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."
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."
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."
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."