Supplying the Covid induced home growing surge.
LED cannabis grow lighting is the most efficient lighting for growing cannabis thanks to years of research. Noah Miller CEO of Black Dog LED joins Dan Humiston to talk about the their new hemp LED research facility. He also talks about how Covid-19 is impacting home & commercial cultivation and their current capital raise.
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Noah Miller: [00:01:02] Yes, we are. We're just launching it right now. And we did have one previous awhile back. But now we're at a point where looking at getting ready to launch next product line with what's gone called and everything. And it's a good strategic second to step back short of the things we wanted to be prepared. That's kind of what I feel like. The movie, it would just go it is really forward looking and saying, OK, we've got this time, let's use this to our advantage.
Noah Miller: [00:01:23] And that's really what we're trying to do here. So we're just starting that race right now from MJBulls Media.
Dan Humiston: [00:01:32] It's the Raising Cannabis Capital show. I'm Dan Humiston. And on today's show, how this LCD lighting and full service grow, an equipment manufacturer is preparing to launch a new product line to coincide with their anticipated post Kovács Surge.
Dan Humiston: [00:01:58] Today, Raising Cannabis Capital, we're really excited to be joined by a former guest, Noah Miller, the CEO of Black Dog LCD. Noel, welcome back to the show.
Noah Miller: [00:02:08] Thanks, Dan. Thanks for having us.
Dan Humiston: [00:02:10] It's great to have you back. I remember saying when you were on the show back, oh, jeez, it was like September. We could do like five shows, five shows with you for our new listeners, if you want to hear an awesome show about LCD lights and how they work. We're growing Cannabis go back and check out episode 142. Really cool stuff before we talk about everything has happened since that last time we spoke. Let's do a quick recap. Black Dog LCD is a one stop online shop for all commercial and home growers. But what you're really known for is LCD lighting, which, you know, even an industry leader for this when we laughed about it on our last show, but for a decade. I mean, that's just in Cannabis. That's really unheard of. Let's make sure that we all begin at the same page. So give us a little background, explain how LCD works and the advantages of using LCD to grow Cannabis.
Noah Miller: [00:03:08] That's a loaded question right there. Right.
[00:03:11] We'll give we'll give a brief overview. Let's say that they want more information. Of course, they can go to our Web site. We try to have a lot of science and all the explanations that people would want if they want to do a deep dove. But let's just say OLED presents a new opportunity for growers to do things we as growers in the past couldn't have done. So in the past, we had a light bulb to work with and you couldn't do much. Whether you put the bulb up, you turned it on, maybe cool that maybe dimmed it. That was about it. Now it was LCD. We can bring so much more control to our gardens boats. Everyone knows or talks about the efficiency, whether it's in your house or the headlights of your car or Nigro. They talk about LCD being so efficient. And yes, that is a huge part of it. But if you're really into the plant and you really believe in the plant and what he can do, what we can do with LCD is take the plan to do things we could have never done with those old bulbs because those bulbs really weren't designed for growing plants. Well, one of our original models was, you know, stop using street lights, start using plant lights because they really were street lights.
Noah Miller: [00:04:08] And somebody figured out at one point they can use them to actually grow plants. So with this new stuff, not only can we get more efficient and save energy, and a huge other side of that is we don't have heavy metals, heavy toxic metals that are found in large amounts inside of each one of those bulbs. So we can eliminate that. We can do better for the environment from an efficiency standpoint. And if you really love the plants and love growing it, you can learn quickly that with the right spectrum, you can really make things work differently. You can bring out some of the traits of the plant that you'd only normally find out under the sun. You wouldn't have found it under each piece because let's say there's no U. V where there's not the right ratio of red to blue. So by putting the right light together a true plant light, we can do things you could have done with your tax and from the grower standpoint, love of the plant. You can't actually turn out a healthier, happier, more robust plant. But at the end of the day, turns out a better product for all of us to enjoy.
Dan Humiston: [00:04:59] Well, I remember last time when we talked and you told a great story about how you just kind of stumbled into an added ultraviolet light to the spectrum. And I'm going to completely mess this up. This is save time here. I'm going to give you a quick overview. It was there was so much energy in the ultraviolet rays that they bounced off and in by the time they got further into the canopy, they were exactly the type of raid that the plant was looking for. So not just the top leaves in the canopy were benefiting by the ultraviolet. And then the side benefit was. And this is the part that just blew my mind. Was it if if I go outside and get hit by ultraviolet light, I tan. If a plant gets hit, they produce more sap. And that was what was the good stuff was that story sort of leads me to my next question. And that is you guys are just known for your research. And the reason that you've stayed on top for as long as you have is because you're committed to this research. And, you know, recently I read a press release that you were approved as a illegal Hemp grower in Colorado, which I thought was really, really cool. But then I further review. I saw that you're using a lot of that for research. Maybe you can talk a little bit more about that.
Noah Miller: [00:06:10] Yeah, that was really exciting. It's kind of a dream realized. You know, we've always wanted an onsite research facility. You know, we didn't know if it would go federally legal at some point and we could do that because we obviously don't want to be on that side of the game as a lighting company to bring in THC and grow that from a federal standpoint. And then the farm bill came through and Hemp changed the game for us. And we said, well, we can't do eventually THC rich Cannabis, but we can grow. CTD Rich Cannabis Theros Cannabis. It's a perfect analog for us to do research on. And we started designing it, went through the process, got license with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. It took a while. We partnered with Hawthorne for some of the equipment. They helped supply some of that so we could build it out. It's really kind of a miniaturized commercial grow, if you will. And it's right there in our. Not too far from right where we built our lights. We're now testing those lights in this R&D facility.
Dan Humiston: [00:06:59] Man, it is so exciting. It's I can you're sure that there's going to be a lot of breakthroughs because like you said, you know, in a previous episode, is that there you can tinker with the LCD and you can just adjust the spectrum. And then by playing it out over a course of a few different harvest's, you can really zero in on what works best. I want to switch gears here and we have so much to talk about, but it is hard not to have a conversation today and not talk about how Cauvin, 19, has really impacted your business or in the industry. I want to start off with home growers because a big portion of your business is supplying pretty much everything a home grower needs, including instructions I hear referred to it as the the No. Home Depot kit, which I think this is so clever. I got to believe that it's been probably good for home growers if they're stuck at home. This is probably something that they can do, you know, not be bored. Is that been the case?
Noah Miller: [00:07:56] Yeah. You know, going into Kovar like everyone else, Fred, a lot of questions and we really didn't know what to expect. However, the good news I can report is that, as you just said, a lot of people, I think, are taking on projects that some improvement projects or gardening projects they wanted to do for a long time. They're finding some extra time on their hands being at home. So, yes, we have seen a bit of a mixed bag. We can speak about our commercial projects in a moment here. But what we have seen on the retail side, on the home grower side is an uptick for sure. We're we're seeing very strong sales and we're performing quite well. One much better than expected and two, even growth year over year. So that's not really what we expected to see. Going into this, we were hoping for it. And it has played out for jock reasons, you said, which is people are looking to take on projects or do something they've always wanted to do and now have the time to do it. So it has actually worked out okay for us.
Dan Humiston: [00:08:47] He has ordered that no Home Depot kit, nothing in there off to the races. How about the large scale cultivators? What have you seen happen there?
Noah Miller: [00:08:56] Yeah, so that is the side that I think is the impact and I feel for all of our partners. We work with either their existing commercial growers we've worked with over the years or ones that are trying to come on mine now. I think it's a little hard for them in a few ways. One, getting even inspectors onsite or getting your general contractor or your trades on onsite to build out and get your facility ready. That's hard. Plus, I'm assuming for the capital markets, for them to raise money for growers. That's tightening up as well. I'm guessing they're covered. So what we've seen is some of the projects are pushing for sure. Now, what the good news I can say is that we haven't run into any projects yet, that we're trucking along and moving forward and investing money in getting ready to really enter the Cannabis market. None of those have shut down. None of them have said, we're just throwing this out. You know, we're done. We're walking away from this because of COGAT. So that's kind of, I'd say, one good piece of news. But on the flip side, we're definitely seeing projects push for some of the reasons I was just talking about, you know, whether they're having a hard time getting their capital to the table, whether they're having a hard time literally getting worked on to build the facility. We are seeing a bit of a push, but we're still getting projects across the finish line, the commercial projects. So I'd say there's a slowdown, but it does give us hope. So they're not shutting down the projects per say. It really gives us hope that at the end, the ones that we're able to keep going and got through it during the cold shutdown, they'll be good. And then the ones that couldn't get it done during that, they'll hopefully be there to survive afterwards. And we'll see a bit of pent up demand as we all come out.
Dan Humiston: [00:10:22] I want to take a quick break to play a preview of a special Cannabis and Korona report. But first, I'd like to thank one of our sponsors, Sencion Pixel, the Cannabis and CBD Hemp industry's leading marketing and design agency. After three years of working with CBD Hemp companies, Sencion Pixel has developed a strategy to improve your Instagram marketing. They figured out how to grow a real audience that engages in converts to sales.
Dan Humiston: [00:10:48] At the end of the day, go to a sencion pixel dot com or click on the link in the show. Notes to learn how sencion pixels hirable all in one marketing and design department can amplify your company's communication.
Ari Raptis: [00:11:03] We ramped up how many vehicles we have in our fleet, ramped up our key members, and we're forecasting that this isn't going to slow down, that this increase in surge will either plateau or keep on growing. So we need to maintain this current flow, whether it's moving products onto the shelves or the lab sampling that we're bringing to the labs or the cash I bringing to that to the Federal Reserve.
Dan Humiston: [00:11:29] Tune in on Thursday as we continue our Cannabis and Korona series with Ari Raptor's from Salaita Transportation. And now let's get back to today's show.
Dan Humiston: [00:11:41] Speaking of when we come out of this. What's next for you guys?
Noah Miller: [00:11:45] You know, for us, we're always working on the next greatest thing for us, which is, you know, generally it's either technology base or it's always grow focused, whether it's our lights or something else. So we're always working on those projects. We've really taken this opportunity of us working remotely. You know, we actually shut down pretty early in the curve before was mandated in Colorado. We shut down to just essential employees in the office. So basically, just the people building lights, our production line and our shipping line, everybody else out of the office working remote. At the beginning, we knew there'd be some, let's say, extra downtime that we might not normally have with business as usual. So we step back and say, well, what do you do during that time and how do we get everyone to work together? Well, and in terms of this, with us now working remote, we have a lot of employees who have never worked remote. So while it seems easy for some of us, some of them had a big adjustment period. And what we realized is this is an amazing opportunity to go after those projects, just like the hunger growers we were talking about, where they've got these projects they did want to get to. I've been wanting to start a Cannabis garden because I was in Colorado or some legal state or any of that. It's the same thing for us as a business. We said, look, there's these projects. A bunch of them are businesses, I'm guessing have them projects.
Noah Miller: [00:12:53] You want to get it. You just can't find the time when you're growing the business to get to. So we took it as an opportunity to really look at some of those massive projects, not little ones, but bigger projects that are kind of company wide or at least multi departmental projects and look at those, assess them and actually go after some of them. So we've used it as a time to do the standard business. We do do everything we normally do, but sit in these projects that we haven't been able to get to for sometimes a year or two. You know, some other things we want to do. So what we anticipate is coming out of this stronger than ever because our infrastructure is honestly better than expected, was to get a chance to really tighten those things up. So it's strange, but it's an interesting byproduct of the time. But as we come out of this, you know, we're looking forward to launching the next iteration of our product line. And so we've been working on that for over a year. But we're getting down to the wire here. So moving into that and then also preparing for what we anticipate to be somewhat of a backup pent up demand and also, of course, launching a new product as explosive growth because it'll be amazing. Right. So in that case, we're also looking to raise the money to help us move through this time and explode out into the future.
Dan Humiston: [00:13:59] Yeah, because I know last time you were on the show, you were just wrapping up your series in a I think you actually got an e-mail from somebody who said they weren't enough, was still open. And you just mentioned that you will be doing another fundraising round.
Noah Miller: [00:14:11] Yes, we are. We're just launching it right now. I mean, we did have one previous awhile back and we closed that down for sure. But now we're at a point we're looking at getting ready to launch an X product line with what's going to call it and everything. And it's a good strategic time for us to step back. Sure. If the things we want and be prepared, because that's kind of what I feel like. The movie better with this go, it is really forward looking and saying, OK, we've got this time, let's use this to our advantage. And that's really what we're trying to do here. So we're just starting that raise right now.
Dan Humiston: [00:14:37] Wow. And I mean, this is a big opportunity because where are you going to find it, 10 plus year old Cannabis company with a, you know, a proven track record for all those years. So like I said before, I had a couple of people that reached out to me. Well, after your close your previous race, I know there'll be a lot of interest for this. And we'll have all of your information in our show notes and on our Web site. So if anybody is interested, you can circle back and reach out to Noah directly, and I'm sure he'll be well, he has a little extra time right now. So, Jaru, Antarctica. Noah, I appreciate you being on the show today. Let's do this again. Like you said, we have a few more episodes that we have to talk about, a lot of stuff that we never get to on these shows.
Noah Miller: [00:15:19] Thanks for having back on here, Dan. Really appreciate it. You stay safe and watch those games.
Dan Humiston: [00:15:26] Today's show was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, like all 36. The country's premiere block chain payment processing platform that's providing dispensaries and its customers with a safe and secure payment option other than cash. To learn more. Go to all 36. Today's podcast was produced by MJBulls Media, the industry's premier Cannabis podcast network with original music produced in part by Jamie Humiston. I'm Dan Humiston and you've been listening to the Raising Cannabis Capital podcast.
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