Josh Del Rosso, Founder and Managing Director of Josh D Farms
I spoke on the phone with Josh Del Rosso, Founder and Managing Director of his namesake, Josh D Farms the other day and as UN-taped interviews: IE., cold call conversations go, it turned into a cheery, smile filled excursion into the world of ultra-high end cannabis and the stories that surround this lux-art form. Which is to say, as the time slipped by, and I found myself in a state of self induced euphoria, primarily because I was speaking to a legend in the field of cannabis! A humble man who exudes the passion and youthful exuberance that would be refreshing to say the very least. And as the time slipped away and the DF Trammusic that I was listening to, way off in the background, began to deepen the overall experience of sharing ideas and thoughts, I realized that my place in the cannabis field is every bit as pertinent as most others. And that was good for now, because sharing thoughts with folks such as Josh would have been unheard of for me just a few short years ago. So please allow me to share with you, dear readers, a very kind man who is doing something truly unique in the business of medicating with flowers.
Forbes: Why Cannabis instead of say, becoming a scientist or working in a bank? (Like I did, shh!) When did you realize that you had an aptitude for propagating flowers?
JDR: I got into working with cannabis because I felt a calling to the plant from the first time I encountered it. After doing more research and experimentation with the plant, I couldn't understand why the plant was illegal and it only fueled my passion for getting it into the hands of the people that needed it the most. My passion for the plant and innovative cultivation techniques laid the groundwork for a 20+ year business that truly is a labor of love. We recently ranked as #2 in The 2018 Emerald Cup’s Licensed Mixed Light Flower category - to me, that’s a testament to our company’s dedication to the OG Kush varietal and our vision of what it could become. The fact that I am now legally cultivating in Southern California surrounded by family, friends and one of the most talented teams in the country - its like manifest destiny - I am living a dream that even twenty years ago I never thought possible.
Forbes: When was the first time that you smoked cannabis? Where? Did you get buzzed? How do you feel about medical cannabis?
JDR: I first smoked cannabis at a drive-in movie theater in high-school with a band I was a part of. I believe a Halloween movie was playing at the time - I think it was Trick or Treat? I just remember being so excited to smoke - it was more the anticipation than anything really - but my anticipation was only exceeded by my experience. The fact of the matter is that there are far more medical benefits than just catching a buzz for recreational purposes. For example, with OG Kush, many people have told me personal stories about how nothing else but this cultivar helps them with anxiety and insomnia. The most amazing thing is that as we finally get to research this plant more and what it can do, we are finding out that it can treat a whole range of symptoms from epilepsy to Crohn's Disease to final stage cancer. It is amazing to hear personal stories from real people who have used cannabis to treat, prevent or change their lives.
Forbes: I’ll bet you have many great strains you’ve enjoyed over the decades, but how did you choose your specific strain of OG Kush? What does OG Kush stand for?
JDR: "The “OG Kush” lineage starts back in the 1990s - as a local Floridian favorite known as “Krippy” or “Supernaut.”
For years, “Kush” remained a well-kept secret shared within the Florida growers community. OG Kush is not an easy plant to grow: It is sensitive to light and nutrient levels, and very susceptible to pests. I eventually shared these cuttings and knowledge with numerous friends and growers who would eventually spread “OG Kush” cuttings around the world. We chose the name "OG Kush" because of the aroma coming off the plant, the greasy oily trichomes that shine like diamonds. The tear drop triangle shaped nugs have a very low leaf to calyx ratio with a short flowering cycle. Once we tried the first plant, we realized it was something completely different - personally, it was the most profound high I had ever experienced. You can pick a cultivar after you have really gotten to experience it.
OG stands for Original - so Original Kush. It was meant to designate that this specific Kush was grown by our crew in a specific way.
Forbes: What is your favorite food to cook when you are enjoying your own flowers? Do you cook? If so, who taught you? Mother? Father? Television Cooking shows?
JDR: I enjoy cooking a rigatoni bolognese recipe that my father taught me. My family is from Rome, so food has always been important to us.
Forbes: Speaking of terroir in cannabis, can your obviously ultra-high-end cannabis be grown in New Jersey? We have plenty of medical, but nothing that actually feels like what I expect to be, cannabis. It’s like Mock Cannabis in the end result. It looks beautiful, but there's the rub. The more that I travel to grow operations, the more I realize that the end results, after drying and curing are wildly varied. Thoughts?
JDR: Yes, the same growing techniques that we use in California for indoor growing can be translated to New Jersey with a few tweaks to achieve almost the same quality, if not the exact same quality. Genetics play a big role in this. If you have great genetics and a talented grower with a proper facility, I believe you can achieve similar results anywhere. With regards to terroir - that is a much more complex question. You are starting to get into appellations and the difference of growing the same plant with the same genetics in two different places. The natural environment, such as a greenhouse or outdoor crop presents an entirely different set of variables for a grower to consider. For example, using CoCo vs Soil Vs Rockwhohl may and likely will cause a variance in the geno's expression of the plant. This is also a variable that needs to be accounted for when growing from seed vs clone as the pheno you may be hunting for is properly expressed within the environmental conditions provided. That is both the art and science of with this plant.
Thank you Josh for being so forthright about your craft. Speaking to you is akin to speaking to a great movie director- because you sir, are truly legendary in our field! Cheers! WB