When I sat down with Danny Trevino to talk pot, it didn’t take long to see that he is not only clever but also business savvy; he is building a brand in a market that is still in its infancy. He developed a strain of marijuana which is a cross between AK-47 and Original Haze. Both parental genetics came from the infamous Marc Emery seed catalog. Trevino named the strain after himself, a decision that he calls a marketing strategy and brand recognition.
The largest challenge regarding marijuana that he sees at the moment is its legal status. With limited legality, such as Michigan’s medical marijuana program, Trevino sees that the loop holes and technicalities are almost always used against the patient or caregiver. He echoed some of the concerns voiced by patients around the state: it’s appalling that the government would try to circumvent a People’s Initiative that passed with a clear and overwhelming majority. Most of the average voters believe that once you become a medical marijuana patient or caregiver, The State of Michigan supplies seeds or clones for the grower to get started. Trevino laughed at the thought while making it clear that the state does not even help patients by providing resources for new participants looking to get started.
Early in the year of 2014, Trevino paid for a billboard advertisement showing simply a picture of his face. “It works in two ways,” he says. “It lets people know who I am and of my involvement in medical marijuana, and helps spread the message that I am an avid Facebook user. I get hundreds of likes.” But one thing Trevino does not use avidly is edibles. Surprisingly, this Lansing marijuana icon doesn’t use alternative forms of cannabis often. He prefers joints, and even then he only takes just a few tokes as he works nearly around the clock.
With the hot topic of legalization looming about in the near future in Michigan, Trevino was quick to show his support for full legalization of marijuana citing his own business model as an example for shops with regulated cannabis. If a future legalization measure came forth, Trevino wouldn’t hesitate to test marijuana at a lab for potency and contaminants, though it is not something he currently does. Trevino and his crew have won several court cases in the past five years and though you would think that the drama was over, Trevino and his employees remain under constant attack by certain counties. Many people believe that the reason he faces so much pressure is because of his gall to stay open and provide an invaluable service to sick patients.
At the end of the day, of course Trevino has a passion for the cannabis plant and is a cannapreneur (a businessman in the cannabis industry), however helping patients is still his number one priority. He talked briefly about Georgia House Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) who said “Maybe it’s time for a little civil disobedience. I’m ready and willing to risk going to jail to be able to go get the product, and bring it back to Georgia so that these families can have access to it.” Trevino is hopeful that an act of that magnitude from a politician would bring awareness and ultimately help patients.
Two of Trevino’s employees are facing a trial that is scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd, in Kent County’s Circuit Court. Trevino is asking for support at the hearing. If you plan on attending, please dress and conduct yourself accordingly.