E55 - Greencraft Cannabis with Mr. Greening

 

How do we define “Craft Cannabis” in Canada? Greencraft Cannabis, a local Manitoba grow operation, is out to answer this question. Eric Greening discusses the process of obtaining his Health Canada micro cultivation licence and how his new company will grow smaller batches putting the plant first. Not only has Health Canada created opportunity for smaller craft growers to finally legally enter the cannabis space, these new licences have also fashioned economic development opportunities for rural communities. Kirk and Trevor question whether the path craft cannabis businesses follow will be similar to the craft beer industry? They ponder how large growers will compete with this new craft market place. This episode marks the start of a planned series exploring the question above.
 

Episode Transcript

Trevor: We're back.

Kirk: Hey Trevor, the pharmacist.

Trevor: I am Trevor Shewfelt the pharmacist, your Kirk Nyquist the nurse.

Kirk: I'm the nurse, yeah.

Trevor: And right now, we're in our separate home zooming at each other, but a cool part of this interview coming up is you got into the studio.

Kirk: Yes. First time since February I got into the studio and I was listening to the listen to the tape, the podcast this morning. And boy my mouth sounds muffled. It definitely...

Trevor: Yeah, you definitely can hear that. So, tell everybody why, despite being in a professional studio, you are sounding a little muffled.

Kirk: Covid man. Covid. So, our producer Rene had basically polished everything down and social distance, and we're in the studio all wearing masks and keeping our hands on our thighs and like, I can't talk with my hands. It was very difficult. And yeah, I got I got to interview Eric Greening. Local businessman, young guy going after the craft market.

Trevor: Yes. So, his company is called Green Craft Cannabis. And like you said, it is right in our area. It's in called a rural municipality of Dauphin. So just a little bit outside of town.  You guys had a great conversation. He started doing with medical cannabis, with the ACMPR or then to a CTLS for cannabis tracking and licensing system, the Rec side. He took years of paper, literally years of paperwork to get where he's going. I thought it gave a nice insight into what it is required to be a micro producer.

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah. And that that's the story, right? I'm finding people to talk to us and how it fits into Reefer Medness - The Podcast, Reefer Mellow, Reefer Medicine and Reefer Madness and talking to a small-town business guy as a nurse, it gives me insight to how the how the business works of cannabis. And here we have a local guy, obviously used to grow his own for medicinal purposes. I guess I heard that on off camera and he got into seeing the business plan. Of course, he couldn't afford the big, Big Ask that the the big guys could do when the government legalized it back in 2018. But now there's a second call for licenses and for growers and he's coming in. And I guess what I've learned through this is that the government is now putting out the second call for smaller what they're calling smaller micro micro producers.

Trevor: And you and Eric get into it more. But what I caught from that, the big difference, I'm sure there's many, but so are the to call yourself a micro producer, your square footage has to be small. And the number I saw was two thousand one hundred and fifty square feet of canopy space. So that's that's kind of the big difference between the standard and a micro producing license.

Kirk: Yes, I guess. And and I guess it's interesting because we do have the conversation defining what a craft cannabis grow op operation would be. And and I guess that's the thing. I mean, we're just we're just as as a society getting used to Craft liquors, craft whiskeys, Gins,  beers. I mean, we've had craft beers probably now, I guess. Twenty five years. Spinnakers, the first brew pub in Canada was Spinnaker was nineteen eighty I think.  So, I mean, craft beer is obviously, you know, Molson Canadian and Labatts both have their craft branches.  So, but a true beer lover wouldn't necessarily call a craft beer produced by Molson Canadian Craft, right?

Trevor: Yeah. And we'll let Eric talk with a little more. But yeah, when when you're listening to this, pay attention to the fact... the part I found interesting is actually similar to beer. There isn't really a good definition of what's craft, you know.

Kirk: Between two guys talking, right?

Trevor: Yeah.

Kirk: I mean, so and it's a new industry. So, if you grow hydroponics. If you grow soil. If you grow sunshine. If you grow in greenhouse. If you grow in a, you know, hermetically sealed building. If you grow in your garage, what's what's craft cannabis. And I think you and I talked about this in a past episode that one of my hopes is to gather another series of craft growers. And I guess this is an opportunity to start this series with a local business. Parkland, Manitoba, center of the continent. We're going to have a small grow operation and it's going to be unique cannabis. So we're going to have just down the block. Well, the quarter section. Figuring out what what our local craft cannabis will be like. And maybe when Covid leaves us, we'll be able to travel the Trans Canada Highway, going to different craft operations and testing craft cannabis across the country like we do now with Wine, Beer, Meads, you know, Whiskies, Gin. So what a tourist. What a what a motivation to retire.

Trevor: Kirk's perfect retirement plan. How we'll talk about that, you and Eric have a chat and we'll come back at the.

Kirk: Perfect.

Kirk: I have a craft grower in the studio. Please introduce yourself.

Eric: Thanks for having me, Kirk. Yeah, my name is Eric Greening. From Dauphin here, born and raised. And I am running Greencraft Cannabis. A craft grower of high-quality cannabis setting up here in the RM of Dauphin.

Kirk: Oh, this is wonderful. We're bringing in a local story back and this is one of the things I'm excited about. So, Eric, so what's it takes to be a craft grower in Canada right now?

Eric: What does it take? A lot of work. Say that. Yeah, yeah. It's not an easy process. My journey began back in 2018 actually was my first application to Health Canada for production of cannabis that was under a medicinal cultivation permit only. Back then legalization hadn't occurred. So therefore, Health Canada wasn't recognizing the recreational market yet.

Kirk: I'm sorry. When was that. What date?

Eric: 2018 was when the first application that was through ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes. So that was to grow strictly for medical production.

Kirk: For yourself. For yourself and others.

Eric: For others. Yes. Not for myself. For, for the medical market. That was the only legal cannabis market in Canada at that time. Knowing legalization was coming up later that year. It was scheduled to be on tap. Kind of was gearing towards that, the whole way through, if you want to say. Legalization occurred and revisions had to be made to include recreational sales, cultivation for recreational sales as well. So, that was in under CTLS, which is the Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System. So there were some kind of some changes. Revisions were made. And as of last summer, I was approved to go ahead and construct my facility.

Kirk: That's great. So so you started you started with an application with Health Canada for medicinal cannabis.

Eric: Correct.

Kirk: And you knew you knew that the recreational was coming. So did Health Canada put you through a whole new application process or were you allowed to just add an addendum?

Eric: I wish it was just an addendum. No, it was it was pretty much redo your whole application. They had it, it went online, which kind of made a lot more sense that ACMPR was a paper-based type thing, if you want to say. CTLS went online and it also includes or has responsibilities included of the year from the federal and provincial governments as well as Health Canada.

Kirk: So and this is all pre covid, yeah.

Eric: Yes, yes, definitely pre-covid yes.

Kirk: OK, so where were you at pre-covid? Where were you at the application process at that point.

Eric: When covid hit, everything was ready to go. This, I guess this later winter when everything hit was, I just preparing to start construction in the spring type thing. And it did slow things down a bit. It definitely did.

Kirk: OK, yeah. Now I'm going to really break this down to the minutia. So there was the paperwork to do so. When you say everything was ready to go, what was ready to go? Like, did you have your your building built or what? What is it what did you mean by everything's ready to go.

Eric: Everything's ready to go as in, I have been if you want to say preapproved or Health Canada has conducted an in-depth study on all my all my paperwork and all my application.

Kirk: Business plan,.

Eric: My business plan, everything from your quality assurance report, your security portfolio. At that time, everything was handed in to Health Canada and they said, OK, this is acceptable. You can now build your facility.

Kirk: OK, so this is all before you've even put a shovel to the ground.

Eric: Correct? Yes.

Kirk: So how long was that process?

Eric: Well, it was about a year and a half.

Kirk: A year and a half.

Eric: Like I said, the way it worked out with the ACMPR, I was right about ready to be approved, to go then then the CTLS came in. So that was another few months of changing. And, you know, Health Canada is doing a great job. I'm not going to complain about that. It's a lot of work. It's highly regulated, but they are making sure that everybody is safe. They're doing a good job.

Kirk: So pre-covid you were ready to dig dirt?

Eric: Yeah.

Kirk: So where are you right now? That's that let's say pre-covid was what, March.

Eric: Yeah.

Kirk: OK, so where are you at now?

Eric: Finally digging dirt.

Kirk: you broke ground.

Eric: Yeah, you bet. Site is all cleared and construction has started yeah. It's finally moving ahead.

Kirk: Fantastic. So what is your vision? What is it that you hope to create?

Eric: Well, I. I believe cannabis should be produced in a small craft setting, not the way the industrial guys are doing it. It's just it's it's not proper. It's not they don't have the capabilities that a small guy have to create a high quality product. It's just not possible.

Kirk: Explain that, I've spoken to some commercial guys and they tell me they can break it down like pot growing in pods right there growing in Sea-Can. So how can they not grow a craft craft cannabis in that environment?

Eric: So some you know, some may be able to. The pod thing is also strange to me. I don't see a reason why you'd want to jam everything into a small, little tight area instead of having a free space to work type thing. There is a possibility some of the some of the larger ones are growing decent cannabis now.  Still not cannabis that matches the quality that people knew before legalization, if you want to say. It's just not up there.

Kirk: And when you say people, you talking about people in the green culture, right?

Eric: Exactly.

Kirk: Yeah. OK, so let's talk about the green culture and the legalization. What is your opinion of the process the government has gone through? And and I guess I'll editorialize this a little bit. My observation is that they've allowed big money to come into cannabis and they have they kept a little guy out or.

Eric: They somewhat have, yeah. When everything first started, the first round of producers, if you want to say that, that was pretty much impossible for small guys to get started at that point. The big money was there. That's kind of who got called in, if you want to say. Another thing, another way to look at it to is, is letting those big guys make the first moves. Right. We kind of were able to lay back a bit and see what exactly is happening in the industry. A little while after legalization, they separated the two license classes from standard and micro class. So now there is an actual license class of micro-producer, micro-cultivator, which will be the same for everybody that is a craft producer or micro producer.

Kirk: What's the definition of a craft grower? According to Health Canada?

Eric: According to Health Canada, I don't believe there really is one. What is the definition of a craft brewer to Kirk?

Kirk: No, but no. But you said that they had a I'm sorry I interrupted you. You said that they had a process for smaller growers.

Eric: That would be the second license, if you want to say. Yeah, yeah. So the license costs are different. The restrictions are still the same, regulations are still the same. We were set to the same rules that the big guys are, but the costs and it's a little bit easier to get started as a micro, I guess if you want to say. Where it's tough is, I guess getting everything going right. It's just it's not a cheap endeavor. It's it's a substantial investment to get a craft facility started.

Kirk: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No kidding. And I guess I don't want to hover. I do want to hover on this a little bit. Yeah. So the first, the first round the big guys come in. The applications with a huge chunk of change. Their expectations, they have to produce so much cannabis. So when this second license which you're now in, you're now in the second license process.

Eric: Yup.

Kirk: How is it different? How's it different than the first license? Like, like the big guy is going to say, hey, you guys have an advantage over us?

Eric: Well, you know, I believe we do have an advantage over them. We have more manageable area to work with type thing.

Kirk: But the costs of the second license is less.

Eric: The cost is less as well.

Kirk: Are you expect it to grow less?

Eric: Well, we're we're confined to two thousand one hundred fifty square feet of canopy space.

Kirk: Bingo, there you go.

Eric: Yes. That is the maximum production area that a micro producer can use to produce cannabis. The Standard Licenses do not have that confinement on their actual space so they can grow as much as they want. And that is something we also have to talk about is producers under a Standard License that are calling themselves Craft Growers. You know that that is that is has started to happen out here in Canada. I know of one outside Calgary that is a craft producer. They have four levels of cannabis growth. They have thousands and thousands of square feet of cannabis growth. And it's just not the same intimate setting that are micro producers in Canada will be able to keep the cannabis.

Kirk: Would this be a company that has taken the Seacann and said that this is now my micro spot.

Eric: No, that's a company. They have their own facility.

Kirk: OK,.

Eric: Yeah. A full facility calling itself a craft grower, but they're not a micro producer. They're a standard producer. OK, yeah. So it's almost going to be the way it's looking here. It's up to the consumer in Canada.

Kirk: So it's kind of like Molson Canadian saying they've produced the craft beer.

Eric: Exactly.

Kirk: Where beer drinkers are going no.

Eric: And that's where the same thing the cannabis growers are saying no. So we have another producer in Manitoba here. Their solution to have a craft grower is to set up separate sites off their production site with, the same sea-can pod system with the same seeds, with the same genetics, with the same dirt, with the same everything, just at a separate site and call it the craft division. So I don't think it'll take long for people to realize that their craft flower is the exact same product coming from their standard producer flower. So if a few people are trying to get around the craft craft-way of growing and bring that into their standard production license.

Kirk: OK. Fantastic. Craft growers. So we're in Dauphin. So you're just outside of Dauphin here and close to Dauphin Lake.

Eric: You betcha. Yeah, close to city Dauphin not too far away.

Kirk: So what do you foresee, let's say a year from now? Where will your business be? You're going to you've broken ground. You've got it. You've got the building. You've got your lights. You're growing, right?

Eric: You bet, Yeah.

Kirk: A year from today. What what is, what's your business called, by the way?

Eric: Greencraft Cannabis.

Kirk: Greencraft Cannabis.

Eric: Greencraft Cannabis. You bet.

Kirk: Where is Greencraft Cannabis going to be a year from now?

Eric: Greencraft Cannabis a year from now will be well into production.

Kirk: Cultivating.

Eric: Well into cultivating a year from now. Construction of the facility here will be complete this fall.

Kirk: OK,.

Eric: Yeah. And production followed soon after.

Kirk: And so where will people be able to get your cannabis?

Eric: Any recreational store, any retailer in Canada. There's options for online purchase through a bunch of retailers. Options for delivery or through your through your doctor.

Kirk: OK.

Eric: You can sign up for the Greencraft Cannabis to be your medical cannabis provider.

Kirk: OK, so you'll have a medical division and a recreational division.

Eric: Yeah.

Kirk: OK, maybe explain to our listeners in Manitoba, how does a cannabis producer distribute their cannabis? How what's the process?

Eric: Yeah, you bet. So, Manitoba is still run by the government in Manitoba, so they distribute the cannabis throughout the province. Saskatchewan has gone privatized, which is probably what's going to be happening to a lot of other provinces here in Canada. So, Manitoba at the moment, the government of Manitoba Liquor, Lotteries and Cannabis will purchase the cannabis from Greencraft. Put on their website and then all the retail locations across Canada can draw from that source and purchase cannabis produced by Greencraft.

Kirk: So you can't market yours directly from your plant.

Eric: Well, that's where the province of Saskatchewan is ahead of things. So, yes I can. In Saskatchewan, the province does not regulate. So, I can contact this store directly and say, here you go, guys, this is what we have direct to store.

Kirk: OK, so that's an advantage. And I guess on the medicinal side too, I can I can access that online as a medicinal user, correct?

Eric: Yes. It'll be easier to get your cannabis can be shipped right to your door as a medicinal user.

Kirk: But as a recreational buyer, to buy it in Dauphin, the local shop would have to call Winnipeg and get it from them.

Eric: Correct.

Kirk:  Ok, cool.

Eric: Which they do with all of their other cannabis products. Right. That's where their products in Manitoba are coming from tonight, the retail locations.

Kirk: All right. So let's talk to you about the growing of cannabis.

Eric: Sure.

Kirk: Do you want to talk about how you're going to grow your craft? What strain you're looking at or is that all states secret.

Eric: It is little bit of a secret right now. What I will say about strain selection is we do have some amazing strains coming in and it will be strains that people are familiar with. Strains that have been popular and favorites, if you want to say. Over the years, pre-legalization being involved in the cannabis culture, I know exactly what people have enjoyed over the years. Right. That's kind of another advantage. Our plants will be grown hydroponically, very, very high tech system there and facility that will give them everything they need. It's a custom designed facility for cannabis production.

Kirk: OK, cool. And like you're going to have you're going to have your Indica strain, your  hybrid strain and your Sativa strain?

Eric: You bet. Yeah. They'll be an offering. And it depends kind of how things are going. We can remove strains, bring in new strains as well, like you say. Yeah, we'll have an Indica option, a hybrid option and a sativa option in a couple of different strains.

Kirk: And all flower right.

Eric: All dried flower. At this time, Greencraft will produce dried flower, no edibles or extraction or anything like that.

Kirk: OK, yeah. And now the Parkland region, Dauphin region is known for its Hemp production. Is there any concern Hemp Farm might be across your road and affecting your crop?

Eric: One hundred percent there is, yeah. And there is a hemp farm across the road. Oh yeah, there definitely is...

Kirk: Imagine that.

Eric: Go figure. Yeah. So Greencraft will have a fully sealed building because of those reasons. No air exchange at all during regular growing.  Purging will occur, obviously. We will have to clean the air out, but it's 100 percent sealed, enclosed, closed system. I'm sure you're familiar with working in a clean room in a hospital. Greencraft grows all their cannabis in hospital, grade clean rooms, if you can see it that way.

Kirk: OK,.

Trevor: Fully Sealed.

Kirk: All right, Trevor. And I'll explain why we're having a hemp farm across the road from you is a concern.

Eric: Sure. You know, it's not just the hemp pollen. Rye grass pollen can affect cannabis plants. All your molds, mildews come in through the air systems as well. There's a lot of things you got to make sure stay out of your building.

Kirk: Cool.

Eric: Yup.

Kirk: So what more can you tell us about your business and being a Craft grower?

Eric: Well, yeah, I'm glad to see some Craft growers are coming online in Canada now. Greencraft will be able to produce the high-quality cannabis that people are used to. We will be producing hopefully by early 2021. And the goal is to keep our product in the local area and also to hire people from the local area to work in the facility.

Kirk: Bringing jobs to the Parkland region.

Eric: You bet.

Kirk: Good Man

Eric: That's the plan to keep everything local. T.

Kirk: economic development.

Eric: Economic development of the area that's very important to Greencraft definitely.

Kirk: So when someone comes to Dauphin, they come to ride their bikes at our new Northgate riding trails. They can go locally and buy local craft cannabis like you would a local beer.

Eric: Exactly. Exactly right. Yeah.

Kirk: So, you know, the price point might be, is it going to be competitive with the big guys? Are you going to.

Eric: It will be lower.

Kirk: Really.

Eric: Yes. That's just another major important thing the Greencraft will be doing is, we can produce cannabis for a lower price than the big guys. Therefore, we can pass that on to our customers. I don't see a reason. Greencraft wants to be closer to the black market.

Kirk: What do you mean by the black market.

Eric: The pricing of cannabis before legalization, if you want to say.  The price people were used to paying for a gram of cannabis, it's gotten crazy. It honestly has people have realized they can charge that for their cannabis and can kind realize those profits. So they are continuing to charge that.

Kirk: OK,.

Eric: I don't see any reason that gram of cannabis should cost a person eighteen or nineteen dollars for one gram. That's not even high-quality cannabis. That's just that's terrible.

Kirk: So you're going to you're going to you're going to grow it hydroponically. You've got lights. Obviously, the vegetative state will be what will be your rotation, six to eighteen hours or is that against state secret.

Eric: That's a little bit of a secret. But no, we do move through life stages in the facility from mother to clone to veg and then a couple of flower rooms.

Kirk: You're going to have one big growing room.

Eric: No, they're separate growing rooms, different environmental conditions for each lifecycle of the plant.

Kirk: So you will have plants going through different cycles.

Eric: Different cycles at all times. At any time in the facility, there will be baby plants, medium plants, large finished plants, harvested plants. It's a continuous cycle. It'll be harvesting approximately every 30 days.

Kirk: Oh, cool. OK, and how are you going to dry your cannabis? Because again, my research tells me drying cannabis is very specific. if you do it wrong.

Eric: It is. And that's actually another reason the big guys are having issues. They have such a high quantity of cannabis, they can't properly dry it or cure it. So that's another thing. Unfortunately, I don't hear much about cannabis curing. Drying is one thing. Yes, you have to dry the cannabis flowers and trim it. You also have to put in some time curing it like a fine wine that ages over time matures over time. Cannabis is actually quite similar to that. So craft growers take the time needed to properly cure a cannabis product to give you your flavor, your terpene, the strength of the cannabis, it all improves with the proper cure. So that's that is one of the benefits of the craft where we're going to take a lot of care in our curing process to finish your plants properly.

Kirk: Have you have you bought a device for that is just going to be a room that especially ventilated.

Eric: It's a specially constructed room, a large area.

Kirk: There are devices out there that you can buy that dry your cannabis electronically.

Eric: There are there are for smaller batches if you want to say.

Kirk: Yeah. Very expensive I imagine. A.

Eric: We've turned that unit into a full sized room.

Kirk: OK, what's the law, what is the law of having the cannabis analyzed. Where would you do, does the government have it labs specifically assigned to this or do you pick your own lab. What's the process of that.

Eric: Yeah it is Health Canada approved laboratory. So there's laboratories across Canada that have been approved by Health Canada to do the testing of cannabis for the market. So every batch or a lot of cannabis is harvested from the Greencraft site is sent in for quality control testing. So before it's made available, after it's cure, after is dried, a batch sample is sent off to one of the accredited laboratories for a full screen testing to ensure the product is safe before sale. So after results come back saying, yes, here's your results, it's past all the Health Canada regulations, it's then made available for sale.

Kirk: You know, as I sit here, I'm just thinking about that process because your labeling would depend on the lab results. So you've got your cannabis curing and you say it's ready, let's package it. But now it's got to go to the lab. It's got to get analyzed. It's got to come back. Then you've got to put all of the information on your labeling.

Eric: Yeah.

Kirk: So what's the delay of that?

Eric: It wouldn't be packaged either until testing usually comes in. If there is an issue, then we'd have to unpack, if you want to say. So once the results come in, it's not a long time to get results, so it takes you a few weeks to properly cure. After your curing is done, you send your sample off within a few days, your results are back and then you're free to start packaging and selling.

Kirk: So you're going to have to have a generic package and then you're going to have to be able to adjust the packaging to stick it on.

Eric: Correct.

Kirk: So we're kind of packing right now. In my opinion, cannabis packaging is way over packaged. The amount of plastic that we're producing kills me. And I'm going to editorialize again for such a natural cannabis process. Cannabis is being packaged by big guys and a whole lot of plastic.

Eric: Yes.

Kirk: So how are you going to package yours?

Eric: That is absolutely horrible, too. I'd like to see you going to a retail location. You pick up three point five gram pack of cannabis and you could fit 12 grams in there. And it's a giant container in a couple little buds inside it. Yeah, unfortunately, Health Canada does have rules for their packaging, so it has to be sense-proof. It has to be childproof a bunch more things like that, which doesn't leave you a heck of a lot of options. Greencraft is going to be using biodegradable packaging instead of recycling.

Kirk: Yes, you already have me at that. Oh, that's wonderful.

Eric: It's kind of funny. I thought biodegradable is one percent the way to go. Recyclable also has its benefits. Right. It's a tough one. Recyclable or biodegradable. Recyclable plastics obviously it's very costly to actually process plastics and recycling after they're trucked across the world or shipped around the world where biodegradable, you know, it goes in the trash, but it disappears right away. So I kind of think a biodegradable product is a little more environmentally friendly that way. We're not burning fossil fuels to produce it and it can be disposed of a lot easier.

Kirk: That's great. I mean, if you can be a leader in the packaging, man I'm all for that. That's great. I think we've talked about the growing we've talked about this distribution. We talk about packaging and drying. What have I missed?

Eric: I want to ask you what you think a craft grower is of cannabis. What is your.

Kirk: What do I think of craft growers?

Eric: Yeah, what is in your mind, what is a craft grower?

Kirk: Well, I'm a huge beer snob. I've been into beer for a long time and I'm now in the last five years moved into whiskey. So I think what I see is that, again, equating to the alcohol market, to the craft market, cannabis market, my idea is a small facility, localized facility that has a localized strain, that has a strain that that you can't get anywhere else that that and package appropriately and is accessible in the small area. Now with some of our craft beer, for example, in Winnipeg, you can get craft beer from Winnipeg in other provinces, which is fantastic. So I'd like to see I'd like to see a small, small facility. I'm a soil fan. I like soil. But yeah, I think I think it's the size. Right. And also, I don't want to bring up a bud that's so dry. It's a popcorn fart.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what a lot of it is now. Yeah.

Kirk: Like you said, you can actually hear the bud rattling inside the plastic container that seems to me might be a little dry. From my youth, I think again, from my youth, I think the cannabis was a little more moist than it is today. Yeah. And I think that has a lot to do with just packaging and waiting for lab results and all that.

Eric: Yeah.

Kirk: That's what I was asking you about the delay there. So, yeah, I guess for me, craft cannabis would be a localized strain that is grown in a region that represents that region and small quantity. I guess that's craft for me.

Eric: That that that sounds great. That's exactly what I'm saying. Yeah. I'd like I'd like consumers in Canada to realize, you know, if you're looking for a true craft strain and to look for your micro producer, that's another big thing right now. The standard producer. Yeah, they might have some craft connections. They might be doing a little bit of a secret thing to bring some other cannabis in. A micro producer is a micro producer. That's that's it. They're a craft producer.

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah. That's what I look for. I also I'm not a huge fan of huge THC. I'm, I like a balance. I like my CBD and my THC to be very balanced and I don't know what that is. I think it's more I'm not I don't like to be whacked out and sit there in a corner, some place with my red eyes staring at people going, I'm too high to talk. Yeah, right. So I guess from my craft perspective, I think a craft again is like beer. A craft beer is nursed and appreciated, not quaff. Yeah. So I think a craft cannabis would also be nursed and appreciated, not necessarily sucked down on a big bong.

Eric: That's exactly it.  We're able to like maximize the cannabis strains, enhance everything within it. Yeah. So it's not just for THC. We're going for our terpenes, we're going for the flavor, we're going for the finals smell. We're going for the final flavor.  It's a lot of things we're working towards. Yeah. Not just produce a cannabis plant with as much THC as possible, toss it or even dry it. Get it out there.

Kirk: Yeah that's fantastic.

Eric: Our cannabis plants are the start of a show I like to say. We know that they're the star, they're not a commodity, they're not our big brand name isn't the star, it's it's those plants growing in the building. That's what we are.

Kirk: Anything. 

Rene: I got one question. About what was the level of cooperation you got in regards to zoning and licensing from the municipality?

Eric: I have to say it was great. There was great support from the Rural Municipality of Dauphin. I've also had to meet with the RCMP of the area, the Fire Commissioner, the fire department. So I've gone through all the local authorities, if you want to say. And the support has been unreal. They're looking forward to having this industry in the area.

Kirk: You want to talk a little bit about the options. You're out there like you and you are looking at sharing, selling shares. Is that something that you want to talk to?

Eric: You bet. Sure yeah. Greencraft is still in a fundraising round right now, or we're still looking for some more partners. If their people are interested, they can definitely contact me. Local people is important to me. I'd like to say economic stimulus to the local area. Let's see if some local folks are interested in getting on board and make things move.

Kirk: OK, yeah. Thanks, Eric. Any final things from you, anything you want to say.

Eric: One more thing I want to touch on was Craft Growers, I think you had in one of your emails me Independent Craft Growers from craft growers is something else people should understand what's happening as well. Greencraft Cannabis is an Independent Craft Grower, so we're not associated with any other producer in Canada. Like I kind of spoke about before. The other smaller ones that have started are completely tied to another producer. So they're using their strains. They're using all their facilities, if you want to see. They're sending it back to the main place to be packaging everything.

Kirk: Oh really?

Eric: Yeah. So the independent micro craft producer is what you want to find for getting your cannabis. These people will have had growing experience. They've been in the cannabis culture and they're setting up on their own for a reason.

Kirk: There are craft grower associations out there. 

Eric: There are. Correct.

Kirk: Do you participate in those?

Eric: Not at the moment, no. There are a couple, there's a few out there. I will be getting involved, I'm sure.

Trevor: Kirk, one thing you specifically mentioned in there that we should talk about is a hemp field. So why Kirk is a hemp field across from a cannabis operation a problem?

Kirk: Well, there's a test at the end of this. Again, we discussed this in two of our past episodes. We did a whole episode on hemp and talking to farmers. And again, I should have it on by going to our back library, back library. And we also went off to Gilbert and chatted with Lyle there about his CBD and Hemp processing process. So we've learned, Trevor, that a hemp field is very powerful and the whole goal of a field is to get the fiber. But a lot of it in this region is the seeds. So you want to plant the flower and go to seeds. Many of these plants that we have locally, I think they're now the scientific word, both female and male,.

Trevor: Hermaphroditic.

Kirk: They so these hemp sativa plants to grow locally well, will self pollinate themselves and seed. So therefore, what you've got if you got the you got the pollen in the air searching for flowers so they can seed. Well, sensimilla, when we're growing, when we're growing cannabis for the purposes of medicine and recreation and you're going for the buds, you want sensimilla. You don't want no seeds, man. You want the flower. So if you're going to hemp field across the street, you don't open the window. You have to make sure that you've got yourself a sealed, a sealed thing. You know, that's another little reach out, a little poke at the government in Manitoba where one of the two provinces, Quebec, I don't know what the territory is, I forget the territories, but you can back in Manitoba, cannot grow personal. Right. And it's ironic is that, you know, even if we try to grow personal weed outside in Dauphin, it would just convert the hemp anyways because of the fields.

Trevor: We get nice hemp plants in the backyard.

Kirk: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Beautiful. I mean, come to Dauphin in September and the smell of cannabis is overwhelming, but it's fresh hemp, not what you think it might be. So yeah. So you need to sealed building Trevor to ensure that your, your weed, your grow op stays seedless.

Trevor: So a couple of quotes I wrote down from Eric that I really liked. One is Greencraft wants to be closer to the black market. What do you think about that? It's being like a sort of mission statement.

Kirk: You know? You know, that was interesting. I think that answer caught me by surprise. And I didn't I didn't ask him what he meant by that.

Trevor: My impression was the quality of cannabis people were used to buying pre-legalization and the price. Yeah, I think that I think that's what he was aiming at.

Kirk: I think so, too. In a country that has legal weed, I really think, and the way the government unrolled the legalization of cannabis in Canada, by pretty much eliminating and removing the green culture. The people that that basically broke their backs, fought the law and won and were growing cannabis for themselves and for their market, for their people, their compassion clubs, were removed from the equation. So, of course, there's you know, there's RCMP or Toronto police officers now who are on board of directors for hemp companies when back in the 70s and 80s, you is arresting guys for smoking on Young Street. And now he's you know, he's earning dividends on his cannabis company. So there's a lot of politics involved with this play. So, rambling on here a little bit about the black market. I try to look at it, not as a black market, but as a craft market, as the as the un-legal market, because I really believe now that people are have access to such good cannabis. You don't have to go to the black market and get that seedy weed that may be laced with something. I think you just go down and find your local craft grower who's been, you know, selling cannabis, you know, to his friends.

Trevor: We're going to be careful and recommend people sticks with legal stuff.

Kirk: Of course, we are because we must, we have to. But I guess, I don't like the term black market. I like the term craft market because I really I think I think allowing these people to get back into the market, you know, a lot of these growers actually started working for the big guys.

Trevor: I hate to send you down another rabbit hole. Kirk, what do you think about all the packaging, that stuff like a Tweed store comes in?

Kirk: I was very impressed that he's going to have compostable, compostable containers. I yeah. Yeah, I ranted about that. The amount of plastic that the that the cannabis industry uses is criminal, considering cannabis is such a natural green holistic product in its, in its true form, you know. But corporate and laws and government, you know, plastic, let's produce more plastic. So yeah. Thanks for that Trevor.

Trevor: I'm tempted to make you define popcorn farts, but I'm going to skip over that. 

Kirk: Well, you know, it is true though. When you're not allowed in Manitoba, you're not allowed to go to the dispensary and check your cannabis. Right. You have to buy it first, then you get to open it up. You're not even allowed to touch the containers. But you raddle it and if you can hear it jingling inside like a ball bearing, I want a little bit more cushion.

Trevor: So how about Eric's, I kind of like this terminology that when you're looking for your supplier, if you want someone like Eric, you should see if they are an independent craft growing micro producer. You know, the big title, but what do you think about that sort of being? If somebody is out there and this is what they're looking for, a small not associated with a big LP grower, that a good a good a title is any.

Kirk: That goes right back to. Yeah, this is an interesting, it's an interesting argument. You talk to a grower and a grower, tell you that he can grow craft cannabis in great volumes. I'm not a grower. I know what I like and I'm not an expert either. I mean, I would like to think after twenty-five thirty years of drinking quality beer, I recognize a true craft beer opposed to a large vatted beer. I'd like to think I can tell the difference blindfolded. I can't tell you, Trevor, that I would be able to tell the difference between soil. I mean I see I like soil for example, right. And that is because I was I was given some soil cannabis from a medicinally and I knew it was grown soil and it was different. It was different. There was different textures to the flower, different smell to the terpene. It was different now.

Trevor: The terroir.

Kirk: Terroir, I guess. It was different. But that's now I can't tell you if that's because oh, there's the soil then I know it soil. I'll make it different if you were to put a soil driven or hydroponic grown bud in front of me, blindfolded. I don't know. But I do know a popcorn fart and I do know when a bud is over dried and some of the stuff, some of the stuff I've bought through the legal market, the dispensary has been very dry.

Trevor: I bet you can rate longer. But one of his last quotes, I really like, so I think it's a good place to wrap up. Eric says our cannabis plants are the star of the show. I think, you know, every grower should aim for that.

Kirk: Yes, yes. That's a good way to treat the girls. You know, if you're going to grow cannabis in your craft, then, yeah, the cannabis has to be the first, not the marketing. It has to be the cannabis and then the cannabis sells itself. So I'm looking forward to, again I'm looking forward to seeing his operation. He's become a strong acquaintance of ours. I think he's soon to become a friend of ours because we've been seeing him a lot lately. I'm assuming when he gets his operation up, we'll be doing an on site podcast. Maybe we can do a little promotion.

Trevor: We can hope. We can hope. It certainly doesn't require us to travel anywhere and be a very easy place to go.

Kirk: Yeah, yeah, yeah. fifty cents a KM. We'll get a couple of bucks. Yeah. Yeah I know I, I think it's a good thing. I really like it from the perspective of economic development. I have sat on the local economic development board back in the day and I like when business comes to my town. I plan to retire in this town. And the more business, the more jobs, the more opportunity a small town can offer people, the better living for me, right?

Trevor: Yeah. And I really like your idea of hopefully this being the first of several interviews with craft cannabis, because they're interesting. And I think we're going to learn more from each different grower we talk to.

Kirk: Yeah, think of the utopia will be in our electric cars. And every time you have to stop the plug in, you're going to have a craft beer. You go check out the craft grow op and you'll have dinner at the local restaurant. You get in your car, you go down Trans Canada Highway. What a nice way to see Canada. A permanent smile on your face.

Trevor: That's good. Maybe you should get a bicycle or something. We'll let Rene pick a pick a song then.

Kirk: You know,.

Trevor: Did he get back to us?

Kirk: Well he said, David Crosby. So I was thinking, you know, this is our opportunity to play a David Crosby song.

Trevor: Sure another one.

Kirk: And let me know. Let me just pick one here and we can do one off of is his newest album.

Trevor: Well, while Kirk is looking for Crosby song, I'll remind everybody that we're Reefer Medness - The Podcast. You can find out everything Reefer Medness at www.reefermed.ca. We're always looking for story ideas that we're really looking for My Cannabis Stories lately. We haven't had one in a little while. So if you have things you like, hate, good experiences, bad experience with cannabis, record a voice memo.  About a minute or two long and email to us. All the info is on the website and again, we are recorded out of Dauphin Manitoba. City of Sunshine. And again, I'm Trevor, I'm the pharmacist you are again.

Kirk: And I'm Kirk Nyquist, the nurse,.

Trevor: And do you have a song for us now.

Kirk: I do have a song we're going to play David Crosby's the first song off his last album Here if you Listen. It's called Glory. It's fantastic. He's playing with a group of young musicians. This is one of his songs. And yeah, we get to play another the David Crosby song.

Trevor: All right, here you go. Eric, you got a David Crosby song. We'll talk to everybody else later. 

 

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