Mojave Richmond settled in the Netherlands in the early 1990s and became involved in the country’s newly emerging marijuana industry through breeding cannabis for specific therapeutic properties. Richmond developed the award-winning strain S.A.G.E., which served as a springboard for creating many notable cultivars, including Zeta. As laws began to relax in the U.S., Richmond moved back to California and began working as a cannabis farming consultant, designing custom hydro-organic cultivation facilities. Richmond continues to breed and develop new critically acclaimed varietals that present specific therapeutic attributes without compromising agronomic viability.
Recently, Cannabis Conference Digital Editor Eric Sandy spoke with Richmond about what global market trends business owners should be watching now. You can read the full interview here.
Cannabis Conference: What do you hope attendees will bring back to their business from your session at Cannabis Conference 2020?
Mojave Richmond: The main thing is that things are moving really quickly. Going from a local, regional approach to the market to an international, global approach to the market is going to become ever more critical. We have people building cultivation facilities in markets that are in regions that aren't appropriate if there was international commerce, and the only reason that they're there is because there's not international commerce. We're quickly moving out of that. That model is going to be paramount to anyone's business model in the future. We don't grow bananas in California, we don't grow coffee in California; we import those products. Having an understanding about what the value is in your business model is all going to be based on the price point per pound. We're still looking at states here in the U.S., for instance, that are putting a lot of money into infrastructure in regions that if there were interstate commerce would never survive. That in that itself is a shame. We all we want interstate commerce and we want international laws, but it definitely means a lot of business models won't survive—or at least will have to pivot rapidly.
That’s been a concern that we had all along. In California, a big part of our state’s income comes from agriculture, and a large portion of that agriculture is exported. That’s how we survived. We grow broccoli for states that can't, and we grow tomatoes for states that can't—or can't do it as cheaply as we can. Understanding that dynamic is what agriculture is. It used to be that cannabis sold itself because it was kind of an insular industry. And now we don't have that luxury. You're competing with every other market around the world. Right now, people in Florida and people in Michigan are not competing with each other. If they were, it would be difficult. And if they were competing against California, they wouldn't stand a chance. It's something to just be aware of—that this is a business. This is the cannabis business that we're all in. Approach it like a business, an agricultural business. That takes a little bit more understanding and also a lot more vulnerability, because agriculture is always vulnerable to the whims of Mother Nature and the whims of the market. That's something that we should all be focusing on.