They say if you’ve grown or consumed marijuana in the last decade, you’ve benefited from the work of Michael ‘Big Mike’ Straumietis.
Mike is the founder of Advanced Nutrients, a fertilizer company that claims the top spot as a seller of nutrients to hydroponic farmers — and basically anyone that grows marijuana.Melly Lee
In person, he’s known as Big Mike, and at 6’7”, it isn’t hard at all to see why he has the name.
We had the pleasure of hanging out with Big Mike not once, but twice, each time at a different mansion filled with weed and girls.Melly Lee
In the winter, Mike invited us to his massive mansion in the Hollywood Hills — it was literally the last and biggest house at the end of a long winding road high up in the hills overlooking Los Angeles.Melly Lee
We met Mike’s entire team, his tight-knit group of guys who make sure the Marijuana Don’s world keeps turning. As we sat down in the family room, I immediately noticed four massive bags of weed and a bong sitting on the table.
Mike himself is one of the sharpest, warmest and down-to-Earth potheads you could ever meet. Here he is, this hulk of a man sitting in a mansion at the top of a hill constantly surrounded by the fresh fragrance of marijuana, among other things, and he began to tell us how he got there.
He told us how a tough childhood inspired him to start his own company. His father died when he was 17, his mother was an alcoholic, and by 19, he decided to go into one of the riskiest and uncharted businesses at the time — growing marijuana.
Mike always knew he wanted to own his own company since he was a teenager, but it wasn’t until some friends showed him how much money could be made growing marijuana that the passion truly manifested. Over years, he learned the art of growing marijuana in hidden grow fields and inside houses in Illinois as he became a master of plant fertilization as well as dodging law enforcement.
Mike would go to seminars held by ex-DEA and FBI agents, taking notes on counter surveillance strategies, though he wasn’t always able to avoid jail. While he’s never once been formally convicted, he has been arrested at least twice and served three months in jail when he was denied bail and labelled a flight risk.
After over a decade of growing experience, Mike moved to Canada with a fake name and all his knowledge where he would eventually forge his hydroponic fertilizer company, Advanced Nutrients. Today, Advanced Nutrients is the top seller of hydroponic farm nutrients, inserting itself in the first step of growing the marijuana that millions use today.
With the full legalization of marijuana for recreational use, which is simply a matter of when, Advanced Nutrients has the potential to make Mike a billionaire off the marijuana industry one day. Once we discussed the business, it was time to test out the fruits of his labor.
Mike told us he prefers smoking out of pipes, hence the bong on the table. He just picked a nug out of one of the bags, jammed it in the bowl without bothering to break it up and took a “Big Mike” sized hit.Melly Lee
He then generously offered everyone else in the room a rip from the bong while he elaborated on the difference his nutrients have on marijuana — it’s about the plant’s terpene production, he says. He grabbed one of the bags of weed, opened it and told us to stick our nose in and smell.Melly Lee
Terpenes are the oils produced by the plant that gives off the aroma you typically smell, and I have to admit, his marijuana did smell great — it was sweet and flavorful, like the scent of a freshly mowed lawn mixed and a tropical fruit basket. On our way out, he grabbed a handful of weed from one of the bags and just handed it to me. Since I had no baggies on hand, it all went into the front pocket of my shirt.
Fast forward to the summer and it’s Big Mike’s 4th of July BBQ Bash at a $16 million mansion on Malibu’s celebrity row. It was as epic as anyone could imagine it to be. Coming up to the house was like walking up to a club during the day — bouncers, lines of women, and they even had a tank out front to greet guests.
Walking into the house, we were immediately hit with the sweet smell of marijuana. We quickly discovered a weed bar where women were just grinding and rolling joints for the entire party.
The food game was on point — roasted pigs, BBQed everything, endless amounts of candy for munchies, and they even brought in nitrogen tanks to make ice cream on the spot. And that wasn’t even the best part.
Big Mike hired a celebrity chef to cater the party, so there was freshly rolled sushi, lots of sashimi and even a shelf made of ice to hold crab legs, oysters and shrimp.
As expected, there were tons of girls at the party and literally not enough guys in the room to talk to them.
There were girls playing in the pool and girls in bikinis dancing with the DJ. Everyone (and everything) at the party was smoking a joint.
The view of the ocean from the balcony was basically paradise and in the downstairs part of the house, they even had an in-house doctor available prescribe medical marijuana to patients.
As the sun set, things began to turn up. Dance music began to bump as fireworks were lit off the balcony.
By the end of the night, the house had become a marijuana dance club, I had smoked three joints and taken a couple bong rips and began to wonder if I’d be conscious enough to drive back home — but don’t worry, I am a pro when it come to these things (at least I always tell myself).
It was legitimately a July 4th I’ll never forget, but one that I still struggle to remember.