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The Real Dirt on Shrooms with Josh Kappel

The Real Dirt on Shrooms with Josh Kappel

where are magic mushrooms legal

Josh Kappel is Vicente Sederberg‘s founding partner, which specializes in risk assessment for multinational corporations and financial transactions in the highly regulated cannabis industry.

He also regularly offers guidance on cannabis, licensing, regulatory enforcement, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law to patients , caregivers and companies. Josh has recently focused his time on the world’s two largest cannabis markets: California and Canada. 

In this exciting episode, lend your ears to the true cultural hero, Josh, with the rest of the crew of Vicente Sederberg in Denver, as he speaks about how they are helping states to write policies and legalizing the magic shrooms.

I think we’ll see more communities loosen the prohibition on nature, on the entheogens and the mushrooms. – Josh Kappel


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

6:27 – Shrooms changes people
10:54 – Legalizing psilocybin
20:34 – Propagation of mushrooms
29:47 – Medicinal mushrooms in the future
35:13 – Shrooms for consumers
39:18 –  Predictions for shrooms

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Vicente Sederberg LLP

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

Chip Baker: Here we are once again The Real Dirt with Chip Baker, and I’m so excited about today’s episode because today it’s The Real Dirt on Shrooms. Yeah, that’s right. We’re gonna find everything out about legal mushrooms or decriminalized mushrooms here in the US. It’s going on all over Denver, Oakland, Eugene, Portland. I don’t know Seattle. I’m just making stuff up now. But you know who’s not making stuff up? is Josh Kappel. my great friend say hey, Josh.

Josh Kappel: What’s up, Chip, how are you doing?

Chip Baker: Oh man, I’m doing great, man. I’m glad we finally got to chat about this. I got stoned and I missed our last call. 

Josh Kappel: Fact. 

Chip Baker: That’s fair. So, those of you who don’t know Josh, Josh is a partner at one of the leading or the leading cannabis law firm in the world. That’s right. Vicente Sederberg, Josh, has been, you know, with them since the very, very beginning. And we have had so many stimulating conversations and done such great work with with the Santa Fe and you guys and you, Josh, specifically. I want to have you on my show for a while and you stop blowing me off since COVID here and you got some extra time. So thanks for joining me, Josh.

Josh Kappel: Sure. Thanks for having me. You’re absolutely right. I ran out of excuses ever since COVID. Because Hey, I’ve only been in one spot really.

Chip Baker: Why no man, you you like, you know, you’re in LA half the time, it seems like you’re in an airplane the other half the time and then like, you know, you’ve been in, you know, trying to live your life in Denver. right.

Josh Kappel: It’s really amazing how much time you have when you going to travel once a week for quite a while.

Chip Baker: I know it’s nice, man. When was the last time you got an airplane, Josh?

Josh Kappel: I came back from Costa Rica February and might have came back with the virus, maybe not. But that was the last hurrah for me.

Chip Baker: Yeah, you know, I did some traveling in late January, and I think I have a lot of those COVID symptoms, that’s for sure. But who knows, I can’t I’m looking for the antibody test as soon as it has I’m gonna go get it because I think I got it. You know, back in February-January. Man the fever the like the, you know, I thought it was the it was different. It felt different. It kept getting worse and worse the cough, the raspiness. But you know what they’re not talking about is Chip’s cure cuz, well, I can’t even say what my cure is but it involves, like four inch long, you know, pure cannabis joints, right.

Josh Kappel: This is even haven’t been evaluated by the FDA.

Chip Baker: Yeah. I mean, you know, I wouldn’t listen to me or the president for medical advice. It’s all I’m saying. It’s all insane right. So, gosh, I know you guys do all this work with cannabis, whether it’s hemp or ganja or medical marijuana or adult use, recreational use, or limited licenses. But man, just kind of like suicide is kind of a side hustle for you, so to speak, some beside interest, right. In–

Josh Kappel: Cool side interest, yeah.

Chip Baker: That side interest– The way you’ve been growing that beard over the past couple of months. It looks like you may have, you know, been having a lot of interest in–

Josh Kappel: It was an interesting time in Costa Rica. But, you know, we’ve always cared about all the drugs at the Vicente Sederberg, you know, we’ve just [inaudible]

Chip Baker: I know you do.

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] Have a law practice around cannabis. But you know, but it’s like the war on drugs, it’s always been a failure, you know and granted so we had a nice conversation about like, which drugs should be legal or how they should be illegal, should it be prescribed by a doctor or given to you at church or you know just picked up at the corner store with– your overall there’s like probably something that’s happening all the drives besides arresting people–

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, absolutely. Man I mean, I don’t know I’ve had a really open mind about all drug use and, you know, I can understand what drug abuse is. And people can, not that I recommend, it but people can pretty much do whatever they want and not become a drug addict overnight and that’s something that the war on drugs really like, you know, take, you know, says that’s like, Oh you can do this drug and you’re gonna, you know, become a drug addict or you’re gonna be worthless, you know, person society and it might not be, I might not want to hang out with tweakers. But if that’s what they want to do, man that’s on them. Sorry if I’m offending any tweakers out there that listen to the real dirt you don’t have to. But it’s not like, it’s their responsibility. It’s not mine.

Shrooms Changes People

Josh Kappel: And sometimes, just sometimes you can have an experience with some drugs. It’ll change your life forever. For the better, like mushrooms.

Sometimes you can have an experience with some drugs. It’ll change your life forever. For the better, like mushrooms. – Josh Kappel

Chip Baker: Like mushrooms. So, mushrooms are harmless. Mushrooms are great. Everybody should try it. It’s a soft drug.

Josh Kappel: It is interesting; it’s like the first time I ever use mushrooms. I was a young high school student and I was camping as [inaudible] some mushrooms with having fun. And next thing I know, I’m floating down the river on my back, staring at the moon talking to God. And my whole life, my whole life has changed. You know, from that moment on, I was like, there’s something different about this world than what I was taught. I don’t know what the fuck it is. There’s something different out there and forever, sort of like, put me on this path of like, what is it? What’s behind all this? [inaudible] I have to say you should not be doing mushrooms. They’re illegal, they’re not harmless. But I had an experience [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Totally harmless. Yeah, I don’t play an attorney on TV or no, I’ve seen mushroom not like big great for everybody. But in general, they are eye opening, they definitely make you think about things a little bit differently. And I mean you know Terence McKenna in his book archaea revival he postulate says that, you know, our early human brain developed through mind expansion because of eating mushrooms we able to eat mushrooms and have like, you know, this secondary thought to be able to have this vision of like how we were going to do something or make something, right because that’s what it takes is you have to be able to visualize like, the wheel or fire or weapon or stone or knife or a legal defense for someone. You have to visualize it first. And that’s what mushrooms gave us are so [inaudible]

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] there’s different synapses and creates more connections. But hey, I’m not the scientists around here. 

Chip Baker: I’m not a doctor or anything, but it makes me feel good. So I grew up with mushrooms. I grew up with mushrooms. They were readily available. You could pick them in the southeast in cow fields. Growing up, it was still like no fungicides used in grains and the really spray fungicides on the fields and, you know, grass fed cows. You could still pick these mushrooms, right when I was a kid now, it’s still going on, but it’s it’s because of fungicides. It’s not as prevalent as it used to be, but they were, you know, mushrooms were the thing that we could get before weed or alcohol. Right. And, you know, they were six months out of the year you pick them, right.

Josh Kappel: There, just right there. [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Yeah, you know, get a book from the library let go mushroom [inaudible] oh that’s it that’s the one yeah.

Josh Kappel: Man you know I was terrified about picking the wrong ones but–

Chip Baker: There’s nothing like picking mushrooms in the wild and and consuming them both you know psilocybin ones and just edible mushrooms. We have picked Morel, Chanterelle. Maitake, Shiitaki. [inaudible] psilocybin. We’ve picked some mushrooms. So is it legal, Josh? Tell me what’s going on. Because, but people are asking me right. And if they’re talking to themselves, they’re like, is this legal?

Legalizing Psilocybin

Josh Kappel: Is this legal? And it’s like it depends, you know. So what happens is– I was trying to make weed more legal and get people licenses and passionate group of people here in Denver process and said hey, we want to decriminalize psilocybin. Help us do it. And me and Courtney Barnes in our office thought about it for half a second. We put together this measure because we wrote so many, you know, a lot of ballot measures. [inaudible]

  Like hey, we can add we can do one for psilocybin–

Chip Baker: I’m going to stop here, Josh. And for those of you who don’t know Josh is key in legalizing medical marijuana, adult use marijuana in your state no matter what state it is, Josh was there helping you guys. Behind the scenes. He is a true cultural hero. And he really made it happen. He started it and you know, with the rest of the crew descent, Vicente Sederberg in Denver, but he has helped states write policy. He has helped cannabis growers get licenses. When you just say oh, we just write policy we just said write a bill. It’s not quite like that Josh is a superhero pause. And now, after he has helped legalize weed throughout the country, he is now helping to bring mushrooms to you as well. Thanks, Josh. Wow, great man.

Josh Kappel: Thanks, Chip. But, you know, our team has done a lot you know, it’s not just me we have updates, very great here people–

Chip Bake: There’s no I in team man.

Josh Kappel: That’s right. Yeah, but the psilocybin measure, you know this is a compromise is Kevin Matthews the guys it’s for, they’re the real heroes there they just came to us said Well, how do we write the law? So we pull a page morale playbook of the lowest law enforcement priority measures of cannabis. We pull the new page chip. 

Chip Baker: You wrote a new page. 

Josh Kappel: Straight out of Denver’s Sanctuary City law. So Denver has a law that prohibits the city from spending any money on enforcing federal immigration laws. We thought you know what, this is a great template for a psilocybin law if you didn’t want Denver to spend any money on psilocybin enforcement. And so that’s what we have is we have a a three-part law where The laws law enforcement priority measure, the city is banned from spending any money to enforce the state law. And then there’s a committee and oversight review committee to make sure people are tripping safe. And make sure the policy works, you know, the real part of it is like to make sure that the actual policies work, but that’s what we did. So it’s a long winded way of saying, Chip, it’s still illegal, but it’s not as illegal as it was before. But it’s still a crime under state law, still a crime under federal law, but the city of Denver, it’s the lowest law enforcement priority for law enforcement to go after someone who’s personally possessing or propagating psilocybin.

Chip Baker: Oh, wow. Excellent. Well, let me ask you this question. So okay, so two questions one. If I’m downtown Denver, it was just a sector non show and I just walked out I am tripping balls and a walk into the police like what’s he gonna do to me?

Josh Kappel: It depends on Jeb and Rosacea smoking giant spliff outside at the same time. 

Chip Baker: I probably will be. No, Okay, so let’s say I left the spliff at home, okay? Tonight just this night.

Josh Kappel: That’s impossible–

Chip Baker: We’re talking reality here man.

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] If nine so you don’t have a joint in your hand, and you go to the police officer say officer, I’m tripping balls. And then I have some in my head some mushrooms. And yeah, why died?

Chip Baker: You haven’t any mushrooms I’ve got some You want some? Can I say that. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, can you light my joint I don’t have on a lighter right now.

Chip Baker: I’d say that —

Josh Kappel: It still, like, arrest you and charge you under the state–

Chip Baker: Public intoxication

Josh Kappel: Yeah. I wonder the state law

Chip Baker: Oh, state law, okay. But he’s a Denver cop so that’s not gonna happen. What’s could really happen?

Josh Kappel: Should be the lowest law enforcement priority they should follow the will of the voters we’ve heard rumors that there are following the will help the voters so it should be fine until you smoke weed in public. Then they give you a ticket for smoking weed in public, but that’s a fiber also trying to work out.

Chip Baker: Alright Josh, well, hey, listen, let me, it’s a great time for us to pause and take a quick break and when we come back we’re going to talk about the cultivation of mushrooms. This The Real Dirt with Chip and Josh Kappel. We’ll be right back.

Hey, this is Chip with The Real Dirt. I just want to say hi to all you guys and hey man, I know you’re all holed up in your house, you’re growing weed in your garage or your warehouse and you’re wondering how you’re gonna get your next shipment of soil. Well, the way you do it, is you call up, Cultivate Colorado or Cultivate OKC. You order that pallet of soil, and whatever else you want, we’ll put it on the delivery van and send it to you. It’s that simple. I know in the past, people have like been a little hesitant of maybe ordering directly from your grow supplier to your warehouse, but hey man, things have changed. It’s a different day and time and you can do that. It’s so easy. If you’re a commercial customer, definitely call us up and get a commercial account. If you’re a home grower, man, we can still supply every single thing you need at a we’ll call us call us up and come right to the shop pick it up. You don’t have to go inside. You don’t have to shop, you don’t have to do anything but grow more weed. cultivatecolorado.comcultivatecoloradookc.com. The Real Dirt. And we’re back Josh!

Josh Kappel: All right. 

Chip Baker: How’s that break for you?

Josh Kappel: Not great.

Chip Baker: Usually, during breaks you know as my contestants, I ask my guests to perform, you know, significant feats of cannabis like taking a large six-foot bong hit or rolling the biggest joint they can or something like that. What’s the craziest, like ganja Olympics type thing you’ve ever done, Josh? And you know like, Hey, we’re gonna roll a five-pound–

Josh Kappel: Like the ounce joint for sure. But he’s like the blends together because you know that [inaudible] were like, why did I so try and see how many we could do [inaudible]

Chip Baker: And my friend Shawn Mehensky used to have this, he was my first friend in high school that had an apartment right we all still in high school we had an apartment. And he has six foot bamboo bomb that we made we go there and like just hit the six foot bomb but– Good times.

Josh Kappel: Yeah. Big bombs. I mean, there’s someone else lighted up for you know?

Propagation of Mushrooms

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. You had to have someone light it for you. Absolutely. So when we last spoke, you said cultivation of mushrooms was up the lowest-priority. Let’s discuss that, Josh.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I mean, actually really use the word propagation, but– they have the same with cultivation–

Chip Baker: Propagation, different but meant different but the same.

Josh Kappel: But the whole trick though, is you’re still not allowed to sell that, you know, so–

Chip Baker: But you can eat them. You can consume them. Can I give them to my friends? 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, you can give them to your friends–

Chip Baker: I mean, not me, not me. I’m not giving them away, but you can. 

Josh Kappel: So the prohibition is you can’t use or display the mushrooms in public. That’s one thing that I had to get back to the language. You can’t go walking down the down the street with them so you can give them away.

The prohibition is you can’t actually use or display the mushrooms in public. – Josh Kappel

Chip Baker: You can’t sell them for money, but you can give them. Okay, totally.

Josh Kappel: And that’s about it. That’s pretty simple.

Chip Baker: So could you like trade your, could you trade stuff for mushrooms? 

Josh Kappel: Nah, it’s like for remuneration.

Chip Baker: No, remuneration.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, it’s like nothing. It’s like big giving you know, it’s like giving it to you if you give me that. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, it’s like in Massachusetts, what do they have like, Oh, you buy a T shirt. I’ll give you an ounce with it.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, but the early cannabis says, Yeah, we’re doing $50 washing machine services. It comes with an eighth of weed.

Chip Baker: Yeah, remember the remuneration days in California? [inaudible]

Josh Kappel: But it seems to be going pretty good, though. What’s different between Denver and Oakland is interesting is Oakland [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Denver is not the only–

Josh Kappel: [inaudible] not just psilocybin and mushrooms, but to ayahuasca to [inaudible] to the whole nine–

Chip Bake: Damn it. Did they say add agents? or they actually list substances?

Josh Kappe: They said they added at the origin, so it’s like Peyote [inaudible] Ayahuasca, Morning Glory. Cannabis is actually kind of covered under mushrooms are covered under– But there is actually the taking out Peyote. This is pretty interesting. The Native American church asked for the decriminalized nature campaign, which is great folks. You know, they’re really building a movement here. And they vote so I’m gonna do a quick platform chat. As I tell you, this is if you want to decriminalize psychedelics in your community, talk to decriminalized nature because they will help you put it all together. 

Chip Baker: Oh, well, someone like Oklahoma, if someone was interested in decriminalizing nature, they could contact decriminalizing nature. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, great. But when they removed Peyote from the measure, because I’m requesting The Native American church, because the whole day there’s a [inaudible] shortage and so and so the whole thing is like, well, people who have these steep long traditions and using Peyote and if used it, you know, as part of their sacrament for youngs, to probably get first before everyone else comes in and just try to take it just for fun. 

Chip Baker: You know, the whole world needs enlightenment. Understand it’s a scarce commodity. So that’s a great line. The world needs enlightenment is just too scarce commodity.

The world needs enlightenment is just a too scarce commodity. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: To scarce commodity– Which is why we smoke joints.

Chip Baker: Smoke joints. So Alright, so back to so back to Oakland. So Oakland listed cannabis as an F antigen. Man, you know, I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m kind of serious. I’m kind of joking. Do you think I could be a cannabis shaman?

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I do, Chip. I do, I think yeah, there’s an interesting folks and there’s actually a lot going on cannabis therapies. 

Chip Baker: Oh, dude, it’s I mean, I finally grew up by smoking weed. A couple years ago I finally got it in my childhood. Now cannabis is therapy, man. I mean, that’s the whole part about why it’s medical.

Josh Kappel: And there’s you know, it’s like there’s a lot that’s happening with like this group medicinal mindfulness was doing these cannabis circle. Like an ayahuasca circle, there’s a lot that’s happening you know, cannabis as your therapeutic or religious substance for sure.

Chip Baker: Cannabis is medicine, man. Yeah, it’s true. You know, the most beautiful thing about cannabis is you like, got two or three of your friends and you’re smoking out and like, your heart all starts beating the same you’re all breathing the same air you like on the same wavelength, the same wave. And, you know, it’s easy to communicate that way. You know, I don’t know how many times have been like Alright, we’re having a difficult time a less goes moja. Right? And, you know, whoever’s involved, whatever like smooths out you calm down a little bit. Okay, fish sticks aren’t that bad after all– the argument–

Josh Kappel: Or even like back when we used to meet new people still, you only met him for the first time as Hey well, if we smoked together, everything will be fine. It’s like such a gatekeeper of good people. What’s super interesting about mushrooms is like, there’s also like, kind of legal to get mushroom spores? It’s kind of interesting. So it’s– 

Chip Baker: Kind illegal, like, so okay, we’ve talked about this. we’ve researched it a minute and I once told you Hey, I think Georgia and California the only place you can’t buy spores, is that true?

Josh Kappel: Yes. Taking astep back, it’s like, it all starts in 1971 with the UN Single Convention Narcotics, and they made psilocybin an illegal, but they didn’t make mushrooms containing psilocybin to be or that it makes spores that lead to mushrooms containing psilocybin to be legal. So to possess spores of mushrooms violently psilocybin. And because there’s like 400 varieties of mushrooms that make psilocybin and so it’s like, you don’t even know which one you’re working with. And so they serve just copy that language in most states in the US. So it’s so spores aren’t technically illegal and a lot of places they’re not specifically prohibited, except for California, Georgia, or if there’s like a clear intent to use them to grow mushrooms, but that’s the things get a little bit a little bit dicey. Yeah. The Spanish is called a legal like in between legal and illegal gathering this is a kind of a legal–

Chip Baker: So it’s, like maybe legal to possess store spores in many states, in Denver in Oakland. You can grow mushrooms, propagate mushrooms and you can consume them. Are there other communities where you can do this? I heard like Eugene or Portland or somebody like that was trying to do it too. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, there’s been a lot of communities who have been working, you know, to try and decriminalize ethneogenes and mushrooms. You know, depending on where you count them, there’s can be hundreds, you know, people who are working. We saw one in Santa Cruz, there’s one work in Berkeley. You know, there’s a pushing Chicago. There’s been a lot of a lot of movement to sort of follow suit. And like I mentioned earlier, my technical lawyer is not legal to grab options in Denver. It’s just the lowest law enforcement priority. The police are prohibited from spending money on on arresting.

Chip Baker: Is that decriminalized?

Josh Kappel: Yeah, it’s like it’s as decriminalized as it could be for a city, but it’s still a crime.

Chip Bake: Right. So basically, it gives the local law enforcement a way out of not dealing with much term crimes. 

Josh Kappel: And there weren’t that many arrests before. But–

Medicinal Mushrooms in the Future

Chip Baker: That’s the whole beauty of it, there wasn’t a problem with it before. And you’re just like sticking your toe in a little bit with like, hey, lowest-priority, okay, so medical mushrooms, when’s medical mushrooms, Josh, because that’s the next thing, right? 

Josh Kappel: What’s interesting– 

Chip Baker: Medically prescribed mushrooms–

Josh Kappel: You’ve seen a lot of really successful research coming out of Johns Hopkins and Hafner Institute [inaudible] you know what I’m saying–

Chip Baker: Oh yeah man–

Josh Kappel: That is finding that your psilocybin has been effective in treating resistant depression, and also addiction, you know, amongst a whole other host of different ailments. You know, since you there’s such incredible breakthroughs happening so the FDA actually gave breakthrough drug status to psilocybin and for the depression. There’s two groups compasses one there–

Chip Baker: Whenever you eat mushrooms, you laugh, and laughter is known to get rid of depression.

Whenever you eat mushrooms, you laugh, and laughter is known to get rid of depression. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: Exactly. If you laugh until your cheeks hurt, the chances of being depressed are difficult.

Chip Baker: We’re making light of it. But if if you haven’t ever, if you’ve never experienced mushrooms or you’re you’re like, you know questioning what we’re talking about, and it really does give you an introspective into things that, you know, you might not have seen that exactly the same way and use properly. Mushrooms are incredibly therapeutic. That is 100% for sure.

Mushrooms are incredibly therapeutic. That is 100% for sure. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: I think that’s right. And you know, and it’s, there’s so powerful with the mind that they have the ability to sort of break habits apart. And that’s nice. I searched compass and this nonprofit Usona both have got, you know, breakthrough status from the FDA, to engage in clinical studies for the treatment resistant depression. It’s really it’s really phenomenal. There’s a study, I might slightly misquote the numbers were was 60% of the people who use silent treatment. diction quit smoking six months later. And that and like, chances is the highest like smoking, is the most successful anti addiction drug for smoking. It comes in like 38% and obviously there’s psilocybin one or how many treatments was it wasn’t that many it’s like 60% six months later.

Chip Baker: Wow. Well, there you have it. If you want to quit smoking cigarettes, you’re gonna have to once monthly have a psychedelic experience with some mushrooms for six months, and you’ll quit.

Josh Kappel: I don’t know if that was exactly the protocol, but you know–

Chip Baker: No, I mean, mushrooms are just so fun. It’s hard not to joke about uh, you know, have a good time with it. But it is really serious and I know you know many people that have fought for the laws and like yourself. It is a serious situation and mushrooms are like really incredible therapy, credible and therapeutic natural medicine very similar to cannabis very mild– 

Josh Kappel: And they grow everywhere grow. They are all over the place. Well one you should– Have watch some Fantastic Fungi, Paul Stamets movie?

Chip Baker: No, I haven’t seen it yet.

Josh Kappel: It’s a good one. But my cilia connecting our whole world together. It makes sense it’s like mushrooms are like such a consciousness expander, so you dive into your consciousness in ways that not many other drugs really gives you– or at least not like that.

Chip Baker: I know man, I think I’m going to hang up this podcast right now and eat some mushrooms. Yeah. [inaudible]

 I think micro-dosing is a really great way to expose people to psychedelics a little bit. time because they can. It’s kind of like CBD, right like, Oh, I could try weed without getting high. Oh, I could try my luck in high but then they like get a little high and like well maybe once a week you know I think I could use a full dose–

Josh Kappel: Yeah. [inaudible] a couple of times

Chip Baker: So mostly the path, I grew up with mushrooms like I said picking mushrooms and we’d make mushroom tea right fresh mushrooms you boil up tea. And then it began, you know, dried mushrooms. And then it turned into you know, mushroom chocolates. Chocolates that had extracted mushroom or ground up powdered, whole whole plant material. And now there’s extracts of mushrooms. You know, mushroom goo, mushroom paste. Things are really progressing and changing quickly. Have you have you been talking to anybody on that front of where where they think mushrooms might go for the for the consumer?

Shrooms for Consumers

Josh Kappel: Good question. Good question. You know, the, we have come across a couple different people who you know, have been wanting to explore different mushroom related brands. You know, the difficulty being is that you know, it’s like right now there’s this the protections there’s a state law protections I think, if this measure in Oregon that would decriminalize illegal as being medicinal use of mushrooms passes, then I think we’ll actually start to see you know, companies start to create mushrooms in the CPG products. And you and you do see sound like there’s again Venice and Golden Gate Dolores Park, you see some like, you know, some branded mushroom chocolate product for sure. But it’s not legal yet.

Chip Baker: This has a potential to change the world. And you know, I saw California in Denver do that. California and Colorado do this with medical cannabis. And the medical cannabis just seeped into all the whole medical cannabis community across the world and the knowledge and the expertise and the technique and the strains. Wow, we’re just fixing to see so much cool stuff with mushrooms the same stuff we saw with ganja, right the past 2025 years is going to happen with mushrooms now right that’s gonna be so many cool ways and deducted in the strains and like, Oh, it’s gonna be so cool. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I mean I think it’s super interesting. You know, you mentioned mushroom tea. Like I’ve been waiting for someone to like bottle mushroom tea. Like no one stepped into that world, yet. Or what about other things you hear some of along the microdose in lines and start these like bio hacking flow state blends that are like, Hey you want a little of this psilocybin. A little bit of lion’s name, you want a little bit, you know, sort of like perfect like–

Chip Baker: Ginger and some an adaption adapted ins and total herbal cocktail. 

Josh Kappel: Yeah, exactly. For your brain. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, that’s true, man. Oh, it’s man. It just puts a smile on my face. I remember the first time I heard about mushrooms and here’s how it when older kids said something like, Oh yeah, you can eat these black mushrooms and they get you high. And I said no. And I went looked it up the library, though. Huh? Well, maybe. And it was right the library books are right. Wow, man. This is so cool you–

Josh Kappel: I like how your first mushroom though kick you to the library–

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. Well, I mean, it was the original Google. Right? It was original Google.

Josh Kappel: That’s right. Go look things up in books.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Hey mom. I’m gonna go walk five blocks and go to the library. And then look up psychedelic mushrooms psilocybin mushrooms totally. Or make in Georgia and I asked hippie, old hippie friends parents and whatnot. They kind of lead me in the right direction. How’d you find out about mushrooms? People were like, Oh, it’s like mushrooms are gonna get a you get a high. And you just and you use like, oh, it makes feel good. Sure. I’ll take it.

Josh Kappel: It’s like Hey, try this, you know it changes your consciousness and there’s like– I actually grew up super religious. I was like, once you sort of like live religion, it’s like, I want to try everything they told me not to.

Predictions for Shrooms

Chip Baker: Yeah, I spent a fair amount of time in church myself. That’s for sure. It’s Yeah. Man. So I mean, it’s happening all over the country. If you got any predictions for shrooms here in the US?

Josh Kappel: I think what’s also happening to– My point of view of shrooms predictions, we have to take a step bigger. We gotta go higher up into the clouds. There’s other countries, you know. So it’s like, there’s a lot of sort–

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, like Thailand

Josh Kappel: Or Jamaica. You know, there’s a society like professional retreats in Jamaica, you know, so there’s a lot more It’s sort of happening on like the grand international scale as it comes to developing psilocybin and the freedom to use mushrooms and you saw it too It’s like you have like Amsterdam has has smart shops forever they ended up though walking it back together really by the truffle. The truffles are still great though. There’s a time I was in Spain and then some smart shops there and they got these wet mushrooms. And the only palate like mushrooms is that you have to keep them refrigerated as they go really bad and–

Chip Baker: Black mushrooms

Josh Kappel: Yeah, turned into like when we wanted to eat the mushrooms anyways, but as little– as we had to be ready to change them with whiskey and I ended up at this carnival and island community in Spain is the darkest carnival in the dark– Anyway. There’s beautiful [inaudible]

 that’s it.

Chip Baker: Doors of perception broad are all around us.

Josh Kappel: But I think, you know, I think we’ll see your prediction lies, I think we’ll see more communities sort of loosen the prohibition on nature, on the entheogens and on the mushrooms, I think we’ll see, you know, Oregon or another state like that passes statewide measure that will really provide a lot of protection. You know, it’s like how, you know, like when you’re talking about like the legalization of drugs, it’s like most arrests or state arrests, so you really need to change state law. I mean, it’s a federal law too. But we haven’t got there yet for cannabis. I think we’ll see. Like you’re seeing Compass, you’re seeing Usona, develop psychedelic pharmaceuticals. I think that’s gonna be a big push forward, even maps, you know, is taking MDMA through different studies. 

So, I think you’ll see it like more and more accepted. And I think there’s a lot of like pushback that there’s a lot of folks that say, like no, like, let’s not patent or protect psilocybin, that’s like trying to patent weed, you know, it’s like everyone should be on the ground and use it. What does this actually look like? I think there’s still a lot of like, controversy around it all. There’s also a lot of a lot around therapeutic protocols like the ethics of mushrooms, they have psilocybin in therapy, but I think will develop it off. I think it’s like, we’ll get there. 

Chip Baker: Man. I think that the self help group is going to take a really big push in this, and you know, self help at home therapy. You know, groups of people that do entheogens, or ie mushrooms are going to start to spring up, there’s a community that’s already there associated with this, people already want it. So I know that’s already happening. And that’s just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And, you know, they’re almost like, almost like churches or Tupperware party type of things, you know, and it’s some of it might be more fun. Others might be more therapeutic, but there’s already these things that exists throughout the country that’s going to keep growing. Meanwhile, access is going to increase because the communities in Colorado and California are really going to start to propagate mushrooms, right. 

The propagation technology it’s going to like, like expand by leaps and bounds. More brains are going to get involved with just like what happened to cannabis, you know, all the same, techniques are there, and they’re only people and be like, oh, we’ll do it this way. We’ll do it this way. Oh, we’ll do it this way. All of a sudden, like, you know, 10-15 years later, we’re going to have specialized propagation equipment specifically for mushrooms, the spores, you know, the strains are going to be like, you know, like really endless, just like ganja is right now. And you know, man, even those places like, you know, that doesn’t legalize or decriminalized mushrooms or have medicinal mushrooms are going to be flooded. Because, man, I don’t know if you’ve ever grown mushrooms, they just keep on growing and keep on propagating themselves. And that’s what’s going to happen in California and Colorado.

Josh Kappel: Yeah, I said, and there is there’s so many so many varieties of mushrooms. Like hey, these mushrooms are for your nootropics you know, make your brain smarter and these mushrooms are to you know, to go as crazy br experiencer. Yeah, lay in the park with these ones. The interesting, the indicas and sativas of mushrooms.

Chip Baker: Yeah. Oh man, it’s exciting. You know, I was looking at mushrooms recently to grow and just see which ones were the most like popular or the– And what I found out was the the Golden teachers, the Island Coast, hose are all mushrooms that came from Georgia, or on the coast there and South Carolina like all right where I was from, and I was picking these mushrooms as a kid, the same varieties and I look at them in books now and I can see it. And man, it’s just amazing that those have now become like, some of the most predominantly grown mushrooms in the country in the world and just out of this small little ecosystem. And now that it’s so much bigger, it’s just all strains and varieties of mushrooms. Just gonna. It’s just gonna blossom. 

Oh, Josh, this has been an awesome real dirt, real dirt on shrooms. It’s been great, man I know we’re going to have a ton of questions about this one people are going to ask a lot more I’m probably going to have around two. You know, and I’ve got some great guys over at Monster Mushrooms monster mushroom grow kits we sell those there Cultivate Colorado, anybody who wants a mushroom grow kit. Look up cultivatecolorado.com or lookup, cultivateokc.com and you can buy a mushroom grow kit online right now. Boom even you, Josh, even you. 

Josh Kappel: I thought you’re sold out. 

Chip Baker: Oh, I’m sold out today but not tomorrow. Oh this is great!

Josh Kappel: I do wonder. I mean, now’s the time grab it and you’re stuck at home. Do you think more people are eating psychedelic at home now with COVID or less?

Chip Baker: Oh, I think there’s more psychedelic use right now. Because you’re like, there’s like no better time– to sit at home I sitting in the freezer. [inaudible] We got some time to kill. I mean, I think maybe psychedelics help prevent the COVID? I think it does. I mean, you know, another claim by Chip, of course, it doesn’t.

Josh Kappel: Not evaluated by the FDA.

Chip Baker: And, you know, I don’t know, I do think probably some people are a little scared of taking psychedelics right now during the COVID. But, you know, it’s dark out there, but then you know, man, that’s the thing about psychedelics is they do show you the light and you know, as the grateful dead saying over and over again, you know, you get shown the light in the craziest places, if you look at it right, and that’s what psychedelics do. Yeah, that’s right. Josh it has been great. Thanks for joining me.

You get shown the light in the craziest places, if you look at it right, and that’s what psychedelics do. – Chip Baker

Josh Kappel: Thanks, Chip. Thanks for having me.

Chip Baker: All right. Hey, if you guys liked this episode, or you want to listen to others, download them at The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. And hey, if you’re looking at this video right now, you might be looking at it on YouTube. But if you’re not going to my YouTube channel, The Real Dirt podcast, and look up all of the videos that we have and the interviews we have now, hey, there are two channels. I can’t get rid of one. But log on to the one, subscribe to the one that has all the videos, all the most current stuff. And, you know, we’ll keep you up to date. Thank you again for joining me here on The Real Dirt. It has been a pleasure. And yeah, I hope to hear from you soon. Real dirt!

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How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

How to Get a Job Growing Legal Weed

how to get a job growing weed

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

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

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

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

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


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Kanna

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

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

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

Farhaj: Hey, all super excited about this one.

Hire Kanna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: [inaudible] called Fade?

Farhaj: Yeah, like a Fade.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: So have you have you launched this yet?

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

Chip: And and the the app is that live?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: Right? Yeah. 

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

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

Farhaj: Was that a road trip or a flight? 

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

Farhaj: Oh my God. That is awesome.

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

Farhaj: Sounds good.

Chip: Man. What would you roll up?

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

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

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

Chip: We’re on the same way, man.

Farhaj: Yeah, that’s awesome.

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

Farhaj: Yeah

Turnover Rate in the Cannabis Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: It’s a private school. 

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

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

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

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

Typical Problems with Recruiting in the Weeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting a Job in the Ganja Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: Hope for 30 minutes early–

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

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

Chip: What do you say again? 

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

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

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

Chip: Cherry pickers. Totally.

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

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

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

Future of Kanna

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Find Them

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

Chip: Kanna with the K.

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

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

Employee-Employers in the Budding Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhaj: Sounds like a plan.

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

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

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

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Pheno-Hunting and the Quest for the Best Cannabis

Pheno-Hunting and the Quest for the Best Cannabis

jive cannabis co oklahoma medical marijuana

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

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

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

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

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Jive Cannabis Co.

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jive Cannabis Co.’s Mission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: It sure does man. 

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

Pheno-Hunting

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

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

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

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

Chip: Where’d that come from? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: But pretty good doesn’t make it. 

Freaux: Pretty good does not make it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: Sounds great to me. 

Chip: Awesome.

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

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

Freaux: This is actually the Sunshine Lime one.

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

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

Chip: So much experience man, holy shit. 

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

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

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

Chip: Alright, so this is the Sherbert Lime? 

Freaux: The Sunshine Lime. 

Chip: Sunshine Lime. 

Freaux 20:46  

Sherbert times Lemonheads

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

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

Choosing the Best Seed Company

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: The reputation. 

Freaux: Yeah, like like– 

Chip: First off look for the reputation. 

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

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

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

Chip: This is so good, man. 

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

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

Freaux: Yeah, I do hear that. 

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

Freaux: What’s up to Rocky?

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

Freaux: Nah, I hear that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Seed Breeders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: You have tried some Capulator stuff? 

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

Chip: Right, awesome man. [inaudible]

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

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

Chip: Any cookie stuff? 

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

Seed Lot and Organizing

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

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

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

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

Chip: To see if it’s worth it. 

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

Chip: You can’t always get a winner.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip: You label the actual pot? 

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

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

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

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

Freaux: And that’s very true right there.

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

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

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

Chip: From seed you throw it in the flower 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: Ah Coco. 

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

Freaux: We shared it. 

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

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

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

Freaux: I did not. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: As far as just in general? 

Chip: In general about the soil. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: What do you think? 

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

Freaux: Yeah I got you. 

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

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

Chip: I get that.

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

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

Freaux: And I’d have to agree. 

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

Freaux: Yeah. For sure.

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

Freaux: I love Gelato 33, the creaminess–

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: We do. 

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

Freaux: I know a lot people do that yeah– 

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

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

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

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

Freaux: Yeah, just yeah. 

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

Naming your Weed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: A little inside joke about it. Yeah.

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

Freaux: He is cool dog. 

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

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

Where to Find Them

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

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

Freaux: I’m happy to be here– 

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: Sounds good. Looking forward to that one. 

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

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

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

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

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

Freaux: I appreciate you having me on. 

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

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

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

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

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

best weed in LA

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

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

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

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

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Brian Weiss

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

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

Brian Weiss: Hello, Chip, hello world.

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

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

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

L.A. has the Best Weed

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: Absolutely.

Price of Weed in L.A.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: I’m a private market guy.

Brian Weiss: Yeah, private market guy. 

Chip Baker: No taxes…

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

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

Brian Weiss: That’s true.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: What do you want to know?

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

Starting L.A. Cannabis News

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

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

Chip Baker: [inaudible]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, we’re ABX absolute.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally.

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

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

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

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

Homegrown Ganja: Future of the Cannabis Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: [inaudible]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learning Something New

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

Brian Weiss: I think my brother did too recently. 

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

Brian Weiss: He played it when he was younger.

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

Brian Weiss: Yeah, for sure.

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

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

Chip Baker: I bet the whole world has–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Trip to Florida

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

Chip Baker: Oh, perfect, perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cannabis Predictions after the Present Pandemic Condition

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

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

Chip Baker: The social aspect of it? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: Yeah, totally. Right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: You smoke some weed, right?

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

Chip Baker: [inaudible] contaminated

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: But those pens go very quickly. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: I believe.

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: Totally–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: Yeah, right.

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

Brian Weiss: Absolutely. 

Chip Baker: Do we have a fourth prediction?

All Things Made in China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Weiss: Yeah, me too. Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Exile on Strain Street: Hard times in the Yucatán

Exile on Strain Street: Hard times in the Yucatán

where to find weed in mexico

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

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

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

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

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

People Mentioned / Resources

Transcript

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Well, Happy Birthday Ted!

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: What type of weeding smoking down there?

Best Ganjas came from America

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

Chip Baker: Could you say that again?

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

Chip Baker: Oh true!

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

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

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

Crucial Part of Growing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dry Farming

Ted Mateja: Elaborate on that dry farming?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legalization of Cannabis in Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: [inaudible] automatically going to commercial.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greening the Black Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah. Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OKC’s Present Environment

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

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

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

Reflections during the Epidemic Condition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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From Red Bull to CBD: Reinventing Energy Supplements

From Red Bull to CBD: Reinventing Energy Supplements

best CBD supplements

John Zolikoff came out of the motorcycle and action sports world. He worked for 15 years at Harley-Davidson and Austrian sports motorcycle maker KTM.

During that time, John worked closely with Red Bull back in early 2000 when energy drinks were entering the market.

After experiencing the health benefits of CBD several years ago, and on a mission to find healthy energy that he could take any time, anywhere, John started ZOHKO in 2018. He pulled together scientists and doctors to create ZOHKO Energy, which is on the cusp of creating a new energy category.

ZOHKO Energy combines CBD with eight power-packed ingredients to boost energy, mood, motivation, and focus, all while the adaptogens strengthen immunity and help fight stress.

Here’s an exciting episode about branding and developing a company with a CBD expert. Remarkable insights await from John Zolikoff on how ZOHKO developed their brand, used unique marketing strategies, how they target their market and sell their products.

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

4:53 – Transitioning from motorcycle and sports world to CBD
8:24 – A light bulb moment on CBD
13:31 – Pushing through the CBD industry
18:05 – Branding ZOHKO energy
21:42 – Your brand is your avatar
33:52 – Sales channels
35:32 – Keeping the CBD business rolling
38:05 – Where to find them​

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with John Zolikoff

Connect with  Chip Baker

Transcript

Chip Baker: Hey, this Chip of The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt, I want to talk about branding and developing a company. To talk to my good buddy John Zolikoff about his company, ZOHKO. Now it’s a CBD energy supplement company but the reason I wanted to have John on so he could talk to people about how they develop their brand, their branding strategy, how they develop their customers, how they sell the product, just all the like little things that it takes to bring a product to market. 

Now many people cannabis or hemp farmers, all they’re interested in is you know, growing lots of ganja which I’m totally fine with that. But many people realize they need to have some sort of added value product or they need something more than they can grow or they can produce, and so a branded or a formulated product is the perfect way to do it. You know, if you’re interested in hemp, you’re in Interested in CBD, if you’re interested in ganja, this is going to be a great great great episode. And we literally like you know you can use this format and develop your company kind of based behind it develop your brand, kind of behind it. So sit back and enjoy this next episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker and John Zolikoff

Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt, and on today’s dirt, I have my good buddy John Zolikoff come to you live from Sarasota, Florida. Say hello, John.

John Zolikoff: Hey, everyone. Hey Chip. Great to be here.

Chip Baker: Oh, man, the birds are chirping in the background. I hear you a little puppies going on. Just looks and sounds like an incredible place to be right now. What’s going on in Florida, man?

John Zolikoff: Well, it’s a it’s a good place to to be isolating for sure. So we’re close to the beach as you can see. Got great setup here so we’re hunkered down, good place for ZOHKO headquarters to be trying to support everyone and you know, Sarasota is where– So as you mentioned, we’ve got eight puppies right now.

Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, we can’t. I can’t really hear them. I hear the birds. They sound great. They’re very pleasant, John.

John Zolikoff: Yes. So we’re surrounded by nature. So that’s we’re enjoying this is how we’re gonna heal ourselves, right?

Chip Baker: Oh, man treat is just looks and sounds incredible. I’m also in a self isolating format, as you can see grooming myself so well.

John Zolikoff: I shave for you today!

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, that’s right. That’s great. What do you mean I think I shaved?

John Zolikoff: My Sunday best–

Chip Baker: My Saturday sweatshirt on, even though it’s Monday right now.

John Zolikoff: And that’s how we met. Was that baby bathwater–

Chip Baker: Yeah, baby bathwater on a Saturday or a day that felt like it anyway. 

John Zolikoff: Yeah, exactly. 

Chip Baker: Yeah. So John, the reason you know I have you on The Real Dirt is John, you’re one of the founders or the founder of ZOHKO, which is a CBD and energy supplement company. John, you’ve started several other businesses in the past, and you know this is a new venture for you and so many people are thinking about getting involved in a CBD or cannabis business or already have some sort of CBD or cannabis business and you took a slightly different approach to starting your business then then maybe many other people. And you spoke about it at all and how you kind of got involved with it but as the brand you want it to develop this brand. Because in previous businesses you didn’t necessarily own you know, own what you were doing. It was someone else’s brain. So, again, I’m glad we can chat with you about a day. Hey man, how did you kind of come up with this idea of to start a CBD energy supplement? 

Transitioning from Motorcycle and Sports World to CBD

John Zolikoff: Well, so as you said, I, you know, going back I came out of the action sports world so I was in motorcycles I was with Harley Davidson and then KTM sport motorcycles, and KTM has a relationship back between the founders in Austria with Red Bull. So back in like the late night 1990s and early 2000s when Red Bull was just coming into the market. We were doing crazy partnerships with them, you know, with like all that extreme sports and you know skydiving and motorcycle races. So I was in kind of in that group and saw like, I mean Red Bull created the category right before that there were no energy drinks and so then all sudden. I was also kind of in that extreme world of, you know, riding motorcycles and jumping out of airplanes and you know, so we want to [inaudible] Back in the day now I’m just the old guy with all the puppies and kids and grandkids. I saw what all that energy and what energy drinks and you know that how much people would pay for that energy and then also seeing the brand.

Chip Baker: So you learn from some of the major brands and a completely kind of different arena though it’s not healthcare or it’s I mean it’s a much more consumer oriented product than a healthcare product. No I’m talking to my ass.

John Zolikoff: Oh no for sure. So I come in straight out of university actually even my, my thesis, I did it on Harley Davidson. So I had a motorcycle. I bought a Harley when I was in college. I ran a business back then a bartending agency. 

Chip Baker: So you were a fan. 

John Zolikoff: So I was uh, yeah, so and I talked them into sponsoring my thesis and so that was what I love to do. But then about 13-14 years ago, I met my wife, as women will do they, they change you and she’s from Brazil, but she’s also a vegetarian and very much into sustainability. And so it was and then also I started my family and so it was this shift in my life I swore when I met my wife that I would never give up eating meat. And that took about a year to become a vegetarian because she was a really good cook. But more and more, I’ve become healthier with my life and the benefits I feel great. 

So with the energy drinks that we’re doing all the time in the motorcycle world it wasn’t hard to figure out that those are bad for you with all the chemicals and sugar but [inaudible] were much. Still, then you get into than I was into coffee and that’s how I kind of raise my kid was just drinking coffee all day to keep up with my– he’s 12-year-old years old now. But I was always looking for this natural energy and something I can feel good because otherwise, you feel like you’re always like stealing from the future, your future longevity for your industry today, right?

I was always looking for this natural energy and something I can feel good because otherwise, you feel like you’re always stealing from the future, your future longevity for your industry today. – John Zolikoff

Chip Baker: So you are you already looking at an energy type of supplement or you’ve been thinking about it for years and the CBD just it was the lightbulb moment?

A Light Bulb Moment on CBD

John Zolikoff: Yeah for the CBD for me was you know I’ve been into hemp and cannabis for years and but I had this chronic pain in my shoulders that came like out of nowhere. And and it hurt a lot just to raise a you know, higher than shoulder height. And we went through the traditional medical tests, MRIs and x rays and cortisone shots which you can’t do multiple times, but none of it helped. And then finally the doctors like I don’t understand it, can’t figure it out. And you just have to live with it. Maybe cut back on this or whatever. I tried to– 

Chip Baker: But you didn’t cut back in the weed? 

John Zolikoff: No, I didn’t [inaudible]. But just smoking the weed didn’t stop–

Chip Baker: Didn’t do it. No, it doesn’t. And that’s the thing is CBD is anti-inflammatory–

John Zolikoff: That was the medicine. And so a friend recommended it. And it was, I think it’s called ACDC. And, you know, within a day it cut the pain in half. And by the end of the week, like it was down to 10% of what it was before. So that was powerful for me personally. So then the —

Chip Baker: A major believer–

John Zolikoff: Exactly. And knowing as the market became more legal, at least enough that I wanted to look into it. And so then I sought out how could I find like the experts and the best– and then I found you, so but, you know, so that was like the next step [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Here’s how John found us as we were in the corner, smoking weed in a circle. So those large smoke cloud coming up between us and John recognize the smoke signal. And, Hey, man, what are you guys doing?

John Zolikoff: That’s exactly how it happened. And I think we played that out a few different times. But then we’re also you know, at that event, there were a number of really knowledgeable and experts in the new market in hemp, CBD and cannabis. I remember some really good advice that you gave, and some of it was, I was like, Okay, well, California is opening up. I would love to have my own.

Chip Baker: You want, you thought you wanted to grow it?

John Zolikoff: I wanted to do a farm. Yeah, exactly. And so you start calling me farmer John, I think was and somehow–

Chip Baker: Farmer John Oh, I said, Oh, John over there. He wants to be a farmer, farmer John.

John Zolikoff: And somehow I just didn’t, you know, I couldn’t see like, you know, I haven’t grown up in the field, right? I don’t have that kind of expertise. So something there– And I remember you also saying that they look at, there’s an opportunity now, but as soon as the big companies come in, it’s going to get, you know, the prices will just get gutted, like, soy and everything else, right. So, that made a lot of sense. And then you said that, the real places to focus on CBD, which is legal, and across the country and to, and to create a brand, you know, to– So, I mean I think two years later here, maybe from that discussion, but it was appreciated, is great advice. And–

Chip Baker: Hey, man, this is a perfect time for us to stop for a break here. We’ll come back and we’re going to talk about like, your next step, you had the idea, and how did you want to do it differently than you had before? All right, here’s The Real Dirt. We’ll be back in a moment. 

Hey, this is Chip, I hope you’re enjoying this episode of The Real Dirt. I just wanted to have a little public service announcement out there in these trying times. I just want to encourage everyone to have a little bit more tolerance with people around them, with their family, with their friends, and the people they interact in the world. You know, it’s gotten to be an incredibly small world lately, and we all realize that we’re in it together. So the next time that you feel a little stressed or you see somebody else stress, just take, just take a second. Relax, and if you can, roll up the largest join that you can. And then enjoy another episode of The Real Dirt. Thanks again, we’ll get back into it. Right now. 

All right, and we’re back with John Zolikoff. We’re talking about how John has started a CBD energy supplement company. So John, you had this idea and, you know, kind of– Take me to the steps of like, what kind of happened? What was the next thing that happened? You had the idea, and you decided you wanted to make some CBD products.

Pushing through the CBD Industry

John Zolikoff: Yeah. So for sure CBD. So we partnered early on with obviously we were starting with CBD and we searched out the best sources for that. Being able to go all the way back and trace the genetics and make sure that we’re getting full spectrum. So we got all the cannabinoids and so that was the foundation. But then also, for me, it was important I wanted to create supplements that people could really feel like from the beginning and so, the idea from the beginning was also to come up with engineered or formulated products with intentional benefits so, energy was the obvious one and the starting point. 

We searched out a group that is like the best in formulating performance supplements. And so, it was a little bit, I think, a different approach than most people. So product development was key. We wanted to include energy ingredients, but also adaptogens, which even now is, even more, I think timely with adaptogens are great at boosting your immunity and fighting stress and in fatigue. So, that was important. So coming up with the right formula was key, then sourcing the full-spectrum CBD then finding even the manufacturer. Our formula is unique it’s a like a liquid, so it’s like a maybe see here it’s got oil in there, so it’s MCT oil plus the CBD, but then it’s got seven other ingredients so there’s Caffeine, Dynamine, which is a Kucha tea leaf extract and gives a nice even energy that just kind of tapers off at the end versus kind of that nervous energy with a crash that a lot you’ll get from energy drinks. 

Chip Baker: Oh, hold on. Let me get some coffee.

John Zolikoff: Well, we got you got ZOHKO on the way. I know guys like it but yeah, exactly. So instead of that big, you know rush and kind of, you know jittery effect. This is a nice even the combination of the caffeine and the Dynamine and the hemp just really works nicely. Then so we’ve got lots of B vitamins and Rhodiola which like the Russian astronauts and cosmonauts and athletes have been using forever. Through Ginsengs, Spirulina, MCT Oil and it’s a vegetarian capsule. There are certain things that are really important for me I wanted this to be something that I was going to take. I mean I basically since I got my first samples a year and almost a year and a half ago, I’ve more or less given up coffee. I like the taste but this is just so much easier and I know that I’m getting all these other health ingredients on top of it but for example, vegetarian capsules were important to me being a vegetarian. 

So that was a big thing. I designed it for what I was looking for. Making sure people– a lot of people talk about their CBD, that they’re that it makes them tired or drowsy and they can’t take it during the day with [inaudible] You can get your 25 milligrams of CBD in each capsule, and you can go to work and be focused and, you know, the Dynamine–

Chip Baker: I usually take two. Just saying.

John Zolikoff: And that’s why each one has 100 milligrams of caffeine and all these other ingredients, but they’re, it’s the right amount that you can stack it. So that’s the official recommendation is not to exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine of the day. So we say don’t take more than four. But the Dynamine is really a neat ingredient. It’s new on the market, and they promote it. They say, EMF, I think it’s EMMF. So energy, mood, motivation and focus, which right now, like especially we’re all working at home. So how do you keep your head straight while, you got kids and puppies running around? Or if you’re trying to focus and create your new thing, right, it’s great for that. So that’s on the products side and we’re really happy. I mean, you’ve had it people really like it–

Branding ZOHKO Energy

Chip Baker: So you wanted to formulate the product, right? You didn’t want to do a white label product, you wanted something specific for you, you want to stand out. So you got a formulator you had the idea, right? You wanted something different. And how did you approach the brand side? How did you develop because many people don’t even know what a brand is. I guess that’s all up for debate. It’s more than just a logo. How did you approach the next phase?

John Zolikoff: Yeah. So this is what we ended up with, which is so ZOHKO energy, CBD plus energy. I have launched as you mentioned, I’ve started a lot of different companies and I’ve done kind of the branding and always just on my own right. Then just kind of didn’t take a disciplined approach to it, and go through a process and so knowing that the market was going to be so competitive, knowing that looking at the market and really, not to offend anyone, but if you look at the CBD market, there’s just like it all like–

Chip Baker: Charlatans and homespun bullshit and people just want to get rich quick, I’ll say it

John Zolikoff: Yeah, there you go. But no one really looking at it from like a consumer products perspective, right? Like how to really connect with people and like it’s always it’s CBD, the CBD this CBD that, hemp the you know, it’s just like, and even our first idea was like Blue River Hemp. Right? That was that would have been [inaudible] the process that would have been the first that would have been in and then we would have just been competing with every other hemp company to try and be the most trusted or the most whatever. So, we worked with branding for the people, a great group that so we invested first before everything in the brand and that process that we went through, forced us to identify our customers. So it was we came up with three or four avatars, but all around kind of active outdoor adventure type people. And then, you know, you relate to them a little bit differently, like I’m Gen X, I’m 49 right? So I kind of grew up in all this action, extreme sports stuff. But now like I mean–

We invested first before everything in the brand, and that process that we went through forced us to identify our customers. – John Zolikoff

Chip Baker: Now you’re beat up. 

John Zolikoff: I’m beat up and I need yeah, lubricate–

Chip Baker: My elbow, my arm, my shoulders–

John Zolikoff: Exactly. But this now gives me– This gives me energy, and it gives my body like the lubrication to go out and charge and do things than I used to, or not at the same level. It is so focusing on who was our target demographic. And for me, it was just kind of like looking. I’m just going to kind of do almost like the Red Bull in a healthy energy, right? And what’s great is like, so you get a bottle of this, it’s 30 servings, right? That’s like 30 energy drinks in your pocket, or 30 double shot, you know, Starbucks double shots like that.

Chip Baker: That’s a month supply.

John Zolikoff: Exactly. And so for me, like, I would always go to like these trade shows or even when I traveled, I’d go buy those little Starbucks double shot four packs. Yeah, totally. I would put those in my– every everywhere I went, I put those in my luggage because that was my best way to just get my caffeine and my energy to go and now I have this solution. 

Your Brand is Your Avatar

Chip Baker: Yeah. So you mentioned avatars early, you’ve had a couple of different avatars. Let’s explain to people what that means.

John Zolikoff: So that’s where you sit down and you describe the psychographics and the personality, the activities how people [inaudible]

Chip Baker: Of your perceived customer even. 

John Zolikoff: Yep. The media they consume, the places they go just how– so that you can speak specifically to them. What we’re finding is the formula. I mean, there’s so many people that want natural, convenient energy. And so our avatar was actually kind of this young like originally like 18 to 30 year old. 

Chip Baker: He’s made one avatar. 

John Zolikoff: The first one is that one avatar, so it was pretty, it was a younger one than what we’re finding it to be but so and we called him Travis like Travis Pastrana, if you know action sports, he’s like the original, extreme sports guy. And so you as a group we built out this whole page that describes everything about Travis.

Chip Baker: Who Travis’s what he looks like, what he drives, what he what he does?

John Zolikoff: Yep, we now have like four different avatars. So there’s Travis and you come up with names so that people can relate to a little bit better but so now there’s four. So that was the avatar part then you also wanted to come up with the Archetypes. It’s also like the personality of the company like are you like a National Geographic? Are you like the most trusted you know are you like IBM and so there’s this whole through the process. They give examples of other the personalities of other types of companies. And you pick you decide what you want your– So for me, what was really amazing for this was like, we spent a lot of money invested but it was so refreshing to be able to just like dream up who I really wanted my customer to be, right i mean like this.

Chip Baker: So the importance is this is like if you know what your customer is and what they look like your potential customer what they look like and then you start to imagine what they’re going to be attracted to the colors that they’re going to buy the colors that they’re using, the language the copy the content, the sales letters, all of that comes from this avatar. Alright, how do you speak to Travis? Right? How do you lore Travis to come over the ZOHKO–

John Zolikoff: Yeah. And then you start to build off of that. So the archetypes I mentioned. So ours is you know, kind of fun loving and there’s like adjuster, adventure adjuster, there’s two but so that’s part of the process, but then also, we had to come up with a name right? So like Blue River Hemp and then there was someone had you know, I mentioned earlier that like the CBD, as you get older, kind of lubricate. It helps with all your joints and everything just feels better. So one idea was, you know, Life Loob, which sounds a little bit too looby. But there was this whole process of trying to name storm and then come up with a– 

Chip Baker: That’s for a different avatar. 

John Zolikoff: Yeah, so Life Loob didn’t make it. So, ZOHKO, it’s funny I have been called ZOHKO. My last name is Zolikoff so not exactly ZOHKO. For 20 years I’ve been using ZOCO, which is kind of short for Zolikoff company for different projects and consulting. My good friend and my son’s godfather who is the director of motorsports for Red Bull, and he’s an investor in ZOHKO, when I was sending them, I think an invoice for something and had that Zoco name on it as he was involved in this name storming process or this naming process and he goes, he goes, Hey, man, and for me, it’s kind of like seemed a bit egotistical, you know, like I just haven’t. I’m not put my name on things kind of, but I love the name. I just love the sound of it. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, that was a great name. 

John Zolikoff: And so he encouraged that, and so then we had to figure out so ZOCO but then you have to get the domain name right so there’s this whole process and so it shifted to the ZOHKO.

Chip Baker: And that’s the other thing about making up, then the the spelling of it is you got the .com and we can see that and tons of stuff these days. It’s hard to get the .com so if you spell your own word–

John Zolikoff: I mean, ZOCCO was like out of the box– [inaudible]

Chip Baker: [inaudible] Percent. Yeah, of course. 

John Zolikoff: When we got ZOHKO– 

Chip Baker: I bought The Real Dirt. 

John Zolikoff: Yeah, you are The Real Dirt. 

Chip Baker: Yeah, totally. 

John Zolikoff: That was kind of how those [inaudible]

Chip Baker: I just found out that some of my haters call me The Real Dirtbag, but I believe it’s just because you know, that dude’s a jackass and like, you can’t– probably know who you are.

John Zolikoff: He’s probably more into tea bagging. Anyway–

Chip Baker: Definitely, he’s definitely a Tea bagger, which Hey, man, if you’re in a tea bagging, and I’m not gonna, like, you know, like down you for that, that’s your own sport, whatever you want. 

John Zolikoff: That’s also a different avatar. 

Chip Baker: Right? It’s a different avatar. I’m not going to judge you over your tea bagging but like, you can’t be an asshole about it when you do it. Right. Totally inappropriate John, let’s get back to branding. So the thing I love about the avatar is now you get to take that avatar to every person that you do business with. So your website guy, your label guy, your packaging guy, you get to go take him Travis avatar be like, Hey, this is our customer.

John Zolikoff: Yeah, so it’s even more than that. So the avatar definition was part of building the brand platform and that’s the whole process. So that’s not only so we we created the avatar– so we were working through a whole process over the course of about six weeks. And it was laid out step by step. 

The avatar definition was part of building the brand platform, and that’s the whole process. – John Zolikoff

The avatar was part of it as the name storming and then like one of the main guys, design guys, they came up with a storyboard, after you know, was another step of the process where you know, they came up with images that would help us like narrow zero in on on the logo and things like that. Out of nowhere, the dude came up with a techno zebra so there’s this really cool storyboard that’s got this the zebra with like headphones on and sunglasses and, and somehow that evolved into what we have and but it’s interesting. So Zolikoff is my last name, I always when I spell my name, it’s Z as in zebra, right? Because B and Z and all these other so like It’s just–

Chip Baker: I might spell an axe occasionally but–

John Zolikoff: Yeah, so this is you know it looks really nice on swag I made it. It stands out it doesn’t say hempright it doesn’t say CBD it’s something that people are can really relate to we have a lot that we can do. You know they were very–

Chip Baker: You’re not pigeoned into like a one product, you can do whatever you want and add CBD to it instead of just being pigeon holed into a CBD company. 

John Zolikoff: Exactly. CBD is an ingredient, right. 

Chip Baker: CBD is a main ingredient.

John Zolikoff: It’s not a whole product or a whole experience. And then the group took you know, as we work through the process, the first thing was to get our labeling because we needed to you know, we had product. We had about dozen different things all you know on parallel timelines–

Chip Baker: You developed your brand story, you developed your avatar, you developed your labeling, your bottling your packaging, like how long did it take in order for you to actually get sellable product. How many months did it take?

John Zolikoff: So we really launched ZOHKO on an island in Croatia, in June of 2018. We had product we had the energy capsules by the end of December. 

Chip Baker: June, six months. Okay.

John Zolikoff: And I would say that’s a pretty condensed I mean, I was pushing–

Chip Baker: That’s great. It’s hard for me to get a product in the market and within three or four months like that, I’m struggling to get in through it in four months [inaudible]

John Zolikoff: And for me, it was all new, right? Like, I have I have an engineering like a general engineering degree. So I I’m used to doing projects and business development developers but you know, just the labeling right every step it was like you have to learn a new a whole new set of notes right but you do that all the time–

Chip Baker: Oh man, you know, I mean once you get through a couple products, it’s not the same but it’s definitely something you have to think about in food and supplements those are absolutely different fertilizers but yeah, it’s just you know, huge you know, just rules you have to follow when you put the packaging together. So man–

John Zolikoff: [inaudible] fine with them, you know, we set up warehousing right. So you had to you know, with CBD only so much– fulfillment Yep, exactly.

Chip Baker: So, you contracted out your manufacturing. Well you have your formula, you’ve got your package, you contract out the manufacturing, they put it in your package, and then they send it someplace else to fulfill it.

John Zolikoff: Yes, yeah, exactly. So we have a third party warehouse that we work with ship offers. They’re a great partner in Colorado. But not everyone’s– it’s becoming more easier and open more free now, but not everyone wants to deal with CBD right. So, that was part of part of the step. So fulfillment, right and then selling right so then, you know, website is the most obvious but then and I’ve set up a lot of websites and web shops, and never even really thought us extra time about the processing, processing and banking, as we know is such an issue with CBD, cannabis and hemp. But the last [inaudible] has– I’ve we’ve gone through three or four processors already and not for any good reason they just like decide to shut down. Our first one came in I think it was US Bank decided they were gonna just go into CBD market after and then after four or five months and they were great they’re super low price and funded in a day but then yeah they pulled out and I heard that like it affected like 4500 accounts are something crazy. 

Chip Baker: Wow yeah

John Zolikoff: This was like an April last year and like everyone you know, trying to find it at the same time. So I come more from like traditional sales and marketing kind of brick and mortar or motorcycles, bicycles–

Sales Channels

Chip Baker: So your sales channels mostly ecommerce or do you distribute to retail locations?

John Zolikoff: So we were doing some retail. Our retail strategy is similar to our demographic right our avatar, so we’re going on after outdoor retailers independent retailers. So fishing, you know [inaudible] all the CBD companies are not right now–

Chip Baker: Sale boarding shop, paragliding shop–

John Zolikoff: Yeah, and that’s where the energy products gonna come in we were actually a 30 count bottle is a big, big commitment to make so we’re actually coming out with three packs and special packaging for that channel and the response has been really, really good so far. So that’s going to be rolling out I don’t want to get too much into– I’m really happy with the packaging. I’ll show you the next time. You’re gonna love them. So that’s the retail is like this, you know, outdoor, you know? So we got e commerce, we’ve got outdoor retailers and then the third that we want to go with these three packs. We think that there really is a mass market for healthy convenient energy. And so that’s where– 

Chip Baker: Like 711 market? 

John Zolikoff: That convenience store is going head to head with five-hour energy. 

Keeping the CBD Business Rolling

Chip Baker: All right, I think I think so too, man. John, long, long the way you wanted to quit I’m sure. Along the way you’re like– man, what kept you going to bring this product fulfillment?

John Zolikoff: The response from the customers is fantastic. Well, I love the product. Everyone around me loves the product. It’s something in the past, my most recent business before was children’s bikes, which was a lot of fun. And it really changed a lot of little kids lives and that was so this evolution from kind of like burning petrol gas for recreation to this more sustainable and healthy to where I really want to help people and CBD you know so we have an expanding line we’re going to have a bomb you know, topical coming out as well. We have plans for more functional blends after the energy but I think energy really is our flagship it’s where we’re hanging our hat but I think this whole that people can make more memories they can do more with their kids they can do you know, they can get their relief and their CBD and still be have energy to get through the day. So that gets me I like I’m organic, you know, vegetarian. I want to be natural and how I treat things. And I just think this is what the world needs more of. And so adaptogens and CBD–

Chip Baker: So you said you had a heart for it man. Did you ever have a down moment? Did you ever have a moment where you didn’t think you’re gonna do this?

John Zolikoff: Yeah, for sure. So the last year has been frustrating because it’s been learning ecommerce, and we’re trying to learn it and build it and fly it and prepare and all that at the same time. And, we are lean, you know, we have a lot of people helping on the project, but I don’t have you know, I’m working, you know, from a home office. So there are a lot of times that you can– yeah, so I guess, just believing and as anyone that brings a product, I mean, you have to have the belief, like it’s already exists right. You just have to know that it’s the right thing and just keep going. 

You just have to know that it’s the right thing and just keep going. -John Zolikoff

Where to Find Them

Chip Baker: That’s awesome advice for any business owner. Thank you, man. Hey, John, how do people get in touch with? Get in touch with you? How do people order the product? Are you on Facebook, Instagram? 

John Zolikoff: Yep, so zohko.com, and we are on Instagram and Facebook – Zohkoholics. Just search on ZOHKO, you’ll find it. 

Chip Baker: Okay.

John Zolikoff: So yeah and the idea was just to help people live their lives more fully, and give them energy to be able to get out and enjoy and now it’s I think it’s a it’s what our bodies need to help you know, CBD helps your body–

Chip Baker: It’s what the body craves. 

John Zolikoff: Exactly. I mean it gives it what it’s need to fight whatever is out there, it is what it occurs. Yeah.

Chip Baker: Awesome, John. Well, hey, thanks for joining me today, man. I really enjoyed hearing the birds and talking to you about branding and developing a new product line and new company.

John Zolikoff: Yeah. Well, we’re happy to support you guys. So anytime you need energy anytime the dogs over there need some and yeah, we’ll keep you updated as we get out there. Appreciate the time, always great seeing you. I missed your smiling face.

Chip Baker: Now, man. Well, here it is.

John Zolikoff: It’s beautiful.

Chip Baker: Cool, bro. Thanks again. Hey, this has been another great episode of The Real Dirt. If you enjoyed this episode, please download others at The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. You can also download them on therealdirt.com That’s right. That’s our own website. We have a blog, links to our Facebook page, The Real Dirt podcast as well as our Instagram page, The Real Dirt podcast, please participate. Please tell us how you like this episode, please tell us about the episodes that you’re interested in. And once again, thank you for lending me your time. It’s The Real Dirt!

All right, well, I hope you enjoyed that episode, man. You know, John’s internet reception broke up a little bit. He’s down in Florida, but I loved hearing the birds chirping background and then there at the end the dogs you know so much about the podcast for me, is an audio escape when I listen to it and when I make these things that it is a little bit of escape for me. In these times we all need a little bit of escape and whether it’s a rolling up a large hemp joint or a large ganja joint or a small bong hit, or listening to The Real Dirt like and right now it’s about a great time to do it. So if you haven’t already, please subscribe to The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. That way, you can catch up to all of our latest released episodes, and you can hear the 70 episodes behind. Also, join us on Facebook and Instagram The Real Dirt podcast and man look for all the special offers and whatnot we got coming in the future. As always, I appreciated your time. I know you’ve got lots more stuff you could do today. But instead, you chose to at least spend a little bit of time with me. So thanks again. You’ve been listening to The Real Dirt with Chip Baker.

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