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Growing Organic in California’s Cannabis Industry

Growing Organic in California’s Cannabis Industry

organic cannabis in california

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Innovations of Solar Power in Cannabis Cultivation with Brendan Delaney

The Innovations of Solar Power in Cannabis Cultivation with Brendan Delaney

massachusetts cannabis laws

Talk about taking sun-grown to the next level.

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

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

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

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

– Brendan Delaney

Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

2:40 – Be an efficient grower and environmentally conscious

6:32 – Starting cultivating commercially under Prop 215 rules

10:07 – 25b Pesticide Regulations

22:31 – Keeping the Menu Fresh

25:23 – Selecting Phenos

31:42 – Trimming Weeds

38:09 – Different strains for wholesale and retailing cannabis

43:39 – Cannabis in the pandemic crisis

46:06 – Where to find them

56:34 – Grow tips

 

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with  Chip Baker

TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

Be an Efficient Grower and Environmentally Conscious

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Hey guys, how are we doing?

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

Brendan Delaney: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. 

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

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

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

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

Starting Cultivating Commercially Under Prop 215 Rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Absolutely man there needs to be some roles

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

25b Pesticide Regulations

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

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

Chip Baker: Wow, that makes it complicated.

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah, it does.

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

Brendan Delaney: Pretty much Yeah, yep.

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

Brendan Delaney: Yeah, I mean–

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

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

Chip Baker: So no, soap?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Released biological so benefits the best–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: All right. On the site?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, awesome. Congratulations.

Brendan Delaney: Thanks. Appreciate it.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Has limited licenses?

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

Chip Baker:  Okay. Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: 4500 bucks

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

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

Keeping the Menu Fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selecting Phenos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: We’re using cubes right now. 

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

Brendan Delaney: Rockwool, two inch cubes–

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

Brendan Delaney: Yeah. Easy peasy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trimming Weeds

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

Chip Baker: Oh yeah, great.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, wow, that’s great.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Different Strains for Wholesale and Retailing Cannabis

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: It’s the same here. 

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: It’s not worker weed right?

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: I hear you.

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Perfect, perfect.

Cannabis in the Pandemic Crisis

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, you’re right, man.

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Oh, man, I appreciate it.

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

Brendan Delaney: Put the labor of love.

Where to Find Them

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

Brendan Delaney: Yeah @SolarThera on Social Media

Chip Baker: Say that again.

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

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

Brendan Delaney: @SolarThera or solarthera.com

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

Brendan Delaney: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

Chip Baker: Yeah, run it from the man–

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

Chip Baker: Stray bullets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grow Tips

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

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

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

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

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

Brendan Delaney: Oh, yeah. 

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

Brendan Delaney: Nice, man. Congratulations–

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

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

Chip Baker: Oh, nice. Nice. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Real Dirt on Oklahoma Cannabis

The Real Dirt on Oklahoma Cannabis

oklahoma medical cannabis news

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

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

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

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

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

[Transcript Below]

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Some Topics We Discussed Include (Timestamp)

4:07 – Growing cannabis in Oklahoma

11:13 – Outdoor cultivation in Oklahoma

18:05 – The pest pressure

21:04 – Preventive measures for infestation

27:58 – Challenges in growing in OKC

 

People Mentioned / Resources

 

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TRANSCRIPT

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

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

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

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

Growing Cannabis in Oklahoma

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Outdoor Cultivation in Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pest Pressure

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

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

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

Preventive Measures for Infestation

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges in Growing Cannabis in OKC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Hemp Laws Explained with Vicente Sederberg LLC

Hemp Laws Explained with Vicente Sederberg LLC

The times, they are a changin’. So are the hemp laws.

The hemp economy is growing at a rapid rate. The Farm Bill, passed in 2018, has opened the floodgates for states to establish their own legal hemp programs. But it isn’t an easy transition.

Some states aren’t on board yet, and some still have laws on the books that criminalize hemp. People are trying to get into the CBD industry, but there is still very little regulation, and a lot of the hype around could be dangerous.

What Are The Hemp Laws?

Every state has different hemp laws for the most part. But now the federal government has legalized “industrial hemp” for commercial production, processing and interstate commerce, conflicting with a lot of states’ current laws.

Industrial hemp, as defined in the Farm Bill, is any part of the cannabis sativa plant with a THC percentage lower or equal to .3%. A lot of states already had a similar law at the state level, and similar to legal cannabis on the state level, federal government entities for the most part left them alone.

Other states had even more strict hemp laws. The states with stricter hemp laws compared to new federal law do not have to conform to the new federal law, because they are technically still within that law.

Colorado, which had a Constitutional amendment added that granted the right to grow hemp that was .3% THC, removed that amendment prior to the passing of the Farm Bill with a vote. This way, Colorado completely takes on the new federal definition of industrial hemp, with no chance of state-constitutional conflict should the regulations change on the federal level in the future.

The Hemp CBD Dilemma

In most major cities, there are more and more natural health stores popping up with CBD products. Other major chains like Whole Foods, CVS and Walgreens are adding CBD to their shelves. But what’s the actual regulation around CBD?

The FDA currently has no standing regulation surrounding CBD. While the Farm Bill changed the regulation surrounding industrial hemp, there were no changes made to food products, supplements and the like made from hemp. This has a big impact on CBD products.

Most states match the food and drug laws to the FDA’s regulations, but some states have made local changes to allow products like CBD, Kratom and others. A major conflict that has arose since the CBD market has begun to take off is the question of whether or not CBD is a medicine, or a supplement.

According to the FDA, a product that is regulated and labelled as a drug, cannot also be sold a food supplement. There have already been drugs made from CBD for epilepsy, and this is causing a stand still. This makes branding CBD products a challenge, with people coming up with new names for what really is just CBD oil.

Hemp oil, hemp seed oil, hemp extract, etc., are all product names you’ll see on the shelves at your local health store. The chances of seeing a product labelled with CBD in the name are slim right now.

This Week’s Episode

There is so much more to dive into with hemp and CBD laws in the new market of 2019, that writing it all here would be thousands and thousands of words. So why not hear it from people who have been studying hemp law for years?

Shaun Hauser and Andrew Livingston head the Hemp Division of Vicente Sederberg LLC. Vicente Sederberg is one of the most well-known and renowned cannabis law firms in the country, and they have an entire wing devoted to hemp laws.

In this week’s episode Andrew, Chip, Justin and Shaun talk about the new hemp laws, how it affects the states, the complications of the new CBD industry and more surrounding the legal hemp industry and the new laws surrounding it. Most lawyers would charge hundreds of dollars just for one hour of consultation on hemp laws.

In this week’s episode of The Real Dirt, we get it all. FOR FREE. Listen to the full episode now, and join the Real Dirt Facebook Group to share your thoughts on the episode!

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Inside Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Industry

Inside Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Industry

Maryland has always been relatively progressive compared to its neighbors when it comes to cannabis. The state decriminalized small amounts in 2010, and enacted a full medical marijuana program in 2012. Now we’re in 2019, but where does the Maryland medical marijuana industry stand?

Inside Culta’s Cultivation

Culta opened in Baltimore, Maryland in 2018 with the goal of bringing exclusive, high quality genetics from successful seed banks and breeders to the Maryland medical marijuana industry.

They built their cultivation facility from scratch inside an old factory right in the inner harbor of Baltimore’s downtown. They also designed one of only four vertically integrated cannabis businesses in the state. This means from seed, to processing, to sale, Culta handles it all in-house.

With over 400 lights in the facility, separate rooms for genetics testing, vegetation and flowering, Culta is by far one of the most technologically sophisticated cultivation facilities in the state. Plus, they sourced some of the most experienced cultivators in the country to build their genetics.

Maryland Medical Marijuana

In this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast, Chip talks with Jay and David, Head Grower and Cultivation Manager of Culta.

Together the three of them dive into the design behind Culta’s facility, the benefits of being vertically integrated, the issues new businesses are dealing with in an industry that is still finding its footing and more.

Roll one up, relax and enjoy the first episode of Season 3 of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!

This episode is brought to you by Cultivate Colorado, the top grow store in Denver with two locations in the metro area. Cultivate supplies Real Dirt listeners and guests with the grow gear they need to succeed in the garden. Check them out on Instagram @cultivatecolorado for the latest updates and deals.

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