Scott Denholm spent the first part of his life on the west coast, then he moved east, and now he resides down south in Tennessee. This variety of experience has helped him develop an acute talent for understanding different people, which helps him greatly with his line of work developing track and trace programs for cannabis cultivators. He says it’s all about listening to what someone wants, to be able to figure out what they really need. After a stint in the Navy and time at ADT Security, Scott wouldn’t have ever imagined he would have found his way to the cannabis industry, but a consultant gig with the Marijuana Enforcement Division in Colorado set him on such a path, and now he’s implementing Franwell’s Metrc program in states all over the country to ensure their cannabis programs are efficiently and effectively regulated. Enjoy!
Hilary Bricken has accomplished quite a lot in a relatively short five years as a cannabis lawyer. The opportunity to get involved presented itself while she was working under contract for Harris Moure, and ever since, she’s been operating in the industry throughout entire push legalization in Washington and Colorado. She’s experienced many of the growing pains firsthand, and has gained a wealth of expertise and experience, and being from Florida, she ambitiously practices law there, California, and her adopted home of Washington. She expresses her admiration for the perseverance of those in the cannabis industry, but she truly embodies this trait herself, working hard and succeeding in a very complicated and difficult space.
In this interview, Jodie Emery gives us the background on Cannabis Culture Now, from her husband Marc Emery’s beginnings raising money for cannabis activism to the media force that it is today. She’s working hard to find the perfect combination of business-mindedness and activism to drive the legal marijuana marketplace into greater legitimacy in Canada and abroad. She weighs in on recent High Court rulings concerning cannabis edibles and extracts in Canada, and provides greater insight as what to expect with marijuana legislation in Canada moving forward. Enjoy!
A true activist in upbringing and in spirit, Betty Aldworth has advocated on behalf of legal cannabis all over the nation. As Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Aldworth is working to galvanize America’s future voters and legislators to continue the fight against the war on drugs, which she describes as a “failure for our youth.” She is equally well know for her role as spokesperson for the effort that led to the passing of Amendment 64 in Colorado, and gives us an in depth perspective of how that momentous legislation came to be. She also gives us some insight on what to expect from areas of interest such as Illinois and Washington DC, and where she thinks the movement is headed from here. Enjoy!
Scott Dittman started his career as an accountant, got into housing construction when he was ready to settle down, and got into the cannabis industry when he needed a clean break from the housing industry. As a self-described “Boulder kid,” it’s fitting that Scott returned to his home state to help drive this brand new industry forward. Though he’s now re-settled in Pennsylvania, his company Pharmpods has revolutionized cannabis cultivation by offering state of the art, deliverable grow facilities boasting cutting edge technology conveniently housed in a recycled shipping container.
It’s no surprise why Steve Fox is one of the biggest names in cannabis. Boston born and bred, he has been on the front lines of cannabis legalization across the nation since the early days the movement started to gain momentum. After his start working for the Bill Clinton Presidential campaign and getting a law degree from Boston College, he has played in a part in numerous marijuana legalization initiatives, largely through his continued involvement with Marijuana Policy Project. Now with a published book under his belt, and after helping found the NCIA, he is helping cannabis business owners and legislators through his consultancy work at Vicente Sederberg and his efforts for the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation. Enjoy!
Cheryl Shuman was introduced to the spotlight through a news report on her hometown at 4 years old, and she hasn’t been far from it since. From her first act as “America’s Coupon Queen,” to her role as “Optician to the Stars,” to Hollywood Producer/Marketer Extraordinaire, to her most recent mission to re-educate the world about cannabis, Shuman is a tenacious self-re-inventor and a force to be reckoned with. The hardships she has overcome with this tenacity have defined her, and it was a dire cancer diagnosis that led her to discover the incredible healing properties of cannabis firsthand. Now she is committed to helping the world view cannabis with the respect and tolerance it deserves. We’re excited to share her incredible story, enjoy!
Bruce Schulte had been working in commercial architecture in California, until one day he decided to book a one way ticket to Fairbanks, to fly bush planes full time and experience the beauty and freedom of Alaskan life. Nineteen years later, he is active in state and local politics, and a prominent member of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation. As Alaska prepares to open up a marijuana market in their state, Bruce gives us a detailed account of how it came to pass, where the legislation stands now, and what work still needs to be done.
Andy Joseph, President of Apeks Supercritical, cut his teeth in service of our country, as part of the US Navy’s Nuclear division. The integrity and discipline he learned there stuck with him throughout his varied professional life, which saw him working in manufacturing as a machinist (and even as a UPS package handler!) before ultimately making Apeks Supercritical the industry giant that it is today. Though he may have initially believed he was building machines for “Lavender” extraction, Andy focuses on providing environmentally conscious equipment to properly process flower.
If you're in the Cannabis industry, you probably know Leslie Bocskor's face better than you know his name- he's the guy with the eyebrows. He's also the Chairman of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association and the Managing Partner of Electrum Partners. He takes us through his background in banking and finance and what brought him to the industry. If you're a keen listener, you'll hear that Leslie simply can't sit still...which he demonstrates in both his career and his chair. He's always moving and shares where he's going in Cannabis.
Scott Greiper knows homeland security. And now he knows Cannabis; he has started Viridian Capital Advisors based on the success of the Secure Strategy Group. He draws parallels between the two industries, discusses similarities and common themes...and shares lessons learned from the beginning of the century to what's happening now.
Cynthia Franklin was appointed by the Governor of Alaska, Bill Walker to head up the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. She knew when appointed that she would head up Cannabis regulation as well. Cindy let's us know exactly what's happening on the ground regarding cannabis regulation in Alaska at the moment. A former prosecutor, she seems to understand every side of the equation and demonstrates that she's the right person with the right mindset for the job.
The Medicine Man backstory continues with Andy Williams who expands on the his and his sibling's various early business offerings; mowing lawns, shoveling snow, paper routes and baby-sitting, expounding on his mother’s message of never quitting. Stop and start entrepreneurship continued through adult life until an October 2009 Justice Department announcement changed everything.
The largest cultivator in Illinois, Tim McGraw is an unlikely activist. He started out as a loan officer at age 19. He started his own mortgage company at a young age. Despite financial success, nothing connected until he found the industry of cannabis. As a bonus, Tim brings his bona fide Chicago accent to the interview.
Patrick Rea is running Canopy Boulder, a business accelerator exclusively in Cannabis. At the time of the interview, Patrick was about two months into the first cycle. We’ll check back with him at the close of that cycle (around the middle of the year) for an update and Part II.
Doug Leighton has been investing in companies since he was in college. A few years out of school he and his partner started Dutchess Capital, which he has run for the past 20 years. Doug takes us through his early investments in the Internet and Wi-Fi, through the economic apocalypse of late 2007 and 2008, around the world in establishing a global footprint (over a three week period) to mitigate risk and up through to his present-day cannabis industry investments.
May 2015: Trent provides updates on Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, New York, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, DC, Alaska, Missouri, Canada, the UK, Uruguay and Jamaica…along with a little bit about what brought him to Cannabis in the first place. Also listen for Trent’s account of being behind the counter at his cousin’s dispensary on January 1, 2014 when Adult-Use cannabis legalization in Colorado went into effect.
From NORML to SSDP to the NCIA, Kris Krane has legitimate cannabis industry bona fides. He takes us through how an early semester abroad informed his world view. He explains how his father's use of cannaibs as medicine ensured that he got involved in the movement as a colleage student. And he discusses his long tenure as an industry activist and how that activism informs how he runs his business.
A former (and future) baskeball referee, Bob Hoban went from New Jersey to Wyoming to providing legal council in cannabis in the 1284 days. And he's been at it ever since. He takes us through a few of his cases as well as what's happening on the ground in a number of stages and countries.
Jay Czarkowski, with business partner and wife Diane, have been cultivators and dispensory owners. They were active in the campaign for Amendment 64- that was them with the sign in High Times. They've been on the legal cannabis Colorado scene since 'back in the day.' Jay shares his account from past to present. And if you like a dry sense of humor, you'll appreciate Jay's narrative.
Lezli Engelking is establishing standards for the Cannabis industry. She's got a gargantuan task in front of her, but she's perfectly suited for the task. Informed by her mother's leadership in mental health, she was able to serve patients in that space through her job at a major pharmaceutical company. She then ran the first and leading medical cannabis dispensary in Arizona. Footnote: The General mentioned at around the 2 minute mark is General John Vessey who later became Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff.
Cannabis has been John Davis’s life for over a quarter century now. He began as a grass-roots activist for drug policy reform, and helped produce HempFest in its early years. As he began to sense that the national tide was turning in regards to cannabis, he found a way to marry his professional life completely with his passion, by leveraging years of experience in construction and permitting to consult and manage fledgling dispensaries. From there he created the Northwest Patient Resource Center. John shares his wealth of experience, opinion, and knowledge.