The Future Cannabis Project Cali High Episode 54: Nat Pennington, Owner, CEO, HSC


when you wake up
and you feel like you need a little
or when you’re down and out
and you need to get a little higher
if you feel like you need a blessing now
and you feel a little high today
welcome to the
church welcome to cali high episode 54
i’m your host chenzo nico and this week
our special guest is nat pennington
owner and ceo of the humboldt seed
as planting season draws near we talk
with nat about the new strains at the
humbled seed company the selection and
process for making a stabilized strain
improved quality of autoflower strains
how to save a phenotype with tissue
culture trends in strain popularity and
commercial versus personal seed choices
we also talk about the current problems
with the legalization of cannabis in
california and more
coming from a science background matt is
one of the best informed people in
cannabis breeding and as in our previous
interviews with him he lays out a
cornucopia of valuable knowledge before
us in this must-see episode
that also appears in cali high episodes
stay tuned
kelly high is blessed to be here with
nat pennington for the third time
good morning nat how are you
good morning doing well excellent
you know we were going to talk about a
few things today the state of cannabis
but before we get to that part i just
want to find out what’s going on with
the humble seed company
what new strains are on the lineup this
we’ve got some pretty exciting new
strains out this year uh
we’ve been
definitely putting a little bit more
giving autoflower some more attention
and it that’s been sort of like a
gradual process over the last i don’t
seven eight years but
it took a while for our you know like to
convince ourselves that
there was
you know
i mean the biggest thing that i always
kind of point
point out is that
i really truly believe that there’s no
baggage that comes along with the auto
trait and so you know
when people say
autoflowers are
are this that or the other i mean if
they’re referencing any
anything other than the fact that they
automatically without having to change
the light
then it’s a
it’s a false stereotype i would say
that’s something that i’ve
learned is is a fact i think it’s got a
bad rap well i don’t i mean yeah there’s
been people that
you know said that they’re just
i’ve heard things like oh they’re all
crap or whatever stuff like that and
just like firsthand
experience there’s
you can
through just i’m not even talking like
i’m not talking about
gene editing or anything weird
just through
traditional breeding practices selective
you can uh
essentially just kind of cut
that trait that is the
you know no matter what i’m gonna flower
after a month and a half or after a
month whatever um
and paste it into
style cannabis you want so whatever
you know
you can have the dankest cannabis in the
world could easily be an autoflower uh
yeah well that’s great for outdoor
farmers right it’s one more than one
crop i would imagine it’s it’s
convenient for a lot of people i mean
we’ve got a we’ve got a guy
who is i would say sort of a little bit
of a pioneer
who uh
you know what what i’ve always kind of
assumed is like our the
least likely
client that we would have as a genetics
especially for our autoflower varietals
or strains is is a like indoor
hydroponic type grow environment
we’ve got this indoor hydroponic person
who is just
absolutely loving
being able to run autoflowers because
you know it’s just
zero you know pests zero pathogens
and it’s just this like
incredibly low
low maintenance
process of just like sticking the seeds
you know he uses like sort of the rock
wool yeah yeah um
hydroponic growing style and
just you know plugging the seeds in
getting them
a few inches tall
trans planting them into the bigger
rockwool cubes and into the main
you know what what you would normally
think of as a veg space
and uh
then it just goes and there’s no like
having to
you know shut the lights down for
12 hours and and because of that
the plant is actually photosynthesizing
being able to build flower the entire
you know i think that they’re leaving
do you know whether he’s on like 20 hour
light 18 yeah so some people go
18 some people go 20.
and uh it actually is just like it’s a
more efficient
way of growing and you you might not
necessarily think that because you’re
like oh there’s like more electricity
but actually that electricity
is being used by the plant to build more
and it cuts down on on the number of
therefore it stays
power right
well overall you can cut you can have a
quicker life cycle
um overall because you you know thinking
you know clones and having to keep
and that whole process of getting
something to where it’s a you know a
five inch tall clone or
or whatever um that takes a lot of
energy and and people don’t necessarily
think about it they’re like well i just
you know
eight dollars a clone or whatever and uh
but that eight dollars is is energy that
they’ve spent yeah yeah yeah and uh
you know
long story short there’s i think a lot
of different applications that people
don’t even realize the obvious ones are
like well you know we don’t have to do
uh light depth
in the outdoor growing environment
which is a huge advantage and uh just
also just a lot of like agronomic
advantages and then we always think
about just the personal
grower and um
we think it’s easier for them as well
have some plants in the backyard and you
can actually do it
you know at least two times in a summer
right for her and you know if your state
you can only have six plants or
something well
you can probably
two harvests and so then you can kind of
have 12 plants yeah exactly like the the
big new strains that we’ve released are
the potty mouth which is um was actually
kind of a collaborative project with our
friend jason
ridgeline farms
who’s a fellow humble farmer who just
kind of like
won emerald cups you know year after
year and uh is an excellent grower
obviously so
what’s it like
the reason that he
gave it the name pottymouth is because
it was so
it’s the flower structure of it is not a
lot of
leaf not a lot of fluff it’s just like
all the
the bracks that make up the best part of
the cannabis flower yeah and so when it
grows it just looks like this
monster like you know kind of all gnarly
like that
and uh
and that so he kind of came up with that
name we were like screw it you know the
cannabis strain names are
are off the wall these days no i know
anyway so
if we can have stuff called meat breath
you know yeah
whatever else garlic breath yeah
yeah then
you know we’re just so anyway it’s a
it’s an awesome one and we just got the
test results back
and it tested it 34 and that’s through
like a lab in california that’s
uh known for integrity
which you know
i don’t want to
say but there’s just so much going on
with the labs
yeah everywhere that and this stupid
race for thc we don’t really
give it that much
credence but you know it definitely uh
seems like it’s it’s a driver for
economics yeah people like the high thc
numbers and you know
yeah they want to feel 34 is pretty high
i must say
yeah well especially from like a lab
that’s legit um
and then the farmer’s daughter is
another one that was just this like
shining star in our final hunt efforts
in the last year and uh
that one was
a pleasure to be able to get out to the
world what would you compare these two
i mean
the potty mouth is like this
you know what seems to be
what people are
gravitating towards in the
sort of
vast commercial
marketplace is the purple uh
gassy and purple strain yeah
which you know we’ve always had
really good
purple gasty strains like our all gas og
is kind of a purple
royal highness is another one
that’s like that that that we’ve had for
a long time and it’s just funny how
i mean there was
a few years where
thought for some reason that
purple cannabis was
it turned purple because there was
something wrong with it like that
it had a
deficiency in a nutrient or something
like that
and of course we always knew that it was
genetic and we always like oh the purple
stuff is beautiful you know and it
it’s good and stony and and all that
but it’s just funny how um
you know the trend will go one way and
then it’ll go another and so yeah i was
going to ask you about trans
quite some time
quite a while where
you know people were just like we don’t
want any of that purple
don’t give us any genetics that have the
purple and
now everybody wants purple flash forward
four years and and everybody’s super
interested in the purple yeah um
one of your pineapple plants turned
purple for me
yeah yeah some of the yeah and the
lesson for me as a breeder is just has
always been more and more just like
trust your instincts
as a both a
smoker and a breeder
smoke what you like
who gives a [ __ ] you know like
what you hear is supposed to be the best
you know everybody’s experience is
different and
and the only way to to know is to get
out there and get in touch with the
plant and
and check stuff out
grow your own
uh-huh oh yeah
so one of my questions was you know have
you noticed trends towards certain
strains this year as as compared to
years past and i i see that that kind of
leads into it
um yeah the purple gas is
is really popular right now which is
great because
we we have lots of that stuff yeah
it still
has to be high in thc the the potty
mouth strain is really high in thc
and it’s purple
it’s gassy um
the vanilla cream pie is another one
that’s purple and gassy and it’s really
high in thc
some of the most strongest turpin ones
like the all gas og
and the royal royal highness like those
ones are probably
some of the most gassy
really you know super pungent
strains that we have
in that
kind of gas
genre uh
those ones
you know i i wouldn’t say that they’re
going to like
crush it with with the test results but
if people just want to
grow something that you know they’re
going to enjoy
those are really good candidates for
that and and both of those the royal
highness and the all gas og are um
quick finishers too
so they they
only take you know until
like 50 days or
late september rather than
mid-october yeah
doctor that’s cool what about farmer’s
that one is
that one’s
just it was this amazing fino that stood
out to us actually it was kind of funny
because you know we take all these
clones from
fields and fields
uh partnerships with
big farms all over the
you know really all over california
and uh
keep all these cuttings because we don’t
want to lose anything so we take it the
cuttings like before they really are all
the way in flower
and then code everything so we can go
back and reference it but um
every now and again
there’s something will just be so
amazing in one of the breeding chambers
that will go and try to
you know we haven’t necessarily cut
every clone in the breeding chambers and
that one was one of those and it was
like almost touch and go we were like
all right we’re gonna try to re-veg it
and get it to come back out of flower
and and capture some clones off of it so
that we can preserve it because it was
just this
unbelievable standout
yeah that’s so cool
yeah out of a breeding chamber that was
i don’t even know how many
siblings it had but it there were
you know
at least i would say a hundred um yeah
so you have to keep like a hundred
mothers going until you figure out which
one you want right or something well
that’s i mean every year we do thousands
of them and we do that but mostly that’s
just on stuff that we’re not
pollinating so that’s like right on
fields of sensemia whereas
don’t tend to take cuttings off every
single thing that we’re pollinating
i mean one of the things about
pollinating stuff is it kind of changes
the way that the flower is going to
express because it’s full of seeds right
and so
but you can still tell a lot about
you know i mean it’s you can
almost tell just as well basically that
if it
looks really good and smells really good
even if it’s got seeds in it
so occasionally
we’ll find something that’s so amazing
that even though it’s flowering and
seeded and and yada yada yada that we’ll
just do our best to
get it back and put it back in the
vegetative you know get it back in veg
and and get cuts off of it yeah and
that’s how the farmer’s daughter started
it was just something that
stood out so much that we were like oh
my god you know
and and i honestly
i basically did tissue culture to get it
to come
back from being in flower because um
you know that is a way to
essentially kind of clean stuff up yeah
baby and pamper something that may
otherwise be
kind of jeopardized or whatever yeah
interesting can’t wait to try that
yeah no it and really like all it is
the essence of tissue culture
is starting with something that’s so
you know like the only thing that’s
inside the
the little
petri dish kind of
environment is the the cannabis plant
no powdery mildew no
um funguses no
obviously no
insects no
hopefully no pathogens even though
viruses and things can live inside
tissue but so what you do is you start
by taking it
a little tiny cutting
first we rinse it in
in soapy water essentially just like a
detergent so you can use anything like
like dawn for example and
we’ll shake all of the little cuttings
inside a
mason jar essentially of detergent
and then the next step
is uh pull them out
kind of dry them off shake them off even
rinse them if you want and then we put
it into a
a second bath that’s a chlorine bath and
we’ll just completely
wipe out anything
that um
might you know sort of challenge the the
and the continued growth of the plant
and then we’ll just go instead of going
totally into the tissue culture media
into a classic
clone scenario but just keep it a lot
airtight and a lot more
you know isolated a lot more that’s cool
use rooting hormone and and that’s been
an amazing
trick it’s kind of like a hybrid tissue
culture in a way
when when we’re trying to get something
to go from
full full flower
save it and keep
you know preserve the genetic
get it back into veg
we found that that can be helpful
especially you know if if it’s something
that you find uh and it’s outdoor for
example there’s
you know just more like potential for
yeasts and molds and things like that
yeah yeah
and you can’t dig the plant up and put
it back under 24 hour light so
it can be easier if if you’re doing it
if you’re happening
if you’re growing in a pot a lot of
people will just be like oh well i’m
just gonna
take the pot
bring the plant back into the
you know the bedroom and
you know a month and a half later
there’s little sprouts coming out that
are our veg
but you know when you’re doing this in a
big field kind of environment you can’t
really do that yeah but
you know the advantages of the big field
is that you can
pick the one
out of 10 000
because you have
that many more to look at uh
so you know there’s advantages and
disadvantages to all of it but
that’s how farmer’s daughter came about
and it’s it was a
it came out of a humble pound cake and
it’s always interesting cause people are
always of course the first question is
what’s the cross
for us a lot of the time we’re never
like releasing a genetic that’s just
a times b
this litter of mutts we’re we’re
actually trying to make uh
a line you know
your stabilized strain a real strain and
and in seed form that involves
many many um iterations of
of back crossing and
sort of stabilizing and
in that process
you know it may have started
five years ago by just crossing two
random things but
a lot of the time what it ends up being
for us is like
you know m 69 crossed with
m 27
then the next year we chose
you know g number three and crosstalk
x number four
like none of them ended up being uh
strains because in as in and of
themselves they were just individuals
that were selected right and
but it at the end of the day it it makes
something and it’s sort of hard to like
reference back
what that was but yeah
yeah so pound cake and
i think
the vanilla cream pie was those were
sort of like
basically offshoots of of that
when you’re developing something too
you’re gonna
you know you kind of like set a goal
let’s just say you know go back in time
15 years when we were
developing blueberry muffin
or 12 years or whatever it was and um
you know at some point
there may have been like before it’s
entirely stable and everything
it smells exactly like a blueberry
there could be one that you’re just like
oh my god that smells like
apple pie and
and then all of a sudden like you know
that may be
and and
so you move bbm 36 into a new
lineage and a new new category no and
you’re like okay i love this
individual so much that
i’m now gonna start to move it into like
a new
you know a whole new genetic or a whole
new strain and
and that’s
you know perfectly
normal and and fair um
and you know you so you then of course
someone’s gonna be like well what’s
what’s the cross on apple pie and you’re
just sitting there thinking like i mean
it’s not even really a cross because
you know it was just a fino yeah it’s
just a variant of the of the cultivar or
it’s a very good yeah that’s a good way
of putting it um
but i think you know so many
cannabis breeders are at this stage
where they’re just like
you know
they don’t have the room to like look at
this stuff at a grand scale so they
don’t have
you know
acres to be able to devote to having
chambers and fields to to run things and
and they don’t uh
you know a lot of it’s happening
indoors so you see a lot of like
all right well if you’re doing breeding
there the chances of pollen conden
contamination from one
area to another are actually much higher
because you’ve got
like hvac yeah and
you know like literally
i’ve bred indoor plenty and
you you got to go in there every time
you change to the next thing you have to
go in with like uh
um pressure washer and like
get the corners and just it’s crazy
because the pollen actually sticks
it lives longer and it’ll stay in the
vents and the heating pumps and stuff
and you know you’ll go and you’ll be
there’s no way like the only source of
pollen that i could have you’d like see
a couple seeds in your next batch
and you’re like the only pollen that was
ever in here it was six months ago but
it’ll actually stay
um so it
and amazingly enough it when you’re
outside and you’ve got nature’s sort of
pressure of
of wind and and
dew and all these you know heavy duty
sunlight and stuff like that
um it’s a lot less likely that you’re
going to have
you know like there’s no way no
lingering pollen yeah no pollen is left
at the at the farm right now you know
aren’t sure but um
so we have a
you know
but when we do breed indoors uh
oh you know so i guess i was just saying
so what you see a lot of
a lot of seed companies is just
you know like one you’ll take
you know oh the white runs is really
popular so i’m just gonna take the white
runs and i’m going to
have it
pollinate this room and i’m going to put
30 different strains in there
and just
you know
basically your seed line for the year is
white runts times girl scout white runs
gelato white runs styles oh gee white
runs times
blueberry muffin and
and that’s cool if if your customers
just want to like really have a pheno
hunt if they want to
look you know if they’re trying to grow
something that’s going to basically have
you know
a litter of mutts yeah
but the reality is mutts are great dogs
but you know our goal is to
get purebred lines and then do true
hybrid breeding
i have to admit it’s it’s not
easy and
even though we’re like putting a bunch
energy and effort towards it
it’s uh
cannabis isn’t is a
keeps you on your toes yeah it sure does
is there a difference between the choice
of strains commercial growers are asking
for is compared to like
small medical people like myself
yeah i mean i don’t want to say that
necessarily like a difference so we
can’t be like here’s
i mean we actually do
have uh
kind of like a
a sub
set of of our genetics that were
that we endorse for commercial people
much more than
just let’s just say the whole catalog so
you know this time of year
you know every day
we’re doing what we call genetic
consultations with
farms and
and uh
you know across
california and
you know almost every conversation
having to be like
oh you know i don’t know if you want to
something like
and and i don’t want to throw these
strains under the bus because they’re
awesome in their own right but
you know i don’t know if you want to
train wreck or
jack herrer or
blue dream kind of stuff
because it’s just really hard to sell
anything or like even our old strains
that we created like
like ppd and
i don’t know it
it just depends but but it’s really so
based on
what like what dispensaries will buy and
unless you have
your own brand
and and unless your brand
specifically speaks to people
that are
above the whole
you know that are smarter than
the general population in that they
don’t just go into the store and say
what strain has the highest thc that’s
what i want to buy
so if you have a brand that
that’s doing education and kind of
you know
has your
differentiation is that your brand has
like really unique turpins or
you know like and and our blueberry
muffin is a perfect example of it
anybody who has ever experienced it
knows that it’s just this incredibly
high and
like a wonderful thing to grow it smells
amazing you know oh yeah i have my
freezer is full of bags of
you know various grades and sizes of
your the blueberry muffin
yeah and you show your friends and
they’re just like oh my god that smells
you know it’s seductive it’s like
it was also the densest bud i’ve ever
ever they’re like
it’s super easy to grow
and so
there’s there are those ones that
and dispensaries ironically
will tell you that like
all anybody wants to buy is really high
except there are a few things that they
go and ask you know some a lot of people
go in and they’re like
you know
well i don’t care what the thc is just
give me that blueberry muffin that’s
what i want
and so there’s some things like that
that will but aside from that
unfortunately we have to tell people
um because we care
a lot about our community and we
like the times are really really tough
right now in california because
you know i don’t want to totally blame
it on on
the way that the
law has been applied but
there’s an
oversupply of cannabis and it’s
very hard for
some of the you know original small
family farms to survive and yeah we’re
going to talk about that in a few
minutes here but
let me ask you
one or two more questions about
the amazing air
if you had if you were like
stuck on a desert island what three of
your strains would you want to have some
buds of
i wouldn’t want to have buds i’d want to
have seeds
that’s as long as
seeds in them okay
um i’d probably bring
seeds of
uh blueberry muffin
you know to be honest i might bring some
trainwreck seeds
or maybe even freak show
just because it’s like this to fool the
it’s this kind of an uplifting like i’d
really like to pinolin high
the eye that you get from that kind of
tropinolim train wreck smell
i would definitely bring something that
was just like a
super high
octane gas you know so
something that would
something that would knock me out help
me sleep
be real ethereal kind of like a pain
so you know along those lines it might
be an og bush it might be
headband a humboldt headband it might be
the all gas og and then
like i said the blueberry muffin and
then the uh
shootout maybe i would bring some
autoflower too because i want to have
i’d want to have
weed like
every fresh weed every month yeah i’m
gonna have to try some of those by the
either that or else i’d build like a
palm light depth out of palm
you know i i follow your instagram page
and um
i get excited
i got really excited i saw you had gone
down to columbia is that right so
and i know you have other
countries you’ve been to so are there
any land race cultivars you’ve been able
to find that you’ve stabilized that
compare favorably with established
strains here in california
um and we did we
you know and and ben was the one who was
down in colombia most recently and
jamaica i was down in jamaica
uh a couple years ago
we did you know of course everybody
always talks about the the lamb spread
in jamaica and
so we kind of went out on a
on a mission to find that
the cool thing about them is that
there’s like
there are definitely a lot of
uh amazing qualities to be found in
the unfortunate thing about them
is you know they often test
at like
between 10 and 15
you know you bring them back and
sometimes you know we want to hybridize
them and
we did that a little bit with the the
lamb spread and a friend of mine
at full moon farms
actually has
kind of found a really cool
cross that
i think came from something that we
initially crossed and then he
you know really
sifted through the
the population but full moon is in
no full moon is actually
right halle that’s
that’s it right
full moon farms
it’s like full moon 707 is the instagram
handle i believe
he’s he’s really cool and he’s been
working on that for a while
so you know give him credit um
it’s a challenge because you know for
one thing there’s like the
idea of keeping the land race totally
pure which we
we definitely did that with the uh
the lamb spread we were like we’re not
gonna um
just focus on
on out breeding we’re gonna
continue to keep it
pure and stable and so
you know the
the work involved with that is like
busting it out every four years and
and making sure that you know it’s
either that or putting it in like
cryogenic storage which is possible you
one sleep once weed is not
ridiculously expensive to grow
in a
you know in a license i think that there
will be
groups that are just like you know we’re
gonna keep
heritage strains from different places
and just kind of keep
you know because it’s not it’s not
expensive to do
and it’s it’s a little bit of a labor of
love and i think people would want to
to grow those i mean a lot of people ask
us for some of those land race um
like for example those land race uh
lamb spread seeds
we also have lambs land race
ethiopian seeds
from the blue nile river
we have land race colombian seeds that
ben picked up
when he was down there we have
some land race do you know where in
colombia he was um
sierra mod or the
sierra nevada actually was a place that
i think that
he had found some seeds actually
i know that that sounds like
it’s a california but there’s also
a mountain range in colombia yeah yeah
um yeah you remember santa marta gold i
remember yeah completely red colombian
black brown green
but you know that the crazy thing is
like if you look back
i think on our youtube or on our
instagram either one
you’ll see we have
we made a little
of our adventures in jamaica
and uh
very cool
it’s just crazy because you go there and
i mean one of the saddest things is
we went around and we were immediately
like talking to you know the oldest
rosters that we could find and
we’ll learn very quickly that you know
western culture
gotten its
you know un like
spoiled a lot of of the real rootsy
culture that had developed around
jamaican ganja by bringing seeds in they
weren’t jamaican
yeah and just by like you know popular
culture being like i mean because we
would go around and we’d
ask a group of of roster growers and and
we weren’t just like i was driving
around the island with bob marley’s
nephew nephew-in-law for example who
who was born and raised and knew
everybody there and
and so it wasn’t like
some random white guy from california
and we’d ask that the guys like you know
all the good original jamaican seeds at
and they’d be like oh yeah
we’ll be right back we got og cush seeds
we’ll give you
we got sour diesel seeds
did you ever come across somebody
mentioning a strain called the cotton
i do feel like we did because um shia
kor uh
cat corey son of third world
he plays for damian marley’s damien
marley’s bass player but uh we were
having a conversation he goes yeah bob
bob’s favorite strain was something
called the cotton
yeah i definitely
heard about this down there
i think what people have to remember and
realize is it’s like
you know
the concept of
strain especially when you’re talking
you know stuff that’s propagated by seed
it’s just
there’s such a vast
yeah potential interpretation you know
we’re like
all right well we’re not going to call
something a seed like a strain until
we’ve at least inbred and back crossed
two or three generations
after pheno hunting
and finding a
unique um
you know
99 of what will we see is just like oh
you know i took
these two random clones that i had and
cross them and
and i’m just going to call that a strain
and it’s like so then but what happens
is then there’s like you have
30 different things that come out of
that that are all
really like
everybody who buys those seeds is just
going to call them all the strange
whatever screen it is and so
you could have a million different
iterations of of something and
and uh
it might
they may not be alike at all and so you
know and it depends like how you
describe it like if you say that it
smells like
um bananas and
and as that’s the strain name um and one
of them doesn’t smell at all like
then that one may
not end up being called
banana kush or whatever it is which that
helps a little bit and i think that’s
why so many people
you know use
the food references and the food names
in naming strains because
it kind of just helps you give like a
defining a reference yeah yeah exactly
i noticed that thailand
become the first country in southeast
asia to make
cannabis legal in some kind of fashion
and they’re
shooting for recreational but
for me
you know when i started smoking i only
smoked land race either bud or hash and
when when finally
like ty weed came around
in the late 70s
it was perhaps the most developed of all
the land race strains in that it was it
was the first
you’d get that was seedless first of all
and it was on sticks and they were also
amazingly spicy and strong
it was probably the strongest weed that
i’d ever had
but it sure would be nice to get some of
i don’t know if it still exists you know
what i mean
yeah though
we had some thai
i mean there were definitely
you know and and you never know for sure
unless you go and
pluck it from
from a field in thailand yourself but
there were definitely thai
varieties that that were passed around
and and we experimented with them
they were actually really awesome a lot
of them were
and that was something that stood out
for me about the thai varieties is that
they were
kind of like
reminiscent of of uh
some kind of like a haze variety where
the buds were
they weren’t super dense or anything
like that but
but it was incredibly frosty and
several of them
went really late
so yeah they grow really long
yeah really
almost a sativa type thing
oh definitely yeah i would say sativa
good for that more equatorial type
tropical climate because
you know
when you have
quicker flowering varieties they just
don’t even have a chance to really grow
very much before
they’re ready to flower and then yeah
yeah yeah especially when on 12 12 hours
of sunlight 12 hours of darkness year
at the equator
it’s it’s definitely a whole nother
the first plants i ever grew were some
humble or excuse me um big sur holy weed
thai seeds that we had from the thai
the thai finished in january whereas the
big sur holy weed was done in october
you know it was
it was wow
those thai varieties are awesome and
we tested them i remember we did do some
thc testing on it and
it was crazy because like a lot of those
did they won’t come up
high for
for thc but
as far as like getting you stoned and
how hard pitching everything i mean it
was just like
you know
a lot of them were just incredibly stony
i mean there’s so much that’s yet to be
unfortunately we’re
human nature wants to
have things spelled out
you know we want to like
stuff um
before we
can really believe our own instincts
you know one thing that i’ve noticed is
if you
take a
variety and
uh mix it with a
heavy variety and and roll a joint of it
like you may be getting
overall thc than if you had just rolled
the joint out of all thc but
but um
it gets you
it just like
gets you blitzed yeah entourage effect
yeah it’s it’s crazy and it’s it’s
almost like i didn’t really it’s not
something that i
wanted to do very often because
it would
like if i wanted
to seriously to just get you know
take a few puffs and just go
straight to bed
go to sleep
um feel no pain kind of situation that’s
that would be
what i would probably do and and you
know these days actually the older i get
the more i think about that i’m like
well maybe i should just have my
nightly ritual and
and smoke some cbd and some thc and just
get zonkered
but uh i have a friend that recommends
yeah that’s what i
that’s how it affects me and i don’t
know it could affect other people
i mean one thing i just know for sure
without a doubt is that
we know
five percent of all there is to know
about cannabis
lab testing and
our bodies know everything it needs to
know about it
just by
experience and
you know
but experimenting and you know we always
encourage people to
experiment slowly and cautiously like
don’t get super stoned
especially if you have any
responsibilities but
i don’t know like that
worst thing that happened to me with one
of those cbd thc joints was uh
thanksgiving and i
i kind of
didn’t base the turkey because i was
like literally so
stoned i i like
everybody in my family hallie sitting
right next to me
literally asleep for
four hours in the middle of the day when
the turkey was in the oven
they’re shaking me they’re like what
it was a joint of the of willy g’s
uh cbd
and and
i can’t even remember i think it was
like all gas og or something yeah yeah
but um
yeah interesting
the thai
all of it it’s there’s so much to be
explored yet
well if you ever need anybody to go to
thailand for you i’m volunteering
right i speak thai and i
know where it was supposed to have come
die yeah
you know
we i went down to borneo and malaysia
and like indonesia
area for
some of the
activism work that i was doing and
never been to thailand though but i’ve
always wanted to go yeah yeah
it’s an interesting place it’s beautiful
i fell in love with the culture
so well let’s go on to part two here
uh so humboldt seed company was a
sponsor at the emerald cup just last
is that right yeah and
you know did you notice then signs of
farmers being affected by the current
taxes and the price crash of cannabis
yeah that was
i mean it sort of started
what would you say hallie like it
started in
july or june or july when we started
prices just
yeah tank out i mean like a little bit
before that
before it was slow it was like happening
slowly and then it just like dropped
yeah so i mean
that’s your daughter
that’s my daughter hallie she’s over
here shout out to hallie she’s at work
we’re at work too hi hallie i’m vince
some people call me cenzo
you know i think there we’ve all seen
these like
pits and peaks and valley or you know
whatever you want to call it of the
prices of cannabis
especially in the last 10 years
and we
have seen it
go as low as like 500 a pound before
in california and then
a year later it was
1400 a pound and um
and we’re talking about outdoor red
for whatever reason indoor tends to
fetch a higher price i think you know
the data shows that it’s really just
based on looks because there’s no
there’s no
higher turpin or higher thc it’s just
like yeah it’s different
but um
and obviously it costs a lot more to
produce indoor flower but
in any case the uh
the rebound that we saw in like 2019
like the spring of 2020 fall of 2019
where it went back up to 1400
that was encouraging for a lot of us
because we were all
sort of expecting
the new
um paradigm of growing in california
with recreational cannabis to
to have an effect on prices and
everything like that and
i mean unfortunately it doesn’t really
seem to translate
some people that are
listening might you know go and get
their cannabis at dispensaries and
the bummer is is that
when the prices drop for farmers they
don’t really seem to
cheaper at the dispenser it doesn’t
translate to the buyer it almost never
does and i don’t know why the heck well
i do know why that is but you know the
the way that california made the thing
there’s so many links in the chain that
and each link is a business so you’ve
got distributors and people that are
doing packaging and and processing and
and then finally dispensaries and and of
course the labs too and
all of those companies
have to turn a profit or else they’re
not a company anymore
so just you know imagine
each one of them
just chipping away at the overall you
value of the cannabis
and then um
so then
basically the farmer is the one that’s
sort of like
you know
it’s the
for whatever reason that
you would think that farmers might be
able to get together and and fix the
price and be like you know we’re not
really going any lower than 500 because
when you go any lower than 500 you’re
about just about losing money as a farm
but um
the the problem is is that there
even if we tried that it just wouldn’t
last for one thing it’s not legal
there are laws against price fixing yeah
yeah and then
not specific to cannabis but specific to
agriculture and then for another thing
um is always just going to kind of be
like that
scab i guess you know like yeah
the person that’s going to cross the
picket line and and go back to work even
though the prices are not you know
there’s not a living wage
and and i don’t blame some you know
those people it’s not really their fault
it’s just like
it’s a product of what we’ve created
as our society and and a product of
you know
the the laws not really
looking out or benefiting the
small business small family farm
which you know is is nothing new in the
united states and
yeah of course
we’ll see how it i think there’s like
some kind of a hope that
the massive consolidation of wealth
that’s happening is just gonna somehow
resolve itself in this country
um i don’t think so
or you know there’s gonna have to be
some kind of an intervention because
you know clearly
um if we keep going on the same
there’s gonna be
you know 10 or 15 people that own
everything in the world and the rest of
us are going to
you know essentially live to serve them
in some respect
and uh
power in what do they say absolute power
corrupts absolutely perhaps absolutely
so it’s just yeah or just some like
facts that that would say that this
isn’t going to just be able to work like
this forever so i don’t know like
was it like that guy robert reich he has
that movie that came out he calls it
fixing capitalism
saving capitalism i like robert
and i kind of like that because i’m not
you know as i’ve gotten older i’m maybe
a little bit less of a radical but uh
i do believe in some of the principles
of capitalism but there are some things
that are just like
you know
obsolescence of it almost like we yeah
continue anyway in california there were
supposed to be we all voted on this
probably one of the biggest
rallying points around it was this like
five-year period of time
the existing cannabis people
the people that were doing the medical
stuff the people
you know that were farming
in these rural
areas that are kind of like the napa of
so on and so forth those
folks would
they would essentially not allow more
than an acre
to be grown under any one business
to allow
you know to
bolster their infrastructure
to be able to then
in competition with
um bigger more
capitalized corporate you know investor
venture capital types
and uh
because it was obvious that they were
coming and
you know
why not why wouldn’t they yeah
it’s a potential moneymaker so they’re
gonna give it a shot and
but then
that rule just vanished and
overnight after
we you know i personally actually did
vote on it which was really weird for me
i voted yes the first time are we
talking about the one acre
no we’re talking about just legalizing
recreational candidates oh i’m sorry and
and i actually like learned after
voting yes the first time and it didn’t
past that time and then
were doing education on like
what some of the problems with the
the current legislation
were gonna be and so by then i was a
little bit
wiser and i didn’t actually vote
voted no on prop 64. yeah
which was so weird for me to to do that
you know i would venture to say that
that was the right
vote because
i mean it would have delayed
people having access to cannabis like
they do it would have delayed it
by another couple years at least so that
we could get something better
but um
yeah it just it seems like
there were a lot of a lot of things
that were hidden in it and or or just
the way that it was um enacted
what was disingenuous to what it was
supposed to be so yeah that’s politics
you know like i mean
how many people get elected on a
platform and then never
actually follow through with their
commitments and it’s too early
64 in california
did it did not follow through on its
commitments at all
and you know is it it’s
not i mean it’s a little bit
affecting humboldt seed company but
but it’s massively affecting the
farms in the emerald triangle yeah and
how are those problems playing out on
the ground with the farms that helps
humbled seed company
i mean
like we service
like we’re not unfortunately we can’t
tell the big giant farms that
want to buy our seeds that you know to
go kick rocks because
that’s what we built the company to
the animals and and so
you know
i’m not
maybe i’m maybe i’m a little ashamed to
admit that we sell the seeds to the
farms that come and want to buy a
hundred thousand and
but um
you know the the ones that are local
here that
i mean we kind of
go try to go in above and beyond to
do what we can to help and
you know i think one of the biggest
things is just educating
the consumer that
you know there’s something to
there’s something really good about
batch craft cannabis and
people should seek that out and then try
to support it economically yeah the wine
industry is is uh something that seems
comparable and
i mean
very friendly towards small wine
wineries right and yet not the same with
well but the problem is is that like i
know now
when i go
you know shop for a bottle of wine i
the boone’s farms from the small
winery you know the moon winery that
yeah that is like
you know the local
small batch winery and
when i
want i you’ll never catch me buying
boone’s farm but you know like
i want a nice bottle of wine that i’m
really gonna like enjoy and and think
about it
and and have you know a nice experience
and a dinner or whatever it is
then i will always buy those wines that
i know
story behind it and i trust it and
everything like that
and uh
you know occasionally i might get a
bottle that’s more just like
mid-grade wine but
the problem now is that you just can’t
tell like you walk into a dispensary and
there’s no differentiation
boone’s farm cannabis
uh and
the the local real craft small batch
cannabis because you just
it’s such a new thing that
we just don’t know who’s the budweiser
from the
you know lost coast brewery or whatever
you know miller high life to the uh
sierra nevada or whatever
and and so yeah um
that’s unfortunately
everybody can put craft cannabis on
their jar no matter how
huge their farm is and
and so it’s it’s going to take a while
for that yeah what would you recommend
for the state
to do to save the
small forces
the state needs to like do
actively be
tax rebates and and everybody’s kind of
out there yelling like stop the
campus taxes we need to do it
and and we’re gonna try to combat the
the um
black market whatever you want to call
it the
gray market illicit market and and i
think that’s kind of
michael that’s kind of told me i
couldn’t call it the black market
because it contributes to a racist
you know type of black white thing
but then that’s kind of just ridiculous
i think
cannabis shouldn’t ever be
illicit it should never
and it’s like people should want to buy
it from dispensaries because it’s
and because it’s tested and because
they know what they’re getting it’s
consistent and safe
not because they’re like forced to at
gunpoint so
i don’t think that like
stricter punishments or harsher laws are
the answer at all and and i
do think that um
um i do think that that
people should be the tax rebates should
be going to
small farms that
i mean one of the biggest problems that
i see is like
you have
a certain amount of red tape that’s
involved with running any business at
all and
it’s permits it’s uh
taxes it’s
red tape it’s like all of that stuff
the admin of the business and
one of the issues especially with
cannabis is that there’s this like
of of admin and effort that you have to
do it’s kind of like the barriers to
entry or even the the maintenance of
those those permits and and licenses and
and then taxes and and reporting and
all of that stuff is like
this level here
and if you’re a farm that’s
you know 80 acres
it there’s a little bit more
work associated with that but
you know if you’re
if you’re only 10 000 square feet if
you’re like a really small farm
you basically are doing the same amount
of [ __ ]
that a farm that is
80 acres has to do
um they’re just adding an extra zero
on the end of their
spreadsheet so
you know you may be doing accounting
it may be
you know six six-digit
you could just all of that stuff is just
the same amount of work uh
if you just add another
zero on the end of it but it just
equates to
infinitely more
more money or potential for profit
and and
my i guess my solution would be
figure out ways to
um either drop down some of the
like generally some of the um barriers
entry for the small businesses or
or the
how hard it is to maintain yourself in
in the industry
because if you’re such a small
business then
you know the opportunities to have the
things that they’re worried about like
robbery or diversion
like the
the risk is lower because there’s
you know cannabis to be
stolen or sent sent out the back door or
whatever and so there should be less red
tape but there’s not
and and i think that’s kind of one of
the biggest things that’s killing small
i think um
and another thing that i
think that’s ironic is that you know we
touched a little bit on how
for whatever reason indoor cannabis
sells for a lot more money
that the tax is
the bit one of the biggest tax i think
the biggest tax is
the the harvest tax which is 161 dollars
a pound and
if you’re an indoor grower you might be
asking somewhere around you know fifteen
hundred dollars to two thousand
dollars per pound and
you know it’s the same exact
you know you might have three percent
turpins and you might have you know 25
percent thc let’s just say
and then another farmer is producing
that also has three percent turpins and
25 thc
but they’re only
off getting offered you know
uh 500 a pound
but they’re both getting taxed
no matter what for that pound so
that works out like if basically the
state is
taxing indoor farmers at eight percent
and taxing the sun grown farmers at 32
percent and so
to me i’m just like that’s so bizarre in
a state like california that’s supposed
to be
you know
green minded and and
so on and so forth that that there
wouldn’t be uh any kind of thought given
to the effect that that’s having because
you know if you’re a smart
business person and you want to
open up a cannabis business
it doesn’t take a genius to know that
you know right now at least it doesn’t
look like opening a
a small farm in
in the emerald triangle is a good idea
because it’s like right everybody’s just
saying like
[ __ ] times are tough
they shouldn’t be because the freaking
butt is just as good
i mean
these guys came in here with some bud
to me it looks honestly it looks better
than most of the indoor flower that i
on the shelves in the stores and i was
just like oh my god like you can
there’s really
i mean that’s
so frosty and just
this is uh
one straw
organics or
otherwise known as burr’s place
and that’s the the hella jelly strain
these guys are great i just had to
change my batteries on my little board
i know i just i talked
so much i got like
my crew is sitting here telling me all
right there’s
stuff happening we gotta deal with but
okay i got one last little thing
the current status of measure s
and what humboldt county supervisors did
to bring temporary relief to the farms
up there
yeah we really appreciate that i mean
and that’s like humble looking out for
humble so they got rid of 85 of the
excise tax is that what it is and
85 of the cultivation tax we call it
it was always based on your square
footage so if you have um
you know
if you have 10 000 square feet you owed
10 dollars a year
if you have twenty thousand yo twenty
thousand actually though
if you have like a mixed light it was
more so there were
levels that you could have but yeah they
they essentially now if you have ten
thousand square feet you only owe
um fifteen hundred dollars
so i mean that was great and
and uh i think it’s humble kind of
seeing that
it needs to invest and support this
industry if it’s gonna
capture the long-term benefits of it and
i think
as we see federal legalization happen
and as we see people
getting getting educated
like the consumers becoming more
educated and not you know just sort of
basing their
their decisions off of you know
misinformation kind of
it will be better for places
humboldt mendocino trinity
the cradle of american cannabis so to
speak um
for the time being uh
the cards are kind of
stacked against us a little bit or
um this community up here which is
well we’re all praying for the community
yeah i mean you know people are
it’s people we’ve seen it we’ve been
watching it coming so
you know the smart folks are
have but the problem was is that like
the bar
to get into the the whole race was so
high i mean a lot of people just spent
their entire life savings because
what happened was
you know it looked simple the
applications for licenses were
you know but then you you started
talking to these other agencies that you
had to get approval from like
you know some of the environmental stuff
was just like
i’ve been an environmentalist my whole
life but i’ll just be the first to admit
that some of it was just
over the top and
like certainly i know humble for example
is the strictest
loss for any agriculture in the world so
harder to get a permit to grow cannabis
and humboldt county than it is
to grow anything anywhere in the world
and uh well
maybe that’s the way it should be but
but it’s kind of ironic when you know
it’s it’s there’s not any kind of
environmental well there’s very little
environmental review if you’re trying to
open up
a massive um
indoor operation in a
warehouse in the city
and it’s just like well what’s the
what’s the impact really on
humanity yeah
uh like there may be some impact in like
a small forest ecosystem
way way out in the middle of nowhere but
you know
a lot of these places it’s just like
there’s logging and mining happening all
around it
yeah it’s a
bit of inequity there
and yeah and
and just
yeah the the fact that
you know the sun grown is kind of
having the most
environmental uh oversight compared to
you know indoor and
and stuff like that
which leaves a much bigger carbon
as we all know
well now i want to thank you very much
for talking to kelly high today
yeah buddy
we went a little bit longer than we
planned but there’s lots of great stuff
here and i thank you
all right
okay so i’m going to be uh let me last
one last question real quick
what’s your favorite autoflower that you
you know i’m most excited about the mint
jelly in the caramel cream and we’ll
have to
make sure you get to try some of those
this year okay i’ll grow them i’ll keep
your story going
all right after
well we should talk about it after the
interview we’ll figure out how we can
make that happen all righty
okay so we’ve been talking with nat
pennington here of the humboldt seed
company and you can also find him in
episodes 39 where we talk about the
humboldt river and that’s work
on getting the
spring chinook declared
uh endangered
and the dam’s removals
and then episode 23 where we went into
actually how to
feminize a seed and more detail so check
those episodes folks nat once again
thank you
yup thank you very much all right let me
just stop this
ah yes
when you wake up
and you feel like you need a little
or when you’re down and out
and you need to get a little higher
if you feel like you need a blessed
night and you feel a little high today
welcome to the church
you’ve been listening to cali high
episode 54 our special guest this week
is nat pennington owner and ceo of the
humboldt seed company i’m your host chen
zonico nat pennington can be found on
at the humboldt seed company all one
word and at the humbled seed co
on the web at
cali high photographer honey nicoletti
cali ice theme written and recorded by
vince nicoletti jordan webb and namir
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