Ross Bradshaw shares that his company, New Dia, was one of the first recipients of Massachusetts's economic empowerment program; they are now licensed and will be opening their doors in Worcester by the end of July this year. Bradshaw shares how he got started in the industry: "One of the things that really was profound to me was the lack of minority representation when it came to business ownership. I experienced it in Massachusetts and then once again in Colorado, in probably the most robust marijuana market in the world." Since then, Bradshaw has been fighting for equity and minority business ownership, especially for people who have been incarcerated and historically excluded from opportunities in cannabis. He emphasizes the importance of educating people about the opportunities that are available and removing the stigma surrounding cannabis.
Guy Rocourt, of Papa & Barkley, returns for a discussion on good manufacturing practices (GMP). "The GMP is there to prevent the off-chance of something going wrong and to put in standard operating procedure. In our industry, we used to not be transparent because we were secretive, so the road to GMP is about professionalizing some processes so that we have the gear to do it the right way at scale." For Rocourt, the future of cannabis is one that is solvent- and chemical-free without any over-processing. Because the majority of GMP entails your standard operating procedures, codifying processes and looking for places wherein things could go wrong is essential.
Terra Carver, Executive Director of the Humboldt Country Growers' Alliance, discusses how the changing seasons are affecting cannabis farmers and growers in Northern California. Unfortunately, California is dryer than usual right now, which has caused difficulty for farmers. Carver explains the three most important things that cover crops do and also gives some insight into crop rotation and regenerative farming: "A very important part of regenerative farming is not only just planting crops, but ensuring that you have some animals on that piece of land to do what they do to regenerate and re-introduce certain nutrients, and then also weed out certain weeds." Carver then pivots to policy and notes that tax reform is the most important issue right now for farmers, for which there is currently broad support.
Socrates Rosenfeld, CEO of Jane Technologies Inc., discusses his military experience and how it has informed his entrepreneurial life. He shares one of his philosophies regarding doing business in cannabis: "I see all these people trying to do a lot and focus on things that they can't control, whereas for us, I think, as stewards of this industry, we should focus on the truth...if you can focus on the truth, you can grow." Rosenfeld believes that, although there is temptation for every business to focus on profit and growth, providing access to products that help people so fully is the most important part about being in the industry. For Rosenfeld, getting yourself to where you want to be is an iterative process, and cannabis was the one thing that truly helped him to find his balance again after his military service.