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Interview: How STL GLD And Cannalive Genetics Collaborated On GLD LPH

Photo of GLD LPH flower courtesy of Cannalive Genetics

“If we can bring things to market that are going to help STL GLD move forward, but also help their fans live a better life, that’s really the intersection we’re trying to be at.”

STL GLD is a Boston mainstay, a fusion of hip-hop, punk, and much more fueled by pure energy—plus a good amount of weed.

These days, members of the band are smoking and promoting their own GLD LPH, grown by Cannalive Genetics in Holyoke. The boutique cultivation is founded by longtime music marketing maestro and manager Todd Dahn, who in addition to growing original amazing strains has tooled his business to benefit the local Massachusetts music scene and beyond.

With GLD LPH now available at Tree House (Dracut), Yamba Market (Cambridge), The Goods (Somerville), Rooted In (Back Bay), and Rolling Releaf (delivery, Greater Boston), Dahn along with Christopher Talken and Moe Pope of STL GLD sat with Chris Tash of the Chris Tash Pawtcast to discuss how the project came into existence. You can find some of the livest excerpts from their recent exchange below … 

Tash: So, you’re not in the band. You’re not playing triangle or cymbal in the back or something like that? So what do you do out here?

Dahn: These days, I run a craft cannabis company. … We have a small grow out in Holyoke, and we exist in the space of social change, music, and cannabis, creating communities for people to enjoy life. And through that, we’re working with these fine young gentlemen [STL GLD] to bring our new strain to the market.

One of the things that’s important to me with this company is the intention of the revenue that we generate. I don’t have children, so my legacy is always going to be the actions that I do and the things that I do for others, right? So if I’m going to be out here making any type of revenue that’s substantial, I want to make sure that there’s a part of it that goes to places that do some good. So the first thing we’re doing in that is every collection of strains that we put together sponsors an artist in the Massachusetts area, the first one being STL GLD.

They get a grant of $40,000 a year that goes up as revenue goes up to help them move their career forward—whether they want to go back on tour, or somebody gets to quit their job, or they buy a bunch of new equipment, or whatever it is—they [can] put it towards the [annual STL GLD] festival, whatever it is that they’re doing that year to help create art and space for people who don’t have space in Boston. That’s all that matters to us, so we’re making sure that everything we do has an impact that is going to help the community, because there’s not enough help for the community, just to be honest.

Tash: It’s kind of the natural move … Like you said, hip-hop infiltrates every single aspect of life.

Pope: Absolutely.

Tash: I can imagine stuff like that goes a long fucking way when someone like Todd calls you up and says they want to do something like this. How does that phone call go? 

Talken: Uh, yeah. I mean, you go, Yeah, yeah! That sounds like a good idea, man.  

Pope: A lot of the shit that we do, we have to do on our own, whether that’s shooting videos, or booking, or our clothes—we’re doing it ourselves. So with the Boston City Hall [STL GLD Festival], we had someone that said that they were going to help and meant it, and that’s a rare thing for us. And Todd is a rare thing for us. So Todd [was] saying, Oh yeah, we’re going to help you, and this thing is going to help, and we’re saying, As a homey you’re solid, but people don’t help. So at first it was like, Yeah, this is dope, if it happens. But he’s a dude who says what he means and does what he says.

Tash: I mean, every rapper wants to have their own strain of weed. Let’s get that out of the fucking way.

Talken: It all started on the patio … We would smoke our morning joints.

Dahn: They didn’t realize that they had been smoking the strain that I’m developing for them for like two years. And that’s the GLD LPH.

Tash: That was the [strain] that hit 40% [Total Active Cannabinoids]?

Dahn: Yeah … that was the one that hit 40, 41. … We’re lucky enough to have a really good run out of our last development cycle.

Tash: How long have you been growing for? 

Dahn: Like 12 years. … And then my partner was growing for 10 on his own. … I don’t understand selling something somebody else has. Because then you’re just arguing price at that point. And that just isn’t good business to me. So when we were in the legacy market, we had all of our own strains to begin with. So I knew when I was transitioning to the legal market what the business model was going to be—I just didn’t tell [STL GLD]. I just kept bringing strains to them until they’re like, Oh, I like this one. And then we kept developing that over a little bit of time. And then, when I came to them, I was like, Yeah, the orange stuff that you’ve been smoking that you guys like …  well, this is what we want to do with it. And it was a much easier conversation.

Tash: And I’m sure you want someone pushing the cannabis that they actually enjoy.

Dahn: Well, yeah, and that’s a part of the company, right? We’re doing it to be nice, but there also is a business model behind it. It gives me their audience, which is generally pretty cannabis-friendly, to come in and offer more support to the band and give them another way to support the band—not just through T-shirts and ticket sales, but also through cannabis, which is then an experience on their own that then helps them a lot of times in their life, whether it’s anxiety or sleep or whatever. So if we can bring things to market that are going to help STL GLD move forward, but also help their fans live a better life, that’s really the intersection we’re trying to be at.