WB: Please tell me about yourself?
John Bayes=JB: I’ll start with genetics, a bit of youth, then make a go from there. I’m a 1/2 Korean 1/2 white(Irish/Scottish/German) military brat, that moved every couple years or so. Which, was a little rough, but “it’s character building” they said. Generally teetering between being a scrappy inquisitive loner or having a really close friend or two when things were good. From an early age I was always intrigued spiritually, at the same time extremely mischievous and hard to contain. I’ve wanted to be a youth pastor, as well as wanting to go into the special forces. At around 18, I started regularly smoking herb, and soon to follow, randomly experimenting with psychedelics, then less randomly and more frequently. Getting more comfortable, bad trip here and there, ultimately helping me realize the military might not be the best future for my karma. At around the same time, think it was 97-98’ I moved back to Eugene from Georgia. Luckily my love of cannabis and Eugene seemed to go hand in hand. The culture here held good herb higher than most anything, quality genetics and entheogens were embedding in the community, almost as a way of life.
More herb, psychedelics and esoteric studies, I found myself seeking more information. In 2004 I ended up going to Iquitos, Peru, attending the 1st annual International Shamanic Conference, this was back before aya was a trending fad everywhere. There I met Sayre Tupac Wiracocha, a charismatic Neo-Crazy Wisdom Style teacher, combining Buddhist psychology, philosophy & practices, quantum physics, and Andean plant wisdoms. A big wave surfing, Kung-fu teacher and one of the last Incan royal descendants, made him an easy person to gain the inspiration i was seeking. Once we got to the sacred valley after leaving the jungle, he ran me through the gambit of the families initiations. I remember him saying something that changed my life. He said “you’ve already mastered a relation with a wisdom plant, now master your intention. What do you wanna be, some long haired hippie yogi in cave, some wannabe shaman or some bs? Go! Eat cactus 1,000 times, drink aya until you don’t need it, study, practice, have an aware child, train them well, do something special with your life!”
This really stuck and sparked the fire for the path.
WB: How did you discover the plant? Indoor or outdoor grown?
JB: Not really sure if I discovered the plant or it discovered me truly. My very first experience with the plant was in Lincoln Nebraska, I was 6. A few houses down, there were these plants in the neighbors backyard peeking above the fence. They were calling me it felt, in a way I still feel quite strongly with the plants. So, like any mischievous boy would do, I got my friend, we went back, jumped the fence, ripped the plants out of the ground and brought them back to my house. There we put the plants in this little blue plastic swimming pool, filled it with water and started stomped around in it, my earliest hash making sesh lmao. Needless to say, when my military dad came out and saw us, he lost it! Don’t really remember the aftermath much, lots yelling and swearing lmao haha
WB: When was the first time you smoked? Who were you with?
JB: I still remember it quite clearly, it was in Eugene, 1985. My friends dad had a patch of herb growing in his backyard, in my memory, it was the entire back yard, but I’m sure it was only a portion. What’s funny is he was drying some in a shed next to the patch, but we didn’t know that was the goods, so we grabbed some fresh live plant instead. Took it back to my house and speed dried it on my roof in the sun. While that was going down, I thought to go grab some bamboo to make a pipe. Cut the bamboo, leaving the segmented ends, drilled holes in both ends, and bam, my first pipe, Darwin style! The flash dried green leaf, plus the green bamboo makeshift pipe, was still the harshest hit of smoke in my life. Not sure if it worked or it was placebo or just risky excitement, but me and my homie cruised the neighborhood laughingly asses off through the evening.
WB: Please tell me about your company?
JB: It’s been an interesting process of evolution, from being an outlaw to medical grower, to now teaching and consulting in cultivation, genetics, organics, SOP’s, government regulations and so on, it’s been such a trip!
The main basis for Green Bodhi has been my ability to teach others to cultivate cannabis as good or better than myself. Proving consistency, hard work, some altruistic intention and of course luck, you can be successful at whatever you put your mind to with that equation. Creating genetics and standard operating procedures that most aware and driven operator can slide right into, well at least if they have love for the plant. We’ve also been quite active in Oregon’s rule making and regulation process, sitting on two Rules Advisory Committees, the expert panels created to guide DOJ, OHA and OLCC through the legalization process. We’ve also teamed up with Hendrikus organics over the last few years, creating an organic soil line that’s basically a plant and go, probiotic live substrate. We’ve also tailored a dry amendment line with Hendrikus, and all-in-one dry, plus a couple other variations for veg and flower. Our “Dynamic Organics” line should be on market by fall. This, along with our relationship with EST Tech LED, we’re offering the community organic options and standards that outperform conventional salt based growing methods.
WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals?
JB: Currently we’re really excited about our collaboration project with Jeremy Klettke of Davis farms. Jeremy’s currently one of the only breeders in the Hemp and hemp seed market that had the proper foresight with genetics. Creating seven fully compliant cultivars under the 0.3% total thc regulations of The US Farm Bill. Out of these seven, we chose the extremely special Bhutan Glory to be the centerpiece cultivar for the endeavor. Out of Jeremy’s generosity, we’ve decided to offer the entirety of the proceeds from these seed sales to The Dalai Library/Museum project at Namgyal Monastery, in Ithaca, New York. We’re expecting approximately 500-750,000 seed from the greenhouse where it’s currently under cultivation, and harvesting in late May. This type of opportunity and gesture we feel is extremely important now more than ever. Giving the entire cannabis and hemp community a chance to get involved in something philanthropic, bigger than ourselves, while securing some of best hemp genetics in the world. At the same time helping preserve teachings and information that can benefit countless.
WB: Do you have a mentor? Who? Why?
JB: The Ultimate Teacher and Mentor for me is His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which I’ve been following for more than 15 years now. On a more personal level is my close spiritual friend and mentor Venerable Tenzin Choesang. Venerable Choesang was the main student of the late Lobsang Nyima Rinpoche, The 100th Ganden throne holder, he was also education director of Namgyal Monastery, The Dalai Lama’s personal monastery in Dharmsala, India and currently the Board President of Namgyal Monastery, Ithaca, New York. I’ve been studying and practicing under his guidance, receiving teachings through intensive retreats and training for almost 9 years now. Also on multiple occasions taking trips to India, receiving teachings and blessings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other great masters of the Gelugpa and Kagyu lineages.
WB: What is your business education? Hard knocks?
JB: My main education has been in the sciences, then of course Buddhist philosophy, psychology and practices. What I’ve found is that being proficient in these subjects, gave me the foundation needed for business, branding, cultivation, teaching, and mainly life in general.
WB: What obstacles do you face?? How do you anticipate removing them?
JB: “I” always seem to by my own greatest obstacle. Self centeredness or ego, seems to be the crux of any of my difficult situations in life. Really not sure about removing them totally, but step by step, piece by piece, thought by thought, intensely doing my best in every breath. Continue being diligent on the path, forgiving my inabilities and lack of accomplishments spiritually, all with the hopes I can someday be continually helpful to those around me.
WB: To continue Spiritually? Emotionally?
JB: Living spiritually, cultivating more awareness in every possibility, this is really the only style of path worth continuum. As for emotions, not too sure, lots of times they’re based in ignorance and wrong views, good or bad, and they change. Being in breath focus and doing our best for our mind to be aware in that breath, having more of a flow state style of experience, while serving others, I feel is where the real value in life is, free of cyclic emotions.
WB: What did you want to be when you grew up?
JB: A teacher, a good father, a free rebel
WB: Do you have a favorite food memory?
JB: The most memorable food moment was in the the sacred valley of Peru, in Urubamba. It was after coming back from a very special mountain called Kuntusaya, which summits about 17,000ft. We were preparing to drink ayahuasca the following night, so Sayre had Humberto prepare something extremely special. Cuy they call it, Guinea pig. And, of course I get the prize piece, a quartered section of the little animal. My section, “the most special delicacy” of course, the front right quarter splitting the head. So my first visual, looks like a cooked little chubby rat, tiny little arm all bunched up, it’s face, teeth and head are still very clear visuals that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. So hungry from the previous journey I found myself using my fingernail to scrape the little pockets of meat from the skull, no wasting a speck of meat.
Favorite food? ice cream, ramen, fried chicken & waffles, kalbi and kimchi, Momo’s Restaurant? Akira in Eugene.
WB: Do you cook?
JB: Yes, enjoy it, it’s one of the other ways you can directly entangle your intentions towards another’s well being
WB: Who taught you?
JB: Korean food my mother taught me, the rest, trial and error. Learning most by observation when I was working in the service industry from 15-26. Plus eating at some amazing restaurants over the years, I was able to experience lots of amazing foods, in turn learning s bit more along the way.
WB: What is your passion?
JB: Dharma practice and study, teaching my son to be a warrior for truth and of course working with plants. Creating new and progressive genetics, advancing the operating procedures related to cannabis through organics and mindfulness practices. Continue training high level operators “intentional horticulture” and the techniques to bring this power plant to its potential. And, hopefully bringing anyone that experiences our medicine a little piece of mind in these turbulent and trying times.