Pistol and Paris exists for one reason: to bring legacy-quality craft cannabis to the adult-use market. The brand is all about true BC bud. You know the kind: fresh, gooey, gassy cannabis cultivated with care in small batches.
This week, Pistol and Paris’ CEO and founder Dylan King, shares how he partners with micro growers to make a meaningful—and long lasting—impact in the cannabis space.
Name: Dylan King
Title: Founder / CEO
Company: Pistol and Paris
All-time favourite strain: I really love the Blue Cheese strain. I love the flavour profile and how relaxed I feel after puffing a joint at the end of a busy day.
What brought you into the world of botany and cannabis?
I grew up on Quadra island and cannabis was part of the culture there. I was introduced into the cannabis world at a young age. Having hippies as parents, cannabis was just a part of our lives.
What do you find the most fascinating part about cannabis cultivation?
I love seeing a clone that I plant with one or two roots transform into a four-foot tall plant full of heavy, sticky, stinky buds, and the process of hang drying it for 14 days, hand trimming it and putting it into a bag. Then smoking it.
If you think about all the time and effort that goes into these plants—for 12 to 14 weeks—it’s just pure passion!
What inspires you? How does that play out with Pistol and Paris?
I have been in this industry for more than 20 years, and if you count my years as a young kid with my parents growing cannabis, it's been all my life. With Pistol and Paris, I’m excited to build my brand and have it known right across Canada as a very high-end brand. (A brand) where you expect the best— from product, to forms of packaging, to being very aggressively priced for consumers. I want to be one of the biggest cannabis brands in Canada, without sacrificing quality or packaging for dollars.
What makes great BC bud?
I think BC bud has been part of BC history for a very long time now. It's a commodity, like timber. From the Kootneys, to the Island, to the Fraser Valley and Okanagan, we have been growing BC bud in basements of homes, bunkers, shops, commercial spaces. We’ve been hiding what really is going on behind closed doors. These growers are passionate about growing better weed than anyone else, for easier sales and more money per pound.
It's been a huge hub for international buyers to buy killer products—and a ton of it. BC bud can be purchased 24/7, and the Canadian dollar makes it attractive for some of these out of country buyers. Most smokers have heard of BC bud worldwide. It is basically its own brand. It sells itself.
Pistol and Paris partners with micro-growers—why was this important to you and the brand?
I needed to partner with micro cultivators to bring products to the market and start building my brand. I am going through a rezoning process at a property I have in the Fraser Valley to build a micro-cultivation facility. It's been one year now of jumping through hoops and paying a lot of money to hopefully have this facility approved so I can start the build on it and start growing some products with my team. I have been patiently waiting.
I saw an opportunity to help growers move their products, get the money in the bank, and to build relationships with all these guys. It’s been really exciting.
How do you choose which growers to partner with?
It has to be the right fit for me but also the growers. I look for certain things to check all the boxes. I work well with pre-legalization growers because these guys have been growing for years and years. I need my growers growing fire gear—fresh, gassy, high-THC, unreal bag appeal—as that's all I want to put under my brand.
It's also important to find growers who understand the market, as it's super challenging right now. If a grower tells me they need “X” amount per gram, and I do the math and it puts me on the higher price side in retail stores, I explain to them I'd rather have products aggressively priced so we have great sell through. (I aim to) sell out fast instead of having products get old sitting on retailers’ shelves. My idea doesn't work for everyone and that's fine. So I look for growers who understand the market, and I find the longer they’ve been in the market most guys start to understand my approach. If they don’t understand pricing, they can get into big trouble quickly.
How do you support each grower so they thrive/put a Pistol and Paris spin on the cultivars?
Brand awareness is huge. When I talk with potential growers, it's important for them to work with a brand that has brand recognition. If your brand isn't known, you can have the nicest flower sitting in a jar and it won’t move because people have no idea who you are.
I also believe growers find my terms and how I pay to be helpful. So many brands don't pay these growers when they say they will. Most of the time, I pay up front, right away. These growers are so dependent on money to keep their heads above water—it's crazy right now. I’ve loaned one micro money so they could start building two more rooms that were unfinished. Then I loaned them money again as they were sitting on a few loads that weren't moving and they had end-of-the-month bills coming up. The loads they had sitting were a strain I don't carry, or I would have bought them.
What challenges/obstacles do you face in the adult-use market?
Getting products to retailers in a timely fashion has been very hard. I recently sold 150 cases of my Black Triangle 3.5 g. It's almost been a month now and I am still waiting to have it delivered into the LDB (Liquor Distribution Brand). That's one of the biggest hurdles right now. But all of this is changing next year—retailers will then be able to buy direct from processors.
Also, the prices we have to come in at when trying to get a PO (purchase order) is super challenging, as the craft grower’s cost to produce 1 g is way higher then these huge LPs with acres of weed being grown in these commercial facilities.
It's hard to compete price wise. Quality wise, there is no competition.
What is one thing you would like consumers to understand about where their weed comes from?
Cannabis cultivation is a true passion project. For years, pre-legalization growers have made sacrifices for this plant. I’d like consumers to know the depth of the care that goes into choosing strains, pheno hunting, cultivation, harvesting and processing. It means something.
What can consumers expect from Pistol and Paris? What’s coming up for the brand that you’re excited about?
I have a ton of new products hitting the shelves any day now:
Black Triangle Pre Rolls
Orange Tingz Pre Rolls
Blackberry Breath Pre Rolls
Black Tuna (Which will be packaged in a tuna can!)
I have a lot of really cool media for all the retailers, consumers and social media that we just finished shooting. Pistol and Paris is already in SK and MB and we’re launching into Alberta any day now also with three products—I am really excited to get into their market! And I’m super pumped for our drop into Ontario at the end of December or beginning of January.
There are exciting things happening for this local BC brand. Make sure to try their flower products for yourself!