Of all the conversations punk rocker aficionado Brad Bogus wanted to nail, it was an interview with the former Music Editor, now Editor-in-Chief, of the Denver Post’s vertical The Cannabist, Ricardo Baca.
The interview took place in 2016, post legalization, and before Brad Bogus had a clue his career would be changed forever in the cannabis space. After nailing the interview, Bogus’ and Baca would work together at The Cannabist for five months before Baca exited, his first foray into the cannabis industry as General Manager for the publication.
Brad Bogus studied acting with a focus on Shakespeare at Texas State University, then was in a BA program at the University of Houston. But his life has been all-in for punk rock, among his eclectic and extensive list of interests.
“My interests are diverse,” he shared. “I paint, play music, and sketch a little. I also have an interest in astrophysics, history, and the outdoors – everything from bouldering, hiking, to competing in the 420 Games – now the Civilized Games.”
With a background in content marketing and multimedia, Bogus co-founded Makeshift Productions in 2003, then marketing agency, Speak Social, in 2010.
He’s also co-creator of NerdAF, a weekly-ish podcast based in Denver, interviewing people passionate about comics, gaming, and the intersection of social justice and inclusion.
A Modern Market
Brad Bogus is currently VP of Growth and Marketing at Confident Cannabis, a software company that built lab testing software and a B2B wholesale platform, with the hopes of instilling trust and transparency in the cannabis industry. The software immediately links test results from a lab to the final product or batch, while connecting retail stores to a supply chain they can trust.
“The platform empowers all verticals in the supply chain,” he explained. “It’s the only place where cannabis producers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers showcase and discover products from verified businesses, with test results directly from the licensed laboratories listed on the site.”
Bogus said the Software is now used by at least half the labs testing cannabis in the country. Everyone from farmers to buyers can track a tested batch via one dashboard in a closed-loop, keeping everyone involved honest.
“We are transitioning from a market where we couldn’t write anything down,” he continued. “The buying and selling of cannabis has been unsophisticated for this reason. Our platform and programs help producers’ step-up into a modern market. I mean, seriously, why wouldn’t you want to use an online tool like any other business in any other industry to streamline the process and hold everyone accountable?”
Brad Bogus’ Confident Stash
Bogus’ own stash is held on a Blazy Susan of Denver, a spin on the Lazy Susan that sits in the middle of a table holding condiments.
“I grew up with a Lazy Susan. [They’re] part of Americana, and Will made them relevant again,” he said. “I can see a house party with one of these in the middle of the table.”
William Miller Breakell created the Blazy Susan™ in an effort to clean up all the messy smoking tables he witnessed. Each tray sits on a spinner, with carved out compartments to hold bud, joints and more.
Bogus currently calls California home, and speaks highly of some of his favorite farmers, including Huckleberry Hill Farms in Southern Humboldt in Northern California, where they grow one of his favorite cultivars, Fruit Loops.
“One of the best cultivars of all time,” he expounded. “John Casali’s mom started it in the 70s, then went to prison. When he got out, he reclaimed the genetics and continues to grow it to this day. It’s the closest thing to appellation, special to California and Oregon.”
“The North Coast of California has long been thought of as a prominent growing region, perfect for growing the best quality cannabis, with many cultivars originating or unique to the region,” he explained. “Some areas, like Huckleberry Hill Farms’ native SoHum, are specific appellations within the growing region of the Emerald Triangle, argued as the best of the best.”
The term appellation comes from the wine industry, and describes a legally defined and protected area. An appellation can be a part of a region where grapes for wine are grown, like Napa Valley Cabernet, but it can also refer to appellation-specific coffee or, in this instance, cannabis.
Casali is one of Humboldt’s heritage farmers, practicing sustainable farming, using reclaimed rainwater from a system he created himself.
His next favorite cultivar is Purple Punch by Wolf Mountain Organics.
“The cannabinoids I drift to are high in THC and CBG, with a terpene profile of limonene, myrcene, beta caryophyllene [BCP], linalool, and a balanced amount of alpha and beta pinene. I like a dark fruit profile, like Blackberry Kush, or Cherry Pie. I might have ADD, and these profiles fit my brain chemistry.”
Terpenes are the shining star of cannabis flavors. When you raise the bud to your nose, if it pleases your senses, it’s said that your body probably needs that particular compound, as flavors coincide with the beneficial compounds in plants.
Brad Bogus said his brain is easily distracted, hence the assumed attention deficit disorder diagnosis.
“I definitely have a lack of focus if I don’t medicate with cannabis,” he added. “Some may like a good couch-lock, but for me, I like the focus cannabis gives, and the self-discovery it brings to the table. Mid-level THC counts are what cannabis connoisseurs and sommeliers suggest, and I have to agree.”
While Bogus admits to being a flower kind of guy, he is partial to two vaporizers on his tray. The lovely polished stone-type vape is made by Hanu Stone. Bogus said he likes the way it feels in his hand.
“I’m a huge flower nerd,” he laughed. “But the Hanu Stone by Seibo Shen is the only vape that had me reconsidering my flower consumption. Seibo has high standards for his filling partners which results in high quality pods and the best quality extracts. Seibo also created the Vapexhale, which is the best flower vaporizer I’ve used. The flower never turns to popcorn.”
That said, Bogus hasn’t really found a good concentrate, such as dabs or wax, that would replace flower for him, and the vapes are more for when he’s out and about.
The Pax Era has his name engraved on the unit, and was gifted to him at the Concierge Classic in Oregon, where Pax and Confident Cannabis were sponsors.
“Unfortunately, Compton Grinders went out of business, but they are one of the best grinders I’ve found,” he said. “My Swiss Army Knife of weed accessories is my Nuggy, by NugTools. It’s the single tool I use more than any other, except for my grinder.”
A Grav Labs bubbler sits on a teal silicone pad, with a sentimental story behind it. A birthday gift from his bestie, Andy – his self-proclaimed weed-smoking, skateboard-riding homie from high school. He said he’s had the piece since before he was in the industry, and considers it a keeper.
So far, Bogus said his time in the industry has exposed him to some wonderful humans, coming from interesting, non-intuitive backgrounds: some from wine and food, some from entertainment, even one who used to build amusement park rides in Asia.
“I love this industry, starting from scratch, learning from all these other disciplines, all in the pursuit of creating legitimate options for cannabis consumers of all varieties,” he surmised. “If I love a product, I want the world to know about it. My stash is a perfect representation of the best of the best I’ve encountered, right down to how I organize it. I’m excited for the new products I will discover as I continue growing in the industry, no pun intended.”