When System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian founded 22Red, his fans and friends said he should have a strain named after him. But he was quick to nix that because he wanted to establish a lifestyle brand, not just a celebrity effort.
The company’s mission is to create an amplified cannabis lifestyle that celebrates the creatives of the world.
“I was like, I don’t know the grower, I don’t want to put my name on anything,” Odadjian explained. “To me, it’s all about quality. It’s not about making money, putting my name on something just like most celebrities. So being referred to sometimes as a celebrity brand is really a handicap.”
He said he created 22Red, which is now available in Tucson, because he was tired of the shake, stems and leaves of cannabis that is often found in pre-roll joints when it is already ground.
“I happened to be a musician who got famous,” he said.
“But I personally curate it like a business and the culture. I try to feed the culture. I tried to give everybody what I think is the best.”
The menus at 22Red reflect what Odadjian smokes all day. He is comfortable and confident in the quality of his flower because he chose it. He now knows the growers and some of the genetics are proprietary to him.
“As we move forward, I am focused on proprietary genetics,” Odadjian said. “I will come up with the next greatest genetic in the next few years, I will be part of that.”
Odadjian and a handful of growers are working on the finest cannabis genetics.
“It’s just about sharing the best,” he explained. “I’m not saying I know how to grow (it), but I could probably do it. I’m not the best. I try to work with the best and get the best. It’s about putting a team together. It’s not about doing everything solo.”
Odadjian’s journey and hunt for the greatest cannabis began when System of the Down visited Amsterdam on tour. It was there he met cannabis entrepreneur Arjan Roskam, who invited him to that year’s harvest tasting.
He said that encounter changed his life and his quest for the perfect cannabis flower.
“I sat at a table with 20 of the most important cannabis influencers at that time, like the first guy to open the coffee shop and creator of the Super Lemon Haze,” Odadjian said of Roskam.
“I got to taste about 30 or 40 different strains in front of me in big bowls and rate them and write the names on them. It was an experience…It wasn’t about getting high anymore, it was about taste and smell and everything about it. Then, I became a connoisseur.”
Odadjian compares his search for quality flowers to that of the hunt for the perfect bottle of wine. It’s necessary to know the vintner and the quality of the winemaker’s grapes.
“It’s not that I became a weed snob,” he said with a laugh. “I just became more advanced, where I knew what was out there and I wanted the best.”
At the time cannabis was legalized in California, Odadjian was only interested in enjoying weed and making music with his bands.
“That was my life,” he said. “I was the artist. I wasn’t a businessman…that wasn’t my focus.”
Things changed in 2019 when he and his friend founded 22Red as a lifestyle brand. They soon added cannabis to the menu and specialized in creating premium products in music, art, fashion and cannabis.
22Red is committed to ingenuity and believes that cannabis is more than a plant, but a means to honor creative minds.
To expand into Arizona, 22Red partnered with Lonestar Select for cultivation and genetics. Lonestar Select has been cultivating cannabis since 2011 when Arizona was for medical use only.
Lonestar Select has been cultivating cannabis since 2011 when the state was medical only. Unlike many other cultivation facilities in Arizona, Lonestar Select was built from the ground up to grow cannabis.
“I love the science behind it,” said Lonestar Select’s Spencer Keim.
“For all of the years I have been growing cannabis commercially, I have never stopped learning. There are always new and improved ways to cultivate, and I feel like we have just scratched the surface.”
The partnership was created in tandem with 22Red launching a new pre-roll pack in Arizona. It is the first time the brand has created a multiunit product specifically designed for sharing and social use. Each pack has seven pre-rolls filled with .5 grams of top-notch, indoor-grown flower.
It is the same flower found in 22Red’s premium indoor jars, as opposed to the shake and leaves common in most pre-roll products.
“From the inception of the brand, I always wanted to bring packs, because I smoke joints, that’s how I get high,” Odadjian said. “I would always roll seven Js for the day, and I would put them in a pack.”
He wanted to do this earlier, but pre-roll packs were not a thing when he started his brand.
“We are a boutique brand,” Odadjian said. “We are not a brand that raised $100 million.”
The pre-roll packs are an eighth of an ounce rolled into seven “little point fivers,” he said.
“We have jars of eighths for those who want to roll their own joints, or pack it in bowls or smoke it in bongs,” Odadjian said.
He explained they don’t do smalls, or shakes; the weed in the jars is the exact same flower strain that’s rolled into the packs of seven .5 gram pre-rolls.
“We are calling them personal,” Odadjian said. “Not everyone wants to share a 1-grammer with everybody. But .5…you have your own. You open the box. You give one to whomever you’re smoking with, you don’t have to share (the joint). Especially with COVID…I think passing the joint thing is kind of old at this point.”
22Red’s personal packs have launched with six strains: Shred 22, So Delicious, Kush Cake, Meno Breath, OMG and Oreoz. Odadjian’s favorites are Shred 22 (sativa), So Delicious (hybrid) and OMG (hybrid).
Odadjian’s 22Red 7-pre-roll packs contain no trim, no shake, no sugar-leaf making these doobies free of garbage like many other pre-rolls, which contain the worst quality weed inside. Odadjian’s goal is to bring the highest level of quality to each of their products, and their pre-rolls are no exception. Each pre-roll contains the same quality flower they sell in their cannabis 1/8 of an ounce jars making the smoking experience sharable and convenient to carry to the next party.
22Red seven pre-roll packs are available in Tucson
5390 W. Ina Road
Earth’s Healing North
78 W. River Road
Earth’s Healing South
2075 E. Benson Hwy