Q: Tell me about your background.
A: I grew up in Humboldt County. My family owns a solar company so I’ve been on cultivation farms my whole life. I went to UC Davis for a biochemical engineering degree. That degree suits people for the pharmaceutical industry so making drugs is actually what I’m trained to do. I also taught chemistry at Humboldt State University for 6 years.
Q: What’s your commercial experience with cannabis?
A: I started an innovative business idea, which was basically machine processing for large cultivation efforts. I would do it contractually. Because of my experience working with improving farm infrastructure and helping with the really difficult parts of the business, I found a lot of new skills that could be added to the future of processing and ancillary services for cannabis. Also, I partner with the Sequoia Analytical Labs based out of Sacramento and I developed new tests for processing methods.
Q: What’s the name of your business?
A: My business is Humboldt Technologies, Ltd. We are incorporated in Canada and the U.S., so we’re actually an international company. The new legal regime in Canada is changing everything. They scrapped the old regime, and now the government will reimburse patients 42 cent to the dollar for their cannabis.
There’s no law allowing concentrates yet in Canada, but we’re trying to be a large part of changing that.
Q: How did you get involved with cannabis?
A: I stayed away from commercial cannabis in Humboldt. Nonetheless, I helped friends with their projects and at one point I couldn’t pay the bills. It was kind of a Breaking Bad story. I was sick and couldn’t pay bills. So my friends who I had helped previously connected me with other people who needed work, and I paid the bills. You can’t have a salary and comprehensive medical care even with a state job these days, especially if you are an irregular medical case.
Q: What’s your relationship with cannabis as a plant?
A: Getting high. (laugh) I don’t want the plant to take over my life. It’s my professional life. I like getting high but there’s a real need for the plant. Children who suffer from more than 400 seizures a week can be cured with cannabis, yet. If their soccer moms go to find CBD products, a lot of people in the industry will just shrug their shoulders. They can’t make money off that, but it’s a serious need that needs to be addressed.