Q & A With Nick Williams
Nick Williams: CBD’s Director of Cultivation and Innovation
by Sydney James
In today’s generation, the word organic is everything. Now more than ever, consumers want to know everything about their purchases, including but not limited to: where their products are coming from, how they’re made, and more importantly, who makes them.
On Power Biopharms’s LinkedIn profile, viewers get the answers to all three of these questions and more as they take in multiple behind-the-scenes videos of growers carrying pots of cannabis saplings, drying them, cooling them, and shaping them into the oils, gummies, and edibles that consumers know and love.
Enter, Nick Williams, the enthusiastic and hardworking Director of Cultivation at Power Biopharms. From his beginnings as a chef to his current position as the face of CBD horticulture, Williams’s mission for the company is a passionate one: to grow cannabis plants that would soon transform into products that are both organic and lovingly made.
With an excited, let’s-get-to-work smile, Williams was more than happy to sit down with hemp writer Sydney James for a quick interview about his life before and after Power Biopharms.
(*This interview has been edited for length and/or clarity.)
Sydney James: On the “About Us” page on the Power Biopharms website, your profile says that you have over a decade of horticulture experience. When did you decide that horticulture was your passion?
Nick Williams: I think it was when I was working in the kitchen as a chef, and I would see the companies bringing in a bunch of fresh produce every day. And then I didn't really start getting into growing vegetables or anything like that right then, but I was still growing cannabis at the time.
SJ: What role did CBD play in your life?
NW: So, I really didn't start taking it until I turned 32 or 33. And it just helps with my knees and inflammation because I have a lot of problems with my knees. Because I was in a really bad accident when I was younger, and I broke my leg and blew my knee out. It was really bad.
SJ: Wow! That must’ve taken forever to recover. Is it possible to get secondhand pain?
NW: Like phantom pain? Yeah, it was pretty rough. I was actually back to work in four months. The doctor said it was a miracle. He said it was the craziest healing of an injury he'd ever seen. I tried to walk in four days after. I couldn't have a cast or anything. It was hard. My foot was on my knee, bent all the way back. But yeah, so I was on opiates and stuff for a long time. And then I got sober from those five years ago. And then the pain just started getting worse. So, you know, it was hurting worse because I wasn’t using the painkillers anymore. And so I started taking hemp.
SJ: Wow, we’ve got a survivor here, for sure! So, when did Power Biopharms first get into the picture?
NW: So, I actually got into Power Biopharms after Covid happened. And I got out of the restaurant business. So, when Covid happened, after I recovered from the accident, I went back to the restaurant for a while and then after a few months, I was like, “No, I'm not doing this, I’m not doing restaurants anymore.” And I went and sold suits for a little while. And then I left that job and was like, “I'm not working. I can't do this anymore.” Then I went to a hydroponic Caged Tomato in Fort Worth, and as I talk to the younger and I was like, “Hey, if you know anybody who needs growers or anything, let them know about me.” And then he hooked me up with Colt one weekend and was like, “Hey, y'all should meet each other!” And we met and we started working with each other ever since then. Yeah, it's kind of a crazy story!
SJ: On Power Biopharms’s LinkedIn and Instagram pages, I see all these videos of you tending to the cannabis plants and the concentration and care you have with every single plant. On a scale of one to ten, how difficult is your role as Director of Cultivation?
NW: Right now, like a nine. It's pretty hard because we're learning so much new stuff at once. And it's not just the cultivation part, we're processing or packaging or manufacturing. We're doing all of that stuff, too. It's not just growing plants. It seems like it, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. We all wear a lot of hats here, for sure!
SJ: Just because it looks easy, doesn't mean it is, right?
NW: Right! It's just a lot of work. A lot of stuff is time consuming, but it's so rewarding!
SJ: This is going to sound really lame – I apologize in advance – but have you named any of the plants?
NW: I don't name them because we kill them all by chopping them down, you know. Because we chop them up and make them into gummies and bath bombs and things like that. Now, I have a question: Should I make a mascot?
SJ: Oh, yeah! I actually thought you guys could have a mascot at some point, like a toy cannabis plant named Robbie.
NW: Or name it Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy!
SJ: Cannabis has quite the stigma around it. As someone who has 24/7 access to the cannabis plants, you pretty much have to be both grower and activist. So, what is one stigma about cannabis that’s most prevalent to you?
NW: The idea that users are too lazy. I hate that one. And that's probably one of the top five. I'm trying to think of another one. The idea on users being lazy is what comes to mind, though.
SJ: Yeah, that’s a huge stereotype, for sure.
NW: It's old fashioned is what it is. Let me put it that way.
SJ: If you could sum up the Power Biopharms family in one word, what would it be and why?
NW: Transparency. Because we don't try to hide anything here. We don’t have a hidden agenda. This isn't a get-rich-quick scheme, you know what I mean? It's nothing like that. Growing the best cannabis and making the best cannabis products are who we are and what we do. And this is the best product we can deliver to you.
SJ: Your passion for your craft is obvious. But like any awesome career, there’s always going to be those not-so-good days. So, when times get really tough in your career, who or what would be your biggest motivator to keep going?
NW: Definitely my kids. My family, my fiancée, the kids.
SJ: That's awesome! Family man and cannabis man!
NW: Yeah. Oh, yeah. For sure!
(To learn more about the Power Biopharms team, click on the About Us page here.)