Ryan, when did your journey with cannabis begin?
I grew up with my dad growing weed since I was born. By age 4, I was helping my dad with cannabis plants, not even understanding what they were at that point in time. I groomed with my dad outside up until 1998-1999 when I transferred over to growing cannabis indoors. In 2009 with some raids we had in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I’m from, we had to hightail it out to Santa Cruz, California, where cannabis was somewhat tolerated. That’s what transferred us from Oklahoma to California.
I’m actually from the Bay, so Santa Cruz was the beach I went to.
Nice. Santa Cruz at that time had the most lenient laws in the state, that’s why we moved there.
What happened in Oakland 2009 that made you and Jairia Pass want to start your own company?
When we started, we didn’t know we’re going to scale it out like we did, but we knew cannabis. Jairia’s a great salesperson and I knew how to grow, so we thought we’d start a small company. Over time, it exploded. Between 2009 to 2014, we went from growing out of a house in Santa Cruz to having six warehouses across the state. We really started to expand aggressively in Southern California. It really wasn’t a plan to create this empire for lack of a better term. Through time and legislation, as the laws kept relaxing and allowing cannabis, we kept growing along with those new, more favorable cannabis laws.
Can you describe your love for cannabis?
All of us are different. All of us have our own issues, our own problems. As talkative and energetic as I am, I’m nervous around people. I get uncomfortable. Not that I used it to hide from society, but cannabis was a way I could smoke and go be at a family party. Or go to a school function to be around a lot of people. I could cool my mind, calm my heart and soul so I could handle crowds because I get really nervous with crowds. I’m always thinking a million miles an hour. It’s hard for me to focus. In high school when I really started to consume cannabis, it was hard for me to dial in and focus on specific tasks.
If I smoke a small amount to get a little buzz, it’d zone me in and give me clarity and focus to get the job done. Much less from a recreational standpoint of trying to get messed up, I used cannabis to handle being around large crowds. When my mind’s all over the place, how can I focus in and get a specific task done? My love for it grew from me going through my hemp phase years ago of wearing all hemp clothing to hemp oils and all different things. I love cannabis for what it did for me with the minimal impact. A lot of things out there, Tylenol and Aspirin included, are much more harmful than cannabis. They’re over-the-counter drugs that destroy your liver, destroy your hormones inside your body. Cannabis is something that I can alleviate pain or focus without those negative detriments.