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.
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.