Greg Autry 0:00
We saw companies fail, we saw people taking advantage. We’ve seen what’s going on right now, which is an overwhelming amount of oil and flour. What we do and what our solution is, we’ve created a gournay final product that they can put their name on. We’re doing the massage oil formulation. Today, we will formulate specific scents and flavors with candy and different kinds of chocolates. We can make a unique product that sets you apart or sets the client apart the farmer apart the retailer apart, and it gives them their own identity.

Announcer 0:51
You’re listening to to be one be podcast for cannabis marketers, where your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi,

Shayda Torabi 1:10
welcome back to another episode of The To be blunt podcast. I hope y’all are taking care. I am your host. My name is Shayda Torabi. And to start today’s episode, I want to highlight a conference that’s actually happening at the end of this week. It’s taking place may 14 and 15th. in Austin, Texas. It’s called lucky leaf Expo, there’s going to be a few other lucky leaves throughout the rest of 2021. They’ll have one in Dallas and Houston as well as one in Oklahoma and New Mexico if I’m not mistaken, but I will be speaking at all of their Texas shows I’ll be specifically speaking on marketing. As you all know, that is a passion of mine. And so I’m really excited to be giving that presentation for that audience. And then I’ll also be on a business panel. So if you’re attending lucky leaf or if I am persuading you to attend lucky leaf right now, please come check out the sessions and come say hi, I’d love to meet y’all. But my guest today is also going to be a speaker at lucky leaf. He is a brand owner here in Texas. His name is Greg Autry. He is the CEO of sweet Sensi, which is a craft artisinal cannabis brand specifically, they have an emphasis on consumables, so edibles but they have a great program where they are helping extract for farmers as well as retailers helping make brands their own products. And they’ve got a really great story. And Greg’s just super passionate about manufacturing and has a lot of thoughts around the integrity of the plant and how to maintain it and really how to bring those high quality products to market. So we get into making some bubble hash, which is one of his extraction methods. I was actually at his facility prior to this airing and got a chance to make a bubble hash myself as well as he uses a rosin press. So kind of ice and water and then heat and pressure. And it’s very fascinating. He’s very knowledgeable. And again, he’ll be at lucky leaf as well. They’ll have a big 10 by 20 booth and I just hope that this episode will give you some information make you a little bit smarter, give you some food for thought always and just wanted to plug lucky leaf because both Greg and I will be there. So please come hang out with us and learn about Texas cannabis from those shaping the industry. Without further ado, I will let Greg introduce himself and we will kick off today’s episode. Thanks for tuning in and welcome Greg to the show.

Unknown Speaker 3:35
My name is Greg Autry. I am the founder of sweet Sensi CBD and Lonestar farms. I have been in the cannabis industry for decades. I’ve had several facilities across the country most recently, I had a facility in Southern California for many years. We got up to 1000 plants. And then we were very closely watching the 2018 Farm Bill and sold our facility there and moved our company and all our interest is back to Texas because that’s where I’m from and have always lived. We just traveled different places so that we could work on the plants that we love.

Shayda Torabi 4:22
How did you originally get into cannabis? Was there a particular you know driving factor or how did you really get into growing the plant

Unknown Speaker 4:31
when prop 215 passed? I went to California several different times to work because I loved cannabis and love the plant and love that. The main thing was for me was sleep and I’ve always had severe sleep issues. I wake up every 15 minutes to an hour if I’m not ingesting cannabis, and nothing that any doctor has ever given me has ever helped. And so it’s just a mental battle and a battle and always had through grade school high school ever since I could remember until I started using cannabis. So when that happened, I’ve wanted to get into it ended the legal market. And then it also helped friends and family with other conditions. So I immediately I saw an article and in a High Times Magazine and took off, you know, so where it got from there was I participated in a lot of online forums, closer to the year 2000. And then eventually became a moderator for cannabis infirmaries on these forums, and helped people figure out what was wrong with their plants, and did that for close to 15 years. As a sort of, like charity, when there was no, it was just a community thing that we did to help people. And through that larger companies saw that we were fixing plants and writing texts and how tos for hydro advanced hydroponic systems and pest and disease management systems, organic systems. And they started hiring me. And I started hiring more people and the company just grew organically like that.

Shayda Torabi 6:23
Yeah, obviously, you’re now based in Austin. So it’s a connection that we have kind of to kind of bring the listeners up to speed, I always like to give them some kind of context as well, because this show does span kind of every state and pretty much also internationally when it comes to this plant. And obviously also different states have different cannabis laws. And so you being a Texan, but having this history in some of these more advanced legal states, getting to work in the industry in the capacities that you’ve worked. And then now bringing it back to Texas, you just have a very exciting story that I’m I’m eager to unpack because you’re presently operating suite Sensi. Tell us what this brand specifically is here in Texas and also helped me understand resist the brand that you were also operating out of California, like same name and everything or did you rebrand when you moved to Texas?

Unknown Speaker 7:12
Same name and concept and everything. But it all just came together as the 2018 Farm Bill happen? So I’ve been breeding and practicing different forms of extract one of them are ice and water extract that you helped us with yesterday.

Shayda Torabi 7:29
We got to make some bubble hash.

Unknown Speaker 7:31
Yeah, we did. And so I’ve been practicing that for decades. And then we were also a part of a discussion. We don’t claim to have invented rosin. Like other people have missed quoted as saying, if we were going to accredit anyone to really bringing rosin to the forefront, it would be a really the soil growing solid solventless. I believe his name really is Paul’s certain Salazar, Saul Salazar. But so he shared some videos on some different extract techniques that involve a heat press, then we were involved in a discussion with him, and five or six other people. And that’s how rosin got developed to Where was that? I mean, that’s, that’s our opinion about it happen. There’s a lot of confrontation around that. But we would like to think that we were a part of that discussion and getting it there. And we don’t think it’s anyone’s property or anyone’s invention. That was another community thing. And community cannabis effort. And we were just happy to be a part of it.

Shayda Torabi 8:40
And so rosin is kind of the primary way that you’re extracting, and you’re, I mean, the name sweet Sensi, specifically hints at edibles, making candy, which I know is a big type of product for you, but you do other types of product, but it’s all made with this rosin extract. Right?

Unknown Speaker 8:57
And that leads back to your previous question is that sweet Cincy and Lonestar farms? So I’ve we’ve used the sweet sensing name as a brand or as a product name for different Lonestar farms stuff throughout the years. And what this company is about is we’re a cultivator. So we’re farming. We’re a producer, as Texas calls it. We’ve learned all of that, like I said, from the forums, from consulting from having our own facilities and different states that were legal. And then we’re also we have been through that we’ve gotten really good at propagation. So we’re a nursery, and we give away clones to farmers that work with us. We really don’t sell our clones that much. We will sell them if if the situation’s right but for the most part, we were giving those away. Then we’re also making topicals we’re making gourmet candies, just like He said, our new gourmet chocolate lines coming out, we’ve won several different awards for the candies we’ve got and for our topicals. And so what I’m saying is all of the culmination of these decades of experience from not just me, but also the people that I’ve hired to work for me, came together right at the right time, when Texas was becoming legal with him and the 2018 farm bill passed, we started trying to breed our own strains and isolating specific traits and other strains. And it all just came together. So what we are is a super vertically integrated company that will do large batches and large runs for big companies. But what we like to do and what we feel helps the Texas market, and what makes sense for most farmers and emerging markets, because we’ve been a part of emerging markets. So we feel like we have some insight into that. And what we do is we make small batches, and we encouraged farmers to get started using our techniques. And to learn and to learn slowly and to build their company slowly, instead of diving in and having tons of money and either flower or production cost or whatever it may be. And that way the the farmer or the retailer can build their, their company organically and let it grow with the market versus closing their company because they spent too much money right off the bat on this side of the other.

Shayda Torabi 11:38
Yeah, I really love the approach that y’all have taken. Because obviously, and again, we’re context for the listeners, I was at your facility yesterday, by the time this airs will now be a couple of weeks later, but I’ve been to your facility, I’ve got to talk to you in person, I’ve got to meet your team, I’ve seen kind of what you’re operating here in Central Texas and beyond. And in the sense that, you know, we share a similar sentiment that there’s a lot of excitement in the industry, but there’s not a lot of you know, credibility or output or success in the sense that people who are you know, again, for the listeners listening who were like, oh, man, I really want to get into cannabis, I really want to get into growing, I really want to get into this opportunity. They might not know, maybe they’re a grower or they don’t know how to then extract or turn it into a product, or maybe they don’t know how to market it or get it to a retailer or to distribute their products. And so I see the value that you’ve come in, referencing the experience that you’ve you know, gone through in the industry yourselves, but then being able to help kind of guide along these farmers really, in particular, who are growing this crop and then they’re looking for a way to to make profit off of it. Because I think that it’s not fair to not highlight that, yes, we are making money off of this plant, we’re it’s a business we are in it to make money so that we can supply our families, our lifestyles, put food on the table, pay the bills, etc. But then you look at again, I think Texas is market in particular, which we were talking about two, it was very hyper excited. There was a lot of people that got in and you shared a statistic 25% of farmers don’t grow the next year. And so I wanted to kind of help riff on that point of just what you’re observing specifically here in Texas, that kind of, you know, helps clarify for people like why are Why are 25% dropping off? Why is there kind of this gap in the market that you observe that you saw the need to kind of help the farmers in particular, just like what’s your perspective on that

Unknown Speaker 13:33
a lot of it is misinformation, is we have farmers that are being told from one group or person or the other, or people that are considered experts that they’re going to be able to grow this crop, and sometimes severely mistreat it by crushing it and turning it into biomass. And then just dump it off at a lab and the lab is going to give them a bunch of money. Or that they’re going to be able to just grow flour and take that flower to a shop and get 1000 or 1200 or more we’ve both heard that that’s just not true. And you might have a set you know, a specific situation where your cousin or your uncle or your best friend or somebody you know owns a shop, and they’re gonna buy it for four or $500. But a single shop is not going to move your field worth in half in a year. And and we just need to be realistic about it. And that’s what that was really the driving point behind this besides sharing all of our knowledge and all of our experience was we want Texas hemp and cannabis to succeed. And we saw that early on because we were a part of other emerging emerging markets. And we saw companies fail we saw people taking advantage weeks What’s going on right now, which is an overwhelming amount of oil and flour, what we do and what our solution is, we’ve created a gournay final product that they can put their name on, we are doing the massage oil formulation today, we will formulate specific scents and flavors with candy and different kinds of chocolates, we can make a unique product that sets you apart or sets the client apart the farmer apart the retailer apart, and it gives them their own identity. In fact, because of the way we extract that we talked about, or not using chemicals, and all that this is what we’re talking about the other day is you can open a bottle of sad and smell that farmers farm and makes it theirs, it makes it their own unique thing. And that in my mind, is the solution for being able to vertically integrate the farmer on their own is to basically rent out our facility. When we go into production for a farmer or retailer, we shut everything down, and we only make their product. So this facility becomes theirs in our mind. And we’re just loaning it to him and doing the work for him. And that’s our solution is to give them something unique to sell. That doesn’t look like everything else.

Shayda Torabi 16:19
Yeah, I love that you highlighted that. Because I think from a marketing approach, when you really get down to it, I know that there is obviously a lot of nuances to the cannabis plant when you are incorporating the terpenes or flavonoids of different cannabinoids, but kind of at a high level, when a consumer comes in and they’re told, you know, by some article or some blogger or some you know this or that they need CBD, or they need, you know, delta nine, they need this cannabinoid, they need this product, they don’t really know why or what they’re necessarily looking for. And so that I think is where these brands need to and I use the word brands really strongly to because cannabis is a commodity, you know, it’s it doesn’t necessarily differentiate, especially if you’re talking to those of us in Texas who are used to more of the illicit market, I don’t have the luxury of going to a dealer and having them you know, sell me something with a particularly high terpene, or different cannabinoid ratio, you’re kind of at the mercy of what the market is offering. And so I think now that you’re seeing Texas transition into the light, you’re having this accessibility system specifically to help educate these brands and these farmers to be coming brands to say, hey, you can have a unique product, let’s actually go put something on the market that is specific to this, you know, strain that you’re growing or specific to this particular effect that you’re looking for, based on you know, the science behind some of these terpenes. And so I want to highlight because you gave me a really good walkthrough on your logo. So it’s in your brand mark, you reference your brand is artisinal. And so I want you to help us walk through some of those differentiations. Because I think when you and I were talking, I was highlighting my observation of kind of the craft cannabis market. And I think that that is very much alive and well. But your approach is, is obviously a little bit more based on the actual science behind that particular strain or that particular plant. So

Unknown Speaker 18:10
so starting from the beginning, what we’re doing is we’re selecting plants from the list or breeding plants ourselves, and getting them approved for the state of Texas for their, their terpenes and for their cannabinoid profile and their flavonoids. So we do that because each one of those chemical compounds has a different effect. Well, our take and and what we believe at will, would help the market is to be able to differentiate products like ours, from stuff that is chemically manipulating. So what we’re doing is we’re breeding the plants for specific natural chemical compounds, then our extract methods are ice, water washes and our heat press. what those are meant to do is to just concentrate those natural chemical compounds in the percentages that they already exist. So what we’re doing is creating a true full spectrum and we’re doing it artisinal. So we’re doing it handcrafted. And as you saw, it takes a lot of know how and stuff that really can’t be taught in a classroom. You have to learn it by watching and seeing and, and we talked to you a little bit the other day about how we’re making our ice water wash and what we’re looking for when we’re looking through our little portal to see the swirls and the trichomes coming off and changing temperatures of water. So what we’re doing is we’re breeding a plant and taking great care to make sure that that plant has the chemical compounds that we need and then we’re Very carefully removing that and preserving them and testing it before and after extraction to make sure they’re all there at the levels that they were when we begin, and, and then from there we’re decarbonizing it or putting it into our products and making it available to our bodies. And we’re testing it there to make sure that we’ve preserved all of those cannabinoids and terpenes and flavonoids. So the point is, is that we know how hard it is to get quality, have quality cannabis, and to get all of those compounds in it. So we’re going to take care of it and create an artisanal product. And that’s what differentiates ours. And that was also our solution for the market is to have something that’s more like a craft beer versus Budweiser. And it’s not just the tastes, and it’s the effects. You know, having those natural chemical compounds in that percentage is why we get told a lot by our barbers and retailers. Hey, we think y’all put too much in there. The answer is no, we didn’t we put all of this stuff in there that should have been in there, the person that produced for you before, took some of it out and then tried to put it back in.

Shayda Torabi 21:20
Yeah, I want to reiterate maybe in more simpler terms for the audience, because I realize I have a really broad audience. Basically, when the plant is grown, and the flour is ready, there needs to be an extraction. And so extraction can turn it into a concentrate a distillate which can be used in oils, it can be a powder, depending on what cannabinoid and form you’re kind of extracting. And there’s different extraction methods. Again, to highlight for listeners, co2 extraction is kind of one of the more popular. And so what you’re saying that y’all do is heat press, which is also using a rosin press. So I again have been at your facility previously before this last time, and I got to watch y’all do a rosin press on some flour. And

Unknown Speaker 22:09
the way that we’ve engineered ours is our oil rolls out, or it comes out of the machine at 130 degrees or so. So no chemical compounds that occur naturally in the plant, or off cast at that temperature. And that temperatures made that way for that reason. And that’s the reason that we extracted that temperature, doing the ice water wash that you saw yesterday, all we’re doing is freezing off the glands and using the agitation, mixing the john and Matt by hand to make those tracking fall off. So we’re just concentrating on a plan. We’re not chemically manipulating it, we’re not doing anything else to it. We’re preserving the hard work that the farmer put into it. And, you know, using our methods to reflect their hard work, not turn it into something else that everybody else has.

Shayda Torabi 23:03
Absolutely. Yeah, I just wanted to clarify, because I think when you’re sitting in a consumer position, so specifically like a marketer, who’s selling an end product, there’s words that get thrown around that I think the people in the industry don’t fully quite understand and and especially when you’re getting into some of these extracts, type products. Yeah, there’s a lot of words, shatter dabs, wax, butter, rosin,

Unknown Speaker 23:28
those words that the some of the words you use, so shatter, and wax and all of that that’s actually used to describe, they’re meant to use to describe the consistency of an extract. And that rosin, vho, bubble hash and distillate and all kinds of, we can go on and on. Those are actually extracts and what we can view if we can produce shatter with our rosin on our press, you know, we can produce sauce, which is another big thing by isolating mechanically isolating thca crystals on our press, and then adding or pouring the terpenes that come out back over. So we don’t do any of that in this market right now. Because our extracts being in that being so potent, that they’re over point 3% and they’re not allowed to leave the facility until they’re diluted. There are some exceptions to that. But for the most part, we’re not really in the smokeable market that much we’re more you know, doing candies and stuff. Now that being said, we do pre rolls for farmers, we have equipment that can make 1000s of pre rolls in an hour. So we do that and we do use pre rolls and some other stuff for the most part. It’s our gourmet candies and and our topicals and that situation.

Shayda Torabi 24:56
I appreciate that y’all do take that approach though. of really Understanding the plant and trying to pull out from that particular genetics. What that is whether it’s a combination of terpenes cannabinoids, the flavonoids, all of it, that give it that scent and effect profile, and then ultimately being able to deliver it and an end product for that farmer or that retailer.

Unknown Speaker 25:21
And I mean, that’s been my dream since I started breeding hemp plants specifically for this market is to breed plants that instead of adding terpenes, or adding a vitamin supplement into a product to be able to breed, which we were doing, you saw some of that yesterday. So the plants that you saw yesterday are very high, and we’re seeing and they’re lower and a lot of the other terpenes that give you that more appealing so maybe are seen as the terrible thing that that people consider the couch locked or being or the sleep beater being. So we’ve you know, bred a plant and actually bred it to remove most of those other ones. So that will be our sleepy or our nighttime, our super relaxing super stress relief plant. And like we said before, we will just concentrate the natural chemical compounds in the plant and that will go into capsules or candy or whatever. And then we’re also breeding other plants that are high in different terpenes but still high and we’re seeing so that if you’re a truck driver, you can still relieve anxiety but not fall asleep. So our goal is to produce plants like that and isolate different phenotypes or parts of strains. So that we can give that to the consumer naturally because we feel and from the feedback and from the all the years of experience of making organic growing organic, manufacturing organic processing organic that their natural chemical compounds are more effective on our customers then the chemical makeup related products.

Shayda Torabi 27:15
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast, restart CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our hometown in Austin, Texas, we operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store and you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm. Again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt, I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode. Go into that a little bit more help us understand because I I’m familiar with terpenes in the sense that there are the plant terpenes from the cannabis plant. And then there’s also just botanical terpenes that exist in other plants. And so when you’re looking at products as an end product, they either have the terpenes completely removed because they’re not necessarily made with that true full spectrum, or they have terpenes added back in but from again, my understanding true cannabis terpenes unless they’re doing it from the approach that you’re doing it where you’re actually pressing the plant and keeping its integrity or doing kind of the the ice water extraction. It’s very difficult to put the cannabis terpenes back in because they’re very expensive. And so why is that?

Unknown Speaker 28:34
It is? Well, it’s a it’s not just that they’re expensive. It’s that what we’re finding and more and more companies. And there’s more and more studies out there. And we can give you some links is that the entourage effect that everyone talks about which that what that is, is when you have all these chemical compounds and cannabis working together. What we’re finding is that like I said before, having them in their original percentages, the way that they were grown, the way that they were meant to be, are far more effective. So it’s like this if you’re ingesting cannabis, there are people that call cannabis indicas and sativas you feel something different from each plant. So to me after studying cannabis for so many years, each plant is its own individual person to me, even if it’s grown by another farmer, it has a different cannabinoid profile. It has a different terpene profile. So putting those back in, you’re never gonna get exactly what was in there before. And you know, one of the problems that I’ve got is we discover new terpenes every day that exists. Well, not every day but every year and we discover new cannabinoids every year I’m probably gonna say this wrong but I think there was 14 new cannabinoids discovered Last year, something like that. So if we’re removing all of them, and then building them back up, like we think, where did those cannabinoids go? What about all the good things that they told us that this new cannabinoid does for us? Well, where are they? Because if you’re telling me You’ve isolated CBD, you’ve isolated CBN. And then you’ve only added back these specific things, those other terpenes aren’t there. So the whole point is, is, we’re messing with something that we don’t fully understand yet. And even if we did fully understand it, there’s still a market and my point, as to not messing with something. So it’s like my dad says, It’s keep it simple, stupid, you know, so the kiss method. So don’t mess with something, don’t fix something that’s not broke, it’s not broke, it’s perfect like it is, let’s just concentrate it and put it in in our products.

Shayda Torabi 30:58
I’m glad you said that. Because I think you are just such a wealth of information. And I think it comes from you obviously, like rolling your sleeves up. And just digging into these different methods and actually growing the plant, which I do think makes you a unique player, specifically here in Texas, because we don’t have a ton of operators who are really doing vertical integration just quite yet. And really coming forward as being an educator in the space as you are. And I know that you have this history of kind of coming from the forums. But can you also kind of walk me through how you continue to educate yourself, especially as these new cannabinoids are coming to market. And like, for example, we were bringing up Delta eight when I was there, because I sell a bunch of delta A and y’all don’t really dabble necessarily with Delta eight. And I’ll kind of plug some gaps in delta eight is not a major cannabinoid, it does not exist in abundance in the flower. And so if I were to bring you flour, the chances of delta eight being present in that product in that extraction, and that is very, very minimum very low, very non existent. And so you know, as these new cannabinoids hit the market, as more information hits the market, like how do you navigate that from where you’re seated, being a player, but also being a player in Texas where these are, I think we have more of an opportunity to play with these cannabinoids versus some of the other states where they are very heavily driven by the Delta nine market.

Unknown Speaker 32:25
I don’t have an issue with anyone making Delta or selling or selling any, any cannabinoids that have to be manipulated. That’s not that’s really not our what we’re saying. It’s not right for our brand. But me personally, I’m all about people doing what they want to do and having their freedom. So if someone wants to ingest that, then I believe they should. Now I also believe that we should obey the laws of the left hand. So I’m not doing anything illegal, I’m not gonna do anything illegal. But right now, it’s perfectly legal, according to our attorneys to make it, manufacture it, ingest it, sell it. So I think that people should, and I don’t believe that lawmakers should take that freedom away from anyone. Again, it goes back to my personal beliefs, this is just my personal stand is that everyone should be left alone to be allowed to do what they want to do as long as we’re not hurting anyone else. And ingesting Delta eight in your own home? Or are wherever you’re at is definitely not hurting anybody and for any other cannabinoid, for that matter,

Shayda Torabi 33:44
but from your perspective in terms of how you’re operating and knowing that the market is only going to evolve to incorporate more cannabinoids. How do you close that gap from just like when you learn about these new cannabinoids, and I’m sure you have farmers who come in and they’re like, Hey, you know, like one thing, for example, you can grow CBG in high percentages naturally. And so that is obviously a cannabinoid that we’re seeing more products come around, I know that you’re growing CBG specific strains. Are there other conversations that you’re having? Or just how do you kind of start to navigate that

Unknown Speaker 34:18
each one of those things has its own manufacturing issue? So you saw yesterday CBG requires us to do that ice water wash. It does not come out of the press. We have theories about why and we’ve talked to other hash makers as to what their theories are, but we believe that the volatile terpenes that naturally occur in it prevent the movement of the oil through the plant matter. We also believe that the structure and the way the density is of the gland that it doesn’t move through. So there’s you know, as as people bring these things to me, because we are handmade artists and stuff duration, it takes a lot longer for us to figure out how to create a CBD extract that emulsifies well into a product. So navigating that for us means that when it’s brought to us, sometimes it’s impossible. We can’t create delta A, that’s an distil chemical manipulation of another cannabinoid, or other cannabinoids, but but, you know, we can’t we can’t make some of those things. No, we can’t. But there are so many other unique handmade things that that that we do make, that we don’t have a problem with it. Now, I’m not saying that we wouldn’t make any Delta eight products for anyone. If If someone came to us, we would be glad to do that and source that for them. That’s just not the right thing for our brand. As long as it’s legal in Texas, then I’m okay with doing it.

Shayda Torabi 35:55
I’m glad you kind of helped highlight some of that because I do think that’s just like what we’re confronted with and I know that we share similar sentiment to run the industry of again, just the excitement that the market has opened up here in Texas, obviously everybody really is curious about cannabis and curious about CBD, but I think even reflecting on like my own company name, you know, restart CBD. I don’t just sell CBD anymore. I sell so many other cannabinoids. And so especially here in Texas, I think sometimes people look at us and like what are they doing down there, especially with Delta eight, emerging on the market. And I know it’s not just in Texas, it’s an issue, maybe an issue, the poor choice of words. It’s a, it’s a challenge that we’re dealing with on an federal level. But like you highlighted legally here in Texas, the law kind of makes it protected for all intents and purposes. But you know, I think again, it kind of opened the floodgate for us to discover these other cannabinoids. Obviously, as research continues to open up at the federal level, specifically with hemp, you are starting to see more and more different cannabinoids hit the market and therefore turning into end products that consumers are asking for.

Unknown Speaker 37:02
I honestly believe what the reason some of these things are getting getting a bad name is because of the people, the manufacturers and everyone that’s making it that’s doing the wrong thing and not manufacturing it the right way and doesn’t have a true test to go along with it. So if we were to make delta H, it would come along with very clean product that we would source from someone else. And we would add our rosin to it, not like we said and add terpenes and add things back to it, but put it along with our all natural product. So we can do that. And we do that. But the issue is, is the bad actors. So we regularly test other people’s products, we found Delta eight products that have no Delta eight in them. They have other stuff in them. And these are some of the top brands that are in Texas. And we found some that are so high in arsenic that the Department of Health been rolled over in their graves, they saw one foot, but they had and then we’ve seen we’ve seen other ones that are full of THC, not Delta at a team. So I think that’s where there’s a lot of disservice being done by these manufacturers that are cutting corners. And and it’s it’s hurting the industry more and more. And the only way to stop that, in my opinion. And I wish more retailers would do this is test on your own. Get your prop because I’m just I so we’re in 168 or 70 stores in Central Texas are branded. So we have our own brand that we sell as well. Not just making white label stuff for farmers. And when we’re testing these different brands and testing these different things, we’re going into the stores and asking, we have a flower brand, but I’m not gonna mention any names. But I’m not here to slam any companies but we have a flower brand that’s all over Texas. We know where they’re produced. I started testing them in 2018 because I was trying to find flour that I can press because we weren’t allowed to grow flour here yet. So I started testing that brand and that brand. Everyone thinks are the best flower in town and they’re full of pgrs. So plant growth regulators, Texas does not play test for plant growth regulators. They should. I wish there was more regulation. I wish to be tested for more pesticides. I wish that we did all of that on that situation because it protects consumers. So my point is, if retailers, store owners would test more and people that are starting these white label brands, if they would just get a $60 test on their own, and not just trust that that test is okay. So that there’s a lot of fabricating of tests, there’s a lot of people that just make a small batch with nothing in it. That is it bad for someone, and then that’s their, that’s their test, because there’s not as much regulation. So we need to regulate ourselves in my opinion. And we need retailers buying and out what is good and what is not. We share that with our retailers as another manufacturer, not to call anyone out. Honestly, it does me no good. If I’m the only CBD company in the world, it would be horrible, we would fail horribly. We want other companies, I would love for other companies to extract the way that we’re extracting, and not have to worry about arsenic and heavy metals and all of that other stuff. That would be great. I want that competition all day. I want that for the Texas market. So my point is, there are lots of bad products. And as a retailer, you should invest in this, that and finding out that there are the cannabinoids in that product that you’re buying, don’t just make your decision off of Oh, I can get this bottle for $2. And I can get a tincture for $2 from this company. Honestly, there’s a ton of the stuff that’s in the United States, it’s made in China and made in other countries that have no regulation at all. So we can take care of some of this stuff ourselves. And that’s what I My take is on it is that we should, we should test our own products and look into our own products and and make sure that we’re okay, that does so much more things as you know, if we’re already doing that, and the Department of Health or some regulatory committee comes into a store owner stuff and everything’s clean. I mean, then then that travels up the chain and everyone’s hearing that we have clean stuff, we don’t have to worry about that it causes less regulation and opens up the talk to more cannabis. So that’s the problem in my mind is these bad players, these bad manufacturers that are putting this junk that are allowing fake tests that are doing that. And we can’t do anything about it, except regulate ourselves at this moment,

Shayda Torabi 42:20
say louder. For those in the back. I am right there with you. 1,000%, I think you just hit on so many stress points that I talk about in this podcast, which is why this podcast was created was because this this conversation exists in my head. And I’m so grateful to get to have guests like you and just peers in the industry here locally that have that same mentality because it’s really impossible. I think there’s an analogy, it’s impossible if you look at an elephant to eat the whole elephant, right, but it starts by little bite by bite. And so again, through these conversations, I think that’s where I try to help provide some sort of parameters and framework for those of us who want to choose to be in the industry to embark upon, how do you navigate that. And so you’re using your example using your business as an example of a manufacturer who is vertically integrated, but really sitting at that manufacturing level, who is championing this transparency. And it starts with how you’re extracting the plant. And you’re showing, hey, these are, you know, industry standards that are quality extraction methods. But here’s some more of the passion and belief of why these are better and preferred extraction methods, ultimately, because, again, we share the same sentiment, the consumer, so the consumer wins. And I love that you highlighted if more people are operating out of this kind of you know, good actor persona, whether or not there’s regulations for it. Then when regulations come when they’re doing these tests, then it’s Hey, look, this is this is what it says it is this is this type of product versus I mean, oh my gosh, the amount of people who I know, also here, just in Central Texas who are buying white label products, listeners, white label means you’re not manufacturing, you’re essentially buying a premade product and slapping your label on it. Which is not wrong, necessarily. I think there’s a huge opportunity for brands to succeed. And I’m sure if we did a lot of you know, undercover work, we’d realize maybe some major brands or even white labeled. So it’s not necessarily a bad practice. But you highlighted kind of that, that chain of custody, understanding the integrity of where that product stems from how their product was extracted, ultimately how that product was formulated and made and how it made its way onto a shelf. And I agree, I just think most people aren’t doing the due diligence or just blindly kind of trusting like oh, this person says they can make me this oil or this edible or this end product. Yeah. And not going and getting it tested. And then you’re seeing kind of the disparity of people who are having these varied effects when it comes to cannabis products across the market,

Unknown Speaker 44:56
like we’re saying is to keep negative Laws from passing and negative conversations from even starting about creating laws that are setting back cannabis. We got to regulate yourselves and make sure that there are good products on our shelves going to consumers, protecting consumers, getting consumers better products, giving CBD a better image. And then, you know, in my opinion, from the products I’ve tested of third party products, I see stuff better nowhere near their label clinic. So, of course, we have people that think CBD is snake oil? Of course we do, because there’s snake oil out there. So, you know, the only way to do that is, like we said is to is to do that. And that led me to another point, what you were talking about is something else that we’re very passionate about is because we are producing everything because we’re growing everything because our farmers are producing everything. If people are going to white label something, I don’t believe that we should be putting on products that they are manufactured in Texas, if they’re manufactured in Colorado and you slap a label on. I don’t think that’s fair to Texas. I think that if you grew it, you should tell them you grew it and you sent it to Colorado and it was made in Colorado. I think the consumer should be it should be transparent. Like you said, we should tell everybody what’s going on. You know, let’s call what it is what it is, let’s not same thing with the full spectrum that we just talked about is the transparency is what’s missing. Hiding stuff to marketing is what’s missing. That can In my opinion, the reason our company is so out there, there’s because of that transparency, is because we help farmers and because we educate and because we push these points,

Shayda Torabi 46:57
I think you brought up another fair point too, just in terms of again, when Texas first legalized, it was not fully legal for us to grow in the state of Texas. And so you had obviously like brands like myself, who still even to this day, despite Texas now opening up growing, I don’t really carry Texas flower. That’s a personal choice, because I don’t think that Texas flower has evolved to the standards that when you look at the stuff that’s kind of coming out of Oregon and Washington, in particular the quality for hemp flour in particular. But there is obviously pride when it comes to Texas, Texas is very notorious for loving ourselves. And I’ll be the first I’m a proud born and raised Texas and I love this state,

Unknown Speaker 47:44
I’m going to help you with that problem. I’ve gotten several farmers we’re consulting for, they’re getting their first harvests. And I told you yesterday, we’re going to show you some good Texas flour that you’re proud to put on your shelves that your consumers will buy. Now the issue you have with that right now is in my opinion. So you have all these different phenotypes of whatever strain so a phenotype for your audience that doesn’t understand is when we breed plants, we have brothers and sisters. The farmers want the sisters, I’m a breeder. So I want the brothers and the sisters because I want to harvest the pollen and get specific traits. So what we’ve got now is we have a lot of variants. So the breeding, they haven’t isolated those traits in those sisters. So we have sisters that are tall and wide and short and fat. And some of them produce more oils, and some of them smell more and some of them are more deaths. And that’s what you’re getting that. And that’s what I saw a lot of this last year is a high variance in phenotype in all of the different strains we’ve got. So we have that against us, which is why the flour that’s brought to you looks better from other states. That’s one reason the other reason is they’re not held to the same THC standards that we are. So there are Delta nine states we are total THC states. So we talked about this yesterday I consult for a farm in Oregon. And I can get you flour the test well over 20% cannabinoids for $100 $75 and delivered to your door and smells great taste great. And it’s perfect. And I actually consulted on the farm and helped grow it and I visited so it’s good flower. It’s amazing flowers. So that’s there’s those two things and that’s part of the breeding and part of my passion and why I devote my nights and hours and weekends. When I’m not running this company to breeding and trying to figure out what phenotype to give to my farmer what phenotype to breed into another phenotype to try to get the state of tech To register it is, I am on a mission to make it where you’re going to have Texas flower on yourself and and be selling it just as good as other states. Whether or not the laws change or not, we’re going to make that happen.

Shayda Torabi 50:17
I appreciate that I am not opposed to Texas flower, it’s more just a reflection on the immaturity of our market presently. And specifically, going back to the point you made about label claims, I think you’re seeing a lot of people who are pushing, pushing, pushing, fighting for things to be Texas made, Texas produced, etc. And it’s not always that case, like you highlighted, maybe you grew it in Texas, but it was actually manufactured out of state. Again, it’s not so much that it’s right or wrong. It’s just I always tried to get in the weeds, and then kind of abstractly, get out the 30,000 view and just try to make sense of all these little different pieces of information. There’s 100,000 ways to the top, right, and there’s not one path that is right for everyone, I preach it a lot on this podcast, they can listen to everything that you are sharing, they can come to your facility, they can have hours and hours of conversations with you, Greg, they’re never gonna be you. They can’t be you. You’re unique. We are all you know, what I hope listeners take away is, wow, this is Greg’s approach. This is Greg’s driving factor. This is what Greg is passionate about. This is who Shayda is what she’s passionate about, etc. What am I passionate about what makes sense for me, like my takeaway with you is, I’m not a farmer, right? So I can’t bring that type of product. But that doesn’t mean that there’s other opportunities that I can work with you or even thoughts that I can benefit from you. And so it’s just trying to get people kind of out of their own train of consciousness to realize that this industry is super varied. And obviously, you are Texas, but you spent a significant amount of time growing in California, like you just highlight of your consulting and all these other states, Oregon being a mecca for cannabis, and bringing that information back to Texas. And I’m very positive that even that information in Texas still has curveballs because Texas has different laws, different geography, like you highlight a different THC percentages and regulations around that. And so I think that’s where I’m trying to kind of, you know, lay that that math out for the listeners of this is just like one example of something that is happening that is relevant, like question things, question the products that you’re purchasing from people, whether you’re a retailer, a brand, a farmer, or you’re a consumer

Unknown Speaker 52:48
on all of it, you should question it yourself. And you have to, and that’s what that’s again, that’s what we learned. And that’s what we tried to push to our farmers are retailers and consumers is question all of it, you’re in a market that is semi regulated, it doesn’t have all of this stuff there that that protects you and gets you the product and get your consumer, the protect the product that you that you want. And also the services to the farmers look up who it is you’re hiring to do what just because they’re an experienced farmer at something else, does not mean they’re going to get you a successful harvest. And we know that because we have bailed out farmers that have gone through that situation. So all I’m saying is the same thing that you are is looking to the people that you’re using, look into the products that you’re doing, be aware of what it is don’t just read through a website and take some tests, or take some statement by someone and say, Okay, that’s good. You know, do your research, you know, come come tour our facility, come and watch us manufacturing, come see that I said what I’m putting in my candy as my kid,

Shayda Torabi 54:08
thank you for sharing all of that. I think it’s just invaluable information again, for everybody on their journey, whether it’s their first month, first year 10th year, I think just having that kind of humble approach and that transparent approach of this is what I’ve learned, this is what I’ve applied, this is what I can, you know offer you but ultimately kind of putting the ownership on, you know, the other person of doing the due diligence, doing the homework, understanding what you’re putting on shelves, understand what you’re putting on labels, understand what you are ultimately selling to a consumer. Because I believe and I share that same sentiment with you that that is how we make progress or hurt this industry.

Unknown Speaker 54:53
Yeah, I mean, we all need to be humble. That doesn’t mean to be posturing and brands are farmers. Okay? Attempts or anything I’m despise when someone tries to call me a master grower even after over 20 years of experience I, I’ve learned something new every single day, I learned something new from the average farmer that comes in here. I have an open mind to all of it. I don’t, I don’t think I’m the know all or all of that. But I have been through a lot of emerging markets and I’m passionate about Texas hemp and cannabis succeeding. And I feel like that we my guys, my company has some things to offer to everyone and to show because we’ve been taken advantage of by trimmers we’ve been taken advantage of by labs, we know this thing. So that’s all we’re doing is we’re just trying to help with with what we’ve known and what we found out and trying to share that information.

Shayda Torabi 55:54
Yet again, I feel like there’s always so much to learn. Now truly, Greg has been a great resource here in Central Texas, both for myself as well as just a great leader in our industry and I am super excited to continue to watch his journey and continue to learn from him. And yeah, I just tried to navigate What the fuck is going on in Texas cannabis and beyond. With that said, I appreciate you guys if you’re going to be at lucky leave please come say hello it makes my day when you guys reach out when you DM me on social media or you say hi to me at an event. And just a reminder, if this podcast has been any sort of value for you, please take five seconds head to iTunes Apple podcasts leave a five star review. You can rate you can leave a comment I read all the comments. It really truly helps me kind of gauge what is working what isn’t working as well as helps be a marker for the next person who is evaluating whether or not they want to hit press play on this podcast. So thanks for tuning in again. I will be back next Monday with another new episode and y’all Take it easy. I’m thinking of you and wishing you well. Bye. Love

Announcer 57:09
this episode of to be blonde. Be sure to visit the Shayda slash to be blonde for more ways to connect new episodes come out on Mondays. And for more behind the scenes follow along on Instagram at V Shayda Torabi

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