Born from a void that the founder and owner of High Chris found in the cannabis industry, The High Chris brand and channel is dedicated to business owners in cannabis. Chris prides himself in being a creator and not a competitor, and proof of that is all over his brand and channel.
Imagine a book loaded with the ins and outs of launching a licensed cannabis brand, building a brand, and navigating life as an entrepreneur. The High Chris channel on YouTube is the digital version of this book. Chris offers insight from all areas of the industry: cultivation, wholesale, pricing, competition, economics, compensation and so much more.
Many times, the price tag for insight like this is hundreds of dollars. On the High Chris Youtube channel, Chris offers all of this information for free. He has a 20+ year history as a business owner and his career in cannabis started in the legacy days. He says: “I want to see others win. I provide guidance on how to reduce their risks.” Without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to High Chris.
The Business of Cannabis, a Q & A with High Chris
Let’s start with taking readers back to teenage Chris; who was he, what did he want to be/see/do by 25?
I was always into music, and I played instruments including guitar, and there was a time I thought I wanted to be a rock star but by 25 I ended up being in the professional music industry as a recording and mixing engineer known by the name Chrismixx.
When was your introduction to cannabis as a consumer?
I was 14 in Massachusetts, and I smoked with a friend from school named Joey D., and a couple girls in a ditch in the woods. We used a homemade water bong. It was a mind-blowing experience, more so from all the sneaking around. Back then, it was a big deal if anyone was caught smoking weed so the thrill of it was a big part too which I didn’t know at the time.
What was your job/business in cannabis pre–High Chris?
I started with breaking down QPs in high school back in Florida, basically to smoke for free. I started selling larger amounts of wholesale flower in 2004, right when I moved to California. I was 19 and the universe aligned me with my first apartment in the Bay Area; a $600-a-month room in a duplex. My roommate grew up in Ukiah in Mendocino County, and my neighbor was a rap DJ in San Francisco from Stockton. So, I basically was going to Mendo and picking up flower and then bringing it back to the bay and selling it with my neighbor. I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like without moving there when I was 19.
High Chris was born from what void to fulfill what mission?
I got my first distribution license in 2017, the licensed market started on
1/1/2018. I was looking for answers to questions about operating a successful licensed cannabis business, but I found zero resources back then. I know it’s mainly because we were all trying to figure out how to make money in licensed cannabis and figure out the crazy laws and taxes.
So, by 2020 I decided to start making content to document what I was dealing with, such as: my licensed cultivation facility located in skid row in DTLA, to my distro and manufacturing facility in Chatsworth. I put an emphasis on being self-funded to show people you can do this if you are strategic about it: make every move count even if it’s a lesson learned, keep expenses low, and reinvest into the purpose you believe in.
Your YouTube channel is like college, so much insight and information; are there future plans in place to take High Chris on to different screens/platforms?
Yes. I have a coaching program ready to launch in 2024 to show others how they can build, launch, and grow their licensed cannabis brand without having to own the license. This is a concept that can be translated to many other licensed states too, not just California.
My course will also provide an add on option for us to set up the entire supply chain in California for the students once they are ready to launch. I didn’t want to just sell info, I wanted to provide more value by also offering the practical solutions for their supply chain in California.
High Chris focuses a lot on mindset, inner work, personal goals/fulfillment; can you share a bit about your growth journey pre-entrepreneur days?
Ever since I was 14/15, I was fascinated with work from home get rich methods. Back then in the late 90’s the internet was becoming mainstream, and I romanticized the idea of being able to be in high school making hella money online.
Well, it took longer than I thought it would to work from home, but those early days had me spending my money on books about business, marketing and finance. I even took a couple real estate programs on investing. Back then (10, 11th, and 12th grade) I made all my money working 30-40 hrs. a week as a cook in restaurants. I didn’t know that some of the things I learned in those books, I’d use much later on in life.
I’m glad I got an early start without knowing it. A lot of those business books are rooted in mindset and positive mental attitude as that’s what is required to be a successful entrepreneur.
High Chris covered this in an episode on YouTube, but I’d love for readers to tap in here; why isn’t WhatsApp safe?
The fact that Facebook owns it should be enough of a reason; however, the detailed reason is because even though WhatsApp advertises its end-to-end encryption, what it doesn’t tell you is that the backups are not encrypted. The only safe way to communicate securely is if none of the messages or backups are stored remotely. The only place the data should exist is on the physical device of the user which remains encrypted.
The only consumer messaging app I know of that is properly encrypted is Signal Messenger. It uses Open Whisper technology which not only is open source so the code can be verified as safe by independent developers, but also because Edward Snowden recommends using open whisper as the only safe form of digital messaging.
Let’s close out the interview with 3 things everyone should know about High Chris and the #1 reason to subscribe to the YouTube channel.
-I am self-made/self-funded.
-I’ve learned my experience through real life trials and tribulations, not theory or knowledge acquired from others. I’ve lived with true experiences for over 20 years now.
-I am a creator in life not a competitor, I want to see others win. I provide guidance on how to reduce risks and improve profits in this cannabis industry; that’s what High Chris is all about.
High Chris is committed to providing top-notch educational content in the licensed cannabis industry. They strive to be a trusted source of knowledge, offering valuable insights, up-to-date information, and expert perspectives. Their dedication to educational excellence ensures that their audience can make informed decisions and succeed in the complex world of cannabis business and branding.
Though Chris speaks from his experience as a California cannabis business owner, a lot of the information shared can be used/applied in other states. There is so much free information waiting on the High Chris channel. Head over to check out the channel:
You can also follow High Chris on Instagram.
Follow Veronica online at #travelingcannabiswriter
Veronica Castillo is known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. Her body of work includes educational and informative insights on cannabis and various plant medicines, and she travels the country to provide insight on cannabis friendly travel. She is a collaborator, connector, content creator, and traveler that specialized in bringing to light the hidden gems in the plant space. Follow her journey: #travelingcannabiswriter.