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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.