Rocking & Rolling with Brothers Grimm Seeds: Marc Eden
Marc Eden, Cannabis Genetics Strategist, shares his vision for the future of the industry and what you can do to contribute
If you are a cannabis consumer, you've probably already heard of Brothers Grimm Seeds. Their designer genetics are known for their uniformity, heavy yields, and pure female cannabis seed without intersex issues.
Here is what Marc Eden, Cannabis Genetics Strategist at Brother Grimm Seeds has to say.
Tell us about yourself and explain your role in cannabis genetics.
I'm the VP of Brothers Grimm Seeds and I am dedicated to exceptional cannabis genetics and horticultural artistry. Myself, MrSoul, Original Breeder and Founder of Brothers Grimm Seeds, and COO, Laura Madison, are all passionate about our work bringing designer genetics to commercial producers, small batch cultivators, and home growers. My work is primarily involved with marketing, branding, business development, research and development, and strategic planning.
How did you get into the cannabis industry?
In late 2017, I started a small business in San Diego, California called Green Carpet Growing. Teaching people how to grow cannabis at home through personal instruction was the main gist of what we offered. After I saw a need in the marketplace and realized absolutely no license was needed to do it, I found a much more experienced grower to partner with to launch. We were profiled on the San Diego TV and print news quite a bit, as well as Buzzfeed's Bring Me and Japan's Nippon cable TV news.
I can't tell you how many times I've restructured, retooled, and pivoted Green Carpet Growing, but today I focus most of my time on Brothers Grimm Seeds. Working with celebrity breeder artist MrSoul, the original breeder and founder of Brothers Grimm Seeds and creator of Cinderella 99 is one of the highest honours I could have ever wished for. My business, marketing, branding, and media background matched perfectly with the needs of the company and since October 2021, I've been rocking and rolling with Brothers Grimm Seeds and not looking back.
Interestingly enough, MrSoul lived in the late '80s at one point where I grew up, which is Vernon, Connecticut. He was working for a nuclear engineering company at the time. Today I live in San Diego, California, and MrSoul lives in Colorado, where the seed production takes place. I've been visiting him every couple of months, but the vast majority of my work is done from home in San Diego.
What does your day look like?
Call me an early bird, because I wake up between 2-5 AM. They're my favourite hours of the day. It's extremely energizing for me to be awake in these quiet hours, drinking coffee, listening to old Allan Watts lectures, or sometimes Joey Diaz (Joey's Joint), Lex Fridman, and Conan O' Brian. During these quiet early morning hours, I'll also just listen to music and do some writing, do yoga, and tend to my personal home growth. I'm growing Grimm Mints, Grimm Truffles and GSC x C99, all of which are "testers."
From 6 AM to 4 PM, I juggle work tasks and take periodic 10-15 minute power naps. I don't have to work so much, I get to.
Most days I'm creating or publishing social media content, doing website design, creating content for BrothersGrimmSeeds, planning events, and working with new and old clients who require wholesale seed orders, breeder cuts, or strain licensing deals.
Image Source: Age of Weed and Psychedelics
As a podcast host, tell us about your experience with the people in the industry.
My podcast has been a blast over the years and even though I've been delayed to continue the past year, another season is in the works. I almost started another season, but then my world collided with Brothers Grimm Seeds and my plate became so full, that I decided to postpone it until there was enough time to do it well. Now the plan is to do my podcast with Laura Madison, COO of Brothers Grimm Seeds.
Over the years I've met and interviewed a wide variety of cannabis industry professionals who I sought after because I found them to be exceptionally wise and good natured. I'm always reading, learning, watching, and listening in the cannabis space, whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or cannabis news websites. There are oodles of groups on Facebook for professionals in cannabis, and on Instagram, you can find and follow and learn from legends in cannabis like MrSoul, Jorge Cervantes, Ed Rosenthall, and other OGs, but there's also a tidal wave of new people in cannabis. I'm talking about scientists, growers, breeders, inventors, influencers, entrepreneurs, and business people in general. I'm not very interested in pursuing already wildly successful people.
I much prefer the diamond in the roughs and the up and coming people. With that said, I did pursue MrSoul for an interview in my podcast in 2020, namely because I found him to be such an interesting and cryptic character in the cannabis industry. I first learned about MrSoul in my early days of home growing, and when I followed his Facebook posts, I noticed he was having all kinds of unique philosophical conversations, and would even start extremely controversial posts, get tons of raw feedback from people, and then he would delete the post. "This guy is really cool," I remember thinking. I liked that he was a deep thinker and encouraged others to think. The fact he's an artist and scientist was also intriguing. I asked him if he would be a guest on my podcast, and he said yes, and the rest is history. The interview went extremely well and about a year later, his fiance and now COO, Laura Madison, listened to it. Laura started researching my background on LinkedIn, which is marketing and business as well as cannabis education, and she told MrSoul, "Rick, I think Marc can help us with our website." One thing led to another, and well today, I have the dream job and dream team I've always hoped for.
How do you imagine a world where cannabis is legalised?
I think of young families where children aren't taught that cannabis is evil and that right there gives me goosebumps. I'm inspired by my high school friends and classmates from the class of 99'. One just proudly told me their son is graduating high school and wants to be a professional cannabis grower. This also gave me goosebumps. Another one told me they're letting their kid learn to grow cannabis in high school and they're bonding over it. This is the kind of world I want to live in!
The future of cannabis will reflect what's gone on with alcohol, in the sense that we are going to have sub-par cannabis available for cheap. Everyone should accept this. Just like there's cheap booze and beer, there will be cheap cannabis. We call it boof. It is what it is. By subpar I mean it doesn't taste good, it's harsh, and it's produced on massive farms. There's dirt cheap vodka out there, and there's ultra expensive vodka out there. There's dirt cheap cannabis out there, and there's ultra expensive cannabis out there. The big issue is that with cannabis, some ultra expensive cannabis isn't high quality, it just has fancy packaging to make you think it is. Alcohol brands don't get away with this. You know exactly what you're getting based on how much you pay. The dust will settle from the green rush boom soon, and the majority of the public will be much savvier at shopping which will force producers to act more...responsibly.
With regard to the future of cannabis genetics, I believe seeds are the future. Seeds grow stronger, faster, and more vigorously. Many customers of Brothers Grimm Seeds germinate our seeds in 30-40 days and flip to the flowering phase because the plants are big enough. While tissue culture and clones will always have a place in the marketplace, I believe seeds are the smartest choice for small farms and large ones. More and more commercial producers are choosing seeds because of the IPM issues with clones, especially the dreaded cannabis plant virus known as Hop-Latent Viroid.
Because of the chaotic nature of the early days of the industry, the genetics space will only get more interesting in the future. There are still many breeders who are sitting on their genetics like a mother hen on her eggs, watching and waiting for the right opportunity to hatch their genetics for public consumption.
As for cannabis beverages. I see cannabis beverages as the juggernaut category in cannabis right now. However, I think cannabis beverages have a long way to go with regard to branding and on the product side, flavor. I've only tried one that I would describe as absolutely delicious. No doubt, for cannabis beverages the time to get behind the 8-ball is now. Brothers Grimm Beverages has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Truth be told, we are very interested in cannabis beverages and are looking to get in this space sooner than later.
How do you think we can educate people about cannabinoids and change the stigmas attached to the use of cannabis?
Podcasts, TV shows, movies, you know, good old fashioned arts and entertainment will help change society's views. Public schools could certainly help, but those institutions are also usually very slow moving, so I doubt they will do much to rock the boat toward normalization. More cannabis consumers could also "come out of the stoner closet," too. That would help a lot!
Image Source: Cinderella 99
What cannabis strain are you working on?
Right now, Brothers Grimm Seeds is working on a cross between White Truffles and Cinderella 99, a Kush Mints x Cinderella 99, and GSC x Cinderella 99. Our customers are currently growing out our tester seeds, and people can now sign up to be testers on our website. We have several other working concepts right now for the future too, so there are always a handful of new genetic options as the years go on. We believe less is more and that releasing dozens (and dozens) of new strains each year is a tad sensational and leads to fads, working too much, and striving. Slow and steady wins the race...
Working in this industry for so many years, what is the change you have experienced?
In what feels like a blink of an eye, 5 years +, I'm astonished at the sheer number of people in cannabis on LinkedIn. Wow! For cannabis professionals new and old, LinkedIn has become the ultimate hub for professional networking, cannabis new and cannabis education. I'll say, 5 years ago the prevalence of "boof" for sale was much worse than it is today in the legal marketplace. It's gotten a little better.
But in many states, like California, there's still too much red tape and hurdles for everyday people to start cannabis businesses. The "free market" isn't as free as most people would like.
What do you think is a barrier to the growth of the cannabis industry? How can it be eliminated?
Banking. It's a horrible situation and needs to be fixed urgently. Enough is enough.
Cannabis on schedule 1. Removing cannabis from schedule 1 is what this country needs. Enough is enough. It can be rescheduled through Congress or through the executive branch.
Distribution Bottlenecks. Create a free marketplace with public auctions for products. Until then, we won't have a truly fair marketplace.
Do you think recreational cannabis leads to more use of it?
No. Besides, you can consume cannabis every day and not have a hangover. Consume alcohol every day and you're going to feel awful from hangovers. Consume cannabis and you'll be happy, relaxed, loving, and peaceful. Consume alcohol and you're more apt to be violent and engage in risky behaviour.
However, it should be said, you can easily abuse cannabis and smoke too much and become unmotivated, lazy, etc. Don't fool yourself. For example, I only smoke certain types of weed during the day so that I know that I won't get tired or "too stoned". My favorite day time strain is Cinderella 99. As for night time when I'm relaxing before bed, I can experiment with any strain. If I did that during the day, I'd get nothing done, and guaranteed I wouldn't be having this conversation with you right now!
How do you envision the upcoming years for the cannabis industry?
The cannabis industry will be frustrating and messy until we get banking straightened out and cannabis off schedule 1. It will be much more doable then. All states are going to put their twist on their cannabis licensing policies and procedures, and that is also messy for interstate and international commerce. Nevertheless, the influencer states seemed to be carved out already (in no particular order) like California, New York, Michigan, Oklahoma, Colorado and maybe a few others. Florida has one of the worst models out there. Oklahoma has one of the best. First to market movers and those first to have a slice of market share in the 2020s doesn't mean much to me. I'm looking into the 30s and 40s – and I see a practical, competitive landscape for corporations along with mom and pop businesses being able to work in this space freely together. Change around cannabis legalization has been slow unfortunately.
I see public auctions as one of the only fair and viable solutions for the industry, especially for the craft markets which are the small to medium-sized businesses who produce the finest cannabis in this country.
I think all the tomfoolery in genetics right now where companies are attempting to control the IP of breeders and put together libraries of other people's genetics to exploit them is unbecoming. That is a big nut to crack over the next decade. Many breeders have entered into flimsy one-sided contracts or don't have contracts, and that's most unfortunate. I aim to help empower breeder artists to avoid these pitfalls with Brothers Grimm Seeds.
The recent declarations from the DEA about seeds is something of a game-changer for the future of many breeders and aspiring breeders. Now that they've given the public their nod of approval that cannabis seeds are indeed technically hemp seeds, we are seeing an influx of seed sellers out there. Grow stores and smoke shops are selling seeds now like never before. The influx of new seed brands and seed banks I expect will continue for a year or two because that's how long it takes for growers to figure out whether or not the genetics are actually of good quality or not. I'm impressed with the Seedsman seed bank, because for the longest time they've carried 100+ breeder's genetics, but now they are switching to a model where they are going to only carry 20. This kind of strategic move is encouraging because Seedsman is raising the bar already.
What message would you like to give to the audience?
If you haven't tried Cinderella 99, go for it if you're looking for a daytime strain. Always remember to smoke just a few puffs of something and take your time. Don't just smoke a bowl or joint because you can. Be more deliberate. Maybe you only need 2 or 6 hits, not 16 or 40. Everyone is different, so take your time, experiment, and find your sweet spot.
Interviewed by Prithvi Nagpal, Editor & Sommelier, Cannabis Reader & Cannabis Drinks Expo