The other day, I was perusing through some emails that I hadn’t dug into yet- and I saw one from a guy named Teddy Bang. It was quite forward, actually… He was asking me to interview him.
I replied that it had been a while since someone asked me to interview them… Usually, it’s the other way around, with me doing all the pitching. And that’s ok because it’s nearly impossible for me to find all the best… Because I’m seeking something intangible.
My name is Teddy Bang, and I’m a cannabis owner and operator in SoCal. It’d be great to chat and maybe do a 5 question article or fun piece. There are lots happening, developing, and market patterns and insights I could share that could interest you and your audience- like how we can make something work or happen.
Teddy Bang | CEO and Operator
Cali Flwr Farms MHPC | Distribution + Manufacturing
Cali Flwr Farms | Dope Town | Viva Sativa | Sofa King”
This was the letter; how could I resist?
But getting back to Teddy’s story. It’s pretty clear that he’s doing what he loves: working with the plant. In ways that seem to fly in circles, I’ve not yet surveyed in my path. And no, I hadn’t heard of him, not yet anyway. But I think that’s going to change… Thank you, Teddy, for reaching out to me and putting your creativity and craft on my radar. I can’t wait to do a ‘tasting’. Cheers! WB
Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you located now? What have you been working on? How did you get to where you are today?
Teddy Bang: Highly educated and have a medical degree- but I sell weed and build brands in Southern California. Born and raised LA, California boy- all the licenses and warehouses are in the Valley or North LA, I live down in South OC- on a beach in San Clemente. I am building a team and culture that can stay calm and positive in a super volatile unknown marketplace- high level. Low level, we’re always trying to stay net profitable and especially create new customers- that’s a big problem. There are too many licenses and not enough consumers. Always looking to learn and get better every day- I’ve found surrounding yourself with good quality people and no bitching or complaining, just focusing on what you want. You are defined by the problems you can solve.
WB: Why cannabis? What did you initially want to be “when you grew up”?…. Tell me about your company (s). What do you do that sets you apart from your competition? What makes you better?
TB: This is personal. For years, I would tell my teenage daughter you have to be passionate, and you have to be purposeful and live the truth of your soul- and one day, she flipped the script and asked if I thought selling medical devices was my passion and purpose, and the answer was no. The things I loved were surfing and cannabis. I reached out to Kelly Slaters’, a pro surfer, wave pool company and got knee deep and realized shit, this isn’t passion, you aren’t surfing that wave every day. It’s emails, meetings, and ex-corporate guys. So, the second one, cannabis- it was going legal in California, and I decided this was it, I’m going for it. Growing up, I wanted to be a playboy photographer, for obvious reasons, or bongo rockstar, because growing up in LA in the 70s, being a rockstar was that bitchin lifestyle- playing by your own rules.
Our companies are dope; we have a lot of fun, a lot of respect, and a great crew. We’re building brands, integrating with the farm, making the whole operation net profitable and reproducible. We don’t pay too much attention to our competition; we just go out to the marketplace and talk to our customers and dispensaries- we hear what problems they have and build solutions around that. We have boots on the ground every day and strong pulses on the market. My partner, Antione, and I will spend 30+ hours a week on the road delivering and talking to dispensaries and customers, what other company has their head operators in the stores, on the ground like that every day. It’s just old-school hustle paired with some serious soul. This is hard to beat.
WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals? How do you anticipate getting there? Do you have a mentor? Did someone teach you?
TB: We are so in the moment, we have some big visions but its fluid. Ultimately, we want to be net profitable, have fun, make sure everyone is passionate and the culture is tight, and bring as much reproducibility as we can- just solve problems over and over. Our team is the vehicle to get there; it’s all about the culture, communication, love, and kindness. No one gets irritated when someone makes a mistake. The team just jumps in and helps- no blame. Tik Tok is my 2024 mentor, the algorithm knows what I wanna hear and when I want to hear it. But overall, I have always been a slow learner and have to figure it out myself- still, till this day, I like to figure out the problem or system before handing it off to someone, just because I don’t ever want to ask someone to do something that I am not willing to dig into or do.
WB: What is your favorite kind of food? Restaurant? Where? Do you cook? What do you eat for lunch?
TB: I eat basic whole food, nothing in boxes with weird chemicals that I don’t know what they are. I cook lots of steak, chicken, lettuce, carrots, vegetables- real basic foods and just add salt and pepper. Sugarfish is the go to celebratory spot, sometimes Miley Cyrus meets me there… Okay, only one time we were there at the same time…
WB: What is your passion?
TB: My passion is passion. I am a very soulful person; I love what I do. I love to listen to people talk about things they love and see the world through their eyes, and build a connection with people built on genuine acceptance. I also have two beautiful dogs, and a passion project is to make sure they just have the most dope, peaceful life possible. Which usually includes daily beach trail walks, ocean swim sesh’s and many, many fetch hours in the park.
For more cannabis industry insights and breakdowns, follow cali_dopecrew on Instagram
Photos credit: The black and white cityscape, sunset swing photo, LA mural, and arrested photo; Norman Schwartz
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