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The Real Science Behind Compost Tea

The Real Science Behind Compost Tea

how to make compost tea for cannabis cultivation

We all know the benefits of compost when it comes to cannabis cultivation.

But we’ve also come a long way from just dumping a pile of compost into your soil and mixing it in. With compost tea, we can now incorporate compost into our cultivation practices by simply feeding the plants through irrigation, just like hydroponic nutrients.

If there’s one man who has gone to extra mile to understand the science behind compost tea in order to create powerful, organic tea mixes, it’s John Picirrilli, Founder of Cutting Edge Solutions.

“So my grandma turned me on to compost tea, I think I’ve already told you this story. She made anaerobic tea. It was just like a jug, a five gallon bucket of manure that we’d fill with water and sit there forever. And then occasionally, she’d get a scoop of water out of it and dilute it and pour it onto her radishes and tomatoes, or whatever we were growing in the backyard, right?” – Chip Baker

Even since he was boy Chip Baker was learning about compost tea and its benefits from his Grandma. And John learned a similar way himself.

 “You know, going back on some of my many mistakes, one of the early ones was doing something like that. And then you do it on a larger scale than a five gallon bucket. Because pretty soon, you see a little works pretty good, so you want more of it to use all at once.” – John Picirrilli

From a five gallon bucket to 50 gallon drums, John quickly expanded his research and development of his compost tea product. And that was 40 years ago. The science behind compost tea and growing with biologicals had limited research at the time, and John was at the forefront of looking at the microscopic details of the teas he was making.

Eventually he would start his own microbiology lab where could study compost tea and all of its components scientifically.

What John Learned

Through his decades of research, John’s findings are plain and simple.

“That’s when I realized better biology means better flower.” – John Picirrilli

While compost teas are nothing new, using them for cannabis cultivation is a relatively new practice, and that’s why John is focused on educating growers on its benefits. But explaining the complex science behind how good compost tea develops isn’t so simple, especially when cannabis cultivators come from a wide range of backgrounds, age and education.

The Real Science Behind Compost Tea

In the Season 5 premiere of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, John and Chip dive into their history and experience with compost tea, from their first discoveries to developing their current regiment. John goes in depth about how he began and continues his studies into compost tea using his sophisticated methods to find which specific microbes and bacteria are the most beneficial for cannabis.

The two talk about the history of using compost tea, how it has evolved, and why every cannabis cultivator should be incorporating it into their regiment. And of course the two long time friends share some old school stories from the Northern California days.

‘A regulator told me a long time ago. “Don’t try to list too many things on the label. Just say it makes plants happy.”‘ – John Picirrili

Is it that simple? Find out in this episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

Chip: Hello, my friends. It’s so good to be back here in another episode of The Real Dirt. Got an exciting season this year for you, The Real Dirt. Wow, last year was incredible. And this year, wow. It’s gonna show so much for the cannabis market and cannabis industry. You know, we’re gonna hold on by the, fly by the seat of our pants. It’s coming so fast and so strong. If you’re involved in the cannabis industry right now, you know what I’m talking about. Everybody sitting at home, unemployed, smoking more weed than they ever have, or you know, they maybe have a little stress or – hey, also, there’s medical cannabis in so many more states now. 2001 is gonna go up in smoke. And I mean that in the very, very best way. That is my prediction, is the cannabis industry is going to be one of the saviors of the country and of the planet. If we’d all just sit back and smoke a little bit of weed, then you know, it’ll be a better place. And those of you who consume cannabis, or who work in the cannabis industry know how good this plant is. And man, dude, it has been so good. Despite of what’s going on in the rest of the country, the cannabis industry just had a banner year last year. And we’re gonna repeat it again. So these next episodes of The Real Dirt man, we’ve got a new studio, it sounds great. You can hear it right now, you can hear the bass in my voice. And I’m stoked man, we’ve been running out of this bedroom in the back of my house. And it hasn’t been the best, and the best internet reception. But man, we’re here, we’re set up for a very socially distanced event. I have many, many guests both on Zoom and as well here in the studio. I have a huge eight foot table, we can all be across from each other. We’ve got great ventilation in here. We’ll socially distance and be as careful as we can. But man, we’ve got some great people from all over the world. They’re gonna chime in this year. And we’re gonna run things a little bit different this year, I hope you guys enjoy it. But I’m really, you know, in this quest for knowledge, and previously, I wanted to know people’s story and understand stuff about them. You know, and I still want that. But one of the goals that we’re gonna have this year at The Real Dirt is we’re gonna answer questions. So if you have any question, and we’re looking on the internet, we’re looking at our Instagram, we’re looking at Facebook every single day. If you have any questions about cannabis, the cannabis industry, you know, ask us at The Real Dirt and maybe we’ll make an episode about it. So currently, we have about 35 episodes planned for this year, we’ll see how it unfolds, we’ll probably get a little bit more, a little bit less. But man, it’s gonna be really informative. If you’ve ever, I apologize for all the bad quality recordings this past year. We’re gonna do far, far better this next year. But uh yeah, man. We’re just gonna grow right along. So yeah, if you haven’t already subscribed, please go to The Real Dirt on iTunes, and on Spotify, and on Amazon and all the other major places where you can listen to podcasts. And listen, all the other episodes you know, if you’re interested in anything, you can ask us at The Real Dirt. “Hey, I’m interested in this, do you have an episode suggestion?” And we’ll give you a suggestion but you know, some of the early episodes are great, great, great information, even though they might have been four or five years ago, three or four years ago. Man, some of that stuff is just great. You guys should all go back and listen to that if you haven’t. We got about 70, 80 episodes published right now and man, they all have some great tidbits of information. But this year it’s going to be super high quality, super informative. And yeah, man. Here we go, man. My first guest is John Piccirilli. Me and John have been friends for years. He introduced himself one day to me in Humboldt County right after I’d started a potting soil plant. He literally rolled by and heard that I’d started a plant, had kind of heard about, you know, what I was trying to do, royal gold coco fiber, this was in like, 2008. John stopped by, said hi. He had a company called Cutting Edge. And so has a company called cutting edge where he makes top quality fertilizers for cannabis. And John helped me over the years tremendously. Anytime I had a question, he was there for me. And you know, when I started selling retail product with Cultivate Colorado and then Cultivate OKC, you know, really supported John and all of his products and whether it’s his 3 Part or his Uncle John’s, or, you know, the Sonoma Gold, man, he’s just got some great, great, great products. He makes nutrition for plants simple. And we’re going to talk to john about of a couple of things. We’re definitely going to get into some compost tea, and we’ll have a few episodes here, where Uncle John kind of explains it all. If you’ve ever met John, you know how he can go on, and on, and on, and on, and on for hours. So, I’m going to try to consolidate all his knowledge into you know, some good, good, good information we can all digest. But what I want you to do now is sit back, roll the largest joint you can and enjoy this episode of The Real Dirt.

 

John: Hey guys. We got John Piccirilli here. He’s the founder of Cutting Edge Nutrient Solution and pretty much go-to source of all things cannabis cultivation and nutrition. There should be like, a Google section that’s just like,  “John says, Uncle John says.” Welcome, John, thanks for coming. 

 

Chip: Thanks Chip, and happy birthday. 

 

John: Oh, yep. This is my birthday episode. For those of you who didn’t get me a gift, it’s okay. You still have all of next year to plan. 

 

Chip: Right, I mean, I was caught off guard myself. And I’ve known Chip, you know, 15 or 20 years. So…

 

John: Yeah. Well, the reason you were caught off guard is because you’re eagerly waiting to tell me happy solstice in a few days from now. And you just forget that it’s my birthday a few days beforehand. 

 

Chip: Yes. And then it gets brighter every day. 

 

John: It does. It gets brighter every day. 

 

Chip: So wow John, me and you have known each other for a long time. We met a decade or more ago, when I opened up my first humble soil plant, you walked in the door one day, and politely answered all my questions and told me how I was doing everything wrong. And now I’m successful today because of you.

 

John: Oh, I don’t know, Chip, that’s not true. You’ve been at it a long time, too. And, you know, for me, I’ve been at it for 40 years, you know. I was one of those punk kids that ran away from Berkeley at 14 and started growing in Mendocino County in 1978. So I’ve had a little bit more time to make more mistakes than you. So I’m just telling you the advice that you think I’m giving you, I’m just telling you the mistakes I made, and not to do this. 

 

Chip: Now you are a world-renowned, known as the problem solver. I’ve made that mistake for before, you know, answer for many, many, many, many, many things. Right? 

 

John: And if people don’t believe it, I tell them how much it costs to make that mistake and it scares them. 

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely.

 

John: So they back up and they look at what kind of solutions that I’ve come up with. And those are pretty much our products.

 

Chip: I sell Cutting Edge Solutions. It’s one of our biggest sellers here at Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado throughout California. It has been called the Calif-or. It starts off as a basic three part nutrition formula, but then there’s several other additives, magnesium additive, calcium additive, cal mag. I mean, you’ve got numerous, numerous products. The thing that’s great about John’s products is one, the customer service. You guys got great customer service, t feedback that you get. But man, you and Kevin go to see more gardens than pretty much anybody I know. I mean, I see a lot of gardens. But you guys like. really are in the dirt, man. You know, the thing that fascinates me is that everybody has a like, this little magic or something they do. It’s not magic, what you’re doing.

 

John: No. Well, it’s kind of magic. I mean, it’s science. But science is just a small explanation for magic. And there’s more magic than science. So you don’t always use your head, sometimes you use your heart. 

 

Chip: Yeah, I’ve seen you guys turn around more gardens, for sure, after visits and more happy customers. Is there like, one thing that, is there a common thing that people have problems with? 

 

John: Yeah, I would say using pH up and that locks out calcium, and calcium is key. And so ais phosphorus. A lot of ways that we back people out of problems is by using home tea which is a compost tea. 

 

Chip: And you know, it happens to be the topic of our episode today –

 

John: Wow. 

 

Chip: Is composting. 

 

John: That’s great.

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So my grandma turned me on to compost tea, I think I’ve already told you this story. She anaerobic tea. It was just like a jug, a five gallon bucket of manure that we’d fill with water and sit there forever. And then occasionally, she’d get a scoop of water out of it and dilute it and pour it onto her radishes and tomatoes, or whatever we were growing in the backyard, right? As a little kid, but I didn’t know any different until kind of I met you, John. And you started talking about compost tea, and actively aerated compost tea. Wow, if you’re not compost tea-ing now, it’s definitely something you should think about. Mostly, I recommend it for soil growers, the indoor outdoor greenhouse, it doesn’t matter applying it to the soil foliar feeding. Should I make this statement that it is the most effective thing that you can do for your garden, compost tea?

 

John: It is. It’s true. You know, probably what your grandmother did, you know, she used manure, broke down, and she poured it on and the plants got boosted, right? They look better. You know, going back on some of my many mistakes, one of the early ones was doing something like that. And then you do it on a larger scale than a five gallon bucket. Because pretty soon, you see a little works pretty good, so you want more of it to use all at once. And then you use, make a 50 50 gallon drums. And then it really goes anaerobic. And then you get acids in it that just melt the roots, when you overapply it. So then, there’s an application amount that you should use too. But I mean, that’s how I started out was, like I said, like over 40 years ago, you know, one of the benefits of being back then was you got to see cultivation going from fields and planes flying over, to actual helicopter traffic coming in. And then we had to move back in the barrage, and then ultimately back near the tree line. And then there’s a lot more microbiology that interacts with the plant then. But about the same time – 

 

Chip: So this is application. You saw this through application, you saw the biology change through application.

 

John: Right, through just trying to use the same amendments and in holes, or trenches, and grow plants and then you know, we had to march the plants back into the barrage, and then ultimately back into the tree line. And then at that time, I thought just fertilizers grew plants. But then I realized by that point that it was the microbiology that was making the chemistry available.

 

Chip: Yes, the roots, they grow the plants, don’t they? And they need that proper biology around the roots in the soil in order to digest the nutrients in order to feed the plants, right? People can argue that science all day long, but it’s pretty much how it works, right? Synthetic or organic like, you have to have that biological dynamic.

 

John: You do to have healthy plants. And otherwise you get diseases or bugs are attracted to them, which transfer diseases to other plants that are still somewhat healthy. 

 

Chip: So let’s take this back, John. Let’s do a couple things. Let’s talk about like, what is compost tea, and then we’ll talk about some like, things we can do with it, and problems it creates, and problems it solves. So, how do you define compost tea? Because I know this, people say and do this all different types of ways. 

 

John: Right. So you know, some people define compost tea as any compost, like we were saying before, put into drums of water and they make sun tea. And you know about the time we were being pushed back by the helicopters, I was making sun teas and taking horsetail which is high in silica, cutting those up, putting them in –

 

Chip: Wild, crafting horsetail. 

 

John: Right. And stinging nettle, which is not easy to collect, as you think. 

 

Chip: Got to pick it from the jungle.

 

John: Otherwise, your arms are thrashed. But you know, using different herbs and making sun teas, and that seemed to be okay. But I got more results out of it when there was bubbling going on. And then I used it before the bumbling stopped, before it got completely anaerobic. And you know, I got a microscope and I started looking at things closer. And then I got bacterial stain kits for Gram positive and Gram negative, started kind of identifying different bacteria, and started looking at fungi, and staining that with prussian blue, and that led to just building a microbiology lab. I was kind of a kid back then. That was the early realization that you can make liquids that help the amendments of the soil. But compost tea, you know, you asked me that question. And I started to aerate it, so that I could break it down further. And then about that time, you know, it was just sort of wide open. There was not a lot of research being done using biologicals. But I started to learn how to isolate them out of healthy agricultural systems, and scraping them off lichen in the forest, because I realized that some of the best plants were at the drip line were lichen were. They weren’t necessarily getting more sun, but they were growing healthier, and they yielded better, and the flavor of the –

 

Chip: Better biology. 

 

John: Yeah, better biology. And that’s when I realized better biology means better flower. 

 

Chip: I mean, compost tea is new to many people, but it’s a very old technology. I mean, I’m not sure how far back actively aerated compost tea goes. I mean, people have been bubbling compost in the liquid solution for a moment, right? But it’s new to many people. So what we mean by this is we’re actually injecting air of some sort, and people use all types of things. Are there things you should or shouldn’t use, pumps you should or shouldn’t use? 

 

John: Yeah, some people build these elaborate brewers that’s spin the whole liquid inside of a cone tank. And that might be good to generate bacteria, aerobic bacteria, but not necessarily good for protozoa. And so you know, you’re looking for three things in a compost tea that’s aerated as you say, by at least putting in an air stone if not putting in lines that are perforated, and [inaudible 16:13]. it just depends on the size of the brewer that you’re working with. 

 

Chip: Sure. I’ve made probably millions of gallons of compost tea through all my potting soil stuff and you know, royal gold, we used to apply it directly on the line and use compost tea within our products. You know, I’ve always liked the simple air bubblers, right? I always felt those made the best, you know, product, the best compost tea, even though we’ve kind of used everything. I’ve used, you know, these jet pumps that move water around, we’ve used [inaudible 16:52] pumps. Man we’ve used, you know, just like large air pumps with a bunch of lines going into it. But for some reason, the air stones, they they really do work the best.

 

John: They do, I mean, you put them in the bottom of a cone tank, a lot, you know, a line that runs from the pump into the tank, and then it’s at the bottom of a cone tank, and it has just the right amount of air. 

 

Chip: Those with bubble size, I think what it has to do with it? Because you got all those little small bubbles, and as they’re turning over in the water, they’re mixing everything, right? And you know, if you think about it, a bubble is this real like, natural like, thing. You know, I just like the idea of that anyway. I don’t know if it’s reality or not, but millions of bubbles mix better than hundreds of bubbles.

 

John: Well, you know, it’s like champagne. 

 

Chip: Yes, the champagne effect, right.

 

John: It’s the champagne of compost tea. You know? And the other ones are like the jacuzzi jet of compost tea.

 

Chip: Yeah, because you don’t really, you don’t want it really swirling. You don’t want it really bubbling, right? You just want it like, moving around. You wanna inject the right amount of air. Do you know if there’s any math involved with this? 

 

John: Oh, yeah. You know, there’s a, you know, you look at, see I’ve used of different organisms that are in a spore state or in a cis state of it, which is like your egg state for a protozoa. Take a drop of compost tea, and put it on a hemocytometer, that’s what you use to look at blood. But it’s the same thing you use in microscopy to look at the population number in one drop, which is pretty much a measured amount. And on this hemocytometer, it’s got a graph and you can estimate, do a bacteria, fungi, protozoa count. Sometimes people are off on the on the fungi because of actinomycete, which is, you know, when you’re turning your compost, you get that white fuzz on it. –

 

Chip: Yeah, I know it. On the outside, and the inside –

 

John: Right. And then you dig through that and you see all the strands, that actinomycete is helping break down the compost, but it operates at a warmer temperature, which is just on the outside shell. But when you’re making compost tea, a lot of times you have that in there. People mistake that for actual beneficial fungi. It’s beneficial in the sense that it’s breaking things down and making enzymes, but it’s also, can throw you off if you’re actually reading it. So, you need a Gram stain and there’s a certain way to identify that.

 

Chip: And all this stuff is inexpensive now, right? Like, you know, digital microscopes and you know, all this equipment is readily available to people. When I started doing it 20 years ago, it was like, $5,000 for a microscope. But now you can get it for 100 bucks, right? 

 

John: Yeah, yeah. There’s decent microscopes for 100 bucks. I mean, we pretty much use Olympus and Leica microscopes which are German lenses and those are – 

 

Chip: Well, you guys are professionals. Of course you use Leica.

 

John: Well, because we look at, because we look at a lot of samples, right? And so you can get eyestrain. It’s like, the difference between getting reading glasses and real glasses, I guess. 

 

Chip: Now me and you and other people were fascinated with it all. And we might break the microscope out and notice the balance of bacteria and fungi or protozoa over temperatures or, but most people aren’t going to nerd out quite like that. You don’t necessarily need a microscope, right? 

 

John: No.

 

Chip: No, I saw that look in your eyes. You’re like, “No, you gotta have a microscope.”

 

John: Well, you know, you were just saying it.

 

Chip: It’s not that expensive. 

 

John: They’re not that expensive. And, you know –

 

Chip: It’s easy to use.

 

John: I mean, we used to have Maverick cameras that cost like$1400 that attached with a special adapter that went on the compound microscope. In the end, you’re like spending thousands of dollars –

 

Chip: Now you can almost do it on your phone. 

 

John: Yeah, right. Exactly. And they have smaller digital microscopes and digital cameras that are maybe $100 or $200 that are great for taking photos, and sending to someone to identify something that you think is wrong with your plant. Or, you know, the cross section of a root, or you know, many different things. So it’s definitely worthwhile to get these. It adds to your digital library of things that are either going right or wrong. 

 

Chip: It’s just another tool in the tool bucket. So basically, compost tea is any type of compost that’s dissolved in water. And then we’re aerating it.

 

John: That’s a good basic definition.

 

Chip: When doesn’t it have to be compost, then?

 

John: Yeah, I mean, to be compost tea, it should be compost. Usually, it’s vermicompost. Because that’s, you know, high in bacteria. 

 

Chip: The earthworms are incredible creatures and get rid of all the E. coli. And you know, that’s the best thing about earthworms. You use a pure earth, pure black castings and you’re not gonna have any E. coli. 

 

John: Right. That’s very true. Sometimes you could have coliform bacteria, but –

 

Chip: Still rare for earthworm castings, unless it’s like, unless it’s not been screened. If it’s just compost, and earthworm castings, that’s where you see the coliform bacteria.

 

John: Well, it depends what state you’re in. And it’s not you personally, but it’s you physically. 

 

Chip: Yeah. Okay, okay. 

 

John: And you know, because different states do different tests. And you know, for a while they were mixing up E. coli, which is a coliform bacteria with all other coliform bacteria. We have coliform bacteria in our hands.

 

Chip: It’s everywhere.

 

John: It’s everywhere. It’s ubiquitous, right? So but you know, it’s not something that is going to harm you. 

 

Chip: Mostly compost tea is made from earthworm castings, water and maybe, you know, a couple of other things. I mean, there’s all types of recipes people use for all types of reasons. I know you guys sell a great, great product HumTea that is a completely formulated compost tea recipe or, what do you, how do you phrase it at? 

 

John: Yeah, so that would be a compost tea. 

 

Chip: HumTea, is it, do you call it an inoculant kit, or a starter kit, or..?

 

John: Yeah, you know, you could call it either thing. You know, I’m not very good at marketing as you know. 

 

Chip: Right, yeah, yeah. You’re great at sales though. 

 

John: Yeah. [inaudible 23:34] I could go in and say, you know, yeah, we have a spawn bag, which is a resealable plastic bag that’s impermeable by pretty much anything, except that it has a GoreTex window on it. So it allows gas exchange. And in there we have some woody material that we grow protozoa on. The actual let’s say, compost itself is a mixture of this woody material, and a mixture of earthworm castings. So the earthworm castings have really good background bacteria, fungi and some protozoa. But we enrich that and enhance that in our composting process and our finishing process. So we usually have a screen of 10 important bacteria, a few fungi, and about 22 different protozoa. So you would take this out of the bag, put it into, you know, we have brewers that have screens. And you can put it into the screen or a HumTea Brew Ball, and that’s actually floats in any container. It will even float in a reservoir. And then we have three different containers, three different say pint or quart bottles depending on the size that you buy of the HumTea inoculant. And those have certain bacteria and there are food sources in there. You know, ours is a little bit more sophisticated than just taking compost from your earthworm castings, and throwing it into some gauze or some sort of screen system, and then bubbling it in water, where a lot of people would add molasses. 

 

Chip: Because you’ve done all the work for you with the HumTea. You don’t have to have a microscope. You can just drop your pre-made formulated compost tea inoculant in a barrel of water in the compost brewer. Any compost brewer, but specifically a Cultivate OKC or Cultivate Colorado compost brewer that you can get in Colorado, you can order it online. Go to cultivate colorad.com, cultivateokc.com, we’ve got great, great deals. Better deals, and you could ever get on 15, 30, 35, 45, 65 gallon brewers. All of that will make it easier for you than just using some random container or you know, maybe not like the easiest thing to clean. But you start with a good compost tea brewer. But any type will work, right? And use the – oh I see, they’re like ” Oh well maybe not any type,” because we already kind of went over that. The ones that move too much water don’t really work so well. 

 

John: Well they work well for bacteria, to generate bacteria but –

 

Chip: So if you got a specific bacteria you’re trying to grow or wanted high in bacteria, then  you would use that.

 

John: Yeah, you wanna use of those high volume mixing, spin it around, [inaudible 26:35].

 

Chip: I mean, anybody can go out and make their own. Anybody can go out and get a bag of earthworm castings. They can get some bat guano, some trace minerals, maybe a little, the smallest amount of some sort of sugar product. They can make their own but man, the HumTea product is really so much better. You know, when you first came out with this, this is how John sold this product. He first came out with it and he gave it away. And he taught us a lot about giving stuff away, all of us in the cannabis industry. And so he would give it away – where would that have been? I mean, you gave it away all –

 

John: North coast horticulture.

 

Chip: North coast horticulture, it would have been –

 

John: In Humboldt County. 

 

Chip: Yeah, it would have been in Humboldt County. And people were like, “Oh, what do I do with this?” He was like, “Well just take a gallon home and when your cuttings are rooted, feed it to them.” Right? “Oh, I’m having problems with you know, my plant. Should I feed all my -” “Well, just start on your cuttings. Take this gallon and feed your cuttings.” And you sold so many people on compost tea and educated so many people on compost tea and Humboldt Tea that way. Off one single gallon. Change their, changed everything for them, right?

 

John: Yeah, yeah. It’s actually Humboldt Countea.

 

Chip: Humboldt Countea.

 

John: Right.

 

Chip: I see. 

 

John: And then there’s just the t-e-a at the end. 

 

Chip: And now, is there some special biology that you’ve put into the Humboldt Countea? 

 

John: Well, yeah. You know, by just raising it and generating it, and then using it in a good agricultural system and then re-harvesting it. You know, some of the bacteria alone, you know, there’s Pseudomonas putida, and that can break down herbicides. So I mean, I was working with that a long time ago, back when they used the silvicultural practice in Mendocino County and Humboldt County, was to spray hardwoods with Agent Orange that was left over from the Vietnam War. So long ago, this was –

 

Chip: [inaudible 28:44] for you and me, right?

 

John: Yeah, that’s right. 

 

Chip: Spraying all the weeds in the woods, they say it’s gonna make the world go good. Oh yeah, man.

 

John: Right. 

 

Chip: Some protest songs there, protest songs from the 90’s. 

 

John: Right. Born right out of NorCal, you know. There was fighting for their lives out there, literally. 

 

Chip: We got pesticide danger. Oh, can decide, danger.

 

John: Nice. Oh, yes. Reggae on the river, I hope it comes back. 

 

Chip: Oh, it will. Yeah, yeah, for sure. And it’ll be in memories forever. But…

 

John: Yeah, we still bring it to life. Yeah, you know, I was giving it out at first because not just to educate people, but just to give back to the community. I can see that here in Oklahoma again, where a lot of people just left because they saw corporations rising in their state, whether it was Colorado, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, California. And they wanted to be back in a community of people that share plant material. And you really see it here now. And it’s good. 

 

Chip: Oklahoma reminds me a lot of Humboldt in the late 90’s. 

 

John: Yeah.

 

Chip: Right? The organic movement, the freshness, the newness, the idea. Because even though like Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity, they’re thought about and they are the world capital of ganja production and have been for, like 50 years, right? It’s like Mexico, Humboldt County, right? 

 

John: Right. You go anywhere in the world and they go, “Where are you from?” And you say, if you say Arcata or Trinidad, immediately they’re like, “That’s in Humboldt County. You’re from Humboldt County.” Yeah.

 

Chip: Yeah, right. So I know there’s a lot of haters out there, but that’s just how it is, the volume of cultivators up there, it’s just now incredible. But back then, in the late 90s, we had just gone through Operation Green Merchant. There was, one of the Bushes came in with an aircraft carrier off the coast of Humboldt, they had National Guard, they were like, stopping and searching people coming in and out of highway roads that just went through National Forest systems. But, you know, all kinds of illegal Gestapo type of stuff. And in the late 90s, cannabis, it was really, really underground. You know, outdoor cultivation. It had it for like, 10 years at that point was really hard, right? You had to hide it, you had to put it under trees. And people were growing indoor. It started growing indoor in like, huge farms. Absolutely some of the biggest farms in the early years. Everybody seemed to have a 40 or an 80 light indoor on a generator back then. 

 

John: Right.

 

Chip: Right? That’s kind of what’s going on here is that it’s easy to get a 200 amp license, it’s easy to get a license to grow and grow under 200 amps. Maybe that’s what I should say, 2500 bucks, $3,000 you can easily get a license. And it’s kind of the same way back then, it’s like you could go get your prescription and grow some weed and sell it to the dispensary, right? They just kind of formalized it a little bit. But the same enthusiasm, right? The same old coops coming out of the hills going, “I love weed. We used to grow it back in the whenever it is,” right? Man, and we saw it happen then. Because we had that big first explosion happened in ’97. And it was like ’97 to like ’94 or something. And then there was smaller changes in the laws like in Mendocino, they made it legal for 25 plants for anybody, and then 99 plants. If you registered, they were one of the first registrations in the country, that was back in 2004, right? And outdoor cultivation really started to take off again. We got rid of Terry Farmer and a couple of other holdouts from the old war on drugs and it reminds me all of that here. It’s like the, except it just went differently, right? Instead of there being this big political issue, you know, the police are just like, “Oh, weed’s legal? Okay,” right? And it’s not like it was in Humboldt back then where everybody fought it for years, and years. Now it’s like, “Oh, weeds legal? Okay.” People were really accepting of it here, right? They’ve embraced organic cultivation like those old days in Humboldt. Remember how it used to be if you [inaudible 33:22] wasn’t organic? Like I mean, your friends would just like, rail you for it.

 

John: It’s true. 

 

Chip: Remember?

 

John: Yeah.

 

Chip: I mean like, what, I mean, it means me and John are both hydro guys. And I love organic too, John does too. John’s got a whole like organic thing too. You know, organic supplements, organic nutrition, that we use – I’ve got some weed over there in front of us –

 

John: Oh, nice.

 

Chip: That’s all just happened in here. It’s a special time and special place in Oklahoma. And man, it’s starting to happen that way in Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois,  Michigan, right?  It’s this new great industry that still anybody can get into. In Colorado and in California now, anybody just can’t get into.

 

John: No.

 

Chip: Right? 

 

John: No. 

 

Chip: And if you guys are into it over there, and things are going great for you, me and John are both giving you a thumbs up. 

 

John: We are still there, Chip. 

 

Chip: I mean yeah, we’re – 

 

John: We’re still in Humboldt County, but –

 

Chip: We know how hard it is, man. It’s hard. 

 

John: The building codes, everything that goes along with it, the invasion of your private property. You know, touring farms here, I don’t see that I see people doing their best, instead of having to pay regulators and go through all these different code enforcement issues, and wait, and wait, and wait, and spend money on their mortgages, or leases, or whatever. In the outlying areas of major cities here, there’s no building codes. So I mean, I was just yesterday at a place that you know, they spent 300,000 on a state of the art greenhouse. And they’re putting up two more, they’re putting up one first and they’re gonna join these greenhouses together. But my point is that when people are allowed to do their best, they do great. And when people are held back by a regulatory industry that doesn’t understand what they’re doing, but wants to take opinions from everyone else –

 

Chip: And a percent.

 

John: Yes, let’s not forget that. 

 

Chip: And let’s not forget the percent of profit that they want to take as well. 

 

John: Right. And it really should just be grown and sold at the end that it’s being sold that it should be taxed. 

 

Chip: Easy enough, man, Oklahoma’s got a really good handle on it, that’s for sure. And it’s got some problems, don’t get me wrong. Back to compost tea. A couple ways, I guess, people use compost, either they like, do a soil drench, or they do a foliar spray. 

 

John: Right. So a foliar spray would be to offset other potential plant pathogenic fungi that could be on the plant like, powdery mildew. Aspergillus brasiliensis will take care of –

 

Chip: Like I know if he’s pronouncing that right. 

 

John: Yeah, I was kind of hesitant when I started because  –

 

Chip: He almost, your eyes go up in your head, like they’re having this rain man moment. 

 

John: Well you know, you throw out these kind of terms, and then people are, they can’t, you can’t catch it. It’s something that’s really got to be written down. But, I mean, that’s something that offsets and outcompetes powdery mildew, which is a big issue. Going back to this farm that I was just at yesterday, you know, state of the art greenhouse really good quality Quonset houses, and one is lit up and holding all the best mothers. But at the same time, they were put in not Chip’s soil, but another soil let’s say. And that soil was made from composted pine needles back east. And then what happens is, it’s super acidic.

 

Chip: Oh. So there was a pH problem. 

 

John: To the extreme, where the plants were basically dying. When I looked at them a month and a half ago, the person didn’t want to take them out of their 30 gallon plastic pots. So the only choice is to use a compost tea or to use HumTea, because the microbiology will start breaking things down and leeching out certain elements that are toxifying the plant. And these are prized plants. I mean, they’re, you know, they’re – 

 

Chip: Compost tea. One of its benefit really is if you have sick plants, if you have plants that aren’t doing so good, regardless of what diagnosis you think they have, compost tea will help them. 

 

John: Yeah, it’s true. I mean, it’s like magic, you see? You know it’s working because the leaves –

 

Chip: It’s kind of like chicken soup. It’s like the chicken soup.

 

John: It is, for this time of year. It’s flu season. You know, people are afraid to even cough in public. You know, will be hauled off. But you know, when you want to keep those mother plants going until the spring, and you have light in order to be able to do that in a greenhouse and you’re heating the greenhouse, if they’re in bad soil, or if they get some sort of disease because it’s too humid, and you don’t want to open it up because it’s too cold outside, compost tea or Hum Tea is is what you need. Not only foliar spray with, but run through the soil and then that has another action when it goes into the soil. It will stimulate the plant’s immune system. 

 

Chip: So there’s lots of talk about dilution when you do soil drench. Do you have a typical dilution rate? Or how about this, what’s a, because I know it’s varied. What’s the best dilution rate?

 

John: You know, when you have a brewer, say it’s even a five gallon bucket. When you make tea in that, you should be able to take 1 gallon to 25 gallons. And if you want to go thinner, you can go up to 50 gallons. One gallon of compost tea or HumTea to 50 gallons. And you’re going to get the benefit. You can pour HumTea straight on, and it’s good to do. Pour it straight on. Do it 1:25, do it 1:50. And you pour it straight on, you see a result the next day. You do 1:25, it’s two days. You do 1:50, it’s three, maybe three days. And for me, 1:25 is good because you know brewing it is roughly like, $6 a gallon. So I don’t want to spend too much money, but I want the plants to be healthy. 

 

Chip: Yeah my experience is exactly the same thing. If you, I think that the HumTea, it works best diluting it 1:1, because I think you can use it. I mean, I know you can use it just straight on, but most people can’t afford to, or the volume of it. And you know, I also try to just use it on like, just rooted plants or vegging plants, so I can get the most concentrated colony forming units in one area, right? I like the 1:1. That being said, man, like, you can pretty much pour it in any volume of liquid that you have to feed your plants, right? If you’re using a 300 gallon tank even, you will absolutely see benefit by making a five gallon compost tea and pour it in there. Now, it might work better for [inaudible 40:34] if you only have 5 gallons, and you have a, you know, a garden that would require 300 gallons of water, you’d be better off boiler feeding it, I would think. Even if it’s just on the top of the soil, because we see people doing that too. And I’ve done that too, is just take the like, direct HumTea, Humboldt Countea with a pump sprayer, right, right? Have you ever seen this? 

 

John: Yes, oh yeah.

 

Chip: They just spray it right on the top of the soil as opposed to the plant and then you get the water in and you get the like, you know, the colony to develop there. And I mean, that’s like, three bucks for something like that. 

 

John: It’s super cheap, and it’s super effective. And that’s a good point, Chip. Putting it in, regarding the sprayer, you can do full strength or 1:1 and foliar spray it. 

 

Chip: The only problem with the full stream is sometimes it’ll clog your sprayer and you have to like, screen it out anyway. 

 

John: Oh, yeah. 

 

Chip: Right? But if you just dilute it, 1:1 goes to the sprayer. 

 

John: Yeah, that’s true. 

 

Chip: Pretty, pretty good. 

 

John: And not use the bottom little part, just pour it on the top. 

 

Chip: Yeah, we screen it out exactly and try to leave the bottoms. When we’re actively doing it, and I don’t know how you feel about this, but I just try to do back to back to back to back compost teas. And I never clean out my compost tea brewer except with water. So I’ll just wash down the sides, wash down the sides, and then just start another one up. And it works. If it’s back to back to back to back to back, that seems to work great. As soon as I let it sit a few days and don’t fight with it. I gotta start over.

 

John: And there’s a good point in there is, so you’re on a farm and you’re using well water. 

 

Chip: Yeah.

 

John: So it has no chlorine in it. 

 

Chip: Correct.

 

John: Right. And chlorine isn’t really a bad problem, you can aerate it for 24 hours and it’ll, you know, take the chlorine out. But, you know, if you’re using chloramide or chlorinate, some cities use that, then you’ve got nitrogen injected with the chlorine. IT forms a more stable compound to keep the chlorine in the pipes, right? And then you have to use something like a Hydrologic Big Boy. Or, you know, if you don’t want that, you could go to your local hardware store and get a carbon filter that removes chlorine, and that’ll also remove that. 

 

Chip: Right. 

 

John: So because that will kill,  mean, why is it there? To kill biology. And you don’t want to do that. 

 

Chip: So don’t use chlorinated water.

 

John: Yeah.

 

Chip: So back to the foliar spray though. So we can use it as a soil drench, or we can use it as a foliar spray. How do you recommend people doing that?

 

John: That’s a good point. You can screen it through a piece of nylon and get all the particles out of it. And then either do it full strength or 1:1, and foliar year spray the top, foliar spray the bottom of the leaves and the stem, you’ve pretty much completely covered the plant. You can also, and this could be called foliar spraying, you could spray where the drip emitters are. And that will, the water coming out of the drip emitter will drive the biology down to where the roots are. And if you just, if you hand water, same thing. You can either throw it into your hand watering reservoir, your hand watering in or you could put, you know, just put it on the top and spoil the tops of the pots or the trench or whatever. 

 

Chip: Yeah, my first commercial application of compost tea was down in Salinas at our first Royal Gold potting soil plant down there. And I saw people spraying it on lettuce and cauliflower. They would say it was a foliar application, they just called it spray. But they’re spraying the plants and the ground at the same time. Right? To get these big rows and this stuff wasn’t plastic culture. To me, it’s like part of it all. It needs to go in the soil. You need to spray the plants. Now what is some of the benefits of spraying the plants over soil drench?

 

John: Well, spraying the plants, it will knock back powdery mildew and other plant pathogenic fungi that might grow on the leaf surface. So that’s the benefit there. It’s not really like it’s going to be able to break down any fertilizers. Some people say, well, it does, it seems to boost the plant. Well, that’s because they’re spraying with chemical fertilizers, and it’s helping move those into the plant. But in general, it’s better to spray with organic supplements than it is to spray with NPK directly on the plant. The plant doesn’t really take it in well that way. 

 

Chip: Let’s talk about compost tea and synthetic nutrients. Because this is one of the myths or maybe not myths, but concerns people have. Like, if I’m using synthetic nutrients, can I benefit from compost tea? 

 

John: You can. I mean, it depends on what type of synthetic chemicals are being used. I mean certainly, if you’re using urea, you know, you’re gonna kill things. If you’re using something that’s made, and it’s got sulfuric acid in it, you know, there’s some harsh chemicals out there. But in general, when you go into a hydroponic store, or if you want to call it a grow store, the lines of nutrients that are on the shelf are better quality. A lot of them aren’t –

 

Chip: Say at the farm store.

 

John: Right.

 

Chip: Right.

 

John: You’re not getting ag grade, you’re getting possibly food grade. I mean, we use food grade in our line of fertilizers. You know, there are other companies that use ag chemicals because it’s cheaper. And then people call them salts. I mean, all it means is that it dissolved, those minerals can dissolve in water, and that it’s not necessarily sodium chloride. But you know, going back to how microbiology works, and how well will it do with these different fertilizers? Well, I would say it just depends. But when I was working on HumTea, I developed it so that all the functional groups that do the magic,  let’s say, are offset by our fertilizer lines. So because I built it so that it could be used in recirculating systems.

 

Chip: And we have used it in recirculating systems with your you know, 3 Part Cutting Edge for sure. It works great. I gave up the organic components and [inaudible 47:25] during a while ago just because I don’t want to deal biofilm, or clogged comps, or some of the other problems  that happened with it. But it worked great. I just prefer to keep the synthetic stuff and recirculating systems separate. You know, if you’ve got a tank that’s not recirculating, then no reason not to mix synthetic and biological stuff together. Right, I know, I know. I’m [inaudible 47:53] now that I said that. Oh dude, I’m gonna have a flurry of people like, “You can’t kill all the biology dies when they come across [inaudible 47:59],” what did you say that [inaudible 48:00] was? You didn’t listen to that?

 

John: Yeah, it doesn’t. I mean, if –

 

Chip: It doesn’t, and we can see. And here’s another big myth that happens is people talk about, “Oh, in California, the ground’s dead, because of all of the chemicals that they’ve put on it. You can’t grow anything there anymore.” Do you know any place in California that’s like that?

 

John: Well, you know. Yeah. Maybe not in the Hills but you know, you look in the Central Valley. And yeah, there are a build up, there’s a buildup of boron from the groundwater. And the boron, you know, it gets to certain parts per million, and there’s fewer crops you can grow until you’re finally left with pistachios. So –

 

Chip: Oh so they just moved pistachios to those areas?

 

John: Right.

 

Chip: Oh, that’s why. Okay, okay.

 

John: It’s like a succession of planting. And then ultimately, the pistachios come out and then they grow cotton. And then when you –

 

Chip: Uhuh, that’s Oklahoma. 

 

John: Certain people say, “Well, what caused the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma? Wasn’t that the killing of all the microbiology?”

 

Chip: No, it was all the people leaving at once.

 

John: They were trying to get on the freeway first. It’s really dirt roads back then. 

 

Chip: Oh man. I miss the railroad on the freeway. There’s a song there, right, right? Hotel California or something. 

 

John: Right. But you know, the dead lands of California, it’s more like, they’re not dead. They just don’t have, they don’t have the water quality to grow crops. And what is growing burns down. 

 

Chip: Yeah, I mean water quality is a big issue here in Oklahoma and throughout the country. That’s for sure. I mean, the water quality here is pretty poor. We almost all use RO filters. If you’re an indoor you should be using an RO filter here. 

 

John: Yeah and you know, I go to a lot of places here and there, you have boron problems. That’s why those farms were abandoned. So that and the fact that everybody tried to grow one type of wheat, not weed. Fortunately, that’s not happening, because we’re growing many varieties of weed. But wheat, I mean, that’s what pretty much caused the Dust Bowl. It was, there was one popular wheat that everyone wanted to make bread out of in the northeast. And so everybody ran out here, tore up the land, grew one kind of wheat, because it was profitable, and then it became not profitable. And then all those farms were abandoned. And that’s part of the reason of the Dust Bowl. All these people left. They weren’t farmers to begin with anyway.

 

Chip: Yeah, series of droughts. Everybody was planting at once over and over again.

 

John: Same thing.

 

Chip: You know, World War One, it had a huge demand of food for, you know, for that effort. Everybody kind of like, had several great, great years and just everybody pumped it up.

 

John: Right. And my –

 

Chip: Kind of like the hemp industry. In the current hemp industry, there’s a Dust Bowl reference in there someplace.

 

Chip: Yeah, I mean hemp growing, you know, that’s farming once again. I sell a HumTea to hemp growers. You know, they use very little of it, but they use it at transplant because it helps with adjusting to the field from the greenhouse. I mean the hemp industry, there’s another over regulated industry. Keeping people at point three has punished a lot of plant breeders who –

 

Chip: How will that manage? You know what I hate about it? This is the biggest problem, is it still differentiates cannabis growers. There’s either the no THC or the THC growers. And the non-THC growers – mostly, don’t get your feelings hurt if you’re one of these people – mostly you’re like, “Oh no, I don’t grow THC.” It’s like come on, man. This is just the cannabis plant. Let’s stop being so scared of some letters, right? THC, CBD, DEA, FDA. Let’s stop being scared of those. Let’s think about like the cannabis. Let’s think about the plant. Let’s think about the world. And think about it that way, instead of this just fucked up liability type, human health and safety issue that they try to raise with it. We know cannabis is harmless. We’ve been using it for a long, long time. 

 

John: Very true. 

 

Chip: Yeah. Alright. So John, we’ve gone over a handful of things here with compost tea. Who can most benefit from this? Is this just for small people? Is this just for big people? Can anyone benefit from this? What are the best scenarios for compost to use?

 

John: The plants benefit from it.

 

Chip: Anybody, any plant can benefit from it.

 

John: People are problematic.

 

Chip: People benefit from it only because their plants are better and it makes the people happier?

 

John: Yes. 

 

Chip: Oh, I get it. I get it. I get it. I get it.

 

John: A regulator told me a long time ago. “Don’t try to list too many things on the label. Just say it makes plants happy.”

 

Chip: Yeah, yeah. Happy plants. 

 

John: And this was California. And I took that to heart because if you read our Constitution, we have the right to the pursuit of happiness. 

 

Chip: Absolutely. 

 

John: So why shouldn’t plants? 

 

Chip: Absolutely. Well, I love compost tea man. I’m glad we kind of got to talk about all of this. I got a couple compost tea recipes I love. I love 5 gallon compost tea, right? And the way that I like to make it, I don’t know if this is right or not, but when I make it this way, my plants absolutely respond. I usually dilute like, 5 gallons into about 20 gallons when I do it this way, right? And that’s out of sheer necessity. But I like 1 gallon of earthworm castings, 3 gallons of water. I’m gonna then put in a half a cup of some type of trace minerals. And then this is where it gets a little sticky, but I really like some sort of fish product. The fish [inaudible 54:33] or the fish emulsion, there’s controversy over all of that. And then just a smidgen of some sort of sugar. That recipe has been great for me and many other people for years. It’s so easy to follow. It’s not hard at all. You bubble it at you know, it needs to be over 60 degrees. I usually almost always bubble it outside. It usually takes three or four days for the fish smell to exchange from putrid to sweet. And, that’s what I like about this thing. When’s it ready? As soon as it turns sweet. I generally like the soil drench as opposed to the foliar spray. And part of that is because I’m scared of the yeast and fungus tests. 

 

John: Oh, interesting. 

 

Chip: Yeah, I don’t know if that’s real or not. But I’m scared of it. And I know you can outgrow it, you know, but many people spray throughout their flower period and I just choose to only like, spray it once or twice when they’re clones. I feed the clones stray compost tea and then dilute it, you know, like 5:1 or 4:1 or something like that. That’s my favorite compost tea. 

 

John: Yeah, I mean that sounds like a successful formula right there. Simple, easy to use –

 

Chip: Oh kelp. I forgot the kelp. There was my trace minerals, I say trace minerals, but I do prefer kelp for my trace mineral. 

 

John: Ah see, I was gonna add that.

 

Chip: Oh right, right. Yeah, and you know ’cause trace minerals, mined trace minerals are now harder to find, John. Have you looked for this lately, or it might not be hard for you because you’re in California, but they’re hard to get.

 

John: Yeah, you have to buy them in volume. You know, they come from mines in New Mexico and volcanic areas. But, you know, no one wants to go out there and truck them in anymore, that’s one of the problems. Cost, fuel, cost of operation –

 

Chip: There’s something they sell for 19 cents.

 

John: Right, right. So you know, I keep stocked up on all those. When I get halfway down in a container, I’ll reorder, because I like to use trace minerals for a couple different locations in my, in HumTea. And of course, there’s also kelp in there. Simple things that make a great tea. And sort of feed the microbes that you want to step up and be able to further break down what they need for the plant. 

 

Chip: So if you’re interested in compost tea, definitely check out more information we’ll have on The Real Dirt. Check us out at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC. You can buy all of your compost tea equipment. If you’re not familiar with Cutting Edge products, how do people look you up, John? 

 

John: Cuttingedgesolutions.com.

 

Chip: Cuttingedgesolutions.com. Ask your local vendor. If you’re a commercial grower, you absolutely need to check out the quality of the product. We didn’t even go into the whole lines of this whole compost tea conversation I wanted you here for today. Because I believe in compost tea and it’s something we’ve been talking about forever. And you know, really something that I want to turn people on to. So thanks for coming today, John. I really appreciate this little chat and I look forward to having you on in the future. 

 

John: Sounds good. You know all I have to do is drive down from Tulsa now. 

 

Chip: Oh, yeah, that’s right. We’ll get on that whole relocation on the next episode. Hey guys, thanks for joining me today on The Real Dirt with Chip Baker and John Piccirilli. If you liked this episode, and you have not subscribed yet, please subscribe on iTunes. Join us on Instagram, join us on Facebook. Hey and always comment, always leave a message. And if you’re interested in soil, or any type of growing equipment go to cultivatecolorado.com. Stop in one of our stores in Denver or Oklahoma. Yeah, man, we’re always willing to chat and we’ve got great, great, great people who are willing to answer any question you have. So there it is, The Real Dirt on compost tea. Thanks again.

How to Ruin Your Weed with a Paper Bag

How to Ruin Your Weed with a Paper Bag

oregon cannabis, colorado cannabis and oklahoma cannabis

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

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

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

The paper bag dry method

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

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

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

Those days are gone

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

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

This week’s episode

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

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

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Transcript

 

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

 

Justin: Hey how you doing, Chip?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Man.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: Breeze.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: You’ve got a dry paper bag.

 

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

 

Chip: You got a dry paper bag?

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Right.

 

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

 

Justin: Right.

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: End up.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Oh yeah, you can feel it.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: It’s the technique. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: I like that.

 

Chip: Yeah, totally.

 

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

 

Chip: It’s a turkey bag stand.

 

Justin: Turkey or goose bags?

 

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

 

Justin: In those large goose bags. Yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Less brain damage.

 

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

 

Justin: Nice.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: That’s a convertible loan.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Sure.

 

Chip: Right?

 

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

 

Chip: Yeah, well Metrc’s – 

 

Justin: Legalize cannabis.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Well, it adds up. Yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: It’s all balanced out here now.

 

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

 

Justin: Yes, eventually. 

 

Chip: Right, eventually.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: I mean, two years, it’s been.

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Five to six hundred.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: If for just the costing, agree.

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: It’s just going to the extractors.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Oh yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: Right.

 

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

 

Chip: [inaudible 31:00].

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

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

 

Justin: Right. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: Wow.

 

Justin: Yeah. So –

 

Chip: Man, that was just big.

 

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

 

Chip: [inaudible 36:10] max CO2.

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Sure.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

Chip: Oh, I’ve been there, man. 

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Oh, yeah. 

 

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

 

Justin: Yep. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: When’s Oklahoma going recreational?

 

Chip: Oklahoma.

 

Justin: Yeah, when’s that going out? 

 

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

 

Justin: Right. No vote, no public vote?

 

Chip: No. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: You might say, fuck it. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: Yeah man.

 

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

 

Chip: Once again – 

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: I know. Hey, you know –

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: Always a pleasure. 

 

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

The Science of Breeding Triploid Cannabis

The Science of Breeding Triploid Cannabis

the science of cannabis cultivation

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

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

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

The evolving science of cannabis and hemp cultivation

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

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

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

Plant science, patents and more

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

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

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Transcript

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: We call those fine finishing days.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin: For sure. We definitely do.

 

Chip: What is it? What is it?

 

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

 

Chip: Is that the original, because –

 

Justin: Yeah, the original for sure.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip: Yeah, I mean –

 

Justin:  To get better plants?

 

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

 

Justin:  Right, right. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip:  Sterile, sterile male?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely.

 

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

 

Chip:  Map. Map. 

 

Justin:  Yeah, to select strains or select –

 

Chip:  And that’s traditional breeding, right?

 

Justin: Right, right.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin:  Yeah, well, I finally got that –

 

Chip:  It’s all about the ganja.

 

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

 

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

 

Justin:  Sherbadough from Archive.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip:  Yeah, this is Phylos. Phylos – 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip:  Yep.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Justin:  Probably.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chip:  Yeah, no shit. Right.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Cancer, Cannabis and Cultivation [ Jim Gerencser Pt. 2 ]

Cancer, Cannabis and Cultivation [ Jim Gerencser Pt. 2 ]

how cannabis helps with cancer

It’s all too common for someone to enter the cannabis industry for personal or medical reasons. Jim Gerencser is one of them.

Jim’s son Eric has had a rough battle with cancer throughout his entire life. From the time he was 8 until he was 18, Eric underwent regular brain scans to determine if the tumor in his brain would end up being fatal. After beating that cancer, another was found in his abdomen, and it was even more serious.

But because they recognized Eric’s condition early, it was easier for doctors to find and eradicate the cancer before it grew to a dangerous level. This victory inspired Jim to create E.R.I.C., also known as Early Recognition Is Critical.

The E.R.I.C. Program aims to educate people about the early recognition signs of various cancers so it can be fought before it spreads. And now Eric himself is a teacher to young students about how to take care of themselves. But cannabis was a major factor.

Eric was on 9 drugs during his Chemotherapy treatments. With the help of legal cannabis oil, Eric was able to cut out 5 of those medications, down to 4 with the help of cannabis. That’s what inspired Jim to enter the cannabis industry.

Jim meets Chip

When Jim needed an expert to help him plan out what he wanted to achieve in the legal cannabis industry, Chip was the first name to come up among his friend and business circles. Once they connected, the rest was history.

If you don’t get the vibe from their conversations, Jim and Chip have become great friends that are working together to change how cannabis consulting works.

In Part 2 of their conversation, Jim and Chip talk about Eric and how E.R.I.C. got its start, how they started working together, the importance of R&D in cannabis cultivation plus some more in depth cannabis talk!

Learn more about Early Recognition Is Critical (E.R.I.C.)

Learn more about Greener Consulting Group

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Transcript

Chip: And we’re back, Jim.

Jim: Yeah. I love Cultivate.

Chip: Oh man, I got a great crew.  Like, if there’s anything that I’m proud of,  it is my crew and how they work together, and work with other people, right? I have worked on that and we have cultivated that. 

Jim: No pun intended.

Chip: Yeah, I am most proud about that. I’m impressed with my whole crew, man. I’ve got maybe 30 people, not a bad apple among them. Any one of the people would sit down and chat with any of you about cannabis, or sports, or whatever you found common in your life. And they’re not arrogant or ego driven just you know, all really good, good people that support cannabis.

Jim: So the way Chip proposes we’re added as Ganja U in Oklahoma and it’s summer solstice –

Chip: That’s our nickname. That’s our nickname for our cannabis farm out here, Ganja U, because we just keep learning.

Jim: So we’re out there, and we’re out there on the summer solstice and Chip’s whole crew from Cultivate Oklahoma shows up. So, Chip is an amazing, he’s not like a boss. He doesn’t boss people around. He’ll jump in there and do it first. And he’s a leader. So it’s been fun watching how you manage people. Chip. You’re totally a remote kind of guy, but you’re a hands-on person. But you can manage it remote, because you have a good team in place already. So yeah, give Cultivate a call. I’ve met half the crew, looking forward to meet the other half. I highly agree with what he says, he said that it’s a hell of a team. Call him up, man. So especially if you do it yourself, if you want to put together a little package which I’ve done in the past, a lot of times you got to go to three or four different stores. Cultivate will take care of it for you right there. So yeah, good stuff. Hey, the reason I’m into this is like I said –

Chip: Yeah, let’s talk about ERIC. Let’s talk about ERIC.

Jim: ERIC is a cancer prevention charity. I started it back in 2012. And Eric had gone through two brain tumors. One of them was a reoccurrence from a misdiagnosis. We brought him to the doctor when he was eight years old six times, and the doctor basically did everything but get him a CAT scan, calling it sinusitis. And I was bringing him to a buddy of mine, he’s a chiropractor, awesome, Ultimate Frisbee friend. His name is Dr. Scott, big shout out to him. But Dr. Scott was adjusting Eric just to help him feel better. And he said, “Why don’t you go get a CAT scan?” So CAT scan. Thirty minutes later, we’re sitting in the office, Eric’s got a big tumor in his head. It’s almost a golf ball size, because it was misdiagnosed for so long. So long story short, everything was good with that. Ten years later, he got full clearance on his brain tumor. Finally, from the time he was 8 to the time he was 18, he had to have annual scans that would basically be like a death scan. It was like, “Is it coming back or not?” Because we had already seen it come back. So when he was 18, he had full clearance. A month later, he had some weird, something going on with his abdomen, he couldn’t pee, went to the doctor. The poor kid had another type of cancer happening. And so at the age of 18, he goes in and starts chemotherapy. And at that time, I had a friend whose mom was going through Stage IV Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and Eric’s type of cancer he had this time was Non-Hodgkins Stage II. And ended up, her mom passed away the second day of Eric’s chemo. So we were blown away. We were fucked up, and we had no idea what we were gonna do. And we just knew we needed to support Eric, we need to take care of this. My friend’s name is Cassandra. And we needed to take care of Cassandra and Cassandra’s family and ended up starting a charity. And we didn’t know what we wanted to call it. But we knew one thing we wanted to do, was we wanted to make sure that we could introduce cancer symptoms earlier to people, because her mom had Stage IV, Eric had Stage II. Eric was still alive, her mom was not. So, we started coming up with names and I came up with “Early” and “Critical,” and my cousin came up with “Recognition Is.” So we came up with Early Recognition Is Critical based off E-R-I-C. So here we are, eight years later, 2020, ERIC has been teaching kids cancer symptom education. The hardest thing to do is go into schools anymore. So I am taking ERIC out of the youth space, and moving it into the adult space. And I’m going to be focusing on using fully extracted cannabis oil to fight cancer. So this is the official coming out party and I want to thank Chip for allowing me to do it.

Chip: Yeah, man. Let’s fight cancer. 

Jim: Let’s do it. 

Chip: Hey, ’cause and one of my best friends named Greg, he’s says, “Fuck cancer!” 

Jim: Fuck cancer!

Chip: Right, Greg? Greg Davidson.

Jim: Say it out loud.

Chip: Fuck cancer! Alright, one, two three.

Both: Fuck cancer!

Chip: Fuck cancer.

Jim: Yeah, say it again and keep saying it. And don’t be afraid to say the word cancer, because the way to beat it is to add “fuck” to it. Fuck cancer. So, right now we’re officially fighting cancer with cannabis. And if you have any questions call me direct. Hit me up on Facebook. I’m on Facebook, I’m on LinkedIn, I’m on Greener Consulting. You can find me, G-E-R-E-N-C-S-E-R. There’s not many of us around. So yeah, thanks, Chip. It feels good. I’ve had it in the closet for eight years. I’ve been wanting to merge the two forces together. I’ve been doing survivor stories for both sides of it. I’m just out doing survivor stories. So if you’re a survivor, hit us up. Go to our website, early recognition is critical. Tell us your story. Tell us if cannabis helps you save your life, or if it helps make skin cancer go away like it did me. I had a basal cell carcinoma on my arm. I went to a dispensary in Santa Cruz. I also own a professional Ultimate Frisbee team called the Dallas Roughnecks, and we’re big supporters of cannabis curing cancer, to be honest. And I had a spot on my arm and I used fully extracted cannabis oil, they refer to it as FECO oil. This FECO oil dissolved that cancer within two weeks, with no side effects whatsoever, and there’s absolutely no sign of it. So man, I am pumped about this, as you can tell. I’m ready to talk about it. We’re gonna fuck up some cancer. And we’re gonna – it all started right here on The Real Dirt. So there we go.

Chip: So in the past, let’s talk about this early recognition portion of ERIC, and why that’s so important.

Jim: So you know that the key to beating cancer is recognizing it early. I hear that all the time, but nobody really pushes it. If you have Stage IV, what that means is that the cancer has metastasized across your body. And it means that it’s moved from where it originally came in, which would be either your lymph nodes, or some of your more sensitive infected parts of your body, and then it starts spreading. And as it spreads, and if it gets up into your chest, that’s basically Stage IV. And it’s kind of what they used to refer to as a death sentence. Stage I means that they found it exactly where it started, and it’s contained in one specific area where they have multiple different ways to be able to treat it. Like you can do chemo, they can do radiation, they can do surgery. Eric’s Burkitt’s lymphoma, we did surgery, and then they also did chemo. So he went through a surgery, they did the biopsy, and then they also did chemotherapy. But Eric did cannabis the whole time he was doing this, and it allowed him to be able to continue eating. And when Eric came home from the hospital, this is really important. He was given nine prescriptions. And after he used cannabis oil, he was able to eliminate five of those. So a lot of the medicines are all these different –

Jim: Wow man, five out of nine.

Jim: Five, gone, off the list, do not need them anymore. They were basically drugs that were gonna make you feel not nauseated. And then you had to have, you have another pill that would make you feel not nauseated from the pill that makes you feel not nauseated. So that’s just a bunch of crap. And that’s what Health Camp Buddy’s all about. And so recognizing cancer symptoms early, we recognize it because Cassandra’s mom had Stage IV, Eric had Stage II, he’s still alive today. So I just did the math. And I started realizing that we could use Ultimate Frisbee as a way to teach people to speak up. I think “speak up” is our best message. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night. And I was like, “Speak up, tell someone.” And my friend was like, “What the hell’s going on?” I was like, “It’s all about speaking up. You can recognize it early. But if you don’t tell anybody, it’s nothing’s happening. You have to recognize it. And you also have to speak up.” Ultimate Frisbee is a great sport that I have been part of since I was 19. And part of Ultimate that’s cool is you call your own fouls, all the way up to the pro level, they have reps in the pros, but all the way up till that point, you call your own fouls. So you have to speak up. So we use these Ultimate Frisbee clinics, we would go into the schools, and we would work with 5 to 600 kids in one day, which is fun as hell but also tough as hell. And teach them to speak up if something’s wrong with your body. We simplified it down to giving them some really basic symptoms. Eric’s symptoms were headache and vomiting. You can have a headache, and headaches aren’t normal by the way. If you have a headache, something’s wrong. Go to get it checked out, and don’t just accept it as a headache. But then he had vomiting too, which was nausea and actually vomiting. And what was happening was his brain tumor was causing his blood fluid to not be able to drain, and the only way he could get it out was to throw it up. And it was vile basically coming out, and it’s not normal. So that is a cancer symptom. And also not being able to pee. Come on, you should be able to pee. You should be able to go to the number two, you should be able to use the bathroom without it hurting, without it being uncomfortable. So if it’s not, speak up. So that’s my ERIC speech. And like I said, early recognition is critical. That org, I’m really proud of it. It does save lives. I’ve had multiple people call me up saying that they’ve gone to the doctor because of what we’re doing. And they caught their cancer at Stage I. End of story. It works.

Chip: Yeah, that’s dramatic, man. That is absolutely dramatic.

Jim: So yeah, we’re, we’re loving it. And it’s cool. It’s really cool to be able to combine cannabis with it, because I know that that’s where I think I could do the best, do the most damage, save the most lives without pills. It’s kind of a concept I wanted to start, plants over pills. If you ever listened to an article on a commercial for like, anything but Viagra, they tell you all these symptoms. Yeah, you could take this pill for high cholesterol, but you might commit suicide and you’re definitely gonna probably have diarrhea, and you probably won’t sleep at night, and you’re not going to be hungry anymore. But good for you, you don’t have high cholesterol. But there’s other ways to do it. One way is to eat healthy. I’m probably not a great example of that. But – 

Chip: We all struggle with that one, that’s for sure. No matter, the most healthy of us still have their issues.

Jim: You’ve helped me out a lot there, Chip. You being a vegetarian definitely has made me aware of it.

Chip: Man, and yet now you got the vegetarian chili going.

Jim: How about that? Yeah.

Chip: Yeah, let’s talk about your vegetarian chili recipe.

Jim: You got to taste it man. So I start off with, I sauté garlic, onions, celery, carrots and bell peppers. And then I put it in a crock pot and add a bunch of beans, and a bunch of tomato sauce, and tomatoes, and a lot of spices, a lot of curcumin, and oleander, and a lot of parsley and paprika in there. And a lot of chili, I love chili pepper. And then I cook it for about three or four hours. And then I take about a quarter of it and I’d mix it up in my little bullet to get the consistency right. But I add a lot of bell peppers. I love jalapenos, basically throw anything I’ve got in the kitchen that’s a vegetable. I’ve had broccoli, I’ve had asparagus. It’s amazing, man. I make it every week. My daughter and wife hate beans, but they love the chili. Little do they know it’s like, 70% beans. So it’s all presentation I guess, right?

Chip: Yeah, totally. Totally, all presentation.

Jim: So what’s your recipe? Give us a recipe.

Chip: Man well, okay, so my cheater recipe is with cans, right? I’ll just say the cheater recipe. Okay, so one can of chopped tomatoes, right? One small thing of tomato paste, two cans of beans of assorted – I like the chili beans that, I get the organic chili beans from our local store, can’t remember what brand it is. But they’ve got a couple of different types of beans in it. Onion, garlic, paprika, chili powder. Here’s where I got a little non-traditional for some people, or maybe so but like man, I put some powdered onion powder in it as well, right? Just like, gives it this boost of flavor. Even though we sauté actual onions. Then I take some oil, I sauté the onions and the garlic all together. Man sometimes I’ll put in like, a vegetarian sausage or impossible burger or something like that. We’ve got some like, mushroom type of burgers too. We’ll like, chop that up a little bit at that point.

Jim: Is it possible that your favorite protein is that [inaudible 13:57]?

Chip: No, no, no, I’m a cheap vegan, Jim, right? And I’m a vegan at heart, because I’m lactose intolerant. But I still like, love cheese pizza, I had it for dinner last night. Yeah. Right. And I’ll eat the cheap shit too, I’m not you know.

Jim: If you’re hungry, you gotta eat.

Chip: I’ll eat it all but like, I eat cheese pizza and I’m lactose intolerant. So like, I have to eat some lactose enzymes and, then I love butter, because I’m from the south and everything’s double butter, double sugar. But I eat fish man, I’m a fisherman. Now that I’m in Oklahoma, we buy fish. When I lived in California, I tried to catch most of my fish. We’ll eat fish like, four times, five times a week.

Jim: What’s your favorite fish?

Chip: You know, I have a few favorite fishes and favorite dish, favorite fish recipes. Black cod, which is a deep water cod. Its texture is just incredible. I think that’s what one of my favorite fish, right? If you get true Blackwater cod –

Jim: Did you use to get that up in Northern California?

Chip: Yeah, yeah, it comes out of Alaska.

Jim: Oh hell yeah.

Chip: And you can get it, you get it all over. 

Jim: Do some people call that ling cod?

Chip: Ling cod’s different. And ling cod,  they are cod, but you also catch them higher in like, 100 feet of water, 200 feet of water. Where like, the black cod they’re deep. And so the pressure of the water changes the consistency, their consistency, right?  Different fish, man. Great, great fish. If you’re ever in Denver, there is great, great sushi in Denver. And I know it’s totally environmentally inappropriate, but farm raised Croatian tuna, the Toro on this stuff is so good. And you can get it in a couple of restaurants in our area. Izakayaden is the one we go to. Otherwise mostly-

Jim: You’re a big sushi guy though.

Chip: I eat sushi for sure. But in Oklahoma, I haven’t really found the sushi spot.

Jim: Yeah, there’s not one.

Chip: I hear there is, actually. But I haven’t gone there yet. I mean, because most of the sushi is flown in overnight. So it’s all about your connection wherever you are. I love shrimp and lobster and crab, Dungeness crab and crab cakes.

Jim: Stonecrab claws.

Chip: Yeah, I’ll eat all of that. I mean, in the north coast up in Trinidad Westhaven like, we could fish for a lot of that stuff. Like the Dungeness crab, a great fishery for that up there. Tuna, cod, salmon. I mean, you go out and catch rockfish, and ling cod limit any single time you want to go out during the fishing season, you’ll probably  limit.

Jim: What are we going to get to pass a joint again, man.

Chip: Oh, well, I mean, I quit that a while ago. I don’t, and with the people you hang out with? I don’t know if I can smoke joints with you anymore.

Jim: Oh.

Chip: Jim is frequently trying to pass anybody who will look at him in the eyes a joint.

Jim: That’s a bad habit.

Chip: Compliment, compliment. No, it’s a compliment. I know. Well, I mean, I haven’t really spoke about COVID too terribly much on our podcast. I’ll say plandemic pandemic, it’s a storm in the horizon, and I’m trying to avoid it. I’m also a private pilot, and you see a thunderstorm, you avoid it. And there are limits that you should get to it close to it, there’s a reasonable limit for your plane size. 30 miles, I believe is what they say. That’s what I’m trying to do is just stay healthy, stay away. I’m not sure what all the facts are. I don’t think anyone knows what all the facts are. It just is such a new problem. Every day, people guess something different about it. Now, I just have had to turn my ears off a little bit. When we go into any store in Oklahoma, we mask up like everybody else, pretty much. There’s usually one or two people that don’t. And hey, whether regardless of what you believe, plandemic, pandemic, like I said. I mask up, man. I go in the store. I respect the other people around me, because I don’t want to cause them fear or harm. And it doesn’t have anything to do with being a sheep. It’s all about just respect for your neighbors, respect for your fellow humans, respect for the scenario and situation. right? Like, no conspiracy theory. It’s just, man, it’s just kind of how it is. You got to like, deal with it.

Chip: Yeah, I think it’ll teach us all a lot of like, barriers and the space between each other in general, you know? It’s just like ,respect the boundaries, man. Everybody should have boundary, right? And everybody’s is different. So –

Jim: Have you flown yet?

Jim: You know, I haven’t, man. And that’s amazing, right? I’m a flyer and I have not, I just had a grandkid. He was born March 22nd. Can you believe this? Snoop Dogg for a grandpa? His initials are OG. I don’t think that was intentional. Knowing my son and daughter in law I’m pretty positive, that wasn’t intentional. And I only tried to pull the OG just enough to get the people that know what’s up. But yeah, but I’m proud.

Chip: You are very Snoop Dogg. Do you listen to hip-hop?

Jim: I don’t. 

Chip: Do you rap at all? You don’t listen to any, no Snoop Dogg for you?

Jim: No Snoop Dogg, man.

Chip: It’s alright. We’re gonna get you to a Snoop Dogg playlist.

Jim: You saw I have a record player. And I’ve got some rock and roll. I’m a Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin freak. I saw Led Zeppelin in 1977 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Chip: God. Wow. 

Jim: It was awesome. Holy shit.

Chip: What size venue was that?

Jim: It was like, maybe 17,000. Something like that. Yeah, it was awesome. And my brother stood in line and got in like multiple fights throughout the night, and got tickets. And somehow, my buddy and I got front row, first balcony, center. It was amazing. But I had smoked way too much weed. I think I smoked, I know we rolled like, 90 joints. I actually –

Chip: What were you smoking? What were you smoking, do you remember that?

Jim: Probably, it was good Mexican weed back then. II was always – 

Chip: You were in Texas.

Jim: I was in Texas, but I had connections. One of my best friends was a grower even back then. And he ended up growing, going to college at Texas A&M. And then he got a job at Teledyne, it was one of the [inaudible 21:16] out in California. And his job was to go check on the oil rig. So the first thing he did is start big farms by every oil rig. So he was growing killer weed in Southern California back in  I think, ’81.  So we were smoking Mexican weed, but we smoked 90 joints, man. And I ended up getting in trouble at football because like, I ended up having to quit football, because of the penalty that they put on me. Texas football. I missed one day of practice. Yeah. Now, granted, we did get caught –

Chip: You gave up your football career to go to Led Zeppelin. Hey man, you had your priorities straight, bro. That was the smartest decision you ever made. If you have not done that, that would have shaped your life forever, and you wouldn’t have been who you are.

Jim: I would have been three –

Chip: You chose, oh, dude, you chose an experience that, you have told this experience 1000 a million times. It’s probably one of the most important things that’s ever happened to you.

Jim: Yeah. It’s something that many people have done.

Chip: That’s life, right? That’s how it turns, man.

Jim: That’s what it’s about. It’s not about how much money you have in the bank, it’s how many stories and memories that you have. My lifestyle’s kind of based on time rich, we’re actually doing a movie. It’s called The Ultimate Charity. And it’s all about ERIC, and how we got so many eyes on ERIC so quick. And we started the ultimate frisbee team and they ended up winning the championship in 2016. And we went all over the world. I mean, ERIC’s actually right now in Colombia, Venezuela, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Italy. It’s all over the world, man. I’ve done an amazing job of blowing it up and not really even knowing it. And I think it’s just organic. I just kind of got out of the way, and started something really cool and run with it. So good stuff, Chip. This has been awesome, man.

Chip: No, no, no, man. It’s great, dude. I’m glad we’ve been talking about this for a minute. And I want to do some other podcasts with you, too. Here’s the three podcasts, you guys. Here’s what me and Jim are going to do in the future. We’ve been talking about this for a minute, because we both really love business, and I analyze my business, and other people’s business, and help my friends with their businesses all the time. And we’re gonna analyze some sort of cannabis business on a podcast here soon, right? Yeah, totally, totally. And man, I started when I was young, Jim started when he was young. I’ve been doing this like, I’m 47 right now, Jim’s 65. Like we’ve been doing this ever –

Jim: 60.

Chip: 60. Hey, I was trying to give you more experience, bro. Not call you older. So you still can’t get the discount, then

Jim: Oh, no people are discounted at 55 now, man.

Chip: Oh, okay, good. Let’s go to Ryan’s and get some food. 

Jim: That’s terrific. Hey Chip, that’s a freaking great idea.

Chip: It’s a great idea, though, isn’t it? Yes, I should do that. Because we just both love to do that. That’s such a fun thing for us to do. People will learn about it. We’ll go over a whole PL, BL, we’ll just pick a cannabis business.

Jim: Yeah. And if you want us to do your business, why don’t you send it in? We’ll start a little application process.

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. That’s what we’ll do. If you have a cannabusiness with a PL BL, it doesn’t even have to be a current one. It could be last year’s. We need this. We need you to be sure of your numbers. We need, you’d have three years of these numbers. And you’d be willing to get on podcast with us and talk about it. And I mean, it’s simple. We’ve been in business for three years and been running some sort of financial management software. We use QuickBooks but whatever we’ll generate a PL and a BL for three years straight, so we can actually see what the business has been doing, and generate some good conversation. It’ll be fun. I really love to do this. I know businesspeople like, “Oh, PL, BL. No.”

Jim: They don’t get it, we can talk –

Chip: They don’t get it dude.

Jim: We’ve done so much that a lot of people would love to hear. I used to do all my own taxes. I wouldn’t do them, I wouldn’t have my account layout five different scenarios of different cash flows, and different ways to spend money on some things. And we can all talk about a lot of fun things, and honestly, we could bring some specialists on. I’ve got a guy that’s a tax guy. Or we could bring in a, you know, specifically based off of what kind of company it is. Yeah, I love it.

Chip: That sounds fun, man. We’ll do that. It’ll be a Greener Group Excess episode, we’ll start doing that. 

Jim: Did you just think of that?

Chip: It just came off. We’ve been talking about similar stuff. But like, I mean, we talk about it all the time. I mean, I deal with PL BL all the time. It’s how I run all of my businesses. And if you’re not running a profit and loss statement, or a balance and ledger statement on a monthly basis reconciling them, then you’re really missing out on understanding how your business works and being able to see where you can go with cash flow, where you can go with tax –

Jim: How to anticipate things yeah, how to save money on tax. I’m a specialist at that. I understand cash flow. I understand cash basis versus accrual basis. I’ve converted, I think Jeff and I both have just recently converted from cash to accrual. That’s a big thing. It happens only if you hit a certain revenue amount, the IRS requires you to do it. Been there, done that. I survived, so we do it. I’ve started businesses left and right. Chip has had great exits. Hey, let’s  schedule that in. I’d look forward to-

Chip: Yeah, man. We’ll have to schedule that in. Hey, let’s find somebody though. Hey, we’re reaching out. Any type of cannabis business, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. From if you’re a class one or class three, if you’re a dispensary or an attorney, if you’re an ancillary company selling products to the cannabis industry, or if you’re in the cannabis industry extraction to hemp, anybody’s peel. But you have to have three years’ worth of reconcile, balance, ledgers, and profit, and loss statements.

Jim: Hey, it’d be awesome if you have like an idea of where you wanted to go too. Like, what  we’re trying to help you with? Are you wanting to scale? Or you want to sell? Are you wanting to make more profit? Are you wanting to like, give us some ideas? And basically, we’ll suggest for you, but come up with an idea. Bring your company to the table. We’ll come up with the name of this probably next time we talk and smoke one.

Chip: This is great. This is great, dude. I’m loving it. We might we got a whole ‘nother like, this is literally like, both of our like, I shouldn’t say hobbies, but we get excited about it.

Jim: It is. I know [inaudible 28:21]. Do we not have anything else better to do than this?

Chip: Yes. Like, I’m gonna find the 1%, I’m gonna find 1%. That’s often my motto is like, stack up the 1%, man and get 1% profit coming out of it.

Jim: I’m always better helping other people than helping myself. I hate to say that. I don’t know what you call that. But it is what it is.

Chip: Yeah, I’m similar.

Jim: I think it’s called just giving. You know, when you’re a giver, you want to help other people, it’s almost a codependency. You want to help other people more than you want to help yourself. Even on the airplane, they tell you if we’re going down, put your own mask on first, that way you can help more people. It’s a good point. 

Chip: It is a good point.

Jim: But we’ve already done that, Chip. I think we both have our mask on already, you know what I mean? We’re very comfortable with each other and we’ve never brought up money. It’s never been like, it’s not like, we have to make money or we’re, I’m broke I need I’ve got – because money is one of those things. If you have too much or too little, you’re in trouble. There’s somewhere in between there that you’re comfortable. And I think both of us are comfortable. I think we’re comfortable in our skin. And a lot of times skin is green. It’s how much passion.

Chip: Hey man, I spend all my money on weed and I always have, and I’ll probably always will. Any of my friends out there listening to me know what I mean about that. I’m either gonna invest it all into more businesses that are weed associated, hire more employees and I do whatever I want, but like I also work 10 hours a day.

Jim: So Chip I used to always say back in the day it’s like, all my friends would say, “Why do you have weed?” I was like, “I always buy enough so I don’t run out.” And I always referenced, I could always turn weed into money, but I cannot always turn money into weed.

Chip: Money into weed. That is very freak brother quote right there. Hey, let’s talk about weed, Jim. You were smoking some Humboldt, what do you mean by that? Is it indoor? It’s indoor?

Jim: Yeah, indoor. I’m a big fan of indoor. Honestly, I got some fresh outdoor but in this greenhouse, but I guess I’ve learned from Chip, greenhouse weed is outdoor. I’m just not a fan of – 

Chip: Even though they might call it indoor.

Jim: They might, yeah. That’s the thing about the industry is we’re all outlaws and some people don’t care that much. So some people just make shit up and yes, but other people are really concerned about it. The genetics is really, so I’m a big fan of indoor. I like the flavor. I do a maintenance process. I smoke a lot of just, a couple hits here, a couple of hit there throughout the day, all day. And it allows me to relax. I don’t have to do any ADHD pills. I use cannabis to manage that. It’s called self-medication. And I’m a big, I have my medical cannabis card in California. So I’m legal. So if anybody’s wondering, I believe that this medical cannabis deal is a beautiful thing. I think there’s, how many states are legal right now, Chip? 33 or…?

Chip: I mean, there’s more legal than not right now.

Jim: We should celebration of like, a special little song. [inaudible 31:40] a cannabis song.

Chip: Smoking weed makes me feel fine. Legalize another state.

Jim: You gotta put an auto button for sure. Give your host a stop button too.

Chip: Like a hook.

Jim: What are you smoking, man? What are you smoking?

Chip: I’m smoking right now, I’m fixing to roll up some Kush 19. It’s from our light depth here in Oklahoma.

Jim: Hey, so one of our customers, we were meeting them, they hadn’t bought the business yet. I was looking at investing in it. We all took a break and we all rolled joints up. But Chip made a comment. Remember that you made a comment that, “Hey, this weed is from a buddy of mine.” Right? And the investor said, he told me off record, “I will never invest in somebody that doesn’t smoke their own – ” 

Chip: Smoke their own weed.

Jim: It was a really funny statement. So that’s kind of what we’re dealing with here, this guy –

Chip: They’re nice people. They just didn’t understand what was going on.

Jim: They did not get it.

Chip: Like hey, Chip’s looking for the best weed in the world. He’s not ever gonna buy any of that shit. I was coming to see Jim, so I looked for the best weed I could find. And because man, I don’t have it all the time. And even though I’m smoking our own cultivated weed right now, in the other room I also have some variety of weed from [inaudible 33:26] Genetics, a local Oklahoma company. Man, I love their Grandpa’s Breath and their [inaudible 33:28], big up the jive. If you’re in Oklahoma, look for them at your local dispensary or come to Bakers Medical and ask for it there. They have great weed.

Chip: I smoked it. I’ve smoked it for sure. Yeah, I just smoked a couple hits of that outdoor. The thing about indoor, it seems like the whole joint, you can taste the flavor of it. I guess is that’s the terpenes that you’re tasting or what is it?

Chip: Oh, Jim. Man, you just got to get good outdoor, dude. It is the full flavor, like that really good, greenhouse, organic grown outdoor. That’s the flavor all the way down? Oh my god dude, it’s just so good, right?

Jim: Prove it.

Chip: Hey, I’ll tell you what, I got terpene tests that say that my outdoor here and my greenhouse does prove it. And it is higher than terpene test from indoors of the same strains, right? So we actually do have that proof. Man, the extract –

Jim: What causes that? Does the heat bring up, do you think the heat causes, creates a –

Chip: Man, especially in the greenhouse, it’s in this natural environment that’s still protected, right? And part of the terpenes and the secondary compounds are to like, fly off the plant and either act as an attractant, or repel pests, or be a memory to an animal that eats it. Right? It’s like, “Oh, don’t go near that funny smell and skunk weed, because we got high as fuck last time, we’ve had to eat the seeds out of it.” Right, that’s the initial purpose of it all. But then like, we’ve like, “Oh, I like the myrcene, I like the limonene, and breed that in there. And select for that. And that’s what we, as humans have done to increase it. So in a greenhouse, they’re contained, and they don’t blow off so much, but they still get the natural sun. But then you use a UV resistant plastic on top of it, that that pulls out a bunch of the UV.  And that whole accumulation of things, I believe makes greenhouse weed have the highest terpene. I mean, I’m not the only person saying it. I’m pretty sure it’s already been proven. Now, you cannot, you can get the worst terpene profile out of bad greenhouse operations, or bad genetics, right? ‘Cause that happens too.

Jim: Okay, well I have to be more openminded. I’ll see –

Chip: Hey, man, I’m not claiming to have great weed right now. And, we’ve been growing our outdoor for extraction. We’ve just pulled some, light depth is pretty good. But I’m just gonna say it’s pretty good. I got a high opinion of it all. And man, it was real rough here this year. It was wet, it was humid. At almost every harvest period we had throughout the summer, because we had multiple ones, whether it was auto flowers light depths, traditionally powered outdoor, it’s just been so wet, man. And –

Jim: What you’re doing is people don’t, and a lot of people probably understand, that is much R&D that you do.

Chip: Oh, it’s all R&D. Oh, yeah, totally. It’s all R&D. And that’s the beauty of Oklahoma is that we man, I mean, we’ve grown so many different weeds. Five or six different techniques, greenhouse, outdoor, clones of seeds, light depth, late season planting. I mean, we’ve planted 20,000 seeds this past year, kill off a bunch of seeds, threw a bunch of stuff away, extracted it all. And the point was, we’re looking for genetics that thrive here in Oklahoma, under several conditions. Light depth, early planting, light planting, full season, indoor, and that’s kind of part of it all. It’s just like, I am absolutely a shotgun approach guy to it, and just plant out shit ton as much as you can in Oklahoma. I’ve never been able to plant out this much. So we planted out more than we could control. Man, we’ve seen some great, great, great, great returns out of it. We’ve had some plants that didn’t survive at all. We had some auto flowers that didn’t work out at all. We had some auto flowers that worked out great. We’ve planted every single month, March, April, May, June, July, August, September. And it really, really learned a lot about what’s going on here.

Jim: Bring up a couple of like, a couple of the obstacles that you did and how you pivoted, maybe an example of how –

Chip: Well man, I’ll tell you that the biggest obstacle we had this year was material supply early in the season. COVID had hit in March, everything was fucking crazy. Looking back and oh it was just nuts, man. We’re gonna be feeling that PTSD for years. But couldn’t get materials, couldn’t get supplies. Everybody was weeks out of stuff. And so we had planned on putting 40,000 square feet of hoop, right? We got to 19,000 and I just couldn’t put up anymore. We had been delayed because of, and we had started in February putting this stuff up. We had a hard time getting employees, man. We had a hard time getting farmworkers. We had about 12 different people come out and the heat just crushed them. Because man, if you’re not used to working outside, the heat here in Oklahoma will crush you, right? Hands fucking down. And we’re even like, cautious about it all. But still, it’s a hard job, man.

Jim: It’s farming.

Chip: Yeah, it’s farming. We’re at the ranch. We’re not convenient to any of the big cities. We noticed this man, that many people wanted to come out and work, but they had childcare issues, right? Because their kids couldn’t go to school or couldn’t be under the assistance with their grandparents or whatever it normally had been. And we lost, a bunch of people just couldn’t hang with driving an hour or an hour and a half, and like, having to deal with their kids, right? The kids were I don’t know, just kid stuff, dude. Like, “Oh, babysitter didn’t work out. I’m not feeling good. Oh, you know, this, that, the other.” And because everybody’s kids are home, the normal daycare wasn’t working. We had a problem getting employees here. And I had planned on having six employees for 40,000 square feet of hoop, and 20,000 ish, well, 50,000 square feet of outdoor, that was my plan. That’s what we were prepared for. But we could only get two workers trained and kind of up to speed before like,  the season started. And at that point, I decided I wasn’t going to build any more greenhouses. We weren’t going to plan all the outdoor, and we went with just I think, 60,000 square feet, 20,000 square feet of outdoor, and then 19,000 square feet of greenhouse. And then we had another 20,000 square feet of shade out. So we just kind of left all that be. And three people, it was still too much for three people to handle. And that’s three people plus Jessica and me, my wife and me, when we could, when we weren’t working our other jobs, or doing podcasts. So labor was really a big, big problem for us this year. And it threw off my plan. And of course looking back on it, I should have done it differently. But I’ve always been able to get employees and get people to work. And usually, they stay for a long time. And it was just, it’s just been difficult this year, man. That’s been the biggest problem for me this year, was employees at the farm.

Jim: Labor. Labor is tough right now, man. We’re dealing with that big time with our companies. Nobody wants to work. The government gave out. It’s really weird because in March –

Chip: Well, it’s more complicated than nobody wants to work, that childcare issues that they deal.

Jim: Yeah. Yeah, it is.

Chip: Like, I’ve literally had employees, because we’re an essential business. We never stopped working Cultivate Colorado, Growers Coco never stopped working. And we’ve had some employees that have had to quit to take care of the kids.

Jim: That’s sad. But it’s not it’s not the worst thing for the kids. The parents can deal with it. But I’ve heard there’s a lot of parents that aren’t dealing with it very well. I mean, I used to do those clinics at these schools. And what they actually did more than I’ve ever done is drink margaritas afterwards. It’s like, holy shit. That’s, it’s hard to be, teaching kids all day every day. And like, we didn’t have to go. We were like, grandparents. We didn’t have to go back the next day. And it was still not easy. But if you got kids, certain kids, I’m sure you don’t get along with everybody. And if you got to go back to the same environment every day, oh my god. More power to the teachers. They don’t make enough money.

Chip: Oh, teachers. That’s the hardest job, man, that one. More power to you, man. It’s changing, this whole thing’s changing education, that’s for sure

Jim: It’s got to be better. We got to get better at – you know what the cool thing about is, Chip? I think we can now we can spread our wings a little better and get the best teachers, and give them the best platform to teach more kids.

Chip: Yeah. Oh, yeah, man.

Jim: That’s what it all is. It’s like fucking, it’s opening up that opportunity. It’s like a, it’s a beautiful thing, really. Sad, but true. We should take advantage of it, because now Zoom, and dude. You called Zoom, I bought Zoom.

Chip: I should have, oh man. That was a good call, wasn’t it?

Jim: Chip, I sold most of mine and kept just 10 shares, but I’ve made so much money on that. And I had 50 shares based off of what you said, I bought it the day you said it. I said, “Wow, that’s it.” And that’s every day, people should have business partners like us. They could brainstorm for 10, 30 minutes, whatever it is, and little shit like that comes up. And so yeah, the idea,  I can’t wait for the next podcast, dude. Let’s schedule it. If you got a company that you’re interested in reviewing, be the first company. We could go, we don’t have to name your company. We can keep it generic, neutral. We can [inaudible 44:33]

Chip: Well, you know, there is the thing is people are scared to talk about their numbers, often, right? You can be anonymous. Like, I was thinking about just pulling up one of my businesses from like, five years ago or something. I could probably feel comfortable talking about stuff from way back then.

Jim: We would definitely do it anonymous. I mean, there’s no reason to, and we can even keep the owner’s name – 

Chip: Unless you didn’t care. Unless you didn’t care.

Jim: Yeah, maybe you just sold your business and it doesn’t matter. Or there’s something like you’re getting ready to sell it, and you want some help. We’re going to give you free help. I’m going to include my CFO, his name is John Beasley. I call them John 420. Have him help us out, let him evaluate it. And 420 John and I’ve got, we got Erin. 

Chip: For all those who love the weed, roll it up and smoke it now.

Jim: This has been really good chip. I hope we can –

Chip: It’s been great man. Thanks for coming on. I know we kind of just started babbling here as soon as we started smoking weed. This Kush 19 is great, man. Oh,  it’s a novel kush, it’s 707 Kush seeds that we planted in 2019, sussed it out. This is really great, great kush variant for Oklahoma.

Jim: What’s your dispensary called?

Chip: Bakers Medical. It’s actually my wife’s dispensary. Yep, yep. Wife dispensary, Baker’s medical. She’s there every day, we sell clones.

Jim: And healthcare insurance.

Chip: And yeah, if you want a health care camp shirt, go to Baker’s Medical. This Kush 19 wow, it’s coming soon. This tastes good. It’s not great, though, man. It’s just good.

Jim: Oh it’s just okay?

Chip: It’s just good. I’m not, no, no, no, no, no, it’s good. It’s good. It’s good. It’s good. It might be okay weed, but it’s okay. 

Jim: Better than okay?

Chip: No, it is not okay okay. Okay okay? Okay no, okay okay.

Jim: That’s okay good. 

Chip: No, this is good. This is okay, good. This is good okay.  This is good okay. There we go. Okay okay, good okay, great okay.

Jim: And that’s how it is.  Already scheduled for the day.

Chip: Yeah. And man hey, I do have some great okay, dude. This Durbin Thai Highflyer. It’s a strain we grew 15, 20 years ago maybe? We got a cross that in this other seed 99 from Brothers Grimm seeds. Super up. Oh, awesome, awesome, awesome high. “Sativa” high. This Apollo 11 also from him, super, super, got really buzzy, electric weed, man.  I know you’re more of the medical medicinal side, but I really love that buzzy electric high man. 

Jim: I need to try that more In the morning.

Chip: Yeah, totally. Well, it’s been great having you Jim. Thanks a lot for joining us on The Real Dirt. Give me your contacts, how do people get in contact with you or want to hear more about your story?

Jim: Best way to contact me is jim@timerichcbd.com

Chip: There we go. And you’ve got some LinkedIn? 

Jim: LinkedIn, Jim Gerencser. Facebook, private message me. Google Jim Gerencser, you’ll find me.

Chip: You can check his bio out at greenerconsultinggroup.com.

Jim: You’ll get Chip and I right now. At this stage, you get Chip and I, and all the introductory calls. So we’re excited to be talking to everybody. Have a good 420. Good deal, Chip. Awesome job.

Chip: Yeah. Thanks for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode would like to listen to others, download The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes or Spotify. Hey, just subscribe. That’s the best thing that can happen to you and the best thing that can happen to us. But the more that people that listen, the bigger our network grows and the better this whole community gets. So once again, I really enjoyed this episode. I really enjoyed talking to you guys. And if you all do something for me this week, man is give a brother or sister a call randomly if you haven’t talked to them in a while. Give ’em a call. And just tell ’em that you love ’em and you wish you could burn a fat one with them. Thanks, this has been the real joing. Real joint. This is the real joint. This has been The Real Dirt. Thanks again.

Jim: See y’all later. Have a great day. See ya, Chip.

The Real Dirt on Cannabis Consultants [ PT. 1 ]

The Real Dirt on Cannabis Consultants [ PT. 1 ]

best cannabis industry consultants

Got a grow problem? There’s a consultant for that!

At least that’s what it seems like these days.

The cannabis industry is inundated with consultants. From solving a pest problem to something as simple as picking out the proper nutrients for your first grow, people will hire a consultant for just about anything. It’s got a little bit to do with laziness and money, but more so a lack of knowledge about the plant.

When a new commercial cannabis operator is handed a bunch of money by investors and told to be successful, that’s a lot of stress thrown onto a person’s shoulders. Especially if that person is inexperienced or has only grown on a smaller scale, they will need help.

But just like any other industry, the cannabis industry has no shortage of snake oil salesman. These people call themselves “consultants”, but they usually just have one little trick or “bro-science” technique that worked a handful of times with their friends, so now they think they have the knowledge to tell others how to fix their problems.

A New Type of Cannabis Consulting

As the cannabis industry grows and the consulting market becomes more saturated, it has become easier to pick out the fake consultants and find the real experts. But the problem still remains; most of these experts only excel in one area. Whether its pest management, cultivation techniques, extraction technology, banking or security, it’s extremely rare to find a consultant with experience in all of the above.

That’s why Chip and his good friend and business partner Jim Gerencser came up with Greener Consulting Group, a firm of cannabis consultants with dedicated areas of expertise. Traditionally, a consultant operates alone in a contractor capacity. But Greener Group has evolved the cannabis consultant, and turned it into a team that can solve any problem in-house.

Greener Group aims to remove the hassle of searching the web and asking associates for consultant recommendations for every individual problem. No matter what the issue is, one or more of the consultants from Greener Consulting Group has the skills and industry experience to solve it, guaranteed.

In Part One of this two-part episode, Chip and Jim dive into the real dirt of cannabis consulting and how dirty the industry really gets. Plus, hear about which states are doing regulation right and which got it completely wrong, and what the future holds for medical and legal cannabis states in the aftermath of COVID and plenty of classic ganja talk between a couple stoners.

Roll up another one, sit back or get back in the grow, and enjoy this episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!

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Transcript

Chip: Today on The Real Dirt, I have my good friend and partner. I mean, I’ve known you all this time and I can’t even pronounce your name correctly. Jim Gerencser.

Jim: My first name is Jim. My last name is Hungarian. It’s Gerencser, the cs is a letter in Hungary. I learned that last year when I went to Budapest.

Chip: Oh, that’s why I can’t pronounce it.

Jim: That’s why you can’t pronounce it. Yeah, you only have 26 letters in your alphabet. They got like, 41 or something like that. But I’m glad to be her.

Chip: I mean, thanks dude. Thanks for joining me. I’m glad we got you on. Me and Jim have been,  we got a bunch of projects the past year or so. We met through a group called Baby Bathwater. It’s a networking, marketing group, entrepreneur group. And we didn’t even meet there though. Did we?

Jim: We didn’t even meet there.

Chip: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim: I basically was on the island in Croatia, this private island for a week with all these,  150 people. I’ve met one of them before. And I probably became best friends with 30 of them. And I took over Chip’s job on the island.

Chip: And with the Baby Bathwater. I’m usually –

Jim: The cannabis –

Chip: I roll it up. Yeah, I’m the cannabis guy. I roll it up.

Jim: Yeah, they don’t have to hide that does that in Baby Bathwater. They outsource it to Chip. When Chip wasn’t there, it was a break in the supply chain. And, I started two days before I got there trying to create the supply chain. So they probably figured I was the best guy to keep it rolling. Honestly, I’m pretty good at that.

Chip: Yeah, absolutely. So the story I hear is after this event, it’s basically like a five-day crash course in advanced entrepreneurism and marketing, mixed with five days of long nights. It’s a pretty incredible place. But after the fact, a couple of days after it came, people called me up and he’s like, “Oh, man, you’ve got to meet Jim. Oh, you got to meet Jim.” Two different people like, sent us friend emails, right? You know, “Chip, meet Jim. Jim meet Chip.”

Jim: That’s the cool thing about the group. Yeah, they kind of mix and match you a little bit and then try to find either like-minded, or opposite-minded people that seem to get along. And honestly, they nailed this one.

Chip: Oh dude, me and Jim get along so well. You’re kind of like an evil older brother.

Jim: Yeah, I’m an evil older brother, but also with the cousin side to it. You know like, you got your cousin that you believe in 100%, because you have to, right? I mean, you’re in there. You’re messing with your parents and your parents are, came from the same family, you know? So it’s not like, you can trick them. Like, you can trick fuck everybody else. So yeah, you learn a lot from cousins. And I only had one brother. I didn’t have any younger brothers. So I think Chip and I have a love hate relationship in terms of we love a lot of things together. And we don’t hate anything, really. I mean, that’s the neatest part about us. We’re not haters.

Chip: Oh, yeah man. Not haters at all.

Jim: We don’t spend lot of time even going there. And anybody that has any of that in them doesn’t seem like they are allowed in what we’re doing. So it’s that simple, which is pretty awesome.

Chip : Well, yeah, hate’s a kind of a natural thing people have. I’ve really have had to work it, work with it. Coming from the south, Southerners are typically like, haters of things, right? That’s not Southern.

Jim: That’s sort of default.

Chip: Right?

Jim: Yeah.

Chip: Yeah, that’s their default for good or for bad. It creates a lot of interesting cultural things, that’s good for it. I generally try not to prejudge or, hate, I’ve had to work on it. I’ve had to work on it.

Jim: I think Chip, that’s a good point.  I believe that this entrepreneur group that we met through is a group that works on stuff, and you see that. And when I was there, one of the shows I went to, I think it was a marketing guy that runs all the advertising for Peloton. He started off the conversation with, “Who here is an entrepreneur?” Everybody raised their hand, so it was kind of humbling in the fact that, you brought that many entrepreneurs together. And we were all there to learn more. It was like, yeah, we’re entrepreneurs, but we’re thriving, we thrive for more information. And we’re all there together, not competing. We all could probably be in the same industry, because everybody’s fighting for the almighty dollar, in one way or another. But yeah, well that’s what I liked about it most. And afterwards when I sought out my cannabis, because I’m a medical cannabis guy, I’ve seen cannabis work for curing cancer and fighting cancer and making cancer cells commit suicide. So, my whole goal in this cannabis space was to meet somebody that I think can help me get to that space faster.

Chip: So Jim calls me, to the listeners of the podcast, I’m a very friendly person, but I’m very busy. And I have a lot of different projects. And I don’t really take meetings with people I don’t know. I communicate with people over the phone, or try to email back and forth with people in tool, like there’s a reason to me, and this is all pre-COVID, too. So it was back to my old MO of like, “Hey, would love to chat with you. Let’s get on the phone.” Right? Like, “What do you want?” on an email. And Jim wouldn’t be straight with me. He was like, “Well, I’d rather just come and see. You know, so I keep blowing Jim off. And then one day, he just showed up, right? Just like that. He’s like, “I’m coming tomorrow. I’ll be there at noon.”

Jim: I’m “the shorter the notice, the better” kind of guy.

Chip: Yeah, right. Yeah. He’s like a bill collector. You’re like a bill collector.

Jim: You don’t tell him you’re coming. Yeah.

Chip: Right. So Jim shows up, we meet, we hit it off immediately. Jim smoked more weed than I do. He immediately had some great, great weed. We smoked like, 10 joints in my store, before it was a store, I just rented the facility, my grow store, Cultivate. I just rented the facility. It was empty warehouse and we smoked it out, dreamed of what to be, huh Jim?

Jim: Yeah, I was looking for, I don’t know what I was looking for, Chip. I was looking for somebody like you. I didn’t –

Chip: You wanted to get into the cannabis industry.

Jim: I did. I wanted to be –

Chip: You’re a successful businessperson. And you wanted to get in the cannabis industry and didn’t quite know how, but love weed.

Jim: That’s it. That’s it, I saw all the things happening. I’ve got a bunch of my friends that are either retired or getting ready to retire. Half of them have never smoked a joint in their life, but they know that I have partaken my whole life. So they were reaching out to me like, “What do we do? Who do we invest in? How do we get into the space?” And I was like, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” So I started digging into it and honestly felt like I’ve gone through like a four-year education class in the last 12 months with Chip, because Chip is one of those guys that actually knows business, which I immediately realized that. I was like, “This guy is actually a business guy. And he’s in the cannabis space.” Because what I had experienced on a small scale was that you’re either one of the other. Like, most engineers don’t sell, you know what I mean? And that’s kind of what I consider like oil and water. You’re either an engineer, or you’re a salesperson, no way in hell you’re both. To actually make a certain person that can talk to both people, because they call it a liaison, because they can’t even talk to each other, they’re so far apart. So that’s what I really wanted to do in this space, is learn as much as I possibly could. There’s so much to learn about it, and what I ran into was a [inaudible 8:02]. Chip introduced me to so much crap I don’t even care about, but I was interested in it. I wanted to learn as much as I can and not that I’m a huge education freak, but this space intrigues me. So here we are a year later, we’ve run multiple different deals together. I’ve invested in some of his businesses, he’s given me some direction on some other businesses to invest in or not to invest in, which is probably the most important thing, what not to invest in. You got to –

Chip: Yeah, when to say no.

Jim: When to say no, you got to love what you’re doing, and I did love it. And like I said, now I’ve run the course of a year of investing, finding out that yeah, everybody in the space is cool, but I’m not sure I love everybody in the space. I don’t hate anybody, but I’m not sure I love everybody.

Chip: Well, many people just, they’re on a wing and a prayer, or they have like this idea, or this thing they want to do, and it might not have anything to do with the business of cannabis actually making a profit, which can be cool, man, right? Like those guys that are doing RSO for a penny a gram. Man, coolest thing possible right? But it’s a nonprofit business in the truest sense.

Jim: It really is. They don’t even let you expense your labor. What the hell, man? I mean, what kind of business,  it’s just such a federal, this is a federal fucking. it’s literally at the point, it sets a epitome of getting fucked.

Chip: Right, right. And Jim, speaking of the taxes, the 280 East Tax System. And basically, we in the cannabis industry get taxed at gross profit instead of net profit. And you guys can all go look that up, but it’s basically profit before expenses as gross profit. And cannabis industry generally can’t take off. Expenses only cost a good soul.

Jim: Which is ridiculous. So everyone is forced to kind of you know, still remain outlaws, right? I mean, we’ve talked about that from the beginning, Chip, we’re guaranteed outlaws. I mean, we were forced into it. We’re at different levels, but we’re definitely considered, you definitely would look at stuff out of the dictionary, and you would see pictures of us as an outlaw. Sure, no doubt.

Chip: Not criminals.

Jim: Not criminal.

Chip: But outside the law.

Jim: We’re forced to be outside the law.

Chip: Yeah, forced. Forced, not even like by choice. It’s like, oh, man, we can’t have normal banking. And since then, like Jim said, we’ve set up several cannabis businesses together and joined some other businesses. I previously had a hemp seed distribution company, that was more of just like a brokerage. We’ve taken that and we’re turned it into certified seeds. And we’ll launch that later on this year. It’ll be an online marketplace for certified hemp seeds.

Jim: The one stop shop.

Chip: One stop shop, multiple vendors. We’re not making any of the seeds. They’re all from the highest and most reputable vendors in the country associated with this.

Jim: Yeah so we started, we spent our time going through it, sure we have the best vendors instead of trying to grow the best seed.

Chip: Yeah, exactly. So we’ve gotten a bank account for that and how long did that take?

Jim: It took six months.

Chip: It took six months to get a bank account.

Jim: For hemp seeds, hemp seeds. And by the way, they’re legal. Interesting thing. And that’s what, this brought us to our most recent venture, right, Chip? I mean –

Chip: Oh, yeah, yeah, Greener Group.

Jim: Greener Group, yeah.

Chip: Greener Group.

Jim: Something I think that we’re both more excited about than anything else that we’ve got going. I mean, in terms of our deals, Chip has a lot of stuff going on, and so do I individually. But together, Greener Group is our baby. We’re nurturing it to a point, we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with, what space but we’re kind of dialing it in.

Chip: Just totally hit the ground running, that’s for sure, man. So you can check it out at greenerconsultinggroup.com. It’s a new website, you might have to like, look for it a little bit. You can find us on LinkedIn, on well, Facebook’s already kicked us out, but Instagram. What I realized was for years, people have been asking me for consulting, and I’ve done it sparingly over time. A big part of it was because I’ve just got so many other businesses, it’s hard to like, dedicate the time to somebody when they need to solve a cultivation problem. So over the years, we developed a lot of technical consultation that was just free of service at Cultivate Colorado, and it still remains true, right? If you want to light design or dehumidifier design, you just tell us the square footage and we’ll tell you immediately how many lights or dehumidifiers you need. I’ve shied away from all the other consultation, but what I realized was Jim had this really great business in the automotive industry. And one of the things that I really consider one of my assets, I look at what everybody’s doing, and I try to bring in great stuff from it. And Jim has this great business that he operates nationally. And I thought to myself, “Man, this is a great way to do this with cannabis as well.” Jim, tell me about Nationwide.

Jim: Yes, so what we do is we manage vendors across the country for recalls before they get to the dealer. So auto manufacturer –

Chip: Automobile recalls.

Jim: Automobile recalls. So a car that normally gets sold at a dealer has a recall, you go back to the dealer, they fix it. What we do is we manage these projects for the cars that have not been sold to the dealers, and they’re normally by the thousands. We go out there and bring whatever crews necessary. So they might need engines replaced, or they might need a light bulb replaced. So you don’t have the same people doing it. So I don’t hire these people until I need them. And when Chip was telling me he’s got this database of consultants that do from seed to sale, I was like, “Why don’t we just incorporate that into what we’re doing at Nationwide, and manage these vendors on an as needed basis?”

Chip: Yeah, Jim started like, listening to my phone calls basically. I was, you know, are hearing me complain about or talk or about like, my life or schedule, and he realized this, right? He was like, “Wow, man, your network is incredible.” I mean, I think you were the first person to really bring it up, Jimmy.

Jim: Yeah, well, everybody else has took it for granted. Because Chip, they don’t want to tell you anything, because they wanted you to keep giving them free information for the rest of their life. And that’s my biggest challenge is to get you to quit, we don’t want to quit giving free information, but we got to draw the line somewhere, right? It’s a bit, people take advantage of it. And well –

Chip: I definitely agree with that. But I’ll also say that by my unconditional giving, it’s brought me my network that I have.

Jim: I agree.

Chip: And what you have made me understand is there is a way that we can make business out of this information, and I’ll still be able to unconditionally give. Because like this podcast, we unconditionally give to people, right? Like yeah, I do this podcast to lead gen for all my other businesses and tell you about cultivatecolorado.com, and tell you about cultivateokc.com, and tell you about growerscoco.com, all my potting soil, and now Growers, and now Greener Group, too. We’re telling you about Greener Group but really like, I started this podcast because I wanted good information to go out to people about ganja, hemp, medical marijuana. I don’t use the laws, destroy the misconceptions and myths. And that’s all unconditional, mind conditional giving on the spot.

Jim: It’s a show of your unconditional love for the for the cannabis plant. I’s simple as getting people educated. I didn’t know that cannabis was both hemp and marijuana. It’s a very simple thing, but I’ve been around it my whole life, didn’t know that. Basically starting with that, it makes you realize that all these things, hemp is legal. It’s the same plant as cannabis as marijuana, or high THC cannabis is what they refer to it as, and low THC cannabis is hemp. One’s legal, one’s not, what the hell, man? So I want to talk a little bit about my project I’ve got going right now that we’re working through your grow in Oklahoma.

Chip: Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s talk about The Health Camp and Eric and all of that.

Jim: Yeah, The Health Camp is one of the big projects that I’ve got going right now. It’s an app that’s going all out. One of the programs I’m working with currently, it’s called Cannabis Oil Success Stories. And it’s 175,000 people on a Facebook private group that share these stories about how cannabis has helped them fight cancer. And I’ve been looking at this page for a year and a half or two years. And when I met Chip, my intention was to make the best oil and share it with everybody. But then I realized that there’s a lot of good oils out there, and that I could probably be better spent using my passion to create a place to have everybody share their information. And then we can go through, and aggregate the data, and be able to find out the best way to use what product on what cancer for what type of person, and be able to get that information to the general public. Right now, it’s kind of hidden. It’s there, but it’s hidden. So I’m creating an app called Health Camp Buddy. Health Camp has THC in it. And it starts with the word Health, heal. Heal is a really big part of our world. And we’re creating this app, it’s a social media type of crowdsourcing platform that allows people that have used cannabis successfully, to be able to enter their information and we’ll aggregate it into a result that will be able to give a person that’s dealing with cancer the information easily generated for them. So they can either have access to the oil, and know what kind of oil to get, what oils work best for what type of cancers, certain body types work better with different types of FECO oils. We’re talking about fully extracted cannabis oil is what I’m focusing on. There’s a lot of other things that you can put with it, but I think my reason I’m on earth is to be able to focus on the FECO oil itself. So I’m going to be giving this app together, we’ve actually got phase one done. I expect it to be completely finished within the next month. I’m excited as hell about it. I think it’s going to save lives. It’s all ties to this charity that I run, it’s called Early Recognition is Critical. I want to talk to about my son, I could talk about Eric forever. He’s an awesome kid. He’s a three time cancer survivor since he was age eight. And anybody that has kids can relate to the fact of being a parent and being a caretaker of an eight year old son that’s very athletic and loving, and dealing with this kind of shit. So I’ve been dealing with it my whole life. I’m trying to give back. I believe cancer fights cancer, naturally. I don’t think that chemo is the, if it takes chemo, do chemo but also use cannabis. That’s my –

Chip: Oh, absolutely, man. Absolutely,

Jim: So it’s been awesome. Chip’s got a lot of experience with a lot of people. I’m using his network. We’re growing some marijuana in Oklahoma specifically to be able to be made into the best FECO oil, and different types of strains because each strain is different. I mean,  you want indica for cancer, if you’re fighting cancer you don’t use CBD. You might use CBG,  you might use CBA, but you need THC. And you need high THC indica, which is a very sedative cannabis compared to the sativa, which is a little more of a head high. It’s more medicinal, yeah kicks your ass. When you’re sick, you need to rest. So yeah, that’s what I got going on. And with the help of what Chip’s got going on, we’re working together to, we give back. It’s one thing that I love about Chip is the first day we talked about the Eric Charity and Chip wanted to, I could see in his eyes, he was a giver. And I learned at a late age that you giving back feels really good. I was selfish I guess, growing up. I’m a unique individual, I actually got divorced 12 years ago, and I’m back with my ex-wife so I don’t give up easy. So beware.

Chip: Alright, let’s not turn this into tilling the ball now. Come on, this is The Real Dirt podcast about cannabis, mostly.

Jim: Let’s do it. Alright, I’ll smoke it.

Chip: What are you smoking on today, Jim?

Jim: Some Humboldt. The same.

Chip: Oh, okay. Yeah, I got you. I’m on the porch this morning, this is a Friday morning porch session. And we got a tractor driving by.

Jim: Chip’s got the best porch, on the best thousand foot view in Oklahoma.

Chip: We’re a thousand foot high here in Oklahoma.

Jim: The weed is just okay, basically. So

Chip: t’s okay, kush okay. Yeah, Oklahoma has been a really great place for growing ganja. I mean, it has its set of circumstantial issues. But every place does, and yeah, Northern California has the best climate, when the climates right there to any place in the world probably. South Africa aand here also has similar type of climate. Maybe Argentina.

Jim: Is that the same longitude, latitude? I mean –

Chip: It is, except those on the southern hemisphere. And but it’s similar coastal mountain type environment.  Lots of indicator species, and wine, and grapes. And that’s kind of how I relate it, but hey, look. In Northern California in Oregon, the West Coast man, forest fires, dude.

Jim: Oh my god.

Chip: Right? Like, devastating the smoke. And like, sometimes it’s okay, but other times, it’s just totally ruined. And even if you don’t get burned out, it can be difficult there too. And last year here in Oklahoma, it was just hot, dry and windy. And this year, it hasn’t been as hot. But it’s definitely been more humid and with less wind. It’s definitely has its challenges, and we have been challenged, you know what I mean? We keep pushing the envelope, and COVID, and the employment shortage, all that caused us problems. I mean, I’ve been doing this my whole life. There’s no sure homeruns.

Jim: That’s why if anybody needs any help in Oklahoma specifically or Colorado or California, Chip’s the guy. He’s already been there, done that. He’ll wear a suit coat, I think. I probably won’t.

Chip: A suit coat. Man, I look fresh and clean. Jim, however, he’s gonna come right off the frisbee golf course, and pull off his visor, right? And go into the board meeting.

Jim: You may be right. Maybe that would be [inaudible 23:41]. But yeah, so we got a killer deal work –

Chip: Hey, Greener Group, man I mean, yeah. Yeah, let’s talk about Greener Group.

Jim: Let’s talk about Greener Group, yeah.

Chip: So what we’ve done is we have compiled a large group of experts in the field of cannabis that are already working as consultants in the cannabis space. And here’s what we realized, is even the best of the people, they started out just being best in their fields, right? And they know how to grow cannabis and scale it, or they know how to do financial assessments of cannabis businesses, or they know how to operate cannabis businesses. And they kind of just got like, through opportunity. They got moved in the consultant space, which is more of an entrepreneurial space, right? But in their heart, they’re tradesmen and experts in their exact field. And they have a hard time running business, because business is hard to run. So what we’ve done is we’ve aligned these guys, right? Right now, we’ve got 12 people that are official lead consultants for us. But I mean, the network is endless. If you call us in any state, pretty much I’ve got someone close to you that we can work with. We’ve built this network of consultants now. You call us up, we have a conversation about what your problems are, what your goals are, what you want to solve, whether you’re buying a cannabis business, or you’re building a cannabis business.

Jim: Or you want to invest in a cannabis business,

Chip: You want to invest in a cannabis business. I mean, we’ve talked to all of those types of people. We’ve talked to government agents, we’ve talked to investment groups,

Jim: Money laundering specialists.

Chip: Money, yeah, I hate that term. So deceiving, but it’s bank relationship specialist, we’ll just go ahead and explain that right now, so we don’t get off topic. Which is, hey man, if you are a bank, and you want to open a business to cannabis people, you have to do it in a certain way. So you bring on someone to help you do that. And our guy is one of the leaders in doing this. So you call us up, we chat with you about what your goals are, your problems are, we’ve got this list of consultants. We pull out our consultants, send them on the task, and they’re usually I mean, it’s usually accomplished, like, quickly. We’ve got a couple of projects that seem to last a little long, but like, they’ve almost, that’s the beauty of our network, right, Jim? Is we solve some problems immediately.

Jim: We’ve already seen them all.

Chip: Famous story about Picasso is – I don’t know if it’s real or not, maybe it’s not Picasso, but I think it is. A lady walked up and was like, “Oh, hey, Picasso, could you sign this paper, sign this napkin?” And so he does a little doodle, signs it and says, “That’ll be $30,000.”  Like, “Wait a minute. That only took you 15 seconds.” He was like, “No that took me 30 years.” It’s just kind of an example of how it works with us, too. It’s like, we’ve already heard all the problems, right? Just like our call yesterday with a bug problem the guy had, like, we immediately know how to solve that. But many other consultants or groups of people, they want to hook you in for a year-long contract, and we just want to solve your problem, walk away, right? And that’s really been our success is that like in just a matter of a day or two, we can solve most people’s problems.

Jim: The thing about this project with Chip and I is that we already have our livelihood covered. So we’re not desperate for like, paying overhead with –

Chip: Business, right?

Jim: It’s not a hobby, but it’s like a passion for us. I like to claim we bring the culture. I’m not sure Chip’s a big lover of that, because he’s been in, he’s been that guy for so long. And I haven’t been, so it’s kind of fresh to me. But I believe it’s important to bring that. I mean, Chip and his group have helped me make smart decisions on investments going forward. I highly recommend, if you’re 60 years old, and you want to invest in cannabis call Greener Group. I mean, we’ll go over stuff with you that you never have thought about. We can look at your books, we have a CFO that works for us, that works for multiple cannabis companies across the board. We’ve got people that –

Chip: Right, we can in one hour decide, like tell you literally if some investment opportunity is is full of shit, or worth investigating. And we’ve done that a couple of different times, it’s really amazing. Because we have so much experience in the cannabis industry, we can immediately look at operational costs and expenses, and tell if it’s real or not.

Jim: You can’t hide from our group because we have, we’re not one dimensional. We’re multi-dimensional. We’re like full spectrum. We’re full spectrum consultants. It is not us our way or the highway, when you call us and talk to us, you’ll realize that right away. We’ve got a great team together. One of the good things we do with our consultants is we support their back end too. We take that loosely, we support their business side of it that the stuff that they’re not good at. It’s like a doctor, a doctor doesn’t –

Chip: All the reports –

Jim: All the crap that they don’t get.

Chip: All the office support like, it’s really turned the consulting industry into a more professional organization. Because in the past and hey man, no offense to you consultants, you guys know what’s going on. You guys are growers or extractors or businesspeople, and you all need better back end offices. If you got a great back end then yeah, you’re gonna do great.

Jim: It all starts with that, and we’re getting better at it. We’re gonna have all of our guys with an app that can really communicate well with the customer. Like I said, we’re not looking at a full-time gig. We’re in and out. We’re in to fix your problem, get out. We’re problem solvers.

Chip: Yeah. And you know, our consultants also, they’re independent consultants. And so if you’re a cannabis consultant from hemp to extraction, from genetics to banking, IT, whatever, right? Give us an email, man. We want to increase our network and we might have some business for you. And you’re an independent contractor, we’re just helping you guys too, man. Sure, it’s business and I enjoy business, and this is a good, good business to be in. We saw there was a problem in the industry on both the consultant side and on the consumer side.

Jim: And like I said, I’m pushing that investment side guys. Anybody that wants to invest in the cannabis?

Chip: Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: Give us a call. We’ll go through the pros and cons with you. We’re gonna think of stuff that you’ll never think of, I promise you that. Because we have people coming to us on a regular, we’re still learning every day. And what we do is we learn every day, and then we share it with you. It’s a fun business to be part of, being part of Chip’s network has been amazing. All you gotta do is call Greener Group and you’re part of it, man. So it’s that easy. If you have –

Chip: It has been fun though, man. We’ve talked to like, we just launched this business a couple of months ago. We’ve talked to like, so many cool people about projects they’re doing. And working with so many cool people right now on projects, man without naming names or specific locations, like what’s the favorite call that we’ve been on?

Jim: I like the one that came from Tennessee, and they overgrew hemp. Because it was one of the first ones that we had. And these guys were like, “Man, we really don’t know what to do. We basically have thousands of pounds of hemp. We don’t know how to get rid of it. We don’t even know where to start. We don’t know what to do now, because we got so screwed this year. What do we do next year?” They were just completely at end, at wit’s end, you know?

Chip: They were real typical of what was going on in the hemp industry this year for sure.

Jim: Yeah, supply and demand. And –

Chip: I mean, they’re smart people, they were in the agricultural industry. They already had like, success doing other stuff. They’ve already got like, products on the shelves in the oil, ag space, like not cannabis-related at all, or hemp-related at all. They were successful businesspeople and had problems.

Jim: Which is very common. They thought, “Oh, it’ll just be like growing strawberries.” It’s not.

Chip: Yeah, we just grow it and somebody will buy it. And strawberries aren’t like that either, man. And nothing is. It has to have that sales channel.

Jim: I think personally from a business side, that’s the first channel that you should create before you grow anything.

Chip: Oh, yeah. Hey, you know, I mean, one of the things that we do a lot of is branding and marketing.  And it just naturally do all of our businesses. And the thing that both of us realized is, you can have the best brand, the best design, the best content, the best advertising, the best product placement of any of your competitors. But the only thing that’s going to drive your brand is sales, right? You have to sell. And honestly, that’s the first channel you should work on, instead of the last. People who try to get work on the opposite side, right? They work on the brand first and –

Jim: The easy stuff. Yeah, they work on the easy stuff. And one thing we’re finding out at Greener is that marketing is tough. Like I said, we got kicked off Facebook. I mean, both Chip and Travis, Travis is one of our partners. And they were like, “It’s not if we’re gonna get kicked off, but how long?”  And it’s like, “We got to work around this crap.” There’s constant contact won’t let you send out cannabis stuff.

Chip: Cannabis emails, right.

Jim: So at Greener, we’re figuring this out. We have our own CRM, and we’ll work with you if you need help with anything like that. If you’re starting a dispensary, if you’re getting ready to think about doing a grow, call us first. Let’s talk about a supply chain before you grow them. Yeah, don’t call us after.

Chip: I just realized we were starting to sound like an infomercial, which is totally cool, ’cause it’s my podcast and I can do whatever what I want.

Jim: Yeah, exactly.

Chip: But no, it’s exciting. It’s so exciting to talk to all of these different people. Man, I think my favorite conversation was also a hemp comp. I’ve had two conversations that were my favorite, I think. The cannabis farm on the west coast that wanted to relocate to another state. It was just, it’s difficult with the environment, the fires, the remoteness, the taxes, the state and local taxes over in California are just ridiculous. And they wanted to move, and I really liked this conversation, because they were cannabis, successful cannabis people.  They’ve been doing it for a moment. And they realized like, they needed a little help and reached out to us. They were interested in other states that they can move and operate in, because previously California for many, many years was the only place to operate. And now, it’s just not the case. So I really liked that conversation. And man, I also liked that hemp technologies conversation we’ve had. These guys are trying to develop some hemp technologies, and were really approaching in a different manner. And that was really inspiring, because the hemp textile industry is just growing so much, growing so quick.

Jim: It is, and we’ve got a great by the way, we’ve got a excellent connection with textiles, and hemp.

Chip: Yeah, absolutely man. Engineers…

Jim: Hey, we also have the ability to, we’re a specialist at building any kind of app or website in the cannabis space. So let us know, we’ve got all that covered.

Chip: I know it sounds like a one, not a one stop shop. But like, literally, through all of my years of business, I’ve had to do all this stuff for my businesses. And mostly I set up with my own employees or networks of people that now understand cannabis. And so I’m basically opening up my network. Jim has got a huge IT section and programming section to his business right? Like, we can pretty much design or modify any software, build any app or website through in-house means, that’s what you’re saying, Jim, right?

Jim: Yep, yep. We got the capacity, we’ve got people that, the team that’s building Health Camp Buddy. And what they do is, like I said, we can put you on a CRM that you don’t have any restrictions whatsoever. So yeah, give us a call. I’m a marketing, branding guy, I love talking about that. Chip and I dream shit up every morning, I kind of look forward to those calls, because it fires me up. It’s like, it’s better than exercise, that’s for damn sure. It does, it puts us on the same page. And it’s like, we don’t have to, I’ve never had a partner with, I gotta say, Chip, I got it. And he’s like, he hangs up. We don’t waste each other’s time at all. And if you’re going to get a partner, find somebody like that.

Chip: I couldn’t say enough about how much I’ve learned in the past year and a half that we’ve been working together. And I know you said you’ve learned but man, I’ve learned just as much. So that is the beauty of a good working partner relationship, is that you learn from each other. And me and Jim have both have poor partners in the past, and we’ve had exits from businesses that worked out or didn’t work out. And we’ve had a significant amount of experience of working with people. And having an active partner in your relationship, versus an investor is a completely different scenario. We should do a whole podcast about that. How to partner, how just specifically how to partner with people.

Jim: How to get along. It’s a hard thing, man. Get along, I’d start by get a bong, right?

Chip: Get a bong, yeah.

Jim: Yeah. I mean, I totally believe that you’ve got to have something in common with somebody and Chip and I, we found out our common denominator immediately. And we’ve never broken off of that. I mean, we’ve stuck with it, we stayed in course, we pivot left and right. But it always comes back to the, we’re business partners that have become friends. I highly recommend. Don’t partner up with a friend.

Chip: Yeah. That’ s a better way to do it, that’s for sure.

Jim: Become a friend after you become business. That’s my free information I give you.  Some of the other things that Chip has brought up that are pretty awesome are that we’re both businesspeople. We believe that entrepreneurship is awesome, I’ve been selling cinnamon toothpicks since I was eight years old. But the number one thing is that we support cannabis. We really believe in it and Chip more than me, he lives it. His goal is to grow more weed than people can smoke. And my goal is aid people’s lives with cannabis. So we got, if you want to participate in this mission, give us a call, man. Follow us. Follow us, Eric is a big mission actually, Chip and I were gonna talk about this and I want to bring it up is that I’m getting ready to –

Chip: Hey, let’s pause for one second breathe. Because Jim will just start talking and get so excited about stuff. But hey, let’s just break for one second and say, this The Real Dirt podcast. Thank you for joining and listening. Please join us on iTunes or Spotify. Hey, and if you’re out in the world, and you need some equipment of some sort, lights, soil nutrients, cultivateokc.com, cultivatecolorado.com. We ship all over the country. Call us if you’re in Colorado. Call us if you’re in Denver. Call us if you’re in Oklahoma. We’ll ship to you. We have commercial accounts. We’re one of the largest purchasers in the country of rock wall general hydroponics, botanic care, pure blend, growers soil, tuber. We ship all over the country. We support cannabis farmers all over the country, specifically in east of the Rockies. But coming to the west coast soon, and look for all of our products in the west coast, 2021. This is The Real Dirt.

The Evolution of Cannabis Cultivation Technology

The Evolution of Cannabis Cultivation Technology

cannabis cultivation technology for monitoring a cannabis grow

Remember when your only grow schedule was in a tattered notebook?

Who are we kidding, half of us still do it that way! But the truth is that cannabis cultivation technology has advanced exponentially just in the last 5 years.

Controllers that can monitor and alert you when CO2 levels or temperature gets too high or low, irrigation feeding systems set on timers so you never have to worry about feeding on time, and more. But what about one application that can monitor all of it?

That’s where Trym comes in.

Trym is the brainchild of Matt Mayberry, a homegrower who began to notice a lack of software services designed specifically for aiding cannabis growers. He noticed that there were individual products for monitoring your team, environmental conditions, and regulatory compliance, but not one single product that could do it all.

Matt set out with the goal of simplifying the grower’s life with easy to use cannabis cultivation technology software, and Trym does just that. Trym software is helping to manage more than one million square feet of cultivation space. Designed in collaboration with valuable farming partners, integrated with numerous solutions to help cultivators run their businesses better and keep them inspired to grow smarter every day.

As the industry evolves, so do growers and the cannabis cultivation technology they use. Trym continues to evolve with them through collaborative efforts and essential customer feedback that helps shape the future of the app.

In this episode, Chip sits down with Matt to talk about the inception of Trym, the services that they offer for cannabis growers and cultivators, and the continuous evolution of cannabis cultivation technology!

Transcript

Chip: Hey! This is Chip with The Real Dirt. Thanks for joining us today. Today I’m in my newest of new podcast studios. Yes, there’s quite an echoey sound in here. And we’re going to turn this into the new Oklahoma City podcast studio. So look forward to many, many episodes here. You’re gonna have people from all over the country, and all over the world to guest here at The Real Dirt. Hey, I want to thank you for joining me today. And if you haven’t, please go to iTunes or Spotify, and subscribe to The Real Dirt podcast. Please join us on Facebook and Instagram. And, you know, if you need any hydroponic, or indoor, or outdoor growing materials, please contact us at cultivatecolorado.com, cultivateokc.com, and if you’re using soil or soilless medium, Growers Soil is what you should use. So without further ado, on today’s episode, we have Matt Mayberry. We’re going to talk about software and how it relates to the cannabis industry. So sit back, fire one up and enjoy this episode of The Real Dirt.

 

Chip: Hey, Matt. Chip here. How you doing?

 

Matt: Good. How are you?

 

Chip: Oh man, I’m doing great. It’s starting to be nice and fall weather over here in Oklahoma. Wait, where am I talking to you, are you in California someplace?

 

Matt: Yeah, we’re just north of San Francisco in Marin County. 

 

Chip: Oh, man. I was just over there up in Humboldt. Rough fires, dude. 

 

Matt: Oh, man. It’s crazy. Yeah, this summer, it’s definitely been a strange one. We left California actually, when the smoke got really bad here. The fires weren’t very close to [inaudible 1:48] for us so far. Well, I guess my definition of close has gotten a lot different over the last few years, but we didn’t have any, like imminent fires like that were in our town, that were, that were meaningful in any kind of way. But the smoke is really bad, so we took off the Oregon to get away from the smoke. And then the fire solid is up there basically, the smoke got really bad up there. Stayed there for a few weeks and we decided to come back down here.

 

Chip: Yes, right. We had a podcast scheduled and you had to postpone it, because you were fleeing from the smoke.

 

Matt: Yeah, it’s been a wild one. So I’m glad we finally did it. And we got this thing on the books.

 

Chip: Yeah, man. Thanks for joining me, man. So Matt, you know, technology is now like, and it’s starting to be so much part of everyday life. And the cannabis industry is no different. No matter if it is hemp, or ganja, or medical marijuana, we’re all using technology in and Matt, tell us a little bit about what you do.

 

Matt: Yeah. So I’m Matt Mayberry. I’m the cofounder and CEO of a company called Trym, and we build farm management software for commercial cannabis cultivators. And ultimately, what we do is we help growers better manage their operation, and manage their team, and then also help scale their business so they can be successful.

 

Chip: Yeah, you know, farm management software is something that industrial agriculture has been using. I mean, it’s probably one of the first things that happened with the computer, right? It’s to figure out how to count how many pigs or chickens that you got. But the industry really has been dominated by some major, major industrial, agricultural players. And there haven’t been too many people like yourself to want to come in, you know, to the farm management side. Man, what gave you the idea to do this?

 

Matt: Yeah, so I started out my journey in cannabis, I guess when I was about 17 years old in North Carolina. You know, I was smoking cannabis recreationally with my friends and – 

 

Chip: Mothership, you were were smoking Mothership over there?

 

Matt: I don’t know. We did not have the quality of products that we have these days [inaudible 3:54].

 

Chip: So, okay, famous weed strain from from my past, Mothership.

 

Matt: Okay, nice. 

 

Chip: Asheville, North Carolina. 

 

Matt: Okay, cool. I wonder if that has a parliament funkadelic influence.

 

Chip: Asheville’s the center of music in the south, you know.

 

Matt: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I got my first degree at Appalachian State in North Carolina, which is like about an hour away from Asheville. So, spent a lot of time in the mountains of North Carolina. But yeah, so I mean, when I was a teenager, I was riding around my friends. We were smoking cannabis, and I really enjoyed it. And I was always been, you know, I’ve got two different engineering degrees. I’ve always been kind of a tinkerer. And so that started at a very young age. So I decided to try and see if I could grow the stuff myself. Got a little bit better, go into App State, met some other growers there. When I graduated, I went into tech and I didn’t, I didn’t grow commercially. Kind of still home growing though, and I had kept my eye on the industry. I had a lot of friends that are in the industry. I still have a lot of friends that are growers, some of them from back in North Carolina. When Prop 64 passed, essentially, I started looking at the industry more seriously as a career more than just something that I did in my free time. And so, started looking at the space. And given my experience in cultivation, I say that in a very humble way, my experience in cultivation is much different than a lot of our customers. You know, I don’t grow product that looks like what our customers grow, but with my interest, and mild experience in cultivation, I decided to take a look at the space. And me and my cofounders felt really comfortable with cultivation. Benjamin, who’s one of our cofounders, actually he used to work on the commercial farm off in Mendocino. And then he was an electrical engineer at a company that he and I used to work at. And my wife, Karen is our third cofounder, and she was part of my experiments in home growing here, once we moved to California. So we all three had experience with the plant. And we started looking at when Prop 64 passed with the lens of how can we apply the experience that we have in technology, and apply it to the cultivation space. So really, we just started poking around and grows, trying to find like, what was going on at these farms, and how people were currently managing things, and seeing if there was a place to actually apply some additional technology in one way or the other, whether it was hardware or software to make their lives easier. And what we found was that as far as the record keeping went and the management of the farm went, really the most sophisticated technology was whiteboards, and Excel spreadsheets, and notebooks. And in I guess, the regulated markets that currently had that kind of compliance element as well, they had software that was provided by the state that most of the growers didn’t like. So we started thinking, you know, it looks like there’s a pretty big opportunity here, but let’s figure out what that is. And so then we just started to iterate on releasing small amounts of product and working with the farms that we had pretty good connections with, to try and see if that was something that would be valuable to them. And eventually, we ended up with a product and started selling it to people.

 

Chip: So you’re homegrown.

 

Matt: Yeah, I mean, I –

 

Chip: Yeah, you’re homegrown, you know.  You know, I kind of put, I put people into two basic categories in the weed industry.  There are the pink shirts, and there’s the homegrown, right? And the homegrown people are people who’ve been growing, you know, cannabis for themselves, you know, and the people around them were started out that way, right? They had this desire to like, “Hey, I want to help, you know, cultivate cannabis.” And the pink shirts are generally the people that want to cultivate the business of cannabis. They both intermesh and, you know, I lovingly say the term pink shirts, because several of them work with me. But like, they come from the business side, and often not from the homegrown or from the cannabis side. Now, almost every other tech person I have talked to were pink shirts. They wanted to bring some business side to it. Did you have like, a problem that you wanted to solve? You know, ’cause like, you’re looking at, you’re growing, you’re seeing what people are like, is there a number one like, oh, man, nobody’s taken advantage of nobody’s doing this.

 

Matt: Yeah. So what we found when we started talking to growers was that they have really a multitude of different problems that they face every day. And in order to solve those, they’re either using manual processes, or they were using multiple different pieces of software to do that. So scheduling out a batch of plants from seed all the way through to harvest. And people are using things like Google Calendar, or those like paper calendars that you buy at Staples, and they’re mapping everything out. And they’re either mounting them into grow, or they’re sharing that calendar with their employees. And then, the compliance element of it, that they were usually using their notebooks and Excel to track all the compliance reportable events, and then handing that over to a compliance manager that would then put all that into the state system, and report it to the regulators. And so the other thing was, you need to know what’s going on in your grow, you need to know what the conditions are, you need to know what happened last week. And if you don’t know what’s happening right now, if the lights go out, you need to know that. And there were people basically, putting together like, there were some people that we talked to that were putting together their own systems for like, thermal shut off where you know, if their air conditioner went out, they would turn off some of the lights. And they were kind of rigging a lot of this stuff themselves. There’s stem systems that were out there that were doing some more advanced control,  somewhere out of people’s price ranges, or some just didn’t have access to those types of systems, I guess at the time. But, we just saw there were a lot of different problems that a lot of people were putting together, you know, they say innovation is born out of necessity, right? There was a lot of, kind of, micro-innovation in all of these grows, where people were solving the problems that they had. And we were able to kind of look at all those problems, and then think about, alright with our, so my background was I worked in hardware, software, and firmware. Benjamin who is our business partner has worked in hardware, software to a degree, and firmware. And Karen, our third cofounder, she is basically all things customer facing, marketing, and revenue, that kind of thing. So when we started looking at how can we apply what we know to these, we were able to look at the multitude of problems that people had and kind of figure out what that solution was. And what we saw is that there was really no software that was built specifically for cannabis cultivators. So you mentioned earlier in this call, that there’s all these systems that exist for broader ag, and that’s true. But the reality is, a lot of those systems were built for like row crops in Iowa. And farming –

 

Chip: Yeah sure.

 

Matt: 20,000 acres in Iowa is a lot different than growing like, five warehouses in Oakland. It’s – 

 

Chip: And most of it is animal husbandry, or a lot of it, animal husbandry.

 

Matt: Yep, exactly. There’s a ton of that, and a lot of row crops have to, where they’re using like, satellite imagery to detect like, pathogens, or water necessities, and things like that. So, what we did is we actually took a lot of lessons from, we explored the farm management space. We looked at what a lot of those companies were doing for large scale commercial agriculture. And we looked at cannabis, and we saw kind of where the gaps were. A surprise kind of insight was we, we said, “There’s not really anything that’s specifically built for cannabis growers.” And with my experience in software, I’d seen there were restaurant softwares, and there were dental office softwares, and things like this, and everything was built, you know, with the idea that you can do everything that you need to do on a daily basis in those softwares. And so, we kind of took some lessons from those as well, and set out to build a software that would cover all of the major aspects of a cultivator’s business. And those, I kind of generically put those into three different categories. One is managing your team, the other is managing the environmental conditions, or monitoring at least the environment conditions in your facility. And then, the third is your regulatory compliance. So those are probably the three biggest challenges that people face every day. Creating groups of plants, tracking the activities that need to occur on those groups of plants, knowing what conditions they were exposed to, and then reporting all of that to the state. So that was really the problem that we set out to solve, was kind of simplifying the growers life and allowing them to really focus on what they do best, which is growing really high quality product.  And ultimately growing better product as a result of not having to worry about a lot of the other nuances that affect them on a daily basis.

 

Chip: Yes, man, so many states like Colorado, and California, and Nevada, they’re just so complex about their tracking. And man, then there’s you know, there’s some things about California that’s really nice about their harvesting, their batching. Where Colorado, it’s like, “Wow, you got to weigh it all. You have to track it all,” like Colorado is, in my opinion, has one of the best programs, because you do have to track so much of it, but it’s not ridiculous, like maybe Nevada is. You know, it’s tough out there, man. It’s really hard for new cannabis operators or experienced operators to really keep up with it all, right? You like, literally have to have some sort of technology now. It’s not just growing plants.

 

Matt: Yeah, I mean, the legal market invented a new role in a cannabis cultivation facility, which is the  compliance manager. You know, before regulation, there was no compliance, because there, you know, everything was –

 

Chip: It was like, “Oh man, is this good? This is good, bro! I like this one.”

 

Matt: In addition to the compliance element that comes with the regulated market, it’s also that there’s now this kind of quality expectation with brands where you put out a product and you say, you know, this is a pretty good cultivar, I’m branding it with my farm. And then, the consumer tries that, they like it, they go back to the store, they want more of it, or they get it delivered or whatever. If it’s not the same experience, then you might lose that customer. And so, there’s experience, expectation, and potency expectation, and kind of brand image all kind of encompasses all of that now. And that’s a really new thing that we really didn’t have in the legacy market. You know, it was you knew, so and so down the street had the fire Sour D, but you didn’t necessarily like, expect that every time you got that Sour D, it was gonna be the exact same or what have you. And so we’ve kind of created this machine to the industry that has also led to a lot of changes beyond just reporting to the state for compliance. It’s also like, developing standard operating procedures that are unique to different cultivars and things like that. And I think that’s a really exciting evolution, because it’s what you see in like, wine and spirits, and what you see when, you know, you look at other industries. You know, you kind of have a recognition of the brand, and you expect certain things from them. 

 

Chip: I mean, you kind of gotta be feeling like the, when you go and talk to some of these cultivators, like you know, you’re introducing the you know, the Ford Raptor, and they’re still on the like, donkey and car type scenario, right? Because I mean, ganja farmers, they’re like, salt of the earth, right? Like, most of them, the older school ones, you know, this isn’t what they’re interested in. Do you have like, I don’t know, it’s almost a cultural like difference to be able to talk to people in that manner. Do you see that?

 

Matt: Yeah, I’d say it’s a mix in the industry. You know, we’ve got some growers that know they want something, but don’t know exactly what it is. And they meet with us to kind of see if we’re at, and then some cases we are, and in other cases, you know, like you said, they might say, “Well, this is not necessarily what we’re looking for.” But for the ones that get it, some of our larger customers are actually telling us what they need still. You know, we started out very much customer centric, focus on what the growers needs are and figuring out like, here’s what their problem is, here’s what the ultimate need is, let’s figure out a solution to that, working really hand in hand with them. And we still have that to this day, like, a lot of our new feature development comes directly from growers saying, you know, “This is now really important in my business, can you help me figure out how to solve this?” And as the industry evolves, our customers are evolving, and our software platform needs to evolve to keep pace with them, as well, because there are a lot of –

 

Chip: And do you have an example?

 

Matt: – the customers.

 

Chip: Example of one of those customer changes or customer like, developments you mean? Customer based research?

 

Matt: Yeah, I mean like, almost every feature in the app, I’d say. But I’ll give you a couple of examples. 

 

Chip: So I mean, you talked heavily to people about what’s going on, this isn’t just your ideas?

 

Matt: We would not be anywhere without the guidance from our customers, you know.  What we try to do is spend as much, I mean, ultimately, all the way down to our head of engineering, actually, right now on this call, our head of engineering is covering a customer meeting for me. And he’s meeting with a large client that we’re trying to close, and working with them to figure out how we need to make some adjustments to be able to deploy our software across their portfolio facilities that they have. So all the way down to like, the engineering level, we have people talking to our customers, because if you don’t understand the problem that the grower has, then you’re not going to be able to build software that’s going to solve that problem. And so, from our customer support to our marketing, to our engineering team, to myself, you know, we spend an immense amount of time talking to our customers. But a great example is when we first launched, we had a mobile app only. And it worked well for some of our really early customers, we had basically the ability to monitor environmental sensors like temp, humidity, co2, in the rooms. You could create groups of plants and assign them to those rooms, and then track them on the way and harvest them. And then you could also assign tasks to those groups of plants, so that your team could execute them all from the mobile app. And we started out very much mobile focused because the farms that we were working with at the scale that they were at, basically, a lot of them didn’t even [inaudible 16:56] in the facility. It had to be on mobile. So then we started working, honestly, we probably want a deal that was, we were way over our skis on and we probably shouldn’t be one, but we want it. And yeah, one day, they immediately said, “This is great. We like what you’re doing for the team. But you know, managers, we really need a web based application. And we got to be able to map things out like we do on this current calendar that we’re using. And we need to be able to plan out months or even harvests in advance.” And so working really closely with them, we built out that functionality. And now it’s probably like the most popular feature in our app is this like, that this kind of concept of task planning for your team. And I mean, literally, we just did a survey not too long ago, it was one of the more popular features that we have. So I mentioned cultivation earlier in the call. I’ve grown but I’ve never grown at the scale that these guys are growing, and I’ve never produced product that was anywhere close to it. So these guys are great. So, humility is a really important thing, being humble at what you’re good at, and recognizing where other people have expertise that you don’t have. And these growers know their craft inside and out. And you know, I think we know tech and software inside and out. But you gotta we got to listen to those that really know what they need. And that’s the way we were able to really build solid features that actually match their expectations.

 

Chip: I’ve said this over and over again. And it’s my number one encouragement or advice that I give people is, growing cannabis on a small scale or large scale is more about logistics and movement of materials and people, right? Like, you know, there is a certain magic and magical moment that happens when you cultivate cannabis. But especially on a commercial scale, the logistics associated with it all, you know,  you have to be detail-oriented, if you want to be successful and on, and  the cannabis to look the same brandable, you know, be it the same high quality, or similar every single time. It’s more than just talking to your plants, right?

 

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a hundred percent right. Another example of a feature that we built in collaboration with customers is actually very much in line with what you’re talking about here. So, after we built out that task calendar, we had some customers saying, you know, “I’ve got, you know, 22,000 plants that I’m managing in this cultivation facility, and I’ve got a team of, you know, 30 people that work here every day. And I have to coordinate all of them on these plants. And I have to grow these plants in the exact same way every time. So I really need a way to repeat that process for groups of plants, and be able to basically like when I create a group of plants, we already know exactly what needs to happen on it all the way through from when I initially cut the clones, and plug them all the way through when we’re harvesting and hanging. We came up with this idea of a workflow. So, a workflow is just a series of tasks that need to occur on any group of plants. And you can create as many workflows as you want. So you can have one for each strain, you could have one for for different cultivation styles. Maybe you’ve got one farm that’s greenhouse, you got another one that’s indoor, one that’s outdoor, you can have different workflows that apply to those. Or maybe you’re testing out like, rock wool and cocoa together. You can have different workflows for those. And then when you create a group of plants, you just assign this workflow, and it’ll automatically populate your calendar with all the tasks that need to happen for that group of plants. So 100% agree with you with the inventory and team management problem being one of the major things that the growers have to overcome. You know, the art of growing cannabis is in itself a full time job, you know, to really figure out exactly what your plants need, and what you need to do, and then to coordinate that across, I mean, some of these farms that we’re working with are like, measured in miles almost, right? They’re like 400,000 square feet cultivation facilities. When you’re talking about growing at that scale, you really need to have really strong processes in place in order to manage effectively. And to get the same output that you’re expecting every time. Labor is the number one operational expense, at least here in California this is true.

 

Chip: Everywhere, you know, and you just can’t be, some things just can’t be automated, just like the grape industry. So much of the you know, grape industry is still hand labored, still handpicked, still hand trimmed, you know, it’s a part of it.

 

Matt: So take that, and then imagine that you had to tag each individual grapevine with a barcode, and you had to know what grape came from each vine. 

 

Chip: Yeah, God. Right? Yeah, I mean, this is literally, do you have a statistic on how much compliance costs and labor?

 

Matt: I mean, I’ve heard numbers as high as like 30% increase in labor. 

 

Chip: Yeah, it’s 30%.

 

Matt: That’s coming from older markets in California, because California is still pretty new in the compliance area. But like Colorado, and Oregon, I’ve heard, it adds 30%, to just everything that we do, when it comes from, you know, planting all the way through, I mean, harvesting is probably the most laborious part of cultivating at this point, because you do have to weigh every plant. And a lot of these regulations, it’s pretty clear that whoever wrote them, either didn’t consult extensively with growers about it, or ignored grower advice, because there’s a lot of things that add a ton of additional expense to the industry. And ultimately in time, that doesn’t, in my opinion, add a lot of additional value, but.

 

Chip : I’ve been in on those rule defining conversations with legislators and, man, it just it, you know, they’ve got this certain perception of public safety that they need to meet. And it kind of, that trumps everything. So even though we know that cannabis as a plant is pretty much harmless, right? They have to have this like allure that they’re protecting, you know, the public from it. And that’s why you get, you know, these weird laws, right?

 

Matt: Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen, especially like, I’ve seen it, you know, the distance to school thing. It’s like you can, in some areas, I’ve seen schools that are down the street from a 7-11 where you can buy alcohol. Or down from, you know, a big box store where you can buy hunting rifles, but no, you can’t have them. Cannabis store or anywhere close to that where they actually have a bouncer at the door that checks your ID to make sure you can come in there. You know, it’s pretty ridiculous, some of the things that we see. But I, yeah, I get it. The public fear that started at the beginning of the 20th century in this country, and continues all the way now to this day, I think is, is one of the biggest things as an industry that we have to overcome. You know, the federal perception is one thing, and the federal legality is one thing, but the public perception is a whole another mess. 

 

Chip: Interesting how in California has the oldest history of cannabis in the country, right? I mean, I know people were growing cannabis all over, but California’s got one of the oldest histories. And there’s all this preconceived information and leftover PTSD on both sides of the fence. And, you know, I was just there, I’m dealing with a cannabis license up in Humboldt. And you know, there’s so many concerns people have that are just leftover with historic stuff that doesn’t occur anymore, and it might not have ever occurred. But like, you know, just the like, the preconceived notion that cannabis farmers you know, don’t care about the environment, or polluters are trash, or you know,  other places like say, Oklahoma where I’m at right now. I’m targetting my former city. Like, people are so open to cannabis here and they’re really interested in it in a way that like, I don’t see it in California, righ? It’s really, really strange man. You know that, you think that a state that has so much history with it and people who actively voted for it right, and you know, and smoke weed at night, or at home on the weekends. Just the conversations they have as they’re against cannabis and cannabis production because the myths you know, of system abuse.

 

Matt: Yeah, I mean even the county that I’m in here, there’s no storefronts where you can buy it. We have delivery services, but you know – 

 

Chip: In Marin County?

 

Matt: Marin County, yeah.

 

Chip: Home of the Grateful Dead, right?

 

Matt: Yeah. Home after they got busted, right. Over selling at San Francisco and then –

 

Chip: Safehouse.

 

Matt: Yeah, we had a little stint in LA where they were manufacturing LSD and then they came back, and they all landed in Marin Country. And ultimately that’s where Jerry died since the beach but yeah, that’s where Bobby still lives. And Phil Spot and Sandra Fells.

 

Chip: I mean, isn’t that ridiculous? Like, I mean, The Grateful Dead really did like, define so much like street level cannabis dealing and like help, you know, find cannabis travel throughout the country, right? It’s so many. That’s the first time so many people got exposed to high end cannabis, is going to dead shows. 

 

Matt: Yeah. True story.

 

Chip: Anyway, man, thank you. My cannabis licenses is in Humboldt. And they’re the hardest, it is so hard to get a cultivation license in the county of Humboldt. They’ve just regulated it, and restricted it, and zoned, it’s pretty much to death. It’s just nuts, but like used to be like, where all the weed came from, right?

 

Matt: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s, it’s interesting. I’ve heard plenty of stories of people that have attempted to get licensed in California that were coming from the legacy market. That for whatever reason, you know, either they had a hard time getting a license, and they had challenges with their facility, they’ve just decided not to, some have remained in the legacy market. And others have moved to other states to try and, you know, give it a go in some of the newer markets that, depending on which market you’re talking about, in some cases, like Oklahoma’s a good example, it’s much easier to, from a licensing perspective to start an operation there that it is in California. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any easier from a building a facility, and designing it, and actually running it. But you know, when it comes to licensing there, there are some newer markets that are a lot more liberal with their their kind of allocation of licenses and things like that.

 

Chip: You know, the limited liability, or the limited license states like Missouri, and Arkansas, and Georgia and Florida, you know, they make it a little bit different, because there’s no application process. And it’s not quite the same over there. Usually, when there’s a limited liability state, there’s no legacy people evolved into into it at all. Right, or like somebody on the board, or some other like. billion dollar group of people would come in to like, try to get a license. Because that’s what it takes, man, right? Like, it takes millions of dollars to get a license in one of those exclusive states.

 

Matt: It’s like that in some parts of California to where maybe not the millions of dollars, but there’s like a whole side of the industry right now, which is like license application writing, right? Where you have to, like, say the right things and portray yourself the right way in order to kind of, especially when it comes to storefront, you know, dispensers are I think especially a really coveted areas are much more challenging thing. But yeah, there’s –

 

Chip: In Oklahoma, one of my favorite customers is Danky McNuggets. Yeah. But when you’re writing an application, like you have to, you know, have a, it can’t be fun like that. It can’t be the Cheech and Chong show so much anymore. It’s like, “Oh, we’re growing and building a sustainable cannabis operation. And we’re gonna give back to the community and healthy harvests friendly cannabis shop,” you know, ends up being the name, right? And that’s why so many of the names are so, you can’t remember anybody’s name, right? Because they’re all like, you know, something THC related, but like, you know, Co-Op, or I don’t know, that whole weird thing that’s happened with cannabis has like, definitely decreased the culture of it all when we used to go and buy it on people’s couches.

 

Matt: Oh, man, I still trip out when I drive through Oakland and I see the billboards like, on the interstate. Because I’m just like, you know. Did you grow up in Oklahoma?

 

Chip: No, no, I grew up in Georgia. I moved to California when I was like, in my early 20s.

 

Matt: Alright, so I have a similar story, but grew up in North Carolina. And so like, I remember having conversations with my parents, and they were like, I was like, “This stuff’s gonna be legal there!” And they were like, “Bullshit.”

 

Chip: It’s federally legal now.

 

Matt: So but now, I’m driving down the interstate, you can you know, you see it advertised on the interstate in Oakland. And that’s just a really awesome experience, to see the evolution and, you know, we have these kind of, I guess, high-end problems now that we’re talking about, of, you know, the way that they’re regulating it. But the fact that it is regulated in a positive way is a really amazing thing.

 

Chip: We got to complain a little bit, you know, I mean, checks and balances of it all. And, you know, the way we of course, cannabis people win is by like, “Hey, let’s get some software to track the growth in the way to the plant all the way through. So if anybody like questions where my cannabis went, I’ve got the data that shows exactly where it went.” That’s kind of the beauty of it. That’s how we get the win, right? That’s how we get to grow. It’s like, “Oh, we just track it. Oh, sure. I’ll do that. Oh, I’ll have a fence. Oh, sure I’ll be far enough away from people.” And you know we just comply, just you know, compliance. That’s exactly what that means, is we’re not trying to fight it, right? We’re just going to comply. “Okay, whatever you want. We’ll do it,” you know, and keep getting to grow more weed.

 

Matt: Yep, absolutely. We’re happy to help.

 

Chip: So man, you get to talk to just a lot of great people, I’m sure. You’re primarily in California, but do you go other, you know, other places?

 

Matt: Yeah. So we’re actually in 14 different states. We focused on California, because that’s where the bulk of the team is here. And it’s really where we have probably the majority of our connections. But, you know, we do have customers in Colorado, and Oregon, and Oklahoma, and Massachusetts, Maine, Actually just recently got our first customer out in Hawaii. So yeah, we’re all over the place, Indiana, Pennsylvania. 

 

Chip: And you work in hemp, as well as in ganja, and medical marijuana as well.

 

Matt: Yeah, we just recently started bringing on some hemp farms. The compliance piece is obviously not really a major factor there. But the farm management work that we’re doing is really helpful there. So it’s been interesting evolution of the product, I’d say, to see that we have customers outside of cannabis that are using us. 

 

Chip: When you’re talking to your hemp customers. I mean, they’re more like traditional row crop farmers. Where the ganja customers, the medical cannabis customers, it’s more like a nursery style type of operation. How do you handle that with your software?

 

Matt: Yeah, it’s interesting. A lot of the hemp farms that we work with actually are similar to the anecdote that I gave earlier, which was a lot of growers in California that, you know, for whatever reason, were having challenges getting licensed or whatever, they move to other states to give it a go there. So a lot of the hemp farmers that we know are actually people that started out in like, medical cannabis states, and then moved to either, move back home to like Tennessee or South Carolina, or somewhere like that to start doing hemp. And the interesting thing is, I think a lot of the hemp farmers are establishing themselves in markets where they believe legalization will happen soon. And then, they’ve already got the infrastructure built up so that when licensing becomes available, they can get their cannabis license, and be ready to drop the cannabis license. So we focus mostly on high-end smokable flower hemp, because it is so similar to cannabis, aand it works really well for the software that we built out. The other aspect of the industry that’s moving towards the like, massive row crop outdoor hemp, that hasn’t really been something that we’ve addressed yet. But we do have aspirations to do that over time. Now, we just need to, I think, make some slight adjustments to be the ideal solution for that type of cultivation.

 

Chip: Yeah, no, I get it. It was, you know, my first thought. And yeah, this year, we just saw the industrialization of hemp, and when incurred with that, the glut in the marketplace, the development of machinery. But yeah, you know, they don’t, it’s not as regulated here as much as ganja and medical marijuana is, but you still need all the stats. You still need to know what grows where, you still need to know your water consumption, you know? So are you guys integrating any like, drone technology or satellite technology? You’ve kind of mentioned those before.

 

Matt: Um, no, we’re currently we’re integrated with like, environmental control systems. So things like troll master, agricultural type of aeration controls, things like that, as well as Argus controls out of Canada. Their industrial environmental control systems, we’re able to pull data in from those systems, and then represent that in our system. We’re looking at some other environmental control integrations as well. And then, obviously, we’re integrated with Metrc. And also we’re looking at some complimentary software systems now to integrate with as well. 

 

Chip: So like, Link4 or Privo, something like that?

 

Matt: Yeah, those are, those are the types of companies for sure, that are on our integration list. We’re mostly indoor and greenhouse, although we do have some outdoor farms that are on the platform. There are indoor trained drones, we have not specifically started working with those yet. That plus, there’s a lot of like imagery technology that’s out there, that I think is still maturing. But, they’re using machine learning, and imagery to essentially identify like, pathogens or pests, or things like that on plants. And so, I think as the industry continues to evolve, those technologies will also evolve. And if it seems like that’s a need that our customers have, then we’ll look to integrate those types of technologies at the point where it seems like it’s sufficiently developed and would solve problems for our growers.

 

Chip: Yeah, absolutely, man. I mean, it seems like everything’s coming with a data port these days, you know, and sensors, you know, are soon to be on everything. I mean, I’m surprised that like, we don’t have sensors on our lights for temperature or par. And, I mean, it seems like they’re already, it’s just not too complicated to put it in there. Maybe should somebody get the idea. Hey, give me 1% for this idea, there’s a par reader on your lamp out there, send me one lamp anyway that reads par, I only need one. But you know, but you know what I’m saying? It’s like, the integration of all this is all just phase and a half. And I mean, it’s just happened with, like the GPS and satellites have just started to happen with tractors. And even though we’ve been talking about GPS and satellites for years, but it’s taken such a long time. And like, now I’m out here in Oklahoma, this turnpike they’re building. I saw this one guy was driving one tractor, and then there were other two graders right behind him that were totally empty, right? And they’re just, you know, following his GPS, you know, he’s controlling them.

 

Matt: Wow.

 

Chip: Yeah, yes. It’s totally crazy, man.

 

Matt: It’s a drone tractor.

 

Chip: Yeah, drone tactor.

 

Matt: That’s pretty amazing.

 

Chip: Yeah, the technology is everywhere, you know what I mean? The most expensive thing with cannabis is labor, like you said, to be able to automate any point. But then, you also have to, like read the data, right? Like, you know, just because you know, you’re shoving all your weed in your automatic harvesting machine, and it sorts the nuggets, and pushes the big leaf to one side, the small leaf to the other side, the eighth nuggets this way, the pound nuggets this way, you still need the data from it all.

 

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I think when we started Trym, we thought it would be really great if we could Google set out the catalog the world’s data. I think, you know, you could say we set out to catalog the cannabis cultivation industry’s data, right? We didn’t actually set out to do it at the industry scale, though. We started out to do it at the grower scale, where we could actually catalog out their data, and then they can look back on it, and reflect on it, and figure out how to make improvements. Because ultimately, you and I can both be growing like you know Mac. We can both be growing a strain. And your version of Mac might be different than mine, right? Because like, we think it’s the same cut. But ultimately, it may not be, and I mean, there’s been obviously a lot of efforts to try and make, to try and identify those similarities. But knowing that I’ve seen one of my friend’s Gorilla Glue, I’ve seen  the other one’s Gorilla Glue, and they look fundamentally different. It’s like, something happened along the line, and maybe [inaudible 37:01], or whatever. But also like, we don’t track everything, right? So these outside influences around like, how tight is the envelope of the room, and that kind of thing. So yeah, we have the inputs, but we don’t know every, we haven’t characterized every element of every room. So we think we’re you know, the kind of similarities across different growers make a challenge with the differences of their grow environment, the differences of their strains, make it difficult I think, to really create this whole industry wide, perfect model of what’s the best way to grow cannabis. But what we can do, I think, is provide growers along the way, as we continue to get better about how we make it really easy to track data, we can make it really easy to provide recommendations to growers on how to make improvement. Like hey, you know, normally when you run your Alien Cookies in room three, you keep it 73 degrees, and you get this output. You’re running at 75 degrees on average, you know, if we could drop that back down, then you might get x percent more output.  You know, those are the types of things along the way that I think we should be able to provide, becauseyou know, you can already provide those types of assertions, and a lot of, there’s a lot of technology to provide those types of assertions in other industries. You know around like, turbine performance and around you know, broader agriculture, you know. If the field looks this color of brown from the satellite image, then you’re probably suffering from this pathogen, you know. That’s something that they can do [inaudible 38:22]. The fact that we can’t do that in cannabis is, I think, a statement to the fact that it was federally illegal. A lot of growers weren’t didn’t have the will, or the motivation to take really accurate records that were especially digital. Because you know don’t have a record what you’re doing, and with the medical, you know, there was a lot of that. So, a lot of internal nomenclature. And there’s a lot of unique cultivars that exist, and a lot of unique environments. And so, that’s been a gap to go to provide that cannabis. But that’s what we’re on the way to do, is to help growers ultimately grow a better product. And we’re doing that by tracking all those major pieces.

 

Chip: Oh man, that’s where it’s at. We need to grow better weed, dude. Everybody needs to grow better weed. I need better weed, you need better weed, we all need better weed. That’s for sure, man. Man, this has been an awesome conversation. A lot of people look you up. How do people find out about Trym?

 

Matt: Yeah, so our website is trim with a Y, so trym.io. You can go there, you can request a demo, or you could email us at info@trym.io. Love to talk to anyone that’s interested. As I mentioned, we’re in 14 states, our farm platform works in any state irrespective of the compliance system you guys use. And then, if you’re specifically looking for Metrc support in California, definitely reach out, because we, over the experience of building out that integration for compliance, have turned into industry experts as far as compliance goes in the state of California. So yeah, we’d love to have a conversation with any of your listeners that think we could be helpful.

 

Chip: Oh man, that’s great. Yeah, Metrc is coming to a town near you, Oklahoma. So get ready for yeah, we just passed it a couple of days ago.  Not passed, but it just came into action, I believe just a couple of days ago. So it’s all starting to happen here.

 

Matt: That’s the truth, man. Yeah, those guys have a pretty good grip on on the regulated states. 

 

Chip: Yeah well, here it comes. It’s all good. Hey, man. Thanks for the conversation. I really appreciate us finally getting together. It looks a little clear out there. Not so smoky. I hope the breeze keeps up, and the fire stay down.

 

Matt: Yeah, thank you. I really appreciate it. It’s been really nice talking to you. And yeah, hope you have a great rest of your day.

Chip: Yes, thank you. And hey, thanks for listening to another episode of The Real Dirt. This has been The Real Dirt with Chip Baker. If you’re interested in this episode or others, you can subscribe on iTunes and on Spotify. If you have any grow needs check us out at cultivatecolorado, cultivateokc.com. And remember, when life’s getting you down, just grow a little bit of weed. It’ll make you feel better. Thanks again, Real Dirt.

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