Cannabis Expert Interview: Joshua Haupt
A few weeks ago, I conducted an interview with a man named Joshua Haupt, and for those who don’t know who he is, his name will one day be synonymous with Ed Rosenthal. If you don’t know who Ed Rosenthall is, then you have failed as a stoner.
Joshua is a cannabis growing expert that is currently revolutionizing and simplifying the growing game in Colorado. His book “Three-A-Light” is a ‘stoner friendly’ guide to growing killer crops. In other words, you don’t have to be a botanist to understand what he’s saying.
During my hour-long interview with Joshua we spoke about a wide range of topics to get his perspective on the cannabis industry as a whole, as well as where the industry is heading. Below I have transcribed some of his answers to my questions. I’ll eventually make an MP3 of the interview for the lazy stoners out there that don’t want to read this article.
Reginald: Tell me a bit about yourself and your Journey in the Cannabis Industry
Joshua: “Let me think about this one, I think it all started when I was a child doing chores. I was in charge of the garden and naturally developed a green thumb and as a result spent a lot of time in the garden. Over the years, a few good friends of mine introduced me to cannabis when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. The stashes I got had some seeds and it eventually landed in the garden. By the time my parents discovered it my dad said, ‘Oh well, we can’t kill it now’. That’s where it all started. Then eventually I started growing medically, for my epilepsy, and I found that cannabis really helped me with my seizures as well. I eventually went to the mountains and started growing indoor, I grew for many years. Always medical and always small amounts. Eventually a good friend of mine, who was growing very different than everyone else I knew, started showing me the ropes and became my mentor. Next thing we knew, we started pulling 3 pounds a light and eventually I started teaching other friends of mine which really helped push for the development of the book. I wanted to create something that really showed the end user how to grow from A to Z.
Reginald: So how long have you been in the industry right now?
Joshua: Oh, I’d say over a decade now. But it’s about forty years of experience in the book now as my mentor has about twenty years of experience, his mentor has about ten so that’s about forty years. The book is like a cross between an Apple user manual and an Ikea user manual.
Reginald: What is your greatest accomplishment within the Cannabis industry?
Joshua: I would say a couple of things, but from the cultivation side basically it was to achieve a $400 pound, being able to grow product at 1/3 of what our competitors are doing. For example, there is a facility in Canada that has 350,000 square feet and are pulling out 1100 pounds a month which is amazing, but I have about 45,000 square feet of warehouse space in Colorado and in our space we produce about 1100 pounds a month which allows us to be somewhat disruptive in the market because when someone grows a pound it costs them about $1200 to grow it and we grow pounds for $400.
The other accomplishment is the book, which took me about 2 and half years to write and I was thinking about the end user. Because most of the end users, people who like to smoke cannabis if you give them a book that only botanists can read, it’s not going to be appealing to the market.
Reginald: Yes, I have scoured forums and so forth and most of the time I’m like, “Please get on with it”
Joshua: Exactly, that’s why we cut straight to the bone on all the issues in the book and making it very user friendly. The third accomplishment when writing the book, we tested the nutrients out there and we found that most of the leading competitors are just selling you mystery bottles. Typically, there is only 50%-60% of the nutrients in there and then we started our own company called Success Nutrients and we have produced more side by side than anyone else out there. We did one experiment where we had a 36 light room, placing 18 lights versus 18 lights. The 18 lights using the nutrients of the leading competitors produced about 50 pounds and the 18 lights for Success Nutrients produced about 68 pounds with the only difference being in the feed.
Reginald: What’s some of the major challenges you have found entering into the cannabis industry
Joshua: Hands down the government. All the permits are so expensive everything is so difficult. Uncle Sam takes $400 on every pound that I grow. That’s why when people say, ‘You’re not growing 3-a-light’ I say, “I’m not going to fudge my numbers to pay more taxes” it will cost me so much money to grow these pounds from a tax standpoint.
Reginald: Are you also facing problems with the Cash based business side of things?
Joshua: Well, we managed to get around it. As you know, “your network is your net worth” and it’s all about who you know and fortunately we found people to help us with that aspect of the industry. But it’s definitely a huge hurdle to overcome to know what to do with all your cash and then to be criminalized by association. It’s not like we’re robbing banks or anything like that.
Reginald: Have you ever had run-ins with the cops, law enforcement?
Joshua: No, not really. We had some miscommunications. There was a red flag that came up with the MED because we were harvesting 1 pound plants which isn’t heard of in the industry, so they came in to see what we were up to, they thought we were bringing in from the backdoor because everyone in the industry composes a pound from 3 – 4 plants. But for the most part no, as long as you pay to play you’re golden.
Reginald: So, What’s next for you?
Joshua: What’s next for me, currently there is a merger and acquisition on the table. I can’t really get into details about it, however I’m not ‘overly excited about it’ but for me personally, we’re trying to build a client care center to really work with the end users, for the nutrients and the book to make sure that everybody is getting their money’s worth. It’s like a consulting wing of our company.
Reginald: What about cannabis heroes? Do you have any cannabis hero you look up to? Living or dead?
Joshua: Of course there’s going to be some obvious ones, of course Bob Marley. In addition I’d say Jorge Cervantes and Ed Rosenthal. These are the kind of people that can influence change.
Reginald: If you could smoke with anyone in history, alive or dead…who would you smoke with?
Joshua: Wow, I would have to say…this is probably not common, but my great great grandfather walked hand in hand with Abe Lincoln, he was one of the top generals for the Union Pacific Railroad, so I would have to say Abraham Lincoln. And of course, I’d love to smoke with Bob Marley just to see his view point on life. You know people who didn’t have it all given to them, who had to climb out of the trenches. These are the people I’d like to hang out with and get to know because that’s where we started.
POLITICS AND CULTURE
Reginald: Okay great, now let’s move onto Politics and Culture. What do you think about the drug policy in the United States and specifically about cannabis?
Joshua: I think it’s an absolute joke. I think on one hand you have the Feds busting people and putting them behind bars and I think it comes back to the beginning of time. It’s the golden rule, “Those with the gold make the rules” as my father said. You’ve got guys with big money protecting their prison interests because prisons are one of the largest revenue generating industries in the US, which is totally bogus that we’re actually making money by putting people behind bars for non-violent crimes. I think the DEA not rescheduling is complete hypocrisy. I wouldn’t call them idiots, because they know what they are doing. On one hand, they don’t want to re-schedule, but on the other they are trying to gather all their shit in court to monopolize the industry. The real shame is that it’s all about money. The DEA are the biggest gangsters out of all of us, they are the biggest thugs around.
Reginald: What do you think about the current Presidential Candidates in relation to Cannabis?
Joshua: Well, it’s kind of hard since we’re being forced to pick from these options. There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary would be better for Cannabis, but that’s not saying a lot. But to be honest, the presidential seat is just a public position, they really are just puppets. The people who truly run America, don’t live in America. We go back to the golden rule. All I hope is that regardless of who is elected, it doesn’t change the current route we’re on in relation to the cannabis industry. We’ve made a lot of progress.
Reginald: Do you still get Stigmatized over cannabis?
Joshua: Not as much as I used to. You know, like my daughter at soccer practice, when other parents ask me what I do, I’m actually honest about it. Parents aren’t reacting like “Our daughters aren’t hanging out with your daughter” or anything similar. People are starting to look past the “weed thing”. And if people do stigmatize me about cannabis, I wouldn’t say their opinions don’t matter, but rather they are stuck in a world that no longer exists.
Reginald: Have you been to many legal weed states? Which state has the best weed?
Joshua: Well, I’d have to say Colorado, Hands down. I don’t think anyone even comes close to us.
Reginald: Where do you see the industry in the next 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Joshua: Ooh, great question. I think in the next 60 – 80 months it’s going to be legal on a Federal level. Once it’s Federal I believe there will be a national commerce. I can see the industry just booming incredibly. That’s not even mentioning the medical side of things. It’s going to be massive. Once the Federal restrictions are left, you can have some of the best minds tinker with the plant and then medicine will change entirely.
Reginald: How did the counter culture influence the general public in relation to cannabis? You know, stereotypical stoner movies, (Cheech and Chong etc)?
Joshua: I think it was great. It opened up the door to show that this is not harmful. You know, Cheech nor Chong are the kind of guys that go around beating their wives. If you see a movie about a guy getting drunk all the time, you’re going to see violence in that movie. You don’t see this with cannabis. I think what those guys did was open the eyes to the public saying , “Hey this is not bad”.
I’m cutting the interview at this point despite the fact that we went on for a good fifteen minutes more, however the rest of the questions were more about personal preferences and so forth. Once I have the MP3 live, you can listen to the rest of the interview.
Joshua Haupt is definitely a pioneer in the cannabis industry and I strongly recommend you check out threealight.com and get your hands on his book as well as his nutrients which are specifically crafted for the cannabis plant. If you have more questions or want to get in touch with Joshua, drop me a comment and I’ll see what I can do.
That’s it for me right now. Hope you enjoyed this in depth view about a cannabis expert and hopefully you learned a few things. In the coming months I’ll be hosting a few webinars but I’ll let you know about that as well.
Until next time, Happy toking!