In Conversation with
GOOD BUDS Co-Founders Tyler & Alex Rumi
Q - In May 2019, GOOD BUDS was the first Canadian LP awarded the chance to grow cannabis outdoors. What did that milestone feel like?
Alex: I’m never going to forget that moment. It was like being struck by lighting. We weren't like any of the big public players in the industry. We were this small, family business, with a dream to grow outdoors on Salt Spring Island. I remember Tyler and I jumping up and down and lots of high fives with the team.
Tyler: When we got the word, we wanted to plant the first legal outdoor plants in Canada before anyone else got licensed. So we caution-taped a small area, and hand-planted 80 seeds directly into the native soil. Even without any fertilizers or watering, a bunch of them still took off. It was a real testament to how great our soils and climate are here on Salt Spring.
Q - You chose to grow cannabis outdoors on BC’s Salt Spring Island. Why here and what makes it different?
Tyler: There’s a sticker on the back of everyone’s car here that says: “Don’t change the island, let the island change you.” The first time I stepped foot on the land that’s now GOOD BUDS, it was this old seed farm that was completely covered with overgrowth, but it also had these delicious fruit trees and seeded plants everywhere, and tons of earth worms all over. It was this wild, magical place.
Alex: We could see right away that if we grew outdoors in the native soil and focused on regenerating what was here, we’d already be getting a head start. We’re also completely surrounded by the ocean, so at harvest you get these Ocean Grown plants with a notoriously salty quality that’s super unique. Something you can’t fake in a greenhouse or covered grow op. You don’t even have to smoke it to tell the difference. When you squish one of these buds and smell it, right away you’ll get taken on that journey…
Q - GOOD BUDS is working towards an organic certified designation with the Fraser Valley Organics Association. Why is this important to you and how has this made growing different?
Alex: Growing outdoors is really a game changer for Canadian LPs. Of course, our first priority is to deliver quality weed and extracts, but we’re not going to do that at the expense of the environment. At it’s core, we’re growing plants and flowers and those have always been grown outdoors in the sun and soil. We’re taking big risks, but they’re risks worth taking.
Tyler: Salt Spring’s climate makes it possible to grow with the ecosystem, instead of working against it. We try to make use of almost everything the island gives us - like capturing rain water and feeding that back to our plants. We also work really hard to regenerate the island soil. Cover crops like clover or mustard seed are grown between our plants to act as a natural pest repellent, but they also add nutrients when we turn over the soil at the end of harvest. We have a ways to go when it concerns being completely sustainable, but we truly believe that GOOD BUDS is going to be one of the vanguards of that change.
Q - Tyler, You started this company out of a sprinter van on the land with friends and family. Is that where you guys got the name “GOOD BUDS”?
Tyler: The name has two meanings - good weed and good people - but it really is about the people. My good buds Manny and Bubs were some of the first people to come out to the land with me after we decided to settle here. We didn’t have a “home” at the time, so we’d work on the land in the day and then sleep in my van and a trailer at night. Nothing glamorous, but they were some of the best times. I loved living here and getting high with them at the top of the hill overlooking the land.
Then about a year later when we were almost finished clearing, I knew we needed to build out the business side to really get this on it’s feet. I called my bro Alex and pitched him on running this with me. When I had my first MMAR grow a few years back, I couldn’t afford to buy lights. So I went to Alex and asked if he could lend me money. He was the first one to help me out and he helped me grow my first chronic. Now today he’s involved in everything that envelops us getting to be here. We wake up and grow the weed, but a lot of the other stuff we owe to Alex.
I’d be going on forever if I named them all here - but it’s taken a lot of good people to get us to where we are today - so, yah, it really is about the people. It also helps that we’re all dead set to put out the most chronic weed. We love our Buds.