The last few ounces of The Dookie Brothers’ award-winning, Southern Humboldt County-grown medical cannabis strain “Zkittlez” sat in a large glass jar at the Humboldt County Cup competition in Redway earlier this month.

Eager medical cannabis patients dropped by The Dookie Brothers’ booth to meet the cultivators and try a sample of the hybrid flower that took home top prizes from the state’s largest cannabis competition The Emerald Cup in Sonoma County in December as well as the local Golden Tarp Awards a few months prior.

Along with the free flowers, T-shirts sporting The Dookie Brothers’ logo and the motto “We Smoke What We Grow” were also being handed out to whoever had a free hand.

Dookie Brothers cofounder Jason “Dookie” — who preferred not to give his last name — planned to stick to that motto after the cup was over.

“That’s all I have,” he said looking at the flower-filled jar. “Whatever’s left is going to be for myself to smoke.”

Jason, 43, took a few minutes from the booth to answer some questions about their newfound success and their plans for the future as the state’s cannabis industry poises to explode in 2018.

Q: Did you expect when you made this strain that it would be this successful and win awards from both the Golden Tarp Awards and The Emerald Cup?

A: I didn’t make the strain. I just happened upon it. I got lucky. (Reporter’s note: Turns out several strains of Zkittlez had been entered into The Emerald Cup, but The Dookie Brothers’ flowers “packed a punch,” according to a judge.)

Q: How long have The Dookie Brothers been around?

A: We formed in September 2016. Right before the Golden Tarp. Those are the only two competitions I’ve ever entered.

Q: So who are The Dookie Brothers?

A: It’s a bunch of guys that all believe in the same thing. We’re all small-batch farmers. We only grow for ourselves and our family members. Nothing big. We do techniques that normal people don’t do and it actually works a lot better. We do innovative things that people think don’t work, but they work wonders.

Q: What kinds of techniques?

A: We do a lot of trial and error stuff. So with trial and error we tend to learn what to do and what not to do fast. Me personally, I like to do outdoor in a greenhouse with a controlled environment. I like to do light deprivation. That’s my passion: light-dep.

Q: Are you planning to expand in the future?

A: It’s early on. We’re trying to do everything legal. That’s our main focus, spend the money we have on good lawyers — plural — and good accountants — plural. I don’t think we’re even gonna make money this year. To sell it, I think it’s almost impossible to sell it with all the hoops you have to jump through to do it. Until something changes, each of the laws get a little bit more lenient, I think in 2018 then we’ll be able to do bigger farms and get The Dookie Brothers’ name out there a lot more. I’m going to expand. I’m working in those directions, but I’m doing it slowly and methodically and legally.

Q: I’m surprised that you’re having difficulty finding anywhere to sell it, based on the fact that you won those awards, especially from The Emerald Cup.

A: It’s not that we didn’t need to find anywhere to sell it. We could sell it, but legally we’re having to jump through hoops. And it’s not like we had any to sell. We’re small batch farmers. That’s all I have. Whatever’s left is going to be for myself to smoke.

Q: Where do you see yourself and the Humboldt County cannabis industry as the new state regulations unfold and the industry expands throughout the state?

A: I believe that The Dookie Brothers are going to be fine. I think we’re going to thrive. We’re going to be like water. We’re going to mold to whatever challenge comes our way and adapt to it. Just like water does, just like we do. In this business, it’s ever-changing. It’s OK. It’s just the nature of the beast. You’ve just got to know how to ride it. We’ve got our bootstraps on and we’re ready to ride the beast.

Q: Anything else you want to add before I let you go?

A: I love it. It’s a passion of mine. And I found the thing that I’ve been looking for my whole life.
That thing that gets me up real early in the morning, that thing that doesn’t let me sleep, that spark.

And I’m full.