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Episode 1: How to Start a Cannabis Seed Bank

Episode 01 of the Full Spectrum podcast features Paul N Chucker from the DC Seed Exchange. We talk about the seed bank’s origin story, the issues he faces with running a seed bank while cannabis is still federally illegal, and some advice for anyone looking to start a similar business.

If you’re looking to start your own seed bank, this is a must-listen episode

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Here’s this week’s interview:

What You Need to Know to Start and Run a Cannabis Seed Bank

If you listen through to the end of the podcast you can grab a coupon code for 10% off your first purchase at DC Seed Exchange. I removed it from the transcript–give it a listen!

Episode 01 Transcript

* This transcript was auto-generated and likely contains errors.

One of the things we try to do is just always quickly turn stuff around. And one of the reasons I started the seed bank was based off of sort of my own experience with ordering overseas and in even some domestically and just you know, that awful like wait time where you’re super excited, cause you finally made the decision on what you’re going to grow and then it’s like weeks later, your seed show up, you know? And so that’s one of the things we never sell, anything that we don’t have on hand. Um, so that way things move quickly, you know, and we’re not sitting on a lot of inventory,

Right? Yeah. That’s smart. So, I mean, is that, so, so that’s basically the admins are going to ask the, the origin story. Uh, you just kind of what we’re fed up with with the experience of other seed banks.
I was, I was frustrated I think with the process and I felt like there was a lot more that could be done in the space. And I was, you know, coming out of a, you know, a job that was very stressful. Um, and I had been with a group of other individuals, we decided to make a run for one of the Maryland licenses. And so not really knowing, you know, what we were doing. This was about 2015. Um, we started putting together a proposal and an application to grow process and distribute or dispense medical cannabis in Maryland. And we partnered up with a gentleman who was an NAACP entrepreneur of the year winner and we gave it a really good one. We ended up coming in 19th. We weren’t alternate. Um, and looking back I I’m amazed, we got that far because the amount of money and stuff that was pouring into Maryland and the corruption that continues to just saturate everything that happens in that state.

Um, we, we thought, wow holy cow, we, we did something pretty amazing and we were holding out hope that we would you know, become not an alternate, but actually get the license because the 15 licenses that were given were, were so well there was no diversity within the group. It was just you know, corporate white males. Um, and that was really shocking. I thought, you know, being from the east coast and that area, I know how important African-American businesses and entrepreneurship is. And the state had said they were supporting that, but clearly when it came time for the money they did not. So we kind of went around with the lawyers for as long as we could, but because we were self-funded and self-started, we couldn’t be, you know, battle in court the same way those other guys could.

Um, but during that process, it’s not a woe is me. Story is I started part of my job was to start collecting genetics. And I worked with another guy at the time. Um, and we sort of just started what I would say is buying up building blocks. And that’s what I, I kind of took this lifeboat approach where I went after, you know, these, I wouldn’t even call them land race, but you know, the old classics, the Durban poisons, you know, you’re super silver haze is Northern lights. And, you know, the idea is I wanted to start a breeder program because it wasn’t sure how the regulations were going to allow for genetics into the state. And I thought the best way to tackle that was to actually start our own breeder program. And so I had talked with some of the breeders in the area.

Um, one of whom was, was big worm and genetics. So shout out to him and, you know, we thought what if we could, you know, really start making great genetics here on the east coast. And the reason for that was coming from, you know, the folks that I had talked to in Maryland, Virginia and Ohio who were coming on, we also submitted an application there. We did another application in Missouri, so I’ve always been a bridesmaid Debra bride. And so when that all kind of fell through in Maryland, I was left with this huge kind of repository of seeds that I had been optimistically you know, sort of hoarding. And I think that’s how most people and most of my customers get started is you start saying, you know, I got hooked on docks, dank seeds, really early, big warm seeds with another, you know, genetics.

Um, those guys have been so good to us over the years. And I was just, you know, kind of cruising through the forums and trying to find someone in, in breeders who were doing something unique. Um, and I wanted to bring genetics to the east coast because in DC, we had a really robust, and we still do have a really robust homegrown law. And there were these seed giveaways, and I’m not kidding, man. There was like, people lined up around the block just to get like some white bag seed that you didn’t know what it was, you know, blah, blah, blah. And I, I did this, you know, I, I, I was like, yeah, I want to get them three seeds, you know? And I was like super disappointed. Um, and I was like, well, this, you know, I don’t know what this is.

I don’t know how to grow this. Um, and so I just kinda thought what if I started a little seed exchange just for DC, you know, and, and I know I was doing a lot of pop-ups and going to pop up events. So I had a good little community of like-minded sort of cannabis entrepreneurs who were really pushing the boundaries of kind of what this [inaudible] law was going to look like and how that was going to sort of manifest itself. And then the early pop-up days, we just you know, we’re slinging, see, it’s like off of a table buying seeds and, you know, people would come in, but they were legitimate. You know, they had a label that, you know, they had what strain, you know, whether it was forbidden fruit or prime crystal, or, you know triple purple wine.

No, I remember from doc stank was super huge and, you know, people were going nuts because it just wasn’t the Amsterdam type of seeds that they had seen before. And it was kind of injecting, I think, a new energy and, you know, new possibilities for cultivation on the east coast. And I could kind of see this [inaudible] corridor was going to become lit at some point. Um, I didn’t know how long, but, you know, Massachusetts, Maine, New York I knew, you know, there you know, Pennsylvania had talks going on Virginia, and I thought this was just a perfect opportunity to, to get quality genetics into the hands of folks in a timely way, you know, and that was the other thing is because we’re on the east coast and most of our customers, I would say are east of the Mississippi. They get their packages and their gear so quickly.

And that’s important to me, you know, in the day and age of Amazon people expect stuff to move at like lightning speed. And whether you agree with that or not, it’s just the reality of the business. And I really set out to do two things, and that was to communicate and be honest with our customers. And that was a real frustration I had, it was, you know, calling seeds man, or you know, if you would just get no where no one would answer, no emails were ever returned. Um, and then it was to be quick, you know, it was just get the stuff out the door as quickly as possible. Um, and if you could do those two things and do it in a nice way, you know, like with them, the other thing was packaging. You would spend all this money.

And, and I still agree to, this is even if you’re spending $25 on a pack or $225 on a pack, you should be getting the same treatment. And, you know, so whether it’s the freebies, the stickers, you know, we want it to have sort of this unboxing. And hopefully when you get your seeds, you know, I was looking at the apple model where you’re so excited. You kind of want to open this package and, you know, there’s going to be something else in there, but you don’t know what it is. And it’s that kind of surprise. I think we all like going back to our childhoods, right. You know, where you get the cracker jacks and inside is the, you know, super surprised. And so I’ve kind of taken that. I like to do that. You know, we, we put everything in a nice bag you know, for security reasons, as well as, you know, keeping the integrity of the product, but it, I think it makes it for a more interesting and enjoyable experience rather than just this Manila padded bubble or comes in.

And inside is just some like test tubes. Like we felt like such a west out, you know, like so you know, that that’s really how it got started is and it kind of just snowballed from there. We then adding more and more breeders you know, every month we try to be selective in who we bring on. I look at the seed exchange as a local bodega where we should represent, like, if you go out to Portland, you want to drink a beer from Portland, you know what I mean? Like, you don’t want to drink a beer from Maine when you’re in Oregon, you know, and vice versa. And so I firmly believe that seeds grown and cultivated in our ag zone do better. And this back to like Yoder seeds and like old school farming. And that has no, I’m not knocking anyone who’s growing in Oregon and California and Colorado.

But the issue was we’re at sea level there at 5,000 feet. Um, we’d get hurricanes and tornadoes and humidity that is out of this world. And, you know, and, and not that they don’t deal with their own environmental issues of powdery, mildew and Oregon, but I, you know, it’s just those strains that have been climatized, I think do better. And so we have tried to, you know, have a smattering of your local guys. Like I try to find something new for people to try that they may not have heard of a lot of people like, oh, I’ve never heard of these guys. And I’m like, yeah, because you know, they’re one probably operating in a state that’s still legal. And two, they’re not, you know teamed up with a marketing firm. Who’s able to hype their gear, but they’re doing something because they’re passionate about it. And usually that is health reasons. Um, you know, breeders will grow for different reasons and we try to find those breeders who have a mission if you will. Uh, and why they’re breeding?

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Is that why, I mean, is that basically the value proposition for the breeders? Like they’re good at growing, but they’re not good at, you know, the e-commerce side of things and that’s what your site brings to the table.

So, yeah. And, and when we started the seed exchange, that’s exactly right. Um, I said we would always be equal partners. And so when I talked to the breeders, I told them when we started, we’ll pay up front if, if I don’t believe you’re gonna sell, then I’m not gonna pick you up. So, you know, unlike some of the other banks who were doing consignment and stuff like that, I felt like no, let’s make this a regulated, you know, sort of professional business. And if we were selling widgets, you know, I would buy those widgets, you would send them to me and we would, you know, sell them. And so I think the breeders like that, the other thing is I also told them is I worked for you, not the other way around. And I think some seed banks have gotten a little turned around on that.

I liken it to, you know, Calvin Klein, right? Like I sell Calvin Klein jeans, but I don’t make Calvin Klein. I’m not Calvin Klein. Um, he he’s a special individual. And so I’m able to ride their coattails, not the other way around. And I hope what I do is I exactly, I, I bring the marketing, I bring the e-commerce the customer service side so that they can focus on what they want to do. And that’s growing the best genetics possible dealing with customer service, dealing with credit card payments, the banking, all the e-commerce stuff takes up a lot of time, the Instagramming. And so I feel like some breeders are very good and we work with breeders who do sell directly and then some decide not to work with seed banks at all. Um, and then, you know, so there’s sort of like three hybrid model, you know, three models really is those guys who were so low, independent, they’ll just sell, you know, direct those folks who kind of do a hybrid of that, right.

They’ll do direct, like only seeds will do, but yet he has a few select banks he works with. And then you have folks who only will work with a bank, you know, they just do not want to deal with that side of the business. Um, so yeah, that, that’s the idea is we’re able to sort of take away some of that distraction and let them focus on and also help them, you know, amplify their message to our, you know, 38,000 Instagram followers. And I think we have, you know, 16,000 newsletter subscribers. Um, and so yeah, you know, it helps I think with, with their success as well. Um, and so we hope that it’s a flag in their cap, you know, you know, it’s like, oh, I’m in DCC exchange. We, we have a lot of breeders who want to get in. Unfortunately we can’t take them all because of our own sort of physical limitations, you know, whether that’s storage or just, you know, the number of hours in a day that it takes to fulfill orders and get it all right. But

You guys, aren’t trying to be the Walmart of seed banks.

No, exactly the opposite. Yeah, exactly. Um, like I said, I’m more interested in trying to be your local bodega who able, you know, you’re able, I would love to have a brick and mortar one day where you’re able to walk in and we can talk shop and I can kind of guide the customer through that seed buying process because it is so overwhelming. And one of the biggest knocks that we have is people will come to the website and say, I don’t, I don’t know what I’m looking for. You know, I, I just want to feminize sativa, and this is too overwhelming and we’re trying to work on that. And how do we kind of get to a point, because I am such a nerd about genetics. When I built a website from scratch it, it came out of sort of the big bang side of things, you know, it was like all the breeders. And if, you know, you gotta kinda know, you know, that stuff, but if you’re just a new person starting out, I think it can be kind of overwhelming. And that’s some feedback we’ve got that. Um, w we’re currently, I’ve got a web designer trying to work on that and how we can present the website in such a way that it is easy for novices and experts alike.

There’s just so many different strains out there now.

Yeah. Right on. Can you give can you give kind of an idea of, I don’t know, some, I’m sure you’d want to talk about your exact revenue, but some, some idea of the volume of sales you guys do, or maybe the number of visitors that come through the site. Just some idea of the scale of, of how the sites doing.

Well, I can say let me see here, let’s just pull up the analytics. I know we’ve served over 25,000 orders since we’ve started. Wow. Um, let’s see. So this year we’ve fulfilled 5,400 orders. Um, we’ve had 25,000 visitors and we’ve sold over 9,000 products.

Oh, that’s very impressive. Congrats. Yeah.

And yeah, with 167 page views, 167,000 page.

So where do you have any sense of where most of your traffic’s coming from? Is that through social media?

Yeah, I would. I mean, we don’t do a lot of marketing or paid advertising. Um, I’ve tried to run the seed bank off of kind of guerrilla marketing and word of mouth. I felt like that was kind of the best way when we, especially when we were small, there’s this, there’s a balancing act between being one of the big guys and getting all that attention and, you know, in sort of the regulatory arena that we’re in and then kind of flying below the radar and I’ve always tried to kind of fly below the radar, you know, and that meant, you know, we didn’t want to do anything like, you know, big splashes and, and huge advertising and marketing. So it’s really been just word of mouth and Instagram. Um, I, you know, having kind of a social media background, I was just smart enough to be dangerous on Instagram.

And, you know, I built that up that following organically we’ve never paid, you know, for a light or a view. Um, and so we’ve just started doing some very small sponsorships. Um, so for example, like we’re working a Virgin homegrown Virginia. Um, they are like a little hydro shop in Richmond. Um, we’ve got a little partnership with Illinois, a news joint you know, just for like some small banner ads we’re looking at maybe, you know, doing some forum stuff. Um, so yeah, we’re just kind of dipping our toe into that right now and trying to see where the value add is the other thing we’re going to be doing a lot more of, and we had planned to before COVID hit it was hitting a lot more of the trade shows and events particularly on the east coast, you know whether that is when I say east coast, it’s more like east of the Mississippi. Um, so you know, whether it’s an Illinois, Michigan or Maine you know, I, I feel like we want to kind of be part of that conversation and also meeting growers and like-minded folks, right? Like it’s really important to be out there and discovering new breeders and new work and new trade stuff. So hopefully we’ll start doing that and that’ll also help know, sort of build the business and momentum and yeah,

Right on. So, I mean, what are your, like, long-term, I guess, goals for the site, you know or the business, I should say, assuming, you know, cannabis continues to be more legalized in more states, maybe someday federally, like, like what are you w what is the bigger version of this look like or the five-year version, I guess I would say,

So that’s a great question. And this industry’s moving so quickly. If it’s really hard to even, I look back at the five years we’ve been in it and how quickly it’s grown. And I can only imagine what the next five years is going to bring. Um, so we’re trying to position ourselves to support we, we just firmly and robustly support home, grow laws. Um, not that we’re anti corporation, but we, we believe in local, you know, people should be able to grow their own medicine. And it’s a very troubling trend to see these, these big cannabis corporations come in and start snapping up their businesses. And I think any of us who like small town shops and shopping locally naturally have kind of a, a fear of that. And then until those businesses can prove themselves as reputable and honorable, I think it’s important to be able to support local breeders and local home grow laws that allow people to grow their own medicine without being taxed or having to you know, go to a dispensary and not be able to get exactly what they need.

It’s so hard with, with no federal regulation or testing. So many people come to grow on their own because they found a strain that works for whatever condition ails them, you know, whether it’s arthritis or Parkinson’s, or like this strain, you know you know, train wreck just works for me. I have to use this, and I’ve met people like that. And, and blue dream doesn’t work the same as train wreck. You know what I mean? You can’t just swap it out and there’s a lot more that needs to be done in terms of that. But I think the issue with dispensaries in the medical community is that the supply is not, there is you can’t consistently get the same medicine weekend and week out, you know, it might be sold out. It is, you know? Um, and so we’re, we’re looking at that.

How do we kind of like home, you know, brewers, I look at other industries a lot and I make analogies. And a lot of that is the home brewers are, you know, kind of space. And we want to support those guys and being able to, you know, make micro brew. And I, I like micro breweries. I like going to places that I haven’t been to and tasting things that I haven’t tasted before. And I think that’s kind of a natural consumer and we want to offer them a variety of flavors and flowers that, you know, can meet that demand. Um, then we’re also building out the sort of B to B side of things, and that is working with licensed cultivators and supplying them with wholesale pricing so that, you know, at the end of the day, we want our breeders to be in dispensers. And so if I can make sure that DJ shorts blueberries on the shelves and Maryland, or New York that only helps my seed sale and his sale. And so I’m working with some of the bigger breeders on how we can start offering wholesale pricing and bulk pricing to those licensed cultivators well below what they would have to pay, you know, retail. So instead of having to buy like 10 packs of DJ short, we could just send them a hundred seeds directly from him. And, you know, everyone wins.

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I’m assuming there’s quite a lot of legal hurdles as well in the way right now.

So yeah, luckily I have a very talented lawyer who allows me to, to ask them all sorts of random questions. Um, he and I have been friends for a while and he he’s in this space in, in DC. And and so yeah, like compliances or in banking or our two biggest concerns and how we can legitimize our banking. And then of course working with electronic payments is the other issue. And I’ve, in fact, we just attended the PBC conference in Washington, DC, which is a financial banking conference. Um, not a lot of people go to it who aren’t into like nerdy taxes and stuff like that. But we go because I like to talk to visa and MasterCard lobbyists and kind of get an idea where they are. And the fact of the matter is they’re not going to be banking cannabis in any time soon until the feds change it, but they know they’re banking cannabis, right?

So it’s one of these kind of, they know what’s happening. There’s not much they can do about it, but if they do find it, they have to stop it. And so how do you kind of tread lightly in that space? And we’re really trying hard to, again, just be as professional and above board as possible. I would just love to be able to run a normal business that I’m able to bank and write a check. And it just really bothers me that decent MasterCard. And I told this to the lobbyists will gladly take a credit card for firearms and ammunition, but they won’t take it for seeds. And I’m like, that is just so backwards to me. Um, so, but they’re, their hands are tied. I mean, I understand why but if it’s going to come soon that they’re going to have to start banking cannabis, because there’s just so much what they call legacy cash that’s left on the table, right. And banking cash. It costs you 25 cents on the dollar versus if you bank electronically, it’s 2.50 cents on the dollar. So it’s just expensive dealing with cash.

Hmm. Interesting. So that kind of, I mean, you’re, you’re talking about consulting with the lawyer. I’m wondering if that’s what you did when it came to, when it comes to the you know, the, the language on your site about, you know, this is a, these are souvenir seeds, you know, like, I mean, like how kind of, I dunno, defensible is that you know what I mean?

I don’t know, to be honest I feel like we have that on there because everyone else does, you know, and I don’t even know who came up with that language at first. Um, but yeah, no, I should, I should probably have Josh take a look at that. But no, I know it’s like everything that, you know, it’s like a blanket clause, you know, of course I’m not doing anything wrong. That’s why I’ve got this, you know, paragraph at the bottom of my email. Um, you know, so who knows? Um, I, I swear we do so much of this stuff, you know, just because everyone else is. Right. Um, so yeah, I don’t, I, I don’t know. What I do know is when I talked to the banks is we’re seeing some movement and I’ve been trying to educate the underwriters and the comptrollers, because at the end of the day, seeds do not have THC.

And this is where my attorney and I sort of, you know, take the, this is where we would argue from, and that is if you smash a seed and put it under and test it, you’re not going to get any THC. So why is it that you’re allowed to send hemp seed and you’re not allowed to send cannabis when, if you were to harvest cannabis early, you may still be below that 0.3% or 1% now. Um, and so, you know, I obviously understand sending like, you know, cure dried flower through the mail, but the idea that you’re not allowed to send seeds is one, I don’t even think the post office cares anymore. And then to it, I think there’s just, you know, no jury in America would convict anyone. I mean, I hope, you know, that sending the seeds, you know that may or may not have been planted. So that’s where you get this, oh, you have to abide by, you know, local or state laws. You can, you know, preserve them, but, you know you could probably wipe your bum bum with that.

Well, it sounds like, it sounds like almost the like torrent site defense, like we’re just hosting the files. We did not, you know, rip this season of avatar and put it up ourselves, you know?

Exactly, exactly. So we’re just the pass-through. Right, right.

So it is that, is that probably the biggest thing that you would say would prevent someone like say I wanted to start my own seed exchange or seed site, like, is that, is that the biggest hurdle I would run into?

That’s interesting question. I think the biggest hurdle is, yeah, you would run into our banking, like how do you set up payment and, you know, systems and be able to do that in such a way that it doesn’t become so cumbersome now we’re so blessed because our customers are kind of used to wonky pain and systems just because of the industry. But it does bother me that I have to get balled up with the pornographers, the, again, you know, the, the arms dealers, the pharmaceuticals, you know, all these quote unquote high risk companies. When I feel like we’re pretty low risk, you’re selling seats. Right. Not, you know, not bike it in or, you know, so yeah, I would say the number one issue is, is banking and e-commerce, and then the other one is, is trust. Um, it takes, this is a naturally suspicious and, you know, I wouldn’t say paranoid, but you know, we’ve built relationships with these breeders and, and it, it takes a lot of time to, I mean, we don’t know each other, a lot of these people I’ve actually never met in person.

You know, it’s not like I flew out to haze man’s place and, you know, we hung out, you know you know, I’ve talked to him on the phone, we do email you know, but there’s a lot of trust there and to be able to get those people, their money on time and in a way that, you know, every breeder has their own special issues. You know, like if one of them’s in Michigan, it’s a lot tougher to bank, then you know, the guy in Oregon. Um, and so they all have, you know, different names and they have different emails. So, you know, you have to, I think that’s been the sort of legacy of DCC and exchange is just being an honest broker to the breeders and other consumers, of course, but without the breeders, you got nothing. And so I think it’s easy for new seed banks to come in and pick up those breeders that are, are huge, you know, that have enormous seed stock, like Humboldt seed, for example, one of our, I just love Nathaniel and what they’re doing over there. Um, the guy makes hundreds of thousands of seeds a year. Um, he can do that kind of volume. Um, but yeah, I think, you know, there’s only a finite number of seeds in a lot of these breeders don’t make that many. Um, and so I feel very fortunate that they’ve let us represent their work. Um, and you know, the list goes on, but they, they could be listed anywhere they want. And the fact that they let or want to work with us, I feel like is a success, a Testament

To the transparent brand you’ve built.

Right. And so that just came from the forum days when I would look a fan boy, you know, like, no, no, no, no. And I’d write these guys and I’d either seeds and you know, that’s, it just was, it’s kind of funny that relationship and how it takes time. And and then when we bring new breeders on, it’s always, I always check with the folks who we’re already working with. Is this person reliable? Yeah. Have you heard anything, you know, is this, so that way, if everyone can play nice in the sandbox, you know, we’ve gotten sideways with breeders are fragile flowers. Uh, they have large egos and they are always getting into it with each other, you know? So a lot of times I’m just refereeing, egos.

Interesting. It’s like, I guess there are like the artists of the space.
Oh yeah. They’re creative. Totally. Um, and I love every one of them, but they’re all different. Um, and they all have their own sort of, you know stuff and, and what they’re doing. And so, yeah. Um, I just feel lucky to, to be able to work with them. And every day I wake up, it’s funny. I, and I know it sounds cheesy, but I’m like, holy cow, I get to work in this space and I get to talk to DJ short, or I get to call, you know, Rick at brothers Grimm, Mr. Soul, and the, I still to this day get nerdy when I talked to those guys, you know, cause I, I love reading and I’m, that’s why I took the name. Paul and shocker was a nod to being someone who just chucks Paul and because what these guys are doing for example, Tony green, you know, doing line breeding where you’re in, like [inaudible], and it’s so incredible.

And I don’t think people understand that how much work and time and years of effort go into that. Um, and you know, it’s easy to make an app and we have a lot about ones on the site, but I really want to, you know, build out more and more of those greeters who are doing deep line work like Tony, like DJ coastal seed deep Ellum, he’s just about to join our family. Um, only seed is, has done some amazing work with his Tropicana cookies. Um, so you know, those people who are just really diving deep into it and not just doing one-offs are the ones who catch my interests.

Yeah. It makes sense. Cool. Well that’s really all the questions I had prepared. Um, is there anything that I should’ve asked about, but didn’t or anything, you know, you want to kind of pass along to maybe people looking to get in this, in this space?

Yeah, I, I would just say you know, with any business, we try to have a good social what’s it called? Social responsibility. And when I started the seed bank, given my background is I was embedded with the U S military overseas. And the only reason I have 10 fingers and toes today is because of those men and women who kept me safe and secure. Um, and so if you’re a veteran and you cannot afford seeds, please reach out. We have seeds for you from top readers and we don’t, you know, we don’t advertise it, but by word of mouth, we will make sure you get any seeds that you need free of charge, no shipping. Um, all you have to do is tell me, you know, why you need seeds and how you’re going to use them. And that’s just kind of something we like to do is just giving back.

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We give a lot of seeds away and I think that’s important is to remember this plant and why we’re all attracted to it. And it’s really important that we’re able and also folks with disabilities or caregivers, if you reach out and you say, look, I’m growing from my, you know, my dad, my mom, or my sister, who’s sick, we will send you seeds. Um, so, you know, just remember at the end of the day, it’s not just about the almighty dollar that that’s been nice. I mean, we’ve finally gotten to a place where we’re sort of self sustaining ourselves and, but I do have another job. It’s not like I’m able to quit my day job and do this. So, but you know, we’ve added staff and we just want to try to get as much you know, pleasure and see, and also send us your picks. We love seeing what you guys are growing

Right on. Yeah. Cool. Well, I really appreciate you coming on to, to chat with me. Uh, it’s been pretty, pretty interesting to hear about what it takes to be a, a seed company and, and trying to navigate all the, all the really around banking and

Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. If we could, if we could follow that it would be so much easier, so much time and energies on just doing that. Um, but I think it is loosening up in, in every day. It seems like there’s more and more willingness to work with companies. We’re just about to add mesh payments. Um, they seem to crack that nut and so someone’s gonna figure it out and when they do there, there’s going to be just a, I think, a flood of home growing. And I just love that like project overgrow, let’s just, you know, everyone should have a protest plant

Right on. Thanks again, man. I appreciate it.

Great. I look forward to talking to you soon. Thanks for the opportunity.

View Systems, Inc.’s (VSYM) Sannabis Announces APPROVALS of their Seed Bank Facilities by Inspector from Colombian Institute of Agriculture (ICA) for the Issuance of a Coveted Cannabis Seed Use License in Colombia.

Cali, Colombia, April 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — View Systems, Inc.’s (OTC:VSYM), Sannabis S.A.S. (the “Company”) announces the approval by an inspector from the Colombian Institute of Agriculture (ICA) of their Seed Bank Facilities in Popayán- CAUCA, Colombia, historically the country’s top marijuana growing region. The area is known for its unique landrace strains that have been sought after for many years by European seed banks due to their unique properties. These approvals allow for the commercialization of cannabis seeds certified by the Sannabis Seed Bank.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Agriculture’s ICA performed a site visit at Sannabis Seed Bank Facilities for approvals to register as a producer of certified seeds, and to conduct Agronomic Evaluation Studies (PEA). Sannabis is happy to report that the ICA inspector has approved both, now they must wait for a final resolution from the Ministry of Agriculture to be issued before they can begin Agronomic Evaluation Studies. They were approved to study Psychoactive (>1% THC) and Non-Psychoactive (<1% THC) marijuana strains. Studies will begin with their University partners to certify the first 10 strains, including one to produce hemp building materials, such as hemp roof tiles Sannabis has developed along with a local University which have passed durability tests. These studies are necessary to be able to file a patent on these tiles.

To see a copy of the reports approving the Seed Bank Facilities, click here.

The phytosanitary studies require them to grow a test batch and measure its characteristics before coming to market in order to certify its genetics. Sannabis has registered Colombian Landrace Strains from the CAUCA department including Punto Rojo and Mango Biche.

To see a list and technical specifications for the 160 Cannabis varieties they’ve registered with ICA, click here.

As new countries legalize marijuana, they will need to source certified genetics from a national seed registrar such as Colombia’s ICA. Sannabis is in talks with several parties interested in working with them and will make announcements accordingly. The Ministry of Agriculture is not accepting new applications for Seed Use Licenses as of December 31, 2018.

“These approvals, and subsequent Seed Use License, will allow us to forge relationships with the many global players looking to enter the legal marijuana industry in their home countries,” stated John Campo, President of View Systems, Inc. and co-founder of Sannabis S.A.S.

“We’ve put many years of hard work towards achieving this goal and are ready to start providing certified genetics possible to customers around the World,” commented Juan Paulo Guzman, Director and co-founder of Sannabis S.A.S.

Last year, Sannabis was issued a Fabrication license, click here to see their GRANTED Fabrication and Export License for cannabis derivatives. Sannabis also received notice from the Ministry of Justice concerning their cultivation licenses, they expect to have those licenses issued once the Ministry’s minor requests have been satisfied.

The State of Cannabis Legislation & Licensing: Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C.

Newly introduced to the cannabis world within the education sector is the nation’s first master’s degree program in medical cannabis through the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy . Both on campus and online, classes in this two-year program will include basic science, clinical use, adverse effects and public health, and federal and state laws and policies. This is just one sign that progress is being made throughout the northeast region. Let’s take a look at marijuana legalization and cannabis business licensing in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington D.C., as of June 2019.

Maryland Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is legal for medical use in Maryland. Possession of 10 grams or less is decriminalized. Recently, the sale of edible medical marijuana products was legalized . Additionally, the Maryland General Assembly has convened a task force to study cannabis legalization in the state. Findings and conclusions will help determine if the full legislature will consider legalizing cannabis for adult use in the state next session or put the issue to voters via a ballot initiative. Criminal justice, public health, and best approaches regarding licensing, taxation and social equity will be considered by the task force.

Maryland currently has 15 licensed medical cannabis cultivators, 18 processors, and 77 operational dispensaries. Applications for an additional four medical cannabis grower and 10 processor licenses closed June 24, after a month-long extension from the original close date. The application fee for medical cannabis growers and processors was $2,000 for each type of license. The state pre-approved 102 companies as medical cannabis dispensaries and 77 are currently active in business. The application fee was $1,000.

Pennsylvania Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is legal for medical use in Pennsylvania. Possession of small amounts is decriminalized. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman launched a 2019 ‘Listening Tour’ aimed to directly receive public opinion regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania, where all 67 counties were visited. Results are pending, including the information from the 35,000 online submissions received.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Health Department launched a private-public partnership with three medical cannabis companies and three universities to conduct clinical research on the efficacy of medical cannabis, including effectiveness for the 21 conditions that qualify access to the state’s medical cannabis program, as well as additional ailments.

The Office of Medical Marijuana is not currently accepting applications from new growers, processors, or dispensaries. Previously, the grower and processor application fee was $10,000 with a $200,000 permit fee, and proof of $2 million in capital, while the dispensary application fee was $5,000 with a $30,000 permit fee, and proof of $150,000 in capital.

West Virginia Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is legal for medical use in West Virginia. Despite recent successful legislation regarding this issue, the launch of the medical cannabis program may be delayed up to three years due to the concern about the ability of MMJ companies to secure banking services. Indication of the state’s feel towards decriminalization materialized in early June, when voters in Salem, West Virginia, rejected a local marijuana decriminalization measure during a city election.

The Bureau for Public Health will issue medical cannabis permits in West Virginia initially for no more than 10 growers and 10 processors. Only one individual grower or processor permit will be allowed per person, and a grower or a processor may not be a dispensary. The grower and processor application fee of $5,000 is non-refundable; the permit fee of $50,000 is refundable if the permit is not granted. Permits will be initially issued for no more than 30 dispensaries, with no more than five in any region and the limit of two individual dispensary permits per person. The dispensary application fee of $2,500 is non-refundable; the permit fee of $10,000 is refundable if the permit is not granted.

Virginia Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is illegal to use in all forms in Virginia. CBD oil or THC-A oil is allowed for up to 10 mg of THC as a treatment for severe epilepsy with a doctor’s recommendation. Governmental support of decriminalization is gaining momentum, while nearly three-quarters of Virginia voters favor decriminalization, as polled in 2018.

State licensed pharmaceutical processors may cultivate, process, and dispense the CBD extracts to patients. The Board of Pharmacy issued conditional approval to five applicants in 2018. It is anticipated these pharmaceutical processors will be operational in the fall of 2019, following construction and board inspection.

Washington, D.C. Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in D.C. but is barred from commercial sale and use in public and on federal lands, including national parks, national forests, and military property. In Washington, D.C., all individuals aged 21 years and older may possess, grow, and use marijuana. Qualified medical patients may possess, use, and access medical marijuana. State-licensed organizations may grow, process, and dispense marijuana for medical purposes only.

In 2013 and 2014, Washington, D.C. licensed a very limited number of medical dispensaries and cultivation centers. No system is currently in place for additional cannabis business licensing in Washington D.C. Because of the unique balance between state and federal rulings which prohibits the sale of cannabis, the loophole has been exploited by local businesses. Most commonly, donations are accepted and cannabis is given as a bonus, or small (and large) items are sold with cannabis being given as a ‘free gift’. Legal charges in these situations vary, being both upheld and dropped.

The BEST Cannabis Expo to Learn, Network, and Develop

The best way to be in the know within the ever-changing world of marijuana is to establish channels of knowledge and create new relationships in all aspects of the industry. Attend a CannaCon convention in your area to do just that! As a cannabis convention, marijuana trade show, hemp expo, and MMJ product showcase all rolled into one event, this is a genuine opportunity to expand your business, your network, and your mind.

Registration is now open for CannaCon Northeast Aug. 23-24 and CannaCon South Sept. 27-28.