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Announcing: The Business Outlaws Podcast

Hey, my new podcast is here!

My good friend Chris Collins is the best business fixer I know. Recently, the two of us were chillin’ in the backyard of my mansion in the Hollywood Hills, discussing business as we so often do.

Chris said to me, “Man, I wish I knew this stuff when I was 20. If I did, I would’ve been a millionaire by the time I was 21.”

I couldn’t have agreed with him more.

Whenever the two of us get together, we go deep on topics NO ONE is talking about.

Seriously, out of all the books, magazines, blogs and podcasts available, no one is discussing the REAL shortcuts to success. At least, not the secrets that have made us hundreds of millions of dollars and No. 1 in our chosen industries.

As you know, I’m a huge believer in giving back to the community. I love making money, but it’s giving back that makes me truly happy.

Chris is the same way.

So we came up with an idea: We would start a podcast to give millennials the mindset and tools they need to become millionaires.

And we would call it: The Business Outlaws Podcast.

The name is perfect for many reasons.

I started growing and selling cannabis in 1983 when it was illegal. For decades, I was by definition an outlaw pot grower.

And when I got busted in 2001, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimated that, over the previous year, the crew I ran had grown and trafficked $50 million worth of premium-grade marijuana.

My High Times cover on Bill Maher

They called me British Columbia’s Tony Soprano, a veritable marijuana don.

And even today, as I run my $105-million-a-year cannabis nutrient company, with clients in over 100 countries, I still consider myself an outlaw. I abide by the laws, but go against the grain.

Chris is like that as well. He can take any business and, no matter how poorly it’s performing, turn it around within months.

Time and again I’ve seen him double, even triple a business’s profits within 3–6 months. Many of his methods are unorthodox. They’re not what the crowded world of consultants and business gurus teach. His methods are FAR more effective.

Chris’s strategies work — 100 percent of the time.

His clients refer to him as The Wolf — like Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction.

And if that’s not outlaw, I don’t know what is.

Chris and I have collectively invested millions in our education. I’m not talking about college. I’m talking about high-level masterminds, hard-to-find courses, and in-the-trenches trial and error.

We’ve done the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

On The Business Outlaw’s Podcast, we’re passing the torch of success onto the next generation of entrepreneurs — those young men and women who refuse to spend their days slaving away in a cubicle for some corporation they could care less about; who refuse to allow themselves to be tied down to their businesses, spending most of their time putting out fires; who insist on having the freedom to live and experience the kind of life they want and deserve.

But fair warning, this show isn’t for everyone.  

When we speak, we’re unfiltered. On each episode, we talk about the same strategies, principles and systems we do in private.

Some people will be alarmed by what they hear. So be it. People are conditioned at a young age to follow the rules without question. This podcast is not for people content to operating within the frame of that conditioning. It’s for those committed, ready and willing to break through and go beyond it.

In business, you need to think or yourself. And sometimes the truth hurts.

What’s important to us is that we’re making a difference in people’s lives, regardless of if we rub a few people wrong along the way. Our hearts are in the right place, and that’s what matters. Plus, we know what the fuck we’re talking about and our track records proves it.

From left to right: Chris Collins, Steve D. Sims, Me, Freeway Rick Ross

Guests include celebrities, business moguls, athletes, creative artists and high-level performers from countless industries, backgrounds and lifestyles.

They are the people who are the best at what they do. They operate at the highest level and are going to teach you how they do it.

They’re going to share the failures that have made them stronger and wiser, and the successes that have catapulted them to the top.

Right out of the gate on our first episode, me and my fellow hosts Chris and Jayme Foxx cut through the bullshit and get to what matters.

This episode is your introduction to The Business Outlaws Podcast.

You’re going to learn…

  • How your business affects your lifespan.
  • What you need to do first when you reach your goals.
  • Why you need to have a purpose larger than yourself if you want true success.
  • What kind of steps are the most critical to take.
  • A huge limiting factor most entrepreneurs never get beyond — you will, though, after you listen to this podcast.
  • The importance of risk.
  • What Las Vegas can teach you about being an entrepreneur.
  • Two different ways to use what we’re teaching you.
  • And much, much more!

This show is 100 percent unfiltered truth.

The Business Outlaws Podcast gives you the mindset, principles and strategies to become a 7-, 8-, even 9-figure entrepreneur.

These are the tactics we wish we knew before we began the uphill grind decades ago. But the hard road has made us wiser, and we’re here to share that wisdom with you.

On each episode we go deep into the experiences that have shaped our unconventional business thinking.

Tune in to The Business Outlaws Podcast every Tuesday, and discover the behind-the-scenes secrets that will elevate your business to the outlaw level.

And subscribe on iTunes here.

Talk soon,
BigMike

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BigMike’s Recommended Reading List For The Cannabis Entrepreneur

Honored to be on the cover of High Times—a magazine I’ve been reading religiously since 1983

Growers and cannabis entrepreneurs from our community, as well as CEOs and business owners from countless other industries, often ask me for book recommendations.

So, in a moment, I’m going to tell you which books have had the most significant impact on my life and my business.

It’s common knowledge that I make a point of investing both time and money in my ongoing education. Books, courses, masterminds, seminars, audio and video programs — I’ve done it all.

For four decades now, I’ve gone to great lengths to learn the strategies, tactics, mindset and principles that enable me to lead the kind of life I want to lead. And to say it’s paid off is an understatement.

I’ve studied not only botany and the cannabis plant, but also business, sales, marketing, branding, leadership, success, mindset, neuro-linguistic programming, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, history, radio scanners, anti-surveillance techniques, counterintelligence, radar technology, credit, banking, investing, politics, government, and a slew of other subjects that have helped me build both myself and my company to where we are today.

Back when I was a guerrilla grower, I prepared myself to outrun law enforcement by enrolling in schools for both counterterrorism driving and race-car driving. I even entered a handful of Formula Ford races.

So that I could scout out potential grow spots and scrutinize my patches, I learned to fly planes and ultralights and, years later, helicopters.

I invested heavily in high-dollar research books. Some of these books cost more than $3,000 apiece!

I also tracked down little-known Russian cannabis research papers from the early 1900s, had them translated to English, and analyzed them like a professor of literature analyzes War and Peace or Crime and Punishment.

For three-and-a-half decades I’ve been running R & D on cannabis.

I’ve experimented on every imaginable facet of marijuana. In the early 2000s, I performed comprehensive testing on cannabis with university research departments in British Columbia.

Today, I oversee hundreds of grow experts and employ a team of 25 full-time Ph.D.’s dedicated to discovering new ways to take cannabis to its true genetic potential. Together we’ve brought more than 53 industry firsts to the world of marijuana growing.

And to ensure I stay on top of my business, right now I’m in a private mastermind that costs me an annual six-figure sum to be a part of. But the positive return I see from implementing what I learn in the group pays back my membership fee — as well as the travel costs, including jet fuel and pilot’s wage, plus the bills from my luxury hotel stays — dozens of times over each year.

Masterminding with success guru Tony Robbins. A brilliant, inspiring man and an avid reader.

Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. And I can say with confidence that since I began growing in 1983, I’ve invested well over a million dollars in my education.

If it weren’t for my studies, Advanced Nutrients would not be anywhere near the $105-million-a-year company it is today.

These days, my private jet is forever transporting me to meetings with high-level advisors, as well as symposiums and masterminds all over the world.

I’ve met and become friends with self-made millionaire and billionaire business owners from more industries than I care to count, most of whom have no college degree to speak of.

But one thing they almost all have in common is that they’ve spent a great deal of time researching business and success principles and have educated themselves on the skills required to build their empires.

Success author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said: “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” (RIP, Zig.)

Now, I’m not sure I agree with ol’ Zig about rich people having small televisions. I have quite a few friends with luxury home movie theaters so impressive you’d think you were in the home of Steven Spielberg.

But I do agree that wealthy people (especially those who are self-made) spend a lot more time reading and educating themselves than they do watching television.

And I can’t think of a single self-made success I know who doesn’t have an impressive library of books. When too busy to read, they listen to audiobooks during their commute or on their morning run. Either way, they make a habit of downloading knowledge into their brain that will aid them on their journey.

You could say I’m a geek for knowledge. I won’t hesitate to invest in anything that will help me learn the strategies, tactics, mindset and principles required to hit my goals.

And above all, I apply what I learn. Because without action, education is useless.

Below is a list of (non-cannabis) books that have had the most impact on my life and business. I hope you find the books as beneficial as I have.

Please Note: A complete list will be available in my upcoming special report The Future Of The Marijuana Industry And How To Kick Ass In The New Cannabis Economy: What Big Marijuana Doesn’t Want You To Know.

Hands down my top-six must-reads are:

  • The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on Twelve Key Strategies by Chet Holmes
  • The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
  • Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat by Michael Masterson.
  • Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter
  • The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost Your Sales. by Dan S. Kennedy
  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Other business books I recommend include:

  • Gamification: Playing for Profits by Chris Collins
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  • Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  • How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets by Felix Dennis
  • All of Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. series of books

And as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, brand branding is one of the most important areas cannabis entrepreneurs should be focusing on right now.

Brands are going to own the future of our industry. To help educate you on the subject…

Here’s list of brand-building books I recommend:

  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  • Creating Brand Meaning: How to Use Brand Vision Archetypes by Peter Steidl
  • Neurobranding by Peter Stiedl
  • What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest by Denise Lee Yohn
  • The Power of Cult Branding: How 9 Magnetic Brands Turned Customers into Loyal Followers (and Yours Can, Too!) by Matthew W. Ragas and Bolivar J. Bueno

Marketing books that have had the greatest impact on me:

  • Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
  • The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand! by Dan Kennedy
  • No B.S. Guide to Direct Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy
  • Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition by Jay Abraham
  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

The top mindset and success books I recommend:

  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
  • Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life by Chin-Ning Chu
  • Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxwell

There you have it, my top book recommendations. For a complete list, keep an eye out for my upcoming special report The Future Of The Marijuana Industry And How To Kick Ass In The New Cannabis Economy: What Big Marijuana Doesn’t Want You To Know.

And if for some reason you’re not on my subscriber list, you can join now by submitting your primary email address on the right side of this page, below the words “Join The Revolution.”

As you wait to receive your special report, you’ll get another free report I created just for you, titled Grow Room Tips & Tactics, which you’ll be able to download once you’ve subscribed.

Talk soon,

BigMike

P.S. For a list of cannabis-growing resources, check out THIS blog post—it’s loaded with resources.

You may also enjoy reading: What BigMike Won’t Tell You About Advanced Nutrients. Written by all-star team member Eljay, this post tells the story of my life as a grower and cannabis entrepreneur. Spanning decades, it’s a wild ride that involves millions of pot plants, hundreds of millions of dollars, ingenious counter-surveillance techniques, a shakedown by a violent biker gang, a plane crash, a crazy and vengeful ex-girlfriend, giant busts, a manhunt by the DEA and US Marshals, a kidnapping, life on the lam under seven different identities, and over 50 firsts in the world of marijuana growing

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Haters and Success in the Cannabis Industry

Hey! I hope life is great.

In just a moment I’m going to tell you about a special gift I’ve spent months putting together for you. It’s an accumulation of knowledge from my 35 years as a cannabis entrepreneur and is going to help you succeed, despite what Big Marijuana is about to do to our beloved industry.

But, first, let’s talk about why I’m giving you this gift.

People often ask me how I’ve been able to accomplish so much in the marijuana industry.

They see the wild Instagram posts with the girls and the private jets and the sports cars, hear about the lavish parties at the estate, and see me hanging out with celebrity friends, thought leaders, and business moguls.

They witness firsthand the sweeter, heavier and more potent crops my nutrients enable them to achieve.

Because of all this, growers want to know the secrets of my success.

Of course, there are others who resent my success. As I’m sure you know, that’s what people do when they haven’t been able to create the kind of life they want. They throw stones at those who have. I guess it makes them feel better about themselves.

That’s fine. I realized long ago that I’d never get anywhere in life if tried to please everyone.

When trolls and haters surface, I’m often reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

True words, in my experience.

Now, while people see the success, what they don’t see is the ADHD and dyslexia and limiting beliefs I contend with on a daily basis that are always trying to hold me back.

They don’t see the 35 years of blood, sweat, and tears I’ve dedicated to discovering new ways to bring marijuana to its true genetic potential.

They’re unaware of the sacrifices I’ve made so people can enjoy better weed. The long hours. The sleepless nights. The stress of feeling responsible for putting food on the tables of hundreds of team members and their families.

As far back as I can remember, people have called me a dreamer. They told me I expected too much out of life; that there was no way I could achieve the goals I set out for myself; that the risks were too big, my ambitions too great, my vision for the future too… impossible.

In a recent blog post, I shared the story of a date I was on back when I was in my early 20s. Enjoying dinner at a steak restaurant I could barely afford, I told my date about my goals and dreams, about how I was going to launch businesses and make millions of dollars.

And what did she do?

She laughed at me and said I had “delusions of grandeur.”

Maybe she was right. But what she called “delusions of grandeur” I call knowing what I want out of life, being determined to get it, and going after it with everything in me.

And for the last 35 years, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Not only have I been growing all the weed I possibly can, I’ve been writing my goals, sharing them with others, and then doing whatever needs to be done to hit those goals.

Back when growing and selling marijuana was illegal across all of America, I studied police scanners, counter-surveillance techniques, radar technology, and counterterrorism driving strategies. I learned to race cars and fly planes, ultralights and helicopters. Anything to help me grow and move more weed, and get away with it.

I’ve consumed thousands of books and studies on botany, cannabis, business, leadership, sales, marketing, mindset and philosophy.

I’ve applied, failed, succeeded, failed, succeeded, failed and succeeded.

And I’m sure I’ll fail again.

I became fascinated with the science of success and have dedicated myself to mastering it. Every day I’m making progress.

But the ride hasn’t been easy.

I’ve had to dig deep into my mind to tear out the limiting beliefs that have plagued me since I was a child. Beliefs about how I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not worthy of success. Many of these beliefs have extensive root systems that I’m still working to claw out.

I’ve faced countless obstacles, brutal opposition, and have made massive mistakes.

I’ve been chased by law enforcement through swamps, arrested for growing and trafficking marijuana, and have even been kidnapped.

My best friend and grow partner crashed my ultralight in front of me and died in my arms. RIP, brother. Miss you, always.

Again and again and again I told a violent gang that I wasn’t going to pay the $4,000 a month they were trying to extort from me. They’d show up at my business at all hours, armed to teeth and donning body armor and cold stares. I stood up to their threats for months before they finally walked away empty-handed.

And because I was the first nutrient manufacturer in the industry to openly admit and advertise that my nutrients and fertilizers were for growing cannabis, a half-dozen of the largest distributors in the industry banned together to get my products blacklisted from stores.

These distributors, with a combined annual revenue of $1.1 billion, did everything in their power to put my company out of business.

They couldn’t stand the fact that:

  1. I was honest about the intended use of my product line.
  2. I knew a helluva lot more about the fertilizers and nutrient ratios that marijuana thrives on than all of them combined.

It irked the shit out of them that I didn’t fall in line with the status quo and bullshit my way around the truth by saying my company’s nutrients were for orchids, roses and tomatoes, like they did.

Instead, I hollered from the highest mountaintop I could find, at the top of my lungs, that my nutrients were for growing the big, tasty, potent buds.

And because of that honesty, along with superior products and customer service, I was able to grab a fat piece of the pie these distributors had been sharing among themselves for years. They attempted to force me out of the industry by playing dirty.

They threatened store owners, claiming they wouldn’t do business with them if they carried my products. They spread rumors that I was a biker, murderer, a DEA agent. They even had their lawyers send out an opinion letter that warned: If you buy from Advanced Nutrients, you could be arrested by the federal government.

But no matter how hard they tried, I was able to turn the tables and use their attacks to my advantage.

I shared videos with our community, explaining how I was being persecuted for telling the truth about who I was and what my products were designed for.

What grower wants to purchase from a company who won’t stand up for them, won’t admit its products are used for cannabis, and doesn’t want to be associated with our community beyond leaching millions of dollars from us?

Growers don’t want that.

They want to buy from a fellow grower who understands their problems, has their back, designs products specifically to meet their needs, and not only isn’t ashamed to do business with them, but is proud to do business with them.

They want nutrients for pot, not tomatoes. And they want the business to be all in, not pretending their products are one thing when they’re really another.

While these distributors threw stones from their glass castles, I focused on improving the quality of marijuana for us all. And in doing so, I’ve been able to bring more than 50 firsts to the world of cannabis cultivation.

I can say with confidence that, if you grow or consume marijuana, you’ve benefited from something I’ve done. That makes me proud. Especially when I remember all the punches I’ve had to take along the way.

If you’re like me, no matter how hard the jabs and left hooks, no matter how bad the beating, you keep getting back up.

And because I keep springing back to my feet, I’ve been able to build my company Advanced Nutrients to $105 million in annual revenue, with growers using our nutrients in over 100 countries. And we’ve only just begun.

Along the way, I realized that, while money is fun, it would never make me happy—not completely. And while helping other growers cultivate better buds makes me happy, I still found my life was somehow lacking.

My heart began to hurt over the fact that — while like many members of community, I’m doing well financially — there are people all over the world who have to worry about where their next meal will be coming from.

I wanted to make a difference.

So I started a charity organization called Holiday Heroes that feeds tens of thousands of families each festive season. We just opened a chapter in Los Angeles, where we provide basic necessities for the homeless population of Skid Row, and have recently opened shelters for men, women and families.

Nothing has ever made me feel more fulfilled.

Especially when you consider where I come from.

Just because I’m wealthy today doesn’t mean I don’t know about hard times. I’ve been poor before. There have been times where I’ve had nothing but a few trash bags full of my worldly possessions.

I’ve had my share of ups and downs and have taken plenty of hits — no pun intended.

Over the decades, I’ve lost and loved and lost and loved and lost — like we all have. Fortunately, I’m able to love again.

With a heavy heart I’ve seen family members of mine ruined by painkiller addiction. I’ve also seen people raise the quality of their life by switching out their opioids for the cannabis I’ve fought so hard to legalize and improve. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. It’s beyond what words could express.

The cannabis industry has been so good to me.

Every day I wake up filled with awe and gratitude at how amazing our community is and how fortunate I am to be part of it. How awesome it is to ride the tsunami of success cannabis has enabled me to achieve.

Part of the reason I enjoy so many gifts today is because, when people told me I couldn’t do something, that I’d set my sights too high, that my dreams were impossible to achieve, I turned that negative energy into fuel.

You see, I’m one of those people who gets fired up when others tell me I can’t accomplish something. Their negative remarks make me want to charge harder so I can prove to myself what I’m capable of. Maybe that mindset is a character flaw, rooted in ego. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I consider it an asset.

Why not thrive on the words of haters and naysayers? Anytime you try to achieve anything worthy in life, plenty of people are going to try to knock you down, so it only makes sense to transmute their negative energy into positive energy you can then use as a power source to do good in your life.

However, I don’t want to give the haters too much credit here. After all, they want nothing more than to see growers like you and me fail.

The main reason I’ve hit so many of my goals and am able to keep storming toward larger and more challenging ones isn’t because of the haters. It’s because of the undying support of our community and the incredible people in my life. Without you, I would not be where I am today.

It’s people like you who listen to me and encourage me as I share my goals for the future — a future where marijuana is legal across the world. A future where not one person who could benefit from it medicinally has to go without, simply because they can’t afford it.

Some people still call me a dreamer. When they do, I can’t help but chuckle. Maybe that’s what I am. A dreamer.

Fortunately, we live in a time when growers like you and me can go after our goals, achieve them, and have a helluva lotta fun along the way.

A world where dreamers can seize their greatest fantasies from the ether and forge them into reality.

I wonder what my date from that steak restaurant is doing these days. I hope she isn’t still trying to tear down the dreams of others like she tried to tear down mine.

Who knows? Maybe she’s one of us now, growing the medicine that helps rid the world of pain and stress and so many ailments. How cool would that be?

The purpose of this post is twofold…

First, I want to remind you that, no matter how overwhelming the odds against you may seem, no matter how many people tell you that you can’t do something, if you make up your mind to do it, and then put one foot in front of the other and get after it with every cell of your being — determined that nothing can stop you — you can accomplish almost anything in life and in our industry. It’s cliché, but it’s true. I’m living proof.

So never let anyone tell you your dreams are too big.

If I can do it, so can you — I have no doubt.

Like my friend Chris McCombs says: “Your default reply to haters should be your undying commitment to your path.”

Secondly, I want to thank you for being you and for being part of our amazing community.

To show you how grateful I am, I have a free gift I’ll be sending you. It’s a special report — more like a book, actually, because it’s more than 170 pages — titled The Future of the Marijuana Industry And How To Kick Ass In The New Cannabis Economy: What Big Marijuana Doesn’t Want You To Know.

And while there’s nothing to sell in this report and I’m giving it to you 100 percent free, I’ll admit my reason for creating it for you is partly selfish.

You see, I know that the best way to lift oneself up in life is to lift up others. And if my knowledge of business and creating wealth in the cannabis industry can help you succeed, then I want you to have it. Your success is my success.

Whether you’re a grower, own a retail weed store or hydroponic shop, manufacture edibles, vape pens or growing equipment, or are looking to launch a business that has anything to do with marijuana, this report may be the most important thing you’ll ever read.

So keep an eye on your email inbox because I’ll be sending it to you soon. It’s almost ready to be released.

Indoor marijuana gardenIf you’re not subscribed to my list, you can do so by simply submitting your email on the right side of this webpage under where it says “Join The Revolution.”

And while you wait to receive the special report, you can download another free report I put together for you, titled “Grow Room Tips & Tactics.” You’ll have access to it once you submit your email.

Talk soon,
BigMike

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Announcing BudLabs: The Hydroponics Growing App That Makes Your Life Easier and Your Buds Better

Hey, it’s BigMike. If you’d like to consistently pull heavy yields of potent marijuana, then I have something exciting to share with you.

When I started my first hydro grow-op in 1983, very few growers knew what hydroponics was, even though it had been around for thousands of years!

It’s believed that, in 600 B.C., the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, functioned using hydroponic principles.

600 B.C.!

Yet in the mid-’80s, when I tried to explain the benefits of hydroponics to other growers, they looked at me with the same doubtful stares I imagine Pythagoras must’ve received back in 500 B.C. when he tried explaining that the earth was round.

But unlike Pythagoras, I had proof to back up my claims: my buds kicked ass over every grower in northern Illinois. And that was something they could not dispute.

Of course, genetics plays a big part in the potency of a plant. But with hydroponics and some nutrient combinations I was testing at the time, I was able to bring my weed much closer to its true genetic potential than my fellow growers were bringing theirs.

It didn’t take long before they were begging me to share my secrets.

Which I did.

In covert grow rooms, at private meetings on the down low, and chilling on couches in family rooms, sharing fatties stuffed with the fruits of my labor, I revealed my hydroponic cultivation strategies to one grower after another.

Now, remember, this was almost 35 years ago. Marijuana was illegal to grow in every one of our 50 states. And we didn’t know nearly as much about the plant as we do now, in 2017. So my methods were a bit archaic when compared to today.

But even after working my ass off for the last three and a half decades—along with a handful of other pioneers working their asses off—to advance the science of cannabis cultivation and bring marijuana to its genetic potential, many of the strategies I shared with those growers back in the ’80s still hold up today.

However, not many growers were able to get their hands on such knowledge. Because in the early and mid-’80s, information on growing marijuana with hydroponics was scarce.

There was only a small selection of books and magazines (like High Times and Sinsemilla Tips) available at the time. And the books were nearly impossible to find in stores. Which meant, if you wanted to buy them, you had to resort to ordering them through the mail. And I’m talking snail mail. Which was risky, since growing weed was a felony. And the last thing you wanted to do was join a mail order list that could potentially lead adrenaline-amped men with guns, badges, and search warrants to your doorstep. Men sworn to uphold the drug laws of the United States of America. The last motherfuckers you wanted showing up at your front door.

So, understandably, many growers were reluctant to send away for such info.

To make matters worse, the validity of the information was hit or miss. Some of it was legit. But a lot of it was as dubious as a man in a Big Foot suit claiming to be Sasquatch.

The marijuana landscape was much different back then. It was like living in another world—a world where we had to figure out a lot of shit on our own. So we ran our own research and development, testing different methods and studiously tracking our results.

To be “in the know” you had to know the right people. Meaning you either had to be in my inner circle or connected to other growers rooted in the study and practice of growing marijuana with hydroponics—and there weren’t many of us.

Fast forward to today…

Laws have changed, technology has advanced, and there are more women and men like me than ever before, dedicated to driving the sciences of both hydroponics and cannabis cultivation forward.

There’s no shortage of information available for both the beginner and the pro alike.

The Internet has leveled the playing field.

Websites like Big Buds Magazine and Grow Med University make the research data of my 25+ plant scientists (all of whom hold PhDs) and the findings of my team of hundreds of grow experts, along with the experiences of countless other “in the trenches” growers, readily accessible to everyone.

On forums and social media, and over video chat, email, text and instant messages, our community is able to share our strategies with each other in the blink of an eye, regardless of whether you live in Humboldt County, Amsterdam, or just about anywhere else on God’s Green Earth. And I do mean green. (;

Today, anyone can succeed at growing with hydroponics.

And the science is moving forward at breakneck speed.

Which is why this is such an exhilarating time to be a grower.

Now, like I said, I’ve been at this for almost 35 years now. And I’ve been teaching other growers for nearly as long—at first, strictly face-to-face, and then, starting about two decades ago, online.

And in all these years, I can say with confidence that what I’m about to share with you is…

The most useful tool for marijuana growers my team has ever created.

And we’ve created a lot of ’em.

In fact, we’ve brought over fifty firsts to the world of cannabis cultivation.

But this one is EXTRA special.

It’s going to take your growing to an entirely new level, while making your life a whole lot easier. It’s also going to earn you the respect of your fellow growers that you deserve.

You see, your reputation as a grower is important to us.

Growers are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone and their grandmother have a garden going, if not three or four.

In fact, so many people are doing it that some states are flooded with far more weed than they can consume. And for that reason, if you sell the buds you grow, your product has to be head and shoulders above what the competition is offering. Otherwise you’ll get shut out.

Even if your weed is strictly for your own personal use, I’m sure you want to consume nothing but the best, right? And it’s our job to make sure that’s what you grow—the best.

Your success is our success.

Which is why, at Advanced Nutrients, we stay closely connected with the growers who use our nutrients. And we’re constantly asking for your feedback. Because, without you, we wouldn’t be the over $100 million per year company that we are.

And to say that we value your feedback is an understatement. We know that your experience with our products is paramount to our future.

It’s growers like YOU who’ve made Advanced Nutrients the #1 best-selling brand of marijuana nutrients in the world.

And for that, on the behalf my entire team, I want to thank you.

AND I want to hook you up.

You’re going to love this…

You may be familiar with two of our top creations that growers rave about the most:

  1. Our Nutrient Feeding Charts and…
  2. Our Nutrient Calculator

Why are these tools so popular?

Well, according to our community: it’s because of how simple they make it to succeed as a grower.

And we heard you loud and clear. And, in response to your feedback, we’ve created another SIMPLE tool for you that solves a number of problems plaguing growers today, including…

  • Not using the correct nutrients
  • Not using ideal amounts of nutrients
  • Not using the optimum ratio of nutrients
  • Not feeding your plants the right nutrient base based on strain, growing method/medium, and what stage of the crop cycle they’re in
  • Not following the most accurate feeding schedule

…all of which can wreak havoc on yield weight and the taste and potency of your buds.

The tool I’m about to share with you not only solves all these problems, but it also saves you both the time and aggravation of having to figure all this out on your own.

So what is this tool I’m so excited about?

It’s an app for you phone called BudLabs. And you can grab it here:

Download BudLabs from the iTunes App Store HERE

Download BudLabs from Google Play HERE

By downloading the brand new BudLabs app to your phone, you can have the following tools in your purse or pocket, or on your belt, everywhere you go.

  • Complete product descriptions so you know what every Advanced Nutrients product does and how you can get the most out of our formulations.
  • Feeding charts for all Advanced Nutrients products, so you always use the correct amounts in your nutrient solutions.
  • Nutrient Calculator – Similar to the calculator on our website, the calculator on the BudLabs app makes calculating your nutrients brain-dead simple. And to save you lots of time, the app will store your custom calculations for future use.
  • Personal growing profile – the app is customized according to your needs and growing experience.

And a whole lot more.

The BudLabs app takes all the guesswork out of feeding your plants and is going to make growing bigger, sweeter, more potent buds easier and more convenient than ever before.

Grab it here:

Download BudLabs from the iTunes App Store HERE

Download BudLabs from Google Play HERE

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been growing for one day or for 34 years like I have…

BudLabs is designed for both beginners and master growers alike.

So no matter how experienced you are, we’re going to provide you with the customized help and guidance best suited to match your level of experience.

When you download and open BudLabs, the app will walk you through the quick and simple process of describing your hydroponic marijuana garden.

This is to ensure you receive the most optimal feeding schedule to meet your needs, complete with the precise proportions of nutrients your plants need according to where they are in the crop cycle.

Precision feeding has never been this easy.

And, as you’ll soon discover, we’ve left no stone unturned while creating the BudLabs app.

Quite simply, the BudLabs app combines everything you need for your plants to thrive.

Nothing has been left to chance.

Get it here:

Download BudLabs from the iTunes App Store HERE

Download BudLabs from Google Play HERE

Here are some of the features…

Nutrient Calculator:

  • Choose the phase of your plant and the corresponding nutrient base, depending on the type of strain, the growing method/medium, and the vegetative stage of your crop.
  • Select your growing experience – The choices vary from beginner to advanced.
  • Provide your reservoir size – To make it easy on you, and increase accuracy, you can choose between gallons and liters.
  • Based on your input, BudLabs will give you the most accurate feeding schedule – The hydroponic nutrient solution will include the required Advanced Nutrients products, separated by type and distributed within the weeks that they need to be used. The feeding schedule will also include the appropriate combination between the different products, as well as the specific proportions for each one.

Products:

  • BudLabs includes information for every Advanced Nutrients product, including its exact purpose, how it should be used, and how it affects the plant. You can access each product description from the “Products” section of the app, as well as directly from your feeding schedule.

Where to get nutrients:

  • Locate your nearest stores where you can pick up the Advanced Nutrients products you need for optimum success.
  • Contact selected stores by a simple tap, or allow BudLabs to guide you to their location.

Grower support:

  • BudLabs gives you direct contact with the world-famous Advanced Nutrients Grower Support team, where our team of grow experts will answer any and all of your questions and help you resolve any challenges you may encounter. (Please note: Grower Support is 100% secure and completely confidential.)

And BudLabs is Fast, Efficient, and User Friendly!

Here at Advanced Nutrients, we’re growers just like you. Day in and day out, we’re walking in your shoes, working to grow the best damn weed we can.

And we help growers in 100+ countries do the same.

We understand that you don’t want to waste hours racking your brain, trying to figure out how to use some complicated piece of software. Which is why we designed BudLabs to be fast, efficient, and simple to use.

Most operations are “point and tap” simple. It’s really that easy!

We know that a lot of growers grew up in a time when computers weren’t taught in school. We understand how frustrating it can be to get technology to work the way you want it to sometimes.

However, I don’t care if you’re an 18-year-old computer whiz or 88 and have a hard time figuring out the microwave or TV remote: you’re going to be surprised by how simple we’ve made BudLabs to use.

And, since BudLabs saves your history and all the information you need— securely stored in one central location that’s as easy to access at checking your text messages—this app could save you countless hours that you can spend doing something you’d enjoy—whether it’s gazing at your plants, hanging out with friends or family enjoying the fruits of your labor, or building another grow—rather than calculating nutes.

BudLabs does all the work for you so you don’t have to!

And it’s 100% free to download.

Download BudLabs now and put it to work for you today:

Download BudLabs from the iTunes App Store HERE

Download BudLabs from Google Play HERE

Talk soon,
BigMike

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How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors—Secrets and Strategies

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.03.52 PMHey there! With the price of marijuana plummeting, growers are making less money than ever before. Profits are getting smaller and smaller by the day, it seems. Soon, most growers will be forced to find another way to make a living.

So what’s the solution?

Grow outdoors. You’ll cut costs WAY down, and increase your profits considerably.

To help you, I’ve created a series of videos that will show you how to grow big, stinky, sugary, kickass buds outside. These short videos will help you maximize the genetic potential of cannabis in your outdoor grows.

(Warning: If you’re easily offended by a few F-bombs, please skip straight ahead to the videos near the bottom of the post.)

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.05.21 PMNow, as you may know, I’ve been growing marijuana since 1983, and helping other growers for nearly as long. My first crop was indoors. And for a couple of years, that’s what I stuck with—growing indoors under artificial light. Until…

I was kicking back on the sofa in the family room of one of my growhouses, snapping bong rips with a few of my friends and grow partners—including two growers that, for the purpose of this post, I’ll call Scar and Donny—and brainstorming ways we could grow more weed.

Now, keep in mind, this was the mid-’80s, long before states began passing medical and recreational marijuana laws. Growing was a felony that lawmen and courts enforced with a vengeance.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.03.03 PM“What if we grow outdoors?” Scar asked.

Looking at Scar was like looking at John Rambo in First Blood, when the vicious deputies stripped him down, beat him, and blasted him with a fire hose on full capacity—evidence of the torture he’d endured years before in a Vietnamese POW camp all over his flesh. As the cruel small town deputies tried to dry-shave Rambo for court, he flashes back to being bound by ropes to a bamboo cross, a stone-faced Vietnamese commander slicing his chest open with a bayonet.

But Rambo had gotten off easy compared to Scar. Dozens, if not hundreds, of long striated scars covered Scar’s upper arms, shoulders, chest, and stomach. I was aware that he’d served as a Green Beret in Vietnam, and wondered if, like the fictional John Rambo, Scar had been imprisoned by sadistic captors who carved into his tissue with their lengthy blades. Repeatedly.

first-bWhat the hell had he been through?

I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy.

But knowing Scar had grown outdoors in the past, I said, “Tell me more.”

“Alright.” Scar took a swig of his beer. “We grow out in the woods and the marshes, on government land. And we go big. Fucking acres of the stuff. There’s no limit to the size of our grows. No electricity. No landlords. No leases. No rent. Sure, we may lose a garden or two to cops and patch pirates, and maybe Bambi’ll come hoppin’ along and eat a few plants, but that’s why we don’t rely on just one grow. We set up a bunch of ’em.”

Scar had my undivided attention as he continued. “Now, I’m sure you know it’s different from indoors in that we can only harvest once a year. But if we plant early in the season, and if the soil is good and the plants get plenty of water and sunshine, we can grow some King Kong motherfuckers. And—”

zillaDonny cut in, his eyes now blazing red from the dozen or so bong rips he’d taken. “Shouldn’t it be Godzilla…’cuz, ya know, he’s like…green?”

Without missing a beat, Scar said, “King Kong, Godzilla, fucking Jolly Green Giant, all those motherfuckers. ’Long as the spots are well-hidden, we can go as big as we want—grow football fields of fucking ten-footers.”

“Jolly Green Giant?” Donny said to himself, stoned out of his mind. “Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Now, setting it up a shit ton of work,” Scar said, “but it’s worth it.” He then went on to explain everything he knew about growing outdoors.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.04.04 PM“And most importantly,” he said, “we work late at night, when it’s dark. I mean, we can do some of the work in the daytime, but if we’re hauling anything in or out of the garden, we gotta do it at night so no one sees us.”

The idea of growing outdoors appealed to me. It sounded fun, trekking through the bush, visiting secret pot patches that only a small handful of close comrades and I were privy to.

I’d spent my childhood running around the woods, camping and hunting and building tree forts and playing tag. The stars and the sunshine; the fresh air, plants and trees; the marshes, animals, smells and sounds. I loved all of it. And I missed it.

I was in.

ginNow, a few bongs rips later, Scar would—without my knowledge until it was too late—grab a Ginsu knife from the kitchen, walk into the bathrom, and chop off one of his fingers. His reason?

“To prove my undying loyalty to you, brother,” he said, holding the blood-drenched finger out in front of him.

Oh, and the cause of the scars covering his body? Turns out he’d inflicted the lacerations on himself. Scar was a self-mutilator.

That entire story is included in my upcoming book, Marijuana Don, by the way.

Okay, so my first few outdoor crops were so-so. But after I got the hang of it, I was supplementing my income from indoor grows with marijuana fields spread out over four or five counties in Illinois as well as Wisconsin.

And here’s one of the biggest reasons for my success…

A friend of mine showed me a garden he’d found of HUGE, beautiful pot plants surrounded by ragweed. I dug my hand into the soil. It was so soft my arm easily sank a foot and a half down. I pulled out a fistful of the stuff and inspected it. Unlike a lot of soil, it wasn’t packed together like clay. It was fluffy and aerated and smelled rich with nutrients. I rolled it through my fingers in awe.

The_BM_Story_Page_15_300x300pxI then went to the county offices and discovered all these maps that classified different types of soil different parts of the region.

The entire county had been classified for soil!

Other counties had maps like these as well. I pored over them and found classification matches for the exact soil that was producing the monster plants.

That’s where I would grow.

However, the spots needed to be secluded and allow for numerous escape routes should I spot the heat coming around the corner.

I soon picked up a pilot’s license, a Cessna 172, an Ultralight, and a GPS unit—this was when GPS’s were new to the market—and flew around with the maps, establishing my new grow spots. I noted entry points—where my junior partners and drivers would drop me off—as well as escape routes.

The_BM_Story_Page_16_300x300pxSince most of the gardens flanked swamps and creek beds, I almost never had to water them.

The plants grew into BEASTS! Many grew as tall as eleven or twelve feet!

You see, deep down, the soft, fluffy, pitch-black soil retained a ton of moisture, enabling the plants to throw down massive root systems. High in microbial activity, beneficial bacteria, and beneficial fungi, the Super Soil I’d discovered was the perfect soil.

And since the soil did so much of the work for me, once the plants were in the ground, I’d simply fly over my patches every few weeks to monitor their progress. If I spotted unwanted weeds, I’d go in late at night and yank them out under the cover of darkness.

Most of my gardens I visited less than once a month—and still the plants grew like crazy.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.30.56 PM(BTW, I wrote a blog post where I lay out many of the strategies I used to get away with countless large outdoor grows. You can read it here: How I Harvested So Many Guerilla Grows Without Getting Caught)

Now, unlike today, ALL the laws were against us back then. We were outlaw growers growing on government land and the potential prison sentences—especially for the amount we were growing—were downright fucking brutal. We might as well have been selling cocaine to eighth graders.

Which is why my partners and I took extreme measures to avoid detection and arrest. We employed night vision goggles, police scanners, kill switches in our vehicles that would kill brake lights and taillights, spotters, decoy vehicles, counter-surveillance strategies, and surveillance-detection driving techniques. To avoid getting caught should I get chased, I enrolled in race car driving and counter-terrorism driving classes. I even entered a few Formula Ford races.

The_BM_Story_Page_17_300x300pxOver the years my crew and I were ambushed, chased, and stalked by local, state, and federal law enforcement. I go into those stories in detail in my upcoming book, Marijuana Don.

Anyhow, a lot has changed since back then, but outdoor growing still holds a special place in my heart.

For one, side-by-side comparisons of the same strain grown outside vs. inside show that the plant grown outside will often have a higher percentage of terpenes, which can lead to more flavorful and aromatic product—provided the plant product is dried and cured properly.

However, the primary benefit for most growers is the amount of money they’ll be able to save, especially when it comes to the electric bill. And those savings translate to more profits—A LOT more.

It’s no secret that Big Marijuana is moving into our industry. And they have the ability to streamline their operations, pay workers crap money to manage the grows, and purchase equipment and supplies for as little as possible because they can buy in bulk.

And since growing outdoors cuts the cost of production to a fraction of what it is indoors, commercial production will move to greenhouses, utilizing light deprivation and light supplementation to grow the product.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.13.30 PMAnd, with CRISPR technology, Big Marijuana will be able to produce GMO marijuana, modified to thrive specifically where it’s grown outdoors.

The majority of production will move to Third World countries, where both land and labor are cheap. When the marijuana is grown, the cannabinoids and terpenes will be extracted and shipped to the United States in 55-gallon drums.

All this means Big Marijuana will be able to hawk their product for much less than everybody else.

We’ve already seen the price of a pound of marijuana drop far below what it was just a decade ago.

Right now, high-quality bud on the U.S. legal market goes for an average of about $1800-$2200 per pound.

In Colorado the price has dropped to between $1400-$1600 per pound.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.34.11 PMThis is for marijuana that’s better than what once sold for two to three times as much on the black market.

And profits have only begun to dwindle.

Within a few years, the average price for a pound of weed will sink to $500-$600.

And when you factor in the cost of production…

  • Indoors costs an average of $400-$500 per pound to produce.
  • In a greenhouse, using light deprivation and light supplementation, it costs approximately $100 per pound to produce product as good as anything grown indoors.
  • Outdoors it costs about $10 per pound to produce.

… It’s easy to see that indoor growers will be pushed out of the market. Their profits will be somewhere between almost non-existent and completely non-existent.

The smart growers will move either outdoors or into greenhouses.

And there’s just something beautiful about growing under the sun, the way Mother Nature intended.

If you’re interested in growing outdoors, watch these videos I made for you. They’ll help you maximize the genetic potential of your outdoor grows.

Enjoy…

Video #1 – Cannabis indoor cloning

Video #2 – How to transplant cannabis clones outdoors 

Video #3 – Outdoor marijuana water and feeding secrets

Video #4 – How and when to harvest your outdoor marijuana plants 

Talk soon,
BigMike

weed-big-w650

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What Marijuana Consumers Will Soon Demand—and How to Give it to Them

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 2.35.06 PMAs I’ve explained in previous posts, while strains will still carry some weight with growers, the consumers of the future are not going to concern themselves with strain.

They will make purchases based on the outcome(s) they want.

They’ll choose products with labels that read anxiety, depression, pain, sleep, etc. (as I explained in this post: What You Need to Know About Big Marijuana)

AND they’ll expect products to be 100% consistent.

Whether they purchase it in Los Angeles or London, they’ll demand that each product be the same every time.

aisle2Think about it…

If someone buys a 12-pack of Budweiser, a pack of Camel cigarettes, or staggers into a pharmacy in an opioid-induced trance and purchases a bottle of Norco or Xanax, they know exactly what they’re getting.

Consumers want that kind of certainty.

In fact, they demand it.

But is Sour Diesel, OG Kush, or Green Crack the same every time you buy it, no matter where you are?

Hell no!

Quality, flavor, and effect can vary greatly and often does.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 2.34.40 PMIn fact, right now our entire industry is ass backward…

Consumers look at the strain and then look to see what it does. And if they like it, they’re going to hope that next time they buy that strain it has the exact same effect. But from grower to grower and crop to crop, a strain can vary significantly in potency and effect.

So how do you keep marijuana consistent?

You make it a recombinant product.

Cigarettes are a recombinant product. They’re a mixture of different single origin strains of tobacco with other chemicals (like saltpeter, for example, to make them burn more evenly). In fact, the average cigarette is only 50 to 60 percent tobacco; the rest is filler.

Why?

globe1Because Big Tobacco knows that whether you’re in Moscow, Miami, or London, the outcome the product provides needs to be the same.

In fact, everything about the product needs to be the same.

For example, cigarette smokers are extremely conscious of taste. If taste is inconsistent, they’ll switch brands.

Marijuana consumers will soon demand this same kind of consistency.

But how will they trust they’re purchasing a consistent product?

marbThe same way those who purchase cigarettes and alcohol do: they’ll buy brands.

Makers of these brands will blend buds (most likely of different strains) together and then impregnate this blended flower material with extracted terpenes and cannabinoids, producing a recombinant product that consistently provides the consumer with the outcome they want.

And the look, feel, smell, and taste will always be the same.

CircleKWhen consumers bounce into a 7-11, grocery store, pharmacy, or gas station, they’re not going to look for strains.

They’re going to select an outcome-based product made by their favorite brand.

If Marlboro was their brand, for example, they could choose from Marlboro Sleepy Time, Marlboro Pain-Free, Marlboro Anti-Anxiety, Marlboro Focus, etc.

So, if I were to release my own line of recombinant marijuana products, I might call the umbrella brand BigMike’s Blends.

And under that umbrella, I might offer…

  • BigMike’s Blends Pain Relief
  • BigMike’s Blends Sleep
  • BigMike’s Blends PTSD
  • BigMike’s Blends Energy
  • BigMike’s Blends Men’s Libido
  • BigMike’s Blends Women’s Libido
  • BigMike’s Blends Anxiety

Spirit-CigarettesBy the way, the most sought-after outcomes will be restful sleep, pain relief, and anxiety relief. So products that deliver those outcomes will sell better than ones targeting other end results like productivity and enhanced sex.

And just like cigarette smokers will remain loyal to Marlboro, Camel, or American Spirit, marijuana users will find a brand and stick with it.

Right now marijuana is an agricultural product. But it’s quickly becoming a commodity like tobacco.

And while tobacco is a commodity, cigarette BRANDS are not.

If you’re going to sell strain, you’ll be selling a commodity and are going to get crushed.

Crushed by who?

Brands.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 2.35.41 PMThe most successful brands will be produced by Big Marijuana.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own.

To build a strong brand…

Not only do you need a quality product, but your brand must have a purpose—your promise—that can be defined in one simple sentence.

And this purpose must be unique—different from every other brand on the market.

Examples include…

advancednutrients2Advanced Nutrients: “Raising the Bud Weights…and Reputations…of Top Growers.”

• FedEx: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

• Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.”

• Southwest Airlines: “We are THE low-cost airline.”

• Target: “Expect More. Pay Less.”

• GEICO: “15 Minutes Could Save You 15 Percent or More on Car Insurance.”

• Avis: “We’re number two. We try harder.”

• NyQuil: “The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine.”

• M&Ms: “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

team1Your team must understand your purpose and be on board with it 100%. Any team members not on board should get the boot.

Your message and your product must be consistent.

And you must make your customers FEEL—on an emotional level—part of something bigger than themselves, something they can be proud of.

Consumers are attracted to brands that appear to have meaning that matches their personal values.

image_2They want to be part of a brand—belong to a brand—that stands for what they stand for themselves, or would LIKE to stand for if they were the rock star—the ideal—versions of themselves.

Do this, and you will cultivate loyalty.

The topic of branding is a massive subject. I’ve spent the past almost two decades becoming a master at it and will post more about the subject in the future.

Because branding IS the future.

In the meantime, to better understand building a brand, I recommend the following books…

unlabCreating Brand Meaning by Peter Steidl

The Culting of Brands by Douglas Atkin

Neurobranding by Dr. Peter Stiedl

What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest by Denise Lee Yohn

Unlabel: Selling Without Selling by Marc Ecko

The Power of Cult Branding: How 9 Magnetic Brands Turned Customers into Loyal Followers by Matthew W. Ragas and Bolivar J. Bueno

Talk soon,
BigMike

 

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Persecuted for Being in the Cannabis Industry

Weedball

Chances are you’ve heard about the baller parties I host for our community at my mansion in the Hollywood Hills.

And as you may be aware, I was planning the best one yet for Super Bowl Sunday.

Over 500 growers, store owners, and industry leaders were set to travel from all around the country to watch the game on giant screens (some as big as 17ft x 10ft) overlooking LA’s beautiful skyline. They would mingle with celebrities, body-painted women, and 420-friendly ex-NFL players. And they would enjoy live performances by the Official LA Ram Cheerleaders, as well as professional music and entertainment, virtual reality gaming, an experiential 3D dome, and, of course, a bud bar and a dab bar.

Marijuana-Mansion-Party-2

It was certain to be the most badass and memorable party our industry has ever seen. And I personally spent over one million dollars of my own money to make sure of it. I did everything in my power to give every single person in attendance the time of their lives.

However…

The day before the party, the LAPD warned that if the party were to continue as planned, our guests would not be allowed in.

20160813-marijuana_mansion-011The city of Los Angeles then issued a Stop Work Order on the event. Advanced Nutrients CMO was on site when the order was given. When our CMO instructed vendors and team members to ignore the order and keep working, the Building and Safety inspector threatened to have him arrested.

This is a pattern we’ve experienced before. At a previous (private and lawful) party of ours, the LAPD threatened to arrest our President when he defied their orders to close it down.

However, when it became clear through back channels that city officials were ready to obtain an administrative warrant to arrest our executives and shut down the Super Bowl Party, putting our guests, staff, and the officers themselves in a compromising position, I made the responsible decision to cancel the party.

As someone who has never been afraid to take risks, this was not an easy decision.

The story was all over the news.

Check it out:

 

 

Now it’s true a small minority of my neighbors were upset about the party, citing potential parking and trash problems. And my neighbors’ comfort and safety is important to me, which is why I made my team and myself available to them to discuss their concerns.

weed-helmetBut make no mistake…

The LA City Council and LAPD kiboshing the party had nothing to do with trash or traffic.

The fact is, my neighbors were nothing more than scapegoats for high-ranking officials in the city of Los Angeles as part of a continuing pattern of bullying and intimidation, simply because I, like you, am in the cannabis industry.

Now, I’ve thrown a number of private parties in Los Angeles before this one. And you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who organizes such a professional and polished experience as my team and I do.

The event was by invitation only and the guest list was comprised almost exclusively of responsible growers, cannabis business owners, and celebrities.

sunsetAnd the only way to get into the party was to park in a lot I’d rented on Sunset Blvd. and then take a luxury shuttle service I’d hired. Anyone who didn’t take the shuttle—including anyone who tried parking in the neighborhood—would have been denied entrance at the gate.

As for security, we didn’t just hire any ol’ security company to police the event. Our security team included off-duty sheriff’s deputies, trained Navy SEALs, and even ex-U.S. Secret Service Agents.

I explained to the city that parking and trash would not be a problem. I also provided specific reasons why these things wouldn’t be a problem. But, because I’m in the marijuana industry, nothing I said mattered.

Which is why, after being forced to shut down the party, I called a press conference, which you can watch here:

 

 

Now, threats like those made by the LAPD are nothing new to me.

big_mike_super_bowl_partyAnd I have evidence that my team and I have been intimidated and bullied solely because we are in the cannabis business, which I look forward to presenting in an open court of law.

Obviously, the last thing I wanted was for law enforcement to storm the party and put my guests and team members at risk.

And, as a leader in the cannabis industry, I certainly didn’t want the stain of a raid on a lawful party to be inflicted on our community.

LAPDBut even though I canceled the party, this will not be…

…cannot be…

…the end of the story.

While I set out to give my guests the greatest Super Bowl Party experience of their lives, the city of Los Angeles—a great city built on entertainment and private parties at homes such as mine—made it impossible.

Therefore, I have been forced to turn the Super Bowl Party into The Super Bowl Party Lawsuit.

The party I was forced to cancel cost over one million dollars to produce. My team worked their asses off to put this thing together. Guests were coming in from all over the country to attend. Many had already boarded their planes.

prop-64The city needs to make this right. Not just for me, but for our entire industry.

Which is why I’ve instructed Advanced Nutrients’ CFO, Wayne Johnson, to work with our attorneys on filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against L.A.’s City Council, the Department of Building and Safety, the City Attorney, and the City Councilman who ordered that our lawful and timely permits be denied.

Our community has been the subject of bullying and abuse from those in power for far too long. But times are changing. Cannabis legalization is gaining massive momentum throughout the world. And those in power who still hold onto archaic social ideologies feel threatened by this. They’re digging their heels in, railing against the change and hoping to reverse the tidal wave.

Now I don’t know about you, but…

I refuse to cower to uninformed outsiders, authorities with political agendas, and antiquated, entrenched politicians holding onto societal norms that are contrary to the will of the voters in California (through Prop 64) and the 28 other states that have legalized responsible use of cannabis products.

2C704AE300000578-3239302-image-a-40_1442538283567

I’ve never hidden behind a tomato

Even though I’ve built the #1-selling line of cannabis-specific nutrients in the world—a company that does over $100 million per year in sales—I’ve always been an underdog.

And unlike my competitors, not once have I hidden behind a tomato or felt ashamed of the community I serve.

And my company, Advanced Nutrients, carries out philanthropic activities on a Global scale. From the poorest sections of Bulgaria to Skid Row in Los Angeles, we feed and clothe the homeless, the hungry, and the forgotten.

And I will continue to lead the fight against anyone or any group, no matter how large, that threatens our community.

vote

Change is essential.

It’s time our elected officials transform their attitudes towards our industry.

Which is why I have instructed my attorneys and executive team to begin work creating a new non-profit, the Cannabis Freedom Fund.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 2.34.46 PMThe mission of the Cannabis Freedom Fund will be to find, develop, and install pro-cannabis candidates at all levels of government so we can unseat outdated ideologies that don’t respect the people’s voice.

Reasonable people can disagree about cannabis. That’s fine.

But the lawful will of the people cannot be denied.

I simply won’t stand for it.

That’s why I am making an immediate contribution to the Cannabis Freedom Fund in the amount of $100,000.

I also promise that any and all proceeds recovered through our legal action will be donated to the Cannabis Freedom Fund, so it can support and protect our beloved industry.

13814056_1298111446886488_1837198109897025592_nOver half of America thinks marijuana should be legal in some form or another. But it’s been illegal for so long that, in many people’s eyes, anyone who grows or sells it is still nothing but a lowlife drug dealer.

To them, we’re no better than street corner heroin pushers.

Now you and I both know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. We know that we’re actually doing something good. Our product (marijuana) relieves the symptoms of all sorts of nasty medical conditions. We make users and patients happy while causing them few, if any, negative side effects.

We’re doing something good.

The real drug pushers are Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma. And they pay a healthy sum to make sure the Government protects their interests and persecutes the likes of you and me because we’re in the cannabis industry, and as such, are seen as a threat. We’re the healthy and safe alternative to their poisons.

The_BM_Story_Page_46_300x300pxUnfortunately, many people still buy into the lie the Government’s been spoon-feeding them for the past century that says cannabis is bad.

And in spite of overwhelming evidence that marijuana is beneficial to a lot of people and has little or no downside, they refuse to change their beliefs.

That’s on them.

What’s on us, and our fellow growers and cannabis entrepreneurs, is to hold elected officials accountable to the will of the voters.

To learn more about the Cannabis Freedom Fund, go to…

CannabisFreedomFund.org

While the LAPD and City Council won this battle by shutting down our Super Bowl Party, the war is far from over.

As I’ve written about before (here), plenty of bullies have tried to intimidate me over the years.

I’ve faced just about every kind of obstacle imaginable.

The_BM_Story_Page_03_300x300pxAs a kid, it was schoolyard bullies.

As an outlaw grower it was crop failures, arrests, and rip-offs. I had dozens of indoor and outdoor grows seized by the police, was imprisoned, extorted, kidnapped, exiled from a country where I was living with my wife and child, and had a dear friend and grow partner fall from the sky in my ultralight and die in my arms just yards from the wreckage.

Since going legit, I’ve been sued, had partnerships sour, and had government agencies try to shut me down because of my past and the industry I’m in.

And because I was the first in the industry—and the only one for a number of years—to not just admit, but also advertise, that my products are for growing marijuana, I had a half-dozen of the largest distributors try to get my products blacklisted from stores. Advanced Nutrients was in its infancy and these distributors—that I dubbed The Good Ol’ Boys, and who had a combined annual revenue of $900,000,000—did everything in their power to put me out of business.

They threatened store owners that they wouldn’t do business with them if they carried my products. They spread rumors that I was a biker, murderer, and DEA agent. They even had their lawyers send out an opinion letter that warned: IF YOU BUY FROM ADVANCED NUTRIENTS YOU COULD BE ARRESTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

All because I was honest about what I sold and knew a hell of a lot more about the nutrients that marijuana thrives on than they did.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 2.34.58 PMBut just like The Good Ol’ Boys learned that I’m not going away, so will the city of Los Angeles.

Our community stands up for what we believe in. In fact, that’s one of the many reasons I’m so proud to be a part of it.

I look forward to partying with you soon.

Talk soon,
BigMike

P.S. When I throw a party, I spare no expense. So when I was forced to shut down the Super Bowl party, I was left with a TON of delicious food, enough to feed 1,000 people in fact.

Something had to be done…

No way I could let all that food go to waste when there are so many hungry people in L.A. that could benefit from it.

So we contacted the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition who used it to feed the neediest of needy men, women, and children in L.A. Check it out…

 

 

To support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, visit them at http://gwhfc.org

And although I was forced to cancel the party, I kept my promise to my Instagram contest winners and had them up to the mansion to hang out and watch the Super Bowl with me. We had a great time getting lit and enjoying the game. And just like the Pats came back to win, you can bet your last bud that I’m going to come back and win over the city. Thanks to @andre.west @ohmyyylatto @bellamorous_bella and @badmothafuckajay for coming out… it was nice meeting you.

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Marijuana Bully Beatdown

 

davePeople ask why I stand up to Big Marijuana. “Aren’t you scared these guys will bury you,” they say, “with their billions of dollars and roided-out legal teams?”

Let me tell you a little story…

When I was growing up in Illinois, my dad owned his own film processing business called American Film Company.

To collect leads, he’d set up booths at fairgrounds where people would drop their names and phone numbers into his jar in hopes of winning a prize. To entice me to join him, he’d bribe me with the promise of ice cream, a strategy that worked like a charm. Ice cream dripping down my chin, I was happy to be his wingman.

carnI’d also catch some extra work with the carnies, handing out darts for dart games and serving hamburgers, Italian sausages, coffee, and pie. At ten years old I was ringing up orders on the cash register.

I had a blast working those fairs and the experience opened my eyes to sides of human nature I didn’t know existed. But it also placed me in some bizarre predicaments.

One time, when I was twelve or thirteen, I sat on a john in the public restroom going number two and thumbing through an issue of Field & Stream. Suddenly the stall door flew open and this old dude with a trembling hand forced himself inside and grabbed for my private parts. I slapped his paw away, kicked him as hard as I could and then booted the stall door shut.

15065449_joe-donPissed off and terrified, I yanked my pants up, ran outside, seized a two-by-four I found lying on the ground and took to hunting the sonofabitch down. It all happened so fast, the only thing I could remember about him were his shoes. In full vigilante mode, I scoured the carnival for his ass, spying everyone’s shoes, intent on bashing the pervert’s brains in.

I didn’t care how much bigger or older he was. There was no way I wasn’t going to stand up for myself. No. Fucking. Way.

He’s lucky I never found him.

Growing up, I dealt with a lot of bullies.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-4-06-32-pmWhen I was twelve there was a sixteen-year-old who would pick on me constantly. He delivered newspapers and the apartment where I lived with my family was on his route. I knew that if I didn’t put an end to it the bullying would continue.

So one afternoon I hunkered down by my front window with a baseball bat, waiting for him to ride by. As soon as I saw him, I flew out the door and charged after him with the bat. Just as I’m about to bash his head in, he began crying and begging, “No, no, please don’t hit me. Please. Don’t hit me.”

I never had any trouble from him again.

The_BM_Story_Page_40_300x300pxAs an outlaw grower I experienced crop failures, arrests, and rip-offs that amounted to millions of dollars. I had dozens of indoor and outdoor grows seized by the police, was kidnapped, exiled from a country where I was living with my wife and child, and had a dear friend and grow partner fall from the sky in my ultralight and die in my arms just yards from the wreckage.

Since going legit, I’ve been sued, had partnerships sour, and had government agencies try to shut me down because of my outlaw past.

And because I was the first in the industry—and the only one for a number of years—to not just admit, but also advertise, that my products were for growing marijuana, I had a half-dozen of the largest distributors in the industry try to get my products blacklisted from stores.

These distributors, with a combined annual revenue of $300,000,000, did everything in their power to put me out of business. All because I was honest about what I sold and knew a hell of a lot more about the nutrients and nutrient ratios that marijuana thrives on than they did.

bigmike16_01gray_0142-200x300I didn’t fall in line with the status quo and bullshit my way around the truth by saying my products were for orchids, roses, and tomatoes like all the other companies did.

Fuck no.

I yelled from the highest mountain top I could find, at the top of my goddamn lungs, that my nutrients were for growing the big, stinky, tasty, sugary, potent buds.

And because of that honesty—which differentiated me from every other company on the planet and gave me a Unique Selling Proposition—along with superior products and customer service, I was grabbing a large piece of the pie they’d been sharing amongst themselves for years. So they played dirty to get me locked out of the industry.

They threatened store owners that they wouldn’t do business with them if they carried my products. They spread rumors that I was a biker, murderer, and DEA agent. They even had their lawyers send out an opinion letter that warned: IF YOU BUY FROM ADVANCED NUTRIENTS YOU COULD BE ARRESTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.57.22 PMDid it suck going through it?

Hellyeah!

Did I let it bury me?

No.

I used it to my advantage and shared videos with our community, explaining how I was being persecuted for telling the truth about who I was and what my products were designed for.

What grower wants to purchase from a company who won’t stand up for them, won’t admit its products are used for marijuana, and doesn’t want to be associated with our community beyond leeching millions of dollars off us?

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.31.19 PMGrowers don’t want that. They want to buy from a fellow grower who understands their problems, has their back, designs products specifically to meet their needs, and not only isn’t ashamed to do business with them but is PROUD to do business with them.

They want nutrients for pot, not tomatoes. And they want the business to be all in, not pretending their products are one thing when they’re really another.

Like many of us, I’ve been through so much shit—much of which I put myself through—it would take an entire library to describe. And for my flaws and shortcomings they’d have to build out a second floor.

rockAnd yet, with a stadium full of problems and challenges working against me—including my own mind a lot of the time—I’ve managed to far surpass almost every goal I set out for myself.

Life and business will try to kick your ass. Take your punches like a man (or badass woman) but don’t let them win. Fight back like a motherfucker and use the strength and wisdom you’ve gained from the challenges you’ve conquered as fuel.

I like the way Rocky says it in the speech to his son. Heed this timeless advice:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward… It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.

Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

tredemtpionWhen you’re tossed to the ground, you have an opportunity to become the kind person, grower, or business owner it takes to reach the goals others tell you are impossible. Seizing this opportunity is how you get back up.

All the obstacles, hurdles, and ass beatings you face now are to prepare you for what’s ahead. Because as your weed business grows, so will your problems. They’ll become larger and grow fucking fangs. And you won’t be able to overcome them unless you prepare yourself by tackling the challenges in front of you today, next week, next month, and next year.

rocky-workLook at it as training. It’s pushups, squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups. It’s batting practice and running drills. The only difference is that the game has already started. And it all leads up to the World Series. IF you can make it. So don’t fuck around. Get busy and get serious.

Now, do you see why I’m not about to roll over and be trampled on by a bunch of corporate raiders like Scotts Miracle-Gro as they try to steal our community’s achievements and destroy as many of us as they can?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Scott’s situation, through a front company and via other methods, Scotts Miracle-Gro has purchased General Hydroponics (the #2 brand in the USA), Botanicare (the #5 brand in the USA) and Gavita Lights (the #1 lighting brand).

w-hurtAnd Scotts is using its massive distribution channels at Home Depot to sell Black Magic.

This should be of great concern to every single grower, equipment manufacturer, and store owner in our community.

In fact, Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO, elite 1% millionaire Jim Hagedorn with his hundreds of millions of dollars to burn, announced he’s planning a Scotts Miracle-Gro marijuana takeover by investing $500 MILLION to commandeer the marijuana hydroponics nutrients, equipment, and retailing industries.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-3-46-26-pmAnd make no mistake, Hagedorn aims to put small grow shops out of business completely.

A recent Forbes article said he compares the lawn and garden business to warfare. He’s quoted as saying:

“Today the way wars happen, you don’t get to keep all the stuff. To me this is one where in commercial combat you kind of rape and pillage, and you keep all of the stuff.”

Rape and pillage—his words, not mine.

Now is Scotts advertising that Black Magic is designed for marijuana? Of course not. They’re not part of our community, nor will they proudly stand up for you and the cannabis you grow.

tomSo instead, with a wink wink and a nudge nudge, Scotts sells Black Magic for “tomato growers.”

The people who built the marijuana industry and showed the world marijuana is good medicine are the home growers, companies like Advanced Nutrients, seed breeders, cannabis retailers, hydroponics stores, and activists.

We’ve all put in years of hard work on the front lines.

Monsanto and Scotts Miracle-Gro have not.

There’s no way I want these convicted corporate criminals—with long histories of abuses that harm people, animals, and the environment—bullying the community I love so much.

bigThe Environmental Protection Agency had to step in when Scotts Miracle-Gro was selling extremely dangerous products and bypassing laws designed to protect us from their poisons. 

In another case, Scotts KNOWINGLY sold poisoned bird food that killed tens of thousands of birds, and got off with a small fine.

Monsanto and Scotts Miracle-Gro are longtime business partners and allies of the US military and drug war, producing and distributing deadly poisons sprayed by American drug warriors on people, animals, coca and marijuana plants, and forests in foreign countries such as Columbia.

moniesThe company sells its deadly poisons under the Ortho brand and now controls more than half of the consumer pesticides, fertilizers, soils, and grass seeds market.

And because Scotts Miracle-Gro has such a close business affiliation with Monsanto, one of the world’s leading GMO corporations, many analysts suspect that Scotts and Monsanto will team up to create GMO marijuana strains and seeds.

These of the kinds of motherfuckers muscling into our industry.

Right now, the giants are hiding in the shadows, gathering their troops, sharpening their weapons, and planning their assault.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-4-07-14-pmAnd when the federal government legalizes marijuana, make no mistake, they will attack.

Just like Big Tobacco did to tobacco farmers, Big Marijuana will “rape and pillage” our community and squeeze out the bulk of the commercial growers.

How many mom and pop tobacco farmers you know of who make a good living today?

Not many. They’ve been squeezed out. Big Tobacco now owns that industry.

big-bizAnd with deep pockets, the right connections, and unlimited resources at their disposal, Big Marijuana will soon own ours.

They have an army of lobbyists to ensure their weed is what goes to market, not yours.

They will use their immense resources to push for laws that would make it hard, if not impossible, for the average Joe to receive a license allowing them to grow for commercial purposes.

They will do everything in their power to make it so that every marijuana user in the world has to rely on THEM for their marijuana.

govAnd, at least in America, their loyal allies—the United States Government, as well as state governments across the country—will help make sure of it.

Unfortunately, most members of our community are going to get their asses kicked.

I, however, refuse to go down. In fact, I’m going to get smarter, stronger, and more focused. I’m going to rise above and flip the bird to Big Marijuana every step of the way.

Now if you’re as passionate about your cannabis business as I am, and are willing to educate yourself, take bold action, and do what the fuck needs to be done, then you will no doubt seize your share of the marijuana gold and continue to thrive for years, and even decades, to come.

braveTo help you I will soon be releasing a free report titled What Big Marijuana Doesn’t Want You to KnowAnd How to Kick Ass in the New Cannabis Economy.

Whether you’re a grower, own a retail weed store or hydroponic shop, manufacture edibles, vape pens, or growing equipment, or are looking to launch a business that has anything to do with marijuana, this report may be the most important thing you’ll ever read.

Because you’re going to discover…

  • Why our industry is ass backwards, how that’s about to change, and what this means to YOU.
  • Why strains will no longer matter.
  • What weed consumers will soon expect and DEMAND.
  • How and where cannabis will be grown.
  • The three roles of every weed entrepreneur (and which one you need to focus on most if you want to make big profits for a long time).
  • bbm-11-17-2016-new-resizedThe Three Pillars of Pot Revenue
  • How small improvements most in our industry have no idea about can double, triple, or even quadruple your profits.
  • The one skill every marijuana entrepreneur must have.
  • The most important lessons I’ve learned over the past 33 years in the marijuana industry.
  • How I built a $90-million-a-year cannabis business.
  • The most effective marketing methods (less than 1% of the people in our industry have ever heard of a style of marketing that makes me tens of millions of dollars each year).

bbm518-resizedYou’re also going to learn how to…

  • Close more deals.
  • Make more sales.
  • Get more done in less time.
  • Overcome the many obstacles our community will soon face.
  • Influence partners, employees, distributors, and customers.
  • Outwit and outsell your competitors.
  • screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-1-18-21-pmBecome a leader others will want to follow.
  • Build a team of loyal, hardworking, productive workers.
  • Win more negotiations.
  • Systematize your operations.
  • Implement marketing strategies almost no one in our industry knows about.
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Rise to the top of the market.
  • Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.04.38 PMMake a killing in our industry no matter how hard Big Marijuana tries to force you out of business.

… and much more

So keep an eye on your email inbox for my report, What Big Marijuana Doesn’t Want You to Know—And How to Kick Ass in the New Cannabis Economy, which I’ll soon be sending you.

And if you’re not subscribed to my email newsletter, you can subscribe by submitting your email into the little box in the very bottom right corner of this site, or at the top of the homepage.

Talk soon,

BigMike

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