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."
Michael 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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.