Got the Whole Neighborhood High
I've talked in some previous stories about one of my investments. The verdict is in, I am going to write about it. We will start by talking about a long time friend of mine. We can refer to him as Doc, short for Dr. Green Thumb. I met Doc when I was about 13 years old. We both had a passion for basketball and played nearly everyday. Our lives revolved around basketball and music. Doc was a much better behaved kid then I was, but our interests kept our friendship going. By the age of 15 I started getting into drinking. By 16 I was off and running. Doc was never a drinker, but we still remained friends and always had things in common aside from drinking. The worse I got into problems, the less we hung out. He was always into accomplishing goals and went his own way. I on the other hand tried to live like a rock-star. Years had passed. He had been living out in NYC for a while and had run into some hardships in life. He moved home and we got back in touch. Doc can be eccentric, but he can have some real drive and motivation behind him. The thing about him is when he actually gets focused on something he gives that 110%. Then there's me on the other hand, always looking for the shortcut. It's 2009 and I think I found one.
I had always been off and on in the trade business if you know what I mean. At the time I couldn't believe people were paying $5k a pound for high-grade weed. I had heard about growers and how complicated it could be. But the idea of the return is too enticing. I did a little bit of homework and needed someone I can trust. I needed someone who could figure out how to grow this plant properly. Then it hit me and it was obvious. I need Doc. I had been at his house during the summer to swim and catch up on things. He was growing vegetables and stuff in a garden he had going. He was trying to show me because he gets real into things when he does them. I had no interest in a garden and could care less at the time. But now I was really interested. I called him and stopped by to talk about my idea. Doc likes making money and was actually outside gardening when I stopped by to see him. He was on board and said he needed to do his homework.
By the end of the week he had print outs and spread sheets about what needed to be done. We got to work on some test runs in a closet at his house. During this time he was mapping out the big picture. We eventually wanted to be yielding 12-15 pounds every 2 months. Doc needed some start up money so I gave him about $15k. Much time had passed between him learning through trial and error on growing properly. There is many variables to farming marijuana. There was also a slow drawn out order of the parts, supplies, and feminized seeds being ordered. He didn't want to draw attention. We initially had smaller grows going on at random friends apartments. The return wasn't much after the overhead and low yield. But the good thing was Doc had it down.
It had been a year and it was time for the big dance. All the materials and seeds were in. Doc was locked and loaded waiting to set up shop. He had heat detection blockers and all types of other things that would never come to mind when growing. The only thing now was where to set up. We had evaluated rental apartment cost and weighed in risks of a land lord. I had a 3 bedroom single family home and no roommates at the time. Plus I only have to trust myself and Doc not to let anyone know where it is. The company is going to be limited during this time, but with the money we were going to be making, who needs guests. I also did the majority of my partying at the casino during this time. So my house it was. We spent about a week setting up. Unloading bag after bag of soil trying to go undetected by the neighbors. Setting up grow tents and filter systems. Wiring all the ballasts and funneling out the exhaust. We were finally up and running. Doc came by to do the majority of the gardening. He would throw on his sunglasses and take care of his children. I kept my electric use to the minimum so we didn't draw attention from the electric company. Never had a suspicious bill. Probably because I spent so much time staying at the casino during the time period. I also made sure to not tell a soul about what we had going. Things were running smooth.
The first cycle was the longest. After that you have clones staged to get on the assembly line. Once everything was ready to come down I remember the trimming process being a nightmare. I quit and Doc handled it like art. We dried and cured. Don't remember what we ended up with, but it wasn't the best yield. We decided to piece it out to smaller customers to make more off it. I finally seen my initial investment coming back. I wanted profit though. That was okay because this next cycle was suppose to bigger and better.
A couple months later they were ready again. This time as Doc promised, bigger and better. We had 2 strains. God Bud and Blueberry. The Blueberry really did smell like blueberries. It was so amazing looking. We got these down and turned out a good yield. We were moving wholesale at $4k a pound and still piecing out to smaller customers and making more like $5k a pound to them. Money was flowing in. I could go to the casino and lose $5k and laugh about it. Doc is a pretty cheap guy, he was actually out clothes shopping and treating himself good. This continued smoothly and headache free for a while. Neighbors were not suspicious about anything and nobody we knew had any idea we had this going at my house.
Then March 8th of 2012 came. I still think this was the worst day of my life. I had been coming off a terrible degen downswing. Maybe $25k straight. But that wasn't what was wrong. I wasn't driving at the time and was at the casino from Monday to Wednesday that week. I drank, partied, and donked off my money those few days. Then Thursday morning it was time to go home. I get dropped off at my house about 10am and go in through front door. Now mind you, I have a really bad criminal record at this time and am currently on probation. So I always told Doc I couldn't go down for this. With being on probation they will smoke me. So I walk into my living room and the odd thing is I smell smoke. I'm like WTF and don't see any. I go to the door I keep locked to the basement and open it. It was unreal the amount of smoke. Something was on fire in the basement. I tried to fight my way through the smoke down the stairs and it was unbearable. I wanted to get to the fire extinguisher down there, but couldn't see. People may think this was easier to maneuver than it was. Trust me this was brutal. I was flustered, couldn't breath or see. I ended up tripping on a bucket or something that was on the bottom stair, fell hitting a board and split open a cut above my eye. I couldn't take the smoke anymore and ran up the stairs gagging. I ran out the slider door into the back yard. I was ****ing shell shocked. I fled with soot on my face and a gushing cut above my eye.
I called my girl and had her pick me up as I sat hiding out in the woods down the street from my house. I watched for smoke and it slowly seeped out the house. By the time my girl got there to pick me up it looked like a cloud covering the neighborhood. We drove off and passed fire trucks on the way. Someone must have finally called. I tried getting a hold of Doc but he wasn't picking up. My girl couldn't believe it. She also said she should drop me off at the emergency room to get my cut stitched. She dropped me off and they told me it would be a couple hours until they got to me. So I walked out and started walking towards downtown. I kept saying to myself "I'm ****ed". I kept calling friends trying to get picked up without letting anyone know what happened. I kept thinking about all my belongings burning to the ground. I honestly walked maybe 5 miles across town until Doc came to see me. I was at an all time high of a stress level. I had Doc bring me to a walk-in doctor to get stitches because it was very bad. I walked in, filled out the paper work and got a phone call from the police. "WTF!!!!!!!!!" I storm out the doctors office and check my voice-mail. The detective bureau wants me to call back ASAP. They threaten to issue a warrant for my arrest. I look at Doc and tell him its time for plan B. He says fine and says he needs to go take care of a couple things. He leaves me there, and I start walking to a friends house who lives near by. I call the detective bureau back and they aren't happy. I play stupid and they ask if I live at my address. I say "no". They say "Oh really, well who does?". "I rent out my house to my friend Michael" AKA Doc. They explain there has been a fire and they believe there was marijuana growing in the house. I act shocked and they want Michael's phone #. I say I will have to look through my phone and call back. He then says if he doesn't hear anything in 20 minutes they were issuing a warrant for me.
Now Doc has no record. Flawless. Probably doesn't have a parking ticket. So with my lawyer he will get probation. I would be looking at more like 2 years or so. I call Doc up and tell him to call the detective bureau within the next 20 minutes. He does and agrees to turn himself in. He has his sister drive him over to the house about an hour or so later. He tells the police that he is the only one who lives there and is growing the plants. They appreciate his cooperation and take him to the station to book him. He gets bailed out an hour later and calls me. We touch base and I tell him I'm so thankful he held up to his end of the bargain. I reassure him my lawyer will get him probation. So I guess there there was an overload in a power card connected to a ballast and started the fire. My house was pretty ****ing bad. But not burnt to the ground like I feared. I got started on the insurance claim. There was $100,000 in damage. I spent the next year and half fighting the insurance company to get paid. They finally did, but did not cover any of my personal belongings. Furniture, TVs, clothes, etc.. Most things didn't have flame damage. But the house was covered in soot and had smoke damage. Doc got a continuance without a finding for 1 year. As long as he stayed out of trouble his case would be dismissed. He did that and the case is dismissed now. Looking back, things worked out pretty good compared to how bad it could of been. Like 2 years in jail and not getting paid for my house. I never ended up getting stitches above my eye. So I guess a scar was a small price to pay. But man there was a half a million dollars in product in that house. All gone over a faulty power cord. But hey, at least we got the neighborhood high..