We are incredibly grateful to all of you that have been with us from the beginning and we welcome those of you whom are just joining our journey now. Weedbudz started back in 2018 and has gone through some re-branding and development to become the show it is today. Now, members of this team have gone on to open the recreational cannabis store in northern Maine, known as BUDZ EMPORIUM, paying homage to WeedBudz and the Budz Brands eco-system. Be sure to check out the new store in the Katahdin Region, located at 1995 Medway Rd, Medway, Maine.
Now, our humble studio has grown and we have a team of 5 incredible people, that also help others produce their very own podcasts on various topics and themes. One constant in all of our production is our Genius Audio Engineer and artist, DJ MATT PERRY.
Matt and his family recently took a trip to Kenya and shares that experience with us here today. I have never peen to any part of Africa and I loved watching Matt’s videos and posts while he was away. A remarkable experience that he shares with us and to do all of that traveling with a toddler can only make for some awesome stories, be sure to tune in and join us!
Host: Ry Russell
Welcome to WeedBudz Radio.
They’re going into year 4 of WeedBudz.
It’s crazy to think about.
November 2019 is when we rebranded to
WeedBudz Radio and Matt joined the team,
and it’s been craziness ever since.
The WeedBudz family is incredible.
It’s such an honor.
Thank you, Ry for bringing me on board.
And I’ve had a blast working, doing creative work for the
podcast and helping to write some of the music that you
hear on the show and create some of the vision.
So it’s a fun experiment.
And WeedBudz Radio is obviously owned by the RyzAbove
Media Group, which Matt does all of the
sound engineering for our clients as well.
And we’ve got a few new ones coming onboard.
And Matt is brilliant when working with clients.
He hears exactly what they’re thinking
and puts the best sound together.
So it’s been a lot of fun to obviously produce
WeedBudz Radio, and it’s great to be back, and we’ll
talk about our hiatus and everything else that’s happened in
the last year or so, but it’s been a lot
of fun and exciting to bring on new partners and
new shows into the RyzAbove network.
What is it like when a client reaches out
to you from RyzAbove and just explains to
you kind of a vision for a show?
How does that process work for you?
Because for the rest of us, it’s just magic.
Well, creating a podcast and all the cool things that
we’ve done at RyzAbove, really, it reminds me of,
like, a blank canvas, and you have to start with
the right color paper because you might want to paint
on a normal square or rectangular piece of white paper,
or maybe you want to have, like, a multicolored paper
you’re going to start the painting with.
So I try to allow whoever the client is
ultimately to create the vision, and then I’m just
translating it rather than creating it myself.
I feel more like I’m translating the vision and
helping navigate the difference between words and sounds.
I remember when Christina joined us, and
if you haven’t checked out the Christina DiArcangelo
podcast, you definitely should.
She called and said that she spoke colors to
you, and all of a sudden, you put together
this amazing sound, and I wasn’t surprised at all.
But it was just exciting to see when her
excitement as getting ready to launch a show is.
But it really is magical.
She’s like, I like blue and pink and green.
I love people, and I have a
nonprofit, and this is just my world.
And she was like, he only needed me for,
like, ten minutes, and then you send me this
sound back, and it’s like, that was it. That was it.
I just didn’t know it.
It so super cool, man.
And I appreciate what you’ve done for WeedBudz Radio
and helping us get to where we
are today, because I would have thought we
made it like 15 episodes when we started.
I never would have thought we’re coming up on 100.
So thank you.
And then, of course, thank you for the work that
we’re doing to help other people envision their own shows.
Ry before we get into too much, tell us a
little bit about the new shop you’ve opened up,
because I am so hype on that.
And I believe we have some
excellent products downstairs as well. Oh, yes.
So it’s been a crazy year, as many of you might know.
I think last July was our last episode of last season.
We had to cut it short because
we were working on some crazy projects.
And ultimately it was time to utilize the
knowledge that we’ve learned with all of you
and talking to the incredible people that we’ve
spoken to over the last few years.
I really felt like maybe it was foolish,
but I felt like I could do it.
I felt like I could open a dispensary.
I obviously had experience in retail in that kind of community
setting with the Saco Drive-in, and I don’t know, it’s in
my bones, I felt like I needed to do it.
And we had an incredible team that if it
wasn’t for them, it never would have gotten done.
Licensing as hard as everybody tells
you it is, it’s harder.
And so I’m just super grateful for
everyone that was involved with this.
But we opened Budz Emporium in Medway, Maine.
It’s in Northern Maine.
I mean, there’s definitely more North you can
go before you hit the Canadian border.
I think we’re like 52 minutes or so from the border.
It’s pretty far up there, Bob.
It is far up there, and you can’t get there
from here, but it’s a great little humble shop.
It was definitely a labor of love, and we did it.
And it’s part of that Budz
brands ecosystem that we’ve cultivated here.
We’ve released the Budz Reserve Delta-8 products in a
couple of markets last year, and now we have Budz
Emporium and WeedBudz and potentially some other exciting Budz
brands type of things coming down the pipe.
But those will be for a later date.
So if you are ever finding yourself in
Northern Maine, specifically in the Katahdin region, which
is the largest mountain in Maine and the
peak of the Appalachian Trail, so beautiful.
Camping, hiking, rafting, skydiving, all of the recreational
activities that there is to do, you can
do it in the Katahdin region.
And we were, I think, the first recreational cannabis
store North of Bangor and the only one in
the Katahdin region, and just so excited about it.
So I definitely encourage you, if
you’re in Maine, make the trip.
We are in Portland at the Nest Matt’s and
his team’s studio space, which is different than Breakwater,
where we started back in November of ’19.
But drive on up.
And if you aren’t in Maine.
Come visit. Summer is here.
It is the most beautiful state in the summertime.
I think that’s what every Northern state says.
If you enjoy some space and peace,
there is a lot of that here.
So I think the Mainers are very cool and relaxed and
it’s just a great place to come, like spread your wings.
And we’re a service industry
state, we’re a tourist state.
And so you’re right, I think we
are well positioned to be nice.
Some of it might be commercial, especially during
the summer when it gets super busy.
But it’s lovely.
The people are great.
It’s a beautiful place to come visit.
And I know some of my friends out
in California that have come to visit.
They’ll tell you now, but Maine has some of
the best cannabis in the country by far.
Oh, yeah, Maine is a great place, man.
Come check it out.
We would love you to visit. Absolutely.
So Budz Emporium
Check it out.
But that’s really what I’ve been working on for
the last year and I’m excited to get WeedBudz
into its next season and its next evolution.
I feel like every year we learn some new
stuff, we entrepreneurially, play in some new stuff and
really explore this industry as deep as anyone can.
Really. Enough about the Emporium.
But what I really want to talk about today we
did the recap, but I want to recap what the
DJ has been doing for the last year and share
a little bit about not just the journey he’s been
on, but the journey he just came back from.
And so Matt, you’ve had a wild
year since we last took a break.
So would you share with all of our buds
what you’ve been starting up in your life?
Well, I have a beautiful family, which is amazing.
And we got to visit Kenya and
had the experience of a lifetime.
We got to explore the Ngong Hills
over outside Ongata Rongai
So wait, how old is your son
when he gets to go to Kenya?
Yeah, he’s a year and a half and he’s
running around just living life, making friends already.
And such a lucky guy.
So why did you go to Kenya?
What was the purpose of the trip?
I think a lot of it has to
do with exploring and expanding your perspective as
well as exploring and expanding your business.
Because those things both together can grow
harmoniously and it doesn’t have to be
like personal growth or business growth.
They can both happen together.
And that’s how that trip felt.
And I really liked that experience.
I mean, Kenya is really beautiful.
There’s a lot of fun things to do and
beautiful wildlife and the people are so humble.
Did you have any, I suppose, preconceived notions
of what the experience would be like?
I guess take me two days.
I think I saw you was it the day before
your flight or two days before your flight either way.
Before I left?
Yeah, right before you left.
What were you expecting at that point in time?
And then we’ll talk about, like, after you landed.
I definitely expected it to be a lot
more hot and it was very comfortable weather.
I also expected maybe just a different energy, I guess.
I can’t explain it in words as much
as, like, I really miss listening to Afrobeat.
And the music is just so incredible.
And we had a bunch of dance parties with our family.
Nice, super fun, and just got to
work hard for your water, really?
For sure, man.
It’s hard to find clean water, especially
there’s a lot of hardship over there.
I think there’s a lot of beautiful things happening,
but there’s also definitely a lot of people struggling.
It’s just like any place else in the world.
There’s beautiful places and
there’s really hard places.
You know what I’m saying?
Was that a surprise to you?
Were you expecting some of those challenges for the communities,
or was it I’m just trying because when I picture
it anyway, when you mention that you’ve kind of seen
documentaries, it is hard to get water.
It’s hard to find clean water.
You just walk down the street and pay a
couple of bucks and fill up your tank.
But you can’t drink the tap
water like you can in Maine. Really?
And the well water, you probably can’t drink either.
You have to at least do more
filtering and boiling on your own end. Okay.
And the water in Mumbasa was so bad.
But Mumbasa was amazing.
We took a train from Nairobi to Mumbasa, which
is an island off the coast of Kenya.
And yeah, that place, the water
the ocean is so healing.
That’s a great place for some healing.
And it’s so warm.
And you can drink coconut water on the beach.
It’s so good.
Is it like fresh coconut water? Oh, yeah.
You see the coconut trees right there?
It’s so much fun.
And got to swim in the ocean.
So, like, warm ocean.
Was it like, green or, like, blue?
What was the water like?
It was like a darker blue, for sure.
Where I was, at least there was a lot of waves. Okay.
Like nice waves and a lot of healthy seaweed.
You know what I mean?
It was like, very healthy ocean. Yeah.
So I know you did, you went out
and I know you enjoyed the music.
So tell us about what the nightlife was like, what
the music was like, what the food was like.
So the nightlife was for me, it was spent,
like, hanging out at home with the family.
And we did a lot of our traveling during the daytime.
We went to a couple different animal sanctuaries.
We went to an animal orphanage called the Nairobi
And they’re, like, taking care of, like,
orphaned animals or animals with challenges that
would leave them dead in the wild.
And it’s just freaking awesome place.
Like, so cool.
And that was the beautiful lion that
you posted on your Instagram story.
Oh, yeah, the lion, man.
It’s a really fun place.
I got the pet a leopard there.
I don’t know if you’re like,
technically, but it was very enjoyable.
And our family in Kenya is like, so kind, and
they took us around anywhere we wanted to go.
Just like the traffic is rough for sure. Really?
I never would have expected that traffic, bro.
It’s super rough traffic.
And the buses or the matatus are savage over there.
They do not mess with the matatus, man.
Telling you right now.
So what’s the population?
Nairobi’s is huge.
We didn’t even really explore Nairobi that much.
We kind of explored Rongai,
which is outside of Nairobi.
And I mean, I don’t know the population.
There’s a lot of people that live there.
It’s probably maybe similar to the
size of Westbrook or something. Okay.
I don’t know. To be honest.
I could be totally wrong, but it’s pretty big.
Yeah, it’s a pretty big suburb outside of Nairobi.
And there’s only one road to get there, but it’s
like one of the main suburbs outside of the city.
And there’s a lot of Maasai.
The Maasai people live up there and they
have, like, beautiful land that they raise their
cows on and live life very, like, organically.
Yeah, it was cool, man.
There’s a big, big market there of fresh
fruits and vegetables like a mile long every
day from sun up to sun down.
But you are in heaven. Oh, yeah, man.
You can eat your watermelon, your pineapple, apples, oranges,
lemons, whatever you need, they got over there.
I promise you that it’ll be fresh.
And how does it compare? Sugar cane?
Our produce? Better. Way better. Yeah.
Like, how funny is that?
You think you live in America, you got good produce.
I don’t think so, man.
Our soil is fucked over here.
We’ve been poisoning our soil for years.
Look at the research with the DDT and everything.
They’ve been spraying for years.
And over there in Kenya, I don’t think they
have like, mass pesticide stuff sprayed like that.
So it tastes really good.
And there’s just a lot of fresh vegetables over there.
I know people can get good veggies over here too.
But seriously, guys, we fucked up our soil, okay?
We need to fix our soil in America.
Guys, we’re fucking up our soil.
You guys want to live in an arid country?
That’s where we’re going towards. Yeah.
And then we create. America is going to be the
biggest desert on the planet. Just watch.
Then we create new chemicals to fix the soil, and then
we create new chemicals to fix that after the next one.
What were some of the other meals?
What are some traditional meals that
you would find in Kenya?
In the morning, I have Kenyan tea, which is
very similar to, like, chai tea with milk and
water mixed with a bunch of black tea, spice
tea, and best sweetened with some sugar. Sugar? Yeah.
Oh, really good sugar.
Or you just have it with you,
make like, a fresh tea in the morning and have
some Mandazi and the Mandazi is kind of like fried dough.
It’s like little fried doughs. They’re very good.
Who doesn’t want fried dough? Yeah, yeah.
Oh, and we would cut up, like, a big
watermelon and a pineapple, eat that all morning.
And maybe have some, like, porridge.
Oatmeal, okay. That’s so good.
All right, how about lunch?
Lunch would probably have some Nyama Choma. What’s that?
Which is just grilled meat, really.
And have it with maybe some Chabadi, which
is like a flat bread, kind of.
And it’s very delicious and savory.
Is it, like, Naan?
It’s more like a wrap. Okay.
Yeah, it’s like we call wrap.
And then maybe have some Kachumbari in there, which
is, like, chopped up tomatoes and onions and cucumbers.
That would be really good.
Like, you kind of, like, roll it up like a little wrap
or eat it with scoop it up, like chips or something.
Or, like, Angelica probably my wife probably
had just more fruit, like apples.
And I made, like, a homemade pasta sauce
one day for everybody, like, Italian style.
Shout out to all the Italians out there.
Christina is definitely happy. Yeah.
Fresh tomatoes, fresh onion, fresh zucchini.
Made a really good sauce.
How about dinner? Now I’m starving. Oh, yeah, right.
Dinner you got to have Ugali.
Everybody’s having Ugali, which is, like, corn flour, like
a big, soft bread, basically, kind of like thing.
And then you dip that in with, like, a good
stew or some more Nyama Choma, grilled meat, and add tomatoes.
Maybe make some Samosas, which I think
everybody knows what Samosa is over here.
It’s like a deep fried meat dumpling, but
it’s not like an Asian meat dumpling.
I think it’s actually from India.
I don’t think that’s a Kenyan food.
I think so too, but there’s a lot
of mixing of the Middle Eastern food with
the African food, and it’s so good.
I maybe saw one Italian shop, so maybe
I’ll go open up a pasta shop.
Just kidding. I’m not going to do that.
But it was really good, and Angelica’s family cooked us
amazing food all the time and just really made sure
there were, like, fresh food, fresh vegetables every day.
Like, avocados are in season right now, so they’re
super tasty and, like, just delicious avocados, man.
Just the delicious you’ve ever had.
I was thinking about when you were talking about that.
Just when I went to Hungary, and the family that
I stayed with there, and obviously the family you stayed
with was your family, but the family I stayed with
there, it was similar in terms of, like, every morning,
the mother or father went to the market and it
was fresh bread and fruits and yogurt and lunch.
They would almost get the items to prepare
the meal before the meal, rather than going
to the grocery store on Sunday and getting
food that’s preserved for a long time.
As you’re talking about fresh, fresh food.
Yeah, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Obviously, you are a music guy, so tell us
about what the music is like in Kenya.
Well, it’s definitely the type of vibe.
It’s the Afrobeat vibe, where it’s
just all about the one, right. In America.
And the hip hop is more about the
one, two, you know what I’m saying?
How you swing your hips. Yeah.
A little bit of dancing, but super hard.
And I love that song.
There’s just a lot of really
good music going on over there.
We listen to, like, a lot of Afrobi.
We also listen to Rumba and church
music, really, which I love church music.
Personally, I think church music is, like, so
good when it’s like you got all the
choir singing and man, I love church music.
I love choir music.
And my dad’s dad and mother, my grandfather and my
grandmother were both Episcopal ministers, and I loved growing up
in the church and listening to the choir.
There’s definitely some choirs that I won’t
name which ones that I’d prefer over
others, but a really good choir.
There’s just something so beautiful about it.
And my grandfather, his voice, his speaking voice
was powerful enough that his singing voice, it
elevates the entire church and just echoed.
So it’s beautiful.
And I can only imagine what it was like there. Oh, man.
Big, huge churches.
Crazy churches, man, people are getting
demons exercised out of them.
Shoo demons you run.
Is it like a theatrical type of experience, or
is it kind of traditional in terms of, like,
a sermon and a prayer and a song?
I think you’re going to get all
those variations, but there’s probably more dancing.
And more just like kind
of like excitement and movement.
Whereas I grew up in a Catholic church, right.
And so you sit there with your legs
crossed, basically, and don’t say a word.
So that was a different experience, for sure.
But religion is the same everywhere, all over the world,
and I think we’re all praying to the same thing.
So it doesn’t matter ultimately what your religion is.
I love that.
So what would you say was your biggest takeaway?
Be grateful for the job that I have and
be grateful for the fresh water that I have. Right.
And those things are, like, a lot
of life, you know what I’m saying?
And also just be a little more happy
because of those things, of being grateful.
I heard Bradley the other day talk to some
individuals and said, if I gave you a million
dollars right now, what would you say?
And the individual said, I would be super grateful, and
if I gave you $10 million right now, but you
don’t wake up tomorrow, what would you do?
Share with my family.
I said the same damn thing.
Isn’t everybody going to do that?
So they all said, no, I wouldn’t take the money.
I want to wake up tomorrow.
I wouldn’t take the 10 Million.
I said the same damn thing.
I got people that like, $10 Million.
Take one for the team, I guess. I don’t know.
Maybe if the offer was real, I might rethink it.
But I thought the same thing you did, but I
guess most people would say, well, no, I’d like to
wake up tomorrow, so I don’t want the 10 Million.
At the end of the day, we
need to relearn gratitude every damn day. I do.
Maybe it’s a me thing, but I have to relearn it.
I feel like I wake up with it, and I know
it, and by freaking lunchtime, I need to relearn it.
So I think that gratitude is something that we can take
away from big moments like this, and we also need to
figure out how to keep it in our brains.
So that’s definitely something I’m
working on this year.
The gratefulness will expand your mind, for sure, and
I’m very grateful for having a space as well,
like, being able to create content in a studio
and work with artists that you’re passionate about.
A lot of us are living in our
dreams, and we just don’t even realize it.
So it’s very easy to just be ungrateful.
So I’m working on it, you know what I’m saying?
We’re all working on it.
It’s all good.
We’re living in our dreams.
How much time do we spend wanting
something different than where we are?
And we get there, and I’d go back, I could think of
plenty of times or plenty of places I’d go back to, but
I also really do appreciate where the hell I am today.
That’s why I’m saying we got to fix our soil, guys.
I’m just saying we got to fix our soil.
It makes a big deal for the cannabis
crops, makes a big deal for spinach.
Grow indoors, tomatoes.
If you grow indoors, it still makes a big deal.
It’s going to be harder and harder
to find good soil from organic farms
or places where the products aren’t flooded. Hydroponics.
You got to get the resources from somewhere.
Are you going to fly over
to Africa and get the resources?
What are you going to do? You know what I’m saying?
We can fix our own resources here
and then stop stealing from Africa.
We can do better.
Yeah, we can do better, guys.
Fix our soil.
Launch a campaign right now. WeedBudz.
Let’s fix the soil, man.
Well, before we wrap, I don’t know if you remember,
I think it was 2 or 3 years ago, right,
when we started investing in some of the sustainability projects.
And there was some sort of political meeting where
there was like 4 officials from the US, like
4 officials from Europe, 7 from Asia, 1 country
specifically, and one representative from Africa.
Guess where the trash was going
at the end of that meeting?
There’s no power, there was no negotiation, there was
a bully moves and basically put the representative in
a position where resources would be withheld if they
didn’t agree to build a landfill.
They had one rep and all of these other people.
Can you imagine?
And I’m sure he was a professional individual,
but can you imagine that’s intimidating for anybody,
especially when you have a community of individuals
that needs every Dollar coming in?
Yeah, I mean, man, some deep problems, but I
think we can all do something to help.
And I appreciate WeedBudz for opening my mind and
I think that’s going to just help with everybody.
If we can listen a little more
than we speak, we’ll all be good. Yeah.
And speaking of gratitude, I just want to express my
most sincere gratitude to all of you because truly, when
the WeedBudz started in 2018 or 2017 and we grew and we got
to the place, we needed to rebrand and that was
risky and scary and intimidating, and we did that together.
And I really appreciate I’ll never forget you, me and
Angelica at Sobago talking about it and having the realization
that we had worked with each other in a past
life, literally not a metaphorical past life, which we very
well may have, but in a previous career life for
both of us had worked together.
And when it was time to find the best audio
engineer in the state of Maine, the best filmmaker in
the state of Maine told me it was Matt.
And we started working out of
Breakwater Studios in South Portland, Maine.
And for me, that was such a massive step
up from my Yeti microphone in home studio and
to see where we are 4 years later of
work and cultivating a community that has been loving
and supportive and inspiring, to continue producing shows, to
continue growing the ecosystem that which we’ve cultivated here.
And I remember being like 15 episodes in and saying
to Matt, I don’t know where we go from here.
We’ve had brilliant minds already.
We started at BizCon and had Leafly and Weed
Maps and just some other really great pioneers of
different spaces and Chris Crane, just people who pioneered
different sectors of this industry to now being in
a position to pioneer some things ourselves.
So thank you all so much for joining us on
WeedBudz Radio and we are excited to launch into our
next season and we have some amazing guests coming up,
so stay tuned and be sure to follow us at
weedbudzradio.com and on Facebook, Instagram, everywhere else.
And Matt, thank you so much.
I appreciate it.
Man, this guy. Ry.
What an amazing human.
I love you, bro.
Love you too.
WeedBudz Radio. Peace.