It was business as usual when I arrived in Downtown Los Angeles on a busy midweek morning. Lawyers, bankers, and gorgeous people shuffled around me as I tried to light up a hastily rolled joint I had worked on for most of the train ride. Somewhere nearby I could smell the distinct aroma of urine and hot garbage while making my way through the jewelry district and into a world very few are permitted to enter without having a bank account that allows you to buy a small island. Normally my adventures would have led me to get kicked out of a museum or banned from a TMZ tour for life but today is different. I’m not a stoney troublemaker today, I’m a super successful business person and entrepreneur ready to conquer the world.
The Business Outlaws podcast was started by “Big Mike”, CEO of Advanced Nutrients and Syndicate X founder Chris “bulldog” Collins. These days it seems like everyone has a podcast and there’s a person on every corner telling you they know the secrets to running a successful business but these guys are different. Every episode the superstar moguls have produced helps new, young business owners navigate the treacherous path towards success and along the way they will probably find a good time to add in a few dick jokes and poke fun at their host/caretaker, Jayme Foxx.
I sat down with the trio to watch a taping of their newest show, which focused on simple mistakes business owners make while starting to raise revenue for their company and how to navigate business deals. After the podcast taping was finished, Mike let me smoke out of a bong worth more than my car and we talked about the cannabis industry, old people, and all the things these “outlaws” hope to accomplish with their newest endeavor.
PotPlus: Hello Mike! Let’s get started with something I think about when I meet someone like you that has access to people that are making our cannabis laws. Do you feel an obligation to our community to help shift the narrative of who is using cannabis and if so how do you go about executing those ideas?
Big Mike: I’ve been an active cannabis advocate for over 35 years. I funded and ran a magazine called “Cannabis Health” in Canada for a number of years as well as putting my own money towards cannabis legalization in several states. Ten to twenty years ago I was trying to get the word out and people weren’t interested, you can bet they’re interested now!
PotPlus: Do you consider yourself a role model for other people that want to follow your path?
Big Mike: Absolutely, that’s why I developed the show, “The Next Marijuana Millionaire” to remove the media stereotype of a typical “stoner” and show that there are people everywhere that use this plant. The “pot head” narrative is dead, now It’s your neighbor, your coworkers, and your friends all interested in cannabis.
PotPlus: What’s your biggest challenge been when you are talking with someone that isn’t a cannabis user?
Big Mike: Education. For about fifty years there’s been false indoctrination so the older generation isn’t as knowledgeable about what cannabis actually is. That’s been the most difficult for me, I feel like it’s time to educate them and then start educating the rest of the world.
PotPlus: With the elections coming up in November which candidate would benefit our community the most?
Big Mike: Gavin Newsom. I backed him because he is an advocate that understands the importance of cannabis. He was a proponent for proposition 215 and 64, he’s been there every step of the way and as far as cannabis he is the only person in California that is looking out for us and wants to help.
PotPlus: Earlier your guest on the podcast warned people to avoid starting a business in the cannabis industry. what do you have to say to people that are interested in that career path?
Big Mike: Part of the reason why we are doing this is to educate people going into the industry because right now, these guys are like goldfish swimming into a shark tank. You cannot make mistakes and you have to go into it with an understanding in business, understanding how careful you have to be. I saw this back in ‘97 and I’ve been preparing myself for this day. If people took the time to invest in themselves they would have the tools to be successful and avoid making decisions that will ultimately hurt them.
PotPlus: You were talking about Rick “Freeway” Ross in a podcast and mentioned that while he was selling illegal drugs he had to be right 100 percent of the time. Is this still true with cannabis business’ despite it being legal in several states?
Big Mike: It is because they want to see who is really doing things correctly. We had our labs raided and when they left I was told that we had one of the most organized operations they had seen. Everyone from growers to dispensaries and even law enforcement are all still learning. It’s a volatile space, people see the opportunity to make lots of money but you have to understand the risk.
It was around this time that the lethal mid-day combination of tequila and cannabis was starting to affect my vision as well as my ability to not ask Mike to adopt me as his own son. My thoughts drifted away into a dream world where me and my pops would ride around on jet-skis accompanied by beautiful women and expensive wine. I thanked my new friends for letting me be apart of their taping and made my way back home to a reality where my dad was probably less of a billionaire and more like the guy who falls asleep watching Nascar racing at 3pm on a Sunday.
The Business Outlaws podcast is available on Spotify and the itunes store. Big Mikes signature pre-rolls are going to be released very soon and will be available at dispensaries throughout Southern California. Visit BigMikesBlends.com for updates.