Chemdog Q+A with Warren Bobrow
I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling lately. One of the places that has captured my canna-imagination is the western part of Massachusetts. When I was in college, back in the early 1980s at Emerson, I found myself visiting places like Tanglewood to follow along with the Grateful Dead. This was in the early 1970s… while I was in prep school, and it expanded into the 1980s during college, and then my Grateful Dead travel would take me further out into the Hudson Valley, down the Hudson, and over to Albany. Even at that early time in history or so it seems, looking back now, I always sought out the finest cannabis to smoke and to share with my friends and my new friends not yet met. And so, it goes for me, from the Wall at Emerson College, then located on Beacon Street, out to the western regions of the Berkshires, the cannabis just tasted different out there in the Western part of the state. Maybe it was the creative focus of the region, a cosmic vortex of culture is what it represents to me. Or maybe it’s the attentiveness of the intellects who are naturally drawn to culture, Jazz, Classical, and Rock n’ Roll, or whatever it was at the time is still the same today. This region is a mecca for craft cannabis, just as it was back in the 1970s when I first discovered this place while chasing the Grateful Dead as a youth, much to the chagrin of my family who disliked cannabis in any format.
I recently drove through the Berkshires on the way back from Martha’s Vineyard and stopped off at Canna-Provisions to see my friend Dan McCarthy. He asked me what kind of cannabis I enjoy smoking. Without hesitating, I said outdoor grown, like up in Northern California. He replied that Chem Dog was working with his dispensary, and I smiled with that WB/knowing smile.
That Chem Dog? The Same… From my illustrious past, being “educated” in the 1980’s while in college, in Massachusetts was the place to be.
Sitting in front of me is a selection of cannabis from Canna-Provisions and I must say that with all the truly fabulous smoke that I’ve enjoyed over the past few months, the Canna-Provisions stuff is the kind. What? Am I going out on a limb here? Sure. I can say that Chem Dog caught my attention by getting me really “inspired” …
My Tasting Notes for Da Funk:
Freshly turned loam, spun sugar, roadside petrol, hazelnut paste, quince, and brown butter sauteed morels. Each puff goes on to dissolve into infinite puddles of banana pudding and further dollops of agitated baby skunk. This is my highest level of intellectual and brain clearing, inspiring late summer stone fruits… Truly sopping in their lip-smacking terps and a touch of garlic at the end…As if each hit was danced with English Trifle, but not the sickly sweet dessert, however, I’m calling attention to the richness factor.
Da Funk is the most sophisticated cannabis-and it gets me thinking, what if this Massachusetts-grown cannabis from Chem Dog entered the Emerald Cup and won?
WB: Who inspired you to bring you to cannabis?
Chem Dog: If I look back far enough, I think it was when I was watching Cheech and Chong movies that may have gotten me into weed subliminally (laughs). I really had no family members, no family, no brothers, or even friends that were into weed. Nothing. So, between loving the Cheech and Chong movies as a kid, and then going to my first Grateful Dead concert in 1989, in Foxboro MA, that’s probably the starting point.
At that show I walked my first Shakedown Street out in the lot and saw the most cannabis flower, indoor and outdoor, I had ever seen. And, it was my first time seeing California flower, especially outdoor stuff. You know, those “Humboldt County butterballs”—big lime green nugs of weed I hadn’t seen yet at that time. Fast forward to June of the 1991 Grateful Dead tour. That’s where I famously met Joe Brand (Joe B) and P Bud. That’s where I got the first bag of this new weed which was the best I had ever tried. I kept in contact with them and after the tour in August 1991, I hit them up and got an ounce. That bag had 13 seeds which I cultivated and became my trademark Chem 91, Chem’s Sister, eventually Chem D and Chem #4. The rest is history.
What strains capture your spirit right now?
My own Chem D from my home grow, which we also grow as an S1 within our Smash Hits cannabis line, which we grow at our craft cultivation facility in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. As cultivation director at Canna Provisions, I personally oversee quality control of all the bud leaving our facility for the legal MA adult-use market, which is great because I’m also a huge fan of our Da Funk, California Raisins, and (naturally) our Chem 4. And, I’m proud to say that we included Chem #4 in our first ever legal clone drop in June, which marked the first time in the history you could legally buy a clone of one of my OG Chem strains that are fan favorites, which had been personally grown by me and my team. Big moment for me.
Please tell me about your six and twelve-month goals, how do you activate your goals? Do you examine your peers?
I want to keep pushing out the best flower we can and keep evolving with the different strains and flavors our consumers seek out while producing the best cannabis available in the Northeast. I want to keep things fresh on the cultivation front. Also, for the last year and a half, I’ve been working to streamline our cultivation and processes in order to produce the best flower I can for the market, so I’m now finding my other great passion – glass blowing – is coming back in full swing. I look forward to every chance I get these days (which isn’t often) to hop back in my glass shop in my home of Western Massachusetts and have some fun.
As for my peers, I examine my peers probably as much as I consider having peers beyond those that have come before me and laid the tracks through the legacy market along with me. In the cases where, like my own recent story, former black market operators have found a path to the legal market and are able to create their art without the fear of incarceration or targeting from the failed and racist War on Drugs, I really see peers as people to collaborate and evolve with, versus compete with. In the end, of those, I consider my peers I simply want ALL of my peers to crush it, succeed, and thrive.
What are you listening to right now?
Right now, I’m listening to some live Dead, and I’m into the late 80s shows after running through the entire mid-late 70s over the past few months. I love that I can listen to some shows from that late 89 through the early/mid-90s and recall all the people I met on the lots while seeing over 200 shows with Jerry still alive.
What is your passion?
Living my dream every day like I am now, being able to grow amazing weed and by doing so feed and support and spend time with my family which has always been the top priority for me.
Feature Photo Courtesy of Chem Dog
Warren Bobrow has been a dishwasher, the owner of the first company to make fresh pasta in South Carolina , a television engineer and he even worked at Danceteria in NYC, then a trained chef which led to a twenty year career in private banking. A cannabis, wine and travel aficionado, Warren is a former rum judge and craft spirits national brand ambassador. He works full time in the cannabis business as an alchemist/journalist. Cocktailwhisperer.com Drinkklaus.com Instagram: warrenbobrow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Bobrow