Real Dirt, Justin Jones returns to talk about why he likes the paper bag method, how the cannabis industry has evolved and matured in Oregon, how it compares to Colorado and Oklahoma and more!

Roll up a nice hemp/cannabis blend and puff away while you enjoy another great episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!

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Transcript

 

Chip: Once again, you have reached The Real Dirt podcast. Thank you for joining me today. On today’s real dirt, I once again have my good buddy Justin Jones. We just got so much stuff to talk about. And honestly, conversations with Justin was really how I developed the idea of The Real Dirt podcast, because I have such interesting conversations with my friends within the industry. Now I wanted to share those with you, and today we have Justin on the line again. Justin, are you there?

 

Justin: Hey how you doing, Chip?

 

Chip: Oh man, doing good, bro. Feeling good. What’s going on over there on the West Coast?

 

Justin: I’m just transferring some sherbadough here from a ziplock bag into a brown paper grocery bag. And I just want to know, how many guys out there and gals how many people, cannabis growers, know anything about the old brown paper grocery bag?

 

Chip: Oh, I’m moaning, dude. I am moaning over here. I can’t believe you’re telling me you’re putting your fine buds into a paper bag. Oh my god.

 

Justin: Man.

 

Chip: What, why are you ruining your weed? Why are you doing this?

 

Justin: No, man. No, no, no, this is a good thing. This is what you want, it’s good for it.

 

Chip: It’s good for your weed to taste like cardboard?

 

Justin: I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s what it does.

 

Chip: Man, you put your wet weed in a – or dry weed – in a brown paper bag, and it sucks up all of that moisture that’s inside that paper bag before it releases any outs.

 

Justin: But you got to have a dry paper bag. You can’t start with a moist bag, bud.

 

Chip: Oh okay, so you’re telling me it’s all in technique?

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

Chip: Well, let me hear it. Let me hear your technique on how you don’t ruin your weed by putting it into a paper bag.

 

Justin: Well, I don’t put it in there for that long. And you got to know whether you’re rolling the top down all the way, or if you’re just kind of crumpling it up a little bit at the top, or whether you’re leaving it just open.

 

Chip: Okay. Alright, alright. You’re gonna have to start at the beginning. Start at the beginning. Tell me what you’re doing again.

 

Justin: It’s something that the old school probably guys that are older than us smoked, it’s a way that you can – 

 

Chip: Before they had plastic bags, all they had  – 

 

Justin: Before all those plastic bags, you had paper bags, because you could use the paper bag to just kind of shift that lot in a slow way when you’re at the end of your dry and cure, and you’ve done your hang. And now you’re doing your seal and burp, and you just got to get that last little, make it perfect. You could use the brown paper bag, you know? And you got to look at other industries too. I mean, the people store seeds in paper bags, people store other thing, because it does have a little bit of a –

 

Chip: Breeze.

 

Justin: If you have any takes, breeding with the moisture. And so you know yeah, you don’t want to push your, a wet cell paper bag moisture into your bud, but I would say it’s a way to kind of temper it, right at the end a little bit. If you need to, you don’t always need to.

 

Chip: Man, I have seen so many people ruin weed by putting it in a cardboard box or in a paper bag.

 

Justin: Well, why do they put it in there for?

 

Chip: The same, they’re trying to do the same thing you’re doing. Hey, they got their weed almost dry, and they cut them down and put them in a paper bag to like, finish them out, right? Or cure them in a box. And I believe a lot of this came from early 2000s Cannabis Cup, where that’s what Arion of Greenhouse said that they did, is they cured their weed for months in a cardboard box, right?

 

Justin: Would you think there’s actually a certain taste or flavor that gets put in there?

 

Chip: Absolutely. Oh absolutely. It is – alright, so here’s the thing. And you kind of said it earlier about you have to have a dry paper bag, right? Well, it is a little more than that. If you have a dry paper bag, if you’re in Colorado, if you’re in California, if you’re in the desert –

 

Justin: Oh yeah, wait a minute, hold on. 

 

Chip: You’ve got a dry paper bag.

 

Justin: I got a dry paper bag in a small closet that’s got a dehume pounding on the other side of the closet too. So –

 

Chip: You got a dry paper bag?

 

Justin: Or I’ll blow a fan, right? If you point a fan right at the side of the paper bag, what you’re trying to do is get some movement, but not too much. And get a little bit of that wet in there, but not too much.

 

Chip: You’re trying to control the dry, so that it doesn’t dry so fast, because you don’t need, you don’t have the best drying room.

 

Justin: Right.

 

Chip: That’s where the paper bag really started as and became, is if you didn’t have enough or the best dry room, you’d hang your plants. And so they, because they won’t at some point in many – unless you have a proper dry room, they’ll never dry. 

 

Justin: Right.

 

Chip: Right? On the coast of California, Oregon, Washington throughout the southeast, you can hang weed up in your house, and it will never dry in your closet. 

 

Justin: Here in Oregon, I struggle with that. And you know, coming from Colorado where you have a hard time not over drying, here you just I mean, most of the time here, your relative humidity is 50 to 60%, which is kind of where you want your stored, finished dry material to kind of, I don’t know.

 

Chip: End up.

 

Justin: Right. Right, right yeah. And so it just is like, you’re fighting the moisture, the over moisture and those sort of things all the time on the west coast, for sure. Especially coming into this time of the year here, where it’s gonna rain three or four days a week, and you’re just always gonna have that moisture in the air.

 

Chip: So yeah, I mean home growers and commercial growers would take their buds down, put them in paper bags, and it would allow them to control the dry rate. They’d increase the heat, or the moisture would be sucked out of the paper bag until they, it would help them dry.

 

Justin: It’s easier, it makes, it gives them a wider landing pad on not fucking it up, right? And so instead of being like, “Oh, if I miss the wind,” if you’re not doing that, you may be, you missed your perfect window by a couple of hours. Maybe this gives you a day of a window to get back to it, to get it fueled up.

 

Chip: So here’s the folly, is because you’re in these wet areas, those cardboard bags and the cardboard boxes, they’re sucking out moisture.

 

Justin: Oh yeah, you can feel it.

 

Chip: Right, yeah, they suck up moisture. So one, you got to get those dry, you have to get all the moisture out of them to dry. So you have to put, get a dehumidifier or heater, right? That’s going to dry out these boxes and get all that moisture out of there, right? Because if they leave the moisture in there, and then put your weed in there, as your weed dries, it’ll suck the moisture out of the bag. 

 

Justin: You’re going the wrong direction, you have to have – yeah. The box of the bag’s got to be drier than your cannabis and you can only leave it in there for a certain amount of time. And you should, if it’s doing its job, the bag or the box should be super brittle dry. And then you put your material in there, and let’s say after 12 hours, you come back. You should be able to feel the difference in the paper, and then get it out of there. 

 

Chip: So you’re not going in the wrong direction. 

 

Justin: It’s the technique. 

 

Chip: Now your bud’s gonna suck it back up. I’ve used the paper bags like, so, so many times. I’ve had, years and years ago.

 

Justin: Well, it’s about, it’s all about reusing, you know? We try to recycle and recycling is good. But reusing is even better than recycling. And at the end of the day, I think cannabis guys are great at reusing those thin metal hangers from the dry cleaner? The dry cleaner hangers, you know? Those are real popular for hanging new branches, right? And so, there’s a way to, ‘cause those hangers suck. You get them from the dry cleaner, and then you don’t really use them to hang your shirts back up later, right? So they get kind of built up, so those are good. And then the brown paper bags, got to have them.

 

Chip: I’m definitely not a brown paper bags fan. I do, however, like to take the brown paper bag, fold the top over one time, maybe one inch or two inch fold and then insert a turkey bag. And then hold the turkey bag up, right? And as you’re going through your cannabis you can just put it right inside to a standing up bag, you know?

 

Justin: I like that.

 

Chip: Yeah, totally.

 

Justin: So, it’s a stand, it’s a turkey bag stand.

 

Chip: It’s a turkey bag stand.

 

Justin: Turkey or goose bags?

 

Chip: All depends on what you’re doing, man. Here in Oklahoma, we sell cannabis out by the gram. Meaning, that we sell it to an extractor by the volume. So we’ll have a volume and it’ll be like, 4,382 grams, right? That’s not quite 10 pounds, but we just, we’ll bag them up in a goose bag like that. 

 

Justin: In those large goose bags. Yeah.

 

Chip: And just get as much as we can, specifically with trim. When we do that with trim, right? And we try to get at least a thousand grams in one container. But it’s going to the extractor, they don’t care. They check it into their system by the gram as well.

 

Justin: You’re not trying to sell some of the, a perfect one pound?

 

Chip: I’m absolutely not. And, we try to go in 500 and 1,000 increments, just to make all the math easy.

 

Justin: Less brain damage.

 

Chip: Yeah, exactly, less brain damage. And I would use a larger container and I’ve been told, and I am we’re going to start the stock these bin containers, the bin bags. So they have a large turkey bag style that goes into the thirty gallon Rubbermaid bin now.

 

Justin: Nice.

 

Chip: Right? Yeah, totally. So I think we’re going to push towards that, and try to even get more cannabis in, right? Into one bag. Because man, it’s one bag, one label. Here in Oklahoma, 10 pounds is a batch. We’re not –

 

Justin: You guys got rules in Oklahoma now for that stuff? 

 

Chip: Yeah dude, there’s all kinds of rules here. Yeah, Oklahoma is really – 

 

Justin: Yeah, we knew it was coming. It was wild west there at the beginning.

 

Chip: Oh, at the very beginning, it was like, you can show up and in 30 days be doing whatever the fuck you want. And that changed, that changed to you can just show up in 30 days, apply for whatever you want. And then that changed to you can show up in 30 days, apply for whatever you want, and then depending on your local municipality, it might take one day to four months for you to get into any type of business, or get in to have a building plan passed or anything like that. And now, we’ve just –

 

Justin: Now you’ve got residency, two years?

 

Chip: Two years residency here. If you’re interested in coming to Oklahoma, you can only be an investor for 25% now. If outside residents of the state of Oklahoma, they have a 25% stake max for two years. And then, there’s a lawsuit I hear that they’re trying to lift that. Who knows if that’s going to maintain other states it has maintained?

 

Justin: We have a chain in Colorado, we spent years fixing those laws. Because they were very restrictive, and once all the money inside of Colorado ran out as far as investment money and that sort of thing, then you had to be like, “I gotta go outside of the state.” So I first started that you could get a, you could get an out, you could get a loan. And the loan could be guaranteed, like a convertible into ownership is that. So you get a loan from a guy from another state that says that could turn into ownership if that person moved to Colorado, lived there for two years, became a resident, then they could like, convert. So that you could do a loan that was convertible, if these other things happened. And then after that – 

 

Chip: That’s a convertible loan.

 

Justin: Right. And then after that, it became you could just have out of state ownership. And then now it’s, in Colorado, the public, pub coast are circling and making moves, because now you can have 49% ownership can be a publicly traded company. So, it was always that they wanted to be able to just go, background check, deep, deep dive on every single owner. So having a publicly traded company that could have thousands or tens of thousands of stockholders, right? Didn’t work. So now, so they fixed a lot of that. And so now, you’re seeng companies in Colorado start to go public, or go that direction. So Colorado’s now available for the multistate operator, the MSO. But we were really talking about Oklahoma moving forward and the regulations, and so you guys are now using the Franwell Metrc tracking system?

 

Chip: That is not in place yet, but it will be.

 

Justin: They’d said they’re going, so they’ve contracted.

 

Chip: Mhm, they’ve contracted. They say it’s going to be six months before they get it in place, who knows? 

 

Justin: Sure.

 

Chip: Right?

 

Justin: Yeah, well, that’s good. And what I like about that, and be it what it is, Metrc really is tracking probably 90% of the legal cannabis, and as we move forward towards a national legalization effort, having one company that’s kind of got most of that in line, it should be good down the road. That we hopefully in the next decade start to integrate the entire country into –

 

Chip: Yeah, well Metrc’s – 

 

Justin: Legalize cannabis.

 

Chip: Metrc definitely steps it up. It’s costly to scale Metrc, it’s difficult to scale it. So maybe some of the people who were, got tons and tons of square feet, and lots of plant numbers, they may change their operations.

 

Justin: There’s new companies coming in that are going to make it, they’re going to take and give you a user interface for your company that really works for you. And then behind the scenes, it plugs everything in the Metrc the way it’s supposed to. And so, Metrc is very clumsy, and it’s very designed towards the applications that the states want to use it for, for tracking the inventory, for tracking taxes, and these sorts of things. And yeah, there’s things that they thought were, would be great for the license ease on the user end, but they’re still real clumsy, and that hasn’t been their focus. So there’s some definitely some other companies that can overlay, and they’re trying. Nobody’s really knocked it out of the park yet, but I think that’s coming. 

 

Chip: It is coming. And it is easier, you can print your own tags now. The technology’s changing. It also makes monitoring, enforcement and regulation, the local government here easier, right? And it will drive more of that, because now they can go into a field that is all RFID, they can immediately get all the data of all the plants in it, you know? They can immediately like, follow that all the way from seed to sale in your operation that will make people tighten up their operations, their business models, account for everything. I mean, I tell you, I hope they haven’t made all the rules, because I hope they don’t make us weigh that shit, wet, dry, stem weight, bud weight. I hope we could skip all that. I know you got, I know Colorado has, I mean it is, that’s not just a Colorado thing.

 

Justin: No, it really, tracking the waste, tracking all that plant material is kind of the foundations of the early legalization, and it really hasn’t changed. And it’s really if you look at other industries, people are doing that on multiple levels. So, you just, when you’re trimming a plant down, just stick it all in this bin, the leaves go in that bin, the bud goes that way, weight it wet, we weigh it, we weigh it wet before we weigh it dry after you get all those markers all the way through.

 

Chip: Yeah, I mean, in all of my business, we monitor all of our waste, right? Our waste stream really does say a bunch about what you’re doing in business. And for instance, at Growers Coco, my soil manufacturing plant, we monitor all of the coco dust that’s wasted, we calculate all of the inputs into what all the outputs are, we’re always looking at our trash stream, our plastic, our wood stream going outside the business. Because the fact of the matter is, if you have a lot of bags that are torn in production, that shows up in your trash. And that means that there’s something wrong with your machine, or my employees, or the material where the bags are getting ripped and used inappropriately, right? Are not used inappropriately, thrown away. And each one of those bags cost us 40 cents, or something like that.

 

Justin: Well, it adds up. Yeah.

 

Chip: Oh, it adds up, man. And then you, also on the waste stream, you get to calculate how many pallets of material that you’ve gone through. So it is important in that business, that manufacturing business to track it for sure.

 

Justin: Well, that’s really what we’re doing with cannabis now that you can see the flow. It’s all manufacturing, you know? It’s agriculturally based, growing, processing, packaging, manufacturing, all the way down to get those consumer items.

 

Chip: Now, at some point though, it’s over regulated, right? It’s something I mean, from in my view, cannabis is harmless, right? Until you turn it into an extract. And at that point, it becomes like, I’ll call it dangerous, right? Because if anyone consumed or a child consumed a chunk of extract, a gram of extract, they would be fucked up, right? And they’re not going to die, but it would definitely be a, considered a poisoning, an overdose, right? They’re not going to die, but like, you know –

 

Justin: Yeah, you don’t want to do that to your kids.

 

Chip: You don’t want to do that to your kid, or to yourself, or to anybody. And like that’s to me where it becomes dangerous, and it should be regulated in some way.

 

Justin: Well, that’s why the regulations, well and that’s why you’ll see 10 milligram doses of edibles and not a hundred milligrams. 

 

Chip: Yeah, I don’t believe here in Oklahoma there’s a limit, currently.

 

Justin: There will be, there will. It’s five here in Oregon, 10 to 5 milligrams a serving, 50 in a bottle or a pack max. In Colorado, it’s 10 per serving, 100 in a pack, you know? One item is 100 milligrams, 10 pieces of whatever edible, or however that looks. Your Dixie Elixirs you talked about in one of our previous chats, they’ll have measuring guides on the model, or even sometimes they’ll come with a little cap, like your [inaudible 21:01] bottle has your little one ounce measure cap. Yeah, that’s how [inaudible 21:05]. So the tracking’s overly done, but that’s because we’re still operating under these, the guys that the feds aren’t going to do anything to you, if you’re operating legally in your state. And so I think that the tracking system is there, because it’s been there since day one of Colorado rack, the tracking systems are what’s helping protect the industry from the feds saying, “Hey, we’re going to take these guys out.” So, as legalization happens nationally, maybe some of these, some of these things will become less burdensome. That’s not happening anytime in the future. So you just have to get used to it, you just have to spend the money on that end of the business, and compliance, and inventory tracking and do it right. 

 

Chip: Yeah, man. And it is exciting to see it blossom here in Oklahoma, it’s a great place to be. The people are just incredibly nice for sure. It’s inexpensive to relatively speaking, to California or to Colorado, to set up an operation. But the real reason we’re here is the opportunity to help other cannabis farmers to cultivate OKC. And through our research at our cannabis farm, really figure out how cannabis grows best in Oklahoma, indoor or outdoor, greenhouse, the best type of products to use, how the season works, like, it’s really just this huge R&D effort on our part.

 

Justin: That’s what sets you guys aside from some of the other companies out there that are selling nutrients, or equipment, or dirt, or whatever, is that you guys are actually practicing, and have been the whole time. You’re in it, you’re in the same side of things so –

 

Chip: We want to get better, we want to help other people do it better. We want to overgrow the current stigma of cannabis, and that’s what we’re doing at Cultivate OKC, Bakers Medical, Growers Coco, at our farm here in Oklahoma. I mean, man, this place has been, this was a really great spot. I mean, Oregon was in a similar manner years ago, and Oregon had a boom and bust. I mean – 

 

Justin: It’s all balanced out here now.

 

Chip: Oklahoma is going to do a similar thing. Hey, give me the timeline, because Oklahoma will boom and bust due to the open regulations. And then the regulations and just the market environment, it’ll make it change. 

 

Justin: Yes, eventually. 

 

Chip: Right, eventually.

 

Justin: And how fast it happens. Here in Oregon, they’ve had to remove us to marijuana [inaudible 23:56] –

 

Chip: Was it medical and then rec? How did it fold out there?

 

Justin: Right. So medical has been around forever. Obviously, there was a great private market scene going back, 40, 50 years now. But medical converted into recreational and here in Oregon, they actually did away with the medical marijuana system from a commercial standpoint. So when all of the medical marijuana stores were forced to convert to recreational marijuana, and give up their medical marijuana licenses, and just sell recreational marijuana. And so, that’s what you see now. There’s still a few handful of just medical only stores here in Oregon, but it’s only really in areas that are banning the recreational sales. So at the end of the day, if you have a medical card which you can still have your medical card in Oregon, and you can still grow your own, and if you have a medical card, you can grow a few more plants that just with your recreational growing rights. But at the end of the day, you can go to the recreational marijuana store with your medical card, and then you pay no taxes, and you can get a higher amount. So instead of one ounce of flower, you can get four ounces of flower at one trip. And instead of four grams of hash, you can get whatever, whatever it is. So they haven’t totally screwed over the medical side. But at the end of the day, people jumped in and it was wide open. And it was really easy to get a license in [inaudible 25:28]  Oregon, and that would have 2015, going into ’16. And then, that’s when the conversion started happening here with Measure 21 and the, it Measure 21 which was the legalization of recreational here. And then they really were able to find out how much cannabis these guys can grow in Oregon and it became a huge overproduction, especially of outdoor. You could get an outdoor rec grow going for pretty cheap out on a farm down in Southern Oregon, and these guys just grew way too much. And that first year –

 

Chip: Best climate in the world. Best climate in the world.

 

Justin: And I think it was 2000, it was fall of ’16 that was going in as there were still a conversion going on, but it was it was going in and I believe that it was like the best growing year ever. It was in the 80s and dry all the way until Halloween. And so it was just a major harvest. So anyways, a lot of guys were only able to get 100 bucks a pound. That’s kind of what it came to for outdoor, and people just started really not doing well. So I think that people started dropping out and then with the hemp thing, in ’19, a lot of cannabis guys grew hemp, smokable hemp instead of ganja, and that cut it down even more on the licensed growers here in Oregon. And now, it’s bounced back out. And if you’re growing indoor, and you’ve got some really good indoor hydroponics type of bud, you can get up to 2500 a pound now wholesale, selling to the stores. I think it’s more in the 17 to 2, and maybe 22. And then maybe there’s a few of the really good name brand grows up here that are that are really great that are getting more, a little bit more with that 2500 premium.

 

Chip: I mean, two years, it’s been.

 

Justin: It’s just now been turning hemp. I’d say five years, four to four years.

 

Chip: So it took four to five years of like, flooded, like, what was the lowest price that cannabis, that quality cannabis got to? Tell me that.

 

Justin: Five to six hundred.

 

Chip: What about that greenhouse cannabis? That major production, the major –

 

Justin: Less than 100, less than 100. ‘Cause we had to start specking out a tier two outdoor grow in Oregon, which is 40,000 square feet of canopy. So that’s an acre of canopy. And basically, if you looked at what it costs you to grow, and for your licenses, and obviously it’s pretty cheap, because you’re just using the sun, natural stuff there. So you’re not like, paying for electricity like you would an indoor thing. These guys were lucky to get 100 bucks a pound and basically pull off 1000 pounds. So you get 1000 pounds of, you could revenue about 100,000 on an acre. 

 

Chip: Grown it like that, it’s fairly inexpensive putting it into a grow, right?

 

Justin: Yeah but I mean, it’s just $100,000 is not a lot of revenue. And especially –

 

Chip: If for just the costing, agree.

 

Justin: Costing, harvesting, it all has to come down at the same time. So you can’t necessarily just one man that. It just doesn’t work. It didn’t work. Now that’s changed. It came back up. Yeah. Well, and they were just trying to call them those oil fields. And nobody really was buying that material for a smokable sort of thing –

 

Chip: Oh man, all of our R&D, that’s what we’ve done with it for sure, man. It’s like –

 

Justin: It’s just going to the extractors.

 

Chip: It’s going to extractors. “Oh, I don’t like that strain. Oh, that didn’t work out. Oh, that takes too long. Oh, that one’s a little sick. Oh,” you know?

 

Justin: It’s different if you’re a vertically integrated company. And so if you have an indoor and an outdoor grow in Southern Oregon, and you have an extractor, and you have a store or two, then it’s fine. Grow the outdoor, because you’re just going to shove that through your extraction mine, and take it to your store, and you’ll eventually get retail for it, right? So, but there were too many independent growers that weren’t vertical also. So all the guys in Oregon that started out vertical and went with the grow in a store, that sort of thing, they’ve all have done well the entire time.

 

Chip: Yeah, right. Absolutely. Oh, man, you know, it’s business dude. Those same years in the hydro industry were a lean eight years for us. And I would say, it was about three years. ‘Cause it hit, well one, Oregon and California ruled the cannabis industry, regardless if you’re independent in your state, like their numbers and their volume like, really has a lot to do with what’s going on the rest of the country. I so

 

Justin: Oh yeah.

 

Chip: But in Colorado, it kind of hit peak about the same time, right? But it was more affected in some way, and we seem to like, the flood happened there a season before, and slow up a season before it did out there, too. The numbers started coming up a little bit earlier on, it was a solid three years though, in Colorado.

 

Justin: Yeah, for sure. Well, it just took longer. It took longer. Yeah.

 

Chip: Right.

 

Justin: And it’s a different curve but no, it’s definitely – 

 

Chip: [inaudible 31:00].

 

Justin: You brought up the outdoor. You bought an outdoor, we’re talking production, we’re talking where, who produces for what, so what’s up with all these fires, and what’s going on –

 

Chip: Oh man, everybody [inaudible 31:13].

 

Justin: How’s that going to affect the industry?

 

Chip: Dude, I’m telling you all the ganja from, I’m not saying all, but a shitload of the ganja producing region in the country just got burned.

 

Justin: Even if it didn’t actually get burned down, did it – I just read an article about all the grapes in Sonoma and Napa are going to be unusable this year, because they smell like fire. And so they’re, even if the farm didn’t get burnt on, there was so much smoke for such a large amount of time, it’s still happening.

 

Chip: Yeah, fires aren’t new over there. We lived over there for almost 20 years. And yes, some of it is so smoky that it will not sell and then, people have developed an ability to like, get that smoke out in some way, too. I’m not exactly sure how it’s done. But maybe just with the natural aging process, the smoke goes away. I’m not sure if you can extract it with that smoky flavor. I do know that, I mean, I personally know three different people who’ve lost most of their gardens, or all their gardens, right?

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

Chip: And it is, as far as my listeners and people that I follow on Facebook and Instagram, multiple farmers have lost their gardens and their infrastructure, and it might not come back next year. 

 

Justin: Right. 

 

Chip: Right. So I mean, this is like, last I checked, I’m not sure if you’re in front of the computer, but this is the August complex, right? It’s what they’re calling it now. And they had several different fires that merged together in August. And it was 100,000 acres, right? Like, that is such a huge area, man. I mean, it spans like, from Santa Rosa all the way up to Hayfork and beyond.

 

Justin: I just was looking at a map yesterday and it’s a huge part of the region there for sure.

 

Chip: It’s a huge part, and that’s not the only fire, that’s just the biggest one. There are other fires throughout California, Southern California. And those coastal regions are where the cannabis is produced, a lot of the hill cannabis, so to speak. Now what this won’t affect are the people that are in, I mean for next year anyway, it won’t affect for all those people in the valleys, and in the “ag land.” A lot of those people were pushed out of the forest area, even though man I mean, fire does not care where you are. And the wind starts to blow, and it moves as fast as the wind blows. And I’ve literally watched it travel what looked like 10 miles to me in the matter of moments.

 

Justin: ‘Cause that’s what we just had in Oregon here. And it did affect a lot of the, a bunch of marijuana guys, and hemp guys.

 

Chip: Southern Oregon’s huge, had a huge fire too.

 

Justin: Huge fire, but the one we had up here by Portland was big too, and it caused some problems. And same sort of thing you’re just saying, we had a big windstorm, which normally doesn’t happen until like November, December once it’s rainy. It happened starting the day after Labor Day, and basically there was already a fire going, and it wasn’t that big and then we got these like, hundred mile an hour winds up in the mountains coming down into the valley. And it moved, the one fire moved 20 miles to 12 hours. 

 

Chip: Wow.

 

Justin: Yeah. So –

 

Chip: Man, that was just big.

 

Justin: I’m concerned about that even just the size of some hemp fields and they look fine, but you just, I didn’t get, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It was so smoky here, and the air quality was like, as bad as it can get, you don’t even want to be outside. So, what did that do to the outdoor cannabis plants, hemp or whatever the, you know. We know them to be a sponge, we know them to be bioremediators of some level. So is the, are those plants going to be infected, or toxic, or have heavy metals, or some other thing from being smoked out for about seven or eight days here in Oregon? So even if you weren’t close to the fire and didn’t get hit that way, you lost sunlight production really because there was this weird sepia filter going on for the last eight days. And all the plants just stopped growing. Yeah, all the plants just sort of stopped growing, everything, like, everything stopped growing. 

 

Chip: [inaudible 36:10] max CO2.

 

Justin: Yeah. So, it’ll be interesting to see what that just did to these plants. And maybe they got cleaned up. Because that went away and the weather’s been good. And they’ve had some good, maybe they were able to well still –

 

Chip: Well if there’s enough time, if there’s enough time before harvest, the plants outgrow it.

 

Justin: Sure.

 

Chip: Right? And, and but if you’re harvesting right at –

 

Justin: It’s different if it got rained out on you. Right. 

 

Chip: If you’re harvesting right at the smoke, right? Like, if the fire is at your house, if you’re under that sepia layer we’re talking about, and it is the harvest season, you’re going to be the most affected, unfortunately. And maybe you’ve got some technique or something that we’d love to hear about here on The Real Dirt, let us know. Man, that’s just is hard. When it’s just smoke, and you’re harvesting your weed.

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

Chip: Oh, I’ve been there, man. 

 

Justin: You guys didn’t have any fire problems in Oklahoma right?

 

Chip: Fire season comes like fall and winter for us. That’s the dry season.

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

Chip: That’s because – but last year, there was some fires and fires happened here. They put up fire warnings, do not burn warnings. It’s windy, lots of grassland, it’s dry. The trees are small, comparatively. 

 

Justin: Definitely sounds like there’ll be a shortage of, there’s gonna be some sort of shortage for the suppliers. 

 

Chip: It is going to affect the demand. And it was already, demand was already up. So, demand is not going anywhere. It’s going to keep going up, just prediction. And supply, man, we just lost a huge chunk of the supply. And I mean, I’ll tell you, Oklahoma didn’t have the best outdoor growing year this year. If you were trying to pull before October, it was rough. It was humid and rainy throughout the state. Colorado, they had that early freeze this year. 

 

Justin: Oh, yeah. 

 

Chip: So their outdoor, their outdoor, like, it was diminished by that. Sure, some people have survived and a chunk of people lost out over that. On the East Coast, it was also a little bit more humid and wet, more hurricanes came through this year than any year before. So I think the overall outdoor production for 2020 is gonna be low. Combined with COVID, with all the new farms not being able to get the supplies, the materials, the people, the employees out to the garden, this is a really great year to be involved in cannabis. I predict that the price will initially dip as outdoor, what is comes into place, and everybody floods the market. And then between December and January, most of that will have run through the marketplace. And then the price will increase. Currently here in Oklahoma, there’s indoor weed between $3 and $3600. 

 

Justin: Yep. 

 

Chip: Right? Wholesale. This is of a similar nature in California. In Colorado, it’s cheaper, but  2800 bucks, $2600, that’s all going to go up next year, right? The wholesale price of weed is gonna go up. Fortunately for you listeners and consumers out there, generally the end user price doesn’t go up terrible. No, you guys are gonna, you guys are going to continue to pay $10 to $20 a gram, $40 to $60 and eight, right? And that’s been going on since 1996.

 

Justin: Yes, it has. Well, that’s good. Yeah, the consumer price is, well, and they might go up a little bit. Or you might see the higher end cannabis become a little bit more expensive, and maybe the quality of the lower priced stuff is not quite the same, right? You see a little gap, a bigger gap there.

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely, man. It’s a good year to be in it. I’m glad I am. Things are good. We’ve had a better year than ever at my grow stores and with Growers Coco fiber.  More people than ever are growing cannabis.

 

Justin: When’s Oklahoma going recreational?

 

Chip: Oklahoma.

 

Justin: Yeah, when’s that going out? 

 

Chip: I just said some Chip’s predictions, okay, here’s the other, here’s more of Chip’s predictions. I think sometime next year, it’ll be introduced into legislation. I think it’ll be a legislative movement here. If it’s 2021, and they’re just gonna push it over to recreational 2022. Maybe –

 

Justin: Right. No vote, no public vote?

 

Chip: No. 

 

Justin: Just go to dispute the laws downtown, and get it, and then pass it?

 

Chip: Yeah, I think that’s what gonna happen.

 

Justin: We’re gonna see more of that as the country goes that way, it doesn’t necessarily gonna have to go to a big statewide vote. And in which, if they feel like everybody is good with it, and you trust your local congressperson and representatives to do, then it works.

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. Maybe it moves to 2023, if it has to be a voter sponsored initiative here, that might occur. But as far as yeah, recreate or adult use I would prefer to call it, I’m [inaudible 41:46] for 2022. 2022! Yeah, I mean, who knows? Who knows what’s gonna happen with the economy and the recession and, and everything. It’s incredible how like, because we’ve kept all of our spending and whatnot, internal, and everybody’s just like, sitting at home, and buying stuff online, and saving money, and not doing stuff. And it’s, our economy ain’t so bad right now. I mean, the stock market’s holding its own, banking hasn’t crashed, people are still buying houses. I mean, I know there’s a bunch of people out there hurting right now, and I’m sorry to hear it if you are, man. I know it. But like, it’s weird that to me, that just a little bit of stay at home, a little bit of government sponsored cash, has really kept this country floating, man.  I don’t even know what’s going on.

 

Justin: Yeah, well, people definitely are smoking more cannabis. 

 

Chip: Absolutely. ‘Cause unemployed people smoke more weed. That is a 100% a fact. Every time I’ve been unemployed, I’ve smoked more weed. How about you?

 

Justin: Yeah. Oh, for sure. I think that it’s also, if you’re stuck at home, and you’re dealing with this pandemic and everything, it’s a smarter choice. If you’re bored, and you’re not going out. I mean, the thing about alcohol and how social it is, is that maybe you go out two or three times a week, and maybe it’s a happy hour with some work colleagues, or you’re meeting some friends over here, and have a couple beers.

 

Chip: You might say, fuck it. 

 

Justin: Well, people don’t necessarily feel the same about just sitting at home every day chugging three, four beers, bored by yourself. So we’re, because it just the social aspect. So but, sitting at home and packing a bowl, I think it’s more tangible in the situation, in the current situation, right?

 

Chip: Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. And Netflix is like, I mean, weed and Netflix has been the number one way people have billed their time this past six months.

 

Justin: That I mean, I gotta admit, I got my kids the Nintendo Switch, and I found some games that I enjoy on there that are kind of fun. I didn’t see myself playing Super Mario Brothers at my age, but hey, it’s something you can catch a buzz, sit there and do that for 20 or 30 minutes. I mean, I don’t, I’m not promoting gaming as a full time job or anything, but you got to find some different home enjoyment. And people have been putting time and effort into their home gardens, and hopefully people have been, grew some extra, grew some cannabis plants at home if it’s legal in your state, just because you spent less time running around town and doing stuff away from the home front this year, and I think next year will be similar so.

 

Chip: Absolutely. I think people are going to stay at home more. I think that people are going to grow their own at home more. I think that throughout the country now, it’s legal to grow your own, and accepted to grow your own even if it might not be legal where you are. That people are going to sit home, man. They’re going to grow some weed, the amount of weed that enters the marketplace isn’t going to be, isn’t going to meet the demand. We’re not gonna have an oversaturation. I could be wrong, but that’s my prediction. There’s gonna be a lot of first time weed growers this year because of this, right? 

 

Justin: Well, it’s been good catching up here.

 

Chip: Yeah man.

 

Justin:   Some different topics, and jumping around a little bit but –

 

Chip: Once again – 

 

Justin: Hopefully, you can turn this into a good a good podcast.

 

Chip: How we’re just throwing it all out there these days, Justin.

 

Justin: I know. Hey, you know –

 

Chip: [inaudible 45:47] The Real Dirt is we just throw it out. 

 

Justin: We need to do an episode, we did it years ago where we were, we just prank called a bunch of people and did like, a 10 minute check-ins.

 

Chip: We should prank, we should do Justin, Chip and Justin prank call. Okay, we’ll schedule that one up next up.

 

Justin: Yeah, let’s do that again. That was fun, just check in with a bunch of people. But otherwise, it’s harvest time here in Oregon. The hemp plants are coming down, we’re here, we’ve had decent weather after all that smoke. But we got a rainy weekend going on now, and then a little bit more dryness coming, and so people are scrambling. I got a call the other day, and somebody needed help harvesting 50 acres of hemp so, it’s going down. And we’ll see, we’ll know here in the next six weeks how it all ends, I suppose.

 

Chip: Well thanks for the call again, Justin. Thanks for joining us on The Real Dirt. 

 

Justin: Always a pleasure. 

 

Chip: And thank you for listening. This has been The Real Dirt podcast with Chip Baker and Justin Jones. If you enjoyed this episode, you can download others at iTunes and Spotify. We’re The Real Dirt podcast. Please, please, please subscribe. Hey man, thanks for joining me. You guys have a great rest of your day. Later.

The Dirty Truth about Cannabis Marketing

The Dirty Truth about Cannabis Marketing

how to be successful in cannabis marketing

Anybody that owns a cannabis business knows that advertising is no easy task.

The Real Dirt is no stranger to adversity when it comes to cannabis marketing. We’ve been shut down, shadowbanned, disabled, you name it.

And anyone else who works in cannabis marketing, owns their own cannabis business or even just likes following cannabis creators on Instagram has probably noticed the issue too. And that’s part of the reason that Olivia Solero started Cannabis Stack.

A Platform for Cannabis Professionals

Cannabis Stack was created to be a home for people in the cannabis industry to connect without the worries of Instagram and Facebook shutting them down. While it may not be the behemoth of social media that Instagram and Facebook have become, it’s a start.

The reality is that advertising any cannabis business or product is basically forbidden on these platforms. And when organic reach has decreased over 60% since 2014, it’s easy to see what the intentions are; money.

When they can’t make money off of you, what’s the point in giving you free exposure, especially when you work in an industry that is still illegal on the federal level? That’s the mindset of Instagram and Facebook.

What’s the solution?

In this episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, Olivia talks with Chip about her experience with being a cannabis business with “cannabis” in their name and the problems it has caused them all the way down to getting a logo made.

The two also talk about why cannabis businesses struggle with marketing and social media platforms so often, what could be the cause behind it and why cannabis is constantly fighting an uphill battle.

Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit

The best way for cannabis entrepreneurs and marketers to be successful in the cannabis industry is through group collaboration and sharing of ideas. If we are all dealing with the same problems, then by working together we can solve them.

The Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit is a free online conference featuring some of the most prominent and successful cannabis marketers in the industry, including Chip Baker!

Roll it up and get into the dirty business of cannabis marketing!

Learn more about Cannabis Stack

Get your FREE ticket to the Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit

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Transcript

Chip: Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt. Today’s dirt, I have Olivia Solero. How’s it going, Olivia?

 

Olivia:  It’s going great. How you doing, Chip?

 

Chip:  Oh, doing good. I am proud to have Olivia on the show today, because we’re going to be talking about one of the hardest problems, the biggest problems of cannabis professionals. No, it’s not growing weed. No, it’s not extracting weed. No, it’s not packaging weed. It’s not selling weed. It’s marketing and branding cannabis. Olivia has started an online cannabis community, Cannabis Stack. And it’s here to help cannabis professionals connect. Tell us a little bit about this, Olivia.

 

Olivia:  Yeah we started – my partner, AJ and I – started Cannabis Stack so we can create an online community to inspire, educate and connect cannabis professionals and help them achieve success in you know, the cannabis industry. So our goal –

 

Chip:  So, is this like a Facebook group, or..?

 

Olivia:  I would say it’s like a social network, but it’s more like a member community for professionals that we host on our website, where individuals can connect, and they can talk about best practices and resources, and hold each other accountable, and all the great things that communities offer.

 

Chip:  Oh, yeah, well, that means that you’re not bound by any of those nasty guidelines of Facebook, because it’s your own website.

 

Olivia:  Oh, yeah. And you know, it’s great to do it on Facebook or somewhere else. But like, you know, you have those guidelines you know, that are really troublesome for this industry.

 

Chip:  And that’s why we are talking today. What made you realize this was going on, Olivia? When did you have this like, idea that you should start a community, or focus on these type of business problems with cannabis?

 

Olivia:  So both my partner and I, my business partner and I, AJ, we both come from a marketing background. And we’ve each had agencies and done a lot of work. I used to run a networking series for startups in a community that I lived in, a smaller community that didn’t have that kind of space. And, you know, I’ve always been interested in cannabis, I had done some like, early investing in some dispensaries in California back in the day. We also do a lot of other content sites, so we thought a content site around the cannabis space and like, more professionals reaching professionals like, not another kind of culture site, or how to grow site, which is really cool, but that just wasn’t where our interest was. It was like, creating content in the community around the space and kind of looked around and thought, you know, this is needed. This is a good opportunity. And I’m motivated by the content and industry. So we started this back in, with some fits and you know, stutters back in 2016.

 

Chip: Right. You were on the forefront of adult use in the country. That’s right when I was changing everywhere. I mean, since then, it’s gone on to over 30 states, cannabis regulation for either medical use or adult use is now common practice. And the common practices of marketing, we’re not kind of, we’re not allowed to do those things. 

 

Olivia:  No.

 

Chip:  I’m like, I just mentioned Facebook a second ago. Many people, that’s the first thing they think of is, “Hey, let’s start with Facebook, Instagram ads, Google ads,” but we can’t do that.

 

Olivia: Nope, cannot do that. You know actually, when we first started out, we went looking for someone to build out a website, do us a logo. We had freelancers and businesses refusing to work with us, because of the subject matter. I mean, you know, like no one [inaudible 04:04] wanted, I know, wouldn’t want to design us a logo. Not that they weren’t down for what we were doing, but their company either didn’t want to be affiliated with it, or they they lived in a country where –

 

Chip:  On moral grounds.

 

Olivia:  Exactly.

 

Chip:  This is all on moral grounds, because in our country anyway and many others, you can say whatever you want.

 

Olivia: Right.

 

Chip:  Right? But not necessarily with cannabis. They really restrict our use. We have to tiptoe around stuff all the time. You know, we can’t ever imply we’re selling anything in the cannabis industry.

 

Olivia:  You and I had like, a discussion about this. And I thought it was really interesting, because one of the things that we did when we chose the name was because we were thinking about SEO, and thinking about owning the space and our name has killed us. But the word cannabis in our domain is just, it’s been painful at times, because there’s been to your point, we would have been able to maybe tiptoe around and work around some things, but not with that domain, not with that company name.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. Hey, I have the same problem with my company, Cultivate Colorado. You know, I own several hydroponic stores, Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Denver, Cultivate OKC in the past, Cultivate California, and it has caused so many problems. Even though it’s a garden store, and I don’t touch the plant and we don’t sell cannabis in any form, hemp, or medical marijuana, or adult use at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Denver, Cultivate OKC, I still get categorized like we are a cannabis business. We just got kicked out of our Instagram account as a matter of fact, for Cultivate Denver. Yeah, 37,000 followers are now left without posts from Cultivate Denver today.

 

Olivia:  I’m so worried, we have an Instagram account. We don’t have your presence, you know, and that and part of the reason why we haven’t invested time in that in the past, even though we use it for other projects extensively, is for that fear. We’re, “Oh, do we want to invest in that, and then get caught out?” You know, all of a sudden, it’s they’re [inaudible 6:21].

 

Chip:  But you know, it’s something that you have to do, though. You have to have and Instagram account. And we weren’t even trying to get 37,000 followers, honestly. Yeah, we were just totally using organic growth. I mean, we were you know, posting multiple times a day and, you know, enjoying ourselves with it. But we weren’t necessarily trying to grow our Instagram account, because of how hard it is.

 

Olivia:  Yep.

 

Chip:  Right? But once it got to 37,000 you’re like, “Yeah, man. We got quite a bit of followers.”

 

Olivia:  Can I ask you a question, Chip? Do you think that’s why you were shut down, because like, you got, you stick your heart, you stuck your head above the ground and got so many followers?

 

Chip:  No, I think what happened, well, who knows?

 

Olivia:  Right.

 

Chip:  Well, I’ve talked to some insiders, and they say more than likely, and other friends and business people who’ve been kicked out of Instagram or Facebook or other social media things. And, and they thought that like, I probably just had somebody, you know, like, complain and say that I was selling weed. And they get enough complaints like that, and you just can’t appeal it anymore. We’ve been kicked out a couple of times. And even though we have strict policy, man, you know, there’s no mention of cannabis sales or cannabis in any of our Cultivate Colorado stuff, right? And I mean, you know, really, really work hard not to pierce that veil, and don’t, and haven’t. So I don’t know if it got broke any necessarily like, community rules, kicked us out, said no appeal.

 

Olivia: Wow.

 

Chip:  So, yeah, totally.

 

Olivia:  That’s frustrating. You know, the other frustrating thing too, is like you put a really good post up, whether it’s on Facebook or Instagram, and you want to boost it. You’re like, “Hey,” and you know, and you can’t. We can’t. It’s just, you know, it’s possible sometimes. But you know, we’ve had to basically not mention things and send people elsewhere. 

 

Chip:  Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It’s common like that. And you know, my Real Dirt Instagram presence, it’s 17,500 people. But we believe that we’re under some type of shadow ban. And I say that because about every 90 days, we’ll have a huge influx of followers for a couple, three days or a week. And then it just stops. And we don’t get any movement at all, one person, no people. 

 

Olivia:  Interesting.

 

Chip:  So I am sure that they’re not showing our posts. So we’ve actually gone from posting six posts a day, I know, I was aggressive. And to now, we post one post is we use, you know, a calendar system to post it. Before it was live interaction, someone actually posted off their phone or their computer, and then talked to everybody immediately afterwards. But yeah, we had to stop all that because we were just wasting all these resources and just, you know, getting nothing out of it. Nobody was hearing this great content I felt we were producing.

 

Olivia:  You know, and it’s so frustrating especially, I don’t want to get like into politics. But if you talk about people’s fear and like, all these fake accounts that are getting created and influencing elections. And whether you believe that or you don’t, or whose side you wanted, it doesn’t matter. It’s like, is this really that important? Just to you know, I mean, we’re talking about, we’re talking  –

 

Chip: We’re talking about weed, man.

 

Olivia: We’re talking about weed is right. And we’re talking a plant that’s not you know, has so many benefits.  But you know, more than just like fun and getting high, obviously, you know like – 

 

Chip:  Yeah. Right, right. I don’t know why they do it. Hey, you know what, let’s just give a shoutout here. If you’re Mark Zuckerberg or anyone, an upper of Facebook and Instagram, I would love to talk to me about this in an open format where I wouldn’t like, you know, be mean, or berate you at all. Just drop us a line here at The Real Dirt or check us out on our Instagram feed. Come on Martin, let’s have a conversation about it. I know you smoke out.

 

Olivia: I hope someone contacts you.

 

Chip:  That would be great if they did, I’m gonna call you up. “Olivia, you’ll never guess what happened!”

 

Olivia:  I’ll be like, “When is it gonna air?” It could be like, “I’ve got a couple questions, I’ve gotta ask that first -“

 

Chip:  Yeah, totally. Totally. I’d love that to happen. But I have talked to some, I have talked to numerous Instagram and Facebook and Google, Amazon employees. And, you know, I feel like I have a, you know, understanding of what’s going on over there. They get the word from the top, a lot of stuff is just algorithm associated. If you’re already a paying customer, if you already have an ad on an account, if you’re already doing really good, you know, revenue with Facebook or Instagram, you can often get through it, because you have an ad account person that can you know, override anything. But if you don’t have that, nobody’s picking up the phone, you’re not gonna talk to anybody at Facebook or you know, nobody that means anything.

 

Olivia:  That’s for sure. And then you just get caught up in some kind of like, appeal system where it’s just, you’ve got to fill out forms and do other stuff. I know you and I, you had mentioned them to me. And I you know, I knew about the Jungle Boys. I don’t understand. I’m a marketer and I don’t always understand why, you know, they’ve got pictures of like, blood on their like, Instagram pages, all kinds of humor and all these products and now, you know, how did they not get shut down? [inaudible 12:11]

 

Chip:  You know, I get it. No, I get it. How are they successful at it? And you know, we look at those guys all the time. And I think it’s several things. I think like I just said, they were probably in, the people that are running their social media site. I love the Jungle Boys marketing what they’re doing, by the way. They’re you know, you can hate on them all you want guys, but like, from a marketing and sales perspective, thumbs up, you guys did great.

 

Olivia:  They’re awesome.

 

Chip:  They’ve done a great job, man. They’ve done a really great job. Regardless if you’re gonna hate on these guys or not like, they’re doing a good job there. It’s hard to be second place in their first place. Right? But I have not talked to these guys. I don’t know, I’m talking out of my ass, but here’s what I think. I think that they probably come from a marketing or Instagram or social media background. They already had connections at Instagram and Facebook, or they were working with an agency that did have with those people. And I think that’s how they’re able to do some of the stuff they’re doing. And then man, other things, they’re just, they follow all the rules, because they have been kicked out over time. But for instance, you know, one of the rules that we don’t break at The Real Dirt is no weed smoking. And in the past, you may have seen me smoking weed or someone else, but we don’t do that anymore. Because you know, Instagram, Facebook don’t like it.  No implications of anything is for sale, ever. Like even, you know, like, “Oh, I bought this first at so and so.” You know, you can’t even say that type of thing. You know, I picked it up, you can’t imply it ,you can’t do any of that stuff is just, you know, “This weed from this person.” It’s hard to comment on it, you really have to separate the human portion of it. So you’ll see a lot of their stuff. And now that I said this, you’ll see it as they’ll have pictures in the background of the products that they’re promoting. And they may or may not like, hashtag or talk about those products in their comments. However, I think their comments you can, that’s one of the most impressive thing about the Jungle Boys posts, is how many comments they’ll get, right? And they absolutely have people working with them to make these comments, to generate this dialogue. And they’re doing great. I mean, it’s I wouldn’t say that it’s completely organic. But they definitely have arranged it to drive the point home they want. But mostly, I think it’s like, who you know. And just I think they just know somebody.

 

Olivia:  You know, I think that that makes more sense than anything else I can figure out. I mean, like you had discussed. It matters with having a relationship with these big, you know, these big publishers, you know, who are really providing the content, you know, to have a one on one relationship with them is key.

 

Chip:  Yeah, most people don’t understand about Facebook, Google ads, YouTube ads, like none of this stuff that’s product related or that’s website related is viral in an organic manner at all. And even a lot of the viral stuff isn’t organic. And what I mean by that is, it is paid for advertising and traffic. And you think, why would anyone want to get 5 million views of them twerking? Why? Well, it’s ego, right? And you know, if you know how to market your, market it and but the advertising. You know, you can buy the views, you can you know, on any normal product go and do that, but cannabis people can’t. And it’s common practice in every single industry on social media.

 

Olivia:  It’s ego, but it’s also there’s huge money involved in captivating an audience to monetize that audience.

 

Chip:  Oh well that’s is if you can kind of see, you know, like, there’s this guy out of Tinder, I forget his name, but it’s actually his dog’s Instagram site. And it has like him, his dog going everywhere with him, his dog doing stuff, and, you know, he gets a Toyota sponsorship. And now, the dog is in front of every picture or lots of pictures to tell you he was involved. Right?

 

Olivia:  Give to the dog.

 

Chip:  Give to the dog. Yeah and I mean, I’m unsure but I’m positive that there was a good beneficial relationship between Toyota, the dog and the dog’s owner.

 

Olivia:  Yeah.

 

Chip:  I mean, I love weed. I love cannabis. But on those really hard days, like, you know, earlier this week, when we got kicked out of Facebook or Instagram, you know, I think about it, what it would be like if I was involved with another product that I didn’t have these restrictions and how I would approach it.

 

Olivia:  I come from a pharmaceutical marketing background,  I worked in-house for a year and I worked on the agency side with pharma as clients. And even though their regulatory process is quite complex on how you can advertise and things that you can say, and even the use of logos on a pen have an [inaudible 17:33]. But I’m just amazed sometimes. I have those moments like you do where like, “Why is, why can’t I do the things I could do in this market? Or with this product? Why is cannabis so restrictive? Why am I not, you know, am I an outlier? Or do I live in like, areas or communicate with people that view it the way I view it?” Because I don’t see the big deal? I just don’t.

 

Chip:  Well, there are other industries that have our problems, with banking with advertising. I mean, you know, firearms, alcohol, erectile dysfunction, sex toys. All of these things have similar, pawnshops. They all have similar problems that we have.

 

Olivia:  This is true. I don’t, I wouldn’t like I wouldn’t, maybe again, I’m going to go back to I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve grown up in big cities here in the States. I don’t know. Or I don’t know why it’s that big of, I don’t know why it’s that big of a deal. Who are we protecting at this point? Alright now, I sound paranoid. But that’s not what I mean.

 

Chip:  No, no, you know, hey, I mean, who knows? But I tell you this, it always seems to come down – when I’m talking to people about it, whether it’s banks or magazines or lenders or car dealerships, because it comes up all the time.

 

Olivia:  Right.

 

Chip:  Right? When I’m talking to them about it, the same thing comes up over and over again. It’s federally illegal, they’re scared about the banking.

 

Olivia:  Yep.

 

Chip:  Right? There’s these money laundering terms that people are scared of, and they should be, but they’re really just uninformed. It seems to boil down to that more than anything else, is people are scared of the banking associated with it being federally illegal. Now doctors and dentists and people that have federal IDs, they’ll say something like that, that they’re scared for the federal government, because of their federally issued captain’s ID, or pilot certificate, or pesticide applicators certificate. You know, people will bring this up, “Well, it’s federally illegal.” And I think they’re just putting that stuff on it. I mean, I think those are their own pressures. They’re making it up, the federal government doesn’t have anything to do with, you know, what I do if I’m hiring you to come over and do something for me.

 

Olivia:  Right, right. Well, you know, it’s –

 

Chip:  Where’s the regulation there?

 

Olivia:  I don’t know. And, you know, I actually, it’s funny. I had opened up a bank account for a business that has nothing to do with Cannabis Stack. Nothing is, it’s completely separate, completely separate entity. And the bank, I brought in my like, you know, all my paperwork, and I opened up the account. And within a month, they shut me down. Because somehow, they found, they associated, I never gave him this email address. They associated my email address with Cannabis Stack domain with that account, and they just shut me down.

 

Chip:  Yeah. Well, you know, the banks use the social media as much as anybody else now to sniff you out. And I’ve gone through this numerous occasions, you know, calling us up and, and kicking us out because someone posted on one of our sites about weed. And, you know, we’re like, “Well, we didn’t post that. Somebody else did it.” They’re like, “I don’t care. That means you’re about weed.” You know? Yeah. And they’ve literally looked me up, I mean, I don’t hide from weed, you can look me up. So you know, I’ve literally been looked up, Chase gives, you know, every six months or a year, they have a review of people to make sure they’re not cannabis people that, you know, they’re not, you know, putting illegal assets, you know, or untaxed assets into the banking system. So it’s hard to hide, because we’re all talking about marketing ourselves, or our businesses through social media. And the banks have access all the social media, or anyone has access to the social media, you know. And they can and will use it against you if they, appropriate for them.

 

Olivia:  Oh, 100%. I mean, the days of privacy are over. You need to behave as if everybody is watching, and will always have that invasion –

 

Chip:  Everybody is watching. That’s how we sell stuff. And that’s how we brand. And that’s how we market. And you have a webinar is that cannabis slack is putting out Cannabis Marketing Masters summit that’s going to help people solve all of these products. Now, I know one of your speakers happens to be the illustrious Chip Baker of The Real Dirt podcast.

 

Olivia:  Yeah.

 

Chip:  But tell me about the Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit.

 

Olivia:  Okay, so yeah, the Cannabis Marketing Masters summit is happening November 13 and 14th. And what we’re gonna do is carry it over two days, really meant to serve as a resource for marketing in the cannabis industry and help like, entrepreneurs and other professionals be able to like, grow their business through a number of different styles and sessions. So we have a combination of like, techniques and tools for like, SEO and paid advertising, email marketing like, sales and traffic funnels. We also have more inspirational brand stories in regards to like, customer journeys and things along those lines and value like, driven brands.

 

Chip:  Tell me who you’re gonna have speak at the Marketing Summit. Let’s talk about how it’s gonna work and who should join, who should show up.

 

Olivia:  This is all really great points.

 

Chip:  This is free, right? The Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit is free.

 

Olivia:  The Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit is free. You can register at Cannabis Stack, that’s what two s’s in the middle, or with one s in the middle, or with a hyphen if you like it. So that’s cannabisstack.com/cannabis-summit. And you’d be able to sign up there.

 

Chip:  Alright, so everybody stop what you’re doing. Just stop what you’re doing. I’m gonna do it real slow. So go to your computer, your phone. Olivia, what are they gonna look up?

 

Olivia:  You’re gonna look at cannabisstack.com/cannabis-summit. 

 

Chip:  Alright, and then you’re just going to apply to join right there.

 

Olivia:  Right there.

 

Chip:  Right there.

 

Olivia:  You’re going to see a list of the speakers, the dates and the time of the event, November 13th and 14th. You’re going to, all you’re going to need to do is give us like, your name, and email, the company, if you wouldn’t mind. And then you’re going to hit ‘Submit,’ and we’re going to send you a link so you can join the summit, 100% free.

 

Chip:  And I know we’ve been talking about it, and I’ve been excited. You know, I invited you on this podcast because I thought this was a really good idea that you had not really wanted to help promote it. And yeah, I’m gonna be involved on it. But what I really liked about it is you were giving it away. And you’re trying to just help people expand their business, and do better business.

 

Olivia: Definitely. We have Amy Larson from Simplifya.

 

Chip:  Yeah. Oh yeah, Simplifya. Yep, from Vicente Sederburg. See, I know several Simplifya people.

 

Olivia:  That’s awesome.

 

Chip:  Jordan Wellington, great guy. I’ve had him on the show a couple of times.

 

Olivia:  But you may also know that Amy currently serves as the chair for NCIS, you know, the marketing and advertising committee.

 

Chip:  Oh, okay. That’s how I recognize her name as well. Sure.

 

Olivia:  Yeah. She’s going to be speaking to strategic plan, like as to like the foundation of like, what your marketing should be in, for any marketing program, but specifically for cannabis marketing. So, we’re excited to hear what she’s gonna present.  Then we have Tyler Horvath. He’s like, the king of SEO, right? He’s the CEO of Marijuana SEO. And he’s gonna give us some like, the three pillars of a successful SEO strategy.

 

Chip:  Man, I’m really looking forward to this one.

 

Olivia:  Then we have Brian Chaplin of Medicine Box. And Brian’s going to be speaking to the importance of like, mission driven and value based cannabis brand.

 

Chip:  And Medicine Box, they’re a vending machine?

 

Olivia:  No, they do like, a box delivery system for whole plant natural wellness products in like, a subscription box model.

 

Chip: Oh okay, okay, great.

 

Olivia:  Then we have Beth Aiden from Nissan Co, which is a public relations, marketing and PR firm. So they’re going to be speaking to the right public positioning for your cannabis business with public relations. So they’re going to kind of break down like, a successful public relations strategy, and what they can afford, specifically to the industry. Then we have Antonio Javiniar from WebJoint. You know WebJoint? They’re like the –

 

Chip:  No, but you could pass me one anytime.

 

Olivia:  Only if I could right now. They’re gonna, also they’re gonna be speaking to content, but like content that converts and marketing on a limited budget. So – 

 

Chip:  I’m so excited about all this stuff. You know, these are some great talks, I need these as much as anybody else for sure.

 

Olivia:  Yeah, they do their inventory, WebJoint’s like an inventory management software provider for like, cannabis delivery services. So which is kind of cool. And we have Travis Crane from a little company called Cultivate.

 

Chip: Oh yeah. Oh man, he’s a master in social media marketing, that’s for sure. Organic driven social media marketing. This guy knows what he’s doing.

 

Olivia:  For sure. And he’s got a really interesting story about how he kind of got into the space. So his session is going to be about navigating the waters of advertising, and kind of touched upon some of the things that you and I chatted about earlier. Then we have Andrew Watson from Happy Cabbage Analytics. So this is really cool, because they do some really amazing things with hyper targeted marketing. Because they have, they do like an integrated like, data insights. I’m not doing them justice, and Andrew could explain this much better than I. But they have a marketing platform that integrates with a POS system, so it can help retailers and brands to better engage with their customers. It’s really slick stuff, super interesting. We also have Gianna Guard from Happy Cabbage also. And she’s going to be talking about that whole infrastructure from closing the loop, from marketing to sales, which is, you know, I think –

 

Chip:  That’s a hard step. That’s a hard, hard step.

 

Olivia:  It sure is. And you know, we talked earlier about like, just advertising in general. Like, maybe you’ve got a brand and you want to reach the consumers and that’s difficult. Now trying to figure out how you want to reach other businesses in the space. That’s tricky. Super, super tricky. We also have Colton Griffin, he’s the CEO of Flourish Software. So they have a whole supply chain management and seed to sale tracking software, for the industry. So again, Colton is going to be, we’re going to focus a little bit more on sales and marketing. And he’s going to speak to leveraging technology and automation to make your sales and marketing system, let’s say more efficient. So that’s kind of cool.

 

Chip:  Yeah, like automated emails, automated text messages, collecting people’s emails, addresses, scanning IDs and getting their info. But that’s, all that type of stuff is one of the most useful things in the cannabis industry right now. If you’re not doing it, you got to get on it.

 

Olivia:  Indeed. And then we have Kevin Green and Tyrone Russell from the Cleveland School of Cannabis. Did you know that they are –

 

Chip:  I don’t know about the Cleveland School of Cannabis.

 

Olivia:  They are the only state approved career school for cannabis education east of Colorado. They have a whole curriculum, you got to check them out, Cleveland School of Cannabis.

 

Chip:  I do. Calling them up.

 

Olivia:  That’s our lineup. Over the course of two days, we’re going to be hearing from these people and they’re going to dive in deep. And then while the sessions are running, people will be able to jump on the Facebook page that we’re going to be holding the sessions on, and ask questions.

 

Chip:  How do we get to it again, the Cannabis Marketing Summit? 

 

Olivia:  So if you if you go to the cannabisstack.com homepage, you’ll see an ad right there for the Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit. It’ll be right there.

 

Chip:  And can you look it up on Facebook and Instagram as well?

 

Olivia:  Yeah, you sure can. We have all that. If you do a search for Cannabis Stack on either Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you’ll find us. Sharing is caring.

 

Chip:  Sharing is caring. The saddest thing to me about COVID is whether you believe it’s a pandemic, plantdemic, whatever. The cultural aspect of sharing joints and weed is going to be different forever. You know, I still have employees and friends that, you know, they get still hop around the joint circle. But most people I know, have now decided not to do that. You know, I went [inaudible 31:45] a long time ago because I’m such a head that I need to smoke a joint all by myself.

 

Olivia: Okay. Some can call you greedy, but some could say, you know –

 

Chip:  Hey, I’m gonna roll you a joint just as big as mine, though.

 

Olivia:  Alright.

 

Chip:  Right? So it’s fine. But just the cultural and social aspect of cannabis is such a big part of it.

 

Olivia:  Oh, for sure. I mean –

 

Chip:  Sharing is caring, that phraseology that you just mentioned is something that’s, you know, I’ve really like, embraced over the years. And I’ve tried to like, give people as much weed and smoke as many people out as I can.

 

Olivia:  So you know, to that, it’s funny that you said that last night, because that part has stopped and just all social interactions for me have like kind of, you know, have slowed down, you know, to the trickle. So I was with some people I didn’t know very well and some of them wanted to get high, but they had the greatest solution. They had a bag of individually wrapped tips and like, one big bong, like hookah bong that had one bowl and everybody like you know, everybody had their own hose.

 

Chip:  They had their own hose. Hoser, a whole new meaning to the name hoser.

 

Olivia:  Everyone had their own they had their own hose with their own like, brand new like, shield tip. It was awesome.

 

Chip:  Are you guys gonna give those out as part of the Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit as a promotional item?

 

Olivia:  I would love to but – 

 

Chip:  CMMS. 

 

Olivia:  I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.

 

Chip:  A CMMS branded hookah tube.

 

Olivia:  Well I was, you know, I don’t think I could give away, ’cause I gotta tell you what the head was, it was Scooby Doo. It was shaped as a big dog, the Scooby Doo head.

 

Chip:  The Scooby Doo head.

 

Olivia:  Yeah, I don’t know how I gonna be able to top that with the Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit giveaway.

 

Chip:  Well, I am excited about it. You know, we’re gonna participate. The Real Dirt’s gonna participate. If you’re interested in how we do it. because people ask me all the time. It’s like, “Chip, how do you put out so much content? How do you do it? How is it authentic? How, how, how?” And we’re going to tell you how. Travis is going to tell you how to do it. I’m going to tell you how we do it. And it’s a lot easier than you think, honestly. With a little organization and prepared thought, you too can put out authentic cannabis content. I’m not saying that we’re doing the best of it. But I’ll tell you man, if you listen to this channel, if you listen to The Real Dirt podcasts, you must like some of it. So join us please at Cannabis Stack Cannabis Marketing Masters Summit.

 

Olivia: Yep, that’s November 13 and 14th.

 

Chip:  November 13th and 14th November. And it is going to be on Facebook. You join through the Cannabis Stack online community. And yeah, while you’re there, check out their online community. Maybe it’s something you want to be a part of. I know it’s definitely helped me connect with other people, other people in the cannabis community. I look forward to connecting to, with more people there. Olivia, if you had, like, some advice that you could give anybody going into the cannabis business, because you’re in the cannabis space, you’re not just servicing people in the cannabis space. Looking back on it all, is there some golden nugget that you could give somebody right now?

 

Olivia:  Go find your tribe. Go find your community. And go find the right people that are doing the things that you want to do. And, you know, network and speaking to like, creating authentic content, network authentically. Just don’t promote, you know. You know, like, the cannabis industry is a perfect space for community. Because it you know, because we’re a little bit segmented, based on some of these challenges that we face in the industry. So like, this circumstance offers us a common goal to rally around, and like, we can bring people together, right? 

 

Chip:  Yeah, totally.

 

Olivia:  And this commonality brings people together. And we’re, we as humans are known to be more willing to collaborate more, we’re more effective in numbers. And we’re more innovative in our thoughts when we do this together. So you know –

 

Chip: Oh, yeah, community, man. That’s how we do. That’s how we’ve always done it. That’s how we came out of the woods, so to speak, is we gathered a community, you know, we all work together to survive and to thrive.

 

Olivia:  Yeah. And I think like, you know, they’ll let your like, guard down a little bit, and you got to share and you know, you can’t be worried about taking something that you think is yours, right? There we go again, sharing, right?

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah.

 

Olivia:  I mean, it’s community. That would be my one thing.

 

Chip:  Yeah. It’s great. It’s great. Well, hey, hey, thanks for joining us today. I really appreciate it. And if anyone wants to get in touch with you, Olivia, how do they get in touch with you?

 

Olivia:  They can reach me through the website, or they can email me directly. I’m happy to accept if someone needs to reach out olivia@cannabisstack.com. That’s cannabisstack.com.

 

Chip:  Thanks for joining us. I look forward to the conference on November 13th to 14th. Thank you once again for joining us, Real Dirt listeners. I know you have other things you can do with your time, but you chose it today to spend with me and Olivia. Thank you once again. And hey, just want to encourage all of you guys to visit Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Garden Supply. Check out Growers Potting Soil. You have any questions about cannabis, just talk to us on Instagram, on Facebook. Once again, man, thanks again for joining us. I love all of you and fire one up for me. It’s The Real Dirt.

The Science of Breeding Triploid Cannabis

The Science of Breeding Triploid Cannabis

the science of cannabis cultivation

Justin Jones has been in the cannabis industry since the very beginning.

He opened the first ever recreational cannabis dispensary in Colorado, Dank Dispensary in Denver. Justin has been a leader in the legal cannabis industry for close to a decade, and now he’s taking over the hemp industry too.

It’s not so simple for most to transition from traditional cannabis cultivation to hemp cultivation. When you know the science of the plant and how to cultivate it to get the results you want, you can create some incredible strains and genetics.

The evolving science of cannabis and hemp cultivation

Justin made his transition from cannabis to hemp when the Farm Bill passed in 2018, making hemp legal at the federal level. This legalization has given farmers and researchers the resources they need to study hemp more thoroughly without government intervention.

Through his research Justin has been able to develop triploid hemp plants, or sterile male plants put simply. Traditionally hemp and cannabis are diploid plants which means that a male can pollinate a female and produce seeds.

But diploid and triploids are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to science of cannabis cultivation.

Plant science, patents and more

In this episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, Justin and Chip get into the real dirt of cannabis science and how changing techniques are producing stronger, better cannabis and hemp strains and what that means for the future of the industry.

Roll it up, spark it up and check out this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast!

Follow Dank Dispensary and High Grade Hemp

Dank Dispensary

High Grade Hemp

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Transcript

Chip: Hey, this is The Real Dirt podcast. I’m here with Justin Jones today, Real Dirt, Sunday morning dirt. How you doing, Justin?

 

Justin: I’m good. I’m good, Chip. Just got the sun peeking out here coming up, gonna have a nice rainy day here in Oregon. It helped tamp out some of these fires that we’ve had, to help wrap up the end of the harvest here, end of the year.

 

Chip: Yeah, man, we’ve hit the dry season down here in Oklahoma. The fall and winter are drier, that’s when we have our fire seasons. It’s almost perfect for harvesting cannabis, because it just starts to get dry around first of October. So if you’re lucky enough to be harvesting in October, November, December, those are really good months for you down here.

 

Justin: We call those fine finishing days.

 

Chip: Fine, there’s fine finishing days. And if you’re finishing in the next 10 days here in Oklahoma, which many people are, wow man, you’re gonna do really well.

 

Justin: That’s good. I just was talking to some friends up in western Colorado and they were finishing everything over there and pulling it down out in the Paonia areas. Good value for grown cannabis there in Colorado, maybe the only real value for growing out there in Colorado.

 

Chip: We’ve had a couple opportunities to move down to Paonia. I wish I could have more time to explore that during our time in Colorado. You know, Paonia was the first like, namebrand weed I would ever, I ever heard of.

 

Justin: They had a purple or something back in the day.

 

Chip: Oh, yeah, yeah. Paonia Purple. Peabuds, peabuds.

 

Justin: That was the pea bud, yeah. And they lost it, nobody’s got it. Some people claim they still, but no one’s seen it for a long time.

 

Chip: Yeah, you know, that’s what happens with a lot of the famous strains. That’s why like, I call bullshit on anybody wanting to harvest I mean, hold on to their strains. Few people have the overall impact to make a strain happen. And the only way that it happens is through volume of buds produced. And few people can drive that demand, you know what I mean?

 

Justin: I totally do. And you know, as far as that goes, Matt Deckel, good friend of ours told me about this a while back. Years ago, we started doing that. And so you know, our favorite strains, we don’t just keep them and try to hoard them. We kind of to pair them, let other people enjoy them, and then also backup your cuts. So if you get a bad bug infestation, and you got to [inaudible 2:33] some stuff, or somebody kills your plants, or you know, there’s lots of things can happen. And this way you can start over, and go get your, go get your favorite strains back in your library. So got to back that up.

 

Chip: Of course, you got to hold on to them. I guess my real, my question is or point is, do you have a strain that’s been a popular, long standing strain in your shop?

 

Justin: For sure. We definitely do.

 

Chip: What is it? What is it?

 

Justin: I would say we’ve got a Chemdog, we had a Chem before that we’ve had for 10 years. It always sells, everybody loves it. We’ve got one of the old school, old school Sour Diesel strains –

 

Chip: Is that the original, because –

 

Justin: Yeah, the original for sure.

 

Chip: Here’s my point, is you’ve got Chemdog and Sour D. And people come there and buy it at Dayton, Colorado. Do you think they would be as possible if there weren’t millions of other pounds of Chemdog and Sour D being grown in the past 20 years?

 

Justin: I think that that’s, plays a major role. And I think that strains because where we’ve come from and where we still are in most places, but where we’re coming from and moving towards with legalization, people at least now know that they’re getting something that’s repeatable. And so you know, back in the day it gets, and that’s where Chemdog came from, right? Somebody bought an ounce of weed at a Grateful Dead concert. There was 10 seeds in the bag. It was the best pot they ever smoked, they had the seeds, they started planting them, right? And so, they don’t really know what that cannabis was. You have no idea you know, you’d sell whatever they said on the street when you bought it and –

 

Chip: It was kind [inaudible 4:16] back then. Back then it was –

 

Justin: KD, yeah. It was just KD, it was just nine Mexican bud. And you know, at the end of the day, now we have, can enjoy the fact that you can say this is Chemdog Four. And then, you can grow it. You can grow it the same way every time and put it out there. And so people that like it that can go and buy it, and get the same thing. And if they’re, you know I, it was really dawned on me about 10 years ago when I started my medical marijuana company in Denver. I had a patient with Crohn’s, really bad Crohn’s. And he told me one time, “The worst thing about Crohn’s  is that I’ll find some cannabis that works and it literally will cure my Crohn’s, but I have no idea what it is. I bought it on the street. I don’t know what strain it is.” They could, it could be the name they said or not. And he said, “It’s almost worse for me to find the bag that like, cures my Crohn’s, because I know I’m going to run out and I can’t go get the same stuff again.” For us back then, the Durbin poison that we grew, and we still grow, it was a cure for him. And all of a sudden this guy’s like, “Well, I can get the same thing every month, cures my Crohn’s, and  now I’m not so stressed out about finding the right medical cannabis.”

 

Chip: Man, and Chemdog’s not the easiest one to grow either. To make it consistent and look great, it’s not easy.

 

Justin: Not necessarily. I think it’s easier than some of the other gassy strains that we’ve seen come out of the skunk lines. But where did the Skunk No. 1 go? That’s what I want to know.

 

Chip: Oh man, you know, you can still get it. I mean, I bought some seeds several years ago from Sensi Seeds, it’s still, you can get it. It’s still there. I mean, the European Skunk one is.

 

Justin: Well, the real answer to that question is that it’s everywhere, because it was used in pretty much all the background breeding going on for the last 30 years. So, if you look at the data on strains, pretty much everything that’s got any gas to it’s coming out of Skunk somewhere.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, I’ve grown these perfect Diesel buds in the past and I’ve also grown a fair amount of Skunk 1 and Super Skunk. And the Diesel really does have a Super Skunk look, that’s for sure.

 

Justin:  We’re in the world of hybrids now, you know? So, it’s, you never know.

 

Chip:  Well, they’re all hybrids, man. You know, it’s a big conversation we’ve been having about indica, and sativa, and hybrids and we just call it all hybrids now. We’re never going to convince people that cannabis sativa is just hemp and that cannabis with THC in it is indica. Oh, I shouldn’t say never. It’s going to take a few years before people like, start talking, stop talking about cannabis in terms of indica and sativa.

 

Justin:  Well, and as we get some more science involved, I think that’ll help, where the hemp industry is seeing some help from real science, or university science. I just tested a bunch of new hybrids that we’re working on in the hemp side of things. You know, I’m able to take those cannabis samples right over to Oregon State University, drop the leaf samples off, get the test that I need to get done. And you know, that was not available before, you know, a year and a half ago, and really a year ago. And so, it’s still mostly unavailable to marijuana growers, but it’s coming, you know? And as we move along with legalization, I think that we’ll be able to get the science and the real agricultural science guys, those that’ll become something we can use in the cannabis and the marijuana side of cannabis as we are now starting to in the hemp. But that also says, “Hey, what’s going to happen to these marijuana genetics over the next few years if that kind of science becomes more available? And what are we going to see, are the strains going to get better?” Right now there’s a bunch of hemp breeding going on where you’re taking and making triploid hemp plants, and the vigor and the production on these plants is 20 to 40% more than their same diploid siblings. And so what’s that mean, when you kind of start changing the science on the breeding? And using modern techniques, and really not even the modern techniques, just using the traditional plant breeding techniques?

 

Chip: Yeah, I mean –

 

Justin:  To get better plants?

 

Chip:  Diploid, it’s been around for a minute. I mean, people have talked about this for a bit, diploid, triploid. Why don’t you explain that? You’ve been doing a little bit of this with hemp?

 

Justin:  Right, right. 

 

Chip:  I’ve heard, it’s read about the amount of time. David Clark’s book, Marijuana Botany, I think. It was written in the 70s. So it’s not new science.

 

Justin:  No, no, this is not new. And you know, this is not also not necessarily considered GMO either. And that’s another conversation that now we’ve had to have in the hemp industry. Is your hybrid GMO? And is the techniques that we use to feminize seeds in the hemp industry a GMO process or not? And so that’s, and there’s another whole, a whole section of talking.

 

Chip:  Do you have, is there a thirty second disclaimer you have for GMO?

 

Justin: Well, I mean, GMO doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. And you know, there’s obviously people or companies that have used GMO in what I’d like to say a Dr. Evil and I’ll put my pinky in the corner by mouth. You know, if you use GMO to spray poison on plants that won’t kill them and it’ll kill the weeds, then you know, that’s maybe kind of Dr. Evil-ish. But GMO, the GMO process has also done some amazing things for us like anybody that you know that’s a type two diabetic that’s got an insulin dependent thing going on, GMO’s the reason those guys can live a fairly normal life. That’s where they’ve found those, that medicine. So anyways, back to the cannabis side of things on the hemp, you know, what we’re seeing is, you know, lots of different breeding techniques. And so all of a sudden, we can get a triploid and what are the triploids? So your standard cannabis plant is diploid, diploid, diploid, I don’t know, I’m not a scientist, I’m a stoner. So you have a diploid patch. What you do to make a triploid, which the reason we’re trying to make triploids is because they are a sterile plant that will not get the seed, so they are not able to be impregnated by pollen and create a seed. And on the same side of things, you’re also hoping that the pollen that would be produced from those plants might not work to inspect another plant to create – 

 

Chip:  Sterile, sterile male?

 

Justin:  Yes. And so, and even if you get a, even if you get a hermaphrodite –

 

Chip:  They do this with other crops, right? Like,

 

Justin:  Well, this is revolutionary for hops. One of the big reasons that the beer industry has gotten just insane in the last 30 years, just because they came up with the seed was hops. I think it was in the Willamette hops from here in Oregon, where the, it was the first variety of seedless. And what that allowed the farmer to do is push the crop out and harvest it when it’s truly ready, and at its full potential. But in hops to do that, you’re risking it going to seed and if your hops go to seed, you get like, a dime on the dollar, okay? So the seedless hops allowed the hops farmer to get bigger production, bigger, you know, more hops per acre and better hops, without accidentally screwing it up and blending. So –

 

Chip: And this started in the 50’s, 60’s, do you know?

 

Justin:  No, I think the first seedless hops that came out of Oregon State and it was, I think it was more like closer to the 80, early 80’s. So the seedless hops was something that came out of Oregon State and Oregon State developed that original Willamette, I believe, the Willamette hops. And they made that available through the public as you know, the fact that Oregon State’s a land grant university. And so that allowed other hops breeders to go and start breeding projects to seedless. Anyways, what you do here with hemp is, we’re going for this triploid so that we don’t have seeds in the crop. And that way, you can grow whatever you want on your plot of land. And I can be right across the street and I can still grow some [inaudible 12:55] essential oil cannabis for CBD or CBG production, these sort of things. And so, you know, as the industry matures, that’s going to become something that we want to see. And even if you’re in the Midwest, where there’s a lot of rogue hemp, and rogue male cannabis plants, you could still grow seedless oil crop, right? Right. But it takes a long time and you know, you can’t skirt the fact that it just takes a certain amount of days to grow plants out, and then cross breed them, and then grow them back out, and test them, and check them, and regrow, test them and test them and you know, all these things. So, I’ve been working on that now. 

 

Chip: And the flowers there is, they do have, or reported to, reportedly to be larger and more vigorous triploid cannabis, right? Correct? 

 

Justin:  Yes, the plants we’re seeing, even if we just look at them from early stage, bigger, it’s just unbelievable. Then I’m hearing 30 to 40% more production, save your buds, less flowers, less leaves, more this, and your ratio of a usable commodity off of a plant versus you know, on a triploid looks like you’re gonna have a lot more sellable weed. 

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely.

 

Justin:  And you have no seeds in there, so you know, nobody wants to process seeds, because it does something weird to the oil. And then they have to go through it and remediate that. So basically, you know, as a farmer, you’re trying to produce the best material for the person that wants to buy it. And so, in the past, we’ve kind of been like, “Any material produced is fine, because there’s not enough.” Now, we’re getting to like, “Who’s going to produce the best material? What farmers are going to grow it, and then get it into the right form?” And if you don’t have to deal with seeds, and if you’ve got 30% more flower mass over your stems, all these things are exactly what we need the plants to do. But we’re also going to hopefully start seeing this creep into the marijuana side of things. And as I think as some of the genetics, cannabis genetics hemp guys are looking at, how can we start to look at this over at the marijuana side also? So that when we do get a lab, when we can go get on a flow spectrometer machines and test the ploidy level of a plant, and see if it’s a diploid or a tetraploid, or a triploid. You know, we’re gonna see this enter over into the marijuana thing. And maybe some of these old genetics that start to delve out over time from clonal, from over cloning and just being, you know, in that world, we can revive some of these things. And then, you know, again, you know, is it GMO, isn’t it GMO? I mean, you know, truthfully, if you’re not using marker assisted breeding, you know, I’m looking at it that way, you’re still using it, you’re still using your brain, and your eyes, and your nose to –

 

Chip:  Map. Map. 

 

Justin:  Yeah, to select strains or select –

 

Chip:  And that’s traditional breeding, right?

 

Justin: Right, right.

 

Chip:  Hey, man, this summer, we grew a bunch of autoflowers, you know. This is my first like, big autoflower year. We planted out cumulatively about 20,000 autoflower seeds this year, all different types, all bunch of different vendors. And man, I’ll tell you, we got some product from Mephisto Genetics, Three Bears, OG, and they don’t pay me to say any of this, guys [inaudible 16:28]. But we all, everyone who saw this plant were like, “Wow, that’s like genetically modified weed? Like, what the fuck is that?” Because, you know, one, like in 65 days, it’s done. But there’s literally no leaf on these flowers. It’s the perfect cannabis for extraction. It was all bred with traditional techniques. And I mean, 20 years ago, I saw a big bud that looked very similar, right? These huge buds with just a little bit of leaf on them, you know? And that was bred traditionally, as well. That was straight [inaudible 17:06] seed’s product and now they’re Skunk product. But you don’t have to have genetically modified, or use genetically modified technology to breed superior cannabis. You can use science, our current observations with plants, math, additional techniques, all of these things have worked for hundreds of years.

 

Justin:  And even the work that we’ve been doing in the last year, you can really, you don’t necessarily need the university level agricultural science lab, but it makes things faster and better. And here’s the example. When you’re looking for tetraploids, and you’re doing a pheno hunt, but you’re looking for a tetraploid, not a diploid, you look at the size of the stomata, and the shape of the stomata on the leaf. So if you use a nice microscope, like a $200 microscope these days, and these are all, all these microscopes plugged right into your computer, and you can go in and capture your screenshots and look at things. 

 

Chip: Oh sick, man, we just got one. Like, I was gonna get one for the clone nursery, so anybody can look at any of the clones or any of the weed, make sure there’s no mold or mildew or PM or any bug, or anything. It’s right there on the counter, $200. 

 

Justin:  Great, yeah, look at it. And so what we’re doing, is we’re actually taking and looking at the size, and measuring the size and the shape of the stomata to see, and that can tell us what the ploidy is on it, okay? So when you’re hunting for a tetraploid, you’re looking for a different,  a less round stomata, and also the size of stomata is bigger. And so –

 

Chip:  Like how, that’s two, three times bigger, you know, how much bigger?

 

Justin:  From what we were working on, the microscope that we had was measuring in pixels. And I don’t even know what, we don’t even give a shit what that prize is. Because what we are doing to say, “Okay, this is a, this has this stomata is 70 pixels. This is 80. This one’s 100. This one’s 110, this one’s 60.” And what we’re looking at, first of all, we’re looking at stomatas that don’t have a perfectly round shape, first of all. That’s a first indicator that it could be a tetraploid. The problem is most of it falls in the 70 to 90 zone, okay? And so you know, you start to, so what we would do is we would use the microscope to get a bunch of the work done, and to measure and know. And then we would send all those samples to the lab and find out, yeah, that is not a tetraploid. That is maybe a tetraploid. That is a tetraploid. And then you know, then you get that data back and you start to say, “Okay, I can probably guarantee anything above these 90 pixels is a tetraploid.” But when you’re breeding and you don’t, you know, and you can’t get back the time that it takes. You want to know for sure. So you don’t waste six months on something that turns out, you’re wrong. And so, you get your tetraploid stock and then you start breeding with those plants. And I guess in layman’s terms, they have six sets of DNA. That’s why is it tetraploid, and then a diploid has two. And so, when you hybrid the two, six divided by two becomes three and that’s your triploid. And then those because of the three sets, DNA cannot make babies. Collect the donkey and the horse, make a mule, right? But then a mule can never replicate, the mules are optional.

 

Chip:  Oh, the mule cannabis, Justin Jones, we’re talking about genetics, random other thing, but mostly –

 

Justin:  Yeah, well, I finally got that –

 

Chip:  It’s all about the ganja.

 

Justin:  I finally got that ganja rolled up here for the Sunday morning smokedown but –

 

Chip:  Oh, what are you smoking? What are you smoking on?

 

Justin:  Sherbadough from Archive.

 

Chip:  Sherbadough, that’s Sherbert and Do-Si-Do, right?

 

Justin:  Yeah, you know, the boys are like, “I’d love to hit that, hit everything with the Do-Si-Do.”

 

Chip:  Oh, yeah. I just planted out a huge pheno selection of Archive Do-Si-Do crosses, Fletcher over there’s got always running some R&D. And he had a new Do-Si-Do male or a new Do-Si-Do donor he was using for his feminized line. And these guys, Sherbert Do-Si crossed with Do-Si-Do. Diesel, OG Face Off, T-1000, Tangie, Lemon G, Skittles all crossed  with the, that new Do-Si-Do donor. So we’re excited about it, they look great. 

 

Justin:  That’s good. I’m sitting here, I’ve got, I’m talking about you know, breeding and hybrids. I’ve got a Gorilla Glue 4 here from Archive that I grew. And then I also have a Duct Tape, which is Gorilla Glue 4 divided by the Do-Si-Do. And so to see like just the pure Gorilla Glue 4, and then right next to it, you know, it’s sister, or, you know, half sister, whatever, whatever with the Do-Si-Do. They’re very similar, but yet very different on the terpene profile. That Do-Si-Do gives everything just a little something I don’t know, that’s more magical. It’s different, it’s better.

 

Chip: It’s bigger. It’s bigger, for sure. It is better. And yeah, I’m really excited about it, man. You know, we’ve planted out of 2,500 of those seeds, and I’m going to have an incredible Do-Si-Do out of it all. I’ll be able to pick the Do-Si-Do. And I’m looking for the hybrids too but, man, it’s exciting just to see it all. That’s for sure. Right now I like the Do-Si-Do Face Off and the Do-Si-Do SFP backcrosses the best. If you think about it, those are almost all just like BX backcrosses, because the Face Off is in the Do-Si-Do. And then cross it back to the Face Off and cross it back to the SFP.

 

Justin:  Well I’ll tell you what. The marijuana breeders right now need to get hip, start trying to work on protecting their IP if they have it. Because that’s going to be the next thing once we get some sort of federal legalization, and guys want to become the next Sierra Nevada of marijuana or the next Two Buck Chuck or whatever. People are going to start going to war over their genetics and I’ve even had conversations with some guys in California that already want to start working on a Mendocino hamlet. And you know, Humboldt hamlet –

 

Chip:  Yeah, the Appalachian, the Appalachian is definitely starting to grow in ideology. Yeah, you know, Calculator right now, famous MAC line. He is upset that clone dealers are dealing his MAC 1 strain. He claims just recently on his Instagram channel that he’s going after some major clone producers in California for selling his MAC 1. I don’t believe he really has any legs to stand on currently, because there’s not going to be a court that’s going to enforce it. And you know, also just because like he claims to own a plant, doesn’t mean he owns anything, right?

 

Justin: No and it’s going to come down to the processes too. And so, there’s a popular hemp breeder here in Oregon and they’ve already got that patents filed on a bunch of things. And one of their patent pendings is on crossing autoflower genetics into full term photo plants. And so, if that patent gets issued, anybody into choosing that process will have to pay them some money. Maybe, right? I mean, everything has to be, try to be enforced. But at the end of the day, they’re saying that they own the rights to cross a ruderalis with a, you know, cannabis sativa or whatever, and get that early hybrid.

 

Chip:  Yeah, this is Phylos. Phylos – 

 

Justin:  No, no, it’s not that one. Were filed that is Oregon CBD.

 

Chip:  Oregon CBD. But Phylos, they have a couple similar, similar thing going on, right?

 

Justin:  Phylos has been collecting data on the different strains of cannabis and trying to relate them to each other to say, “Okay, you have a -“

 

Chip:  Oh, okay. So Phylos was not involved with the autoflower?

 

Justin:  Well, where they could become involved in is to who has the real, true, earliest version of a strain? And so there’s a, you know, let’s just say Jack Herer, okay it’s famous person and also a strain.

 

Chip:  Yep.

 

Justin:  If somebody wants to say, look, in order for you to say that that’s Jack Herer, it’s gotta A, be this, 123. This terpene profile stand, it’s got to be grown in Mendo or in this Hamlet, right? So they’ve done that with wine, obviously. If you grow your grapes in Washington, you can’t call it champagne. You gotta call it spark, white, sparkling, because it didn’t come from France. You’re gonna see that play out. Part of what Phylos is trying to do is they try to find those oldest, earliest grandparent genetics, or who’s  got the oldest clone that’s not, you know, whatever. We’ll see. We’ll see how, but there’s already people trying to patent. And I don’t think anybody’s trying to patent Sour Diesel, I think.

 

Chip:  Well, cause if you can patent cannabis sativa strains, you can patent hemp.

 

Justin:  They’re trying to patent the processes to feminize. So if you spray a certain type of silver on your plants, then to get a feminized pollen, and then you’re using that in your breeding, that that would be infringement on their IP. So again –

 

Chip:  Yeah, the plant’s gotta stand up in court and somebody has to enforce them and sure.

 

Justin:  Well sure, but I’m just saying that you know, hemp has become you know, fully legal before marijuana. It’s you’re seeing it already, the –

 

Chip:  Oh, there’s already a patent with hemp. There’s a hemp, or hemp people have already received patents for hemp, right?

 

Justin:  I believe so. I would say probably yes, but –

 

Chip:  Charles Webb. Those guys, they got a patent. They were the first people to get a patent.

 

Justin:  Probably.

 

Chip:  Yeah, totally. I’m sure others have by now. It’s a little weird thing to do, but yeah, go file for a patent if you think you got special shit. Then go sue everybody who uses your special shit without your permission. I guess that would do it, right? Mostly, I don’t really have special shit, though. It’s just normal weed that’s hype.

 

Justin:  Well, it comes down to this. The best advice I could give any of these breeders and I’m not a breeder, we’re messing around with some stuff for fun. And maybe it turns out to be something, you know – 

 

Chip:  We’re messing around with stuff for fun. How many seeds you got in your seed vault right now? Can you count?

 

Justin:  I don’t know. A couple hundred, 300. You know, at the end of the day though, what I you know, the people that have been breeding in the marijuana side of things, you know, whether you’re the guys that wear the funny sunglasses and the fake mustaches at the Emerald cup, or not, because you’re trying to not necessarily be above you know, or be out in the public eye. You’ve gotta start getting into the science and you gotta team up with somebody with some sort of trust. Well, if you don’t go the bioscience routes, you’ll wake up and realize that the guys that did go that route, and jump you, and go five years ahead of you in a short amount of time. You can be scared of that, and I’ve seen them be scared of going that direction because of you know, just that Dr. Evil science side of things. But boy, a lot of knowledge out there that’s never been applied to cannabis from you know, from our modern world of agriculture. So yeah, find some science buddies if you’re out there breeding and, you know, try to figure out how to do all these things. Because even just getting your genetics into a tissue culture lab, you know, and having them clean them up and do all these things, that can take like up to a year.

 

Chip:  Yeah, no shit. Right.

 

Justin:  And so you can’t you know, if you wait too long, and then say, “Hey, we really do need to take this clone that we’ve been using forever and get it cleaned.” It takes a while. So in California, I think there’s a lot of bioscience companies and people are starting to jump in on the marijuana side of things. But until it’s federally legal, you really won’t get the doors opened all the way. But those who have already started something will be ahead.

 

Chip:  Well, it’s been another fine episode with Justin Jones. Thanks for joining us, Justin.

 

Justin:  Yeah, thank you, Chip. Great talking to you. We got off on some tangents there with the genetics and other things, but that was fun. And we’ll circle back and produce more sense of that some other day.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. If you’re like this episode, or interested in others, please download it at the iTunes. We are The Real Dirt podcast. Also look us up on Spotify, and you can check us out therealdirt.com Hey, remember, if you’re ever looking for soil or soilless growing mediums, check out growerscoco.com, ask for them in your local store. And if you’re cruising online one day interested in buying some hydroponic or indoor supplies, look at cultivatecolorado.com. This has been The Real Dirt. Love y’all.

Revolutionizing Cannabis in Michigan

Revolutionizing Cannabis in Michigan

cannabis in Michigan is legal and growing

Six Labs isn’t just another cannabis cultivator. They’re aiming to be the next generation of cannabis.

Joe Ori knew coming into cannabis in Michigan with no industry background was going to be difficult. He couldn’t just open up a shop with his name and get attention, he had to come up with a way to differentiate his business from others.

So he created Six Labs.

Joe and five other partners created Six Labs not to just participate in the booming cannabis industry in Michigan, but to bring the industry into the next generation. Six Lab’s business model was designed specifically to address the problems in the cannabis industry and to find solutions.

Craft Cannabis in Michigan

From the quality of their products to the transparency they give to consumers regarding their processes, Six Labs stands above the competition where transparency isn’t necessarily a requirement.

In this week’s episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, Chip talks with Joe about how he got into the cannabis industry and started Six Labs, the problems they aim to solve in Michigan and across the country, and what states are doing to hold themselves back from success in the industry.

Learn more about Six Labs

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Transcript

Chip: Welcome to another episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker. On today’s dirt, we have Joe Ori. He is founder of a cultivation facility in Michigan, Six Labs. Hey Joe, how’s it going?

 

Joe: Hi, Chip. Thanks for having me.

 

Chip: Oh, man, you’re currently speaking to me in my new podcast studio, we’re under construction. So listeners, forgive the poor sound quality. We’re fixing to turn this back into an awesome state of the art podcast facility to bring all of the great people like Joe and others to you. If you haven’t listened to any other Real Dirts, if this is your first one, please go to iTunes and Spotify and subscribe  The Real Dirt podcast. Man, I was really excited when you contacted us about chatting because you know, you’re an entrepreneur. My favorite subject is business. No matter if we’re talking sugarcane, or pecans, or ganja, my favorite subject. You’re in one of the hottest states right now, Michigan. Can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on in Michigan?

 

Joe: I don’t know, you know Chip, how much background you or your audience knows about it. But when we say that, we tell our investors that Michigan is a new market, they all kind of do their own research and say, “Well, it’s not really new.” They did have a medical program back in 2008, 2009, that was wrought with problems. It basically became a legalized black market, if you will. And so back in on 2016, 2017, the state looked at what they had and said, “We’ve got to revamp this thing.” And they rewrote the laws, and modernized them, if you will. I mean, it’s kind of crazy to call anything in the cannabis world “modernizing,” because it’s all relatively new. But they rewrote the laws, and opened it up to real businesses coming in. And so, when you said I’m a  founder, I’m a co-founder. I have five partners. And we saw an incredible opportunity to meet and have a substantial footprint in the state of Michigan. So it’s a relatively new market, when you look at it in perspective, and then we have a substantial lack of supply of pretty much every product. Very recently, the caregivers who were the effectively the market back in 2008, 2009, and up until 2016, 2017, were recently taken offline relative to certain products and their ability to sell to dispensary. So now there is an incredible lack of supply, and the prices are extremely, extremely high at the cultivation level, and they’re anticipated to be that way for a while. And obviously, the Coronavirus didn’t help some of the newly minted companies meaning ones that came online before us, or were planning to come online. Because construction stopped and everybody’s kind of halted. So, Michigan is going to have a pretty solid market for a few years, and then we’ll see which, what happens. You know, we’re trying to force the state to avoid the problems that Oregon ran into. And in Colorado with an oversupply of growers, and I think I know a little bit about you. I think you guys are in Oklahoma, and I’m very well aware of what you guys got going on there. I have a very good friend of mine who’s just started a company in Oklahoma. And you guys got thousands and thousands or whatever, six, 7000 licensed growers, and in all different sizes, I know that. But you know, that’s kind of the thing. Every state’s different. You don’t know what again, it’s like a box of chocolates.

 

Chip: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Michigan’s hot for a bunch of reasons. One, it has a historic cannabis presence. Historically, people have grown and consumed vast amounts of cannabis in Michigan, right? 

 

Joe: Yeah. 

 

Chip: There’s growers, and there’s growers in underground networks. And in states like that, they blossom a little bit differently than states that don’t have a cultural connection to cannabis. Ann Arbor and Detroit were huge hub spots for cannabis and hashish for 50 years.

 

Joe: Oh, yeah. I mean, there’s no shortage of people who are using and have been using for years and are fans of the of the product. Obviously, strangely enough, there’s quite a few municipalities that still haven’t opted in. I mean, when you look at the map of Michigan, and you start to pinpoint where you might open some retail stores, you’re really kind of limited in the sense that I think [inaudible 4:40] and don’t quote me, but it’s I’m pretty close, I’m sure. Like, I think there’s only about 138 municipalities that have opted in, to actually have retail stores. So you know –

 

Chip: These are counties?

 

Joe: Those are, those would be cities, municipalities. And the crazy thing is Detroit, itself. Detroit proper still hasn’t opted in for recreational cannabis. So you’re talking about a monstrous opportunity, once that does happen. And people are trying to forecast where it’s going to be in the next place it’s going to open, and there’s a lot of lobbying efforts going on. But when you get up in northern Michigan, yes, I do agree with you that there’s an incredible base of people that are fans and supportive of the plant, hopefully going to force the rest of the hands of the state to jump online, but it hasn’t been as easy as you might think.

 

Chip: Oh no, it’s not easy, man. It’s hard, it is absolutely hard. And, where it used to be maybe a little easier, the commercialization of it is definitely difficult.

 

Joe: It’s the craziest part of this business. I mean, we came in, and we said, “Okay.” We’re what we call early, late adapters, right? We didn’t come in in 2008, we don’t have a company that started in Colorado or California. But we said, “Let’s identify what’s wrong with the industry. Let’s identify problems, let’s solve problems.” So once we came together, and the group came together, rather organically. We had, we didn’t pick and parcel, we just were a group of guys who knew each other as through friendship or business. And we ended up having, an attorney myself, we had an accountant, we had a financier, we had a restaurateur who’s master of logistics. And we actually had a builder who oversaw the entire project. And those are the partners that came together. And then we had a younger partner, who is really, really passionate, embedded in the cannabis world. So with those six partners, hence the name Six Labs, we came together. And some people don’t understand the product, some people are really talented in business, and then other people are passionate know the product, but but don’t know how to sell it. So, you have a, we’re basically jelling those those processes together, just to make a, what I believe to be, the next generation cannabis company. Because everything that we do, from the minute that we started our project, has been geared towards solving problems. So we researched and we traveled throughout the country before we even met with the designer for our facility. Aand we said, “Okay, we like these things. These things seem to work, is there anything better in the industry right now?” Then we found all these other things that don’t work, and we went out and tried to solve those. So when we created our facility, we got some people in the state, were looking at us saying, “You guys are never going to make it, you spend too much money.” We could have built our facility for probably 6 million, and we would have had a great facility. We went out organically, raised money with former business associates, friends, family. And we built a $10 million plus facility that we basically said this, Chip. If the federal government gets involved in this in the next few years, and the FDA starts to place regulations, we said this, we don’t know what those regulations are going to be. Okay, we don’t. But we said this, “If we’re not passing after those regulations, then no one else is.” And that’s the only thing we could do to say that we were going to definitely make this next step whenever that comes. But yes, right now, there are a multitude of problems. I mean, you can talk about the ones that we have poked on, which is confusion and intimidation in the market, product quality, lack of consistency, perception, fact that there’s no brands. I mean, there’s no national brands. And then, what you have now is some of these companies that are in other states, because they can’t get licensed and it’s too much money to do it. They’re just buying labels in other states, but it doesn’t mean that it’s their cannabis. So one of the other thin we wanted to do is be transparent. We want, you don’t necessarily know where you’re getting your cannabis from, especially if it’s got some label on it from a company in California. And now they’re saying, “Well, we’re growing the same cannabis here.” And we wanted to basically give our consumers a seed to sale transparency, where they know everything about it, as much information as you possibly can give them, and educate them. So that they can make the best decisions for their medical, or their recreational needs. So, but, it’s an evolving market. It’s super exciting. That’s the best part about it is that it’s so new, it’s so young, and no one really knows where it’s going that you really, there’s no right or wrong answer.

 

Chip: Yup. It’s all just started. Yeah you know, Joe, interesting, I’m listening to your story, I realized you’re a hybrid cannabis entrepreneur. Almost all the cannabis entrepreneurs fall in about in three different kinds of areas. There are the growers or weed dealers that have been doing this forever, and so it’s natural progression, right? There are the investors, whether it’s family office, venture capitalists, that get approached by a grower, “Hey, one of these growers are drug dealers,” to fund their operation. And then there is the like, brother in law and family friend that get together, whether it’s smoking a joint on the back porch and say, “Oh, man, I think we can do this. We could throw our money together.” And the reason you’re a hybrid is because most of the like, brother in law investment type packages start off real small, and they don’t have this bigger picture, solving problems, this experience in business. It’s often their first business, they may be successful as dentists, or attorneys, or real estate, or something other like other, but haven’t had a vast entrepreneurial industry. And you’re a hybrid of the VC investment plan, but the brother in law, family investor, type of investment package.

 

Joe: I think that’s probably a fair assessment. And you know, I have my own personal journey with cannabis, I mean, I’ve played sports my whole life. And I knew early on that I wasn’t going to go to college unless somebody gave me money to go. So I worked really hard in school and played football and I went to college, and injured myself very severely in my freshman year and had my very first back surgery when I was 18 years old. I’m aging myself, Chip, this is back in 1988. And, I had my first back surgery, I got surgery, and I felt great afterwards, went right back to playing football. And I ended up re-injuring myself the following year. And then the year after that having a second surgery, and now this is 1990. I’m in New York City in college I go into Columbia University, and I’m in chronic pain. So what are these doctors doing? Well, this is the beginning of the opiate period, right?

 

Chip: No, you need the chronic, you need the chronic.

 

Joe: Right? So they’re feeding me opiates like they’re going out of style, and I’m really not feeling well. So I personally just stopped taking them, but I’m in chronic pain. And as I, I hate to say this about the Ivy League, but cannabis was available to me back in the 90s. And I started experimenting with it, and noticing that I was getting certain levels of pain relief that I said, “This is better than anything I’ve taken.” And alcohol only made your symptoms worse the next day because you were dehydrated, and you felt like shit. So I had my personal journey. And then as I grew,  I’ve looked at the NFL, I’ve looked at the sports leagues, I’ve got tons of friends who were former NFL players. And I have friends who work for the NFL, and I battled them all the time. I said, “How could you guys be especially after they got exposed? How could you guys be suspending these players for testing positive for cannabis? But yet the back door,  the back room and the athletic room, you guys are pounding opioids down these guys throats? They’re all ruining their careers, their lives are going under. And yet the hypocrisy continues.” So I had a personal pursuit when I, when cannabis wasn’t medically viable. I said,  “This is, this is, I want to get into this. I want to change the way the world perceives this.” Because it’s not what you know, I’m 50, I was raised by immigrant parents. They told me everything was dope, right? You know, everything was bad. 

 

Chip: Yeah. 

 

Joe: And so you grow up. And they’re like, so you grow up in this mentality where everybody who smokes cannabis in Michigan, or does anything, you’re all put in together, heroin users and cannabis users in my family were blocked the same, right? So I had a personal pursuit about this. And so it’s not just smoking a joint in the back room, but we did definitely look at it and say, “Okay, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. And the only way to do it right, at this stage in the game, how do we become different is to solve problems that are out there.” So that’s what we’re doing. 

 

Chip: Man, I’m real interested in that. Because that’s, one of my business philosophies is answer questions, solve problems. How did you identify the initial problem? And what were some of the first ones that you realized, that you’d want to share with us?

 

Joe: In doing our R&D, we did exhaustive R&D. Everyone in the company was given specific tasks to figure out. And that went from the actual cannabis products that were out there, and from labeling, and how many were out there, what the users were feeling, how the medical patients were responding to certain, going to a dispensary, what their experiences were. All the way to the facility, and what kind of equipment you were using and what kind of logistics you had in place. So we said, we came up with a list. And the list started with like I said, the product, confusion and intimidation. I mean, so many products out there and you’re relying on a bud tender, right? And some of these bud tenders are awesome. And I’ve experienced them.

 

Chip: Yeah, most are just Burger King weed.

 

Joe: Correct. And so when you look at it like this, you’re saying, “Okay most of the states are medical,” right, Chip? And then some what, 11 or 12 are online is rec, but back then it was all medical. So you’re saying to yourself, “Okay, so not only you’re not getting a doctor script, but you’re actually going to the pharmacy and you’re not getting a pharmacist tell you what you should take, you’re getting a bud tender.” So we saw that that’s a problem inherent in the industry, and we’re aiming to solve that problem. We can’t require a curriculum for a bud tender just yet. But what we’re going to do, is we’re going to put everything on our label, we’re going to let everybody know what goes into it. We’re going to try as best we can with limited research and science that we have available to us to pinpoint what these particular products are expected to do for you. We’re going to try to control the dosage, and give a control,  product quality control, which leads into that issue. I mean, when you look at these states, Chip, and you see how it’s different. So many of the testing regulations are. 

 

Chip: Oh, yeah, man. [inaudible 16:10].

 

Joe: You know, and look at it. Come on, I mean, and you’re looking at it, and you’re saying, “Okay, these are mostly put in by lobbyists.” And cannabis, these acceptable levels of toxicity should not be being decided by lobbyists, they should be being decided by science.

 

Chip: Oh yeah, absolutely. Oh, in Oklahoma, the pesticide levels just changed the acceptable levels increased went from 0.5 to 0.25.

 

Joe: So that’s a perfect example. So it’s been, it’s more, it’s been 0.5 for all that time. Now, it’s 0.25, and you know, what level is acceptable? And then you start to think this crazy thing, which is, especially for people who’ve been using cannabis for a long time well before legalization. You look and you see how challenging it is to get your cannabis in a controlled environment with experts and all the greatest equipment money can buy, to be as clean as it possibly can, and you still see levels of infiltrates, that you’re just like, “How the hell did this happen,” right? Well think about what’s in the black market products. And when you start to think about what’s in the products where people really have no concern or care, there’s no testing, you start to say to yourself, “What have I been ingesting for all these years? What is the cannabis user who still goes down the street to buy illegal cannabis or God forbid, buy an illegal vape cartridge? What are they getting?” So we’re trying to get a –

 

Chip: Totally unregulated, totally unregulated man. I think people use Raid for spider mites, and also the worst contaminants, mold, mildew, smoke, diesel fuel.

 

Joe: Jesus, I never heard that one, Chip. I gotta be honest with you. That’s crazy.

 

Chip: I’ve heard all kinds of stories, man.

 

Joe: Yeah, so I mean, and they’re real. So and then obviously, you got lack of consistency. You want to go into the store, and if you have, and you’re lucky enough to be in a state that has legalization, and you have a consistent provider through from seed to sale that you trust. You could go in there one day, though, and when you start getting into edibles, and you start getting into the levels of THC, and what’s actually, you’re being provided, you want to know, and rely on it in the sense of saying, “If I go to the pharmacy, and I get Tylenol, I know what I expect from Tylenol. It’s going to give me the same reaction every single time.” Well, we need to get to that place. There needs to be that kind of consistency. So we think that with all of these variables that are in place, we’re trying to do our own in house R&D, and trying to test and research what other entities, and what other countries for that matter, have done. And, we’re looking at it this way, Chip. I don’t know what your feeling is about this, and I’d be interested to hear it,  because I know you’re in the business, I know you’re a really bright guy. It’s like the United States is allowing all these other markets in other countries to take off. And it’s great that they’ve allowed the states to do this and bypass federal regulation. But really, what we’ve allowed to happen is we’ve allowed other countries to get behind the science first. And they’re way further along in getting to products that will actually be consistent and solve these, many of these issues that I brought to the table today. And I think that we are losing out. And, I don’t know what the trade agreements are going to be once this all becomes legalized, and whether they’re going to open up the floodgates to California and whatever they got going down in Mexico and other countries, but there’s going to be a drastic competition. I mean, if you don’t agree with this, I think cannabis is eventually going to be an ingredient rather than a product. I think it’s going to [inaudible 20:03]. Cannabis in Michigan.

 

Chip: I think it’s already started. Hemp industry already, already started that one for sure. It’s an interesting question, man. Interesting. You know, one of the many things that makes America great is pretty much anybody can come here. And in a brief period of time, overnight, in some states and cities, and sometimes a week, or 10 days, or maybe 30 days, you can set up any business in the United States. No matter if you live here, if you’re a resident here, if you own property here, all you have to do is have a passport, and some corporate documents, and anybody can open up the business here. So places like former Soviet Union, Russia, Israel, Amsterdam, England, all of these places have had these university sponsored researches for a long time.

 

Joe: Oh, I know.

 

Chip: GW Pharmaceuticals, they’ve been working out of Great Britain for 25, 30 years now. And man, the stuff coming out of Israel, and technology and gene development –

 

Joe: It’s incredible.

 

Chip: It is just incredible. And all those people are just going to come to the US and do business. And that’s what’s happened with GW Pharmaceuticals, is they just opened up patents in the US, or attempted to. So, yeah, we’re absolutely behind on the research, and the opportunity for a lot of American people. But the other opportunity is just this influx of new technology and ideas, and coming from the international research place, marketplace.

 

Joe: Yeah. I mean, listen, that’s something that nobody talks about enough. And I’m glad you touched on it, because not only is the United States passing up on the opportunity for this commodity, but they’re actually ignoring, the potential massive manufacturing opportunity that this product presents. AAnd the type of quality engineering that the United States could provide, if in fact, this was accepted nationally. And we were able to look at this as a completely separate industry of technology. I mean, you’re talking about the possibility of creating completely new, advanced machinery, advanced testing machines, all kinds of different products that would stimulate our economy in a significant enough way to matter. I look at all the loss opportunity, and I say where, you know, it’s almost amazing to just be in something where you’re literally like, “Okay, where’s this going to be in 10 years? And I’m going to be in it.” And that’s the other thing, too, is, I’ve had enough experience as an entrepreneur to know, listen, this isn’t going to be, we didn’t we didn’t get into this to pump and dump. You know, we got into this to do it the right way, 7 to 10 years is usually the amount of time that it takes to get this business to where we want it to be, to whether we actually say, “Are we, do we have a strong footprint in it? Or is it time to potentially exit?” But so we’re in it, we’re not, we have no plans of going anywhere, we’re going to grow the company. We have a lot, and you know one of the, I tell all of my partners all the time, one of the beautiful things about being in our 40s when we started this is that we know a lot of people, and we have a lot of contacts with business. And it was relatively, I hate to say this, relatively easy to raise. We raised  close to $14 or $15 million [inaudible 23:36], in both equity and financing, and it was relatively easy. But the problem is, is that we all had to step away to a certain degree from our other careers, and jump all in. And all of us are all in now. And things have changed since that happened, where now we’re all kind of getting in our lanes, and everybody is functioning like a company, rather than six guys who had a great idea and enough money to start it. So, those those types of changes can be can be cathartic at times, because some of us are friends with each other. And I see myself not talking to my friends that much, not because we have problems, but because we’re working together now. And socially, you just don’t want to go out with the same guy who you’re dealing with on a regular basis every day about trying to get a company off the ground. So – 

 

Chip: Yeah, my feelings used to get hurt over that. But I realized that exact same thing. These people hear me all day long, they don’t want to hear me later on.

 

Joe: Yeah, well, you know, that’s true. It’s totally true. And my feelings have been hurt at times because a couple of my, the guys in it, one particular is a very close friend of mine. And you know, he and I really used play golf together. We don’t, of course we don’t play golf anymore at all, but we don’t really have our times together. And but I will say this, that part of entrepreneurship, and I know we’re gonna touch on some of that stuff, is that this particular venture was one that I have the most confidence in I’ve ever done for one reason, and one reason only is that the partners that you choose, sometimes they’re not the right people. For one reason is that they don’t have the same will, they don’t have the same [inaudible 24:18], 

 

Chip: Right. You’re right.

 

Joe: I won’t, I will not, you know, the ability to pivot, the ability to take care of a problem. And when you say, I’ve got it covered, you don’t have to worry about it, that that guy’s got it covered. And my partners are incredible. I can’t say enough about them. They are salt of the earth guys who have an immense amount of success in other industries, and they literally dropped everything. And now they’re submerged in this, and they are just the type of guys who you never have to worry are going to get done what they say they’re going to get done. And that in and of itself, that could probably –

 

Chip: Oh, that’s great.

 

Joe: Yeah, that could turn a halfway good idea into something big. And we have what I believe to be much more than a halfway good idea.

 

Chip: Does everybody have a previous background of your six partners?

 

Joe: I’m gonna be honest with you, three of the six did and three of the six they had really no opinion one way or the other. But to be honest with you, those are the three guys who had no previous experience, Chip, they’re more over the top about their passion for it now than probably the other three. 

 

Chip: Oh yeah, they’re new to it. It’s all new and exciting. It’s such an exciting plant business. 

 

Joe: Correct, Chip.

Cannabis in Michigan.

Chip: There’s so many opportunities in it. And you mentioned this in the beginning that we were, this is all just starting, it’s all just fresh. And so many people think that cannabis industry is over. But man, it’s not. And you don’t have to have $12 million. I know people in Michigan that have started on $12,000, or $20,000. And they’re gonna do good. But this is a, it’s a great, I’m not going to call it a corporate strategy even though that’s exactly what it is. It’s just that you know, often has such bad connotations, but a really great strategy to come into the market strong, guy with a multi-year game plan not just to get rich quick. If you think you’re gonna get rich quick in the weed industry, it’s just not going to happen. My buddy Stacy Johnson over there at Harvest House in Colorado, and if you ever up in Colorado, you should really go check his place out in Crested Butte, and in Crested Butte, and in Nederland Harvest House. It’s all boutique quality cannabis. But he’s got a great phrase that’s, “getting rich quick since 1989.” 

 

Joe: Well, if he started in 1989, then it’s a sort of an oxymoron, because it’s really, he’s not getting rich quick, but he probably made a couple of shekels. It’s funny, I made the statement not so long ago to I don’t remember who, but it might have been on a podcast, or might have been to one of our investors. And I said, “We aim to be the largest craft grow company in the United States, because we want to, we want to maintain that same boutique type of mentality and boutique approach to the quality. But we also recognize that in order to grow, you have to expand.” So rather than have 100,000, 200,000 square foot grow and just make what we deem to be Walmart weed. We and I hate to call it weed, but you know what I’m saying it doesn’t sound great calling it Walmart cannabis.

 

Chip: No, no, yeah, exactly. That’s such a good term for it.

 

Joe: Okay. So we yeah, so we want to create a craft boutique environment. And frankly, we want our consumer brand to be a lifestyle brand. We want to try, and branding is so difficult, because of the fact that you’re so limited on your commercialization of it. You can’t do it outside your state. There’s no national brands now. So trying to put your footprint in the ground in your state is hard enough. And then when you start to say, “Okay, once the floodgates are open, and this is allowed for interstate commerce,” because that looks like it might be happening out west. I don’t know if you’ve been reading but you know – 

 

Chip: Oh yeah, I’ve got I’ve got some great friends involved with that. Justin Jones over there. He’s involved with it in Oregon, and we’ll see it happen there first.

 

Joe: Yeah. So I mean, one way or another, I was telling my partner’s the other day. I said, we applied for our recreational craft grow license in Illinois, which is an incredibly difficult license to obtain we’re actually going to –

 

Chip: Oh yeah. I lost 14 of those so far.

 

Joe: Well, yeah, that’s the other thing. You got to deal with losing, failing the test. And it’s tough for me because, I am somewhat of an academic and I’ve taken a lot of tests in my life. And as a trial attorney in my background, I don’t like to fail. You do all the things you can do, and it’s costly, man. I’ll tell you, the barrier century are incredible. I mean, you can spend, 100, 200, 300. I’ve got friends who spent $400,000 on their craft grow license in Illinois. 

 

Chip: Oh yeah. I know.

 

Joe: And so, you look at a guy who says, “Hey, man, I’ve got, 6000 bucks for the filing fee,” or 2500 I guess for the social equity it was this time. “I’ve got $2500 for my license application, but who’s going to do it? How am I going to do it? Where am I getting the information? Where are the SOPs coming from?” And you’ve got, months and months of work with 20 people just to compete. So,  but I told my partners, I said, “If the interstate commerce pack flies up in Oregon to California, then I wonder if we can take a boat from Chicago’s Navy Pier, across the lake in Michigan, so that we can transport product back and forth, because we’re not contiguous with Michigan.” That’s the funny thing about Illinois is that you got to go through Indiana to get to Michigan, and Indiana will, hell will freeze over before Indiana becomes –

 

Chip: That’s what they’ve said about Georgia, but I’m applying for a license down there right now.

 

Joe: Yeah, that’s a good point, Chip. That’s a good point.

 

Chip: And Oklahoma used to be the worst place in the country to get caught. And now, I mean, oh man, Oklahoma is changing fast. They’ve got, it’s really kind of got a bad rap. Because the way that you perceived it from the outside, but the inner workings of it, and it’s got it. It has all the makings for progressive state man.

 

Joe: That’s really cool.

 

Chip: The social stuff that goes on here, the like, the multiple ethnicities that are here. I mean, you know, the LBGT community here, like, it’s just, you would not expect all of that.

 

Joe: Well, you got a lot of big college towns, too. I mean, people fail to realize that most college towns really do help. I mean, you know, as far –

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely.

 

Joe: As far as, I think that that’s a big factor. I mean, you guys got two major universities out there with, couple tens of thousands of students, and those are, and then all the other universities in the various cities, and that really helps. I mean, I thought Oklahoma was underrated, in the sense of where it might be someday. And as I understand it, I mean, isn’t it like most of the people who have, everybody says, “Oh, Oklahoma saturated with growers,” and blah, blah, blah. But aren’t those a lot of small growers, you know? It’s not, you guys don’t have thousands of huge 50,000 square foot grow facilities, am I correct in that?

 

Chip: You know, you mentioned the, we call it the backpack laws, right? That they used to have in Michigan or California, where almost anybody could have a small grow with just a little bit of investment or a letter from their doctor, kind of the same things going on here in Oklahoma, but they just took they just took the veil off, right? Instead of saying, “Okay, it can be medical marijuana, and we’re not going to like, regulate the growing and the selling of it,” as most states have, it doesn’t introduce it, right? They used to jump right in. And that not allowed, because, I mean, it’s the exact same mechanism that happened in Michigan, Colorado, in California. It just started a little differently. You know, and yeah, bunch of out of state people would come here. I mean, I’m from around the state. You can still invest here being out of state, the number of people applying for licenses has slowed down. But yeah, man, they’re gonna have recreational cannabis here, Texas is right next door with 8 million people. I mean, this is really a great, great, great place to be for cannabusinesses.

 

Joe: Don’t you guys have something like 1500 dispensaries already? Is that true?

 

Chip: Man, I think it’s even more than that. In the cities, the interesting thing about it here is in Tulsa, Norman and Oklahoma City, there’s building and planting departments. So and that’s also where the concentration of the dispensaries are.

 

Joe: Gotcha.

 

Chip: So you see a lot of them that have signs that they haven’t been opened up because the city has just been so inundated with building and zoning issues.

 

Joe: And how are they taxing it?

 

Chip: Taxation’s great here, it’s just taxed half the retail sale.

 

Joe: And how high is that?

 

Chip: I think it’s 15%.

 

Joe: That’s great. Yeah, we’re, I think Michigan, we’re about 16%. You know, which then, you look at Illinois and Illinois is gonna, Illinois is one of the first states if not the only state that passed legalization by legislation rather than referendum. So, it was great because the law’s already written, they’re gonna have 500 maximum dispensaries, they’re gonna have x amount of grows, they’ve done the calculations. So in Illinois, you don’t have to be, you’re not going to have to be vertically integrated to survive.  Whereas many other states, you always want that. You always want your grow with the processing facility in five, six major dispensaries. In Illinois, you’re not really going to need that because there’s going to be a need for you no matter what, because they’ve already calculated it. And there’s only so many licenses that are going to be, they’re going to be awarded. But, on the flip side of that is the fact that like I said, the barriers to entry are ridiculous. The application process was ridiculous. And they came out with their dispensary awards last week that were supposed to come out in June, but because of the Coronavirus, that got delayed. There’s lawsuits alleging that the applications were not read fairly, there was supposed to be a social equity component to it. So you got a lot of points for social equity, so almost everybody has social equity. And then they had an additional five points for adding a veteran. Well, what some companies did, was went out and got a veteran. And here’s the caveat, they had to be 51% owners of the company. So there were, it turns out there were over 4000 applications for dispensaries in Illinois, over 4000 applications for 75 licenses. But you could apply an unlimited amount of licenses, one entity if you had the money. So 26 license applications, or applicants, I should say, tied for first place. But they had, they covered all 75 licenses because they applied for multiple license. It turns out that there were a bunch of other people who didn’t have a veteran who also got a perfect score. So they sued, because they basically said, spirit of this application process was for social equity. It wasn’t for veterans, it just got tagged on at the end. And someone figured out well, “Well, if I have a social equity who is a veteran, I’m going to get all 55 points.” And so they filed the lawsuit in federal court, I’m sorry, I think it’s actually in state court and file an injunction the state has holding off the lottery. Because they’re basically going to take the 26 ties, put them into a hat and all those 26 entities are going to get all 75 licenses. So point being those, people look at it and say, you know, it’s like playing lottery, because if you get this grow, and people are talking about the grow license, which is a craft grow 15,000 square foot under canopy maximum. And they’re saying those licenses alone are worth $10 million. So you know, yeah.

 

Chip: Oh my god, I got a 10,000 square foot California one that I feel like I’ve had $10 million in it.

 

Joe: That’s funny.

 

Chip: Oh, it did not really, but like, I gotta make the best of it. Thanks again for joining me with another fine episode of The Real Dirt podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear others, please download and subscribe The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes or Spotify. Please, please, please, please, please subscribe. Check us out on Instagram and comment on some of our posts so we can move forward there. And hey, man, thanks for lending me your time. I really appreciate it. Have an incredible rest of your day, this has been The Real Dirt.

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