Ep 271 – These LED Lights Are Capturing The Attention of Cannabis Growers

noah miller black dog led

When outfitting a modern cultivation facility, lighting is one of the most important investments.

With the right combination of spectrum and power, good lighting not only maximizes yield but also optimizes plant quality for home and commercial growers alike.

But how do you stay up to date on all the advancements of indoor lighting and determine the best scheme for your facility?

Here to help us tackle this is Noah Miller of Black Dog LED, makers of the best full-spectrum LED grow lights on the market.

Learn more at https://www.blackdogled.com 

Key Takeaways:

  • Noah’s background in pharmaceuticals and how he came to enter the cannabis space
  • An inside look at Black Dog LED and its mission to offer cannabis growers the best lighting possible
  • A breakdown of LED lighting vs. traditional lighting solutions like HID including efficiency, cost, and ROI
  • The evolution of indoor lighting in the cannabis industry and why LED has become the standard
  • Noah’s advice on indoor lighting for home growers versus commercial growers
  • Mistakes Noah sees growers make when trying to create a successful cultivation facility
  • Misconceptions and myths surrounding LED lighting and Noah’s continual efforts to change public perception
  • Black Dog’s research on LED efficiency and ways in which the company is working to optimize facility lighting for greater yields
  • Where Noah sees indoor lighting heading in the next few years and what that could mean for home and commercial growers
Read Full Transcript

Matthew: Hi, I'm Matthew Kind. Every Monday, look for a fresh, new episode where I'll take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at cannainsinder.com, that's cannainsider.com. Now, here's your program. When outfitting a modern cultivation facility, lighting is one of the biggest investments, but how do you stay abreast of all the advancements in indoor lighting? Here to help us tackle that question is Noah Miller of Black Dog LED. Noah, welcome back to CannaInsider.

Noah: Thanks Matt. Good to be here.

Matthew: Give us a sense of geography where you sit in today.

Noah: I'm actually sitting just outside of Boulder in Niwot, Colorado in our new location.

Matthew: Great. And what is Black Dog LED at a high level?

Noah: Well, at a real high level, it was originally conceived to bring the best lighting possible to the cannabis grower, simply not even necessarily LED, whatever the best lighting technology was, deliver that to the cannabis grower.

Matthew: Okay. And can you share just a little bit about your background and journey and how you got into the cannabis space and to Black Dog?

Noah: I guess none of us really yet have started our careers in cannabis, those of us that have been working for a while. So like most, I got lucky, I made the choice to get into cannabis. I was in Colorado back when recreational was voted on. I was actually visiting here doing a teacher training, actually a yoga instructor teacher training. So I was in Colorado doing that. I was working in pharma at the time and I saw recreational pass in Colorado and when they pass that, I thought there's no way I'm going to miss the opportunity to be involved in, one, such an important industry, and two, such a new and dynamic industry. So I wanted to be there and I felt I couldn't be at a better place, ground zero. So I quit my job, moved to Colorado immediately and jumped into the industry at that point.

Matthew: That's great. That sounds very similar to my story. So for listeners that are not familiar with cannabis or indoor lighting, how can you help them understand LEDs and how they compare to traditional lighting solutions, and why more people are talking about LED versus traditional lighting right now?

Noah: Yeah. So if you're not growing outside under the giant free thermonuclear reactor in the sky that we call the sun, then you do need artificial lighting, right? And so with regard to that, once you know you need artificial lighting, you do have a plethora of choices, you know, at your disposal today. Back in the day when I first got involved in cannabis a while back, HPS, metal halide, you know, CFL where your choices, you pretty much had that and for flowering, it was pretty much HPS at the time. Luckily with LED, what it offers is just another alternative, but it has a future in that HPS is very, very old technology. It doesn't have a path to more efficiency. Just the technology is inherently inefficient. So LED is now offering a way for growers that want to be more efficient and even produce a higher quality product thanks to the spectrum that we can provide with LED. That's what LED brings to the table really is the ability to produce at a lower cost and even a higher quality product if you use the right LED.

Matthew: Okay. And just for people that aren't familiar, this is high-pressure sodium grow lights is what we're talking about, HPS, right?

Noah: Yeah. Sorry, sorry. HID is the overarching term which is high-intensity discharge lighting. So that would encompass your metal halide, your HPS, and all of that. And HPS, as I was referencing for flowering, is yes, a high-pressure sodium bulb.

Matthew: Okay. And when you were on the show a few years back, the conversation about LEDs was much different. And I still remember getting emails after the episode where people were like, "LED's the future, everything else stinks." And then the other half was like, "This stuff's gonna fade away." Like, "It's not gonna stay around. People are gonna realize that it's not as good." And that has definitely changed, that conversation has changed. Can you talk about like how it's changed and how the conversation's evolved over the...I think it's been two years since you've been on, I would guess. And, you know, what the conversations are like now compared to what they were like two years ago?

Noah: Yeah. We've been, as I said, doing this about nine years. You know, Black Dog's getting close to 10 years now at this point we've been doing LED grow lights just for cannabis. And as you pointed out, Matt, the conversation really has changed a lot and that's the best way to say it. If I rewind all the way back, which I don't wanna go all the way back, but let's do that and say, when I went to my first couple of trade shows, we're talking back Cannabis Cup. So some of the original shows before. Now we have some great, amazing business shows but back then it was a little more lifestyle-type shows.

And the conversation always inevitably started out at least, you know, let's say 95% of the time the question you got was, do LEDs work or can LEDs flower? Now we just don't get that question anymore. We don't get people asking us to do tests against HPS. We don't get people, when they first approach us, asking those questions. What they ask is why you are LED or what makes your LED different than the other ones on the market, and we start there. So the conversation has definitely changed. People are really starting to accept LED as a viable alternative and actually a better alternative than the traditional lighting.

Matthew: And what do you think is driving that? I mean, what's the biggest...if you had to pick one variable as the reason why LED adoption is taking place, is it because of the electricity savings or some sort of shift in, you know, how the conversation's taking place? Like what has been the primary reason this conversation has changed?

Noah: Well, the answer there is undoubtedly yes, Matt, all those are correct. But you're asking the right question, which is what's really driving it, and I'll give you my opinion. I wanna be clear, it's an opinion. There's not a lot of data yet to back all of this up. As any emerging market trends, they're kind of being looked at today and we don't know what's driving all of them. From being in the industry though since we started, I would say that it's mostly driven by what I love, capitalism. So we've got all these grows, we've got maturing markets, even new markets, new states that are coming on with either medical or adult-use laws. They know these investors, the people that are setting up those grows. They understand this is not some underground operation. This is not some short-term thing. It's a longer-term play. You know, whether they're motivated by the short-term money, like making money as it goes or they're looking more, you know, to be bought out as the industry develops, regardless, they're getting into it for more than a harvest. They're looking at it more as a business and they're doing the proper business assessment you would do, you know, outside of cannabis. If you were starting in business, you'd put a business plan together and hopefully, they're doing that in cannabis as well. And most of our customers are or have done that.

And in doing that, you would go through the process of looking at your different options for equipment and furnishing and fixture and all that fun stuff. And in that assessment, you would hopefully do some kind of assessment on your lighting options and you would find that it does...while it costs more out of the gate, the capital expenditure is higher upfront, it does more than pay for itself down the road. So I'd say that financial aspect is driving a lot of it because they know they're gonna need to stay competitive in a competitive landscape and whether it's that way in their market today or it will be that way in the future, they know that and they're looking, I think, to gain a competitive advantage both, again, in terms of driving their costs down and delivering a better product to market.

Matthew: And I wanna put on my, like, CFO cap here and talk about just ROI terms. Where are we in terms of price for traditional lighting compared to LEDs in terms of rate of return payback period? How does the pricing equation work?

Noah: That's a good question in that we're terrible. I'll be honest. So we don't hide from it, the fact we are, you know, four or five, six times more expensive than HPS if you look at a basic HPS, like, double-ended, you know, fixture these days. But luckily, as you pointed out, if you do the ROI analysis, the return on investment, you will find that it does pay for itself. Now, the payback period is, as we can imagine, a little complex in that it depends on did you get rebates? What is your cost for power? So if you're in Hawaii paying a really exorbitant rate, your payback's gonna be extremely short versus somewhere maybe where your power is being subsidized because it's, you know, hydroelectric and you have cheap access to cheap power. So those things will affect the payback period. But in our assessment, what we see, basic numbers, if we take a basic run-of-the-mill operation, it is about a year or less, anywhere from like 9 to 12 months.

But in extreme...or not extreme, but let's say some of the more outlier areas where you've got fresh states that are coming on board, you've got those early people to market that are capturing that beginning high price of the product. We've got a customer in Oklahoma who did a nice facility, built it out very efficiently and the entire thing was being paid off in two harvests. So there you're looking at six months, including the lights, so lights and everything. So again, because they were operating very efficiently with the LEDs and with how they set the facility up. So it ranges. But yeah, you're looking at about a year, if I was gonna give you kind of a quick bellwether, but again, our warranty is five years, so you should be well-insulated to make your money back and make some real money on top of that before you have to even think about moving to a new light down the road.

Matthew: So when you have someone come to you at a trade show or give you a call and they're saying, "Okay, I understand I need to really look at LEDs," what questions do they ask and are they the right questions? I should say, what questions should they be asking when they're evaluating LEDs?

Noah: Well, going back to your other question, the conversation has changed, right? So if I rewind again, back then the customer was less...I don't know what I'd call it, less educated in terms of the business side. We were dealing with some great growers back then, but definitely, the business acumen has gone up significantly in our customer. You know, when they're coming to us to buy lights for a large commercial facility, you know, it's gonna be a quarter-million dollars and up for a larger facility. And so if you have that kind of money, generally you've done your homework, you're asking the right questions. So the questions have gotten more complex and they're focused more now around things like return on investment as you pointed out. So I would say the business acumen has gone up. We're still dealing with amazing growers, but we're definitely dealing with more a CFO and C-suite type people making these decisions and helping to drive those decisions.

Matthew: And do you see more customers considering solar as a way to supplement their electricity needs at all?

Noah: You know, I would say we hear about the same as we used to. It's just kind of a smattering. Some people do ask, they need to have a lot of space to actually deploy the panels. A grow is so power dense in terms of the kind of watts per square foot, if you wanna look at it that way, that to offset it entirely, you would need a very large, very large solar array for good size grow. But we do have some that throw solar panels on their roof. As long as they've got a roof there, they might as well capture that sun. And that is definitely a great offset. But what we're seeing more is really the push towards efficiency at the operational level. Not as much yet, I'm trying to supplement or subsidized with the solar.

Matthew: Okay. So when you talk to a home grower versus a commercial grower, what are their care abouts? How are they different and how do their questions differ when they call you?

Noah: Well, from the growth perspective, they're obviously very different. But you know you're speaking to lighting here, so let's get real specific about that. So when you're at a home grow, you have a single light, generally. Now, I'm not saying, you know, there are plenty of home growers we work with more than one light, but let's just say a basic home grower with one light. They might have two if they're growing cannabis, right? They might have two in two different environments, one they can maintain in the vegetative state and one in the flowering state with the different light cycles. So one might be at 18 hours of light and the other one's 12 hours of light. So in that case, the questions are a little different in how you set it up is quite a bit different because I don't have crossover.

So when we go to layout a large facility, we're dealing with lights next to lights next to lights. So we're more doing assessments, trying to deliver, as we call it, an even lighting canopy. Just like to have a plant canopy, we wanna deliver a lighting canopy. Whereas in a home grow, you're dealing with a single point source, or in our case, maybe 420 little light sources in a box. And we're dealing with the reflection on the sides and we're dealing with trying to contain that light. So from a lighting perspective, the big differences, one light versus multiple and how you approach those setups and how you do that.

The questions, the gardening questions, of course, get very different very quickly. And I will argue that it is much harder to maintain a home, single light, small grow in your house versus a dedicated facility because I can actually dial in the environment. At my house, I'm dealing with the fluctuations and my temperature morning to night and everything that goes on in your own home. So I would say that, you know, a really good home gardener has dealt with some more challenges and they're definitely dealing with a more sensitive environment than a large real homogenized grow facility where you can really dial it in. So the gardening questions get different. But from a lighting perspective, it's really a question of whether you're using a single light or a bunch of lights to create a nice canopy of light in a large facility.

Matthew: What besides lighting is really something to plan carefully? Because I see, you know, a lot of people come in, they're smart people, they have a project plan, but they really have no context on how to create a successful cultivation facility. And they may be hiring someone that knows more than them but still doesn't know a lot. When you can kind of see someone that's creating a commercial grow the right way and see someone who's doing it the wrong way, what are the differences you see there?

Noah: That's one of my favorite topics right now, actually, is the consulting side, right? So I come from a business consulting background. I did it for a long time in the IT world and I did it in marketing. I've done it in a few areas and for many, many years. And when I saw...I don't know, you might know better than I do, Matt, you follow the industry really well. About three years ago, I saw a major inflection point where everyone thought, oh my gosh, I'm a grower. People really need this information. And they do need the information and help. But all these people thought I'm the right person to deliver that information and to help these people. Some of them probably are the right person. However, by and large, I have found that a lot of the customers that come to us that have worked with consultants or are working with consultants, I've learned quickly that the information they were getting was suboptimal at best in terms of the setup.

Some of the things were just patently wrong, not by my standards, but by well-established kind of best practices for indoor horticulture. It just was not...it was causing a disservice. And we had some real issues where people would come to us with setups and they'd say, "Hey, I need lights for this room." And I would look at the facility and think, well, I can give you lights, but you're gonna fail anyway because your facility's set up wrong. And so we had issues with that with trying to work with our customers. We feel our job is not to sell lights, our job is to make them successful. In our case, that happens to involve LED lights. But if they're not successful, they're not gonna speak well about us and they're also not gonna come back and buy more lights. And a lot of our business is repeat business.

So we did step in and we have gotten much more involved early on in projects. Luckily, a lot of people contact us pretty upfront because they fundamentally realize that they do need artificial light if they're gonna grow indoors. And so if we get involved early on, we're able to help them and try to make sure that that facility is set up correctly. And when we're talking about setting up a facility correctly, we're really talking about the efficiencies, let's say, on the mechanical side, so the lighting, the watering system, and all that. And then you've got the operation side, to me, which would be more of the workflow and your day-to-day activities. How do those mesh together, how do they fit together and turn into a well-oiled machine?

So when we're working on a project, a commercial project, we're going to look at those two different things, make sure they mesh, but also really try and pay attention to that workflow. I always tell growers, I'm like, "Look, don't design a facility that you're going to be fighting. Because if you design, let's say, a facility with two-foot aisles and you've got some pretty big people working there, it's gonna be a struggle, you're constantly gonna be fighting that. Or you design it with 10-foot or 8-foot ceilings where you really wanted to light the room effect in a slightly different grow style and now you're constantly fighting the height of the room." So what I say is design a facility that works well with you and your goals, and that's one of the critical parts is really I would tell any grower when they call us, first thing I'll ask is, "Great, what are your goals?"

Because it's different. Some people say, "I'm trying to create this brand and I want the craziest, highest quality weed ever," or, "I just need to produce really good quality cannabis at a good low price," or, "I wanna pull 100 pounds a month out of this facility." Whatever those goals are, fine. But if you can't define your goals, you can't ever meet them. So as long as people have goals, and if they don't, I'll push them to try to come up with some, and then we can manage to those goals and, as you said, design the facility to meet their specific needs of those goals.

Matthew: I wanna just ask, you know, there's a couple stubborn myths about LEDs. First, you mentioned can LEDs...you know, can we flower with LEDs, can we veg with LED? Obviously the answer is yes. Is there any other kind of stubborn misconceptions that are still out there that you can quickly address for people that are saying...in their mind, they're thinking, "Oh I would consider LED, but..." then they have one of these, like, big five misconceptions or myths.

Noah: The biggest one, I'm not hearing it quite as much, but we still get it, and this is horrible, is LEDs don't produce heat, right? We get that question and I can understand how maybe they might've picked that up somewhere, but that's very far from the truth. Anytime you put energy into something, it's gonna produce heat. We can neither create nor destroy energy. Even at Black Dog, we are limited to the laws of physics of the universe. So that's just the way it is. So that's my favorite. Then that's a very good example of a myth that we wish would die, which is, yes, LEDs are more efficient, for sure, but they still produce heat. When you put a thousand lot LED fixture in a space, it will warm it up. So that's probably the most pervasive kind of myth that's still out there.

You know, and as you said, there's still some of those questions, when you start to question, there are still some people that think or wonder if LEDs can really grow. You know, there's some amazing growers out there using DEs still today and they're doing amazing things in their mind and somewhat rightfully so. They think, if it's not broken, I'm doing amazing things. I'm hitting numbers that my peers aren't hitting. I'm doing great things. Why should I go mess with it? And to that, I might say, "Great, if you're being competitive and you can do it, stick with it. And when enough market pressure comes along, you'll make the change when you're ready and when you feel it's right." But definitely still a little bit of the question of can they flower? So we don't get the question, can they veg? A lot of people say, "Oh, I know LED can veg but can they flower?" I'm like, "Well, flowering and veg is the same thing. You need more energy, but they're really not that different from a plant standpoint. So yes, they flower just fine." So those are the two most pervasive, but definitely, the heat one is one that still catches us on a regular basis.

Matthew: And what about some things that are pervasive that are true that, you know, are plants smaller or things like that?

Noah: Huh. One, it is true and I heard this even early on when people said, "Oh, they veg, but they don't flower." Even those people would say, "Well, they do produce a higher quality plant." Or when people started to admit that LEDs really did flower, they'd say, "Oh, the yields aren't there, but the quality is the best." And I'd say that is actually true. What you get out of HPS in terms of spectrum is you can't tune it. What you get out of a bulb is what you're gonna get out of pretty much any bulb on the market. LEDs are different in that every manufacturer can choose how they're going to design their fixture and, in this case, design their spectrum. And by designing a better spectrum, you can actually create a better product. You know, we include UV in our spectrum that yes, it costs 20 times more than other LEDs, but to us, it's worth it because that UV does produce, and we've proven it multiple times at laboratories that it does produce higher active compounds.

So more THC, more CBD, if that's what you're growing, and a higher terpene profile. So all these people that for years were saying, "Hey, when I grow with LED, I often end up with a tastier or better smelling a product or maybe some with better bag appeal," that was kind of something that was being kicked around. And I would say that's actually true. If you're purchasing the right LED with a good spectrum, you can get a better product out of it quality-wise.

Matthew: Okay. And you're doing some research now. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Noah: You know, we're always doing research. Right now, our research is focused on efficiency. We love our spectrum and we're very happy with it. But as our customers, you know, we're trying to focus on our customer's needs and there's a few different needs we're focusing on. But one of them here is definitely efficiency. You know, what our customers continue to want is obviously the most efficient fixture possible. They know our lights can grow a very high-quality product. But at the end of the day, we always say, you know, you sell weight, you don't sell smell. Yes, bag appeal matters and the quality matters, but you're paid based on grams and ounces and pounds not on the look of your weed necessarily specifically.

So in that case, we know we can provide that quality, but again, we are looking to continue to increase the amount of yield they can get per energy input. So if you're looking at, let's say watts, we wanna get them more cannabis per watt of input. And that's where a lot of our research focuses. We're always continuing to do a good amount of research around what interests us being lighting geeks, if you will, is trying to see what are the envelopes of the plant. You know, how far can we push a plant? Unfortunately, we love our plants, but sometimes we push them to death. And so we're playing with them and trying to take them to the edge and say, great, we know you can get X amount here. If we add, you know, Y more input here, we get X more cannabis. How does that relate? Are we being more efficient? Are we now reaching a point of diminishing returns? Because yes, based on a research we found, you can continue to push the plant further, not just with light, you have to do...we could talk more about that, but you have to push a lot of things in unison. But if you do that together, you can push the plant further than we ever thought possible.

But again, you do hit a point of diminishing returns as well. So our job as lighting experts is so when customers come to us and say, "How much light do I want in this flower room?" we should have some very good, definitive and research-based answers to answer that question and say, "Here's what you should do in your facility based on your growing style, your strains, what you're doing. This is our observation over the last 9, 10 years. This is what you should deploy and this is how you should deploy it." So we're constantly trying to do research around how to not only build the most efficient light, but how to deploy it into our customer's facilities.

Matthew: Now, you do a lot of consulting, you do a lot of education, you do grow-alongs and I think you do transplants. I can't remember all the different things you guys do, but I know you do a lot. Can you talk a little bit about your grow-alongs and maybe some of the education stuff you do online?

Noah: Yeah, it's good timing. Just a few weeks back...you know, we started years ago, we decided this is...you know, we're answering these questions again and again and we really wanna help these people. How do we help a lot of our homegrown? And this is a little more home grower or hobbyist aim-focused than commercial. But how can we help them because we're just answering the questions and we ended up on the phone for an hour or two sometimes with new growers because there's a lot to learn? And so we realized, you know, obviously, with the technology we all have access to, video was probably the best way to go. So we dug in and started doing videos around grows and around different tasks you do in the garden. And the response has been great and we even added on our site a catalog because we had so many in our YouTube channel that it was hard for people to maybe hone in and find exactly what they were looking for.

So we just put up a catalog video player. It's at blackdogled.com/videos and that listed...So you can say, "Oh, I wanna see some educational stuff. I wanna watch some customer testimonials. I want to watch, you know, how to do this or that or how to harvest," or anything. So we're really big on the educational component. We feel, yes, it does save us some time on the phone, but in our opinion, if everybody in the U.S. had a grow in their house, that would be a wonderful thing. Now, we'll probably never get there, but it's a nice goal and we wanna continue to educate those that wanna take the time to learn. So the videos are a huge part of our educational outreach and they're just up there for free. You don't have to buy a light. Please, we tell people all the time, even if you're not gonna buy one of our lights, just go look at the videos and learn from them. Whether you're trying to learn how to grow or even just set up your environment for successful growing indoors, that's fine. Just go, please take a look. It's a very good resource and we will continue to back that and add more to it as we get requests and things from our customers.

Matthew: Yeah. Every business needs capital. Where are you in the capital-raising process now?

Noah: Well, we're lucky and we're stubborn. We could have and we definitely did start to look years ago and we ended up finding some other alternative methods for allowing the company to fund itself and move forward. So we haven't really done any big raises to date. We did a recent friends-and-family round not too long ago. Again, just limited to, kind of, immediate friends and family, but we are about to launch our, kind of, first A-round and see how that goes. So we're looking to raise about $3 million on our company. And so we're excited to see how the market receives that. We've got a great team we're working with to do that. And so we're just ramping it up. It hasn't even been...you know, officially, I'd say we've done kind of a soft launch to some people we know, but we haven't done what I'd call a hard launch. We're not really out there yet. So hopefully to your question, we do quite well with it, but we're really just ramping up as a company into our first real raise.

So we feel it's a good opportunity for the investor looking to get in, especially if they're a little afraid of a plant-touching company and they want something ancillary, we feel we're a good fit. You know, 9, 10 years, we're established. We're an established brand. We've got real sales numbers to look at and a lot of historical data and obviously, a lot of industry knowledge as well. So we're just getting started and hopefully, I can report back to you in the future and tell you that it all went really well. I've got a little apprehension as I think anyone does when they're taking their baby out and showing it to the world and saying, "Hey, this is worth something." But we're really looking forward to it.

Matthew: Yeah. Now let's move to some personal development questions here, Noah, to help listeners get a better sense of who you are personally. With that, is there a book that's had a big impact on your life or your way of thinking that you'd like to share?

Noah: I wish I had more time to read these days. Luckily, I had a mother who got me to read a lot when I was younger, so I do have a love of reading. And my favorite story that I still look back on because it's almost harder even though I've read it at this point more times than I can count, I've given it away to friends and people I've known over the years, just as many times. But "The Alchemist" is my favorite book and it reminds me it's really, truly about the journey.

So, you know, a lot of people say, "Oh, aren't you excited for this," or, "Would you wanna take Black Dog public?" or all these things. And I'm like, "I'm having a lot of fun doing this part. I'll enjoy that when I get there, whatever the end is. I don't even know what the end result is at this point." Being in cannabis, that's one of the fun things is it's so dynamic. You never know where you're gonna be the next day. But the journey is really what I enjoy, it's the building. You know, some people say, "Oh, do you want a big company?" I'm like, "When it's a giant company, I'll probably leave and do something else because it's the building, it's that journey I enjoy."

And to me, "The Alchemist" was really about understanding that it wasn't necessarily about the end goal and the journey was a really big part of it. There are other, don't get me wrong, that I couldn't even begin to scratch the surface. It's an amazing book. But to me, that's one of the lessons I took out of it. And I love the simplicity of the story while still being somewhat complex in its messages. It just such a simple, beautiful story. So that still definitely weighs in on me and pops into my mind when I'm pulling my hair out some days. And I'm like, now this is the journey, we're gonna get there. So yeah, "The Alchemist" would be my favorite book and if anyone hasn't read it, if you have a really good day by the beach or by the pool and you have a good few hours, you can actually plow through in a day. So it's not a big novel. It's a beautiful book.

Matthew: That's great. And what is one thought you have that most people would disagree with you on? It's a Peter Thiel question from the Founders Fund.

Noah: Right now, I would say one thought that a lot of people disagree with is I'm not ready for cannabis legalization, and that's a polarizing thing to say probably. I don't think as a country...I would love to see it, and I'll be honest, I was using cannabis when I was younger and my friends and I would sit around and pontificate on when cannabis could be legalized or would it be legalized sometime in our life. And I'm going back quite a few years. I did think it would happen in my life, I will be honest. My prediction though was not for about another, about almost 20 years at this point from when I predicted it would happen. So maybe it will happen in 20 years and I'll end up being right. But it's much further along than I ever anticipated at this point.

So my belief is I'm very much excited for that to happen. But seeing...I've had somewhat a front row seats since Colorado put out adult use, since we enabled that in the state and watched it roll on to all the other states, and the other states that have added medical and all that. And I've seen a lot of stumbling. And while stumbling is fine, it's a great way to learn, there are some cases where it's been detrimental to people in the industry, to people around the industry. And so I'd like to see it done in a good way and I just don't think we're ready yet. I would like to see it take another few years before we go full federally legalized. And I really hope that it's the right platform that it's done on. And I know there are people in the industry that would like it done yesterday, and to them I say great and I wouldn't be upset if that happened. But my opinion is I think we still need to understand this and watch the experiments that are going on in these different states and jurisdictions. So we can learn a lot and I think we should continue to learn a little bit more before we go and a federally legalize.

Matthew: What do you think the most interesting thing going on in the cannabis space is apart from what you're doing at Black Dog?

Noah: Federal legalization. That's a cop-out. So there's so much amazing stuff that we don't even begin to get to touch or see. That's, again, why I jumped in the industry. You know, some of the people I read about, and whether it's on your show, Matt, you know, I do get a chance still, I don't have time to read, but I do ride my bike so I get a chance to listen to podcasts, so I get to listen to CannaInsider. And the people in our industry never cease to amaze me. Some of the ideas...you know, and I'm steeped in the industry at this point. I eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff, but I'm still hearing things. I'm like, wow, that's a brilliant idea whether it's a testing protocol or a new product they're trying to bring to market.

But yeah, it's just the ideas being brought to bear on the new problems that we're facing in cannabis, which they are new problems, no one has cultivated high-end cannabis flour at large scale in the world really until now. It's just kinda happening. So we're exposing new problems and challenges and seeing how people are doing that is amazing. And so I couldn't even pick one. I constantly am trying to devour information about the industry. Even if it doesn't touch us, I feel it's important being in this industry to understand what's going on. And there are so many amazing things being done. I couldn't even pick one and that's, again, why I love the industry, it's literally every day I'm taught something new by someone in the industry.

Matthew: Oh, me too. Noah, as we close, how can listeners find Black Dog online and also how can accredited investors reach out to you if they're interested in your capital raise?

Noah: Good. So easiest is blackdogled.com. Obviously, that's our primary site. You can find us across all the different social media channels. We have a very good following and a very active channel and, luckily, our customers are vocal and they're fun to talk to. So I invite you to join the social media conversation as well. But blackdogled.com is our main site. And if somebody wanted to reach out to us they could send an email to investment@blackdogled.com. Or they could just feel free to call in and ask to speak to someone and we'll get you in touch with the right people on our team or the team we're working with on the capital raise.

Matthew: Well, Noah, thanks so much for coming on the show and educating us and good luck with everything you have going on. It sounds exciting.

Noah: Thank you, Matt. It was great to be here again and always a pleasure to listen to your show.

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