fbpx
Step by Step Irrigation Guide with Michael Box

Step by Step Irrigation Guide with Michael Box

cannabis irrigation set up guide

Michael Box is a lifelong disciple of plants and their cultivation.

For the last 22 years, he has worked in the field of horticulture, emphasizing on cannabis for the past 12 years. Throughout that time, the irrigation sector has always been a passion for all things related to water-installation, design, and instruction.

He is currently the Operations Director and Lead Designer for Sustainable Village in Boulder, CO. Sustainable Village designs and supplies various projects with a focus on Blumat Watering Systems and large multi-acre hemp field irrigation.

This episode of The Real Dirt will give you interesting information on why drip irrigation works best for your grow plus step by step instructions for setting up . Michael shares his irrigation expertise, cultivation experiences, and explains Blumat systems solutions for your unique situation. 

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

5:12 – Blumat, the evolution of drip irrigation
10:57 – Hand watering vs. drip irrigation
16:33 – Parts of the drip system
27:19 – Using drip tape
35:57 – Challenges in drip irrigation systems
46:54 – Advantages of Blumat system
57:27 – Where to find them

Transcript

Chip Baker: Hey guys, this is Chip from The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt we talk about irrigation. That’s right so many cannabis farmers are hesitant to put irrigation in their small operations and even in their big fields, but we’re going to demystify it a little bit with you today. Today, I’m going to have a co-host, Justin Jones. He’s been on the show many times before and you know, he has some large hemp fields that they irrigate. And I’m also having Michael Box of Blumat Irrigation.

All right, once again, you are at The Real Dirt. Down today’s dirt, I’ve got my good buddy Justin Jones who is our impromptu guest host say hello Justin Jones.

Justin Jones: Hello, how’s it going out there?

Chip Baker: Doing good man and I brought you on today Justin so we could chat with Michael Box. What’s up Michael? 

Michael Box: Hey there, Chip. 

Chip Baker: Michael runs Sustainable Village. Sustainable Village among many other things help and design irrigation systems for hemp farmers cannabis farmers of all types, small scale and big scale. He represents the Blumat brand is that correct? 

Michael Box: It’s Blumat.

Chip Baker: It’s Blumat brand which we’ll attempt to explain that to you a little later but it’s a ceramic brick based irrigation device. We’ll just leave the mystery.

Michael Box: Yeah, I’ll get into it in a bit. Right? Yeah,

Chip Baker: Totally. I’ve seen these things for a long time I saw him first in Europe, 2000-2001 or something– great product. But hey, I’ll tell you guys there’s a huge myth in the cannabis industry you know it and hear it well is that it should all be hand watered and in order to make it great and incredible, you have to hand water it but we three are here to tell you that is not true. And irrigation and automation do rule our full food world as well as the cannabis world as well. 

Irrigation and automation do rule our full food world as well as the cannabis world. – Chip Baker

If you think that drip irrigation is too difficult, we’re going to demystify that today, if you think that irrigation is too expensive, we’re going to bust that bubble too. We’re going to explain how drip irrigation can help you with your cannabis farm. So, sit back roll the largest joints, you can enjoy us here for this episode of The Real Dirt, it’s going to get wet. 

Michael Box: So, I have to say, working on irrigation, there’s a lot of jokes that you can use around getting people excited.

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, man. I love drip irrigation. I love the math. irrigation it is the coolest thing when you put it together but it’s one of those things that people easily fail at because they don’t do the math. They don’t put in the right filter sizes. Have you ever done this Justin? Have you ever like built a drip irrigation system that didn’t work?

Justin Jones: I’m kind of I’m kind of a hand watering kind of guy still, but I have a really tiny cannabis farm in Denver so you know we can do that, we have– [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Sure but all your large scale hemp stuff

Justin Jones: All the large scale stuff is all irrigation. Yeah, and it’s a big deal and I’ll tell you what, you definitely don’t want to screw it up. You want to make sure it’s correct because I saw some people that are you know that definitely scrambled this last year 2019 during the planting season and their pumps weren’t ready or like you said the filter something this or that– there’s a lot of things that go into a successful irrigation system. And it’s also a living breathing thing that on a daily and weekly basis needs to perform. So. 

Michael Box: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. 

Justin Jones: Super important.

Blumat, the Evolution of Drip Irrigation

Chip Baker: Hey, Michael, I’m wondering if you could go over the basis of a the two types of drip systems we were going to be talking about today. We’re going to talk about, like individual drippers. And we’re also going to talk about the wonderous drip tape. So, yeah, let’s maybe we could talk about the individual drippers first.

Michael Box: Sure. So when we look at irrigating containers, so anything that’s in a pot or a raised bed, for instance, whether that be indoors, greenhouse, even outdoor, large raised beds outdoors or also when people are in native soil applications, with their ganja plants, with large plants, things like that. We kind of look at them on an individually plant by plant basis. And we engineer our Blumat systems into those. And we like to call Blumats, the kind of the evolution of drip irrigation. So standard drip irrigation, you know, it tends to be a lot of little plastic drip emitters that run at a certain rate, you know, say like a gallon per hour, half gallon per hour. And those are all–

Chip Baker: Use your pressure compensated?

Michael Box: Yeah, pressure compensating or non-pressure compensating depending on the application. And those are fed by a pump system that runs at a pretty high volume. Some usually on a timer. So, you know, say you have a greenhouse with raised beds, and you have emitters in the beds, and your timer kicks on for 20 minutes a day, twice a day, something like that, and it gives us kind of the standard amount of water, and that’s handy. For years I did a lot of installation of those, I use them on my own grows, worked on a bunch of different just vegetable farms over the years, and new systems like that, and they work well. They take a lot of save a lot of labor, that sort of thing plants, you know, generally, like them. 

The way our Blumats work, and I know you said you have seen these before Chip, and what they are is they’re a ceramic cone with a little plastic cap on the top, and through the top of that plastic cap, there’s a very thin three-millimetre line the silicon line. The cone itself is filled with water, and it’s buried in the soil, and as the soil dries out, the ceramic cone dries out a little bit, which pulls a small amount of water that’s inside the carrot we call them a carrot. It is both a small amount of water into the ceramic, which creates a negative hydro-static pressure inside the cone, which pulls down on a little membrane, which opens a valve and allows water to flow through the top of it. So it’s an on-off valve that responds to soil moisture and then so it lets water flow through the top of this valve and re-hydrate the soil which re-hydrates the cone which closes the valve and that’s like a variable flow as well. 

So if the soil is drying out fast the valve will open more and water more, and it’ll drip out even into like you can have a safe you got a small pot like a one-gallon pot or a three-gallon pot, you could just have a drip right out of the carrot. Yet something bigger like five or 10 gallons, you could have some little distribution drippers that it would drip through. Or with large pots, you know when we’re talking like 45-6500s two hundred that sort of thing. Or raised beds, we feed it into this array of soaker hoses that we have, we call them blue soap, but they’re interesting soaker hose made out of Tyvek. And either way, what we’re doing is maintaining static moisture levels in the soil with the Blumat Systems. And that is different than a traditional drip irrigation system with individual emitters that are going to have wet periods and dry periods, and it’s going to have these big swings in the moisture level–

Chip Baker: They are much more like running rock walls as far as the moisture level running–

Michael Box: And it maintains like a really even consistency. Yeah, I hadn’t really thought of it like that. But yeah, I suppose it is.

Chip Baker: That’s the two major like sections we have that we sell drip irrigation to Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado. Yeah, is there either, quote unquote hydro growers, so they want their medium to stay moist all the time. Or they’re soil-less growers and they believe in some sort of [inaudible] to a tie up.

Michael Box: Yeah, which you know, that’s one at school thought–

Chip Baker: Hey, I’ve done it all honestly and man it’s just how you want to do it right. For me and my scales in the past I can’t see like water savings on one versus the other or, you know, growth technique or grow growing better in any way. The yield seemed to be the same but it’s just preferred you either want to wet or you’d like to dry it out.

Justin Jones: Yeah, I got something for this. So my recreational marijuana grow. Medical unrack and Denver dank. We still hand water and a lot of– [inaudible]

Chip Baker: You got AD lights or something?

Hand Watering vs. Drip Irrigation

Justin Jones: We have 100 lights. We’re small lights, big growers. But part of the problem is that I have multiple cultivars on a grouping of plants. Okay, so and that’s just we were vertically integrated and we just basically we grow a little bit differently than you’ll see in a lot of places. But what’s cool about what I’m hearing from your system is this might actually work. And the reason that we don’t drip irrigate, is because if I’ve got eight different cultivars, they can all be in the same size of coco and they can be in the same you know, in the same grid and all that but you know, they’re gonna use their water and nutrients little bit differently. So we actually hand water and we kind of look at each plant on its own. Because if we just give everything 10 minutes a day, certain things are getting over watered and it becomes really difficult to get any kind of a dry down or it’s just definitely easy to over-water certain things so–

Michael Box: Yeah, and over water is a huge problem, right? I mean–

Justin Jones: So this your system has the ability to– each one of these carrots has its own sensor to how much moisture is there, you know, in [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Each container maintain the same amount of moisture. 

Michael Box: Yeah, I think you guys are just jumping right to the heart of it here, which is that’s exactly right. Different, you know, finos different strains, whatever you’re going with, even like different places in the greenhouse, you know, or the room some are going to be hotter than the others. All these different containers are going to be using water at different rates. So this allows the plants to you know, just take just as much as they want and not too much. And the systems you know, the supply lines are under a constant pressure. So this waters on 24 hours a day. And it’s very low pressure, like our max psi is 15. 

So we just need to maintain a very low pressure on all the supply lines. As soon as the plants want some water, they just open up the valve. And it’s really like the plants are actually controlling the on off switch to the water. And in fact, when you you know, after a plant is done growing and you kind of you pull the carrot out and you look at the pot, you’ll there’ll be a little conical hole, you know, where the carrot had been embedded in the soil, and it’ll just be completely solid root mass. So the plants actually wrap themselves around the carrot and start exerting pressure on that to control the valve, which is, you know, —

Justin Jones: That’s pretty cool. 

Michael Box: That’s kind of a higher level of it. But yeah–

Chip Baker: So this is the– I’ve used this example over and over again, when people talk about how bad drips irrigations are, and I’m like, Well, let me tell you, if you have a right drip irrigation system, when you’re done with it, or halfway through, you will notice that the very top of your soil is just a map of roots, right? And roots will come out of the top of the soil even. And to me, that just sounds like everything. It’s just a healthy environment you know, it’s hard to argue with that one honestly but I’ve never seen I’d love to see a picture of this man and maybe we get one or you could post it.

Michael Box: And if people check out our Instagram, its Blumat Watering Systems, there’s a bunch of pictures on there and people send them to us all the time where there’ll be like a little dripper you know that where the water enters the pot, and we actually have to put the drippers up on a stake about two inches above the soil. 

Because what happens is if you lay it right on the soil, the roots just grow up into the dripper and clog it. And people send us photos all the time of having this mound of roots just underneath the dripper where the plants are getting it and I’ve actually had it at home and my little greenhouse at my house. We’re using the soaker hose, the drip tape soaker hose that we use this type x soaker hose like hundred gallon pots I’ll put a big spiral that. The root mass will actually grow over the top of the soaker hose and completely encapsulate the soaker hose so that you have to like at the end of the season actually tear the roots back to get the hose out from underneath this thick mass which is you know kind of blew me away the first time I saw that.

Chip Baker: So yeah, I’m checking out your Instagram site and I see that the other product you have this type x like it appears to be a drip tape like product is that what it is?

Michael Box: It’s different than a drip tape. And so most we think of drip tape, it’s like extruded plastic, you know, it’s black, and it’s got it’s usually flat looking when it’s dry and then it swells up, but there’s a mirror built in. You know every 8, 12, 24 inches however, you know whatever distance you want those emitters have specific flow rates. And you know, that’s the same thing you turn that system on or the myths at that spacing for that flow rate. This the BluSoak is the that we use is actually has just thousands and thousands of little micro holes that we water out just continuously so you get a continuous soak. And it also operates at a really low pressure, it’ll operate down to two psi which is which is much lower than like the traditional drip tape needs more like eight to 10 to really function.

Parts of the Drip System

Chip Baker: So we bounced around a little bit. Yeah, but a couple things I wanted to get in here is the important parts and pieces that people need when they go to design an irrigation system. And, we’re going to list them out here. So if you got a pen and paper, go get it. If you want to write it down in your notes, you know perfect. And we’re gonna list the parts of the drip system that everyone needs and maybe give a little understand you know? You need water.

Michael Box: Yeah, that’s where it started water.

Chip Baker: Yep, you need our source right? Hey Justin, do you guys have holding tanks or do you come right off your waterline for your large irrigation? 

Justin Jones: The we’ve got both, we’re coming out of wells. We’ve got holding tanks. You know, I know guys I saw people that are you know straight pumping right out of the river. It depends on what your water rights are here in Oregon I you know really but you know most most people have a have a good well, it allows them you know, so many. So many of our those sorts of things.

Chip Baker: We have our water and then we have our, our pump, which is it gives us two things. It gives this volume and it gives us pressure Right, Michael.

Michael Box: That’s absolutely right.

Chip Baker: Go ahead.

Michael Box: Oh, and then the next step is your filtration –[inaudible]

Chip Baker: Most important.

Michael Box: Absolutely. That’s right Chip, most important.

Chip Baker: Water, pump, pushes volume and pressure and filtration.

Michael Box: Yeah filtration so now we’re really kind of talking about, like multi-acre row crops you know, for a big hemp fields and stuff like that. And this in filtration–

Chip Baker: We sell filtration to all of our small indoor cannabis [inaudible]

Michael Box: Oh, absolutely.

Chip Baker: Right, any irrigation needs disk filter.

Michael Box: But when we get into especially when we get into these big multi acre fields, irrigation becomes critical because people are spending lots of money on their irrigation systems. I mean, it’s really easy to mess them up. And there’s a there’s a bunch of different ways to build filtration and to do it like you mentioned the disk filters very popular, there are mechanical filter, basically, you’re pushing water through these disk arrays and takes the particulate out. They’re really inexpensive relatively. And then we also install sand media filters to which are a little more complicated, a little more expensive, but they’re more automated and can go for longer periods of time without–

Chip Baker: They have automated flesh out valves. You can run larger volumes of water you don’t decrease your your pressure when they get dirty necessarily. Yeah, that’s the problem with the disk filters, you do have to have a minute cleaning maintenance schedule and, you know, my in our in our hydro garden with our rock. Well, we have to clean our filter every couple of days.

Michael Box: Right. So we use these big mechanical filters. We like this brand called Irritec they make really nice, really make, they’d make the biggest one. So filtration is all about surface area, the more surface area you have in your filtration system, the longer you can go between cleanings. You can get away with a really small filter, but you have to clean it all the time. Or you can build a bunch of filters in these array, these manifold arrays that we design. They’re really cool. We, you know, we have some of those on the Instagram too. I think there’s some photos of those but yeah, that’s our most popular style that we install. And then sometimes we’ll do the sand media stuff as well. So filtration is really it’s key. So that’s, something we tell people to is that’s where you if you’re gonna spend money on one part of irrigation system, especially for a farm filtration [inaudible] cuz you don’t want to you know, I mean you put, acres and acres of drip tape down in the field and then you run a bunch of, you know, get the sediment through it and you’re going to clog up all those tapes and now you got a bunch of garbage laying out and feel that needs to be replaced.

Filtration is all about surface area, the more surface area you have in your filtration system, the longer you can go between cleanings. – Michael Box

Chip Baker: Well, you know, just last year, I bought a couple acres about a two acre kit of drip tape. And, you know, I sell all this stuff but like, Man, this particular company, I like to work with drip works, you know, there’s no, I do, they’re just great people I love their model and they have really good prices. So like I ordered some kits. And it came with just a three quarter inch screen filter, right, I immediately threw that away and put in an extra large, extra long disk filter. That was for more volume and more water than then my system could carry. But I always liked to upsize that part of the filter. Make it bigger, it’s easier for everybody to take apart and clean it. Just bigger is better in my opinion on [inaudible]

Michael Box: Generally, it is to you know, higher flow, you know, larger diameter stuff, get more flow, you get less friction loss and with your ports, your overall pressure.

Chip Baker: So hey, this is a great engineering point for drip systems this filter is not going to take that same volume or pressure and you need to up it, right, you know, to one inch or one and a quarter or one and a half or whatever the one up, you should up it.

Michael Box: And really, you know, and once you start talking about those diameters, I mean, the smallest we ever get into with the hemp fields is two inches, and that’s where we start with all of our supply lines. We use a product called lay flat, which she probably probably [inaudible] you’d call it’s usually like [inaudible] sometimes it’s like a fire hose. It’s like a rubber kind of fire hose material. Yeah, we use that. So after you know we get to through our filtration systems. Then we start laying out our main lines and our sub mains so we’ll use the highest diameter [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Okay. Let me pause you. So we’ve got water, we’ve got our pump, which is volume and pressure. We’ve got our filter. And now we have our supply line is that what you want to call it?

Michael Box: Yeah, supply lines here. Okay, main lines. You might also put in a fertilizer injector in there too, usually right after the filtration. But yeah, so supply lines, you know, we’re either going to be in PVC or in lay flat, or a combination of both usually, depending on where we need to move the water to. And we’ll start with higher diameter stuff. I mean, it’s not uncommon that we’re using six or four inch stuff right off the bat to get large amounts of water out to the field and then we’ll branch that off into zones or sets, people call them too. And those will be that so we can’t generally can’t water the whole field at once. 

We’ll want to break it off into zones. And we’ll say hey, what’s the max amount of water This field is going to use in a day in the middle of the summer its highest use rate. You know, like, right in the middle August how much of these things going to be drinking? And we’ll say How much time will it take to get that much water on the field and say, hey, we’ve got like, say we have an 18 hour day to water we have to size the system so that it’s possible to put that much water down on that field in that 18 hour window is kind of so that’s our like upper limit of what we need to be able to supply. So yeah, the the mainline takes the water to the different zones, and then those zones are usually controlled by valves. Most of the time it’s a manual thing, but we can also do you know, solenoid valves that go off on timers and that sort of thing.

Chip Baker: Hey Justin, in how many how many zones you got in your hundred acre field?

Justin Jones: They had a lot a lot of zones but– and they do I think that was all manual too. The automated stuff, it’s hard to it’s hard to trust it sometimes.

Chip Baker: Unless you’re just in consistent dry temperature in Southern California or Nevada or something. It’s hard to say okay, it’s going to be this much every day.

Michael Box: And most hemp farms are new, you know that’s the thing most hemp farmers right now have only been doing it for a couple years at best, right? 

Justin Jones: Nobody got ten-year [inaudible] Yeah, well you know, one of the big hemp farms that I worked with a bunch this last year they also are large scale hops our operation. You know, that they’ve got so many years and hops and you know, and of course there’s always something even with their hops farming, but, you know, they’ve usually have dealt with it in the past or they have other resources. 

So yeah with hemp farming everything’s kind of brand new– No, definitely that was an issue you would hear you know about people that if your irrigation isn’t working if it breaks down, if there’s no like catch up time you know if you hit if you– if you kill everything because it didn’t get water your stuff start over so it definitely seems challenging now with these systems, you know, the slasher, I saw guys that were running drip tape in with their transplanting and so the tape was like that, you know, I guess in the ground on the raised beds, a lot of people that planted and then put the drip tape out after the plants are in and maybe they did a little bit of overhead watering at the very beginning with the transplants growing in. Now with your guys’s system for a large scale hemp field, once you get off those laterals and the mains and laterals are your material underground above ground. How does that work?

Michael Box: Yeah, so, again, now we’re talking about just that extra drip tape. That is one or the other, it’s really up to what the farmer wants to do or has the capability of installing.

Chip Baker: Do you see any difference?

Michael Box: You know, the tape can be protected longer if it’s buried, you know. And it’s, it’s also supplying water below surface so it could, there’s less evaporation that happens when it’s buried. It’s hard to get the tape out with hemp plants, especially if you’re finding like, If you’re growing onions or something, you can just pull that tape right out. If you’re growing hemp though, I mean, you guys know what a fully grown hemp plant looks like and how big that stock is and how massive the root system is right? Just [inaudible] 

Justin Jones: You know, in that case, the above ground tape would maybe easier to pull out but those were– I saw people that put those in and then had a lot of wind when the plants are real small and that the lines actually moved around and some plants. Yeah–

Chip Baker: Yeah, you still got to put some weight on it. And if you’re gonna do– because I prefer the above ground on drip tape. I do like to take it out at the end of the year and right to reuse it. Agricultural waste and plastic waste are one of the biggest plastic wastes in the world right now. So I want to be as conscious as possible. 

Michael Box: Yeah [inaudible] It’s the biggest issue I have with this–

Chip Baker: Yeah. And drip tape really is great because you can at the end of the season, wind it up. There’s some great YouTube videos on how to wind it up and keep it on your spool using just like a cordless drill that’s what we use. And so I put it on top, and then I’ll just like every 10 feet, I’ll put on five shovels of dirt on top of that. So then when I come to like, pull the field up, I just walk down the row and I just pull up right where there’s a weighted down section right.

Michael Box: Yeah there’s a lot of implements you know, that will actually shape your beds and lay a plastic bolts and bury the tape four inches down all in one pass. 

Chip Baker: Sure. Yeah. Now I have now I have all that. 

Michael Box: Yeah. So if you’ve got that stuff, that’s probably what you’re doing and you might even be throwing away the tape every year.

Chip Baker: You got plastic mulch over there Justin?

Justin Jones: You know, I see it both ways. The main farms that I worked with were no plastic mulch, flat no raised beds. No, it was it was just flat. 

Chip Baker: No, it was just flat. and it’s in the world for it though.

Justin Jones: Yeah. And we had drip, we had a farmers with drip and we had farms with pivots. And definitely, you know, so, you know, we kind of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon, you can see it a lot of different ways for sure. But we do have to have some sort of irrigation because normally we get no rain from, you know, somewhere in June till somewhere and October. So, [inaudible] but, you know, definitely I like seeing the different systems and definitely it’s super important but pumps and filters, and the injectors, you know that’s the and just that math although all that math going on–

Chip Baker: And the most important pies. Hey Gentlemen, I think this is a perfect time for us to take a break. Let’s just sit back and roll up the largest joints you can and join us just back in a few minutes for The Real Dirt.

Thanks for listening to another episode of The Real Dirt podcast. Hey, you know in these trying times, it’s kind of hard to find all the parts and pieces you need. However, if you call us at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, email us, text us, man send out smoke signals. We’ll try to get every single thing you need to grow to you, either drop ship delivery or we offer curbside service. It’s one of the most important things that we can do right now is help our customers continue growing. And you know, just to put more great cannabis out there in the world is definitely going to be a good thing here. So if you’re having trouble getting any of your products or if you don’t think that your local store is open, no need to worry. Contact us at cultivatecolorado.comcultivateokc.com you can look us up on our telephone number, you can drop me a line at chip@therealdirt.com you can pm us, you can dm us, you can do whatever you want, and we will go out of our way to get you everything you need in these trying times.

Justin Jones: Chip, I got a quick question in regards to that. You mentioned [inaudible] direction. And what color smoke signal would you guys like to see if that if that’s where we’re at?

Chip Baker: Well, you know, smoke me always like that fine blue smoke. You know, I’m talking about, right. Yeah, it’s nice blue smoke. That’s what we’re looking for. It’s the intention of the smoke signal, I believe. That will draw us to it like flies in light.

Justin Jones: Yes, yes.

Chip Baker: So man, great to be back with you guys. Today, we’re talking about irrigation. I’ve got Michael Box and Justin Jones here. Justin Jones has done a large scale commercial agriculture with hemp. And he also grows ganja by hand in Denver waters it by hand. Michael helps transition those exact people into irrigation systems. 

Alright fellas, like where we’re talking about, oh, the parts and pieces of an irrigation system let’s just keep reviewing for everybody is we’ve got our water. We’ve got our pump that’s pressure and volume, and we have a water filter. We then often have some type of fertilizer injection system, a siphoning fertilization system. Some people have an additional tank which requires a different pump and an additional filter. But then we have a mainline that that brings all the water to our garden and from our mainline then we set it up into zones. The zones end up breaking into smaller lines that run through the garden. And then the individual drip lines come off into our containers unless it is drip tape. Then your supply lines are also your drip lines as well. Right, does that sound easy? Yeah. I don’t know if anybody else got lost but–

Justin Jones: Alright, I was following you there.

Chip Baker: Yeah. So Michael when we put all these stuff together what’s people– they’ve got all the parts and pieces they’ve they figured out, they’ve got everything right. What’s the main way they mess up right now?

Challenges in Drip Irrigation Systems

Michael Box: Well, you know, we talked about a lot of math involved with these big systems and we’re looking at acres of plants. And the main problem we see is when folks try to do it themselves. And you know, I’m all about do it yourself and many, many aspects of life. But with these irrigation systems, it’s really, really helpful to have somebody engineered for you that knows what they’re doing. Because the last thing you want is, like we talked about getting to the middle of summer, and all of a sudden, you can’t get enough water on those plants. And you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of plants in the field that are dying before your eyes because you can’t give them enough water.

Justin Jones: Or you’re at the beginning and you just spent all this money propagating and you and your pumps not big enough, and that’s usually what I was hearing was these guys, they didn’t do the math, right? Their pumps weren’t big enough or you know, they couldn’t push enough through the filters. You know? So it’s a–

Chip Baker: That is the case, just to explain it to people who have zero knowledge of this is real simple. There’s a certain amount of volume and pressure that you get at the beginning of this whole thing. And that is as much as you’re going to get ever. So you take all of the drippers that you have and divide it by that number. And, that’s roughly your limitations, right?

Michael Box: Yeah, but even– 

Chip Baker: It’s more complicated than that–

Justin Jones: If you have a good well that just keeps putting out for you, too so–

Chip Baker: Yeah, right. I mean, if you got a five inch well, and you know, it’s putting out 8000 gallons a day, it doesn’t matter if you have a four inch line that put out 13-14,000 gallons a day, it’s only gonna get 8000 gallons a day.

Michael Box: That’s right. And often with you know, big multi acre fields, we’re looking at hundreds of, you know, 120 gallons a minute we’re trying to put out. So it’s really pretty large volume on water. So having an engineer and I do a lot of design work here, we put the system together, we source parts from a bunch of different manufacturers that we have really great relationships with and get that system to people. I do all the kind of tech support customer service, everything that needs to happen. 

I do a lot of design work here, and we put the system together, we source parts from a bunch of different manufacturers that we have great relationships with and get that system to people. – Michael Box

In addition to that, when we’re talking about big fields, I do have an engineer that I work with, who will draw up a system and he’s an irrigation engineer out of Oregon, and actually up your way and he does a fabulous job. He’ll create someone gets a system through us. You know, not only will they have every part that they possibly need delivered to their farm, they’ll get a CAD drawing of the whole system all laid out and everything is going to be guaranteed insured to work. So when we’re dealing with millions of plants. We like to have that insurance policy backing us up so that we don’t ever screw up and we don’t you know, that’s the real advantage of having the engineer design done. It’s done properly. 

When we’re dealing with millions of plants, we like to have that insurance policy backing us up so that we don’t ever screw up. – Michael Box

Chip Baker: All right. So this drip irrigation isn’t just for large farmers, though. And that’s, you know, most of the people that buy drip irrigation from us at Cultivate. They’re small farmers, they might have 12 lights, 20 lights, 500 square feet. So we basically have two types. We have a small scale or your craft’s size, we’ll call it what do you think that number goes up to from one light to how many square feet would be considered a craft operation?

Michael Box: For an indoor situation like that?

Chip Baker: Indoor greenhouse you know–

Michael Box: You know, I don’t know if I have an exact number. A couple thousand square feet canopy I would say stops, you know, it becomes more commercial. A lot of it has to do like what’s the guy’s market? You know, what’s the farmers market that they’re gonna go into? Are they trying to get five rounds a year in are they? You know– 

Chip Baker: What is the equipment change? 

Michael Box: Yeah. So the way we design it, we’ll do our Blumat irrigation systems in in anything that has to do with containers. So we don’t really have an upper limit as long as folks are growing in say raised beds, or large pots or things like that.

Chip Baker: So even over in Justin’s four acre greenhouse or something, it’s all in containers–

Michael Box: Yeah, so I you know that that’d be a situation where, you know, if he’s grown in a lot of small pots, we have some different ways to use the Blumats with that. We also have these systems called Capillary Mats, which are a whole other kind of really interesting way to irrigate, they’re like that, and that pot sit on and with water up through that. So that’s a really great way to do a lot of smaller containers. And, you know, the way we work it is we have a lot of people call us every day say, hey, there’s my grow. This is what it is, maybe it’s six lights in your basement, maybe it’s, 5,000 square feet of in a couple acres of greenhouses, whatever it is. They’re contacting us and then we talk to them, we work out what they need, and we give them a system that’s going to work for them. And it’s gonna be different now we’re talking outdoors, native soil stuff, anything over, like I say, an acre, but he’s probably even a little less than that. We’ll stop doing like Blumat stuff. And we’ll go straight more to this traditional drip irrigation.

They’re contacting us, and then we talk to them, we work out what they need, and we give them a system that’s going to work for them. – Michael Box

Justin Jones: But you would go to with the Blumat, possibly up to an acre?

Michael Box: Up to an acre. Yeah. Yep. And you know, that’s a real kind of craft situation that you’d be doing. It’s, but for sure, we put some of those [inaudible]

Justin Jones: Well in that number here like an Oregon if you have a tier two recreational outdoor, it’s an acre, you know? so–

Michael Box: And then when we’re talking about acres of greenhouses, that’s you know, that’s always going to be– that just really depending on what the containers look like–

Justin Jones: Right, I’m saying for ganja pure tier two, you know, you’d have an acre guys you’re doing an outdoor. You know, 40,000 square foot canopy.

Michael Box: Yeah, that’s that’s a lot of ganja. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, man. We’re trying to put in 240,000 square feet of ganja this summer. 

Justin Jones: Alright! 

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. 

Michael Box: That’s out in Oklahoma? 

Chip Baker: In Oklahoma. 

Michael Box: Yeah. Is that under full sun, that kind of thing?

Chip Baker: It’s between greenhouse [inaudible] yeah, auto flowers and clones and seeds.

Michael Box: Excellent. Yeah

Chip Baker: Right. Doing it all man. I’m definitely not a snob on growing ganja any all ever we can.

Michael Box: No I mean I think the auto-flower thing is really fascinating development and especially I think it can fill a really awesome niche in a farm,

Chip Baker: Oh, man. It is how all the rest of the commercial. So many of the other commercial agricultural products work with day neutral flowering periods where it’s just time. You know, it’s just 45 days or 50 days or 70 days. I mean, I just planted a bunch of cabbage that was 45 days and tomatoes that were 50 days. And that’s how commercial agriculture talks about it all and even home agriculture talks about it the same way, backyard gardens right.

Michael Box: Yeah, I was just ordering all my seeds for my kitchen gardens just the other day and you know I’m up in the mountains so I like to pick those short windows the short days yeah

Chip Baker: Yeah I’m excited about down here in Oklahoma it was 90 degrees a few times this week. The spring has definitely sprung it may freeze once or twice but yeah we’re ready to go man and places like this are perfect places for auto-flowers and I mean many people grow them inside which I don’t quite understand that but outside they’re just you can start planting right about now and keep planting until well after your first freeze. 

Justin Jones: Well, I think you could get a nice cycle to you know, and we saw a really good success with hemp farming this year. With you know, logistics and being able to dry your hemp, you’ll be harvested. All your work come due in the same week or two, you know, so just trying to go with an auto-flowering genetic and then an early and then you know, maybe later to try to spread out your harvest in the fall so, yeah.

Michael Box: Well and you know, we’ve got a number of clients now they’re using the auto-flowers. A lot of them were seeing them or doing them in raised beds and– actually for us for that craft flower that smokeable flower, which I think is a really very viable market but that’s kind of a different topic. 

Chip Baker: And the raised beds are just perfect for ganja, pulls them out of the soil platform. So it changes the whole water dynamic, it dries them out more gives it more oxygen, even if you don’t put the plastic mulch on top of it. It’s an incredible like a little small addition to growing almost anything. If you add that drip and the plastic mulch, and man that’s how all the organic vegetables are grown pretty much this way. Or many, many of them no pesticides, reduces the weed pressure reduces the pest pressure such a great deal. It’s really good thing.

Michael Box: Yeah. And you’re kind of talking more about the like a shaped bed or raised bed out in the field where the tractor will come and raise those beds up and then and then we see a lot of folks in like greenhouses with built raised beds right like either a fabric bed like [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Similar concept. You get a grounded oil profile–

Michael Box: And a lot of those guys that we’re working with are more of that living soil style grower, right? So I know you’ve got a bunch of say about living soil. I was just looking at the talk you did [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Oh, great, great marketing term. It’s you know, as they call it, something different but right, so whatever.

Advantages of Blumat System

Michael Box: Yeah, but the thing– So that’s where the craft part comes in, I like to think about is when, when we’re looking at I’m a big believer in soil biology and soil health. And I mean, who is like, how can I get around that give it to the roots? Yeah, and that’s where the Blumats kind of really kick in is when they maintain that static moisture level. That’s where we see, you know, we kind of were talking about earlier, the real big advantage is you guys jumped right on it, which was, hey, different plants are going to use different amounts of water, so we’re going to prevent for over watering. 

But the other real big advantage is that maintain that static moisture level is incredibly beneficial for the soil biology. So all that beneficial bacteria, fungi, your flashlights, all this stuff. Those are all these little micro organisms, right that if the soil gets too wet, they’ll go dormant. If they gets gets too dry, they’ll go dormant. But if you can hold them right in that hydro neutral zone require homeostasis, or we’re going Goldilocks zone, whatever you want to call it, that little window, where they breed and do their jobs whether it’s solubilizing phosphorus or transferring nutrients or fixing nitrogen, they do that 24 hours a day, they don’t have like a period where they get too wet and slow down and get too dry and slow down. They just do it all the time. 

So with those, you know, quote-unquote, living soil growers that are that are relying on all that activity that produce the nutrients or to produce the food for the plants. They’re able to get some real, some real benefit out of that static moisture level and increased biological activity to the point where you’re getting significant yield increases, and we actually have some folks out of the Seattle area. They’re about to publish this paper in one of these some new peer-reviewed journal. So I can’t go into all the details, but they’ve done some really controlled studies. With Blumats versus hand watering and saw increase, I mean, it’s dramatic increases. It’s the order of like about 20% increase in yield. [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Do you have a preferred media that you guys like to use the works the best with the Bluemat?

Michael Box: Not really, I mean soil and soil-less mediums so–

Chip Baker: So that coconut pea?– We’re just [inaudible]

Michael Box: [inaudible] a great, great application

Justin Jones: And that’s what I grow is in love the ganja in Denver. I’m in like, three gallon, four gallon, coco and perlite and we drained a ways to add water.

Michael Box: Right. So yeah, I mean coco’s got that tremendous capillary action. So it moves water from side to side and in evenly distributes it. So you know, that’s a really Blumat’s were good in that. Because we I mean, we have some customers that are just straight like coco salt growers and they crush it with the Blumats. They see increases in yield. They say, hey, this isn’t bad. 

Chip Baker: They have a fertilizer through their drip system? 

Michael Box: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

Chip Baker: I didn’t realize that was possible. 

Michael Box: It is. And one of the real amazing thing is, is you can actually, and we kind of almost aquire or strongly encourage people to, if they’re going to run their synthetic nutrients through the Blumat system to decrease their dilution rates by 50%, or maybe even down to 25% of what they were using because you’re not getting that drain to waste that you’d normally do. So there’s no runoff, anything that’s going into pot staying there. So we don’t really–

Justin Jones: So you reduce your fertilizer level consumption? 

Michael Box: By % right off the bat. Yeah.

Chip Baker: Yeah, we actually tell people 25% because people don’t want to believe.

Michael Box: Yeah.

Chip Baker: But they usually change their mind quickly. 

Michael Box: And yet, so that’s pretty incredible.

Chip Baker: There’s virtually no run off with your system.

Michael Box: That’s the idea. Yeah, once they’re dialed in, in tune, they’re just gonna maintain that static moisture level. And we usually like to verify that we have a digital moisture meter, we use other, there’s some other ones out there that are really nice, too. And, you know, we just so you’ll have an independent monitoring device of some sort that’s telling you either your moisture level, either in a form of a percent or in millibars is how our meters read their tenancy ometer. So they read in negative millibars. And yeah, you can kind of really cling on to those, those moisture levels, much tighter with the Blumat systems and with the swings, the wet, dry swings of the drip system are hand watering. 

Justin Jones: Sure. That’s awesome. Now, I’m excited. I’m going to get a hold of my growers and have them check it out.

Chip Baker: Yeah, it’s a good solution. For you, most adjustments rooms. I can’t remember but I think they’re mostly like 12 to 20 light rooms? 

Justin Jones: For small. Yeah, everything’s good. 

Chip Baker: They’re all small. So, you know, we’re praying for this.

Michael Box: Yeah, a lot of times when we we talk about converting a system over that’s existing. We really also encourages people to start small, you know, hey–

Justin Jones: Well we could just do a couple of do a room or that’s what I mean.

Michael Box: Yeah, do a room and then you practice you get good at it cuz there’s a learning curve, right? I mean that– it’s a new technology doesn’t just work flawlessly right out of the box. You got to learn how to install it right and tune in and then when you tune it in now, it does a fabulous job but it takes that a couple weeks to learn– [inaudible]

Chip Baker: A little piece of a way to describe it is not perfect right out of the box and you have to tune it. Just like fun musical instrument. Alright. So, you know we’ve kind of — Okay, so right now you’re talking to I don’t know 15,000 ganja growers literally are people interested in it? What can you tell them to help them along with what they’re doing or an irrigation in mind? What’s the like, you know, this positive like you can do it type thing you can say to these guys, right? Or you can say anything, man because it’s like people are always asking you the same question. Let’s answer it right now.

Michael Box: Yeah. I mean, growing plants is fun. I’ve been growing plants all my life. I love growing plants producing my own food, produce my own ganja, medicine, everything this is something for everybody. And, you know, especially now you know, I mean I don’t know when this is going to air what but we got some crazy stuff going on right now in the world. Yeah, with all this virus stuff that’s out there. And I think you know this is the good time to start growing your own and start not just weed but your food, and everything else. And people can do it if they put their minds to it and a good watering system is a key to that because water is essential. It’s easy to screw it up. If you really don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to overwater. And we have a lot of really simple solutions for the small home grower, as well as just for any of the larger commercial folks we can scale up to do whatever you want to do.

Growing plants is fun. I’ve been growing plants all my life. I love growing plants, producing my food, produce my ganja, medicine, and everything. This is something for everybody. – Michael Box

Justin Jones: It’s great.

Chip Baker: Yeah, man, I you know what, I’d like to speak to you, people that are pooping on irrigation right now and say it doesn’t work. And I’ll say you’re haven’t seen enough ganja growing. That they are the biggest the smallest, the best gardens in the world are grown under drip irrigation. And if you do a little math and follow the steps that we laid out here for you, you can make your system better than it is today. 

So just open your mind a little bit. Drip systems will stay in. However long it takes you to water by hand. That’s how long it will take you to install your drip system. So if it takes you an hour to water by hand, it’s going to take you an hour to install the drip system and now you get to collect all those other hours in your day in your life and like sit back, smoke weed hanging out with family and stuff.

If it takes you an hour to water by hand, it’s going to take you an hour to install the drip system, and now you get to collect all those other hours in your day in your life and like sit back, smoke weed hanging out with family and stuff. – Chip Baker

Michael Box: Yeah. Now, that’s I mean, that’s Such a great point the return on investment on an automated irrigation system is one of the quickest return on investments you’re going to get for any element of your grow. You’re going to, especially with the Blumat systems, you’re going to see yield boosts, you’re going to have reduced water and nutrient usage. And you’re going to see the labor seems are just incredible. 

I’ve got a big grower out up in Humboldt area right now he put a lot of greenhouses Blumats and all of them last spring, the end of season he told me hired one less full time employee just because of the Blumat system, just to have that and I’m not saying that you know, machine should take people’s jobs but everybody out there is trying to keep the bottom line intact and [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Well, you know what irrigation does for the farmers and the growers, it allows them to actually grow the weed. Because now here’s what they do is like, okay, instead of spinning that 45 minutes watering the weed. Go look at it. Go turn the plants. Pick off the crooked leaf, the bad leaf pull out the shaded plant, you know, gives you time to actually grow it. Just even the look at it.

Michael Box: Yeah, let them show you what they need. Couldn’t agree more.

Chip Baker: So you’re gonna go get a drip system Justin.

Justin Jones: Maybe I can’t wait to go check out the Instagram page. What was your Instagram again?

Where to Find Them

Michael Box: So Blumat Watering Systems. We have two, one Sustainable Village and then the other is Blumat Watering Systems. That’s where we put off all cannabis related material. And it’s the more popular one too. We’re also like I mentioned we’re based out of Boulder, Colorado. We actually just opened up a really nice big office and showroom which is now shuttered with everything else in Colorado for the next month.

Chip Baker: Totally. Yeah, man we’re only we’re doing curbside service delivery only public can’t walk into the stores. I honestly feel like it might change the way so many of us interact. Oh yeah most of our business through our delivery system anyway, we would rather everybody just get on calling us in and ordering it so honestly, this is the perfect time for us to promote that. You know.

Justin Jones: Sure for sure. And even all the way to the other end of it. You know, we’re selling ganja right out on the street corner–

Michael Box: On the corner

Justin Jones: On the corner. Finally our corner and the great thing is actually I just was talking to my business partner back there and the weed cops have actually been out the city actually came in yesterday. Take a look at all the knows the city of Denver but they’re out looking to see how it’s going, you know and checking out these curbside situation. 

Chip Baker: All right, they’re like, man–

Justin Jones: We actually have a perfect situation because we’ve got a big parking lot you know, controlled area so we’re lucky there and I know like chip at his stores you’ve got a big parking lot everywhere and you can people can pull in and, you know, call phone it in. Use all this technology that we’ve got, you know, we’re sitting here on the zoom, doing the doing this right now, as we talk. And I think the zoom’s stock, you know, in the last month has gone has doubled because all of a sudden, we realize how important, how cool this is to have a conversation to get to see people and get some personal interaction through all this great technology.

Michael Box: Yeah, I’ve seen not only did zoom stock go up but any company that looks like zoom, like there was another one I think it’s called zoom communications. That is not this company. People just mistakingly buying it.

Justin Jones: Well, I think it was already the wave of the future. I think this might just be the gasp It’ll get pushed down a little bit on it but. Sure great talking to you guys today here and learning a bunch about the irrigation and new technology and irrigation. So it’s great.

Michael Box: Yeah if anybody wants to check it out to our website is sustainablevillage.com and there’s right on the front page there’s a quote request form, so if you guys want a free custom design we always do a free design quote for anybody. There’s a there’s a button right there you can request that and there’s also a really nice informational catalog, it’s a PDF that you can download as well right there on the front page it kind of lays out how the Blumats work and kind of our products and services overview so sustainablevillage.com.

Chip Baker: Yeah, I got some projects. Maybe we’ll get you guys involved on a couple things to, man. I’ve done all my irrigation myself. forever. But, you know, anytime I go into one that’s built by a professional, I’m always like, Oh, yeah, I should have done it that way. You know? Great, guys. Hey, man, I really appreciate you joining me for another episode of The Real Dirt. 

If you like this episode or want to download others, check us out at therealdirt.com or on iTunes at The Real Dirt podcast, please, please, please subscribe, and you can get all of the like 70 plus episodes that we have sent right to your mobile device. Hey, also, if you’re out there and you see people in the world, just give them a smile and spread a little cheer in love and kindness. We’re all in this world together. And I think what’s going on right now is made us realize how small it is. So I love every one of you. Roll up the largest joints you can and listen to this episode again.

Subscribe & Review

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Real Dirt. Don’t miss an episode, click here to subscribe on iTunes and let me know what you love about this show.

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Michael Box

Connect with  Chip Baker

A Conversation with an Average Medical Cannabis User

A Conversation with an Average Medical Cannabis User

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

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

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

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


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


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

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

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

Finding New Friends in Cannabis

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

Greg Davidson: I love rubbing with each other. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: No we’re getting from–

Chip Baker: Yeah, no first names! 

Greg Davidson: Oh yeah.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally love it. 

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

Salad Joint Kinda Guy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, okay. 

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

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

Preposition 64

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Right.

Chip Baker: Commercial, commercialism.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Church, teachers.

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, man.

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

Chip Baker: Awesome, man.

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah. Pretty fancy. 

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Thanks.

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

Chip Baker: So you want those vape pens huh?

Greg Davidson: I do. 

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, that should go-bag. 

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

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

Greg Davidson: My go-bag.

Chip Baker: That’s great.

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah, she’s decent.

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

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

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

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

Greg’s First Encounter with Cannabis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Dude I was playing weed in 1985.

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

Chip Baker: I was just out of diapers. 

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah, it was a robot–

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: This guy’s for real.

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

Chip Baker: I like this guy–

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

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

Chip Baker: Matthew no last names

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

Chip Baker: Propping up on weed. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Great product, too complicated for– 

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: No way! Holy shit.

Greg Davidson: And I smoked it with our mutual friend

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

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

Chip Baker: Absolutely. 

Greg Davidson: Oh man. Oh cool! 

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

Greg Davidson: My best friend–

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Buy yourselves a vacuum sealer. Good. 

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: The great. Yeah.

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah.

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

Greg Davidson: All right, yo.

Average Medical Cannabis Consumer

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

Greg Davidson: Wow!

Chip Baker: As an average medical cannabis consumer.

Greg Davidson: This is going to sound harsh. 

Chip Baker: It’s good criticism–

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah, yeah.

Message for the Regulators, Commercial Growers, Extractors

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Exit container, a secure exit container.

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

Chip Baker: Now, the waste is tremendous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Me too. I knew him.

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

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

Chip Baker: I never can tell how old anybody–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Okay, yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah, I know you have 90–

Chip Baker: It was 91 degrees here yesterday.

Wheather Problems

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

Chip Baker: Have to be honest [inaudible] 

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Yeah.

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

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

Chip Baker: We’re good at that

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

Chip Baker: You’re my six hour list. 

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

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

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

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

Greg Davidson: Thanks for having me on your show.

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

Subscribe & Review

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Real Dirt. Don’t miss an episode, click here to subscribe on iTunes and let me know what you love about this show.

Cannabis Marketing Tips from a Public Relations Expert

Cannabis Marketing Tips from a Public Relations Expert

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

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

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


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


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Lisa Buyer

Connect with  Chip Baker

 

Transcript

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

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

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

The Buyer Group

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

Chip Baker: Baker, right, same boat– 

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

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

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

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

Associated Press

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Like The Real Dirt podcast.

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

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

Restrictions for Cannabis Industry to Participate in Bigger PR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Native Content

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

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

Chip Baker: Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa Buyer: Yes. 

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

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

Chip Baker: Lifetime value for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Misconceptions About PR

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

Chip Baker: Nothing may happen in three months.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Find Them

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

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

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

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

Lisa Buyer: Thank you!

Subscribe & Review

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Real Dirt. Don’t miss an episode, click here to subscribe on iTunes and let me know what you love about this show.

Grower on Grower with Little Hill Cultivators Pt 2

Grower on Grower with Little Hill Cultivators Pt 2

This is a continuation of Grower on Grower with Chip and Jeff of Little Hill Cultivators. Full transcript is below.

Chip:
Thank you for joining me again, here with The Real Dirt, with Chip Baker. On today’s episode we have a Part 2, with Jeff from Little Hill Farms, in Trinity County, California. You can follow Jeff on Instagram and you can download this episode, and others, at iTunes, Spotify, and just right off our website, therealdirt.com.

Chip:
In this episode, we continue our conversation with Jeff. If you didn’t hear the first part, go back and get the first part first. You can listen to the second part and it totally makes sense. We just kind of babble and talk about weed. But, it’s a really great, great episode. We talk about the economy, and the business of California and Oklahoma, maybe some predictions that we have. We talk about drip irrigation. This second part of El Jefe in Oklahoma, it’s going to be great. So sit back, fire one up, and enjoy this episode of The Real Dirt.

Chip:
We’re back, Real Dirt had to take a small, little break there. You know, the dogs bark out on the cannabis field and you’ve got to go at least hear what they have to say. You’ve got several dogs out there huh?

Jeff:
Yeah. I have one main dog, my main dog Sammy, a German Shepherd.

Chip:
Sammy, don’t fuck with Sammy.

Jeff:
She’s always on the lookout. German Shepherds are great watchdogs, because they want to watch, and they have a loud bark. When they’re charging you barking, it’s intimidating, even if they’re the biggest sweetheart ever.

Chip:
She’s not though.

Jeff:
She’s a sweetheart to people. If you’re on four legs though, she’s not a sweetheart.

Chip:
Don’t tell the-

Jeff:
Oh yeah, no, she’s a killer.

Chip:
Yeah, tell them she’s a killer.

Jeff:
Yeah, she’s a killer.

Chip:
She’s a sweetheart to Jeff.

Jeff:
But yeah, they post up in the window. If they’re in the house, they’re going to post up in the window and look outside.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
Wait for a squirrel or a burglar to run by.

Chip:
So we were talking about Oregon, and the collapse of the Oregon market. I think it’s similar to what’s going on here with Oklahoma. So, let’s keep chatting about that. Everybody moved into Oregon.

Jeff:
Everybody moved to Oregon, got legalised-

Chip:
California growers, growers from all over the country.

Jeff:
Cheaper land-

Chip:
Cheap land, beautiful place to be.

Jeff:
Good, good, good climate in southern Oregon.

Chip:
Good soil, great climate.

Jeff:
Yeah. And, they blew it out when they legalised. People were counting on that crop to pay some bills, especially with the massive expansion. And it collapsed the market, the price was just about cut in half.

Chip:
Man, I heard as little as $100 on trim pounds. And I also heard $190 trims, light depth pounds.

Jeff:
Yeah. I never heard quite that low, but damn, that’s … You’re losing money at that rate.

Chip:
Actually, the people that were making these $190 pounds, they … Large commercial nursery, one of the largest in the country. And, they had a $90 production rate a pound.

Jeff:
Wow.

Chip:
So to them they were like, “Ah fuck, we usually make 12%.” Right?

Jeff:
Well hey, that’s capturing the economy of scale.

Chip:
Yeah, that captures the economy of scale. But you know what? They actually have converted up, as so many Oregon growers converted.

Jeff:
So, that’s actually contributed as well, because of the pollen increase.

Chip:
Well in many ways it’s contributed, because many people quit growing-

Jeff:
They quit growing ganj.

Chip:
… ganj, went into hemp.

Jeff:
Growing tonnes of hemp.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Poor selections of seeds.

Jeff:
Yeah, well.

Chip:
And, dubious genetic sales people.

Jeff:
Oh, yeah.

Chip:
Right? There’s several examples of lawsuits going on right now from Oregon.

Jeff:
That’s created a lot of upset folks-

Chip:
Lots of upset folks.

Jeff:
… in southern Oregon.

Chip:
Yeah, totally.

Jeff:
That’s also contributed to the lower amounts of pounds circulating the ecosystem.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. Everybody switched … So many people switched to hemp, especially the smoke-able hemp idea.

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
Which has yet develop. It will develop, but so many people switched to that. You know, you’re going from something that’s $50. I mean, I saw $13 pounds. Someone wanted to buy $13 pounds of hemp the other day. Right? People think they’re going to get $700 for smoke-able hemp. You know, you can’t just take extractable quality hemp and say it’s smoke-able, just because you want $700 for it.

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
So similarities between Oregon and the Oklahoma market, is the low regulations. Right? No checkups, you can do pretty much whatever you want. Here’s a loose list of rules. Nobody ever comes up to check your shit out. It’s what happened in Oregon right?

Jeff:
Pretty much.

Chip:
They only had 900 licences when the market collapsed, 900 cultivation licences were when the market collapsed, for 3 million people in the state of Oregon. Right?

Jeff:
They thought they were going to blow it out, cash in real quick.

Chip:
There’s thousands here man.

Jeff:
Then they collapsed the market.

Chip:
There’s thousands and thousands of cultivators here. Most of those people are small, and don’t have the historic knowledge. But out of the thousands, even if there’s 1%-

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
… that got their shit together, they could grow the whole market.

Jeff:
They could.

Chip:
Right, right? I actually don’t think now, Oklahoma is a place to be, if you’re coming in or want to set up a new cultivation. I really don’t think Oklahoma is the place to come. I mean, people can do stuff and make money everywhere. But if you’re not already here, or on your way here … I don’t know man, all the prices have changed properties. Right? All the regulations now are harder. I mean, it’s still in its early days but it’s going to bust, 100% for the cultivator, at some point in the next three years.

Jeff:
That seems like it’s only inevitable.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
You ride these waves, you’ve got to be in front of it.

Chip:
Yeah, totally, totally. Meanwhile, people are going to actually totally crush it until that happens.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
And the people that got it together, it doesn’t matter if they sell $500 pounds or $200 pounds, they’re still making profit.

Jeff:
Right. What that collapse will be, it’ll send the herd. If that happened, that’s why the price went back up. In California’s different forces thinned the herd a little bit, lowered supply.

Chip:
Right.

Jeff:
And price is back up to very nice levels, maybe 2015, 2016 levels, maybe even higher for some people.

Chip:
Yeah, I know man. I hear people selling $3000 pounds at Indoor there in California.

Jeff:
Yeah, for the primo, that’s pretty sweet. Now we’re talking 2010 levels.

Chip:
Yeah, totally.

Jeff:
Man, 2010.

Chip:
Yeah man, 2010, that’s about when got your start.

Jeff:
I was growing, maybe, eight prior to that.

Chip:
Right, right.

Jeff:
Starting the big leagues maybe.

Chip:
Man, let’s talk about your first garden Jeff.

Jeff:
600 Watt light.

Chip:
If you were in modern day Oklahoma, you could … For $2500, $3000, have a commercial licence and start out just this way.

Jeff:
My first garden, they didn’t have grow tents back then, but that’s basically what I built out of 2x4s and plastic.

Chip:
Plastic, yeah.

Jeff:
Got a carbon filter.

Chip:
Did you have to make that?

Jeff:
No, they were available.

Chip:
They were available at that point.

Jeff:
O2, six inch fan, cooling the 600 watt light, air cooled. Popped a bunch of Sweet Tooth #3 seeds-

Chip:
You got from Canada, Mark Emery?

Jeff:
I got from … No, no, England.

Chip:
England, okay.

Jeff:
It’d hold 9 or 10 ounces, pretty happy with that.

Chip:
Oh yeah? One light?

Jeff:
Off of 5 plants, off of 600.

Chip:
You thought you were the man.

Jeff:
It was a good plant, I found out. I realise now, is I grew the right strain. That thing, nothing was stopping it.

Chip:
No, totally, great, great grower, great grower.

Jeff:
A good plant, I’m surprised it hasn’t come back yet. Maybe I’ll bring it back, I’ve got some seeds somewhere.

Chip:
Oh yeah, I don’t remember it being that great.

Jeff:
Man, I had one pheno … Because I grew a lot of them over the years-

Chip:
Good grade, but the quality-

Jeff:
Oh, it was pretty frosty, fruity smelling, good density.

Chip:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, you need to break that back out.

Jeff:
Yeah, I think it would play. It yielded really, really well.

Chip:
So, you just planted out some seeds, kind of random seeds.

Jeff:
I mean, I kind of researched it, but-

Chip:
All right, this is exactly what’s going on in Oklahoma right now.

Jeff:
… what I wanted to grow.

Chip:
Right.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
200,000 medical licences have been issued. Did you have a medical licence back then?

Jeff:
No.

Chip:
No. I was right on the cusp of all that.

Jeff:
But, I got one shortly after that, but it was still two or three years down the road. I actually decided it was worth it.

Chip:
Right, and you got 10 ounces.

Jeff:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chip:
Smoked it all, I’m sure.

Jeff:
Yep.

Chip:
Yeah. I think you smoked me out on some of it. No, we probably didn’t even know each other then.

Jeff:
We didn’t know each other.

Chip:
Right. So, that was your first grow.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Did you immediately have this idea that you wanted to do it for a living?

Jeff:
No, I never thought I would go full time pot grower. I always … I was in school, I was doing that. But I was definitely into it, bare minimum on a hobby level. I mean, that’s really what I learned to do in college. So as time moves on, you move into a … You decide, “Okay, I’m going to … My friend’s got this house for rent, I’m going to go rent this house out-

Chip:
Grow in the back bedroom and the garage.

Jeff:
… yeah. Either pull it off on that first crop, this one was in the basement. Pull off that first basement crop or go broke. I pulled it off and I said, “Okay, that worked.”

Chip:
The margins were so high then-

Jeff:
Oh, you could afford-

Chip:
What was weed selling for back in 2004?

Jeff:
$4000 a pound-

Chip:
Yeah, right.

Jeff:
… to my friends.

Chip:
You could … That’s a modern day 3 pound a light price.

Jeff:
Right. So yeah, and I wasn’t getting a pound a light. But you could afford that learning curve.

Chip:
At $4000, yeah, totally.

Jeff:
Yeah, at $4000, you could afford to make some mistakes. The market wasn’t so saturated, that if you had some lower quality stuff, you couldn’t sell it. The market wasn’t saturated at all, so if you had weed, even in California, even in northern California, you could sell it.

Chip:
Yeah, yeah, no matter what it was, no matter what seed.

Jeff:
Strains, nobody knew that.

Chip:
Right. See, that’s exactly what’s going on in Oklahoma right now.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
You can grow whatever you want, pretty much. Lots of indoor auto flowers. Right? And I’m not sure if people are selling weed, but you know. My wife’s dispensary baker’s medical. She’s buying top notch weed for re-sale, indoor weed, it’s not auto flower.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
That shit is great. Right? It’s some of the best weed in the world, even.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
You sold some of it.

Jeff:
Yeah, if you’re a skilled grower you can grow indoor anywhere.

Chip:
Yeah, totally. Our vendors come from other places and actually say they think their cannabis, ganja, is improved because of the humidity. They were going to really dry, dry locations. And they think that the quality is improved because of the increased humidity.

Jeff:
I bet it has.

Chip:
Right? Going from 20% to 40% is a big deal.

Jeff:
Yeah, you can change the morphology of the plant too. It will grow a little different, you might find, “Oh, I like those broad leaves. I’m getting better growth rates.”

Chip:
At what point back then … Like, looking back on it, was there a point where it wouldn’t have worked out, if the price structure was different?

Jeff:
I mean, I hit the ground running, because I had done a lot of research. I pretty much had my first grow all planned out.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
I knew how the plant worked, I knew potential pitfalls, I had a good, let’s say, recipe I was following.

Chip:
So, it wasn’t a wing and a prayer.

Jeff:
No, I had put quite a bit of work into it.

Chip:
So, you got your recipe from the grow store I bet, or from a buddy.

Jeff:
I got it from online.

Chip:
Online? Okay.

Jeff:
It was a real simple, organic soil mix.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
And a couple of additives, that are pretty low MPK, but helped the soil out a lot, like plant ferments. And, it was kind of hard to overfeed, hard to underfeed, I didn’t really have to worry too much about that. I just gave the plants water, kind of learned about that. And, just growing a really vigorous strain that was a producer. Growing from seed also, I didn’t have any pest problems. So, it kind of all came together on that first grow.

Chip:
And you took clones.

Jeff:
I didn’t take clones off that first crop, but I did, I planted more seed and I took clones off of that crop.

Chip:
Did you make seeds on the first run?

Jeff:
No.

Chip:
No. What you’re saying is, if it had been $2500 a pound, or $2000 a pound, you still think you would have gone forward with it?

Jeff:
I still would have been okay, just because it was successful. You know, there’s so much more access to things now. One nice … I just kind of lucked out. I came into it at a good time. Really, at the end of the good time, because even the bay area got saturated with every rookie indoor grower trying to sell some weed.

Chip:
Totally.

Jeff:
It hurt the general quality of weed.

Chip:
It did go down. I mean, when weed was scarce-

Jeff:
The price.

Chip:
… you got both super shitty weed. But that ended up being in a marketplace, where it was either you could get it or you couldn’t get it.

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
And then you got the fucking best ganja.

Jeff:
Definitely. Things are relative. And, some batches you’d get were better than others. But, it was just at the beginning of the name game, and people knew what Trainwreck was-

Chip:
Urkle, Urkle.

Jeff:
Urkle wasn’t quite there yet-

Chip:
But it was the next one, yeah.

Jeff:
… but it was coming. That was the big next one, was the Urkle. The Granddaddy, The Grape Ape, those purples became huge in the bay.

Chip:
Right.

Jeff:
That’s what everybody wanted, and boy, by that time that’s what I was growing.

Chip:
Right. What was that first purple strain?

Jeff:
Urkle.

Chip:
Urkle.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Urkleen. Yeah, wow, difficult grower, Urkle.

Jeff:
Yeah, I didn’t yield too much, quality was outstanding though.

Chip:
If there’s any Urkle growers out there, tell us the best way to grow Urkle.

Jeff:
There’s a couple of tricks.

Chip:
Okay.

Jeff:
I’ll tell a couple.

Chip:
Okay, okay. Everybody sit back, put your rolling papers down, and pick up your pen and paper.

Jeff:
If you’re growing a really, really squat [inaudible 00:15:01]-

Chip:
Like Bubba or Urkle.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Something that doesn’t stretch out your flowers.

Jeff:
Something that’s not going to stretch, you’ve got to veg it. You’ve got to keep humidity up.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
As you veg it, keep humidity up through the stretch, to get those branches to stretch out. The leaves are going to get huge, because it’s so humid. We’re talking 70%-80%.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
De-leaf all those giant fan leaves, because you’re going to get no light penetration. Prune up everything underneath, because it’s just going to be larf, those strands larf out real bad.

Chip:
And they have this inner leaf too. That’s the leaf that’s close to the stem, off the branches. That’s the real bottoms.

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
Of Urkle or Bubba.

Jeff:
So, do all those things, keep your humidity up. Cut your humidity at week 3, after stretch, and don’t overfeed. Let the leaves go from dark green to light green. Not super light, but you don’t want that dark, dark green colour, or your nugs aren’t going to swell.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
You’re going to end up with these little, small, sort of grape nuglets. It’s not going to burn right, it’s not going to taste good. But if you let that go from dark green to a nice rich emerald green, by backing off on your nutrients, you’ll find that the buds swell. And you end up with these big golf ball, rock hard nugs, and that’s where you’re going to get your weight from. And, it’s going to smoke better, because you didn’t overfeed it the whole time. It’s going to be really tasty. You’ll have become a more skilled grower, because of learning those small manipulations.

Chip:
What’s the perfect canopy density for Urkle?

Jeff:
For Urkle, I’d day 9 under a 600 was always good. Of course, I would top, which would make the plant wider, but it would even out your canopy.

Chip:
And, you’re flowering these when they’re 16 inches, 18 inches tall?

Jeff:
You know, 18 inches, after you’ve topped, let the rest of those tops reach the canopy. Strip off everything that’s not there, 18 inches, they might finish at 24 inches. But, you’ve got 6-9 culls a plant, 9 plants a light.

Chip:
Are you still pulling off the bottom third of the branches and leaves in this scenario?

Jeff:
After you top, if you just take the very tip and give it maybe another 2 more weeks of veg, you’ll notice … Well, a lot of the side branches will reach the top of the canopy. If that branch isn’t reaching the top of the canopy, cut it, because it’s never going to.

Chip:
Good point. And you mean top of the canopy by like an inch or two from the rest of the plant.

Jeff:
Yeah. If you’re looking at the plant from the very top down, if you can’t see the growth tip, cut it. Because it’s not at the top, and it’s not going to be seeing the light.

Chip:
Right.

Jeff:
And then, you know, trim up those branches to get rid of any other side branches off those. You should have a few nodes, 4 or 5 nodes on each top. Then flip it, and-

Chip:
Flip it.

Jeff:
… you’ll end up a half ounce, maybe quarter ounce, just depending on how you’re doing things per cola. That’ll add up.

Chip:
There you go. Not a particularly heavy yielding strain. You know, I like the other technique of it though. Right? The one plant per square foot in a 3-5 gallon pot. Grow it until it’s 18 inches, 24 inches. Bottom off, I mean pull off the bottom 1/3 and flower it. Right?

Jeff:
Cut down on veg time a little bit.

Chip:
Barely little, you just end up with more plant. The density of your garden increases, and those little nuggets on the Urkle, you get that same perfect nugget over and over again. It’s also, in my experience, easier to make them purple, you had more purple when it was like that.

Jeff:
Interesting.

Chip:
Because-

Jeff:
Yeah, we didn’t even talk about that.

Chip:
We didn’t even talk about the purpleen.

Jeff:
That’s a thing too.

Chip:
Yeah, totally.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Like these Purple Punches here, outside they’ve been brown, not purple, because it’s so hot. Right? Indoors, they start to turn up purple as soon as you start to flush them, if you’re growing them hydro.

Jeff:
Yeah. I’ve never grown the strains, I know it’s popular but-

Chip:
Oh, I thought, I never heard this.

Jeff:
I’m just aware that it’s been really popular, a beautiful plant, beautiful bud.

Chip:
It’s great weed, it’s tasty. People call it Purple No Punch, and that’s true, even though it has really high THC levels. It is known not to get people super [inaudible 00:20:09] if you smoke it all the time. Or, if you’re just a super chiefer.

Jeff:
Yeah, we were just talking about that. It’s got the purple terps-

Chip:
You’d love this weed.

Jeff:
I would, because it’s tasty.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
And it’s got the stretch from OG, which everybody’s always just wanted a purple plant that stretches. So, you don’t have to veg it for six months, just to get it to size, which has been the yield killer on those purple plants, you’ve got to veg them forever.

Chip:
Totally.

Jeff:
They got the terps, they got the plant structure. Even the THC is higher than what a Granddaddy will put out, but it just doesn’t pack that punch you’d think an OG would.

Chip:
Absolutely. It is not as strong as you want it to be, for sure.

Jeff:
It’s all those terp plants.

Chip:
I’ve been looking for that purple OG for years man.

Jeff:
Me too.

Chip:
I’ve been looking for it, we both are. We planted a few different company seeds, and a few of our friend’s seeds.

Jeff:
Yeah?

Chip:
Still haven’t found the purple OG. If you’ve got that OG that’s purple-

Jeff:
I think I saw it at Emerald Cup one year. Some Oregon grower showed me a jar. I should have just asked him for a cut, I just figured he as going to say no, but I should have at least tried. But, he had it man, he had some purple nugs with the OG, sort of gas nose on the back end, but purple up front.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
The nugs looked proper, smelled proper. I asked him about the plant structure. If you’re out there, Oregon grower who was at Emerald Cup, maybe three years ago-

Chip:
If you have that purple weed, contact Jeff.

Jeff:
Contact Little Hill Cultivators, see if we can’t work something out, if you’re in the California regulated industry, that is.

Chip:
Yeah, absolutely. Hey man, lots of regulatory people listen to this show. Definitely listen to my … Some Maryland regulators, some Oklahoma regulators, some Colorado, some California, some Oregon, some Washington. All these people have reached out to me. They listen to what we have to say. They find that this show and others like it really allows them to hear and understand what’s going on in the cannabis grower’s thought pattern or business. They reach out, they’ve reached out to us man.

Jeff:
Well if that’s the case, lend me a few-

Chip:
Oh, okay, here’s the mic.

Jeff:
… I’ve got a few gripes.

Chip:
Here’s the mic. Hey now, here’s what I want to say before you start griping. I know you guys are all working incredibly hard, in a really difficult environment, but we’ve got some problems.

Jeff:
Yeah. I know you guys have been overworked, in a lot of cases. But just the way the regs go, as a cultivator, I can’t bring my crop to market. I’m in a remote location. I have to get a separate transport licence, which I’ve done, so I can transport my product to market. You know, that’s fine, but some of the regulations for this self-transport only licence are the same as if you’re a full on distribution. You know, the most expensive thing that I have to pay for this transport licence, which doesn’t bring any revenue. The cultivation does, but the transport licence is just transporting, I’m not running a separate business.

Chip:
You’re just hauling your weed to market.

Jeff:
I need to find liability insurance, which I don’t need for cultivation, but I’m required to have for transport, of a million dollars. It’s really difficult, and it’s really expensive to find a carrier.

Chip:
[inaudible 00:23:37]?

Jeff:
I mean, the licence is a $200 licence. But I’m going to end up spending $5-$10 grand on insurance every year, for a $200 licence. For us little old 10,000 square foot mixed light cultivators. I think that’s a bit excessive. There’s certainly some other ones-

Chip:
Do you think this is a regulation money grab?

Jeff:
Well it’s not a money grab, because a licence is a $200. Fine, that’s the cheapest licence there is in the whole structure. But to require me to have the same insurance as a full-on distribution … They’ve made some other sort of concessions, where I don’t need … Literally, my premises is a woodshed with a filing cabinet. Nobody needs to go in there besides me, there’s no product stored there, so I don’t need security, I don’t need cameras. I mean, we’re talking about a filing cabinet here.

Jeff:
So in that sense, that was a good worth, realising that’s a bit excessive to protect a filing cabinet. But on the flip side, the insurance is not easy to get, plus it’s incredibly expensive, that I don’t feel I need. Who knows? Maybe it’s good business sense to do it. But at this point I’m just-

Chip:
Well, you do need liability insurance. But hey man, that people want to charge you … And you got it for $5000 a year?

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Well, you got a good deal on it. Because, many people pay $12,000, $18,000.

Jeff:
Wow.

Chip:
Right? You got a good deal on it. It is hard to get, it is expensive. People are taking advantage of the cannabis regulatory market, for sure.

Jeff:
Sure. Yeah, I had to go through a few companies to figure that out. Definitely some of them were definitely looking to cash in real quick. If I have more than one licence on the same property, cultivation licence on the same property-

Chip:
This is all California mind you.

Jeff:
… yeah. I can’t have one immature plant area and distribute plants to all those licences, to those separate gardens, or however. I have to have a separate nursery licence, which because of my county’s wisdom, I have realised I’m not zoned for. Because, they associate nurseries with retail nurseries, traffic showing up, people coming to buy plants. A retail business. They’ve deemed my cultivation as inappropriate. Now … Which forces me to either put up a silly wire fence all throughout my immature plant area, to keep the spaces different. So I grow X amount of plants for each licence, they’re in their own licenced area.

Jeff:
It’s just stupid. If the licences are on the same premises, or the same property, you should be able to … Under one entity, you should be able to grow your immature plant area, your nursery veg area-

Chip:
Dude, you’re talking immature plants, no buds, hardly any THC.

Jeff:
Yeah. Hardly yeah, not a measurable amount anyway.

Chip:
Right. The economy of them is small.

Jeff:
Right. So yeah, there’s-

Chip:
Little money in it.

Jeff:
… just let us … There’s no money in it.

Chip:
There’s no money in it.

Jeff:
My other choice is to buy from a nursery, and buy specific plants for each licence type.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
But then that costs me more money. You know?

Chip:
Right.

Jeff:
Or, I put these silly fences up, dividing up my greenhouse immature plant area. Put these silly fences up, that’s just over-regulation.

Chip:
That’s over-regulation.

Jeff:
You know, they could all be grown, tracked, through one licence, and then distributed through these other licence types. They’re all owned, they’re all the same people, the plants are flowering out right next to each other. I think that’s a bit silly, especially if you’re being forced to have a nursery licence, which is another whole headache. On top of that, you don’t even intend to sell plants. Again, you’re intending to run it as a separate business, it’s simply for me. You know?

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
You know, there should be some type of separate way around this, so that I can just grow plants for myself and distribute them to different licence types, through different licences on the property. For example, if I have two 10,000 square foots in a 10,000 square foot mixed light, or just the way the property is divided up. A lot of people end up with multiple licences sometimes.

Jeff:
I think that’s my main thing right now. If I was more prepared, I could have come with a list. But, I say looking into what regulations are not necessary, or their intended purpose, it’s not achieving their intended purpose. It’s important to look at. They have been receptive toward some things. Big reason why a bunch of farmers in Trinity just started their own trade organisation, to start having a louder voice.

Chip:
What’s that organisation?

Jeff:
The Trinity County Agriculture Alliance. We just started, I’m a founding member-

Chip:
TCAA?

Jeff:
TCAA. Yeah, that’s why we finally got together. It’s been really hard to group together Trinity farmers, just because we’re spread out a lot. A lot of folks are real opinionated, but we all agree that this is the best for everybody. You know, so far so good. It’s really neat to be at the start of something. Hopefully, that will have an impact on … Not just Trinity regulations, but state regulations.

Chip:
Yeah. That’s great man, we’ve got to work together. We’ve got to get together and have our voices heard. The people that I often see that are speaking for the cannabis community, they don’t really know what they’re talking about. Many of the people are uneducated, they’re not actual farmers, farmers are busy farming. So, they just repeat some of the words they hear farmers say, and they might have the best heart in the world, but they don’t realise, “Oh.”

Chip:
Here in Oklahoma for instance, “Oh well, once a plant is over 18 inches tall we’re just going to call that a seedling.” Right? They don’t know any better, that’s not exactly what that means, or that’s not the terminology. But now legally, here in Oklahoma, when a clone is over 8 inches tall it’s now called a seedling.

Jeff:
Interesting.

Chip:
Totally.

Jeff:
You know, definitions are going to be different in every jurisdiction, and fighting for what that definition is.

Chip:
Yeah.

Jeff:
A mature plant, an immature plant was a big one in California.

Chip:
Yeah, totally, totally.

Jeff:
They wanted to call a certain height mature, and that just doesn’t work if you’re growing from seed, because it hasn’t declared it’s sex yet.

Chip:
Yeah, yeah.

Jeff:
A lot of issues that maybe they didn’t realise, but it seems like people were screaming at them, “You can’t do that! You’re going to put my business plan out, based on something that’s not a real thing!” I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that people want to grow and when you start over-regulating, you start limiting how a farmer sees fit to do his job and that really sucks.

Chip:
It’s hard to SOP. All these people that, “I SOP, I SOP.” It’s hard to SOP.

Jeff:
There’s no right way to do it, sometimes-

Chip:
Especially indoor gardens. You can do it that way, but an outdoor greenhouse like that-

Jeff:
Yeah, it seems like the system borrowed from Colorado.

Chip:
… it’s hard.

Jeff:
It was built on indoor principles, and indoor generalities. And then, you try to apply that to a guy like me out in the hills, it just doesn’t apply. Especially the big plant growers, they want to grow big plants and they should be able to do whatever they want, or however they’ve crafted their skills. That’s big plants for a lot of people. It just makes harvest, and track, and trace a real pain in the ass.

Chip:
Yeah. I’m not a big plant fan.

Jeff:
I like to walk amongst them.

Chip:
I like to walk amongst them.

Jeff:
It’s been a few years since I grew big plants.

Chip:
I’d like to have one or two here or there.

Jeff:
But without plant limits, I see the wisdom in having more plants, for sure.

Chip:
Yeah, totally, totally. It’s ego though. Since I was a little kid, “I want to grow a big plant.”

Jeff:
Hey man-

Chip:
You’ve heard that, and everybody said it.

Jeff:
I still want to grow a big plant.

Chip:
Yeah. All you have to do is do it once or twice though and you’re like, “God damn!” I mean, we had a 10,000 square foot harvest outside, short, late season plants, everything was 2 or 3 foot tall. Really high density, great yielding technique for bumper crop or late season ganja. It took us less than 12 hours to harvest it all.

Jeff:
Wow.

Chip:
I mean, we’ve had small, 40 pound, greenhouses that have taken 5 or 6 days, because there were these big plants all roped up. You know. You start at the front plant and start working your way back. It’s just labour intensive to do it that way.

Jeff:
It is. It’s intensive for resources as well, water, nutrients.

Chip:
Oh yeah, those big plants just suck it up.

Jeff:
They suck the water up.

Chip:
They suck it up, suck the nutrients up, suck the water up.

Jeff:
Yeah. But-

Chip:
What’s the ideal size plant for you? You were kind of talking about his earlier.

Jeff:
I don’t know. I’d say 4 ounces to maybe 6 ounces.

Chip:
Yeah, I love those.

Jeff:
For me.

Chip:
And you’re talking greenhouses, outdoors?

Jeff:
I’m talking in greenhouses. Indoor would be different, it would be much smaller. It would be probably 2-4 ounces.

Chip:
I like 2 ounce plants indoors. I like 1/4 and 1/2 pound plants in greenhouses, light dep, early season and late season. And then, just 1-2 pound full season plants, that you’d plant in June and pull at the end of the year.

Jeff:
Yeah, 1 pounders and 2 pounders are pretty easy to deal with.

Chip:
Yeah. Small, but the bud quality is great.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
You don’t have to dump a tonne of nutrient or water it to make it big enough to … You know, you don’t get these huge, honker nuggets that harbour mould. Right? They look cool on the surface when you get them, that big 4 foot nugget just isn’t as high a quality.

Jeff:
Nope.

Chip:
Right? As the smaller nugget. You know, you just have to give it all that Nitrogen to make it grow like that man.

Jeff:
Still, it’s nice to walk in an orchard, but for efficiency-

Chip:
Oh yeah, no doubt man. Nice smelling trees, I get it. The ease of it, I get it. The people who got that shit down, they’ll argue and swear by it. There’s people that got it down, for sure.

Chip:
Did you hear my latest episode of The Real Dirt with Chef Anna, with the pot?

Jeff:
I haven’t finished it yet.

Chip:
Okay. Yeah, big audio file.

Jeff:
He’s growing them indoor though.

Chip:
He’s growing them indoor. What do you think about growing autos indoor.

Jeff:
Growing autos indoor seems like a complete waste of time to me.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Why is that?

Jeff:
Because you can make plants flower whenever you want indoors. You don’t need them to automatically flower.

Chip:
Right. Many people grow them because they think it’s easier.

Jeff:
Okay.

Chip:
You still have to wait 90 days.

Jeff:
You still have to wait 90 days. I mean, you could grow a seedling and flip it immediately.

Chip:
I’m going to give you a couple things my customers tell me. “But you don’t have to have a timer, with auto flowers indoors.”

Jeff:
Well then, you’re just wasting money.

Chip:
How’s that?

Jeff:
Because you’ve got your lights on all day.

Chip:
Oh yeah, that’s right. That costs twice as much to flower it, if you’re running your lights for 24 hours instead of 12. What about, “I don’t have to worry about light leaks.”

Jeff:
Why not? I’m sure auto flowers can [inaudible 00:35:53] too.

Chip:
No, no. I think that is a legitimate thing that people say, they can build rooms without having to worry about cross-contamination of light.

Jeff:
Okay. Yeah, well …

Chip:
It’s not that hard to build a light die room.

Jeff:
It’s not that hard to plug up light leaks.

Chip:
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Jeff:
A little duct tape here and there.

Chip:
Well, “It’s just so easy. I don’t have to worry about knowing how to grow it, it just grows itself.”

Jeff:
Same could be said about regular light cycle genetics.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). You can grow it under 18-24 hours light until it’s 18 inches tall, and then turn to 12 hours light.

Jeff:
Pretty simple.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). “This auto flower, it’s really great weed.”

Jeff:
I wouldn’t say it’s really great weed, I’d say it’s pretty good.

Chip:
It’s pretty good.

Jeff:
It’s suitable.

Chip:
It’s suitable.

Jeff:
It’s good enough. The good ones are good enough to sell as flower.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
They have potency, they have good looks.

Chip:
“The yield inside is incredible.”

Jeff:
No it’s not. That would be my reply to that.

Chip:
No it’s not. Because yield does equal time and cost.

Jeff:
Sure.

Chip:
Right, right. “I can flower this in just 90 days.”

Jeff:
You can flower pretty much any clone in 60.

Chip:
Yeah, totally. One of my favourite things to say is, “You’re just 90 days away from your biggest crop ever.”

Jeff:
It’s true.

Chip:
It’s so true. And, you are just 90 days away from your biggest crop ever. If you have any problems growing the biggest crop ever, just get in touch with us at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC. Look at us online, we have everything you need. And if we don’t have it in one of our locations, we’ve got it in another location, and we’ll send it right to you.

Jeff:
Good plug.

Chip:
Yeah. Well, you shop with Cultivate Colorado.

Jeff:
I have used them, for my very minimal hydrostore needs.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
Flood tables, I just bought some lights.

Chip:
Good plastic stuff.

Jeff:
I couldn’t find any used lights. I just missed one guy selling his … Basically got in his room and was selling all his lights for cheap. And then as soon as I buy the lights new, I see another person selling 50 lights of exactly what I needed, for cheap. I had to pay full price.

Chip:
End up paying for new lights, wow. I’m a proponent for buying new lights. I like to buy new cars too. Buy that shit new, use it up, throw it away, start over again.

Jeff:
Man, I could have … I don’t mind the savings on that, it’s-

Chip:
And what kind of lights are you running?

Jeff:
What did we get? Gavita’s 600-800.

Chip:
Oh, the flexes.

Jeff:
The flexes.

Chip:
Oh, that is my all time favourite light right there.

Jeff:
I got a little bit lower ceiling height in my one greenhouse. I could go full 1000s, and they come with a hood that will spread the light out more.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
So, we’re going to put that reflector … I shouldn’t say hood, it’s more of just a reflector nowadays. But, that was my first purchase of double ended lights since 2019. In this greenhouse grower, it didn’t have any double ended lights, all this time. I always thought it was pretty funny.

Chip:
Yeah. You’ll buy an LED one day.

Jeff:
I’m sure it’ll come eventually. Hopefully when the price comes down, if not sooner. I’ve replaced by T5 bulbs with LED T5 bulbs, which is definitely a winner over those damn florecents.

Chip:
Yeah, but man, $1,700 for a light that covers the same area as that $650 Flex, I can’t do it yet man. I mean, I don’t see the quality difference. I don’t see the power … There’s no power difference, there’s no heat difference.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Right? You know, I don’t see why you would want to pay … And I sell this type of stuff.

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
I don’t see why you’d want to pay $1,700 for that. Right?

Jeff:
Yeah. I mean, 5 years from now it’s going to be half the price, with all the technology.

Chip:
I hope 5 years from now it’s $400. But man, they’ve really artificially kept the price of lights high. The price of lights today are more expensive than they were 10 years ago. You know?

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
Right, yeah, totally. We used to have $100 light packages.

Jeff:
Magnetic ballasts, were not that expensive.

Chip:
Magnetic ballasts, screw in bulbs, right. Cheap reflectors.

Jeff:
Even the price on digitals came down, it was pretty affordable.

Chip:
Yeah man, I think we still sell $110 digital ballasts right now.

Jeff:
Wow.

Chip:
Right? At cultivatecolorado.com, cultivateokc.com. You like my little plugs don’t you?

Jeff:
Put in there, it’s your show.

Chip:
It’s my shit dude. I know, I used to feel guilty about it, but I’m like, “No, come shop with me man.” And really do, please, come shop with us. We need your business, we rely on your business, we want to continue to be in the industry. The way we do it is with new customers.

Jeff:
They have knowledgeable staff, I’ll say. As a customer, I can talk to … When I’m not talking to Chip, I’ll talk to his guy, Jacob, I believe. He knows what he’s talking about, so I can ask him a question and get some real information. He’s not just going to try and up-sell me. He’s going to try and give me what the right thing is. Or maybe, make me aware of some technology or new thing I haven’t seen yet, because I’m not-

Chip:
Yeah. He talked me into these drippers, as a matter of fact. Because, they’re the ones we sell the most of. You have to think about that, “Oh, what’s everybody buying? Okay, I’ll use these too.”

Chip:
It’s been an excellent, excellent episode here, chatting with you. I feel like we’ve covered such a range of topics. But, we didn’t quite get it all, we might have to have … This might even be a Part 2 or Part 3-

Jeff:
Let’s do it.

Chip:
… type of podcast here. So yeah, thanks for coming. I really appreciate it man. Thanks for your input on my drip system, and not calling me out for using synthetic nutrients.

Jeff:
Hey man, I don’t judge. Do how you see fit. As long as the ganja’s good at the end of the day. My ideology, I don’t hold other people to that ideology.

Chip:
Yeah, I know, agreed man. There’s just a time and place for it all.

Jeff:
Just grow good weed.

Chip:
Just grow good weed, there it is.

Chip:
Thank you for joining me on that Part 2 of the El Jefe podcast. El Jefe, Jeff from Little Hill Cultivators in Trinity County, California. He always has a lot to say. I’m sure him and his crew are sitting back listening to this right now. Thanks for coming out and talking ganja with me, it was a great visit we had a couple weeks ago. I always like to see my friends from other states and other cannabis markets, and hear what they’ve got to say. You know, they give me a few pointers here and there, on what they think I should be doing differently.

Chip:
So, always a great exchange of information. Thank you for lending your time and listening to this episode. Next week’s episode is going to be incredible. So, I want you to go to iTunes right now, subscribe, download all the episodes you haven’t heard, and engage with us on Instagram. Shoot me a DM, shoot me a private message on Facebook, The Real Dirt Podcast. We’d love to talk to you, we’re doing this because of you. We want to spread the knowledge of cannabis, hemp, medical cannabis, and adult use cannabis to the world. This is such a great, great, great way to do it.

Chip:
So thanks again for joining us, and see you next time on The Real Dirt.

Grower to Grower with Little Hill Cultivators

Grower to Grower with Little Hill Cultivators

The Real Dirt is known for interviewing some pretty great cannabis growers. But this episode isn’t really an interview.

Jeff from Little Hill Cultivators has been an almost regular guest on The Real Dirt, and one of our most reliable sources of insight into the current California cannabis industry. As a long time medical cultivator, Jeff transitioned into the recreational industry as well after legalization in California.

With any new legal cannabis industry there is bound to be some red tape, but California just about takes the cake, and wraps it up in red tape. Comparatively, Oklahoma has just about none.

Barriers to entry for cannabis growers

We can all agree that there needs to be some barriers to entry for cannabis growers in a legal industry. But each state varies on how many barriers they set up.

Oklahoma legalized medical cannabis in 2018, with sales taking off without a hitch in 2019, faster and with more growth than any other state. This is because they had almost no barriers to entry, and even made it easier for out of state cannabis growers to come in and get started.

Up until the end of August 2019, any potential cannabis entrepreneur could move to Oklahoma, live there for 30 days, get residency and pursue state licensing. Now (post August) anybody trying to enter the Oklahoma medical cannabis industry from out of state must live in-state for two years before getting residency.

California on the other hand restricted anybody from getting a recreational cannabis license that didn’t already have a medical cannabis license and operation. On top of that, the application fees were insanely high, with additional charges for obtaining the license after approval.

Talking grower to grower

Talking about growing cannabis with somebody who just started or even has been doing it for a few years is nothing like two veteran Northern California cannabis growers getting together. There’s no beating around the bush, just Chip and Jeff talking about each others’ grows, what they each do differently and why.

We all know some growers that think they got the best set up, grow the best ganja and won’t hear a word that says otherwise. It takes years of learning, seeing other grows and assessing your own problems that you can really sit down and talk, grower to grower.

And this episode is just part one.

Stay tuned for part two

In part two of Grower on Grower with Little Hill Cultivators, Chip and Jeff continue their conversation about California’s strict regulations, Oklahoma’s growing industry, drip irrigation, industry predictions and more.

Follow us on Instagram (@therealdirtpodcast) and Facebook (@therealdirt) to stay updated on the next episode’s release and get fun cannabis content in the meantime.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial
error

Like The Real Dirt? Please spread the word :)