Teds Budz is both a distribution company and a brand of weed. The man behind the legacy social equity business is Ted himself, a Nebraska to LA transplant who has been in the California weed game since 2014.
Teds Budz specializes in rare strains from elite, small-batch growers. Apart from their own bags, Teds Budz distributes sought-after brands including Dubz Garden, Offical Gooniez, Wizard Trees, Jelly Co, Flower District, Bubbagum Co, Hi Tech, La Coz, Super Dope and The Smoker’s Club.
As distributors, Teds Budz drives up and down the state of California on a weekly basis, bringing fire northern weed down to Southern California.
The man behind the brand, Theodore Lewis, aka Ted, says that the company is not named after himself, but rather his own namesake, his grandfather, Ted. A cartoon of Grandfather Ted has even become a mascot of his brand, matching the arm tattoo that Ted has of him.
Ted is fiercely committed to his own family and to his family of brands. He’s protective of the high-end brands and is dedicated to making sure that they are carefully distributed for freshness and that they are never undervalued by the market.
“We’re a fucking union. The Smoker’s Club, Hi Tech, Super Dope, Bubbagum, Jelly Co., Gooniez, Dubs, Flower District. All of us, Teds Budz is the umbrella to make sure that we don’t get fucked over,” Ted said.
“These corporate companies that’s coming out trying to act like we need them, we’re keeping the power within the growers. We got our old school model of doing things,” he said.
Ted says that the one thing that defines that umbrella family of brands is the absolute top-shelf exotic weed that each bag carries.
“If you go to any shop and anything that says distributed by Teds Budz on it, it’s hella fresh, it’s real genetics, it’s fucking fire, it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do,” Ted said.
“The entire experience of the fucking weed is revolutionary. The experience you get from when you see the bag, the artwork, when you break down the bud, when you roll it up, when you smoke it white ash oil rings, it’s 10s across the board,” he said.
Teds Budz specializes in Exotics, which he says are rare genetics that are not local and that have been “stabilized and hard worked. People work really hard in order to find these different crosses. They traveled far.”
Exotic is genetics that are hard to find, genetics that are not local to you. Genetics that have been stabilized and hard worked. People work really hard in order to find these different crosses. They traveled far.
The entire experience of the fucking weed is revolutionary. The experience you get from when you see the bag, the artwork, when you break down the bud, when you roll it up, when you smoke it white ash oil rings, it’s 10s across the board-Ted, Teds Budz
Exotic weed, he says, is “something that will really wow the people. Shit that tastes good, shit that is fucking smokes hard and heavy.”
It’s no wonder that Ted’s has been building up momentum lately. That’s the result of years of dedicated, hard work that began when Ted was in college in LA. (He graduated Cal State Northridge with a double-major, and was looking into Veterinary studies just before he pivoted to weed).
He says his initial motivation to learn about California weed was because he moved from selling weed to growing it. He became obsessed with genetics. He would take road trips to just about anywhere in California just to get his hands on the best, newest, most exotic bud, just so he could smoke it for himself.
He became close with a roommate of his who would come to introduce him to a lot of knowledge about the weed industry.
“I started going up north with him to get more in tune with the tree, figuring out what they’d like back home where I’m from. I started hustling back and forth, doing my thing like that,” Ted said.
At first he was growing and selling mids, but was personally obsessed with exotics.
Eventually, he would come to meet and buy from some of the top growers and breeders in the state.
“The way I developed the relationship with everybody was because I was growing and I really wanted these genetics and I was willing to drive for them,” he said.
At 20 he opened his first dispensary in South LA, which he said failed because he was trying to sell exotics in an area with dozens of trap shops selling cheap weed.
Still, because of some arrests and his lack of income, Ted was able to qualify for a Social Equity application and got both a cultivation and distribution license.
At a certain point, he focused in on distributing the amazing, small batch weed that he’d found in his strain searches across Cali.
Having a business during the Prop 215 era allowed him to be grandfathered in, appropriately enough, when legalization began in 2017.
He stopped growing and focused instead on the growers that he had come to know and trust. He says he specializes in being a connoisseur of weed and selecting the best.
“I have a really good eye for buds. I can smell something, I can taste something, I can tell you exactly what it is,” Ted said. “I’ve been smoking weed for a long time. I’ve been a flavor chaser for a long time. I’ve driven up and down the state just to buy bud, just to smoke to the face.”
We’re grassroots people just like everybody else. And I’m trying to get it just like everybody else. And it just is working out like that. It is just the love of the people.-Ted, Ted’s Budz
Although people are now coming to know Teds Budz for its great reputation and elite status, Ted has been known in the industry for a while now, just due to his constant hustle. He’s built a base, a following, by humbly working hard and being dedicated to the culture.
“We’re grassroots people just like everybody else. And I’m trying to get it just like everybody else. And it just is working out like that,” he said of his success. “It is just the love of the people. They really love us,” Ted said.
At this point, Ted said, “people know us, they know our flower. They respect it and the hard work we put into it.”
Ted specializes in bringing the best weed and distributing it at peak freshness. He sees himself expanding in the future.
“I pride myself in being one of the fastest and best distributors in the state of California. I’m anticipating things going federally legal, so I could turn around and get some 18 wheelers and really start trucking across the country,” Ted said.
Demand is high all across the U.S., he said.
“Everyone wants the flower: Miami, New York, Louisiana, Atlanta, Texas, Colorado, Seattle, everybody wants it. And I’m going to make sure they get it,” Ted said.