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.