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

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

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

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

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

Chip:
Sammy, don’t fuck with Sammy.

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

Chip:
She’s not though.

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

Chip:
Don’t tell the-

Jeff:
Oh yeah, no, she’s a killer.

Chip:
Yeah, tell them she’s a killer.

Jeff:
Yeah, she’s a killer.

Chip:
She’s a sweetheart to Jeff.

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

Jeff:
Everybody moved to Oregon, got legalised-

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

Jeff:
Cheaper land-

Chip:
Cheap land, beautiful place to be.

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

Chip:
Good soil, great climate.

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
They quit growing ganj.

Chip:
… ganj, went into hemp.

Jeff:
Growing tonnes of hemp.

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

Jeff:
Yeah, well.

Chip:
And, dubious genetic sales people.

Jeff:
Oh, yeah.

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

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

Chip:
Lots of upset folks.

Jeff:
… in southern Oregon.

Chip:
Yeah, totally.

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

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

Jeff:
Right.

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

Jeff:
Right.

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

Jeff:
Pretty much.

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

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

Chip:
There’s thousands here man.

Jeff:
Then they collapsed the market.

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
They could.

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

Jeff:
That seems like it’s only inevitable.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

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

Chip:
Right.

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

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

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

Chip:
Yeah, totally.

Jeff:
Man, 2010.

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

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

Chip:
Right, right.

Jeff:
Starting the big leagues maybe.

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

Jeff:
600 Watt light.

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

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

Chip:
Plastic, yeah.

Jeff:
Got a carbon filter.

Chip:
Did you have to make that?

Jeff:
No, they were available.

Chip:
They were available at that point.

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

Chip:
You got from Canada, Mark Emery?

Jeff:
I got from … No, no, England.

Chip:
England, okay.

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

Chip:
Oh yeah? One light?

Jeff:
Off of 5 plants, off of 600.

Chip:
You thought you were the man.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip:
Good grade, but the quality-

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
… what I wanted to grow.

Chip:
Right.

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
No.

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

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

Chip:
Right, and you got 10 ounces.

Jeff:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chip:
Smoked it all, I’m sure.

Jeff:
Yep.

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

Jeff:
We didn’t know each other.

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

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

Chip:
Grow in the back bedroom and the garage.

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

Chip:
The margins were so high then-

Jeff:
Oh, you could afford-

Chip:
What was weed selling for back in 2004?

Jeff:
$4000 a pound-

Chip:
Yeah, right.

Jeff:
… to my friends.

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

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

Chip:
At $4000, yeah, totally.

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

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

Jeff:
Strains, nobody knew that.

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chip:
You sold some of it.

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

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

Jeff:
I bet it has.

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

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

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

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
I got it from online.

Chip:
Online? Okay.

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Chip:
And you took clones.

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

Chip:
Did you make seeds on the first run?

Jeff:
No.

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

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

Chip:
Totally.

Jeff:
It hurt the general quality of weed.

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

Jeff:
The price.

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

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
And then you got the fucking best ganja.

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

Chip:
Urkle, Urkle.

Jeff:
Urkle wasn’t quite there yet-

Chip:
But it was the next one, yeah.

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

Chip:
Right.

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

Chip:
Right. What was that first purple strain?

Jeff:
Urkle.

Chip:
Urkle.

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

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

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

Jeff:
There’s a couple of tricks.

Chip:
Okay.

Jeff:
I’ll tell a couple.

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

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

Chip:
Like Bubba or Urkle.

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

Jeff:
Right.

Chip:
Of Urkle or Bubba.

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip:
Right.

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

Chip:
Flip it.

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

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

Jeff:
Cut down on veg time a little bit.

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

Jeff:
Interesting.

Chip:
Because-

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

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

Jeff:
That’s a thing too.

Chip:
Yeah, totally.

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chip:
You’d love this weed.

Jeff:
I would, because it’s tasty.

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Chip:
Totally.

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

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

Jeff:
It’s all those terp plants.

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

Jeff:
Me too.

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

Jeff:
Yeah?

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

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

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

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

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

Chip:
Oh, okay, here’s the mic.

Jeff:
… I’ve got a few gripes.

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

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

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

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

Chip:
[inaudible 00:23:37]?

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
Wow.

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

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

Chip:
This is all California mind you.

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

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

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

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

Chip:
Right. The economy of them is small.

Jeff:
Right. So yeah, there’s-

Chip:
Little money in it.

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

Chip:
There’s no money in it.

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Chip:
Right.

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

Chip:
That’s over-regulation.

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

Chip:
What’s that organisation?

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

Chip:
TCAA?

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

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

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

Jeff:
Interesting.

Chip:
Totally.

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

Chip:
Yeah.

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

Chip:
Yeah, totally, totally.

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

Chip:
Yeah, yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

Chip:
… it’s hard.

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

Chip:
Yeah. I’m not a big plant fan.

Jeff:
I like to walk amongst them.

Chip:
I like to walk amongst them.

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Hey man-

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

Jeff:
I still want to grow a big plant.

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

Jeff:
Wow.

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

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

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

Jeff:
They suck the water up.

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

Jeff:
Yeah. But-

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

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

Chip:
Yeah, I love those.

Jeff:
For me.

Chip:
And you’re talking greenhouses, outdoors?

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
Nope.

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
I haven’t finished it yet.

Chip:
Okay. Yeah, big audio file.

Jeff:
He’s growing them indoor though.

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Okay.

Chip:
You still have to wait 90 days.

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

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

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

Chip:
How’s that?

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Okay. Yeah, well …

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

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

Chip:
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Jeff:
A little duct tape here and there.

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

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

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

Jeff:
Pretty simple.

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

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

Chip:
It’s pretty good.

Jeff:
It’s suitable.

Chip:
It’s suitable.

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
They have potency, they have good looks.

Chip:
“The yield inside is incredible.”

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

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

Jeff:
Sure.

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

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

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

Jeff:
It’s true.

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

Jeff:
Good plug.

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

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:
Flood tables, I just bought some lights.

Chip:
Good plastic stuff.

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

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

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

Chip:
And what kind of lights are you running?

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

Chip:
Oh, the flexes.

Jeff:
The flexes.

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

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

Chip:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
Right.

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

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

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

Jeff:
Yeah.

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

Jeff:
Magnetic ballasts, were not that expensive.

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

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

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

Jeff:
Wow.

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

Jeff:
Put in there, it’s your show.

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

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

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

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

Jeff:
Let’s do it.

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

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

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

Jeff:
Just grow good weed.

Chip:
Just grow good weed, there it is.

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

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

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

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