Cannafornia

Paul King, along with his brother Michael, decided to “go big or go home,” when they started their cannabis cultivation business in California, and they indeed “went big.” Raising around $40 million dollars, the King brothers have several state-of-the-art marijuana farms in the Golden State, while also sharing their knowledge through their consulting company, Duard Ventures. It should be expected that Paul would indeed “go big” in the cannabis space after being named one of the top 25 entrepreneurs under 25 by BusinessWeek back in 2009.

I was glad that Paul spared some time to chat ahead of his appearance on the “Investing in California Cultivation” panel at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Kauai, Hawaii, starting December 1st. With California starting adult-use cannabis commerce on January 1st and just releasing state regulations, the panel couldn’t be timelier.

Anthony Johnson: What brought you to the cannabis industry and when?

Paul King: About 3 years ago, my older brother Mike called me and said he’s moving to California to get into cannabis cultivation. I said if you’re serious I’ll be there tomorrow. I was at a friends bachelor party in Mexico and left there the next day. We invested our money together into our first 5k sq ft grow and soon Kings Garden was born. Today, Mike runs 150k sq ft of indoor grow down South while I’m running greenhouse grows up North in Sonoma County.

 

We evaluated the market and saw that cultivation was the core of the industry and we wanted to “go big or go home.” We wanted to be sustainable and make the economies of scale work for us well into the future.

 

With California moving towards statewide regulations, as well as local rules, governing cannabis commerce, how are you feeling about the upcoming market?

 

California is such a huge market, with incredible potential. It is exciting to have an opportunity to succeed in the world’s 6th largest economy. Overall, I feel good with California rolling out regulations. We have a team to keep us compliant, from all of the paperwork to testing. I look forward to competing with the Canadians. They’re crushing us now, but I feel like it’s the year 2000 and we’re Google working out of the garage but we’re coming for the goliath, Yahoo !

 

What areas of California are your cannabis products?

 

Currently, we serve a large chunk of Los Angeles, consistently providing dispensaries with cannabis from our indoor grows in Cathedral City. In Sonoma, under the brand Cannafornia, we are concentrating on greenhouse grows and are expanding the brand into San Francisco and the surrounding areas.

 

In addition to cultivating high grade cannabis, you also consult others in the business, how did that come about?

 

Consulting kind of started by accident. We just kept meeting people that wanted assistance, and through word of mouth, people started approaching us about cultivation and other licences, in California and then in other states as well. We enjoy guiding people the right way and helping them succeed. It pisses me off to see people get the wrong information from lawyers and get screwed over.

 

How did you start working with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill?

 

Muggs has a property in Sonoma County where he was cultivating, but his initial team wasn’t working out. His cousin Jamie, who handles his business affairs, reached out to us. Today, we help Muggs cultivate, including a great Durban Poison strain that has been highlighted by quite a few dispensaries.

 

What strains do you cultivate and why?

 

We grow what the market needs. We like OGs, gelatos, sours and we are always experimenting with some breeding on the side. We’re paying attention to the research being done in Israel on the medical side as well, and will have our own manufacturing and research facilities soon.

 

Once the United States government ends the folly that is cannabis prohibition, exporting will be a tremendous opportunity for West Coast cultivators, do you see that occurring sooner than later?

 

It’ll take time, but we hope to have a fighting chance against the big Canadian players soon, as they currently have a huge unfair advantage. We are applying for licenses in other states while they’re buying them at crazy valuations, but hopefully the United States will soon even the playing field. President Trump can’t like the fact that we’re losing to the Canadians on our own turf! We’ll keep pushing on our end and be ready when any new avenues open.

 

Cannabis flower will always be sought after, but how do you see other products proceeding in the market?

 

Right now it’s all about scale for growers. Next, it’ll be all about brands. The same way that regular Tobacco farmers sell their tobacco for pennies on the dollar while Marlboro gets a major premium. Cannabis will be similar a few years from now.

 

Thanks a lot for your time Paul. Look forward to seeing you at the ICBC in Kauai.

 

Thanks you, looking forward to it.
Don’t miss Paul King and a whole host of movers and shakers in the cannabis industry at the International Cannabis Business Conference in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii, at the amazing Grand Hyatt Resort. Paul will cover what he has learned from hands on experience, busting some myths, and providing real insight into the day-to-day operations of a cultivation business. Plus, he’ll be joined onstage by the legendary DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill fame! Act fast before ticket prices increase!