Chasing the Call of Cannabis, No Matter Where it Takes You
by Brittney Graham
Brandon Rust, owner of Majestic Craft Cannabis and Bokashi Earth Works, has a life that sounds like it was written by Hollywood. I am so excited that I had the opportunity to speak with him about his experience with Cannabis and the lessons it has taught him in his life. I am sure you will see, as I have, that this California transplant has a lot to offer our local community.
Back in early 2000, Brandon was working in landscaping with a few of his father’s friends. Once he had been working for them a while, they decided that he could be trusted and took him on one wild ride! One day after work he was blind folded, put in the back of a van, and taken to the place that would change his life forever, a cannabis cultivation. Once he worked his way up in cultivation, he was able to split off and try it with his own hands.
Around 2003 Brandon and his grow partner were growing in Southern California working with the infamous Afghan Bull Rider strain. This went pretty well for some time until around 2006, when he was betrayed by someone close to him. His fiancé, at the time, was having an affair with a police officer. This not only equaled heartbreak for Brandon but also prison time, 16 months to be exact. He didn’t let this detour him away from his passion for Cannabis; however, it only strengthened it. This wasn’t the only prison term that he received from his passion.
In 2017 Brandon started another 18-month prison term, this time for making BHO or dabs to be frank. He started making a lot of concentrates and after about a year, he moved to another area which proved to be more drama for him. The landlord was the property owner’s son, and that son had gotten into it with a tenant in a trailer on the property; which resulted in the police showing up to Brandon’s door with questions. The police left and a couple of hours later he and his girlfriend were detained.
When he was released from his second term, Brandon landed on his feet. He got himself a couple of jobs and as soon as he was legally able to cultivate again, he took the opportunity. Being able to pursue his passion again seemed to make the steps it took to get there all worth it. So, let’s talk about his cultivation, shall we?
Brandon grew hydro for about 9 years and then switched to a soil medium. He did this switch because there are multiple points of failure with hydro, such as AC fails or pump malfunctions. “There are so many moving parts one failure and it all goes down,” he explained. For example, he killed more than half of his crop at one point in his hydro grow, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He then effectively switched up his grow medium to soil with fertigation salts.
“Soil is a little more forgiving, like if the AC fails as long as the medium stays moist you should be good,” Brandon further explained. He used different mixes: fox farm, 707, etc. and the last nutrient line was house and garden with soil. He was adamant that he was always diligent with reading labels and realized that most of the products were trying to mimic what organic or mother nature does. The cost was also starting to stack up, so he decided to look into natural alternatives.
A lot of the products Brandon purchased were being made from organic sources that were extremely cheap. Why pay thousands a month on nutrients if there is a more cost-effective method? So, what does he do? He switched everything out one day and in the end, he is so happy that he did; however, it is important to note that the first time was not very successful.
It was at this point Brandon realized fast, that he was going to have to reeducate himself completely, because the methods and the way he understood how plants absorbed nutrients were so basic. He learned how it cycled, how to make things more bio available, and how adding more microbes at certain times has an apogeic effect on plant morphology. He was so excited when talking about this especially, that he exclaimed, “You can affect the potential of the plant … you can get certain nutrients from the soil into the plant with help from solutions!”
At this point, Brandon bought botany books, learned about Korean natural farming and bokashi, and not to focus on the plant but the health of the soil. He now takes a holistic approach to the soil because it is living energy, and making everything available to the soil. He even wants to use what he has learned to help Oklahoma Farmers in the form of Green Recycling. It would involve the process of taking non–growable soil and healing it so it can be used for fresh crops again. Since he has found himself here, he wants to give back to the Cannabis community as well as the local community of Oklahoma. I couldn’t help but feel his adopted Okie Spirit!