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.
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.