For VLC’s Master Grower Dylan Bailey, growing cannabis is more than a job, it’s a passion and a way of life that allows him to pursue his dreams and help others. Growing high quality craft cannabis for the legal market is what drives Dylan and the VLC Team.
Each day Dylan enter’s VLC’s facility with a positive attitude because he is grateful for the opportunity to do what he loves, as he explains, “every morning I wake up excited to get to the grow, to be with the VLC team and check on the progress of the plants!”
Q: When did you become interested in cannabis?
Dylan: My friends were experimenting with it in high school and I became interested in it partly because it was more appealing than alcohol. I liked the way it made me feel more than alcohol. The first time I tried it was with a buddy from high school who had some ‘Tuna Can Kush’, allegedly from BC so it had to be good, lol.
Q: How long have you been growing?
Dylan: I’ve been growing legally under Canada’s ACMPR regulations 5 years prior to VLC. In those 5 years there was never a time when I wasn’t growing and learning about cannabis. Cannabis was a rabbit hole of fascinating information and the more I looked into it the more interested I became. Initially I started to research different substrates after starting with the traditional soil mix, and then moved on to growing in deep water culture because it blew my mind how you can grow plants in water.
Q: What is the most important discovery you’ve made growing cannabis with respect?
Dylan: Using beneficial microbes and enzymes in the growing medium, and how it affects root system development, plant yields, and trichome development. In addition, I think terpenes are what really steal the show with cannabis so we try to maximize the terpene content in each grow. The entourage effect between terpenes and cannabinoids is something we think about as we grow because we know that terpenes help modulate the effects of cannabinoids, and that lends to a better experience in the end.
Q: What are your favourite strains?
Dylan: Personally, my all-time favourite has been Super Lemon Haze and everything with high amounts of the Limonene terpene. Lilac Diesel, Dance Hall and Black Cherry Punch are also staples that I always keep on hand.
Q: What is the most important growing advice you’ve ever received?
Dylan: Don’t overcomplicate the process. The only constant in life is change so a healthy attitude toward the idea of change is important. Growing is all about reading and reacting to what those specific plants are telling you daily, because each plant is its own being.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring growers?
Dylan: Keep learning and don’t be afraid to try new things. Each cultivar is different and has a tendency to prefer a slightly different mix of attention, light, EC (electrical conductivity), and nutrients. The key to getting the most of the cultivar you’re growing is to pay close attention to what the plant is telling you, and knowing how to respond is key. Our grow team at VLC has decades of combined experience so there isn’t much we haven’t seen before which helps us keep our plants healthy.
Q: Which cannabis growers have inspired you and influenced you the most?
Dylan: Kevin Anderson of Broken Coast because he is a humble industry pioneer who’s methods have yielded awesome results. He’s a personable individual who continues to inspire in a number of ways.
Q: What is your favourite strain to grow personally?
Dylan: My personal favourite strain to grow has now become Black Cherry Punch. It has unbelievably strong genetic traits, it handles high amounts of light, nutrient feeds, and plant training. It’s a great plant to push to the absolute limit. The smell is absolutely unreal too!
Q: Why do you love about working with VLC?
Dylan: It’s a great team of fun and motivated people who strive daily to grow the best cannabis possible. Everyone here truly does respect the craft, we love crafting cannabis that we want to consume ourselves. Maintaining the positive vibe around here is something we take seriously too- we know that our own attitude and energy is influencing everything around us, from the plants to the building and the consumers. Everything is energy!
Q: What do you think about the term “Master Grower”?
Dylan: It’s my personal belief that no one ever really “masters” growing because there is always so much to learn. Being a relatively new industry in terms of legality means that there is new research emerging daily and to think you have mastered it is not the way I approach it. A team effort is what’s truly behind craft cannabis because it is not just a single person’s effort. Mastering the art of controlling your emotions is what will really set you apart because running a commercial operation is truly a lifestyle, plants never take a day off.
Q: If you weren’t growing cannabis what would you be doing?
Dylan: I can’t picture myself doing anything other than cultivating cannabis with my team. But, if it wasn’t for helping to start VLC I would still be loading rail cars with petroleum by-products and not living out my true passion. My previous job over the long term could have led to severe health effects and a shortened life span statistically. Cannabis has helped me counteract those negative effects of shift work, and breathing in hydro-carbons daily.
Q: What is the best part about cannabis being legalized?
Dylan: With legalization we’ve seen the stigma around cannabis change, it’s no longer that reefer madness thinking that cannabis is some obscure plant that makes you go crazy, lol. I think the other thing to mention is how we can be transparent about what we are growing and how we are growing it. We like to share what we are doing and believe it helps when the consumer can actually see what is going on in the grow. They see that it is a labour of love and they can see our passion that we have for the plant.
To learn more about Dylan and VLC check out:
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