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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Alex Cooley, Vice President and Co-Founder of Solstice, the first fully permitted production facility in Washington, was born down south in Georgia, but after moving to Washington at the young age of 12, he considers himself a "Seattlite" through and through. Like many in the industry, he was a long term cannabis user before today's strides in legalization, and he perfected his growing techniques as a hobby (to the benefit of his friends and family). After a stint working in hospitality in Germany, and at a loss as for his next career move, he was encouraged to put his well-developed cultivation skills to work. As one of the first public faces of cannabis in the early days of the industry, he was adamant about setting a gold standard for cannabis businesses even then, by sticking to the letter of the law and providing the highest level of professionalism and legitimacy. He shares his whole story with us, as well as a behind the scenes look at the rollout of I-502 and his role in facilitating cooperation with the Liquor Control Board. He also shares some of his reservations about some recently passed bills in WA to regulate cannabis, and tells us why he thinks this next year is "make-or-break" for Washington's legacy in the movement. Enjoy!
In another “Audio Tour” episode, Scott Dittman takes us on a tour of the PharmPods manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado. We get to hear about the components that go into each shipping container to make the finished product, and how they are constantly testing these pieces to make sure their facilities are state-of-the-art. We get a peek inside some of their “museum pieces” in house, tracing the development of their portable grow rooms from day one to their current place as publicly-traded market leader.
Like many who have found success in today’s cannabis economy, Aaron Justis began his relationship with the plant as an activist. He and his family had always sought alternative solutions for his struggles with ADHD, and at 17, he discovered firsthand the positive benefits cannabis could have on one’s life. By 19, he was inspired by Jack Herer’s seminal tome “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” and he was set off on a path of NORML meetings and fighting for cannabis legalization. At the same time, he started to follow his entrepreneurial instincts, and got involved in selling cell phones and wireless plans in the early days of that industry, as well as dabbling in real estate. One day, a lightbulb went off for Justis, and he knew he wanted to combine his business skills with his passion for cannabis. He tells us all about how he got his business started, and the industry luminaries who helped him along the way. He also provides a comprehensive and enlightened dissection of the current push for statewide cannabis regulations in California, and what he thinks successful regulations should look like.
The Audio Archives takes you on yet another Audio Tour! This time, we’re visiting Julie’s Natural Edibles. Julie shows us the ins and outs of their small but powerful facility in Denver, CO. Their edibles are notable not just for their deliciousness, but for their commitment to providing wholesome products for recreational and medical consumers, especially those who are sensitive to ingredients like refined sugar, gluten, and dairy. What also sets them apart is their commitment to testing - Julie explains how all the cannabis they use is rigorously tested for potency before going into their cannabutter, and then once it is in butter form, re-tested. Enjoy!
In this episode, the Audio Archives checks back in with Patrick Rea from Canopy Boulder, and some entrepreneurs from their portfolio, right before they make their presentations at a National Cannabis Industry Association meeting. Canopy Boulder is committed to providing mentorships and guidance to deserving start-up businesses and entrepreneurs looking to make waves in the cannabis industry. Several of the founders who have benefitted from Canopy’s guidance give us their elevator pitches here, including Healthy Headie Lifestyle, Stash Logix, Tradiv, Glasshouse, Potguide.com, and The Herbalista Set. We look forward to watching their companies grow, and seeing who Canopy Boulder will be helping launch next!
In this episode, Julie Berliner from Sweet Grass Kitchen takes the Audio Archives on a tour of their facility in Denver Colorado. They’ve come a long way from the race car trailer that they started the business in, though they still have the tire tracks on the floor to remember it by. Julie explains to us how they create a seamless cycle of production humming through a sequential design, and as Sweet Grass Kitchen is one of the few edibles manufacturers who grows their own cannabis, also shows us their cultivation rooms. Enjoy!
Mason Tvert is a very familiar name to anyone who’s been following the cannabis legalization movement. Through the Marijuana Policy Project, he has gone to bat for the cause on innumerable TV shows, media outlets, making him very much the face of cannabis legalization, and he was instrumental in spreading the message of SAFER and Amendment 64 with his fellow ground-breakers such as Steve Fox and Brian Vicente. Some have dubbed him the “Don Draper of Pot,” and it’s not hyperbole to say that without his efforts, the cannabis movement would not have achieved the progress it has today. He gives us a behind the scenes look at the work he and the Marijuana Policy Project have been doing for the past decade, as well as a sense of what drove him to this cause in the first place. Enjoy!
Amanda Reiman comes from a homogenous background, but simply in geography. Seeing how her gay friends were treated in her hometown she became an LGBT activist. In subsequent years she added animal rights activism and of course a cannabis activism. She wound up in Oakland researching medical cannabis before it was a thing. Her initial study of 130 patients was the largest in existence at the time. We’ve come a long way and have Amanda to thank for her work along that journey.
Pete Williams (with some help from Sally Vander Veer and Andy Williams) gives us a tour of the Medicine Man dispensary and grow facility. They are clearly committed to running a state of the art facility, as evidenced by the cutting edge improvements and additions they have added on over time. Without giving away all their secrets, they tell us how they grow their diverse and high-quality inventory, and support this highest sale-volume for a single store in Colorado. Enjoy!
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been fiercely leading the fight for Medical Marijuana in the halls of our government, and in his mind, it’s just because it’s the right thing to do. He is a man of principle, and a religious person, who believes it would be cruel to deny patients access to cannabis, but furthermore, he thinks it comes down to a basic issue of personal freedom as well. He tells us about he found his way here, from his early years fighting communism in Vietnam and Czechoslovakia, to his political start in the Reagan White House, to his current days as the “surfing congressman.” All in all, he’s lived a life committed to his ideals, and makes for a refreshingly frank politician. We look forward to checking in with him as he continues his work. Enjoy!