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Cannabis Economy

Cannabis Economy (by Audio Archives) chronicles personal conversations with business leaders on Ingenuity, Inspiration...and Cannabis. Our first goal is to provide an oral history of legal cannabis in real-time. Who you are informs what you do. Business is personal. Follow us on Twitter @CannEconomy
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Now displaying: 2015
Oct 6, 2015

Patrick McManamon founded Cannasure back in 2009, which by this industry standards, makes him one of the old guard. As by far the leading provider of insurance for cannabis businesses since that time, he very much has his pulse on the industry as it has matured. He tells us how a Jesuit-educated, midwestern insurance professional found himself as a cannabis pioneer. Along the way, we get insight into markets all across the US, feedback on who he thinks is doing it best, and some speculation on the future of cannabis in Ohio and across the nation. Enjoy!

Oct 1, 2015

In this episode, we sit down with Brandon Hamilton, CEO of Wam Oil. Wam Oil is known across the nation for setting a high standard for all other vape pen companies, and Hamilton gives us an inside view of the how they found themselves at the top. After ACL injuries dashed his hopes of playing professional soccer, and the economy did a number on his career as an architect, Hamilton decided to jump into the cannabis movement. As a long time recreational user himself, and as someone who watched the positive effects the plant had on his cancer-patient girlfriend, he was well aware of the power the plant had and the great potential it held as an industry. He tells us about the legislative battles he fought with his fellow Washingtonians to get regulations passed, and updates us on what to expect in the market in 2016. As Hamilton puts it, it's a big investment to take the high road in this industry, but we're glad he is taking the lead in doing so. Enjoy!

Sep 28, 2015

In the cannabis industry, we have grown used to hearing about the wide variety of jobs, careers, and passions people were following before their path led to cannabis. Still, we are in for a surprise every now and then, as is the case with Shane Terry, who was a Top Gun instructor, and one of the finest F-16 pilots in the world until he retired his military career to become an entrepreneur. Interestingly enough, he says the Air Force was ideal preparation for the cannabis industry in many ways, and we hear firsthand how he and his business partners at NuVeda are navigating the legislative landscape of Nevada, and what projects the company has in store going forward. Enjoy!

Sep 24, 2015

In this episode, we sit down with Jesce Horton. You may know him as the founder of the growing facility/edibles manufacturer Panacea Valley Gardens, proudly at home in the state of Oregon, but he is equally well known as the founder of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, an association dedicated to supporting minorities in the cannabis industry. Horton tells us how, after a car accident, growing his own medicine helped him manage his own pain, and how that eventually led to him growing for other patients in his community. Encouraged by this, a year and a half ago he felt ready to leave the corporate world he had spent most of his professional life in to focus solely on cannabis. He offers enlightening perspectives on how the cannabis industry should be focusing on energy efficiency, and how minority empowerment lies at the core of cannabis's overarching message of social justice, economic opportunity, and universal patient access. Enjoy!

Sep 21, 2015

We sit down with Mark Passerini in this episode, known best as the founder of Om of Medicine, largely regarded as one of the finest medical cannabis dispensaries in Michigan. He tells us about his journey from the green industry to the "green industry," and the principles on which he founded Om of Medicine. He also fills us in on how and why he got the Illinois Cannabis Industry Association up and running, and the current regulatory problems facing Michigan. Mark credits a lot of Om of Medicine's success to their commitment to the community of Ann Arbor, and it's plain to see how the community could benefit from a knowledgeable and caring voice like Mark's. Enjoy!

Sep 17, 2015

Robert Jacob has certainly earned his nickname of the "The Cannabis Mayor." He is the current CEO of SPARC dispensaries, and founder of the Peace & Medicine dispensaries, a business that he is currently merging with the SPARC dispensary system, but on top of that, he is a dedicated public servant, and currently holds a seat on the city council in his home of Sebastopol, CA. He tell us about founding Peace & Medicine, and establishing the set of practices and principles that led SPARC to come and observe his model, and eventually tap Robert to lead their organization. He also, like many other business leaders in California we have talked to, weighs in on the recent passing of AB 266 and the future of cannabis regulation in California. Enjoy!

Sep 14, 2015

In this episode we sit down with Kenny Morrison, founder of the Venice Cookie Company. After a youth spent acting in film and television, he eventually branched out into photography, directing and producing. However, It was his involvement in a couple Los Angeles county medical marijuana dispensaries that sparked his interest in the cannabis edibles industry. Nowadays, the Venice Cookie Company is well-regarded as a leader in the industry, and are as known for their stewardship in industry associations as they are for their high quality edibles. Morrison weighs in on California's recent legislative promise to regulate their medical cannabis market, the risks currently associated with operating in the cannabis industry in California, and what he sees on the horizon for cannabis nationwide. Despite all of his success in business, he still maintains that the best word to describe him would be "surfer." We look forward to seeing what this surfer has in store next!

Sep 10, 2015

In this episode, we give you the full Hempfest experience. The Audio Archives was on the scene talking to various cannabis dignitaries and the crowd at large at the 24th annual gathering of the world's largest "protestival," in the words of co-founder Viv McPeak. If you've never been before, this is a great way to get sense of what you've been missing, and if you have, then you'll be able to tell firsthand how much bigger and better the event has gotten year by year. Listen in for interviews with John Davis, Sue Sisley, Ed Rosenthal, Alison Holcomb, Charlo Greene, the one and only Tommy Chong, and many other of cannabis's best. Enjoy!

Sep 7, 2015

In this episode, we sit down with both Sabrina Fendrick and Victor Pinho from the Berkeley Patients Group. The Berkeley Patients Group is a well known and respected name in the cannabis industry, as the longest continuously running medical cannabis dispensary. It was founded by activists Jim McClellan and Debby Goldsberry, as a way to provide quality access to quality medicine for patients, and to this day the core mission remains the same. Sabrina and Victor tell us a little bit about how they wound up at BPG, give us a tour of their facility, and catch us up on everything the BPG has been working on as California looks poised to consider new regulations for their medical marijuana market.

Sep 3, 2015

When you ask people in the cannabis industry, from the US and across the world, what a model dispensary would look and operate like, almost all point to the Harborside Health Center. Since day one, Harborside has sought to establish this reputation, not out of any vanity or pride, but for the sake of their patients and for the sake of the plant. In this episode, we are given a tour of this world-renowned facility by none other than Harborside Executive Director and industry luminary Steve DeAngelo himself. He details the intricate security systems in place, talks about their genetics and grow operations, and explains Harborside's commitment to their community of patients and employees. Places like Harborside are raising the bar higher and higher for cannabis businesses everywhere - enjoy the tour!

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Aug 31, 2015

The Center for Palliative Care (The C.P.C.) operates out of Seattle with a mission to help patients. Jeremy Kaufman and Ben Reagan couldn't be more different, but the combination is perfect. Jeremy works on the brand as well as legislation and Ben works on the product. It's been an interesting few months in Washington state; Jeremy and Ben give us a bird's eye view.

Aug 27, 2015

In this episode, we sit down with Kim and Ashley, the power couple behind Madame Munchie, producers of award-winning cannabis macarons. They both come from very different background - Kim grew up in France and worked in finance before she moved to San Francisco, and Ashley is a second generation grower from the renowned "Emerald Triangle." With these powers combined, they make a formidable cannabis business team, and this is evidenced in the success they have found with Madame Munchie. They are committed to making products that are beautiful, delicious, and effective for patients. Whether it's in their packaging, working with their dispensary partners, or rigorously testing all edibles, they take everything they do very seriously. It is caring and professional leaders like Kim and Ashley that are raising the bar of legitimacy across the board for the industry. Enjoy!

Aug 24, 2015

As Jeff Bladt puts it, he lives his life by synthesizing large data sets, from factoring in restaurant reviews, public transportation options, time of day etc. into deciding where to go for dinner, to crunching statistics for his fantasy sports teams, to, most importantly, his work as Chief Data Officer at Do Something. Do Something is one of largest organizations in the world that inspires and organizes young people to change the world through civic engagement, and they have the largest membership group of 13-25 year olds in the United States (more than the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts combined). With their cutting edge communication techniques and dedication to collecting and analyzing data from these interactions, Do Something truly has their finger of the pulse of the millennial generation. In this first out of industry interview, we got to hear all about Jeff, and about a recent survey Do Something sent out about marijuana legalization to young people. The results may surprise you, so tune in to hear more!

Aug 21, 2015

Pete Williams, who rounds out the family trio behind Medicine Man Dispensary in Colorado (with his brother Andy Williams and his sister Sally Vander Veer) is the kind of person who makes friends easily. It may be because, as he says, he grows some of the finest, most effective cannabis in the market, but he is also an extremely warm, dynamic and engaging personality. All of those traits are on display in this interview, in which he takes us through the twists and turns of his life that brought him to becoming COO of Medicine Man Denver, one of the largest and best known cultivation facilities and dispensaries in Colorado. Though he describes himself as a lucky guy, we tend to think it’s his knack for problem solving, passion for the plant, and positive attitude that have brought him and Medicine Man this far. Enjoy!

Aug 17, 2015

In a very special episode, the Audio Archives sits down with Ethan Nadelmann, known primarily as the founder of the Drug Policy Alliance. He may be considered one of the most effective activists of our era, and he gives us the full-rundown of how he got here, from his “lucky break” getting into Harvard, to how he talked his way into the State Department and became the most informed voice on the DEA and international narcotics policing, to his Professorship at Princeton where his work sparked a national debate about the drug war, to the foundation of the DPA. He chalks up a lot of his success to luck and timing, but it’s clear that hard work, perseverance, and a commitment to his vision has done the heavy lifting. Enjoy!

Aug 13, 2015

Jamie Lewis is a true character, like many others in the industries, and has made many friends for who she is and for the high-quality edibles she produces through her company Mountain Medicinals. She started out as a chef in San Francisco, and soon began to leverage her culinary talent making marijuana-infused goods for a local co-op. During this experience, she was able to experiment and refine her skill creating medicated edibles that were tailored for a variety of conditions and preferences, most notably for her own father, a veteran and long time sufferer of PTSD. The experience healing her father gave Jamie new purpose and urgency in the industry, and she’s an extremely passionate advocate for allowing those with PTSD to use cannabis. She tells us all about that in this interview, as well as giving us the full tale of her career journey from California to Colorado, and her thoughts on the marketplace as a whole and the future of cannabis. Enjoy!

Aug 10, 2015

Corey Hollister founded the American Cannabis Company in Colorado with his business partner Ellis Smith, but like many others in cannabis, this self-described “Ad-Man” had a full-fledged career in a different arena, before his entrepreneurial instincts led him to the new cannabis industry when Amendment 64 passed. After getting his feet wet trying to set up a cultivation company and partnering with dispensaries, he ultimately decided that his business acumen could be used best advising others who wanted to join the “green rush” as well. Since then, many in the industry have leveraged the ACC’s expertise across the country for help securing a license or for other industry insight, and the company has been consistently building their offerings and services since day one. Hollister gives us the whole story in this interview, as well as sharing all that he’s learned about the different markets across the US in his work. Enjoy!

Aug 6, 2015

Dr. Sue Sisley’s name first popped up in headlines last year when news broke that she had been fired from the University of Arizona, shortly after getting a study approved to examine the use of marijuana to treat PTSD in war veterans. While the University has denied the decision had anything to do with the nature of Dr. Sisley’s research, many have chalked it up to another attempt to stifle the cannabis movement, and support for Dr. Sisley arose nationwide. In this interview, she tells us about everything she’s doing to ensure that her research can be conducted and proliferated for the benefit of science, and for the benefit of veterans worldwide. She breaks down some of her scientific reasoning, as well as detailing the many different forms of political opposition that has been standing in her way. The effects of PTSD are, in her words, one of the biggest public health crises facing America right now, and we are all glad that Dr. Sisley is doing all she can on behalf of these veterans and of the plant. Enjoy!

Aug 3, 2015

Joe Hodas, CMO of Dixie Brands, gives us a “Audio Tour” of the facility where they produce their line of award-winning edibles. True to their core mission, Dixie insists on total transparency in their headquarters, which is lined by windows to show all aspects of the production process for any and all who wish to take a look at what is going on inside. They use their space to promote other companies they believe in, as well as an arena for education. They are as focused on legitimizing the industry and advocating on behalf of cannabis as they are focused on creating top-quality products for cannabis consumers and patients. Enjoy!

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Jul 31, 2015

Dan Williams is a household name to many in the industry. When he started Canna Security America in 2009, he was one of the original pioneering entrepreneurs that helped prove to the country that cannabis is a legitimate industry, and should be treated as such. He tells us all about how he found his way into security through the restaurant business, and how a fortuitous move to Boulder put him in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the burgeoning cannabis market. He and the rest of Canna Security are continuing the hard work to make cannabis businesses safer and more secure, as well as doing what they can to help tackle bigger issues, such as banking and federal regulation. Enjoy!

Jul 30, 2015

In yet another “Audio Tour” episode, Jamie Perino gives the Audio Archives the full tour of Euflora’s 16th Street Mall location. Euflora has garnered a top-shelf reputation for their sleek, informative, and modern dispensary design, and all of these elements are in full display in this particular store, located in the heart of downtown Denver. Perino tells us how Euflora wanted to create a “high-end retail” shopping environment, as welcoming to tourists and visitors as it is to their regular customers. They are pushing the limits of the dispensary model, incorporating high-tech self-scanning systems, and tablets where customers can read information and reviews on product, to create a state-of-the-art experience. Enjoy!

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Jul 29, 2015

Jeff Doctor, co-chair of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition, hails from the Seneca Nation in western New York. Growing up in Indian Country, the principles of community were instilled deeply in him, though when he left for college, he began to explore the world outside of his nation. Through several sojourns at various companies, including US Airways and numerous small businesses, he found his way to DC, where he was asked to use his community-building savvy to organize groups to advocate on behalf of native people in the US. He tell us how this path led him to where he is today, and about how grateful he is to be able to work on behalf of native people. The mission of the N.I.C.C. is an urgent and relevant one, and we look forward to watching their efforts succeed. Enjoy!

Jul 28, 2015

Scott, Manager of Denver Relief, gives the Audio Archives a tour of their dispensary in downtown Denver in another "Audio Tour" episode. As the oldest and longest running dispensary in Denver, Denver Relief has consistently set a high bar for others in the industry. In this peek behind the doors, we hear about what makes them unique and how their commitment to their community keeps their loyal customer base coming back. Scott describes working there as a "pleasure, honor, and reward," and it's no surprise why. Enjoy!

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Jul 27, 2015

After spending his early post-college years bartending and skiing in Boulder, Joe Hodas got a Masters in Communications. This degree led him to jobs with several companies in the early tech industry, as well as through a stint with Frontier Airlines, but it was during his tenure with an advertising agency that got him connected with Tripp Keber. As Tripp and Dixie Elixirs sought to make a big splash in cannabis, they knew they needed some expertise on the branding and marketing front, and Joe was just the right person for the job. Nowadays, we know Dixie as one of the strongest brands in the cannabis industry, a beacon of legitimacy and business savvy that sets its sights high, and seems to go nowhere but upwards. Joe takes us through the core mission of Dixie, what they see on their horizon, and where they think the industry in general is headed. Enjoy!

Jul 24, 2015

Heather Despres, Lab Director for CannLabs, takes us around their world-renowned facility in yet another “Audio Tour” episode. From CannLabs’ start in a mere 500 square feet, they have now grown into state-of-the-art, 3500 square foot laboratory. In vivid scientific detail, Heather explains how each sample is meticulously cataloged on its way through the lab, and takes us through some of the equipment and testing techniques employed by the scientists therein. The work at CannLabs takes a big picture approach - they are testing for things before the state even requires them, and they proactively search for types of analysis that could be beneficial to medical research or cultivation. Enjoy!

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