Few podcasts in any category have ever had a year one quite like First Smoke of The Day.
While there have been many pot podcasts over the years, none have ever been hosted by people with the industry experience of Pack Gods and Blackleaf. It showed over the first year. With much of the higher production quality cannabis podcast scene leaning towards the business and policy side, First Smoke of the Day proved to be precisely what the community was craving.
We sat down with the pair just after the release of their 50th episode. They jumped to on-camera interviews about halfway through when they interviewed Mario “Mr. Sherbinsky” Guzman. It only pushed the snowball down the hill faster.
The pair are understandably excited with how it’s gone.
“It’s just cool to be able to add value to a collaborative effort where it just keeps unfolding,” Blackleaf told L.A. Weekly. “New stories, new people, all these different things that will hopefully go on for a while to be looked at and viewed.”
The first two seasons were basically just friends. The familiarity with guests made it easy to come out of the gate. Then they started to reap the benefits of their efforts, as they worked their way outside their personal circles.
The pair are hesitant to pick a moment where they knew things started taking off. But they knew the moment it felt like it was getting a lot more real when Cookies cofounder Berner hit them up to do an interview.
“For me, that was a realization of like, okay, people are really watching,” Blackleaf said. “Not only watching, they respect what we’re doing, and they want to be involved. I think that was a big milestone for sure. And then as well as just having guys like Ivan from The Jungle Boys and everyone reach out and say they want to sponsor and then start giving us money.”
While the money has never impacted the direction or content, it certainly has helped the cause. At that point, it was no longer a hobby. They’re currently building out their new downtown L.A. studio, with the support of the sponsors.
They’ve received plenty of feedback from people who they consider the boots on the ground of the industry at cultivation sites and hash washrooms. Folks are hitting them up regularly to tell them where they hear the episodes playing in their work travels. One person traveling between two of their cultivation sites even noted he walked into them listening to different episodes while they worked at both facilities.
“And I just thought, that’s epic that people care that much to listen to everyone else’s story, that it’s that impactful,” Blackleaf said. “It literally hits home with the guys that are really doing this shit. The guys that are sitting there plucking leaves for eight hours a day. The guys running gardens, the guys washing hash.”
And it’s not just an L.A. thing. Their world travels have exposed them to cannabis communities all over America and Europe. Pack Gods asserted he always believed that from their first trip across the Atlantic a year ago at the heart of the pandemic, they were laying the groundwork for their international expansion with the proper intent. Especially given they were there to capture the tales of the continent’s big hitters. When they returned to Barcelona for Spannabis 2022, they knew it was working, as enthusiasts from a variety of countries approached them to say they loved the show.
As much as they love globetrotting, the pair said it’s hard to compare to 4/20 in New York this year. The window of cannabis hype in New York right now is absolutely wild with it more accessible across the city than ever, with little to no enforcement as New York’s legal market comes to maturity.
But the pair have even more exciting personal developments on the horizon. They always had plans to do a fashion and cannabis line since touching foot in California. Later this year, it will become a reality in the recreational market.
“By the end of the year, we should have flower getting to the rec market,” Blackleaf said. “So right now, we’re building out the bloom rooms. We already have plants in the nursery. As soon as things are ready, we’re going to move the genetics from the nursery into the bloom rooms.
They plan to go craft with the three small rooms in hopes of producing the best cannabis possible. After three years of LED testing, it went back to double-ended high-pressure sodium bulbs to make sure they can compete with the market’s top dogs.
“It’s all about a small focus,” Pack Gods said.
Keep an eye out for a new episode of First Smoke of the Day, every week.
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