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Ep.171: Danny Danko, High Times, Introview w/Steve Dillon, True Humboldt

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.171: Danny Danko, High Times, Introview w/Steve Dillon, True Humboldt

Ep.171: Danny Danko, High Times, Introview w/Steve Dillon, True Humboldt

Recorded at the High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup, Danny Danko, High Times cultivation editor, is your virtual tour guide reviewing cannabis from the major cannabis economies. Along the way, we find out Danny spent his formative years in Russia before moving to the US at the hight of the cold war in the 80s. But first we talk specifically about Huboldt County cannabis with Steve Dillon who manages a network of farmers from the area. He delves into just how different dealing with regulations are for the County’s growers and how everyone’s getting used to the new reality.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Danny Danko recorded at the High Times Cannabis Cup, Danny Danko High Times cultivation editor is your virtual tour guide, reviewing cannabis from the major cannabis economies. Along the way, we find out that Danny spent his formative years in Russia before moving over to the US at the height of the Cold War in the 19 eighties spot. First, we talked specifically about Humboldt county cannabis with Steve Dillon, who manages a network of farmers from the area. He delves into just how different dealing with regulations are for the counties, growers, and how everyone's getting used to the new reality. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the world economy, and if you're into more direct communication, would like to support the show. Feel free to send me an email and engagement can economy.com. Danny Danko proceeded by Steve Dillon. Enjoy. Alright, so here we are. True humble booth. Steve Dillon, executive manager of true humble. What does that mean?

Speaker 2: Um, it means I got voted to be the, uh, the organizer, the spokesperson for a bunch of them. What were outlawed farmers who are now coming into the new regulated, um, a marketplace. Um, humble county had the first, um, farm land use ordinance in the state. And so what we're doing is we're helping all of these older outlaw farms come into compliance mainly through environmental regulations, stored water, um, business practices. We've grown to over 100 farms and um, it's really an ad co op or farmers. Yeah,

Speaker 3: 100 farms. That's a ton a. well, what's the general sense from the farmers? You guys are going ahead and kind of doing the business stuff it sounds like, so that they don't have to and making sure that they're compliant and all that. What is the sense, I mean, how, how fearful are these guys being that we're talking about 30 years of, of, uh, of not being in the light, more being in the shadows, you know, how, how are they feeling these days?

Speaker 2: That's where we come in. Yeah. Uh, we, we were Guinea pigs. We, we threw ourselves out there and talk to fish and wildlife first we talked to the state water resources board. First we talked to the county planning commissioners and the four board of equalization for taxes. And for most farmers after 30 years plus of doing things the way they did, every one of those steps goes against their grain. So it's the opposite of what they know to do is the exact opposite. What we used to do and used to say is he would burn all your paperwork because it's considered to be used against you in a court of law and you would throw it in the wood stove and burning. Um, now we're teaching them to keep all that paperwork because they're going to need it to write off their taxes. They need to show that, um, it is, it takes a lot to grow marijuana or cannabis and uh, it takes a lot of money and it's not all profit. And in this new market you need to be transparent. So it's, it's, um, a struggle. Some farmers are ready to jump in and others had extreme ptsd and uh, so we deal with a whole wide range,

Speaker 3: uh, how, what's the state of the flower

Speaker 2: and humble stay. The flower a things are drying up from last year, but the light dep prop is starting to come in as we speak. It's going to be a great year really is that one of the other things we do with the sungard scale is we really try to help the farmers switched to organic best management practices. Um, and that's really, we feel really beneficial for the land and for the cannabis. How are they taking to that? Surprisingly well, I'm. The quality is you don't lose anything on quality. You actually save on money and it's better for the environment. You know, those are three things that we are basing our whole foundation on. Three things that they could certainly get behind. Yeah, they can get behind it all saving money. Um, you know, Humboldt has got a bad rap over the years. And um, what, what do you mean when you tend to see humbled in the media on the news?

Speaker 2: They come in and they, uh, they showcase trespass grows and grows that have legally clear Kat and bulldoze mountainsides and Bros that are running stream strive. So that image has gotten out there and we're really. The original farmers never did these things. That's not an old, that's not an old humbled practice. Um, no farmers, I didn't, I knew ever use rat poison. Um, it was these trespass grows being run by large, you know, it's just called outside interests. Whoever they are, whoever they are, they've got no connection to the community, to the land. And um, unfortunately that's what was getting shown to the world. Um, the reality is humble counties made up of hundreds of small towns and communities and small volunteer fire departments and wrote associations and families that have, have generations that are raising their families here and um, they care deeply about the land.

Speaker 1: Danny Danko recorded at the High Times Cannabis Cup, Danny Danko High Times cultivation editor is your virtual tour guide, reviewing cannabis from the major cannabis economies. Along the way, we find out that Danny spent his formative years in Russia before moving over to the US at the height of the Cold War in the 19 eighties spot. First, we talked specifically about Humboldt county cannabis with Steve Dillon, who manages a network of farmers from the area. He delves into just how different dealing with regulations are for the counties, growers, and how everyone's getting used to the new reality. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the world economy, and if you're into more direct communication, would like to support the show. Feel free to send me an email and engagement can economy.com. Danny Danko proceeded by Steve Dillon. Enjoy. Alright, so here we are. True humble booth. Steve Dillon, executive manager of true humble. What does that mean?

Speaker 2: Um, it means I got voted to be the, uh, the organizer, the spokesperson for a bunch of them. What were outlawed farmers who are now coming into the new regulated, um, a marketplace. Um, humble county had the first, um, farm land use ordinance in the state. And so what we're doing is we're helping all of these older outlaw farms come into compliance mainly through environmental regulations, stored water, um, business practices. We've grown to over 100 farms and um, it's really an ad co op or farmers. Yeah,

Speaker 3: 100 farms. That's a ton a. well, what's the general sense from the farmers? You guys are going ahead and kind of doing the business stuff it sounds like, so that they don't have to and making sure that they're compliant and all that. What is the sense, I mean, how, how fearful are these guys being that we're talking about 30 years of, of, uh, of not being in the light, more being in the shadows, you know, how, how are they feeling these days?

Speaker 2: That's where we come in. Yeah. Uh, we, we were Guinea pigs. We, we threw ourselves out there and talk to fish and wildlife first we talked to the state water resources board. First we talked to the county planning commissioners and the four board of equalization for taxes. And for most farmers after 30 years plus of doing things the way they did, every one of those steps goes against their grain. So it's the opposite of what they know to do is the exact opposite. What we used to do and used to say is he would burn all your paperwork because it's considered to be used against you in a court of law and you would throw it in the wood stove and burning. Um, now we're teaching them to keep all that paperwork because they're going to need it to write off their taxes. They need to show that, um, it is, it takes a lot to grow marijuana or cannabis and uh, it takes a lot of money and it's not all profit. And in this new market you need to be transparent. So it's, it's, um, a struggle. Some farmers are ready to jump in and others had extreme ptsd and uh, so we deal with a whole wide range,

Speaker 3: uh, how, what's the state of the flower

Speaker 2: and humble stay. The flower a things are drying up from last year, but the light dep prop is starting to come in as we speak. It's going to be a great year really is that one of the other things we do with the sungard scale is we really try to help the farmers switched to organic best management practices. Um, and that's really, we feel really beneficial for the land and for the cannabis. How are they taking to that? Surprisingly well, I'm. The quality is you don't lose anything on quality. You actually save on money and it's better for the environment. You know, those are three things that we are basing our whole foundation on. Three things that they could certainly get behind. Yeah, they can get behind it all saving money. Um, you know, Humboldt has got a bad rap over the years. And um, what, what do you mean when you tend to see humbled in the media on the news?

Speaker 2: They come in and they, uh, they showcase trespass grows and grows that have legally clear Kat and bulldoze mountainsides and Bros that are running stream strive. So that image has gotten out there and we're really. The original farmers never did these things. That's not an old, that's not an old humbled practice. Um, no farmers, I didn't, I knew ever use rat poison. Um, it was these trespass grows being run by large, you know, it's just called outside interests. Whoever they are, whoever they are, they've got no connection to the community, to the land. And um, unfortunately that's what was getting shown to the world. Um, the reality is humble counties made up of hundreds of small towns and communities and small volunteer fire departments and wrote associations and families that have, have generations that are raising their families here and um, they care deeply about the land.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So we're just trying to reemphasize that and reteach region and there's the green rush, overwhelmed, uh, sat there, you know, how do you mean back in the day when people will come to grow? Um, it was very, you had to listen to your neighbors and you had to work your way into a community. Nowadays the gold rush sort of opened the flood gates were all these new people. Um, they come to grow cannabis. Uh, they don't know. I'm not, they're not all bad. A lot of them just don't know anything about roads or stream or the community or the community or the or how the fire department got there or how the little school down the road got there or who maintains a roads. And so we got overwhelmed and spending an extreme green rush parallelly the gold rush. Um, and so we're trying to push back with education and I'm just trying to show them the better, kinder, gentler way. There we go. We're our way into an election.

Speaker 3: What are your thoughts there? And I just mean the, you know, this one issue, cannabis, I'm not asking you about the actual players involved.

Speaker 2: Well, um, I really wish Bernie would be our president and get rid of the corporations in California where we're talking a lot about it has problems. It has major problems. Um, all the work that's being done to preserve the small farms, uh, it's going to get wiped away in a couple of years when she left big agriculture. And so sort of like where we're going to all this work. Um, and it's gonna mean nothing when you have central valley farmers. I'm hiring immigrant labor in museum petrochemicals. They're going to be producing low quality cannabis really cheaply. That's the problem.

Speaker 3: It is a problem. But do you have faith in, uh, in the cannabis patient, in the cannabis consumer to understand value?

Speaker 2: I do, absolutely. I do. Um, you know, we survived, um, in my career survived at British Columbia and Canada. We've outlasted Mexico the way we did. That was our quality. We always stood by her quality and we've managed to survive that. I worry that that California to overproducing. Oh really? I guess I don't worry about the fact is California produces probably most of it, nations, cannabis and um, the market is, it's limited for my mom.

Speaker 3: Well, let's, let's see how it goes. I'll ask you a final question. We like to ask everybody on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there.

Speaker 2: Oh Man. Neil Young. That is excellent. Thank you so much. Safe. Alright, thank you.

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Speaker 4: cannabis cup happening as we speak, right? Absolutely. Yeah. We're just getting started here in northern California, Saturday of the Cannabis Cup. So, uh, here's the northern California Cannabis Cup. Here's Danny Danko. This is a number of what cup for you this year so far. Wow. It's hard to even keep track at this point, but I think it's the third or fourth one, uh, that I've, that we've done this year and we have more planned for next year, so it's pretty exciting. There we go. All right, so we've got a cannabis cups. That's certainly something that you're present for, but you know, for those who don't know, uh, you know, the name Danny Danko certainly going to be familiar. But what specifically are you doing for high times? Uh, well, I'm the senior cultivation editor. So I, uh, I write articles, I edit other people's articles on cultivation, so, um, and take photographs and also, you know, deal with freelancers and things that other people who shoot photos to get them in the magazines.

Speaker 4: You get them on our website, a whatever media we have, social media and others, uh, basically just to, you know, to promote people growing their own. You know, that's really my, uh, my big thing is that nobody can really take over the industry if you create your own medicine or your own, uh, you know, recreational cannabis. All right. And we're going to get into that philosophy which is the fourth p, but basically you're the three ps. People, plants and pictures. Absolutely. Yeah. And so that's for the print magazine, for the website, my podcast and every other kind of medium we can, we can employ to encourage people to grow their own. I think it's kind of a political act in a lot of ways as well as just a fun thing to do. Yeah. So most of the states that are making regulations, uh, or creating regulations now are including home grow summer kind of removing that or not including.

Speaker 4: Yeah, some don't allow it and some have plant limits. But um, the thing about plant limits is you can just grow much bigger plants so it no longer the vegetative time, the bigger the plant's going to be, the bigger the container that you have for your roots, the bigger the plane is going to be and you can grow a lot from six plants. So don't let that stop you. I gotcha. So it's really more about ceiling height than anything else if you're indoor, right? Right. How much space you have in general to let the plants stretch out? Well, what is your speaking of philosophy? You know, let's talk about cultivation as far as indoor versus greenhouse versus sun grown. Yeah. Well, I think now that we're seeing this, this epic era of legalization and decriminalization and regulation, we're seeing an overabundance of, uh, of cannabis being produced and I think that the prices are dropping pretty dramatically.

Speaker 4: And most of the places where, uh, where it's illegal to produce, so I think things like greenhouse and outdoor are going to make a huge resurgence. And I think there's been a lot of, uh, you know, technological advances in those areas as well. I mean, greenhouse to me is the best of both worlds because you have the sunshine's for free, you know, you can supplement that with lighting, you can use light deprivation techniques and you can control the environment, which is what people love about indoor. So I think greenhouse is really where things are gonna go for the future. And what, what is your kind of advice to, to regulators that don't want greenhouses, uh, you know, in, in their states. Well, I mean it's, it's, you know, if you're talking about lowering the carbon footprint, if people are so concerned about how much electricity is being used by these indoor grows, there's nothing you can do you.

Speaker 4: I mean, you actually reversed the carbon footprint when you grow outdoors or in a greenhouse. You are taking CEO two out of the air and converting it to oxygen and using natural sunlight. So there's nothing more environmentally friendly and conscious then growing cannabis outdoors or in a greenhouse. So, you know, I, I definitely think that's the direction things are going to go in, especially now that people are using it to produce concentrates, um, you know, for a hash oil and for edibles and for tinctures and things like that. Yeah. And uh, my, how things have changed, right. You've been, you've been with high times, you said 15 years. Yeah, 15 years, full time, a couple of years prior to that, sort of as a, as a helper and a freelancer and that sort of thing. But yeah, it's, things have changed tremendously. You know, we used to think 10 light grow room was, was a massive production and now I see multiple hundred light grow rooms.

Speaker 4: I mean you can't even call them rooms. They're like warehouses full of plants and you know, a lot has changed but you know, the basics are still the same. The plant just needs light food, air, water and love. Yeah. There you go. We've got to add that love. As far as the growth that you've seen, you know, you've been to multiple states, we talked about the cups, um, you know, let's knock off a couple of regions and talk about, you know, painting with a broad brush, what you, what you see in, in the area. So we're here in northern California. Talk about what you see cultivation wise. Well, there's just such a long tradition here, generation after generation of people growing for living, particularly if you work your way north of here into the Emerald Triangle. I'm definitely, you know, people have an emphasis on organic growing.

Speaker 4: There's a lot of outdoor farming, a lot of greenhouse, a lot of light deprivation because they have such an issue in the late fall with a powdery mildew and just moisture in general. A lot of people love having that, uh, ability to harvest earlier and earlier in the summertime using light deprivation. And so that's been pioneered here and much of growing techniques have been pioneered in this region just because they've had such a long head start. Um, and it's been handed down generation to generation here. It's a major part of the economy in much of northern California. Um, and, you know, understandably, people are scared of, you know, the corporate world coming in, but nobody grows it better. And I think, you know, with this particular product in a, you know, in the absence of prohibition, the people who grow it best are the people who will thrive.

Speaker 3: Yeah. They, uh, folks in the Emerald Triangle would say that they are the Sara Lee have a cannabis. Nobody does it. Like the Emerald Triangle.

Speaker 4: Right? Absolutely, absolutely. And the, and the, you know, the other thing is, you know, they can't get away with growing strains that people aren't interested in here. Um, so there's just been a long period of uh, you know, just sort of sifting out of anything that people aren't, aren't interested in smoking. And so they end up with just the most potent, most flavorful, you know, all the, all the most desirable qualities are in the strains here. And they're stabilized because they've been here for so long and people are improving on them all the time. But basically you just can't get away with anything subpar. Not Up here, not up here. Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 3: What about the downstate, you know, it's a little bit of a different situation as far as that cannabis economy, as far as that cannabis culture is concerned. We still have rates going on even well into the halfway mark here in 2016. But just cultivation wise, what do you see there? What's coming out of that region?

Speaker 4: Well, I, I definitely see a lot more indoor growing down south in southern Cali. I definitely, you know, obviously things are more on the, on the Kush side of things. That's the most desirable thing. Anything that's related to Kush is a very popular, uh, more hydro, more hydroponic growing, you know, then up here, I think people go the natural route a up here more often and people tend to be more sort of scientific about it as you work your way south. So there's a lot more hydro gardens, a lot more indoor and uh, um, as far as the rates go, I mean, you know, if people are complying with state law, they should, they should in general be okay. And it's the people who are sort of flaunting a laws and shipping out of state and things that, you know, that's the people who should probably still be worried about the potential for rates. Um, but you know, you notice that the flavors sort of change up here. It's a sweeter more purples, more, uh, you know, more sativas and things like that. And as you work your way south, it just gets more cushy, Endeca and more like of that fuel and lemon, kind of a terp profile.

Speaker 3: There you go. So you're just proving to anybody that doesn't know that you do know. Uh, so, you know, as we make our way, you know, let's stay on this coast here. Talk About Oregon and Washington and the differences between those two markets.

Speaker 4: Yeah, I mean, the Pacific Northwest, uh, a lot of great strains come from there. A lot of people of work their way north, uh, some all the way to Canada. And so we'll get to it right? And some, uh, settled in the, in the Pacific northwest. So places like southern Oregon, our major, you know, uh, with the quality of the strains that are produced and the, and the techniques that they use as well, you know, people understand the curing process and they understand proper harvesting. There's more of a northern lights kind of feel, um, you know, you need strains that can withstand powdery mildew and they can, you know, finish within a reasonable amount of time before the frost comes. Uh, you know, which could be, you know, October, November. So there's a lot more indicative dominant a stuff and a lot more powdery mildew resistant stuff. Um, but some, it's amazing.

Speaker 4: And now that they've had, um, you know, rec laws passed in Washington and in particularly in Oregon, I was just in Portland about a month or a month or two ago. And it's amazing what you can find on the retail market there and listen in an abundance of dispensaries that are selling a quality product. Yeah. And they, they've kind of in almost every way, leap frogged Washington, Washington is Kinda reregulating themselves back into recreation. Everybody kind of back into recreational July first, which this will be up probably after that, but um, you know, are you seeing quality as well leapfrogging Washington or Washington still hold a, a nice candle towards, towards Oregon? Well, the quality in Washington's great. It's just that, uh, in, you know, in any market that's overregulated you just, you run the risk of people just turning their back on that and remaining in the, you know, the black market or the underground sort of marketplace and I think you're seeing that in Washington and even to a certain extent in Colorado, um, you know, for locals who just, you know, don't want to pay the taxes and things that are involved in rec sales.

Speaker 4: So, um, you know, I think overregulation is something is one of the problems that we have that we're facing at the same time. It says sort of a high class problem in some ways because the PR problem before prior to this was like going to jail or having your family separated and things. So, you know, overregulation is a problem and it's something we need to deal with. But we are taking large steps in the right direction by, um, you know, basically freeing the plan for people to, uh, to consume and produce and, you know, yeah. Talk, talk about Colorado almost exclusively indoor grow obviously, right? Um, you know, we'll, we'll get to kind of folks turning away from the legal market. I haven't heard that too much, but let's just talk about the plant and what they're producing their. Yeah, I mean, Colorado. There's, there's, there's outdoor going on for sure.

Speaker 4: Um, you know, especially outside of Denver, places like play blow a lot of greenhouse stuff as well being built and a lot of indoor and uh, you know, they've had a, you know, varying levels of quality. It really depends on, on where you go because it's difficult for some people to transition from a, let's say like a, you know, a garage grow or a one bedroom grow to something like a warehouse. The problems become exponential and things like a pest infestation or humidity and heat issues really can just destroy it garden very quickly. And uh, so people are learning. And so there's a lot of trial and error type situations going on. The people who know what they're doing though are producing an incredible product and, uh, at an incredible price. And again, you know, it's difficult to get away with a having a subpar product because there's only so much, you know, people are going to buy a if it's, if it's not a good quality, there's always, there's a place down the road that's going to have something better.

Speaker 4: There you go. And that does bring us, you say down the road, let's go up the road actually to Canada. How much time have you spent up there? There's the MMPR program that's in place. There's also the dispensary system in British Columbia. And let's not talk about what's happening in Ontario. Um, but, but generally speaking, as far as Canada, where have your travels taken you and what have you learned? Well, I've been to Montreal and Toronto and Vancouver many times because, uh, obviously that's really the heart of Canadian cannabis culture and Vancouver Island as well, which is a beautiful and amazing and produces incredible strains including island suites, which is one of my favorites. That's from that area. There you go. But, uh, yeah, I mean legally they have a definitely have a more favorable government now in Justin Trudeau, then the harper regime of the last whatever, 11 or 12 years.

Speaker 4: So, uh, things are looking up for them. And I think, you know, Canada Canadians have always been huge cannabis consumers and producers and I think it's, you know, it's just expanding the whole system there. I think there's some issues, uh, as far as people being able to produce their own medicinal cannabis, but it hasn't really stopped, you know, the growers that I know at least a firm doing their thing. And so, uh, yeah, I mean, things are looking. We're even looking to do a cannabis cup at some point in Canada, hopefully in the next, uh, year or two. So that's something that we're looking into and you know, they have their own events as well and lots of great trade shows and yeah, I love Canada. So where are you from originally? Well, I was born in the Soviet Union. Are you serious? Yeah, yeah. My family came over when I was three.

Speaker 4: We lived in Houston, Texas for a while, then moved to Boston, basically grew up in Boston, uh, age 12 to, you know, graduated from a college there, bu in 94 and then, uh, moved to New York. So I've been in New York over 20 years now, so I'm basically a New Yorker, but I've lived all over. Right. Yeah. As a I need to hear more about the Soviet Union thing. How did that happen? Uh, I mean, you know, that's where my parents lived and uh, I mean, are they Soviet? Uh, are they expats or. Yeah, I mean they're, they, they were a people who left during the communist regime in the seventies, uh, basically, you know, applied to get out for a number of years and finally got approved to leave a small group of people were allowed to leave every year and luckily we were let out and they brought me to America and that's why, you know, I'm able to appreciate the level of freedoms that we have here, but also understand that we always have to constantly keep fighting to maintain those freedoms and to expand those freedoms to everyone, including cannabis users, including people in the lgbt community, including minorities and immigrants.

Speaker 4: You know, I mean, that's another thing that cannabis treats you as compassion for your fellow man. And um, so, you know, having parents who, who suffered at the hands of their government taught me a lot about a resistance and, and, you know, basically an incremental change, the, the, the, the value of things changing. Uh, sometimes it's not, you know, we, we're impatient and we want them to change quicker, but it's just the glacial way that sometimes things happen. So, so a couple things. First off, Danco then, not the given name. No, no. Although it is sort of an eastern European name that actually does exist. A. Yeah, that's a pen name that I've had for since starting to work at high times. Yeah. I do want to, to stay on this, uh, this, uh, you know, Russia us thing because you and I are about the same age and you know, all the eighties kind of movies and movements and things like spies, like us and you know, movies like that.

Speaker 4: How did you as a kid with your parents view that? What we now know is, was kind of A. Oh, I don't know, a heavy handed to say the least. Yeah. I mean, you know, there was always a stigma obviously in Houston, Texas in the eighties. Being a Russian kid. Um, you know, it definitely got called academy and Pinco and all those things. But it did help me to understand, you know, that like sometimes your oppressors don't really even know what they're doing. You know, you can't, can't even blame them sometimes. They're really just kind of ignorant to things or listening to what their parents tell them. And so it did help me to understand that, like you can't always take everything personally, you know, sometimes people are just the way they are because there are, you know, they're not educated to the way they should be and uh, so you can, you can, you can convert people in some ways just by understanding who they are and why they're the way they are.

Speaker 4: And I think, you know, prohibitionists some of them in their heart of hearts, I think that they are helping children or you know, society by maintaining prohibition. But the truth of the matter is they're not. And so educating them is usually better than just sort of being angry and taking it personal in some ways. That's a great point. And uh, you know, it was, it was Danco not drago right. Often Ivan Drago, I guess you and I would have had different reactions to rocky Ford. It's basically, you know, I cheered for a rocky and I chaired even in 1980, I cheered for the Americans over the Soviet team, which really, that was like the first time I really felt like an American to be honest because I didn't want the Russians to win that game and there were members of my family that did. So there you have it.

Speaker 4: So you do believe in miracles is what it is. Absolutely. Yeah. And you know, and then moving to Boston after that, you know, opened my eyes to a whole other sort of American culture. And so it's been an interesting journey and you know, I never really planned it the way that it turned out. But I'm very happy with where things are at, you know, for me personally, but more importantly for the plant cannabis because I never could have dreamed 15 years ago when I started at high times. I mean during the Bush era and that just say no era and all of that that we could have come this far so quickly. There's obviously still a long way to go and the fight goes on. And, and, uh, you know, we keep, we keep going, but we have a lot to celebrate in a lot of gains that have happened and it's just amazing to look back and see how different things are now than they were then.

Speaker 4: Yeah, no, it is unbelievable. And let's actually talk through that because you basically start at high times that are right around the same time that George w Bush starts his regime. Why, why not use the same word? And you just take folks back to, you know, what high times was talking about how you were talking about it at the time. Yeah. I mean a high times has been around now for 42 years, so they've since the seventies of course, and they've gone through varying periods of acceptance and then obviously in the eighties with Reagan and that whole era, you know, there was some crackdowns then and, and, and some difficulties. And then the nineties thing sort sorta started picking up and we started getting a little bit more celebrities, more access to grow rooms and things like that. Of course, back then, uh, you know, you would have to get like, you know, right in the trunk of a car or get like blindfolded and things like that in order to go visit these places, you know, now you, you know, you apply and you go with hr and you put on your booties and your, your, your, your hazmat suit and things like that.

Speaker 4: But back then you know, you really, you really, it was a struggle just to, just to get to a place where you could take some photographs of a, of a grow room and then, you know, write up, you know, the techniques that were being used. And as well the government was totally anti, you know, prop 215 passed in [inaudible] 95 I believe for 96, 96 around that time. And prior to that, I mean everything was illegal including, you know, every dispensary in every grow room and all of it. So to think back to that era and you know, when I started by 2002, you know, things were easing up a little bit on the marijuana scene. But still, you know, from the federal government, you had no leeway at all, so, you know, it's, it is amazing to look back and think like, you know, from that to now how just incredible it is that we have, I mean, the idea back then that we would be even be doing a cannabis cup in America was absurd.

Speaker 4: I mean we would allow in your face if someone suggested it and then yet now we're doing them here and we're not doing them in Amsterdam. So it's really, it's a total flip flop of situations that's happened to talk about the progression from 2002 to two to kind of the current landscape of cannabis cups and talk about those Amsterdam cannabis cups over the years. Yeah, I mean, you know, it started back in 87 or 88, the first cup and it was just a few people in a hotel room at that time. And then, uh, over time, uh, just kept getting bigger and bigger as sort of this coffee shop crawl that we would do. And by sort of the mid nineties, it really started being something where we were selling tickets and people were making a pilgrimage over, there's no feeling like, you know, walking into one of these coffee shops and looking at a menu where there's cannabis and has she been ordering off a menu, being treated like a customer instead of a criminal at that time, you gotta remember no dispensary's, no collectives, nothing existed in America of that nature.

Speaker 4: So we'd go there and you know, it's an emotional experience to actually sit down and smoke a joint at a table and just feel like, hey, this is normal. And I can remember that feeling early on, going back, going there and just thinking like, I cannot wait till it's like this everywhere, you know, we got to bring this back home and it's gotta be like this everywhere, all over the world. Um, and that's happening now. And it's just amazing to see that. And you know, those cups, I mean, we had some amazing musical performances, some incredible times over there. And only recently have they really cracked down on that. And I think it's a shame that they're doing that and most of the people over there, I think it's a shame too, because not only are they losing out on a lot of, uh, revenue, uh, which isn't just people buying cannabis.

Speaker 4: I mean we're talking about hotel rooms and restaurants and pastry shops and museums and all of it. Um, you know, we definitely brought a lot of money into the, into their scene. And so, uh, you know, it's just a shame because they were such pioneers of the way things are now in many other places, including Spain and, and, you know, all over the. There's Uruguay. Yeah. I mean all this massive. And they were, you know, they were at for a time, they were the only place. And so for them to not be able to fully participate in the way things are changing is a shame. And I think that's gonna change too. I think eventually they'll come to their senses and realize that hey, this is inevitable. And we were pioneers of it and we should be also part of the future of it as well. Yeah. It's almost

Speaker 3: like they're doing the reverse of what Washington is doing. They're going almost exclusively medical, but whatever. We'll, we'll, we'll get to that eventually. Um, you know, you mentioned you guys are now doing multiple cups a this year, more next year. You know, we're talking about regulations were talking about how things are different. We're talking about walking in with security behind you, uh, you know, uh, to dispensaries and to grow rooms. You know, are we approaching here a golden age of cannabis?

Speaker 4: I think so. I mean, what we could really use as is, you know, if a federal acknowledgement of our industry so that we can actually start know putting money in the bank. You know, that's a major thing. We're talking about a multibillion dollar industry and the fact that you were having trouble, uh, you know, with financial type situations, it's crazy because these, these are people who are paying taxes, they're participating, they're part of a growing economy, they're creating jobs and yet they're having all this trouble putting money in a bank, you know, and that should be the easiest thing. That should not be an issue that they, that people who are creating jobs and, and, and, and a part of this major, a growing industry should have to deal with. I think, you know, I think we really need the federal government to step up.

Speaker 4: Uh, uh, we're supposed to get some sort of announcement this month about a reschedule. These scheduling, I hope it's dea schedule. I mean I don't see alcohol or tobacco on any sort of a schedule and both are far more harmful than cannabis and not nearly as medicinally favorable. So obviously right. So, and you're talking about something like cocaine is on schedule too. I don't think marijuana needs to be lumped on schedule to with cocaine and I don't think we want to open the door for just a pharmaceutical industry to come in. I mean, I think the key to this thing is they were talking about a plant that anybody can grow in their garden. It's not something that you need a pharmaceutical company to process. For us, we, we understand what we can do with it. We can smoke it, we can eat it, we can put it into capsules, we can use the leaves, there's so many things we can do with it, but we already know all those things.

Speaker 4: We don't need bare or Monsanto or anyone else to come in and tell us what to do with these plants. All we need is the freedom to grow them. And that's it really. I mean, and if you want to sell them, we're fine with your taxes on sales, uh, know on production for, with intent to sell and things like that. But it's a vegetable. It's an herb, it's a flower, you know what I mean? Let it be free. Yeah. I don't know of any other plant plants that are scheduled one. Uh, yeah, exactly. I mean, cocaine is something that you have to process from a leave. Get to the cocaine. Yeah. And, and, and it still dentists can use cocaine medicinally because it's scheduled to. And I'm hoping we can. Maybe this is a pipe dream, but I'm hoping they just take it off the schedule altogether.

Speaker 4: That would be really ideal. I don't know, you know, obviously that's not how government works, but we'll see, you know, the announcement will be made if they keep it on schedule one, then you know, the fixes in because everyone, even the government has acknowledged that there's a medicinal properties to cannabis. So that's, that would be really agregious if they just left it at one point. I don't see that happening. I don't know what will happen. And if there was one guy to have a pipe dream it would be you. So let's just hope that that one comes true. How about that? Yeah. And now as far as where we're going, you know, we've got a big election coming up, you know, in November, uh, more than a few states on the ballot. What, you know, what are your thoughts on how different it's going to be the day after election day?

Speaker 4: Uh, yeah, I mean that's, it's hard to predict what's gonna happen. Uh, you know, there is a recreational marijuana on the ballot here in California. I know there's a lot of controversy about that one as well. Um, it's in Massachusetts. I'm hoping that one passes that because I lived in Boston, I got a lot of friends up there. Um, and I, I, there's this thing about, you know, a lot of in the medical patients are afraid of reckless because they're worried about losing something. But look to Colorado and you can see that the medical and the rec exist side by side. Medical patients have their own section, they don't pay the taxes that direct patients pay a. and these are two things that can coexist. And you know, it's, I, I just think it's not, it's not in our best interests to, you know, stay with just medical and not have adult use responsible adult use being legal.

Speaker 4: I don't need a doctor to tell me I can consume cannabis. I really don't. If I have to do that, that's fine, but I find it a little bit hypocritical that you know, people who have that now are willing to settle for it and not keep fighting until anybody, any adult can smoke cannabis freely can grow it. And not only that, but we can release the prisoners who are still locked up for nonviolent marijuana offenses. Another thing that, uh, does not happen if you only go to schedule two. Exactly, exactly. I mean, like I said, schedule two is better than schedule one and it's step in the right direction, but it's not the ideal step. And, uh, you know, like I said, I'll celebrate if that happens, but then we still have a long way to go to freeing the plant and to freeing the prisoners and just to removing the stigma that we've been living with all these years. It's really upsetting that we have to live with the stigma of cannabis consumers. It cannabis is safer than alcohol, safer than tobacco. It's a medicine. It works. People live longer, you know, cannabis users live longer than people who drink and consume tobacco. So there's really no reason for us to have to live with this stigma that's been created around us.

Speaker 3: I, uh, I agree, I guess is where I'm coming from and that's very well said. And so we'll, we'll make our way here into the three final questions so that we traditionally ask, I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. First one is, what has most surprised you in cannabis? Second one is what has most surprised you in life? And then the third one is on the soundtrack of Danny Danko, his life one track, one song that's got to be on there. So first things first, what has most surprised you in cannabis?

Speaker 4: Wow. There's so many things that have surprised me, but I think it's the prevalence of edibles that surprised me because I mean, as for us, I think growing up, you know, there was pot brownies and that was pretty much it. It was really know once in a while someone would make a cookie or maybe a rice krispie treat. But that was it, you know, and you're at the mercy of whatever they put into it. And uh, and you know, I mean, I had some great experiences. I had some not so great experiences, but that was it. And that's what we dealt with. The idea that, you know, the latest statistic that I saw in Colorado rec sales edibles are about 50 percent of this, of sales and that's includes flowers and hash and topical and everything. Edibles are 50 percent of that. I mean, that blew my mind to hear that.

Speaker 4: And then at the same time it kind of makes sense because you have this whole population out there, they don't want to smoke, they don't want to vaporize, but they want to have the benefits of cannabinoids, thc and cbd and all that, so they eat it. And, but the, the amount of sweets, the amount of, of a savory food, salad dressings, drinks, I mean the sky is the limit and there's so many different products out there. Um, and I've kind of believe in microdosing edible know I just take a nibble here and a nibble there and just stay nice and buzzed. Um, you just have to be really careful. You know, you got to know your limit, you've got to definitely wait awhile after consuming a little bit of vegetables before you consume more. Um, just to gauge the effects start loading

Speaker 3: go slow way to have our.

Speaker 4: Exactly. Exactly. And uh, yeah, and just, yeah, be careful, be judicious, but that is a big surprise because, uh, like I said, that has changed a lot. And also the other surprise is the way that growing has changed because of concentrates. Because when we were growing up, we wanted dance fast, flowering indicas that had bag appeal. Right now if you ask someone who creates hashish for living particularly, um, you know, using a solvent they want the most surface area possible, like something wispy, um, with a lot of essential oil on it, but not a dense endeca. Doug, you know, a leafy and loosen and airy actually creates more surface area and gets them a better quality a and a larger yield of Hash. So That's interesting too. It's like what we've always tried to avoid is now desirable Danny Wispa. Yeah. But it's interesting because, you know, some of those flavors, um, that we would have rejected because, you know, they might've taken too long to flower or they might've been two wispy and not had a good yield.

Speaker 4: Are now being grown out and, and so there's a uniqueness to them and so there's a variety to the flavors because it's all going to get you high. I mean, when you're talking about concentrates that are 80 percent thc, I, you know, they're all getting you high, but now the subtle nuanced flavors and aromas are very interesting and the variety of them is just staggering and mind blowing and awesome. So, so in, in I'm getting the sense from you that we're, we're kind of here. I said I called it a golden age. We're, we're almost, it's almost the beginning here. Oh, there's so much yet to be discovered about this plant. It's amazing. I mean, we're just scratching the surface and we have, you know, labs now we have scientists and um, you know, all kinds of people that are studying it. Um, you know, bringing the science to what we always just kind of implicitly understood in A.

Speaker 4: Yeah, but now you know, the strains, the genome is being mapped out and the different strains are being mapped out. So it's not just, you know, folklore anymore. These aren't just stories that are handed down, they're actually being quantified and I think that's very important and interesting and we're really going to get to the origin of where some of these strains come from and how we can then in the future combine them to make brand new ones, especially to target a certain ailment or symptom of an ailment. And um, yeah, the sky is the limit right now. We really, we just barely scratching the surface of all the things that I have yet to be discovered about cannabis. I mean, look at Dabs. It's only been five or 10 years that that's even been something like in the mainstream at all. Um, and edibles and tinctures and topicals.

Speaker 4: I mean, it's, the amount of advancements is amazing that are happening and there's so much further to go. There you go. Uh, I liked the idea of getting to the origin of species. Someone should write a book about that. Uh, what about, what has most surprised you in life? A. Wow. It's a big question. Well, you know, I have a son and so parenthood has definitely been an eye opener for me. I mean, everyone always tells you how life changing against going to be, but I don't think anyone's actually prepared for the actual, a just amount of emotional, uh, I don't know what to even college, just, uh, just, uh, the amount of, uh, feelings I guess, that you will, uh, you know, have an accumulate and the variety and frequency with which those things will fluctuate is just amazing. And so that's been a surprise.

Speaker 4: Obviously, you know, uh, the, the advancements that have been made in this industry has been incredible. And uh, God, I don't know, I just, uh, you know, the amount of friends that I've had for many, many years too. It's just been great. Uh, people from even way before the high times days and everything that are still coming out and checking out the cups and uh, you know, uh, yeah. So that's been great. Here we are halfway down the road at the starting line, right? Yeah. It's amazing and so much more yet to come, uh, which really just fills me with excitement about where things are going and just the fact that prohibition is crumbling like a house of cards, you know, it's like what's happening so fast that it's really amazing. Just how quickly that change is happening. It is. You can hear the death rattle, right? Absolutely. What, what, uh, what about that last question on the soundtrack of Danny Danko is life? What is a one track one song that's got to be on there. Uh, wow man, that's really tough. We'll, we'll take any song also about my way by Frank Sinatra. Look at that. Look at you. That's the New York and maybe by Sid vicious maybe. See now I have cited that in the past and that is well done. Danny Danko. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks for having me. And there you have Danny Danko

Speaker 1: got into way more than we thought we were going to with Danny. Very much appreciate his time. Very much. Appreciate him sharing. Very much appreciate Steve Dillon sharing on behalf of Humboldt county growers. That's a new experience for the entire group up there, so we appreciate that. We appreciate you. I appreciate you listening. Thank you so much for your time.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.