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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: 2017
Sep 21, 2017

New York State Senator Diane Savino joins us and share her thoughts on the New York Cannabis program. Her thoughts are, it’s going. She notes that it had a slow start but that it was designed be tightly controlled and highly regulated and that it’s lived up to that reputation. Regarding the Department of Health and the Commissioner of Health- Diane shares that they’ve been very responsive to changes as changes have been proposed because they recognize this is a health issue. She doesn’t pull punches- could more be done, absolutely- her biggest concern continues to be lack of participation among doctors. It’s not possible to visit every doctor in the state and convincing each efficacy of medical cannabis. So to that end, no matter where you live, consider this a public service announcement to tell your doctor about medical cannabis.

Sep 18, 2017

Two time Super Bowl champion and organ donor Leonard Marshall returns to share his thinking behind donating his brain to CTE research. He says that he thought about the lives that could change and he thought about his father. He says he wanted to do something with his own life that his father couldn’t do with his. Leonard shares that he is a child of segregation and that he initially could not use the same bathroom or play in the same playground as white people in the south. And so, he’s interested in making a difference not based on his race, color, creed or nation of origin but make a difference as a man and empower the will of parents on their children to open up a mindset around traumatic brain injury and head trauma.

Sep 14, 2017

A PhD in the field of physiotherapeutics, Stuart Titus joins us and shares his experience treating patients as he says more in the British style than the US style of therapy. He continues, here in the US if you need surgery, you’ll be in the operating room tomorrow morning. But in other countries it’s as much as an 18 month wait so you have to do a lot to keep a patient comfortable and under control until they can get into the operating room. Stu shares that athletes and professional sports teams utilize this type of therapy. Athletes would come into his office in the offseason and that’s where he found out about cannabis. His patients were using cannabis to control pain, reduce inflammation and help with sleep issues- and he was intrigued.

Sep 11, 2017

Mother of Charlotte’s Web inspiration Charlotte Figi, Page Figi returns to share the latest on the Cannabodial bills the Coalition for Access Now has in both the House & the Senate. We review her experience with CBD as it related to Charlotte’s seizures. We discuss the alternative bill in the Senate which would reschedule not deschedule CBD as Paige’s bill does. And we discuss what YOU can do NOW to aid the bill to passage by taking action and connecting with your elected officials who work for you. Finally, we talk about your patient and business CBD options in a forecasted rescheduled world but we also take the opportunity for Paige to share red flags and dog whistles to look and listen for when evaluating current CBD offerings.

Sep 7, 2017

Celebrated Author, Paco Underhill joins us to share that when he was doing research for commercial zoning issues for cities on the roof of the SeaFirst Bank building in Seattle he had an epiphany. He would do for merchants of any kind what he was doing for cities- helping them understand what customers were doing in their respective establishments and sharing what the merchants could do to improve their customer's experience. He literally wrote the book on it- “Why We Buy,” which came from an article that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about Paco for the New Yorker. Paco discusses how he goes about helping merchants providing some insight on what drives customers and how that’s changed over the years. And finally, we discuss his passion which is helping with homelessness through Urban Pathways.

Sep 4, 2017

Charles Jones joins us and shares that a fellow parent had called him concerned that her son was using marijuana and asked him if it was safe. He did some research and found how many cannabinoids there were, how they interacted with one another and emerged from his research with an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, could create a broad range of psychoactive substances which could treat everything from insomnia to pain to improving creativity. He realized that an extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant. Which led him to the conclusion that cannabis isn't a drug so much as a drug development platform which much safer than opioid alternatives.

Aug 31, 2017

Yet another military veteran in the cannabis industry, Guy Rocourt joins us and shares that he joined the military in the 90’s which led him to unique thoughts about the service. All in all, as opposed to being a risk taker, Guy's thinking as to why military veterans are in cannabis is that when you’re in the military you’re taught to abide by the constitution, which by the way, says nothing about cannabis. Guy says that when you’re enlisted you abide by the uniform code of military justice which is much more structured in regards to your rights and responsibilities. And so as a military veteran he doesn’t understand why cannabis is illegal- it does not compute.  And in addition to that, military veterans gravitate towards industries that need change.

Aug 28, 2017

Mark Grindeland joins us and takes us through his history in advertising. He had a management consulting firm which led him to Digitas. He says he turned Digitas into the McKinsey of advertising. Back in the day he had codified his IP in building one of the first ERP CRM platforms, took that public and hit a billion dollar market cap. From Digitas he was recruited to Y&R who wanted to become a global version of digitas. After dabbling in M&A, he was moved into the CEO EMEA role. Which brought him back to the same place he was bootstrapping with Digitas a year earlier. This time, with 21 countries, 36 offices, 2K employees and 180M in revenue. This is the experience and more that Mark brings to cannabis.

Aug 24, 2017
Alan Brochstein join us from this year’s NCIA business summit and shares that the first NCIA business summit was a good and bad time for the industry and for him in that the market had run up so much and there was a tremendous amount of interest, but he was in an awkward position as he saw the promise but stocks were actually on their way down at that point in mid-2014. As Alan says, a lot of people had shown up for the party but were kind of disappointed and on their way out. He’s seen a number of ebbs and flows in interest in publicly traded stocks. But Alan has stuck with it and now sees a tremendous amount of new opportunity in the space.
Aug 21, 2017
Aaron Smith returns and shares his thoughts on the industry with NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit as the backdrop. He notes that over 1,000 businesses are now members and that it’s a good time for the industry. NCIA is seeing well capitalized investors and ancillary industry’s involving themselves in cannabis. Aaron shares that Attorney General’s stance is certainly unsettling but not too far from the norm of the approach taken by past Justice Departments. He notes the numbers of course are with the industry with 90% support of medical and over 70% support of adult-use.  And on NCIA’s Lobby Days, Aaron notes that there has been exponential growth in involvement and the reception from elected officials continues to warm.
Aug 17, 2017
Excitable patient’s rights advocate Kim Cargile, joins us and shares that roughly half of her time is dedicated to educating local and state government's on the reality of the cannabis industry. A Therapeutic Alternative was founded in California’s capital of Sacramento 9 years ago and four year’s ago Kim joined that team with the understanding that she would continue her work as an advocate. Kim notes that the mission of her shop will be the mission of all shops in California based n the legalization legislation kicking in. The goal of course- safe patient access with sensible regulations. And to that end Kim uses the fact that the ship is in the capital city to literally showcase best practice to state government officials. Thanks to Mary's Nutritionals & Highroad Consulting Group for supporting the episode.
Aug 14, 2017

Recorded back in June at NCIA in Oakland, Emily and Morgan Paxhia return to share their thoughts on cannabis investment. Emily deciphers what’s investible in that she’s simply looking for a sober approach from entrepreneurs with humility and an understanding of regulations and the true challenges of the unique cannabis industry. Morgan shares that he’s looking for how business are approaching the cost of acquisition for each customer. He notes that in a fragmented market that’s truly still very young- new companies still have to break through one customer at a time. Emily goes on to give tips to each kind of cannabis business and both discuss how best to optimize the investor/entrepreneur relationship. Thanks to Gateway & Treatibles for supporting the episode. Go to Pitch to Ben on Twitter to engage with Gateway & Treatibles.com for a 10% discount on CBD for your pet.

Aug 10, 2017

John Vardaman joins us and discusses his involvement in the release of the the third Cole memo and FinCen Guidance which supported the initial memos which of course laid out guidance from DOJ to state attorney’s general. John lays out that Justice and Treasury still needed to deal with the fact that based on the Controlled Substances Act, the monies generated from state legal cannabis were (and still are) considered criminal proceeds based on federal money laundering and bank secrecy act laws aided of course with a Patriot Act kicker. Which John actually has experience with as he began his career in government just weeks before 9/11 and explains that his job following that day was following the money- something he also had to do on the ground in Iraq. Thanks to Boveda & MCBA for supporting the episode.

Aug 7, 2017

Former soldier, governor and wrestler Jesse Ventura says that cannabis gave him his life back- without it he says he wouldn’t have a quality of life today. Someone close to him developed an epileptic seizure disorder. After being treated with drugs that didn’t work, they went to Colorado found cannabis and found a solution. Now that that person is seizure free, Jesse says both of them have their lives back. He’s always been a supporter of legalization and although he’s been in the military and was a former professional athlete who could come to cannabis through CTE or PTSD, it was dealing with epilepsy as a caregiver that was the catalyst for him to be active in cannabis. As a former Gov, Jesse adds that cannabis tax dollars are real dollars for any state budget.

Aug 3, 2017

Washington State and Noelle Skodzinksi have July 1st, 2014 in common as a start date in cannabis. Inspired by the poet/novelist James Dickey, Noelle went to school to be a journalist and found her way into PR before finding a job in journalism down the line. After moving to Philadelphia, Noelle held down three jobs to pay the rent and keep writing. She waited tables and truly learned how to deal with people in that environment- an insight she brings forward to her work today. She parlayed her initial job as a writer into landing a job as an editor for high end magazine which focused on craftspeople like blacksmiths, glass blowers. So she was already used to dealing with folks that were unto themselves- which is why the cannabis industry made sense to her when she found it.

Jul 31, 2017
Cannabis activist Shaleen Title joins us and takes us through her early realization that numbers made sense foisting her into accounting only to realize that drug policy was where she wanted to be. She joined SSDP and eventually had a hand in Amendment 64 passing in Colorado. She went to law school to get well versed in legal writing, political speech and how the law worked to serve her in her cannabis law reform work. She moved to the east coast and served in tax law for six months- her first day of orientation being the economic crash- which had her realize that the universe didn’t want or need her where she was- "Lehman just went down- but here’s your desk." Which is ultimately what set her on her ultimate path of full time cannabis policy.
Jul 27, 2017
Ricardo Baca, Ophelia Chong, David Brown and Jacquie Miller join us from Lift Toronto to tackle media in cannabis..and cannabis in media for that matter. Ricardo takes us through what he experienced in Colorado for the Cannabist, Ophelia touches on what she’s seen in imagery. David shares his Canadian experience. And Jacquie shares her experience coming from the mainstream media into the cannabis industry.
We discuss early days and when and how things changed along the way and we return to the conversation that we started with Derek Riedle in the last episode on what the media is, it’s purpose and how to ensure more trust in media from the each end of the general populace. 
Jul 24, 2017

Recorded at Lift Toronto, Derek Riedle from Civilized join us and discusses the crossroads of the media industry- where it is now and how he looks at where it’s going. He went to college in Halifax wound up back in is home of New Brunswick  and eventually was invited by a friend to California. He had been all around the world but never to the Golden State, so we went. After a few hours he called his wife and a month later they were looking for a place. He’s an old agency guy so he knows that agencies are hard businesses to scale. His moment of cannabis enlightenment came when he was at a nice dinner in Venice where he everyone in the restaurant was drinking beer wine and spirits while he was huddled behind the restaurant, behind a dumpster with his vape pen.

Jul 20, 2017

Recorded at Lift Expo Toronto, Random Vaughn joins us shares a history of Washington state legalization. He explains the process of getting a medical card, getting 15 plants and becoming a collective garden way back when. You did a bit of paperwork and could enter the industry after 30 minutes at a doctor’s office in his words. Random and his team have serviced over 30K patients and he discusses how he and his team approached cannabis wellness with the patients and consumers that visited the collective. And then Random shares getting relicensed for 502 and what happened in Washington when the state went from offering medical cannabis to a overtly adult-use market. He’s matter of fact about the facts on the ground.

Jul 17, 2017

Chuck Rifici joins us from Lift Expo in Toronto where he shares his history in cannabis. He’s currently working on a number of projects including funding cannabis licensed producers in Canada. The business structure is based on the mining industry in Canada. Chuck studied engineering and initially was interested in Virtual Reality, went into computer engineering founding an early internet service provider company becoming the CFO. After getting the education of a lifetime he went on to become the CFO of the liberal party in Canada working with Justin Trudeau. On another note, he was in the right place at the right time, reading the MMPR regulations within the first hour of them being released leading him to co-found Tweed.

Jul 13, 2017

Lamine Zarad joins us and provides a Banking 101 lesson. He joined Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis doing his best to avert disaster. He realized at that height of the economic apocalypse that the only stable thing was the federal government which was going to be the savior of us all in his words- and he wanted to know how and why.  He studied public policy and public finance and got a job at the US Treasury which is why we discuss the entanglement of the banking system and political system in the US, Dodd Frank, the Volker Rule, the Bank Secrecy Act as affected by the Patriot Act, Glass-Steagall, proprietary trading, FinTech, blockchain and how that all relates to cannabis. 

Jul 10, 2017

Roger Stone joins us and discusses the United States Cannabis Coalition. He takes us through his interpretation of what’s been said by this administration in regards to cannabis law reform. He feels that the Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary are not following what was prescribed during the campaign. With news of a potential crackdown on cannabis from the Justice Department, Roger feels that would be inconsistent with what was promised to voters and breaks faith with voters. The goal of the US Cannabis Coalition is to work with a coalition of republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, progressives and libertarians to reschedule cannabis.

Jul 6, 2017

Recorded in May Charlie Rutherford and I sit down for our second helping of Political Discourse. We once again focus on how we each see policy. We first discuss Jeff Sessions and his War on Drugs redux. We talk about tax policy in association with government services. We discuss the environment and education. We talk about employment as it relates to wages, CEO wages and productivity. We discuss immigration. We talk about AI and how automation affects the prospects of employment in the US in the future. And of course, we discuss healthcare and the concept of repeal and replace and what replace means through discovering a means for replace. Finally we discuss the perception of the right on the left and the left on the right.

Jul 3, 2017
Cassandra Farrington joins us and takes us through her background. Born and raised south of the Mason Dixon line, she went to the University of Alabama to study communications and marketing. A self-described introvert, she had a couple of good initial positions but went back to get her MBA. Upon graduating, her Fortune 100 job moved her to Denver.  Serendipitously, an old business associate called at a moment which Cassandra was ready to move. Her operational experience made her the perfect fit. And that phone call turned into her running Marijuana Business Daily and the Marijuana Business Conference. However, those ideas were not the first ideas. But they were the ones, as you know, with the most explosive growth.
Jun 29, 2017
Shanel Lindsay joins us and shares her personal journey. A lawyer she was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst but her treatment wasn’t solving the issue. Enter cannabis. Shanel began experimenting with decarboxylation. Over weeks and months she improved her process. And when medical cannabis was passed in Massachusetts a lab opened up close to home so Shanel worked with them to continue to improve her process eventually leading to her manufacturing a device. Her thought for others was you shouldn’t have to know how to process Willow Bark to get Aspirin- it’s the same thing with cannabis, you should just be able to push a button and get what you need. So she’s now got the device and it’s been 16 years of no issues with her cyst thanks to cannabis.
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