By: Leona Natalia Kusa
Leona Kusa is the founder of Kusa Collective, a woman-owned, family-run legacy brand based in New York. Running the cultural gambit from Brooklyn to Montauk, Kusa Collective sets the framework to end prohibition. A Long Island native and canna-mom, Leona devotes herself to sharing plant medicine education with others. We are pleased to bring you her adventures and observations from every aspect of the East Coast cannabis industry's supply chain.
As we start 2023, [Kusa] can truly reflect on the time stamp in history we are standing in– New York City Cannabis Prohibition 2020s.
Similarly, to the NYC Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s, there are speakeasies, thriving “black markets,” and an entire group of historical figures who will be remembered for their efforts in changing the world as we know it.
Meet Cannabis’ Vin Diesel: Mechanic’s Farm
One of the action movies that will come out will be about our Long Island born and raised cultivator, Mechanic’s Farm. He is what Vin Diesel’s character in Fast and Furious dreamed of being– only he’s the real thing through and through.
The Mechanic told me the most adventurous and truly action-packed story of a local Long Island car scene kid raised by a hard-working, strict Salvadorian family who taught him the means to always work and provide. He learned from a young age the importance of hustling but got mixed in with the wrong crowd during the process. He did what he had to survive and found himself in trouble with the law; but as he would admit, he learned some legendary lessons along the way.
If you asked me why I think it’s important to know the story of cannabis cultivators, I would simply reply that they are celebrities. To grow award-winning cannabis under the duress of illegality creates a story everyone should know.
Mechanic’s Farm is a perfect analogy to how diamonds are made. What he has created from where it started deserves to be recognized and celebrated. He has created some of the finest buds I have laid my eyes on and after understanding his story I can understand why. This is his livelihood like true legacy.
As I write this, I’m smoking the latest Mac Flurry (mobile J cut) that I picked up at Higher Empire. The familiar Mac nose was apparent when I first opened the jar but not overwhelming on the nostrils. The buds were a mix of sizes, but they glistened without needing light. While burning it had a nice white ash with a delicious rosin ring souping out. I can fully support [Mechanic’s Farm’s] runner-up position at the 2022 New York Grower’s Cup.
From The Import Car Scene to The Cannabis Scene
Mechanic’s Farm tells me that he first started smoking cannabis when he was 12 years old. He recalls it as, “The best feeling he’s ever had.”
Around the same time is when he started working with his father on wood flooring and he learned the importance of hard work. He developed a want for popularity, a drive for “getting money,” and an interest in mechanics: quickly getting into the Honda/import car scene where he learned how to dismantle and put back together cars. He eventually mixed into the wrong crowd where he found himself wanting to fit in.
As Mechanic smokes his blunt, he snickers while telling me a story of his best friend–later co-defendant– and him pushing his loud 1993 Honda Civic (495 hp turbocharged with a 100 shot nitrous system with 6” purple nitrous shocks on the front) out from behind his mother’s gate to not wake her so they could “fuck shit up” at the illegal night races.
“I got greedy,” admits Mechanic, because after two years, a “customer” buying parts had set him up with police and the Mechanic was arrested Feb 10th, 2012. He was charged with seven stolen vehicles, and he thought he was never coming home.
The way he described the day he got out was solemn and quite chilling. It was the day of Hurricane Sandy, which for most of Long Island was a day of utter destruction. When he was released, he recalls just wanting to walk as far as he could from “that place.”
After being released, Mechanic had 5 years of probation where he was to report to his probation officer monthly for drug tests. Even though it was all on the line, Mechanic found himself severely struggling with depression, anxiety, and lack of appetite. He tried everything he could, but he simply could not stop smoking weed.
That is until one fateful day while driving on Long Island, a police officer attempted to pull Mechanic’s Farm over for supposedly “cutting off” a school bus. As his life flashed and reality set in, he recalled the judge warning him with the maximum sentence should he ever get in trouble with the law again. He realized he was driving on probation with freshly purchased cannabis and hash (a felony on its own) and instead of pulling over, chose to run.
Between his race experience and his unbeatable car, he led the officer on a high-speed chase. Mechanic told me that he had only used the Nitrous button in the car once, and while he thought about using it, he made the right decision not to.
Mechanic described a scene to me that screamed stress and chaos; to avoid getting locked up for 25+ years, he did what he had to do to get home to his family, which was flushing all his “illegal products” down the toilet in the actual precinct.
Fortunately, due to the lack of cause, Mechanic was charged with DUI and fleeing the scene, which only added another year to his already existing probation.
He swore from that moment on he was done with run-ins with the law.
Mechanic told me, “Weed was the solution.” Ironic, no?
Mechanic’s Farm is Growing, But Where Did They Start?
He started a job at a pharmacy where he worked his way up and eventually purchased his first home (all while on probation). However, he had a family to feed and had hustle in his blood, so he “trapped” California cannabis on the side.
Around this time was when he started thinking about how the quality of California weed could be done here in New York. NYC is known for smoking cannabis and Mechanic’s Farm was on a mission to, “Chase the quality that New York flies to Cali for.”
Mechanic started growing in his own home with a 2 x 4 tent and so-called “bullshit lights,” featuring bag seeds from old cannabis he already smoked. However, as the operation grew, so did his paranoia. He is a father with a wife and kids, and it simply wasn’t suitable living quarters; so he stopped growing entirely until he found a true grow spot.
“Shoutout to Marijuantauk & B, real ones, they helped me with the first room I built and didn’t even charge me,” Mechanic told me.
As things got bigger and bigger, Mechanic decided the right thing to do was to quit his pharmacy job and focus his attention wholeheartedly on cultivation. Throughout the interview, he talked a lot about his wife, showcasing her endless support for his dreams and nightmares. It was at this moment she worried because they had a family to feed, but in true Bonnie and Clyde fashion, she knew it was the right decision.
To get the full operation going, Mechanic had to spend about $12,000 for a 4-light room. While money was tight and they were just making ends meet, he stayed confident that it would all be worth it in the long run – and Mrs. Mechanic never wavered.
Between his hard work, never-ending growth, and loads of manifesting, he took every opportunity thrown his way. So, when he heard about the 420 Astor Club event at Washington Square–which happened to line up perfectly with a fresh harvest–he made sure to go and give out free samples. Mechanic managed to impress the major players in attendance like Ryan from Doja and from there his career took off.
Mechanic’s Farm is now working on his newly released collab with Doja and tells me his goal is to put New York on the map.
Mechanic’s Farm has a lot of major milestones in the works.
“Lots of good things coming! You’ll see us out there!” – Mechanic’s Farm
You can follow Mechanic’s Farm on Instagram: @the_mechanics_farmny