Off to See the Wizard of Trees

Off to See the Wizard of Trees

If you’ve paid any attention to what’s happening in the California cannabis scene over the past few years, you’ve likely already heard of Wizard Trees. Hell, you don’t even have to be in California to have heard the good word. Known for growing some of the most popular strains of recent years, like RS-11, notably popularized by the street-savvy Doja Pak, and its latest adaptation, Zoap, both of which were bred by longtime partner DEO Farms, the cultivation skills at Wizard Trees are hard to ignore.

The brainchild of Scott, a true Los Angeles local who has been cultivating high-grade cannabis for around eight years, Wizard Trees is the product of trial and error and putting in the work. While most brands today are focused on volume and scale, for Scott, the bar to wear his logo is constantly elevating. If it’s not beautiful, if it’s not terpy, it’s just not Wizard Trees.

In the year since I’ve started talking to Scott about his business, this elevation has become apparent. When we first spoke, he told me flower was, and I quote, “the main focus, but I’d like to do some like rosin, high-end concentrates, actually.”

This May, he took home second place in the Hydrocarbon Solid category at the highly prestigious Emerald Cup for his work with Doja Pak and FIELD Extracts on their RS-11 live resin. So, as you can imagine, things are going well. With all the acclaim, I had to hear the story of how he scaled arguably the tallest mountain in our industry in such a short time. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was all the other players Scott was about to mention.

Courtesy of Wizard Trees

BECOMING THE WIZARD

Although Scott wholly owns Wizard Trees, he’s well aware that his network is an important key to his success. From humble beginnings running home grows to an opportunity that helped him scale to 100 lights, it was Scott’s passion for high-quality cannabis that started him on his journey.

“I saw people making Instagrams,” Scott told me. “When I first started, I watched the Jungle Boys a lot. I kind of picked pieces from their Instagram, and I was like, ‘These guys are fucking killing it.’ I’d always go to TLC [Toluca Lake Collective] and the other top dispensaries at the time, just trying to learn stuff like that.”

At this point, Scott was finding some success with his 12-light setup, but he fell into an opportunity that forced him to learn how to scale to the next level quickly.

“It definitely wasn’t easy, but I think the biggest part was getting a facility to run those 100 lights,” he said. “Where I started, I didn’t really know a lot of technology. I didn’t know how to irrigate. I was hand-watering. I just wasn’t using my brain on anything, but then I started to figure out, you know, like VPD [vapor pressure deficit], temperature, humidity, irrigation tech. John Slab Lab was the one that started teaching me how to do irrigation and stuff like that. From the second I caught on to how to irrigate and how to read graphs with certain sensors, I was able to scale at a very high level and very quickly because I knew what I was looking for. Back then, it was like, ‘Shit, something looks like it’s wrong here.’ You know, ‘Let’s see what’s going on.’ [Now I] could identify it very quickly.”

About a year into running his 100-light facility, Scott realized the pressure was making a diamond, and his job got easier.

“Now there’s a lot of different technology where you can see what’s going on immediately. You can get alerts on your phone if temperatures go out of whack. If it starts getting too hot, just shut the lights off. Immediate, real-time responsiveness… And then, from there, people saw what we were capable of. I got more opportunities and got more spots, and just continued to grow at a very, very fast pace.”

With the increased attention, it was paramount to Scott that anything hitting the streets that bore his name was of the highest possible caliber.

“What we look for is, you know, similar terpene profiles to what’s hot in the market right now, but we’re trying to recreate something new, where it’s similar to something, but it has its own twist,” he said. “We’re trying to get customers for our brands for life—not just one time and then you go out and talk shit because it wasn’t very good. We want to be like, ‘Yo, have you tried this shit? It’s so fucking fire!’ That’s what makes it fun. I got into this because I love smoking weed. I was on the hunt trying to find the best genetics and grow the best flower on the planet, you know?”

Throughout his own growth, he partnered with friends to develop a nutrient line called NPKaliPro. Today, he considers that part of his secret sauce.

“It’s gotten the product where it is, my pro salts,” Scott said. “I think the way everything smokes, how clean it smokes, that’s a factor. Why it smokes that way, why the ash is so white, why the terps are the way they are…”

Cream / Courtesy of Andrew Parker, @chewberto420

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Although Wizard Trees is its own brand, Scott is quick to point out the other players that helped him get to where he is today, and that collaboration has elevated his game to levels he didn’t know he could reach. Most notably, he attributes a lot of his success to Deep East, the person behind DEO Farms, who breeds most of the genetics Wizard Trees grows.

“Rob [Deep East] was working with my partner at the time, and there was a falling out between the partners, and I received all of Rob’s genetics,” Scott said. “He had given my partner all these seeds, the Rainbow Sherbet seeds. We popped 100 seeds, and we found the RS #3, our RS-11, and the RS #54, which is Studio 54.”

After Scott connected with Rob directly, it was clear the two were on the same page. Seemingly kismet, Scott pitched an idea to Rob.

“Let’s build something together and just keep working on this.”

As you can likely tell by now, things only picked up speed from there.

“I have always gone after the highest quality strains, you know? Trying to find the best genetics and keep things on an exclusive level to at least the group and infrastructure that I’m a part of,” Scott said. “I think it’s cool what he’s doing, and now what our group is doing on the genetic side. How we can keep it a small, tight-knit group inside the cannabis industry—people that have been in the industry for a minute— and then just elevate each other to the next level. I think the way that we put the group together, I think it just kind of fell in place this way. Rob’s the breeder, I’m the grower, and Ryan’s the distro. He’s the one that gets it out. And I mean, at this point, all three of us have really big names. So whatever we touch, it kind of just… I mean, I don’t like to put out anything that’s not good. So if it’s not good, I just don’t grow it. But the bigger it is, the more people see it, the bigger it takes off.”

And that model seems to work with the partners, as we’re seeing with his latest collaborations with Fiya Farmer, Zangria, and CREAM.

As Scott told me, “[Fiya Farmer] was one of the first people that I actually met through Instagram. We started super small, and we’ve always kept in contact. Our latest, CREAM, is GM3 x Thin Mint Cookies. GM3 is the first female I ever found from seed. It’s a Grease Monkey pheno from Exotic Genetix.”

Another longtime partner, SMKRS LA (aka Captain Save A Grow), is actually the guy who selected Studio 54 and the RS #3, which SMKRS is currently running as Shirazi.

“So everyone that I partner up with, we usually have similar ambitions on trying to find dope new genetics and just hunting for the new thing to keep it exclusive to the group,” Scott said. “If everyone has it, it’s not that cool. There’s a lot of really good genetics out there. But if everyone on the planet has it… It’s worked out pretty well between me, DEO, and Doja and the other partners that have been a part of it along the way.”

Zoap / Courtesy of Andrew Parker, @chewberto420

DOWN THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

With some of the most in-demand genetics in the game right now, it’s easy to assume that Scott would just stick to his lane and keep pumping out primo in California, but that’s not a big enough goal for Wizard Trees.

“I think the goal is to try and be in every high-end state,” he said. “The biggest problem is making sure that everything gets grown properly. You know, the biggest concern of having anyone grow our strains is that it’s not going to be up to our quality, and we don’t want to see the brand get tarnished if it’s not grown correctly because, at this point, everyone knows what’s good and what’s bad. And if you put out some bad flower into your brand, people don’t forget that. Scaling up too quickly is a problem.

“You know, people don’t really understand. This isn’t the easiest thing ever,” Scott said. “I am hoping to be a part of a group that just basically takes what I’ve done here and can scale it from state to state and be a part of that process and make sure that they grow out the same way that I like it to be grown.”

But just growing his own brand isn’t enough for Scott. He’s constantly putting together new projects, like Avantt, a collaboration between himself, Deep East, and Joey Colombo, the artist known as JdotColombo behind Money Trees Cannabis.

“The reason we want to do that is we just want to push one thing,” Scott said. “People have kind of gotten confused in the past on who’s a part of it, or who did what so that just can be all of us. Rob is the breeder behind it, I’m the grower, and Joey, he’s gonna do all the badass art that he does like make bag designs and animations, and we think it’s gonna be a pretty epic concept. 

“With Avantt, what we’re doing is all the crosses and dope strains that we’ve made over the years, we’re going to cross them all. We’re popping thousands of seeds, and we’re trying to find some of the dopest genetics and different terpene profiles and have, like, six to eight strains. What me and Rob do is try to find different lines where it’s completely different terp profiles and then keep working those lines. Something we kind of just learned with the RS-11 is when we dropped Zoap, the 11 started to fade a little bit. So now when we find something, and we’ve got so many of them, we can start ramping those up and start phasing the old ones out.”

If there’s one thing we know about the way the industry moves, it’s that you’re only as good as your latest product.

“We’ve got to stay ahead of the game,” Scott said. “Once a strain starts dying out, we already have the new production in heavy flow. With what we’ve got going on with the brand right now, we need to focus on the highest quality there is. Otherwise, it’s work. If you walk into a 50-, or 100-light room, and you see six different badass flavors that are about to come down, and they’re all purpled out, smelling amazing. Just walking through one of those rooms puts a big smile on my face.”

wizard-trees.com

This article appears in the August 2022 issue of High Times. Subscribe here.

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