A critical component of any cannabis cultivator’s business is establishing best practices around breeding plants. Here to tell us how to create thriving genetic nurseries is Matt Gaboury of House of Cultivar.
Learn more at https://www.seattlecannabis.co/house-of-cultivar/
[1:04] An inside look at House of Cultivar, the largest cultivator in Seattle, WA
[2:03] Why Matt has shifted his focus from designing grow facilities to plant breeding
[4:51] Types of clients House of Cultivar works with, including I-502 licensed growers and processors
[7:24] A breakdown of propagation through cloning, mother plants, and tissue culture
[16:14] How House of Cultivar validates genetics to ensure they’re the best expression of the plant possible
[19:31] What it means to “reinvigorate” a plant
[24:11] The behind-the-scenes on how House of Cultivar delivers their clones to customers
[29:18] Where Matt sees the cannabis industry heading as it undergoes more specialization across the supply chain
[33:17] How large-scale nurseries will revolutionize cannabis from home growers to commercial cultivators
[34:16] How grow room technology has evolved and where Matt sees it advancing in the next few years
Matthew Kind: 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 cannainsider.com. That's C-A-N-N-A-Insider dot com. Now, here's your program.
A critical component of any cannabis cultivators business is establishing best practices around breeding plants. Today I brought back returning guest Matt Gaboury to discuss how to create thriving genetic nurseries so you can create consistent quality harvests every time. Matt, welcome back to CannaInsider.
Matt Gaboury: Thanks so much for having me back. It's a pleasure.
Matthew Kind: Give us a sense of geography where are you in the world today?
Matt Gaboury: I am in my home base here in Seattle, Washington.
Matthew Kind: You're right in the dead center of the CH autonomous zone, correct? You're the warlord of that.
Matt Gaboury: Absolutely. We're broadcasting live from Chaz right now. Luckily, I've been up there multiple times, but not the best situation to take an interview. I decided to do this one from the office today.
Matthew Kind: I've been to Capitol Hill. That's a nice neighborhood, right?
Matt Gaboury: Absolutely. It's the thriving bars, restaurant, young nightlife area of Seattle.
Matthew Kind: Tell us about your business. What is House of Cultivar at a high level?
Matt Gaboury: House of Cultivar, we are actually the largest cultivator in the city of Seattle. That's our little claim to fame. We're a collaboration of multiple different hardcore medical growers and passionate enthusiasts for the cannabis plant, who all coalesced around this idea of bringing this thing mainstream to the recreational marketplace. We all started out in our basements 10, 15, 20 years ago and here in Washington had the ability to grow organically as the medical system grew. Then me and my other business partners coalesced when recreation was passed here in our state in 2013. We got this building in late 2014 and built out and we've been in the marketplace ever since as a top tier flower and concentrate cultivator and processor here in the state of Washington.
Matthew Kind: You've shifted your focus from a design of grow and extraction facilities to now focus on plant breeding. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Matt Gaboury: We had a consulting firm for several years that we started during that same process that I just mentioned back in 2014. Through word of mouth, we got to work in a lot of different states and help people with that design process, and I really enjoyed that as a trained architect myself, had the privilege of designing over 3 million square feet of production processing space. I really got to learn a lot about different marketplaces, different environments, different systems, and different crops. In that process, we were able to also build out our own facilities, which was our primary focus in our professional careers.
Bandwidth is one of those things that are starting to get limited so we had to really focus on what the core things that were affecting us as well as impacting our business. That really was, how do we make this be more efficient and work better. Since our main focus as growers really are the genetics that we cultivate, focusing on, how we do that and how we maximize that became one of my primary focuses. In that evolution, tissue culture really became one of the primary tools in order to accomplish that. Through those means, we had naturally amassed a very large genetic collection, we had perfected this tissue culture process of propagating it very effectively. We started to have an overabundance to be able to give out to the marketplace.
Following some trends that were very prevalent in other major agricultural crops, you can really see there's a differentiation between the people who make the genetics propagate the genetics and distribute the genetics and the individuals who grow those and fruit those and flower those for production. Our business we started to see evolved in the same way. This is something that was very integral to how we run our production facility, and we feel like we could aid the rest of the industry in that as well. We decided to try to pursue this more so.
Matthew Kind: Today we're going to talk about Plant Breeding, but you have a deep specialization as we talked about in designing growth facilities extraction facilities also around automation in those environments. At the end of the interview, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions about that for people that are really interested in that. For now, let's go back to House of Cultivar and plant breeding. What type of clients are you working with most now? If someone's listening and they're not sure, like, "Hey, can House of Cultivar help me or not." Who is your ideal client?
Matt Gaboury: Here in Washington, we primarily only or actually we only work with other i502 licensed growers and processors. That's the limitations of the law. We're in the process of trying to set up other facilities around the country. Currently, California as well as Massachusetts and Illinois, and our primary individually, we work with our large scale, commercial grows, looking to make their production more efficient, and/or acquire new genetics because we built such a large genetic catalog we've become a source for those hard to find rare genetics plus, we're constantly going through breeding and phenotyping exercises to expand that catalog. Being able to offer those to the general marketplace is one of our main services.
In addition, people like large scale outdoor grows or nurseries, who are looking to acquire their production starts, we've been able to provide them with either one time or periodic starts so that they can essentially eliminate that portion of the process from their cultivation facilities. Then I think lastly, individuals looking to store their genetics. That's been one of our most popular services is maybe, let's say your greenhouse and you don't have maybe the infrastructure for holding your mom plants throughout the wintertime. We provide the service of being able to take those, tissue culture those, clean them up through the sterility process and then hold them on our shelves until you need those genetics back. That could be the next season that could be two or three seasons down the road.
One of the great parts about it is we call it cloud storage. We have the ability to put these things into a state where they don't really metabolize very much and hence, they can stay in a suspended state for prolonged periods of time. It really aids in that genetic storage process.
Matthew Kind: It's really interesting to see, as the cannabis industry matures, that specialization services like yours emerged as part of this ecosystem where some part of the cultivation chain people either don't want to do or don't have the specialization to do. That's really cool to see start happening. We're starting to throw around some terms here that most people are familiar with, but people that are not, can you describe what propagation through cloning is, what a mother plant is and what tissue culture means?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, absolutely. Conventionally, most people understand the propagation method of having mother plants, and then you essentially cut-off a small branch off of that mother plants. Then you put that into a cloning process or several different forms of it that roots and then you have an exact 100% replica of that mother plant. Tissue culture is very similar, but at a much smaller scale and with more steps in the process revolving around sterility. In a TC process, there's many different ways you can do it, there's nodal tissue culture, there's leaf tissue culture, there's meristem. It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Each one has its own pros and cons.
For instance, many people want to try to clean their plants. In that case, you would do something that was more of a meristem. If you're looking for quick propagation, you could do something that's more nodal, but essentially you're doing something similar where you're taking a portion of that plant, whether that's the node or leaf, or just that very, very tiny bit of cells of the meristem and then you are using a medium and some hormones, just like in rooting, to initiate either a shooting process, that's where the plant grows more shoots and leaves. Or a rooting process where it grows roots, and essentially creates that whole organism, that whole-plant in vitro, within a sterile vessel, whether that be a test tube or a jar. In that process, you're able to, like I said, mentioned earlier, and I'm sure we'll talk about further is do several different steps to it that go above and beyond what you can do to control a clone, mostly in the form of sterility.
Matthew Kind: Keeping mother plants alive and healthy sounds like a simple thing, but it's a specialization in itself. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, absolutely. That's probably one of the biggest benefit to tissue culture is that you get to remove a large amount of that mother stock, especially if you use tissue culture for your propagation. Mom plants, like any other plant in your facility, it needs water, it needs light, it needs electricity, it needs resources, it needs time, it needs labor. If you fail on any one of those, it can have very detrimental effects through different stresses. It can genetically change a plant, it can do little things to the plant, major things to the plant.
Even if you take something like time for instance, every plant gets older, there's no way to pause time, and eventually those mother plants will get root bound, they start to show their age, they start to affect the efficiency of how those clones perform as well. Because of all those things, in the lab you're able to reduce that and you can create mother plants within a jar. Then you can propagate off of those jars to create new plantlets as well. You can reduce the amount of mother stock that you have in your plant A in your facility, and hence the amount of time, labor, light, water and all of those things that I just mentioned.
Matthew Kind: Cool. If I were to walk into your lab right now with you and you were to point out a few things to me, what would I be looking at?
Matt Gaboury: The lab is a separate area of the building that we try to keep secluded mostly for sterility reasons. It's much more like a conventional lab space than it is a conventional grow space. All of its surface are antimicrobial, we use all sterile processes, aseptic processes, and that includes how you enter into the room. There is a HEPA air lock before you can get into the actual tissue culture lab itself. Then the lab is differentiated into multiple different zones depending upon what's happening there.
Essentially, you have spaces that go from less sterile, like where you wash your dishes and maybe where you do some of your prep, to areas that are more sterile, like where your flow hoods are, which are these large cabinets that create a laminar flow with HEPA-filtered air so that anything you perform inside those hoods is done in a completely sterile space. That, for instance, is where we take the plantlet and put those into the in vitro jars. Then there's another area where there's storage. The storage is primarily in the form of stainless steel racking with lights. It looks like a bunch of test tubes essentially piled in rows on these stainless steel shelves.
Matthew Kind: Now, talk about the stages of getting a cutting from the mom plant. What do you do right after a cutting? Or I should say before the cutting you're probably putting that cutting device, dipping it in alcohol or something to make sure it's sterile, and then right after there's a steroid involved, maybe for rooting. I'm not sure exactly how you do it. Can you just walk us through that?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, absolutely. In particular, for our tissue culture, there's a couple of different things, as I mentioned earlier, that you can do. Tissue culture gives you the ability to take various different parts of a plant and be able to propagate off of that. For our sake of this example, we're going to use what we do pretty much on a day-to-day basis for a micropropagation, which is we take nodal tissue culture samples. Essentially, we're going to be getting our gear all prepped. In the garden you don't have to be as sterile as you do in the lab.
The first step of the process is really inoculation, where you're going to be cleaning all of those things in the lab. You're going to be taking clones of the plantlets, let's just say off the mother plants, in a very similar way that you would clones, only these are going to be much, much smaller cuttings. We make up a mixture in a pyrex jar, a sealed pyrex jar that essentially has some very mild sterility agents, stuff that you could basically find off the shelf. That provides a suspension for those plantlets after we cut them off the mother plant while we transport them into the lab. So they're in this sealed vessel.
Then when we go back into our lab we're able to spray down that bottle really we with lysol, and make sure that's completely clean, as well as change all of our clothes that we were wearing within the garden, put on our lab coats as well as the rest of our PPE. Then take that sterile jar into the lab, into the next area. In the next area, we essentially run it through a sterility process. There is both some physical agitation that's involved through micronization as well as some sterility agents that we use. Again, nothing that's would be deemed crazy, most things can be purchased at your local grocery store.
Then from there we go through a rinsing process, which is really important, and with very sterile water. After that, the plants get trimmed and manicured to the right size. That happens underneath the flow hood. We also then will autoclave all of our consumables now, you're going to need it throughout that process. We also clean and sterilize all the glassware. All that's going to be under the flow hood, ready to go as well.
Then the technician is going to, essentially plantlet by plantlet, dissect that down to just the nodal area that's needed. Then with forceps, in a very sterile manner, place than within the in vitro vial, which then contain some of our media. There's different media for different phases of the plant process. Then from there it's capped, and then once that sealed plant is in that test tube, it can then be removed from the flow hood and then put into the storage. Then, depending upon the phase of the plant, it may go through some other elements as well.
Matthew Kind: I can see why there's a lot of companies outsourcing to you, because this is just a lot of detail that you specialize in. A lot of business owners are thinking more big picture, "If I can outsource this and they do a better job than me, why not just do that and accelerate the whole process and have more confidence in the whole process?" It makes sense. How do you validate genetics to ensure they are the best expression of the plant possible?
Matt Gaboury: That really comes down to the downstream cultivators, the gardeners, analytics, and really study too come into play at that point. It's really a constant effort to phenotype new strains in the buretting process. It's a lot of work on the flowering department in particular, because every plant likes slighty different parameters. We're constantly throwing curve balls at the flower gardeners just to be able to deal with multiple different types of phenos all at the same time, to try to figure out really what are those best parameters.
For us, the only way that we've learned to not pull out our hair is to use pretty rigid data analysis in that process. Throughout the grow cycle, there is lots of different parameters that are recorded, tracked and then analyzed at the end of the process to show that plant's performance from purely a grow perspective, what is the structure of the plant, what times did it take, how'd it yield, how'd it perform, did it have certain stress factors, did it require more nutrients, didn't they show deficiency? Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Once the actual plant is harvested, then it goes to various different people for either anecdotal analysis or into study groups, mostly through our employees. We have a really good employee sampling program where we use the people who smoke the product the most to be able to test and validate, and give opinion on the qualitative effects of it. Then we take both that qualitative analysis, as well as that quantitative analysis through the grow process, and then we try to pick who are the winners. Even with all that data, it still is tough because there's just so many exciting strains out there, and unfortunately there are limitations on what you can grow. There's only X amount that can be space available.
Matthew Kind: Any strains you're just excited about right now, or you don't like to name favorites?
Matt Gaboury: Man, there's so many. I got into this industry in the first place because I'm a passion smoker. That really is what keeps on fueling my fire, and I constantly get very excited about new things. I think, in the garden right now we have about six different internally-bred strains of zkittlez crosses. There's one, there's a zittlez with dread bread cross that is just phenomenal. It is a combination of that-- Like how when you open up a bag of zkittlez, that smell, which is--I know most people don't think of the smell of zkittlez but it is a very distinct smell. Combined with this kind of hazy, gassy terpene, which to me is the combination of the best of the both worlds. It grows great, it smokes great and I think it's going to be a really big fan favorite out there.
Matthew Kind: I just think you created a little bit of cannabis salvation there, like a Pavlovian response with plenty listeners. I can just feel them say, "Ah." Let's just go over a few more things to help listeners understand. What does it mean to reinvigorate plant?
Matt Gaboury: This term is thrown around a lot, especially when tissue culture is being talked about. First and foremost, I want to let people know that there is no magic bowl. I think a lot of people think tissue culture can cure anything that's happened to a plant, and that's just really not the case. It can do a lot though. It's been very impactful for us in particular in a state where you are very limited on what you can use from a pesticide or from a preventative approach.
We run a completely organic garden where most of what we use is in the form of live biologicals and certain things, let's say powdery mildew, for instance, are very hard to get rid of in a plant once it becomes set in, because it gets underneath the laminar surface of a plant. Any topical preventative or actionable item really doesn't cure the plant unless you use something that's really gnarly like Myclobutanil, Eagle 20, something that's banned that you wouldn't really want to spray on your plant anyway. I wouldn't recommend that even if it wasn't going to be smoked. Tissue culture provides that ability to remove those very commonly dealt with pest and pathogens as well as some other more intensive viroids and things along those natures.
Something like a powdery mildew or a mite or a thrip, all that is going to be 100% eliminated in our tissue culture sterility process. Just knowing that you're starting your plants off with something that doesn't have any of the major contaminants is crucial. I've seen gardens just pass that stuff along from generation to generation. You see reinvigoration a lot of times just from that, just from taking plants that had been stressed by those major contaminants, pests, or pathogens, and removing that for their future stock. Then reinvigoration also happens at a genetic level we see sometimes by what we think is a reversal of different genetic factors that have been turned on from stress responses.
As you know, there is genetic traits, but there's also epigenetics that play a factor in how a plant performs or grows or evolves. Epigenetics happen from the environment. Say, your mom plant got too much water, too little water, too much light, too little light, whatever it may have been that stressed that plant. Those stresses can become systemic and could then pass on to every cull you take off of that mother plant, because that cull is 100% genetic replica of that mom plant. With tissue culture, in recent theory, provides is a stop-gap in that process, especially when you take meristem tissue culture. You have the ability to almost reverse some of those stress factors that were turned on throughout that plant's life and return it to more of a youth-like state, so to speak.
In that process, we've anecdotally seen some huge reinvigoration happen to plants. We had an OG Kush Cart that was around for years. It just became so stressful and it would grow lanky, and it would be really hard to clone, and it would just yellow out early, and it would show really just stressful-- It just look like a plant that just wasn't happy its entire life. After running it through the tissue culture process several times, we've noticed that, and this is the end-goal as growers, that it is a much more vibrant plant. It veggies at a much more rapid pace, and it yields much better that it had been for years, without really much effect on its terpene profile or its tastes or really all of the good qualitative features that we learned to love about the plant.
However, what I need to caveat all these by saying is we really haven't done a ton of empirical scientific evidence to back up or support a lot of these claims. Unfortunately, we don't have the ability or the resources yet to really partner with those kind of institutions in order to provide that. I'm really hoping, in the near future, that large scale education as well as potential government resources will be available to be able to study this to the extent where we can start to really understand it, and we control it better than the end-goal results that we're seeing today.
Matthew Kind: Then for someone that has a huge cultivation facility, can you ship these clones on palace, or how does it work getting the clones to customers?
Matt Gaboury: The TC plantlets are really, really easy to ship, especially if they're shipped while they're still in vitro, because they're in, essentially, sealed jars which can be stacked and flat-packed and put on a pallet and shipped in a very secure manner as well. Whereas, conventional clones, typically they're in a clone dome or they're just on trays, and there's possibility for those things to get contaminated anywhere from the time it leaves your facility to the time it gets to the client's facility. Tissue culture provides, definitely, a much more secure way of transport. However, there are some difficulties that go along with that as well.
Matthew Kind: What advice do you give to clients when they're receiving pallets of tissue culture clones? How do you best get them integrated into their garden?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, absolutely. That's where some of the difficulties I just mentioned come into place. Most farmers are used to conventional clones. The conventional clones, as probably a lot of listeners know, are pretty easy to deal with. You order some clones, they come in, they're rooted, you put them into your next phase of growth, whether that's veg or directly into the soil, or maybe just want to do a [unintelligible [00:26:05], you want to flip those right away. We still sell a lot of our genetics in conventional clone format because that is the easiest way for people to deal with it.
Essentially, we'll grow out TC mother plants, and then we'll take clones off of those, and then we'll sell those like conventional clones for the ease of it. However, we've started to see that and we've tried to start to educate people on how to use the plantlets, because ideally, as we were mentioning earlier, that's the much more effective way of transporting it and a much safer way of transporting, and then you can ensure sterility upon arrival at the destination farm. However, with plantlets, you can't just directly plant them into your next medium like you would with clones. You have to go through what's called hardening off process.
Essentially, that's because when you open up that jar-- That plant has been sealed in that environment for its entire life cycle. It's been in this perfect protected in vitro environment where the humidity has been very high. The plant hasn't created its own waxy cuticle over its leaf surface to give it its protection in the ambi environment. You have to go through a two to five-day period where you acclimate these plants from this very protected high humidity environment inside that jar to your natural ambi environment. There are some steps to go through. Like I said, it's an education as well as you need some infrastructure in place, especially in the form of a room to be able to control those environmental conditions in order to accomplish that.
Matthew Kind: Do feels like your role is almost like a sommelier in some ways, because you’re dealing with a lot of different cultivators. They know that your perspective is wider than their particular business, and you can give them some insights and to what genetics you like the best and some guidance there.
Matt Gaboury: I think that that's one of my favorite parts, and especially my older business partners as well, because we want to see other people be successful as well. We want to be able to give the genetics that match the grow environment, methodology, as well as the goal. Some people just want to grow for biomass. We have strains for that. They're just going to hook out huge colas and really have massive yield. We have other people who are growing for really high-end concentrates. They're making just bubble hash rosin, and they want really just the most fire, terpy, flavorful strains that they could possibly get. We lead them down the road of a certain portfolio for that. We had people with all sorts of different things within that spectrum in the middle.
That's what I really want to stress to listeners, who may not have the diversity or had grown a wide variety of different genetics, is that not every genetic is going to grow for you the way that you want it to. You really had to choose genetics based off around your environment and your grow methodology. What grows well in a greenhouse in Northern California isn't necessarily going to grow well in a greenhouse in Arizona or an indoor operation in Boston, or wherever it may be. You have to choose based upon your skill sets and what you have available, as well as what you want that end-goal to be. You're going for that yield or you're going for those terps or you're going for something else in between?
Matthew Kind: Just as you're taking one part of the cannabis supply chain and really specializing, are you seeing other areas of the ecosystem really start to specialize?
Matt Gaboury: Absolutely, yes. I think extraction is a primary example of that. I think the CBD industry in the last two years is a great president for what's probably going to occur, especially in the biomass sectors in the cannabis industry, which is a large toll processing set up extraction facilities. Really that's all they do. For most people there's going to be a reduction in cost as well as probably a higher quality that comes from that because those individuals are really focusing on the equipment, the technology, as well as the infrastructure to accomplish those things at large industrial scales.
I know for us we definitely have started to third party a lot of our strategy, especially our hydrocarbon extraction. We are in a facility where we to build a D1 class one or two room in order to accomplish butane extraction would be so cost-prohibitive that it just makes so much more sense for us just to outsource that to somebody who's probably going to do it better anyway.
Matthew Kind: You just mentioned butane and there's some people listening and saying, "Hey, won't there be butane residue on there?" Then there's others that are saying, "Hey, that's how you can really get the extract you want." Can you fill in some detail there so people understand?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, sure. Every different extraction solvent kind of lends itself to a different format that comes out the back end. Some things like CO2 lend themselves better for vaporization cartridges, other things like a bubble hash or rosin lend themselves better for concentrates and for dabbing or direct consumable concentrates.
Butane is really one of the ones that we found that it pulls turpines better in that extraction process and then it lends itself to a more dabble concentrate, especially for somebody who likes some THCA in there as well, because, through certain kind of butane extraction processes, you get a lot of THCA crystalline with this kind of saucy terpy residual as well. The combination of both which is quite commonly referred to as “terp sauce” or "rocks and sauce” is a very popular, consumable format that you can really only get by using butane as a solvent.
Matthew Kind: That room you were saying is expensive to build out has to have proper ventilation because butane is volatile, it can cause an explosion. You just have to be extra careful with that versus CO2. That's why it requires a special room. Is that what you're referring to?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, exactly. Butane being a hydrocarbon, the room itself has to be completely explosion-proof. Explosion-proof lights, explosion-proof switches, explosion-proof walls, everything. It's quite a restrictive building, classification code in order to accomplish that. Plus you can't just build it anywhere. Your building has to have certain firewalls and it has to be in a certain zone and all of those types of things as well.
Whereas something like CO2 which is not as combustible doesn't need as much. CO2 typically in most instances, and this is very state by state, but in most instances, it just requires an exhaust system as well as a CO2 monitoring system in case that CO2 closed-loop system has some sort of leak that sensor system detects it and then exhaust that out so that your quantities within that room never reach levels that could be harmful to any sort of operator within there.
Matthew Kind: We talked about some of the clients you help but what if I'm a grower or business owner that has my own lab or experimental garden, for people that kind of do that in-house, do you offer any kind of services for them or they're really just not so much a customer candidate right now?
Matt Gaboury: I definitely think that tissue culture is a no brainer for anyone serious about genetics or breeding. In my opinion, once large scale nurseries can supply your individual market and you can go there and you have a selection to be able to buy, having your own internal breeding and genetics program is really the only reason why you would keep a portion of your grow dedicated to that.
We can pretty clearly show in most instances, even with indoor grows that converting over your mom and your veg and your clone space over to flowering has an increased profit margin, even when you have to buy all of your starts from a nursery.
Matthew Kind: I mentioned at the beginning of the show that you have a deep specialization into other areas, the cannabis industry design. Can you paint a picture of what you think would be the most forward-thinking technology you could put into a grow room right now in terms of systems, nutrient management, sensors, those types of things?
Matt Gaboury: The technology has really been evolving pretty rapidly in the last several years. Having designed a lot of different facilities and having gotten the ability to put in different equipment and see how different things operate, I would say that in the lighting technologies and in the HPAC technologies, we're seeing huge advancements. I'm a really big proponent of sustainable and efficient design and systems, and we've seen an increase in the availability of those types of pieces of equipment, as well as methodologies in order to accomplish that.
The biggest thing being automation and to really computer and automatic learning to really help facilitate that from a methodology standpoint, and then utilizing things like some of the more advanced LEDs that have come out and some of the more advanced recovery units for HPAC in order to really make a system that is as effective and as efficient as possible, because as we all know price points are inevitably going to go down and margins are going to get tighter and efficiency, whether you believe in it from a conscious standpoint or not is going to become the key to the game for longterm success.
From a forward-looking approach, I definitely recommend to be looking into those types of systems even if the investment may be a little bit more upfront, you're going to see an ROI on that and it's going to essentially mean longevity as well.
Matthew Kind: I want to ask a few personal development questions, Matt, to help listeners get a better sense of who you are as a person. You've been on the show before, so I'm going to have to change this up a little bit. What is one skill you use all the time that you think is really important but wasn't taught in school?
Matt Gaboury: I think the importance of physical exercise. I know we all have PE and stuff growing up in school, but it wasn't really that important to me of how much it really affects your life until I was inspired by Richard Branson, the eccentric billionaire out there. I saw an interview with him years and years ago. He talked about how he works out every day because it improves his ability to perform in work and it gives him typically another four or five hours of productivity in his day.
That for me was a huge kind of eye-opener. Now, if I didn't have that output in my life, I don't know if I'd be able to handle the workloads that the cannabis industry throws at you, because anybody who's listening to this who's in the trenches knows that it is a full-time endeavor and it takes up your whole life and you need to have other facets to be able to outlet that energy as well as reinvigorate your own body.
Matthew Kind: I totally agree. I try to work out every morning because otherwise, I talk myself out of it, but unless I do it first thing, but I know end of day is really popular for a lot of people to relieve stress. One thing I read about that is a huge benefit of exercise is that your lymphatic system, just as how we have like a respiratory and circulatory systems, there's the lymphatic system which is kind of like the garbage men of the body.
They take out dead cells and all these things. That system needs movement for it to work. If your body doesn't move, the lymphatic system can't work and gets clogged. I had no idea about that. I thought that was kind of a little interesting factoid I'd throw in there. Have you ever heard of that?
Matt Gaboury: Yes. I definitely have. I would say, no, I'm not a physician by any means, but it makes sense to me and it's something that I definitely agree with as well. I got to say right now during these pandemic times with the gyms not being open and stuff, it's been extra difficult to try to get in that exercise but even more important to do so with the extra stress levels we're all under.
Matthew Kind: If you could not do any of the stuff you're doing right now with the House of Cultivar, you just had to drop it completely, what do you think you would think is the most interesting thing going on in your field that you would pivot to if you were forced to just because you think it's cool?
Matt Gaboury: I think if I wasn't on the production processing side of things, I think there's some really exciting things that are starting to happen with the different consumable devices and how the usability of cannabis is changing. I think one great product example is the personal electronic guard device. We've seen several different manufacturers with Puffco being one of them, it's launched that and really take things to a different level. The conventional way of dabbing the torch and with the courts, while I love it, and I appreciate it, it may not be the most easily digestible for the wider public audience. By creating new ways of using that same product, that same [unintelligible 00:40:29] concentrate, but in something that looks more like an iPhone and has more of a visual aesthetic to it. I think that's really cool. I think that's going to be another way that we open up cannabis to other users and other people and really bring it to the masses.
Matthew Kind: You mean, you don't want to walk around with a huge dab rig and a torch? You don't feel like that sets the right tone?
Matt Gaboury: I do but I think people give me plenty stares sometimes.
My mom definitely likes the Puffco a lot better than the [crosstalk]. I will say it that way.
Matthew Kind: I was going that that's definitely the mom approved approach. Here's a Peter teal question for you. What is one thing that you believe to be true that practically nobody agrees with you on? They're just totally blind you say look at this, look at this and that no one can see it. Do you have anything like that?
Matt Gaboury: I know we spent most of this interview today talking about cannabis genetics. I really feel like cannabis will not be commoditized. All I hear people talking about these days is how there's a race to the bottom, how cannabis is going to be commoditized, how it's going to go for, you name whatever the dirt cheap price per pound it's going to be. I really feel, I could just be drinking my own Kool Aid and doctrinize on it, but I really feel like craft and the focus on genetics and quality is always going to be paramount.
When you look at other industries to have emerged from a commoditized industry to a craft industry, I think that we're just going to jump right past all of that and maintain a pretty strong connoisseur crowd as this thing progresses throughout the United States and throughout the world. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that.
Matthew Kind: Well, Matt, you've got a lot of interesting things going on here. I really appreciate the interview. Before we close, are you raising any capital or is there accredited investors that you know anything about House of Cultivar what do you have going on there?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, we are constantly in the growth, no pun intended and expansion phases. We are in the process of expanding out to Massachusetts and hopefully Illinois this year, we had put in some applications in the recent round. We're waiting to hear back on that. The Massachusetts project is moving forward and we're always looking for new partners in this nursery model. If anybody listening is interested or has space infrastructure or genetics that they think would be their state or their marketplace would be interested in something like this please feel free to reach out.
I think that this is an exciting model that could be applicable to not only individual states but to the nation in general, once this thing becomes legalized.
Matthew Kind: Say those states one more time that for people that are potential clients or partners, what states are those again?
Matt Gaboury: Yes, absolutely. If you're looking to to to acquire genetics or tissue culture plantlets, we're able to do that currently in Washington State. CBD though, we're able to do on a national level. Then excuse me, in the near future, we will be rolling out THC operations, recreational operations in the state of Massachusetts, as well as hopefully in the state of Illinois. We also are almost complete with our California branch arm as well. We'll be able to provide genetics in those marketplaces hopefully within the next year.
Then in any other state, we're open to different partnership opportunities. Or if you think that this could be a model that would work with your marketplace, please feel free to reach out and let us know. We definitely like to explore those opportunities.
Matthew Kind: How can they reach out and connect?
Matt Gaboury: Absolutely. They can find us a Instagram, it's house.of.cultivar or online houseofcultivar.com. You can also reach me directly, it's the letter G, the letter Z at cultivarfarms.com.
Matthew Kind: Great. Well, Matt, thanks so much for coming on the show and educating us. You got a lot of cool stuff going on and good luck the rest of the year with all this.
Matt Gaboury: Thank you so much. It's always a pleasure and an enjoyment to be on the show. I hope all is well with you as well.
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