This was the pitch, from all the way up north, in Canada!
Please allow me to introduce myself on behalf of the PR team with BLLRDR. I’m a fan of your work with Forbes, and I thought it best to reach out directly.
I understand that you’re a Cannabis Alchemist and I think that perhaps, you would have an interest in this wonderfully unique and rare strain. In Toronto, we work closely with a steadfast group of entrepreneurs who are responsible for bringing the famous BLLRDR strain to Canada, one of the rarest buds on the market and the most anticipated cannabis launch of the year.
Cultivated by MJardin Group Inc., Robes Inc., is a privately held company founded by Max Zavet, CEO and Lorne Greenberg, President. BLLRDR is also a collaboration between Grammy Award-winning producer and OVO co-founder Noah “40” Shebib and legendary grower and breeder of the Afghani Bullrider, Jef Tek. It’s with Tek’s attention to detail in breeding and cultivating the strain that has led to its current incarnation, making it one of the rarest buds on the market.
Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me about yourself? What brought you to the cannabis/botany world? Healing? What was your inspiration to do what you do? Did you go to ag school? I’m a growing boy! I’m a (Jef) of all trades; I can weld, build, engineer, diagnose and repair anything. I have done everything from tending bar at the Lyric Civic Opera House in Chicago to selling bakeware across the northeast U.S. I was a bicycle messenger, HVAC+R technician; I founded my own company installing furnaces and air conditioning. JEF TEK M.E.T.A.L. (the acronym stood for Mechanical, Electrical, Technical, Air-conditioning and Lighting). Pretty clever I must say. I discovered cannabis at a young age, and have been interested in growing and understanding the plant ever since. Nothing makes me happier than harvesting a great batch of happiness and then sharing that with people who need it. I have also written for every pot magazine that existed by 2010. After my wife and medicinal cannabis activist Michelle Rainey passed from cancer, I hung up my writing hat and focused on my growing. I brought myself to the cannabis and botany world. Michelle propelled me to infamy, as she was a visible figure herself in the industry. Writing for all the magazines helped that legend, and now here we are.
I have horrible arthritis, Rheumatoid and Osteoporosis. I was always told it was just ‘growing pains’ and it just may well be, because I’m STILL GROWING! Seriously though, arthritis is one of those things where people see you, and you may ‘LOOK” okay to them, but on the inside, you are dying. Looking back, I have had this my entire life. Medicinal marijuana is my only recourse. I’ve tried every pain medication known to man and none of it works in the long run. I’m here for the long run and that’s where Afghani Bullrider comes in. Without this particular strain, I don’t think I’d still be here. It heals me so I can help heal others, I guess. Originally my inspiration was self-sufficiency. Pot was difficult to find at the best of times in Chicago; sometimes impossible to find. Other-times, the quality was erroneous, to say the least! I postulated that if I could grow my own that would be a good thing for me, and it was. It propelled me to move down to Prop 215 lands, and I thrived in that environment. That’s where I met the Afghani Bullrider. That led me to cannabis culture and Michelle; and then Michelle became my inspiration, and she continues to be to this very day. I brought seeds with me and a year after I moved to Canada the strain was already making waves. NO AG SCHOOL FOR ME: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS, for sure. I was an electrical technician in the US ARMY and spent a trimester in DeVry for EET training. I then went onto bartending school in 1990, I’m a Mixologist like you. Yea!
Please tell me about your company? What do you do that’s different, therefore better than your competition?
JT: We are young and full of ambition, tenacity and quality. We are here to stay. Whatever the future throws at us we will be there with an answer. A dedicated group of highly specialized individuals coming together to share a product with the planet. We are not hype and smoke and mirrors, no pun intended. We are professionals who have all bled for this industry. This isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme; this is real people with real problems that have all overcame personal matters to create quality. Quality strains, quality medicine, quality recreational therapeutic benefits to whoever needs it. This was Michelle’s dream – to share Afghani Bullrider with the world. Her dream is about to become a reality with the launch of BLLRDR in Ontario this October. I discovered and maintained one of the finest strains of marijuana on the planet, if not the finest strain on the planet. It’s so satisfying and so comforting to its users. Everyone who smokes it will have a new story to tell, it’s just that good. There’s a reminiscent background flavor that is both intoxicating and comforting. It’s like an old friend. Or listening to Abbey Road; so good, so different, and yet very familiar, like your favorite pair of jeans. We have no competition, we are the high watermark.
WB: What stigmas do you face? NONE, next! How did you discover your green thumb? How did you discover your green thumb? What is your six and twelve-month plan? What obstacles exist in your professional world? How do you anticipate removing them? In Biology. I planted seeds culled from a bag of Mexican brick weed in a terrarium, in the class. I then grew outdoors, bought a Phototron from the back of a pot magazine in 1987 and never looked back. Thanks, Phototron! Maintaining the strain(S). And keeping everything above board, while exploring new variables and strain-crosses using the Afghani Bullrider parenthood. What I have learned over the years is to be patient with the process. Results in this industry take time, and I think there is a need to reevaluate the current policies around the introduction of new genetics from the grey market, to the regulated cannabis pool in order for the industry to truly thrive. These are very trying times with COVID-19, and whatever comes next – I’ll still be here, ready for whatever obstacle comes my way. Adapt and conquer is my motto and words I live by.
WB: What is your favourite food memory from childhood? What does your favorite (birthday) meal look like now? Favorite food? I grew up in Chicago and I now live in western Canada, so that’s a loaded question! I love my Italian beef sandwiches, Gyros (DONAIR in Canada), street meat, elotes (Mexican corn on the cob) and fresh tamales from the cart! Of-course, Chicago hot dogs and Polish sausages from Maxwell Street, just like in The Blues Brothers! My favorite food memory from childhood has to be dipping fresh Italian bread into the 5-gallon pot of homemade pasta sauce to tide me over until dinner. My mom loved it when I did that. Their sauce was legendary. Bacon wrapped, mozzarella-filled meatballs I whip-up from scratch now and then. My favorite dish around here is Pescatore pasta from La Trattoria. That’s shellfish and linguini. The funny thing is, I don’t even like fish, but the chef over there has a gift. I like food! Favorite diner is Jimmy’s Lunch Box. They have been exceptionally operated even before COVID hit us. They have been a godsend and a lifesaver.
WB: What is your passion?
Self-improvement, education, enlightenment and building things with my own hands. I love music and can’t accomplish anything without a good soundtrack in the background. I love metal, old school rap and classic rock. I love listening to the greats, knowing that some of them have tried BLLRDR, and some will get to try it in the future. I firmly believe I could not do what I do without the enrichment good music brings to my life and I’d like to think that maybe, just maybe, there are some artists out there that will get to experience BLLRDR and that it will inspire them to make even better music for us all. I believe what goes around comes around, and I’d love it if this strain brings up the entire average of medicine. My wife, Michelle Rainey, was the outspoken one when it came to my Strain, so I now have to continue with her dream of sharing this with the world.