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Growing Organic in California’s Cannabis Industry

Growing Organic in California’s Cannabis Industry

organic cannabis in california

From soil problems to government crackdowns, there’s no shortage of issues that growers in California have to deal with.

Jeff Bord is an entrepreneur, importer, grower, and consultant to start ups and cannabis companies trying to improve organic production and profits all over the world. As California’s legal cannabis woes continue to grow, Jeff has been helping growers in the state fix their problems and get in compliance with the state.

From regenerative farming practices and balancing soil chemistry to some simple techniques to check your work, Jeff has a ton of experience in cannabis cultivation that has helped growers all over the state improve their grow practices and stay within the state’s guidelines.

A lot of common start-up problems that are consistent with scaling can be easily overlooked by new business owners or growers trying to scale their operation. Jeff specializes in helping businesses stay on top of OSHA and a whole new world of laws and regulations with organic cultivation practices.

In this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast, Chip and Jeff talk about growing organic cannabis in Humboldt and how things have changed since California legalized, the serious conflict between growers and prohibitionists fighting legal cannabis businesses, common grow issues that California growers deal with when trying to grow organic and more.

For anybody interested in the strict world of organic cannabis cultivation, regulation and the diverse problems that business owners and growers can face in newly legalized industries, this is the episode for you!

The Highs and Lows of the Hemp and CBD Industry with Dan Ramsay

The Highs and Lows of the Hemp and CBD Industry with Dan Ramsay

colorado hemp and cbd supplier

Without the supply chain, there is no supply. That’s what Dan Ramsay specializes in setting up for hemp farmers across Colorado.

Dan Ramsay is a Hemp Supply Chain Specialist. He talks hemp all day every day (almost) and is a leader on the Western Slope of Colorado, helping hemp farmers accomplish their goals in various facets. Specializing in product fulfillment, education, and end product sales since 2015, Dan has had a pulse on the hemp industry in the heart of Colorado’s hemp country.

Currently, he’s the General Manager at the Natural Order Supply rooted in Grand Junction, Colorado. Natural Order Supply has been at the forefront of the hemp industry since 2015 and founded by a group of cannabis professionals and growers. Natural Order Supply advocates for and provides sustainable farming products that help farmers grow with confidence.

In this exciting episode, Dan shares his success story with their hemp business, how to cope with these hard times, and their advocacy to expand the awareness of cannabis and hemp benefits.

“As a company, as a person, my ethos has always been real education based in this industry.” – Dan Ramsay

Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

18:53 – Getting involved with hemp

26:01 – Pandemic and hemp overproduction situation

36:56 – Fluctuation rate of some CBD products

40:11 – Hemp market’s downfalls

55:29 – Cultivation throughout the country

1:06:07 – Price per point of CBD

1:11:54 – Natural Order Supply’s future in the hemp industry

1:16:13 – Connect with Dan

People Mentioned / Resources

 

Connect with  Natural Order Supply

Dan Ramsay

 

Connect with  Chip Baker

TRANSCRIPT

Chip Baker: Hey, welcome to another episode of The Real dirt with chip Baker today I have Dan Ramsay from Natural Order Supply. Hey, thanks for coming, Dan, how are you doing today?

Dan Ramsay: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me, Chip.

Chip Baker: Oh man, I tell you in these COVID episodes, I’m able to talk to so many more people because, man we’re all just hanging out at home on zoom calls anyway, huh?

Dan Ramsay: Yeah, you know, there’s a lot more those talks just, one to one but but not in face. Or a bunch of screens at once.

Chip Baker: Pretty much had to turn off all my video. Audio seems to work for here at The Real Dirt studios but the zoom videos haven’t gone so well. Apologize for any fans out there any listeners who also have felt the poor quality of production and we’re going to try to pick up that and hey, we’re kind of starting today here with Dan. And Dan is a leader in the hemp and cannabis supply industry. He operates a supply store in Grand Junction, Colorado, the Natural Order Supply. And even though Dan sells stuff for all things growing, he have been focusing on hemp for the past several years.

Dan Ramsay: That is correct. It’s definitely been our niche and kind of the specialty where we feel like we’ve been able to, to fall in with a little bit of luck of you know, time and location. With just being out here located in Grand Junction, Colorado, there’s been a lot of hemp since we we 2015 out here.

Chip Baker: Yeah, and Grand Junction is one that has one of the best climates for growing outdoor cannabis in Colorado.

Dan Ramsay: It’s really a nice location just right up from us here in Mesa County. We’ve got you know, Palisade which is Colorado’s wine country and, you know, Grand Junction, always at the top for the most registered farms in the state or in the country. Especially when you look at the county surrounding us out here between delta and Garfield County, there’s just there, it’s been a good place to find hemp farmers in a country that hasn’t had them for so long.

Getting Involved with Hemp

Chip Baker: Yeah, so So Dan, how’d you get involved with hemp?

Dan Ramsay: So yeah, we’ve launched a Natural Order Supply. I come from a company called 3C Consulting and then working with some candidates and business investors who called Green Lion Partners we launched Natural Order Supply which I took over you know operations of in 2015. And you know, the first employee I got in Natural Order Supply was the first registered hemp farm out here in the area. So we started talking hemp when there wasn’t, no one had closed a sale yet with just the idea of the excitement. And as the years went on, it seemed like, given that like Grand Junction being in Colorado, there’s a moratorium on high THC so we don’t have any medical or adult use cannabis stores in Grand Junction. 

So I think it might have been a hotspot given the good climate, the land available. And kind of the lack of other cannabis entrepreneurial opportunities that might have just kind of made it a little hotspot. So pretty quickly, my goal was focusing on wanting to sell to businesses into farms that there was a rumor in 2015 that some of those marijuana entities were coming kind of towards our side of the slope, but we kind of shut down at that time. And every year as it grew, I found this niche in this new community, and I love the agricultural part of it. And that combination of what we’ve learned from growing in closets and how it translates to growing outdoors.

Chip Baker: Yeah, you know, that sort of the state is really responsible for a lot of the hemp genetics that are around the country right now. I mean, I believe the Wife came from the area and–

Dan Ramsay: Like Cherry Blossom–

Chip Baker: Yeah, Cherry Blossom. All of that stuff came from over there, right?

Dan Ramsay: Yep, we see a lot of that. And it’s like advocacy has been around here for a long time. And it’s always interesting, though, to see some of those genetics and other parts of the state back in the country and moreover, but then it’s, you know, back in expo days, as we travel a little more, it seems like there’s so many varieties that, it’s amazing how each state can find their own little set of new names or different varieties so quickly in this industry, but it is fun to see that some of these original base genetics have really made it throughout the country and being grown in different, you know, geographic regions and seeing how they’re doing.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, absolutely, man. I see the Cherry and the Wife all over. I see it. You know, Maine I see it in Vermont. I see it in Oregon. I see it Tennessee Kentucky. They were really the first to hit the market is high CBD hemp products. And over the years people have been able to do add on and interbreed with them and develop stuff for their local geography. I’ve never really liked the way that the Colorado Cherry or the Wife grows. I like vigorous plants. Those are they’re a little delicate, but they’re grow really well for Colorado. They grow really well for Oklahoma and windy areas. They’re they’re smaller plants. And you know, when people look at an individual plant, they’re like, oh, man, what’s that plant, but like you look at a field of it. It’s a totally different story.

Dan Ramsay: Looking at those genetic And they get whether they get bigger kind of stayed kind of short and stocky on some of those, you know, we’re really just harvesting became becomes such a thing too like some of those yeah, and I love that huge plants I love it when they set the hammock between plants. But boy sometimes harvesting takes a little while and when you’re looking at 50 acres, 100 acres all of a sudden and trying to get something that can be standardized and mechanized, it’s always easier said than done with genetic choice at this stage of the game, which is how reliable we see those genetics in the field and how, especially since kind of seeds came to town it was 2016, 2017 to 2018 it was really the clone wars. 

And we made a lot of discussion and sales around bulk clones, and how to be in more of a nursery than just to grow in a lot of sense. Because when all of a sudden you’re starting 10,000, 100,000 million-plus plants, which we’ve worked with clients, and then all those numbers in, there’s just a lot more to consider as he started scaling up from, from everything about, like, operational approach to costs, but then you get them out into the field. And it’s those clones seem to be pretty consistent. So some of those first fields, I thought we saw more of that predictable growth out there, versus in the last year or so, where, you know, really, after the Farm Bill passed in 2018, last year was like, seeds were king. You know, there’s a handful of people doing at least where we are, just because I think the labor and operational costs the uniformity of timing and everything seeds make sense. But the stability of them is still a–

Chip Baker: Still in the process still in development? 

Dan Ramsay: Yeah, exactly. 

Chip Baker: Totally. Yeah, you know, another part I have many projects, many business projects, and other projects. I just to launch this year, but due to COVID and the hemp industry, we haven’t quite launched it yet, which is Certified Seed Bank. And it’s a seed bank that we’ve done the prep work ahead of time and certified that all of our vendors have a quality product. Because this was a story we heard from people over and over and over and over and over again like they got hermaphrodite seeds they often bought feminized seeds, but half of them were male, or a chunk of them was male, or the phenotypes were all over the place or they did perform, or they had high THC in them or no THC or no CBD or whatever the problem was. And we saw a need and marketplace. 

Pandemic and Hemp Overproduction Situation

But man that federal hemp the last year really kind of flooded the market. And then COVID hit here, and we just haven’t really launched that business yet. I’m going to put it off till next year, but uh yeah man how has [crosstalk] COVID and the overproduction in our marketplace, how’s that affected, you guys?

Dan Ramsay: You know, I wish I could be more like optimistic instead of realistic about what happened between–

Chip Baker: Oh, this is The Real Dirt. You got to give them real.

Dan Ramsay: Yeah. I tell you what, last fall we got flooded market. You know it started flooding into came came pretty hard. You know that all of a sudden these clients you know most of the clients in 2019, 2018, 2017 a lot of that product was sold before January. And, you know, we were planning and I was working with clients about their new plans for the next year almost pre January, you know, just a little bit in December and then we get hit the ground running up the new year. 

But last year, yeah, it got flooded. You know, and I think there’s multiple, you know, reasons that that might be we just grew so much, you know, so much was grown, like so many acres. And so when I went to the Texas hemp convention this spring I couldn’t walk to another booth and not just be like, you know, like the amount of flower that was for sale and the amount of biomass that like everybody was, whereas a lot of those industries trade shows and just a year or two back you’d walk in and finding people who had the raw product for sale in one form or another was a, I stepped into the industry. 

And now, it was just like, you know, you could walk ten booths in a row and have ten comparisons, and everybody’s kind of like racing to the bottom, we’re telling you why they’re the best. So, just not a whole lot of sales. And then once that, you know, I think a lot of people being that it’s a young industry, and it’s AG, we just kind of sat there and we’re like, hold off, it’ll recover, and that moment of like, just watch the market, which is probably a good idea for your company at the moment for 2020 is just watching and seeing and learning. 

So February seemed like it was pretty; it was hard to make sales. I didn’t know a whole lot of clients who were making sales and a lot of times we were already planning commercial farms at that point with people, and they wanted to plan, and so we saw a pretty big industry, shipped I think of farmers who stepped out this spring and did replant. And then on that same aspect, all of our propagators or, you know, who do seed production or new clone sales, they just got to that point where they were like, don’t worry sales are going to catch us because there’s some prevention pretty good money made in propagation in the last few years. And hemp for sure just selling clones and selling them back east and selling them in state and it’s pretty lucrative part of the industry too if you can get that niche. 

But then this year, just the amount of new farms, they were only a few new farms. Last year, Colorado went from having just under 1000 farms at the turn of the year to having 2700 registered farmers, so 17 new farmers that came if not more considering the few that had dropped out the year before. But this year, I think everybody who went COVID hit everybody who was on the fence to replant or to start a new farm. Kind of just got conservatives on hold my money. I’m just going to sit back and not do this. So I think a lot of my farmers that I’m working with right now had genetics going into this year there wasn’t as much of genetic sourcing as there would be in an average spring of people stepping into the industry.

Chip Baker: Well, so many people just lost their ass to last year. So on the fence man because I mean literally we saw the prices go from the high point of 2019 at $50 a pound for biomass, all the way down to like I had someone say they take $1 a pound and January of this year. You know, and I mean that they had a million pounds. 

Dan Ramsay: And those million pounders though, the issue was they went to the larger extractors and extractors were like, sure, we’ll take a million pounds. And then all these smaller farmers that have you ever to some of these larger ones all of a sudden, didn’t have that outlet were like, Hey, we please, we can go to them. They don’t always give us the best price. But we could you know, that [inaudible] has been there for the last couple years for at least the bigger extractors out here on on the western slope have been able to buy local for the years previous. I’ve been having these all of a sudden someone’s like I produced a million pounds, we produced a million pounds in 2018. 

Or if they did, you know, they were there on the fly. But the idea that that that just kind of been, you know, turns the market so when somebody’s saying hey, I’m not only going to sell this for $1 pound, I’m going to take over the sales that would often have reached 50 smaller farmers even you know I’m saying or something [crosstalk]

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, I mean, and it was the federal legalization of it the Farm Bill that brought like some really professional farmers. And at the same time, a lot of hemp farmers just hit their stride, kind of all at the same time. It was really a perfect storm.

Dan Ramsay: It was and you know, when you look at agriculture in Colorado, we are definitely like cannabinoid terpene farmers like, we just don’t have that, that infrastructure for grain or fiber, just like when you look at going to California or you know, heavy agricultural state where they’re like, oh, we’re just gonna do a couple minutes, 700 acres and like well, 700 acres, or 250 acres again, and unestablished market is that’s a lot to produce. Even if you have a lot of it not work out perfectly new and lessons you’re still gonna end up with a lot of product to move in a young industry. 

And it’s an interesting industry because hence unlike high THC, cannabis it’s like an open market you can sell it anywhere. You can sell it in gas stations, grocery stores you can find those outlets you can sell it anywhere. Whereas like marijuana that the fact that what you produce has to be sold in the state in the stores, it keeps a kind of a kind of sexy you know kind of elusive and suddenly you have to go there to get it and when you get it, hopefully, your budtender, tells you the right thing and helps push you in the right area so that you get what’s going to be the effect you’re looking for. 

As soon as all of a sudden CBD was in every gas station, I was making the joke like he saw CBD here now, I guess next to the Mountain Dew like all of a sudden, like even the retail outlets and advertently kind of sell down the value of it. Not meaning to, but just by the lack of education and presentation for a new market that’s trying to establish itself, I think as far as CBD goes.

Chip Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Well, hey, listen, Dan is a perfect place for us to take a break. When we come back. I want to talk about we talked about the farmers and the supply side. I want to talk about what’s going on within the consumable sides of CBD, and hemp. 

Hey, we’re going to take a quick break. This is Chip and Dan The Real Dirt. We’ll be right back. 

Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt. You know, I’m always starting new businesses. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’m a little addicted to it. And I want to tell you about a new project of God, Greener Consulting Group. We see so many consultants throughout the industry. And some of them know what they’re doing. And some of them don’t, but almost no matter what it is, they have one specialty. And they might not have the specialty you need a Greener Consultant Group. We’re conglomerate of many different consultants all over the country. We have specialties from extraction, to municipal advisement, to venture capital. We kind of have somebody who is an expert in the industry, they can talk to you about whatever your problem is. And mostly we can solve that problem in just a day or two. 

So hey, if you got some time, check us out greenerconsultinggroup.com. Look us up on LinkedIn and Facebook. And yeah, hey while you’re out there, you might sign up for The Real Dirt on iTunes. Please subscribe. That’s how we get bigger is when you subscribe. So hey, man, thanks. And we’re going to get right back into this interview with Dan Ramsey.

Fluctuation Rate of some CBD Products

Hey, Dan, all of this overproduction on the biomass side on the flower side of it. How is it from your perspective, have you seen it affect the end-use products the thatchers, the edibles, the tinctures, the soaps, the shampoos, is that market increased any?

Dan Ramsay: I think that market it’s likely that it doesn’t seem to fluctuate as much from the price fluctuation we’ve seen, you know, as this year is continued, we’ve seen quite a few of those tinctures and topicals and things, at least go down a little bit in price to the end consumer. But you know, there isn’t always [crosstalk] Not much, it’s a good place to be. And I think that’s where there’s like a little bit of longevity for the smaller the larger companies that are vertically integrated so that they can actually be getting revenue on the accounts they grow once it’s like turned into a product

Chip Baker: You mean for farmers to make an added value product. 

Dan Ramsay: I’m saying for farmers and just the whole company as a general right like because once you farm it and you like extract it in house and you have a branded product you can get on the shelf, then all of a sudden, there’s a little embodied margin there for both the farmer the extractor and the retailer. You know, it all kind of because it works together. So I do think it’s getting going to be separated a little bit more just because so much of the industry has been weeded out right now for a better word to say

But I also think that like people are starting to tone down a little bit of the silliness with the in consumer products. Maybe I’m wrong, but some of the silliness is just seemed like you know, we like I’ve got a package of it. CBD macaroni and cheese, and you’re like Who are these people? You know, like, I don’t know where that was, and it seemed like in 2017 if you could think it up and put it into it, CBD had a little bit of an image on your face now–

Chip Baker: I have friends with CBD toothpaste and CBD shampoo. [crosstalk] they’re good at it. You know, they previously made shampoo and toothpaste but like you know–

Dan Ramsay: And that helps because they already know this niche market. I think that knowing a real niche in CBD is the key to be like resell tinctures that help people who don’t feel good, is rough to be like, Hey, we work with athletes. We work with toothpaste and people who have now been like, Where does CBD fit in the dental industry. It’s a niche community and you find the right people there and you can thrive there. But I think a lot of the companies that came out trying to define their voice and being general have just had a hard time being in like a CBD shop just another tincture on the wall right.

Hemp Market’s Downfall

Chip Baker: You know use a square bottle. That’s one of the downfalls to the whole industry too is that in high THC cannabis and medical marijuana, medical cannabis, adult use cannabis, a lot of it’s vertically integrated. And if it’s not vertically integrated, it’s in this tight community because you have to have a license of difficulty, a difficult license in most states other than Oklahoma. And where hemp is harder to grow here than high THC cannabis. But it’s allowed a bunch of co-packers and white label people to come into the marketplace. And that in itself is just like homogenized the marketplace that the you know the same guy is making The tinctures is the same guys making all the edibles, the same guys making all the gummies. And how are you going to differentiate yourself when you’re making the same gummy as the guy across the street? Right? You got the same blockchain as a guy across the street.

And I think that’s been one of the like downfalls of the industry, even though it’s helped so many people start and progress. I think a lot of those people are gonna fall out right now because they were co-packers of other products, and they hopped on the CBD make a billion bandwagon. And I think we’re going to see a resurgence. I think we’re going to see more on farm products, more specifically made products, like you said, more engineered niche products. And that’s going to, that’s the industry maturing.

Dan Ramsay: Yeah, I think so. I think there was a minute where a couple of these companies saw that accelerated growth and pretty quickly we’re like, Hey, we can crank out they want so much once they build a brand and they’re an established company that the ability to white label just seemed like the next– 

Chip Baker: No brainer 

Dan Ramsay: All of a sudden we went from being like just a couple white labelers or its is till, it’s like you know MJBizCon last year it’s like every, you can white label anything and can have a business it’s like the 133 booths down right and and i think that like you said, that’s gonna you know, the markets going to mature quite a bit this this year over having some hardships and we’ll see people who are in the industry for real and when we look at some of those, like cottage industries, more like craft beer or something and farm raid, like I’ve got a company here I work with Colorado Biodynamic that has a coffee shop and palisade where they have a consumption lounge and they sell the CBD, they’ve got their couple products but you know, smokeable flower and their topicals and they do all these things that are related there. So it really has a niche in the feeling that it’s all interconnected real nicely. And you see that kind of craft feel and mentality that you get back in the day from craft beer, you know?

Chip Baker: Sure, sure. Something that we haven’t been able to get with craft cannabis or craft high THC cannabis. It’s interesting. How like, well one it’s always interesting to me how there’s so much division over hemp versus high THC. I see it as all one plant and I know it’s hard but wow man hemp has really led the way for high THC in so many ways and you know, the products that consumption lounges man the commercial agriculture, the use of plastic culture, the use of aerial spraying with drones like all that’s happened with hemp first instead of high THC.

Dan Ramsay: You know hemp is gonna really look at that economies of scale. And as things get bigger, it’s like how do you really turn this in and the fact that hemp has all these uses when that will eventually come to the from the plant. And THC, a lot of those are their niche, right, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re in these and they’re in these niche stores that still have a pretty nice. 

So I think when we see federal legalization, we’ll see a lot more of these practices being in, from hemp added to marijuana, but a lot of that has to do with regulations. Like, I think a lot of people in marijuana would like to do some types of cultivation that we see with hemp, but based on the square footage, they can have the plants, they can have, and state by state. It’s just enough that there’s no standard. And so once we see that, you know, kind of almost race to the bottom of cultivation of what people can do with the smokeable flower. You know, I project that we’ll see a lot of those same strategies just being implemented right into to the high THC platform as well.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we spoke about Oklahoma. You know, Oklahoma’s one of the only places in the country that you can scale and grow high THC cannabis in the same way that we’re seeing people grow hemp. One license, one easy set of regulations, and you can literally grow as much as you want. It’s been a testament to how much we’ve been restricted over research and development, because a man like in Colorado you can only plant so many plants, you can only have so many plants.

Dan Ramsay: And metric nose

Chip Baker: Yeah and metric nose. I mean we literally just planted 9500 seeds of 12 different high THC cannabis varieties the other day. And we’re of course are fino tracking and keeping track of all of this stuff but like there’s no regulations that say we can’t do it and a portion of the seeds I know they’re not gonna make it I’m just growing them to for R&D purposes and in other states that would be so difficult to do because tracking, keeping you know, destroying them. People think that you were trying to sell them on the private market. But here just the way that they’ve approached it, it’s just really good for high THC cannabis. We’re able to do all this R&D. And we got to culture stuff down here, I want to get this pivot stuff down here, tons and tons of hoop houses like field grown like acres, like you can do all of that here. And you can’t do it with hemp here.

Dan Ramsay: As soon as you step out and you start really getting those acres that we get that whole new like, controlled, uncontrolled environment. You know, things that have come out here from like pests we haven’t seen because hemp hasn’t been planted in a while to out in palisade last year there was you just if you did the little wine tour bike loop, if you were to like ride your bike around, you’d see 20 different fields of hemp and how much got seated out. 

Like a lot of people have lost even when we talk about more factors that kind of made 2019 painful for the hemp industry combat harvest was how many harvests I know that were seated out even before like the early frost. But yeah, stepping outside and all sudden getting into the hoop houses. But once you start planting like, you know, acres on pivots, there’s a whole little new set of approaches that need to come into each one of those stages where we’ve been able to give the plant time and energy that it will take all your time and energy if you don’t plant it, right.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You know, we’ve got about an acre under plastic culture. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, you may have seen it. We call it plastic culture, and it’s an implement that you run on a tractor, and it creates a bed out of the natural soil. And then it lay down some fertilizer your irrigation line and then wrap it in this really thin layer of plastic that acts as a mulch. And it’s incredibly effective for planting vegetables and weed abatement. It’s how like tons of organic foods and vegetables are grown. It really helps with water conservation. 

But I was just in this field this morning, and we were just doing some, like, it’s only an acre. So we were lightly steaking it up, right? In a trellising wine vineyard type of style, something that you couldn’t do in 20 acres, right. But in an acre, I can do it. But as I’m walking through it, I’m thinking about like, Oh, it’s time for all of these leaves to be picked off. And it’s like, dude, there’s no way that can’t happen in this. There’s not there’s no way that I’m going to send people out here to de-leaf, you know, the way up to center people out the bottom anything, you know.

Dan Ramsay: And then weeding has been a big thing because people love growing these monster plants and you know, put them on huge centers, but then on suddenly while you’re waiting for that plant to like cover that area, [inaudible] see weeds take over with your beds, you know, you might have more isolated watering, which is great for lots of reasons, but still just that meeting. And then also I’ve actually been talking with people who are trying to figure out some of the answers to like trellising some of these larger fields in some with a different way of trout just because of like out here. It’s like the wind, you know, because as soon as you’re at the mercy of the weather, is you’re like, oh man, it just needs a steak like you’re saying like it needs a little help because you can do so much work. But then it gets to the end where it’s got all that weight you want on it but you know those that fall weather’s for real most places. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, here in Oklahoma it’s a diverse weather system. The wind is no joke, that’s for sure. And you either have to like plant your canopy density has to be like an incredibly thick in order to guard against the wind because the wind will self prune the plants and keep them smaller here for sure. But if you don’t a wire them up, string them up, steak them up in some way. Like last year, we had a half acre field those literally all growing sideways. It’s just always this breeze. So it’s always just growing sideways.

Dan Ramsay: I was at a farm, a client just the other day where there were a couple bigger plants that had migrated Don’t just like the side of the roots, you know, and you’re like carrying Oh, and you’re like, Oh, isn’t that good? But it’s like, you know, once you start seeing that you’re like, how does it recovers the time we wanted stress but like, yeah, it’s like pulling them off. So, that’s kind of the next like, as we step out door and starting to say, like, wait, maybe a little bit smaller plant, maybe an auto flower, maybe more densely populated, and what’s going to get that being no raw plant matter per, cubic foot type thing or square foot, and as we kind of try to start realizing some of the these areas, that it’s got take some trial and error. 

So it’s good to hear like in Oklahoma, that they’ve created an area that’s with less regulation and has more ability for that R&D to get out there, at least just from a knowledge standpoint of we know what’s going to be effective here because, you know, I don’t can’t tell you how many people last year also had a like a, you know, early beat by curly beat top virus came through and we worked with the extension office here at like CSU and with so many clients just trying to identify some of these new diseases that we hadn’t seen or what we thought it was, you know, I thought it was tobacco mosaic virus thought it was, you know, you walk down through these and then to the end, and you’re like, Well, you know, and I’ve seen some, you know, it’s like, it’s now pet mosaic virus. Yeah, so it’s similar, but you know, they’re just things you haven’t seen, and it’s just such a different approach from growing in a controlled environment. 

Chip Baker: Now, yeah, it’s kind of the kind of the beauty of it all though, man is that hemp and cannabis is a new frontier for farming right now. Here ability to be able to do research in the area or develop technology or, it’s right now is the time for all of that.

Dan Ramsay: I always like to say that the learning for agriculture started in like 10,000 BC. So we’ve been learning for a long time all but like, education and, and transformation of knowledge was so slow, right? Every year, it slowly got faster until all of a sudden we got to like, and as we continued in the 19th century, early on to just like, keep pushing hemp aside and marijuana aside, it was like, we pushed cannabis out right when technology was really coming in. So now being able to take all this technology we’ve learned in the last like five decades and start saying, Wait, how do we apply this to what we know? We don’t have to jump all the way back. You know, we can jump right forward with a lot of the but I think one of the things I I really enjoy about this industry is that classic, what we can learn from other industries. Yeah, where there’s just so much,

Chip Baker: So many aha moments still to be had. You know, so many aha moments. It’s a great place, man. Certainly not boring, that’s for sure. Hey, Dan, let’s go. Go ahead, Dan. 

Dan Ramsay: No, you can go ahead.

Cultivation throughout the Country

Chip Baker: Man, I was gonna ask you, not boring man. What do you predict is going to happen here this year with the hemp industry. I mean, so many people haven’t planted that had in the previous some big people planted this year, some small people did but like how do you see what’s going on with current cultivation throughout the country? And how do you think it’s gonna affect the market?

Dan Ramsay: So I know in Colorado, there was, as you said, quite a few people who lost their ass man. It was just And got out of the game. So I yeah, I would predict that we have, you know, a good half of the market that grew last year in Colorado isn’t growing this year and those who were like, thought they were gonna blow it up. And do you know, hundreds of acres are doing 50 acres and people who were doing like, you know, everybody told me way back, instead of and was like, we’re going to focus on quality instead of quantity. 

My big question, as far as that is, how much our reserves do we have as far as like, biomass oil, flower that’s like stored in a way that it still has it’s all viable, so that the market once harvest gets here in a couple of months, most of that biomass I think, is kind of depending how it was stored, but I think there’s going to be a bad taste in the mouth for 2019 hemp season. It’s like the feel of it. And sometimes, people make decisions bound with feelings more than they do. But given that I’m in here I like to project that 2021 we’ll see a completely different situation because we will have like move through a lot of that inventory and the people who are around are people who aren’t here by accident and —

Chip Baker: Absolutely, it’s gonna mature the market for sure it has already like pushed out to get rich quickers.

Dan Ramsay: Completely. And the people who are like willing to put in the hustle work and and find a way when you can’t, it’s kind of one of those if you can sell in this market. If the water goes up a little bit, you’ll know how to swim. So I think there’s a lot of potential here the markets there, those in products are still selling. I just think that like we literally overproduced by whether it was one year or like a year and a half or where– 

Chip Baker: Most people can’t store the product, like you were saying, like, most people think that they were like, Oh, just hold on to it, uh, hold on to it, I’ll hold on to it, but like the product degrades, and they, some of them are out there still think they’re gonna sell their product from last year.

Dan Ramsay: And we used to be able to you used to be able to do in the good old days, you do more splits, right. So like the farmer [crosstalk] 

Chip Baker: Nobody wants to do split [crosstalk]. 

Dan Ramsay: Nobody is so like, now you have to pay more money to get it into oil and more storable form. But, you know–

Chip Baker: But hey, for our audience here, splits are a term we use for co-processors or toll processors, where you’ll split a percentage of the end product. And you provide the biomass. So, it may be a 50-50 split, it may be a 60-40 split, it may be a 70-30 split, you may be making crude oil or you may be making distillate or isolate or whatever on this split. But basically, I would give my product to an extractor and they just give me back a portion of it and extracted material.

Dan Ramsay: Exactly, well said, a split. And but that was a common move, right, like in the industry here was that people would get their product in the back, oh, we’re gonna do the split. Because, when you get, especially as a farmer, if you get one paycheck a year. It’s pretty rundown by the time you get back to October again. And so like shelling out capital to be able to process your material is not something who can’t sell it, the idea that they’re gonna invest more money into this business that they’ve already found on successful ah so i think a lot of that material is gonna go by the wayside and I know lots of people who are like I’m a storage shed you know with 20,000 pounds a hand and you’re like oh. 

Okay and then like in 2000, but at that point, and then I think the come it’s going to mature. And the cannabis industry is always one that loves your due diligence from a business standpoint. So as we have more established growers who have more established supply chains that can show that and a more established story that fits them in products. A desire for whatever it is they’re aiming for those niches will be defined, and I don’t think people are going to walk back in time as much as to buy that old inventory. They’re looking for you know that to make some, but I could be wrong there’s a couple of products you know companies out there that are happy to make shit products and just sell them. And [crosstalk]

Chip Baker: The technology can afford it because that is a thing but like the more the more the biomass degrades the less material you get out of in the long run less extractable material. So the harder it is for people to make money on it, or make the extraction [inaudible]. And now it’s August, I mean, all the early stuff, all the autoflower stuff, it’s starting to come out right now, like in the US and all over the country in the next two months. Like harvest is here.

Dan Ramsay: Yep, I’ve got clients harvest in this week for autos. And they’re sitting on product from last year too. And so but only a few of them. A lot of them and as I say that the last month has been been good for a lot of the clients I’ve talked to who have been able to move products that have stayed in here, you know, who are probably not as much biomass but people move in like smokeable flower and move in oil, or Delta 8 so hot right now. That’s so hot right now, Delta 8.

Chip Baker: That’s a sticky wicked, but it is.

Dan Ramsay: Mastered it is. Yeah. But it’s just like it kind of and the cannabis industry, I sometimes say is a bunch of early adopters. You know, like, the whole industry is like, we’re all early adopters of the industry, even our users. So as soon as we come up with a new technology, or a cannabinoid, CBG like, I’m interested to see how much CBG is harvested this fall, because I know a lot of people that went that– 

Chip Baker: Think they planned it out.

Dan Ramsay: For sure.

Chip Baker: Right. You know, interestingly we just plant out a bunch of autos for extraction this year. And we just got our first extraction results. And this is a butane extraction method, it’s for the medical market. But we’ve got 7% CBG in our extracted product. Something we’re like totally surprised that the seed producer that gave it to us they’ll don’t think they knew. Or they did mention it to me. Right, yeah. But we saw 19% in the flower that came out of the field and then that turned into an extracted 69%. But yeah, then the CBG was, up at 7.68%. Pretty, pretty surprised and impressed.

Dan Ramsay: Yeah, no, that’s, and that’s it. There’s a niche market for that, you know, and then the high kid side, that’s great. On the hemp side, the CBG is attractive because of a lot of those CBG strains don’t spike the THC as much. And while we’re waiting for– And then there’s some regulation coming in this, supposedly from the government in November, about the way that THC is going to be kind of measured on a national level. 

So, when we’re back in good old expo days, I feel, which seems like years ago, but it was January December. It seems like there’s real big talk about, like, do you really want to grow, these strains that could be higher with that risk for getting there and avoid content and just how it’s going to be enforced and interpreted.

Chip Baker: Oh, it’s all just started, man. The the terpenes the different cannabinoids. I mean, we’re talking about Delta 8 THC right now that’s extracted from hemp. And most people are familiar with Delta 9,and you know, there’s just so much research to be had in the coming years. It’s just really exciting. And, you know, necessity is the mother of invention. And part of the necessity is farmers trying to figure out like, how they can have that special niche and be able to be successful in the marketplace.

Dan Ramsay: Completely. And both the farmers and the market-defining itself and consumers defining what they want. But like I said, I think a lot of its just early adopters. Everybody’s like, Oh, [crosstalk]

Chip Baker: So, can you make a price prediction on price per pound this year?

Dan Ramsay: I you know, I think I’ll shy away from that one, just because–

Chip Baker: Can you tell me what you thought the low price per pound last year was?

Dan Ramsay: I thought people selling for like, I didn’t hear that dollar, but $10 a pound was pretty common and I heard people sell it for like seven stuff, you know the price per point of CBD, right?

Chip Baker: Sure. Hey, explain that. Explain that. Let’s talk about that. Explain what that means.

Dan Ramsay: So if you grow a pound of hemp, and we test it and has 10% CBD content, we pay $1 per point because when we extracted the CBD is what we’re after. So that would be $10 per pound. So if you grew for the molecule, plant, you have heard the molecule and you can get a little bit more technical, but that’s for the most part. The best way to realize that like not all hemp grown equally and that sometimes I feel like I have a 15% or 18% and and so much of what you know out here in Colorado I’ve seen just a lot more people who are doing you know biomass and extraction also really trying to leverage their greenhouses for flower. And that believing in that smokeable flower market which is I’ve seen 100 hundred dollars a pound up to like [crosstalk] probably seven you have seven or I mean they go all the way up there. And I the people I know who have been able to sell seven in those larger ones have established relationships and had a little bit more–

Chip Baker: And they’ve got a Primo smokeable flower– that’s the thing [crosstalk]

Dan Ramsay: It is and that Primo like hemp is like becoming a real thing like getting that next quality. Like cannabis, the cannabis industry has got a lot of pots knives in it like that quality is like really important. And so it’s It surprises me to have people being like, I want to evaluate putting you know, LEDs in my hoop house to for this hemp and you’re like, we just want to get every little, just trying to find every explore the different capital costs to get every little inch closer they can to being on the top shelf. So that’s–

Chip Baker: That’s cannabis in a nutshell man people. You know people, ganja, farmers, cannabis farmers throughout the known universe, all have incredible pride in what they do. And sometimes their egos get in the way. Our egos get in the way I’ll say and sometimes you’ll find those like really hidden gems that are just incredible and word to the wise when you see those people with really great, great, great great cannabis skills just shut up and listen man, take some advice in and really listen and see what they’re doing and check the ego a little bit at the door, you’ll learn line and you’ll grow better.

Dan Ramsay: For sure. That’s one of the things I get quite a few clients that will come to me because we do a lot of like product evaluations and just like little cost benefit analysis stuff to first your clients and when they come in– We all want to find that quick fix like you know, will the LEDs like increase my yield and make it that much better? I’m like, well not if you mess up the other parts. Like a whenever you’re growing and you meet somebody who’s done it well you better take pride in it because like a controlled environments. 

Like biomimicry, you’re mimicking the earth, like it’s a pretty there’s a lot going on here between the temperature the, the way your air and all of its changing and dynamic as the plants grow into the humidity at every part of it. And so to be able to move with a plant through that phase and control those variables and the way you want to you probably should shut up and listen to that person.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, man, it’s so simple. There’s only four pieces of magic that make cannabis grow and that are genetics, water, soil, and sun. Pretty much like you can manipulate those in many, many ways. But those are the four things you have to have. 

Dan Ramsay: [crosstalk] You need some [crosstalk] that photosynthesis just by [crosstalk] time, augmented I’m just saying like, in the like, have to happen, though. 

Chip Baker: You have to have Oh plants gotta go synthesize. 

Dan Ramsay: [crosstalk] You guys got it. But and whether you are already to CO2 or not, but no, I like you’re saying there’s only these couple. These only five kind of like variables or constraints of sorts. And, but what’s fun about growing is like the plant grows every day, the bigger the roots, the bigger it grows next day and it grows exponentially. And like, how does that change what you did last week? And so, asking those and we’ve got a digital solution we’re working on, that we’ll be bringing out here soon with like an app that we’re building to try to answer a lot of these questions. But that’ll be next year. We’ll have to just hop on and chat again, you know about that. But I love those questions. I think that’s a really fun part of the growing is the fact that you’re like, it’s really simple. You’re like, yeah, until it changes every day.

Natural Order Supply’s Future in the Hemp Industry

Chip Baker: Yeah, Dan, one of the things that you guys are doing a lot of is education, and you just brought up this app. But what we haven’t talked about is like your education outreach, and you know what your plans are in the future for that. So tell me about that man.

Dan Ramsay: Yeah, so, as a company, as a person, my ethos has always been real education based in this industry. Tons of it’s needed. We, last year as a company started a monthly event we call on Here for Hemp, that was just real hemp centric events that we did monthly, where we brought everybody from, like the Department of Agriculture to talk about their handle, what they do when they do a walk through, it’s like talking about pest control. Or we also brought in like just parts of the industry of people from like, the banking, the insurance side, all those business components that are needed, because just because you started a farm, that’s, you need the whole business behind it as well. And there’s so much that can be gleaned and learned and needs to be done there. 

So we did that all the way up until this last February when COVID decided like no more events. And but those were in-person events where we had the last one we did in February was a champ event. That’s like Colorado’s hemp advancement management plan. But that one you can actually see a recording of that one on the, our YouTube page at Natural Order Supply or at the I believe it’s posted on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s like notes sites for when they came in and kind of talked a lot about just the process of transport, how do you register that was a big question, actually. This last year was when they pull you over, how do you be like, here’s my form that says this is what it is and people believe you and how does that work when you drive around Colorado to leave Colorado. 

So we like as much as we love the cultivation and the plant. We see the bigger industry. We’re aiming to really make our impact. And so, you know, starting in September, we’re going to start doing our Here 4 Hemp events, again, with a webinar series, but we’re going to offer, we’re going to have ten different cannabis professionals or city professionals from Grand Junction because we work a lot with it. We work as the economic department there and different like sometimes it’s good to get somebody from the fire department to come in or depending on what the conversation is we really like to talk about to those city officials and regulators.

But we’ll be doing alike probably a 10-minute local webinar held in our store with a ten person event that’s about as big as you can blow up events right now. And then having a webinar, we’ll be inviting people such as, like I said, regulators and educators. Where people will be able to hop on in and join and see both those webinars which will be posted to our YouTube site but also if they wanted to be able to hop in and enjoy the conversation or apply to come and hang out is one of the ten people in the store and get some swag, and enjoy–

Chip Baker: Man, that sounds like a great idea. We’d love to help you out with that real dirt has really tried to push many of our interviewees, webinars and educational programs and the only way that we’re really gonna do better at this cannabis thing, this cannabis life is to educate ourselves and others about it. Yeah, okay, definitely. Let’s work together help you get that information out.

Dan Ramsay: Yeah, that would be great chip. We appreciate anything we can. It’s amazing what you can learn with the worldwide web too. When you jump into from a different place and you know, I’ve been hopping on webinars left and right and forgetting about them too. Yeah, the nature of the COVID world, it’s like I sign up on my calendar but it’s just so different than the expo world that I think we were used to in the networking for a company like ours used to go have booths and do quite a few shows. But all changing. Yep, exactly. 

Where to Find Them

Chip Baker: Well, Dan, it’s been awesome speaking to you today about hemp, the future hemp and what’s going on with you guys. Over at a Natural Order Supply in Grand Junction. Hey, if our listeners want to get in touch with you or research you more, how do they do that?

Dan Ramsay: You know, it’s pretty straightforward. We’re at naturalordersupply.com. That’s the same book for our our online. Our social platforms as well as Natural Order Supply or and if you go to our website there, you’ll see it’s all hemp centric, there’s an area in the top right button to click to join our next event on our website. So, yeah, that’s just the best way to, to reach us online and hit us on the website or search for us on social and we’re on all those platforms sharing what we’re learning and we’re real excited to step into pushing as much of our education that we have and keep in local, digital this towards the end of this year and all of next year. Really watching that.

Chip Baker: Awesome, man. Well, hey, that’s great. Dan. I hope we hear more from you. We want to definitely help you out with some of your webinars and education in the future. So listeners, look for more natural order solutions, Natural Order Supply, hemp webinar with Dan Ramsey. Dan, thanks for joining me today, man. I really appreciate it.

Dan Ramsay: Oh, thank you Chip it’s been great.

Chip Baker: All right, this is The Real Dirt. Thanks, guys! All right, Dan. Thanks. Thanks, man. That was a great, great conversation we just had.

All right, that was Dan Ramsay with Natural Order Supply out in Grand Junction, Colorado. Man I’ve always loved hemp since I read Jack Harrows book, The Emperor wears no clothes I was just fascinated turned on with this. This history international history they’ve been going on for thousands and thousands and thousands of years of hemp as a textile, cannabis as a medicine and the the interaction in a relationship that that humans have with it. And let us not forget the hemp has only been a legal cannabis has only been criminalized for just a small portion of the time that we as humans have been using it as a product and man now is really the time for hemp to come back to the world for cannabis to come back to the world. 

And I truly believe, and I have seen that cannabis can save the world. And the best way for cannabis to save the world is for us all the planet and consume it. So no matter if you’re consuming CBD gummies or if you’re smoking a large high THC joint or maybe a dab, man while you’re doing this, just think a little bit about the other people on the planet and how maybe hemp and cannabis can help them and help your relationship with them and unless try to pursue that. 

This has been The Real Dirt. If you liked this episode, please subscribe on iTunes, man I need more subscribers. It really would make this thing go is the subscribers on it. Hey man, check me out at cultivatecolorado.com, Cultivate OKC supply. If you need any equipment in the country in the world, give us a call, check out our website, sign up for a commercial account. And we offer awesome pricing to people all over the globe, awesome shipping from people all over the globe. And we’re really, really, really there to help you.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve started a new project Greener Consulting Group. Check us out greenerconsultinggroup.com. We’re a full-service cannabis advisory company, and we have dozens of different cannabis consultants and advisors all over the country in the globe that could help you out with your problem. It’s easier than you think. So look us up. And hop on for the free advisory call.

Hey, thanks again. It’s been a great Real Dirt; this is Chip Baker. I enjoyed this episode so much. Look for a bunch of new episodes coming out here saying. Thanks again, Real Dirt!

The Innovations of Solar Power in Cannabis Cultivation with Brendan Delaney

The Innovations of Solar Power in Cannabis Cultivation with Brendan Delaney

massachusetts cannabis laws

Talk about taking sun-grown to the next level.

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

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

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

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

– Brendan Delaney

Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

2:40 – Be an efficient grower and environmentally conscious

6:32 – Starting cultivating commercially under Prop 215 rules

10:07 – 25b Pesticide Regulations

22:31 – Keeping the Menu Fresh

25:23 – Selecting Phenos

31:42 – Trimming Weeds

38:09 – Different strains for wholesale and retailing cannabis

43:39 – Cannabis in the pandemic crisis

46:06 – Where to find them

56:34 – Grow tips

 

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with  Chip Baker

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

Be an Efficient Grower and Environmentally Conscious

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Hey guys, how are we doing?

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

Brendan Delaney: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. 

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

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

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

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

Starting Cultivating Commercially Under Prop 215 Rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Absolutely man there needs to be some roles

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

25b Pesticide Regulations

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

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

Chip Baker: Wow, that makes it complicated.

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah, it does.

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

Brendan Delaney: Pretty much Yeah, yep.

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

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean–

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

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

Chip Baker: So no, soap?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Released biological so benefits the best–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: All right. On the site?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, awesome. Congratulations.

Brendan Delaney: Thanks. Appreciate it.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Has limited licenses?

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

Chip Baker:  Okay. Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: 4500 bucks

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

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

Keeping the Menu Fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selecting Phenos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: We’re using cubes right now. 

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

Brendan Delaney: Rockwool, two inch cubes–

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

Brendan Delaney: Yeah. Easy peasy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trimming Weeds

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

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, great.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, wow, that’s great.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Different Strains for Wholesale and Retailing Cannabis

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: It’s the same here. 

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: It’s not worker weed right?

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: I hear you.

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Perfect, perfect.

Cannabis in the Pandemic Crisis

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, you’re right, man.

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Oh, man, I appreciate it.

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

Brendan Delaney: Put the labor of love.

Where to Find Them

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

Brendan Delaney: Yeah @SolarThera on Social Media

Chip Baker: Say that again.

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

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

Brendan Delaney: @SolarThera or solarthera.com

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

Brendan Delaney: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, run it from the man–

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

Chip Baker: Stray bullets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grow Tips

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah. 

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

Brendan Delaney: Nice, man. Congratulations–

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, nice. Nice. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Real Dirt on Oklahoma Cannabis

The Real Dirt on Oklahoma Cannabis

oklahoma medical cannabis news

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

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

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

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

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

[Transcript Below]

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Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

4:07 – Growing cannabis in Oklahoma

11:13 – Outdoor cultivation in Oklahoma

18:05 – The pest pressure

21:04 – Preventive measures for infestation

27:58 – Challenges in growing in OKC

 

People Mentioned / Resources

 

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TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

Growing Cannabis in Oklahoma

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Outdoor Cultivation in Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pest Pressure

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

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

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

Preventive Measures for Infestation

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges in Growing Cannabis in OKC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

how to get a job growing weed

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

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

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

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

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


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Kanna

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

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

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

Farhaj: Hey, all super excited about this one.

Hire Kanna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: [inaudible] called Fade?

Farhaj: Yeah, like a Fade.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: So have you have you launched this yet?

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

Chip: And and the the app is that live?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: Right? Yeah. 

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

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

Farhaj: Was that a road trip or a flight? 

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

Farhaj: Oh my God. That is awesome.

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

Farhaj: Sounds good.

Chip: Man. What would you roll up?

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

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

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

Chip: We’re on the same way, man.

Farhaj: Yeah, that’s awesome.

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

Farhaj: Yeah

Turnover Rate in the Cannabis Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: It’s a private school. 

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

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

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

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

Typical Problems with Recruiting in the Weeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting a Job in the Ganja Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: Hope for 30 minutes early–

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

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

Chip: What do you say again? 

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

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

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

Chip: Cherry pickers. Totally.

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

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

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

Future of Kanna

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Find Them

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

Chip: Kanna with the K.

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

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

Employee-Employers in the Budding Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: Sounds like a plan.

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

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

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

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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

Transcript

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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