If you’re even in slightest involved in the cannabis industry, you can’t deny the company called THC Design. With their distinct logo of a THC molecule standing out on top of a beautiful, royal purple, reminiscent of the purple you strive to see in weed strains, THC Design prides themselves in being the leader in premium cannabis cultivation.
Beyond the estate grown, single-sourced, high-quality flower they offer and grow, THC Design aims to inspire each individual and community through the art and science of marijuana. Passionate, experienced growers cultivate the flower every step of the way, remaining extremely conscientious of the environment and catering their growing practices sustainability. The result? State-of-the-art medicine incomparable to their peers.
Insert co-founder Ryan Jennemann, who recently released his magnificent, 420-page book titled THC Design: Cultivation. Created to accent any coffee table in the world with vibrant, high-res photos detailing the flowering plant along with other organisms in the ecosystem that contribute to its growth, the book empowers the masses on the art of cannabis and its positive benefits—which continuously aids us in our mental health, physical ailments, and creative expression.
With only 1,000 limited edition hard copies available for purchase on Amazon, cannabis consumers are able to obtain the free digital version with the purchase of a
THC Design clone at participating dispensaries. Flaunt caught up with Jennemann, via Google meet when visiting his native Tulsa, Oklahoma (which he calls the Rebel City) while on holiday from Los Angeles where he resides. Read below as we discuss his unwavering love for cannabis, benefits of the flower, the purpose of the book, their #1 strain Crescendo, advice for entrepreneurs, and more.
Ryan, when did your journey with cannabis begin?
I grew up with my dad growing weed since I was born. By age 4, I was helping my dad with cannabis plants, not even understanding what they were at that point in time. I groomed with my dad outside up until 1998-1999 when I transferred over to growing cannabis indoors. In 2009 with some raids we had in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I’m from, we had to hightail it out to Santa Cruz, California, where cannabis was somewhat tolerated. That’s what transferred us from Oklahoma to California.
I’m actually from the Bay, so Santa Cruz was the beach I went to.
Nice. Santa Cruz at that time had the most lenient laws in the state, that’s why we moved there.
What happened in Oakland 2009 that made you and Jairia Pass want to start your own company?
When we started, we didn’t know we’re going to scale it out like we did, but we knew cannabis. Jairia’s a great salesperson and I knew how to grow, so we thought we’d start a small company. Over time, it exploded. Between 2009 to 2014, we went from growing out of a house in Santa Cruz to having six warehouses across the state. We really started to expand aggressively in Southern California. It really wasn’t a plan to create this empire for lack of a better term. Through time and legislation, as the laws kept relaxing and allowing cannabis, we kept growing along with those new, more favorable cannabis laws.
Can you describe your love for cannabis?
All of us are different. All of us have our own issues, our own problems. As talkative and energetic as I am, I’m nervous around people. I get uncomfortable. Not that I used it to hide from society, but cannabis was a way I could smoke and go be at a family party. Or go to a school function to be around a lot of people. I could cool my mind, calm my heart and soul so I could handle crowds because I get really nervous with crowds. I’m always thinking a million miles an hour. It’s hard for me to focus. In high school when I really started to consume cannabis, it was hard for me to dial in and focus on specific tasks.
If I smoke a small amount to get a little buzz, it’d zone me in and give me clarity and focus to get the job done. Much less from a recreational standpoint of trying to get messed up, I used cannabis to handle being around large crowds. When my mind’s all over the place, how can I focus in and get a specific task done? My love for it grew from me going through my hemp phase years ago of wearing all hemp clothing to hemp oils and all different things. I love cannabis for what it did for me with the minimal impact. A lot of things out there, Tylenol and Aspirin included, are much more harmful than cannabis. They’re over-the-counter drugs that destroy your liver, destroy your hormones inside your body. Cannabis is something that I can alleviate pain or focus without those negative detriments.
When’d you first get the idea for the book?
I love sharing knowledge. The book’s been about six years of work. If we all share knowledge and share what we know, that’s how the world’s going to be a better and stronger place. As cheesy as that sounds, that’s definitely a goal of ours at THC Design. It’s an ultimate marketing tool by sharing all the knowledge and work we’ve done. Whether you’re a home grower who’s very upset with how cannabis is becoming commercialized, maybe you think people are selling their soul out or you’re corporate America who sold your soul out years ago—either way, this book was a way to attract people from all walks of life.
How’d it turn into a coffee table book?
That’s my Chief Creative Director Tef Foo who took my boring Times font hundred pages of text on a Word Doc and turned it into this visually stunning work of art. My vision was sharing all the information with the world. Tef’s vision was turning this into a work of art. Between myself and head honchos on the team, that’s what created this book of knowledge, combined with it being something you could display to the world.
What’s the purpose of the book, in your opinion?
To empower the world and empower people to grow as much cannabis as they can or as much as they want to. Cannabis is a great plant for medicine to fiber to food. People are paying thousands of dollars a pound for something they can grow in their backyard. Without trying to put our own company out of business, because I know everyone won’t grow cannabis, the book shows everyone at home “Hey, you can grow cannabis at your house.” It’s nowhere near as complex as brewing a beer, it doesn’t require all the complexity of brewing alcohol. Particularly if you live in a state like California, one of the only states in the union you can do this, you can throw the plant on your back porch in your backyard and you’re going to create cannabis.
Our idea was empowering the world to be able to cultivate their own cannabis, not have to pay absurd premiums for them to be able to consume cannabis. People consuming it for medicine, it’s something we wholesale. By the time it gets to the end consumer, they’re paying 3x the price we wholesold it for. California has leveraged such insane taxes, they’re really, really hurting individuals that need cannabis for medicine. By cultivating it on your own, if you’re truly consuming cannabis for medicine, it gives you a path to not be limited on that medicine. If you’re consuming cannabis to party with your friends and you’re on a tight budget, yet again it gives you a method to consume cannabis without having to spend large amounts of money. You can make cultivating cannabis as complex or as easy as you want, but it’s something all of us can do at your house. There’s no reason to go down to your local dispensary and pay $70 for a few grams of weed when you can grow pounds at your house for less money.
Why do you want to share the gift of growing?
That communal share of knowledge is how we all better and we all learn. That cultivation book not only highlights how to grow cannabis, you can apply that knowledge to growing tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce. I started growing cannabis in 1996, so it’s an accumulation of 24 years of farming practices.
What’s your favorite part of the book?
100% honesty, the first thing you read is giving tribute to my Dad. He died 12 years ago at the low point of his life. If my Dad was still alive, he’d be living the dream out in California with us. Instead, he died here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My favorite part is giving my tribute to my pops at the beginning.
What sets THC design apart from the others?
The whole world’s full of shit and false promises. THC Design delivers what they say, what they do. There’s no false promises, we follow through with everything we say. If there’s a 12pm meeting, we show up at 11:45am. We don’t show up at 12:30pm and blame traffic. There’s a difference between THC Design and the rest of the country, specifically California. The biggest separator at our company: no excuses, follow through. We do exactly what we say. We’re women and men of our words, with absolute integrity and moral turpitude. It’s hard to find people that do what they say and follow through.
Simple core business practices: you do what you say, you complete what you say. Those core business fundamentals has taken us to the next level. Overall, it’s farming. We’ve been doing this for 10,000 years. The biggest thing about our company is our core practices, which is following through and doing what we say. Our biggest separator. You’re out in California, you’re dealing with cannabis people, generally they’re a day late and $1 short. Our quality is far superior to most of our competitors. Obviously some of the best flower in California, best in the world.
Talk about Crescendo being the #1 selling flower in the state of California during the pandemic.
Having the #1 flower in the state of California has been incredible. That’s been huge for us. Not only from helping our company financially, but from bragging rights all across the board. Shout out Colin and Ethos Genetics because we didn’t create that strain. Colin did at Ethos out in Denver, Colorado. We got lucky with a phenotype we’re doing with a bunch of strains of Crescendo that we received at High Times Cannabis Cup, November 2017. We got lucky with one of the highest testing THC strains in the country. Shout out to Dylan on our team for finding the strain.
It has one of the highest terpene profiles, meaning it’s one of the most full of flavor. Since Q3 of 2019, that strain took off and exploded, helped make a name for us. That strain’s really good, very proud of it, but it highlights a problem we have in cannabis that because the end user is so uneducated, they’re buying cannabis based off THC results. Yes, Crescendo’s incredible and has one of the highest THC in cannabis, but there are a lot of other incredible strains that THC Design grows. Some have almost as much flavor. We grow a lot of great weed, Crescendo’s gone up because the end consumer buys off test results. Buying off high THC would be like us buying wine based off alcohol percentage. If I went to a distillery in Kentucky and said “give me the best bottle you got,” by the best bottle I mean the highest alcohol percentage, I’d be laughed out of that distillery.
It does highlight the uneducatedness of the cannabis market. It’s incredible that Creciendo has become the #1 selling strain across California, it really helped THC Design. It’s great weed, but it also shows you the end consumer isn’t buying necessarily off quality, but buying off of an arbitrary test result. I’m very, very excited about Crescendo. At the same time, there are multiple incredible strains at THC Design. Some of our strains have slowed down a bit because of this phenomena of buying cannabis based on THC results. People buy wine, whiskey, beer off flavor. You buy alcohol based on alcohol percentage when you’re a kid, you buy Everclear once and you never buy it again.
What advice do you have for people that want to be entrepreneurs in the cannabis space?
Put your head down and work. Don’t let the world tell you you can’t do it. Don’t let the world tell you any different. We make our own realities. You believe you can go to the moon, you go to the moon. You believe you’re going to Mars, Musk’s taking us to Mars. You believe you’re going to be successful, you’re successful. You believe you’re going to fail, you fail. There’s a ton of room to move into cannabis right now, make your own destiny and don’t let people tell you otherwise.