Steph Sherer joins us and shares how medical Cannabis has grown to be more accepted in the medical community around the world: "We're now at 31 countries with medical cannabis laws, and it looks like we're going to be close to 60 by the end of the summer. So, in one way, outside of the US it's pretty exciting. Really, the recommendations, if they're followed by the UN, that the WHO has made, countries will actually be obligated to find access to these medications for their citizens. Which is maybe how we finally move things forward in the United States."
Representative Joe Courtney joins us and shares the repercussions of the recent government shutdown and how it affects cannabis and agriculture: "When you look at the growing season fast approaching is just a tragic sequence of events, because we would love to have farmers putting seeds in the ground as we are in the beginning of spring, and it looks like the department has said that they are not gonna have the implementation language for the 2018 farm bill hemp legalization in place for the growing season in 2019. "
Hadley Ford joins us to shed light on his retail philosophy of delighting the customer in the cannabis industry: “If you're doing your job right from retail perspective, they're going to buy your product. And that product can either be a product that we own 100%, or it could be a third party product that we're curating in that store. I think you have to have a balance of both because a consumer will say, ‘I want the choice. I want the selection. I've heard about this. I've heard about that.’”
Ep. 421: Chairman Steve Hoffman, MA Cannabis Control Commision
Mon, 08 Apr 2019
Chairman Steve Hoffman joins us and shares some of the protections put in place relating to Cannabis legislature in Massachusetts: "I think that every state is unique. So you can learn, but every state is different demographically, the laws are different. Massachusetts is the only state that has this explicit requirement about ensuring that disproportionately impacted communities are full participants in the industry. So you can't just lift and shift from other states."
Governor Jay Inslee joins us and shares how impressed he is with the rapid and positive growth of the Cannabis industry: "One of the most impressive things about this is that how fast this has been seen as a mainstream industry where we now have probably three or 4,000 plus people working in the industry. And we have small business people who have a payroll to meet and are paying their taxes. It became mainstream very, very quickly, and that has been interesting to me how fast a transition can take place."
Adam Biermann returns, sharing the changes and retail developments of what he calls the “industry of our lifetime.” This is because the cannabis industry is being born as we live, with growing support on all sides giving it momentum for progress. He emphasizes that this momentum is what matters most, rather than fixating on single events. Cannabis companies face unique struggles in the emerging retail market, including arduous zoning restrictions, legal matters, public perception, research, and investment strategies. But those are all just small parts of the growing snowball leading to an avalanche of business in the space.
Charlie Bachtell joins us to talk about the cannabis space outside of the more classic states of California, Oregon, and Colorado. He has been part of a growing geographical footprint in Illinois, with the mission of normalizing and professionalizing cannabis. In Illinois, safety has been the main concern over other aspects like revenue, and the recent surge in cannabis-related data has helped prove its safety through allowing increased education. This opened up the conversation about cannabis and led to a solid medical program on which others are now based in different states.
Ben Kovler gives a rundown about the reasons behind his involvement in cannabis, emphasizing the same core goals now that he had five years ago. He focuses on distributing brands of scale as a winning strategy, thinking of cannabis as a consumer packaged good in need of a consistent and authentic branded experience. Taking advantage of capital markets on both manufacturing and retail sides provides great opportunities during what is becoming the end of a sort of Prohibition 2.0.
Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky explains his unique views on cannabis and hemp. His appreciation of the plant stems from the need for a tobacco-alternative cash crop in Kentucky and surrounding agricultural areas, and extends to other aspects of states rights and personal freedom. Massie doesn’t vote based on pure party loyalty, but rather goes by his values and those of the people who elected him. For him, this means considering constitutionality, affordability, and state vs. federal responsibility in all issues, including cannabis.
Congressman Seth Moulton shares his experience as a Marine throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s and how it connects to cannabis today. Many veterans come back from service with heavy baggage, causing them to suffer physically and mentally. While cannabis can help with these problems, its legal status keeps veterans from having a conversation about it with their healthcare providers. The good news is that what was once a very partisan issue is now seeing more support from all sides, especially now that its benefits for veterans are coming to light.
Joel Milton talks about his journey leading one of the first cannabis tech companies through a selective startup accelerator and into the market in 2014. At the time, cannabis still held a lot of stigma for professionals, and his company was alone in the group of startups. Investors were hard to find, so the company met its fair share of struggles and hardships. But some early pioneers in the space gave both funds and advice, helping it find early success.
Cy Scott covers the normalization and de-stigmatization of cannabis from a data and analytics perspective. Increasing entrepreneurial tendencies in the industry have built up business through partnerships across the country, focusing on improving how retail systems work and how they interact with customers. The cannabis industry has unique opportunities for testing new ideas and new systems to really optimize the business side of things.
Jeannette Horton talks about the benefits that cannabis tax money can have by making investments in communities most disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. This money can fund expungements, job training, and businesses. But it’s often distributed to the wrong areas, so it’s important to have oversight to ensure that the funds are doing the most good by helping to right the wrongs inflicted primarily on minority populations.
Neal Levine joins us for the first time with a microphone, featuring a guest appearance by Andy Williams. Levine talks about the various legislative actions happening at the moment, including a primary focus on the STATES Act. As Canada fully legalizes and Mexico plans to follow suit, these legislative actions are the key to preventing the US from getting left behind in the industry. But the STATES Act is just incremental, and needs to be followed up by other actions in areas such as tax policy.
Roei Zerahia joins us to share the background of Canndoc in Israel as one of the first companies licensed to grow, process, and distribute cannabis. Now launching in Illinois, they bring with them extensive scientific knowledge about the hundreds of individual compounds in medical cannabis with unique effects that extend beyond those of just THC and CBD.
Mitch Baruchowitz joins us with a brisk-paced narrative of his foray into the world of cannabis, with the same velocity and passion he has found in industry. He touches on a range of topics including investment strategies, tragic events with unexpected influence, misconceptions about legalization and regulation of cannabis, regulatory differences between states, and the future of the business as he sees it.
Kris Krane is back to talk about the big win that democrats -and thus cannabis- have had in the House election and general politics– and what that really means for cannabis reform. Even with strides being made in politics, there are still hurdles to surpass. With the slow process of bureaucracy, four states are the focus of attention; Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Tjalling Erkelens returns and is still based in the Netherlands but with a global cannabis footprint. He compares the global development of cannabis. Change and progress towards legalization, particularly for medicinal marijuana, are happening on all continents across the globe. But each country seems to be taking a different approach, and Tjalling feels it might be best to focus on alignment and harmonization to give patients consistency when traveling.
Lori Ajax is back to talk about the last year that flew by and the next year looming on the horizon. Lessons learned from the last year are carried forward into expectations for year two by looking at the transition of the industry into the regulated market, and the struggles that the transition continues to entail. Tax structures, competition from illicit markets, and the complications of licensing all mean there is a need for better messaging going forward.
Senator Cory Gardner talks about the path of the STATES Act, which has been surprisingly, and perhaps ironically, cleared by the helping hand of Jeff Sessions. His rescindment of the Cole Memorandum of the Obama era tried to quash states rights on the issue of cannabis, but only led to the more simplified STATES Act. Through it, the Controlled Substances Act is essentially negated for those in accordance with state law, helping make way for progress on many of the issues surrounding cannabis for those states.
Darren Soto discusses big changes happening of late. While previous years have been difficult in terms of passing legislation, the new democratic congress brings with it a more positive outlook. The change gives legislation like the Farm Bill and STATES Act greater possibilities to pass. Darren covers the reasons why legalization is something to continue fighting for in the face of antiquated stigmas, poverty, even more harmful prescription drug alternatives.
Congresswoman Dina Titus returns with updates about the effects of the blue wave in congress and the resulting green wave in cannabis. Now, the issue is keeping up with and properly managing bills to try to iron out differences between the house and senate as well as federal and state law. Getting Republicans on board is an important step, meaning the cannabis argument needs to span a wide spectrum. Thus, the issues of money, business, criminal justice, states rights, infrastructure, veterans, and taxes are all getting their time in the limelight.
Congressman Don Young, soon to be the longest serving Republican House member in history, discusses the ins and outs of cannabis legalization from an Alaskan Republican perspective. He sees the need for more debate on the issue to sort out and solve some problems, which the STATES Act provides the opportunity to do. With the support that legalization has with the public, it gives the chance to bring people together and provide benefits regarding agriculture, medicine, crime rates, and business.
Congressman Danny Heck lays out the high level of activity regarding various cannabis discussions that have led to an expansion mode in a number of states in the country. He talks about the financial side of cannabis legalization looking at the Safe Banking Act, which not only reduces regulatory uncertainty and reputational risk for banks, but even more importantly addresses public safety. He goes on to talk about the historical events and perceptions that have shaped the political environment and culture of Washington today.
US Congressman Tom McClintock returns to talk about his views on various legislative items relating to cannabis. These bills are not only promising for businesses and productivity of the country, but also support the freedom of individuals to weigh risks and make their own decisions without federal government interference. However, there is still significant push-back from many members across the isle on what he believes should not be a partisan issue.
Steve Cohen talked about how the next congress is likely to handle everything from cannabis to healthcare, infrastructure, job creation, ethics, and education. Decriminalizing cannabis and keeping it relegated to states issues is looking increasingly possible with all the new bills coming in. Cohen has supported and even created similar legislation for decades, before it was mainstream, and continues to be on the forefront of the issue.
Congressman Ro Khanna looks at the medical, economic, and racial justice issues of cannabis legalization. The Marijuana Justice Act addresses these issues by expunging convictions and removing cannabis from Schedule I. In general, Khanna sees Cannabis as one of those issues where a majority of the american public wants something that Washington isn’t doing, leading to frustration and anger about the failures of the democratic process. The changing House and possible presidential change in the near future provide opportunities for faster and more effective implementation to remedy this.
Congressman David Joyce talks about the various pieces of new legislation that have been slowly but surely advancing cannabis. However, there is still much to be done, especially in educating the opposition about the benefits of cannabis for states rights, businesses, and even drug abuse in order to form a bi-partisan coalition. A common comparison of cannabis to harder drugs should be dispelled through showing how it does not hold the same risks, and legalization can even help alleviate the risks of harder drugs regarding crime and substance abuse.
In Congressman Blumenauer’s third visit, just a day after the Farm Bill passed, he talks about both its success regarding hemp as well as its lack of addressing remaining issues facing American farmers like nutrition, extreme weather, and tariffs. He also discusses some other bills already teed up for congress regarding research, veterans, and banking. Even broader reform in these areas is likely to happen in all of North America in the coming years, potentially alleviating problems of illegal drug trade and opioid crisis while also saving billions of dollars.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper looks back at the path of legalization in Colorado, as well as forward at what he thinks will happen to the industry in the long term. While Colorado might have gotten ahead of itself with some things like edibles, it still showed that many big fears like spikes in teenage consumption, driving while high, and emergency room visits didn’t really become reality. This is good news as we continue forward focusing on the differences between the politics of determining the best interests of communities and the governance of efficiently implementing policies for those interests.
Congressman Carlos Curbelo returns to talk about a range of topics concerning cannabis legalization, reform, and legislation. He has been labelled the “fourth most bipartisan congressman” due to his affinity for compromise, negotiating, dialogue, and working with those across the table to move things forward. In the increasingly divided political climate of today, he talks about the importance of maintaining these qualities to promote long-term goals regarding not just cannabis, but also some other contentious topics.
Congressman Dana Rorbacher is back for the third time to look back at his history on the front lines of cannabis legislation reform. Over the past 30 years in office he has been involved in the Cold War, technology issues, the commercial space industry, and foreign policy. But cannabis is a very special issue to him because it has such a dramatic and personal impact on people’s lives right here in our country. It’s about more than just criminal justice or medical breakthroughs; it’s about personal freedom of choice to decide what to do with their own lives
Danny Moses, known as one of the characters from The Big Short but also as the real person in the flesh, joins us to talk about the past couple of years. He needed a break from Wall Street, and was first brought to cannabis by its obvious possibilities for easing the opioid crisis. Moses is excited about the industry and its promising prospects for growth with unique characteristics such as a lack of institutional money, leverage, and debt. Now is the time to see how the market responds in the face of legislation like the Farm Bill, with big companies already lined up to make the most of new opportunities.
Betty Aldworth joins us by phone and shares the extent of the growing Cannabis market: "In a new state, there are going to be countless opportunities to influence. I think that if you are based in Missouri and you aren't already having a conversation about how you get placed on a working group or a task force, how you participate in the regulatory process in building up these laws, you are already behind the ball. These groups are being formed now."
Paul Rieckhoff joins us and shares the potential for the Cannabis industry to be a massive job opportunity for veterans: "Think about the economic impact here, and think about the economic impact for veterans. Because veterans are four times more likely to be small business owners, they're extremely entrepreneurial, and we think this is going to be the green revolution, the green industry is going to be a source of jobs."
Our host Seth Adler was recently asked to be a guest on MJ Today and the Green Rush. He was also asked to be a panelist at the Cannabis Media Summit. Each was an opportunity for him to take a seat on ‘the other side of the microphone.’ And so we’ve compiled each appearance here in one episode.
Bob Hoban joins us and shares possible ways forward: "Now, you go forward with the excise tax. That's an example of how the federal government might swallow this legalization notion better. Because, all of a sudden, the dollars that would disappear because the 280E exception, under tax law, prohibits companies from taking the vast majority of expense deductions."
Ep. 387: Hemp Spotlight, Wendy Mosher and Samantha Walsh
Fri, 21 Dec 2018
Samantha Walsh and Wendy Mosher join us and share the importance of all the moving parts in cannabis product manufacturing and agriculture: "It's not in the scale of processing. We need all these pieces to come together and we're getting there, but being able to process, ship it across state lines and get it approved in animal feed, all of those pieces need to come together and they're so close."
Ep. 386: Hemp Spotlight, Kelly Thornton and Cory Sharp
Thu, 20 Dec 2018
Kelly Thornton and Cory Sharp join us and share a number of ways hemp can be used in manufacturing and construction: "Straw is going to mold if it gets wet. Critters can get into straw. With hemp, the hydraulic lime is the key to making a concrete alternative which is extremely fire resistant. It's an alkaline material so it's anti-mold and anti-mildew."
Ep. 385: Hemp Spotlight: Rick Trojan & Morris Beegle and Rick Trojan
Wed, 19 Dec 2018
Rick Trojan and Morris Beegle on independent agriculture "Farming, manufacturing are subsidized with all sorts of incentives. We don't need that with hemp. Other countries, China? They're killing it on the fiber side. 90% of what Canada grows, we eat. So the market's there, we're just don't have the infrastructure yet. But it's coming."
Nancy Whiteman joins us and shares the transformation of the public view of cannabis as a business: "For the first time people are started to really get a sense of cannabis- not just as sort of a mom and pop- but legitimately large business by any measure."
Tim Cullen joins us and shares the influence of expanding beyond an exclusively verticle integration model: "When you come into the store, there's never less than 15 to 18 strains on the shelf and it's because of that wholesale market that we can do that."
Kristi Knoblich from Kiva Confections joins us and shares the difficulties of preparing for further regulation on the industry: "Even for a company like us that has been preparing for eight years, we still couldn't prepare for everything, because there are so many parts of this that are out of your control and it really takes a village. It doesn't really matter how prepared we are. If our customers are not prepared, if the packaging companies are not prepared, if things get delayed, there's just any number of issues that can come up."
Steve Hawkins joins us and shares what it will take to end cannabis prohibition, "The strategy has been and continues to be inside the Beltway lobbying- walking the halls of Congress- combined with action in the states. There needs to be a chorus of voices that gets louder and louder as more states pass adult-use."
Ben Larson joins us and shares thoughts on public perception: "What we have been finding in the US especially- is that pushing the adult use market is breaking down the stigma- allowing more research, allowing more money to come into the industry."
David Hua joins us and shares how regulations have changed medical cannabis: "Getting a medical card or recommendation wasn't too difficult in Prop 215, and was great as you got your recommendation, you could use it at any medical shop. But starting in 2018 if you had a recommendation, it didn't give you many benefits. You had to go to the state to get an official card in order to get taxes or the state taxes exempt."
Debby Goldsberry joins us and shares her concerns over new regulations on the California Cannabis Industry: "This is prohibition 2.0. It's a regulated market that's designed to keep most people out of the regulated market, and put cannabis into the hands of fewer and fewer people. I think there has been a lot of lobbying done at the legislature here in California by big business trying to keep cannabis in their hands."
Julianna Carella returns and shares how Treaibles is handling FDA regulations: "It's more important to keep the product on the shelf because now we have a situation where animals are relying on it, and last thing we want is for regulators to be confused about it and then pull the product."
Chuck Smith joins us and shares the potential of the States Act and its effect on the industry: "I think for the country to say, 'Look, these are legitimate business people. They're creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and creating a billion dollars worth of tax revenue. We need to treat them like any other industry.' That's what the States Act is all about. Now, we're going to do everything we can to support it."
The Phaxia on investment opportunity: "This is a fantastic period of time for investing in the space. Canada has not waited. They have war chests on their balance sheet of cash, not really much more they can build out in their market, so they're eyeing other opportunities. The US is a huge opportunity set for them. They're coming."
Dadi Segal from Panaxia explains the processes and equipment that go into producing pharmaceutical cannabis: "Regular analytical systems allow you to see cannabinoids to the milligram level. This machine allows you to see to the nanogram levels, now that allows you to do two things. One of them is detect the levels of cannabinoids in the blood stream, and it's very important for us once we go for clinical trials. For us as a pharmaceutical company, a clinical trial can never be subjective. It has to take the measurements of the cannabinoids in the blood stream, and check pharmacokinetics."
John Fowler helps us to manage expectations and think positively on the future of the Legal Cannabis Market: "We had an election over the summer, and our new Premier decided that it was better to allow small or medium-sized businesses access to the market. What does that mean? We're not going to have stores until April. In the short term, it doesn't look great. But in the long run, that means for the next 100 years after April, we get that private retail and I think that's pretty exciting."
Bruce Linton shares his thoughts on destigmatizing Cannabis from a medical perspective: "I would suggest that the doctors of yesteryear, who were living with the product in their presence might have a more valid perspective on its potential usefulness than the people who have been governing medicine in the absence of cannabis, who don't want to know. I find that they may be one of the last holdouts, but they're going to be unsuccessful when the evidence presents them with an argument that says, "You're wrong."
Mike Gorenstein shares Cronos' goals for expanding reach: "For us it's about creating a global platform, and innovating products so that we can pilot these out, we can get the products in Canada, we can get them into consumers' hands, and we're on five continents now. We can immediately scale them globally."
Rafi Gamson joins us and highlights the immense competition that's growing in the Cannabis Production Market: "The investment is so big, I don't believe so many farms will actually enter the market because it's an open market. It's not regulated. The market will regulate itself. The good ones will survive. The bad ones will actually naturally leave the business. After investing so much money, it would be stupid to enter if you are not the best. "
Shauli Lev Ran elaborates on the benefits of increasing research methodologies: "So if we're talking about 4,000 people smoking, let's say daily, they may be smoking hundreds of different strains with very different combinations. And we're kind of making conclusions or sometimes jumping to conclusions that it is associated with higher or lower levels of THC. But like I said, we don't actually know that. One of the exciting things about the modern era in terms of cannabis research, is that there's no real reason from a research perspective that in a few years time we won't have that data."
Dr. Einav Gati On "the original Green Revolution: "It was like the '30s to '60s. They believed that we have to feed the world and to feed the world, we have to make sure that our crops are a high yield. To do that, they created the different crops of wheat, of corn- and so on- which we find today. But we forgot and somehow erased the genetic resources that we use to have. Gene banks today try to find it again, try to conserve it, try to make it available for research and breeding."
Dr. Nehama Lewis joins us and reflects on how the media effects cannabis perception: "I would teach these classes on anti-drug campaigns and they would cover anti-marijuana campaigns and it never made sense to me why there wasn't a distinction made.We collected data in several projects now. The questions I always ask is how does exposure to media coverage of cannabis specifically say medical cannabis affect the way we think about cannabis more broadly and support for legalization? What interests me is the extent to which the public are being asked to make a distinction between medical cannabis that is being sold more heavily as a treatment and is being framed by the media as something good with an emphasis on the health benefits. There is a really good growing evidence base for that."
Hagai Hillman takes us on a tour of the facilities of Breath of life; A pioneering producer of Cannabis Pharmaceuticals: "I think most of the people who are working in the pharmaceutical industry are meeting innovation only in papers that they appear from the R&D segment of the company. Most of them don't deal with innovation at all. Most of them are dealing with a traditional processing. We are different. We challenge them on a daily basis about how to make things better, how to make things much more consistent, much more valued And people over here are meeting innovation or have to deal with innovation even in the from low skill to high skill."
Ep. 365: Eitan Kuperstoch, Israel Ministry of Economy
Mon, 10 Sep 2018
Eitan Kuperstoch Joins us and talk about the importance of medical grade Cannabis and industrial growth. "This is a new sector. The export of medical grade will actually bring more and more entrepreneurs to this new sector with more and more ideas. It goes into new drugs and maybe even new medical equipment. I mean, new ideas in curing diseases. As you mentioned, the sky is the limit."
Professor @ArnonAfek, on the 'medicalization' of cannabis "the most significant results we've seen in our clinical trial are the reduction of anxiety and violent outbursts." A pathologist by profession. Professor Afek graduated from Hadassah Medical School and then served in the army as a medical officer. He was the head of the classification branch at the IDF, which is responsible for the medical classification of all the young people in Israel. When he retired from the army and started his career in the hospital system, he was the deputy director of Sheba Medical Center and went on to the Ministry of Health to serve as the Director of the Medical Affairs, which is equivalent to the Surgeon General in the States. He's now back at Sheba.
Ep.363: Prof. Mauro Maccorrone, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma
Mon, 27 Aug 2018
Prof. Mauro Maccarrone joins us and shares his decades-long history in cannabis research. "The first paper was, in fact, published in 1997. And since then, as a biochemist for education, I could contribute, over the years, a few methods to measure metabolic enzymes and also some receptor activity. And year by year, I did consolidate this biochemical side of the story within the endocannabinoid field, and I could apply it to different medical problems through collaborations with clinicians. And we happened to show quite some interesting things over the years in two major sectors. One is reproductive events, human reproductive events. The other one is in neurodegeneration."
Ep.362: Prof. Dedi Meiri, Technion Israel Institute of Technology
Mon, 20 Aug 2018
On the actual clinical trial research being done on cannabis now, Prof. Dedi Meiri, "we are starting with para-clinical. We first screen on cell lines from tumors, many types of cannabis. We have an ability to screen a lot. We have over than 600 different types of cannabis, and every one of them have hundreds of different compounds, and we know, in my lab, to identify all of them, to purify them if we need. So, we're starting with very wide screen."
Ep.361: Prof. Zvi Bentwich, Ben Gurion University/Tikun Olam
Mon, 13 Aug 2018
On his awakening to the scientific value of cannabis, Ben Gurion University's Zvi Bentwich, now also the Chief Scientist for Tikun Olam- "I know enough to say, or at least think, that there was a common denominator. The common denominator was the central nervous system. So, if this plant, or whatever it contains, has an effect on appetite, which is via the central nervous system, then it's not that surprising that it would have beneficial effect on spasticity."
Ep.360: Yuval Landschaft, Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency
Mon, 06 Aug 2018
The Director of the Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency, Yuval Landschaft returns to give both me and you a tour of Israel's cannabis economy. Yuval invited me to host Israel's medical cannabis event and while in town, he shared the latest on research, the market and how exactly the medicalization of cannabis is happening in Israel...and what that means for the rest of the world.
Ep.359: Professor Hinanit Koltai, Volcani Institute Israel
Mon, 30 Jul 2018
Dr. Hinanit Koltai joins us and shares what she's finding in phytocannabinoid research. "Not all compounds- the 400 or so present in cannabis- not all of them are needed to treat all different medical indications. But rather, for example, for colon inflammation we found the certain combination of compounds needed to treat this ailment. And we found and we published that as a scientific paper in an international journal, scientific journal, that did see the psychoactive compound of course is not needed to treat, probably is not needed to treat these patients. But rather reduction of inflammation may be done by a different composition of compounds all present in cannabis." Dr. Koltai notes that her research is able to be done based on the fact that through the Israeli Ministry of Health, she's growing cannabis right at the Volcani Center. "We can play and manipulate growth conditions to lead to different composition of compounds that the plant produces. We develop different extraction methods. Some of them are widely used, but some of them are unique and interesting."
Ep.358: CA Cannabis Control Bureau Chief, Lori Ajax
Mon, 23 Jul 2018
California Cannabis Bureau Chief Lori Ajax returns for an update on the industry realities post July 1. She shares that the Bureau is listening to the industry and making adjustments as they go to ensure a healthy marketplace. She notes how important it is to participate in public comment to ensure your voice is listened to, heard and receives a response.
US Congressman Darren Soto joins us and gives us his thoughts on Florida and Federal cannabis policy. He also shares how his thoughts on states rights affect more local policy, "I do believe in local rule, and certain counties and cities should have the character that they've traditionally had, and this may be something they feel is inconsistent with it. Others embrace it. So I get that part of it. I just worry about how different Floridians have different access to one particular type of medicine when with every other type- they're not restricted by geography." And also how those same thoughts might affect federal policy, "we're in the Stone Age here in Congress, so if we even can get that done it would be a step in the right direction. But our main goal is to ratify and give legal cover to the various marijuana legal regimes throughout the United States based upon the different state laws."
Recorded before any mention of resignation- or reasoning for that resignation- US Congressman Tom Garrett joins us and shares what sound like sensible measures in addressing legal cannabis in the United States of America. Further Congressman Garrett discusses the importance of uniformly enforcing the law- tipping his cap to the fact that institutional racism exists and even stating that racial prejudice is at work. He speaks of laboratories for democracy in each state. And he speaks of caregivers and patients being able to make decisions for themselves. He also discusses the fact that the United States of America is "peeing away economic opportunity" but not leading or even participating in the cannabis global landscape. And finally he discusses the reform movement in the United States Congress being more about age than party.
Cannabis Caucus member US Congresswoman Dina Titus joins us and gives us her thoughts on cannabis in Nevada which has already generated $30M for the state. She also shares what's happening with cannabis within the walls of congress specifically in committee, "when you go to the Rule's Committee, that's where you offer these amendments, and they just didn't even hear it or didn't even add it." That surprises Representative Titus based on how many issues cross through cannabis, "you talk about taxes, talk about banking, VA use, persecution, Native Americans..." And back home in Nevada, she notes, "if you have a crazy idea in the morning, by afternoon you'll have a lot of people go along with you. So we need to be sure those privacy rights stay in place."
On his thoughts on cannabis, US Congressman Raul Grijalva joins us. Representative Grijalva shares his point of view on serving our veterans after they've served for us, "Professors doing evidence based, fact based, science based studies on the application of cannabis to veterans in terms of dealing with the stresses and mental issues that they brought back with them from Afghanistan and Iraq, therapeutic application, the veterans want it. Even establish veterans organizations that have been around for 100 years want it. And you had the legislature threaten to take away funding from the University of Arizona if they didn't stop the study and didn't get rid of the professor. Professor left, continued the study somewhere else."
On his foray into cannabis advocacy- first at the state level, US Congressman Matt Gaetz joins us and shares, "I knew that we would never convince an overwhelmingly Republican state legislature and a strident Republican governor to engage in cannabis reform if they didn't feel it in their hearts. I didn't think I could convey that in a two dimensional medium, and so I invited Paige Figi to come and testify before the Criminal Justice Committee I chaired. I remember the conversation I had with a Baptist preacher who served on the committee with me. I was worried that he might go into full meltdown when surprised with Paige's story, and so I told him what was going to happen in the committee. He just grabbed me by the arm and prayed with me and said he just couldn't be with me on this. By the end of the committee meeting, he was pounding on the desk saying, "God put this plant on earth for a reason."
US Congressman Earl Blumenauer returns to share the state of the Rohrabacher Blumenauer Amendment as well as his thoughts on the fact that over 20M people have a relationship with cannabis each month. This has led to a shift and hardening of public opinion in support of legalizing the plant. Congressman Blumenauer feels that there is a good chance that there will be movement specifically on 280E as there are so many 'tax vehicles' being discussed. And if you're listening and are a constituent of anyone in house leadership, the Congressman urges you to write, call and go down to that office to share your thoughts.
US Congressman Carlos Curbelo joins us and discusses his point of view on cannabis which extends from his belief in federalism and states rights. He was first made aware of cannabis as an issue through Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code which states that cannais businesses may not deduct otherwise ordinary business expenses from gross income associated with the trafficking of Schedule I or II substances, as defined by the Controlled Substances Act. Now well versed in the subject, Congressman Curbelo also discusses the wellbeing of patients relying on cannabis.
US Congressman Ro Khanna joins us and shares his initial reaction to AG Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo’s. On personal liberty, he continues the conversation from our last episode with US Congressman Tom McClintock which brings up the similarities between guns and cannabis in regards to concealed carry. On cannabis law enforcement he discusses racial equity. On spending federal funds to go after cannabis businesses, Congressman Khanna supports both the McClintock Polis and Rohrabacher Blumenauer Amendments. On jobs, he discusses bringing the new economy to every corner of the US. Further to that point, he notes that we’ve got to come together- in order to compete with other nations moving forward “we don’t have a person to waste."
Half the namesake of the McClintock Polis Amendment which seeks to protect adult-use cannabis businesses the same way that the Rohrabacher Blumenauer Amendment protects medical cannabis businesses from the federal government, US Congressman Tom McClintock joins us to discuss his reasoning for sponsoring the bill. He also notes his general philosophy of governance as it relates to state vs. federal government.
I only met Mac Jones twice. Once, when we did the interview and once, at Andy's wedding. He was an unbelievably warm human being. He was also a banker. And he had cannabis clients. Andy introduced us, so we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate Mac after his passing through a conversation with his son Brad. The full interview with Mac follows the conversation with Andy and Brad. You can donate to Ark Valley Hospice in Mac's name.
"Jeff Sessions, as much as we disagree on all sorts of topics, he's right. Marijuana is federally illegal and marijuana needs rules and protections in place by states like Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, need to come together and stand up for these businesses that they collect tax revenue from and give us something better than a flimsy piece of paper with a couple rules on it that any administration can pull away. And until that happens marijuana and Jeff Sessions, it is illegal and Jeff Sessions is right."
Brian Vicente returns to provide updated perspective on the state of the cannabis economy in the state of Colorado. We also preview how the upcoming election might affect legal cannabis across the United States.
Khurshid Khoja joins us and shares his deep history in the cannabis industry. He notes how he’s been approaching the California market in 2018 based on the myriad changes stemming from the first week of the year.
Former NBA phenom Al Harrington joins us and shares the valuable lessons learned from his pre-pro coaches. He discusses his career in the NBA, what he learned from the veterans when he got there and what he learned from the former commissioner when he left. Al also of course shares what led to his foray into the cannabis economy and why exactly one of his company’s is named after his grandmother.
Constance Finley joins us following a successful career in finance. She’s been in cannabis for the past 10 years and has evolved with the industry, now well-licensed as we make our way through this next reality. Constance is now focused on providing a pharmaceutical grade product with verified results from physicians.
Of Cypress Hill, Muggs joins us and shares how his east coast upbringing led to initial west coast success. He remembers that his relationship with cannabis led to inspiration and action, which was different than what he heard about the plant. He does feel that the group had something to do with the way the majority of society who accepts cannabis views cannabis. And how that informs his business endeavors in the space.
Roger Volodarsky joins us and discusses the nuances of the New York vs. California markets. Going back, Roger was an avid fan of the plant but his parents didn’t differentiate between cannabis and any other substance, with the exception of alcohol. For them emigrating from the old Soviet block alcohol was just fine, where as cannabis was certainly not. Roger’s use made them feel as though they failed as parents. Growing up in New York didn’t help as the state had no legal medical cannabis framework in the 90’s so the plant was essentially just as stigmatized as it was in "Refer Madness.” And it hasn’t necessarily gotten too much better as evidenced by our current medical program which is why Roger has moved on to Los Angeles where the cannabis culture is a bit richer.
Helen Cho joins and and reminds us that Hawaii legalized cannabis in the year 2000 and it took seventeen years to open the first dispensaries. But two years ago, thanks in part to State Senator Will Espero, legislation passed, for said dispensaries to in fact open. There was a certain threshold of capital heft needed to attain one of those eight licenses. As a reminder the system is somewhat conservative. There is no wholesale market meaning that market participants cannot assist each other with supply and demand during shortages or overages. And in other news, the testing requirements are strict- which of course is an absolute positive. Regarding the consumer- Day 1 sounds like it was just like Colorado but unlike Colorado there were a few issues with the seed to sale technology which hadn’t been tested before that day.
Lukas Behal joins us and provides his background in events which has led him to organize one of the world’s largest trade shows in the Czech Republic. He notes that there were better times in the past- decades ago, just after Czechoslovakia split, homegrow was prevalent and public consumption was not an issue. Since 2010, he’s been building the trade show within the context of legal cannabis. And based on Lucas’ personal experience, we also get a chance to discuss the differences between socialism and communism. And we come away thinking the true enemy of society being laziness coupled with an aversion to conceiving of original thought.
Jim Borghesani returns as a follow-up to running the ballot initiative that passed in Massachusetts in 2016. He does review the days and weeks leading up to the vote and share what it was that in fact worked to capture the win. He mentions media endorsements of course didn’t hurt, but it was gathering the physician community together to share their support of medical cannabis that most likely had the biggest impact. Jim also notes that the opposition used the some old arguments which may have backfired in a state like Massachusetts. Of course, those same arguments worked to great affect in the state of Arizona on the same day- so go figure. Jim also gives an update on the state's legislature’s actions before the vote and after and what to expect moving forward.
Bibiana Rojas joins us and shares that Colombia legalized medical cannabis and did so with the country being a true medicinal market. What she means by that is that cannabis has to walk and talk like a medicine. No flower is on sale, no shipments take place. The rules state essentially whatever we do with pharmaceuticals, we’re doing with cannabis. Bibi’s company has now received licenses to cultivate. For background, her family had a number of businesses and based on Bibi’s international business experience, she was elected to be the steward and she takes us through where she’s going with the business in Colombia’s cannabis economy. Incidentally, Bibi is also kind enough to give us a lesson in global treasuries.
Steve Moore joins us from CannaTech in London and takes through his public affairs experience. He’s done work for both David Cameron and Tony Blair. Originally from Northern Ireland, he notes it was an interesting time to be in that region in the 1970’s & 80’s. As a kid he didn’t really understand what was happening. As a teenager he says he adapted accordingly. People were able to weave normal life around what was happening. Regarding cannabis legalization- Steve has noticed a few things- cannabis normalization changes from place to place. Stereotypes are nebulous. And the political environment is always unique regarding cannabis. Steve takes us through the unique situation of the cannabis economy in England.
Amanda Ostrowitz joins us and shares that she bootstrapped herself into a cashflow positive, debt free reality when she got an acquisition offer from MassRoots. While it was surprising as she was fundraising but not looking to get acquired...she was looking to grow. So she decided to move forward. With the deal nearly complete Issac Deitrich was removed as the CEO of MassRoots and so Amanda withdrew from the deal. She shares her thoughts and feelings as well as lessons learned from that experience.
Welcome to Cannabis Economy, I’m your host Seth Adler, check us out on social with handle canneconomy- that’s two n’s and the word economy.
But first a quick conversation with Kayvan Khalatbari on the MCBA Opportunity Summit March 22-24 in Denver. Great speakers and sponsors are already lined up and you can get your tickets at MCBAOpportunity.Eventbrite.com Here’s Kayvan and then Amanda.
Hawaii State Senator Will Espero joins us and shares that in 2000, Hawaii became the first legislature in the nation to pass legal medical cannabis. Since then, though it’s been slow going. There have been obstacles and roadblocks. Will was the lead Senator on the dispensary bill which finally passed in 2015. The dispensaries are now up and running. And go figure, the sky has not fallen. That said, the system is somewhat conservative. Law Enforcement desired to not have paraphernalia sold inside dispensaries, and so it’s not. Specific felonies have been introduced for dispensary owners regarding cannabis diversion. That said, reciprocity is on the table and Will is interested in developing the hemp market in Hawaii.
Alex Cooley returns and shares that the goals in Washington State and the city of Seattle are the same as they’ve been for the last two years. This is the third year running where we’re discussing delivery and consumption. Testing protocols and standards have changed and remain an evolving reality. We’re now up to the basic questions of how are the regulations that have been put in place affecting business. Which brings us to taxes- that’s the large looming issue du jour. The excise tax is now 37% which is actually lower than it was. But that’s still astronomically high. On top of that, local and state taxes-which in Seattle add up to 10.1%- need to be paid. Competing with the black market is tough if you’ve got a 47% surcharge.
Michael Bronstein returns to discuss the fact that he sees the state legislature of New Jersey legalizing adult-use cannabis within 2018. Governor Murphy campaigned on the issue and there’s no question where he stands as far as support. That said, there’s not necessarily agreement on a timeline. What Michael does know is that the New Jersey State Senate President is for it and wants legal cannabis adopted. There’s more of a question in the House. Michael further notes that important bridges have to be built, just like on any legislative agenda. In his view the ultimate legislation must of course speak to licenses and product availability and may also speak to social justice. On product, the lesson has been learned from New York and he feels that there will be flower available in New Jersey.
Nick Kovacavitch joins us and shares his background in college basketball and how he takes lessons learned on the court to the board room. Lesson one as he says is figuring out how to work together. While you can develop deep relationships on a team, you don’t have to necessarily like everyone as long as you’re all committed to the same goal. You’re all working for the same purpose. Work together to benefit those who have specific skills and put them in a position to succeed. None of that is different in business. The competitive nature of sports is also hard to get away from in business. Recorded at MJBizCon, Nick notes that his competitive spirit has him wanting to compete and win. But he balances that gut response with the fact that the cannabis industry must have collaboration and will have consolidation.
Dr. Rachel Knox returns and as a commissioner on the Oregon Cannabis Commission. Medical Marijuana has been in existence since 1998 in Oregon and was originally overseen by the Health Authority. With the onset of Adult Use cannabis in the state, Oregon’s Governor Brown sought to ensure that the medical marijuana program was well structured and well run and at the forefront of cannabis research, so she developed the Commission to oversee it. She looked for capable and committed folks like Rachel and two other doctors, a patient representative, and regulators from both the Health Authority and from the OLCC who oversee adult use. The goal is to ensure that the program is robust, features patient advocacy and is focused on further research in Oregon.
Recorded on the day of the Cole & Ogden Memo’s rescission, Jonathan Blanks from the Cato Institute joins us and shares that from his vantage point, the Sessions Memo reverses a very sane practice of limiting the federal government’s power to intervene in state legal cannabis. In his words “the people of Colorado think we’ve spent too much money, wasted too much energy and jailed entirely too many people for smoking marijuana, so we’re not gonna do it any more, the federal government shouldn’t come in and interfere with that." So that puts us in a place where the voters asked for legal cannabis but instead of tax dollars from that industry going back to building that community, that communities tax dollars are being used in enforcement against the very will of we the people.
Dot Colagiovanni joins us and shares that she’s got a PhD in toxicology which she put to use in the biotech industry for 20 years until she became disillusioned with the FDA working slowly but also hedge funds coming in to biotech and driving decision making as opposed to the science. She wanted to bring medicine to market sooner at the same time as her son had to have a liver transplant. During the wait to find a liver, Dot wanted to be present and so she and she alone self medicated with cannabis after her son went to bed. She had never utilized cannabis medically and she says, cannabis helped her cope. She put two and two together and realized the cannabis industry was where she needed to be.
Comedy duo...and twins, the Lucas Brothers join us and share that there was an easy transition from being quiet off stage to being quiet onstage. Kenny and Keith were on their way to being lawyers until they realized that they hated it. And of course stand-up comedy was the next best option. From Newark, NJ which they pronounce like Pork…from Newark they separated for the only time going to Duke and NYU respectively which precipitated them coming back together and staying that way. As it’s said, comedians are today’s philosophers so we find our way to discussing the relationship of women to men and vice versa. We discuss how economics and race have played into our current global geopolitical construct. And we do discuss thoughts on the proliferation, growth and acceptance of cannabis.
Debby Goldsberry returns to discuss California and the rescission of the Cole & Ogden Memos. She notes that AG "Sessions knows the toothpaste is out of the tube, marijuana will be legalized, prohibition will end nationally, it might take us another 20, 30 years to do it but we’re going to get there- he might want to try to turn back time a little bit, but his time is limited. We’re going to keep moving forward. Every single thing that he did only empowered us more, to do more advocacy, to change laws faster and more furious and to get where we need to go.” That said she also mentions that “we were getting too soft, we were forgetting how to be advocates we were starting to sell marijuana as though we had attained freedom when in fact we’re far from where we need to be.” The two-sides of the coin from a lifetime activist.
With the Capitol Corridor train in the background and a very personal point up front, Julianna Carella returns to discuss Auntie Dolores and Treatibles. In the wake of California’s new regulations, she’ll be shuttering Auntie Dolores edibles to focus on Treatibles exclusively. Julianna certainly understands and appreciates the two steps forward, one step back reality of legal cannabis, but at this moment in time she has evaluated other realities- slim margins on high-end edibles and the raid preparedness nature of California dispensaries. With those points, adding potency and serving size requirements in the new regulations make continuing with edibles untenable for her. That said, hempCBDbased Treatibles certainly lives on.
Aaron Justis returns to share that he feels the rescission of the Cole & Ogden memos will not result in disruption. He notes that giant state government agencies are involved, politicians up and down the state of California had a strong response that they would keep regulating and keep taxing legal cannabis. And of course, other states like Colorado had vociferous responses from the State Attorney General stating that she would defend state legal businesses to Republican Senator Cory Gardner raising his voice from the floor of the US Senate insisting on protecting state legal cannabis despite the fact that he didn’t initially support it. Aaron also notes the fact that ultimately it would come down to jurors convicting state legal cannabis and legal cannabis has overwhelming support.
Steve DeAngelo returns to discuss California since new regulations went into affect on January 1st, and his thoughts on the rescission of the Cole Memos which happened January 4th. Steve does commend the Bureau of Cannabis Control for hitting the 1/1 date as it did go more smoothly than he expected. That said, Steve notes that the real hard work happens now- between 1/1 and 7/1 as July 1st is the set date for temporary regulations and licenses to end and the new reality to begin. On the rescission of the Cole & Ogden Memos, Steve says he wasn’t surprised. But he says that a key part of any US Attorney’s job is to survey the totality of lawbreaking that’s happening in their district and identify that lawbreaking which is the greatest public safety threat and focus on it.
Ep.319: James M. Cole, Former US Deputy Attorney General
Thu, 11 Jan 2018
Former Deputy Attorney General of the United States and author of the Cole Memo’s James M. Cole returns to discuss the rescission of the Cole Memos and the Ogden Memo before it. We discuss the thought process behind creating each of the three memos, his first in 2011, the second in 2013 and the final memo released in concert with FinCen guidance on Valentine’s Day 2014. Now that the memos have been rescinded the state of legal cannabis is dictated by the Rohrabacher Blumenaur Amendment for medical cannabis. For adult-use cannabis, it’s now up to US attorneys stationed where adult-use cannabis has been passed. Central California which includes Los Angeles and San Diego and Northern California which includes the Bay Area both have new Attorney’s which have been appointed by AG Sessions.
Fresh off the Constellation Brands deal, Bruce Linton joins us and shares that one of the things that he has to do is look at other sectors. So he’s been watching alcohol, tobacco and Pharma- looking at structures and public statements. The only company in the alcohol space that seemed to be forecasting an interest in cannabis was Constellation. Bruce and his team reached out to figure out how to make it happen and found a company with an entrepreneurial spirit with a likeminded approach. For his part, Bruce see’s the producer of Corona Beer as a beverage manufacturer. He notes that whenever and wherever there’s a market for non-medical cannabis beverages any where in the world- Constellation is with whom Canopy Growth will be working.
Debby Goldsberry joins us to discuss raid preparedness. Debby has been in the industry since before it was an industry and highlights what she and her team are used to doing. These are principles which the entire industry used to do back before Colorado and Washington legalized adult-use cannabis. Since then, the industry has been operating under the guidance of the Cole Memos. Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memos yesterday. Incidentally, the 10th amendment reads: The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.
Recorded in Las Vegas at MJ Biz Con in November, Charlie Rutherford returns for Political Discourse IV. At the time the tax bill being debated came under the guise of tax reform. We now know that it became simply a tax cut. We discuss the benefit of corporate taxes coming down while unpacking the short-term middle-class tax cuts resulting in those middle-class taxes actually going up over a 10 year period. We discuss killing the State and Local income tax or SALT deduction and it’s effects. We discuss the realities facing the Reagan tax cuts- corporate profits being low and interest rates being high- the opposite of the current economic reality. We talk about that economic reality as a playing field for We The People. And we discuss the definition of a free market.
Adam Bierman joins us and lays out his priorities for 2018, those being money, markets and the mainstreaming of the industry. On the money side, he certainly noticed the Constellation Brands deal in Canada (it was of course precluded from happening here in the United States). On markets the Medmen fund investing in Canada in MedReleaf went better than expected. On mainstreaming cannabis. They’ve got 6 retail shops in Southern California which Adam sees as the biggest cannabis market in the world. He’s working with the stores and educating the public on the new reality on the ground as of January 1st. And to that end, on mainstreaming, he’s exposing Medmen and legal cannabis to a whole new market with pride and responsibility.
Jmichaele Keller returns to tell his personal cannabis story. Going back, he had cut out carbohydrates from his diet completely. But substantially increased travel had those carbs wade their way back into his daily plan. Which led to him finding himself in the emergency room. Over the past couple of years he’s been to the hospital four times. The reason for these visits was due to a GI “adventure” as he calls it which has him living in a constant state of inflammation. He had found that CBD solves this problem. He found a product that worked for him, but he didn’t have that product on the road which leads to what he calls an attack where his stomach becomes distended. On top of that attack, his body rejected CBD product which it turns out was not well tested.
Betty Aldworth returns and has a lot going on with the SSDP conference as well as ensuring that all the SSDPers are out there supporting ballot measures for cannabis legalization and all sensible drug policy for that matter. We discuss deschedling as potential focus for the cannabis community and while that dialogue should certainly occur, with the Rohrabacher Blumenaur Amendment holding on by a thread, 280E being no where near the tax bill, not to mention the proclivities of our attorney general, Betty’s thought is to continue to focus on moving the needle state by state. Oh and by the way, you can help by going to SSDP.org/match and donating now. And donate whenever at SSDP.org.
Industry veteran Paul Rosen joins us and shares that for cannabis he feels that Toronto is the most important city in the world as it’s the capital of capital. It’s gained that distinction based on a series of Canada constitutional court rulings which ruled that a patient had the right to the medicine of his/her choosing. The court rulings led to the first regulatory infrastructure- the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations or MMAR which was built around home grow. Prime Minister Harper’s government then put in the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations MMPR which ushered in the current medical industry. And set up the opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau’s government to introduce legal adult use cannabis in parliament which goes into effect July 2018.
Ep.311: Lori Ajax, Chief, Bureau California Cannabis Control
Mon, 18 Dec 2017
Chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control for California, Lori Ajax returns by phone on the day that the first temporary licenses have been granted. The Bureau is directly responsible for Distribution, Retailer, Laboratory Testing and Microbusiness licenses. Manufacturing licenses are directly granted by the California Department of Public Health and were also on track. Cultivation licenses are being granted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and aiming to be granted just prior to Jan. 1st. At the time of the interview on 12/14/17, Lori takes us through the fact that there are roughly 1,900 applicants in the temporary licensing system and the Bureau is on track to deal with all of them on time. She continues with what to expect between January 1st and July 1st 2018.
On the day that the rules for temporary licenses in California were released Sabrina Fendrick sat down where we put her on the spot to discuss what was happening in real-time. She was bouncing from meeting to meeting with government affairs, regulatory advisory as well as supply partners. In real-time, Sabrina highlighted questions about packaging and labeling wondering if there were going to be grace periods and whether or not the regs would fit together with the trailer bill- which we subsequently learned- there are and they do. Questions do remain around supply chain and the ability to do business with different license types which we’ll cover in the very next episode. Sabrina does note that Lori Ajax has been supportive and transparent and understands the situation at hand.
Tae Darnell joins us and takes us through his background. Roughly 75% of the his brothers and sisters were adopted by his father- a musician that toured with Buddy Holly, who himself-that’s his dad- was adopted by the last traditional spiritual chief of the Lakota Sioux Native Americans. Tae was running around the studio with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Elton John and others as a kid. His father left producing to pursue spiritual medicine. Tae was a direct witness to the War on Drugs and how it’s really the only thing that makes gangs possible. It’s the ultimate catalyst for destabilization as he says. Tae got himself into college, went to run a record label. The music industry was digitally disruption and booted Tae to law and eventually, cannabis.
Neil Demers joins us and discusses the correct pronunciation and history of Diego Pellicer a boutique cannabis dispensary brand with an interesting ownership structure. Based on his background, Neil is road mapping the entire customer journey. He’s trying to understand how the customer came to the brand, what that customer sees when they look at the edifice that houses the store, the experience checking-in, shopping with the budtender, checking out at the cashier and even enjoying the project at home. He dives in on each of those touch points to ensure he’s maximizing the customer experience at each of those touch points. He also listens to the voice of the customer to understand how he can differentiate the brand and deliver a unique experience.
Returning from Episodes 26 & 155, Tim McGraw joins us from a cafe in California's Bay Area. After securing cannabis licenses in Illinois and building up operations there, he’s returning to his real estate roots while taking advantage of his cannabis operator acumen. We discuss facilitating an opportunity to create thousands of jobs through cannabis in local municipalities that absolutely need those jobs. Tim notes that no matter where you are, the cannabis economy is already in your home town whether you have legal cannabis or not. If it’s not locally legal, rather than money spent on cannabis going back into your community- it disappears. He’s seen the import of the direct impact of cannabis dollars on a community that needs it. And that impact is immediately quantifiable.
Kayvan Khalatbari returns and shares with us the issues which are driving him to run for Mayor of Denver. While the vote isn’t until 2019, Kayvan shares his thoughts on everything from ditching the ditch to social what do do about cannabis in the metropolis. Kayvan says he’s seen the city change and opportunity dwindle. He’s seeing long-time residents move away. He’d like to see a city that’s sustainable and forward thinking. He’s looking to create equitable opportunity with a synthesis of art, community, entrepreneurship and government with communication and transparency between them. And so he’s proposing Denver as Hemp Capital of the world which will draw business and provide jobs while not looking to spend anymore than is already in the budget.
Troy Dayton returns. We discuss the fact that cannabis should be America’s to lose, but that’s in fact what’s happening. Canada is of course burgeoning with capital, import and export. The international trade winds are blowing and Troy says it’s hard to imagine a situation where we don’t see 20+ compound annual growth rates for the next decade or more. The European investors are starting to get excited. Troys ays Asia investment is waking up with asymmetry knowledge to capital. But as noted, the fact that there’s an adversarial Attorney General in office, risk is still very much alive.
Nicole Smith joins us and shares that after a transformative year she’s excited to be leading Evolab into it’s next decade of existence all the while innovating their product lines. We discuss goal setting in that rather than beginning with the end in mind, Nicole sets up the structure so that the means justify the ends. She describes it as a funnel. Whereas she did operate in a more linear fashion in years past, working in the cannabis industry doesn’t allow that luxury. Having to work through 5 banks, 3 Facebook pages, 15 credit card processors and 4 401K programs will wrest you from a linear mindset. Cannabis executives must continue to make progress in a linear fashion using circuitous routes.
As we make our way into what will be the fourth year of adult-use cannabis in Colorado, Colorado Harvest Company CEO Tim Cullen returns to share how things have changed and how things have remained the same. For Tim, 2014 was his fourth year in operation, so while it was a transformative moment for the industry and the world, in some ways Jan. 1 was another day at the office for Tim. That said, operations were set for 2 or 3 customers at the time and 1500 people showed up. Moving into today Tim says that the water has found it’s level and the cannabis business has evened out.
In a two-part interview, California Assemblyman Rob Bonta joins us. In part 1 recorded at his office in Oakland, he shares why when we had Prop 215 in place we needed MCRSA. He notes that for nearly 20 years there was no regulatory framework to protect the health of the patients and to guard against diversion. It wasn’t because it hadn’t been tried, it tried and failed. As the Chair of the Assembly Health committee, his goal was to make sure that everyone had true access to high quality affordable healthcare. In part 2, Rob shares what’s happening on the ground in the lead-up to Day 1. And shares the reconciliation process between medical and adult-use legislation.
California’s Chief of Cannabis Regulation Lori Ajax joins us in a two part interview to share what’s happening with California Cannabis Regulations. In the first part of the interview, recorded in Sacramento California, she notes that she has monthly meetings with all state agencies involved in cannabis regulation. Lori feels that all of California’s involved State Agencies realize the importance of cannabis legalization to the state. She notes that each of the agencies needs one another to ensure success across the board. In the second part of the interview Lori shares updated branding information as well as online resources available to the industry.
Tjalling Erkelens joins us and shares that Bedrocan’s growth is breathtaking. From a 200 kilo annual production, Tjalling’s operations have grown to now 5,000 kilos of annual production with an ability to quickly scale up to 9,000 kilos of annual production from his two sites in the Netherlands alone. Rather than call it cannabis, the team chooses to refer to the product as an API- an active pharmaceutical ingredient or flos- which is latin for flowers. In some way, Bedrocan is now working on product for Australia, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Finland, Poland, Macedonia, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Israel and for testing purposes, the UK. And in short order- Denmark & Greece.
Jmichaele Keller returns to discuss domestic and global cannabis testing. He notes that each Country and US State alike is crafting unique and custom regulations from a scientific basis. Some localities have a level of expertise, some don’t and eventually as Jmichaele sees it, cannabis is going to be legal across the board and when that happens, the real rules will be presented. He feels that it’s important to write the global regulations now. If we don’t, all of these specific rulesets regarding pesticides, yeast and mold, medical vs. adult use, etc. will find operators on a number of completely different pages and then the industry will find itself in a state of upheaval.
Alex Rogers returns from Episode 230 by phone this time to share his thoughts on among other things, the cannabis economy and changing laws in Germany. We discuss the fact that international import/export is happening and how the US is truly falling behind. Alex discusses his event that’s coming up in Hawaii and so he discusses the cannabis program which just opened up there. We discuss what’s happening in cannabis and otherwise in Spain in Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Finally we discuss what’s happening in Canada both federally and provincially. And on Hawaii, comedian Doug Benson will speak and Grammy winning reggae artists Morgan Heritage will play.
Mark Grayboyes joins us as he comes out of stealth mode to share that he and his team of former biotech executives and research scientists are all doing advanced formulation sciences with purified cannabinoids to formulate product for improved delivery. Mark shares that he’s been working in the industry for the past three years and as you can tell, he’s been working not only on the product but the pitch. He went to college in Boulder and has been there for the past 25 years. Mark brings pharmaceutical industry experience to the cannabis industry and so we ask for lessons learned from pharma which we can voluntarily apply in cannabis as an industry…as well as understanding what simply is not possible based on schedule 1 classification.
Brian Beckley joins us and shares his journalism background. His thinking is that most journalists are hired guns and back in the day due to his being in a punk band- he resisted. Brian started covering government writing for a print publication and then moved from upstate New York to Seattle and in a suburb of a suburb kept writing, eventually becoming an editor of a local weekly. After discussing his thoughts on the current and future news journalism landscape, Brian dives in on cannabis. His entry to the market was when he sat down with the publisher of Marijuana Venture and it was an instant match. Brian notes, his and the magazines focus is squarely on the business of cannabis.
Jason Ortiz joins us in a two part discussion. First he shares what’s going on in Puerto Rico with his family and generally but he does it third hand as communications systems aren’t up. His information is from relatives of relatives who are taking days at a time to get between cities and relaying information back to family off of the island through what does work in San Juan. He provides a few suggestions of what to do if you feel like doing something. And he shares a potential timeline of recovery. In the second part of the conversation, which actually was recorded first, Jason takes us through cannabis in Puerto Rico. We discuss education and debt and generally try to get a sense of what is possible on and for the island.
Joshua Laterman joins us and shares that the new National Association of Cannabis Businesses see themselves as a self regulatory organization for cannabis. Joshua notes that the mission of the organization is to safeguard the survival of members through the voluntary adoption of standards. The team comes from regulatory background. The play is to the executive branch of government and the team has federal experience- a former federal prosecutor, a former chief of staff in the DEA, former white house counsel. The team also has cannabis folks on board including past guests Ean Seeb and Adam Orens. And for folks in the space who are wondering, the NACB is participating on the NCIA policy committee.
Charlie Rutherford joins us for a third installment of Political Discourse. Please go back and listen to the first two which are episodes 232 and 264 as well as Charlie’s personal history in Episode 13 if you’ve not yet had the opportunity. Charlie considers himself conservative if not a libertarian and I like to say I come from the left and try to be in the middle. Through those lenses, we discuss healthcare, immigration, the Paris climate accord, America’s role in global affairs, and tax reform vs. tax cuts, free speech, and of course cannabis. In effect, this is two people simply discussing policy from alternative points of view without yelling at each other.
Heather Jackson returns and takes us through the Realm of Caring registry which is one of only three like it in the world. And in one of three Realm of Caring associated studies, past Cannabis Economy guest Ryan Vandrey is researching patients in the registry to provide further information on how the plant affects conditions by testing with vs. without the plant. And they’re going as far as providing information on the economic impact of choosing cannabis as a solution. Heather provides an overview of what’s happening at Realm of Caring now- and how they’re call center, which they call their care center is providing refined feedback to families that need it.
The long time industry activist and advocate and brand new Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, Lindsay Robinson shares that when she was still with the MPP, she joined the board of CCIA. After a year and a half, once her work with MPP was wrapped up and as former ED and guest Nate Bradley moved into full-time lobbying, Lindsay came on as ED. She learned her advocacy skills from her mother As a kid, Lindsey stuffed envelopes, picketed and protested. She readily admits to her formative years being about bucking authority, causing mischief and sass talking, a lot of sass talking. And now the industry is happy to have her doing just that on it’s behalf.
Joining us from her mother's house in Wisconsin, Julie Dooley returns and Chickie her mother does join us at a few points throughout the discussion. As a reminder, Julie was diagnosed with celiac disease and cannabis was suggested to her as a solution. She did take cannabis and it immediately helped her with diet as well as pain management. She also had a friend in need and they both then created a company producing healthy cannabis snacks. But that was nearly a decade ago. Eight years later Julie realizes that the past has served as R&D. She’s now set to expand into multiple states. But it’s not anywhere close to easy. Julie takes us through a true understanding of what it means to be in cannabis business for yourself in 2017.
From an undisclosed location in Toronto, we have a casual conversation with Max Zavet, the CEO of a publicly traded licensed producer in Canada. As an introduction, he discusses the Emblem logo which features Artemis the greek goddess of nature, but we move into a conversation about the licensed producer community in Canada and how Max and his partners were early entrants into legal cannabis- they were the 15th group. Max explains how back in 2012 he was reading press releases on how the government was considering changing from a grow your own system- the MMAR- to the more tightly controlled and regulated system we have today the MMPR. He was dead set on being involved, and he found a way to do just that.
Diane Russell joins us via FaceTime and takes us through why she’s running for Governor in the great state of Maine. Last summer she led the fight to take on the super delegate system in the democratic party to which Bernie Sanders took notice and asked Diane to speak on the main stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Diane's political journey began during a ME energy crisis when she was able to affect change through cap and trade legislation. Diane also brought change through rank choice or run off. As she runs for Governor, she’s focused on Medicaid for all Mainers which is necessary due to neighboring Canadian universal healthcare competition. Oh yeah, and she introduced an early bill to legalize adult-use cannabis and helped get it on the 2016 ballot.
A cowboy at heart, Steve Trenk joins us from the Upper East Side of Manhattan although he spends most of his time in Arizona. Steve is an entrepreneur which it turns out is genetic. He started companies in the healthcare and aviation industries and learned impactful lessons that he brings forward to his cannabis investments. He also brings his love for animals and wide open spaces to the industry in that when asked for tips on riding a horse- his advice is that staying on is always key. But the real key Steve says is picking the right horse. He’s been an angel investor in the space for a number of years. He notes that it’s not often that you find a horse that you get along with, that you communicate with and that you feel safe on- but he’s got a couple.
New York State Senator Diane Savino joins us and share her thoughts on the New York Cannabis program. Her thoughts are, it’s going. She notes that it had a slow start but that it was designed be tightly controlled and highly regulated and that it’s lived up to that reputation. Regarding the Department of Health and the Commissioner of Health- Diane shares that they’ve been very responsive to changes as changes have been proposed because they recognize this is a health issue. She doesn’t pull punches- could more be done, absolutely- her biggest concern continues to be lack of participation among doctors. It’s not possible to visit every doctor in the state and convincing each efficacy of medical cannabis. So to that end, no matter where you live, consider this a public service announcement to tell your doctor about medical cannabis.
Two time Super Bowl champion and organ donor Leonard Marshall returns to share his thinking behind donating his brain to CTE research. He says that he thought about the lives that could change and he thought about his father. He says he wanted to do something with his own life that his father couldn’t do with his. Leonard shares that he is a child of segregation and that he initially could not use the same bathroom or play in the same playground as white people in the south. And so, he’s interested in making a difference not based on his race, color, creed or nation of origin but make a difference as a man and empower the will of parents on their children to open up a mindset around traumatic brain injury and head trauma.
A PhD in the field of physiotherapeutics, Stuart Titus joins us and shares his experience treating patients as he says more in the British style than the US style of therapy. He continues, here in the US if you need surgery, you’ll be in the operating room tomorrow morning. But in other countries it’s as much as an 18 month wait so you have to do a lot to keep a patient comfortable and under control until they can get into the operating room. Stu shares that athletes and professional sports teams utilize this type of therapy. Athletes would come into his office in the offseason and that’s where he found out about cannabis. His patients were using cannabis to control pain, reduce inflammation and help with sleep issues- and he was intrigued.
Mother of Charlotte’s Web inspiration Charlotte Figi, Page Figi returns to share the latest on the Cannabodial bills the Coalition for Access Now has in both the House & the Senate. We review her experience with CBD as it related to Charlotte’s seizures. We discuss the alternative bill in the Senate which would reschedule not deschedule CBD as Paige’s bill does. And we discuss what YOU can do NOW to aid the bill to passage by taking action and connecting with your elected officials who work for you. Finally, we talk about your patient and business CBD options in a forecasted rescheduled world but we also take the opportunity for Paige to share red flags and dog whistles to look and listen for when evaluating current CBD offerings.
Celebrated Author, Paco Underhill joins us to share that when he was doing research for commercial zoning issues for cities on the roof of the SeaFirst Bank building in Seattle he had an epiphany. He would do for merchants of any kind what he was doing for cities- helping them understand what customers were doing in their respective establishments and sharing what the merchants could do to improve their customer's experience. He literally wrote the book on it- “Why We Buy,” which came from an article that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about Paco for the New Yorker. Paco discusses how he goes about helping merchants providing some insight on what drives customers and how that’s changed over the years. And finally, we discuss his passion which is helping with homelessness through Urban Pathways.
Charles Jones joins us and shares that a fellow parent had called him concerned that her son was using marijuana and asked him if it was safe. He did some research and found how many cannabinoids there were, how they interacted with one another and emerged from his research with an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, could create a broad range of psychoactive substances which could treat everything from insomnia to pain to improving creativity. He realized that an extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant. Which led him to the conclusion that cannabis isn't a drug so much as a drug development platform which much safer than opioid alternatives.
Yet another military veteran in the cannabis industry, Guy Rocourt joins us and shares that he joined the military in the 90’s which led him to unique thoughts about the service. All in all, as opposed to being a risk taker, Guy's thinking as to why military veterans are in cannabis is that when you’re in the military you’re taught to abide by the constitution, which by the way, says nothing about cannabis. Guy says that when you’re enlisted you abide by the uniform code of military justice which is much more structured in regards to your rights and responsibilities. And so as a military veteran he doesn’t understand why cannabis is illegal- it does not compute. And in addition to that, military veterans gravitate towards industries that need change.
Mark Grindeland joins us and takes us through his history in advertising. He had a management consulting firm which led him to Digitas. He says he turned Digitas into the McKinsey of advertising. Back in the day he had codified his IP in building one of the first ERP CRM platforms, took that public and hit a billion dollar market cap. From Digitas he was recruited to Y&R who wanted to become a global version of digitas. After dabbling in M&A, he was moved into the CEO EMEA role. Which brought him back to the same place he was bootstrapping with Digitas a year earlier. This time, with 21 countries, 36 offices, 2K employees and 180M in revenue. This is the experience and more that Mark brings to cannabis.
Alan Brochstein join us from this year’s NCIA business summit and shares that the first NCIA business summit was a good and bad time for the industry and for him in that the market had run up so much and there was a tremendous amount of interest, but he was in an awkward position as he saw the promise but stocks were actually on their way down at that point in mid-2014. As Alan says, a lot of people had shown up for the party but were kind of disappointed and on their way out. He’s seen a number of ebbs and flows in interest in publicly traded stocks. But Alan has stuck with it and now sees a tremendous amount of new opportunity in the space.
Aaron Smith returns and shares his thoughts on the industry with NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit as the backdrop. He notes that over 1,000 businesses are now members and that it’s a good time for the industry. NCIA is seeing well capitalized investors and ancillary industry’s involving themselves in cannabis. Aaron shares that Attorney General’s stance is certainly unsettling but not too far from the norm of the approach taken by past Justice Departments. He notes the numbers of course are with the industry with 90% support of medical and over 70% support of adult-use. And on NCIA’s Lobby Days, Aaron notes that there has been exponential growth in involvement and the reception from elected officials continues to warm.
Excitable patient’s rights advocate Kim Cargile, joins us and shares that roughly half of her time is dedicated to educating local and state government's on the reality of the cannabis industry. A Therapeutic Alternative was founded in California’s capital of Sacramento 9 years ago and four year’s ago Kim joined that team with the understanding that she would continue her work as an advocate. Kim notes that the mission of her shop will be the mission of all shops in California based n the legalization legislation kicking in. The goal of course- safe patient access with sensible regulations. And to that end Kim uses the fact that the ship is in the capital city to literally showcase best practice to state government officials. Thanks to Mary's Nutritionals & Highroad Consulting Group for supporting the episode.
Recorded back in June at NCIA in Oakland, Emily and Morgan Paxhia return to share their thoughts on cannabis investment. Emily deciphers what’s investible in that she’s simply looking for a sober approach from entrepreneurs with humility and an understanding of regulations and the true challenges of the unique cannabis industry. Morgan shares that he’s looking for how business are approaching the cost of acquisition for each customer. He notes that in a fragmented market that’s truly still very young- new companies still have to break through one customer at a time. Emily goes on to give tips to each kind of cannabis business and both discuss how best to optimize the investor/entrepreneur relationship. Thanks to Gateway & Treatibles for supporting the episode. Go to Pitch to Ben on Twitter to engage with Gateway & Treatibles.com for a 10% discount on CBD for your pet.
John Vardaman joins us and discusses his involvement in the release of the the third Cole memo and FinCen Guidance which supported the initial memos which of course laid out guidance from DOJ to state attorney’s general. John lays out that Justice and Treasury still needed to deal with the fact that based on the Controlled Substances Act, the monies generated from state legal cannabis were (and still are) considered criminal proceeds based on federal money laundering and bank secrecy act laws aided of course with a Patriot Act kicker. Which John actually has experience with as he began his career in government just weeks before 9/11 and explains that his job following that day was following the money- something he also had to do on the ground in Iraq. Thanks to Boveda & MCBA for supporting the episode.
Former soldier, governor and wrestler Jesse Ventura says that cannabis gave him his life back- without it he says he wouldn’t have a quality of life today. Someone close to him developed an epileptic seizure disorder. After being treated with drugs that didn’t work, they went to Colorado found cannabis and found a solution. Now that that person is seizure free, Jesse says both of them have their lives back. He’s always been a supporter of legalization and although he’s been in the military and was a former professional athlete who could come to cannabis through CTE or PTSD, it was dealing with epilepsy as a caregiver that was the catalyst for him to be active in cannabis. As a former Gov, Jesse adds that cannabis tax dollars are real dollars for any state budget.
Washington State and Noelle Skodzinksi have July 1st, 2014 in common as a start date in cannabis. Inspired by the poet/novelist James Dickey, Noelle went to school to be a journalist and found her way into PR before finding a job in journalism down the line. After moving to Philadelphia, Noelle held down three jobs to pay the rent and keep writing. She waited tables and truly learned how to deal with people in that environment- an insight she brings forward to her work today. She parlayed her initial job as a writer into landing a job as an editor for high end magazine which focused on craftspeople like blacksmiths, glass blowers. So she was already used to dealing with folks that were unto themselves- which is why the cannabis industry made sense to her when she found it.
Cannabis activist Shaleen Title joins us and takes us through her early realization that numbers made sense foisting her into accounting only to realize that drug policy was where she wanted to be. She joined SSDP and eventually had a hand in Amendment 64 passing in Colorado. She went to law school to get well versed in legal writing, political speech and how the law worked to serve her in her cannabis law reform work. She moved to the east coast and served in tax law for six months- her first day of orientation being the economic crash- which had her realize that the universe didn’t want or need her where she was- "Lehman just went down- but here’s your desk." Which is ultimately what set her on her ultimate path of full time cannabis policy.
Ricardo Baca, Ophelia Chong, David Brown and Jacquie Miller join us from Lift Toronto to tackle media in cannabis..and cannabis in media for that matter. Ricardo takes us through what he experienced in Colorado for the Cannabist, Ophelia touches on what she’s seen in imagery. David shares his Canadian experience. And Jacquie shares her experience coming from the mainstream media into the cannabis industry.
We discuss early days and when and how things changed along the way and we return to the conversation that we started with Derek Riedle in the last episode on what the media is, it’s purpose and how to ensure more trust in media from the each end of the general populace.
Recorded at Lift Toronto, Derek Riedle from Civilized join us and discusses the crossroads of the media industry- where it is now and how he looks at where it’s going. He went to college in Halifax wound up back in is home of New Brunswick and eventually was invited by a friend to California. He had been all around the world but never to the Golden State, so we went. After a few hours he called his wife and a month later they were looking for a place. He’s an old agency guy so he knows that agencies are hard businesses to scale. His moment of cannabis enlightenment came when he was at a nice dinner in Venice where he everyone in the restaurant was drinking beer wine and spirits while he was huddled behind the restaurant, behind a dumpster with his vape pen.
Recorded at Lift Expo Toronto, Random Vaughn joins us shares a history of Washington state legalization. He explains the process of getting a medical card, getting 15 plants and becoming a collective garden way back when. You did a bit of paperwork and could enter the industry after 30 minutes at a doctor’s office in his words. Random and his team have serviced over 30K patients and he discusses how he and his team approached cannabis wellness with the patients and consumers that visited the collective. And then Random shares getting relicensed for 502 and what happened in Washington when the state went from offering medical cannabis to a overtly adult-use market. He’s matter of fact about the facts on the ground.
Chuck Rifici joins us from Lift Expo in Toronto where he shares his history in cannabis. He’s currently working on a number of projects including funding cannabis licensed producers in Canada. The business structure is based on the mining industry in Canada. Chuck studied engineering and initially was interested in Virtual Reality, went into computer engineering founding an early internet service provider company becoming the CFO. After getting the education of a lifetime he went on to become the CFO of the liberal party in Canada working with Justin Trudeau. On another note, he was in the right place at the right time, reading the MMPR regulations within the first hour of them being released leading him to co-found Tweed.
Lamine Zarad joins us and provides a Banking 101 lesson. He joined Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis doing his best to avert disaster. He realized at that height of the economic apocalypse that the only stable thing was the federal government which was going to be the savior of us all in his words- and he wanted to know how and why. He studied public policy and public finance and got a job at the US Treasury which is why we discuss the entanglement of the banking system and political system in the US, Dodd Frank, the Volker Rule, the Bank Secrecy Act as affected by the Patriot Act, Glass-Steagall, proprietary trading, FinTech, blockchain and how that all relates to cannabis.
Roger Stone joins us and discusses the United States Cannabis Coalition. He takes us through his interpretation of what’s been said by this administration in regards to cannabis law reform. He feels that the Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary are not following what was prescribed during the campaign. With news of a potential crackdown on cannabis from the Justice Department, Roger feels that would be inconsistent with what was promised to voters and breaks faith with voters. The goal of the US Cannabis Coalition is to work with a coalition of republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, progressives and libertarians to reschedule cannabis.
Recorded in May Charlie Rutherford and I sit down for our second helping of Political Discourse. We once again focus on how we each see policy. We first discuss Jeff Sessions and his War on Drugs redux. We talk about tax policy in association with government services. We discuss the environment and education. We talk about employment as it relates to wages, CEO wages and productivity. We discuss immigration. We talk about AI and how automation affects the prospects of employment in the US in the future. And of course, we discuss healthcare and the concept of repeal and replace and what replace means through discovering a means for replace. Finally we discuss the perception of the right on the left and the left on the right.
Ep.263: Cassandra Farrington, MJBiz Daily/MJBiz Con
Mon, 03 Jul 2017
Cassandra Farrington joins us and takes us through her background. Born and raised south of the Mason Dixon line, she went to the University of Alabama to study communications and marketing. A self-described introvert, she had a couple of good initial positions but went back to get her MBA. Upon graduating, her Fortune 100 job moved her to Denver. Serendipitously, an old business associate called at a moment which Cassandra was ready to move. Her operational experience made her the perfect fit. And that phone call turned into her running Marijuana Business Daily and the Marijuana Business Conference. However, those ideas were not the first ideas. But they were the ones, as you know, with the most explosive growth.
Shanel Lindsay joins us and shares her personal journey. A lawyer she was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst but her treatment wasn’t solving the issue. Enter cannabis. Shanel began experimenting with decarboxylation. Over weeks and months she improved her process. And when medical cannabis was passed in Massachusetts a lab opened up close to home so Shanel worked with them to continue to improve her process eventually leading to her manufacturing a device. Her thought for others was you shouldn’t have to know how to process Willow Bark to get Aspirin- it’s the same thing with cannabis, you should just be able to push a button and get what you need. So she’s now got the device and it’s been 16 years of no issues with her cyst thanks to cannabis.
Recorded on his farm, Lieutenant Governor, David Zuckerman joins us to discuss the history of cannabis in Vermont as well as his unique story. Dave, as he’s also known, has 20 acres of organic vegetables and raises organic hogs, chickens and grain and either when on or off the farm, the Lieutenant Governor is thinking about day to day choices regarding our personal impact. Regarding politics, he volunteered for Bernie Sanders in 1992 and was asked to run in 1994 and lost by only 59 votes. He was appointed to the local electric commission was elected to the house1996 served for 14 years, ran for and then served in the senate for four years which brought him to running and winning the Lieutenant Governorship this past November.
Recorded May 5th of 2017, John Davis returns to provide a history of legal cannabis in Washington State as well as an update on his personal saga. Washington State has always been building the regulatory plane as they fly it. For John in particular, he was a medical dispensary owner prior to legal adult use cannabis being voted in. But the medical market was never truly regulated. And so, the goal was to move the medical shops over to the adult-use program between July 2016 and July 2017. So John had to apply to keep his business. He put in his priority submission on the first day he could but one thing led to another and he had to shut his doors a year ago. All was lost until just recently- when he finally got approval.
Galia and Jackie join us...who each have experience in Tel Aviv and Palo Alto, Galia from the later and based in the former and Jackie who traveled to the former but is based in the later. We take the opportunity to discuss some differences between Gen X, Gen Y and Millennials’ relationship with technology and culture and how their respective points of view inform the way they approach their new endeavor. With the basis understanding that the power of cannabis lies in it’s femininity, their looking at the industry with a full stack perspective- as Galia says- through content, events and products. They’re focused on introducing people to the plant through that multivariate approach.
Ben Pollara returns to discuss the state of the cannabis economy in Florida. Of course, Florida passed an amendment to legalize medical marijuana with 71% of the vote in 2016. The legislative session just ended however with a failure to pass implementing legislation. The two houses in Florida have bi-cameral consensus to maintain the current system with both the senate and house saying new licenses need to be tied to the number of patients admitted into the program. Businesses need customers to stay in business, so from a standing start, one can see how this approach makes sense. This does ultimately mean however, that market-driven growth economy legislators counterintuitively prefer a small closed market for cannabis.
A lifelong regional banker, Mac Jones joins us and notes that the banking industry is a completely different animal than it was just a short time ago. He shares that two things have happened in tandem- there has been an increase in regulations on banks while bankers have come to have less of a relationship with depositors and merchants. All the while, there’s no longer true accountability in the industry. That said, Mac’s always kept that relationship with the merchant and so when legal cannabis arrived in Colorado, with an understanding of the Cole Memo’s, Mac saw no difference in cannabis merchants and provided traditional banking relationships in the industry- providing structural support for the industry. And there’s much much more.
Recorded back in January in a parking lot, Crash Barry joins us and discusses the history of cannabis in Maine. Going back to the late 60’s through his time in the Coast Guard in the late 80’s & 1990’s cannabis was grown outdoors. As a participant on the other side of the War on Drugs, Crash saw cannabis driven indoors. After Crash was done with the Coast Guard, he realized his calling and became an author, penning Marijuana Valley- a tome that’s out of print but still available if you look for it. In it, Crash documents the Maine cannabis economy leading up to legalization in 2009. Crash is now on the hunt for good genetics and loves the fact that he’s able to test and know empirically what’s in what he grows.
Brendan Kennedy from Privateer Holdings and Adam Bierman from MedMen join me for a panel discussion at the IMN Institutional Capital and Cannabis Conference. The panel is set up as a debate between the concepts of plant touching investment vs. ancillary here in the US. The US unfortunately, is starting to fall behind the rest of the world in regards to federal regulations. So despite Brendan’s being invested in plant touching opportunities in Canada and other countries, his point of view in the US is that for the time being, the opportunity is investing in brands. Adam’s point of view is that now is the time to invest in the infrastructure of what will be the cannabis economy right here at home. It’s a thought-provoking, lively conversation in front of a group of investors.
Jmichaele Keller joins us and shares that he considered himself a global citizen upon his first trip out of the states when he was a kid. He appreciated architecture, went to Rome and as far as Asia to investigate. He found a calling though in computers- in which he started before there were Windows. He got a job as a room service waiter and fell in love with hospitality. He got one of the first IBM PCs that Marriott had- which had 64K of RAM and a 10 Megabyte hard drive. He made his way into finance and wowed executives by budgeting and forecasting using that now archaic machine. From there he went on to software and on to real estate. Jmichaele ultimately found his way into the cannabis industry through the very important work of lab testing.
Sue Taylor returns to give us an update on her Berkeley business. She takes us through the fact that the cannabis isn’t as easy as those outside the industry assume. She got a license- which took her years to secure, but that’s when the real hard work began. And so, she’s re-evaluated how she views business partnerships and is currently in the process of reestablishing new investors. And even though she’s looking for funding, she’s happier now than she’s ever been. Bringing the option of cannabis to the baby boomer community is her dream, she’s passionate about it, she’s driven to deliver, she’s good at, she loves it…and as she says- it’s the right thing to do. She made the decision long ago to make the world a better place through not just existing but truly living.
Recorded in March of 2017, Chris Schroeder from Somatik joins us to take us through his cold brew coffee with a flexible functional dose of cannabis. Regarding the delivery system, Chris is introducing newcomers to cannabis through a product with which they’re already familiar. Avid users have noticed the partnership with Ritual Coffee- a made in the bay area icon. Chris points out that there are myriad parallels between coffee and cannabis in that there are connoisseurs, there are people that drink it all day long and yet there are some that can’t drink it past 3pm. No matter what, if you have a relationship with coffee, you have a relationship with caffeine. Originally from the bay area, Chris came to cannabis as a patient and is happy to be operating a company in his hometown.
Ep.251: Yuval Landschaft, Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency
Mon, 22 May 2017
The Director of the Isreali Medical Cannabis Agency, Yuval Landschaft joins us to take us through cannabis regulations in the holy land. Not originally a cannabis enthusiast, Yuval eventually understood where we were with it’s potential - as standing on the shore of an island. Years later, after deepening his understanding of the agricultural, manufacturing, medical and otherwise…that we’re standing at the shore of a continent. He contends that maybe the ancients knew something that we’re now trying to discover again. Israel is in the process of medicalization at Yuval puts it ensuring that each patient ties an indication or qualifying condition to his or her cannabis use. From there, the country has five books worth of information on how the program works- which Yuval takes us through.
The Copernicus of Cannabis, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam joins us to discuss the advent of cannabis research, it’s history and current landscape. He says it’s very difficult to work on compounds, that are under legal constraints. When he started there was some knowledge around cannabinoids but it was vague and not in modern terms. As a natural products chemist he knew that the first thing that needed to be done was to elucidate the chemistry as you can’t do research with an unknown extract. He read historical information on the plant in many different languages to set his baseline understanding. This eventually set him up to be the custodian of the world’s supply of legal THC in 1963 which at the time was 10 grams and the rest as they say, is history.
Running the largest cannabis producer on earth that publishes the address, Bruce Linton joins us to discuss his global operation. Canopy is of course in Canada but also does business in Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Australia. Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Poland are all opening up per Bruce. Based on his global presence, he provides his thoughts on what’s happening here in the US as well. And of course when compared with all of those federal cannabis operations, the United States is simply falling behind the rest of the world…and as Bruce says, the US is the opposite. What brought him to medical cannabis to begin with is the fact that Canada was treating cannabis as simple and straightforward public policy. And of course they’re moving to adult-use next.
Exempted from having to go to high school, Glenn Peterson instead went to a work-study school which he says was a wonderful place. He was involved in politics nearly from the jump- having a friendship with Mark Udall and the Udall family. An eagle scout, the concept of being employed made no sense to him. Glenn says he's pretty conservative and essentially libertarian but politically he considers himself a cell of one. Glenn is completely enigmatic. When he mentions that he knows how to throw blades and catch them without cutting himself...in his case, that’s a fact as well as an extremely well imagined metaphor. After trying his hand at being a private investigator, he demonstrated a knack for business through real estate, his success eventually led him to cannabis.
Jane West joins us and gives us background on her initial foray into the cannabis industry- Edible Events. But before all that and after a key two-weeks, Jane switched paths from a potential career in environmental law, moved to New York City and found a place producing events. One of her events was to take place just four days after 9/11 and Jane takes us through her experience on that day and during that time in New York City. Within six months she married her husband and moved to Denver. After her employer relieved her of her duties due to seeing coverage of one of her edible events…with an idea in mind to bring cannabis women together, she eventually crossed paths with Jazmin Hupp…and the rest, as they say, is history.
Sara Batterby joins us and takes us through the pesticide regulations in Oregon and the resulting affect on the industry. Originally from England a blissful Thomas Hardy-esque part the country, in her words- a knife fight was the scariest thing that could possibly happen. Sara eventually found herself in finance as she loves designing structures. She notes that most folks don’t understand that finance itself is truly a creative pursuit. Following some dialogue on this moment in global socioeconomics, Sara goes on to share how she is vesting her employees into the ownership of her company ensuring they share in the growth of the capital asset. With ownership, her employees are completely self managing based in there engagement in the greater vision.
Peter Barsoom joins us and shares that he wound up getting a job in management consulting in the late 90s. It turned out that his clients were in financial services…the industry in which he stayed for the ensuing 20 years. He got experience at top financial firms which put Peter at the Federal Reserve the weekend before Lehman collapsed. At the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange his position was introducing regulated and transparent credit derivative markets. That thinking attracted him to the cannabis market, Peter realized an opportunity for his skill set in the industry and jumped in- and has been here ever since.
Ethan Nadelmann returns for his Drug Policy Alliance exit interview. Ethan explains that there are a whole range of issues- personal, professional, political and otherwise- that make this point in time most appropriate for a transition. We discuss what he’s liked most about the job…what he’s liked least and a bit of everything in between.
Ethan responds to what we should be looking for as far as qualities and qualifications of his successor. And we discuss what he’s planning on doing next. On leaving, he very deliberately decided to focus on being 100% present, ensuring that DPA was in a good place…which, he explains, it is.
Recorded March 2nd, US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher returns to share that we see the same societal impact from making cannabis illegal that we saw by making alcohol illegal- it was harmful to our country then as it is now. Representative Rohrabacher notes that he’s interested in inviting AG Sessions in for a discussion with the Cannabis Caucus. He goes on to share where he and his congressional colleagues are with current and future federal legislation including his Respect States Marijuana Laws. Just like Congressmen Blumenauer and Perlmutter did, Congressman Rohrabacher urges us- we the people- especially veterans, religious leaders and seniors- to visit our elected representatives in support of cannabis.
The congressman joins us and shares Colorado’s cannabis legalization results- crime is down, businesses have grown, there’s a better banking landscape and revenue to the state has been strong. The congressman has introduced The Marijuana Business Access To Banking Act which says that if a State has a regulatory structure in place, the businesses within that State would be exempt from the very restrictive federal banking laws. This of course would put into law the FinCen guidance released in tandem with the third Cole Memo. Remember- it was the Ogden memo in 2009, the first cole memo in 2011, the second cole memo in 2013 and that third cole memo in 2014. The congressman says that momentum is building for true federal legislation.
The enigmatic Ngaio Bealum joins us and explains through his long time Golden State Warriors fandom that he is in fact a bay area native. He lets us know that he's a nerd but he’s not a punk and he most definitely was the class clown. He studied music and theatre and rather than become a high school band teacher, he became a road comic in 1990 doing the drive, drive, drive, joke, joke, joke detail. A self proclaimed low-key enlightened narcissist he has always been an activist as his parents were in the black panther party in Oakland. He says he’s always down for rally’s or parades. A veritable quote machine, one of Ngaio’s ethos is to never let anger guide you but let it motivate you.
Taylor West joins us and discusses her dog Tucker who you know if you’ve been to NCIA HQ. From a small town, Taylor was ready to leave as soon as she could. That said, she understands the community from which she came and realizes that not everyone does leave. Taylor eventually found a career in politics and subsequently found the NCIA. Her first day just so happened to be on January 1st 2014. She notes the importance of the work done to setup the industry up in Colorado and elsewhere and highlights three years of lobby days and how far the industry has come from. But as we’ve always said, cannabis years are dog years so Taylor points out that deep relationships with federal legislators have been built in just three short years.
Maya Elisabeth from Om Edibles and Whoopi & Maya joins us and explains that if cannabis discovered today it would be the most miraculous medical discovery…if it wasn’t for the stigma brought on by prohibition. Originally from the bay area, Maya wound up working for one of the first dispensaries in the late 90's and realized that there wasn’t a whole lot of non-flower product on the shelves. She met the challenge by producing product and couldn’t believe that she very quickly found clients…which led to the creation of Om Edibles. Following years of success, when Whoopi Goldberg was interested in getting involved in the space, Maya was an obvious partner choice. Maya also shares a very personal story where she learned the mantra- the only way out is through.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer joins us, discussing bowties, bicycles and of course- cannabis. He represents Portland, Oregon home to both medical and adult-use cannabis. The congressman says diving into the issue of cannabis in the 1970’s was fascinating. He didn’t and doesn’t understand the notion of criminalizing something not harmful. He describes it as lunacy. He was there when Oregon was the very first state to decriminalize cannabis and he continues to fight for complete legalization through the newly formed Cannabis Caucus. The congressman discusses banking for cannabis, cannabis taxation through 280E and the fact that we ought to stop the roadblocks to cannabis research. The cannabis caucus is working on all of these issues and more.
Patricia Rossi joins us and shares that a two year trip from Paris to Portland turned into a 17 year stay. She thought she was on her way to Portland Oregon- she had interviews lined up with agencies there- but in fact landed in Maine. As a truly high-level agency executive, Patricia was literally over qualified for every position she pursued, which led her to cannabis in 2011. She knew how to create an experience around a brand- so she brought that mindset to Wellness Connection. Patricia is responsible for four of the eight licenses in Maine and takes us the history of cannabis in the great state.
NBA Iconoclast John Salley joins us to talk about talent and tenacity as well as some cannabis. With folks around us at ICBC, John talks about growing up in New York City but why he didn’t play ball at New York’s storied West 4th court. John discusses the 50 available jobs in the NBA and how he learned to not talk sugar honey iced tea during the game…and just do his job. John shares how a devastating loss turned into championships in the ensuing years. In regards to cannabis, John shares how he came to the plant, how he looks at the space, and that he's looking to create a Coca Cola brand with a Pepsi mentality.
Jim Patterson joins us and adds himself to the astonishingly long list of cannabis industry executives who have previously served in the military. He kindly takes us through his experience and how it informed his leadership skills and how he realized that he was an entrepreneur. Going from Kuwait to Los Angeles he joined the Yammer team with Keith McCarty. Jim takes us through the fact that the team certainly had a sense of constant momentum before being sold to Microsoft and the ultimate exit. He had to put in some time under Redmond leadership which allowed him to experience "Steve Ballmer doing his thing” in his words. After launching his own company called CoTap (now ZiNC), Keith eventually called Jim and asked him to lead Eaze…Jim then takes us through how in fact he’s doing just that.
Andrew Freedman joins us and shares how his global travels with a bit of excellence in debate all added up to his becoming the marijuana czar in Colorado. He explains how not understanding one test at Harvard Law led to a readjustment of his life’s priorities for his personal betterment. Andrew discusses how decision making along your life has the possible repercussions of closing doors not necessarily with intent.
He takes us through how a low level position with the lieutenant governor, who didn’t have much staff led to greater things and eventually a Chief of Staff position. And how his success in that position put him in place to be Director of Mariujana Coordination in the first state to have an operating legal adult use cannabis regulatory framework.
he latest with Mary’s Medicinals, Nutritionals and otherwise. We discuss the states in which Mary’s Medicinal's is doing business and that Mary’s Nutritionals is available in all 50 states due to the fact that those products are based on industrial hemp.
Lynn discusses Mary’s footprint expansion and the fact that they are part of the only 10% of the infused product manufacture market which is in more than one state. She discusses the, arduous at best, process of actually expanding into a new state. Each state of course has it’s own rules and regulations to which Mary’s…and all others... must adhere- so Lynn takes us through the myriad ways that Mary’s has expanded. She's also kind enough to share her forecasting philosophy as it relates to said expansion.
We find ourselves in a cold civil war - it’s difficult if not impossible to have productive political discourse with folks outside of ones own personal point of view. It’s increasingly obvious that we the people are being played against each other. When anything happens one side applauds it and one side abhors it. It’s in fact incumbent on We The People to find common ground with each other to ensure that remain the United States of America. And so Charlie Rutherford returns from Ep.13 as a guy in the cannabis industry, but also my friend who comes from the right. We engage in political discourse without raising our voices, calling each other names or terminating our friendship. This conversation was recorded just before the inauguration.
Sabrina Fendrick, Berkeley Patients Group & Andy Bachman, Leafline
Sabrina Fendrick returns and shares what’s happening as California establishes it’s regulatory framework. It’s all happening at once with local municipalities outlining what they’re doing along with the state legislature getting to work. Sabrina also provides a bit of background on her history sharing that her parents were both diplomats meaning that her childhood was nomadic to say the least.
Andy Bachman then joins us to give us a history lesson on Minnesota cannabis. He shares that the limited qualifying condition list has grown and will soon include PTSD. Andy shares how a guy from a farming family found his way into emergency room medicine and how that provided a perfect background for a career in cannabis.
Alex Rogers joins us and takes us through his history. He found himself in a prison in Germany which helped put him on the straight but not so narrow. Alex shares his philosophy’s on business and life. While he does wear beige pants, he's interested in finding a way to ensure that the cannabis industry adds more people of color.
Henry Rollins then joins us and shares immediately and directly that he’s currently not a cannabis consumer but he’s an advocate for cannabis due to the fact that those against cannabis are coming from bigotry and prejudice…and when the day comes that he needs it- he wants it to be available. Henry debunks the myth that cannabis is a gateway drug but promotes his theory that illiteracy is a gateway drug to future stupidity.
Amy Anderley joins us and takes us through how growing up with an activist mother has led to her being an activist herself…and bringing along her daughter for the ride. Amy and her husband operate one and only one dispensary in Colorado and she shares exactly how and why that’s the case. Amy draws a distinction between organic cannabis and clean cannabis and takes us through how and why that’s the case. Nancy Whiteman then joins us who happens to be a voracious reader. She explains that when she jumped in she didn’t realize the power of the plant but quickly learned how much cannabis revolutionizes peoples relationship with medicine. Go back to Episode 185 to get more of the backstory.
Bob Hoban joins us to discuss his take on what the DEA thinks about the definition of CBD. He takes us through the fact that the word marijuana is found in federal law but cannabis isn’t. He shares the fact that cannabis, legally isn’t a controlled substance, but marijuana is. And hemp definitively is not. Long story short if your CBD is derived from industrial hemp you’re fine. Alec from Duby then joins us and discusses his true pivot from what was to be a trending app to what became a gamified social app. Alec literally speaks for his generation as we get into a dialogue about what it means to be a millennial. We discuss, among other things, the concept of institutions from a millennial’s perspective and what it means to meet someone.
Chris Walsh, MJ Business Daily & Tripp Keber, Dixie Brands
Chris Walsh joins us and shares that he wasn’t always a cannabis guy…his friends poking fun of him when he first joined MJ Business Daily but in describing the changes to Denver, Colorado and society in general Chris has now hired some of those very same friends. A native Coloradan, he now works blocks from where he grew up…he’s surprised but proud that cannabis has it’s home in Denver. And finally Chris goes on to share his philosophy on reporting in this day and age. Tripp Keber then returns and gives us an update on how things have changed for Dixie Brands and cannabis in Colorado. He takes us through internal and external expansion.
Debby Goldsberry joins us to discuss raid preparedness in the wake of the press secretary saying the administration sees adult-use cannabis as different than medical. In his comments, he referenced adult-use cannabis in relation to the opioid crisis- which it has absolutely nothing to do with…and if anything is a potential solution. The ignorance is stunning.
The 10th amendment reads: The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.
The 10th amendment has been referenced for the past 50 years in relation to personal and corporate liberty. Where’s the consistency in the philosophy as it relates to state cannabis laws?The hypocrisy is mind blowing.
Ep.226: Will Head/Stanton Barrett & Jamie Perino Part II
Thu, 23 Feb 2017
Will Head and Stanton Barrett, Ojai & Jamie Perino, Euflora Part II
Will and Stanton from Ojai join us to take us through the journey from a basic understanding of hemp to delivering a CBD product. Will studied permaculture design in Australia as well as sustainable community development and holistic health. His parter Stanton has a distinctly different background which included growing up with old hollywood and olympic athletics as well as racing cars himself.
Jamie Perino then returns and describes cannabis as a marathon at a sprinters pace. She discusses the lower prices of cannabis in Colorado and the myriad changes in the state going into the fourth year of adult-use cannabis. Finally Jamie shares if getting in, cut estimates of what you’ll make in half...and triple what it’s going to cost you.
Mason Tvert returns to give us an update from MPP. He shares that if you look at cannabis in a vacuum, things are as good as they’ve ever been. Mason notes that Arizona losing with 49.7 percent in the most hostile media environment that he’s seen in his 12 years of fighting for cannabis reform with a tremendous amount of opposition money is actually promising.
Art Way then joins us and takes us through his personal history which turned out to be a perfect background for a career in advocacy. He shares his philosophy of harm reduction and meeting people where they are to get them to where they need to be. Finally Art shares that you can’t communicate with someone unless you fully understand from where they’re coming.
Kris Krane is back to give us an update on Massachusetts. He shares that the current six month delay is not a return to what happened to the medical program- which is still in a state of recovery- from a few years back. This delay is for the state to get their ducks in a row and Kris’ point of view is that it’s essentially above board. Kris is also kind enough to get in the way back machine and share what happened with the medical program in the first place.
Becky DeKeuster then joins us and shares her experience of going from being a midwest catholic high school teacher to joining the Berkeley Patient’s Group and helping build it into a cannabis industry institution. She then went across the country to help build a cannabis economy in ME. Without Becky we wouldn’t be where we are in general.
Mike Ray, Bloom Farms & Dr. Michele Ross, IMPACT Network
Dr. Michele Ross returns to share where she is with the Impact Network. As she gets funding squared away, her first study is on how cannabis can help anxiety. Based on the federal regulatory research minefield, Dr. Ross is focused on the state of Colorado for the time being where she can utilize state legal, consistently tested product with a group of willing subjects and publish results in accredited scientific journals.
Mike Ray then joins us to discuss the decades old cannabis economy of Northern California. Mike twice spent time in NYC in finance first around 9/11 and then around the economic downturn of 2008. He then returned to his roots and became a cultivator. He shares lessons learned from the cultivators in the Emerald Triangle from the 70’s, 80’s through to today.
Anita Morgan, Representative Pamela Anderson & Ray Morgan
Anita Morgan first joins us to share her thoughts on the North Dakota win. She explains that North Dakotans quickly caught on to the Compassionate Care initiative based on sharing personal stories on Facebook leading up to election day. The initiative was launched based on her husband Ray’s medical issues and supported by State Representative Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson then joins us and explains that she shared with the legislature that if they didn’t act the voters would and saw Anita and Ray run with the initiative.
Ray Morgan who really started this whole thing then joins us and takes through how cannabis as medicine is his issue and where we are with North Dakota cannabis as we make our way into 2017.
Kristi Knoblich, Kiva Confections & Dennis Depaolo, Curio Wellness
Cultivator turned multiple license holder Dennis Depaolo joins us and takes us through the fact that there is high quality cannabis being produced on the east coast. He shares that he went to school to study plant science to prepare himself for a career in cannabis. He discusses his early days as a cultivator in ME and his path to licenses in Maryland, Massachusetts…and hopefully Pennsylvania. Kristi Knoblich then joins us from Kiva to share her journey which began way back, when there really wasn’t edible product on the shelves in northern California. Testing from day one, Kristi takes us through the changes made regarding information shared on packaging, product assortment and the true connection she feels that must be made between consumer or patient and plant.
Florida Cannabis: John Morgan, Yes On 2 & Ben Pollara, United For Care
John Morgan joins us and discusses Florida cannabis. He takes us through how 58%, a loss in Florida two years ago, was turned into 71% this year. He shares philosophies that most winning ballot measures share but firmly adds that the American public may just be getting real tired of what opioids are doing to the populace…and that cannabis is a welcome alternative. John also shares that he came to cannabis as medicine through the experiences of his father and brother.
Ben Pollara then joins us as he’s the guy that drafted John. The interview takes place at a coffee shop on the shoulder of US1 where Ben shares how in fact he drafted John, what’s in the measure that passed as well as what to expect next from Florida cannabis.
MCBA Spotlight: Dasheeda Dawson, The Weedhead & Jesce Horton, MCBA
Jesce Horton joins us again to discuss the MCBA outlook for 2017. Jesce shares that he’s looking forward to the release of a study with UC Berkeley which will showcase the level of involvement of communities of color in the cannabis industry. The ultimate goal as Jesce tells us is to utilize the prosperity of the industry to have a strong and lasting impact on communities of color as a whole. Dasheeda Dawson then joins us and takes us through her dynamic personal and professional journey. Dasheeda has a life philosophy that she coined in sport- crossover and keep it moving. She’s brought that to the Fortune 500 and she’s bringing it to cannabis.
Ep.218: State Senator Elizabeth Krueger & Aaron Smith
Thu, 26 Jan 2017
New York State Senator Liz Krueger & Aaron Smith, NCIA
New York State Senator Liz Krueger joins us to share her thoughts on the fact that we the people have a civic duty that extends beyond simply voting. Senator Krueger shares how very seriously she takes constituents that make their voices heard to her. She plainly states that if you are in her district and can vote for her…or worse, against her- she will listen to your point of view. Senator Krueger then shares exactly what’s in her adult-use bill for New York State and where we stand on the timeline of getting it passed. But first Aaron Smith returns to share the fact that priorities did indeed need to change based on the incoming administration. Whereas initially there was hope to move the ball forward, the plan now is to not cede any ground in the effort to legalize cannabis.
Ari returns (Episode 187) to provide an update on Vireo and New York Cannabis in general. He shares a few ideas which might help the patient count increase and improve the program in general. New York is in an interesting place right now as the cannabis opportunity remains huge, but the shackles on the program remain very heavy. Politics aside, Ari is bullish on cannabis under the new administration and sites business and taxation as reasons for feeling that way. But first Pamela Hatfield first joins us and takes us through her journey as a patient which led her to what she feels is an unlikely career in the cannabis industry.
We dive into how medical came to pass in the state. Melissa Fults first joins us to discuss her focus on protecting medical marijuana patients in Arkansas. She explains that in 2012, the initiative narrowly missed passing. For 2016, Arkansans for Compassionate Care got 117K signatures and Issue 7 onto the ballot. Melissa takes us through her introduction to David Couch. As his Issue 6 passed this year, she’s interested in helping it be as strong as it can be. David Couch then joins us to take us through Issue 6. He begins by sharing that Melissa helped educate him on medical cannabis and goes on to explain the reasoning behind his difference in thinking in launching Issue 6 as a constitutional amendment and his desire to work with Issue 7 folks moving forward
Lilac Power joins us as Part II to Episode 187 and gets over her disappointment for the adult use loss in Arizona and focuses in on the fact that her business was growing before the vote and it continues to grow because the medical program in AZ is healthy. Roughly a decade into medical legalization and four years into adult-use, Lilac shares how financing works in the cannabis industry. And finally she shares that branding is the number 1 thing she’s worried about in 2017. Meg Sanders then joins us and discusses how she has approached, does and will approach brand. Who you are informs what you do, so we dive in on Meg’s history in CO before 1284, before adult use to the present.
Jordan Person, Primal Therapeutics & Bob Eschino, Medically Correct
Jordan Person joins us to discuss how cannabis saved her life. She takes us through her remarkable medical journey and how she refocused her life to healing others with cannabis. Finally, Jordan shares that she didn’t think she’d live to today and that every day is a gift.
Bob Eschino then returns to give us an on the ground update from Colorado. Hiring is happening, tax revenue is skyrocketing and regulations are tightening and to that end, Bob takes us through the latest on potency and consumption. Bob then discusses his libertarian point of view and his issues with both corporate media and social media…and closes with some advice for those on their way in to the industry.
Steve DeAngelo, Harborside & Amy O'Gorman Jenkins, Legislative Advocate
Steve DeAngelo returns to hammer home the fact that there is one issue and one issue alone on which the American people agree- cannabis reform and to that end...in a true master class on activism, Steve shares how exactly to express your concerns on cannabis reform to your local elected officials….and loved ones for that matter. Steve also takes some time to share some history which we very much appreciate. But Amy first shares that as a lobbyist, you don’t need to be a posterior. She shares her background in the state legislature of California as well as the league of California cities where she experienced that a lot of work does in fact get done at the local and state level...but that most people don’t understand that introducing or changing policy is all very incremental.
Troy Dayton, ArcView & Ryan Hurley, Rose Law Group
Ryan Hurley joins us and discusses the renewed focus on the medical market in AZ in the wake of adult-use not passing this past election day. Ryan shares that he came to the industry as a patient, which turned him into an activist, as it’s wont to do.
Speaking of activists, Troy Dayton then joins us beginning the conversation on Arizona. His bottom line is that if we were not outspent in Arizona we would have won. He then points though to the eight wins featuring cannabis businesses stepping up to get behind each of the winning initiatives. Troy goes on to discuss focusing on harmony as opposed to discord in dialogue.
Greta Carter, G Car Companies & George Jage, MJBiz Con
Greta Carter joins us and takes us through her storied career in big banking. She discusses the fact that the historic economic downturn provided her with an opportunity to reinvent herself, which led her to an entirely new industry. She became an activist in the space help protect patients but she needed to find a way to pay the bills, so she used her republican background to marry commerce with cannabis….and finally Greta shares her philosophy, "If you’re not part of the game you can’t change it." But first, George Jage joins us from the Marijuana business conference and expo. Joseph Aboud is the guy with the suits, and George, it turns out is the guy with the trade shows. He shares with us where we are as far as cannabis in relation to comparative industries and trade shows.
Ep.210: Tim Smits, CWNevada & Adam Bierman, MedMen
Thu, 29 Dec 2016
Tim Smits joins us and at the top admits to being a suit. Furthermore, Tim shares that none of his friends would believe that he would be in the cannabis industry based on the way that he was raised. He takes us back to initially doing menial work for his fathers business getting paid less and doing more. He essentially gives a mini-masters class on business administration. Tim goes on to share how his upbringing as an entrepreneur perfectly shaped him for his career in cannabis where everything costs more and takes longer than you think. But Adam Bierman first joins us and readily admits he’s also a suit. He takes us through his philosophy and how and why he’s ok with the fact that he’s considered an industry contrarian.
MCBA Spotlight: Amanda Reiman, DPA & Kyla Hill, Hemp Butter
It’s Amanda Reiman time once again and with the win, Amanda joins us to discuss what we the people can do to participate in the language of how Prop 64 gets written into law. Amanda shares that localities will be dictating where state licenses can be had. One thought is for folks to discuss with local elected officials that no cannabis in a locality means no cannabis tax revenue in that locality. We then discuss that individuals have the opportunity to go to town halls and public hearings to meet and greet public officials and to give direct feedback. So essentially, act now or forever cede your peace. Kyla Hill then joins us and gives us her unique perspective on people, product and inner-peace.
Ep.208: Tim Cullen, Colorado Harvest Company & David Brown, Lift
Thu, 22 Dec 2016
Tim Cullen joins us and takes us through the very early days in Colorado leading up to today. He candidly discusses the banking and taxation issues that persist for cannabis producers, processors and retailers. But David Brown of Lift first joins us to discuss the Task Force recommendations to the Canadian government for a federally regulated adult use cannabis economy. The recommendations soundly showcased that it’s a question of how not if. The Task Force recommends home grow, retail, consumption, limiting prosecutions and allowing for true and unencumbered capitalism with craft cannabis companies producing along side large scale players.
Nate Bradley joins us for a conversation on all things CCIA and by extension, Prop 64. He discusses founding the Association and it’s nascent days. Nate takes us through the fact that just a year prior to it’s passage, the CCIA board voted to endorse Prop 64 and how for the ensuing twelve months, Nate didn’t stop working to get Prop 64 passed. We also dive into Nate’s history in law enforcement and how as a former member of those who protect and serve, he has a unique vantage point on potential solutions for community peacekeeping. But Steph Sherer first joins us to discuss ASA’s petition filed with the DOJ demanding that the DEA correct misinformation about cannabis.
Ep.206: Dr. David Schubert, Salk Institute & Jamie Lowell, MI Legalize
Thu, 15 Dec 2016
what’s happening on the ground in MI. He explains that the law is changing and in the long-term that will be a good thing. He and his colleagues are suffering through what should be short-term raids in the time being. As you’ll hear though, the timeline is certainly up for interpretation.
Dr. David Schubert then joins us to discuss his work with cannabis and Alzheimer’s and what led him to a molecular biology approach to how the brain works and his overall work in neuroscience. Dave dealt with the initial misconception that the brain could be easily understood and he explains that for the most part, we still don’t understand it. That said, David does have some answers…which he shares. Prof Schubert also sheds light on the way that way that drug discovery works…or doesn’t.
Ep.205: Keith Stroup, NORML & Betty Aldworth, SSDP
Mon, 12 Dec 2016
Keith Stroup returns to share his thoughts on cannabis legalization in the wake of the election. We get Keith’s take on the state of affairs in each of the state that held votes in November. We dive in on Arkansas specifically and spend some time discussing that conservative southern state and what that means for the southern states which surround it. We talk about what happened to Montana’s old law before this new vote. And Keith shares that North Dakota shared him more than any other state. Based on his 40+ years of activism, he takes us through why he’ essentially bullish on the new administration not getting in the way of the cannabis movement and industry. But Betty Aldworth first joins us with an update from SSDP.
Ep.204: Dr. Robert DeSalle, American Museum of Natural History
Thu, 08 Dec 2016
We begin in the classroom at the Museum of Natural History with molecular biologist Dr. Robert DeSalle discussing biogeography. This serves as an appetizer for our sit down in the professors office when we discuss how all of that affects cannabis.
In the office, we discuss his work on both fruit flies and caviar to discover the scope of work that remains on cannabis. Both in class and in office, we discuss Krakatoa to better understand how the 1883 eruption can inform the cannabis plant and industry.
A note- Robert has an active office, so doors do open and close. Episode 199 with Mowgli Holmes is cited often and works a great companion episode to this one.
Ep.203: NY State Senator Diane Savino & NV State Senator Tick Segerblom
Mon, 05 Dec 2016
Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom discusses the vote and ensuing adult use program in the state. We review the now fully functional medical program including the concept of reciprocation and how that key principal might affect the global cannabis market. Tick also shares his thoughts the recent history of populism.
New York State Senator Diane Savino then joins us to provide a history of legal cannabis in New York. She shares how the medical program came to be, where we are now and where we’re going with the prospective changes to the program. She also shares how she and some of her colleagues have changed the way legislation happens in New York.
Ep.202: Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance Part II
Thu, 01 Dec 2016
Ethan returns to discuss what the incoming Presidential administration can do regarding Drug Policy. And we also cover what you can do in the face of that prospective action from the incoming administration. We go on to cover his thoughts on the prospective AG, what action DPA has in store as well as what action you can take. We finish with some advice, where rather than focus on opinion or analysis, Ethan suggests that you "know what you’re talking about." We kick off the show with a flashback to Episode 67 to give you a sense of some background on the person behind the policy.
Ep.201: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution Part III
Mon, 28 Nov 2016
Recorded on the Friday after election day, John Hudak returns for a far reaching conversation on policy and cannabis history. He first honestly and thoughtfully discusses polling and prognostication from this cycle showcasing all that was involved in the election outcome. We then dive into governance. We discover the concept of American civic duty going beyond simply voting. We realize the fact that the ultimate accountability of our elected officials rests in the hands of we the people. We run through the Nov. 8th cannabis wins and the meaning of those wins. And we finish by discussing Marijuana: A Short History, John’s book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Brookings Press Website.
Ep.200: Congresswoman Barbara Lee & Corey Barnette, District Growers: MCBA Spotlight
Thu, 24 Nov 2016
Congresswoman Barbara Lee joins us to discuss her thoughts on Prop 64 passing as well as and more importantly what folks can do now to affect the change which they seek on the proposition as it gets written into law. We broaden the conversation to cover how she deals with phone calls and action from her constituents. And finally we cover representative lee’s thoughts on the recent overt uncovering of racial communication as well as the subtle institutional and structural racism which has always been present. Corey Barnette then joins us to paint a clearer picture of the DC legal cannabis market. Did you know for instance that there were no restrictions on qualifying conditions in DC?
Is you’re favorite strain actually you’re favorite strain? Mowgli Holmes is on a quest to find out. If you ask him if he’s mapping the cannabis genome, he’ll say yes- but it’s much more than that, he’s mapping thousands of genomes and trying to understand how they’re related to each other. Mowgli's interested in realizing not only what the plant does to the people but what people have done to the plant. But first, per his forearm tattoo, cannabis warrior Etienne Fontan is fresh of a win in a battle with the federal government. He joins us to explain how the latest tussle went down. Etienne also discusses the new reality in California now that Prop 64 has passed and how you can make your voice affect the change you wish to see.
Ep.198: Steph Sherer, ASA & Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine
Thu, 17 Nov 2016
Steph Sherer joins us to discuss the history of Americans For Safe Access. Going way back, Steph wasn’t a recreational proponent of cannabis, but came to the plant as medicine in SoCal. Following success with cannabis as medicine, Steph moved to NorCal and became an activist in the space ultimately launching americans for safe access culminating in ASA serving the federal government. Steph takes us through how you can affect change on ballot initiatives if they passed but you don’t love the specific language in the initiatives. Roughly 66% of the work still needs to be done. But Jaime Lewis first joins us to give an update on what she’s got going on in both Colorado…and officially Massachusetts.
Ep.197: David Bell, Wharton & Kelsey Osborn, Idaho
Mon, 14 Nov 2016
David Bell, Professor of Marketing at Wharton sits down to discuss the basics of marketing from an extremely high-level. After discovering a bit of his background, we go through a number of industries with similarities to cannabis to discuss what can be learned from folks that have been through a few half lives. Professor Bell takes us through his best advice to cannabis companies new and experienced. But Kelsey Osborne first joins us to share her experience. Facing her seizing child, she provided her daughter with cannabis. As we’ve interviewed many parents like Heather Jackson from Realm of Caring and Paige Figi regarding Charlotte- this wouldn’t be a big deal- but it happened in Idaho. So Kelsey is now headed to court.
We present an indubitable cornucopia of view points from the Lift Expo Recap. We’ve been loading up with pre US election run-up so this has certainly been an episode in waiting. David Brown first joins us an an introduction. Hugo Alves then joins us and discusses his point of view of cannabis in Canada from his legal perspective. His thought, and the thought that emanates generally from our neighbors to the north is that federal recreational use cannabis will be on the books in early 2018. We round out the conversation with Hugo discussing what constitutionality means in Canada- and what to expect from the interaction of federal and provincial law as it relates to retail. Jodie Emery then closes with her perspectives on where the industry is and where it’s going.
As this episode goes up, tomorrow is election day. We figured there’s no better person to sum up what’s about to happen regarding cannabis ballot initiatives than THE Steve Fox. We begin with a little personal history from way back in episode 34 and then dive in to Steve’s take on how this year is different than 2012. The interview was recorded October 17th- it preceded Sheldon Adelson’s investment in Arizona and Nevada- so we discuss the timing of the investment coming less than a month before election day. We wonder aloud about the effectiveness of this late investment. Steve gives us his take on how it’s gonna go and why and how he uses the word marijuana vs. cannabis…and just what’s on the docket for him moving into 2017.
Ep.194: John Hudak, The Broookings Institution Part II
Thu, 03 Nov 2016
John Hudak returns to give us a comprehensive breakdown of what to expect from election day 2016. This episode goes up 5 days prior to Nov. 8th so we discuss House, Senate and Gubernatorial races as well as the outlook in North Carolina, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona specifically to name a few. We don’t discuss John’s book “Marijuana, A Short History” available at Brookings, Amazon and Barnes & Noble now, but stay tuned, we will next time. But for this time, we begin with a piece of John’s first interview in episode 163 this summer on de vs. rescheduling to showcase his power of prognostication…and intellect.
Ep.193: Michael Bowman, National Hemp Association & Bethany Moore, NCIA
Mon, 31 Oct 2016
Michael Bowman joins us to discuss hemp. We discuss a little history going back to our founding farmers. And we have THE conversation about the plant’s non-recreational offerings of food, fiber, fuel and "f"arma to name a few. Michael discusses the fact that he’s a farmer by birth so he understands just how this crop could help the farmers of America. And we discuss just what hemp’s role could be in the greater american economy and society if we in fact let it save the world. But Bethany Moore our friend from the NCIA first joins us to discuss her two new books of poetry. She certainly covers the base issues of humanity. And as you’ll learn she’s an appropriate guest for an episode that goes up on Halloween.
Ep.192: Marvin Washington & Betty Aldworth: MCBA Spotlight
Thu, 27 Oct 2016
Betty Aldworth returns to give us an update on what SSDP is up to leading up to election day. She’s doing her best to ensure that the youngest voting demographic registers to vote and does in fact vote in this ridiculous, inane, disgusting yet remarkably important election. Marvin Washington discusses what good coaching or leadership means and then dive into his involvement in cannabis. He’s interested in ensuring that he doesn’t get pigeonholed simply as a former NFL player- he’s wants to understand and communicate what the whole plant can do for the masses. We finish by Marvin discussing how the cannabis movement can help the current societal racial unrest and ensure that all of society has the opportunity to be involved.
Ep.191: Michael Bronstien, ATACH; Will Luzier & Jim Borghesani, Yes on 4 in MA
Mon, 24 Oct 2016
Michael Bronstien of the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp joins us to discuss his background in politics which includes a White House internship turning into full time eploy as well as working for Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of England. He shares his views from the inside of electoral politics albeit at a low level at the time and how that informed his work now with ATACH. We first speak with Will and Jim of the Yes on 4 campaign in Massachusetts. Will and Jim share how it’s set up, where the money goes and how it plays or doesn’t with the current medical initiative.
Ep.190: Debby Goldsberry & Barbara Blazer, Magnolia Wellness
Thu, 20 Oct 2016
Barbara Blazer, mother of Debby Goldsberry and RN at Magnolia joins us to discuss her philosophy on cannabis. She shares her very first experience with cannabis and what exactly she’s doing now to educate fellow boomers. Programming note- we do a quick change after Barbara and we’re in the main room at Magnolia so it’s active around us. Following her mother, Debby Goldsberry then brings us through her journey which of course includes the early days of cannabis legalization advocacy. Debby shares how Barbara, civics class and redirect helped lead her to the being on the road with Jack Herer among other familiar notables. And Debby reminds us that after election day is when the actual work begins on legislation passed.
Ep.189: Congressman Jared Polis & Amanda Reiman, DPA
Mon, 17 Oct 2016
Amanda Reiman returns to give us an update on Prop 64. She takes us through the actual legislation, where the money goes as well as where polling is as we speak. We wanted to get this out as soon as possible so while the content is current the sound quality is less than ideal. Then Congressman Jared Polis joins us to give us an overview cannabis in Colorado. The congressman takes us through what’s working in Colorado as well as what’s working in congress. He does have a fairly bullish outlook on what’s possible which I guess is what comes with the territory as a politician. He’s a busy man so we didn’t have a ton of time but there’s a lot packed in to the conversation we had.
Joe Brezny of Nevada Question 2 joins us to discuss the initiative. He outlines how the current medical program is going and how that affects the coming potential adult use legislation. Joe shares the current polling numbers and the fact that it’s a little too close for comfort as we speak. THE Wanda James then joins us and shares her unique background. We thank her for her Naval intelligence service for our country…and then dive into her thoughts on why oh so many folks in the space have served our country. She shares her work in politics with the likes of Jared Polis and Barack Obama and how that all led to her her current place in cannabis.
With some interesting prognostications, Aaron Justis returns. He discusses what might just happen in cannabis as we move, albeit deliberately, towards legalization nationwide. His focus now though is on the city of Los Angeles as state wide regulations come in to existence. Aaron shares that the year of 2017 is when the work gets done in the city and the state. We move into a conversation around the similarities between cannabis and wine as well as cannabis and coffee…and the potential ultimate outcome of “cannabis as medicine."
Dr. Mark Ware, the Vice Chair of Canada’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation discusses the fact that adult-use cannabis legalization is a matter of how not if in Canada. Dr. Ware takes questions from the Lift Cannabis Expo audience which cover everything from the Endocannabinoid system to each of the potential distribution systems the task force is considering. But first Jeremy Jacob give us an on the ground account of the dispensary licensing happening as we speak in Vancouver and Victoria. The province of British Columbia and those aforementioned cities are behaving like geographies you know and love in the US. Jeremy also takes us through his new position as the head of Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.
Ep.185: John Whiteman, Wana Brands/Introview w/ Andrew Jolley, The Source
Mon, 03 Oct 2016
John Whiteman of Wana Brands joins us to discuss the Wana story. He takes us through his personal history and how he found himself in the cannabis space. John discusses the early days of the medical market in Colorado and the various products Wana tested before settling in on the current product assortment. The conversation happened a few weeks back and John brings up polling in Nevada…which works out well as Andrew Jolley of NV returns to give us an update on where we are with that ballot initiative as the opposition gets underway.
Ep.184: Jesce Horton, Saints Cannabis, MCBA Part III
Thu, 29 Sep 2016
Jesce Horton returns and gives us an update on his new venture Saints cannabis as well as the latest on the MCBA. We go back to episode 78 to get some personal history and then Jesce and I find ourselves in Bryant Park in NYC having a straightforward conversation about race. We discuss the concept of “other” and what’s presented to all of us through the mass media. As we learn that cannabis is so much more than we initially conceived, we discover the fact that the cannabis industry by way of being marginalized by prohibition has the opportunity to lead the way regarding ratcheting down the concept of other by discovering similarities. An MCBA Spotlight episode.
Viv McPeak kicks us off by sharing the difference between Hempfest 25 and Hempfest 1 as well as all that goes in to producing the inimitable event. We then have a cavalcade of guests including acclaimed actor Eric Roberts, of the Emery’s Jodie Emery, of the Endocanabinoid system, Dr. Bob Melamede, state house candidate Stephanie Viscovvich, Chief Greenleaf and THE Ed Rosenberg. We finish the episode by sitting down with John Davis who is name checked quite often when we speak of Washington state so it was great to get a chance to say hello and hear what’s on his mind at this moment in time.
Alex Cooley of Solstice returns to give us not only an update but a history of legislation and regulation around legal cannabis in Washington. We initially go back to Alex’ first visit in episode 56 to give you a sense of who he is- and then come back and dive into how we have what we have in Washington State. Alex goes back to the pre-2012 vote and explains what it was like on the ground providing medicine to patients. He then covers i502 and the inherent differences between that initiative and amendment 64 in CO. The conversation turns to 5052 and finally what it’s like post July 1st 2016.
Ep.181: Brian Smith, WA Liquor & Cannabis Board & Andrew Jolley, Nevada Organic Remedies
Mon, 19 Sep 2016
Brian Smith from the Liquor & Cannabis Board in Washington State discusses the fact that the state is in fact regulating cannabis like alcohol. We discuss the initial lottery and the ensuing HB 5052. Finally, Brian takes us through the post July 1, 2016 reality. Nevada native Andrew Jolley then joins us and discusses his family’s history in the state which harkens back further than most. He takes us through the overall economic picture and then dives in to the cannabis economy in Nevada. Andrew lets us know about some of the qualifying conditions as well as how reciprocity is in fact working regarding out of state cards and recommendations.
Ep.180: JP Holyoak, Arizona Ballot Intiative & Jeremy Unruh, PharmaCannis
Thu, 15 Sep 2016
With better news than expected, JP Holyoke, the executive chairman of the ballot initiative in Arizona takes us through what’s happening on our way to election day in the copper state. Jeremy Unruh of PharmaCannis operating in both Illinois and New York then shares an update from his perspective on each market. He discusses why his partners all of whom come from traditional industry’s are all in on the promise of the currently nascent programs. Our man in Arizona, JP Holyoak followed by Jeremy Unruh of the land of lincoln and empire state.
Ep.179: Ari Huffnung, Vireo Health; Introview w/Nial DeMena Manna
Mon, 12 Sep 2016
Ari Hoffnung joins us as our first guest operating in New York. He takes us through where the medical program is in regards to license holders, patients and physicians. He discusses his unique history and how his background became the foreground for his participation in legal cannabis in New York. But first Nial Demena of Manna Molecular joins us to take su through what’s happening in New England from an operators perspective. His reporting suggests that the polling in Massachusetts is simply way too close for comfort. Ari Hoffnung preceded by Nial DeMena
Ep.178: Lilach Power, Giving Tree & Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, Dockside Co-op
Thu, 08 Sep 2016
Of Giving Tree Dispensaries, Lilach Power gives us an on-the-ground account of the Arizona cannabis economy. She shares how Giving Tree has grown along with the medical program and discusses future growth to that end. Lilach is kind enough to take us through her military service as she grew up in Israel and every Israeli citizen must serve. She’s brought her laid back Israeli approach to the Copper State.
But first, Oscar Velasco Schmitz has a lot to share about the state of affairs in the State Washington which is great as that’s precisely what we’ve asked him to do. He looks to put a silver lining around the news coming out of the Evergreen State.
Nurse Heather returns as she’s just launched Nature Nurse which truly focuses on plant medicine including but not limited to cannabis. She even gives us a great Hippocrates quote, so stay tuned for that specifically and just enjoy Nurse Heather being Nurse Heather generally. Jamie Lowell then takes us through a history of legal cannabis in Michigan. He discusses how the upstart program got going and the various hurdles it’s faced along the way and continue to face. Jamie does move around during the interview- so please bear with him. He also discusses the concept of conspiracy and conspiracy theory, so know that going in. But then again we haven’t spoken to too many folks in Michigan. Jamie Lowell preceded by Nurse Heather.
Two time Super Bowl champion Leonard Marshall joins us to discuss CTE, PTSD and cannabis as medicine. He talks about the disconnect of benefits for the “pre-98” retirees from the NFL and his current work with Brain Unity Trust. He talks about his work on the movie Concussion and that- in his words- “it didn’t need to get to this point." And then Ricky Williams joins us to discuss goal setting which he credits for how he won the Heisman Trophy and of course his unique relationship and thoughts on cannabis. We were shooting for Family, Business- documentary on the Williams Family running Medicine Man so he opens with the fact that there’s no relation and that the connection comes from mutual friend Liz Nichols. Ricky Williams preceded by Leonard Marshall
Ep.175: Pain Management in Pro Sports; Introview w/Amanda Reiman, DPA
Mon, 29 Aug 2016
Eben Britton, Charlie Adams, Nate JacksonRiley Cote, former NFL and NHL athletes join a roundtable discussion with Heather Jackson of Realm of Caring and Dr. Marcel Bon Miller of the University of Pennsylvania on pain management. We talk about how marijuana is currently used by pro athletes despite the medicine being banned by all professional leagues. The athletes share, to a person, that the stigma associated with cannabis is not so present in the locker room, as long as a teammate delivers. But first Amanda Reiman returns to share how the cannabis regulatory framework is shaping up in Oakland and to provide an update on Prop 64.
Terryn Niles Buxton of Oakland Extracts discusses his rich history in Northern California Cannabis. We touch on philosophy, jazz and even race relations from a Generation X perspective. But first Neill Franklin returns. Based on his 30+ years of policing service, he shares his thoughts on what can be done to bridge the current societal divide. We talk about the concept of one community and one race.
Ep.173: Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, New Frontier; Introview w/Alison Draisin, Ettalew's Edibles
Mon, 22 Aug 2016
Giadha Aguirre deCarcer a very impressive person indeed takes us through her journey and how she stumbled upon the need for her organization. She takes us through her diverse european background and her journey from finance to homeland security to cannabis which includes her first person account of 9/11. But first, Alison Draisin from Ettalew’s Edibles takes us through some not so great news from Washington State. While we cover some tough subject matter- to paraphrase Giadha- Hey, you’re on a rollercoaster, it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be, so you might as well enjoy the ride.
Ep.172: Keith Stroup, NORML Introview w/David Brown, Lift
Thu, 18 Aug 2016
If you got into the cannabis industry after 1970 you haven’t been in for as long as Keith Stroup the co-founder of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws- NORML. 46 years hence, Keith sits down to discuss the roots of marijuana as a symbol of the anti Vietnam war movement. But first, David Brown joins us to discuss the upcoming Lift Expo in Vancouver. Recorded before this years conventions we touch on the 68 and 72 conventions with some pretty impressive name dropping along the way. Keith Stroup preceded by David Brown. And if you're still reading, listen in to find out why Keith has to clarify that former US Secretary of State and VP Nominee “Ed Muskie never did a hallucinogen."
Ep.171: Danny Danko, High Times, Introview w/Steve Dillon, True Humboldt
Mon, 15 Aug 2016
Recorded at the High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup, Danny Danko, High Times cultivation editor, is your virtual tour guide reviewing cannabis from the major cannabis economies. Along the way, we find out Danny spent his formative years in Russia before moving to the US at the hight of the cold war in the 80s. But first we talk specifically about Huboldt County cannabis with Steve Dillon who manages a network of farmers from the area. He delves into just how different dealing with regulations are for the County’s growers and how everyone’s getting used to the new reality.
Plant expert & Hash Church Host Marcus Richardson talks about his history which is inextricably linked with the history of legal cannabis in Canada. He discusses early run-in’s with Jack Herer, Ron Hickey, Marc Emery He also talks about Hilary Black who you can find on Episode 150. Bubbleman takes us through Canadian licenses and licensing and the June Toronto raids from his perspective. But first Landon Long of Infusion Factory joins us to discuss literally coming out of the shadows and into the light in northern California cannabis. If you’re into direct communication, or would like to support the show, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ep.169: Henry Wykowski, Introview w/Jeannette Ward, MCBA
Mon, 08 Aug 2016
No taxation without representation is a refrain familiar to anyone who’s been in a history class in the united states of america. Henry Wykowski joins us to discuss his representation of various cannabis businesses on taxation, in this case- 280e.
He takes us through his evolving interpretation of it’s language and discusses the meaning of a few significant cases, how they affect each other as well as the current reality of finance in running a cannabis business. But first, Jeannette Ward joins us to give us an update on the Minority Cannabis Business Association and what to expect from the group in August. Henry Wykowski preceded by Jeannette Ward
It’s been a while since we did a tour- so we’re giving you a double helping.
This is a companion episode to Sparc CEO Robert Jacob in Episode 76 and LivWell CEO John Lord in Episode 151. As you well may know, Sparc is a storied dispensary in San Francisco and LivWell has a gargantuan operation in Colorado. These are two great retailers each with distinct approaches to safe patient access in two of the top Cannabis Economies. So buckle in and enjoy the thousand mile journey in under an hour.
Ep.167: Tjalling Erkelens, Bedrocan "Introview" with Jorge Cervantes
Mon, 01 Aug 2016
Tjalling Erkelens. The CEO of Bedrocan joins us and does an excellent job of giving us a history of the Netherland’s cannabis economy. He shares how Bedrocan found, in his words, what the cannabis plant was capable of by working with Holland’s federal government. He gets into expansion into Canada and subsequently other global markets. But Jorge Cervantes first joins us to give us a 20 year background on the Cannabis Culture of Barcelona. Both guests on this episode are on the CannAwards advisory board. A digital interview with Tjalling Erkelens of Bedroan preceded by Jorge Cervantes.
Ep.166: Sue Taylor & David Dinenberg: MCBA Spotlight
Thu, 28 Jul 2016
We have the distinct pleasure of being joined by Sue Taylor a California state certified cannabis educator who recently secured a license for a dispensary in Berekely- ICANN Health Center. We discuss gaining the license but also dive in on potential of cutting that fistful of pills seniors take to just a few. We also touch on race relations and the power of education. But David Dinenberg first joins us to talk about Microsoft. Yes, he takes us through just how the Kind Financial Microsoft partnership occurred.
Both interviews were done digitally so bear with us.
Ep.165: Ray Gracewood, Organigram; Peggy Moore, Love's Oven
Mon, 25 Jul 2016
Ray Gracewood of Organigram, one of the licensed producers in the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations program in Canada. Then Peggy Moore of Love’s Oven out of CO. Ray takes us through what’s happening his company as well as the overall state of affairs in the MMPR. Peggy Moore then joins us to give us an update of sorts from CO as well as the background on her company. As you’ll hear, these interviews took place in May. As this goes up, the main thing that’s changed is that the potency issue in CO has been postponed. Ray Gracewood then Peggy Moore, enjoy.
Ep.164: Eduardo Blasina, Symbiosis & Matt Huron, Good Chemistry
Thu, 21 Jul 2016
Eduardo Blasina of Symbiosis joins us to share what’s happening in Uruguay. In helping us understand the present, Eduardo shares the dynamic history of cannabis in his country and just how Uruguay became the first country on earth to legalize adult use at the federal level. But Matt Huron of Good Chemistry first joins us and discusses the roots of cannabis as medicine in the HIV/AIDS epidemic through caregiving for his father.
So Matt Huron’s up first and then Eduardo Blasina from Uruguay by Skype.
If you want policy, we’ve got policy- John Hudak from the 100 year old Brookings Institution joins us. John shares his thoughts on everything from the past and present overall global economy, rescheduling and Brexit- A note- this was recorded at the NCIA Summit, just prior to the Brexit vote and the June job numbers which were very good.
And for good measure, we throw in a yang to John’s yin with an introview with one of last years CannAwards winners, Remo. First up is Remo and then John Hudak puts you wise, he a policy guy.
Ep.162: Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine; David Hua, Meadow
Thu, 14 Jul 2016
David Hua first joins us to discuss his journey with Meadow. Jaime Lewis then returns to discuss her new role with NCIA and what she’s doing with CRCR. Two executives doing very different things of equal importance in this next great american industry. David Hua then Jaime Lewis. Enjoy
Ep.161: Jazmin Hupp, Women Grow. 'Introview' w/Hempfest's Viv McPeak
Mon, 11 Jul 2016
Jazmin Hupp joins us to discuss WomenGrow at a pivotal moment in the organization’s history. Jazmin shares her background in the theatre and how that experience served her well in building WomenGrow. The conversation with Jazmin took place at the CannabisWorldExpo in NY. But to get things started, we check in with Viv McPeak who for the 25th consecutive year is putting together Hempfest in Seattle.
A veritable smorgasbord of Cannabis All-Stars descend upon the microphone at the 2nd Annual MPP Arm Wrestling Fundraiser. While you’re listening to the fun, go to MPP.org and donate to the state of your choice, but Nevada, Arizona and Massachussetts are of particular interest. Not for the feint of heart- it gets loud as there truly is a competition going on in the background- so please do grin and bare it. And there’s plenty to enjoy:
Amanda Reiman, DPA, Lindsay Robinson, MPP; Troy Dayton, ArcView Group; Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine; Rob Kampia, MPP; Dani Geen, Harborside Health Center; Nate Bradley, CCIA; Andrew DeAngelo, Harborside Health Center; John Downs, Infusion Factory; Sabrina Fendrick, Berkeley Patients Group; Patrick Rea, Canopy Boulder; Aaron Smith, NCIA; Kris Krane, 4Front Ventures; Chelsey McKrill, OpenVape; Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine; Emily Paxhia, Poseidon Asset Management; Jade Netanya Ullmann, MAPS; Diane & Jay Cazarkowski, Canna Advisors; Nate Bradley, CCIA; Pro Wrestler Rob Van Dam and yes, Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine Thanks to our supporters: Hoban & Feola, Medically Correct, Incredibles & FOCUS
We first go back to Hempfest 2015 where we talked with Tommy about his outlook on the cannabis landscape and how he’s happy to see the beginnings of greater society focusing on the benefits of cannabis and hemp. Tommy goes on to talk about his experience with the George W. Bush administration and even brings us back to a scene from the iconic “Up in Smoke." Tommy then joins us by phone to discuss the history leading up to the movie as well as what he knew he needed to do to leave a mark. Tommy also touches on why we owe a thank you and/or apology to Mexico and Mexicans and his exceptionally non-white experience with Cheech. And speaking of Cheech, Tommy shares specifically what makes the duo work so well through the “Dave’s Not Here” bit. Enjoy the ride with Tommy Chong.
An MD and MBA who knows a ton about the endocannabinoid system, Dr. Rachel Knox expounds on the miraculous nature of the ECS and it’s effect on man…and womankind. Doc Knox shares her deep knowledge on integrated medicine in a digestible way. And you’ll come to find that the path that she’s on, is the one that she’s always sought.
Adam Orens from the Marijuana Policy Group discusses Economic Impact of Marijuana in Colorado. Adam and I discuss revenue, tax revenue, jobs and truly the overall impact of the cannabis industry on the economy of Colorado.
Ep.156: Ben Reagan, The Center for Palliative Care Part II
Thu, 23 Jun 2016
Ben Reagan returns to share exactly what’s happening as we speak in Washington State. New regulations have him refitting his current medical marijuana facility into updated 502 standards from the state. Ben takes us through how he’s balancing what the state wants with what his patients needs. He’s essentially engineering his supply chain to ensure that the 502 approved farmers with which he’s working provide him with dose appropriate, specific, personalized and cost effective product for each of his patients to ensure that they don’t have to turn to the illicit market. Feel free to send feedback to email@example.com.
Ep.155: Tim McGraw, Revolution Enterprises Part II
Mon, 20 Jun 2016
Tim McGraw returns. Tim’s back to discuss SB 10 which on a dime completely changes the Illinois cannabis landscape. We discuss the extension of the sunset provision, patient counts, the relationship between the legislature and the governor, how the governor now sees the program and the addition of PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions. Out of the shadows and into the light for Illinois cannabis. Feel free to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Betty Aldworth of course of SSDP gives us an update from UNGASS- the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem- as they call it. Betty also shares feedback from the SSDP event as well as what folks should be doing in gearing up for the ballot measures this fall. As a bonus, we've got a piece from Episode 36, Betty's first appearance where she takes us through what it was like on the ground with Amendment 64. And if you're in Oakland Sunday, June 19th come on down for the Sensible Celebration: ssdp.org/events/sensible-celebration. Either way, we'd love your feedback, please feel free to send an email to email@example.com.
Dina Rollman takes us through the current the medical program in Illinois. We discuss the sunset provision, patient counts, the relationship between the legislature and the governor, how the governor sees the program, the list of qualifying conditions, the controversial thumb printing rule, and everything in between. Last week Illinois lawmakers passed SB 10 which adds PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions and extends the program through July 2020. This interview was recorded prior to SB 10 passing. Special thanks to Mark Passerini for putting us in touch with Dina. Enjoy the conversation. Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck Smith of Dixie Elixirs is the guy who puts Dixie into Dixie Elixirs. As you might remember from Episode 148 with Gen Murray, Seth was in the Dixie Elixirs offices at the time. That’s because Seth was meant to meet Chuck at the office that day- unfortunately his plane was canceled and Chuck had this conversation with Seth in Chuck's office, and Chuck in Alabama…hence the Dixie reference and moniker. Either way, you get a nice behind the scenes of the top of the Dixie Brands machine.
As you’ll hear immediately, John Lord is from New Zealand. After growing up on a dairy farm, he ran an import/export business until he got tired of traveling literally around the globe on business each business trip. John had realized he could make more money by morning tea than by pulling teets, and that global treks were a thing of the past so he settled down in Colorado before the cannabis industry came to town. But he did of course eventually get into the business. A prospective tenant of his wanted to open a dispensary and well, the rest is history. And you’re so inclined, I’d very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at https://survey.libsyn.com/canneconomy
Ep.150: Hilary Black, Dieter MacPherson, John Fowler, Lift Expo Panel
Thu, 02 Jun 2016
No matter your opinion on Project Claudia- the Toronto dispensary raids from this past week, we most likely all agree that safe patient access is paramount.
Unlike Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia, Toronto does have a regulatory framework for it’s dispensaries. And as you might know, the federal regulatory framework (MMPR) does not account for dispensaries. Thus the Toronto dispensaries are in a legal limbo which isn’t necessarily grey. So we had perfect timing with the Lift Cannabis Expo Roots panel recorded live last week just after the raids. We discussed BCCCS’s upstart, MMAR (Marijuana Medical Access Regulations) and MMPR (Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations). We also discussed the upcoming re-write of MMPR in August, what to make of the raids, and what how to take action in support of legal cannabis in Canada. Special thanks to David Brown at Lift for pulling the whole thing together. And as a bonus, Jeannette Ward opens with an MCBA update.
Episode #149 - Brian Vicente, Vicente Sederberg Part II
Mon, 30 May 2016
Brian Vicente of Vicente Sederberg returns for an update on
the progression of the cannabis legalization movement. Brian
discusses current thoughts on consumption legislation, what’s
happening on the ground in Colorado and key states around the
country. On the one hand we discuss the concept of “first
world marijuana problems,” and the potential ‘full-blown’ end to
prohibition, but we also discuss the forces still working against
legalization and where they might succeed…which is why his song
choice at the end of the conversation makes all the sense in the
Our very first guest, Gen Murray returns. Things are completely different for Gen and she takes us through what happened from her perspective. Special thanks to Joe Hodas at Dixie Elixirs for letting us use his office. If you’re so inclined, I’d very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at https://survey.libsyn.com/canneconomy
With a dip back in history to Aaron Smith's first visit on Episode 7, we continue to the present as it’s high tide for Aaron and the NCIA as Lobby Days just occurred in DC and the Cannabis Business Summit is coming up in Oakland. Aaron takes us through the activity in DC and key wins from Lobby Days. Aaron also talks through some key sessions coming up at the Cannabis Business Summit. And if you have 4 seconds, we’d very much appreciate you filling out our survey at survey.libsyn.com/canneconomy
Episode #146 - Paige Figi, Coalition for Access Now
Thu, 19 May 2016
If you’ve heard of Charlotte’s Web in relation to cannabis- the moniker is named after little Charlotte Figi who’s been taking CBD for her epilepsy.
Paige Figi, her mother, returns to catch us up with companion bills in the House and Senate which hope to Deschedule CBD which with the rest of the cannabis plant is a schedule 1 substance in the US. Paige has found some unlikely allies in the House and Senate and she shares just how she’s done it.
Episode #145 - Etienne Fontan, Berkeley Patients Group
Mon, 16 May 2016
Etienne Fontan runs the storied Berkeley Patients Group in Berkeley California. It’s right up the road from Oakland which is East of San Fransisco if you’ve never been…or looked at a map of the region. Etienne takes us through his history which coincides quite nicely with the history of the cannabis movement. Listen for stories focused on Jack Herer, Ed Rosenthal, Steve DeAngelo and one of BPG’s founders Debby Goldsberry among others.
Jeff Jones of Oaksterdam University discusses how his fathers passing led him to a life of activism. Jeff discusses how he found the medical utility in cannabis and didn’t want another person to go through what his dad went through. He talks about his initial dispensary in Oakland and how that led him to the US Supreme Court. His loss in the high court was the industry’s gain in the long run and Jeff explains that he knew that the loss was a win in real time. For more Jones conversation check out Ep. 113 which features Jeff’s wife Dale Sky Jones. But first, we've got a mini-interview with David Brown of Lift who's running the Lift Expo where Seth will be moderating a panel.
Episode #143 - Steve DeAngelo, Harborisde Health Center Part II
Mon, 09 May 2016
Steve DeAngelo, yes that Steve DeAngelo of Harborside & ArcView joins us to give us an update on him, MMRSA and the industry on the whole…he even let’s us know what he thinks might happen this summer and fall in electoral politics. Steve covers his thoughts following the publishing and feedback of The Cannabis Manifesto, the importance of California's imperfect regulations, the health of the movement and what 1968 might mean to 2016.
Episode #142 - Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP): MCBA Spotlight
Thu, 05 May 2016
Neill Franklin is now the Executive Director of LEAP- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. And he certainly has Law Enforcement bona fides. Neill was ultimately a Commander in the Maryland State police working his way up from undercover work on the streets as a foot soldier in the war on drugs. Neill learned for himself the toll that the war on drugs was taking and he takes us through his epiphany and ultimate conversion in thinking regarding incarceration and drug legality. Thanks to Neill for his service.
Shelley joins her siblings - Sally, Episode 10, Andy, Episode
27 and Pete Episode 68 as a guest. The four siblings who run
Medicine Man are an interesting bunch. So much so that we’re
in the process of filming a 12 part documentary on the family and
the business called- you guessed it- Family, Business.
Yesterday we put the first three parts of that documentary
up- search for it on youtube with the handle canneconomy. If you’ve
heard each of the sibling’s episodes, you know that this is a
family that didn’t have it easy growing up. They took lessons
from their mother of learning to fail, not quitting and hustling
and put those lessons to work at Medicine Man. Shelley shares
a couple of those lessons.
Former US Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole joins us to discuss the history around the three Cole Memos. Mr. Cole takes us through the under appreciated Cole Memo 1, the celebrated Cole Memo 2 and Cole Memo 3 which was released of course in concert with FinCEN guidance from the US Treasury.
Jessica Geran of Duchess Capital has been listening to pitches from folks that want to get into the cannabis industry for years. Duchess was one of the first groups which invested in the space as you can hear more about in Episode 24 with Doug Leighton and 41 with Jessica. A lot has changed since we last spoke to Jessica as, among other things, the investment opportunities being presented for her are night and day from less than a year ago. Please note the special appearance from Poseidon’s Emily Paxhia at the end of the episode. Here's Jessica Geran Part II
John Davis has been running the Northwest Patients Resource Center for eight years. As you can hear in Episodes 18, 96 and 103. He’s ensured that he’s done precisely what the Washington regulations have demanded by literally reading every line of every published document going as far as memorizing parts and sections of legislation. Washington is going through yet another sea change in advance of July 1, 2016 and John is trying to figure out if he’s swimming with or against the tide. We talked to John on Feb. 5 and then again on March 29. Here’s an overview of what’s happening with John in two parts.
Steve Fox joins us to discuss what’s happening with various ballot initiatives across the country. Steve is an important mind and voice in cannabis highlighted by his work in CO. As we make our way to Nov. 2016 we discuss Arkansas, Ohio and Missouri along with California, Arizona, Nevada and Massachusetts and others.
Johg Ananda of Jambo Superfoods out of Southern California joins us and discusses the opportunity cost of yoga. Johg discusses how he uses his inner chi in the board room traversing the pathway to enlightenment through a sound mind and body.
Episode #135 - Kris Krane, 4Front Advisors Part II
Mon, 11 Apr 2016
Kris Krane, 4Front Advisors joins us to discuss how the history of adult-use legislation will affect the current ballot initiatives and the east coast in general. Kris also takes us through his thinking on how this unique presidential election will play out for cannabis. The audio on Kris’ side is not perfect- so thank you for bearing with us...but to that end, the content IS perfect, so enjoy.
Thomas and Nadeem (or Deemo) are young entrepreneurs out of Arizona building a business called baked bros. Thomas has a scientific background and Deemo has experience in cultivation. As you’ll hear, both of them are 100% focused on helping ease the pain of patients in Arizona.
Episode #133 - Jeannette Ward, Minority Cannabis Business Association
Mon, 04 Apr 2016
Jeannette Ward formerly of a few Fortune 500 companies, now of the Minority Cannabis Business Association joins us for a frank and candid conversation. After discussing personal and professional fulfillment through work, we discuss personal dealings with race and religion which leads to a discussion on how the War on Drugs set the stage for the MCBA's mission of providing equal access in cannabis. Our second MCBA Spotlight Episode.
Episode #132 - Ryan Vandrey Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Thu, 31 Mar 2016
Dr. Vandrey is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins. His research focuses on the behavioral pharmacology of cannabis among other things. Heather Jackson from Realm of Caring is who introduced us to Dr. Vandrey and he let’s us know what he’s doing with them. On researching the plant, Dr. Ryan Vandrey.
Episode #131 - Chelsea Sutula, Sespe Creek Collective
Mon, 28 Mar 2016
Chelsea Sutula runs the Sespe Creek Collective out of Southern
California. As it's California, delivery is a thing, which
Chelsea discusses. But she also discusses the vast difference
between Southern California and Northern California...or any other
active cannabis economy for that matter. Chelsea and SoCal
are making their way out of the shadows through the new MMRSA
regulations and slowly but surely into the sun grown light.
Episode #130 - Minority Cannabis Business Association
Thu, 24 Mar 2016
The MCBA has been created specifically to progress the cannabis industry by increasing diversity, creating equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs. After a recent Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) meeting, we turned on the microphones where the chairman Jesse Horton and some of the board members- Jennette Ward of MJ Freeway, Shaleen Title of THC Staffing, Jason Ortiz of MVFR, our old friend Shabnam Malek of Brand + Branch, Judge Shelli Hayes, Dani Kizaire Sutton and Ngaio Bealum all shared a bit.
Episode #129 - Amanda Reiman, Drug Policy Alliance Part II
Mon, 21 Mar 2016
We first spoke with the Drug Policy Alliance head of marijuana reform and cat enthusiast Amanda Reiman, in Episode 49. Amanda returns to share what's happening with cannabis regulations in California. While a tremendous amount of work has been done, there's still more to do to cross the finish line. If this is your introduction, you should know that Amanda's PhD dissertation, "Cannabis Care," was the first study focusing on how medical marijuana dispensaries operate as health service providers.
Episode #128 - Julianna Carella, Auntie Dolores, Treatibles Part II
Thu, 17 Mar 2016
You know Julianna from her Bay Area based brand for humans Auntie Dolores. And you know Julianna from her CBD based brand for pets- Treatibles. And you might even know Julianna from Episode 48. Julianna has a great story and I’m happy to call her a friend. We get an update on Auntie Dolores, Treatibles and of course Julianna herself.
Brooke Gehring of LiveGreen (formerly Patient’s Choice) is an
original. She’s been in the cannabis space in Colorado from
the beginning. Brooke takes us through not only her story,
but the greater Colorado narrative from the old 1284 days through
day 1 of adult use up to today. Incidentally, check out the
companion episode to this one- Episode 112- the LiveGreen tour also
Just in time for Spannabis, Marti Canavas of DMT Advocates joins us to give us an update on Cannabis in Spain, Catalunya and Barcelona- and while he’s at it he gives us a geopolitical update on the plan for Catalan’s to succeed from Spain. An enlightening episode all around.
Episode #125 - Dr. Michele Ross, The Impact Network
Mon, 07 Mar 2016
Dr. Michelle Ross of The Impact Network is a neuroscientist, bringing her knowledge to the Cannabis industry. Michele has had some battles along the way including a raid of her home. Speaking of home, for reality tv fans, you might remember Michele from Big Brother Season 2. Having said that, she really knew what she was getting herself into- and has used that show as a platform for doing good.
Ben Larson is starting up Gateway, a new incubator, accelerator and working space in Oakland dedicated completely to Cannabis. Ben comes to Cannabis by way of the Founder’s Network where he worked with tech companies getting them from concept to launch. Ben takes us through what an investor expects in a pitch from an entrepreneur as well as what we can expect from Gateway,
Saul Kaye of Israel Cannabis joins us and discusses the State of Cannabis in the State of Israel. Saul is a licensed pharmacist born in South Africa, raised in Australia and working in Israel on moving the cannabis industry forward in the middle east…and eventually globally. He talks about how he expects the industry to move online the same way that the pharmacy business did beginning about 10 years ago.
Late last week, February 17th, Senator's Nelson's efforts to pass legislation on the regulation of legal cannabis in the US Virgin Islands were set back. He's vowed to continue the fight. This interview was recorded just before the setback. Senator Nelson has officially changed his name to Positive- and he explains why. He shares how the infrastructure of the legislation he's working on is based on learnings from legal states. Finally, TA Positive Nelson explains how he became a Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Rastafarian Senator.
Episode #121 - Paige Figi & Heather Jackson, Charlotte's Web, Coalition for Access Now, The RoC
Mon, 22 Feb 2016
Charlotte’s Web is an extract, shorthand for a set of laws- and is shorthand in general for CBD. Charlotte’s Web is named after now 9 year old Charlotte Figi who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. One of our guests is her mother Paige Figi who runs the Coalition for Access Now which is focused on a Federal Bill to deschedule cbd & hemp. Our other guest, Heather Jackson runs Realm of Caring - The Roc in Colorado Springs, working on Research, Education, and Advocacy. The two form a perfect pair helping and educating families with anything from epilepsy to chrones to find the research and solutions they need to heal their children.
To donate to the Realm of Caring, please go to http://www.theroc.us
To donate to the Coalition for Access Now go to http://www.coalitionforaccessnow.org/
In today’s episode, we talk with the author of The Cannabist, Ricardo Baca, to discuss his passion for journalism and how it led him to the cannabis industry. Baca shares how he initially became a music critic for the Denver Post, and later created the Underground Music Showcase (UMS), an indie music festival in Denver, Colorado. Since then, Baca accepted the Denver Post’s offer in 2013 to be an active voice in the growing cannabis movement, and has continued to grow The Cannabist with budding success. Enjoy!
Episode #119 - Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, Dockside Co-op
Mon, 15 Feb 2016
In today’s episode, we talk with Oscar Velasco-Schmitz of Dockside Co-op as he shares his exciting story with us. From being raised in rural California, to working at Microsoft, and then starting Dockside Co-op in 2011, this hopeful entrepreneur tells it all while further sharing his perspective on the migration of cannabis with us. Enjoy!
In today’s episode, we talk with the founders of Brand & Branch, Shabnam Malek and Amanda Conley as they share with us their formative years and fore into the cannabis industry. These two high energy individuals discuss important issues regarding intellectual property services in the cannabis space, and offer valuable insight into how one can avoid “Brandelism” and successfully setup their brand with the most ease possible. Enjoy!
In today’s episode, we talk with none other than the CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club, Charlo Greene. This determined activist, most recently in the limelight for passionately quitting her reporting job on live TV, shares her “why” as to how she puts her everything into what she does, and the energy that Greene's “Fuck it, I quit” dialogue brought to the Alaskan cannabis movement and around the world. Enjoy!
In today’s episode, we talk with Nicole Smith of Mary’s Medicinals, as she tells us about taking after her father’s entrepreneurial footsteps and jumping into the cannabis industry. Smith shares how she initially came up with her famous transdermal patch concept, and takes us through the exponential growth her company has seen in the past two years; now having products sold in over 1,200 stores. Enjoy!
In today’s episode, we talk with Tangy Daniel of Jayn Grene, as she shares her adventurous story with us leading up to the cannabis industry. This former marine details her two deployments in Iraq, and how the lessons and work ethic she has learned from those events, have crossed over to her life in topicals today. Enjoy!
In today’s episode, we talk with Brendan Kennedy of Privateer Holdings to discuss his formative years, and what he is currently up to in the cannabis industry. Kennedy shares his stories and goals behind Leafly, Tilray, and Marley Natural, while also expressing his perspective on the changes surrounding cannabis throughout the world. Enjoy!
Episode #113 - Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam University
Mon, 25 Jan 2016
In today’s episode, we talk with Dale Sky Jones, Executive Chancellor of Oaksterdam University as she takes us on her journey into the cannabis industry. This compelling individual shares how making the most out of opportune moments, and chance meetings in California, have led to the start, and outreach of the university, as well as in family and life.
In today’s episode, we take a walk through the Live Green facility in Denver, Colorado with CEO, Brooke Gehring. As she takes us through their entire process from grow, to harvest and retail, the breadth of industry experience is clearly visible in how Gehring’s facility functions within the regulations, and is optimized for production. Perhaps most notable around the building is the color-coated metric tags, marking important product details such as medical or retail, type of strain, destination facility, and more. With full compliance and total transparency, Live Green serves as a successful model for incoming business’ to follow as the industry continues to bloom.
In today’s episode, we talk with Keith McCarty of Eaze, as he takes us on a ride through creating the mobile app-driven, cannabis delivery system. With knowledge gained through previous technological and entrepeunerial experiences; such as the business social network, Yammer, McCarty shares one of his secrets to success in our modern economy, On-Demand. This Orange County native remains focused on providing a friction-less service to medical cannabis patients, so that the people who need the medicine delivered or a recommendation, can get it with Eaze.
Episode #110 - Emily & Morgan Paxhia, Poseidon Asset Management
Thu, 14 Jan 2016
In today’s episode, we talk with siblings Morgan and Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management, as they take us through their story. From learning lifelong lessons in early childhood sailing trips, to facing adversity later in life with their parent’s illness’, this dynamic duo describes their thoughts before entering the industry, and their journey afterwards. Now with firm footing on their company, and hopeful optimism in the wind and near-elections, this team seems poised and ready to set its sails for future growth and success in the years to come.
In today’s episode, we take a tour through the incredibles facility with co-founder and CEO of Medically Correct, LLC, Rick Scarpello. During our walk-through of incredibles, Scarpello shares his insight on new trends entering the industry, and further expresses his thoughts on working productively with the Health Department, to ensure that everything is being done to the correct standards, and to the best quality. From grow, to harvest and extraction, incredibles looks to have the recipe for success. Enjoy!
In today’s episode, we talk to Brendan Hill of Paper & Leaf to discuss his story and fore into the cannabis industry. This entrepreneur and esteemed drummer of American-Rock band, “Blues Traveler”, takes us through his unique vision of the industry, as he draws parallels from his experiences in the music world. Hill goes further to describe his shop’s design layout, and shares some success-driven tips that he’s come across since opening Bainbridge’s first retail cannabis shop.
In today’s episode, we revisit Kayvan Khalatbari of Denver Relief, Denver Relief Consulting, Sexy Pizza, Sexpot Comedy, Birdy Magazine and much more, to discuss the progress he has made since our last chat. This active and engaged individual is currently involved in over twenty initiatives, both cannabis-related and not, yet all his efforts remain centered in benefiting his community through passion-driven motivation, and blunt honesty.
In today’s episode, we take a tour through Eden Labs with the dynamic duo, Fritz Chess and AC Braddock. With interesting gadgets located all around the facility, they explain to us their wide range of extraction technologies used for cannabis and other natural products, and even take the time to share a story of making pear moonshine in two proofs. FOLLOW ALONG WITH PICTURES FROM THE TOUR!
Brian Caldwell of Triple C Cannabis Club has been around. He'll take you through his story of breaking into the field, and his current thoughts on how things are going with his company, and the industry. Caldwell shares with us how prior work experience has influenced the approach for his medical marijuana dispensary, and emphasizes the importance of re-investing in your company to build strength in every way, shape, and form.
In today’s episode, we talk with Danny Curylo of Cascade Crops as he shares his thoughts on growing cannabis and the future of cultivating in the industry. This exuberant individual began life on a dairy farm, where he unknowingly got a head start on his future selling sweet corn on the side of the road. After working in the technology industry, and flipping houses, Curylo found a passion elsewhere in producing cannabis, and has since continued to dream big as he further pushes the development of his company.
In today’s episode, we take a tour through the NWPRC with none other than the policy guy himself, John Davis. He takes us with him as he discusses designing the center with everything in mind, from target market to safety and protocols. Davis further shares his 5-year vision for the company, and while it may be simple, we’re confident that his military-grade building will promise an indestructible future for the NWPRC. FOLLOW ALONG WITH PICTURES FROM THE TOUR!
Episode #102 - Nial Chase DeMena, Manna Molecular Science
Thu, 17 Dec 2015
In today’s episode we talk with Nial Chase DeMena, President and CEO of Manna Molecular Science, to discuss his breakthrough journey into the cannabis industry. From a young age DeMena has always carried around an entrepreneurial mindset, beginning with selling polished rocks to other kids at school, to now aiding the push of legal cannabis in Massachusetts with his signature transdermal patches. Now with DeMena’s company up-and-running despite earlier licensing setbacks, he shares with us plans for the future, and why his transdermal delivery system is beneficial for patients and the industry.
In today’s episode, we talk with Mike Redman to discuss his story that led him to his Green Lady. From a young age, Redman shares how he always saw past the negative stigma surrounding cannabis, and how he was reunited with the budding flower later in life. Today, Redman operates a successful company in Olympia, Washington where he and his Green Lady focus on providing the best possible retail experience in the marijuana-sphere.
For our 100th episode, we talk with the hard hitting musician-turned cannavist, Melissa Etheridge, and her cannabis-infused wine products. Recounting her earlier days when she begged to play her sister's guitar, Etheridge takes us through her musical past and speaks about the obstacles she’s had to overcome. From dealing with sexuality stigmas to aiding her cancer treatments with cannabis, Etheridge expresses her view on how the two areas parallel each other, and remains optimistic for positive change in the industry's future. At least now as Etheridge patiently waits for life to unfold, she can do so with a glass full of cannabis-infused wine. Cheers!
In this episode, we talk to Troy Dayton who takes us through his successful journey of paving the way for a blooming industry. From the SSDP (Students for Sensible Drug Policy) to the MPP (Marijuana Policy Project) to The ArcView Group and more, Dayton has worked tirelessly to affect change alongside fellow activist and partner, Steve DeAngelo, and other like minded individuals. With big changes headed to the industry in the upcoming future, Dayton carries and optimistic outlook and reminds us that it is still important to remain engaged and active in the space.
Episode #98 - David Alport, Bridge City Collective
Thu, 03 Dec 2015
In today’s episode, we sit down with David Alport as he takes us through Bridge City Collective and their unique story based in Portland, Oregon. This rock climbing enthusiast discusses the importance of adapting to the needs of the patients, as well as to the needs of the business. With his sights set on branching his dispensaries out to further areas in the future, there seems to be no obstacle Alport can’t climb.
In today’s episode, we talk to the medical doctor and president of NuVeda, Dr. Pejman Bady. Born in Iran to a conservative family of doctors, Dr. Bady shares with us the many paths he has travelled in life, and how they have led him to where he is today. From observing Ayurvedic treatments in India to caring for his mother while she was battling cancer, this D.O. has found a passion in the medical use of cannabis and it’s largely-untapped potential to heal illnesses. However, In order to realize the full potential of the plant, Dr. Bady believes research must first be allowed to happen more freely in the U.S. and other countries around the world.
In today’s episode we catch up with John Davis of the NWPRC to discuss what’s been going on in Washington these past five months. Additionally, Davis shares his views on the upcoming presidential elections and the impact they may bring to the industry. With unparalleled dedication to reviewing and analyzing bills time and time again, Davis stands optimistically for the continued growth and future of cannabis.
In today’s episode we have the pleasure of talking with Anthony Mollins, founder of grogeo, about the importance of sustainability within the Cannabis industry. Mollins discusses the economic and environmental benefits of his sustainable designs, and as he puts it, hopes to make the greenest industry even greener.
In today’s episode we go behind the scenes with Jill and Thomas to discuss their exciting adventure starting up The Mad Hatter. From touring bands to coffees and teas, this vibrant couple helped usher in dosage labeling for edibles before it was a “thing”, and are continuing to grow and make a difference in the medical and recreational world of cannabis.
In today’s episode we talk with Isaac Dietrich, founder of MassRoots, to discuss his exciting story of creating a unique and innovative social platform within the cannabis industry. Centered on bringing cannabis enthusiasts and the curious alike, Dietrich takes us through further growth plans for his company and hopes for a more inclusive, connective environment in the future.
Episode #92 - Rob Kampia, Marijuana Policy Project
Thu, 12 Nov 2015
In today’s episode, we streamline through Rob Kampia’s story as co-founder of the MPP (Marijuana Policy Project) and discuss the necessity for public involvement in the upcoming voting initiatives. Kampia takes us through his three-bucket lens of marijuana public policy work; state bills, state initiatives and congress, and urges cannabis supporters to stay active even as the old tides change.
In today’s episode, we go through an exhilarating discussion with none other than the fantastic Lynn Honderd. She takes us on an exciting journey of how she came into the industry with Mary’s Medicinals, and how her passion to help others has helped push them to the top of medical cannabis. From gel pens to transdermal patches, Honderd paints us an illustrious picture of how Mary’s Medicinals further expanded into Mary’s Nutritionals and Mary’s Pets, and attributes much of her industry success to a fundamental core set of values: Accurate dosing, clean delivery and quality medicine.
In this episode we are joined by AC Braddock. Braddock is the CEO of Eden Labs, a company that designs and manufactures some of the highest quality CO2 extraction systems on the market. She tells us all about the different career paths she started on before she turned her entrepreneurial instincts to cannabis, and all about how the corporate culture of Eden Labs is the key to their success. It's a pivotal time for all who use extractions to make concentrates and infused products, and AC is a big reason Eden Labs remains ahead of the curve. Enjoy!
In this clip, we talk to Roger Martin, a veteran of the United States Army and founder of Grow for Vets, an organization that provides free medical cannabis to American veterans as an alternative to prescription drug treatments. Roger tells us about the many reasons he is passionate about his cause, and in general about how medical cannabis can help those who have served. We also touch on the hot-button issue of getting PTSD approved as a cannabis-qualifying condition, the quest for more research on the subject, and about what's in store for Grow for Vets in coming months. Enjoy!
We have another "Audio Tour" episode for you this week, and we're taking you inside of Inyo Fine Cannabis in Las Vegas, NV. Inyo Fine Cannabis is one of the first dispensaries to open in Nevada, as the state rolls out their medical marijuana market. [Store Manager?] David Goldwater shows us the ins and outs of the facility, explaining all the effort the company has put in to make sure their patients feel, safe, respected, and comfortable. He tells us what has happened in the first two weeks of business, and the plans they have for the future to vertically integrate and incorporate edibles into their retail offerings. Enjoy! FOLLOW ALONG WITH PICTURES FROM THE TOUR!
This episode comes to you straight from the Cannabis Economy workshop in Las Vegas last week. We checked in with the one and only Tripp Keber, one of the first ever speakers at Cannabis Economy in 2014, who gives us his take on all that has happened in the world of Cannabis since he first joined us over a year ago. A lot has changed from 2014 to 2015, but it's good to hear how the "movement" of cannabis, as Tripp puts it, has only grown bigger and better. Enjoy!
Episode #86 - Jamie Shaw, Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (ELECTION UPDATE)
Thu, 22 Oct 2015
We have a very special episode for you this week, as we check in with our old friend Jamie Shaw, President of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, on the recent Canadian election. The results stunned and elated cannabis champions in Canada, as a Liberal Party Majority Government formed in front of their eyes, despite predictions to the contrary. Justin Trudeau, now Prime Minister of Canada, was elected on a platform of federally legalizing cannabis, and we are eager to see what happens when he takes the reins. So, we ask Jamie what the reality of this promise looks like, what to expect in coming months, and how this all has changed the future of cannabis in Canada. Enjoy!
In this episode, we take a look to our neighbor in the north, and check in with Deepak Anand on the state of cannabis in Canada. Deepak Anand is the Executive Director of the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association, an organization committed to being a voice for licensed cannabis producers, physicians, and the general public who are passionate about cannabis as a cure. Anand weighs in on the upcoming federal elections in Canada, the recent rulings by their supreme court, and on what's happening over in Vancouver. Enjoy!
Episode #84 - Jesce Horton, Panacea Valley Gardens (Part II)
Thu, 15 Oct 2015
As Oregon opened the doors of its medical marijuana dispensaries to adult-use customers state-wide on October 1st of this year, we had to check in with our friend-of-the-program and cannabis business leader Jesce Horton to hear how it happened on the ground. He gives us some more detailed insight on the draft rules their state legislature has in effect for the time being, and a heads up on what to expect in the coming months. Enjoy!
In this episode, we chat with Horatio Delbert, cannabis concentrate master and industry luminary. Delbert's professional life began in a very different arena - he was an accomplished visual effects artist who worked on high profile projects such as Hellboy, the Harry Potter Series, and the Air-Bud franchise. He tells us what drove him to start experimenting with cannabis extractions, and the trial and error and determination that helped him discover his breakthrough method. His limonene and water based extractions are perhaps the most effective and safe products of their kind out in the market today, and Delbert gives us not only the science behind them, but also shares some powerful testimonials from patients he's helped. Enjoy!
Episode #82 - Travis Howard, Green Dream & Shift Cannabis
Thu, 08 Oct 2015
Though he has been a lifelong lover of the plant, Travis Howard worked in technology and as a lawyer before eventually finding his way into the cannabis industry. When he was brought in 2010 to facilitate a merger between two dispensaries, he found himself faced with an opportunity to jump headfirst into the "green rush" as a Managing Member of Green Dream Health Services, and he's never looked back since. In addition to Green Dream, Travis is a founder of Shift Cannabis Company, a consultancy devoted to helping cannabis businesses grow and succeed. Travis gives us all the details on his story, and explains how a commitment to principles, and a desire to grow one's company through culture, are the keys to success. Enjoy!
Patrick McManamon founded Cannasure back in 2009, which by this industry standards, makes him one of the old guard. As by far the leading provider of insurance for cannabis businesses since that time, he very much has his pulse on the industry as it has matured. He tells us how a Jesuit-educated, midwestern insurance professional found himself as a cannabis pioneer. Along the way, we get insight into markets all across the US, feedback on who he thinks is doing it best, and some speculation on the future of cannabis in Ohio and across the nation. Enjoy!
In this episode, we sit down with Brandon Hamilton, CEO of Wam Oil. Wam Oil is known across the nation for setting a high standard for all other vape pen companies, and Hamilton gives us an inside view of the how they found themselves at the top. After ACL injuries dashed his hopes of playing professional soccer, and the economy did a number on his career as an architect, Hamilton decided to jump into the cannabis movement. As a long time recreational user himself, and as someone who watched the positive effects the plant had on his cancer-patient girlfriend, he was well aware of the power the plant had and the great potential it held as an industry. He tells us about the legislative battles he fought with his fellow Washingtonians to get regulations passed, and updates us on what to expect in the market in 2016. As Hamilton puts it, it's a big investment to take the high road in this industry, but we're glad he is taking the lead in doing so. Enjoy!
In the cannabis industry, we have grown used to hearing about the wide variety of jobs, careers, and passions people were following before their path led to cannabis. Still, we are in for a surprise every now and then, as is the case with Shane Terry, who was a Top Gun instructor, and one of the finest F-16 pilots in the world until he retired his military career to become an entrepreneur. Interestingly enough, he says the Air Force was ideal preparation for the cannabis industry in many ways, and we hear firsthand how he and his business partners at NuVeda are navigating the legislative landscape of Nevada, and what projects the company has in store going forward. Enjoy!
Episode #78 - Jesce Horton, Panacea Valley Gardens
Thu, 24 Sep 2015
In this episode, we sit down with Jesce Horton. You may know him as the founder of the growing facility/edibles manufacturer Panacea Valley Gardens, proudly at home in the state of Oregon, but he is equally well known as the founder of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, an association dedicated to supporting minorities in the cannabis industry. Horton tells us how, after a car accident, growing his own medicine helped him manage his own pain, and how that eventually led to him growing for other patients in his community. Encouraged by this, a year and a half ago he felt ready to leave the corporate world he had spent most of his professional life in to focus solely on cannabis. He offers enlightening perspectives on how the cannabis industry should be focusing on energy efficiency, and how minority empowerment lies at the core of cannabis's overarching message of social justice, economic opportunity, and universal patient access. Enjoy!
We sit down with Mark Passerini in this episode, known best as the founder of Om of Medicine, largely regarded as one of the finest medical cannabis dispensaries in Michigan. He tells us about his journey from the green industry to the "green industry," and the principles on which he founded Om of Medicine. He also fills us in on how and why he got the Illinois Cannabis Industry Association up and running, and the current regulatory problems facing Michigan. Mark credits a lot of Om of Medicine's success to their commitment to the community of Ann Arbor, and it's plain to see how the community could benefit from a knowledgeable and caring voice like Mark's. Enjoy!
Robert Jacob has certainly earned his nickname of the "The Cannabis Mayor." He is the current CEO of SPARC dispensaries, and founder of the Peace & Medicine dispensaries, a business that he is currently merging with the SPARC dispensary system, but on top of that, he is a dedicated public servant, and currently holds a seat on the city council in his home of Sebastopol, CA. He tell us about founding Peace & Medicine, and establishing the set of practices and principles that led SPARC to come and observe his model, and eventually tap Robert to lead their organization. He also, like many other business leaders in California we have talked to, weighs in on the recent passing of AB 266 and the future of cannabis regulation in California. Enjoy!
Episode #75 - Kenny Morrison, Venice Cookie Company
Mon, 14 Sep 2015
In this episode we sit down with Kenny Morrison, founder of the Venice Cookie Company. After a youth spent acting in film and television, he eventually branched out into photography, directing and producing. However, It was his involvement in a couple Los Angeles county medical marijuana dispensaries that sparked his interest in the cannabis edibles industry. Nowadays, the Venice Cookie Company is well-regarded as a leader in the industry, and are as known for their stewardship in industry associations as they are for their high quality edibles. Morrison weighs in on California's recent legislative promise to regulate their medical cannabis market, the risks currently associated with operating in the cannabis industry in California, and what he sees on the horizon for cannabis nationwide. Despite all of his success in business, he still maintains that the best word to describe him would be "surfer." We look forward to seeing what this surfer has in store next!
In this episode, we give you the full Hempfest experience. The Audio Archives was on the scene talking to various cannabis dignitaries and the crowd at large at the 24th annual gathering of the world's largest "protestival," in the words of co-founder Viv McPeak. If you've never been before, this is a great way to get sense of what you've been missing, and if you have, then you'll be able to tell firsthand how much bigger and better the event has gotten year by year. Listen in for interviews with John Davis, Sue Sisley, Ed Rosenthal, Alison Holcomb, Charlo Greene, the one and only Tommy Chong, and many other of cannabis's best. Enjoy!
Episode #73 - Sabrina Fendrick & Victor Pinho, Berkeley Patients Group
Mon, 07 Sep 2015
In this episode, we sit down with both Sabrina Fendrick and Victor Pinho from the Berkeley Patients Group. The Berkeley Patients Group is a well known and respected name in the cannabis industry, as the longest continuously running medical cannabis dispensary. It was founded by activists Jim McClellan and Debby Goldsberry, as a way to provide quality access to quality medicine for patients, and to this day the core mission remains the same. Sabrina and Victor tell us a little bit about how they wound up at BPG, give us a tour of their facility, and catch us up on everything the BPG has been working on as California looks poised to consider new regulations for their medical marijuana market.
When you ask people in the cannabis industry, from the US and across the world, what a model dispensary would look and operate like, almost all point to the Harborside Health Center. Since day one, Harborside has sought to establish this reputation, not out of any vanity or pride, but for the sake of their patients and for the sake of the plant. In this episode, we are given a tour of this world-renowned facility by none other than Harborside Executive Director and industry luminary Steve DeAngelo himself. He details the intricate security systems in place, talks about their genetics and grow operations, and explains Harborside's commitment to their community of patients and employees. Places like Harborside are raising the bar higher and higher for cannabis businesses everywhere - enjoy the tour!
Episode #71 - Jeremy Kaufman & Ben Reagan, The C.P.C.
Mon, 31 Aug 2015
The Center for Palliative Care (The C.P.C.) operates out of Seattle with a mission to help patients. Jeremy Kaufman and Ben Reagan couldn't be more different, but the combination is perfect. Jeremy works on the brand as well as legislation and Ben works on the product. It's been an interesting few months in Washington state; Jeremy and Ben give us a bird's eye view.
Episode #70 - Ashley Martino and Kim Geraghty, Madame Munchie
Thu, 27 Aug 2015
In this episode, we sit down with Kim and Ashley, the power couple behind Madame Munchie, producers of award-winning cannabis macarons. They both come from very different background - Kim grew up in France and worked in finance before she moved to San Francisco, and Ashley is a second generation grower from the renowned "Emerald Triangle." With these powers combined, they make a formidable cannabis business team, and this is evidenced in the success they have found with Madame Munchie. They are committed to making products that are beautiful, delicious, and effective for patients. Whether it's in their packaging, working with their dispensary partners, or rigorously testing all edibles, they take everything they do very seriously. It is caring and professional leaders like Kim and Ashley that are raising the bar of legitimacy across the board for the industry. Enjoy!
As Jeff Bladt puts it, he lives his life by synthesizing large data sets, from factoring in restaurant reviews, public transportation options, time of day etc. into deciding where to go for dinner, to crunching statistics for his fantasy sports teams, to, most importantly, his work as Chief Data Officer at Do Something. Do Something is one of largest organizations in the world that inspires and organizes young people to change the world through civic engagement, and they have the largest membership group of 13-25 year olds in the United States (more than the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts combined). With their cutting edge communication techniques and dedication to collecting and analyzing data from these interactions, Do Something truly has their finger of the pulse of the millennial generation. In this first out of industry interview, we got to hear all about Jeff, and about a recent survey Do Something sent out about marijuana legalization to young people. The results may surprise you, so tune in to hear more!
Pete Williams, who rounds out the family trio behind Medicine Man Dispensary in Colorado (with his brother Andy Williams and his sister Sally Vander Veer) is the kind of person who makes friends easily. It may be because, as he says, he grows some of the finest, most effective cannabis in the market, but he is also an extremely warm, dynamic and engaging personality. All of those traits are on display in this interview, in which he takes us through the twists and turns of his life that brought him to becoming COO of Medicine Man Denver, one of the largest and best known cultivation facilities and dispensaries in Colorado. Though he describes himself as a lucky guy, we tend to think it’s his knack for problem solving, passion for the plant, and positive attitude that have brought him and Medicine Man this far. Enjoy!
Episode #67 - Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance
Mon, 17 Aug 2015
In a very special episode, the Audio Archives sits down with Ethan Nadelmann, known primarily as the founder of the Drug Policy Alliance. He may be considered one of the most effective activists of our era, and he gives us the full-rundown of how he got here, from his “lucky break” getting into Harvard, to how he talked his way into the State Department and became the most informed voice on the DEA and international narcotics policing, to his Professorship at Princeton where his work sparked a national debate about the drug war, to the foundation of the DPA. He chalks up a lot of his success to luck and timing, but it’s clear that hard work, perseverance, and a commitment to his vision has done the heavy lifting. Enjoy!
Jamie Lewis is a true character, like many others in the industries, and has made many friends for who she is and for the high-quality edibles she produces through her company Mountain Medicinals. She started out as a chef in San Francisco, and soon began to leverage her culinary talent making marijuana-infused goods for a local co-op. During this experience, she was able to experiment and refine her skill creating medicated edibles that were tailored for a variety of conditions and preferences, most notably for her own father, a veteran and long time sufferer of PTSD. The experience healing her father gave Jamie new purpose and urgency in the industry, and she’s an extremely passionate advocate for allowing those with PTSD to use cannabis. She tells us all about that in this interview, as well as giving us the full tale of her career journey from California to Colorado, and her thoughts on the marketplace as a whole and the future of cannabis. Enjoy!
Episode #65 - Corey Hollister, American Cannabis Company
Mon, 10 Aug 2015
Corey Hollister founded the American Cannabis Company in Colorado with his business partner Ellis Smith, but like many others in cannabis, this self-described “Ad-Man” had a full-fledged career in a different arena, before his entrepreneurial instincts led him to the new cannabis industry when Amendment 64 passed. After getting his feet wet trying to set up a cultivation company and partnering with dispensaries, he ultimately decided that his business acumen could be used best advising others who wanted to join the “green rush” as well. Since then, many in the industry have leveraged the ACC’s expertise across the country for help securing a license or for other industry insight, and the company has been consistently building their offerings and services since day one. Hollister gives us the whole story in this interview, as well as sharing all that he’s learned about the different markets across the US in his work. Enjoy!
Dr. Sue Sisley’s name first popped up in headlines last year when news broke that she had been fired from the University of Arizona, shortly after getting a study approved to examine the use of marijuana to treat PTSD in war veterans. While the University has denied the decision had anything to do with the nature of Dr. Sisley’s research, many have chalked it up to another attempt to stifle the cannabis movement, and support for Dr. Sisley arose nationwide. In this interview, she tells us about everything she’s doing to ensure that her research can be conducted and proliferated for the benefit of science, and for the benefit of veterans worldwide. She breaks down some of her scientific reasoning, as well as detailing the many different forms of political opposition that has been standing in her way. The effects of PTSD are, in her words, one of the biggest public health crises facing America right now, and we are all glad that Dr. Sisley is doing all she can on behalf of these veterans and of the plant. Enjoy!
Joe Hodas, CMO of Dixie Brands, gives us a “Audio Tour” of the facility where they produce their line of award-winning edibles. True to their core mission, Dixie insists on total transparency in their headquarters, which is lined by windows to show all aspects of the production process for any and all who wish to take a look at what is going on inside. They use their space to promote other companies they believe in, as well as an arena for education. They are as focused on legitimizing the industry and advocating on behalf of cannabis as they are focused on creating top-quality products for cannabis consumers and patients. Enjoy!
Episode #62 - Dan Williams, Canna Security America
Fri, 31 Jul 2015
Dan Williams is a household name to many in the industry. When he started Canna Security America in 2009, he was one of the original pioneering entrepreneurs that helped prove to the country that cannabis is a legitimate industry, and should be treated as such. He tells us all about how he found his way into security through the restaurant business, and how a fortuitous move to Boulder put him in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the burgeoning cannabis market. He and the rest of Canna Security are continuing the hard work to make cannabis businesses safer and more secure, as well as doing what they can to help tackle bigger issues, such as banking and federal regulation. Enjoy!
In yet another “Audio Tour” episode, Jamie Perino gives the Audio Archives the full tour of Euflora’s 16th Street Mall location. Euflora has garnered a top-shelf reputation for their sleek, informative, and modern dispensary design, and all of these elements are in full display in this particular store, located in the heart of downtown Denver. Perino tells us how Euflora wanted to create a “high-end retail” shopping environment, as welcoming to tourists and visitors as it is to their regular customers. They are pushing the limits of the dispensary model, incorporating high-tech self-scanning systems, and tablets where customers can read information and reviews on product, to create a state-of-the-art experience. Enjoy!
Episode #60 - Jeff Doctor, National Indian Cannabis Coalition
Wed, 29 Jul 2015
Jeff Doctor, co-chair of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition, hails from the Seneca Nation in western New York. Growing up in Indian Country, the principles of community were instilled deeply in him, though when he left for college, he began to explore the world outside of his nation. Through several sojourns at various companies, including US Airways and numerous small businesses, he found his way to DC, where he was asked to use his community-building savvy to organize groups to advocate on behalf of native people in the US. He tell us how this path led him to where he is today, and about how grateful he is to be able to work on behalf of native people. The mission of the N.I.C.C. is an urgent and relevant one, and we look forward to watching their efforts succeed. Enjoy!
Scott, Manager of Denver Relief, gives the Audio Archives a tour of their dispensary in downtown Denver in another "Audio Tour" episode. As the oldest and longest running dispensary in Denver, Denver Relief has consistently set a high bar for others in the industry. In this peek behind the doors, we hear about what makes them unique and how their commitment to their community keeps their loyal customer base coming back. Scott describes working there as a "pleasure, honor, and reward," and it's no surprise why. Enjoy!
After spending his early post-college years bartending and skiing in Boulder, Joe Hodas got a Masters in Communications. This degree led him to jobs with several companies in the early tech industry, as well as through a stint with Frontier Airlines, but it was during his tenure with an advertising agency that got him connected with Tripp Keber. As Tripp and Dixie Elixirs sought to make a big splash in cannabis, they knew they needed some expertise on the branding and marketing front, and Joe was just the right person for the job. Nowadays, we know Dixie as one of the strongest brands in the cannabis industry, a beacon of legitimacy and business savvy that sets its sights high, and seems to go nowhere but upwards. Joe takes us through the core mission of Dixie, what they see on their horizon, and where they think the industry in general is headed. Enjoy!
Heather Despres, Lab Director for CannLabs, takes us around their world-renowned facility in yet another “Audio Tour” episode. From CannLabs’ start in a mere 500 square feet, they have now grown into state-of-the-art, 3500 square foot laboratory. In vivid scientific detail, Heather explains how each sample is meticulously cataloged on its way through the lab, and takes us through some of the equipment and testing techniques employed by the scientists therein. The work at CannLabs takes a big picture approach - they are testing for things before the state even requires them, and they proactively search for types of analysis that could be beneficial to medical research or cultivation. Enjoy!
Alex Cooley, Vice President and Co-Founder of Solstice, the first fully permitted production facility in Washington, was born down south in Georgia, but after moving to Washington at the young age of 12, he considers himself a "Seattlite" through and through. Like many in the industry, he was a long term cannabis user before today's strides in legalization, and he perfected his growing techniques as a hobby (to the benefit of his friends and family). After a stint working in hospitality in Germany, and at a loss as for his next career move, he was encouraged to put his well-developed cultivation skills to work. As one of the first public faces of cannabis in the early days of the industry, he was adamant about setting a gold standard for cannabis businesses even then, by sticking to the letter of the law and providing the highest level of professionalism and legitimacy. He shares his whole story with us, as well as a behind the scenes look at the rollout of I-502 and his role in facilitating cooperation with the Liquor Control Board. He also shares some of his reservations about some recently passed bills in WA to regulate cannabis, and tells us why he thinks this next year is "make-or-break" for Washington's legacy in the movement. Enjoy!
In another “Audio Tour” episode, Scott Dittman takes us on a tour of the PharmPods manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado. We get to hear about the components that go into each shipping container to make the finished product, and how they are constantly testing these pieces to make sure their facilities are state-of-the-art. We get a peek inside some of their “museum pieces” in house, tracing the development of their portable grow rooms from day one to their current place as publicly-traded market leader.
Like many who have found success in today’s cannabis economy, Aaron Justis began his relationship with the plant as an activist. He and his family had always sought alternative solutions for his struggles with ADHD, and at 17, he discovered firsthand the positive benefits cannabis could have on one’s life. By 19, he was inspired by Jack Herer’s seminal tome “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” and he was set off on a path of NORML meetings and fighting for cannabis legalization. At the same time, he started to follow his entrepreneurial instincts, and got involved in selling cell phones and wireless plans in the early days of that industry, as well as dabbling in real estate. One day, a lightbulb went off for Justis, and he knew he wanted to combine his business skills with his passion for cannabis. He tells us all about how he got his business started, and the industry luminaries who helped him along the way. He also provides a comprehensive and enlightened dissection of the current push for statewide cannabis regulations in California, and what he thinks successful regulations should look like.
The Audio Archives takes you on yet another Audio Tour! This time, we’re visiting Julie’s Natural Edibles. Julie shows us the ins and outs of their small but powerful facility in Denver, CO. Their edibles are notable not just for their deliciousness, but for their commitment to providing wholesome products for recreational and medical consumers, especially those who are sensitive to ingredients like refined sugar, gluten, and dairy. What also sets them apart is their commitment to testing - Julie explains how all the cannabis they use is rigorously tested for potency before going into their cannabutter, and then once it is in butter form, re-tested. Enjoy!
Episode #52 - Patrick Rea, Canopy Boulder (Part 2)
Fri, 17 Jul 2015
In this episode, the Audio Archives checks back in with Patrick Rea from Canopy Boulder, and some entrepreneurs from their portfolio, right before they make their presentations at a National Cannabis Industry Association meeting. Canopy Boulder is committed to providing mentorships and guidance to deserving start-up businesses and entrepreneurs looking to make waves in the cannabis industry. Several of the founders who have benefitted from Canopy’s guidance give us their elevator pitches here, including Healthy Headie Lifestyle, Stash Logix, Tradiv, Glasshouse, Potguide.com, and The Herbalista Set. We look forward to watching their companies grow, and seeing who Canopy Boulder will be helping launch next!
In this episode, Julie Berliner from Sweet Grass Kitchen takes the Audio Archives on a tour of their facility in Denver Colorado. They’ve come a long way from the race car trailer that they started the business in, though they still have the tire tracks on the floor to remember it by. Julie explains to us how they create a seamless cycle of production humming through a sequential design, and as Sweet Grass Kitchen is one of the few edibles manufacturers who grows their own cannabis, also shows us their cultivation rooms. Enjoy!
Mason Tvert is a very familiar name to anyone who’s been following the cannabis legalization movement. Through the Marijuana Policy Project, he has gone to bat for the cause on innumerable TV shows, media outlets, making him very much the face of cannabis legalization, and he was instrumental in spreading the message of SAFER and Amendment 64 with his fellow ground-breakers such as Steve Fox and Brian Vicente. Some have dubbed him the “Don Draper of Pot,” and it’s not hyperbole to say that without his efforts, the cannabis movement would not have achieved the progress it has today. He gives us a behind the scenes look at the work he and the Marijuana Policy Project have been doing for the past decade, as well as a sense of what drove him to this cause in the first place. Enjoy!
Amanda Reiman comes from a homogenous background, but simply in geography. Seeing how her gay friends were treated in her hometown she became an LGBT activist. In subsequent years she added animal rights activism and of course a cannabis activism. She wound up in Oakland researching medical cannabis before it was a thing. Her initial study of 130 patients was the largest in existence at the time. We’ve come a long way and have Amanda to thank for her work along that journey.
Episode #48 - Medicine Man Dispensary & Grow Facility Tour
Mon, 13 Jul 2015
Pete Williams (with some help from Sally Vander Veer and Andy Williams) gives us a tour of the Medicine Man dispensary and grow facility. They are clearly committed to running a state of the art facility, as evidenced by the cutting edge improvements and additions they have added on over time. Without giving away all their secrets, they tell us how they grow their diverse and high-quality inventory, and support this highest sale-volume for a single store in Colorado. Enjoy!
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been fiercely leading the fight for Medical Marijuana in the halls of our government, and in his mind, it’s just because it’s the right thing to do. He is a man of principle, and a religious person, who believes it would be cruel to deny patients access to cannabis, but furthermore, he thinks it comes down to a basic issue of personal freedom as well. He tells us about he found his way here, from his early years fighting communism in Vietnam and Czechoslovakia, to his political start in the Reagan White House, to his current days as the “surfing congressman.” All in all, he’s lived a life committed to his ideals, and makes for a refreshingly frank politician. We look forward to checking in with him as he continues his work. Enjoy!
Episode #46 - Steve DeAngelo, Harborside Health Center
Thu, 09 Jul 2015
Steve DeAngelo has been an activist for as long as he can remember. Coming from a self-described “Civil Rights Family,” he even attended Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington as a 5 year old. When he discovered cannabis at age 13, he felt like he truly found his life’s calling. He ‘joined the revolution’ at age 16 when he banded up with the Youth International Party, and spent the next few decades standing up for his principles as an activist. By the mid 2000s, Steve founded the dispensary paragon Harborside Health Center, and by 2010, had founded the ArcView group to guide the burgeoning legal cannabis industry, thus firmly establishing himself as one of the greatest and most effective advocates for cannabis legalization of all time. When Steve DeAngelo talks, people listen. With us, he shares his thoughts on California’s push for proper regulation, as well as his thoughts on the industry and movement as a whole.
Julianna Carella has cooking in her blood - she learned from her parents in the kitchen and has spent her whole life cooking creative and delicious food (much of it with cannabis) for her friends and family. However, this San Francisco native would take two very different career paths before making food her profession. First, she followed her passion as a dancer in New York City, truly living the “starving artist” lifestyle, but when she had her daughter, took up a career in accounting back in San Francisco. Through this experience, she learned the ins-and-outs of what makes businesses succeed or fail, and when a visit to a dispensary opened her eyes to the huge market gap that existed for high-quality cannabis edibles, she used this knowledge to start Auntie Dolores. Auntie Dolores is now the category leader in wellness-minded edibles. Julianna weighs in on setbacks she experienced in building her company, her concerns over how California is going to properly regulate cannabis, and how she is extending her business into other states. Enjoy!
Kayvan Khalatbari is rarely at rest. He currently runs several businesses in the Denver area, which include the Denver Relief dispensary, Denver Relief Consulting, and his Sexy Pizza restaurant chain, and can be found at the Sexpot comedy shows he produces around town, and sometimes even dressed up as a chicken, following Governor Hickenlooper. He is an interesting character to say the least. He says it is the strong work ethic instilled in him by his mother that keeps him going, and it looks like he won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Coming fresh off a run for public office, he is back hard at work helping businesses in other states prepare for the advent of legalization through Denver Relief Consulting, and gives us some insight on where he thinks the industry is going and how markets are opening up across the nation. What is most striking about Khalatbari, is that despite all of his antics and chock-full schedule, he is 100% committed to giving back to his community through everything that he does.
Episode #43 - Brian Vicente, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Mon, 06 Jul 2015
There is no over-stating of the impact Brian Vicente has had on legal cannabis. As the co-director of the campaign to get Amendment 64 passed (with Mason Tvert) and co-author of the Amendment 64 legislation (with Steve Fox), he was beyond instrumental in opening up the marketplace in Colorado that has sent a ripple-effect across the nation. Vicente recounts his experience working to get this legislation passed, from working with politicians, to what their opposition looked like, to the finer points of campaign strategy. And of course he’s continuing the fight with his work at Vicente Sederberg LLC.
Episode #42 - Kellie Butterfield Dodds, Cannabis Film Festival
Fri, 03 Jul 2015
Kellie Butterfield Dodds dreamed up the Cannabis Film Festival as a way to celebrate the industry and bring people across the country to beautiful Humboldt County California, where, in her words, some of the finest cannabis is grown in the USA. The inaugural festival was a huge hit this year, and looks poised to be an even greater success next year. She tells us about how she got the festival started, some background on the films and directors that were on show this year, and what's she has in store for the future. Enjoy!
Jessica Geren was exposed to cannabis culture during her time at CU Boulder and her early years in Breckenridge Colorado, but it was a move back to the East Coast that ultimately put her in a position to work with the industry. It was back in her home state of Massachusetts that she was hired by Dutchess Capital, and put her talents to work evaluating business proposals for investment in the cannabis space. Like many people interviewed on the Audio Archives, she stresses the ever-changing nature of the industry, and the constant need to adapt to new circumstances. She and Duchess Capital have been a model of this mindset themselves, and have firmly established themselves as a leading investor. Enjoy!
Episode #40 - Ivan Ross Vrana, Aslan Ross Consulting
Wed, 01 Jul 2015
Ivan Ross Vrana spent many years working for the Canadian Federal government, predominantly for Health Canada, and truly enjoyed the experience. He sees the true virtue of civil service, and enjoys the challenges it presents. His experience in policy regarding pharmaceuticals and narcotics made him a perfect fit for a consultancy post with Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) and by 2012, he decided to split off to start his own consulting practice. Now he is helping many companies make their way responsibly into the legal cannabis marketplace in Canada and beyond. He weighs in on recent Canadian rulings on the industry, actions taken in Vancouver and elsewhere in the country, and what we can expect to see unfold next in our neighbor in the north. Enjoy!
Scott Denholm spent the first part of his life on the west coast, then he moved east, and now he resides down south in Tennessee. This variety of experience has helped him develop an acute talent for understanding different people, which helps him greatly with his line of work developing track and trace programs for cannabis cultivators. He says it’s all about listening to what someone wants, to be able to figure out what they really need. After a stint in the Navy and time at ADT Security, Scott wouldn’t have ever imagined he would have found his way to the cannabis industry, but a consultant gig with the Marijuana Enforcement Division in Colorado set him on such a path, and now he’s implementing Franwell’s Metrc program in states all over the country to ensure their cannabis programs are efficiently and effectively regulated. Enjoy!
Hilary Bricken has accomplished quite a lot in a relatively short five years as a cannabis lawyer. The opportunity to get involved presented itself while she was working under contract for Harris Moure, and ever since, she’s been operating in the industry throughout entire push legalization in Washington and Colorado. She’s experienced many of the growing pains firsthand, and has gained a wealth of expertise and experience, and being from Florida, she ambitiously practices law there, California, and her adopted home of Washington. She expresses her admiration for the perseverance of those in the cannabis industry, but she truly embodies this trait herself, working hard and succeeding in a very complicated and difficult space.
In this interview, Jodie Emery gives us the background on Cannabis Culture Now, from her husband Marc Emery’s beginnings raising money for cannabis activism to the media force that it is today. She’s working hard to find the perfect combination of business-mindedness and activism to drive the legal marijuana marketplace into greater legitimacy in Canada and abroad. She weighs in on recent High Court rulings concerning cannabis edibles and extracts in Canada, and provides greater insight as what to expect with marijuana legislation in Canada moving forward. Enjoy!
Episode #36 - Betty Aldworth, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Thu, 25 Jun 2015
A true activist in upbringing and in spirit, Betty Aldworth has advocated on behalf of legal cannabis all over the nation. As Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Aldworth is working to galvanize America’s future voters and legislators to continue the fight against the war on drugs, which she describes as a “failure for our youth.” She is equally well know for her role as spokesperson for the effort that led to the passing of Amendment 64 in Colorado, and gives us an in depth perspective of how that momentous legislation came to be. She also gives us some insight on what to expect from areas of interest such as Illinois and Washington DC, and where she thinks the movement is headed from here. Enjoy!
Scott Dittman started his career as an accountant, got into housing construction when he was ready to settle down, and got into the cannabis industry when he needed a clean break from the housing industry. As a self-described “Boulder kid,” it’s fitting that Scott returned to his home state to help drive this brand new industry forward. Though he’s now re-settled in Pennsylvania, his company Pharmpods has revolutionized cannabis cultivation by offering state of the art, deliverable grow facilities boasting cutting edge technology conveniently housed in a recycled shipping container.
It’s no surprise why Steve Fox is one of the biggest names in cannabis. Boston born and bred, he has been on the front lines of cannabis legalization across the nation since the early days the movement started to gain momentum. After his start working for the Bill Clinton Presidential campaign and getting a law degree from Boston College, he has played in a part in numerous marijuana legalization initiatives, largely through his continued involvement with Marijuana Policy Project. Now with a published book under his belt, and after helping found the NCIA, he is helping cannabis business owners and legislators through his consultancy work at Vicente Sederberg and his efforts for the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation. Enjoy!
Episode #33 - Cheryl Shuman, Beverly Hills Cannabis Club
Mon, 22 Jun 2015
Cheryl Shuman was introduced to the spotlight through a news report on her hometown at 4 years old, and she hasn’t been far from it since. From her first act as “America’s Coupon Queen,” to her role as “Optician to the Stars,” to Hollywood Producer/Marketer Extraordinaire, to her most recent mission to re-educate the world about cannabis, Shuman is a tenacious self-re-inventor and a force to be reckoned with. The hardships she has overcome with this tenacity have defined her, and it was a dire cancer diagnosis that led her to discover the incredible healing properties of cannabis firsthand. Now she is committed to helping the world view cannabis with the respect and tolerance it deserves. We’re excited to share her incredible story, enjoy!
Episode #32 - Bruce Schulte, Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation
Fri, 19 Jun 2015
Bruce Schulte had been working in commercial architecture in California, until one day he decided to book a one way ticket to Fairbanks, to fly bush planes full time and experience the beauty and freedom of Alaskan life. Nineteen years later, he is active in state and local politics, and a prominent member of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation. As Alaska prepares to open up a marijuana market in their state, Bruce gives us a detailed account of how it came to pass, where the legislation stands now, and what work still needs to be done.
Andy Joseph, President of Apeks Supercritical, cut his teeth in service of our country, as part of the US Navy’s Nuclear division. The integrity and discipline he learned there stuck with him throughout his varied professional life, which saw him working in manufacturing as a machinist (and even as a UPS package handler!) before ultimately making Apeks Supercritical the industry giant that it is today. Though he may have initially believed he was building machines for “Lavender” extraction, Andy focuses on providing environmentally conscious equipment to properly process flower.
If you're in the Cannabis industry, you probably know LeslieBocskor's face better than you know his name- he's the guy with the eyebrows. He's also the Chairman of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association and the Managing Partner of Electrum Partners. He takes us through his background in banking and finance and what brought him to the industry. If you're a keen listener, you'll hear that Leslie simply can't sit still...which he demonstrates in both his career and his chair. He's always moving and shares where he's going in Cannabis.
Episode #29 - Scott Greiper, Viridian Capital Advisors
Tue, 16 Jun 2015
Scott Greiper knows homeland security. And now he knows Cannabis; he has started Viridian Capital Advisors based on the success of the Secure Strategy Group. He draws parallels between the two industries, discusses similarities and common themes...and shares lessons learned from the beginning of the century to what's happening now.
Cynthia Franklin was appointed by the Governor of Alaska, Bill Walker to head up the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. She knew when appointed that she would head up Cannabis regulation as well. Cindy let's us know exactly what's happening on the ground regarding cannabis regulation in Alaska at the moment. A former prosecutor, she seems to understand every side of the equation and demonstrates that she's the right person with the right mindset for the job.
The Medicine Man backstory continues with Andy Williams who expands on the his and his sibling's various early business offerings; mowing lawns, shoveling snow, paper routes and baby-sitting, expounding on his mother’s message of never quitting. Stop and start entrepreneurship continued through adult life until an October 2009 Justice Department announcement changed everything.
The largest cultivator in Illinois, Tim McGraw is an unlikely activist. He started out as a loan officer at age 19. He started his own mortgage company at a young age. Despite financial success, nothing connected until he found the industry of cannabis. As a bonus, Tim brings his bona fide Chicago accent to the interview.
Episode #25 – Patrick Rea, Canopy Boulder (Part 1)
Wed, 10 Jun 2015
Patrick Rea is running Canopy Boulder, a business accelerator exclusively in Cannabis. At the time of the interview, Patrick was about two months into the first cycle. We’ll check back with him at the close of that cycle (around the middle of the year) for an update and Part II.
Doug Leighton has been investing in companies since he was in college. A few years out of school he and his partner started Dutchess Capital, which he has run for the past 20 years. Doug takes us through his early investments in the Internet and Wi-Fi, through the economic apocalypse of late 2007 and 2008, around the world in establishing a global footprint (over a three week period) to mitigate risk and up through to his present-day cannabis industry investments.
Episode #23 – Trent Woloveck, American Cannabis Company
Mon, 08 Jun 2015
May 2015: Trent provides updates on Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, New York, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, DC, Alaska, Missouri, Canada, the UK, Uruguay and Jamaica…along with a little bit about what brought him to Cannabis in the first place. Also listen for Trent’s account of being behind the counter at his cousin’s dispensary on January 1, 2014 when Adult-Use cannabis legalization in Colorado went into effect.
From NORML to SSDP to the NCIA, Kris Krane has legitimate cannabis industry bona fides. He takes us through how an early semester abroad informed his world view. He explains how his father's use of cannaibs as medicine ensured that he got involved in the movement as a colleage student. And he discusses his long tenure as an industry activist and how that activism informs how he runs his business.
A former (and future) baskeball referee, Bob Hoban went from New Jersey to Wyoming to providing legal council in cannabis in the 1284 days. And he's been at it ever since. He takes us through a few of his cases as well as what's happening on the ground in a number of stages and countries.
Jay Czarkowski, with business partner and wife Diane, have been cultivators and dispensory owners. They were active in the campaign for Amendment 64- that was them with the sign in High Times. They've been on the legal cannabis Colorado scene since 'back in the day.' Jay shares his account from past to present. And if you like a dry sense of humor, you'll appreciate Jay's narrative.
LezliEngelking is establishing standards for the Cannabis industry. She's got a gargantuan task in front of her, but she's perfectly suited for the task. Informed by her mother's leadership in mental health, she was able to serve patients in that space through her job at a major pharmaceutical company. She then ran the first and leading medical cannabis dispensary in Arizona. Footnote: The General mentioned at around the 2 minute mark is General John Vessey who later became Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff.
Cannabis has been John Davis’s life for over a quarter century now. He began as a grass-roots activist for drug policy reform, and helped produce HempFest in its early years. As he began to sense that the national tide was turning in regards to cannabis, he found a way to marry his professional life completely with his passion, by leveraging years of experience in construction and permitting to consult and manage fledgling dispensaries. From there he created the Northwest Patient Resource Center. John shares his wealth of experience, opinion, and knowledge.
Fresh off his Time Magazine cover story, “The Highly Divisive, Curiously Underfunded and Strangely Promising World of Pot Science," Bruce Barcott shares his own story with us.From his start at Seattle Weekly, to his years at Outside and National Geographic, Barcott honed his way with words before diving into the subject of cannabis for his 2015 book, Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. As Barcott tells us, any story is only as good as the characters involved, so as you can tell, that’s good news for The Audio Archives as we continue to document the oral history of legal cannabis in real-time.
Episode #16 - Bob Eschino, Medically Correct/Incredibles
Thu, 28 May 2015
Rock drummer turned cannabis entrepreneur Bob Eschino tells us about how he started Medically Correct LLC, driven by a desire to make high-quality, properly-tested edibles, that could help patients the same way cannabis helped his own grandmother. He discusses his work on the Edibles Council and how he's committed to raising the bar, not just for businesses in his category, but for the industry at large.
JulieDooley has carved out a niche for herself in the industry by focusing on making the highest quality, gluten-free, sugar-free, and pesticide-free edibles on the market. She talks about how her personal health problems led her on this path, and her full journey from stay-at-home mom to cannabis entrepreneur. Enjoy!
Looking for on-the-ground retail insight in Cannabis? 'Pot Baroness' Jamie Perino of Euflora explains that when deciding to develop a dispensary, she and her partner set out to establish something competely different. They sought out a location on the tourist-heavy 16th Street Mall. Once they solidified their location, they filled the environs with a plethora of digital screens thus creating the "Apple Store of Cannabis." Jamie and her partner have since openned a second location in Aurora, CO...and are in the process of investigating what states might be a good fit for Euflora moving forward.
CharlieRutherford has nothing in common with what is presented as the stereotypical legal cannabis advocate. That's not his only surprise- he has made decisions that very few people have made, when given the choices he was given.
A motorcycle accident presented this avid outdoor sportsman with the opportuniy for a less active life with both feet...or to keep going, sans left foot- he said "it's just a foot." When traditional pharmaceuticals left him feeling off, medical marijuana more evenly eased his true and phantom pain. His story is amazing; his decsion-making is inspiring.
Episode #12 - Susan Chicovsky, Green Mountain Harvest
Thu, 21 May 2015
Susan Chicovsky is a shrewd business leader. Her company Green Mountain Harvest was the first medical marijuana harvest & trim to be compliant in Colorado, and as a result she's now advising the Nevada State government on how to properly regulate trim facilities, and building more Green Mountain Harvest locations across the country. On top of all that, she's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Enjoy!
You can't expect the expected. And with that understanding Julie Berliner, Owner, Sweet Grass Kitchen was in Boulder as House Bill 1284 came to be...and had the opportunity to turn her traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie into a Cannabis infused edible. That's just what she did, first creatively attaining her first kitchen, then realizing her very own single strain grow...and most recently graduating to a larger kitchen. She studied psychology and education but took the fork in the road that led to legal cannabis...and hasn't looked back.
Don't let the last name fool you, Sally is of the Williams family. And don't let the gender fool you, she is a Medicine Man. Sally takes us through the lessons learned from her nomadic childhood. She applied those lessons in school, coming away with a duel Chemistry and Business degree. After a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, she was perfectly suited to work with brothers Andy and Pete Williams on the very well know Medicine Man brand. Sally does a great job of explaining how if you work hard, good luck finds you.