SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian spoke to the RRBG Podcast about being a cannabis advocate and founder of the cannabis lifestyle brand 22Red, which focuses on cannabis, fashion, music and wellness. About his entry into the cannabis industry, Shavo said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’ve been smoking since I was around 20, 21 years old. On our first tour, I became a connoisseur when I met Arjan Roskam, the owner of the Green House Seed Company in Amsterdam who invented the White Widow and the Super Silver and the Super Lemon Haze and all that stuff. I met him by chance and we hit it off. And I’ve tried everything these varieties. You can try strains in LA – whatever was available, you have to smoke. Here was a menu and shit like that. So I said, ‘Let me have a little bit of everything.’ And I took it to my room and smoked it. Long story short, he invited me for this season’s harvest tasting, and it was a table with bowls of grass. I think you can find this on YouTube. If you type “SYSTEM” get high “or something, it’s in there – a small part of it – because they were filming at the time. And that just made me a connoisseur.”
He continued, “I don’t want to get high-high; i just want a taste and i want to see it and i want to smell it. It all became a part of me. So over the years I just kept smoking – not just to get high. Some people just smoke to get high and sit on the couch. Not me. I do things. I’m very busy and energetic, so I smoke and do things. And everyone wanted me to have an exposure when it got medically legal in LA, Cali – everyone wanted me to have an exposure and I just didn’t want to interfere, it wasn’t my thing. I would have – it would have been crazy – but I did, I waited. And when I was introduced to one of my partners who is actually one of the founding breeders of Cali from ’06 or ’07 – or maybe ’10. In ’09 or 2010 he was one of the first people to grow OG back then, of course with the legends out there like Kenji and all these other guys and Wonderbrett, he’s one of those guys.
“When I started to grow, I thought, ‘I can represent that,'” he explained. “I said, ‘This is really cool.’ And we were already making a lifestyle brand. We didn’t have the name 22 yet. And it was something like, ‘Let’s just do it fully.’ It was 2017 and Cali was about to be legalized as a recreational athlete, which was a good time for me to jump in and not worry about anything. I said, “I can do this now and talk about it without this weird stigma.” But who cares? I was never someone who cared about stigma. But I met the right people at a good time in my life. I had clarity. I had to get rid of a lot of things that I tried in a while back. So I was that newfound person. And I have my kids, I have my wife. Everyone settled down. Let’s go. A new thing on the horizon. And that was it. And we built it. We started in Cali. Three boys. No investment – we just put in some money and do what we can. Now we’re in three states. We have a full company. We have a CEO, we have a COO. It’s going, brother. We hope to be able to scale to three more states by 2021, 2022 – three to five more states that we’re currently looking at and see where it takes us. And we have high quality clothing that I helped develop. ‘Because if it was going to be a nice branded thing, I don’t want it to be like band merch where it’s easy to get a shirt, any fit, put your name on it and sell it. Very minimal branding. The 22 shirts are empty with a double on the back or something on the sleeve. I have fonts in there. It’s for stoners, so when you look inside you think, ‘Oh, shit. It told me something. ‘ The quality of the cannabis must be the best. I do the quality control myself. I’m sending my breeder to other states to make sure he grows the way we do here in Cali. We’re trying to get it right, man – be consistent. No person has ever complained about the quality of our cannabis or our clothes. So that’s good. “
22Red started out in California but is now also sold in Nevada and Arizona. According to Las Vegas Weekly, the company’s strains include the indica-dominant hybrid Animal Mint; the powerful indica White Sabbath (which Odadjian recommends for the night); the sativa-dominant hybrid Mimosa 22; the “very potent” indica-dominant Hybrid 22 OG; and a lighter indica-dominant hybrid called So Delicious. 22Red also carries three different vapes – a sativa called Kinetic, an indica called Peace, and a CBD-THC two-in-one called Eleven – as well as four flavored CBD hemp direct vape pens: watermelon, strawberry sorbet, grain killer, and orange mint .
According to its website, 22Red’s mission is to “create an enhanced cannabis lifestyle that celebrates the world’s creatives” in cannabis, music, art and fashion.