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The Real Dirt on Permaculture and Cannabis Tourism

The Real Dirt on Permaculture and Cannabis Tourism

permaculture and regenerative cannabis cultivation
Notice: This episode was recorded before the forest fires in California began.

Restorative agriculture is no joke.

As cannabis cultivators, we are all stewards of the environment. Our actions can directly impact our local ecosystems, and as cannabis cultivation spreads across the nation, that impact can grow rapidly.

Restorative agriculture, or permaculture, is the act of farming while trying to prevent as many environmentally harmful practices as possible. Water usage, nutrients, soil beds, and farm design are just some of the aspects that go into restorative cannabis cultivation, and Sol Spirit Farm is doing it all.

Judi Nelson and Walter Wood are the owners of Sol Spirit Farm, a licensed 10k square foot regenerative cannabis farm in Trinity County, CA and Sol Spirit Retreats, a cannabis tourism-focused, farm stay hospitality business. Walter has been cultivating cannabis since 1996, and his passion for improving the environmental footprint of his cannabis cultivation is what drives every cultivation decision.

Judi and Walter started Sol Spirit Retreats in 2019 after meeting a lot of people, even people working in the cannabis industry, who had never seen a cannabis plant growing in the ground under the full sunshine. They wanted to share the experience of being in the Emerald Triangle on a cannabis farm, and show off how regenerative farming, permaculture principles, and appropriate technology can enhance the cannabis we bring to market, while improving the health of our land.

In this episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, Judi and Walter take Chip through their grow processes and how they maintain their restorative cannabis cultivation practices. They also dive in to the new world of cannabis tourism and the many challenges, especially the legal hurdles, that the two had to overcome just to operate.

While still small and driven mostly by word-of-mouth, Sol Spirit Retreats has drawn in a lot of people trying to experience the northern California life. Judi hopes that one day it will be just like a winery and orchard, where visitors won’t just be able to tour, but also taste the cannabis on the farm!

Check out this episode on our new YouTube channel or go to your favorite podcast platform to listen on the go! TRANSCRIPT BELOW

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Transcript

 

Chip: Oh, here we are, The Real Dirt. Today at The Real Dirt, I have some peoples from one of my favorite place in the world, Trinity County, California. Man, Trinity and Humboldt, and along the border there, is one of the most beautiful and rugged places in the world. And I have Judi Nelson and Walter Wood of Sol Spirit Farms and Retreats. Say hey, Judi and Walter.

 

Walter: Hello!

 

Judi: Hey, Chip!

 

Chip: Oh, man, I just love that whole area you guys are in, outside Willow Creek all the way to Hayford. I’ve got some really great friends over there. Little Hill Farms is over there, and man, you guys are just in paradise.

 

Walter: Definitely, definitely. We love it. We have been out there for about 20 years now and I don’t know, we hardly leave. It’s home. It’s a magic place.

 

Chip: So are you guys on the mountain, or the river?

 

Walter : We’re about 300 feet up from the river floor. So we’re just out of the river fog, but at the same time, we’re not up on the hilltop. So it’s a nice kind of in-between. We’re in the valley, but we get about 12 hours of sun so it just works out perfect.

 

Chip: Oh man, it sounds beautiful. Yeah, that river fog can plague you. I lived over in, off the Vandusen for a number of years. Man, the fog just creep right in on you.

 

Walter: I had no idea how bad it was until one day, we just took a little drone up and it was like, 10 o’clock in the morning. We’d been in the sun for hours and the whole valley was fogged in just below our shelf.

 

Chip: Oh yeah, there’s places like that all over. You know I lived in, up in Kneeland right outside Arcata for a number of years. And we’re at the 3500 block, which is 3.5 miles up that hill. And if you went just a half a mile further, you’re gonna have enough fog. Almost every single day like, hours before you know, we got out of the fog.

 

Walter: Luckily, we were living in the area for a few years before we bought the property, and we had a pretty good idea what the [2:18 inaudible] were. Permaculture course really helped nail in what exactly makes a good piece of property for homesteading, and growing some fine medicines.

 

Chip: Well, man, you guys are in the homesteading capital of the world, that’s for sure. And you mentioned permaculture, and you know, we talked about regenerative farming earlier. You guys have a unique cannabis business. You know, many people just have a, they cultivate, or extract, or are packaging something, but you have this cultivation that you integrate with a farm stay. Tell me how that works.

 

Judi: Well, so we have been inviting guests up to the farm. The [2:59 inaudible] as legalization of recreational hemp in California, we started going to a bunch of different trade shows. And it was kind of amazing to meet people who are in the cannabis industry who have never seen a cannabis plant growing in the ground. And it really surprised me, because obviously, we’ve been sort of up in our little bubble here for the past 20 years, and I just didn’t realize it. And so, we just really wanted to be able to bring people like that up, and be like, “Hey, check this out. This is this way that this can be done that’s not taking a lot of resources.” We’re actually trying to make our piece of property and the land that we’re working with in a better state than when we found it. And in order to do that, we have some bell tents, which are these beautiful canvas tents. And people come up, and they generally spend two nights in the tents. And we raise pigs and chickens on the farm, as well as vegetables and fruit, and so we’re able to do farm-to-table meals. And then Walter takes them on a really nice farm tour, and shows them all the different techniques that we’re using. And we usually take them rafting on the Trinity or on the South Fork, depending on what time of year it is. And it’s just been really great, because I think to people who are suffering nature deficit, nature connection deficit, it’s a really rejuvenating experience I think for people.  Especially if they’re coming from a city, to come up and just chill out, smoke some good medicine, and connect with nature. And it’s been really rewarding for us too, and hopefully for them.

 

Chip: That sounds so fun. But you guys don’t have a normal cultivation or I shouldn’t say a normal, but it should be normal. But you guys use permaculture and regenerative farming techniques.  Many people have heard organic or maybe living soil, and those are kind of part of regenerative farming and permaculture a bit. And I know it’s a huge question to ask, but man, can you like, tell me how it applies to cannabis?

 

Walter: Well, we’re working on a whole bunch of different angles and we did this, we have transitioned substantially in the last few years. We were doing the full season plants up until almost legalization, and then we switched over to the light dep, and so we’re getting all that worked out. And so we’ve now got about six and a half thousand square feet of, we got living soil beds which for us that means we don’t till them, we don’t broadfork them or anything. We did originally broadfork them to just loosen them up a little bit, but not to actually turn the soil. There is a living clover cover crop growing year-round, it’s a little bit died back right now, because they were associated out by the ladies on the first round. We just replaced the spot where the plant itself was potted in, or the pot went in into the ground. And so the rest of it’s all connected, all natural, all living. Tilling really disrupts the biology of the soil and releases a lot of CO2 into the air. With this, the clover cover crop, we didn’t have to import any nitrogen this year. All’s we’ve been feeding has been compost fees, most of that’s made with onsite compost, we’ve been doing various KNF type things, which we are importing some sugar to make our nutrients. So that’s just about it. It’s all natural farming, just trying to to make as many nutrients as we can at home to import as little as possible, and just build that soil. 

 

Chip: When you say beds, describe what your beds look like.

 

Walter: Well, so I mean we are on a little bit of a slope. It’s pretty mellow, but it does slope so we went across that hillside.  And when we broadforked it and all that out, we leveled out a six foot bed going across the hillside, it’s tied right into the soil. There’s no cage around it or anything like that, it’s just directly in the earth. And then, we’re going to be putting up some wood edges on the downhill side to just help retain that edge. It’s grown right in the earth. It’s super important to me. We don’t have to feed as much, and the plants have access to what they want. They can make choices, and they’re not stuck in a little tiny soil spot, they have access to the whole area.

 

Chip: What did you have to do to your soil to prep it? What did you add to it at the beginning, and what are kind of the things that you add to it now?

 

Walter: Well, so this year, like I said, we actually, we did not add anything besides wood cover crop (7:50). And then we also did bring in forest duff from the hillside above of the patch. And so we brought in a couple inches of the leaf litter and stuff that’s just starting to break down a little bit, so that brought in our indigenous microorganisms or IMOs, as they’re known sometimes. So we covered the beds with a six inch layer of that which completely covered that clover for a little bit, then that cover crop burst right back through that, and basically just incorporated all of that leaf matter right away. And so previously, when we first did prep those beds, we did bring in some manure. I think that was about it. I’m so scared to bring in even from outside anything because our tests, our flower’s tested to the parts per billion on these pesticides, and what if I’m bringing in some straw or something, and if it were to have something? So we avoid bringing in anything. We like to keep everything from on-site, that way we know it’s clean.

 

Chip: These aren’t like, beds that normal people think of that have wooden sides, their area is that you’ve built in the soil, grown in and added your own ingredients, local ingredients.

 

Walter: Exactly, exactly.

Chip: When you talk to people about cannabis techniques and grow techniques, a bed means so much different, so many different things. You know, in the indoor world, it can mean something, it’s totally different than the outdoor world.

 

Walter: We are directly in the ground for sure.

 

Chip: You’re directly in the ground and you say you do light dep, is it under plastic? Or is it under natural sunlight during the day?

 

Walter: So yeah, we do not have the clear covers on the greenhouses, so they are open to the natural sunlight. It makes it simpler. We don’t need as many fans, things like that, because it is open. And then yeah, we roll down some tarps over it at night, give us the 12 hour cycle.

 

Chip: Oh yeah, absolutely, man. I’m just envisioning your garden here as we’re talking about it. I mean, I’ve been in quite a few Humboldt and Trinity Gardens on the hillside. I feel like I know, I feel like I’ve been to your place before.

 

Walter: One thing that’s a little unusual is each bed is on its own, a foot higher than the next, because it’s sloping down the hillside. So then the bottom of the greenhouse has just some leg extensions to level it out. And so once again, just trying to simplify, keep things as minimal, and environmentally friendly as possible.

 

Chip: That’s the name of the game. And you know, the interesting thing about everything we’re talking about, is there’s no cost in doing this. Like you virtually have, I mean, you have very low input costs. 

 

Walter: Yeah, comparing it to an indoor scene it is very drastically reduced. I would do only two runs a year. So we have very little lighting, very little inputs, and that way, the light dep is significantly more labor I find than the full season was. And you know, just pruning up all these plants and anything when you multiply it by 1800 or 2400 pound a run, all of a sudden like, just a few [11:13 inaudible] here and there adds up.

 

Judi: There is an increased labor cost, you know, you’re just trading going out into the forest and having to collect these inputs. That’s a labor cost, right? So you’re trading maybe some increased labor cost on going out and sourcing the nutrients ourselves compared to like, just going to the store and buying something that somebody else made in a bottle. So it’s a little bit of a trade-off. It’s not like there’s no cost associated. There’s no material cost, but there is a labor cost for sure.

 

Chip: Wait, wait a second. I thought that’s where the farm stay came in. Don’t you have the guests doing that for you?

 

Judi: I gotta make that work out, right? That’s the next step.

 

Chip: Sounds like you guys got a great trim camp. You really need to be hustling guests here in October, huh?

 

Judi: Right. Yes, come pay to trim our weed. That sounds like a great plan. I gotta get to work on that.

 

Chip: You would be the first person to try to implement that one.

 

Judi: I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Walter: We’ll outdo what everyone else has [12:16 inaudible].

 

Chip: You know, not too many places have cannatourism, and that’s what we’re talking about here. And this is so akin to, I mean, wine tourism or fishing tourism. Like, this is like, a brand new thing. And how has it been perceived?

 

Judi: Well, you know, it’s been a little bit of a challenge just working out all the legalities of doing it, obviously because cannabis is so highly regulated. That’s, I would say been the most challenging part, is just trying figure out and make sure I’m not breaking any rules. And one thing that I mean, the people who have found it and have come out,  we sort of kept it a little just word of mouth so far, but the people that have come out have all had a great experience. And I think that, especially in Trinity County, and in Humboldt, like, it’s a huge thing if we can make it so that it’s easy for farms to do this, and to show it. There’s a huge demand for people who want to come and have this experience. It’s like, legendary, this area. There’s lots of people that want to come have the experience. So it’s been really well-received by the people who have come so far. We’re just trying to make it better all the time. And someday too, what we hope is like, just like wine, it would be amazing if we can get to the point with the state laws and the local laws that I could actually allow people to purchase cannabis at the farm when they come, you know, be able to buy our flower on our farm. So far that’s not allowed, but I really do hope that one of these days soon, the various involved agencies do allow us to do that, just like you can at a winery. And do tastings, and do that whole thing, because that would be amazing.

 

Chip: Absolutely man. They’ll treat us like adults one day.

 

Judi: Someday.

 

Walter: Maybe, I sure hope so. We know it’s come a long way.

 

Chip: It’s amazing, you know, Humboldt and Trinity County has such long-standing history, but there’s just always been this fight against cannabis there, and it just still remains. It’s one of the most difficult places to get licensing to this day. They’re really missing out on so much great culture. And this huge brain trust is there of people like yourselves, and living environment, sacrificing to grow cannabis, and cannabis growing them in return. It’s just an untapped resource, and they just haven’t used it well enough, that’s for sure.

 

Judi: Especially in Trinity where, you know, there was logging and mining, and that’s kind of what everything was built upon. But that’s been gone for decades now. And there’s not a lot else going on in Trinity. And I do think it’s changing. You know, we were able just recently, the Trinity County Agriculture Alliance, of which we are members, which is a group of licensed cultivators in Trinity. And we actually proposed our own cannabis commercial, cannabis tax measure, like, to tax ourselves. Because up to that point, Trinity didn’t have one and, you know, we all want to see our community services happen. And, we were able in five days to collect 10% of the registered voter signatures in the county to get our measure on the ballot.  And you know, who would have thought that that would ever happen in Trinity County? But it just did, so it’s coming around, it’s happening. You know, we’re getting more organized, and as people can kind of come out of the closet a little bit, I think that’s only just gonna increase.

 

Chip: Yeah, ’cause people are still scared to talk about cannabis there, even legal cannabis owners. They’re scared to talk about cannabis. They’re scared to bring it up to their neighbors. It’s still taboo in so many communities, in so many places.

 

Judi: Yeah, it’s true. I think that for me, that’s been one of the best parts about recreational happening in California. It’s just like, “Okay, you know what? We’re here. We’ve been here the whole time, but now we’re letting you know.”

 

Chip: So tell me about this tax initiative.

 

Judi: Well, so there was a tax measure proposed on the March election by a group of people who really actually just wanted to put all of – my perception – was that their tax basically was just to put everybody out of business. And so this, the Trinity County Agricultural Alliance came up with one that is much more small farm friendly, because in Trinity County, almost everybody has 10,000 square feet or less because of the way that the ordinance was written. There’s only a few people who have more than 10,000 square feet. And so basically, the TCAA came up with this proposal where it’s all based on sales, right? So for instance, in Humboldt County, you have this square footage tax where you’re charged per square foot, kind of regardless on whether you grow anything or make any money or not, which personally, I don’t think is the best way to do it.

 

Chip: Oh, it sucks.

 

Judi: I think that like these other industries, you should be taxed once you make money, right? And so luckily, we kind of had time to look at all these other counties and be like, “Okay, what’s good, what’s not good?” And so this tax, it’s like, for your first hundred pounds, you’re taxed at this rate. And I can’t quote you the exact numbers, but you’re taxed at a lower rate. So if you’re a very small producer, those first hundred pounds you grow is taxed at a low rate. And then it goes up, like okay, and then the next 200, I think, and it goes up from there until like, over I think a thousand pounds, you’re paying, I believe it’s $15 a pound in cultivation tax to the county, basically. And, you know, there’s some other things in there about different businesses, there is no retail in Trinity County yet at this point. And so they’re not, you know, they’re missing that, again, they’re not collecting any tax revenue because they’re not allowing anybody to sell retail, which hopefully, again, they’re gonna get that together. But this initiative mostly is for taxation on cultivators, because I think that’s appropriate as long as you wait to tax them. Wait until I’ve made some money, I’m very happy to contribute to the county coffers to do roadwork and, public safety, and things like that, and schools. And so, we just wanted to show as an industry like , “Look, here we are, we want to contribute, but don’t try to put us out of business.” Because that’s not going to be good for the county long-term.

 

Chip: Yeah, there’s so much green greed, it comes from every place. The counties get it for sure, and the state governments get it for sure. Well man, I salute you guys, for working so hard to put it together. Trinity was considered one of the harder places when it all started, I think Humboldt’s shown that it’s the hardest place right now. I mean, Mendocino might not be so easy either, but it hasn’t been any easier anywhere in the Triangle.

 

Walter: I think the triangle has some like, 60 or 80% of the permit since, it’s a large number.

 

Chip: More like 15, 16,000 people in Humboldt with commercial grows, you know, before all this has happened. And to say that you have like, and to say that you have 500 people or 600 people with licensing? Man, I just don’t think that’s a good enough attempt to get people out of the private market industry, and get them into tax. Because literally for Humboldt, it’s billions of dollars. They would convert all of that private grow – sorry guys, you should probably pay some taxes, all of my private grow friends that are out there just growing in the hills. I love you guys, you should pay more taxes. If they would incorporate all those guys into it, it would like really, really change. I mean, my local school, Trinidad Union School District, man they’re failing, they don’t have any money, right? Like, COVID’s hit them so hard like, there’s like, just so much stuff, and through Humboldt and Trinity County an educational loan that needs to be worked on. And you know if they played their cards right, like, cannabis could totally bring the whole Emerald Triangle out of all of their problems, right? It could help with the fire suppression issues. It could help with all the drug problems, it can help with all the homelessness, it can help with all of the educational stuff. I mean, it’s just such a wasted resource. It’s just kind of frustrating when we see as there.

 

Judi: Yeah, I think some of that is not necessarily seeing the legal market in California. And it is a challenge right now to, when you compare just all the hoops you have to jump through, all the money you have to pay. And yet, I personally think, because the state especially is taxing the end product so hard, they just have this huge black market that’s still going, and it’s hard to not look at that and be like, “Wow, that was so much easier back in the day.” But again, now it’s all changing and it’s the time to like, get together and move forward into the light.

 

Chip: No, it’s the responsible thing to do. And I mean, I don’t know about Trinity County, but Humboldt County per capita always had more people contributing to fundraising than anyplace else, you know? And that was because all the cash dollars from the fishing, the logging and the cannabis. And now the fishing and the logging, it’s like next to nothing compared to what it used to be, and it’s just cannabis. If they could just, open up their arms, just embrace it.

 

Walter: Relax a bit.

 

Chip: Yeah, relax, relax a bit. I know you have such a special place and inviting people out there. Tell me about some of the people that have come in and visited you.

 

Judi: So last year, we mostly focused on some different folks who either own, or manage, or the buyers for various retail shops in California. Again, because there’s no better way for someone to learn where this particular brand, our Sol Spirit brand of flower comes from. And, the lot of them had never been to the Emerald Triangle. So last year, it was a lot of retailers. And most of them were so stressed out when they arrived, because they’re jumping through their own set of hoops. And that job, I can’t even imagine trying to pull that off. And so, it was just super relaxing and rejuvenating for them. And most of them, you could just like, see their faces change by the third day where they were just like, “Oh, okay, we’ve let go of the stress. We’re here. ” And also getting to see the way that we farm, I think really opened their eyes to like, it’s not all the same. So like, indoor has its thing and then people with like, really large grows who are maybe putting out more mid-quality stuff, but in volume, that’s a whole different thing. And then our particular craft, regenerative way of doing it, it’s like, you’re actually talking kind of about different products, right? And so I think it was great for them to be able to see, like, “Oh, yeah, the next time somebody comes in and tries to sell me a regenerative craft cannabis, I’m not going to compare it to this $8 eighth in a mylar bag that came from a 12-acre scene in Salinas,” or something, you know. So that I think is like, an education piece that’s super important to us. And so there’s that, and like, that really, I think, changed a lot of their perspectives. And then this year, we’ve had more just regular folks. It’s been interesting with COVID to kind of work that all out, and so we had a bit of a slow start just making sure that we could keep everybody safe. And now I feel like we’ve got that down. And it’s been, I feel like even more rewarding, because we’ve had several people from the Bay Area come up, and some of them have been stuck in their apartment for months. So to be able to come out and of course, the beautiful cannabis medicine also helps with their mindset. And we had a couple of people come out where they sort of like, changed their whole life trajectory over the weekend, because they were able to just kind of step out of their normal life and gain some perspective on what they were doing which of course the cannabis is also really helpful for.

 

Walter: Yeah. The hills of Humboldt County and Trinity County have a way of doing that.

 

Judi: It’s been really great. We’ve had all kinds of different people, yes. Yeah. You know, you get used to where you live, and you kind of stop seeing it, I think sometimes. And being able to have all these different people come and see it from their perspective and out of their eyes, it really refreshes our love of the place as well.

 

Chip: Oh man, you know that’s the thing that people don’t understand or know about that area, Northern California is it has the least light pollution I’m pretty sure of any place else in the US. Right, maybe even the continental US. I mean, it is you get to see this guy.

 

Judi: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing.

 

Chip: It’s been great chatting with you guys. If people want to come to Sol Spirit Retreats, how do they get in touch with you guys? Can they follow you on Instagram? Or how does it work?

 

Judi: Well, they can follow us on Instagram. We have two different Instagrams, so one for the farm and one for the farm stay. And they’re, Sol Spirit Farm, s-o – like the sun, Sol Spirit Farm and Sol Spirit Retreats. And then our websites are the same, solspiritfarm.com and solspiritretreats.com.

 

Chip: Yeah, well, hey, thanks for joining me and man, smell some of that good Trinity County here for me. God, I wish I was there right now with you.

The Secrets of the Country’s Largest Cannabis Operations with Nick Morin

The Secrets of the Country’s Largest Cannabis Operations with Nick Morin

commercial cannabis grow

Remember that show Cribs?

You know, that show where we got to take tours through the mansions of the rich and famous and feel bad about ourselves. While it’s been a long time since we watched Master P show off his gold ceiling, there’s a new, better, completely unrelated Cribs that is all about cannabis.

CannaCribs was started by Nick Morin through his company the Grower’s Network to show us all what it’s really like inside some of the largest and technologically advanced cannabis cultivation operations across the country. But it isn’t all green ganja and piles of cash in these operations.

What you don’t see on CannaCribs is the behind the scenes details that Nick gets from the head growers and owners of these operations. From the shady investment dealings that growers fall into like overfunding and inexperienced fund managers to the stressful work that goes into maintaining a large scale cannabis operation, Chip and Nick dive into it all in this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast.

More about Nick

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Transcript:

Chip: Once again you have reached “The Real Dirt.” And on today’s dirt, it’s a very special episode. Today, I’ve got Nick Morin from Canna Cribs. Now, if you haven’t seen Canna Cribs, you’ve got to check it out, great YouTube channel. It’s absolutely one of my favorites, it’s one of the best production in our whole industry. And if you haven’t seen Canna Cribs yet, you’re missing out. Thank you so much Nick for joining me.

Nick: Chip, thanks for having me. I really appreciate your time.

Chip: Nick called me up a couple, a month or two ago, and said he was going to start a podcast. And we’ve exchanged a bunch of information and talked back and forth and you know, I’m really excited to hear about your podcast. You’ve just launched a new podcast and you know, we just immediately got along on the phone. ‘Cause like, we do the same thing. You know in some manner, is we get to go talk to ganja people all over the country and world and find out, you know, what they’re all about. And get to go into gardens that we may, people just dream about. What’s it like having this dream job, Nick?

Nick: I just would say I’m extremely grateful to be working with my team, you know, my bestfriends and going out and filming these stories, telling these stories now on the podcast. It’s a dream job and it’s something that you know, as a little kid I never would have imagined I’d be here today, but it’s pretty special at this point in time in this industry, as we’re evolving rapidly.

Chip: I know we have a lot talk about. But like, let’s talk about Canna Cribs. How did it start, when did it start, like tell me about it.

Nick: I’ll take you to the exact point in time. CannaCon Seattle, I was talking with my friends that own uh, Glass House Farms in uh, Carpinteria, California. You know, it was dinner, it’s after the trade show. As many people do after a trade show, you go out for dinner and drinks and we’re just brainstorming. And when you get those energies, you know, across the table going and some good ideas, Canna Cribs was born. You know, I wanted to create a Youtube series. And I was really inspired by Marijuana Mania by Berner, and Strain Hunters and their team, and I wanted to come up with uh, kind of my own version of garden tours. I think Growing Exposed was coming up around the same time as well. So you know, I was chatting with, you know, Graham and their whole team over there. And we came up that – it sounds like you got the intro going, so yeah, that’s, that’s it right there, man. So we flew out there shortly after, actually flew to Tucson and picked this up which was a surreal experience in itself right there. I put together my team from University of Arizona, you know, some friends from college, some friends that I’ve worked with, and then some acquaintances kind of one degree away in Tucson. And we flew out there, filmed our pilot and as they say, the rest is history.

Chip: I’ve actually got it on right now, “Glass House Greenhouse Commercial Cannabis Growing Operation in California,” Canna Cribs. I really love this episode, I love everything about it. Like it’s so like, highly produced. I’m a TV junkie, I love format. And like, just the way that you guys have produced this whole series, it like, mimics you know, several other of my favorite type of genres. The like, you know, fix and flip style genre, where they’re either it’s an old junk car they find, the barn find, and turn it into —

Nick: Right.

Chip: You know, something. Something great. Or like, you know, a house, where like they buy it, and they like, fix it and flip it. You’ve got a lot of the like, elements in the editing with that. It really like, draws people in. Man, I also love all of the, the product placement that occurs in this episode and other episodes. It shows the products that people are using, but it’s not like an over the top infomercial advertisement. ‘Cause we all know it’s like, advertising helps pay for it all. It’s very discreetly done, it’s done well.

Nick: Yeah. You’re exactly right. The product placement and advertising, it allows for us to go out there and film. And you know, a lot of people don’t know this, but it’s not like we’re charging farms tens and thousands or you know, a hundred thousand dollars to go out to film. It’s actually no cost, vast majority of the time. So the farm doesn’t pay anything, and we of course have to pay our crew and get out there. And you know, you know this very well, Chip. Youtube gives us zero dollars in advertising. I can’t even spend money on Youtube to promote our show so, it creates an environment where you have to be very scrappy. You have to be wise and extend your dollars through organic content. And the thought leadership behind the brands, the products, the services that these growers are using, it’s a pretty straightforward model where these are the products that their success is built on. Those companies you know like, let’s say soil companies. You know, your background and growing media, and every episode there’s a different growing media. And these growers rely on that product for their success so it’s a really natural fit where we get to educate fans all around the world. We get to help promote the grower through the episode. And then the vendor has an opportunity to promote their products naturally, because we don’t place products that aren’t naturally used at the farm.

Chip: And you can tell the authenticity of it due to that. What was your background in cannabis previous to this?

Nick: So I just say, a lover of the plant. I’m relatively —

Chip: You’re an enthusiast. You’re a cannabis enthusiast. Excellent.

Nick: That’s exactly right. So I started consuming young and you know, I have two older brothers and that probably helped a little bit. Yeah, I actually started Growers Network and Canna Cribs shortly after, during my senior year in college. So, this is my first foray into the, into any professional industry, really. I started a couple communities while I was at the University of Arizona. So I guess I do have a background in kind of grassroots community building from the ground up. And then you know, I have a passion for both cannabis and also technology, and the marriage of the two of those things, as well as marketing and community building, it’s kind of where I live today. And what I’m super passionate about you know, when it comes to sharing very special stories that will impact the history and our future, everyone in this industry with the rest of the world. And just kind of showing and proving that there is a way to have you know, legal, compliant, and really good cannabis at the end of the day that saves lives and builds businesses.

Chip: You came to this as just an enthusiast. You had a surface knowledge of how cannabis operated, how it grew, the production of it all. Did you have some misconceptions that were immediately proven inaccurate when you started doing Canna Cribs?

Nick: I would say that like, everyone on our crew including myself, we didn’t really know, we didn’t really know what went into a commercial sized grow operation. You know, we might have had friends growing here and there, more you know, underground and maybe at the hobbyist or kind of that caregiver scale. But, to walk into a commercial grow operation and see that scale, it was incredible. So I’d say, maybe less misconceptions but more just, you know, kind of what’s behind the curtain. Having the opportunity to share that with the world is really special.

Chip: You talked about the stories, you’ve mentioned that a couple of times. Do you have a favorite cannabis story, or favorite episode that you made?

Nick: Oh my gosh, that’s a tough one. Choosing between your babies —

Chip: Oh I just keep pressing the memo, hey I just started man, I just started.

Nick: I love it. I love it. Yeah, no, I love the question, Chip. So I’d say you know, one of the stories that I probably enjoyed the most telling and also was the most moved by, was Scott Reach of Rare Dankness. He’s gone through a lot of personal turmoil and you can listen to his story with his health, and how cannabis really healed him and gave him an opportunity to you know, run a business and support his family. So, a lot of that comes up in you know, throughout the episode and you know, it’s not every single episode that that story is going to be exactly the same. You know, each episode kind of has a unique, I guess unique story to tell. But with Scott and Rare Dankness, before we went out there you know, we did some research. We always like to do some pre-production research to come up with some story points and kind of build out what the episode’s going to look like before we set foot on set to film. You know, his personal fight with cancer and how cannabis really helped him personally with his fight with cancer, but also his background with breeding and as a geneticist. And through his other companies, he’s building, in my words, he’s building a cannabis empire. It doesn’t stop with just House of Dankness, it doesn’t stop with just Rare Dankness, he has a seed company around the world, he has a new nutrient line. So, one thing that I really resonate with and connect with is the entrepreneurial spirit of these cannabis grow operation owners. And there’s a lot of different types of commercial grow operations, but that episode with Scott, it really shined through, all the different things he had going on, and I loved it.

Chip: He’s really built an incredible room. If anybody’s out there who wants to see great, great, great cultivation grow room, look up that episode. Which episode is it? I’m looking for it now.

Nick: Episode six, it was right after Honeydew Farms in Humboldt.

Chip: Episode six, man, totally. Episode six, Honeydew Farm. The first Canna Cribs was the Honeydew Farms one.

Nick: Oh really?

Chip: And I’ve spent most of my life in Humboldt. I moved there ’97, and still have a property, and farm, and business there today. I heard that there was some, you know, because it’s a small community, so I’d heard that there was some like, thing being filmed, Honeydew Farms. And it was out, so yeah I went and checked it out. That was my first exposure to you. And then of course, I watched all the rest of the episodes.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah, it’s bingeful content. You know, it takes you about a weekend to watch all the Canna Cribs and Deep Roots, and we have a couple you know, new projects on the horizon. But, you know, if you ask me the favorite episode to film as far as where I was, it’s hands down, Alex Moore’s Honeydew Farms in Humboldt. It was my first time travelling there. And I mean, honestly Chip, I felt like the time froze. You know, our cellphones weren’t working. You know, we just had our cameras and we were kind of like, paused in this beautiful forest and his property is pretty amazing as well, you know, on a river basin. It was, it was magical. And we stayed in Arcadia?

Chip: Arcata.

Nick: Arcata, Arcata. So we stayed in Arcata and you know – or no sorry, I apologize. We stayed in Eureka.

Chip: Eureka.

Nick: Yeah, we drove up about an hour and a half up the hill and then an hour and a half back down to our hotel each day. So, we had to wake up super early and we went to bed pretty late each night, because we were battling sunlight. You know, most the farm’s outdoors so we had to film very efficiently with the daylight there. So, part of that was probably some lack of sleep that added to the effect. But, it was amazing. We went out to the waterside as well at the end of the episode. We went to the Redwoods. Everywhere we go, Chip, we try to characterize the region. We try to give the audience a glimpse into what it’s really like. Not just in the farm, but the surrounding area. Because we have around 150 countries around the world watching our Youtube channel, right? So, if someone’s in let’s say, Russia, and they’ve never been to Humboldt, I kind of put it on our shoulders like as a responsibility, to tell them what it’s really like, and to show them that glimpse of the world. And Humboldt is such a beautiful place, and I, I’m actually going to be, right after this interview, I’m actually interviewing two brothers that cofounded Lit House Farms in Humboldt, Big Al and Chris. And then last week, I interviewed Nat at Humboldt Seed Company for the Canna Cribs podcast. So, I love Humboldt —

Chip: Yeah, I know Nat. I’m actually like, growing his seeds right now, Auto OGs.

Nick: Oh nice. Okay.

Chip: Totally, totally. Yeah we got like ten thousand Auto OGs we’ve planted in the past like, two weeks.

Nick: Wow.

Chip: They’ll come out some time in October.

Nick: Well, I’m always finding a reason you know, trying to find a reason to go back so if you still have property, if you have friends up in Humboldt, I’d love to film them some time.

Chip: Ah man. I love it out there. We’ve got so much stuff going on up there, you know. It’s an incredible, geographical environment, you know. It’s a really rough political environment, you know. There’s just a lot of people that do not support legal cannabis and try to stand in your way at every point. It’s really unfortunate because there’s so many small farmers over there that can really bring and grow the best cannabis in the world. They’ve got like, the experience and the time, and the understanding, and the desire, and the heart to do it. But you know the, so many you know, at so many levels, the county and the bureaucracy, and the county is against what they’re doing. How many people in the county, they totally accept it. Right, many of the board of supervisors totally accept it. But, it’s just a fight you know, for anybody trying to get a legal cannabis operation there. And absolutely anybody who has gone through the worst to get one because, it’s not at all, easy there. It’s not at all easy there. So yeah, let’s hope that the industry survives. But yeah, I’ve got tons of connections up there. I’d totally hook you up with anybody you want to, if you can’t figure out who to talk to. You know, I started a potting soil company up there years ago, Royal Gold Soils. I sold soil to everybody up there for years. And currently, my new soil company, Grower Soil, I’m not in California yet. I’m mostly just focusing on you know, the midwest and the east coast. Yeah, I’ve got tons of connections all over man. If you ever want to go see anybody, just ask. I might know them.

Nick: Thank you. And that’s what I love about this industry when I first started out you know, I was working with my bestfriend and roommate at the time, and current business partner, Nate Lipton of Growers House. And he had a spreadsheet of growers, right, that are commercial growers that buy from Growers House. And I was originally, and I still run Growers Network today, all the work you know, a lot of the conversations around Canna Cribs up to this point. But the first company, and it is the production company of Canna Cribs, it’s called Growers Network. And it’s an online forum. We have about 11,000 members all over the world. And just people where they can go, and connect, and learn from each other. And I was just originally handed a spreadsheet of the top contacts from Growers House, and I just interviewed for ten months. You know, I picked up the phone, and the Lean Canvas methodology in the startup world, it’s called Customer Segment Testing.

Chip: Sure.

Nick: So, I just picked up the phone and called the you know, a hundred growers and listened to their paying points and you know, how they learned how to grow cannabis, where they were at in their career you know, super seasoned or new, what hurdles they were jumping over to become a legal professional grow operation. And at no point did I say, “Oh, join Growers Network,” or, “Oh,” like, Canna Cribs didn’t start at that point. So in the very beginning, my first ten months in this industry was just network building and acceptance amongst growers that were complete strangers. And what you just shared with me right now has been my experience up to this point, just generosity and open arms and

welcoming into the industry. So thank you, and thank everyone out there that helps to you know, nurture this industry.

Chip: You know, it’s interesting you say that. ‘Cause there’s really two sides to the cannabis coin. And well, you know, it depends on which coin you’re talking about. But the knowledge coin that we’re talking about, there’s two sides of it. There are the guarded people that won’t let you in, and are closed off, they don’t really want to talk about it so much. A lot of it’s leftover from prohibitionary you know, thinking. Some of it is you know, the propriety knowledge, they think what they have is like, the best. There’s often ego associated with all of that, but that’s one portion of the community. And then the whole other portion of the community, like 75% open. Talks about it, invites you over, wants to know what you’re doing, ‘cause they want to know if they’re doing it right or wrong, right? Are absolutely like, enthusiastic about what they’re growing and want to make it better. So it’s real interesting, it’s not an even coin flip that most people in the cannabis industry that I come across, and I’m a, you know, both us are kind of a unique pawn in the pyramid, but you know, but they openly want to tell us what we’re doing. And tell other people, and talk to other people openly.

Nick: Yeah.

Chip: It’s just a great place to learn, that’s for sure.

Nick: Yeah and right now, you know, I like that you said it’s a great place to learn. Right now, trade shows up to this point were kind of like, the in-person exchange of like, information, and knowledge, and contacts and products, and services. And now that they’re all shut down, what I’ve seen is a huge influx of traffic to our Youtube channel. And to our, you know, Growers Network Grower Forum because people can’t meet in person anymore. So I mean obviously, no one planned for this. But for the content creators out there such as yourself and you know, my team, we’re really in a pivotal point right now where, and that’s why I started this podcast is, we need to kind of ramp up, you know. We need to, you know, create more content and share more stories because there’s not a whole lot of in-person outlets right now. We’re kind of leading that charge and I kind of take it upon us to provide, and kind of have that responsibility to provide that knowledge and information exchange.

Chip: You know, cannabis, the way you learn about it and the way people learn about it now is through this open source. It’s through Youtube, it’s through Google, it’s through this open network of people like, bragging, or people just completely enthusiastic about cannabis. You know, it’s so much different than say, let’s take a trade like, photography. Or marketing, right? With marketing, if you’re interested in marketing , you can go online, and you can buy like, you know, two dozen Frank Curran courses, you can buy like, you know any type of how-to Youtube advertisement, or how-to Facebook advertise or how-to content. But the cannabis industry isn’t like that. Can you shed some light on why you think that is?

Nick: Well, I think you said it a little bit earlier Chip. You know, a lot of people, I’ve heard it on your show as well, there’s a lot of growers out there that in their mindset, and in their belief, they’re growing the best way, right? There are so many processes that go into

growing cannabis. I’m not a grower myself, you know, but in filming these large scale grow operations and then telling these stories, I’ve learned a whole lot about you know, growing cannabis organically. Growing cannabis you know, kind of boutique indoor. Growing cannabis outdoors, you know. 36,000 plants at Los Sueños Farms. So, what I have found is it’s extremely fragmenting on how to grow cannabis. There are so many unique ways and the beautiful part to me, is there’s not one right way, you know? Like, you can grow soil, you can grow soilless. You can grow you know, indoor with LEDs, or indoor with HPS. And there’s all these, right path, left path that you can take throughout the entire grow cycle. And I want to educate the world on all those different options. And in each scene in Canna Cribs, if someone’s listening to this and have not seen a Canna Cribs episode, we always start with genetics. We go through propagation, and we follow lifecycle of the plant all the way through kind of seed to sale, if you will. So throughout each scene, you know, I have not filmed an episode that has completely replicated a previous episode. You know, everyone’s doing propagation a little bit differently. You know, they’re doing veg a little bit differently. So to your question, I think it’s fragmented. You know, email marketing is email marketing, right? There’s some tricks to the trade, but it’s an email at the end of the day. But you know, growing a plant, there are so many different unique ways to do that, and furthermore, there’s always new ideas, right? There’s always someone with an innovative idea and when they share, it’s the rising tide for every grower in the world. And then, kind of you know, fuel to the fire here, new products, right? You are a product inventor. You are a product genius and innovator, and when you, Chip, bring a new product to the market, it opens up a Pandora box of all these new types of cultivation methodologies. So, I think it’s fragmented because there are so many different ways to grow the plant.

Chip: Man, you really hit the nail on the head there. There’s absolutely no one way and that’s just the beauty of ganja, of cannabis, THC or hemp, right? It can grow in a million different spots.

Nick: That’s the resiliency to the plant itself, right? I mean, it’s pure for a reason. I love your saying, plants grow us. You know, we don’t grow plants. And I got to pinch myself right now, ’cause it’s so surreal to actually be on your show, talking to you about that. But, I completely agree. This plant’s here for a reason, it’s extremely resilient. And the fact that it can be grown in all these different, you know, unique ways to the region, to the grower, you know, to the product. It’s here for a reason.

Chip: You started Growers Network 2017, 2018, something like that?

Nick: Yeah, so the end of 2016 going into 2017, I’m a senior at University of Arizona, I did about ten months of research, just trying out what business model to start. You know, I had my hypothesis that I wanted to do something in the community space, get my background, and I thought there was a model there to build a new breed of online growing forums, which is Growers Network today. A little bit more of you know, I pay all my respects of course to the forums that got us here today, like the Grass City and Overgrow and all those amazing forums. But I wanted to do it a little bit differently and provide a safe place for the professional growers that were trying to transcend out of let’s say, a house grow into a you know, 300,000 square foot greenhouse. Like, how do you do that, you know? Who do you talk to, you know, where do you go to learn? Those are the kind of questions that

I was trying to ask these growers and that was what Growers Network was born out of, was that research.

Chip: Man, it has changed since 2016. I mean compared to 2020, right now as we record this episode, it’s August 2020 here in Arizona. I’m in Oklahoma, we have seen cannabis become legal all over the country in the past four years. We have seen, like you know, trends in cannabis happen. We’ve seen governments legalize it, we’ve seen Ponzi schemes associated with it. When you started this, at some point you started to get like, a vision of what was happening. Your perceptions of it in 2016, how did they change from your perceptions of it today, knowing all that change has happened?

Nick: Let’s just start with vendors, for example. Equipment suppliers, manufacturers. So in the beginning days, let’s say 2016. You know I went to my first trade show was a maximum yield show with Nate and his father, my mentor, Pauly. And they’re with you know, Growers House, and we went there to talk to vendors and walk the shows in San Francisco. And, it was all new to me. This professional side of the industry that I just didn’t know existed, you know. You know, as a connoisseur, or a consumer, or advocate in high school and college, I just didn’t know that this whole professional industry existed. You know, I was kind of naive to that. So, since then, I have seen a lot of new products hit the market. I’ve seen consolidation of different companies. Like, take Fluence for example, with you know, OSRAM coming in, and take Hawthorne, for example, and Scotts Group coming in and acquiring Davita. And you know, I listened to that episode on your show, and I loved that one, by the way. And I’ve seen that consolidation happen in a short amount of time you know, past five years on the equipment side alone. On the grower side, you know I’m always trying to pick the next market to go out and film. And I definitely will reach out with you about Oklahoma you know, once it’s a little bit safer to start flying. I definitely want to bring the Canna Cribs crew over to Oklahoma and film some farms out there. But what I’ve seen is, you know, a lot of expansion, you know. It expands into a new region, new state, and then, it kind of restricts down. You know, it’s a period of time where it grows, grows, grows, hits that apex and then, consolidation starts to happen. And kind of that market equilibrium starts to happen, right? The supply and demand starts to balance out. So I’ve seen that happen over the past five years which is pretty incredible. I’ve seen you know, Canada come online and some other parts around the world, Colombia for one, that’s really you know, kind of blowing up and they’re part of the world. So, it’s exciting, and at the same time I’m honored to be able to help document that history.

Chip: Who could have predicted cannabis at Canada would have just skyrocketed and plummeted so quickly?

Nick: Right.

Chip: You know, who could have predicted that Oklahoma, once one of the most conservative places about cannabis in the country would become the best and most premier place you know, to cultivate cannabis in the country? Nobody thought that was going to happen.

Nick: Right. So let me —

Chip: It’s incredible where it’s turning.

Nick: Yeah. Let me ask you this, Chip. So what can we learn, as a country, what can we learn from Canada’s missteps so we don’t follow in the same footsteps?

Chip: Well you know I think we’re already doing the exact same thing. We just weren’t able to have publicly traded companies that could directly trade cannabis on the NASDAQ, right? And any like, insulary type businesses that were allowed to be publicly traded, those were all you know, over the counter, OTC trading stocks. So I think that is really what kept the US investment schema from exploding. But essentially, we still have the same exact elements that were going on in Canada, that are going on here, going on here today. Which are just like, some incredibly savvy people that know how to manipulate the market. That know how to manipulate venture capital groups or family offices. And you know, for instance, the typical cannabis “investment.” There’s two types. There’s one, it’s just like, me, you, and my brother all get together and we decide we want to do a cannabis operation so we throw in our money and make it.

Nick: Kind of the friends thing —

Chip: Friends and family thing. The bootstrap. And man, sometimes like, you come up with millions of dollars that way to start your operation, people call you corporate cannabis. But it’s not, it’s just you, me, and your brother putting it together. And then there’s the venture capital model or the investor model, we’ll call it. And it stems on you know, somebody like you who wants to put in a cannabis operation. Or somebody like me, who wants to put in a cannabis operation. And we develop a business plan, we develop a proforma that’s you know, fictional that we decide, “Yeah we think it should be this way. And we’re going to make this much money over this period of time.” We develop an operational cost, and schedule you know, points of time where we make profit, and investors can get paid back. And people can paint incredibly accurate pictures like that, but then they also create these you know, inaccurate portrayal of what’s happened. And that’s what went on in Canada. Right, it was an inaccurate portrayal of how big the market was.

Nick: Right.

Chip: And so many people went into the marketplace and estimated it to be like, ten times bigger than it actually was and just drove that whole investment strategy. Right, so like that happens here in the US, but it usually happens in two different ways. It happens from the person that’s actually trying to like, get financed or get investors. And they over-exaggerate but you know, knowingly over promise, you know, they don’t either know they can do it or they’re being promised by other people who don’t fulfill their promises. Or you know, however that pans out. And so then, it collapses, right? And then the other way it collapses is when a venture capital group comes in and they you know, the way that venture capital groups work or many of them work, is their funds and they’re someone who like, who’s running the fund and they’re getting paid a percent of the fund that’s spent annually. And they’re constantly going out, like, searching for more capital. And they’ll do stuff like this, so like go` to you Nick like, “Hey Nick, are you interested in cannabis?” Just say yes, just, you know, say yes.

Nick: Yes.

Chip: “Okay, yes you’re interested in cannabis! And you’ve got ten million dollars that you want to invest in cannabis this year?” Just say yes.

Nick: Yes.

Chip: “Well, I’m not going to get you to sign any [inaudible] right now. But, we’ve got all these cannabis operations that come to us. We’ve built a hundred million dollar fund, and if you want to contribute to it then you know, then you can contribute to it. Just deal by deal, you know, basis. You interested in that, Nick?”

Nick: Sounds good to me.

Chip: “Sounds great.” Okay so now, they go to the next guy and they say the same thing and they’re like, “Oh hey man, we’ve already got ten million dollars,” right? You know, “don’t be left behind.” And they hustle all of these people for the investment. Which you shouldn’t say hustle, because everybody’s willing to participate, ‘cause you love cannabis, you’ve got a lot of money and you want to invest in it, right? Like, nothing wrong with that at all. But, the person managing the fund is where it comes into play. ‘Cause now, they’re pressured to spend your money, because that’s how they get paid, right? They only get paid from your investment, is if they find an investment for you and you’ll go through ten before you say yes on one.

Nick: They’re pressured to –

Chip: And then they invest your money, yup.

Nick: And that kind of, it hurts the companies that might be overfunded because then that ties to unrealistic expectations that they have to deliver upon. And that could lead to the demise of their company, and also, the fund. But at the end of the day, the managing partner of said funds has already you know, received their —

Chip: They’ve already been paid.

Nick: Yeah.

Chip: They’ve already been paid. And you know –

Nick: Seems like a flawed model.

Chip: It’s a totally flawed model, but the reality is that you’re so rich, Nick, that you’ve got these ten million dollars that you need to like invest annually. So like, it’s you know, the Canna Cribs is a multi-billion dollar operation now, and you have to lose these ten million dollars every year, right? It’s an oversimplification of how it’s going down. But like, you spend the money and then you move on to the next project, right? And you are, you’re DC manager moves on to the next project, ’cause they got another bunch of people like yourself that got ten million dollars that they want to invest, or have an annual amount every year that they need to invest. So they keep up their legion, and man, that just pumps a bunch of like, a bunch of crap out there, you know. Projects that should be a million dollars turn out to be twelve million dollars. Greenhouses that should be three, four million dollars turn out to be ten million dollars. Indoor rooms that are two million are ten million. And they overspent and I know several of these people that have gotten caught up in this, and they’re my friends. And like, they thought they were doing the right thing ’cause it’s, you know what sounds great? It’s when you say something like this, “We’re building the most highly technical, advanced environmental control system in the whole cannabis industry. I’m going to be able to control my environment and the microcosm. I can control every square inch and I’ve got the data that’s going to be able to back it up.” And you know, that sounds great, right? Well, you know, it’s also like, cost you like millions and millions of dollars to do it. And you may end up you know, growing slightly better or more weed over it but the ROI, I’m spending twelve million dollars on a greenhouse that should cost a million dollars. It’s just you know, it’s not there. It’s not going to be there. And that’s how these things collapse. They’re not built on business, they’re built on investment. And now they’ve got all this operational cost, because it takes two people a hundred thousand dollars a year to run the software that gets all this great data, that they have to pay another whole accounting firm to read it, right?

Nick: Right.

Chip: Right, well.

Nick: You have, having gone through all these examples with your friends and people you know, what you know, cautionary advice could you give?

Chip: Man, the big pang is don’t really believe this investment business plan. I’ve got an investor like, you know, I’m an investor. Like, don’t think that the old way of doing it, the way that you probably thought that was the best way, the way that’s mostly used is the best way. And now, things have changed. And I believe that the investors want to be involved in cannabis right now, it is an essential business. And the opportunity, the advantage is on our side. And it is, an investment where it’s a good, reasonable return, you know, based on profit margin and standard accounting practices. Like that’s a, you know, that’s a good investment.

Nick: Right.

Chip: Right? Like some of the investments I hear about, like the return rates are just so high. The expectations are just so high, you know. It’s just, they fall apart, you know? And the best advice is to say, “Look if you’re going to have an investor, they should be an investor and you should think about it like you’re borrowing money.”

Nick: Right.

Chip: And otherwise, you have a partner. And if you’re going to get a partner, you need to bring in someone who has something other than just money. If they’re just a capital partner, and then don’t have operational stake in the business, man, there’s just so many details there over who gets paid, who does away, and there’s operational agreements that can

define all that stuff. But as soon as you have a silent partner that has invested all of the capital, like, things often go south, right? The paperwork’s not done appropriately, the investor becomes like, upset that you know, the cannabis isn’t performing appropriately. And you know, they’re hearing all these other ideas and they see Canna Cribs, and got all these ideas on how they should improve their scene. And it just often falls apart, right? So like, beware of your investor, is absolutely the best, the best advice. And man, form some solid partnerships. If you’re interested in growing world class weed, well you know what you’re going to need, is you need a world class extractor team. Because all of the weed that you grow, you’re not going to be able to produce into world class weed. So, go find an extractor that you can partner with. You know, hey, if you’re an extractor and you want to make world class weed, go find a grower and go partner with those people. And instead of bringing like this outside investment, like so much of it can be done with inside the community, and probably with like people that you know. But you know, it just takes, you got to get rid of the ego and solely think about the business. And think about the business that you can build together, as opposed to this get rich quick scheme that often comes through with this investor type platform. And I hope I’m not insulting any investors out there, and I mean, I’m one myself and I have other friends that are investors and I think they’d understand what I’m saying here, is you have to be savvy. You have to be savvy on the investment, and you have to be savvy on —

Nick: On both sides.

Chip: And hey, let’s take that on the other side. Just last week, a friend of mine called me up and he’s like, “Hey man. I’m thinking about putting money into this cannabis operation.” He threw out some rate of return, it seemed like a normal rate of return, you know, like a little bit better than bank money. But I looked it all up for them, and I look at their PLs, their BLs, I look at at the proforma, I looked at the location, you know. I checked them out with their state, and these guys were totally full of shit. And they just built this proforma to fool the unsavvy investor. And hey man, my friend he’s a savvy investor in the tech industry. But he doesn’t know anything about cannabis, right? And you know, we just went and looked at the guy’s like, proposed cost for growing a certain amount you know, a large amount of weed, and realized like, “Oh, he’s only spending 40,000 dollars a year growing weed. Like there’s no way he can grow 4,000 pounds,” you know. So like, also —

Nick: It goes on both sides, right?

Chip: It goes on both sides. Like —

Nick: It’s a booming industry right now, and I think with any booming industry it attracts so many apples. And some of them will be bad apples, right? So being cautious, savvy, and as you said, building a world-class community and network of people that can, you can rely now. Like, your buddy calling you whether it’s an investor investing into a cannabis grow operation or a grower calling you and saying like, “Hey, like, should I, should I take this money?” Um, I think that’s so vital to have people that you trust, you know, not part of the deal. It does not have [inaudible] that can you know, help mentor you.

Chip: Yeah, that’s true. And you know, I actually started a consulting group this year, kind of based on that exact principle. Is that you know, I have so many resources in the cannabis

industry and can easily like know or figure out a problem, someone’s already had it in just a matter of moments.

Nick: Yeah.

Chip: And, and we developed this, this, it’s called Greener Group, Greener Consulting Group. We developed this consulting group and you know, with the thought of like, “Oh we’re going to be able to like, help growers, retractors or owners like you know, solve some of their cultivation problems.” And for we immediately started getting calls for was from investors, from state and local governments. Because they need this information. From banks, they don’t know how to bank with cannabis people but want to, you know.

Nick: Interesting.

Chip: And you know, I actually have the connections to one of the guys. He works for us in one of our lead consultants at Greener Group and that’s exactly what he does. He helps banks integrate into accepting cannabis clients as clients, cannabis growers as clients. So there’s this interaction that can happen now that hasn’t happened in the past where you can ask experts. Where you can you know, talk to people that actually know the cannabis industry. And not just your great accountant who’s going to be leery, ‘cause he doesn’t know the cannabis industry or thinks it’s just a widget, you know. ‘Cause it’s not. It’s completely not a widget. So yeah, here’s my little rant, man. You got me talking today. It was supposed to be an interview for you, man.

Nick: Haha, well here’s the cool thing. I want to invite you onto the Canna Cribs podcast.

Chip: I want to come dude, yeah absolutely. Let’s schedule it up anytime, man. And absolutely, I’m going to promote your podcast. I’m stoked that we can be working within the same field and not have to feel that there’s a competitive nature going on.

Nick: Yeah. I’ve built Growers Network and Canna Cribs on collaboration over competition, right? When it comes to content, whether it’s you know, the Grow and Expose Youtube channel, or you know, your podcast. You know, fans around the world, they can listen to our podcast back to back. They can watch our Youtube videos back to back. So, it’s all about collaboration. And I want to say thank you again for you know, opening up your show for me today to join and share a little bit about what we’re doing. And being part of that, I believe you said 75% of the industry of being welcoming and accepting of newcomers like myself.

Chip: You’re no newcomer now, man. That’s for sure. Hey, Nick, I really want to thank you for joining me today. I really appreciate talking to you about all the stuff you’ve done and it’s been a great conversation. We’ll have to have you back on again.

Nick: Definitely, yeah. Thank you and for everyone on your team, keep working hard. I know it’s a really funky time right now, and it kind of sucks that we can’t go to trade shows and see each other and break bread over dinner afterwards. But, I’m looking forward to those days again and in the meantime, let’s podcast it up and you know, YouTube it up.

Chip: Sounds good man. And if you listened to this episode, enjoyed it, and would like to hear others, please download The Real Dirt at The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. And absolutely subscribe, subscribe, that’s the only way we get to grow. You know, if you’re paranoid, or if you just want to listen to it on website, you can do that too. You can go to therealdirt.com and just stream it right there. But, uh, love you guys, thanks for listening, I appreciate each and every one of you. I always appreciate your comments on Facebook and Instagram. I feel like my growing network of friends just manages to expand every day. Just know, I’m a real person and you can always reach me. And this has been, The Real Dirt.

The Innovations of Solar Power in Cannabis Cultivation with Brendan Delaney

The Innovations of Solar Power in Cannabis Cultivation with Brendan Delaney

massachusetts cannabis laws

Talk about taking sun-grown to the next level.

Brendan Delaney is the cultivation director for Solar Therapeutics in Somerset, Massachusetts. They were the first cultivation facility in the US to use solar power to grow their cannabis.

A singular mission drives the company’s experienced management team, dedicated board, and passionate investors: to provide industry-leading wellness and alternative therapy products with a smaller energy footprint. By owning their micro-grid assets consisting of solar arrays, battery storage, and co-generation units, they will offset at least 60% of our carbon emissions.

In today’s episode, find out how Brendan uses solar power to grow cannabis and sustain quality alternative therapy products while using a self-generation of energy.

“Having a wide variety really drives sales here, and I think having unique strains is really appealing to some people where legal weed is a pretty new thing.” 

– Brendan Delaney

Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

2:40 – Be an efficient grower and environmentally conscious

6:32 – Starting cultivating commercially under Prop 215 rules

10:07 – 25b Pesticide Regulations

22:31 – Keeping the Menu Fresh

25:23 – Selecting Phenos

31:42 – Trimming Weeds

38:09 – Different strains for wholesale and retailing cannabis

43:39 – Cannabis in the pandemic crisis

46:06 – Where to find them

56:34 – Grow tips

 

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with  Chip Baker

TRANSCRIPT

Chip Baker: Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt podcast, you have reached yet another episode of The Real Dirt. While things have been a little erratic, since we’re an international pandemic, and whether you think it’s a plan demic, or a pandemic or the plague, it’s definitely a reality for people throughout the globe. And I just want to man, give a heartfelt shout out to all of those who are having problems these days due to our international pandemic. The COVID has definitely, man, and it’s changed the world. It’s changed us. It changed how we do business. And you know, it’s kind of changed how I’ve done podcasts. We don’t have podcasts in person anymore. It’s been actually kind of hard to get people to do podcasts. I’ve got an internet connection that’s a little slow. So we’ve been changing our technology constantly trying to get really good, good information with you guys. 

But today I’ve got, man, Brendan Delaney. Brendan, he’s the cultivation director for Solar Therapeutics in Somerset, Massachusetts. And they’re one of the only countries using so I mean only companies using solar power to grow their cannabis. Now, many people like myself do have supplemental solar power. You know what our operation in California, we have 60,000 watts of solar, I believe in it. It supplements, it ties back into the grid, they call it. So we’ve got a bunch of panels sitting on the roof of a barn and it’s generating power every single day. Instead of us actually using that power, we’re generating it back into the grid. 

So we’re responsible for helping people obtain their energy needs through our solar connection. And as soon as we get our license there in Trinidad, California will be growing cannabis by the sun. Ironically, they’re in greenhouses, light depth, greenhouses, but we’re going to be powering them partially through solar power with 180,000 watts over there and 60,000 watts of solar. Wow, it really does feel good to be sustainable. And I really look forward to speaking to Brandon here in a moment. 

Be an Efficient Grower and Environmentally Conscious

You know, it’s all the little things that you get to do in your grow that makes yourself an efficient grower, as well as environmentally conscious, and there are many things that you can do to help yourself, reduce your costs as well as being great stewards of the steward land. Several years ago, one of the manufacturing plants, I decided to take it upon myself to reduce my waste significantly. 

So I called up all of my manufacturers, all of my shippers and I asked them all if there was any way that we could reduce our shipping and packaging and not surprisingly, several of them said, Yeah, that’s great, you know, the packaging costs so much, how can I reduce the packaging and they reduced their packaging cost I kept paying the same price to those guys. I didn’t ask him for a discount. But I tell you where I made my money was on disposable off all that plastic and all that cardboard and all those materials that were coming in. We were going, and we were dumping significantly less into the landfills. And over time that really has paid off and it’s made us feel good, and you know, you can do all kinds of things to help any cannabis operation be sustainable. 

But look at your waste stream, look and see everything that you’re throwing away in the trash, look at all your recyclables, look at your water, and just try to clean all those up just one little piece at a time. You know where we need to be the most responsible business owners in any industry because we are so heavily looked at. And I encourage each and every one of you to do just that. Decide how you can make an impact in the change and really strive to do it as a company, and you’ll see an economic advantage to that. So without me babbling on here, we’re gonna get right into it the next episode of The Real Dirt if you like this episode and other, man, you can download them on iTunes, subscribe, go to Spotify. We’ve even got a YouTube channel now. So love you guys and sit back, roll up with a fat one, and here’s The Real Dirt.

All right, here we are with The Real Dirt on today’s dirt. I have Brendan Delaney of Solar Therapeutics in Somerset, Massachusetts, say hey, Brendan.

Brendan Delaney: Hey guys, how are we doing?

Chip Baker: Oh, man, thanks for joining me today. You guys reached out to us on our channel and expressed interest in talking to us. I’m so glad you did. You know we get many many responses from people over the channel, and I’m always happy to talk to fellow growers. Thanks for calling us, man.

Brendan Delaney: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. 

Chip Baker: So man, we’re kind of actually from the same hood. Huh, Brendan, you’re in Massachusetts now. I’m in Oklahoma now, but you kind of cut your teeth in California.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, that’s correct. Started cultivating commercially actually up in Shasta County in 2010 ended up making my way over to Trinity County. And we’re doing some largest scale permanent farms over there before I took the job here, about a year and a half ago.

Chip Baker: All right, you move over to Trinity Pines.

Brendan Delaney:  I’ve definitely been through the pines, but we [inaudible] Douglas City, and I have a spot in Junction City as well.

Starting Cultivating Commercially Under Prop 215 Rules

Chip Baker: Sure. Yeah. A great little inside joke for us, huh? Oh my God, what a crazy place. Listeners, you can look that all up for yourself. So yeah, check it out on Google or if you think you got to grow. Yeah, took a look at that. Look at that. Right. It’s amazing. So You started in 2010. Right, when it was still on the cusp of 2.0 legal cannabis in California. You started operating under the old medical cannabis rules, right?

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, yeah, we were operating under Prop 215 for a couple of years out there and finally made the switch to getting actual permits. But you know, a little dicey there for a little while. But as long as you’re smaller than your neighbor, you’re good, right?

Chip Baker: Yeah. Well, you know, I tell you that was the beauty of the 215 laws. Now, many people for 20 years said, Oh, it’s bad. It’s an awful law but man because it was vague. It really allowed the medical cannabis market to really really grow throughout California. It allowed so many like cities and states and municipalities to copy the law. And also like, you know, people trying to sue over the law realize, Wow, it’s so vague. It’s well written for [crosstalk].

Brendan Delaney: There were a lot of gray areas to say the least. 

Chip Baker: Yeah. For those of you don’t know, in California 1997, medical marijuana was passed with this bill called 215. And that’s what Brendan and I are referring to as 215 rules. And back then, all you kind of had to do was have like, a book of patients. And you’d have like a handful of different recommendations and some letters that said that you were growing on behalf of them. And then there were some great counties where all you do, you just had to have your own prescription, your own recommendation, and you could have unlimited kinds of growth checks or balances.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, and then you just spray-painted green cross on some plywood for the helicopter. 

Chip Baker: Exactly. And Hope for the best. It was definitely free for all. It definitely, man, it kind of tainted a little bit what was to come with legal cannabis and regulated cannabis. Man, what was it? What was the major difference? You saw from going from that environment of 215 to a regulated environment like, I mean, you had a little baby step first you went to Trinity County. And then you went over to Massachusetts, which is more heavily regulated.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean, Massachusetts is definitely the most heavily regulated state in the country in terms of cultivating cannabis. Which I think is a good thing. It holds you accountable for doing things in a different way. 

Chip Baker: Absolutely man there needs to be some roles

Brendan Delaney:  It kind of keeps the, the BS artists out of it.

25b Pesticide Regulations

Chip Baker: That is true. But I mean, just the pesticide usage alone has really leveled the playing field and, you know, you could just spray and pray with whatever you wanted and make like the worst grower be successful.

Brendan Delaney: For sure, yeah, they, the 25b Regulations, are pretty intense. And it really anything other than like citric acid is a form of pests is not really allowed here, and the testing process is extremely rigorous here. We’re on the go for sure here. 

Chip Baker: Wow, that makes it complicated.

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah, it does.

Chip Baker: Right. So you can’t use any pesticides just know– you can change the pH of the surface of the leaf, basically.

Brendan Delaney: Pretty much Yeah, yep.

Chip Baker: You can wash the plant off. Maybe?

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean–

Chip Baker: You’re shaking your head. Wait a second. I don’t know if the water is legal or not.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah. Well, it depends on what’s in the water.

Chip Baker: So no, soap?

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, no, soap. Yeah. And they’re constantly changing the regulations. But, you know, I guess that is a good thing when, some of the stuff that is used is pretty [crosstalk]

Chip Baker: Oh, absolutely. And it makes you like, you know, have to be really at the top of your game. I mean, I’m really impressed. I mean, here in Oklahoma, that they’ve actually the way the laws are written is nothing is legal. There are no pesticides that can be used. But they have a really low tolerance of pesticide levels here. So the reality is you can use anything as long as you know no one catches you using it on the spot and then it doesn’t test below these really minimum regulations where like in Colorado, they give you a list. They’re always updating your list, Oregon–

Brendan Delaney: They’re actually they’re introducing fifth– I believe in the next three months they’re actually fifteen pesticides or fifteen substances to the banned list here in Mass and from what I understand is other states are going to start to accept the levels that Massachusetts is using which is having for heavy metals, we’re looking at 200 parts per billion. Which is, you know, there’s heavy metals in pretty much every–

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Wow. So do you think they’re being over-restrictive on some of that?

Brendan Delaney: Yes and no. So the pesticide stuff. I mean, there are some things that I feel that benefit the farmer and should be allowed, and then there’s some that definitely shouldn’t be allowed. Like, there’s some stuff that’s so widely used. And you don’t even really know what it’s doing to you, or what it could do to you. And then, you know, it gets in, it’s in the groundwater and you’re not just affecting your customers, and you’re affecting your neighbors and all that type of stuff.

Chip Baker: Sure. Yeah. We use some strict protocols, and we don’t have to spray pesticides. We are fortunate enough that we can, and we use stuff biological controls [crosstalk] and some other stuff but with the right application rate knowing how to apply at the right time like really being able to grow your culture is beneficial biology, and that’s how we have dealt with it, but man I’ll tell you some people they have problems with that with fungus and mold residue.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, yeah, I am. It really makes you step up your game and really has your standard operating procedures to where you’re running a really clean facility. You know, you have to hold your employees, hold your employees to those standards. So you’re not ending up as sure. A lot of people have their own home grows and may have mold or may have mines and not stuff trash–

Chip Baker: Okay, can right, what’s the– Is there a common pass for Massachusetts? Is there something difficult for people to control? 

Brendan Delaney: Fungus gnats pop up here pretty regularly. I’ve heard of broad mites but I mean the main thing is pm here.

Chip Baker: Yeah, pm everywhere almost. Right? It’s not as rampant in Colorado, but you know, the drier environment there. They were really really for thought sealed brooms, and you know, there’s also a wide list of fungicides.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah. We just use prosthetic tubes to construct citric acid And neuron a pretty strict regimen on that up until like week two a flower, and then we release biologicals for the end of the plant’s life.

Chip Baker: Released biological so benefits the best–

Brendan Delaney: Not for mold but– for anything else that would pop up for mites or anything like that.

Chip Baker: Right. Wow, you guys have a thousand lights. I mean, that’s roughly 25,000 for canopy, huh?

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, so this is phase one. We have three grow rooms right now, and a mom room. We have two more grow rooms with about 245 lights in each room, but by the end of the build-out there will be about 5500 grow lights here, 150 in our mom room.

Chip Baker: Oh, wow. That’s massive. So, uh, you guys, you guys use solar supplementation for all of this?

Brendan Delaney: We do we have here, so part of our microgrid is a large solar field.

Chip Baker: So you’re feeding back into the grid, it’s a [inaudible] system? Yeah, that’s exactly what we have in California too. You know the batteries are cool and great and on off-grid they’re awesome, but the batteries in themselves are really toxic too, and you really got to spend a hefty amount of money on the table to be completely solar efficient. Just to be able to enter ties back into this into the grid that really makes it applicable for everybody. Everybody should be doing this.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, we have full solar on our roof here. The rivets are 70,000 square foot buildings and then a few acres Outback solar field, but the rest of our microgrid is made up of natural gas generators.

Chip Baker: All right. On the site?

Brendan Delaney: Yep. We create all our own power here. Ed can speak a little bit more than me. He’s a little bit more well versed in that stuff but– 

Chip Baker: Sure, yeah, we’ve worked with several self-sustainable people with wind generations with solar in Colorado and an Oklahoma. Natural gas is, you know, it’s huge in both of those states, and so many people have unlimited natural gas usages. We’ve put in really huge hundred thousand watt generators. It’s amazing when you get the power for free, the fuel for free, what you can really do with everything else.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, where our units are pumping out. A few megawatts here.

Chip Baker: Oh, wow, man, that’s great. So was this– Do you know if the solar aspect was used in order to get your license? Was that something you guys like really push for at the very beginning?

Brendan Delaney: It’s something that we’re proud of for sure.

Chip Baker: Yeah, I’d be proud of it too, man.

Brendan Delaney: It’s definitely something that sets us aside from the other facilities in the area, for sure.

Chip Baker: So we were just in Massachusetts. Oh, man, it wasn’t 19; it was like the very end 18, December 18. Drove around, checked it out. It was just starting to come online back then. Tell me what the laws are like and what’s going on in Massachusetts. 

Brendan Delaney: Well, let’s see. So we started off actually as a recreational facility. We just got our medical license last week.

Chip Baker: Oh, awesome. Congratulations.

Brendan Delaney: Thanks. Appreciate it.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we’re all medical, even in California where there’s rec. We’ve got a medical license there, and we got medical here in Oklahoma. We just decided to stay on that side for now.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. The rec market here in Mass is pretty, pretty crazy. 

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah. I’ve seen some lines–

Brendan Delaney: There’s definitely days where we got lines for sure. But as far as the laws go for rec is, I would say it’s similar to a liquor store. You show your ID. You got to be 21. And there’s a certain amount of product that each person can buy. That’s pretty much it. The permanent process here in Mass is lengthy to say the least. A lot of–

Chip Baker: Has limited licenses?

Brendan Delaney: There are. We’re not Massachusetts isn’t, hasn’t reached capacity yet.

Chip Baker:  Okay. Right.

Brendan Delaney: It’s a few year process to get your [inaudible] on your site and your facility permitted and licensed to actually go through. 

Chip Baker:  Right. Yeah. I mean, that’s kind of how it is, most of the states other than, you know, the good ones. 

Brendan Delaney: I mean the price per pound here in Massachusetts is by far the highest country wholesale. Oh, yeah. And so it’s–

Chip Baker: Are your wholesale prices or the state average sale prices published. Can you say it?

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, for sure. For sure. Wholesale price–

Chip Baker: How much is a pound to wholesale weed?

Brendan Delaney: 4500 bucks

Chip Baker: That’s pretty high. I was going to say 5500 bucks.

Brendan Delaney: I mean some of it gets up there, some of it does get up there there’s not very many people cultivating license large scale facilities in the state. More coming online you know that not not every day but you know every month there’s a new one and there’s definitely some bigger ones being built out. But we’re setting ourselves up to be definitely one of the largest.

Keeping the Menu Fresh

Chip Baker: Well, [inaudible] with going into 5500 lights you’re definitely gonna be one of the largest, one of the largest in the country. So with the, man with going that much weed? How many different strains you guys got? How do you manage all those different strains?

Brendan Delaney: Um, so that’s a, I ended up bringing brands some pretty unique genetics from the west coast out here. Just some stuff that I had been working on in the years passed. I also work with a few different genetics companies, Humboldt Seeds. I work with Symbiotic Genetics and Compound Genetics. Have some good ties there. So anytime there’s some new, new hot stuff coming out, I usually get a pretty good plug from those guys and we’re working on, right now we’ve got about 26 strains here. Not all of them are on the shelves. We haven’t even flowered all of them out yet. But you know, this last harvest, which we finished about a week ago, was 12 strains, all from the west coast.

Chip Baker: Right? Sure. Yeah. Yeah, we’ve got some of the Humboldt Seed genetics and their Auto OG. Got a bunch of that going in? Next month I guess.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, they got some good stuff for sure we just harvested a, we did a bunch of their Asphalt Plant, which is I guess they renamed it as All Gas OG. And then also their truffle tree which both came out really good, super gassy, pretty high on the THC, but some legit stuff.

Chip Baker: So you guys are still looking for stuff you still plant seeds? 

Brendan Delaney: We do. Yeah. Our clone room is where we just, our clone rooms, we’re constantly germinating you know looking for different finos and just to keep our menu fresh. Having a wide variety is something that really drives sales here and I think having unique strains will be appealing to some people where legal weed is a pretty new thing.

Chip Baker: So how do you bring those new strains in on a facility like yours? How do you get R&DM to decide that you want you’ve selected this fino and you want to bring it in, how does it start?

Selecting Phenos

Brendan Delaney: So we germinate seeds, we sex them, we try not to stress them out too much. Once they’re sexed, they get tagged and numbered. And then we’ll flower out. You know, we’ll do maybe two lights. So two to four by four lights is one tray. So we’ll do one tray for each fino, and we’ll take it to flower and see where it ends up. And if it’s something that we like we keep it and keep the mom and then keep those genetics fresh. 

Chip Baker: Do you guys have a separate R&D room or is it just go into your main room? 

Brendan Delaney: Well, right now it’s just going into main rooms, like this. Typically, I wouldn’t do 12 strains in a room but we were really trying to find our stable genetics here. We’ve only, this has only been our second harvest. So we’re still kind of fino hunting to find, find those gems, you know.

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Well, that’s, it’s so funny you say you wouldn’t put more than 12 strains in the room there. It’s very West Coast. I only have a handful of strains. In Colorado, everybody’s got 77-80 strains. It’s just so many men it’s just hard. It’s just hard. As a grower, I just would rather have a few.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I actually have some seeds going right now. They’re starting to show their sex from compound compound genetics, what they’re sending out looks pretty amazing. They’re working with some of the larger breeders out there. Now they also know labs, which does tissue culture cloning. So they [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Yeah, I know those guys. Yeah, I’ve been trying to get them on the podcast for a minute. Dan.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, my buddy Tez has been working there for a little while longer. Tissue culture cloning is something that’s pretty new to Mass. We would be one of the first that are doing it on a large scale. 

Chip Baker: Can’t even get some of that stuff. 

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, there’s some products that are used that aren’t allowed in Massachusetts yet. So–

Chip Baker: Right. So that’d be IBA, IAA–

Brendan Delaney: Sure. Yeah. So I mean, hopefully, if we start working with Node labs full time, maybe we’ll be able to educate a State [inaudible] first doing it out here.

Chip Baker: Well, you know, micropropagation has so many, you know, possibilities, you can just do so much with it. That, you know, one of the problems that you always have bringing plants into new environment is how to make it into scale and how to bring it to scale how to like say, Okay, I planted out a tray, you know, which could be 10 or 20 seeds, and you chose one and like, how do you bring that one grade genetic to scale? 

Brendan Delaney: Ah, yeah, I mean, we have a very large farmer here. Our mom room is three tiers, about 150 lights. The footprint of the room is 3000 square feet. So when we go up three, we’re looking at close to the 9000 square foot canopy for the mom room. And I just have multiple moms instead of having a few of each strain we have 30.

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally I will do the same way– [inaudible] hundred moms.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, exactly. We’re always filtering them out every three months to really keep them fresh. That’s pretty much it. I mean, we are– the propagation team is pretty badass. We did 3000 cuts and them, which are routing right now. That will fill up our fourth room.

Chip Baker: You guys use arrow routers or cubes or what do you bring in?

Brendan Delaney: We’re using cubes right now. 

Chip Baker: Which, Rockwool or Oasis? or rock wall? Yeah, rock

Brendan Delaney: Rockwool, two inch cubes–

Chip Baker: The best thing to do man is the best hands down product on the market two inch Rockwool cubes, right? 

Brendan Delaney: Yeah. Easy peasy.

Chip Baker: It is for commercial operations for large scale operations? It’s just really hard to beat how easy and inexpensive it is.

Brendan Delaney: Sure, yeah. I like the two inch cubes. I like a little better they get, but the roots get a little bigger, well, fatter than usual–

Chip Baker: Yes, when we moved to Oklahoma, we set up a clone nursery, and this was just last year, 16 months ago, or something. And, you know, people weren’t used to buying clones. They were used to bond plants and forage pods. So it took us about six or eight months to like, convince people like no, you need two inch I don’t want two inch, I want four inch. No, you don’t want four inch because here’s 50 plants–

Brendan Delaney: Wait, where’s the pot? Yeah,

Chip Baker: Exactly. And I even did that to people. I was like, Oh, well here look. I’m going to give you these two inches for cheaper and I’m going to give you the pots, I’m going to give you the dirt you go home and do it. But you know, they just move so much better. In two inches than four inches you can put 50 cubes in a box and uh, you know, you only get 18 four inch pots in a box and they last longer you can automate the watering, you know, you’re just, there’s just so many great things about two inch Rockwool and clones, that’s for sure.

Brendan Delaney: For sure. You know, then, eventually if we are doing tissue culture, it’ll be just to keep our mom fresh.

Chip Baker: So with 1000 lights, how do you guys trim, how do you trim all that weed?

Trimming Weeds

Brendan Delaney: So right now we’re, we’re using Green Bros.

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, great.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, we got a crew that right now they’re de stemming and then they’re just running everything through the Green Broz, and the small stuff goes our labs not set up completely yet but the small littles will go right to the lab to make hash and then into rosin, but yeah the Green Broz Model M is pretty badass, super gentle and user friendly.

Chip Baker: Yeah as simple as can be, take it apart, put it back together like, you know there’s hardly– easy to clean easy to clean like i mean you know, if you if you lose something on it, you can easily replace it and man like those guys just really have built a great great great product and products. They’ve got some great products out there.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, they’re de-stemmers are pretty badass too.

Chip Baker: Alright, I haven’t seen that in action. I’ve seen it, but I haven’t seen it in action.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, it works great. I mean, you can throw a live material through there to make freshly frozen or, you know, you can buck your dry bugs off and throw them right in the Model M. It’s a pretty streamlined easy process and that Model M does about 14 pounds an hour once they’re bought.

Chip Baker: Oh, wow, that’s great.

Brendan Delaney: That’s one person really and then the trim that comes out the other side of the trim in kief is like ready for pre rolls. But it’s pretty much ready for the pre-roll machine.

Chip Baker: So you guys are drying and processing all types of ways, you dry it, you trim it green, you fresh frozen it and you kind of have to do it all on a scale operation, the scale yours.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, we do fresh frozen. We will be doing fresh frozen for the littles. We don’t trim anything green here. I like the dried trim method a little bit more. I think it really is the terpene profile keeps [crosstalk]

Chip Baker: It’s way better to dry weed with leaves on it.

Brendan Delaney: Hell yeah. I feel that. But you know what, that scale it’s tough when you’re drying a few thousand pounds every two weeks. It’s just a 24 seven gig and you know you don’t obviously don’t want to speed the process up too much because then you lose your quality. And you know there’s people that are drying their product in a day with heat dehumidifiers and all that stuff, but you really lose–

Chip Baker: So much, man and you just kill it–

Brendan Delaney: You lose so much. Yeah, exactly. I end up with a bag full of hay.

Chip Baker: Yeah, well, usually it’s me saying that. So Brendan, I’m glad you’re saying it today too. Because if you’re just rushing to market to sell weed quickly to make cash, that’s fine. But don’t claim you got the best weed right?

Brendan Delaney: Hell no, it’s not all about that THC number, you know, we need the whole entourage effect there.

Chip Baker: Yeah, it is. so in Massachusetts, you have to list the terpene as well as THC on the label?

Brendan Delaney: No, we don’t. But Solar Therapeutics will be. We’re doing full boards on all of our flowers. And we’ll definitely be including a full terpene profile. But I think it’s a little bit about educating the customers here. About terpenes the Massachusetts market right now is literally the product, the flower that has the highest THC number, is the flower that sells it doesn’t even matter what it looks like–

Chip Baker: [inaudible] is Colorado too. Oklahoma, is not so much like that yet. It hasn’t really hit like people do so weed, you know, on the wholesale level as like, Oh, it’s 27% Oh, it’s 32% or whatever. But the customer isn’t really buying it that way. It’s still so new and it’s not really enforced so much. The THC percentages, so, you know.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah. I think in Massachusetts as the market matures a little bit like things like terpene profile and bag appeal and flower having a legit nose is gonna be something that more people look for.

Chip Baker: Well, we definitely need more education on all that and you know, that’s one of the reasons that California and the West Coast have such great weed is because there’s so many discriminating customers that call bullshit on poor weed and that I know what it looks like, you know, but mostly–

Brendan Delaney: All right, if you don’t smoke [crosstalk]

Chip Baker: Get out it’s like, if it’s not the best up there then it’s really hard to sell it and the rest of the country is not quite like that. You can still sell almost everything you produce.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean, I think that’ll change with a little bit more education but also like, you know, new strains, like large variety, once people start to see some of those really, really exotic strains or gassy strains then–

Chip Baker: That’s what they’ll like. So do you guys, is all wholesale, do you have a dispensary?

Brendan Delaney: Do we have a dispensary on site here. We actually have another one that will be opening next few months. The whole COVID pandemic and kind of put a halt on a lot of stuff out here.

Chip Baker: Everywhere. I can’t find four inch bolts for a month. Ridiculous. I have a project I need like 404 inch bolts and I couldn’t find them for a month.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I moved my cot into my office and I just posted up here for a few months but yeah. Our second location is in the process of we’re in the permanent process. And hopefully be open within the next few months. 

Different Strains for Wholesale and Retailing Cannabis

Chip Baker: So here’s something I’ve been interested in, is you guys are wholesales, you guys got a really big grow, you wholesale and you retail it. What are the different types of preferred weed? What do you guys like to grow? What do people like about wholesale and what are the retail people like?

Brendan Delaney: I mean like I was saying before I think the retail part side of this is all about variety. If we have 10 strains on our menu our sales go up, if we have too big we go down. So keeping the menu fresh is a big thing. You know we have relationships with others. dispensary, other people that cultivate and we have some good working relationships with some of these other people and they’ve helped us out with wholesale so you know, we will help them out in the future when we’re really cranking here. And also, having some of their strains in house here at our dispensaries is a huge plus for marketing and again keeping the menu fresh with what they’re growing they can, you know, keep their menu fresh with what’s coming out of Solar Therapeutics.

In terms of growing it I mean, as long as it’s not finicky and is resistant to mold and throws down. It doesn’t matter to me as long as it finishes in under ten weeks.

Chip Baker: Alright. So the wholesale market, it’s still the variety still, pushes that you can still sell variety. It’s not like you know, it’s either gas or fruit on the West Coast. But–

Brendan Delaney: It’s the same here. 

Chip Baker: It’s the same there. Okay. 

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean there’s some strains that I’ve chosen to grow here which will do more like a majority of that with the intention of wholesaling larger amounts but also keeping some in house but wholesaling you know, some big chunks.

Chip Baker: Right. So you don’t have a favorite? Come on, you got a favorite.

Brendan Delaney: I mean, I’m digging the Asphalt plant that we just cut down. We’re also doing this across that I brought out which is Critical Mass and Pink Champagne. A little bit lower on the THC but I definitely got some CBD in it. Some high CBD in it. Which is cool for a, it’s pretty mellow but it’s nice.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we love smoking CBD, but only when they blend it with the THC. 

Brendan Delaney: It’s not worker weed right?

Chip Baker: Man, I smoke a lot of weed. Sometimes maybe I don’t need to be that high, so like you blend a little CBD in it and mix it yeah. I still get the flavor right but it’s still good to smoke a large joint. And the CBD is medicinal. So you get the great medicinal cannabinoid without just you know, getting obliterated.

Brendan Delaney: Right. Yeah, I’m actually a partner in a CBD processing company out of Sacramento called the Blue Bus Collective. We’re doing all different CBD products, as well as processing for some of the farmers out there.

Chip Baker: Yeah, I man, CBD has got a great great place in the cannabis market in some ways it’s really helped out THC. Pardon that bong it was way too big. But yeah I’m definitely I believe in the blending of the cannabinoids, I believe in the full spectrum application of it I believe in all the terpenes, the separation the isolation of individual molecules is too Western for me, man. You know–

Brendan Delaney: I hear you.

Chip Baker: Right, but I mean, I support it wholeheartedly, and we’re involved with hemp seeds and hemp seeds consulting, and you know, I’ve got hemp clothes and hemp stuff throughout our lives, and you know, we love it. But yeah, man, I’m a ganja guy for sure.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, we’ll get your information. We’ll send you out some samples after we’re done here.

Chip Baker: Oh yeah awesome, man. Yeah, I’d love it man. We take anyone listening out there and we take samples of all products, The Real Dirt that can be sent to 666 Buchtel Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80210. We got a great rolling tray recently.

Brendan Delaney: Nice Nice. Yeah, we’ll send you some swag. 

Chip Baker: Yeah my guy Travis would love to see everything there. Right Travis? He’s nine right now.

Brendan Delaney: Perfect, perfect.

Cannabis in the Pandemic Crisis

Chip Baker: So, man, what do you see for the future here in Massachusetts and in the country? Do you see an increase in cannabis use because of current stay at home guidelines. And how do you think federal legalization might affect you?

Brendan Delaney: I mean, I definitely see an increase in use. And I feel like as legalization moves forward state by state, like the taboo of cannabis kind of being worn off. And it’s also more accessible. Like we have a lot of customers here that are a little bit older. And for them like being able to walk into a recreational dispensary and buy a product without having to worry about maybe where it came from or getting in trouble. I think it’s really open cannabis to a lot of people that may have been on the fence about using it before.

Chip Baker: Yeah, you’re right, man.

Brendan Delaney: As far as federal legalization goes, I’m not, I don’t really know where that’s going. It seems like it will happen soon. But who knows? That’s it. That’s the tough one.

Chip Baker: Yeah, well it’s coming all around in the East Coast now. I mean, you got Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia. I mean, so many states on the East Coast are now like talking about legal cannabis. You know, it’s exciting to see it.

Brendan Delaney: I mean, a bunch of our neighbors are probably hopping on board here in the next couple years. So we’ll see. We’ll see about that.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Well, you guys are pioneers, man. I’ll tell you. I’ll give you a salute for being one of the first there and being on the forefront of sustainable production and self generation of energy. You man, it’s just one of the brightest things you can do. And yet they, man really thank you guys for putting all that together.

Brendan Delaney: Oh, man, I appreciate it.

Chip Baker: Yeah, I’m sure you’re an unsung hero on that, but it’s something you got to want to do. You know, nobody’s forcing you guys to do it.

Brendan Delaney: Put the labor of love.

Where to Find Them

Chip Baker: Labor of love. Oh well hey, I love cannabis and I hope everyone who listens to the show loves this show Brendan thanks for joining me you got any way that our listeners can follow you guys or catch up with you if ever they’re in Massachusetts?

Brendan Delaney: Yeah @SolarThera on Social Media

Chip Baker: Say that again.

Brendan Delaney: It’s just @SolarThera on social media, Instagram, all that type of stuff, and that’s pretty much it.

Chip Baker: Oh well, there is it man. Awesome. Check him out @SolarThera

Brendan Delaney: @SolarThera or solarthera.com

Chip Baker: There we go. Yeah. Check out Brendan and everything cool they’re doing up there in Massachusetts if you’re ever around Somerset stop by their dispensary. And hey, man, buy a joint and give it away to somebody when you show up. Thanks a lot for joining us The Real Dirt. Thanks, Brendan. Hey, appreciate it. Have a good day, man.

Brendan Delaney: Thank you.

Chip Baker: Have you thought about a weed story, Brendan?

Brendan Delaney: I’ve been thinking about it a little bit.

Chip Baker: No Holds Barred. I mean, you know, Hey, let me ask you this question first. This will determine, hey, do I have your permission to reproduce this in any way I see fit?

Brendan Delaney: That might change the story. I mean, I was just thinking about, like, the times when I first started doing this and it really was the Wild West, you know, like, hiding from helicopters. And, you know, this is when camp was still around out there and like getting busted or going to jail. I mean–

Chip Baker: Yeah, run it from the man–

Brendan Delaney: I got the bulletproof vest here. Yeah, it’s from living near the pines.

Chip Baker: Stray bullets

Brendan Delaney: It was a wild time out there and you know, you meet some amazing people, and like, it was great for, to have the, you know, the more conscious grower community out there come together and meet some amazing people out there and, but I just times like driving truck beds full of flower down the highway and hoping you didn’t get caught, but the wildfires too. Last year it was just like I stayed during the evacuation and I couldn’t leave my house for 21 days the firing got right up right up to the next property over and that was the car fire ended up burning like 365,000 acres and it’s just you know, you don’t really sleep much and then you get it get out the other side and everybody’s okay and that’s what it’s all about but–

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. Alright, so here’s, give me like one of the craziest grower stories you remember like to tell from Trinity and now you got one I’ll give you one of mine too.

Brendan Delaney: I’ll think about that you go first buddy.

Chip Baker: All right. So guys, when I first, when we first got there 1997 we were trimming for some other people and we went to trim with these people and they had these other women there, and they were telling us about Humboldt. They were like, Oh, yeah, man, you gotta be careful who you go to work for because there’s some crazy people up here. And she told this story about how her and another girlfriend went to work on a guy’s trim farm. They went through like seven gates and each gate to take the guy like an hour, you know, to get out and so they get down to the bottom and you know, he’s like, it’s kind of starting to get weird. And he keeps mentioning the gates and I will never get out. Turns out all the gates were unlocked when they went to leaf. And the guy had just been fake locking them and telling them all these crazy stories. So there’s some crazy people out there. That’s a pretty G-rated one. But you know, there’s–

Brendan Delaney: I mean, especially up there, you’ll meet all types. I mean, I had, not to mention any names, land owner that I ended up rebuilding his farm that was being saved and didn’t really know too much about him. When I took the position and it turned out he was batshit crazy. [crosstalk]

Yeah, the batshit craziness is fucking rapid in Trinity. But he used to show up in the middle of the night with an AR and like headlamp on, and he would just be pretty hell-bent on taking half of the product with an [inaudible] in the middle of the night. This was like a pretty common occurrence. So by the end of it, I learned just to kind of be sarcastic when she didn’t really take too well. But I mean just, you know, stuff like that. And we, I mean, we had neighbors that were like definitely on the math taken apart a carburetor, taken apart engines, all hours of the night and like huge Tent City camps up there. And it’s I mean, it’s the Wild West for sure, certain parts of Trinity are still–

Chip Baker: There’s no law enforcement. I mean in Humboldt, they would say stuff like and in Trinity too, Oh after 6pm you got to take care of your own problems. You know–

Brendan Delaney: That’s pretty much what it is. I mean, there’s certain parts especially out you know, near the reservations that they don’t even go.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah. I mean, in Humboldt they don’t go to the reservations. They don’t go to areas with you know, the organized Eastern European crime gangs. They don’t go with the Mexican crime games like, they’re, they just you know, the previously in the past law enforcement would concentrate on the easy pickings usually like hippies with long hair, you know, smoking out trying to be Rasta.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean, the problem now is their law enforcement’s under they’re not really funded for cannabis. They’re out there outgunned and outmanned up there, you know, they don’t know if they’re walking into like 50 people with automatic weapons or fucking RPGs or whatever, there’s some wild motherfuckers out there.

Chip Baker: Well, hey, I’ll tell you also, that the police are pissed there because they can’t rob us like they used to. And they would go in. Yeah, they would go in, you know how it works. They go in, they would literally rob you of all your pocket, knives and tools and all that stuff. And you might never get charged. You know, they take all your shit dude, and they are pissed that they can’t go Christmas shopping anymore every day. Because that’s how it was like I got a new set of snap arms, I’ll trade you for that motorcycle or whatever.

Brendan Delaney: That’s a nice new dirt bike. It must be stolen. We need to fucking take it into evidence. 

Chip Baker: And most of that stuff never showed up in evidence. They just stayed in their pocket. That’s for sure. Yeah, man, I tell you, I was on the 36 at the gas station. And I’m listening to this guy talk about spinning, putting cash in his lawn. And the guy behind the gas stage is like, Oh, yeah, man, you got the nice lawn. He’s like, Oh, yeah, all the cash I get. That’s all I’m not gonna report it. And I’m like, thinking this guy’s a weed grower. He walks out and the guy’s like, yeah, that’s the fucking local deputy sheriff. Right? bragging about the money he’s stealing from people and how he’s putting it into his lawn?

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I have friends that got rated in the, you know, the question that they’re asked most is like, where’s the stash?

Chip Baker: Where’s the money? Where’s the money? Yep, totally.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, they don’t care about anything else. They’re trying to fucking buy their kids nice Christmas presents with other people’s money. 

Chip Baker: Absolutely. Well, man, unfortunately with legal cannabis, a lot of that stuff is gonna disappear. And the crooked cops come up there just to shake down people and like, you know, the crooked mentality that’s, you know, at the drug enforcement, you know, groups and individual sheriff’s offices and police departments, it’s gonna fade, right?

Brendan Delaney: I mean, it’s a legitimate industry now with legit money in it’s a taxable crop at this point. 

Chip Baker: Well, in California, Northern California is the only place in the country where legal cannabis hasn’t really, really benefited people yet. It’s benefited individuals. But everyplace else, it wasn’t really a cash crop already. And in Northern California, that was already the history; it was already cash crops. And it’s actually pissed a lot of people off because they used to grow weed, eat, quasi illegally in their backyard and rake in like 50,000 hundred thousand dollars a year on the side by not doing much. And now that’s all gone. So they’re pissed and the cops are pissed because they can’t rob you for your pocket change. And then like the prohibition is they’re pissed because they lost and then there’s the non-back yarders who are all good for freedom and everything as long as they don’t have to look at it or smell it. You know?

Brendan Delaney: Exactly. Out of sight, out of mind. 

Grow Tips

Chip Baker: Out of mind. Alright, so you gotta grow tips for me. I need a grow tip.

Brendan Delaney: I got you. The best nutrient for a plant is the Gardener Shadow.

Chip Baker: Okay, I’m not familiar. Tell me about the Gardener Shadow and how it’s the best nutrient for the plant?

Brendan Delaney: It just means the more time you spend in your garden, the better your plants again.

Chip Baker: That’s right. You actually have to hang out with them and touch them.

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah. 

Chip Baker: That’s great, man. You know, we’ve been building a ton of stuff here in Oklahoma and with the COVID hit, we really hadn’t had employees so we just been building stuff. So, I like to build everything from scratch. For the past several months, we’ve built a 40,000 square feet worth of hoop house. You know, irrigation, we’ve got a couple acres it’s actually in the ground and fences. And today, I actually got to grow weed.

Brendan Delaney: Nice, man. Congratulations–

Chip Baker: Yeah, plants are in the ground like that stuffs happening but like today actually trellis some weed and it wasn’t just like mechanics. It wasn’t drip irrigation or posture, tarps or shade or irrigation or pump or tractor or whatever it was–

Brendan Delaney: This past week we’ve been we’ve been commissioning Argus fertigation system, so– 

Chip Baker: Oh, nice. Nice. 

Brendan Delaney: So it’s a big one. So we’ve been finishing the build out on the fertigation room and really diving deep into our guests which is a badass company. I can’t say enough good things about Argus Controls and, and their fertigation equipment is definitely upper echelon.

Chip Baker: Totally, Argus, [inaudible] those are, they’re all the leaders right now in cannabis.

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, we’ve vetted out all three but settled on Argus–

Chip Baker: Yeah, that [inaudible] too expensive for me, man.

Brendan Delaney: I guess, I don’t really– we were gonna work with them. But Argus seems a little more user friendly.

Chip Baker: Yeah. I mean, you’re gonna have problems with any of it but the Argus and the Netafim are absolutely the most user friendly.

Brendan Delaney: I mean, the support staff at Argus is fucking unreal. 

Chip Baker: Do you like them better? That’s what it boils down for me to do business with people often as I go, like, this guy’s got me. 

Brendan Delaney: You want to do business with good people that live up to what they’re they’re pitching so– 

Chip Baker: Yeah, it’s important. Well, hey, Brendan, thanks for the gardener shadow. I think that was a great one. I like the slightly different one. Thank you. And hey, man, I’d love to do a part two with your development guy on all the other sustainable stuff you guys are doing. And if COVID ever lets us get a rest. You know, I’m gonna get on the road again. I’d love to come and see you guys.

Brendan Delaney: Oh yeah man. We’d love to have you.

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The Real Dirt on Oklahoma Cannabis

The Real Dirt on Oklahoma Cannabis

oklahoma medical cannabis news

Oklahoma ain’t no joke when it comes to cannabis cultivation.

Chip has been living in Oklahoma for the last year, and has gotten to experience first hand the trials and tribulations of cannabis cultivation in Oklahoma.

Since legalizing medical cannabis in 2019, Oklahoma has exploded with cultivators, dispensaries and license holders. In fact, Chip argues that Oklahoma holds more licenses than every other state combined. When it comes to Cultivation, Nevada might have Oklahoma beat. But for total licenses including processing and dispensary licenses, Oklahoma sits at the top.

This week’s episode of The Real Dirt is a catch-up for our listeners on why The Real Dirt has been away for a while and what Chip has been up to in Oklahoma. Here’s your hint: it involves growing a lot of ganja.

Plus Chip gets into the dirty details about the pros and cons of growing in Oklahoma, how the industry there compares to California and Colorado, and why he thinks Oklahoma is a great place to grow cannabis.

[Transcript Below]

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Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

4:07 – Growing cannabis in Oklahoma

11:13 – Outdoor cultivation in Oklahoma

18:05 – The pest pressure

21:04 – Preventive measures for infestation

27:58 – Challenges in growing in OKC

 

People Mentioned / Resources

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Chip Baker: This is Chip from The Real Dirt. Once again, you’ve reached another fabulous episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker. I’ve been a little slack lately guys, and I want to start the episode off by just, oh mankind of apologizing and also just a little we’re all in this COVID scenario together and it’s just kind of been a little difficult to put out some podcasts. We tried to do some zoom recordings, but man, if you guys heard those or saw those, they just sound awful. And you know, I really liked the sound. It was incredible. 

We put a lot of work into the post-production and into the overall production of the show in the past and Wow, man, that zoom connection just didn’t quite work for me, maybe really easy to do it. But we’re going to try to get some more audio episodes going here and maybe change a little format a bit. You know, it’s hard. Previously we’ve had like the past three years on The Real Dirt podcast. If you’re just new to the podcast, go check out some of our older episodes on iTunes or Spotify, The Real Dirt podcast, please subscribe. You can get some old material that’s new to you. 

We spent an incredible amount of time doing production and really learning how to make a great quality podcast. When COVID hit, we went to zoom recordings partially because we didn’t want to, we couldn’t be close enough with people to make a podcast. Now regardless if you think this is an epidemic plan Dimmick, fake or real, I’m a pilot, private pilot. And the first thing that I really learned in aviation is, if you take chances, odds are you’re going to die. So aviation is always about being perfect and correct. And even though there is a feel to it, there’s a considerable amount of math and exact and preciseness to everything with aviation. But the big thing is don’t take chances on, and you know, I’ve put that in my life, my business, and that’s what we decided to do with COVID, too. 

We thought we could just have a radio, just phone interviews or zoom interviews, and man, it just hasn’t really worked out. So I’m sorry, I had anticipated putting out about 25 episodes by now, 50 episodes by now, and I think we got 12 or 13 in the can so pretty much failed on that one. But you know, we got to, wanted to crank it up today, and have a little porch session on Sunday is often a relaxing day for us. As many of you know, we now live in Oklahoma. Previously we lived in Northern California for about 25 years 20 years, and on and off still it spent a good amount of time back there I love the place, and you know we moved to Colorado and set up some great grow stores Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate Garden Supply and moved down here to Oklahoma this past year to kind of do the same thing. Expand the grow shops, expand Cultivate Garden Supply, expand distribution of my potting soil growers, coco growers soil and in Oklahoma has been really really really really great for us. But you know, it’s a unique environment. 

Growing Cannabis in Oklahoma

And we’ve learned stuff everywhere we’ve gone and grown in the country in the world about cannabis and how it performs. And Oklahoma has its unique set of challenges and advantages. And you know, we were learning every day. I was on Oklahoma medical patients thread the other day on Facebook. And someone was commenting on maybe all the bad weed is because all the bad growers and there’s a lot of novices and new growers here in Oklahoma, I definitely don’t think it’s all bad weed, but people are really just learning how to do it. And we don’t really have the culture here in Oklahoma. The ganja smoking West Coast, Colorado culture, it is a little different here. 

But people will get better at the craft, and they will learn, and honestly, I think Oklahoma is really set to produce some fine quality weed in two or three years from now when all of the smaller growers have had a little bit of success, and they’ve gotten better, and they started talking to their friends, and they’ve seen better weed, and they’ve sold more medical cannabis in the shops and the shops tell them what they want and local genetic starts to develop, or local cultivars become in demand. When all those things happen, better quality cannabis is going to get here. 

But you know, the thing about cannabis is and in anything, is when you have multiple people working on the project, you get exponentially better, and in Oklahoma, there are more cultivation licenses than anyplace else in the country. Now, I would bet there’s more. I mean, someone could check that fact, if someone knows this fact, let’s hear it. But I don’t, I’m just going to make it up. Okay. I bet that there are more legal cultivation licenses in Oklahoma than in the rest of the country combined. That’s right. 

 

There’s just a few thousand in California, like just a few thousand in Colorado, and those are the states we think about the most I don’t even think there’s 2000 in Oregon. So, there’s a considerable amount of people growing all at once learning all and what man they’re going to get exponentially better. As long as they dropped the grower ego and realized that they could, there’s probably someone doing it better than them they can probably do it better the exponential learning that’s going to happen over all those six 7000 commercial growers and when I say commercial growers here in Oklahoma you can have a two-light grow and be a commercial grower you just apply for the license it’s a great environment to work that in. 

So I think it is going to get considerably better and fast and in a couple years Wow, man, Oklahoma’s going to have some great weed. So besides the sheer number of new people to this industry, there are a lot of experienced people like myself that have moved here, and I’ve been growing cannabis all my life and only recently got back into medical cannabis. It is a difficult environment in many aspects. I mean, I’m from Georgia where the humidity is high every single day you know there’s not a dried day in the year. It’s subtropical down there. The humidity is not as bad here as in Georgia. I mean at our farm, we have 50% average humidity frequently. And 50% humidity 90 degrees temperature and for outdoors and that’s a really great environment for ganja plants. 

They really like that. Yes, so does the mold. The mold and mildew start to grow at that 40 to 50%. It’s the perfect environment for it, but it’s also the perfect environment for cannabis to thrive. And from my experience, the terpene levels of the outdoor greenhouse cannabis here are far superior to what I’ve seen in Colorado simply because it’s just so dry. It’s just so dry. Yes there are days like today where the humidity is high. It’s been raining the past few afternoons and the humidity has gotten high at night. In the 70s you know the state is very diverse though and you know if you’re on the eastern side, east of Oklahoma City far more water, far more moisture. 

If you’re on the western side of Oklahoma City, far drier way more high plains. And right in the middle, you get a lot of rolling hills, and there is lots of farmland where vegetables are grown. And there’s even some sort of grape and an olive culture here in Oklahoma too, which are indicator species for cannabis. So you know, the humidity is not impossible here, and I’ll tell you if you think the humidity is impossible to grow cannabis in, while Florida has quite a large cannabis industry currently, and you know, they have their difficulties, but they’re able to do it, and it’s totally possible not only possible. 

But honestly, cannabis likes those 40-50% humidity ranges, and that’s what it is in the coastal areas of Humboldt and Oregon too, or Colorado, California, and Oregon is in the coastal areas you get that perfect 40% humidity and yeah rages a little bit at night, but that’s the kind of the beauty over there is it drilled consistently in temperature might only drop a few degrees. The daytime to the nighttime makes an incredible, incredible cannabis growth. That’s what y’all those huge, huge, huge plants you see those are West Coast plans. Rarely do you see any other plants like that in other areas, even though I have seen some large plants in Michigan, the same large plants. 

Outdoor Cultivation in Oklahoma

The big thing about outdoor cultivation here in Oklahoma is latitude like we are so low down here that our light cycle is completely different from all of our strains. All the strains that we’re mostly getting are West Coast strains either bastardized in Colorado. Hey, I don’t mean to hurt feelings. One often Colorado and you know, Colorado has its own special element too, but they’re almost all indoor. The West Coast has so much outdoor that if strangers developed there, they’re often we’ll go outside or greenhouse or light up you know, regardless were like the Colorado strains they may never see that or may never see it at volume. 

Wow, man, these strains. Most of the clones most of the seeds have a really different reaction down here than they do up at the 38 to 41st degree north, plants grow in that latitude. It goes all the way across to like Afghanistan, India, we were all on this ride that same ridge and the light cycles just kind of perfect for cannabis in that region. Right, you can plan it. There’s long enough light in the early spring in order to get the plant to vegetative growth. The summer has the right amount of light. Also, to keep it in bed into, you know, August, mid-August, and then it’ll initiate a flower. Initiate flower. 

Now the interesting thing is this is all like in 30 minutes, 45 minutes of darkness that’s going on because that’s how cannabis flowers are darkness. So it’s just, you know, a few minutes more light, a few minutes later or a few minutes more like a few minutes earlier, it really does affect the plants that were growing the genetic stock we have, which I think is a huge opportunity for Oklahoma. Don’t get me wrong, mostly the plants aren’t growing and traditional veggies and flowering manners that we’ve seen at higher latitudes. Even in Colorado, the plants act really similar. They’re a little earlier. And here’s what I mean, so, the farther South you go, the earlier your season starts to begin, but also the earlier it ends even if you have good weather.

This is due to the fact that cannabis is mostly you know flower by light cycle, night cycle specifically, and I found that most cannabis will flower at under 14 and a half hours of light. You get under that, and most of the modern cannabis will flower. Now I know there are some people out there that are claim all this other stuff about photoperiod cannabis, but I’ve just been growing this stuff my whole life you know, it’s there’s absolutely a critical nightlife for every single strain and then there’s also a series of stressful or events that can also cause the plant to go into flower when it’s around that critical nightlight. For instance, if you’re in a one-gallon pot and you’ve got a four-foot tall plant, and it’s in early July here, it will probably flower. I would even say in late June, and it will probably flower due to stress factors of being in that root bound small pot and light cycles changing. It’s right there on the cusp. Right. 

Mostly what we see here in Oklahoma is that you can plant outside two to four weeks earlier than you know we would have in Northern California. And that also the plants are coming out two to four weeks earlier in the fall time. There are tremendous advantages to all of this, Oklahoma, and there’s no canopy size, no plant size, you just get your limit and go under your regulations of security and fencing. And you can grow as many plants as you want. So, the idea is I’m going to grow these huge 5-10 pound plants, you know, no one it’s really unrealistic here in Oklahoma. And honestly, in other places, it’s just such a pain in the ass to grow those big plants. That small plants are definitely the way to go here. I would bet the quarter half, the quarter and a half-pound plants the one pound plants are probably perfect for this environment. 

It’s so nice here early in the spring that so many people want to put clones and plants out. I mean, we had our first harvest of tomatoes in April. Before April 20th, we were eating tomatoes and cabbage and chard and onions. And I mean you know, it’s we started growing in February here our vegetable garden but that light cycles just off. But it does offer you an opportunity in the early spring just to put plants out and flower them immediately without them growing you get a sea of green outside. You don’t have to tarp it with the natural light cycle. And in many strains, you can force flowers by just bending them under 24 hours of flight and then putting them outside in that early spring. You know, I would suggest March is probably the best month for this in some strains just won’t work, but you know, we’ve seen like several strains just start flowering and not stop here. And of course, those are probably bad also for full season planted production here and in Oklahoma. 

The Pest Pressure

The other real limiting factor here that’s been brought up is the pest pressure. And I mean the pest pressure is pretty, pretty strong here. But it’s not undoable for outdoor cultivation and for indoor cultivation, but for outdoor cultivation, you’ve got a series of pests that want to devour your plants every day. I mean, there’s rabbits and rats and deer and mice and grasshoppers and looper worms, cabbage worms, tomato, hookworms, tomato worms, garden worms. I mean, these guys are so destructive, it’s unreal. There’s definitely powdery mildew, and you know botrytis as well like you know there’s more humid down here you get those big buds, and those big, dense buds and the botrytis likes to grow inside them. 

So there are numerous problems, but man, all those things I just mentioned are really you can control them. Numerous biological products you can get at cultivatecolorado.com and cultivateokc.com or go to your local supply store. DiPel is a bt product, almost any bt product I think works. DiPel is considered like the commercial one is what people use for you know, corn and whatnot. We mix it at a really strong rate far stronger than they call for it. I don’t think you can overdo it with the DiPel because you are just colonizing, you know, the [inaudible], I think, is the BT. So the more you spray, the more volume that you put in per gallon, just, in my opinion, increases your, the ability for the bt to grow on the planet. 

You know, you’ve really got to get this stuff early too, you really want to get it growing on the stem, you know, early on the plant’s growth, you want to make sure that it’s on that first little bitty flower that comes out in pre flower. I would suggest you know, making sure you got a really good collonation started a week or two before flowers—great, great, great strategy. You can hear the wildness here, huh, man, lots of bugs. Hear them, grasshoppers, they haven’t been terrible much of a problem for us, but grasshoppers will also eat all the leaves off your plant, so they are locusts. 

Preventive Measures for Infestation

We try to do a lot of mechanical control for IPM. We make sure all the grass is cut, we till as much of the ground, we disk as much of the ground around our outdoor gardens as we can. And we do these organic preventative sprays in it. It really does help, and they’re also like the things that you can use that aren’t harmful that you know don’t show up, in the end, use cannabis products. You have to do and preventatively though you can’t just start seeing the problem and spraying, and it’ll never work. You know that goes for powdery mildew. We suggest people spray regalia for that and just start your plants. Young and you won’t have a problem. If you see it, then you’re going to be battling it. And that’s, you know, that’s just how it goes. Every state differs on what pesticide products they can use or pest control measures they can use. 

 

Oklahoma’s, it’s actually pretty strict when you actually look at the letter of the law or talk to the Department of Agriculture, but just the way they test for it isn’t strict enough. So it allows for lots of variation and a lot of variables. People have all kinds of strategies on how to use certain pest control method measures that won’t test, and they’re in test, and I don’t suggest or advocate any of that just, you know, try to follow the law and have a proper Integrated Pest Management Program, which always includes these elements. Mechanical, well identification. 

One, you got to identify what you got. Okay? And it’s not that hard. You don’t have to like to get to the encyclopedia. You just Google it, you got to think about it. More than likely, if it’s a soft-bodied insect, you can treat it all the same way. If it’s a hard-bodied insect, you are treated kind of all the same way. You know, we like the biological controls. I won’t even get into the pronunciation of everything. But botanic guard and DiPel are some of our favorites. You can get all these cultivatecolorado.com online, just look us up, give us a call, Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC just walk into the store and say, Hey, Chip said I need to come and get some DiPel because I’m going to have worms grown out of my buds here in the next month. Can you help me out, and Chris will say Oh, yeah, bro. I got a packet of DiPel right over here. We’ll be glad to help you out, show you how to spray it appropriately. 

But right now is absolutely the time to get on that DiPel and get on your biological controls for flower production. I can’t say it enough, man do preventative measures. And the best preventative measure is identification to walk through your gardens. Look, if you think you got a problem, look at it, don’t overanalyze it, but think about it and then say hey man, I do have a problem here. And I need to control it and then use the identify the proper controls, we always suggest mechanically, and that is absolutely the number one thing to do. If you have one plant that’s riddled with the infestation of something, just kill the plant and get it out, man. As soon as you see a leaf or a plant that has bugs like, man, start thinking about it now. I’m not saying go chop your garden down, even though I have more than once, and I just recently did it too. You can easily control outbreaks of many different types of pests with just removing the worst plants in your garden, trimming back all the leaves of the infected areas of the other plants. One it reduces the overall surface area so that when you do some sort of biological control, then you have less surface area to spray. 

Then lastly, is the biological control now whether what method you use to kill the bugs, it’s all you know, you’re all just trying to disturb their biology or disrupt their life cycle. I suggest trying to stick to all organic methods, or methods involving bacterias or other molds to combat the problems. Other things that many people use are H2O2 where botrytis or powdery mildew are concerned. With a direct spray, a spot spray directly on the affected area works excellent. I don’t suggest dipping your plants in it after you harvest it. It just harms the color of the look, the taste, all of it. I mean, H2O2 is caustic, and you can see it when you put it on your skin. It turns white; it does the same thing to your nuggets except it just turns on brown. 

So if you need, if you’re concerned about botrytis, man, it’s actually better to spray the plants down a few days before you harvest it. Let it dry completely in the plant-like absorb it. Far better off doing that. So identification, mechanical and biological controls, that’s how you deal with almost any pests. If you have any questions, you can always call us up at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, chat with us online, ask online join our Facebook group, and we’d be glad to help you.

Oh man, Oklahoma is windy. Oh yeah, it’s windy here. It’s windy here in Oklahoma. Now some places aren’t as windy as others, but those places had the humidity. So if you want the lower humidity, then you’re going to have to suffer through a little bit of wind, and I picked kind of a ridge location for our farm specifically because we came through here when was flooding last year and all the places that weren’t flooding, well, those are probably going to be pretty good places. 

Challenges in Growing Cannabis in OKC

In the place we got, the farm we got a real real good farm, but it is a little windy. Not as windy as others, not as windy as being in the South or on the plains out there, West of Oklahoma. But the wind is definitely an issue. You definitely have to stake up your plants take up your pots, make sure you really double pot down your greenhouses like you really have to go through the effort, you’re more of a mariner here I think with all the wind and the rope and the knots and the like bracing then you are farmer almost. The things you’ve done to combat the wind, greenhouses, shade houses, big plants in front of small plants, perimeter fencing using tree lines to break the wind like we’ve taken a number of strategies to make this work and it has to some degree. But man, you know when it’s 114 degrees, and that wind picks up wow you better be on your irrigation man because it will melt some plants. Stray, melt them. 

So I mean it’s definitely a difficulty to overcome, but it’s part of the game, and every place you go has its own set of rules or its own circumstances, and here in Oklahoma there is the wind and the heat is definitely two of the major ones that’s for sure. But Amen, people have been breaking wind, haha. People have been disturbing wind flow using wind blocks of some sort for millennia. 

The other problem we’ve had here in Oklahoma is getting good employees man getting good people that can work. We came here last year and man there’s only a handful of cannabis people here, to begin with. Most of the people here are new to cannabis. Some of them just don’t know if they want to be in it or can do it. And we’ve had a little bit of a problem finding employees. So hey, if you’re in Oklahoma, if you are fit and willing to work outside in a greenhouse, outdoor environment, man, you know drop us a lineman. You can email me at chip@chipbaker.com. And we’ve been taking resumes and applications for a moment. But we’re really looking for some good people that want to learn about the operation, workup and stay with us for a number of years. That’s generally how we do all of our operations. 

In Cultivate Colorado, I got people to work with me for ten years. Cultivate OKC, I mean, Chris has worked with me for more than ten years. Overall, Chris helped me develop all the product lines, they helped me source all the raw materials, they’re using and all the testing and now he’s the manager at Cultivate OKC. So yeah, if you’re interested in employment, if you’re interested in being part of a great team, just drop me an email chip@chipbaker.com. I am specifically looking for hard workers people with backgrounds in mechanics and electrical and construction and irrigation and farming, vegetable farming, yeah give me a call, if you’re interested, man, we’re good people and we want to bring some great people on. 

Well, that’s about it for today’s Real Dirt Sunday edition. It’s a sun starting to come out now we have a nice bog later this morning, so it’s getting hot here on the porch. You’ve heard all the birds and the roosters and other insects in the background, a little piece of Oklahoma. If you liked this episode and others, please download and subscribe, go to iTunes right now, look up The Real Dirt podcast and subscribe. 

Hey, I want you to check out all of my websites. If you’re interested in coco fiber, man, growersoil.com. We make the stuff in Colorado is the highest quality coco fiber potting soil on the planet. I put my heart and soul and wallet behind that statement. We all made inside it treated it like a bakery. Everything’s broken out, manufactured in one day and patched up the end of the chance for cross-contamination and bugs is almost minimal. I mean, it is fresher than a hostess pie when you get it that’s for sure. Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Garden Supply, cultivatecolorado.com. You can order anything you wish for your hydroponic indoor-outdoor garden local deliveries throughout Colorado and Oklahoma commercial deliveries throughout the known world. 

For instance, man, we just had a deal going on in like Malawi, or someplace like that. And you know, everybody was a little nervous about it. But yeah, we got a good shipment of stuff shipped over there and helped some hemp farmers get started, man. Hey, I also wanted you to check out my new project, The Greener Consulting Group. I’ve developed a consulting group, The Greener Group, it is an accumulation or it is a team of the top experts in the industry and we can solve anyone’s problem if you’re having if you’re going into the cannabis industry. Man, you should really think about talking to us about a two day deep dive. If you’re in the cannabis industry and you’re having some problems with it, it doesn’t matter if it’s banking or IPM or umpiring, or I’ve got an expert that can help you out. And it’s really really, really reasonable. You’ll learn more in a day spent with us than you will in 5-10 years failing at it on your own.

So, a great place to stop growers group, growersconsultinggroup.com. Of course, I have to mention bakersmedical.com, our Oklahoma dispensary and cannabis operations where we operate a clone nursery, a commercial clone nursery, and a dispensary. The dispensary has been closed for a minute but opens soon. Hey, I want to thank everyone for listening. I appreciate all your help and support. We’ll get a couple more of these porch episodes going and maybe get more real dirt on some more stuff. Real Dirt!

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How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

how to get a job growing weed

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

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

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

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

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


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Kanna

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

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

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

Farhaj: Hey, all super excited about this one.

Hire Kanna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: [inaudible] called Fade?

Farhaj: Yeah, like a Fade.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: So have you have you launched this yet?

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

Chip: And and the the app is that live?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: Right? Yeah. 

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

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

Farhaj: Was that a road trip or a flight? 

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

Farhaj: Oh my God. That is awesome.

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

Farhaj: Sounds good.

Chip: Man. What would you roll up?

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

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

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

Chip: We’re on the same way, man.

Farhaj: Yeah, that’s awesome.

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

Farhaj: Yeah

Turnover Rate in the Cannabis Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: It’s a private school. 

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

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

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

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

Typical Problems with Recruiting in the Weeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting a Job in the Ganja Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: Hope for 30 minutes early–

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

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

Chip: What do you say again? 

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

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

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

Chip: Cherry pickers. Totally.

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

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

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

Future of Kanna

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Find Them

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

Chip: Kanna with the K.

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

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

Employee-Employers in the Budding Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: Sounds like a plan.

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

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

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

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Pheno-Hunting and the Quest for the Best Cannabis

Pheno-Hunting and the Quest for the Best Cannabis

jive cannabis co oklahoma medical marijuana

Through decades of perfecting growing techniques, Jive Cannabis Co. is creating a product of top quality.

They enjoy spending time in the greenhouse, ensuring every plant is beautiful. The perfection of the plant is found not only in the pounds it produces but also in the nose, tricome structure, and overall beauty. 

In this segment, we’ll hear from Freaux, one of the owners of Jive Cannabis Co, the importance of pheno-hunting, how they do it, and choosing the best seeds for their customers. Don’t miss out!

The state we wanted to get involved in and through a total team effort of my partners and me were able to make it happen. We all bring our little own unique things to the table to make Jive Cannabis Co. happen, and it worked out great so far. – Freaux

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

2:16 – Jive Cannabis Co.’s mission
10:55 – Pheno-hunting
21:17 – Choosing the best seed company
28:25 – Great seed breeders
33:46 – Seed lot and organizing
56:58 –  Naming your weed
1:04:01 – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Jive Cannabis Co.

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

Chip: Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt on this episode of The Real Dirt we talk about fino hunting the genetic quest for greatness. That’s right. You know, fortunately, there’s so many seed companies that you can access these days through the internet, through some of the changes in the laws and you can pretty much have access to the greatest genetics and seeds on the planet. That’s never happened before in cannabis. 

So man if you want to learn about planting seeds about pheno hunting, listen to this great episode. I’ve got my good buddy Freaux from Jive Cannabis Company, and we talk about all of it, man. We talked about how to select a seed company, we talk about how to plant the seeds, we talk about how to pick the strains, we talk about how we label them. We talked about kind of how we test them. We go through like a couple of his fino selections and criticize them a little bit and talk about the differences between each of them. So it’s a great episode, if you’re into it, if you’ve never fino hunted before, if you’ve never planted seeds out before in order to choose or select clone mother, listen to this episode and enjoy The Real Dirt podcast.

Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt, in today’s dirt, I’ve got Freaux with Jive Cannabis Company. How’s it going, Freaux? 

Freaux: It’s going well going, how about you Chip? Thank you for having me on, man. 

Chip: Oh, man. Seems like deja vu. I’ve been trying to get you on here for a while and we finally made it. 

Freaux: Yeah, I’m glad we’re finally able in our busy schedules to kind of link up and get the podcast on and– 

Chip: So Freaux you’re– Freaux is a longtime customer of ours with Cultivate Colorado and he moved down here. He’s one of the first wave of people to move into Oklahoma to start up, you know, a cannabis business. And we’re really excited when we moved down here because we knew that Freaux was going to bring great, great weed with you. 

Jive Cannabis Co.’s Mission

Freaux: I appreciate that man, you know, coming from you, that means a lot. I’m glad that you think that we have good weed and enjoy it. That’s what we aim to do, to please and really try to put good weed out there in front of the patients. 

Chip: Man, that’s a that’s the attitude that we were talking about earlier about how are you bringing great weed to the market, bringing great weed to people and not so much that like, I have great weed, you know, and it when you do it that way just takes the whole ego out of it? 

Freaux: Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, we’re all humble people. We don’t try to get any kind of egos involved. I mean, we’re just trying to come with great quality cannabis, clean tested cannabis that we can bring to the patients and have them enjoy. We enjoy good weed at the end of the day, I mean, me and my partners were connoisseurs, we enjoy good weed. We just want the patients to be able to enjoy good weed that we smoke, kind of give them like a genuine experience. 

Chip: So, you’ve been involved in medical cannabis for a number of years. And you teamed up with a group of friends to come down here and start this business. 

Freaux: Yeah, so I’m one of four owner operators. There are four of us that all work hard is at the full team effort to do this and make this happen. Some of my partners are originally from Oklahoma, there’s some who spent multiple years out here but it was something when we heard that there was a vote happening and there is going to be able to the possibility of medical cannabis out here. There’s some surefire you know, the state we wanted to get involved in and through a total team effort of me and my partners were able to make it happen and we all kind of bring our little own unique things to the table to make Jive Cannabis Co. happen and it’s worked out great so far. And we’re just going to hopefully continue to strive to do better and bring the best quality marijuana to the patients out here, man. 

We’re just going to hopefully continue to strive, do better and bring the best quality marijuana to the patients – Freaux

Chip: You know, and one of the one of the things that strikes me about the way you’ve built the company is you’re not a huge company. You’re not like– okay, let me step back. There’s this fear in Oklahoma that like big out of state people are gonna come in here and ruin it, right. But we’re both came from out of state. We both now live in Oklahoma. But it’s not big people. It’s small, just normal people. Right. We’re not really corporations. 

Freaux: Yeah, I mean, probably the furthest thing from a corporation at the moment. And that’s kind of the way we want to keep it. I mean, we are, I guess you could say your traditional kind of mom and pop grow. We all do everything in house. There’s four of us total, and we all do it everything from the cultivation of business to whatever it takes sales whatever it takes to make it happen. Yeah, we’re definitely just a group of friends, that all have a common goal and we’re just trying to be out here and compete. And you know, it’s fortunate enough that in the great state of Oklahoma, it’s given the opportunity to do what we love, you know? 

We’re a group of friends that all have a common goal, and we’re just trying to be out here and compete. – Freaux

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, the real interesting part about Oklahoma to me is there’s a lot of weed smokers here, a lot of medical cannabis users. But before a year or so ago, there wasn’t so much cannabis culture, right people didn’t really have the access to the flavors, they might have been sold product, but you had no idea if it was Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, Bubble Gum, making up a name. It’s like whatever high times a month cookies was, that’s what they got sold to the level of education isn’t so– it hasn’t been, the level of cultural knowledge hasn’t really progressed, because it was such a private market state forever. I mean, it was one of the strictest cannabis law states in the country. 

Freaux: Yeah, I’d say so I mean, definitely. So it’s kind of crazy though because like, we get out and we’ll go to [inaudible]

 or go to like sessions or [inaudible] be along with other patients. And there is like, a, definitely a big interest. And there’s a lot of people who are learning, but there’s also a lot of people who do have an interest and, you know, with the internet and social media and kind of being able to, you know, follow different things. There’s a lot of interest, and a lot of people out here are receptive to it. And I know people out here do like, good pot. It’s one of those things where, you know, there are a lot of people who are still kind of learning or whatnot. But the interest out here is huge. And, you know, there’s a lot of people out here who know their stuff. I mean, there’s quite a few people out here, you’re not going to be able to pull the wool over their head. I mean, they’re going to know if you don’t have, you tell them it’s something that’s not what it is or you’re probably going to call you out in or not wanting to buy it. 

I feel like there is a lot of culture starting and I’d say so with started with Oklahoma to been interested in weed before this happened and then a lot of people come in from other states where it’s been either medical or recreational we’re coming in here and kind of adding to that and kind of making Oklahoma its own unique place and I think it’s awesome where it’s heading and honestly I think down the road it’s gonna be a place where there’s gonna be so much mortgage Morgan like you know, kind of melting pot kind of a cultures where it’s gonna be I think it’s gonna be great and you know what I’m saying. 

Chip: I agree with you man. At Cultivate Colorado and Cultivate OKC, we see all types of growers that come in there. I really get a great gauge of what’s going on in the area. You know, as there’s regions of the state where the larger commercial outdoor and greenhouse growers seem to come from. There’s lots of mom and pops in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa. There’s lots of people who’ve just done it or just doing it for the first time or they maybe they’ve been grown in a closet for years but haven’t quite scaled to commercial operation. 

There’s most people have 200 amps 400 amps worth of power that they’re working with. And those aren’t all negative things. Those are just like the reality of it. And the beauty is this, though, is there are no preconceived notions on what people should do. 

Freaux: Yeah, that’s awesome. I would totally agree right there. Right. Yeah, it’s kind of just, it’s a blank canvas. And everybody that’s involved in everything right now is kind of painting its own picture. Nobody’s telling you what you have to do. It really is kind of a free market where, everybody collectively is, you know, painting the picture to make it its own. You know, there’s nobody telling you what you need to do. And it’s kind of one of the things people are actually able to come out here and you know innovate or do different things or whatnot.

Chip: One of the things that we’ve seen people do is plant all types of seeds. You know, there wasn’t a cutting culture here and we saw the same thing in Colorado in 2009 is initially they only allowed like, you know, I don’t know 70 or 77 strains into the initial database for Colorado. And so everybody had those 77 clone strains right. And nothing was new, and the laws changed a little bit or you able to manipulate the situation a little bit or maybe breeding may have happened but in Oklahoma, in pretty much plant whatever seeds you want, you can bring it into the legal system easily. And we see people planting all kinds of stuff. Unfortunately, most lovers fucking crap and then and they’ve just been sold like this bad, bad, bad seed. And that’s kind of what our topic is today. The topic for today, is pheno hunting and the genetic quest for great cannabis. Oh, wow, that sounds great, doesn’t it? 

Freaux: It sure does man. 

Chip: Man so one of the reasons I had you in here because I’ve seen you plant seeds, you pick great phenoes and many people don’t even know what pheno hunting or how the whole seed thing works and I really want to like start on the like super child’s style and start from the beginning of like picking us breeder buying seeds, planting seeds, organizing the seeds, track and trace in the T seeds, testing the clones, cataloging it all and like how you guys really go about like pheno-hunting. 

Pheno-Hunting

Freaux: Yeah, no doubt, I’d love to do that. I mean, that’s a one of our biggest interests at Jive is pheno-hunting planting seeds finding new unique flavors, new [inaudible] profiles, and then just really just getting able to see have a good look at that gene pool man just being able to get in there and pick it because when you do get a clone, you kind of just stuck with what you got, there’s nothing you could do. But if there’s something you’re interested in, you get edible quality seeds of it; you get pretty much get to run through it and find what you want what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for smell and taste, if you’re looking for resin for the hash, there’s so much different stuff and what’s better so many different genetic possibilities where if you are actually you know, taking the time, popping the beans and seeds or whatnot you can get something special. I’ve always been a firm believer that I mean, I’ve been fortunate in some cases where you know, friends have done work and pass along you know, different genetics to me, vice versa. But to truly get some superheat fire, you got to go out there and find it. A lot of people aren’t just bestowing your blessing you with a gift. You have to be kind of proactive on it or whatnot, you know? 

To truly get some superheat fire, you got to go out there and find it. – FreauxCLICK TO TWEET

Chip: Yeah, absolutely and you know man, I tell you there’s no way we can have this conversation without you opening up one of these fine jars that you pheno hunted here and rolling up a tater as we would love to but let’s examine one of these like pick one that you picked out from seed. 

Freaux: So sure we have actually a Sunshine Lime, I’ve got two different phenos

Chip: Where’d that come from? 

Freaux: It came from Archives Seed Bank– [inaudible] This was a fine from him. This is our number one. So the genetics on that is Sunset Sherbert times Lemonheads.

Chip: Oh man, that is incredible. Like I mean it’s both sides of the coin, it’s earthy and citrus and usually don’t find that but like is that kush like but then on the lemon too. 

Freaux: I like to kind of describe it as like it’s kind of like a tropical real fruity overturn, but kind of like almost like a burnt rubber OG gas at the end. There’s Lemon G industry and the lemon tea just kind of shine in it. This is a this is another fino of it this is our number three. It’s same strain a little bit different you’ll be able to tell the nodes look of it similar but different. 

Chip: It’s as darker for sure had a lot more the sherbert side to it. 

Freaux: That’s I would say that’s definitely sherbert leader. 

Chip: Yeah, no, it’s still good but like I see like the other one definitely the expression of the terpene expression, is greater than the other one. 

Freaux: The terpene expression is greater, the nugs came out a little bit tighter. It’s just a little bit more unique to me. I mean that has a good unique smell but the number one when we were kind of you know hunting in or selecting it you know me and my partner’s, it’s a one that kind of stood off rip. It was the first one that started getting a good news, week four, week five and it just kind of came with it and there’s a couple other selections. We had another one that was pretty good as well too but out of the one in 3– 

Chip: But pretty good doesn’t make it. 

Freaux: Pretty good does not make it.

Chip: Yeah, so you have to be merciless in the pheno hunt, right.

Freaux: You really do and I noticed like traditional people say that you should run it twice before you give up on it. I am a firm believer in that, it’s kind of good to give it a second look but a lot of times if it was like you know super trash or first run [inaudible] on the second run and then– 

Chip: Now, you should give it a second run if it’s good. If it’s bad, I just say throw it away. Unless you fucked up somehow or something wasn’t correct with it. Like you know, we’ve got some Bubba S1 from CSI right now. Same thing. You know, we grew them out and didn’t have like the best flower. And we just decided to keep all the phenos, right so we could rerun it. Yeah, right. 

Freaux: Yeah. And then you know, sometimes too, you never know what happens in that thing whether it got you know, didn’t get to best real state under the lights or if environmental was bad you know an AC went out during a [inaudible] time– Maybe you didn’t give a good dry so it’s always good to give it a second look. But you can really tell and I think a lot of people too that you see around the state or even on national too, they buy a pack of beans from a breeder somebody well known. They run the seeds they get the first female they get, that’s like boom that’s it, they don’t really understand that there’s a little bit more you have to do and then you have to have kind of the courage to give it up I know growing and you love your plants you never want to like holding out and stuff like that. If you find something that maybe it’s borderline, maybe you gift it to a buddy or something to kind of hold around, and see maybe he could do something different but at the end of day if it’s not gonna cut what you’re looking for, you know, checking all the boxes that you’re looking for. It’s got to go and you move on and there’s so much variety about it, right.

Chip: You got to be pick the best, there is only one. Yeah, you paid money for those seeds, but really you paid money for the clone that you want to pull out of that seed pack. Not each individual seed. 

Freaux: Exactly. And it’s like a lottery ticket, you’ll scratch off you’ll have a winner, sometime you won’t. But sometimes you find some, sometimes you don’t, it’s part of the game, but that’s kind of what you know, finding new flavors and new phenos and being able as like a company to have that specific flavor and even in depth that specific pheno kind of has it. Where it’s kind of cool to have that nobody in the world has is female except us. You know I’m saying? I think that’s pretty cool.

Chip: Man, I think this is the perfect time for two things to happen. One, for you to crack open one of those jars and let’s roll a fat one here and we’ll have a commercial break while we do it. 

Freaux: Yeah, sounds good. Is there something you want to try? We got like the– we got the Kush Mints– [inaudible] 

Chip: Let’s have a back to back Sunshine Lime. When we come back, we’ll talk about how to pick a seedcompany. 

Freaux: Sounds great to me. 

Chip: Awesome.

Hey guys hope you’re enjoying the episode here with Freaux I just want to do chat with you a minute about our organic seminar that we’re having here in Oklahoma City on March 21st It’s just next week but this episode is going to come out right now if you’re in town for the episode– for the seminar, you should definitely come and get a ticket. We’re selling compost tea brewers that man like a third the price of what they should be. And you know, we’re going to have a ton of great information. Today is going to start with us talking about soil formulation and how to make sure organic soil, we’re going to have a good provided lunch. Then John Piccirilli from Cutting Edge Nutrients is going to talk about how to make proper compost tea and in all the applications from biological life to IPM. And then we’re going to end the day at 4/20 with a roundtable on how to actually grow organic, the systems the mechanisms, the how commercial people do it. So if you’re in town man definitely get a ticket and come by and see it and hey, you know if you’re not man, we’re going to like re-broadcast has this on a webinar. So definitely if you hear this episode, and it’s not March 2020, and you want to check out the organic seminar, just look for it on on on therealdirt.com. But if you’re in town, man, definitely stop by, get a ticket. Check us out on an event bright. It’s the organic seminar, compost tea brew sessions. That’s right.

Oh, man. Well, you may quick work of that– What is it again? Which one?– 

Freaux: This is actually the Sunshine Lime one.

Chip: The Sunshine Lime one. So this is the true keeper man. You say you’re gonna come to my compost tea, my compost tea class? 

Freaux: Yeah, I just kind of heard you talking about that– I’m definitely interested in and I’m definitely gonna come and I heard you mentioned that John Cutting Edge is going to be there. I tell you what, I got the opportunity. He came to our facility several months back, got the opportunity to sit there and talk with him. I mean, the knowledge that was coming out of him was crazy. I was like– 

Chip: So much experience man, holy shit. 

Freaux: Yeah. After I had a conversation with him, I was like, when we left the conversation. The first thing I thought it was, I wish I could have recorded that. Just the knowledge coming out of his mind was great. I really enjoyed and I love to hear more about it especially you know, [inaudible] going on. 

Chip: Yeah, man John is a– He almost like you tap into his brain when he speaks. It’s not like how other people talk. He, somehow has some type of psychic communication that he could you know what I’m saying? [inaudible] Like you really learn. He’s an incredible instructor a great teacher like you know, you’ve learned so much dude so much. He’s able to break it down. But yeah, so we’re stoked to have him on our organic seminar March 21st. I think this episode’s just going to barely come out in time for it so– 

Freaux: Well, I’m looking forward to and you could definitely count me in there man. 

Chip: Alright, so this is the Sherbert Lime? 

Freaux: The Sunshine Lime. 

Chip: Sunshine Lime. 

Freaux 20:46  

Sherbert times Lemonheads

Chip: Definitely has that citrusy, Cali O type initial taste but Mc kush [inaudible] Yeah, totally. It’s really super bowl flavors. 

Freaux: Yeah, it’s got that flavor that coach your tongue. Kind of keeps it even when you’re done smoking the joint taste it right to the very end but coats your mouth really gives good flavor. very aromatic.

Choosing the Best Seed Company

Chip: A bit down to around the tip. Yeah, that’s great, man. That’s great. So man, the like, problem people– So it starts with the seed company that you choose. Let’s talk about all the bullshit seed breeders and how to avoid those first off on this pheno hunting roadshow.

Freaux: When you put it like that, I mean I know there is a lot of, you know, breeders out there who don’t necessarily like work online or like test it. They try to put stuff out really quick. Nobody really comes off the top of my head as being like I can’t really think off the top of my head is being like–

Chip: Well I don’t want to call anybody out. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying this is that everyone should know this is many people are out there breeding solely for cash, and they don’t really know what’s going on with the cannabis plant and they haven’t really picked mothers and fathers so well, they’re just plant fucking, they’re not really breeders. And so my kind of my question was like, man, how can you see it? How can you avoid it? 

Freaux: So I don’t know, with me. I usually reputable breeders that are dealing with certain type of genetics that are verified and know that they actually have it. Especially breeders to who aren’t like, you know, pumping out a new line a couple times a quarter, I’m not really too familiar with that aspect, but I know like breeders who maybe do like a big drop once a year, once every other year, you know, work their lines pretty hard where you can actually get you know stable lines where you [inaudible] a bunch of herms or mutants are, you actually get there where you’re looking at your plants you have multiple plants to select from where you’re sitting there and maybe you get a 12 pack, you’re like wow I’m looking at six fairly stable female plants at hey I’m having trouble picking the keeper or whatnot

I think it comes down to I mean I know there’s a lot of talented people out there that might not have as much like following and stuff like that, but really with me, it came down to, did I have success running them before? Did my friends that are good growers have sex or success running them before? So with me, it kind of starts off with me like word of mouth kind of like– 

Chip: The reputation. 

Freaux: Yeah, like like– 

Chip: First off look for the reputation. 

Freaux: Yeah, reputation, especially too. If you have friends who have ran their gear and have had success, I think that’s a good place to start. I know there’s a lot of talented breeders out there. There’s a couple I kind of tend to go to keep really good eye when they’re doing new jobs having new stuff come out but I would say with you know, with us, we try to at least stick to like people that have a good reputation like certain genetics and those are [inaudible] genetics or working with there’s a lot of people out there, like you said, that are just taking random things, putting it together and not really working and you don’t even know if that is what it is. And it kind of really messes up the gene pool for people who aren’t doing it right, you know? 

Chip: Yeah, you’re absolutely right, man. Yeah. It’s a such an odd one because people see these catalogs and they think it’s like Converse or Nike. Or they can just say, Oh, I want that and it’s gonna be exactly what the description is, or they like the name somebody put out is, you know– Have you just randomly bought seeds from anyone.

Freaux: I’ve never actually randomly bought seeds. I usually go off of like, I mean, like I said before, I usually go off for kind of like success. People have had running different packs. Especially people who are talented know what they’re doing when you get in– 

Chip: This is so good, man. 

Freaux: Yeah, it’s got a good little flavor. But yeah, I mean, I’ve never just randomly bought packs. I’ve had people recently like give me packs that I give a run to or try out and see what’s going on. But I know a lot of it when I try to look is like you start looking at everything’s cross and everything now on what I kind of try to do is kind of like, peel back in the lineage to try to see like, where those originally cuts came from and who bred them and the right time to start with their stuff. You know, especially people who have been doing it for a while.  

Chip: What are the parents? Do you hear that? 

Freaux: Yeah, I do hear that. 

Chip: I have this little French Bulldog we got here Rocky. He’s always pushing me around. Hold on. Hey, he wants in on this sesh, we’re firing this joint up. Let me grab him. Rocky say how to Freaux 

Freaux: What’s up to Rocky?

Chip: Yeah, he doesn’t like to be alone.

Freaux: Nah, I hear that.

Chip: That’s right, buddy. You just sit back. I’m sorry I interrupted you. Rocky interrupted us.

Freaux: No, it is all good. I kind of even forgot. [inaudible]

Chip: So we got you got to look at and do a little research and see one, if they have a reputation. Two, if other friends of planted it or you know and I even like just look at their exterior of what they’re trying to sell, try to find pictures of their packaging. But then it’s like you need that that cultural knowledge like what do they have? Do they have original parent clone? Do they have original parent strains or they just have one offs or bullshit– 

Freaux: Or where did these other guys sources from, you know what I’m saying? 

Chip: Yeah, exactly. I would suggest people to like look through Instagram. See what was going on six months ago or a year ago and see if you can, like follow the breeding of a plant, right. Somebody’s gonna come out, you know by a strain. It’s like look them up a little bit. 

Freaux: I think it’s also good too and I kind of try to do too, especially like if I you know, on vacation you go to some like West Coast states, especially California let’s go to the clubs and put your nose in a jar, like I actually go there. And check out the genetics because a lot of people see it. And then there’ll be either hype strains, or really popular strands and you know, they are warranted for the height and popularity, but a lot of people have never like either smoked them, taste them or tried them. 

You do have the opportunity to travel or go to clubs where either breeders or people have different trends in the clubs go there, try them out, put your nose in them, smoke them get to be familiar with the strain to see if that’s something you even want to run. I think that’s something too like a lot of people are just picking flavors and running them and be like, Well, I didn’t like that. It’s like wait have you even tried it or even been, gotta you know [inaudible] or whatnot, it’s just kind of you’re at that point just kind of going off of like crazy names or crosses, but I think it’s good to do a little r&b and that’s why it’s good. You know, have friends that are growers or just in general make it out there and try to try different stuff and become familiar with the genetics that you’re actually buying. You know, think that’s a good place too.

Great Seed Breeders

Chip: So we’ve, I mean, both of our quests in this life is to spread great cannabis. So let’s, you have some suggestions of some great seed breeders out there.

Freaux: Yes, I do. So I’m going to tell you some people that I personally like and at Jive, the whole team likes is definitely Dungeons Vault Genetics. Dungeons Vault Genetics he’s got some great gear. He’s actually– his Grandpa’s Breath is a strain that is pretty popular for us. He has really good genetics. We actually– We partnered with them on a couple ventures actually out here in Oklahoma we’re gonna have like a whole bunch of online with a bunch of his breeder cuts. 

So patients can actually see you know what the actual strain is coming straight from the breeder. It’s his genetics. It’s not something somebody else, you know, is making up or saying like that it’s actually coming from the company. I think he’s a great one to look at Dungeons Vault. Big fan of Archive, we bought a ton of archive seeds. 

Chip: Oh yeah, Fletcher man he is one of the best breeders on the planet right now. 

Freaux: Yeah, he’s got some really cool stuff. And you know, he’s one of the ones who has like a crazy catalogue of all that old school stuff.

Chip: You know, here’s the thing about Fletcher and this one I said, look up the Instagram history because he has been doing it for such a long time now. And man, he’s a young guy, dude. He’s a young guy. He’s been doing it for his whole adult life. And he has gathered such an awesome, awesome collection that the catalog really is crazy, right. Everything might not be available all the time and some stuff or just spurts it’s like, Oh, that one went out of favor that one didn’t do so well. But that’s what makes like his history you know? So a man except legitimate, right. That’s what makes a seed lawn so legitimate is because of the history.

Freaux: Yeah, you know, he’s a he’s another good one we’ve– He currently hunting a bunch of his packs. We like you know, [inaudible] we got some flavors from him. You know, JBZ’s has always got a bunch of interesting stuff. He’s killing it right now. Seed Junky. There’s a bunch of other great people out there that we’re trying, after medicating a little bit. I’m trying to think of all we have there so much– 

Chip: You have tried some Capulator stuff? 

Freaux: So we have tried some Capulator’s stuff. We actually, we had a Jungle Mac, we’ve made some really good water hash. That’s the only pack we really ran from him besides a freebie we got at the expo in Oklahoma City several months, I guess it was probably been about almost a year now. But his Mac Riddler. We ran that, you know, both of them were good plants. When we’re looking at it for like, the profiles we’re looking for. And then especially with some past companies we partnered with, they were looking at it and like Wow, those are like awesome plants are running the hash, which, you know, that’s what we ended up doing with the Capulater gear or whatnot.

Chip: Right, awesome man. [inaudible]

Freaux: I have grown some stuff in the years past. We don’t have anything from him currently right now, but he’s somebody I definitely want to run some of his packs. I was actually looking at his Instagram the other day as a couple real interesting things that I think I’m gonna reach out to. What we try to do is, we actually have like a whole set of lights that’s strictly for r&b where we, you know, constantly on a cycle going to be popping, you know, packs and beans and trying to find the most interesting flavors and he’s definitely on the list of people who are gonna, you know, go to. There’s so much. There’s so much stuff. [inaudible] We haven’t personally. It’s nothing we’ve ran. You know, he’s somebody we definitely give a try to. I just haven’t ran anything from him.

But I’m trying to think of some other people that’s kind of the main ones we’re hunting through right now. I think we have some, I think we have some Midwest Best and Green Flora, Watermelon Granita. We’re hunting we have some JBZ stuff, Koma the Grower, Pacific Seed Company. What else is there–

Chip: Any cookie stuff? 

Freaux: We don’t have any cookie stuff right this second that we’re hunting. I mean we do have some of their you know, strains from the past we’re hunting some old Cali connection pack some SVOG and some time trying to find you know some old school. OGs, I’m trying to think off the top of my head we have some exotic genetics that we’re hunting, he has some really solid gear, [inaudible] up in my head well I–got some dying breed seeds, some Ozzy– There’s so many more I’d have to blow out my phone, but there’s a ton of different stuff that we’re given a run to right now.

Seed Lot and Organizing

Chip: When you’re planning out like, Okay, so what’s a typical seed lot for you? Let’s start right there at the beginning you decided to buy your seeds, you got your seeds, how many seeds you plant now?

Freaux: So We usually like to do in the like the five pack range. Right now, we’re trying to find like a vast variety of different flavors. So we’re usually just getting like one pack of flavor which usually it’s 10 to 12 seeds we’ll go ahead, we’ll germinate the seeds, you know, some stuff has a really good germination rate makes it to the dirt, some stuff doesn’t but, we’re doing about you know, 50 to 60 at a time and then from there that actually make it into flower. I mean, you’re gonna weed a lot of stuff out in beds as you know, either male or crazy to form a new users we and then–

Chip: So that’s 50 or 60 seeds of one type? Did you just plant a pack when you pheno hunt–

Freaux: Usually right now we’re just doing a pack at a time– 

Chip: To see if it’s worth it. 

Freaux: Yeah, to see if it’s worth it. You know, something if I might give it a second try if we didn’t find anything. We’re going to try to start doing bigger pheno hunts have like one strand. Right now. We’re just kind of trying to find like a big you know, variety of stuff so we’re just kind of seeing when what happens with that. Sometimes you’re successful sometimes you’re not but– 

Chip: You can’t always get a winner.

Freaux: Yeah, you don’t always get a winner you definitely don’t. 

Chip: Right. It is kind of like the claw machine though. Right. Like you’re going for those nice pair Ray Bans in the back. Right But you don’t get it, you know, said you get a key chain. Yeah, so you’re managing 50 plants though at a time, so it might be like five packs, or yeah, maybe more.

Freaux: Yeah. So we actually the way we kind of have our like room staggered right now we actually have like a small hunt going in and each one of our rooms and we actually just wanted a huge pheno hunt which was, you know, much bigger than we’ve ever done before. Especially out here, you don’t have like a limitation on plants or anything. So you can kind of just really run through pheno hunts and stuff like that. Which, it was a lot bigger than we normally would generally go on. But I would say something for us that’s manageable with the space we have and actually just strictly keeping up with it. Because sometimes you’ve got so much stuff going on, it just becomes, too much to deal with everything else going on in life and deepen, you know–

Chip: Oh, it’s hard, man. It’s hard to keep it all organized. So how do you how do you do it, man? How do you track and trace it? How do you how do you organize it?

Freaux: So basically, with us, we’re just basically label each one of the pots. You know, pretty much when a seed goes–

Chip: You label the actual pot? 

Freaux: Just to tag, well sometimes, but you know, just like a tag on the plant, you know, seed to sale system and stuff like that everything has like a little tag on it. So it’s just like instance Sunshine Lime one, I’ll just have a little tag on it or whatever. And then– But ends up turning into like a mail or something that just doesn’t make it you know, it gets axed out or whatnot. And yeah, pretty much we try to keep we’re trying to get better organized right now it’s just kind of real low tech, pretty much write it down on a piece of paper to know that we have. We tried to like taking notes if we can, if we remember, like, you know, what was really good and like vege maybe something to flower.

Chip: We always do something like this? Yeah, like a, like a board setup. We got a white board set up with some and we just start taking notes on the whiteboard.

Freaux: Yeah. And that’s, that’s we just recently got whiteboards that our facility so we’ll probably put them to use like you got him right there. But um, yeah, pretty much just labeling them and just trying to keep up with them and then you know, try to take notes of stuff that– We try to throw the plants into our, you know, whole program, just right off– Give it like our feeds and our temperatures and throw them in our rooms are actually flowering in keeping the same environment even in like an r&b room so we can see if those genetics actually make it in what we do. So if we run it in our setup and it doesn’t like like we’re giving it certain, different variables [inaudible]

Chip: That bomb threat Bubba is a matter of fact, we’re talking about extremely hard to grow, right. Doesn’t produce much, but like, if you like, do it just right, like the buds are great if you do it wrong. They’re just leafy can be and as doesn’t have a taste at all. You know, it’s, I mean, it’s all weed doesn’t act the same.[inaudible] grow the same. 

Freaux: And that’s very true right there.

Chip: Yeah, it’s a living breathing plant and every single seed is different and that’s why we pheno-hunt. You should not buy a pack of seeds, plant them out and pick one or pick them all as your clone mothers, right it’s just not it’s not the best way to do it, right. You got to try it out–

It’s a living breathing plant, and every single seed is different, and that’s why we pheno-hunt. – Chip

Freaux: Exactly so like what we’ll do is we’ll just take the actual from seeds grown in the flower room and make sure we get cut– 

Chip: From seed you throw it in the flower 

Freaux: Yeah, okay, well we’ll throw in the flower–

Chip: I’ma see got too many people like you know say the that they throw the seed away and take it like Fletcher from Archive as a matter of fact he says that he throws the seed away and just takes a cutting right and then flowers the cutting.

Freaux: Yeah, I mean, that’s one way to do it. I mean, I I think with us reason why we do it is just for time because you want to see is it gonna be something– Sometimes that’ll take just like a few extra weeks where sometimes you don’t have those weeks and you’re just kind of trying to get it done and get it quick so as–. 

Chip: If you plant a seed on the same day, you take your clone for your crop, you can stay on that same pattern. 

Freaux: Yeah, definitely. So yeah we would just throw it in there let it flower see if we’re gonna keep it where some cuttings behind and then we’ll either like [inaudible] you know those cuttings or just keep floating from that and then obviously if it’s something we’re not going to keep maybe we’ll give it a second run but– And there are also cases to especially when you go in these big hunts and tags fall out or get lost you know, the new thing that a lot of people are doing now is a whole revege. I mean–

Chip: That’s not new– I’ve been doing that one for years–[inaudible] Oh, this is so good. Do we ever have it?There’s a bottom left out there in the field.

Freaux: And just to me, I mean, I’m learning stuff. You know, every day I just recently in the last year learned about the whole revenge just nothing I knew about whatsoever.

Chip: You got any revenge secrets? I’m interested since it’s new to you. Maybe you got different approach.

Freaux: I don’t have any revenge secrets. It’s something that I’m just kind of learning and bettering myself. But it’s something where you know, something if we cut doesn’t make it or you know, just any, you know, little thing happens where you don’t have a gun and you get it mislabeled and we’re gonna, you know, try to do a revision, it’s gonna be harder to grow up. So make something as I do, I could let you know how it went,

Chip: You know, people I’ve had people complain and tell me it doesn’t come out. Right, but I’ve done it. I’ve had to do it many times over, you know, 30 years ago and gotcha. And yeah, man, pinch off all the bugs try to leave as much leaf is possible. Switch to that high nitrogen batch fertilizer, it veges back easily. It might take a month or so for it to get normal leafs, but it absolutely will come back.

Freaux: And that’s awesome. And that’s, that’s something that, you know, we’re gonna play around with if it comes down to that, you know, yeah, yeah, you just have to.

Chip: Yeah, I mean, that’s the back. That’s what you shouldn’t do, because what you should do is label the pot, labeled the plant labeled the soil and try to keep up with it. And then if like one of the three labels washes off, or there’s still, you know, one of the three labels left,

Freaux: And you know how it is, I mean, anything.

Chip: It is man enough, so I have seen it, man, I’ve done it. You know, not all keep trying, but Okay, uh, writing on the side of the pot, that works great except with the pots is touching another pot, then it can get wiped off, you know, over time, even if it’s a sharpie. Right and that, you know, SD one, you look at it eight months later after the sun has hit down is like, is that a DB?

Freaux: Yeah, that type. Yeah, exactly. We’re kind of dealing with some of that right now. Like looking like a two or three, you know?

Chip: Yeah, we’re just started looking at Baker’s medical, the clone nursery. My wife, Jessica operates in Oklahoma City, he’s just looking into getting a label, like a printed label maker. So that we can keep things organized even more so than we do because we write all the labels out by hand right now. And I mean, they’re going through 3000 cuttings a week, they can definitely need a label maker. 

Freaux: Oh, yeah, they will make that’s a lot right there.

Chip: Yeah, totally. But it’s important. You got to keep everything organized. You know, when you’re clone nursery like that’s, you know, clone nurseries have a couple, a handful of things that fail for them. They give out bad genetics, right? They give out bad bugs. Right? And they fuck up the labeling.

It’s important that you got to keep everything organized. – Chip

Freaux: You think something and it ends up being that little surprise something else?

Chip: I mean as long as it’s good no big deal, but like if it’s some experiment, you know, then it’s— [inaudible]Yeah, totally. Hey man, I think this is a great time. Take a break. Let’s uh Hey, let’s roll up that other SL two there and self three SL three. All right. Hey, we’re gonna take another break. We’ll be right back real dirt Baker and fro.

And we’re back. Had to get some peanuts and cons, a little snack. Freaux rolled up get another large medical marijuana delivery device. So, you guys a soil grower, soilless growers. 

Freaux: Ah Coco. 

Chip: Oh, yeah, you use my product growers. 

Freaux: We shared it. 

Chip: Yeah, man. You know how you like it.

Freaux: We love it. We love it.We switched over to it a while back. It’s been great. Plants have looked healthier, so much cleaner product and some stuff we’re using before. Doesn’t come wet. So dry. Don’t have all kinds of stuff growing and some you know what else coca? No,

Chip: You didn’t use peat before, right? 

Freaux: I did not. 

Chip: Yeah. And were you a little leery about having a coco peat blend,

Freaux: Just something I wasn’t familiar with. And it’s kind of one of the things and I know us we kind of fall into that stuff too. Even though we like to try new stuff and experiment you get kind of creature of habit. So when something’s working good, it’s kind of hard to, you know, make the switch, but when we did, it’s been great.

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. People talk to me all the time about it because you know, I’m a cocoa guy. 100% Man, I am four years straight cocoa like a proponent and I still think that’s the best way to grow the planet and for production. But that’s a whole nother story but man, it’s hard to get that shit right. When it’s straight cocoa it’s hard to get it right and the P just makes it easier. right hands down. I like I started looking at people around me crushing it with these blends of cocoa and P man I just I just just realism hit me. It’s like fuck, dude. Pete Absolutely works. I had to bite some of my swallow some of my previous said words. But a man blending in peat with coco with the right ratio really makes perfect growing medium.

Freaux: I would definitely have to agree. We’ve been definitely pleased with it. Yeah, and

Chip: Yeah, and how many?plants you guys plan up normally when you plan up a plant, I mean plant you use the product.

Freaux: So normally we go through our rooms we have tons, not a ton, but we have several 20 light rooms and normally do about 205 gallons. apart so that’s pretty much almost a full pallet roughly 60 bags ish, we usually like right there maybe right there at a couple bags. But um, that’s usually about where, man though

Chip: Now, I built this product. I built it out of us because I wanted people recognize the problems people were having when they were planting up cannabis when they were buying soil. Tell me what you noticed the first thing when you went to plan up those first 200 pods?

Freaux: As far as just in general? 

Chip: In general about the soil. 

Freaux: That’s super heavy. I mean, it’s Yeah, I mean, it’s tiring after you get through the first. 

Chip: Yeah, it’s tiring right the first time you do it, and that was that’s that’s one of the things that you know, I really wanted to focus on is have the right moisture content in the bag of potting so when you get it, so the growers are like is really light. Yeah, really, really, truly right. You can pick up like four it’s four bags at a time, right? You

Freaux: When we we switched over that was a thing because sometimes we have to carry carry bags long ways and then you know, loading and unloading it but like, Oh wait, you know instead of one I can pick up two at a time as

Chip: Well getting that moisture level right to also like solve the other problem people have with with getting potting soil and bring it into indoor environments.

Freaux: That was the thing with some other brands out there. It’s hard man–

Chip: I’ve been making so like most of my adult life, it’s hard to make potting soil without bugs. But man, I don’t see any in my current product and haven’t seen any and–

Freaux: I can tell you right now that was the biggest thing for us was the cleanliness of it. You know, that’s something I know y’all pride yourselves on as far as the way you know, you know, practice as far as the way you make it, store it, you know, that type of stuff, but that’s the thing. We never see any issues were in you know, previous years and stuff like that or you know, previous times You know you get those little things but I think you’ve done a great job of mitigating all those issues that come with that type —

Chip: Thanks man. I really did build it because I wanted the best product on the market for shipping, for picking it up, for application and for interaction with people, for interaction with the plant. I wanted a high performance potting soil that the plants really took off immediately, you know– I asked Fletcher good friend of mine, right with the Archive. I asked him like what’s– where he just gave me some advice years ago, right when I had bad potting soil. This was maybe 10 years ago, it’s like man, people want to plant in their media. And when they pull out it just like the roots just blow out and they just take off immediately and that didn’t happen with this batch of soil, right and because I will had problems with it, those problems with the compost, there’s problems with the nutrient delivery, right? It wasn’t the best potting soil. I thought about that forever. It’s like Yeah, when people plant up in your potting soil, they’re gonna immediately like the next day go in and want like, you know this, Oh, moment, right. and that’s what I really tried to deliver with growers right the growers HP and I think y’all doing [inaudible] Well man I tell you, this a number three– 

Freaux: What do you think? 

Chip: It has a softer taste, but I think it actually, like smokes a little bit better, right. It’s smoother, right. We’ll see as we get down here on the road, but the the, I’m not saying the flavor went away after the first like, second or third puff of the original one. But this one seems like the flavors holding a little longer.This one also like It smells more like it tastes. 

Freaux: Yeah I got you. 

Chip: Right. Where the other one, it. It tastes more of the earthy cushy side. No, I’m sorry, it tastes, it tastes, smelled more of the earthy cushy side and had a really good citrus flavor.

Freaux: And I mean, that’s what I’m saying, you know, back to we’re kind of talking about what you know, and sometimes there something that you just don’t want to let go, you know, and that’s kind of where we are with.

Chip: I get that.

Freaux: I think they’re both, you know, good enough to keep around. Yeah.

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. But they’re so closely related, though. It’s hard. And it’s going to end up in my experience ends up being like, oh, which is the better grower. You know, which one’s the highest producer? Which one looks the best which one’s the easiest to grow? Which one’s the easy to vege, does often went out in a case like this 

Freaux: And I’d have to agree. 

Chip: Right. It is a shame though because, you know the first one we spoke up it was the true hybrid, right and you could taste you know all sides of the plant it was fully, full flavored you know, kushy too citrus. Yeah.I have this the other the other plant though is its man the Roman The air is different. Yeah. Right at you know, it almost Tingley like pepper citrus Petrus orange pepper orange tree pepper Arn. Right. You know, it’s totally a different vibe. It’s like you’re giggling you got a smile, you know, so I thought dude, but it’s hard to keep them both together, right?

Freaux: Yeah. For sure.

Chip: Sometimes, you just have to keep them and it’s the number one and two pheno. And we see that number one and three pheno right. And we see that all the time with stuff like Gelato 33. You know are 33. 

Freaux: I love Gelato 33, the creaminess–

Chip: Yeah, totally man, creaminess. And, you know, or, man. What’s the good does he do the great does he do?

Freaux: I know there’s so many good dish so many good ones,

Chip: Man, like 22 that’s all I was gonna say. But 22 yeah, that’s a great one. Well, that’s one people talk about frequently. And you know what we refer to these numbers as it’s just like the number of plant that you put down, right.You just got lucky. It was the number one the number three.

Freaux: Yeah, and that’s what we’re not

Chip: So do you number at 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 from the beginning? 

Freaux: We do. 

Chip: Okay, sweet. What I usually do is I like to plant a lot at once and shotgun effect a little bit. So I’ll plant like 50 or 25 of one strain and just labeled the whole flat. When they come up and I transplant them, then I’ll 12345 them. But I do it in like, Oh, I like this one the most number one– 

Freaux: I know a lot people do that yeah– 

Chip: Like this is number two. And it goes all the way down the line but you know what, hey, over and over again that, early like selection that mean shit. Yeah. When they’re that young, it just does not mean anything. And I’ve want a couple of times, but mostly is like, oh, the number 22 I thought it was gonna be great. It wasn’t you know, but– so yeah, then we label them. Man sometimes we’ll even relabel them again right after like we make a cut, right. Just to keep the numbers organized a little bit. Right. 

So the overall notes over time might not be the best but because designations change, but we once we like make that cut into the secondary round of flowering there, they always have a set you know, they always have set, but if we might just take it right back if we like for instance if we plant out 50, 40 seeds come up and look good we transplant those out and we label them 1-40 and then we flower those out and 25 are male we just throw those away. Right, and you know mostly sometimes we’ll keep them. And the rest of them we’ll keep, we’ll decide like, four of them are good, then we’ll take those four, and sometimes we’ll relabel those two just 1 2 3 4. Cuz then you just back to keeping it like that’s the number one. That’s the number two. That’s number three–

Freaux: Kind of like what was right where it started with, you know, get in the beginning or not. 

Chip: And, you know, even sometimes we’ve even kept the numbers just because like from an numerological standpoint, they were good numbers. Right, like, you know– But so like, it doesn’t have to be like the Dewey Decimal System. Yeah, right. You just have to keep it organized. 

Freaux: Yeah, just yeah. 

Chip: Yeah, just keep it organized. And do you do literally do it? D on your tag? Do you write the full name? Do you make abbreviations Do you do ABCD 1234. We love–

Naming your Weed

Freaux: For abbreviations. And most are sets or, you know, like, five packs or whatever, it’s all pop on the same day. We’ll just take [inaudible] like on the whiteboard, on the phone or whatever. When we started the process, but um, yeah, normally it’s all abbreviations and numbers, and then sometimes you get messed up because you’ll have some of the same abbreviations and we’ll just try to make back a little, you know, label add x or abbreviation or assign or something on it, just to keep it all, you know, separate because that’s the thing is just when you’re spending the time and effort to do this, you want to do it right. And so just whatever works, any kind of labeling that we find, you know, we can abbreviate for the Sunshine Lime, SL, and then you know, the number worked well. But, um,

Chip: Yeah, you can see some of our jars behind you, and we always just abbreviate DB, SD, G– You know we then we nickname shit too, right. Currently we’ve got the– Our current nickname of the gills nails great strain by the swamp boys wasn’t familiar with it just randomly got into it very straight great strain great strain don’t really like the name but like we always smoke it in the morning so we call it pistols at dawn but it’s spelled like flour pistols and not like Colt 45

Freaux: That’s a good one. That’s pretty great. All

Chip: That Wife High Sunset Sherbert cross we have that we’ve we’ve dubbed that Oklahoma sunset. Nice because it’s definitely an evening weed. And you know, we always you know, you’re you’re here at the ranch where we’re out here in the evenings and go for a little walk see the sunset smokes and want to find sunset sherbert Which is a mouthful. Yeah. Right? Which is a mouthful so so even though like you know at the shop we call everything by its, you know genetic history or it’s given name by the breeder and then we’ll often dub it something else. When do you feel it’s your license to rename nick name a clone or of something of that that persuasion?

Freaux: So I think that’s a pretty interesting question right there. And I’d say a lot of people you talk to would probably have like a different opinion. I know us it’d be something that we’d probably you know, want to if we were going to do that we haven’t you know, re nicknamed anything or anything like that yet or a female we select that, you know, debate a different name, just so you know, I think if that’s something we were going to do, we probably want to reach out to the breeder. Make sure it’s okay and tell them like hey, you know, give them this. prompts and it’s a word because we, you know, create the genetics or anything. We just found the pheno–

Chip: I think as long as you nickname the clone, it’s fine. I feel good about it. Right? Like, the Wife High Sunset Sherbert like it’s just a big bucket name, but like it for the geeks like us, we like okay, it’s Yes, you know? Yes, the equation that’s in there, and we want to see that but, you know, then there’s just how like, you refer to your cutting or you can refer to it in nicknames change over time, too. And, you know, we often call it sunset, but like, that’s just not quite the right designation. And so it’s hard for that one. And when

Freaux: We have a lot of like, in house nicknames we’ll, you know, dub the different females we haven’t like actually marketed or–

Chip: Put it out and that’s how this all came about. Right? Is is like designating it some name. Just to We’ve used family member names we mean any, any anything that’s that would have been

Freaux: A little inside joke about it. Yeah.

Chip: Yeah, you have to get into it and I know there’s a certain amount of science involved into it. But I mean, there really is communication with the plant and enjoying it and actually experiencing life with these plants. Like that’s the joy of it all, right. The communication, just like what we’re doing right now. It’s like when we go out in the garden. You know, like we’re looking at the plants, talking to them, asking them what they need. And you know, it’s not literal. It’s like checklist in our head, right? I’m sure you have yours, you know, walk into a room. How does it feel to me? Is it hot? Right? Like, how do the plants look? Are they you know, standing up. What’s the color of them you know, the cleanliness like all of it you know what are the problems, do they bottomed out or they not bottomed out or they crowded in, do they have as much room as there’s a big enough container and a small too small container they’re overgrown you know like whatever it is, there something the plant has to say some story every plant has to tell you, right. There’s Rocky one back in the studio, I swear, man I think he just likes to hang out here in the smoke. 

Freaux: He is cool dog. 

Chip: Rock is a bad ass little dog. Well French Bulldog you’ll be might see him on Instagram occasionally. You know, let him in. He’s gonna keep scratching. I really liked the like rough cut pneus of the whole real dirt. And we do a little polishing of it all but like I like to give people who like show how it happened. But you know, and it’s it’s not edited so much it is a free for all experience. And if you’re listening to this now and you haven’t subscribed to the real dirt iTunes, please man, go there and subscribe. And if you’re not following me on instagram like man, Instagram doesn’t like weed and weed education so much. 

So like they don’t really show our Instagram out to new people. So if you’re not following us, please follow us on Instagram, and we’ll keep you up to date on all of the new newest releases all the private releases come in this next year. And anything cool we’re doing with classes with, you know, events, you know, it’ll keep you up to date. So definitely join us at the real dirt podcast on Instagram. Hey, for what how do we get in touch with you if somebody wants to follow you guys on Instagram? How do they do it?

Where to Find Them

Freaux: So we have an Instagram, our Instagram is jive.cannabisco and we also have like a second one kind of like a backup kind of like you said with you know it’s good to have like one or two just in case, so @jive.cannabisco or @jivefarms those both those counts are associated with us you know now would be the best way to probably get in touch with us or whatnot would probably be like, you know

Chip: Yeah, man, Oklahoma’s a great place to be. I’m glad you made it here man. 

Freaux: I’m happy to be here– 

Chip: Oh, dude. Totally a great spot man. And man, people like really want great, great weed–

Freaux: They really do. That’s what’s awesome about a man.

Chip: They want good weed, they might not even know they want it. They might even know that what they have is not great weed but if you see Jive Cannabis Co on any dispensary shelf, you should try it out. Personal endorsement by me Chip Baker. Whatever that means, man. So you don’t you do any trade shows? You do anything in the future like–

Freaux: I mean we’re always open to whatever seeing what’s in the area or whatnot but um, nothing on the schedule or anything. But I’m definitely gonna try to go to that little seminar y’all are put on or whatnot. 

Chip: Oh, yeah, yeah, our organic cultivation seminar, March 21st 2020. In Oklahoma City, if you’re around, you should go. And if it’s after that date, man, look it up. It’ll probably be a webinar or something like that in the future.

Freaux: Sounds good. Looking forward to that one. 

Chip: Man, I appreciate having you on here. Anything else we like you got like a tip for our growers out there. Some sort of tip for planting seeds or fino hunting just one specific thing. Ah,

Freaux: Man, I mean really just, I would say for somebody who’s never done it, definitely give it a try. Especially– 

Chip: If you’ve never planted seeds before, plant some seeds.

Freaux: If you’ve never planted seeds before, definitely plant some seeds and give it a try, man. I think you’ll be surprised with the results you see. And it’s definitely enjoyable.

Chip: Yeah, absolutely man. Go out there, buy some seeds. Do some research. You know, really like hunt it down. The more expensive seeds generally are the better seeds just how it kind of rolls. Maybe not always, but good luck, man. Enjoy your pheno-hunt. And hey, Thanks Freaux man, we appreciate you coming here, dude. 

Freaux: I appreciate you having me on. 

Chip: Yeah, man, it was great. We’re gonna sit back while you guys enjoy the exit music and we’re gonna smoke another large joint here on the realtor.

Man, that was a great episode. Man, I feel like almost feel like right now even have more questions than I had at the beginning of the episode when we script this whole thing out. So we’re probably going to have to have a part three or four or two or three or four with Freaux on this whole subject. But I know I learned some stuff. I learned about how Freaux does it, and man, they have an eye for it. And it does take the eye, and it makes the experience and the ability to be able just to go out there and actually try to plant some seeds. So, yeah, man, thanks for joining me. I always am grateful that you spend your time listening to me where you could be doing other stuff. 

If you’re ever in Oklahoma City or in Denver, stop by Cultivate Colorado, man, if you’re in Cultivate Oklahoma, Cultivate OKC ask for Chris or ask for Chip. Man. I’m in there all the time. Love to chat with you. And find out about what you’re interested in and what may be the next episode of The Real Dirt should be. So stay tuned. We’ve got a great season. Join us on Instagram at the real dirt podcast. Follow us on Facebook at The Real Dirt podcast. And yeah, man, definitely therealdirt.com where you can find out about all the latest episodes about everything—going on with us about all our special events. We’re having a bunch of special events this year. So thanks again for joining me and we will see you next time on The Real Dirt.

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