Marijuana Business Magazine March 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | March 2019 16 ‘Three A Light,’ Three Years Later Discussing the future of cultivation with growing guide author Joshua Haupt By Bart Schaneman W hen Joshua Haupt released his controversial cannabis growing guide, “Three A Light,” in 2015, some people thought he was selling snake oil. Growers were struggling to yield 2 pounds of cannabis per grow light. Surely, 3 pounds wasn’t consistently achievable, they said, and anyone saying otherwise was trying to pull one over on new growers. Fast-forward to 2019, and Haupt says he has sold more than 2,000 copies of the guide—not bad for a book that retails at $500. “The goal was to establish ourselves (“Three A Light” and SuperFarm) as industry lead- ers and people who are in the industry for the right reason, trying to push it forward,” Haupt said. “The notoriety we received from the book has allowed us to do exactly that.” Today, Haupt runs the cannabis cultivation company SuperFarm, which has two facilities in the Denver area based on the methods outlined in “Three A Light.” He is also the chief revenue officer for Denver-based cannabis consultancy Medicine Man Technologies. The company now owns Three A Light and Success Nutrients, the line of soil amendments Haupt tailored specifically to his unique growing method for cannabis. Haupt spoke with Marijuana Business Magazine about trends among growers, common mistakes in cultivation operations and where he’s seeing the most innovation in the sector. What’s the No. 1 thing cultivators should be thinking about right now? Cultivators need to anticipate what happened in Colorado. What happened in Oregon. What happened inWashington (state). The industry average for cost of production per pound is between $800 and $1,100. You’ve got to find a way to streamline your efficiencies. You need to be growing a pound for $400 or less. Otherwise, you will struggle, because that is where it’s going. Focus on efficiencies, big time. When you’re consulting, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see growers make? People think that if they get a license to grow cannabis, it’s basically a license to print money. It’s the exact opposite. It’s a license to lose an incredible amount of money. There’s a lot of people who want to get into cannabis right now who don’t understand it’s an incredible amount of work. There’s a high risk to it. Cannabis is far from cruise control. You need to be inti- mately involved with the details. We’re not making widgets. These are living organisms—and when you have living organisms, you have to treat them differently. You have to understand that there’s going to be variables and variances between each yield, each plant, each genetic. These things are always going to vary. You need to plan to lose money for the first couple of years. You really need to plan to spend as much as possible to create the infrastructure of your business, so that way it can run smooth and be consistent for years to come. Where are you seeing the most innovation in the cultivation sector? One-hundred percent in grow lights. Everybody’s trying to rebuild the sun. (They say), “We’re going to make a bulb that’s better than sun. It’s going to have different rays, different this, different that.” But they don’t realize that cannabis has been grown for millions of years. Inherently, it knows one sun. So, all we can do is try to complement Joshua Haupt Courtesy Photo Q & A | Five Questions