The Best Weed in the World is in L.A.

The Best Weed in the World is in L.A.

best weed in LA

Brian Weiss has always been an advocate for cannabis and has had a secure connection in the cannabis industry for over 20 years. 

Brian grew up in a well-known entertainment family and has been focused on marketing & business development within the cannabis, entertainment, and digital media sectors. 

Brian launched L.A. Cannabis News in 2017, an MVP of C.N. Media. They offer news, events, jobs, education, resources, and advertising to our fast-growing online audience and in-person following.

In today’s segment, Brian talks about what’s happening in the cannabis industry at present, future predictions and social and cultural changes during the Coronavirus and the pot market. 

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

1:47 – L.A. has the best weed
4:08 – Price of weed in L.A.
8:14 – Starting L.A. Cannabis News
18:11 – Homegrown ganja: Future of the cannabis industry
24:26 – Learning something new
29:35 – A trip to Florida
32:52 – Cannabis predictions after the present pandemic condition
58:14 – All things made in China

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Brian Weiss

Connect with  Chip Baker


Chip Baker: Good morning, this is Chip with The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt, I have Brian Weiss, say hello, Brian.

Brian Weiss: Hello, Chip, hello world.

Chip Baker: Hello. You know Brian is the brother of one of my really good friends and you know… he’s been in the cannabis industry for a while. Brian runs L.A. Cannabis News, which is an information source for all things cannabis in L.A Southern California. But right now, Brian is stuck. I shouldn’t say stuck. He is on sabbatical in Florida. How you doing, Brian?

Brian Weiss: I’m well Chip, thank you so much for having me today. I really appreciate it.

Chip Baker: Oh, man, I’m glad we could put it together. You know, I left California a number of years ago but it’s always a warm place in my heart. We still own property there and whatnot. And that’s something that people don’t understand or realize is that if you want the best weed in the world, you go to L.A. to get it. I don’t care who you are, where you’re at. you do not have the best weed in the world. They got it in L.A., though, right? it’s true. Why do you think that is man?

L.A. has the Best Weed

Brian Weiss: Well, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. And I think the San Fernando Valley actually has the best weed of Los Angeles. Why? Don’t know, but it just seems that they’ve perfected it maybe the fact that normally you know, people think of Humboldt County and a lot of that gets flown, you know… flown or driven down to L.A. and mass distributed and so and then other people have gotten the idea you know… wow there’s such good flower from up north. I think we could produce that same flower down here. And many growers have figured out how to and have successfully.

Chip Baker: Yeah, just like all things there’s like a flash that goes on in L.A. you know, and cannabis is the same way and I feel that it’s probably one of the most informed consumer markets in the world even like in L.A. you could have the random stoner can go into any dispensary and say, Oh, no, man, that’s Hells Angels O.G., not Fire O.G. and I want Cookies O.G. This isn’t Cookie, this is Gelato, you know? It just–

Brian Weiss: I’ve actually got to the drive too, I have that same feeling from being someone a little bit older when I go into dispensaries and I have that Pre 98 Bubba, like this isn’t Pre 98 Bubba.

Chip Baker: Those are just letters and words; this isn’t. Yeah, no doubt. You know the other thing about Southern California is man it has brought the highest prices for cannabis historically. And because of that, like you know… people like you know, try to like bring their highest quality product to the marketplace, not just anything will sell there, right. So, you get this upper echelon curated cannabis in L.A. that might be produced anywhere in California, it might be [inaudible] Southern California, covered East way up North in San Francisco bay comes to L.A. for a reason because it’s the best, and people want the best. 

Brian Weiss: Absolutely.

Price of Weed in L.A.

Chip Baker: Hey, what’s the average prices for weed?

Brian Weiss: So it’s funny you say that, I found that you know there are dispensaries in L.A. on the legal side. And it seems that most of them are charging between $25 to $90 an eight. And then you have black market side where they keep it average between you know, $35-$50 an eight.

Chip Baker: Now when you say black market explain to the listeners what’s going on in Southern California with the dispensaries.

Brian Weiss: So there are hundreds if not thousands of dispensaries in L.A. Only about 100 or so are actually legal. But when you know we had Proposition 215 there was no really regulation on who is legal who is not. Everybody claim they were legal. Every year, it seemed like they came out with another law that said that these excuse me, these dispensaries need to shut down. But they just kept going. And when you know, cannabis finally became legal, you know, there were those that can survive and pay the taxes and there were those that couldn’t survive, but actually well, could still survive but not charged to taxes. And, you know, so the black market side is actually, for me, I feel that a lot of these illicit I don’t like to say black market, I like to actually illicit market, dispenceries are–

Chip Baker: I’m a private market guy.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, private market guy. 

Chip Baker: No taxes…

Brian Weiss: Yeah, no taxes. They also have, to me, I feel like they also have the better product. I really do. I feel like they have a lot better product–

Chip Baker: They’re open to far more growers that way. You know–

Brian Weiss: That’s true.

Chip Baker: Right, I mean, for instance, in in Humboldt County, you know, seven years ago, the government said there were 13,000 grows up there, right? Yeah, totally. And, now there’s like a few hundred legal ones. You know, that didn’t even touch the number of growers that are there. 

Brian Weiss: Yeah. Totally. I also see that in many cases, at least that it seems like, I mean, even to begin with a better product side, it’s like when I go to a legal dispensary, a lot of the problem I have, at least when I go there is that you look at something in the jar that you can’t touch and you can barely smell. And when you purchase it, and you get home and you open it a lot of the time for me without naming, you know, company names. There’s a dry boveda pack in there. And the product is probably at least six months old. And you know, and you think about it, you start tracing and it’s like okay, well this product came from a grower and then it went to some warehouse somewhere, then it went to some distribution center. And it sat on their shelves for a little while and then by the time it actually gets to the dispensary, it’s not what the brands promotes. And with at least going with the black market side of the listed or the private market side, you get to go in, you get to touch it, you get to feel it, you know… you got to know that you’re getting a good product on the spot.

Chip Baker: Yeah, many people have said that legal weed has decreased the quality of cannabis, right. The mechanization of it the like, man, those boveda packs and the plastic on air-sealed bottles and just like breaking buds down into like, 10th of a gram to sell it, like just all ruins it. It just ruins it all.

Brian Weiss: I totally agree with with that statement. I yeah….just totally agree.

Chip Baker: So, let’s talk about L.A. Cannabis News.

Brian Weiss: What do you want to know?

Chip Baker: Tell me what it is. Tell me your story. Tell me how to start this.

Starting L.A. Cannabis News

Brian Weiss: Yeah, so I was looking for about two years ago. I was looking for something to potentially invest in the cannabis industry as cannabis became legal in California. And I found myself searching dozens of sites through Google, you know, I would type in cannabis news, Los Angeles cannabis news, Los Angeles marijuana news. And I would find, you know, dozens of different sources that carried different articles, great articles, but I couldn’t find one source. 

So, I moved my search from finding something to invest in, you know, with my research of these all these articles too… Wow, Is there any local cannabis news? And when I found out that there is no local cannabis news in LA., I was like, Oh my god, how is this possible? There’s so much going on here besides just legalization. Still, you have social equity, and you have the illicit side of it, and you know, the regulations and the taxes and, you know, education and science and medical stuff. And so I was like someone needs to be covering this. And after finding out and figuring out that there was no local coverage for Southern California or Los Angeles, I then started searching. Wow, is there local coverage or any of this in other states. At the time, there is only the cannabis in Denver, which quickly went out of business. And I found that all of a sudden there was no local cannabis news other than, you know, local newspapers in Humboldt County or patch.com that had their local coverage, but not anything–

Chip Baker: [inaudible]

Brian Weiss: Yeah, there you go. Actually, that one too. But there wasn’t, and I just didn’t, I felt like there was a need. And so I started L.A. Cannabis News. I went on godaddy.com, and lacannabisnews.com was available for $1.99 like I’m on this something. A year and a half later now, we’ve got about 30 plus thousand people on our site a month, about 50,000 email subscribers, which is awesome. And it’s great because, with L.A. Cannabis News, it was almost like RMVP, you know, we’re able to test our assumptions and see that the market wanted and needed a local cannabis news source. So that’s basically how we started.

Chip Baker: So in I mean, this is an online publication– How often, you have an official publication date or publication timeline, or just do it every day or is an odd running blog like what how does it work?

Brian Weiss: Yeah, so every day we aggregate about 10 to 15 stories that mostly cover Southern California some stories do cover other parts of the country just because it’s important in the cannabis industry, even if you’re just in Los Angeles. No it also is happening around the country or even around the world. So most of the time, we do aggregate our stories. Most of it is not original content. 

However, we do have stories here and there that we want to cover. And we do have writers for that. And every year, which we just put out at the beginning of March, we do a top 50. Well, not every year, we’ve only been in business for two years. But we did it last year. And we did it this year, we put out a product issue, covering brands that are not covered in other magazines. What I mean by that other magazines have a pay to play just like the videos, and you got to pay them money if you want to be in their magazine. And I saw that all these other magazines, mostly culture, lifestyle magazines, in the cannabis industry, cover the same brands, you know, If you look at their top 10, this is their top 10 that, it was the same brands every single time. And I was like, well what about all these other brands, there are so many other great brands out there, and so we did the research, and you know, this year, we came up with 53 brands, and we put out a digital product issue. We didn’t review the brands, because, in all honesty, half of them were good, and half of them weren’t. And but we put out, you know, the description about the brand, we gave them, their social media links their website, where to find these products. And, you know, the nice little picture of the brand. 

It’s great because these smaller brands, they can’t afford to be in these bigger magazines. So for us, it was a, it’s good outreach for these smaller brands that say, hey, look, we’ve got some press now. And yeah, so we put out this digital issue, but we mainly stick to daily postings, about 10 to 15 articles a day. Oh, and we also have about 100 events on our site at any given time throughout Los Angeles and California that you know, people can look for. 

Chip Baker: Oh, did you rank these products 1 to 50?

Brian Weiss: No, we just put them in alphabetical order. 

Chip Baker: Okay. Hey, what were some of your favorite products?

Brian Weiss: To be honest, I’m a huge fan of Three C Farms, they’re out of Los Angeles. They actually own also the coast to coast dispensary in L.A. they just put out a quality product for, from the prices that I’ve seen in their dispensary at a good price. I like Golden Seed. They’re a little on the higher side pricing wise, but exactly what is a Golden State excuse me Golden State. I like their products, and then I like some of the edible companies that we used like plus products. I like their edibles a lot of Kanha, which is owned by I think Sunderstorm. They make fantastic gummies, and then on the vape side, I’m a big Moxie 710 fan. I think they do nice products that seem like they taste pretty good I’m not a big vapor, but from the products that I tried, I like theirs the most.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we’re ABX absolute.

Brian Weiss: Oh, yeah, we have them as well in there. Huh? Yeah. They’re lucky because they’re in the number– They’re the letter A., So they appeared pretty quick.

Chip Baker: Well, they’re pretty big. I mean, I’m surprised they’re not. They weren’t in like, the category of normal. I mean of the elite cannabis people that can advertise to play, pay to play.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, it seems that you know, as I explore ways of us making revenue, that the bigger cannabis brands that are crazy outlandish that just have millions upon millions of dollars to spend on don’t pay to play. It seems like the smarter brands, even if they’re bigger. They know that it’s that there’s no reason for them to pay to play because they’re a fantastic brand. And they can [inaudible], and they’d rather get the better bang for their buck.

Chip Baker: Oh, man. It’s a great marketing lesson that we should put out there. I’ve gone to dozens of trade shows up half for 20 years, all cannabis oriented. And there’s this new misnomer that if you’re a new person, you need to come in and spend like shit to the money at the tradeshow to get noticed. You know, and if you watch the bigger companies like the actual bigger companies, not the ones that seem big, they’re not spending that much money, right? 

They’ve got some personnel, they’ve got maybe larger than normal. But they had the biggest people in the tradeshow industry, the biggest revenue producers. They spend like mid-tier. And now you’re like top-tier, right? And the top-tier spenders are often people who aren’t that big but wants you to think they’re big, right? They just happen to have the $20,000 or $30,000 to sponsor the banner and you know, the lanyards, the water cup, and the big booth, all the swag and you know, it makes them feel, it kind of makes him feel good but man, you know, the thing about the trade shows is the vendors the customer there. 

Brian Weiss: Yeah. Also, I see that a lot of these bigger companies it’s, you’re not as the customers are walking around the booth to booth, you know, their potential clients. There’s one guy or one girl that represents the company, and then they have promotional people that have no idea what they’re talking about.

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally.

Brian Weiss: It’s like if you’re going to spend that kind of money, you should bring out people that are going to help you get business as opposed to just someone to take a picture with.

Chip Baker: Well, there’s not so much TNA is there used to be in our industry, I mean, it came over pretty hard when the trade shows when it first started 10 or 15 years ago, that there was the scantily clad female or male there and they were like, you know, trying to draw people in. And there’s still some of that, but in the hydro weed industry it’s mostly gone to the authentic reps or the people who own the companies and you know… I should say there’s a lot of that going on right.

Brian Weiss: I was just gonna say that I think the conference does that are more B2B have you know have the right reps there. Their conferences that are you know more B2C facing they have that scantily clad right there which is understandable to a degree. 

Chip Baker: You’re right and interesting about cannabis is now, it’s so much of it’s B2B, and it used to– you know… I own Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, we’re one of the largest hydroponic shops in the country. And you know, people have called me a home grow shop in the past and yeah, man. We help home growers all over the world, blow out their closets, and their basements. And you know, smoke good weed, but mostly it’s a business to business transaction we have. Most of our customers are in business for cannabis.

Homegrown Ganja: Future of the Cannabis Industry

Brian Weiss: Do you see– let me ask you a question. So as you just mentioned, you help you know, Clients blow out their closets in their basements, do you see– and I sort of see this in my personal opinions and views as the industry grows and goes forward and goes backward, and then goes ahead again that maybe home grow or home growers will become a thing of the future more and more people will start growing at home as suppose to–

Chip Baker: No, it’s happening now. Oh, it’s happening now, Brian. Check out what’s happening, man. So like in all these states that have passed some sort of medical marijuana or even thought about it like Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, dude, there are people all over that state. They’ve grown a little bit of weed now because of it, solely because the perceptions change. People’s morals have changed, hemp and CBD have helped a lot here. 

People’s morals have changed, hemp and CBD have helped a lot. – Chip BakerCLICK TO TWEET

But for instance, when Oklahoma went medical last year, they got 200,000 people that signed up on this registry to have recommendations from doctors to buy medical dispensaries. 200,000 dude the same time Missouri has similar things going on Michigan’s having similar. You couldn’t buy a grow tent in the country last year for six months. I mean, not on time, you could order it. But like in 110 lights even up until recently you couldn’t get a 110 light because all the commercial people used to 240-277 right. So the home growers use the 110s. 

So man home productions up here in Oklahoma, man home productions huge, organics huge, you know people feel like organic is how weed should be grown, and people have essentially perceptions of it, which is great. You’ll love it. In Oklahoma so many people are talking about organic, it’s like Humboldt in the 90s you know, in organic, it ain’t shit, you know– 

Brian Weiss: Yeah, totally. That’s awesome. I’m glad to hear that’s happening. I am a huge advocate of that moving forward in the future. 

Chip Baker: Oh, grow your own man. And the thing about growing your own is it get you this pride from doing it. And it doesn’t matter if someone else grows better weed than you do or the dispensary grows different looking weed, like for us I never trim my own personal weed here don’t have some here is [inaudible]. I just like when I go to smoke it I just pulled the leaves off, you know it didn’t look like the stuff in the dispensary right. But it’s there’s just this like, man this complete joy when you get to like plan a small seed or buy a clone, grow it and flower it. And then you have something that you can produce and that you like, Oh, I agree this I put my love and energy into it. 

The thing about growing your own is, it gets you this pride from doing it. – Chip BakerCLICK TO TWEET

Brian Weiss: That’s a lot of learning experience. 

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You learn about the weed. You know, learn about yourself. I’ve said this over and over again. I’m not sure who’s cultivating who, am I cultivating the plant or they cultivating me?

Brian Weiss: [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Man, I find so many analogies in it. Like, you know, every time something’s going on with the plant, I find the same things going on in my business or personal life too.

Brian Weiss: It’s cool. It’s a great synergy to have.

Chip Baker: Yeah, man. So hey, man, I think this is a perfect time for us to take a break. Let’s take a break for one second. This is Chip with The Real Dirt, I’m speaking to Brian Weiss. We’ll be right back. 

Hey, guys, this is Chip from The Real Dirt. I’m sporting my corona hairdo. Yeah, that’s right. We’re all gonna have big hair after this. Hey, and I just want to let you guys know man that Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC we are still open and providing services to growers. Now we’re doing a little bit different right now you have to call in your order, you have to email your order, but you can still come and pick it up at the shop. It’s a we’ll call type of situation, and in some places we can absolutely deliver. So if you need some product, it doesn’t matter if you need one litre a hundred, one bag of soil, or a pallet a soil or a truckload of soil, man give us a call. We have huge stock right now, we always carry huge inventory of everything. Especially this time of year, it’s time to get started on that garden earlier. So call us up at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, you can look us up online, cultivatecolorado.com, cultivateokc.com, talk to anyone of our awesome people there and they can help you through.

All right, thanks for joining us again here. We’re back after a commercial break with The Real Dirt. Yeah, you like my commercial style, Brian?

Brian Weiss: I do. I like your commercial style, it is very personable.

Chip Baker: Very personal, you know, When I first started this, Hollis Carter, he asked me, he gave me the idea. He said, Hey, Chip, do you think you can talk about weed for an hour? Yeah, like how many days do you want me to talk non stop, you know… But yeah, we talk to the customers all the time, it gives me like this, I mean, I’m talking to people all the time about weed, it’s not just like, someone’s random conversation you are too. I mean, it’s in the industry. It’s what we do. We love it. We live it. We talk about it all the time.

Brian Weiss: Absolutely. Some people talk about it more than others. But I agree.

Learning Something New

Chip Baker: Yeah, well, years ago, my wife said to me, there has to be some other conversation. You have to talk about something else different. And I was like, Wow, you’re right. I do. And so I started picking up some like hobbies, right. And this was like 15 years ago, and every couple years, I’ll pick up a new hobby, or try to teach myself something that I have absolutely no idea about, right. It challenges everything I do it gives me this mental toughness because I’m like, you know, forced to learn about it. I’ve forced myself and it’s out of my comfort zone. I try to pick stuff that’s hard and difficult. You know, my most recent one was guitar a couple years ago I picked up guitar–

Brian Weiss: I think my brother did too recently. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, we trade guitar licks back and forth. Aaron’s actually, you know, pretty good guitar player. He’s–

Brian Weiss: He played it when he was younger.

Chip Baker: He’s got all that number stuff going on inside his head, you know what I’m saying? He count better than us.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, for sure.

Chip Baker: Yeah, but uh, yeah, you got any hobbies, Brian, you do anything other than weed?

Brian Weiss: Well, we were traveling, you know, for a little while, which I really enjoy doing. I’ve been getting into some cooking stuff lately. As soon as I actually get back in California–

Chip Baker: I bet the whole world has–

Brian Weiss: That’s actually what triggered by cooking was that this whole special time that we’re in right now. But ideally, we actually when I get back to California in September actually, I would like to get into some type of woodworking. I’ve never been a woodworking person, but I have some friends recently that basically have houses now and they have a garage, and they actually have kids and they’re like, how do I get out of the house and get away from my kids and get away from my wife in a sense and they go to their garage and they have their hobbies and not that I want to, I love my fiance, and I’m gonna love any child I have, but I want to create some type of fun hobby that completely different like you were saying that you know nothing about that you challenge yourself with and whether it is something that you know, is, I guess, good looking or not good looking. At least it’s your own challenge and it’s within yourself and so for me I’d like to get into some sort of woodworking. When I want to make it, I have no idea.

Chip Baker: I’ve been watching people make spoons on YouTube carve [inaudible]. And very relaxing to me right just to watch them. So like several Russian guys that do it and it’s in a different language and so it’s like, you know, I just get to zone out with [inaudible]. They’re like carving their spoon but like it’s very meditative right, spoon carving, doesn’t require too much equipment or space or anything really. But you know, I’m getting into construction again right now. It’s something I’ve always done. My whole life but of, the past like several years have had other people do it but yeah, with the whole Rona thing we’ve been pre-Rona, I was collecting my tools again and starting to put some stuff together, but yeah wood– building stuff with wood, building stuff with metal, it’s very joyful.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, it’s funny I watched a lot of these home shows which I would never watch when I was younger but I love them now and you know, they show these a lot of people using these shipping containers to create pools and to create homes with and I was like, that’d be sort of cool idea I want to have a– I’ve been researching, not that I know anything about any of this stuff but you know, I’ve been researching, like, how much is a shipping container? Where can I have it delivered to? You know, and it’s like, wow, these things are so cheap. So yeah, there’s a lot of fun things out there. I think a lot of– you know most people should, no matter how rich or how poor you are, that you should always have a another activity that makes you feel good. Gives you a break from life.

No matter how rich or how poor you are, you should always have another activity that makes you feel good. – Brian WeissCLICK TO TWEET

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Other than just smoking weed.

Brian Weiss: Absolutely. Well you can also smoke weed while you’re doing it.

Chip Baker: While you do it, that’s the beauty of it. That’s totally the beauty of it all. So Brian back to your traveling quest you’re you’re kind of not in Florida under your own design really. You were you’re kind of I shouldn’t say force, but decided you were going to like stay in, go to Florida. Tell us what’s going on?

A Trip to Florida

Brian Weiss: Yeah, so my fiance actually was my girlfriend at the time. But now my fiance, and I wanted to go on a six and a half months journey before we settle down. And we left at the beginning of March. We’re set out to do 13 European countries plus Morocco and Israel. And during our first country, which is Portugal. We got about almost three weeks in Portugal. When this whole Coronavirus thing started, and about, I guess 19 days now ago, we got a message from the U.S. Embassy saying, look, you can either stay in Portugal for potentially the next two years, or you can get on one of the last flights coming back to the United States. And you know, you got to figure out your own situation. So we got on a flight it was actually the second to last flight leaving Portugal and we didn’t really want to go back to L.A. but we didn’t want to go to New York, and we wanted to be somewhere warm. Because that was part of our traveling plans was to you know, do some European places that were warm. Yeah, in the summer. So we chose Florida which is actually not the greatest timing of choosing Florida because when we got here, they’re having spring break.

Chip Baker: Oh, perfect, perfect.

Brian Weiss: You know, and they talked about this whole virus is caused by but a lot of these people that were in Florida on spring break, are not doing any social distancing and we landed are like, Oh my god, what did we just come in to?

Chip Baker: I mean spring break for teenagers and college age students has nothing to do with distance other than the distance to travel to go to spring break.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, exactly. We first landed in Miami, and we were in a hotel for two nights, then the hotels got all shut down. And now we were smart. And we moved a little north. We’re in Fort Lauderdale now, and we got an Airbnb and not an apartment, we got a house so that we could be, you know, isolated from other people. My biggest fear was someone in the building catching it, and then we being stuck in an apartment for, who knows how long. It’s nice that we’re in a house now.

Chip Baker: So let me back up for a second. So you got an email from the U.S. government that said you might be stuck in Portugal for two years if you didn’t leave?

Brian Weiss: Yeah, we’re actually smart because I don’t know why, but I registered on the state department’s website, what countries we’re traveling to. So if there was a, you know, a disaster or some type of emergency, they know that we’re there. And they can help facilitate, you know, as U.S. citizens for us to potentially get back to the United States. And so we probably wouldn’t have gotten that message if I didn’t register but because I registered they sent a message from the embassy saying that the embassy is now closed, and Lisbon, and these are your options. Now it’s up to you to make your own decisions, but we’re just giving you the options.

Chip Baker: Wow, man, that’s incredible, man. So your six month month voyage was interrupted. And you still work daily on the cannabis news–

Brian Weiss: Yeah, right. Use my internet connection.

Cannabis Predictions after the Present Pandemic Condition

Chip Baker: You know, we’re gonna have to have a conversation after you get back to L.A., but we’re going to talk about it right now. So man, the cannabis industry was just like on on kind of a roll right before all this, like it was at– I would say it definitely had a peak and I say this because a bunch of several big companies were falling out and small companies too, and that’s what happened when you get a peek right one of the things. So we hit we’ve just had a peek in, you know the cannabis industry in the country as well as as California specifically and then the Rona hit, now things are changing. What do you think is gonna change?

Brian Weiss: I think the way that will, possibly the way that people consume you know, there’s different studies–

Chip Baker: The social aspect of it? 

Brian Weiss: Well, the social aspect, I guess you will feel the pass that joint to each other anymore. That’s definitely not a thing, unless you’re within a family–

Chip Baker: We went rasta a couple of years ago and we try to smoke our own joint. Because man, I would just, I can’t getting sick because you know, I want to smoke everybody out. And so like now man, I just like oh, hey, here’s a joint for you. Oh, here’s one for me. Like I can never smoke this like I take two minutes to take it home. It’s cool.

Brian Weiss: I’ve actually always enjoyed I’ve been for the past, I can’t even remember how many years. I’ve only been smoking joints. And I’ve been smoking them by myself. I really don’t like sharing my joints. I like the first hit and I like the last hit. Yeah, all the hits in between.

Chip Baker: Me too Even me and my wife smoke separate joints. You know we go dog walk in the morning both have our own tooter, right. So social aspect that’s gonna change, what else is gonna change?

Brian Weiss: I think the way people are getting it you know, I think that more people will start growing at home. The people aren’t growing at home I think delivery is going to become a bigger business. You know, as much as I don’t want to say it, hopefully one day when it becomes federally legal, I think there’ll be an Amazon or Grubhub type of a company that they’ll start delivering, you know, your alcohol your food and your weed with the same package we’ll see how that actually works out and stuff. But I see that delivery right now is you know, becoming a more of a essential way of getting your products.

Chip Baker: Yeah, California is unique in that manner is that they can get delivery, and a few other states do it. In Colorado we just legalized it up there, and doors is just starting to in Oklahoma, I think it’s gonna be legal but they’re like, just hadn’t quite figured it out, right.

Brian Weiss: Yeah in Florida, where we are in area it’s a medical state. I believe they just started delivery with the Coronavirus to make it easier for patients and as much as I’m not a Florida fan at all. Because I’m not well, my own political view, I’m more of a democrat and this is a very Trump state here where we are. But I have to say the way that they distribute medical here is good, they don’t charge taxes. It’s looked at as a as a pharmacy, which I think is how it should be for medical and other states.

Chip Baker: Yeah, charge the taxes on the recreational use of adult use.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, absolutely. I think that medical patients should be able to, you know, they’re already going through hell to begin with why tax them money that they potentially don’t have to save their own lives for you know, smoking weed as opposed to taking Vicodin or whatever it is other pills that they would take instead of the weed.

Chip Baker: Yes, I agree with you there, man. There’s a you know, medical is an excuse to make weed legal in many places. Totally fine with that. But hey, man, I tell you what people also need weed medicinally, too. And we got to figure out how to service both sides of that.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. And I think every state seems like they’re doing something different, unfortunately, nobody seems to really know what they’re doing. You know, I think maybe in the next two or three years, there’ll be a lot of good examples of some states and bad examples of others. And, you know, maybe there’ll be something more across the board, you know, for every state, that’s the same in a sense, and makes better sense. Say, you know, one of my sort of fears now is that, you know, in California, excuse me, California, it’s, you know, deemed essential during these times, you know, all recreational and medical are open. But then I also see that some of these recreational places are not, paying attention to their customers, they’re not paying attention to their employees in the sense that, you know, there’s no safety. There’s lines out the door, some companies are still having events at their dispensary. No that’s not promoting, you know a safe environment.

Chip Baker: Oh man, you gotta stop and quit, you know, in Oklahoma at our dispensary there Baker’s Medical we just decided to shut the door. We did this for a couple of reasons but mostly it’s because our big businesses commercial sales of clones and flower. And we wanted to make sure that we could keep continuing to do that. So we just schedule appointments to sell wholesale and then we just don’t let the random public come in. We also have like a security area, waiting area. So we schedule people to come in we put all their product out there and then they show up we let him at the door buzz them in– Hey there’s your thousand clones in the corner. And we talked to them to the window. They count out the money. Put it in the box, so we don’t have to touch it. We take the envelope, spray it off with alcohol. Yeah, take it to the bank and make them count it.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, that’s funny. You know what you just said something that I think for a lot of owners need to be doing. And I see– it seems like that you know, more of your clientele and who your clients are than most other dispensaries that are just, you know, the randoms coming in the door. And that’s one of the sort of my, my feelings at least in my own opinion that I feel that dispensary owners especially on the medical side or even on a higher production side should know their clients. They should know who their real customers are, so that they can properly help them.

Chip Baker: We’re on a bus stop, and we’re in a working class neighborhood. A lot of our clientele comes from just the bus stop right. And we realized, like, man Oh, well, public transportation. There’s absolutely no social distancing there, right. Like, there’s just, it’s just going to be difficult to keep a safe environment by having the public come in. Now, man, I don’t know if it’d be any different if it was just a neighborhood shop and only neighborhood people came in. But, you know, an awful lot of our traffic is the public transportation and, man, it’s just, that’s just a hard one. You know… When I see people crammed in subways in New York, I’m like, What the fuck? In New York, only three miles long. Should you just walk?

Brian Weiss: Yeah, totally. Right. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, right, right. I mean, I don’t that’s probably a misstatement, but yeah, I know. It’s small. It’s small.

Brian Weiss: A lot of people are lazy though, too.

Chip Baker: Well, that’s worldwide. Well, hey, I tell you this man, you know that our current like, environment, you know it throughout Denver people and Colorado and New York and L.A., you hear the authorities saying, okay, you can only work out once a day. Guys like people, I mean, I gotta go do something, but it’ll work out again. I think we’re dizzy had a resurgence in health after this for sure. 

Hey, back back to our cannabis predictions. You know, you said how people consume. And you know, if it were a year ago, people would have said, Oh, well, vaping I’m going to vape because that’s cleaner, right. Well, we had a vaping crisis or scam, right. Whether it was really created, right, whatever, but a handful of people died on illegal vapes. Illegal ones. And but it affected the whole industry as a whole. But now people’s perceptions of vapes are a little bit different, so before it was like smoking was bad. Now it’s vapes are bad. I think edible consumption is going to go up considerably now.

Before, it was like smoking was bad, now vapes are bad. I think edible consumption is going to go up considerably now. – Chip BakerCLICK TO TWEET

Brian Weiss: Oh, it’s gonna grow hugely. I was someone who never, never really liked edibles just because you’re never sure what you’re eating. But now that they’ve really figured out how to you know microdose in the right come up with the proper dosages for edibles. And you don’t know sometimes what you’re smoking. So it’s like, you know, from someone who smokes all the time and you get this new type of flower and you think, Oh, yeah, man, I can handle anything and then you smoke this huge jointed. You’re just, you know, totally having a panic attack like I recently had, then–

Chip Baker: This is your first joint back from Europe or something?

Brian Weiss: Yeah, I haven’t smoked in 30 days that– I thought [inaudible] I thought I had to Coronavirus all of a sudden and I felt my chest caving in and I was shaking I almost called 911 and I had to call my brother and my sister, my mom like, I thought it was it. I thought it was like literally having my last–

Chip Baker: Yeah, I was like wait, wait a second. Did you smoke some weed?

Brian Weiss: That’s what actually I was, I talked to his wife Rachel, and she’s like, you’re having a panic attack. You did [inaudible]

Chip Baker: You smoke some weed, right?

Brian Weiss: Yeah. Think of something nice and a happy place. You know, you’ll be fine and within like ten minutes I was totally fine. But during that time period, the quarter I received in the mail I flushed down the toilet.

Chip Baker: [inaudible] contaminated

Brian Weiss: Definitely, and I know better, but at that time I didn’t know what the hell was going on. 

Chip Baker: But you believed edibles, my experience with edibles is your tolerance raises on them. But like then you go back to smoking weed and you don’t have weed, a smoking tolerance is that how it works?

Brian Weiss: You know, I don’t know, because I’ve never really experienced this before it was sort of a first time, but I–

Chip Baker: I’m always eating edibles and smoking weed, eating more.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, I feel like, that was my biggest mistake was probably, you know, not smoking. I had a vape pen with me when I was traveling, but I don’t know vape pens just don’t really do it for me so much.

Chip Baker: You gotta have the good ones, dude. Man, talking about ABX Absolute Xtracts. They’ve got one I can’t remember what it’s called. But man, that thing is so good. It’s like, distillate rosin mixed or something. That’s just like taking the dab. That’s great product. 

Brian Weiss: But those pens go very quickly. 

Chip Baker: Oh yeah– When your grandma’s house or the customs office, you can be like, oh, hey, customs agent.

Brian Weiss: Oh, yeah, absolutely. That’s the greatest thing about, one of the greatest things I think about those is the, you know, being discreet, being able for that mom and pop that you don’t want to continue smoking around there, you know, having kids but not wanting the kids to smell it or be influenced by it. You know, that’s one of the greatest things for vaping, the discrete part.

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. The safety part of it is people usually don’t share– I shouldn’t, usually don’t, but like, often people have their own vapes. And they hit it, they put it back in their pocket.

Brian Weiss: Absolutely. And there’s not also, any there’s no, if you’re, like you just in a public type of space, you know, wherever you are, you don’t have to pull out a bag, and roll a joint and find a piece of paper to put it on or whatever, however, you know you do your thing or if you’re packing a bowl and you know having a dumpster pull out and worrying about, you know, the amount of smoke that comes from either smoking a joint or [inaudible] vaping is very, you know, minimal smoke that comes out and it seems like it disappears very quickly. You know, it’s–

Chip Baker: It smells all the same or– yeah–

Brian Weiss: And, actually, I think it’s also cool that there’s a company which, one of the companies we also featured in our magazine, Philter Labs, which I believe is out of Colorado, possibly. They created a patented filter, basically, where you could take a hit, either whether it’s a bong, a pipe or joint or even a vape, and blow into it. And literally no smoke comes out the other side. Zero smoke you could take the hugest hit in the world and somehow or another this little tiny thing captivates all of it. And what it does with it, I feel like no clue. It makes very friendly to pretty much smoke anywhere, which I’m a big fan of–

Chip Baker: Yeah, I’ve seen similar types of stuff in the past, smoke buddies and you know, seeing the dryer sheet paper towel roll.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, I was gonna say you know, you take the toilet paper, roll stuff in a little bit, put the dry, maybe spray some cologne on it blow in one side comes out the other side smelling like coll water cologne. Which is not a great smell. But when you’re in a hotel room, it saves you from that $250 fine.

Chip Baker: Wise words, wise words. So consumptions gonna change. People are going to, it’s going to consumptions going up. Yeah, I believe, right. 

Brian Weiss: I believe.

Chip Baker: And I’ll say this because of the Colorado demographics right now. 50% of the sales are normally associated with tourism. There is zero tourism in Colorado right now but the sales aren’t so bad because what do unemployed people do? They smoke more weed. What stressed out people do, they smoke more weed.

Brian Weiss: Yeah. I was surprised I was in Colorado like when you’re asking me earlier about, you know, prices of cannabis in California and Los Angeles when you know, so we were recently at this canopy boulder program and in Boulder and I tried out a couple of dispensaries in Boulder. It was like $12 eight, for like really good shit. And I couldn’t figure out why it was so much cheaper in Colorado, what more so I couldn’t figure out how they made any money. But it was really really good and I was really surprised actually by you know, how good the product was there not to go off of subject line– but [inaudible] Colorado.

Chip Baker: Colorado has some really cheap cannabis for sure. Colarado and Oregon both have the cheapest best cannabis. I’ll say that Yeah , man crazy, crazy market up there. I mean, people sell $500 pounds indoor weed there and they also sell $1200 pounds. For my perspective, I think, since the markets gotten a little bit harder Colorado weeds gotten better or at least it’s separated. It used to all be like [inaudible] in the middle okay. Now it’s some of it’s starting to stretch and get better than at all goods. You can go into random dispensaries now, and you couldn’t use to do this before but you can go into random dispensaries now and the weed smells good. And it doesn’t– and it’s dried right. But it that used to not be the case, you’d have to search out the dispensary to go that had great weed. Even though every dispensary owner out there thinks they got the best weed.

Brian Weiss: Totally–

Chip Baker: I know we don’t have the best weed at our dispensary, but you know, that we’re providing a service right? this is what we got– 

Brian Weiss: Sometimes people prefer, the you know, either lower quality or what have you because– I mean I sometimes I smoke, you know, some of amazing quality and nothing happens to me. Then I’ll drag something that has, you know, less quality and I’ll get ripped. I get, I’ll get totally get ripped.

Chip Baker: That’s the plants there, man. That’s the plants there. You know, I guess what I just you know that harvest and dry period is so crucial and to give in that full flavor taste. Right and the smell, the aroma like it’s just, it’s so crucial. It’s getting better in Colorado, in my opinion, right.

Brian Weiss: I think it’ll get better everywhere, in time. I sort of you know, I have this thing I always say, that I sort of see that. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. But I sort of see the cannabis industry a little bit like the beer industry, in the sense that you have these bigger companies, you know, you got your Bud lights and your Coronas and these bigger companies that will always be there. But you know, after a while and you being also from you know, living in Colorado, all of a sudden you have microbrews and microbrews end up having a way better quality. 

And I see that in the cannabis industry I see these bigger companies that people will love and you know, whether they have good quality or not. And over the next few years, a lot of these mom and pop shops that are sort of being pushed out of the industry, I think; personally, they’re going to come back into the industry, as like this microbrew type of a company surviving, they’re going to end up surviving way harder, or way better even than these bigger companies. And you’re going to have like these Fat Tire companies, you know, for beer in a sense that for anyone who doesn’t drink beer, Fat Tire is a fantastic beer company. And so you’ll have these type of companies that I think will end up thriving a lot harder later on, but like any business, you got to weed out the good ones and the bad ones and right now in the industry, I think that as states come online, and some states, you know, either go backward or forwards that’s sort of what’s happening in my head, at least in my opinion.

Chip Baker: No, you’re absolutely right. And we see I mean, you know, we hear this term too big to fail. But that does not mean if you’re a big guy, you’re too big to fail, you have to be really, really, really, really, really, really big to not fail. And a lot of the big people are failing. I mean, this week alone in California, we had three big big people say they were gonna fail. You know, we’ve we’ve had numerous Canadian operations fail. You know, I’ve seen cash flow from all those Canadian operations now and all the U.S. operations and they suck. And people are bailing out dude, just shut down left and right, but the small guys, the medium sized guys, they’re actually holding their own–

Brian Weiss: Some of the ones that decide to go public, you know, in thoughts that, you know, they’re gonna be these huge companies. A lot of them failed in that in that regard. And then you have CEOs that started buying private planes and buses and very expensive cars. And they drained a lot of their company’s wealth as well and you know, just became too big, too quick for all the wrong reasons.

Chip Baker: Yeah, well, you know, dope dollar spend a hundred to one. You just think it’s gonna come in like no tomorrow and man fuck dude, like fights farming. Basically, it’s farming and it doesn’t matter if you’re, you know, everyone’s, no one in the cannabis industry is shielded from that quote-unquote, farming activity. If you’re an extraction maker, and it’s bad outdoor season, then you’re not going to have enough extractable material. The extractable materials can be expensive. If you’re same way with your any type of ancillary company, right, if you’re selling equipment to growers, and you know the farming sucks, like if your equipment seller in the farming sucks, usually sell more equipment, and when the farming is great, you sell less equipment.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, that’s funny, I see that now as well as in the– for my side being in, you know, an ancillary but being in the media of this industry, it’s like we Oh, and when we started, there was no B2B or not no, but very limited B2B media sources in the industry. You know, when I was growing up, I would read High Times, and I would be so excited to see like this really cool bud, with some guy wearing a bandana, you know, in the magazine, and that was exciting. But now I look, you know, coming forward, you know, now, that was a lot of cool stuff, because it’s illegal thing. So it’s really fun to read High Times. 

Now, they’ve been pivoting left and right, and other culture and lifestyle magazines have also been pivoting, left and Right. And High Times just announced this past week that they’re shutting down, dope magazine, culture magazine, and they’re even halting their own publication to get into the dispensary worlds. And so there’s a lot of pivoting even in this industry and for us it was, you know, we’re happy that we’re still surviving, and we’re happy that we’re actually a B2B because I see that, at least in the cannabis media site that consumers are consumers, they’re not interested in reading cannabis magazines, but business people, however, in the industry, it seems that they want to know what’s happening. They want to know what’s legal in their backyard, can I grow? Can I sell it? Where can I open this? Where can I open that? How can I invest in this? How can I invest in that? And so for us, at least we’ve seen thankfully, a growing trend at least towards the business to business side of the cannabis media.

Chip Baker: Every single aspect that a normal business needs, the cannabis business needs, and people when they think cannabis, they solely believe of grown weed or smoke it. That’s it and, man, you need everything that any other normal business needs. From accounting to H.R., to like a recycling program, and a garbage program, and like a hiring program, and a firing program. I mean, you need it all, right. And there are so many services out there that people could transfer what they’re doing currently and move into the cannabis industry.

Brian Weiss: Yeah. I it’s funny you say that cuz I talked to people in normal insurance, they’ve been selling health insurance their entire lives. And now they’re getting into cannabis. I have a friend who’s a real estate person. He’s been always doing real estate, you know, personal houses, people’s homes and stuff, now he’s getting into cannabis real estate. I know somebody else that does skincare products. And now he’s getting into white labeling CBD products, you know, and he’s just a packager. He’s not actually making the he’s just packaging. But like yeah, like you said, there’s all aspects of the industry require all aspects of other industries.

Chip Baker: Oh, it’s all just starting man. It’s all just starting. Well, man, you know we should have another episode in like a year. Okay? It’s like April 9th now, so April 9th 2020. So April 9th 2021. We’re gonna do another episode. 

Brian Weiss: I’ll be at my fancy pool then.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we’re gonna see like how these predictions that we just made came true, right. Okay. Let’s just recount what these predictions are. One is the social aspect of cannabis sales and consumption is going to change somehow.

The social aspect of cannabis sales and consumption is going to change somehow. – Chip BakerCLICK TO TWEET

Brian Weiss: Yeah, right.

Chip Baker: The big players are falling out and they’re going to continue to fall out. Which means like the smaller people from the mom and pops to just the grassroots organizations, they’re going to take over that market share. 

Brian Weiss: Absolutely. 

Chip Baker: Do we have a fourth prediction?

All Things Made in China

Brian Weiss: I do actually. Another prediction is that I think that in the vape market, a lot of the products, not the vape. It’s not the you know, the distillate or the live resin, not those products themselves, but the actual hardware– [inaudible] well, that in the hardware right now is all pretty much made in China. And I see a lot of that product, the manufacturing of the vape pens, the batteries, all that stuff, possibly switching hopefully, over more into being made in the United States. I don’t know how long [inaudible] is going to be able to buy products from China. 

Will those products still are able to be shipped into the country from what I understand already, a lot of vape companies right now are having major problems because they rely on hardware from China that they’re not getting right now. And they’re going to have to start, you know, worrying about how do we get these products? How do we get this hardware in the future? So I see a lot of overseas manufacturing of different types of products within the industry being done here in the United States. And that’ll also go back to you know, in the sense of other industries, you know, basically, you know, maybe you have like a G.M. type of plant that’s starting to make cannabis, you know, [inaudible] lighting, no extraction products–

Chip Baker: All the bulbs are made in China, right. All the lights, all the like components in China. All the electronics are made in China, right. Like some of that’s gonna change your absolutely correct–

Brian Weiss: And you’re gonna have Baker lighting soon.

Chip Baker: I’ve done that one. Lighting is a difficult one man. I’ve actually I’ve put quite a bit of effort into it. But you know, we’ve had some– On the lighting, for instance, that’s one of the hardest things because China really does make it all. So like, I’m not sure like how that’s gonna be able to change, you know, but like plastic bottles, or polymer or —

Brian Weiss: That’s like a polymer– I think maybe you know as hemp becomes more universal, you know, there’s so many things that you can do with hemp. And there are so many smart people out there that are already trying to do things with hemp, that I think they’re going to realize that there’s a lot more that you can do with the plants. And hopefully that crosses into manufacturing. And people realize that maybe that you know, I don’t know much about hemp, but I from what everything that I read about seems that everything that you can use with normal material, you can also pretty much do with hemp. So I think that there’ll be a big change in the hemp market. I think there will be more used on many different industries, not just in the cannabis industry, but you know the car making industry you know, Ford made a car out of textiles.

Chip Baker: Honestly that textiles left this country 25 years ago and went to China and other places, China, like will it come back? I’m not sure but like hemp can help, like supply hemp cotton. I mean, we– you know, cotton was why this country was really founded really. [inaudible]produce textile–

Brian Weiss: And you know, people are building homes with hemp now. They’re doing everything so I really, I see that [inaudible] I see that becoming and it’s actually supposedly, the articles and the videos that I’ve seen is it’s a lot stronger than wood– 

Chip Baker: So man, I’m building a hemp house. That’s the future. Okay. Ask me about the hemp house January, I mean, April 9th 2021.

Brian Weiss: It’s weird saying that sometimes I feel like I’m in Total Recall–

Chip Baker: It is. Well, Brian, Hey, thanks for coming on the show, man. I really appreciate it. I’m glad we got the chat and I’m excited about what’s going on in California. I look forward to hearing more about it in the coming months and years.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, my Chip. Thank you so much for having me on. And I really enjoyed chatting with you. And, you know, during this crazy time, right now, it’s nice to have a good laugh and to talk about the industry and and talk about futures and it’s, you know, obstacles. But, you know, like you said, it’s a strong industry and it’s on the ground floor still. Most states are still trying to, you know, get there and I think after this virus clears out and hopefully this president that there’ll be opportunities for federal legalization and with federal legalization, it’s going to get the commercials and all these three letter agencies will lift their bands and there’ll be a flourishing market. So thank you. 

Chip Baker: It’s all just starting Brian, it’s all just starting right the next 20 years of cannabis, ganja, hemp, we’re gonna be incredible. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, me too. Thank you.

Chip Baker: Great. Thanks again. Hey, it’s been The Real Dirt with Chip Baker. If you liked this episode of other or others, download them on The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. You can also check us out on Spotify and if you want you can go to my website therealdirt.com. You can look at all the episodes we’ve got a great blog, you should join our Facebook group. Join us on Instagram, The Real Dirt podcast love you guys have a great afternoon!

Well, it’s a great episode with Brian Weiss from L.A. Cannabis News. And yeah, we have made some pretty good predictions. So talk about the Rona, we talked about what’s going to happen here in the future. It’s exciting man, you know, with every, during every real revolution, there are fortunes made and lost. And I’m not trying to sound like an asshole because this isn’t a revolution, but it is going to be a social and cultural revolution with what’s going on with the Coronavirus, and we’re going to change our attitudes on personal space social distancing. And for the good and the better. But there will be an opportunity. There always this opportunity and change, and regardless of what happens, things will change, and we’re just going to have to flow with it. 

We can be the salmon in swim upstream, and sometimes I enjoy that. But for the most part, like, you know, what’s going on internationally with the Coronavirus is absolutely going to change the way we feel about cannabis, the way we consume cannabis, and our social interactions involved with it all. So, you know, it’s going to be interesting to see it all happen and see it all unfold. I mean, for instance, it Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, we have set up a “We’ll call” scenario so people can just call us and email us and we’ll get their order together. And then when they show up at the shop, they just call and say, Hey, I’m here, I’m here with my order. We’ve got it outside. We make a little exchange, and you know; hopefully, it’s on the credit card. And you know, you don’t have to count out any money or anything, but we can do that too. Delivery is a huge part of what we’ve already done in Colorado and Oklahoma. Of course, that’s all commercial. And often, you have to have a loading dock or forklift, but not all the time. And so the delivery, it’s stepped up as well. 

The reality of it all is it’s probably better for people not to go to the store, and just call up and have people deliver it, or we’ll call scenario. So I bet we’re going to learn a lot from this. I’m not sure if my employees, the people we work with, how difficult it’s made it on them, but you know, there’s a learning curve. So if you’ve had any, like instances or something where you haven’t been able to get what you want and like, manage stressful times, like just take a deep breath, be like okay bro, and just try to re-approach it a little bit. But yeah, those are the that’s what’s going on with us. That’s how we’re actively changing. 

I’d be interested in hearing from you on how the Coronavirus has changed, how you’ve been interacting with your cannabis business. So send me an email. Send me a private message, post on Instagram, or something. Because I am interested, we’re in a house changing for everybody. Hey, listen, in these boring times when you’re sitting at home, and you’re smoking weed, because everybody’s consuming twice as much right now, and you want something to do. Download one of the previous episodes of The Real Dirt podcast. You can get it on iTunes on Spotify. You can also go to my website, The Real Dirt podcast, therealdirt.com, and you can see all our past episodes everything. Man, if you’re interested in any cannabis products or clones or genetics, you can check out our medical dispensary in OKC bakersmedical.com. If you’re a commercial grower, we supply commercial cuttings there. And you know, like I said if you need any grow gear cultivatecolorado.comcultivateokc.com and it all starts with the dirt, so get you some growers soil. That’s right, our proprietary coco peat perlite blend we make specifically in a sophisticated state of the indoor art facility that’s all ours where we only make this one product for you, growerssoil.com. Hey, love you guys. I look forward to making another episode for you. It’s coming here in just a few days. So check us out therealdirt.com, The Real Dirt podcast, subscribe on iTunes. Love you, real dirt.


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Exile on Strain Street: Hard times in the Yucatán

Exile on Strain Street: Hard times in the Yucatán

where to find weed in mexico

Ted Mateja brings over ten years of experience in cannabis cultivation, project management, and regulatory compliance.

A veteran of the armed forces, Ted Mateja is an expert in all operational facets of the industry. Currently, he’s the president of Georgia Atlas, providing the best cannabis-based treatments to allow their patients to lead happier, safer lives through products designed to provide relief from a variety of conditions and encourage general wellness. 

In this episode, we’ll hear Ted’s viewpoints about cannabis in these trying times, how it is coping up, the legalization in Mexico, and optimistic sentiments amidst the pandemic situation.

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

1:54 – Best ganjas came from America
3:35 – Crucial part of growing
7:00 – Dry farming
11:46 – Legalization of cannabis in Mexico
13:45 – Cannabis in the pandemic situation
19:36 – Greening the black market
25:27 – OKC’s present environment
26:23 – Reflections during the epidemic condition

People Mentioned / Resources


Chip Baker: Hola mis amigos! This is Chip from The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt, I have my good friend Ted Mateja, and we’re speaking Spanglish coming live from Mexico say hey Ted.

Ted Mateja: Hola, everyone, and hola, to you, Chip. Always good to hear your voice always enjoy a good conversation with you. 

Chip Baker: Well, today is your birthday, right? 

Ted Mateja: Yeah, but I’ve started celebrating earlier because I figured I got the whole month down here by myself, so I might as well just celebrate the whole month.

Chip Baker: Well, Happy Birthday Ted!

Ted Mateja: Thank you Chip always means a lot [inaudible]

Chip Baker: So Ted is down in Mexico. His house down he’s decided to wade out the Corona virus. A worldwide quarantine in Mexico he’s living a luxurious life, he’s on the beach he’s kite surfing every day, he’s fishing, he’s looking at the waves. I mean wow! you could be hard to pass the time better any other way.

Ted Mateja: No, man things are getting so detrimental in the world the day. I went ahead and started sprouting marijuana seeds just in case it got really serious. Went to the garden and then started planting seeds just in the event that I need to be sustainable for a little while.

Chip Baker: Oh sweet man. That’s great.

Ted Mateja: Always ironic when an American is growing weed in Mexico, right? 

Chip Baker: What type of weeding smoking down there?

Best Ganjas came from America

Ted Mateja: Shit, whatever you can get really. So I mean, don’t get me wrong there’s good weed everywhere. And I’ve said this about the world America does have the best weed in the whole planet. And that’s not to say that we’re American– 

Chip Baker: Could you say that again?

Ted Mateja: I said, Americans have the best weed on the whole planet. There’s no doubt about that. 

Chip Baker: Oh true!

Ted Mateja: [inaudible] To find it. It’s infrastructure though, we have money behind it, there’s development, there’s capitalism going into it. So as that industry catches up later, and all these other countries come on board, I’m quite sure they’ll be able to produce cannabis on the same level as we are. It’s all about infrastructure and dollars and care that you can put into the cultivation process. Right? 

Chip Baker: Yeah, there’s a culture that has to happen to for sure. People have to know how to grow it and harvest it and what seeds to plant and what’s actually good and what’s not good. I mean, it’s more than just technology and seeds–

Ted Mateja: I will agree with you, but I will say this Chip, and this is something that I hold dearly is. When it comes to pots, not the most difficult thing to grow, and I don’t want to overstate that. So I take the word on that context. But 95% plus of cannabis case, and final product is about harvesting right? How you harvest this product? [inaudible] wrong even [inaudible]. So they’ve grown weed for years, hundreds of years. It’s the hardest thing and the curing process where it starts to differentiate itself from the other cannabis in the world, you lose so much integrity in your cannabis and art that’s right.

Crucial Part of Growing

Chip Baker: I’ll tell you if there’s one thing that I got out of this podcast is I’ve had multiple people come up to me over the past few years. And said something like, Man I took your advice, or you’re totally right, or I’m glad you said this, or I’m glad you recognized that, harvest is the most crucial part of growing and people don’t put enough time on it and it’s ruined right at that last second, I mean, I’ve had people come up to me and say, oh, pocket Yeah, I my weed is so much better because I harvest it properly after talking to your–, you know, you talking to a guest about it or listening to your show or doing some investigation with as you mentioned it like, man, that makes me feel good. I’m making better weed in the world with nothing to do much.

Harvest is the most crucial part of growing, and people don’t put enough time on it. – Chip Baker

Ted Mateja: Yeah, I know. And you’re 100% correct. It’s everything’s about harvest. You know, I’ll say this. And I guess that’s the limitation to give me a month, my company in Colorado forever. And I brought back some land raise strange, probably seven, eight years ago, and I ended up growing them in my indoor garden. Ironically, I started 20 seeds and all of them were females, which was ironic out of the deal. But there were some of my heaviest producers I’ve ever produced. And I’m talking beautiful, ganja beautiful, mega hiting ganja, testing 18 to 25% on the regular, I just grew it under the right circuit, right conditions that needed to be harvested in a way. So I’m a big fan of like landrace genetics [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Select the right landrace, then you cross it in with some other modern stuff and you can really get some great vigor great growth patterns, true hybrid vigor. I mean, we have a handful of landrace hybrids in the old seed stable these days, but yeah, there’s something there. There’s also man landraces that are land racist. You know, they’re not like our modern weed.

Ted Mateja: No, not at all. Not like our modern stuff that’s out there at all. But it’s always good to go come back to where you came from right? And start looking at some of these landraces. It’s one thing I never had the time to do was to breed. It’s been in the commercial industry where you’re just trying to pound out agriculture and weight and volume and never had the time to crossbreed some of these genetics– I would have loved to or loved to give them to some individuals that had the time that we’re doing cross for genetics. I had some really nice [inaudible] out of South America, Mexico that are cultivating up in the States. And I was really impressed with when you put them in a good indoor environment or greenhouse environments that they came along well.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, man. I’ve got some Panama crosses, and some Angola’s and some ties and some Colombians and some Mexicans, we got a bunch of crosses and stuff. I’m actually looking forward to plant it out this year. We’re going to use them all of our landrace hybrids as dry farming. And so on a chunk of the ranch here we’re going to dry farm and we’re going to use those landrace strains to do it.

Dry Farming

Ted Mateja: Elaborate on that dry farming?

Chip Baker: So it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But basically it means that you’re primarily relying on just the natural rainfall or water table to irrigate your cannabis, right or your whatever crop. Now different crops have different techniques. I know some people are purist about it. The way we’re going to do it is we’re planting out the seeds directly into the ground. We’re going to give them as much water we can in the early part of their life, and then so we’re gonna run irrigation and everything. But it’s all overflow for us. So we’re kind of tapped out on our water, or as much water as we want to actually feed the rest of all of the cannabis carts we got, because we got another couple of acres that were irrigating daily, right? 

This way when you plant them out from seed like that the tap root like goes super deep, the root system becomes huge. And you start to like suck out the water of the field. Right, the plants might not get as big their color might be different. But you know, you don’t have to hear you don’t fertilize. It’s really I mean, it’s how all of the like, most of the, you know, landrace cannabis has always been growing. Right? No irrigation, no fertilization, just under the natural land cycle.

Ted Mateja: Well, that’s your strongest plants, right? I mean, when they say weed, [inaudible] it ends a weed. It will grow. It’s not the most difficult thing to grow. We get good quality–

Chip Baker: [inaudible] We’re choosing these landrace ones specifically so we can feel like that’s the one that they’re drought tolerant, they’re heat resistant– [inaudible]

Ted Mateja: There has to be really good with where you’re at in Oklahoma. And that Southern Oklahoma, Texas region. You’re going to need it more vigorous landrace strangles hot man. It’s hot, humid–

Chip Baker: Hot and windy– Right, it gets all of in here– 

Ted Mateja: Its fucking hell for you to go outside. 

Chip Baker: Wind’s blowing at 25 knots a day as a matter of fact. Yeah, it’s definitely a difficult environment growing outdoors here in Oklahoma. But you know, honestly this conditions are very similar to Southern Humboldt, most of the flowering time of the year, and the fall seemed beyond on forever I mean all the way to Thanksgiving. We had 90-degree days last week. 

For Oklahoma we were doing a lot of stuff for extraction, day neutral flowering, cannabis and landrace hybrids are a lot of the stuff we’re going to grow. We’re going to grow a bunch of clones to outdoors and in greenhouses and whatnot. But for the most part, it’s gonna be day neutral flowering cannabis ie. auto-flowers and landrace hybrids with that.

Ted Mateja: Yeah, it’s really interesting to see what’s going on in the world. Now cannabis is evolving in such a way you know, talking today I would never think about is throwing a whole bunch outdoor and someone like Oklahoma and think I could get high quality products. Not saying I’m against the skills of growing, it’s just in a genetic handle it, right.

Chip Baker: Well, you have to test it. Last year I planted out like 10 or 15 things, two things really, really stood out man. And so that those are the clones that we’re going to put out heavy next year. The Donkey Butter and the Gilz Nilz did great outside. The Purple Punch did phenomenal in the greenhouses. So, you know, the Purple Punch didn’t do so good in the full outdoors though it turned brown and just didn’t have a great taste. So you just got to trial and error it man, you gotta plant that shit out and see what happens.

Legalization of Cannabis in Mexico

Ted Mateja: 100% trial and error, I believe into that, you know, even some of what I’m going to do with a couple strains down here it’s highly illegal for me to do this to Mexico. What highly illegal–

Chip Baker: No, medicinal, just tell them medicinal.

Ted Mateja: Yeah, well, of course. I mean, it granted Mexico’s legal now I think they are legal there’s this recreational bill. But, just because it says that in its constitution, this is only recently this has happened in the past three months. It’s kind of like early days of cannabis in Colorado where the police weren’t quite aware of the laws that were around, right. I mean, for a while people are busting people in Colorado, and they didn’t know and you would sue and you would win, right? Because they didn’t educate the law enforcement on it. And that’s kind of what we have here and you’re not educating up on the current development law. 

Well I’m planning to grow a couple of strains, I’m going to grow them low, kind of make them really tiny so I can keep them where they’re not, you know, crawling over a 20 foot fence. That’s like, we’re going to play with this a little bit and see what happens. Everything always can chop one down, but that’s not an option.

Chip Baker: We got to chop it down [inaudible]

Ted Mateja: My life cycle here is a continual 12-12 yearly I think max is 13 and a half hours. Max 13 hours a day light and exceeding and the lowest is like 11 hours and [inaudible] I get flower out all year round. Yeah the other good greenhouse with some offset lighting you want to do commercial, not a problem–

Chip Baker: [inaudible] automatically going to commercial.

Ted Mateja: I mean, that’s how you and I think, how much can we produce? Right? commodity.

Chip Baker: Commodity. Absolutely. So yeah, just to catch you guys up. I’m sitting here talking to Ted Mateja. Ted is a founder of Atlas Cannabis, they’re international cannabis company. They’re involved in license and license in all over the country from Denmark degrees to Colombia to the old USA. And the reason I called Ted up today was one because it’s his birthday, Happy Birthday! 

I wanted to talk about like, you know, what’s going on with cannabis internationally since we have this current, you know Corona virus that we’re dealing with and how he thinks it’s affecting us right now and how he thinks is going to affect us in the future. You know, one of the things that’s come up is cannabis is essential. Now, let’s talk about that.

Ted Mateja: Man, isn’t that an interesting subject on its own? Really, we’ve been waiting years for that to happen. And, you know, one just to give thought to the political environment right now globally, it’s a shitty situation what we have going on all over the world with is COVID-19 and whatnot. But it’s really promising for cannabis people to see in the United States. What are we like 33-36 states or something that are medically legal. And I could be shooting, I could be a wrong back couple but doesn’t matter but more so is all these states that are legal medically, are beaming cannabis essential. It’s essential as guns, as essential as alcohol, as essential as the damn grocery store being open. And that is a very, very promising thing in today’s environment. We were talking about 15 years ago we were laughing [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. We would have said it needed to be. In Denver a couple of days ago they issued a stay at home warning and list the non-essential businesses and recreational cannabis facilities and liquor stores weren’t included on the initial list. Man within just a few hours though, it was a reissuing of the list and the first thing it said was, um, well, of course, recreational cannabis shops as well as liquor stores can remain open.

Ted Mateja: For sure, hey, I’ve moved most of my money in the stock market just over to the liquor sales. So liquor distributors and that Southern glacier. Hey liquor sales are up 220% right now, that’s a fact. I didn’t make that number, it was a fact. So, you know, marijuana in areas that are solid and stable are doing quite well, which is good, which is very promising for the industry. But what else you’re gonna do, you’re quaratined at home. 

There’s nothing to do, either you’re going to drink or you’re going to smoke some weed all day because there’s nothing to do and humans were not meant to just sit down all day long. Some people are so I agree. Some people are but, I’m not. And most people I know aren’t. We have to keep moving so might as well do something with the day just stay stone and forget about it.

Chip Baker: So how has the virus affected other cannabis operations throughout the world? Have you talked to anyone with any of your other contacts? 

Ted Mateja: Yeah, I mean, well, you and I are on a project in Georgia, that’s one that’s getting installed. But we’re gonna we can get into that later. In the United States, we’re more established with policy medically, per se, to walk away from recreational environment, right because it wouldn’t be politically correct to say recreational, we still be going to source smoking weed. I agree we should but whatever. 

Medically it’s stopped globally. It’s stopped. Everything is based around this Corona virus. And I don’t think you know, 2020 was a very critical year for myself. And cannabis, because I thought there was gonna be a lot of policy to passing was totally heavily different just in the States and internationally. But we’re gonna stop right now with the COVID-19. We’re 100% there’s nothing gonna happen. 

Chip Baker: It’s going to be topsy turvy in the marketplace too, because is a huge portion of the Colorado and California, Oregon and Washington legal cannabis business and there’s no tourism going on right now. So I mean, I’m not sure what back in but in Colorado several years ago is considered almost half 50% of the sales with tourist sales. So, man without those guys going 50% dude, there’s just gonna be immediately this huge overproduction for all of these shops that had developed retail organizations and then a big fuel, big huge grow to supply that. So you know, those guys they’re gonna like be doing 50% less business at their retail stores. They’re gonna have all this weed. They’re not normally used to like wholesaling weed like tons of people are, and then the wholesalers, they’re still gonna have their weed. So, man, the markets are gonna be flooded the price in Colorado is already dropped like a chunk. And, you know, just the past few weeks it’s perceived that business is really good right now. But I think overall it might not be so man. Just what’s gonna happen when it all catches up when it floods.

Greening the Black Market

Ted Mateja: Well, I like to think I have a great understanding of what that was because it was a time back in the day where everything was [inaudible]. And I remember the 2008-2009 when we had the recession, the black market cannabis was some of the highest profit margin you could ever make during the years and I was originally thinking that that would cause the same type of situation during COVID-19. But to be honest with you, look at the tourism. What about like you look up in Northern Humboldt, and year old area? What about people come into tram, come into work, come into harvest, there’s no mobility right now. 

Chip Baker: Labor is hard right now. It is hard.

Ted Mateja: It’s going to hurt. And black market controls. As much as– I don’t like to say this out loud, the black market dictates price of the legal market. So I think, yeah, the legal market is going to have a glut of overproduction, but I don’t think it’s gonna hurt him on sales, I don’t–

Chip Baker: Well, I mean, currently, it’s not but I don’t know, man. We’ll see, in the states that don’t have recreational their sales are going up, right, because they’re not reliant on a tourist market. But you know, it’s it’s already– So, overall wholesale prices in Colorado have dropped in just the past few weeks and it was rapid drop as well.

Ted Mateja: And that’s on illegal market correct? 

Chip Baker: Yep. Hey, people aren’t going to like stop smoking weed. So private market sales to places like Indiana and Georgia and all the states that don’t have access to legal medication medicine, they’re all going to like ramp-up.

Ted Mateja: Their prices are going to go up. You know.

Chip Baker: It seems that consumer prices is still paying the same as they have for 30 years, man on the consumer end, right. It’s like hardly changed at all. It’s all the middleman people transporting it, growing it, they’re making the money.

Ted Mateja: That’s a whole another podcast alone.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Right.

Ted Mateja: I got you off the rails on this–[inaudible]

Chip Baker: Sales structure [inaudible] brand of this market. 

Ted Mateja: Yeah, as you know, the guys that got fucked in that deal were people like you and me the cultivators. 

Chip Baker: Absolutely got grower grain, he ain’t getting shit– the guy who’s reselling the cereal at the grocery store, he’s getting paid. Right and all he has to do is buy [inaudible]

Ted Mateja: I remember back in the day especially like, you know, when the market started dropping, I would sell a lot of old wholesale black market stuff, and I always drop my prices down, you know, my margin I knew when I needed to make. And I know that. And I was like, you should pass this down to the consumer. They only do it for so far. When you get into the middleman that guy is distributing eight orders out. He or she don’t give a shit–

Chip Baker: On a dollar quarters, $60 rates. 

Ted Mateja: Yep, right all day long. And that’s why I’m a big fan of the recreational market getting illegal because then I tell them in this big thing it scared me you know, back in 2012 and 2013. I truly thought the recreational market was going to make this product more expensive for people. Man, by the time we [inaudible] a goddamn eight it’s gonna cost us $100. Now the recreational the legal market has been very good for cannabis consumers. I mean, can you find eighth on the street for $35-$40. You can buy an eighth in the store $35-$40. 

Yes, you can get a cheaper you get more expensive, but just in general. But I can walk into a store and go can get 100 different types of varieties, right, it gives you an option. And when you think about sales and to the consumer, if you take me into a store and so I need to spend $1,000 on this item. But I’ve got five other items I can spend $900-$1100, $1200 eight. I’m always going to go to the most– it gives you options. It makes retail experience. It becomes shopping, it’s fun. You end up spending more money because you have options.

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, me too, man. Me too. Same one, can I have one of those, one of those– 

Ted Mateja: Of course. Kind of like a– I like to come out with like a Skittles stock every time I go on the store I’m like this is [inaudible] amazing.

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally it’s you know, it’s good changing like that all over that man. I mean, you know, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, like everybody is hopping on some type of medical cannabis operation man it’s everywhere.

We need to set this industry up correctly with the proper rules, proper regulation, proper environment. Then we’ll all make money, but it’ll be a benefit to society and people. – Ted Mateja

Ted Mateja: It’s moving along very well. I mean, it’s solid. It’s really– I don’t want to say shitty. It’s shitty for marijuana business right now. We’re getting policy passed during the current environment right now, but it’s really hard to look cannabis from a distant you know, we’re doing this fairly right. We’re setting this up correctly. And I always take pride into going into places to say the way I tell people I’m not financially motivated. Yes I want to make money, yes there’s money [inaudible] first off we need to set this industry up correctly with the proper rules, proper regulation, proper environment and then we’ll all make money but it’ll be benefit to the society and people. We can [inaudible] you very long time for this, you know as much as anybody.

Chip Baker: Yeah man preach on dude. This true thought, get rid of the greed and just start growing the weed and things will work out.

Get rid of the greed and just start growing the weed, and things will work out. – Chip Baker

OKC’s Present Environment

Ted Mateja: Absolutely. How’s Oklahoma’s environment right now? 

Chip Baker: Well, a bunch of places have shut down because the Corona virus you know my wife’s dispensary, she shut that down. She kept the clone nursery going. We just have somebody that goes in there one day a week and takes care of everything. So that’s still happening. 

We got a pretty good sized garden plan for the year and our sales and the grow stores have been holding pretty steady. So we see that like people are still smoking tons of weed the mark is not like full yet it’s not flooded jet you know there’s still room for people to grow and put it together. I mean, you know, we’ll see what happens with the fallout from this Corona virus. But, man, as far as I know, man, people that are unemployed they smoke more weed.

Reflections during the Epidemic Condition

Ted Mateja: Utilize this time to get closer to your family. Get your own personal situations under order. Use this time to self reflect on you. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Make it solid. It’s good, but you know what I mean? Like it’s use this time to reflect. We’re humans. 

Humans can survive anything. We’re humans, and we’re survivors, we’re gonna get through this. We don’t know what it’s gonna be. I mean, you and me. I love talking to people, especially the older generation. I love turning people that are against cannabis and educating them. So you know, we’re not a bunch of weed hippies around here we’re actually business people, we’re like minded, we want something that’s positive for the world. Nobody’s ever seen a situation like this, some of my biggest investors they’re in their 80s and late 70s 80s, early 90s and I came to them for like I haven’t seen and you want to understand and nobody’s ever seen this we don’t know what’s going to come up with situation around.

Chip Baker: Now, we just have to keep our eyes open for the right opportunity for all of us to scale our businesses. Whichever, scale up or scale down, whichever is good for you. And, you know, just have a little compassion in our hearts about you know, the people we know around us

Ted Mateja: That’s the biggest thing man, you’re right, you run over scaling up or scaling down. But this is time as a society, especially as a country that we still love each other and be like, hey, how can I help you? You help me and I try to help each other survive and be successful when we come out of this correctly. Take all the hate away from the world. [inaudible]

Keep our eyes open for the right opportunity for all of us to scale our businesses. – Chip Baker

Chip Baker: Dude, I agree, man. It’s a small world, man. Well, Ted, it’s been a good chat with you from Mexico. I’m glad we got to speak to you on your birthday. This is the birthday episode, Ted Mateja. Ted, you got any parting advice for cannabis entrepreneurs out there here for the rest of 2020?

Ted Mateja: Yeah, I’ve got Well, I have a bunch of good advice and good night scene did happen. More stories, man. Keep pushing. I came from a situation where people didn’t like cannabis and was always against me. And you said, Chip, we’ve known each other for a long time. We’re pioneers. And we need future pioneers in this industry to keep the thing pushing across get it across the finish line as an industry, in a sustainable and very productive manner that’s good not only for the society, but economics has to play a role in it because we know that the world does work without money. So creating an environment where we’re sustainable economically and socially is huge in this industry. 

Chip Baker: Well, thanks again for joining me, Ted. And if you liked this episode, download this or others, check us out on therealdirt.com or look for us on podcasts at the iTunes The Real Dirt podcast subscribe, please check us out on Instagram, Facebook, all that stuff, comment, follow back, say What’s up, give us some ideas. Reach out anytime you’re in the area. Definitely check out Cultivate Colorado if you’re in Denver. Cultivate OKC, see if you’re down here in Oklahoma City. And again, then there’s a baker’s medicinal baker’s clone nursery. Right now your great, great genetics. So yeah, if you’re in the area stop by and say hi, otherwise roll the largest joint up you can and listen to the next episode of The Real Dirt.

Ted Mateja: Perfect, Chip. Love you brother, always.

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Finding Cannabis at 40: Professional Writer on Getting Stoned

Finding Cannabis at 40: Professional Writer on Getting Stoned

using cannabis as an adult

Johnny B. Truant is co-founder and storyteller of nearly 100 novels, mainly fiction, in the Sterling & Stone Story Studio. The rights to his horror-satire series “Big Vampire” have recently been sold for production as a television show to NBC Universal. 

Johnny is highly interested in marijuana and would like to speed the hell up by repealing the federal ban. 

In this episode, he shares his thoughts on why he kept away from cannabis in his early life and how weed improved his writing. For Johnny, it’s not about trying it out early; it’s the great benefits he discovered lately. Don’t miss out on this cool episode!

I feel like it opened me up for want of a better term, like I’m just more introspective, and I noticed things a little bit more since I’ve been smoking. – Johnny B. Truant

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

1:49 – Sterling and Stone, changing the world with stories
3:08 – Smoking in TV shows and movies
6:53 – Professional joint roller
10:19 – Cannabis at forty
18:51 – Ganja food
31:52 – Weed and writing
35:55 – Smoke for the first time
38:07 – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Johnny B Truant

Connect with  Chip Baker


Chip Baker: Hey, this is Chip of The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt, I’ve got my good buddy Johnny B. Truant. Say, hey, Johnny.

Johnny Truant: Hey, what’s up Chip?

Chip Baker: Well, I don’t have too many non-cannabis industry people or guests on my show and you’ll hear quite a few more of this next year. But a Johnny is a writer, which in my mind is synonymous with lots of weed. Is that right Johnny?

Johnny Truant: You know, it didn’t. It wasn’t for the longest time, but then Sean corrupted me, that’s my partner and co-author and eventually, I got into weed and I really enjoy it now but at the beginning it was all stoned sober.

Chip Baker: I remember Johnny, I remember Sean was like, Oh, Johnny didn’t smoke so much weed. I’m the real puffer. Oh, Johnny’s just starting to smoke weed. Oh, Johnny likes sweet. Johnny’s become a weed head. 

Johnny Truant: Well, Johnny became interested in weed. I feel– I still think that Sean goes through way more than I do. But I’m, like, interested in the science of it and all the detail and nuance and Sean’s like, is it green? Okay, I’ll smoke it. Yeah.

Chip Baker: He didn’t ask him. It’s green. 

Johnny Truant: No. Is it black?

Chip Baker: Yeah, right. How much more do you got? right. So, hey, Johnny, and my buddy Sean. They were founders of Sterling and Stone, which is a publishing company, and you guys publish primarily ebooks, right?

Sterling and Stone, Changing the World with Stories

Johnny Truant: Primarily ebooks right now for sure. And almost exclusively fiction.

Chip Baker: And almost exclusively with fiction. They have produced and published hundreds and hundreds of books. Johnny has pinned nearly 100 books under this publication. And these guys are changing the world with a story. I love that tagline, man. 

Johnny Truant: That’s the idea anyway, change the world with story. 

Chip Baker: Yeah. Tell me, I gave you the briefer but tell everybody what you guys actually do?

Johnny Truant: In terms of changing the world with a story? or the– alright. Yeah, okay so well I mean we’re a publisher, but we’re not a traditional publisher, we’re not like HarperCollins or Simon and Schuster or something where we work with outside authors who come in and submit stuff to us. It’s more like we’re a little family. We call ourselves a story studio. And, and so when we say we’re changing the world with a story that’s pretty audacious for right now, but think about the ways that culture has changed. You know, it’s changed through stories trying to like bad people over the head and be like, Hey, man, be more tolerant. Like, that doesn’t work. You can’t legislate tolerance for that example, but you can in a story–

Smoking in TV shows and Movies

Chip Baker: Well, for instance, smoking cigarettes stopped in many, many movies. Right? I mean, it’s just started to kind of to come back again. But I don’t know if that was mandated. Or if it was just a social norm that began to happen and fewer people smoke cigarettes today than I believe anyway, that’s my perception. 

Johnny Truant: Yeah, no, I think that’s all right. I think there was some sort of legislation, but I do know that smoking came to prominence to some degree because people were smoking in popular culture you know, they’re doing it–

Chip Baker: And you know, used to be that weed, you could show weed a little bit, but it had to be fake and then it started to be jointed. And then like, all of a sudden, you know, man, people are smoking joints on television and significant movies.

Johnny Truant: Yeah, I mean, what was that movie that just came out with Matthew McConaughey? Was it Matthew McConaughey? And it was he was like, Jimmy Buffett’s style boat guy or something. I don’t remember. Snoop Dogg was in it, and I’m like, there’s no way that wasn’t all real weed.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah. No doubt. You know, Snoop Dogg is going to be like, Oh, man, I got to get into character.

Johnny Truant: Do you ever hear that Mitch Hedberg joke about Peter Frampton in movie pot? 

Chip Baker: No–

Johnny Truant: Yeah, because I was in the movie. And I had a scene with Peter Frampton, and we had to smoke pot in the scene, but we couldn’t use real pot, so we had to use fake pot. And he said, so I smoked fake pot with Peter Frampton. That’s pretty cool. Not as cool as smoking real pot with a guy who looks like Peter Frampton, which I’ve done away more. 

Chip Baker: Sure. So it stories and entertainment they do change our culture, and you know we were involved in, you know, a mastermind group baby bathwater, right? That’s how we know each other. And you know you gravitated to the sideshow at one of the events what I mean by sideshows we were smoking [inaudible] shell ganja right the brew for the van or behind the shed or whatever show and that’s kind of how we met. Right?

Johnny Truant: Yeah, totally, and have you told people this story about how to– well it’s not a story it’s more like a truism on how the problem people have rolling joints because that’s one of my earliest Chip memories. 

Chip Baker: Oh, you know, I don’t think I’ve spoken to this audience on exactly that. You’re right, and you know, sometimes a more eloquent on the subject, but rolling a joint is much like any relationship in life. Is this what you’re talking about?

Johnny Truant: No, it was very simple this advice, but I want to hear this one too.

Chip Baker: I don’t know if I want to mess it up, man. Why don’t you give me advice about rolling a joint?

Johnny Truant: Oh, it’s real simple, so Chips and I in a circle, and it was in Denver. It was at that the outside the patio there, and somebody was asking Okay, Chip shows me how to roll a joint, show me that the trick of rolling the joint and Chip goes sits down he goes, all right– The problem most people have rolling a good joint is they don’t use enough weed right? Like, you were dead fucking serious about using maximal weed just to create a good joint need to like roll this giant Chip joint after that. Full on. 

Professional Joint Roller

Chip Baker: Yep, that actually is rule one is you– as most people don’t use enough weed, right. You have to stuff the joint full of weed. Number two is while you’re rolling, you have to commit. Right? You have to commit to that roll, especially on the finger switch. Right when you’re switching from right here to right here, you got just to commit and just go for.

Johnny Truant: You know, I wasn’t totally– so we, the last time we saw each other I was into weed, but that was just a different sort of a situation. But like, we haven’t spent a whole lot of time together since I, you know, really got into it. And so now I feel like I want that lesson again. I should have asked you when we saw you recently. Like I want that lesson now.

Chip Baker: Online. Well, we’ll do an online joint rolling, for sure. I’ll put that in my podcast schedule for all you Real Dirt listeners. Join us here in the future. I Chip Baker, a professional joint roller. Be it of ganja or hemp will instruct all on how to roll. The most fantastic joint you possibly can. So join us for a later date of The Real Dirt. We roll joints.

Johnny Truant: Speaking of professional joint rollers, you’ve ever seen those ones where people make these like super elaborate smokeable joints? 

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah like the Star Trek Enterprise or AK 47–

Johnny Truant: That’s what I saw was the AK 47 

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. Oh, the first one I saw– I think was an AK 47. There are many others out there. Something I’ve never really like, you know, hopped into, but maybe, I don’t know, man. Maybe I should think about it. You know, the three-prong joint or the dove the sunflower. All types of things. 

So the point of this conversation here is– Johnny, you are part of the new wave of cannabis enthusiasts that are growing on day by day. Right? You didn’t use cannabis so much before until it became legal. And you know, the medical cannabis became legal. And then you know, you started to like realizing how like good it was for you. Right? And you began to self medicate, maybe. And later on in life, you came to cannabis. What was it that kept you away from it?

Johnny Truant: Well, okay, before I go into the [inaudible]. Speaking of joints, why haven’t you rolled a joint yet? Because I feel like I was just telling my wife. I said–

Chip Baker: We’re only three minutes, and I got a schedule. I’m not– I don’t smoke–

Johnny Truant: You have a smoking schedule?

Chip Baker: I just asked you my first real question. And so now is when I roll the joint.

Johnny Truant: I got you, I just fucked it up. 

Chip Baker: And it’s okay. But it’s cool. I got my bathtub full of weed here. 

Johnny Truant: Oh, it’s a great use. 

Chip Baker: And I’m just going to sit here and roll it up while you tell me the story of like [inaudible]. Why did it take you such a long time to get involved with weed? 

Cannabis at Forty

Johnny Truant: It just wasn’t in my circles. I was like, I mean, I was a smart kid in school, like one of those guys who just demonstrated like by the rules, academic smart. So I was first in my class, that sort of thing. And the crew that I ran with just, they just weren’t into weed. It wasn’t anything that came up. But then another thing that happened was I didn’t drink until I was I don’t know, like, well past drinking age to like, I didn’t drink as a kid. And it’s—

Chip Baker: A late bloomer, you’re a late bloomer.

Johnny Truant: Well, it’s more like I’m stubborn, right. So this, I remember I had this class with a bunch of the real jock types. Every Monday they’d come in and talk about how drunk and fucked up they were at some party, and I just found it so annoying. No, this was high school. Okay, I just didn’t want to be like them. And I think that that stuck, you know?

Chip Baker: Well, you know, I didn’t start drinking until I was my late 30’s. 36 I think I started it. And I’d had like, you know, some good times along the way, don’t get me wrong. But alcohol wasn’t something that I was really drawn to, and I also discovered that every time I drank, my ears would itch crazy itch. And so I’m like, I’m allergic to alcohol. Right? And so I just didn’t drink but what I discovered when I was about 36, is I was allergic to fermented alcohols like beer and wine and I can actually–

Johnny Truant: Gluten sort of thing maybe, almost? Yes, no? 

Chip Baker: I think it might have been the yeast, I’m not sure but I can drink liquor and wine man I drink a glass of wine and I’m super buzz, but I can like have a couple of drinks of bourbon and not be like terribly like buzz. I mean I’ll just like two glasses of wine I’m wasted slurring my words. So I’m dead there’s something there with the fermented stuff but the hard liquor, thanks to my Scottish dramatic genes. You know, I can digest it. So I was a late bloomer on weed, but I mean on alcohol, but I started weed when I was like, 13 and also felt like the alcohol ruined my weed buzz. And then for a long time, I was like, Oh, no, strictly just vegetarian living in weed so yeah it took me to hard on alcohol too.

Johnny Truant: Yeah I mean I think when it was prohibition too like when it was illegal that was a much much harder thing for– Not from an illegality standpoint but just the hassle like where am I gonna go find some dealer out there and you know that was sketchy to me the idea of– 

Chip Baker: The streets– 

Johnny Truant: Right who was doing it. What was in it? That’s another thing too. I like that there’s some control now even if it may be annoying for people because there’s some degree of oversight at least you know,

Chip Baker: Yeah, oversize good man. I’ve seen people do all kinds of awful things from literally spray raid and, you know, bug killer for spider mites and whatnot. I’ve seen people do some awful stuff, but mostly people are really conscious about it. And as soon as they learn the right way, they’re generally drawn towards the right way. So you just didn’t have access to it, that’s all.

Johnny Truant: Access or interest, I mean, those two together were a deadly combination for my early weed life.

Chip Baker: So you met Sean. And Sean I know he was immediate like Oh, you smoke weed, man? Because you’re a writer and I’m sure all writers smoke weed, right?

Johnny Truant: Right. Yeah, he said that well, and you know, he was telling me about– I don’t know that I should say this. Well, this is some other stuff and I was like I don’t know that’s you, that’s me. And the more we work together, and I don’t know i just got curious because I’m a curious guy too. Like you introduce a new topic to me and my mind will start working on it. I just want to figure it out. And then I was like, you know what, I should just try it and see what all the fuss is and totally dug at once I did, which was awesome. I wish I could be smoking right now. Chip. I was just–

Chip Baker: I did that for you.

Johnny Truant: Yeah, man, I can’t do it inside the house. I just can’t because my wife doesn’t smoke and my kids aren’t into it. Or I don’t know about it–

Chip Baker: You should be glad your kids aren’t into it or you’ll see they’ll be pinching out of your sack, right?

Johnny Truant: Yeah, no shit.

Chip Baker: So as you as you began to like, use more cannabis, so it occurred the way that most people do it, I’m sure is you– people would pass it to you and you would occasionally hit it, right?

Johnny Truant: Well, no, it was real dedicated the first time. Like the first time I wasn’t around, we’d basically at all except in college. There were some people I knew. But then I just wasn’t around anyone. And so when I decided I wanted to try it, I’d be like, I was like, hey, Sean, smoke me out. You know and we try it, we just tried it then. And then came baby bathwater in the passing the joints and the slow [inaudible] all that’s–

Chip Baker: Oh, wow. So I was there in the early days.

Johnny Truant: Yeah. Really, really early. That was probably like the third or fourth time I smoked weed.

Chip Baker: This is only a couple of years ago now, right?

Johnny Truant: Yeah. I mean, I was 40

Chip Baker: Johnny is new to smoking weed. Hey, Johnny, how old are you? What are you 35?

Johnny Truant: I just turned 44, Oh, thank you. Yes 35.

Chip Baker: Johnny just turned 44 and it was after. I mean, you might have been 41 or two by this when this happened. Right? 

Johnny Truant: Yeah, it was definitely over 40.

Chip Baker: Wow. One of the largest demographics people come into cannabis for the first time are 55 and over. Many of them and those they’re used to taking pharmaceuticals and it is causing them problems. There’s causing them digestive problems, it’s causing them sleep problems. And cannabis is a great way to reduce lots of medications that people take, of course, you have to consult your doctor. I’m no doctor, don’t take my word for it, but there’s lots of evidence out there of people reducing their intake of pharmaceutical drugs. And increasing completely harmless cannabis ie. ganja.

Johnny Truant: I think I had two main things because I actually didn’t even think about that medical but one of my earliest things was I always slept like shit. And it was like, What can I do to sleep better? And, you know, I tried melatonin and I tried all the sleep hygiene things they say like no light in the bedroom. You know, no TV. I even got those blue light glasses or amber glasses. I guess you seen those? 

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. 

Johnny Truant: Nothing worked. But weed knocked me right out. And I think the other thing was curiosity. Like I already mentioned that but when there’s– So like, I’m into wine a little bit, because there’s so much nuance to wine, right, like the different the different varietals and some of them are real tannic and some of them are real smooth and big fruit. And it has this depth to it you know, like you can be a sommelier which there’s only a handful of the like top tier ones. And weeds the same way like all these different cultivars that do different things and why what you know, what is the entourage on this one different from the from on this one and just all the different ways that can be consumed, like the idea of– Because I have a science background, so when I hear Oh, you gotta decarboxylate your weed before infusing it with an oil turk assumption because it’s like– I speak that language and it’s like getting to do some chemistry, you know?

Chip Baker: Right. Well, did you, I noticed you’ve been making ganja food, right?

Johnny Truant: I’ve made some ganja food for sure. 

Chip Baker: All right, tell me about that.

Johnny Truant: Well, I mean, I have a real once I discover that something’s possible. I just wanted to try that if I’m interested in it, and then I just want to explore as deep as I can. So like, first time I made butter like I literally made butter. And you gave us a butter recipe, but I don’t know if you remember, but I think you were a little baked at the time and the recipes–

Chip Baker: It just seems unreal, my recipe that’s all [inaudible] A half a pound of weed into a pound of butter, add some water.

Johnny Truant: Well, but I think you also knew a lot of steps that Sean and I didn’t. So you just wrote the highlights. And we were like, oh, what do we do? So I mean, I don’t know if this is like a thing for new people come into weed, but it’s not that there’s not enough information out there in the world, there’s too much. And I was like, well, so which butter recipe do I follow? Or for that matter, like, what’s my opinion on this grow style versus that grow style? And how is this weed making its way to me and so I just kind of found a recipe and tried it. It was okay. It was all right. 

Chip Baker: Okay, okay. Yeah, it was all right.

Johnny Truant: I think next time I’m going to go through like the kief step, you know and make it from kief right from kief. Because it feels like you could dose it better that way it feels a little bit more like an easier infusion maybe–

Chip Baker: Yeah. There is an easier infusion. I however, like ganja butter for the full-body effect that when you put the extract in it, it’s way easier to mags raise your dose. But if you take like a half a pound of good quality [inaudible] mixed in with just a pound of melted or add enough water to float it. And then cook that at like 135 or on low on a crockpot for at least 30 minutes straight and squeeze all the butter out and then pop it in the fridge the water in the butter separate you end up with about a half a pound of butter right? And then you can take each sliver and start dosing it how strong you want it to be, right. Technically you know a tablespoon or so it shouldn’t be like a dose for 10 people. But I mean making ganja butter with leave isn’t the math, isn’t quite quite there.

Johnny Truant: You said extracts. Do you say making butter with extracts?

Chip Baker: Yeah, well you know like with bubble hash or with kief or with hash or with you know any type of solvent or solvent list extraction product. So if you took a gram say of shatter right and dissolve that into– You know, a fatty product. You would have 25 to 100 doses of product. [inaudible] how strong you wanted to make it.

Johnny Truant: Shatter is an extract, right? Like [inaudible] not just a like a concentrate.

Chip Baker: So it’s all the same. It’s it’s one of the same word concentrate, extract. It’s the same thing.

Johnny Truant: See, I learned some different stuff as a chemist. I’m curious if it translates with weed–

Chip Baker: It’s cultural for sure. But yeah, maybe you can educate me on it. But generally, in the legal regulated market, the government’s just referred to it as concentrates.

Johnny Truant: Gotcha. So it’s almost like a legal designation.

Chip Baker: It is. So that’s what what people have used. But yeah like an extract you would think you were using a solvent or solvent list process you know to extract a really high quality of THC, CBD cannabinoids you know, what have you–

Johnny Truant: Yeah that was the understanding I was working on–

Chip Baker: Right and then what would you consider concentrate then?

Johnny Truant: Well I mean, I’m again I’m speaking my ass as a cannabis guy–

Chip Baker: As a chemist background–

Johnny Truant: Right, because I actually have a degree in genetics. So but yeah, so for me it would be like concentrate I was taking to mean anything that was surprise surprise concentrated right like, kief for hash would be concentrated. But then I would have said extract is something where you were moving the molecule out of one medium and into another and also concentrating it so like, you know, BHO or [inaudible] or anything like that.

Chip Baker: Yeah, that’s exactly the way it works. That’s exactly the way it works. Just legal definition of concentrate is broader, I think and that’s why they use it.

Johnny Truant: I was fascinated when you had your lawyer on, and he was talking about like his around, gummy. That’s colored orange. Is that an orange? Is that a fruit shape? Because you can’t do fruit shapes. That sort of thing. Oh, man that was–

Chip Baker: Yeah, there’s so much– People have the best intentions when they’re making the regulated the laws for regulating cannabis, but it’s just it’s so hard to anticipate the actuality or the reality of the laws when they get into place of commerce. Right. And yeah, hey, that law still exists in throughout the country is you can’t make edibles attractive to children. They can’t be animals or humans or you know, so now people use like stars or marijuana leaves even, squares. I shouldn’t say it’s on artistic it actually means that people have to break out of the traditional gummy molds and make your own gummy balls bro.

Johnny Truant: Have you ever made gummies? Because I want to try–

Chip Baker: I make gummies; yeah, totally there are some great gummies recipes out there. We make vegan gummies. We just made some, and we have a processing license, so we made some like, you know while back and several took us a minute to get a good recipe going, but we got a pretty good recipe. We got a solid product [inaudible] sharp brand product.

Johnny Truant: Do you start from tincture, or you start from–

Chip Baker: With our gummies with the kief in it. We kind of prefer the kief free. You dissolve the kief and the corn syrup as you’re heating it up, and that’s how you decarboxylated.

Johnny Truant: Oh, wow.

Chip Baker: Right and then just follow your traditional gummy recipe. Pretty easy, yeah. Fruit leather, any of that stuff works with it too. Wow, fascinating. It’s so fascinating, but you know what, it’s time to take a small break. So hey man, we’ve rolled up a portion of the joint. I’m going to see what kind of weed I got here, and maybe we’ll get a little canna olympics going on during the break. So we’ll be right back folks, Real Dirt with Chip Baker and Johnny B. Truant.

Hey, this Chip of The Real Dirt thanks for joining us today. You know world’s changing every day and sometimes you can’t quite go to your local store to pick up the products that you need to grow your fine cannabis. Well, look no further. Contact us at cultivatecolorado.comcultivateokc.com

We are continuing to deliver, we have curbside procedures and we ship all over the US. So it doesn’t matter if you need a bag of soil or a truckload of soil. If you need a pint of nutrient or a 55 gallon, you know, three part of cutting edge, we can help you get that to grow in these trying times and we’re just gonna do the best we can to help you guys keep on growing. So absolutely check out cultivatecolorado.comcultivateokc.com. And yeah, man, keep your head up. Keep on growing. 

Johnny Truant: Chip you’re in an essential business right during the whole Coronavirus stuff?

Chip Baker: Yeah, we’ve been deemed an essential business and we’re an agricultural business, man. You know, medical cannabis has also been deemed as important as pharmaceuticals. It is considered a medicine. And yeah, we’re going through the motions, man. We shut the doors to the store, you have to call in all your orders, there’s curbside service, we do delivery, we put stuff in the mail still. 

So we’re really trying to work with everybody to get all their products out. But you know, at the same time, we have a responsibility to our customers and all the people we work for to be as safe as possible. So, we’re going through extreme measures, keep everything clean, keep in our social interaction appropriate. And you know, just kind of like eliminate any cross contamination or chains of contamination. But yeah, man, people need medical cannabis in times like these, more than anything else, that’s for sure.

Johnny Truant: I was– this is gonna sound like a joke, but I feel like recreational cannabis should be an essential service. Like that’s actually not a joke.

Chip Baker: No, it’s not a joke. And just yesterday in Denver, they passed a ruling that said that they were gonna, you know, or said on air that they were going to shut down liquor stores and recreational dispensaries. Immediately that changed and they’re like, No, no, no, actually, we’re gonna let you still go to your recreational dispensaries and the liquor stores. You know, it’s and so yeah, it was about two hours for people like what? Oh, you know?

Johnny Truant: Yeah, I feel like there are two major dangers here, and only one is the actual contagion, the other is panic, way of hoarding everything and freaking out, and just general social unrest. Like weed helps you chill out.

Chip Baker: Weed helps you chill out. When you’re freaking out sit back and smoke some, just a little bit of sedating relaxing weed. Just a little bit. Don’t go overboard, because when you go overboard and times like this and it might kick in you know I’m saying Johnny–

When you’re freaking out, sit back and smoke some, just a little bit of sedating relaxing weed. – Chip Baker

Johnny Truant: You want to see how I’m relaxing over here?

Chip Baker: Yeah, let’s see it

Johnny Truant: So, like I said I can’t smoke inside because even if I– I do have a spliff right, but you know you get that sidestream smoke and sounds like I want to go sit on the porch during the interview, so I feel like this might get me kicked off The Real Dirt but I got my vaporizer here.

Chip Baker: No one’s been kicked off The Real Dirt yet.

Johnny Truant: Nobody? What if it takes– you’re supposed to the firefly two and you’re supposed to draw on it like for 20 seconds or something. So it probably make for a really good interview.

Chip Baker: You look like a douche or doing this. 

Johnny Truant: Oh, totally. Like I totally agree. That’s why I don’t do it in public.

Weed and Writing

Chip Baker: Right. So Johnny, tell me about weed and writing. This is why I wanted to talk to you because I wanted, to hear about your perspective of if your writing has changed, writing style has changed since you started using cannabis more frequently.

Johnny Truant: I think I can brainstorm on it. So first of all I have– there’s a whole lot of stories here. So I think this is kind of fun. I did– Sean was like, Oh, writing on weed is really cool. I can’t edit on weed, but I can write when I’m high. And so I was like, alright, I’ve never tried that. I’m gonna give it a shot. And I’m a real analytical sort of writer like, not in a sterile way. But I do, I’m very precise and very articulate. Like, I want to make sure that every loose end is handled and stuff. 

And so when I tried writing, I just I picked a project that was if it got fucked up that it was okay. It was just a little short story that’s totally isolated. And I got blitz and I wrote it. And it was not the right experience for me. I am not somebody who should actually write on it. But as far as brainstorming and stuff as far as coming up with ideas, and my dad said once, my dad’s a big fan of my work on surprisingly, but he’s also a fan of weed. And he said, we have– Sean and I have a story called Unicorn Western. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. 

Like not all of our work is that zany but that is and it’s about a talking unicorn who’s an asshole and his marshall who rides him who’s you know, named Clint in a very Western fashion. And there’s this whole scene where or sequence where they keep hearing about chili in a town that’s coming up like it’s just all about chili. There’s signs about like the chili. It’s like chili is a huge part of this culture is weird town. And we just did that because, I don’t know it seemed amusing, but my dad’s like, I need you to ask Sean if when he came up with that he was smoking because what the fuck, chili? And he answer, those ideas come up for sure man. 

Chip Baker: Right. The little points of the universe they get connected is one of the major things I see that cannabis does. Does it allows you to see this inter-connectivity and just the smallest things.

Johnny Truant: And actually that is probably a way I think it has affected my writing is because I have no evidence for this. I have no idea. But I feel like it’s opened me up for want of a better term. I feel like I’m just a little bit more introspective. And I noticed things a little bit more since I’ve been smoking. I don’t mean like well, I’m actually smoking I mean just in life. And I think my writing has deepened in that way. Like I’m not actually writing high, but it’s getting a benefit from all the other times around. If that makes sense.

Chip Baker: Yeah, no, absolutely. It’s a cumulative effort. It’s not necessarily about writing while you’re stoned. It’s about the inspiration, muses that come to you little funny things and the inter-connectivity you see to the world and cannabis, truly great, great plant with that. Hey, Johnny, we’re getting short on time. I feel like we could have had a, you know, talk two three more hours here. But I gotta ask you, man, if you’ve got some advice for people who are just getting into cannabis that are kind of in our middle age that don’t necessarily know a lot about it because we’re about the same age. I’ve been involved with all my life. You just got involved. You got some suggestions for people that are interested in smoking cannabis, just or you haven’t tried it or want to?–

Weed at First Time

Johnny Truant: I would just say that– I think that I was a little weirded out by what was gonna happen. You know, like I’m a person who likes control. I think that is people get older if they haven’t smoked before, or imbibed in any way that might be the intimidating thing. Like, you know, I’m used to control and so now suddenly I’m gonna relinquish it. And I think that understanding getting past that and like, yeah, it’s you may be a little floaty, especially the first few times but whatever. There’s a lot of benefit to be had from that, like, the fact that I could sleep better.

Chip Baker: Loading is good. 

Johnny Truant: But yeah, I mean now I’m like, kind of trying to chase that. Like, where is that now? But it’ll help get my mind off things, like that’s what I keep trying to say, like, my wife isn’t interested, but I keep trying to kind of nudge her because if I’m writing I need a clear head, like to start writing. 

Chip Baker: Right? Absolutely. Okay. 

Johnny Truant: And if my mind is cycling on something, like I had an argument with somebody and I can’t let it go, but I need to stop and get to work. Then if I’ll just take like, just like one hit from a vaporizer or joint or some just one hit. It’s enough to not make me like, so I can’t write, but it’ll take me out of that loop. And I think just understanding that it’s a versatile tool that you can be consumed in many different ways and you can suit your style and your preferences to your consumption. You know, you can control it more than you think in that way. Don’t be afraid.

Chip Baker: Don’t be afraid. I love it. Well, hey, Johnny, thank you for joining me today. I appreciate this conversation, man. You know, I think we’re going to have to have you back, because I got several other questions, specifically about writing and cannabis and your newfound great hobby.

Johnny Truant: Love of the plant. Yeah. Thanks for having me on, man. I’m a fan.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Thanks again for joining us. Hey, Give us your connections, man you are Sterling and Stone pretty can we find you on Instagram or on Facebook? Or how does it work?

Where to Find Them

Johnny Truant: Well, I’m kind of a curmudgeon on the social media thing so sterlingandstone.net. I actually don’t even know, we do have some social but it’s kind of just beginning.

Chip Baker: Right, tell me what’s the name of the story time travel with ayahuasca? Maybe it was not time travel it was apocalyptic ayahuasca.

Johnny Truant: That was Invasion, involved ayahuasca. He saw the aliens coming through ayahuasca visions.

Chip Baker: What was the name of that book again? 

Johnny Truant: Invasion, by me and Sean Platt

Chip Baker: Invasion.

Johnny Truant: Johnny B Truant and Sean Platt.

Chip Baker: Great book, check it out. You guys are sitting back and such a you know relaxed environment this but an alien invasion science fiction book involving ayahuasca and travel throughout the US is a perfect thing getting a read right now.

Johnny Truant: There you go. Absolutely!

Chip Baker: Thanks again, Johnny. 

Johnny Truant: Thanks, Chip!

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A Conversation with an Average Medical Cannabis User

A Conversation with an Average Medical Cannabis User

medical marijuana patient interviewThe use of cannabis as medicine has not been rigorously tested due to production and governmental restrictions, resulting in limited clinical research to define the safety and efficacy of using cannabis to treat diseases. Preliminary evidence suggests that cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, reduces chronic pain and muscle spasms, and treats severe forms of epilepsy.

In today’s episode, Chip’s good friend, Greg Davidson, an average medical cannabis user, shares his insights and experiences on cannabis. He and Chip have smoked out many times “recreationally”.

In 1984 Greg was paralyzed in an automobile accident, and has used medical cannabis almost continuously since to control the spasms in his legs. And just about two years ago, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and used medical cannabis and CBD to beat cancer.

Stay tune on Greg’s life-changing experience together with the help of his canna-friends who supported him from developing programs to solving growing problems.

There’s nothing like the feeling of a doctor walking in and saying you’ve got cancer. – Greg Davidson

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

0:31 – Finding new friends in cannabis
5:17 – Salad joint kinda guy
9:18 – Proposition 64
24:01 – Greg’s first encounter with cannabis
41:42 –Average medical cannabis consumer
43:23 –Message for the regulators, commercial growers, extractors
56:49 –Weather problems

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with  Chip Baker


Chip Baker: Once again, you have reached The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt have my good buddy, Greg Davidson. Hey you say Greg. 

Greg Davidson: Hey, Chip, how are you doing? Hey listeners of The Real Dirt.

Finding New Friends in Cannabis

Chip Baker: Real Dirty-ans, Greg’s one of my oldest and best friends. I, he, and his wife Elaine, are dear people to us. And the interesting thing about Greg is, in many ways, you’re average medical marijuana patient. He grows a little weed, he smokes a lot of weed, goes to the grow store, goes to the dispensary, he buys vape pens, and I feel like you’re just real average consumer, right? You may be smoke a little bit more average, but I mean you use medical marijuana and medical cannabis. So that’s why I wanted to have you on the show. Plus, we always have really good conversations when we’re on the phone anyway. So you’re a good conversationalist. 

Greg Davidson: I love rubbing with each other. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, it’s always fun. Yeah. Greg, I met you must have been 2004?

Greg Davidson: Ah, no, I was going to say three. So three or four. 

Chip Baker: It was pre, Santa Cruz, for me?

Greg Davidson: You were up in Willow. You were actually the first time I met you, you were a self-proclaimed dirty hippie, and you had pitched attempts at early.

Chip Baker: Oh, okay. It was at one of the cannabis worlds.

Greg Davidson: I actually met you when I was trimming. That’s when I was an itinerant termer. 

Chip Baker: Oh, trimmer. Yeah. I was camping out of Charlie’s funny. Well, we met through cannabis world or something. Right, which was an online group. We’ve talked about this in the past. And it was set up as part of a seed bay. So you could talk to breeders and growers about buying cannabis seeds, and then you could go buy them online at this seed auction site.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, it was up a loose affiliation of growers, breeders, kind people and as many of us as could a met once or twice a year up in Northern California. 

Chip Baker: You and Charlie were some of my first internet friends, you, Charlie and Shanti Baba Mr. Nice Seeds were awesome offers internet friends. 

Greg Davidson: Yeah, back in the day. I can I tell the listeners, my first impression of Chip was I knew that we had a different cat on our hands. Chip had all of his weed and mason jars. Chip was the very first guy to have his weed and make some dirt, that back when we all let it dry out in ziplock bags, and I was like, wow, this guy hightech cuz he’s got mason jars. 

Chip Baker: Oh man years probably still smoking Mexican weed back then. 

Greg Davidson: No we’re getting from–

Chip Baker: Yeah, no first names! 

Greg Davidson: Oh yeah.

Chip Baker: Now he is your medical cannabis supplier, right?

Greg Davidson: Ah, yeah, exactly. I trained him for medical cannabis, that’s how it works.

Chip Baker: Right. So man what puts, what are you smoking on today?

Greg Davidson: I just– Well, I saw that you sched to your part of [inaudible] in progress. I snuck outside real quick and booked to join a gelato. And then I’ve got a couple of canns here. And in my left hand, I’ve got some tandy. In my right hand here, I’ve got what they call Chi up, punch. This is a Rog garden, live resin and I’ve talked about live resin before–

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally love it. 

Greg Davidson: Yeah, the taste is right on. What are you smoking?

Salad Joint Kinda Guy

Chip Baker: Man you know I’ve been kind of bored with our weed lately but right now, I’ve been working on a salad that I like, which is a Mimosa and Gilz Nilz. Right. Gilz Nilz is a Swamp Boys Seed and yeah, man. We really like this weed. I mean, I didn’t think I was it– I don’t know, it doesn’t have like, to me like this drawing smell or appearance. It looks good. Don’t get me wrong and it smells great. But like I was totally proved wrong by this weed, Greg. Right. 

I immediately saw it, and I was like, oh man, commercial producer. And because it gets big, it grows easy. It doesn’t have any problems. And then like it has an older look because it is Georgia pine and cross the wide. So it’s an older plant, a place or something that they’re not telling us what the Georgia Pine is. Swamp Boys Seeds, actually get them on here and talk about it but they– so I liked smoking this weed, right it’s great outdoor, great greenhouse weed. And we mix that with the Mimosa, which you know, it has a citrus kush you know, taste so yeah I blend them.

Greg Davidson: [inaudible] you’ve been a salad joint kinda guy.

Chip Baker: Yeah, like salads for sure. Yeah, you know, salads are such a good way to, like, tell potential genetic combinations to– right. Something that like could be there or might be there. But yeah, like pure joints too. I’m just kind of bored with our weed right now. 

Greg Davidson: I remember back in the day when we were smoking a lot of arcade a train wreck, to get, we would get tired of that creosote taste and you’d mix in a little of that lavender. Oh, that was a nice salad.

Chip Baker: That is a good fond memory, you know, we planted some of those train wreck back crosses, we had, T three, T fours. Just recently, we’ve got a great fino that’s a train wreck, you know, that not carbon copy, but like really, really close. So, yeah, we’re excited for that this show this outdoor season.

Greg Davidson: Alright, so now that we know both know what we’re smoking, mysterious back to. When we first met–

Chip Baker: Yeah, okay. 

I’ve been using medical marijuana for the spasms in my legs associated with my paralysis. – Greg Davidson

Greg Davidson: I really liked you right off, back then you were just off your activist days down in Georgia. And that impressed me that impressed me. I really liked that about you. But yeah, at that point, I’ve been using medical marijuana for the spasms in my legs associated with my paralysis, and it’s really, back then your doctors would always ask, you know, are there be forms to fill out? And of course, I was always, no because you didn’t want your doctors to know. If you had a medical condition, you didn’t want your doctors to know. But this is before 1996. So at that point, I’ve been using it for 12 years medicinally. 

Preposition 64

Then 96 came along, and it kind of loosened up, got a little bit better. And has gradually, you know, you followed the legislation as close as anybody it’s gotten a little bit better, but it’s still not right. I’m conflicted about proposition 64 pretty much removed the whole medical marijuana scene. I mean, I don’t need to go to the dispensaries rather than the vape cartridges. But I’ve noticed that there’s maybe one place left that will ask if you’ve got a medical card, and I think they’d give some break on the tax maybe. But that’s about it; there’s no compassion and the compassionate care act anymore. It’s all about money. 

All the places are really good about either a disabled person or veteran discount, which I’m both– which is nice because they’re pretty much wiped out– your discount pretty much wipes out the excise tax that they’re charging. And the other thing that I really and I talked to Jessica about this is proposition 64 just exploded the one use single-use plastic market so we can just choke this planet even faster on plastic. I mean everything, yeah it just it’s really bad used to be able to go into a dispensary. They break out one of those big extra big mason jars and a set of tongs, and you could pull a bud out, you couldn’t touch them, but you could pull a bud out you could look around, and there’d be nice looking buds in there. Now everything is packaged in a– got my props ready here, Chip. Now we’re making a glass jar or plastic jar like this? You can’t see through it. So you can’t see what you’re getting. And of course, because of the size of the jar, everything is just mids. I wonder– and you know some people might know the answer to this. What happened? Yeah, I know you know some people. What happened to the big buds? Where’d they go? 

Chip Baker: What happened to the big buds? Where did they go? I feel a song coming on here. What happened to the big buds, where did they go–

Greg Davidson: Now I go to my dispensary. All I get is bids, Oh show there we’ve just wrote a song.

Chip Baker: Yeah, you used to be my dealer had big buds, the dispensary is getting nothing but meds.

Greg Davidson: What happened? What happened to these top cool? Where’d they go?

Chip Baker: Man, okay, I’ll tell you this dude, is in California and the rest of the country. Yeah, everybody’s buying grams and [inaudible]

 right? And the board, the dispensary, or the buyer should have a consistent nugget size in a sack of weed as opposed to like trophy nuggets how we all used to have. Yeah, right. And people talk all the weed used to be better, the weed used to be better, you know, and it’s like, well, man back when like, we all had trophy nuggets, back when that was a thing because you know, the pounds would have small to large nuggets and it was a different story. 

Here in Oklahoma and kind of in Colorado a little bit, they shove everything in the bag, right? And Colorado is changing a bit, but here it’s still everything goes in the bag, big nugget, the small nugget, but they’re often cut up dude. [inaudible] are often cut up. It’s better for everybody if they’re– because of the packaging and you know the way people buy it. Because it’s not like potatoes we go and buy this potato that potato three potato four potato you know, and each [inaudible] is bigger, different size, and then you weigh it all and it’s like oh, that’s point nine three pounds, and you pay six bucks or whatever. Right? And we’ve talked about this for a long time too. You know is I would like to go into a dispensary and just buy nugget, buy it by the nugget, buy the gram just like– that 4.6-gram nugget and that 2.8-gram nugget. 

Greg Davidson: Right.

Chip Baker: Commercial, commercialism.

Greg Davidson: I’ve had a– and they’ll talk to, you know the bud tenders and, and even the owners of the dispensary will talk to you and tell you that they get and this is just amazing to me. They have people come in every day,

Chip Baker: Every day. Yeah. At Jessica’s dispensary Baker’s Medical. We got people that come in every day about an eighth. Every day and buy two joints every day.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, why not save up your money and come in once a week and buy an ounce I don’t get it. 

Chip Baker: Oh, I mean, Well, I’ll tell you what, that’s going to happen more and more in the social interaction. It is definitely going to change. So the people that used to show up and buy an eighth a day–

Greg Davidson: We have this thing at the local grocery store; he mixes a compost tea every week. And then on Sunday, people who are customers can come in and get through their two gallons of compost tea for free and it always turns into a circle out in the back have three or four joints going around, and we call it church 

Chip Baker: Church, teachers.

Greg Davidson: In the past couple of weeks, church has been canceled. And on the last week of it everybody got their own joints we didn’t have to ask to join around. This episode’s been forwarded well I’m in the county, I’m in California we’re under stay at home orders.

Chip Baker: So yeah, weird. I see you’ve got your orange jumpsuit on there. [inaudible] log lot now.

Greg Davidson: We got a safety orange in case things go wild.

Chip Baker: Yeah, man.

Greg Davidson: I’ve got enough weed in the freezer from I had a really good year this year. We’re because of Proposition 64. We’re finally able to blow it up in the backyard and with Chip’s help, I gotta say with Chip’s help through a couple of rough patches. I turned out a really nice crop this year.

Chip Baker: Awesome, man.

Greg Davidson: I went out right before the lockdown and bought eight packs of rolling papers, looking at me like I was crazy after accident papers and notes.

Chip Baker: I’ve got a couple cases my shits gonna happen. Now we’re trying to stay really positive doing it all taking it as seriously as we should regardless of like how we might feel about the whole scenario and you know, it is definitely a good time like just take a second back man, you know, actually dude, I’ve been doing podcasts left and right literally I’ve had two others today. I’ve got two tomorrow at three yesterday at a webinar yesterday and then all the rest of the stuff that we decided we wanted to do. But yeah, man, we’re just kicking it down the road and just staying home. You know, this is my new home studio here at the ranch.

Greg Davidson: Yeah. Pretty fancy. 

Chip Baker: And I– were just sitting back starting a big garden. Taking care of all of our business. It’s amazing how much work that you can do from a home office and I’ve been home office in for a long time. And I know you do, too. You guys have worked at home for years. But when you use this tool like Zoom, like what we’re using right now or Google Hangouts or, man, it changes everything. Yeah. Man, I think it’s really good time to like, be with your family, and talk to some friends here and there. And, yeah, I enjoy one another’s company.

I think it’s really good time to like, be with your family, and talk to some friends here and there. And, yeah, I enjoy one another’s company. – Chip Baker

Greg Davidson: I wanted to be on The Real Dirt since you started it. Yeah–

Chip Baker: Man. We’re on. We’re on today. Well, hey, you know what, I think this is a perfect time to take a break. We’ll sit back we’ll roll up a joint. We’ll have a little break and we’ll come back and we’ll talk about medical cannabis. Right. This is Chip with The Real Dirt, Chip and Greg. 

Greg Davidson: Thanks.

Chip Baker: Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt, today is like March 25th 2020. And if you’re like most of the country, while you’re kind of concerned about what’s going on in the world. Well, hey, don’t be alarmed. The Real Dirt is a safe place to gather and listen and enjoy this episode and others if you’re interested in more episodes of The Real Dirt, download them at therealdirt.com or on iTunes. Subscribe and listen to all the episodes that we have there. Some are better than others, but I tell you what, there’s something great in every single one. So if you’re sitting back bored just downloads more episodes of The Real Dirt, therealdirt.com.

Chip Baker: So you want those vape pens huh?

Greg Davidson: I do. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, the vaping crisis didn’t scare you none man?

Greg Davidson: As long as you’re buying tested, that’s the good thing about 64. That’s one of the good things about 64. Got a little can’t see this but there’s a there’s a sticker right here that is mandated by the state of California to go on these larger dinos right? So no I never had it and with the weather changing I’m able to get outside and get back to smoking flower. In fact we’ve got another prop for y’all here. This is what I do when I’m locked out. Can’t get out these are all joints that are rolled here and see so– time comes and I can just boom out the door.

Chip Baker: Oh, that should go-bag. 

Greg Davidson: Yeah. That’s my go-bag.

Chip Baker: Let me see a picture that go-bag again. That was great! That’s awesome. You’ll have to take a picture that send it to me. Yeah, look for Greg Davidson’s go-bag.

Greg Davidson: My go-bag.

Chip Baker: That’s great.

Greg Davidson: I learned from you that you don’t want to have a shortage of [inaudible] No, because, you know, you’ll be cruising along. Life’s cool, and then you get like a paper cut. And you can’t roll– I hate that. Oh, God. 

Chip Baker: Fortunately, my wife is pretty good roller.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, she’s decent.

Chip Baker: She’s decent. She’s not great like me.

Greg Davidson: You are so far too much credit. I’ve smoked some of the pregnant guppies that you rolled,

Chip Baker: Hey, sometimes it’s just function, you know.

Greg Davidson: So anyway, we’re gonna try and steer this back–

Greg’s First Encounter with Cannabis

Chip Baker: Oh, this that’s right. This isn’t just like a play conversation. Hey listen Greg, I want to have you on to talk about medical cannabis. When did you get– tell me your cannabis story, when you got first involved with medical cannabis?

Greg Davidson: Oh, man first time I got involved with medical cannabis is first time I got high.

Chip Baker: Well i mean it’s really two different things. I think you’re in medical cannabis user, how did you– Okay, here we go. What was the lightbulb moment when you realize weed was medicine?

Greg Davidson: Ah, okay. February or March of 1985 when I gotten out of the hospital after my back injury. So I first realized cannabis was medicine was in February or March of 1985 after I’d been released from the hospital, and I was living with my dad and stepmom in Sacramento. And had finally gotten to where I was comfortable going out of the house, going out and getting some fresh air, getting some exercise started getting back in touch with old friends and got a sack from one of them. And was being Mr. Sly going out in the garage and rolling up a quick one to take on my exercise journey. Yeah, let me think of like 26 years old, and my dad busts me I get busted by my dad right? And he’s like, you know, you can just roll that up in the house and take it with you. So obviously wasn’t us [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Your mom and dad are like, Just go out there and tell him he can do it in the house?

Greg Davidson: Tell him he can do it in the house. Exactly. So I was smoking, not with the idea of cannabis as medicine. But I noticed that when I would smoke, my the spasms in my legs would really calm down. And I noticed that the more I smoked, the more the spasms in my legs would lead up. Then I thought, you know, maybe I don’t need to take all these liver-killing medicines that the doctors have prescribed for me if I can replace it with what at the time was medicine [inaudible] So I was a medical marijuana patient when you were still running around in three corner pants. 

Chip Baker: Dude I was playing weed in 1985.

Greg Davidson: Okay, all right, but you get my point. You get my point. It’s been a long time– 

Chip Baker: I was just out of diapers. 

Greg Davidson: So I thought, you know, I had to keep it from my doctors back then.

Chip Baker: Right? You can keep are [inaudible]–

Greg Davidson: Yeah, it was a robot–

Chip Baker: You were in the VA at that time. I mean, you were going to VA hospitals–

Greg Davidson: [inaudible] State University of California system. Which has hospitals in various campuses around the state.

Chip Baker: Some may have understood, but you know, it’s not something–

Greg Davidson: I went through different doctors and I know that my first doctor would have been like, good for you, you know, and then he moved on and the next doctor would have been I’m calling the police said oh you just get a vibe, you get a vibe from people. And then I had a doctor for a long long time that I think she heard listen to anything that I said anyway, but I don’t think that she would have been up or down about it. 

So then we’re gonna we’re gonna jump forward a long, long time and I got bladder cancer in 2018 was diagnosed with bladder cancer in like February of 2018. And, man, there’s nothing like the feeling of a doctor walking in and saying you’ve got cancer. But at the same time, he was really good doctor and I realized right then in his office that I was gonna beat it. Underneath this shirt, I’ve got a whole slew of tattoos and I think that they– one of them’s the chemical symbol for THC and one’s a chemical symbol for CBD and the doctor is always key on those right away and you know when you know what that is like– 

Chip Baker: This guy’s for real.

Greg Davidson: I think they know not to ask their questions anymore. But the guy said to me, amongst other things, he said if you use marijuana, he said use more. He says if you don’t use it now start, and if you do use it, use more. 

Chip Baker: I like this guy–

Greg Davidson: So that’s how the just fast forward thing. That’s how the attitude amongst the doctors in the UC system changed over the years. We have mutual friend in Colorado, who does real high grade CBD oil. I got tons of that from him. And talk to Jessica and you about how I developed the three legged stool for my recovery. And it was Western medicine which involves surgery and chemotherapy combined with some other various medicines. 

The second leg of the stool was Eastern medicine and a big shout out to Jessica Baker. She was my rock. Right there. She developed a program for me of herbs, proprietary herbs that came from a place in Berkeley. She started; there’s my wife Elaine that made the Reishi mushroom tea and the Chaga root tea that tasted just horrible. And I had a friend can I give a shout out to a friend back in Matthew no last names– 

Chip Baker: Matthew no last names

Greg Davidson: You know who you are? He’s a healer, he’s a chiropractor and a Chaga root hunter. It turned out– duty he goes out and he any harvest chaga roots and send me. So that was my– they know each other. So that was my second leg of the stool, and then the third leg of the stool was all about cannabis it’s all about cannabis, man. I smoked —

Chip Baker: Propping up on weed. 

Greg Davidson: I smoked, I ate, I use drops. I use poultice I think I used everything except those [inaudible] shouldn’t go–

Chip Baker: Oh, man, you know when you really got to get up in there right?

Greg Davidson: Any [inaudible] method that you could? And I really think that those three things Western medicine, Eastern medicine and then the power of medical marijuana.

Chip Baker: So now you can bring it up to anyone. You can talk about that you use medical marijuana to anyone now.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, right. In fact this past year when I knew that I was going to grow big. I went around to all the neighbors and I you know, fest up tonight. A year–

Chip Baker: For the past you were nervous about it. 

I went from door to door at around the neighbors and told them I’m gonna be growing. – Greg Davidson

Greg Davidson: I was I’d be very careful. Although we have really good neighbors and we’ve known them for a long time. You know you don’t want to offend anybody. You don’t know their feelings about it. And so I went from door to door at around the neighbors and told them I’m gonna be growing. And I said, and they were all fine with it. They were all great with it. And I said, by the way, did you know that I’d been growing outlaw style for years, none of them had a clue. So yeah, I was able to grow my own medicine this year, and the state makes it really easy. There’s real good nursery that has high quality clones. Chip knows who I’m talking about. I used a nutrient line that was a lot harder than it needed to be. But I think it was worth it and I grew and grew in one [inaudible]–

Chip Baker: Oregon zone nectar the gods that are what she is right?

Greg Davidson: Yeah. Nectar for the gods. Yeah, it was like an 11 [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Great product, too complicated for– 

Greg Davidson: Yeah, I had to contact you a couple of times and say, why am I giving my plants carbon?

Chip Baker: There’s only instruction just follow it.

Greg Davidson: Yeah.

Chip Baker: Now they got a good product, man. You know, it’s they do have 14 pieces to the puzzle though.

Greg Davidson: I turned out some really, really nice medical marijuana and I’m sad I mean if the you know if this is a zombie apocalypse, man I’m good, I got jars sealed up out there. Do you remember the legendary APK we call it All their Point Kush?

Chip Baker: I do remember it but but I was never that– I wasn’t that into that one, but it just never crossed my path the same way as it did you guys, I remember it?

Greg Davidson: I broke out a jar that has been sealed up for 15 years. 

Chip Baker: No way! Holy shit.

Greg Davidson: And I smoked it with our mutual friend

Chip Baker: In the freezer, had you forgotten about it or purposely it was back there?

Greg Davidson: I totally knew and I knew at some– I was gonna smoke with our friend and own the seed bank. Can I give him a shout out?

Chip Baker: Absolutely. 

Greg Davidson: Oh man. Oh cool! 

Chip Baker: Who’s our friend? That into seed bank?

Greg Davidson: My best friend–

Chip Baker: Oh Sha, 707 Seeds yeah totally got some of his 707 kush going on down here in the 405–

Greg Davidson: So he and I’ve been friends for a long time. He actually got me the cutting of that all good point kush. So I broke it open, roll the joint smok it with him, and then told him what it was, and showed him the jar. It was it had lost a little bit of he used to have a really nice spicy smell. Now just kind of had a flat smell, but as far as taste and getting you high, it had lost nothing, and it been in my freezer for 15 years.

Chip Baker: Well that’s awesome. We smoke some a Fletcher’s Malawi and oh five haze recently though, that we had, it was in the back of the frigerator for 18 months maybe more. And it lost his color a little bit. Didn’t have an initial smell but you broke it open and there was a smell and it smoked just fine.

Greg Davidson: Have you sealed it and then put it in– 

Chip Baker: Just in a jar, dried, right? tight. I am putting the one cooler.

Greg Davidson: Buy yourselves a vacuum sealer. Good. 

Chip Baker: So I’ve got a vacuum sealer, there’s just you know, like, we got too much weed. We just put this in here.

Greg Davidson: And we don’t have– That was a funny experience. So that’s what I did with this year’s model. I have a nice mix of SFV OGs, Chip knows I’m one of those fuel oil, kind of guys. And then with Jessica’s help, I was able to develop the terpene profile.

Chip Baker: Yeah, what’s your what’s your ter[inaudible]? 

Greg Davidson: Man, I got to have the limonene,a little of that. You know what works out strain wise for me and money because it’s one I’ve always loved is Sour Diesel. And then the– anything like that [inaudible] the real dank OG. My favorite OG is Tahoe OG, I couldn’t find that but it I grew some really nice SFV OG. And my garden star was a replacement plant. I had a Venom OG, that was not working. And I sent my boy Chip a picture of it. And he says pull it up. It was pretty late in the season, but I was able to get the same nursery. Some [inaudible] And man–

Chip Baker: The great. Yeah.

Greg Davidson: It was great. It was super easy to grow. Super easy to trim and just chunky rock hard buds that taste of you can taste the cookie influence but also, you can get that limonene but, man, I wish we could get a hold of some genius. Remember?

Chip Baker: Oh, you know what we actually just planted a seed run of the Apollo 11, I think looking for that genius fino and man I think we came close. I think we came close man. I think you’d be impressed. Yeah some my favorite weed genius. Oh my god. Just great.

Greg Davidson: Yeah.

Chip Baker: It’s great. So man, let me ask you a couple medical marijuana questions. 

Greg Davidson: All right, yo.

Average Medical Cannabis Consumer

Chip Baker: You are an average consumer, if you could say anything to the dispensaries what it was. If you have all the dispensaries in the country listening to you because you very well could. What do you want to tell them?

Greg Davidson: Wow!

Chip Baker: As an average medical cannabis consumer.

Greg Davidson: This is going to sound harsh. 

Chip Baker: It’s good criticism–

Greg Davidson: [inaudible] with the bait and switch. Yeah, it’s bad problem, too bad problem. No show.

Bait and switch work this way, and they put a bud into a clear lucite jar that has a magnifying glass built into the lid. And the bud is just dank. Yeah, frosty. Perfect, you can tell it’s got a perfect mixture to it. So you buy an eight of that, and you bring it home, and it’s not even the same weed. It’s sad but true and one a would-be, man we’ve got to cut down on the plastic.

Chip Baker: How is it works? Have to cut down the plastic.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, yeah.

Message for the Regulators, Commercial Growers, Extractors

Chip Baker: I was gonna ask you what you would say to the legislators if they were listening to this and the regulators because they are they’re out there, man.

Greg Davidson: Oh, that’s easy one, I don’t even have to think on that one, legalize it.

Chip Baker: Well, one of the things is less plastic. You just told me that.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, definitely require less plastic. I get what you’re trying to do. But people are responsible, patients are responsible enough and you know, I hesitate to use the word patient anymore. Let’s just say users, users are reliable enough that you can put it in a paper bag and staple it closed. You know, we don’t need everything that we’re buying in one plastic or glass jar. And then put it inside of I meant to have one of those ready, but you know what? single black ziplock–

Chip Baker: Exit container, a secure exit container.

Greg Davidson: Thank you. I knew they had a name. The exit container, what can you do with those afterward?

Chip Baker: Now, the waste is tremendous.

Greg Davidson: Yeah. And now our recycling, our recycling won’t accept that kind of stuff.

Chip Baker: All right. So dispensary owners legislation, what do you want to say to the commercial growers, the people that are growing this stuff?

Greg Davidson: Learn how to cure your cannabis properly. Man, I hate to keep banging in your drum, because your heads are not going to fit in the studio. But Chip taught me more good cannabis gets ruined and the curing process that any other point. It’s not easy to grow great weed, but it’s not super hard. You can trim it. You can dry it and you know the merits of wet trimming versus dry trimming. I mean I’m a dry trimmer, I always have been. 

But then there’s that last step that brings out to taste brings out the flavor profile. And that’s curing, so you growers out there, I know you’re trying to get your product to market as fast as you can you know you’ve gone through all the hoops I know what they all are and then you want to get your product to the dispensary. But take a little bit extra time and give it a nice cure. Chip told me in Colorado, and I didn’t know this Colorado is a super dry state super hard to dry and get a proper cure. So here in California where we’ve got the proper climate court do it. Next question, please?

Chip Baker: Next question. All right, well, extractors there’s the next thing. As a medical cannabis consumer, what do you have to say to the extractors? Because this is perfect information for all of these guys, what is my average consumer?

Greg Davidson: I see a drop off in the wax and resin and that kind of product and a better job being done with these things. And I know it’s hard. Not everybody can do it, but if you can do it, think about becoming a live resin extractor. Adjust the flavor, you don’t have to add terpenes back end because they’re there. So ask me long question Chip so I can hit this, waving it around like–

Chip Baker: Man now I think those are I got what I want and really you know, the grower the extractor, the distributor, the legislator, I mean we you know talk about, how you can talk about it now. You snuck talk about it you talk to your neighbors about it you know make how regulations actually really made you feel better about it. And there’s– we’ve both talked about this though there’s it, man it’s harder to get great, great product.

Greg Davidson: Yeah it really is — It’s easy to get good extracts.

Chip Baker: Yes, it’s so easy for somebody to make an SOP of an extract. It’s really easy to be like, Oh, if you treat this weed this way and you put in a recipe with growing ganjas not exactly the same every time.

Greg Davidson: It’s so hard to do it right. To do it right is– one thing you told me a Chip seems to have enjoyed smoking my cannabis over the years. 

Chip Baker: I’ve smoked as much of Greg’s weed as I can. 

Greg Davidson: Quite a bit I gotta say, which is quite a bit. One thing you always said and I appreciated you saying this was because of my situation, I’m able to be with my plants every day and give them love and that makes up for a lot of things.

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, absolutely you don’t need a bunch of care to grow weed. I mean of course no I love it don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t take much. As long as you got a pot, and some soil and a little bit of fertilizer, and some seed or a clone like water, right?

Greg Davidson: There are so many seed companies out there now. Like Fletcher’s just turn it out some crazy good stuff.

Chip Baker: I mean, he’s hands down one of the top breeders in the world. I’m proud to know him call him, bro.

Greg Davidson: Me too. I knew him.

Chip Baker: I knew him when he was like 15 [inaudible] to be it as the parties we were at.

Greg Davidson: Right, you’d look over there and you’d be like, Who’s that kid? 

Chip Baker: I never can tell how old anybody–

Greg Davidson: Where did he get that crazy good weed sitting in front of. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, man. He’s got he’s got a fucking $60,000 car too, so he must be 21. Right? He wouldn’t even old enough to drive. Somebody else drove him–

Greg Davidson: We know a lot of characters back in our day, Eddie, remember Eddie. 

Chip Baker: Yeah. He just came up yesterday in conversation Eddie Lap. I’d love to get Eddie Lap on the show, man. Oh, my God. He’s got some of the best stories ever.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, I said, we had a friend that this is going back to our CWGA days. That had a party for all of us at the end of the year. And that’s where I met Jessica, for the first time I was walking, for you were there, and there was this girl just tearing up foosball table and you said, that’s Jessica. And since the four of us my wife Elaine, Chip and Jessica and I have been become really good friends, we’ve got some great stories. Chip eating pecan pie with chopsticks. Still makes us laugh. We’d been up there for the weekend, and all the silverware was gone. But there was still and Chip showed us his chopsticks.

Chip Baker: I got mad chopsticks– you know, that’s an off the grid living on the road item like their chopsticks. That’s how I’ve got such a good usage of them [inaudible] off the grid, use chopsticks–

Greg Davidson: And the rest of us did not go without entertainment.

Chip Baker: Good time. Good times. Oh, so, man, what kind of weed you’re looking to plant this next year?

Greg Davidson: You know I’m interested in doing some Affies. I listened to your show about affies and I did put in a lot of time last year and I don’t want to put in as much time this year. So you’ve kind of sold me your show kind of sold me on doing some feminized Affies. In fact, we meet we need to talk about seed source.

Chip Baker: Man, I tell you, you need to contact Caleb over CSI, man. He’s got all the genetic that perfect for short, slow growers. A lot of that purple and that stuff you know, this basis of a lot of his crosses in the past and then he’s got some straight Afghanistan and yeah, I think he’s a great person to talk to you. Great.

Greg Davidson: Cool. Well at some point is going to pass and we want to be able to go on some day trips, maybe some overnight trips, this coming year, when–

Chip Baker: What will less solve your problem? What was your, you had to water them? 

Greg Davidson: Well, I can just like count backward from a certain date and know when to plant them, instead of going getting some clones and worrying from I’ve got a lot of the infrastructure and now I’m looking at my pots that are out there.

Chip Baker: What keeps you being home so much? Is it because they need to be watered?

Greg Davidson: Yeah, they need to be watered and then mix it up nutrients so there’s no way I’m going to use the same new track and 

Chip Baker: I can solve all those problems for you. Yeah.

Greg Davidson: Okay, yeah.

Chip Baker: Your problems are simply solved. One is use some sort of pre-mixed organic nutrient or make your own that you add to the soil that you’re using. There’s coming recipes we could talk about, and then put in a simple drip system that just comes off your water hose and it’s just water. You occasionally want to feed it with something, then make up some jugs and nutrients and feed your plants.

Greg Davidson: That was my– this year because we’re prone to some really, where I live is at the upper end of the San Joaquin beginning–

Chip Baker: Do you know exactly how much your plants are drinking with water I bet

Greg Davidson: Oh, and there was a point where the ones in the half wind girls where they were getting 10 gallons of water a day. We had a freakish– 

Chip Baker: Simple drip system. We can make all that happen.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, we had a freakish heatwave that we see temperatures in the hundred and teams. Day after day. And it was– 

Chip Baker: We had that here last year too. Yeah.

Greg Davidson: Yeah, I know you have 90–

Chip Baker: It was 91 degrees here yesterday.

Wheather Problems

Greg Davidson: I know you weather problems. You got a late start and I saw your post today about bugs. 

Chip Baker: Have to be honest [inaudible] 

Greg Davidson: Here, cabbage loopers. I guess I need to put some cabbage in, because they have a problem with cabbage looper bugs.

Chip Baker: Yeah, a companion planting can help you guys for sure. And you know, there are some simple pheromone boxes to draw the bugs there, the cabbage loopers they’re actually, I believe they live in the soil. They come out the soil, right. So you could like [inaudible] somehow–

Greg Davidson: I think the bug that you– the worm that you posted today, that might have been a cabbage looper. They come on a small white mark like maybe the size of a nickel you’ll see these white mods flying around your grow. And then a few days later, the classic sign a few brown leaves on the outside and you don’t pull on them. And the whole top of the bud comes off.

Chip Baker: Yeah, right. They’re ugly, there’s a few different versions we have down here. We’ve got the tomato hookworm, we’ve got the quote-unquote, garden worm. But they’re they’re fairly large. Yeah, you can burn the ground, and it burns off any of those. Any of them that are in the ground over the winter.

Greg Davidson: Yeah.

Chip Baker: Right. And then pheromone boxes attract the moths. So then they catch the moths in the pheromone boxes instead of on your buds. Then you gotta pick that shit out and look for it daily.

Greg Davidson: But it’s something that you know, I wish more people, I don’t want to put the dispensaries out of business that’s not m– But I’d like to see more people growing their own. I’d like to see more people at the grow stores– Every grow store owner that I’ve ever known is willing to just talk with you for as long as it takes you know–

Chip Baker: We’re good at that

Greg Davidson: Yeah, they are, all you guys. I mean Chip our friendship goes so deep that I can call him with a quote-unquote emergency in the crop and he’ll get back to me within six hours and has solved everyone.

Chip Baker: You’re my six hour list. 

Greg Davidson: Six hour call back. But yeah, it is something that I would like to see the legislators who are listening to your show and may come in the future I’d like to see them work towards a uniform thing. Because even here in California it’s not very uniformed. You know, it changes from town to town. 

Chip Baker: [inaudible] Oklahoma State law. Right state laws so the individual countless cities can’t manipulate it quite as much as other places like California. Well, Greg, I have appreciated this little conversation we had, man. To me it felt like almost any other phone call we’ve had.

Greg Davidson: It’s gone a little longer than our usual phone call. 

Chip Baker: Maybe a little bit. We talk about 40 minutes, I think. But yeah, thanks for having me having me on your show.

Greg Davidson: Thanks for having me on your show.

Chip Baker: Thanks for having me on your show. This has been another fine, no wasted hour of your time by listening to The Real Dirt. My name is Chip Baker and this has been The Real Dirt.

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Cannabis Marketing Tips from a Public Relations Expert

Cannabis Marketing Tips from a Public Relations Expert

cannabis marketing with Lisa BuyerLisa Buyer is an entrepreneur, author, wife, mom, digital junkie, and certified yoga instructor. She is the founder/CEO of The Buyer Group, a social PR agency, and the author of Social PR Secrets in its 4th edition with a foreword by Guy Kawasaki. 

Digital Detox Secrets is now turned podcast of Lisa’s most famous book. The pocket guide is a series of tips, interviews and insights that have been curated by top industry experts.

In this segment, Lisa shares her expertise in public relations, how to help create space, and balance in business digital life. Plus, she also provides a fresh and honest approach to face the challenges by other entrepreneurs when it comes to marketing their brands. Listen to this new episode and learn how Lisa helps brands crack the code with digital PR!

My favorite word is optimization, and we make sure that all the content that we write from a PR and journalistic standpoint is optimized with keywords that journalists and also your audience will be searching for. – Lisa Buyer

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

1:28 – The Buyer Group
4:16 – Associated Press
15:06 – Participating in bigger PR
17:39 – Native content
26:46 – Common misconception about PR
33:27 – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Lisa Buyer

Connect with  Chip Baker



Chip Baker: Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt. Once again, we are going to have an excellent conversation on my favorite subject, ganja. That’s right. And today, I kind of have an unconventional guest, my good friend Lisa Buyer, and I know I say many of these people are my good friends, but Lisa is a good friend of mine. And Lisa is not involved directly in the cannabis industry. She’s kind of like me; she services cannabis people. Lisa runs the buyer group, which is a PR group. She is also the author of Social PR Secrets and Digital Detox Secrets. Welcome, Lisa.

Lisa Buyer: Hi, Chip. Thank you so much for having me.

Chip Baker: Yeah, man. I was so glad when you reached out and booked the time to be on the podcast. We always have such great conversations. And, you know, like, what does Lisa want to talk to me about on The Real Dirt? right, and today we’re going to talk about marketing and PR in the cannabis industry. And more specifically about an article that me and my wife Jessica just had written and put on the associated press. Maybe we can explain that and get get all into that. So, Lisa, tell me tell me a little bit about The Buyer Group. Tell me what you guys do.

The Buyer Group

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. So The Buyer Group is named after my last name is Lisa Buyer and so nobody can really believe that– especially when you go to make a major purchase like a car– 

Chip Baker: Baker, right, same boat– 

Lisa Buyer: So The Buyer Group is a social PR agency, and how are we different than most public relations agencies is we integrate social media and search marketing into the PR strategy. So I was an early adopter of taking traditional PR and just kind of turning it upside down and integrating digital, I thought everybody would be in the same kind of pace as I was when you know, Google first came out. And we could leverage things like optimization, and then Facebook came out. And from a business standpoint, you can get exposure through your social network. But I was wrong. 

And still today, 10 years later, a lot of PR agencies most are, you know, still focusing on traditional, there’s nothing wrong with traditional and a great example of traditional PR is what happened with you and how you got the coverage in Associated Press. And that the way it used to be was you pitch the journalists, you get the story and you get exposure to your audience. So what you got is like a home run in the PR world, but what we do is we then take into the PR world, social and search. That’s what our agency does, and that’s how we’re different.

Chip Baker: So, back, you know, one of the things I’m really interested in is the organic or organic traffic and organic movement and stuff like this. I mean, I have tried to because in the cannabis industry we can’t pay for advertising the same way you have some mini cannabis clients. I can’t necessarily go to facebook or instagram and pay to have my advertisements put in for the real dirt for Cultivate Colorado for Cultivate OKC, for Growers Soil, even those are all ancillary businesses of mine that don’t involve cannabis at all. Right? It’s hard for us, right? 

Okay, let’s back it up a little bit. And I’m going to ask my question. So for those of we’ve alluded to this a little bit, you can look this up on our website, you’ll see that there was an AP article written about kind of people moving to Oklahoma or this kind of the state of the the cannabis economy around the country? How would– Tell us how the AP works? You know this better than these? What is the AP? What is the Associated Press? 

Associated Press

Lisa Buyer: Yeah, so the Associated Press is basically a network of other media outlets. So there are basically the top tier when the Associated Press write something, it gets syndicated, nationally, whoever picks it up that’s for the Associated Press, so it might appear in the Orlando Sentinel where I live or Miami Herald or Associated Press’ associated publications. So to get something in the AP or into let’s just say there’s other syndicated types of outlets that you could get into but the AP is like a home run. So, to get that– 

Chip Baker: In the movies, they call it like on the wire right?

Lisa Buyer: Yeah, and what’s interesting about this how you were sourced in that article is that you can see, and this is the big mistake when it comes to public relations is that the story wasn’t necessarily a feature on your company. They featured you in their story, their angle was about your areas becoming a hotbed and why and right. 

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. And so that’s the thing with public relations is that you want to be sourced in an article and but to have the idea that somebody has got it and it happens to have like, just a complete profile is like an add on your company is kind of a misconception and it’s not the right expectation to have with editorial like coverage like what you and your wife back for your business. That’s it’s awesome and takes a long time to get something like in the–

Chip Baker: We tried this over and over again, you’re professional, you get to do this, but like, oh, for a couple of years, we sent out letters to everybody like, Hey, we can talk about this subject, this subject, this subject, if you need an expert on anything cannabis, if you have a question and literally nobody, right would call us back. And then just never know where this guy shows up. Right. And, you know, he’s fascinated by all of the information because, I mean, you know, we’ve had numerous conversations about it. I have a high level understanding of cannabis. And you can ask me, pretty much any question. I will give you a background detailed story that you’d never even knew existed because I am fascinated with every aspect of cannabis and involved with every aspect to write. I have my finger on the pulse. 

So I was always just surprised that nobody wanted to talk to me. As I read all of these articles that were reproduced all over the country, all over the world, I’m like, this is just crap. I can’t believe that they’re saying this or they’re interviewing this person, you know, and it was almost just like they stumbled upon us. Right? A little bit. And, you know, like, oh, as soon as the guy, Sean Murphy came and started talking to us he doesn’t know anything about weed, he maybe has consumed it or something in the past, I can’t speak for him. But he was truly fascinated by the conversation. And we had like, two, three hours for the interview. 

And unfortunately, the story that came out was totally different from the kind of interviews we had. Yeah, right. It was, I don’t know. They just broke they found the best thing they thought could sound great quote from me, about my landlord going on vacation, which means I thought I probably had other bit great quotes, but they like that one for some reason. Right? So you do this professionally? How do you get that media person to like say the things you want them to say about you, just like you were saying, it’s not a feature on yourself, but it’s you just featured in their story.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. Well, I mean, one way is the clients we work with, we recommend doing at least one newsworthy press release a month. And that’s just something that you can distribute as a pain distribution on the wire. So that gets put out in Google News. And then then journalists subscribe to certain categories. So you know, there’s a category for CBD and cannabis. So anything that any news that comes out, they subscribe to it, they kind of scan it and at least you’re staying in front of them as an expert source. They might not think that your news is news for them, for their audience. But what we try to do it as a journalistic style. 

So we make sure that what we’re reporting on, and what we’re announcing, on behalf of our clients is newsworthy, and has a trending angle that might be trending for, you know, maybe it’s Black Friday depending on the, or if it’s CBD day, or something like that, or cannabis month tying in something newsworthy. But staying in front of a very curated list of journalists that are reporting on, basically, stories that would be relevant to your audience to your brand’s audience. So it doesn’t have to be a big list, it could be 10 or 15 of your top, top journalists that you know, are covering your angles, and then the pay distribution takes care of the masses. So it gets you on Google News. And we, my favorite word is optimization, so we make sure that all the content that we write from a PR standpoint, journalistic standpoint is optimized with keywords that journalists and also your audience will be searching for. 

So I’m sure that AP article is in Google, Index and Google, it’s very high authority source. So it’s going to outrank anything. And you know, when it comes to organic traffic, so you’re talking about organic, which is PR would be considered organic. And then there’s the paid side advertising side. So that would be Google Ads. That would be you know, Facebook ads, that would be, you know, traditional ads. It used to be PR and advertising where like church and state like that you didn’t really cross over. 

Today is it’s more blended. So we do pay campaigns for the clients that we can, but it used to be like, we’re just 100% organic, and we’re trying to get our clients in the news. Third-Party credibility is the best type of credibility; it’s considered like eight times more valuable than paid; anything paid that you could do. So even if you could do paid, you still want to do PR because it helps in your SEO, it helps in your credibility, it helps on public perception. So you want to get to those audiences through those third party outlets, whether it be the journalist or it might be through something that would be in a TV or podcasts or anything like that.

Chip Baker: So the title of the article on in Jessica was called something like, People Move to the Bible Belt to Avoid High Cannabis Taxes, or something like that, right. And I don’t think we said any of those things in any of the handbook, and you know, but that was the hot topic, bible, belt, cannabis and taxes. Right. And, and that’s why it really went everywhere. I think. I mean, you went everywhere. New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, like it went everywhere.

Lisa Buyer: It might be It picked up again like, they resyndicate things, and it does really well. So there’s a chance you’re gonna still see the pickups coming,

Chip Baker: But we’ve already seen like, you know, the added benefit of it, we’ve gotten multiple phone calls, we’ve done some pretty good business immediately afterwards. Like it was really great for us, you know, the, the credibility that you’re just quoted in something like that. I know, it’s odd, because I don’t see it as–guy like Sean Murphy, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see it as the best article and I’m sure it was edited out of his hands. You know, it doesn’t really scratch the surface about what’s going on the cannabis industry in economy. But because of all that, I’ve had two other different like, pretty, you know, big podcasts people call me up with hundreds of thousands of listeners wanting to talk to me about exactly.

Lisa Buyer: Exactly. So that is the perfect example of momentum that takes place when you get one, and it doesn’t even mean you got a home run, okay, you got a home run with this AP. But let’s just [inaudible] in getting home run, let’s just say it’s first base and you were podcast that was very niche and go for it. Let’s just eat that– 

Chip Baker: Like The Real Dirt podcast.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. And let’s just say you or you got picked up in, you know, maybe it’s just a local paper, that is typically the path. Typically you don’t come out of the gates getting a home run, but if you do, right. But typically the path is you start local, you start on small niche types of publications or outlets. Then somebody from New York Times or USA Today that’s covering that beat hears that and it’s like, Hey, this is one of my expert sources I’m going to use for this story or this is an angle I came up with, with a Google search. They see your press release, and you know, talking about you just expanded to, you know, this area and this, here’s why, you know, you can be your brand journalist, which is fine actually, right now, by having this podcast, you’re your brand journalist. But you know, so this is an example, podcasting is a great example of you can have your show, and create and control the message, or you can also pitch to be a guest on somebody else’s podcast. And that is, either one of those is considered, you know, what I consider as public relations and third party credibility and you’re controlling your message when you have your show.

Chip Baker: Now, most people consider public PR is it’s they don’t realize how much is behind the scenes of it. Right, and some people even think that it’s unfair, the way that the situation’s manipulated but you know, it’s just the system that we that we are all working in. Right you have some like, hacks for the cannabis industry on how they can participate in this bigger PR industry that we seem to be restricted from?

Restrictions for Cannabis Industry to Participate in Bigger PR

Lisa Buyer: Yeah, well, I mean, whatever size company you are, you could be just starting out, you could be doing this just for your personal brand. Public Relations is accessible to any budget, any brand. And you don’t have a budget for it, you can do it in house, if you have the budget for it, you can outsource. But what I would tell anybody is, you know, focus first on your PR, create your list, you could create a list right now of your top five, doing a Google search of like, who’s covering your brand, who’s covering your industry and where and just start out really small and very focused. 

Public Relations is accessible to any budget, any brand. – Lisa Buyer

The beauty with public relations and doing your own even if you start writing a blog and write an article once a week or twice a month and that article, then you send it out to the different journalists. You could do that on your own. And then we’ll eventually, you know, start following them on social media. Create a Twitter list for the journalists that you’re following. These are some of the things we do for our clients. But you can also do it on your own. So when you can’t advertise, it stinks because you can’t put that layer on top of public relations, like a lot of other brands and industries can do. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t do anything like doing some sort of PR. In some sort of what we’re talking about right now when it comes to PR is media outreach and try. The goal that we’re talking about right now media outreach, with the goal being to get picked up by a publication, I can’t remember, did the AP article have a link back to any of your sites your domains?

When you can’t advertise, it stinks because you can’t put that layer on top of public relations. – Lisa Buyer

Chip Baker: No, it didn’t. It did mention you know, The Real Dirt podcast and we got significant amount of traffic over that and did not however mentioned Cultivate Colorado or Cultivate Oklahoma City. Yeah, didn’t really mentioned my– and I tried to I tried every time I spoke, I was like cultivatecolorado.com.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. Well, I mean, if you could go back with the AP might have a little bit of pushback. But whenever we get articles for our clients we always ask for a link back because that’s gonna help get you like super high quality referring traffic back to your site and also helps in SEO. So coverage that you get will help you and if you get a link in SEO if you don’t, I mean, you see the result of the AP [inaudible] link, right.

Native Content

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. It was great. You know, we have, so let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects native content, which is content that you create yourself that is supposed to mimic or look like news stories. And this is mostly what I’ve done, but none of it really has been as successful, right? Or, I mean, people read some of them, but how do you crossover from that, you know, to make that native content appeal and look like it’s real?

Lisa Buyer : Well, I mean, one is I have, you know, I could take a look at it, but I’m coming at it with a journalist type of approach. So, you know, here’s what I tell everybody on my staff is that we’re, we’re not marketing. We’re not talking like a marketer. We’re not trying to sell something. 

Chip Baker: Right.

Lisa Buyer: If it doesn’t sound like a title, like a headline, you would see in the Wall Street Journal or USA Today; then it doesn’t have like a hook leading angle, if it’s a truly newsworthy then it gets the attention of our audience.

If it doesn’t sound like a title, like a headline, you would see in the Wall Street Journal or USA Today; then, it doesn’t have like a hook leading angle. – Lisa Buyer

Chip Baker: That’s great advice because so many so many times it turns into a sales letter of some sort, right that really is great advice is to make it news worthy, even if it is native style content.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. Another tip is to include relevant data, those statistics, reports, surveys, even if it’s your own data, that’s another everybody is looking for some sort of like a number or figure turning in an infographic making it super visual, adding an image or adding a video to what you’re doing. You know, people are would rather watch a video, they’re getting lazy, they don’t want to [inaudible]. So creating a YouTube channel and making content that is going to be how to type of content or there’s so many different ways you can slice it or dice it. 

Speaking of organic and the reason why we call The Buyer Group, a social PR agency and not just a PR agency, is because we take Social Media and leverage it into the strategy. And so it used to be kind of like dialing for dollars, like we would have all the journalists that were pitching, we would have their number, and we would call them and Hey, did you get my press release? Whether it was mailed or emailed like back in the day, and just think about it, like, who has a landline? How do you look up somebody’s mobile number? Journalists are operating off their mobile smartphones. There, they don’t have a listed number. So, you know, an email. I mean, even the AP writer, I would be interested to see like what email he used because even they use [inaudible]

Chip Baker: I believe Twitter is how we really got like Kevin contact with the guy. 

Lisa Buyer: Exactly. Yeah. So the new media relations today is reaching out through Twitter, reaching out through DMS on LinkedIn and cultivating relationships through social media because that is the new type of the new media relations. So we’re very hyper focused on your Twitter,your social media network, whatever network that your audience is on. 

So making sure that it’s optimized making sure that you have a Twitter list following, let’s just say certain reporters or making sure that you’re following and interacting with like, forgiving. So, you know, this guy, Sean, before he actually came out with a story and you were talking to him, if you were following him on Twitter, and like sharing some of his stories that he was coming out with, he’s gonna be like, they’re trying to get, you know, make a name for themselves, too. From a personal branding standpoint, all these reporters the more exposure they get, then somebody else wants to hire them, right?

Chip Baker: Yeah, though, some of the best advice I’ve had about contacting reporters is to make sure that you’re tell them that you’re trying to help them that it’s a service you’re providing to them for free that you don’t want any glory. And eventually like you’re helping hand it’ll lead to a positive benefit for you. Haven’t quite worked for me, but maybe it was Sean. I mean, me and Sean had great conversations, you know, and I am truly disappointed at the awful news coverage and media and facts about cannabis. I hope he does call me in in the future. You know, ask for some clarifications on some this and that.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah, I mean, I would cultivate that keep going with that relationship for sure. And that, [inaudible] maybe he knows somebody that’s writing a story for another time move on angle that [inaudible] you as a source. So I would definitely send them an email or however you guys are communicating. Hey, great story. Thank you so much for thinking of me if you know any of your colleagues that are writing and need an expert in cannabis, please, if you could refer me I would be greatly appreciated. Is there anything I can do for you? 

Chip Baker: Absolutely. And big thing I believe in business and in life is making friends.

Lisa Buyer: Yes. 

Chip Baker: If you can be friends with people that you do business with, then man, you’re in the best of circumstances. It’s also I think the number one way to gain customer loyalty and develop like real customer relationships is man, be friendly, be friends with everybody, and then they want to talk to you.

Lisa Buyer: It’s true. I mean, the new funnel, the new marketing funnel, is when somebody becomes a customer, does that mean that Oh, you’re on to the next prospect, like you really need to nurture your customers.

Chip Baker: Lifetime value for sure.

Lisa Buyer: Exactly. And public relations doesn’t necessarily have to mean getting exposure and third party credibility for your prospects. It’s also for your customers to be Hey, I know this brand or I know these people that are being quoted it makes them feel like wow, I made the right choice. It just helps solidify the relationship with your customers. When they see that you’re getting exposure, getting quoted as an expert source, or your product is getting listed as top 10 blah, blah, blah. Like a thing. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, as silly as it sounds. When I started all this, Michael Lovitch and Hollis Carter, they suggested I do The Real Dirt. And one of the first things Hollis said was, are you comfortable being the guy? And I’m like, Well, what do you mean the guy? It was like, man, there’s gonna be could be a lot of attention. I think you’re going to kill this. Are you really comfortable with it? And absolutely, right. Like, I want to tell, the cannabis story. 

I want to talk to my customers. I want them to come up to me and say, hey, but many people they don’t want that. And they’re embarrassed about sales or it’s hard for them. You know, to put their neck out a little bit and see if their fail is or they’re scared of failure, and we’ve got 70-80 episodes of The Real Dirt and wow, I guarantee you, they’re not all great. 

But it doesn’t matter. You do have to like, stick your neck out a bit if you want to be seen. You got to ask people; you got to say, Hey, this is me, this is what I’m doing, hey, we’re here, in whatever manner. And many people, that’s their number. One problem that they have in their business is they’ve got a great idea. They’ve got a great business, they’ve got a great product, they’ve got great sales– but don’t want to tell people they’re doing it.

You do have to like, stick your neck out a bit if you want to be seen. – Chip Baker

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. And that’s why sometimes you need help you need, an agency or you need somebody to be like, this is actually news, what you’re doing. Did you know that what you’re doing right now? As newsworthy and you know, some of our clients really, that’s newsworthy, people are going to be interested in that I’m like, yeah, that’s actually like a very good angle. And that’s something that we should write about. And then so you need to get out of your own way sometimes and let other people see things differently come in and help you come up with the newsworthy angles and help you come up with the quotes and come up with something that might be right in front of you, but you just don’t see it.

Chip Baker: You know, your business is probably similar to mine. When people come in to you for the first time, they probably have some common misconceptions about what to do did cannabis people or customers in general have a are there’s some common misconceptions about PR that you could talk about?

Common Misconceptions About PR

Lisa Buyer: Sure. Well, I mean, not just cannabis. I’ll just start just common most common misconception about public relations is that it is not a short play, it is a long play, it is a long term commitment. It’s something that you never stop doing. So yeah, maybe you can’t afford to have an agency doing it for you at first, but you move into that, or maybe working with an agency, you need to pivot for whatever. And but you don’t stop, you go to plan B, a PR, and you’re always doing it. So the biggest problem, you know, misconception is somebody like, Oh, we really want to do PR, we want to try it out for three months, and we want to see what happens after three months. So that’s mistake number one, don’t even there’s no reason to just try it out. Just don’t even do it. Because after three months, and then you just stop because you’re not really sure what’s happening. It takes a while–

Chip Baker: Nothing may happen in three months.

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. And so it just has to be a long term commitment has to be a long play. And it doesn’t have to be, breaking the bank type of thing. There’s a book that I recommend called Free PR that was co written by a Cameron Herold that you could pick up and that’s like a do it yourself type of thing. Anybody could do it, you don’t need a degree in public relations. I’m not trying to minimize what you need to — 

Chip Baker: The access is there now, anybody really can do it. If they like get on Twitter, get on Facebook, get on Instagram, get on LinkedIn, you can do it. 

Lisa Buyer: You can do it. And you know, just like you’re doing your podcast, you’re consistent. You have your episodes that come out on the days that they come out, every week or every month. PR is the same way. So that’s why I said earlier, we recommend to our clients, it’s part of our program, one press release a month is going out consistently to Google News and journalists. Unlike advertising, this is another misconception. 

Unlike advertising, where you’re controlling that the visual, you’re controlling the message, you’re controlling the call to action, you’re going to see immediate gratification for most advertisers from Google ads and Facebook ads, you will see traffic you’ll see some sort of a conversion happening. With public relations, it’s not that type of KPI. You can’t, it’s not a fair KPI to say okay, for every dollar I spend in PR, I need to see an ROI that same month and products off the shelf. Like it’s just you have that mentality. Let’s just not even talk. Okay?

Chip Baker: Yeah. Now, because it is not something that you will see return on investment immediately, you’ll have like spikes of it, you know.

Lisa Buyer: It’s there. It’s not black and white like it is with advertising. So if you spend three months on PR and you stopped so what happened behind the scenes is you’re in front of a bunch of journalists that you wouldn’t have been in front. They might happen in six months. If you stop because of what you didn’t get in the first three months then you’re gonna be like, Oh, I wish I would have kept going because this all could be this momentum. You know, could all be going but no, maybe you’ll get something once, who knows there’s there’s no way to really predict.

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely you just got to keep at it, man and also count those little victories because we’ve had quite a few little victories over time but nothing big like this no home run. But you know the cumulative impact of it all really does help when people ask me about something I’m like, oh go to my Instagram and they look at it and like, Oh, you got 17,000 followers. Oh, you’ve made 3000 posts, it adds this legitimacy to it and the same way with Facebook posts and you know, because social media is our free PR. That’s our free PR.

Lisa Buyer: It’s definitely Free PR you can do it your house, you could buy a book to show you how to do it. Like I said earlier, my favorite word is optimization. Use strategic hashtags to get more exposure to get that Instagram post is to get more in front of like your audience. There’s also hashtags that you can use or tags that you can use to get a journalist attention. So by tagging it like hashtag news or hashtag cannabis news or get into that stream. And so journalists are following hashtags there. They are following keywords through Google alerts and a variety of different sources that they use to follow like what’s happening in industry, but they also follow hashtags. So just keep that in mind. I know we’re kind of running out of time, but I just want to cover two other ways. 

Chip Baker: Yeah,Let’s do it. Keep it up. Keep it up! 

Lisa Buyer: Yeah. So influencer marketing is one. So using other people that are influential, so the media would be– We put the media under the category of influencers right there, one for influencers. So then, there might be two or three other types of influencers, that you can have in your– as part of your strategy to help get the word out and help maybe publish things on their Instagram and tag you and things like that. So that’s one and then the second is so podcasts like, obviously you can be a host or you can be a guest. But you can also sponsor podcasts. So that’s one way to kind of get around the getting exposure. We’re not on it. You’re not hosting it, but you’re sponsoring an episode or sponsoring a certain part of the of the podcast.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we do sponsorship here at The Real Dirt. So if anyone’s ever interested in a sponsorship program, please ask us here at The Real Dirt you can contact Travis with therealdirt.com. Shameless. This has been such a great conversation today. So half of my listeners are in the cannabis business. Half of those people you work directly in the cannabis business. 

This has been a really great episode and it’s really made me think about how much you know cannabis people need this other resources. That they don’t have this other encouragement that they don’t have. It’s often hard to find real, legitimate and professional people like yourself that will shoot people straight forward and not just say, Oh, yeah, yeah, I’m gonna take your money, Oh, I’m gonna take your money. And you know, that’s a the industry is kind of plagued with that. But I really thank you for joining me today, if people want to reach you, how do they reach you?

Where to Find Them

Lisa Buyer: Well, you can go to thebuyergroup.com and that’s my website for the social PR agency. You can also go on Amazon, you can buy my book called Social PR Secrets and the whole book is basically about optimization and how to get free organic traffic and using PR and social media and SEO.

Chip Baker: Actually I can’t believe I haven’t read your book yet. I will order it today. 

Lisa Buyer: It’s extremely actionable. So you don’t have to read the whole book to get something out of it. You can be like, oh, all I need is to read the Facebook for PR chapter. The foreword was written by Guy Kawasaki, which I’m super proud of. So reach out to The Buyer Group or an Instagram Lisa Buyer.

Chip Baker: Awesome, Lisa. Well, thank you for joining us and listeners, thank you for joining us on another episode of The Real Dirt. Thanks again Lisa.

Lisa Buyer: Thank you!

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