The Liquid Lounge 17 : Carlos Frias talks about growing a cannabis empire


welcome to another episode of the liquid
lounge today is July 25th and I am excited to have Carlos Frias CEO and
co-founder of Green Lotus brands here on the show today we’re gonna be talking
about everything that you guys have been up to what the most recent changes have
been and what sort of things you think are gonna be happening in the industry
moving forward so thanks again for being here today’s episode is sponsored by
Green Lotus brands you can find more about them at GreenLotusHemp.com
where you can purchase products and learn and get more information if you’d
like to follow them on the oTCQB you can find their ticker symbol at FRLF
that’s FRLF on the OTCQB Carlos welcome to Liquid Lounge I’m glad to
have you here -Thanks This is great! – Appreciate it – yeah absolutely
– Glad to be here oh as always I like to you know
make sure you understand we’re just here to have a fluid conversation and -awesome- that’s
why we call it the liquid lounge so we’ve got whatever’s in our mugs here and you
know if you got a vape pen you feel free to use it – awesome thanks man –
so let’s get started with the brand’s which is always my favorite topic I’m a
big brand guy and I love learning about brands and you know what their DNA is
about and where they came from so you you co-founded Green Lotus brands with
your brother Alex yep and a lots happened in the last six
months with what you started as to now you’re the CEO of a public traded
company right what’s the deal with all the brands and how is that going how are
those coexist together under one parent brand so yeah there’s been a lot of
changes so about two months ago we went through a transaction it was a reverse
merger we were acquired by Freedom Leaf Inc which is the publicly traded company
on the OTCQB – nice job, congratulations on that by the way thank you that’s awesome
so I took over as CEO so I’m CEO of the company now and you know I mean there’s
a whole strategy right about like how do these brands all live together and how
can they be side to side you know side by side on a shelf and not cannibalize
each other and I think it’s well first of all the
brands are a little bit different so first of all it’s you know focusing only
on freedom Lee who’s doing a lot of things right and there was magazine
there was a vaporizer company a lot of things and the first thing was hey let’s
focus on just being you know a hemp consumer packaged goods company right
let’s do that well and so and so Irie and green Lotus or the you know
the line the the flagship brands I guess you could say and it just so happens
that they are you know different Irie’s more of a therapeutic functional formula
line Green Lotus is more of your lifestyle products so now they’re living
both living under this freedom leaf umbrella and you know I think that
there’s there some reorganization that’s happened that’s happening and you know
we’ll be we’ll be releasing some news about that soon but you know I think
that it’s in for that yeah stay tuned for that so I think that I think that
they can live side by side as long as they have different identities as long
as the brand sell a different product into a different vertical have a
different focus you know and these two brands do right so when you say these
two brands you mean freedom leave an irate Irie Irie
yeah and Green Lotus have a different identity as far as the type of consumer
and the formulas and the functionality of the formulas you know one being a
lifestyle everyday you know take these products as part of your everyday
regimen and the other one be more narrowly focused on you know therapeutic
right formulas that achieve certain certain things whether it’s calm or
balanced or an experience and experience exactly so every obviously all of your
products are american-made yes and more than one location which i think is great
from a branding and marketing perspective that’s an awesome thing to
be able to claim but within the you know Green Lotus brands family yeah you actually
crossed some international borders with one of your -yes- brands let’s talk about that
because -exactly- I think thats pretty cool and it’s a little bit different so so we are the
only the only company in the United well we were one of I think it was four or five
companies that were licensed by the Mexican government to export CBD
products into Mexico and this happened December of 2018 we had been working on
that project for two years man you know what I mean like yeah it was a huge
thing the the country passed the law in 2016 we’ve been following it – it was easy
everybody would’ve done it – ahah man it was three years worth of work hundreds and
hundreds of thousands of dollars and a lot of brain damage but you know we got
there we got our permit and there were some roadblocks because
the Mexican government the incoming administration was like hey wait a
minute we didn’t know about these permits
right -woah hold the phone- so so there was a process there and you know we’re getting ready to
start delivering on that on all that volume which is you know four thousand
about four thousand points of sale you know immediately that opened up to us to
our products right and it’s through our through our partners brands in in Mexico
and the name of that brand is CBD life so you can you can follow them on
Instagram at CBD Life MX I think their website is CBD life and CBD live.com MX
or slash MX so that’s that’s that’s our partners brand in Mexico and just some
exciting things going on man you know yeah well and what about La Marihuana so
that’s that was a media property that we acquired in the transaction from from
freedom leaf I think that there’s something cool that can be done there
you know that the site has a ton of traffic and has some content right now
and I think that with some focus and some polish we can we can get that to a
place to where you know it’d be something that adds value but that also that has
content that the cons the consumer is wanting right like yeah more focused
having that strategy a little bit more focused yeah so you know having had the
chance to be able to work with you and have you know a bunch of high-level
conversations with you it’s you know I really appreciate your methodical and
you know strategic approach to yeah you know every topic we discuss you know in
every decision you come to and you know how and who so super over-analytical – but it’s good but it’s it’s
it’s beyond it’s not it’s not even over analytical to me it’s it’s very militant
which makes a lot of sense because you’re very disciplined with you know
how you go through every single exercise in not one is really any different than
the other you give everything the same attention of consideration and right I
think in as much as you know one conversation I’ve you know witnessed you
you know to have a position on something but consider some new information and
then reposition yourself because of what you just learned and I think I think
that’s a that’s that’s really impressive and very very honorable as
you know as to be able to do that as a leader as a CEO of an organization be
able to show that you’ve got the ability to learn and reposition yourself for the
betterment of the the company of the brand and I think a lot of that
obviously I don’t think I know it has a lot to do with your military background
which is a nice segue and everything but right you know you’re you’re a marine
you know let’s well that played into this so I was born and raised in Texas
joined the Marine Corps when I was 17 years old was stationed in Camp
Pendleton thanks to the service appreciate that and was living in you
know San Diego man I mean I lived in a Oceanside yeah – finest city in America – Carlsbad you
know beautiful down there so I was you know living the life and you know got
out of the Marine Corps in 2003 early 2003 and from there it was you know was
just I was too entrepreneurial I didn’t I didn’t you know the Marine Corps was
was great for what it was and I have a ton of respect for my Marine Corps
brothers it did yeah 18 20 years but as entrepreneurs were meant to learn the
lines and then step outside of them exactly – encouraged to push the limits – so I was the guy in the military that was always challenging the line yeah but I was
really good at what I did so it was like they couldn’t get too mad at me you know you’re likable but god you’re setting a bad example guy, come on at the end of the day its like results, its getting done but I found a faster way to get to the
canteen you know that’s what it is yo are you finding as an entrepreneur you find
a faster yeah the more efficient way more efficient way to do things in the
military it’s like whoa that might be the most efficient way but the way that
we do things like this this this yeah you know that’s like yeah that’s why I’m
gonna do my yeah so what about when I got out it was just uh I just wanted to
pursue being an entrepreneur man ya know and I can certainly appreciate that I
mean we’re both born in El Paso we both moved to Dallas we both found our way to San
Diego that’s crazy both in the cannabis game you know both on it’s it must be
something in the water – small world – small world yeah yeah a small world so now how has your I
mean well you know it’s it’s clear that you weren’t gonna be a you know you know
a career you know military guy uhuh there must be something because I’ve been able
to notice it’s something that you took from that experience you know into your
own company culture and I’m wondering you know what’s that culture like you
know because of your military experience you
know for one for the positive or the negative I’d be interested for you to
ask go check Glass Door I mean I think I
mean what did I do i took away like at the end of the day it’s about
accomplishing the mission right like at all at all costs exhaust all options
critically think through every situation have your head on a swivel and find a
way to complete that mission so that’s like being an entrepreneur that’s it so
the mission is exit yeah exactly so we yeah right haha – the mission is – not by way of bankruptcy haha – in small fine print – exactly and so we just take the way that we do things man
is we take we take things one of my employees he says uh you know you’re
gonna eat an elephant man you just one bite one bite at a time – thats how you eat a whale –
right so they just take things one bite at a time that’s right we’re methodical
about the way that we do as we think it through we surround ourselves with
people that are smarter than us and subject matter experts in other fields
and and make you know the best decision and take risks and yeah I mean if it
works out and if you fail fail fast yeah if you feel if it works percent of the
time 60% of the time that’s your yeah let’s go with 70 because it’s kind of
like a C- so yeah lets just stay there – right anything below that is a bad look – so yeah i think we have like a no-nonsense approach in the
company you know it’s like we bootstrapped this thing so I know me and
my brother bootstrap this company for Jesus man for the first three years it
was tough you know I mean like especially when we started doing some
real numbers and and so you know you don’t have we’re gonna double down it
like is in the Marine Corps like you’re gonna make sure you overpower your enemy
to the point of like there is no other option but to destroy this enemy right
right so if you approach everything in business like that then you’re gonna succeed
because you’re like tripling down so many ways to like execute on this on
this mission right so we’re bootstrap we don’t have a lot of money everybody
that’s here’s got to be efficient right like we don’t have there’s not a whole
lot of ifs ands or buts about it you know what I mean like I was there’s nobody here can
sit on the bench right nobody here can sit on the bench
and if we were on time is 10 minutes late yeah man so if we work hard we do
those things we surround ourselves by people that are smarter we’re like
tripling down on this thing to be successful yeah you know and so
everybody buys into that culture man and it’s like you know it the company it’s
like if you’re the guy that tries to sit on the bench man the pack turns on you – hahaha yeah right – you know what I mean? – we’ll eat our weak yeah the pack turns fast so that
situation kind of just the culture has an identity of its own now yeah that’s
good yeah the employees have carried the culture man and they built on the
culture yeah and and I don’t know so how many employees you guys have how large
is the company so we have a man now I want to say probably about 70 70 70 75
employees something like that so that’s contractors but that are basically like
contract salespeople which are almost act like as an employee you know yeah so
yeah I think yeah I I do agree with you cuz they become part of your you know
your first 100 it’s part of the DNA that you get started with it exactly and from
what I’ve learned from some folks that have been able to share some great
insight with me is you know you’ve got a certain culture you know for the first
you know five to ten and then you got twenty five and then you know you’re 75
and then at 150 you can expect some major changes in your cultures of maybe
even beforehand right is usually that growth pattern happens faster than you
can control yeah right that’s that’s a man that’s a big thing though right like
we as a company or you know from a recruitment standpoint we look for
certain things in employees and even as we’re in so we’re in Texas right so it’s like yeah
Hey we’re a cannabis company in Texas, we have you’ll be the 51st state to legalize -500 I
agree we have like hundreds of candidates that want to work for us and
we get to cherry-pick right not only the most competent people but the people
that best fit that culture that’s just naturally hungry and naturally have a
chip on their shoulder man and want to be successful and so that culture just
kind of keeps building and building so I’m hoping that it has so much momentum – when Saturdays and Wednesdays are the same exactly man exactly so and and we allow all of
our employees to participate in our stock option program and giving them
equity grants so they’re super super motivated that’s great and and do
they’re they’re just we’re blessed to have a team like that because you know
how hard it is to build a good team right yeah like I said earlier
if it was easy everybody would do it that’s the hardest thing you know I
think building a good team so they just carry that I feel like we’re militant
minded and we just do go on about our business keep our mouth shut keep our
heads down and just you know what I mean like do your job and do your job man
yeah Go charge that hill yep you know what I say not anybody knows that I say
it but I like to say we’re too busy spending time taking care of our clients
not worried about our competition right so that’s what we spent our time doing
dude sometimes I worry about clients not competition sometimes I look up and I’m
like damn these competitors did what like what like because you’re right man
you’re so focused on what you’re yeah like nothing matters but you
accomplishing that mission yeah my team doesn’t doesn’t deserve to have me sit
around and worry you know being aware right of what folks are doing but at the
same time I’m not it’s not something that we can spend you know quality time
on you can’t spend time worrying about not what I meant not what we’re trying
to grow and build and scale and absolutely yeah absolutely
so it wasn’t so long ago you were moving moving around moving around Dallas and
you know probably other parts of Texas delivering your own product to stores right yeah and
then now fast forward like what a couple three and a half years yeah a few years yeah
and now you’re the CEO of a publicly-traded company yeah you know
again FRLF on the OTCQB follow it No question your daily routine is different
-its not- or your lifestyle is different – it’s not you’re saying it’s not everything is the
same everything’s the same because are you still driving the same Jeep? yeah awesome I mean you’re you you know like I still put my pants on one leg at a time
yeah of course -right like I still get up at the same time every day I still do the same
things you know like if I am just as focused and as hungry dude if as I you
know what I mean like change what about the reporting or the discussions and the dialogue
I mean that that changes you know you you just go to that maturation
process as like a company as an entrepreneur yeah and it’s just like
anything else man you just do it you know and it’s I really don’t I mean it’s
it’s I think we’re I was I was really prepared you know like I was really
prepared and I and I have some great mentorship on our board
you know what I mean we have some really some great board members man and and any you can talk about that might you know yeah I mean I think that it’s just
so whenever you’re you’re you know so I when I started the business like you got
to think like 20 2003 to 2016-15 I was like growing cannabis in California man
you know yeah and you know how that industry was in those days right it’s
allegedly – yeah right – im just kidding Hahaha I am sure you knew people right? – I heard I read things – you heard you read things so obviously that’s a different world right and then leaving that right where you still got you doing a lot of things man I mean you you know
like you learn to have your head on a swivel that’s right even more so yeah I
was in the military – and a solid chin exactly and so and a belt with a lot of
holes yeah so you survive that right and and then it was okay so now going back
to Texas and founding this investment group I never raised freaking money dude
I don’t know what I was doing and somehow raising you know all this money
to go apply for a license I kind of started learning a little bit you know
the I don’t wanna say corporate side but like the legal legitimate yeah the
regulated the regulated side of cannabis man and how to maneuver in that space and
but I didn’t have a ton of experience and never really had mentorship man or
somebody that could teach me the ropes along that process it was a lot of
making mistakes and making mistakes but eventually making the right decision right
yeah so now you fast forward to this situation where you know through that
through the reverse merger we have a formal board and we have a ton of
experience yeah on our board some of our board members man are great and great
sources of information so when you’re backed by a strong company I can speak
to yeah the Merida capital is loaded with exactly you know resources man – some of the most intelligent talent and resources exactly so we have we have so much you know so many resources from from their network
and and I’m the kind of guy where I embrace knowledge right like if you know
something that I don’t know I’m gonna listen to you yeah right because like
that’s what you got a guy like Matt Bartlett on your team who you know I
mean with Garden Society founded that company and right he knows a thing or
two about exactly about some CPG so we smart he’s super smart dude – and you got access to
that guy and and and the other people in you know Tom um you know Dave Vautrin – Tom Harrison formerly of Omnicom exactly – Dave Vautrin with Origin House you know so they just went through that
big acquisition with Cresco Labs so I’ve all these people – I love that our industry has gotten to a point where we can name drop – its crazy – and people these people actually matter to other I know it’s crazy
we’ve matured a little bit so I’m just absorbing all this knowledge and that
helps me navigate the things that I don’t know right so it’s like that’s
that’s basically if you don’t have that I think it’s tough man yeah because as
you’ve said in you know meetings and discussions we’ve had there’s the ‘what I
know’ – right ‘what I know that I don’t know’ exactly and then what we don’t know that we
don’t know – and that’ll kill you and that’s as an entrepreneur that’s that’s where most
that’s our graveyard exactly yeah that’s that becomes an entrepreneurs graveyard
unless you got the you need a flashlight and yeah and somebody that’s a travel guide – you need a sherpa of sorts -yeah sherpa right no absolutely man so that’s helped a lot you know so
and we have an awesome team so just fortunate to be in a situation
to be set up to have success you know yeah for sure and I think it’s great you
know you’ve got a great story personally that ties in you know well into the you
know the brand story and I think that makes it really authentic and yeah and
and legitimate and and I like that because you know they’re you’re buying
more than just you know a bottle of X or you know or a vape pen of this right so
I can certainly appreciate that and then that said you know as a way to you know
maybe share something else on a personal note you know you know you know you’re a
fan of cannabis which you know yeah on the outside of CBD right so what’s uh
what’s your favorite strain and you know what’s your favorite way to use it and
if you could be anywhere in the world at any time to use that strain in that
certain way yeah where would it be and who would you even include the you know
to be with you -thats a crazy question- enjoy the So I have a very deep intimate relationship
with the plant right like I started growing cannabis and I was like 23 years
old man actually the first experience ever had growing cannabis is when I was
like 16 years old because in Texas we used to get you know like brick weed that was full of seeds and stuff and I would always be in my room picking apart my bammer
my bammer I throw the seeds outside my window and one day my dad was like
mowing the lawn and he’s like you know I’m in the bedroom and I hear him like
start yelling it’s a like I go outside and there’s a plant – in that dad yell- yeah yeah there’s a
plant like this big like right outside my window and I’m like so right away is
like wow dude you can grow this so then I went to the Marine Corps when I got
out so naturally like a my curiosity – wait hold on back up real quick. did your dad be like “Hey, Carlos…. ¡Ven aquí, ven aquí!” was he all mad? yelling and cussing? – Yeah he was pissed He cut it down he was pissed i- he accused you – he knew where it came from you know yeah so what went and fast forward you know when
I got out of the Marine Corps and I’m like you know like hey you know this is
like 2003 when um the medical scene in California was barely like rocking right
right so like I could have the Marine Corps 2003 I’m like wow you can buy weed
like legally you know yeah so started like you know finding as much weed as I
could different kinds different kinds of cannabis and you know got really
involved in like cultivation man you know cuz that’s like a vortex that sucks
you that sucks you deep in you know and everything like when you start getting in
the cultivation side and with the genetic side and I’m no breeder by any
means but I’m a seed collector so I have a ton of different old-school genetics
man old and new so I mean whi Which are here in California of course. my
genetics? yeah – im just kidding – they’re in colorado we have an office in Colorado – right of course – some of those are hemp genetics by the way Texas has legal hemp by the way yeah so yeah man I mean I think I’m
like probably you know I love a lot of the new strains obviously like I was I
was here like when the whole like cookie movement happened you know like back in
like 2011 2012 when you went it was barely like it I remember – like Berner – there
were San Francisco like the the waterfall yeah waterfall clinic in in
San Francisco I think it was called and a couple of other clubs had like the rural
it was like the big thing back today so like I always like that strain and
things that come from that but also like like old school strains man you know
like well give me what give me one of your favorite so like dude out of the
traditional that like the real strains not banana – so honestly man like so it’s so like
like skunks okay like it’s like old-school stinky
skunk smell like some Hindu like some like some roadkill skunks you know what
I mean like some true like Afghani – got you true skunks man like the skunky
phenotypes the the the wet rag -gotchu- like super stinky
so sensi seeds used to have the strain called shiva skunk yeah
and back in like the the early 2000s I used to grow that strain I had bought
those seeds from sensi seeds and it kind of went like disappeared cuz you know
like all the OGs and everything took over yeah -in so many so many of those
genetics got watered down but that’s probably like my all-time favorite
strain of ever dude, Sensi Seeds Shiva SkunkI like to roll wrong How do you like it? do you like to roll a joint? – I like to roll joints – bongs? water pipes? Yeah no joints yeah joint
yeah because joints is almost like a Its like a thing yeah you know what I mean
let’s yeah we’re purist so I liked it that’s what i like -right- I like to grind it up
and smell them have the bouquet have the whole experience exactly after I get done
rollin do you like to dry hit it for a little bit yeah I like to dry hit I
do too – just kinda taste it before I light it yeah alright so you get some skunk you
roll up a just roll you know a nice joint and where would you be would you
you know rooftop somewhere beach somewhere in the woods honestly dude like
my backyard – a ranch- in my backyard with like my family so I live in the woods yeah like
I live I live you know where Cedar Hill is? in Texas? In Texas yeah like by Joe Pool Lake, like Cedar Hill yeah so I live behind the nature preserve so my backyard backs up to like
200 acre nature preserve yeah yeah so like and it’s its on it’s on a decent
size lot so so when you’re in the backyard you just get like lost it looks
like you’re in the woods man yeah I know so we have a pool out there and some and
a cool little setup so super relaxed – just kick it back there but it’s life slows down man
you know when you when you when you leave the hustle like that and you and
uh you’re in the woods you know it’s like yeah it slows down
yeah clock clocks become less relevant yeah you’re right. thats how I feel about the ocean dude yeah exactly the same thing like with the ocean right so life’s so fast man and everything happened so fast
like I just appreciate you know smoking and let time slow down a little bit you
know yeah especially you know you get out there not to get too philosophical
but just for a little bit you get out there with her you know I like to be out
by the ocean but you get out in the woods and there’s these massive trees especially in
California we got Sequoias and redwoods right now and you
realize how insignificant you are right? Dude yes- how small you are because as you know
we doing what you’re doing it as an executive of a company especially a
public you know pubco you’re making big decisions that affect a lot of people on
a regular hourly basis and you’re in charge of a lot of responsibilities on a
fiduciary level employee level operationally absolutely and so
sometimes you know all that decision-making and all that
responsibility can become a lot right so you nice to you know immerse yourself in
something that’s so big so much bigger and so much more powerful right then you
like big trees or the ocean which is the most unforgiving thing dude so I appreciate
that too it’s nice to just go you know not be – you gotta unplug right yeah got to unplug
it’s good for the business yeah it’s and it’s good for the soul and if the souls not
right the business isn’t gonna be right right you know I mean so sometimes you are you know you’re the CEO you’re the heart and soul of it all that’s why people show up
every day it’s why they come in earlier they stay later they come in on weekends
you know right you know they believe in you and your vision and everything yeah
it’s an honor man yeah well you’re doing an awesome job it is a privilege like we say Pressure is a … Privilege I don’t
know why that just turned into such Coach speak but that’s one of my sayings
pressure is a privilege. you’re handling it very well I think you’re doing an awesome job
there I love the team you’ve put together I love the way you handle
yourself on the way you know folding you know rolled in your business together
and appreciate and folding in different opportunities you know at the right time
in the right way I appreciate it so uh yeah keep doing everything you’re doing
I’d love to have you back I can’t wait to see what you continue to do thank you
it’s a great episode thanks for sponsoring this episode again Green
Lotus brands you can find their products and more information at GreenLotusHemp.com
ticker symbol on the OTCQB is FRLF -appreciate it- come again on the show
anytime man I’d love to have you stay in touch appreciate it man – thanks man
alright man thanks -see you next time on the liquid lounge

1 thought on “The Liquid Lounge 17 : Carlos Frias talks about growing a cannabis empire

  1. Sounds like this company is gonna be big,I’m gonna give this one a shot and buy in before it pops.i really like that that’s a marine at the helm thanks for your service.

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