Bret Bogue: Apothecary Genetics
He’s setting out to bring Apothecary Genetics to the forefront as the leading brand for cannabis seed distribution and development. So, obviously we don’t have to prove further that Bret Bogue has no shortage of ambition. He’s extended their reach far past national boarders to other countries and are already growing to become a household name in the global cannabis market. Absolutely eye-opening, mind-expanding, and thought-provoking information in our interview with the mastermind of the seed from which our industry grows…
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
It was actually a personal choice; I was about 25 years old when I found out that I had developed a form of skin cancer and, at the time, I was the youngest ever and to be diagnosed with this type of cancer. The average age back then was 75 years old and I was 25 years old. For me, this was a life changing experience. I ended up meeting some really great doctors and getting a lot of information, but I also took it on myself to do my own research as well and ended up finding a book called, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, which not only became a keepsake to me, but the gentleman that wrote it, Jack Herer, became a personal friend of mine and I actually took him with me to win my very first Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
For me, this was a life changing experience.
What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?
You know, I think that’s a great question. My previous experience is the foundation of my current successes! I was previously in a family fishing business up in the islands. My step father was from South America and came here without knowing a lick of English and was given citizenship for fighting in the United States military in the Vietnam era. Following that, he took a career in fishing up in Alaska, met my mother, and married her. We initially all worked with him at his current job, but eventually started our own family-run corporation in the fishing industry. We started small, buying just one boat and grew to a fleet of 4 different boats.
After being in the fishing business, I went into construction, starting with a company in Washington state called Nuprecon, which started out of a garage and grew to become one of the largest demolition companies in the world with contracts out for Dubai, the White House, and even Ground Zero. I worked from the ground up! I started first as a laborer and then worked my way through as a lead superintendent. The most beneficial experience I got from this was witnessing a company grow; I was there to be a part of it growing from A to Z!
My previous experience is the foundation of my current successes!
Right now, where are you guiding your passion and energy towards?
I’ve been working with medical and pharmaceutical companies to develop CBD products for autistic and epileptic patients, topical creams, and a line specifically developed for the elderly demographic of 65+. Aside from products using only CBD, we are also exploring products that have both the CBD and THC compounds in them as well as part of an alternative approach to medicine and lifestyle. There are roughly 10,000 people turning 65 every day. The senior citizen population is quickly growing and needs these kinds of products to alleviate the many ailments they suffer.
The compound that’s been highlighted in recent studies, CBD or cannabidiol, has been something that we’ve known about and highlighted as early as 2009. It’s important to note that we were part of the movement that started the buzz on the medical benefits found in CBD. We participated in the first ever CBD Conference up in San Francisco, so this is definitely something to note– We’ve been at the leading edge of this for quite some time!
Describe your work ethic to me in one word.
Apothecary Genetics at Spannabis
What do you consider your weakness as an entrepreneur? Your strength?
I think my weakness is the (I hate to use the word) mundane daily tasks that underlie a business and seeing to it that a job proceeds to its end. I realized that as long as I ensure that I’m appointing the right people to take care of these tasks, I’m able to trump this weakness; however, I’m always working on my personal development.
On the other spectrum, my 24+ years being in the industry is definitely my strength. I came to be a part of this space being a cancer survivor and then went forward with a brave story of my own to develop strains like Kaia Kush, Grape Ape (GDP), Sour Grapes, Triple X, Super Silver Haze; all of which have won awards in the United States and in other countries. We’ve succeeded in many regards and have positioned ourselves in the right place to be a part of this emerging global market.
How do you find inspiration in this industry? What have you found that has inspired you?
I believe that, for us, its been a lot of what this community has done for itself, meaning that the individuals who’ve needed help have been taken care of by others in the community who love the plant. Watching how those who are actually using the cannabis strains that we’ve either created or been part of making and seeing them play a large part in bettering their health or quality of life is very inspiring!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Simple. Align yourself with people who are like-minded and who are oriented and have their minds in the same place as you. An old staying is, “Know who your friends are.” This applies to business as much as it does to life. Know who your business partners are and be able to adapt to change and understand defeat as much as you understand success.
Know who your business partners are and be able to adapt to change and understand defeat as much as you understand success.
What’s your newest knowledge about the marijuana industry?
I think we really need to start looking at (I’ve been talking about this since 2006) moving the industry from tie-dye’s to bow ties and simply need to understand that we are an emerging, fast-paced industry, and we need to take what we have learned on the ground and apply that to a higher caliber of doing business. Once we are able to do that, I believe we will see respectful businesses populating our space. There are a lot of grows out there that are using old technology and they’ll need to upgrade to stay relevant in this industry. At Apothecary Genetics, we have an idea of what needs to happen, but we won’t be sharing that until we get paid a few billion dollars to spill it! But to give you an understanding of what I mean by that I’ll continue on a little further – The current prices, farming techniques, product manufacturing, etc. are not sustainable; therefore, my thoughts are that 70% of the farmers who are opening grows will eventually start to dip on profitability and go into the red, which will also take down those investors investing in such ventures. The growers that currently exist out there have essentially scaled their knowledge from closet grows; that’s not farming, that’s glorified closet grows! There’s where I foresee the failure if we do not take action soon.
If you could rewind time to 5 years ago, how would your business be different?
I definitely would have taken a lot better look at, and would even advise people going forward in this industry, to look at the picks and shovels of the business, not the gold. Do not look at the gold, look at the picks and shovels. If you can do that, you’re going to be here for the long run!
Do not look at the gold, look at the picks and shovels.
What will we be seeing from you and Apothecary Genetics in the coming future?
Well, our horizon is global, like what I was saying before. We currently have operations in Spain, Uruguay, Jamaica, and are currently working on establishing ourselves in Canada, Israel, Washington, and California. In these emerging markets, we are seeking to partner with someone who will take Apothecary Genetics global as a medical and recreational seed company that would be setup in all these prime locations with legal licenses that allow us to distribute our seeds. With how far we’ve come and what we’ve already accomplished, I believe that we are a company and a brand that will become the leading seed company in the world!