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Five Questions With Witt Rabon: Enlightenment through the World of Dro

Five Questions With Witt Rabon: Enlightenment through the World of Dro

I’m a massive fan of DRO. But digging a bit deeper- a lot deeper, in fact- Witt Rabon and I have much in common. We both enormously enjoy the Plant, World Class level BBQ, the late Martha Lou’s Kitchen, the free-spirited style of his vision through his inspired clothing line, his ebullient flowers (more on that in a second), and of course, Charleston, South Carolina. When I first met Witt, and he told me he was from Charleston, SC, I couldn’t help but smile. This is because, in my foray into the culinary arts on my climb to become a trained chef, my path took me to Charleston. I attended culinary school there, cooked professionally, and founded a fresh pasta manufacturing company. It was in Charleston where I spent Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and ended up losing everything I created to that point. This conversation about Charleston was an interesting introduction to Witt. Not many people I’ve ever met in life can say that they knew about Hugo… In Charleston, no less… A curious conversation, to say the very least at the time, that we had together several years ago….

Witt dropped a couple ¼’s of his gassy cannabis on me when I was in Denver last month for the Cannabis Marketing Summit. I opened up the two jars this morning at my home in New Jersey and was taken by the old-style aromatics of his perfectly cured cannabis- notes of petrol, not unlike the gassy scents of a really salacious Mendocino Chardonnay…just saying’… that wafted out and filled my office, sticking on everything not bolted down with her sultry terps. It was almost like I was rubbing an antediluvian genie’s lamp…envisioning the genie’s smoke oozing out of the lamp and flowing like warm mercury directly into my olden corn cob pipe. This strain is named Trop Cherries. Tropicana Cherry is a slightly sativa dominant hybrid strain (60% sativa/40% indica) from the cross of infamous Tropicana Cookies X Cherry Cookies

What he offered me comes from a craft grow named The Cannabis Brothers. Immediately I’m taken by earthy aromatics of freshly shoveled soil, snippets of tarragon, pools of steaming espresso, and sea salt slicked/crushed minerals. Then, rushing in from the rear of my palate, sweet corn, dripping in brown butter. Probably from my well-used corn cob pipe, but this level of flavor adds to my palate’s background mystery. The Trop Cherry is just gorgeous stuff. This exotic cannabis benefits in terps and overall effect by a month’s rest at just about sea level…with a BOVEDA 58% in the jar.

I don’t think I’ve been this bemused in several weeks! It really opened my vision….

Photo Credit: Eliza Kuehner

The other strain that Witt laid on me also with a BOVEDA 58% in the jar, is named Gummy Buns from the same craft grower. Gummy Buns is an indica dominant hybrid strain (70% indica/30% sativa) It’s comprised of the cross between the potent Grease Monkey X Biscotti strains. Immediately upon opening the ¼-ounce jar (thank you, sir), I was just charmed by the droplets of freshly crushed berries enrobed in puddles of jet fuel. It was irony though, because the taste on the palate belies the sweetness of the name. Sure, this is sweeter than most of the Colorado Terroir that I had experienced prior. But moving across my tongue were flavors and textures of raw honey and hot chilies along with striking notes of benne wafers dipped in pimento cheese. Lovely stuff. And the high? It was completely different than my experience at 5700 feet above sea level. The air is denser here. More humid. It really makes cannabis of this quality level shine.

Both of the strains he offered me are remarkably potent, perfectly cured through patient methodology, and just fun!

DRO! You really need to seek it out if you are in Colorado.  

Now, please eMeet my friend, Witt Rabon. My Charlestonian friend from afar.  

Witt Rabon and the author. Photo Credit: Warren Bobrow

Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself? What do you do?  Please tell me about your company?

Witt Rabon: My name is Witt Rabon, and I’m currently in the Streetwear and Cannabis business.  I’m the CMO of DRO.  DRO is a lifestyle brand centered around the cannabis and hip hop movement pre and post-legalization. We focus on the nostalgia from the early 90s and 2000s, back when you had to meet up in parking lots or sit and play video games with your dealer for an hour or two just to get a sack.  Our company is very culturally diverse and majority-minority-owned.  Waka Flocka Flame is also one of our owners, so we get to do some very cool national marketing campaigns. One of the more exciting features of the brand is our cannabis, where we are currently focusing on bringing back the old-school gas with a modern twist.  We have partnered with some select breeders across the US and we will be releasing some redefined OGs, Chems, and my most favorite, Sours.

WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals?  What obstacles do you face?  How do you anticipate removing those obstacles?

Witt Rabon: In the next six months, we plan on releasing over twenty phenos we have been hunting, and in the next twelve months, continuing to dial them and more in along with securing a DRO storefront in Colorado.

I would say the obstacles we are facing are the same as everyone right now and that is inflation and a poor economy on top of an oversaturation of cannabis in the marketplace.

Photo Credit: Warren Bobrow

In order to remove those obstacles, we plan on joining forces with COBRA and defeating the Joes once and for all… JK, my age is showing there.  We plan on surviving the storm by providing the customer with a great brand experience along with super fat sacks for an even better price.  We want people to remember DRO as the brand that hooked them up proper when the times were tough, and we will continue to do so when the times are good.  The American Gangster business model seemed to be the best business practice pre-legalization and still holds true to this day.

We also plan on expanding the brand into some newly legal markets on the east coast.

WB: Do you have a mentor? If so, who taught you your craft? How did you get into the cannabis biz? Tell me about your first experience with cannabis?

Witt Rabon: I do have a mentor, my good buddy Shane from Fuel.  I was given the opportunity to work with Shane about ten years ago with a company called Musclepharm.  He has successfully maintained his brand for over 30 years, so I wanted to learn everything he knew about the apparel industry and apply it to my own brand.

We got into the cannabis biz through our clothing brand being so closely tied to the scene.  One day I went to a store called House of Dankness and bought some weed packaged in cans.  One of the labels fell off, so I put one of our DRO stickers on the can and showed it to a few friends, and everyone’s first reaction was, “you guys should do cannabis.”  An idea clicked, and from there, we decided to make it our mission to establish a cannabis brand.

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My first experience with cannabis was when I was in the 9th grade.  I had spent most of middle school being taught by the DARE program that if you smoked weed, you would see dragons.  Well, my friends and I were into comic books and video games, so this sounded amazing to us, and we couldn’t wait to try it.  I remember we rolled a joint out of a coffee filter and twisted both ends of it so it looked like the ones on TV.  We couldn’t get it to work until one of my friends decided to cut the end off.  I believe he went on to become an engineer…. In the end, I think we got sold oregano as it didn’t do anything even after the adjustments. Eventually, I ended up finding the real deal and got high for the first time with some buddies on the beach.  Never got to see any dragons, but we had a really good time laughing at anything and everything. To me, this was way better than alcohol as there wasn’t any sickness that came afterward, and with a few eye drops, no one knew you were on it.

Photo Credit: Eliza Kuehner

WB: What is your favorite kind of food? Favorite restaurant? Do you cook?  What do you like to eat for breakfast?

Witt Rabon: BBQ for sure; I love eating at different BBQ restaurants across the country since each region of the US has its own style.  Then from there, each pitmaster has their own twist and proprietary way of doing things. Being from the South, I feel like I know BBQ.  Hands down, the best I’ve ever had was in Kansas City and Hawaii. My favorite restaurants at the moment are AJs Pit BBQ and Cafe Brazil.  I also like to cook, especially on the grill.  For breakfast, I usually like to make a vegan protein and fruit smoothie.

WB: What is your passion?

Witt Rabon: In business, its watching people have a great time and knowing there is success coming from that moment.  It’s a very rewarding experience to see other people enjoy themselves because of your product or brand or moment in time you created for them. In my personal life, it’s Kitesurfing, even though I don’t get to do it as much anymore being in Colorado. It’s the one sport I’ve done in life where you forget about everything else and are truly just focused on yourself and the elements. All of your problems just disappear. Plus, if you are not focused, you might not make it back to the beach.

Feature Photo  Credit: Eliza Kuehner