Congressman Seth Moulton shares his experience as a Marine throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s and how it connects to cannabis today. Many veterans come back from service with heavy baggage, causing them to suffer physically and mentally. While cannabis can help with these problems, its legal status keeps veterans from having a conversation about it with their healthcare providers. The good news is that what was once a very partisan issue is now seeing more support from all sides, especially now that its benefits for veterans are coming to light.
Joel Milton talks about his journey leading one of the first cannabis tech companies through a selective startup accelerator and into the market in 2014. At the time, cannabis still held a lot of stigma for professionals, and his company was alone in the group of startups. Investors were hard to find, so the company met its fair share of struggles and hardships. But some early pioneers in the space gave both funds and advice, helping it find early success.
Cy Scott covers the normalization and de-stigmatization of cannabis from a data and analytics perspective. Increasing entrepreneurial tendencies in the industry have built up business through partnerships across the country, focusing on improving how retail systems work and how they interact with customers. The cannabis industry has unique opportunities for testing new ideas and new systems to really optimize the business side of things.
Jeannette Horton talks about the benefits that cannabis tax money can have by making investments in communities most disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. This money can fund expungements, job training, and businesses. But it’s often distributed to the wrong areas, so it’s important to have oversight to ensure that the funds are doing the most good by helping to right the wrongs inflicted primarily on minority populations.
Neal Levine joins us for the first time with a microphone, featuring a guest appearance by Andy Williams. Levine talks about the various legislative actions happening at the moment, including a primary focus on the STATES Act. As Canada fully legalizes and Mexico plans to follow suit, these legislative actions are the key to preventing the US from getting left behind in the industry. But the STATES Act is just incremental, and needs to be followed up by other actions in areas such as tax policy.
Roei Zerahia joins us to share the background of Canndoc in Israel as one of the first companies licensed to grow, process, and distribute cannabis. Now launching in Illinois, they bring with them extensive scientific knowledge about the hundreds of individual compounds in medical cannabis with unique effects that extend beyond those of just THC and CBD.
Mitch Baruchowitz joins us with a brisk-paced narrative of his foray into the world of cannabis, with the same velocity and passion he has found in industry. He touches on a range of topics including investment strategies, tragic events with unexpected influence, misconceptions about legalization and regulation of cannabis, regulatory differences between states, and the future of the business as he sees it.
Kris Krane is back to talk about the big win that democrats -and thus cannabis- have had in the House election and general politics– and what that really means for cannabis reform. Even with strides being made in politics, there are still hurdles to surpass. With the slow process of bureaucracy, four states are the focus of attention; Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Tjalling Erkelens returns and is still based in the Netherlands but with a global cannabis footprint. He compares the global development of cannabis. Change and progress towards legalization, particularly for medicinal marijuana, are happening on all continents across the globe. But each country seems to be taking a different approach, and Tjalling feels it might be best to focus on alignment and harmonization to give patients consistency when traveling.
Lori Ajax is back to talk about the last year that flew by and the next year looming on the horizon. Lessons learned from the last year are carried forward into expectations for year two by looking at the transition of the industry into the regulated market, and the struggles that the transition continues to entail. Tax structures, competition from illicit markets, and the complications of licensing all mean there is a need for better messaging going forward.
Senator Cory Gardner talks about the path of the STATES Act, which has been surprisingly, and perhaps ironically, cleared by the helping hand of Jeff Sessions. His rescindment of the Cole Memorandum of the Obama era tried to quash states rights on the issue of cannabis, but only led to the more simplified STATES Act. Through it, the Controlled Substances Act is essentially negated for those in accordance with state law, helping make way for progress on many of the issues surrounding cannabis for those states.
Darren Soto discusses big changes happening of late. While previous years have been difficult in terms of passing legislation, the new democratic congress brings with it a more positive outlook. The change gives legislation like the Farm Bill and STATES Act greater possibilities to pass. Darren covers the reasons why legalization is something to continue fighting for in the face of antiquated stigmas, poverty, even more harmful prescription drug alternatives.
Congresswoman Dina Titus returns with updates about the effects of the blue wave in congress and the resulting green wave in cannabis. Now, the issue is keeping up with and properly managing bills to try to iron out differences between the house and senate as well as federal and state law. Getting Republicans on board is an important step, meaning the cannabis argument needs to span a wide spectrum. Thus, the issues of money, business, criminal justice, states rights, infrastructure, veterans, and taxes are all getting their time in the limelight.
Congressman Don Young, soon to be the longest serving Republican House member in history, discusses the ins and outs of cannabis legalization from an Alaskan Republican perspective. He sees the need for more debate on the issue to sort out and solve some problems, which the STATES Act provides the opportunity to do. With the support that legalization has with the public, it gives the chance to bring people together and provide benefits regarding agriculture, medicine, crime rates, and business.
Congressman Danny Heck lays out the high level of activity regarding various cannabis discussions that have led to an expansion mode in a number of states in the country. He talks about the financial side of cannabis legalization looking at the Safe Banking Act, which not only reduces regulatory uncertainty and reputational risk for banks, but even more importantly addresses public safety. He goes on to talk about the historical events and perceptions that have shaped the political environment and culture of Washington today.
US Congressman Tom McClintock returns to talk about his views on various legislative items relating to cannabis. These bills are not only promising for businesses and productivity of the country, but also support the freedom of individuals to weigh risks and make their own decisions without federal government interference. However, there is still significant push-back from many members across the isle on what he believes should not be a partisan issue.
Steve Cohen talked about how the next congress is likely to handle everything from cannabis to healthcare, infrastructure, job creation, ethics, and education. Decriminalizing cannabis and keeping it relegated to states issues is looking increasingly possible with all the new bills coming in. Cohen has supported and even created similar legislation for decades, before it was mainstream, and continues to be on the forefront of the issue.
Congressman Ro Khanna looks at the medical, economic, and racial justice issues of cannabis legalization. The Marijuana Justice Act addresses these issues by expunging convictions and removing cannabis from Schedule I. In general, Khanna sees Cannabis as one of those issues where a majority of the american public wants something that Washington isn’t doing, leading to frustration and anger about the failures of the democratic process. The changing House and possible presidential change in the near future provide opportunities for faster and more effective implementation to remedy this.
Congressman David Joyce talks about the various pieces of new legislation that have been slowly but surely advancing cannabis. However, there is still much to be done, especially in educating the opposition about the benefits of cannabis for states rights, businesses, and even drug abuse in order to form a bi-partisan coalition. A common comparison of cannabis to harder drugs should be dispelled through showing how it does not hold the same risks, and legalization can even help alleviate the risks of harder drugs regarding crime and substance abuse.
In Congressman Blumenauer’s third visit, just a day after the Farm Bill passed, he talks about both its success regarding hemp as well as its lack of addressing remaining issues facing American farmers like nutrition, extreme weather, and tariffs. He also discusses some other bills already teed up for congress regarding research, veterans, and banking. Even broader reform in these areas is likely to happen in all of North America in the coming years, potentially alleviating problems of illegal drug trade and opioid crisis while also saving billions of dollars.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper looks back at the path of legalization in Colorado, as well as forward at what he thinks will happen to the industry in the long term. While Colorado might have gotten ahead of itself with some things like edibles, it still showed that many big fears like spikes in teenage consumption, driving while high, and emergency room visits didn’t really become reality. This is good news as we continue forward focusing on the differences between the politics of determining the best interests of communities and the governance of efficiently implementing policies for those interests.
Congressman Carlos Curbelo returns to talk about a range of topics concerning cannabis legalization, reform, and legislation. He has been labelled the “fourth most bipartisan congressman” due to his affinity for compromise, negotiating, dialogue, and working with those across the table to move things forward. In the increasingly divided political climate of today, he talks about the importance of maintaining these qualities to promote long-term goals regarding not just cannabis, but also some other contentious topics.
Congressman Dana Rorbacher is back for the third time to look back at his history on the front lines of cannabis legislation reform. Over the past 30 years in office he has been involved in the Cold War, technology issues, the commercial space industry, and foreign policy. But cannabis is a very special issue to him because it has such a dramatic and personal impact on people’s lives right here in our country. It’s about more than just criminal justice or medical breakthroughs; it’s about personal freedom of choice to decide what to do with their own lives
Danny Moses, known as one of the characters from The Big Short but also as the real person in the flesh, joins us to talk about the past couple of years. He needed a break from Wall Street, and was first brought to cannabis by its obvious possibilities for easing the opioid crisis. Moses is excited about the industry and its promising prospects for growth with unique characteristics such as a lack of institutional money, leverage, and debt. Now is the time to see how the market responds in the face of legislation like the Farm Bill, with big companies already lined up to make the most of new opportunities.
Betty Aldworth joins us by phone and shares the extent of the growing Cannabis market: "In a new state, there are going to be countless opportunities to influence. I think that if you are based in Missouri and you aren't already having a conversation about how you get placed on a working group or a task force, how you participate in the regulatory process in building up these laws, you are already behind the ball. These groups are being formed now."