Ep #7 - Website

Using Aeroponics To Grow The Michigan Cannabis Market With Patrick Frakes

In this week’s episode Eric & Isaac sit down the Chief Revenue Officer for Rair Cannabis of Michigan and discuss all things cannabis.Patrick discusses how he got into the cannabis industry, lessons learnt from operating in the Michigan cannabis market, and using the aeroponics process to grow their cannabis. 

Patrick also talks about how RAIR is not a corporate Cannabis company, believing in the plant and wanting to help bring about change.

A little more on Patrick

Patrick Frakes is the Chief Revenue Officer for Rair Cannabis of Michigan.  After spending 25 years as a consultant assisting contractors obtain and manage federally funded contracts, Patrick made the move to Cannabis because of my belief in the plant. RAIR works in the Michigan cannabis market and throughout the US.

Patrick also had a 5-year run as an owner/franchisee for Sport Clips that helped me understand the retail space.  For Rair, Patrick has helped develop and operate our custom, highly automated aeroponic grow facility as well as our processing lab and 5 retail locations.  Patrick has now been in the Cannabis space for over 5 years and developed a brand partnership with NBA hall of famer, Ben Wallace called Undrafted.  Mr. Wallace was the first Undrafted player to ever reach the Basketball Hall of Fame and represents the dedication and grit needed in the Cannabis space today.

Transcription:

Eric:

This is the Roots to Risk Podcast hosted by Eric Schneider, alongside Isaac Bach. Roots To Risk brings you insights, the latest stories, and long form discussions about the cannabis industry. You’ll hear interviews with industry leaders and their perspective on current and future trends, how they’ve built success and what challenges they have faced. Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations and provide informative content for the cannabis community at large. Let’s go. What’s going on, Isaac? How we doing today? How are we feeling?

Isaac:

Doing well, man. Excited for, uh, another Roosters podcast. Excited for today?

Eric:

No, we got, we got a great guest on deck. Um, you know, Patrick Frakes from Rare Cannabis. They’re doing some amazing things in Michigan specifically, which, you know, I know we’ve seen a, a ton of great operators outta Michigan. I think it’s a market that is, I wouldn’t say underappreciated, but definitely not you say underappreciated. Alright, well, I mean, like, they’re, they’re doing some amazing things and, and some great products and, and truthfully some awesome operators, you know, rare at the top of that list.

Eric:

And just some quick background on Patrick, he’s the Chief Revenue Officer of Rare Cannabis in Michigan. Uh, you’re spending 25 years as a consultant assisting contractors, obtaining and manager federally funded contracts. Uh, you know, he made the move to cannabis because of his belief in the plant. You know, he also had a five year run as an owner franchisee for Sport Clips that helped him understand the retail space.

Eric:

And then for Rare, he’s helped develop and operate custom, highly automated aeroponic growth facility, as well as a processing lab in five retail locations. You know, he’s now been in the cannabis space for over five years and developed a brand partnership with N B a Hall of Famer, Ben Wallace called Undrafted. Mr. Wallace was the first undrafted player to ever reach basketball Hall of Fame and represents the dedication and grit needed in the cannabis industry today. I think that’s awesome.

Eric:

Um, and, and grit, a word that we use frequently, you know, in the, in the, uh, in the route meetings. And, uh, super excited to have him on. Yeah,

Isaac:

Me too. Excited to hear more about the, uh, partnership with Ben Wallace. He, uh, he was an incredible player back in the day for those pistons.

Eric:

I mean, I mean, obviously I’m not nearly the basketball players. Ben Wallace is Isaac, but, you know, my game is just rebounds. So I, I think if I were to be one NBA player, it’d probably be Ben Wallace.

Isaac:

I think he has a little bit more athleticism than you on the blocking side of it, considering I think he led the NBA and blocks a few years back in that, in that run. But yeah, and

Eric:

I think my vertical, I think my vertical jump is about five inches off the ground. So I think that, uh, that makes a lot of sense. <laugh>. Well, uh, well, let’s bring in Patrick and, uh, super excited to hear more about, uh, rare and, and what they’re up to and what’s on the horizon for 2023. Alright. Hey everybody. How we doing? Uh, super excited for our guests that we have on deck. Patrick FRAs, uh, chief Revenue Officer at Rare Cannabis, um, which is, uh, a sizable operator in the, in the state of Michigan.

Eric:

And, uh, super excited to have you on here, Patrick.

Patrick:

Thanks a lot for having me. Glad to be here.

Eric:

Absolutely. So if you could just give us a, a quick overview of, of rare cannabis and, you know, the different operations that you have and, um, you know, when the, when the organization was established and your role there, really, really would love to just know the ins and outs of, uh, rare cannabis.

Patrick:

Gotcha. Uh, well, we, um, we started operating in late 2019 when we finally got through the construction phase, uh, and the licensing phase. And then we had our first harvest about mid 2020 for our cultivation facilities. And then we, uh, we also have a processing lab facility in there, uh, at our complex in Jackson, Michigan. And at that time we were, um, starting with our first store, which was in Bay City, Michigan. Um, that was, uh, under construction during the covid time, so it slowed it down.

Patrick:

And then we got that store open and operating in October of 2020. And over the last two plus years, we’ve opened up four additional stores. So, uh, growing about 450 pounds a month, um, and opened up five stores. And we have probably about a hundred retail partners that we also wholesale our products through. Um, so we’re a vertical operator is the old term that we use.

Patrick:

And, uh, very happy to, uh, be in Michigan. We love the state and we love, uh, the Michigan cannabis market. It’s certainly been very competitive, um, and it’s a grind for sure, but we’re, we’re thankful to be a vertical operator and, you know, a company that is about the culture and a company that’s trying to do it the right way, not about a money grab. Um, and, you know, I, I lost both of my parents to cancer late in life. Uh, thankfully they had very healthy lives, but, um, my dad died in 2012, uh, with pancreatic cancer.

Patrick:

Um, and my sister was trying to get him to try edibles, and I was with him when he was in the last month of his life in home hospice care. And it was no fun at all. Uh, tough memory. And, um, you know, my mom diagnosed in 2015 with esophageal and lymphoma and lung cancer, all stage four, um, and is also terminal.

Patrick:

Um, and she, uh, was willing to try edibles. Um, and it was an amazing, uh, experience for me personally to witness how much that changed her quality of life in the last month that she had, and being able to joke around with her grandkids, my children, um, and just being able to, you know, have some quality of life even though she was, her life was ending. Um, you know, that was a big difference maker for me and really kind of compelled me to, to want to create this project.

Patrick:

And it was me who went to my partner, Kevin McFadden, a real estate developer, and suggested that we get into the cannabis space.

Isaac:

That’s, um, that’s a very personal story and appreciate you sharing it with us. Um, I think it’s, you know, one of the cool things about the cannabis industry is how much the plant impacts people’s lives on a personal level, um, you know, and what the GGE can come from. Um, so it’s awesome that I was, you know, seeing your mom kind of handle, uh, her illness with the use of cannabis in a positive way. Um, and that pushing you into the industry is really cool story.

Patrick:

Well, you know, and, and quite honestly, I’ve been a user of cannabis my whole adult life, um, even when it was in the old black market days. And, you know, I come from a long line of Irish heavy drinkers, <laugh>, and, uh, I was bartending in the DC area, and right after I got outta college and, you know, realized, I said, look, I, I can’t go down this road about really being dependent on alcohol. And so I really did say to myself, um, you know, that I felt like cannabis was a, a much better vice for me, you know, and I, I looked at it as a vice at that time in my life.

Patrick:

And now as I reflect on it, you know, and I, even when I got married and I got into my business careers, um, I still use cannabis. And I, I think now I look back and can very clearly determine that it was really, uh, a stress reliever, anxiety reliever, helped me manage the day-to-day responsibilities of growing up and going through that and, and really believe in its, uh, health and wellness properties.

Eric:

Yeah. It’s not, uh, you know, it, a lot of pe like it’s, it’s medicine, right. You know, to a lot of folks and, and, and helping with, uh, with different aspects of, of everybody’s daily grind. Right. I think, um, it, it’s unique. I feel like everybody has, like, the, the cool thing about the cannabis industry is, you know, we, you were just sharing how you, once upon a time where, uh, an insurance agent in, in life and health and, you know, everybody has a story, I feel like that pushed them into the cannabis space, right?

Eric:

Because it is, it is nuanced and it is, you know, a a newer emerging industry. So typically we, we all have, you know, a past life beforehand. Um, you know, I guess were you, were you operating at all, you know, you personally before Rare, or, or was rare really the, the first time that you, you know, entered into the space?

Patrick:

No, it was the first time, you know, I had developed a couple of different business ventures in my adult life. You know, I was a franchisee of Sport Clips, haircuts, and I had, uh, managed my own consulting firm, you know, when, when I evolved into consulting space for federal contractors. So I felt comfortable in, in, you know, taking risk and, and developing new business projects. And because of my past with the cannabis and my belief in the plant and, and the power of it, um, you know, I was very motivated as I saw legalization continue to move, you know, from the west coast states into the Midwest.

Patrick:

Um, I did not wanna wait around any longer, and I knew that there was a, a model there that could work and uh, was really the catalyst. The first thing I did was I went around to a bunch of cannabis conventions.

Patrick:

I met with growers, I met with operators from those west coast markets and got to know a bunch of really great people. And, um, you know, I went to a, um, you know, basically a, a meeting with my real estate developer partner and, uh, did my Shark Tank style pitch <laugh>. And, um, you know, thankfully he was, uh, really excited about the venture as well. And, you know, it’s been very rewarding even though it’s been very challenging. You know, we’ve met so many great people. We now have 145 employees in Michigan.

Patrick:

Really been able to help change people’s lives for the better with employment opportunities and, and have a great, you know, really family environment that, um, it’s been very beneficial for me personally and professionally. And it, it, it’s very rewarding to see how it’s helped their lives.

Eric:

How, how did you get to the, the Michigan market? I know, you know, you, you had mentioned you were from DC originally, you know, how, how’d you make your way out to Michigan?

Patrick:

Well, we were looking for emerging markets. You know, we really felt like going to Colorado or California where, you know, the, the legalization movement had, had already been, you know, growing and was more of a mature market, was gonna be more competitive. And so we knew about the, uh, the vote that was in 2018 coming up in Michigan to legalize adult use cannabis. And so we felt mid-Michigan was a really unique opportunity. Um, you know, the <laugh> in hindsight, they were, you know, they made licensing not extremely limited, so that made more, more business challenges than we probably anticipated, uh, knowing that we now have so many licensees in Michigan, but we were always, you know, trying to do it differently.

Patrick:

That’s why we call ourselves rare. I had a buddy of mine that was going aeroponically in Washington state, so I was familiar with Aeroponics and I really felt that would be a differentiator for us in the Michigan market. And it has been. And, um, I do believe that it creates a, a more clean quality cannabis, uh, experience for the consumers and the patients. So, um, you know, we were confident in it, but it’s, uh, we tried to get in when, when the commercialization of cannabis was starting in Michigan.

Isaac:

No, that’s really cool. I think, um, you know, can you, uh, describe a little bit, you know, just for some people who might not know a little bit more about the aeroponic process, um, cuz I do think it’s a very unique process that Naga Naga cultivars use.

Patrick:

Sure, yeah. And you can learn more about it at our [email protected], R A I R C o.com. Um, you know, the air and, and rare is certainly a play on words of, of we’re growing in the air, so our plants are actually suspended on our tables, uh, with a collar and the roots just for, uh, flow freely underneath. And, and, and each table, each growing table, we have 271 misters that are spraying our water and nutrients on the plants.

Patrick:

Um, depending on the genetic profile of the plant, some of them get watered more frequently than others, but usually it’s basically around every couple of minutes we’re spraying water and nutrients on those plants. And the increased oxygen that they take really speeds up the growing process from a tiny little plant until it’s ready to get into its flowering stage. So our cloning and our veg cycle is, is quicker than a lot of other grows, which obviously is beneficial, uh, commercially, um, to, to have your product ready quicker.

Patrick:

But the most important reason why we selected it, um, was because 70% of your potential contamination problems that you have with growing cannabis are actually in the growing medium in the soil, in the cocoa, in the groan cubes because, you know, you, you, you can never guarantee that every batch of that growing medium is gonna be safe or, you know, the same quality that the last batch you had. Um, and so, you know, we really were compelled by the idea that it was gonna reduce our potential problems.

Patrick:

Um, and the, you know, the, the potential pests or heavy metals that you can bring into your growing environment and your flowering plants, um, that, that was really compelling to us. Um, quite frankly, it does save us a lot on labor cuz we’re not hauling dirt in and out of our buildings, so that’s great. Um, and it helps us keep a, a more, uh, clinical medical grade environment, which everybody who comes into our facility says this is the cleanest grow I’ve ever seen.

Patrick:

And, and we’re very proud of that. Um, our director of cultivation, Ashley Hubbard, she came from the Colorado market. She came from a very, um, you know, for lack of a better word, rudimentary style, grow, you know, a retrofit old warehouse with a lot of hand watering and a lot of hand measuring. So we wanted to build a really customized state-of-the-art facility, um, that had a lot of data collection, a lot of automation, and, uh, we have a water reclamation system that costs us a bunch of money too.

Patrick:

So we’re using less water from the city, uh, water source, uh, than a typical household does. Really, the only water that is pulled from our city, uh, watered line is what we’re using for our bathrooms and our sinks, uh, and faucets. Uh, everything that’s running through the tables goes through reverse osmosis, it goes through ionization, it goes through, um, a, our skid filter once it’s been through the tables and it’s getting reclaimed and, and put back and recycled through the facility.

Patrick:

So we’re really collecting and recycling about, uh, 15,000 gallons a day. So it’s an amazing amount of water, um, that we’re, we’re storing, treating and then, you know, filtering again to, to reuse it.

Eric:

No, that’s, that’s, that’s incredible. And I think, uh, you know, we, we hear about ESG and, and how that’s such an important part of, you know, operating a business, right? It’s not only just driving for revenue, but, but what’s your impact environmentally? And it’s great to see that, you know, that’s at the forefront of, of what’s rares ethos is.

Patrick:

Well, and it’s really cool too because truly the aeroponics as a growing, uh, structure, um, started from, uh, them trying to grow vegetables in space on the space station. So if you think about it, trying to get fresh, uh, produce up in, up in the outer space, you know, they had a li they had limited water sources, limited environmental areas, so this was all, this was first done by nasa and they were growing, you know, tomatoes and lettuce and things, and these little, um, aeroponic little grow chambers.

Patrick:

So the, the astronauts didn’t just have to deal with that little, you know, pre-packaged space food, the toothpaste. So it’s, it’s toothpaste. Yeah, it’s a cool story. Um, and, and something that I think is really gonna be, um, evolving in our future for farming. Um, in indoor agriculture, there’s already a lot of growers in environments where, um, you know, maybe it’s the outside, um, atmosphere and, and temperatures and, and conditions, you know, whether it’s a dry climate or whether it’s a very wet climate with not a lot of sunshine.

Patrick:

You know, this is a great way to do, um, growing vegetables and just typical produce. So I know in a lot of different parts of the world that people are using aeroponics to grow this at this time.

Eric:

Did you start initially with, with aeroponics, like immediately right off the bat? Or is this something that you implemented, you know, down the line?

Patrick:

No, we, we were definitely exploring it from the beginning. Yeah. Um, it’s, it’s actually how I met Ashley Hubbard, our director of cultivation. She was exploring it and taking a pitch from an aeroponic, uh, machine producer, tables producer. Um, and so I actually met through that, that vendor, um, that Ashley, and, you know, really we were, we were fascinated by it, and we were really trying to be something different. You know, again, this company being called Rare, we’re, we’re about where cannabis is supposed to be heading, not where it’s been, you know, because the, it it’s, we’re not saying it’s the best way to grow cannabis, because at the end of the day, the best cannabis has grown by the best people.

Patrick:

You know, it, it’s about the tlc, it’s about people that know what they’re doing and are paying attention to those details. And there’s no one method that is better than the other because at the end of the day, you have to have talented quality personnel to be able to manage this plant. It’s, it’s such a funny story because you hear everybody say, well, it’s a weed, you know, it wants to grow, it’s even hard to kill it. And that’s a very true statement. But this plant is amazing and, and it will do its own thing, <laugh>.

Patrick:

And if you’re not giving it a really optimal environment for producing quality flour, y you’re gonna have seeds, you’re gonna have herme problems, you’re gonna have, um, mold, you’re gonna have issues, microbials. There’s a million different things that can come up. And so it’s very difficult to grow it properly.

Isaac:

Yeah, I was gonna say, it might grow on its home, but it’s not gonna grow into good products, just, uh, letting it rung wild <laugh>.

Patrick:

Exactly.

Eric:

What are, uh, speaking of that ib, what are, what are some of the, you know, products that rare is most known for, um, and, and that, you know, are featured in other Michigan dispensaries? Well, as well as rares dispensaries?

Patrick:

Well, we grow, uh, really quality flour, and that’s definitely been our bread and butter. Uh, we’re known for having quality flour, um, pre-rolls, infused pre-rolls. Um, and, and that’s the primary thing that we’ve gotten a, a great reputation on. We do also produce, um, distillate carts, live resin carts as well as concentrates, but we really do those more just for our stores, because as we’ve talked about before, the Michigan market’s very competitive. Yeah.

Patrick:

And, and I really think one thing that has evolved since we started this project in 2017 when we were developing the business plan, um, you know, back then it was really, everybody was just making dis distillate carts and shatter. And that was kind of it on the processing side. Now you have all of these boutique items that are just, you know, diamonds, T H C A powder. You’ve got sauce, you’ve got live resin, live rosin, hash rosin, bubble hash. And so a really a a amazing lineup of products.

Patrick:

And we make quality processing products for sure, and we’re very proud of them. But to be competitive in the Michigan market, you really have to have large scale and, and large throughput. So for us, we have the, the flour to create these products with, and we make ’em for our stores. But, um, you know, it’s, it’s sort of been more important for us to sell ’em in our own retail locations, so we didn’t have to deal with that wholesale competition out on the wholesale market.

Isaac:

It’s really interesting processing

Patrick:

Items.

Isaac:

Yeah, it’s, it’s really interesting how every state has their own, you know, obviously ecosystem, um, within as earlys to the canvas industry, but, you know, competitive advantages, um, kind of differ from state to state. So, you know, what you guys are doing is clearly a competitive advantage in Michigan again.

Patrick:

Well, and it’s for sure what we’re seeing now, and I, if you asked me for my forecast of the future of cannabis, I think processed items are certainly gonna continue to grow, and I think it’s gonna be an amazing decade coming up. We’re gonna see can of butter, we’re gonna see powder that you can put in your drinks, uh, fast acting cannabis, um, you know, the lotions and the salves and things like that are now really evolving too. Um, and, and there’s a lot of, uh, different forms of edibles.

Patrick:

You know, at first everything, every edible was a dis distillate edible, but now you’re seeing edibles created with full spectrum products like Ara and Edible. Um, and so you’re basically taking that, that benefit of, uh, of, you’re familiar with Rick Simpson Oil. Yep. Um, you know, which was a oppressing of, of the, of the flower. And, um, you know, you’re seeing, um, that full spectrum environment that is so beneficial to so many patients, being able to turn that into a gummy, I think is a real game changer as well.

Isaac:

That would, uh, that’d be a powerful gummy with a Rick Simpson Oil gummy that would, uh, that would cause some people, some, uh, re reevaluation of their dosages. <laugh>.

Patrick:

Well, it’s definitely a different high, that’s for sure, <laugh>, but it’s, it’s really unique because, um, you know, again, we’re getting into the details here, but when you take a, a full spectrum gummy, uh, or whether it’s a distal gummy, you know, it’s going through your metabolism. And so that metabolizing, um, function that goes on really does alter the, the effects that you feel. Um, but when you do it with full spectrum, you know, it’s definitely a much different feeling than people that are used to dist distillate gummies.

Patrick:

And I’m a big believer in really fascinated by the fast acting water soluble technology, which, you know, some people use nano emulsion, but basically that’s taking the, the oil and breaking it down into microparticles so it can flow into your saliva glands and into your lymph nodes and go straight to your bloodstream and bypass the metabolization that goes on with edibles.

Patrick:

That is a game changer. And I have tried a few different products. I’ve been involved with some scientists that are working in this field, and it’s a, there’s a lot of challenges associated with it. Um, but there is a group that I’m friends with and that I’m, um, working with on products in the future, um, called High Tech. Um, and they have a proprietary, um, scientific process that I think is really the best. And I’ve tried some of the powder, you can put it on your tongue and you feel like you smoked, but all you did was put a little powder on your tongue and you feel it in 10 minutes.

Patrick:

That’s really incredible. That’s

Eric:

Awesome. Yeah, we just had, uh, on, uh, last week we had, uh, Harold Han from osa mm-hmm. <affirmative> on, and, and they’re doing some amazing stuff with em, emotion. And, um, similar to, it’s, it’s really interesting just the development of products that we’re seeing across. And I think it’s also very important for, for people that are not accustomed to cannabis and want to, you know, have access or, or something that’s more comfortable to them, like a beverage or something that’s a little bit more approachable than maybe smoking.

Eric:

So I think, you know, the development of these products is gonna be really helpful to get, you know, the, the kinda curious folks, right. The people that are a little apprehensive, but um, are are willing and open to, to experiment.

Patrick:

Yeah. No, and I, I don’t mind smoking, but a lot of people don’t want to smoke. Yeah. And so they like to feel the benefits of this plant without smoking. And, you know, in the beginning it was really just edibles was their only choice. But now you have these situations, and I really do believe, you know, it’s gonna be, you know, just like when you go into a grocery store, you know, and you see, you know, you gotta provide an ID to buy your alcohol, I think that’s gonna be the wave of the future. It’ll take a while to get there through federal legalization, but when you can have cannabis beverages, uh, the powder packet similar to a propeller or Gatorade packet and, you know, cannabis butter, cannabis oil that you can put into your food, it’s, it’s definitely gonna be a different world.

Eric:

It’s gonna be a lot more smiles, I think, uh, for sure. Um, and speaking of the future, what, what are some things that, you know, is on deck for rare in, in the next year or two? And, and what’s the, the future is, you know, obviously you guys have a, a good foothold in Michigan. Is there any, you know, talks about expansion or, you know, uh, horizontal expansion within the state?

Patrick:

Um, well, we definitely are looking to expand our, our, um, retail footprint, you know, with, with additional locations. We want to get into the southeast market. You know, most of our stores are on the west side of the state, uh, except our Bay City location. We’d love to be in Detroit. Uh, we, we really have been very careful, I would say, with our money, um, and not willing to, you know, write a check for $8 million to get into a dispensary location. And we, we are gonna wait it out and, and find the right opportunity.

Patrick:

Um, but we also, um, are exploring other states right now as we speak, um, with emerging markets and some with partnerships with other people from those states. Uh, but more importantly, one of the things we’re most proud of is our brand partnership with Ben Wallace. Uh, big Ben from the Detroit Pistons, you know, was the first undrafted player to, to reach the NBA Hall of Fame basketball Hall of Fame about, uh, that

Eric:

Piston’s team was lights out with him. Uh, it was Chauncey Bes, right?

Isaac:

Hamilton, uh, rashe Wallace, the, oh yeah. They were the bad boys that reincarnated a little bit <laugh> bad

Eric:

Boys.

Patrick:

They were, and Ben, you know, really epitomized that mentality of being a bad boy. And, and, you know, he was known for defense, he was known, he was undersized, but he was tougher than everybody else. And he’s been a great partner for us. You know, I was lucky enough to meet him through a mutual friend invited him to come to our facility and, you know, we were not exploring a celebrity partnership. We really did not think that was, um, something we were trying to dive into because we wanted it to be authentic. And, and Ben is that, you know, he’s, he’s not just a, a, a brand partner, but he, he’s an owner of the Undrafted brand, so he has an equity stake in this.

Patrick:

And he also still lives in Birmingham, Michigan still does work with the Pistons. So he is an active member of the Michigan community.

Patrick:

And boy, everybody loves him. Everybody really appreciates, um, you know, what he stood for, you know, the work ethic thing, the underdog mentality. Um, and, and you guys have probably seen, you know, there’s the, the t-shirts, uh, Detroit versus everybody <laugh>, and that’s, that’s kind of what Ben epitomizes. So, uh, we named the brand undrafted, you know, and so you can see more about [email protected], you know, or on bw undrafted on Instagram and Facebook. Um, and he has been an amazing partner and, and a great guy.

Patrick:

And so we’re looking to expand that brand throughout Michigan as well as bringing the brand to other states. Right now we have some partners that are operators in other states that want to do, uh, a licensing agreements with the Undrafted brand. And we’re super excited to explore that and to, uh, bring undrafted, uh, nationwide.

Eric:

That’s very cool. Um, yeah, and, and we’ve seen, you know, I think, I think the celebrity brand, um, where we’ve, you know, just like objectively on the outside where we’ve seen, you know, people have success is when that individual is heavily invested in, in, you know, really a part of the community and in advocating versus, you know, just slapping a, a celebrity’s face on a, on a pack of pre-rolls and, and hoping that it sells. I think, you know, it, it sounds like, you know, the, the partnership is really deep and and tight, and I think that’s, that always, you know, goes a long way in terms of the, the longevity of, of that brand.

Eric:

Right. You know, the, the fact that they’re like heavily invested. We’ve seen it with like Ricky Williams and like Your Highness and what they’re doing and um, other, other celebrity brands that have taken off is where that that individual is very much involved.

Patrick:

Well, and Ben was lucky enough to, we were lucky enough to have Ben involved with an athlete’s panel, so he was already friends with Al Harrington and Viola, and we had had a couple of meetings with their group, but we got to spend some time last, uh, September in Chicago at the Benga conference. Ben was part of a panel with Ricky Williams and with, um, Rob Sims and Calvin Johnson from the Primitive brand. And, um, you know, that is really the, it’s, that’s was Ben’s statement that was made. It was actually featured in a High Times article.

Patrick:

You’ve gotta show up, you’ve gotta be able to put in the work and be willing to put in the work, because if you just stick your name on something, it’s not gonna make a difference to this cannabis community and the culture. Um, they’re looking for authenticity, they’re looking for quality, and they want to know the why’s and, and, and the reasons for, for the person getting involved.

Patrick:

And Ben is, is true about that. And, you know, he is very emphatic when he talks about the pain management issues that he had to deal with in recovery and, and what the, the NBA and, and all the professional sport leagues are, are providing as options are ridiculous when cannabis could be such a better alternative, a healthier alternative without all the side effect issues that they have to deal with. And, um, you know, between all of the different professional athletes I’ve been able to spend time with, it’s kind of shocking to me.

Patrick:

Um, you know, the stories they tell about how the athletic trainers were just shoving Percocet and anti-inflammatories, as many as they wanted, and it was all, you know, addicting and had horrible side effects, but if they had failed one drug test, they’d get suspended, you know, so, yeah. Uh, for cannabis. So it, the, the hypocrisy of those days is, is finally starting to wade and, and be over with. And nothing’s more important than that for not only professional athletes, but your day-to-day workers as well, because this is a much healthier alternative, healthier alternative than a lot of the other choices that have been out there.

Isaac:

No, I agree with you completely. I think, um, the fact that so many professional, former, professional athletes are coming out in support of the canvas industry, mostly on the, you know, ping management and medicinal side, um, is such a positive thing for the entire industry. Cuz you know, when Sports League listens, uh, for better or worse, the, the country seems to listen a little bit more than when your average cannabis advocate might be. So, um, I definitely think people like Ben Wallace, you know, supporting the plan is a huge help.

Patrick:

No doubt. No doubt. And we’re happy to be a part of it.

Eric:

That’s awesome. Isaac, I’m gonna, I’m gonna kick it over to you to, um, take us home.

Isaac:

Absolutely. Um, yeah, so Patrick, you know, couple quick, you know, fun questions for you. So, um, you know, what’s at the, uh, you know, what’s at the top of the podcast or, uh, apple Music or Spotify list these days, what’s, uh, where you listen to, to get you going in the morning?

Patrick:

Oh wow, that’s an interesting question. Um, I am, uh, a kid at heart, so I listen to a lot of newer music than someone my, my age typically does. But I listen to a wide range. I mean, I listen to everything from Kendrick Lamar to Gorillas to Black Keys, Royal Blood, cold War Kids. Uh Oh

Eric:

Yeah. I

Patrick:

Love it. Yeah. I really

Eric:

A lot to a Cold War kids concert in, in Central Park last year. There was like nobody, nobody really there. It was just like a popup charity event and they ripped I love the Cold War Kids. Yeah.

Patrick:

Well, and I was lucky enough to, uh, see Gorillas in Philadelphia at a small venue with 3000 people last September. And

Isaac:

That’s where

Patrick:

In was there at the Met.

Isaac:

Oh, that’s awesome.

Patrick:

<laugh>. Yeah. And it was an amazing thing. And, and Dayla Soul was there and I guess the guy has passed away since then. I think I, I may be getting this wrong, but I, I think that’s what, uh, a friend of mine was telling me that, you know, he, he texted me and he is like, it was a good thing you saw him that night cuz I think the guy passed away. Um, but, uh, you know, I, I continue to see live music. I’m actually going to see Paolo Nutini. I don’t know if you guys are aware of him, but if you’re not, you should give ’em a check. You should try ’em out. Palini is really pretty amazing.

Patrick:

Uh,

Isaac:

Well that did The Roots to risk a playlist that we gotta build out at some point that in the book list. Yeah. <laugh>.

Patrick:

Yeah, no doubt.

Isaac:

Speak.

Patrick:

But I love music. I love live music.

Isaac:

Awesome. Yeah. Um, other than that, showing the other ones on the, on the docket for, you know, the spring or summer,

Patrick:

Uh, I am taking my wife to see Billy Joel, that’s a bucket list item <laugh>, um, nice. And, uh, going to see him at Madison Square Garden. Um, but then, you know, I really, um, uh, I’m looking to see highly suspect, I don’t know if you guys are familiar, I’ve seen Highly Suspect five times. They’re much nice, much, uh, much more different. It’s heavy metal, hard rock, young guys. They just get wild and let loose and I’ve seen ’em in small bars five separate times and they’re opening up from Muse this summer, so Oh, that’s awesome.

Patrick:

Seen Muse too. They put on a good show. Um, but then, uh, you know, I saw a tool just recently, so I, I go to see it all.

Isaac:

I love you. Uh, you have a great range. I love it. Music taste, I love it. It’s awesome. <laugh>.

Patrick:

Yeah. Tool was like nineties, incredible

Eric:

Alternative rock nineties have that’s, that’s right in my alley range you against some machine. You haven’t,

Patrick:

Haven’t seen ’em, but I love him.

Isaac:

Yeah,

Patrick:

I know actually had tickets to go see him and Covid killed the concert. Yeah. So, um, I was gonna go see him in Chicago with a buddy of mine and, and never got a chance to make that happen, but I was looking forward to it

Eric:

Next time. Awesome.

Isaac:

Um,

Patrick:

But if you guys want one more little bit, if you just don’t mind saying there’s, there’s a, a band called Brass Against and, um, they do, um, horn versions, all, all horn sections. You got Sacks and trumpets and they do Rage Against the Machine. They do heavy metal, but with all the, you know, the wind instruments. So they’re all, it, it’s incredible. You should give it a try fast against They do covers everything. Yeah, no, it’s, it’s an amazing Go on YouTube, you’ll freak out

Isaac:

<laugh> <laugh>. I, I love when, uh, I love when bands take a special spin on well-known songs and kind of make it their own by doing things like that.

Patrick:

Yeah. Well you’ll love their versions of Rage Against the Machine Music. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Isaac:

That’s awesome. Um, you know, LA last kind of question for you is, you know, is there a book or podcast you know, that you’ve turned back to a few times or you would recommend, you know, anyone listening, you know, kinda looks into,

Patrick:

Um, <laugh>? I would say not really. I’m, I’m not, I’ve been so busy in my life. I have not been a Big Booker podcast guy. I wish I had a better answer for you, but No, I’m,

Isaac:

I love the authenticity.

Patrick:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my days are active, so I’m always out doing something, going to see music or doing my job or being out there with my kids and being involved as a dad. I got three kids that are fantastic. So, um, you know, I have listened to some podcasts. I’m trying to think of one cannabis podcast that comes from California. It’s the guy from Alien Labs. It’s a cannabis podcast, but I can’t remember the name of it, but I do listen to that on Spotify every once in a while. Um, but you know, other than that it’s nothing I’ve really dove into.

Patrick:

I do listen to a lot of NPR stuff. I, I like the NPR stuff is very informative, so

Isaac:

I love it. I mean, hey, it’s, um, you know, I would be lying to you too if I said I was in Avid regger all the time right now in my life. So, uh, I I definitely understand that, you know, sometimes things get in the way from time to time. I

Patrick:

Read a ton, but I’m just reading articles. <laugh>, you’re right. Yep. Yeah.

Isaac:

Um, well, cool. E you got anything else?

Eric:

No, that, I mean this has been, this has been awesome and, and really appreciate the time Patrick again and, uh, excited to see what’s on the, the Future Docket for, for Rare Cannabis. Seems like there’s, you know, obviously you had a ton of success in Michigan and, um, looking forward to seeing what, what 2023 brings for you.

Patrick:

Thank you so much for having me and looking forward to seeing how Roots to Ritz podcast grows as well. <laugh> hoping for great things for you. Hope I help. I appreciate

Eric:

It. You gotta add that to your podcast docket. You got roots to risk.

Patrick:

There you go. Awesome.

Eric:

Well thanks Patrick, appreciate you. No, that was a really, really interesting conversation, Isaac, and I think, you know, the, the information on what sets Rare apart in terms of their process and specifically on the cultivation side, I thought was super interesting and, and what they’re doing on the brand side as well with the partnership with Ben Wallace. Um, you know, super, super excited to see what they have in store for 2023.

Isaac:

Yeah, I mean, I think, um, yeah, one of the cool things since we’ve started this podcast is just getting to talk to, you know, these individuals in these companies who you can read about what they’re doing and kind of have an understanding, but hearing the background behind it, and I mean, Patrick’s story, um, you know, about cannabis use and like his family stuff is, uh, you know, pretty near and dear to everyone’s hearts I think. So, um, it’s definitely cool we get that type of insight both on the personal and professional level.

Eric:

Yeah, absolutely. And, and I think the why behind, you know, why people come into the industry, why people approach the, the specific process, right? And he kind of hit the nail on the head. He is like, there’s not one master way to, to grow cannabis, right? At the end of the day, it’s, it’s rooted in the people that you work with and the people that take care of the planet and, and really, you know, nourish it. Um, what I thought was, uh, was super powerful as

Isaac:

Well. No, a hundred percent. Um, there’s a lots of different ways to be successful in every different type of business and I think, um, it’s cool that they’re taking a unique approach and found something that was working really well for them.

Eric:

Excited for, uh, excited for the next one. I, I, the guests that we’ve had on are, are really, really great. I, you know, we got a tall task, um, but I think we’ll, we’ll continue to bring on some really cool people and, and hear their stories and their why.

Isaac:

Absolutely. Looking forward to it.

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