Jiu Jitsu, Evolution, and Working at Bloom with Casey Ly
As cannabis becomes more widely accepted, we’re interested in learning how people that don’t fit the traditional stoner stereotypes incorporate cannabis into their daily lives. We caught up with Casey Ly, Bloom Brand’s Chief Revenue Officer, on life at Bloom, his passions and interests (spoiler - he loves jiu jitsu), and his personal relationship with cannabis.
What do you do at Bloom?
I make sure on the Sales and Marketing end that everything is taken care of - from logistics to broad strategy. For instance we’re launching in New Mexico in March. How do we enter into this market? How’s the best way to do this?
So tell me a little bit about your average work day, a day like today.
I spend Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in our headquarters office in Encino. Tuesdays and Thursdays are a little dynamic - I run around a lot. I handle some service accounts for the white labeling relationships that we have for Capna Labs. I handle a bunch of those so I do a lot of in-person meeting with clients. Sometimes actually facilitating picking up material, delivering orders. Things like that.
What about outside of work? What are your passions and hobbies?
I train jiu jitsu at Kings Mma on Santa Monica. I’ve been doing some sort of jiu jitsu, boxing, or muay thai for the last 11 or 12 years. So it’s been awhile now. And outside of that I just hang out! Haha.
What do you like about jiu jitsu?
What do I like about jiu jitsu? Well I think it’s as much a physical as it is an intellectual challenge so it’s very complete. It’s like a chess game, but for your body.
Sounds very mentally stimulating.
Oh yeah it’s great. And actually I’ll sometimes smoke before I go - usually sativas. I’ll smoke a Maui Waui or Jack Herer. My favorite sativa is probably Super Lemon Haze. At least from the Bloom stuff. It’s a very distinct sativa so you kinda feel it in your eyes, your brain.
Why do you like to smoke and go to jiu jitsu?
With jiu jitsu I feel like I am a lot more instinctive in terms of my problem solving. So I think when it comes to the actual application when I actually have to grapple and fight, it makes it a lot smoother. I'm kind of more in tune with my body.
I’ve had a similar experience with yoga. When I’ve tried smoking beforehand my mind and body feel so much more in sync.
Yea it’s an interesting effect that I wouldn’t have expected. When I first started consuming cannabis a lot of it was in college and it was to play video games and hangout. And over time I started to realize that I could go for a run, and I could go play some basketball - this and that. So I started experimenting.
Do you find that that’s your main relationship with cannabis? Exploring it through athletics?
No not at all. It’s just one aspect of it. I do use it to work sometimes. When we do a lot of brainstorming or any kind of creative work. Those kinds of things I think cannabis definitely enhances.
Obviously you work at a vape company. Is that something that if you guys are working on a certain thing you smoke together before you come into a meeting?
In general we don’t really define it - it’s very casual. But we did do a lot of organized testing for our recently released BloomVape 3.0. Every Friday afternoon we’d test out different vapes. We’d test them for resistance, air flow, what cartridges worked better with our battery. We put everyone’s thoughts up on a big whiteboard and discussed until we came to a general consensus. We made sure we all agreed that the vape we landed on produced the best flavor and the best smoke without the leakage of our oil.
So what’s in your bag right now? What cannabis do you have onhand?
Oh I don’t have anything with me. I have a battery. Ha. But I don’t have any weed on me at the moment.
Do you just consume Bloom products or do you have other favorites?
It just depends on what the setting is and what I'm used to at the time. Bloom I consume during the day usually or in the morning. Whenever I don’t want to smell like weed. And it’s discreet. But in general I prefer flower. I like smoking joints. Actually - my favorite way of smoking is a volcano. Yea that’s by far to me the best high that you can get is smoking a volcano.
It’s interesting how you consume it can really change the whole experience.
Cannabis is very subjective. It depends on your mood. It depends on what you’ve eaten that day. If I'm smoking before my jiu jitsu, I notice it affects me differently depending on how I feel that morning. So if I get a full night’s rest and I get some coffee and I get a little bit of breakfast than it works phenomenally. If I get up rushed and I go straight to practice and I smoke I get tired very quickly.
It kind of enhances whatever is going on inside.
I guess it requires a lot of knowledge to be able to navigate it.
With anything else it’s a fair amount of experience that’ll get you there. I would say that the one misconception for new users is that there’s an easy way to get into it. Honestly edibles are probably not the way to go. Most people think they are, but you guys, don’t. You can more easily control the other things like vapes and joints than an edible.
Well many people equate smoking with cigarettes and therefore inherently bad for you. But I definitely hear more horror stories over edibles than I do over joints that’s for sure.
I think it comes down to familiarity. And at the end of the day there’s only so many ways to ingest cannabis. It’s also still to a certain extent a substance that your body doesn’t necessarily need unless you’re sick or you have some sort of medical basis for it.
The application of cannabis for wellness has really helped it become more widely acceptable.
We’re starting to see wellness a lot more in cannabis marketing in general. But as we become more mainstream I think it’s important for us not to forget that it’s still a recreational drug and some people just smoke it because they enjoy it and they want to hang out and relax. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Stepping away from cannabis. Are you reading any books right now?
I used to read a lot of biographies. I was reading actually Winston Churchill’s biography. And then I stopped because I just ran out of time. I started reading my business law book and that was that. But I love anything related to history or culture.
You would like Sapiens then.
It’s kind of from the evolutionary perspective?
I took a class at UCLA when I was in school and it takes all the things we do and defines them by fitness, which is basically your ability to have children and take care of children. Different perspectives right. Anything like that I think is a good thing. Anything that opens your mind to seeing something in a different way.
Like cannabis. Haha. Full circle. There we go.
Interview by Meg Minuskin