It All Starts With A Seed: Navigating The Genetics Side In Cannabis

Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me where you are from?

Swerve: I am from California, I am a 1st generation Italian born in Los Angeles, California.

WB: Where are you now in the world? 

Swerve: I am at my office answering these questions in good old sunny So-Cal. We have always had our main office in Los Angeles well the San Fernando Valley to be exact. We then have our European office out of Amsterdam actually now that I think of it, we just recently moved that office to Watford just north of London, UK renting space with Pure Sativa / Arrogance accessories.

WB: What part of the cannabis business do you work in?

Swerve: We are in the genetics side of the industry (I would love to bring the brand true full-term seed to sale one day), but at the moment we do seeds (We stabilize old strains, create new strains and hybrids.). You know the beginning of it all. I own The Cali Connection Seed Co as well as TCC Consulting, LLC in the worldwide marijuana industry or as I call it “The World of Weed”. The Cali Connection Seed Co first opened its doors in 2008, in Los Angeles, CA and quickly grew to a worldwide brand. When we opened there wasn’t many, if any seed companies there was us TCC and TGA selling seeds to all the major dispensaries throughout California as legal as we can here in the USA. I just happened to get lucky, by holding a USA and Italian passport, I was and am able to have a European branch of my company The Cali Connection Seed Co. We have been very fortunate to have this ability as we were able to access world of weed really fast. We have European and South American distribution through Pure Sativa in the UK due to this.

WB: How did you find your path to seeds?

Swerve: I provided clones originally to the medical community in 2003/2004 known as Swerves Cuts of the rarest most sought-after genetics at that time. I was searching for the best of the best. The original versions of said genetics at the time, the OG Kushes the original aka the Tahoe OG or SFV OG, Larry OG, the real deal Original Sour Diesel, The Original Pre98 Bubba Kush and the famed Chemdog. I not only sourced direct from the originator, but I was actually able to make friends with some of these legends. I was amazed as to the reception and appreciation of providing these clones in 2004/2007 of verified genetics. So, I guess seeds and a seed company were a natural progression.

WB: Did you have a mentor?

Swerve: I am a self-taught marijuana grower and breeder. I read and experimented. I believe in the trial and error method of learning. The hands-on aspect of firsthand knowledge.

WB: Who taught you about plants? Swerve: My father and grandfather taught me about farming. They were farmers and goat herders in Adelphia, Bari, Italy. It was the making rows for the growing of zucchini, tomatoes, basil, peppers, etc. that formed the foundation of what would be my life now.  I owe all of my growing and building skills along with my hard work ethic to that. I can honestly say that as a fact. 

WB: Do you have a green thumb?

Swerve: Very much so, Yes. I do have a very green thumb. I can grow just about anything. I grew peanuts smack in the middle of the city on down to air layer new blood orange trees from the tree in my backyard. I love the entire process of growing from the start on down to the harvest. It is great for your mind, body and soul.

WB: Indoor or outdoor grown?

Swerve: Always indoor grown. Sorry, I love the sun, nature and natural herb but the bug issue, the dust, the dander in the air. I don’t know it is just was less controlled compared to indoor. That doesn’t mean I would not enjoy some killer grown organic outdoor. But yeah, greenhouse is better than pure outdoor, but I am all about indoor.

WB: Favorite grower? 

Swerve: To be honest I would say most of my grower friends.

I cannot name names as I do not want to be rude and say one is better than the other. I can say most of the time when they hand me some personals, it is usually absolutely delicious.

WB: What is your six and twelve-month goals?

Swerve:  6-month goals are to continue on our progress of country wide expansion. At the moment we are working on licensing the brand across the country. Our goal is to really ramp up our nursery licensed facility in California for this coming year. Our 12-month goals will be to continue activating licensees in the legal states we work in currently. We want to really begin a nation-wide promotional campaign to solidify us as one of the oldest seed brands in the American Marijuana Industry.

 WB: What about stigmas?

Swerve: They do not bother me. I come from a tough upbringing. I was always told by my Mom never to dwell on what anyone’s opinion is of me and or my work. To always keep moving forward no matter what.

WB: Obstacles?

Swerve: Modern day cannabis’s only obstacle is funding and permitting in my very honest opinion. The red tape lies within the government. This is what has held us back (being in Los Angeles and its high cost) aside from the fact larger corporations and/or investors do not understand the seed aspect of the industry. It’s hard for a mom and pop style company to compete with big box brands that have millions behind them.

WB: How do you overcome them?

Swerve: Persistence and drive, you just cannot give up. My company is 12 years old; I have been raided two times and lost it all. To get back up and keep fighting for what I believed in. You have to keep fighting for what you believe in or nothing will ever change. For you or for anyone else in a similar position. Which is why I am still here pushing forward no matter what. As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, I know the healing properties this plant carries on down to yes, the recreational side of the plant as well. It works that is the truth.

WB: Do you have a favorite food memory from childhood?

Swerve: My Grandma’s Strawberry Delight dessert for my birthdays growing up. My God is it delicious!

WB: What is your favorite kind of food today?

Swerve: Italian food of course, My Mom’s version of focaccia. Bellissima!!! I also cook a mean steak so…Then you have the sweets. I mean I’m Italian, we love our desserts and pastries, the cookies. Lol., Now I am hungry…

WB: What is your passion?

Swerve: My passion is to help others. I mean I have a passion for nature and growing but the truth is. I live to help, that’s me. My goal to is not only help people see that hardcore pharmaceuticals are not good for you and we can have a true natural alternative that actually WORKS.

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Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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