Blunt, well known in the Oakland community as the owner of the social equity dispensary Blunts and Moore, trapped once upon a time on the underground market. Now in partnership with Grizzly Peak, he has created his own brand, a social equity flower that is gaining the interest of dispensaries throughout the state.
Blunt has ties to the weed community going back to his teenage years. People in the community have looked to him not only to be a champion for social equity, but also for his expertise on selling weed.
“I like good weed. And I knew that I knew how to sell weed but I knew people wanted me to have some weed, like what you doin, what you trappin?”
Simply Green did a soft launch on 4/20/21 to test out an idea that Blunt had. He wanted to drop a bag that didn’t mention the strain, and that only relied on his reputation as a connoisseur of good smoke.
“I wanted to put something in the bag with my name on it so people know they can get good weed for a cheap price and it’s just Simply Green.”
It was supposed to be a house brand exclusive to Blunts and Moore, but Blunt noticed that people were interest in carrying his flower.
“We dropped it on 4/20, it went bananas.”
Blunt has grown his own weed in the past and is currently cultivating some of those legacy strains. But that’s a longer-term project. In the meantime, he wanted to work with a grower to launch his own brand, and teaming up with Grizzly Peak was a natural fit. They were already business partners, since Blunt’s dispensary is attached to Grizzly Peak’s grow facility.
“If I’m gonna do some weed that I put my name on I don’t give a fuck if it’s Grizzly, Ball Family Farms, Viola–the reason it’s Grizzly is because they’re in my back yard, we’re partners, you grow excellent weed, I’ve been smoking your weed for three years, I know what’s good. You got 50 strains, give me one or two that I can call my own and let’s put them in some bags. And you got Simply Green.”
Blunt has been surprised by the interest in his product, and found that pushing his own equity flower brand benefitted Grizzly Peak as well. “People want an equity flower brand, so for me to have an equity store and now pushing that equity flower, that helps y’all too.”
The response to the drop has been huge. “Every store that everybody suggested, I’ve tapped in and they all want it. They all wanted this shit. It’s crazy.”
Blunt was the first person in Oakland to own a retail facility out of the city’s social equity program. Even after three years since opening, he’s still the only social equity dispensary that’s fully open in the city. Blunt has become a voice and advocate for the cannabis community, especially by representing a Black-owned social equity business.
His Simply Green brand of bud takes him back to his roots in Oakland trapping weed and edibles. For over a decade he sold weed and avoided trouble by only selling to coworkers and medical dispensaries. In 1995, during the one time he risked selling on the turf, he got ratted on and arrested.
When he heard about the social equity program in 2017, he realized his past arrest and his present unemployment qualified him for getting a license to finally achieve his dream of owning his own dispensary. Blunts + Moore opened in 2018, just 13 blocks from where he was arrested.
“It was meant for me to be doing this. That’s what I’ve come to realize after all my travels, my destiny, my last name, the shit I’m doing, everything. It was meant for me to be where I’m at doing what I’m doing. I’m selling weed in the same zip code I was arrested for selling weed illegally.”
It’s one of the reasons Blunt has become a passionate advocate for the community. “It comes out when I talk because it really means something to me to be able to sell weed legally. Legally, and not have to worry about police interaction? I can really do this? That’s amazing. That’s fucking amazing.”
When Simply Green first dropped back in April, the unnamed strain was Garanimals, but no one knew that. “The whole thing about this is to not give a damn about the strain. “
Blunt’s approach to selecting the strain for the bag was about finding good weed that smokes good and that an experienced smoker like himself would enjoy. He chose a name that played off of the earth-friendly all-purpose cleaner brand also called Simply Green. The name was exactly what Blunt was going for. “I wanted to play on the whole thing being simple. It’s just good weed. It’s all purpose cannabis.”
Blunt says his approach to selecting strains for his bags ignores test results and is focused on the experience.
“I go in, first I touch it, it gotta feel a certain way. It gotta have a squeeze but still a crunch. Then when I break it down I’m looking at the structure, looking at the THC on my thumbs. Then as I’m smoking I’m looking for that clean white ash. I just like how stuff tastes. I want a nice body high, light head high. I just want clean smoke.”
For Blunt, it’s not about the strain name. “Just give me some weed. I’m gonna smoke it, ok it’s cool, I don’t care what you call it.”
It’s an approach that flies in the face of the strain-centric market at present.
“I know that sounds crazy but when you smoke as much weed as I do I’m picky. It has to be good. I don’t care what the name of it is. But I got to know that it smoke. I let my budtenders do all the teaching.”
This next phase of Blunt’s legal weed career takes him from being a dispensary owner to a legit flower brand.
“I’m just like damn, you’re really selling weed again. You’re going to ask people do they want to buy your weed and they’re like knocking your door down to get it from you. I’m back trapping again. It’s definitely a good feeling. It lets me know that everything I’ve done was meant to happen for this reason.”