Yeah, your favorite rapper may love to smoke weed, but how much do they actually know about the bud that they’re smoking? Berner (of Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang) can tell you what you need to know. In addition to delivering quality tunes to his adoring fans and touring, Berner is a real live cannabis connoisseur and entrepreneur that can lay claim to several of the best weed strains out there, most notably Girl Scout Cookies. As he stopped in Philadelphia for his Cookies or Better Tour, Berner sat with us to tell us what’s what with the trees and shed some light on the marijuana industry.
How did you get started in the weed game?
I started out playing with that weed more than anything.
What does it take to create a new strain?
It depends. I see all these rappers and hella people trying to just name shit and put their name on it, but in order to create a strain, you have to breed. It’s like making a baby. You have to take the male and the female and make it breed. Weed is like people, almost.
How do you actually come up with the strain?
It’s like everything else. If you’re outside and see a chick and fuck her raw dog, then you have a baby, you know what I mean, it just happens. It’s just experimental. You can make some shit that’s going to suck. You just gotta keep hittin’.
How many strains would you say you’ve had a hand in creating?
I’ve had my hand in, and my name attached to probably four or five. [Girl Scout] Cookies, Cherry Pie, Sherbet, Gelato, Snowman and The Y.
Now, I’ve seen people say they had Girl Scout Cookies, but they probably had that Fu Schnickens. How do you know if you have the real deal?
It’s hard, because Girl Scout Cookies, in the beginning, had a bunch of seeds in it. So, people got seeds, so they were able to plant those seeds and get a cut of Girl Scout Cookies, but again, it goes back to being like people. If you got a stepbrother or stepsister, it’s not a full bred, it’s not a full bloodline. It’s not right. Only a few people got the original cut from the creators of Girl Scout Cookies. Other people got “bag seeds.” I’m not gonna lie, some of the “bag seeds” look good and smoke good, but it’s just not the cut.
In DC, technically, the only way for folks to get weed legally is to grow it and share it with each other. Do you have any tips on growing?
Growing is like learning to riding a bike. You just gotta ride your wheels, man. It’s just trial and error. Not every crop is gonna be good. You’re gonna figure out each run what you’re doing wrong and what you can do to improve. It’s pretty much something you gotta work at. It’s not going to be easy. You gotta tweak temperatures and see the way you got that light hitting it. It’s a lot of things to it. You just gotta keep sticking with it.
Can you tell us a little about Hemp2O? What is it exactly?
Hemp2O is an organic beverage. Like an organic Vitamin Water. It’s very similar to Vitamin Water, but it’s all organic and it tastes a lot better than Vitamin Water. The hemp seed’s got Omega 3’s in it. We’re planning on doing a lot of things this year with that shit. It’s just going to keep growing and growing and growing.
The legal weed industry is becoming the new wave. Do you have any advice for folks who want to enter the industry, especially people of color?
It’s all about what genetics you have. Attach yourself to people with the right genetics. Everyone in the world, especially these rich White dudes in corporate America are all going to try to get involved in the weed world, but they ain’t got what it takes sometimes. Coca Cola could start up right now, but they don’t got Cookies. They don’t got Sherbet. They don’t got the fly shit. Weed’s one of them cultures that’s not going to be like Jack Daniels or Grey Goose or Budweiser or Heineken. There’s so many different flavors and styles, so find the ones that fit what your area likes the most and attach yourself to them. Make sure you have them. Try to work out a deal. Come spend some money with me, shit. Get it popping.
As someone deep in the weed business, when would you say weed’ll be legal everywhere in America?
Realistically by 2018, it’ll probably be legal everywhere. By 2016, a lot of states will be legal. The sooner the better. I’m sick and tired of being paranoid. I’m thinking next year I’m going to start a new rule: Don’t book me if it ain’t cool [in your area]. We, as artists, are sick and tired of worrying about getting busted and going to jail for a fucking plant. That’s stupid. I personally don’t like to drink. I like to smoke that herb. Driving through the West Virginias and the South Carolinas and North Carolinas, even the Atlanta, Georgias where it’s so much shit going on in the culture of hip hop and weed is so relevant, yeah, you can still go to jail. Like, the homie went to jail for having weed in his teeth. He ate the sack when they got pulled over, but they took him to jail for possession of under an ounce for a couple of crumbs in his teeth. To me, that’s stupid. Fuck all that shit. It’s motherfuckers getting killed out here not worried about that smoke.