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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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May 25, 2017
Recorded in March of 2017, Chris Schroeder from Somatik joins us to take us through his cold brew coffee with a flexible functional dose of cannabis. Regarding the delivery system, Chris is introducing newcomers to cannabis through a product with which they’re already familiar. Avid users have noticed the partnership with Ritual Coffee- a made in the bay area icon. Chris points out that there are myriad parallels between coffee and cannabis in that there are connoisseurs, there are people that drink it all day long and yet there are some that can’t drink it past 3pm. No matter what, if you have a relationship with coffee, you have a relationship with caffeine. Originally from the bay area, Chris came to cannabis as a patient and is happy to be operating a company in his hometown. 
May 22, 2017

The Director of the Isreali Medical Cannabis Agency, Yuval Landschaft joins us to take us through cannabis regulations in the holy land. Not originally a cannabis enthusiast, Yuval  eventually understood where we were with it’s potential - as standing on the shore of an island. Years later, after deepening his understanding of the agricultural, manufacturing, medical and otherwise…that we’re standing at the shore of a continent. He contends that maybe the ancients knew something that we’re now trying to discover again. Israel is in the process of medicalization at Yuval puts it ensuring that each patient ties an indication or qualifying condition to his or her cannabis use. From there, the country has five books worth of information on how the program works- which Yuval takes us through. 

May 18, 2017

The Copernicus of Cannabis, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam joins us to discuss the advent of cannabis research, it’s history and current landscape. He says it’s very difficult to work on compounds, that are under legal constraints. When he started there was some knowledge around cannabinoids but it was vague and not in modern terms. As a natural products chemist he knew that the first thing that needed to be done was to elucidate the chemistry as you can’t do research with an unknown extract. He read historical information on the plant in many different languages to set his baseline understanding. This eventually set him up to be the custodian of the world’s supply of legal THC in 1963 which at the time was 10 grams and the rest as they say, is history.

May 15, 2017

Running the largest cannabis producer on earth that publishes the address, Bruce Linton joins us to discuss his global operation. Canopy is of course in Canada but also does business in Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Australia. Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Poland are all opening up per Bruce. Based on his global presence, he provides his thoughts on what’s happening here in the US as well. And of course when compared with all of those federal cannabis operations, the United States is simply falling behind the rest of the world…and as Bruce says, the US is the opposite. What brought him to medical cannabis to begin with is the fact that Canada was treating cannabis as simple and straightforward public policy. And of course they’re moving to adult-use next.

May 11, 2017

Exempted from having to go to high school, Glenn Peterson instead went to a work-study school which he says was a wonderful place. He was involved in politics nearly from the jump- having a friendship with Mark Udall and the Udall family. An eagle scout, the concept of being employed made no sense to him. Glenn says he's pretty conservative and essentially libertarian but politically he considers himself a cell of one. Glenn is completely enigmatic. When he mentions that he knows how to throw blades and catch them without cutting himself...in his case, that’s a fact as well as an extremely well imagined metaphor. After trying his hand at being a private investigator, he demonstrated a knack for business through real estate, his success eventually led him to cannabis.

May 8, 2017

Jane West joins us and gives us background on her initial foray into the cannabis industry- Edible Events. But before all that and after a key two-weeks, Jane switched paths from a potential career in environmental law, moved to New York City and found a place producing events. One of her events was to take place just four days after 9/11 and Jane takes us through her experience on that day and during that time in New York City. Within six months she married her husband and moved to Denver. After her employer relieved her of her duties due to  seeing coverage of one of her edible events…with an idea in mind to bring cannabis women together, she eventually crossed paths with Jazmin Hupp…and the rest, as they say, is history.

May 4, 2017
Sara Batterby joins us and takes us through the pesticide regulations in Oregon and the resulting affect on the industry. Originally from England a blissful Thomas Hardy-esque part the country, in her words- a knife fight was the scariest thing that could possibly happen. Sara eventually found herself in finance as she loves designing structures. She notes that most folks don’t understand that finance itself is truly a creative pursuit. Following some dialogue on this moment in global socioeconomics, Sara goes on to share how she is vesting her employees into the ownership of her company ensuring they share in the growth of the capital asset. With ownership, her employees are completely self managing based in there engagement in the greater vision.
May 1, 2017

Peter Barsoom joins us and shares that he wound up getting a job in management consulting in the late 90s. It turned out that his clients were in financial services…the industry in which he stayed for the ensuing 20 years. He got experience at top financial firms which put Peter at the Federal Reserve the weekend before Lehman collapsed. At the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange his position was introducing regulated and transparent credit derivative markets. That thinking attracted him to the cannabis market, Peter realized an opportunity for his skill set in the industry and jumped in- and has been here ever since. 

Apr 27, 2017
Ethan Nadelmann returns for his Drug Policy Alliance exit interview. Ethan explains that there are a whole range of issues- personal, professional, political and otherwise- that make this point in time most appropriate for a transition. We discuss what he’s liked most about the job…what he’s liked least and a bit of everything in between.
Ethan responds to what we should be looking for as far as qualities and qualifications of his successor. And we discuss what he’s planning on doing next. On leaving, he very deliberately decided to focus on being 100% present, ensuring that DPA was in a good place…which, he explains, it is.
Apr 24, 2017

Recorded March 2nd, US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher returns to share that we see the same societal impact from making cannabis illegal that we saw by making alcohol illegal- it was harmful to our country then as it is now. Representative Rohrabacher notes that he’s interested in inviting AG Sessions in for a discussion with the Cannabis Caucus. He goes on to share where he and his congressional colleagues are with current and future federal legislation including his Respect States Marijuana Laws. Just like Congressmen Blumenauer and Perlmutter did, Congressman Rohrabacher urges us- we the people- especially veterans, religious leaders and seniors- to visit our elected representatives in support of cannabis. 

Apr 20, 2017

The congressman joins us and shares Colorado’s cannabis legalization results- crime is down, businesses have grown, there’s a better banking landscape and revenue to the state has been strong. The congressman has introduced The Marijuana Business Access To Banking Act which says that if a State has a regulatory structure in place, the businesses within that State would be exempt from the very restrictive federal banking laws. This of course would put into law the FinCen guidance released in tandem with the third Cole Memo. Remember- it was the Ogden memo in 2009, the first cole memo in 2011, the second cole memo in 2013 and that third cole memo in 2014. The congressman says that momentum is building for true federal legislation.

Apr 17, 2017

The enigmatic Ngaio Bealum joins us and explains through his long time Golden State Warriors fandom that he is in fact a bay area native. He lets us know that he's a nerd but he’s not a punk and he most definitely was the class clown. He studied music and theatre and rather than become a high school band teacher, he became a road comic in 1990 doing the drive, drive, drive, joke, joke, joke detail. A self proclaimed low-key enlightened narcissist he has always been an activist as his parents were in the black panther party in Oakland. He says he’s always down for rally’s or parades. A veritable quote machine, one of Ngaio’s ethos is to never let anger guide you but let it motivate you.

Apr 13, 2017

Taylor West joins us and discusses her dog Tucker who you know if you’ve been to NCIA HQ. From a small town, Taylor was ready to leave as soon as she could. That said, she understands the community from which she came and realizes that not everyone does leave. Taylor eventually found a career in politics and subsequently found the NCIA. Her first day just so happened to be on January 1st 2014. She notes the importance of the work done to setup the industry up in Colorado and elsewhere and highlights  three years of lobby days and how far the industry has come from. But as we’ve always said, cannabis years are dog years so Taylor points out that deep relationships with federal legislators have been built in just three short years. 

Apr 10, 2017

Maya Elisabeth from Om Edibles and Whoopi & Maya joins us and explains that if cannabis discovered today it would be the most miraculous medical discovery…if it wasn’t for the stigma brought on by prohibition. Originally from the bay area, Maya wound up working for one of the first dispensaries in the late 90's and realized that there wasn’t a whole lot of non-flower product on the shelves. She met the challenge by producing product and couldn’t believe that she very quickly found clients…which led to the creation of Om Edibles. Following years of success, when Whoopi Goldberg was interested in getting involved in the space, Maya was an obvious partner choice. Maya also shares a very personal story where she learned the mantra- the only way out is through.

Apr 6, 2017

Congressman Earl Blumenauer joins us, discussing bowties, bicycles and of course- cannabis. He represents Portland, Oregon home to both medical and adult-use cannabis. The congressman says diving into the issue of cannabis in the 1970’s was fascinating. He didn’t and doesn’t understand the notion of criminalizing something not harmful. He describes it as lunacy. He was there when Oregon was the very first state to decriminalize cannabis and he continues to fight for complete legalization through the newly formed Cannabis Caucus. The congressman discusses banking for cannabis, cannabis taxation through 280E and the fact that we ought to stop the roadblocks to cannabis research. The cannabis caucus is working on all of these issues and more. 

Apr 3, 2017

Patricia Rossi joins us and shares that a two year trip from Paris to Portland turned into a 17 year stay. She thought she was on her way to Portland Oregon- she had interviews lined up with agencies there- but in fact landed in Maine.  As a truly high-level agency executive, Patricia was literally over qualified for every position she pursued, which led her to cannabis in 2011.  She knew how to create an experience around a brand- so she brought that mindset to Wellness Connection. Patricia is responsible for four of the eight licenses in Maine and takes us the history of cannabis in the great state.

Mar 30, 2017
NBA Iconoclast John Salley joins us to talk about talent and tenacity as well as some cannabis. With folks around us at ICBC, John talks about growing up in New York City but why he didn’t play ball at New York’s storied West 4th court. John discusses the 50 available jobs in the NBA and how he learned to not talk sugar honey iced tea during the game…and just do his job. John shares how a devastating loss turned into championships in the ensuing years. In regards to cannabis, John shares how he came to the plant, how he looks at the space, and that he's looking to create a Coca Cola brand with a Pepsi mentality.
Mar 27, 2017

Jim Patterson joins us and adds himself to the astonishingly long list of cannabis industry executives who have previously served in the military. He kindly takes us through his experience and how it informed his leadership skills and how he realized that he was an entrepreneur. Going from Kuwait to Los Angeles he joined the Yammer team with Keith McCarty. Jim takes us through the fact that the team certainly had a sense of constant momentum before being sold to Microsoft and the ultimate exit. He had to put in some time under Redmond leadership which allowed him to experience "Steve Ballmer doing his thing” in his words. After launching his own company called CoTap (now ZiNC), Keith eventually called Jim and asked him to lead Eaze…Jim then takes us through how in fact he’s doing just that.

Mar 23, 2017
Andrew Freedman joins us and shares how his global travels with a bit of excellence in debate all added up to his becoming the marijuana czar in Colorado. He explains how not understanding one test at Harvard Law led to a readjustment of his life’s priorities for his personal betterment. Andrew discusses how decision making along your life has the possible repercussions of closing doors not necessarily with intent.
He takes us through how a low level position with the lieutenant governor, who didn’t have much staff led to greater things and eventually a Chief of Staff position. And how his success in that position put him in place to be Director of Mariujana Coordination in the first state to have an operating legal adult use cannabis regulatory framework.
Mar 20, 2017
he latest with Mary’s Medicinals, Nutritionals and otherwise. We discuss the states in which Mary’s Medicinal's is doing business and that Mary’s Nutritionals is available in all 50 states due to the fact that those products are based on industrial hemp. 
Lynn discusses Mary’s footprint expansion and the fact that they are part of the only 10% of the infused product manufacture market which is in more than one state. She discusses the, arduous at best, process of actually expanding into a new state. Each state of course has it’s own rules and regulations to which Mary’s…and all others... must adhere- so Lynn takes us through the myriad ways that Mary’s has expanded. She's also kind enough to share her forecasting philosophy as it relates to said expansion. 
Mar 16, 2017
We find ourselves in a cold civil war - it’s difficult if not impossible to have productive political discourse with folks outside of ones own personal point of view. It’s increasingly obvious that we the people are being played against each other. When anything happens one side applauds it and one side abhors it. It’s in fact incumbent on We The People to find common ground with each other to ensure that remain the United States of America. And so Charlie Rutherford returns from Ep.13 as a guy in the cannabis industry, but also my friend who comes from the right. We engage in political discourse without raising our voices, calling each other names or terminating our friendship. This conversation was recorded just before the inauguration.
Mar 13, 2017
Sabrina Fendrick, Berkeley Patients Group & Andy Bachman, Leafline
Sabrina Fendrick returns and shares what’s happening as California establishes it’s regulatory framework. It’s all happening at once with local municipalities outlining what they’re doing along with the state legislature getting to work. Sabrina also provides a bit of background on her history sharing that her parents were both diplomats meaning that her childhood was nomadic to say the least.
Andy Bachman then joins us to give us a history lesson on Minnesota cannabis. He shares that the limited qualifying condition list has grown and will soon include PTSD. Andy shares how a guy from a farming family found his way into emergency room medicine and how that provided a perfect background for a career in cannabis.
Mar 9, 2017
Alex Rogers joins us and takes us through his history. He found himself in a prison in Germany which helped put him on the straight but not so narrow. Alex shares his philosophy’s on business and life. While he does wear beige pants, he's interested in finding a way to ensure that the cannabis industry adds more people of color.
Henry Rollins then joins us and shares immediately and directly that he’s currently not a cannabis consumer but he’s an advocate for cannabis due to the fact that those against cannabis are coming from bigotry and prejudice…and when the day comes that he needs it- he wants it to be available. Henry debunks the myth that cannabis is a gateway drug but promotes his theory that illiteracy is a gateway drug to future stupidity.
Mar 6, 2017
Nancy Whiteman, Wana Brands & Amy Andrle, L’Eagle
Amy Anderley joins us and takes us through how growing up with an activist mother has led to her being an activist herself…and bringing along her daughter for the ride. Amy and her husband operate one and only one dispensary in Colorado and she shares exactly  how and why that’s the case. Amy draws a distinction between organic cannabis and clean cannabis and takes us through how and why that’s the case. Nancy Whiteman then joins us who happens to be a voracious reader. She explains that when she jumped in she didn’t realize the power of the plant but quickly learned how much cannabis revolutionizes peoples relationship with medicine. Go back to Episode 185 to get more of the backstory.
Mar 2, 2017
Bob Hoban joins us to discuss his take on what the DEA thinks about the definition of CBD. He takes us through the fact that the word marijuana is found in federal law but cannabis isn’t. He shares the fact that cannabis, legally isn’t a controlled substance, but marijuana is.  And hemp definitively is not. Long story short if your CBD is derived from industrial hemp you’re fine. Alec from Duby then joins us and discusses his true pivot from what was to be a trending app to what became a gamified social app. Alec literally speaks for his generation as we get into a dialogue about what it means to be a millennial. We discuss, among other things, the concept of institutions from a millennial’s perspective and what it means to meet someone.
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