I first met Witt Rabon while judging the Connoisseur Cup of Cannabis, held in Denver, Colorado. Not only did he bring a smile into the room when he walked in, because everyone loves Witt, I can honestly say that he towered over everyone in the super tall ceilinged room. When he sits down in front of you, at least myself at five/nine and a half; I had to stand up to see him eye to eye. Witt smiles when he speaks, thus he commands your attention immediately, his candor and kindness are the basis of his passion, what he is doing in life, his path. I found by listening that when Witt speaks, his own unique form of verbal poetry flows out. He is peaceful inside and well spoken. Witt has amazing stories to tell about a multitude of topics and the time that you take to listen to his stories, deep memories are made. I may have a certain level of knowing, but Witt is so tuned in to his unique life, he’s seen things that I can only dream about seeing in my life.
Thus the Five Questions here in Forbes Vices.
What do you ask a man who obviously loves what he is entrusted to do in life?
Do I ask him about weed? (I wanted to…) But ended up asking his partner Jamar Brown instead.
Do I ask him about South-Central? Probably not. Just not done. Word!
What about the taste of his herbs? I haven’t tried them yet.
Do I just let him be himself and speak his own words? Absolutely.
And his new collaboration? Hey, I write about a different topic. Until then, I give you Jamar Brown, C0:Founder of DRO.
Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me about your company?
Jamar Brown=JB: DRO is a lifestyle brand for trap and hip hop culture with two components: one arm is focused on streetwear, and the other is DRO Flower, a high-end, luxury cannabis brand.
WB: What brought you to the cannabis business?
JB: With a name like DRO it was a natural progression. *WB note: “Hydro” is ultra-high potency medical or recreational cannabis grown indoors, under powerful lights, without soil, but using specific, potent nutrients in a water driven state, hence the word, DRO.*
JB: Through our initial experiences as a lifestyle streetwear brand, we observed a need in the industry for high-end cannabis. A friend of ours and top notch cultivator, Willy Gardiner, needed a brand that would match with his technique, dedication, and focus on the plant. So it made sense to put a familiar face with the product. This also allowed us a really fun opportunity to get creative with the packaging by blending our pop-culture expertise and the cannabis product that our consumers were looking for.
WB: What did you do originally?
JB: I played 10 years of professional basketball. The countries I played in included Turkey, Spain, China, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea, Morocco, Philippines and the NBA G League in the United States. So I was well traveled and cannabis played a big role in the cultures I experienced while playing internationally.
WB: Do you have a mentor? Did you always want to do what you do today? Who inspired you?
JB: I’m from South Central, Los Angeles so growing up, the people we looked up to were the neighborhood drug dealers. You really had to dig down deep or get caught up in the bull. My brother always inspired me, because he played professional basketball which motivated me to play and then allowed me to have different experiences. I’ve been around cannabis all my life since day one. So what I’m doing today is perfect.
WB: What are your goals in business?
JB: To create a legacy brand that supports cannabis culture, music, fashion, and the arts.
Please tell me your six and twelve-month Goals?
JB: To build relationships with other cultivators in other legal states who have the same mindset when it comes to high-end flower and high-end branding. We are also working on creating a cannabis line with Waka Flocka Flame and are excited to share more about that as the project progresses.
WB: What about the obstacles?
JB: Obstacles are going to always come at you in life, especially in the cannabis industry, given ever-changing consumer habits. We play with a mindset that any obstacle can be overcome—learn from your failures and apply that experience to the next move.
WB: What about cannabis stigmas?
JB: A frequent stigma we’ve encountered is the idea that “Weed and sports don’t mix” — which is wrong. 10 years ago the perception was very different. I personally wouldn’t talk publicly about cannabis because I was a professional athlete, and I had to protect my job. But as athletes, almost everyone was smoking cannabis to help cope with injuries, depression etc.10 years later The NBA. MBL, NHL and NFL are no longer testing for cannabis. A lot of groundwork has been done in the last 10 years alone to reduce those stigmas.
WB: Do you have a favorite food memory? What does your favorite meal look like? Made by whom? (Living or not, like a food memory from childhood)
JB: Every Christmas my mom would make gumbo. That was one dish she would make once a year. That’s one of my favorite meals of all time. So every Christmas I make gumbo—it’s not the same as my mother’s dish—but a lot of people keep asking for it.
WB: What is your passion?
JB: DRO!!!! Building something with a team that is bigger than myself.
Thank you Jamar, I hope to enjoy and then review your exceptionally packaged, fine herbs at some point going forward.
The struggle continues – Wu Tang forever.
The come up is never easy and the cracks begin to show. The year was full of transitions and pivots that truly suck the energy out of life. If it wasn’t for a the rhino skin – this would have ended a while back.
You gotta do whatever you have to in order to stay around the block. You have to survive – as the early days are the hardest – You have to show you are really about it.