Today we are joined by Nial DeMena, President and CEO of Manna Molecular Science. DeMena begins by discussing the advantages of adhesive patches over inhalation as a means of consuming cannabis, especially for women: "Your lungs are a very sensitive organ -- they're hard to get to and you can't survive without your lungs. Whereas your skin, skin regenerates very quickly. You can scratch it and heals quickly. There's a lot of things that the skin can tolerate that other parts of the body can't." DeMena also discusses global expansion, the public market, the problems with vaping, the importance of testing and regulation, and more.
Professor Donald Abrams, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, discusses the usefulness of cannabis in treating a variety of medical conditions: "Cannabis has been a medicine for 3,000 years and only hasn't been for 77. So I think we can harken back to some of the prehistoric information that we have that suggests that cannabis was useful in a number of different conditions. And those conditions are still, I think, responsive to cannabis as a medicine." Abrams shares promising findings from various studies on cancer patients, patients with HIV and AIDS Wasting Syndrome, and more. He also discusses the differences between different consumption methods, the safety of mixing cannabis with opiates, the ways in which CBD and THC interact, the problems with observational research, and more.
David Torrisi, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, joins us to discuss medical operators and adult use operators in the state of Massachusetts. Torrisi tells us about changes and progress that have taken place in Massachusetts over the past several years: "People thought the sky was going to fall, and there's still some people that think cannabis is like, 'Oh my God, the devil is here.' In five years, I don't think anyone's going to care as much as they care right now about this." Torrisi also talks about the Massachusetts vaping ban in depth and emphasizes the importance of regulation in order to deliver safe products to the public.
Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of iCAN, briefly joins us and begins by sharing his thoughts about the cannabis market in Malta: "I don't like cannabis markets that are export only. If you're not treating your own patients, you're doing a disservice to your country [...] it's a business thing, not a patient thing, and I think there should always be a balance." Kaye also discusses potential mergers and acquisitions coming up this year and notes that, although there's been a recent turndown in the industry, things will likely improve by April. Kaye believes that, across the board, hemp should legally be allowed to contain up to 1% THC. He also discusses the unending future growth of the cannabis market, the commodification of CBD, the future of adult use markets, and more.
We speak with the Boston Vaping Panel to discuss the recently decided four-month vaping ban: "The bottom line here is we have over 1200 people across the country dying in intensive care unit from something that's vaguely related to these devices. I've never felt that these devices were safe, but it's coming to a head at the moment." Because of the number of people who have died from vaping products, Massachusetts thought that a temporary ban would be useful in taking the time to conduct the research and figure out the root of the problem. While the panel agrees that enforcing outright bans does tend to drive people to the illicit market, the primary job of a governor is to protect public health and safety. The episode continues with a Q&A from the public, with questions about the medical need for vaping devices, the efficacy of prohibition, how to contact local government representatives, the necessity of regulation, public education, and more.
Kris Krane, co-founder and President of 4Front, returns and begins by sharing his experience as a cannabis activist in the '90s, which consisted mainly of playing defense and repealing bad laws. He walks us through the evolution of the industry since that time and notes that 2012 was when the industry really experienced a true turning point. Krane also dives deep into a discussion on prohibition, in particular the recent bans on vaping products across the country: "They like their vapes, and they're going to want to find other vape products. If they can't get legally produced and regulated products out of dispensaries, they're going to go to the illicit market, which is where the tainted vapes are in the first place. It's the absolute wrong solution." Krane later dives into the growth of the European market, the state of markets in Africa and South America, medical vs. adult use markets, and more.
Joe Lusardi, CEO of Curaleaf, discusses getting started with the cannabis industry when Maine passed a dispensary bill back in 2009 and notes how much the industry has changed over the past 10 years. Lusardi also comments on the public safety issue surrounding vaping and tells us that most of the problems are coming from the illicit market: "This will hopefully be, ultimately, a good thing because it will create more awareness around the supply chain and create even better, stronger regulations. And that's really what we need to move forward with a credible, regulated industry." Lusardi talks about sourcing hemp for their products, the need for proper research, and believes that both hemp and CBD are important parts of the future of cannabis.
Guy Rocourt, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Papa & Barkley, discusses the regulatory progress California has made over the past few years as well as what makes cannabis regulations especially unique. Rocourt also talks about the currently underwhelming steps that the state is taking in terms of justice and equity in the cannabis industry: "We're still kind of flailing on how best to give back as an industry as far as just social justice goes around licensing...the state really didn't take too much of a leadership position where they should have." He also dives into expungement, safe access, various pieces of legislation waiting to be passed, descheduling, and more.