111: Crossroads of Cannabis Culture & Hip Hop ft. M1 & John Monopoly – Transcript

Editors’ Note: This is the transcript version of the podcast. Please note that due to time and audio constraints, transcription may not be perfect. We encourage you to listen to the podcast, embedded below if you need any clarification. We hope you enjoy!

This week we are joined by John Monopoly & M1 to discuss : 

  • How Cannabis has influenced the music industry
  • Where the Hottest Strains Start
  • Influencer Partnerships
  • Bridging legacy to legal Cannabis Markets

About Urban Aroma:

Urban Aroma helps you find the best cannabis brands, delivery services, dispensaries and deals. It is a voice for cannabis consumers, offering essential information, education and brand awareness. Steeped in the essence of underground culture, Urban Aroma is also a platform for cannabis, art, activism and social equity with editorial and charitable commitments.


About John Monopoly:

Monopoly, music industry and marketing veteran, who is credited with discovering and managing long-time client Kanye West, has also worked with artists including Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott, and brands including Pheed, Zumani, and Guff during his 25+ years career that has seen him develop music acts, brands, and cannabis companies alike. His experience launching brands at the intersection of entertainment and technology sets him up for his new role that will see him spearhead the day-to-day operations of Urban Aroma–the N.Y-based cannabis movement working to create a cannabis industry that supports communities with been targeted and convicted for their use of cannabis. 

About M1 :

Mutulu Olugbala, better known by his stage name M-1, is an American rapper, songwriter, and activist from Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his work as one half of the political hip hop duo dead prez with stic.man

#Cannabis #CannabisCulture  #HipHop

At Eighth Revolution (8th Rev) we provide services from capital to cannabinoid and everything in between in the cannabinoid industry.

8th Revolution Cannabinoid Playbook is an Industry-leading report covering the entire cannabis supply chain 

The Dime is a top 50 Cannabis Podcast 

 Contact us directly at [email protected] Bryan Fields: @bryanfields24 Kellan Finney: @Kellan_Finney 

[00:00:00]Bryan Fields: What’s up guys. Welcome back to my episode of the dime I’m Brian Fields. And with me as always is ke Finney. And this week we’ve got a very special guest John monopoly and M one of urban aroma gentlemen. Thanks for taking the time. How you doing today?

[00:00:14]M1: Good man. How you doing? How you guys doing,

[00:00:16]Bryan Fields: doing well, excited to dive in with you guys and just for the record, uh, your locations please.

[00:00:24]M1: Uh, this is John monopoly and I’m in Los Angeles. Uh, this is Matullo broadcasting live from the planet earth via Miami, Florida. I love it. Ke

[00:00:35]Bryan Fields: I think we’re gonna have a one and a half for the east coast. What do you think about that one? Yeah, I think it’s a nice

[00:00:40]M1: split, you know, east coast, west coast, both

[00:00:41]Bryan Fields: fine.

[00:00:42] And yeah, we’re gonna have a nice conversation there. So the gentlemen for our listeners who are unfamiliar with you, can you give a little background about you guys and kind of what led you to the cannabis space? John, do you wanna go.

[00:00:52]M1: Sure. Sure. Sure.

[00:00:54]John Monopoly: My name is John monopoly. I’m from the south side of Chicago.

[00:00:57] Um, I’ve been in the entertainment industry [00:01:00] for 30 plus years. I started when I was very young as a promoter promoting hip hop parties and hip hop concerts throughout the city. Uh, and then I went on to, uh, manage. Uh, a bunch of different acts. Uh, I worked, you know, I was on managing bus rhymes for a while.

[00:01:17] I, uh, was on Missy Elliot’s management team for a while. Uh, I managed mob deep for a short period. Uh, I, I managed Carl Thomas from bad boy. I mostly known from managing and discovering Kanye west. Um, I, I met him in 1991 and we became very close friends and, uh, ended up doing a bunch of business together and, um, You know, I helped him launch his record label and do do a bunch of things.

[00:01:45] And, uh, yeah, I I’ve been blessed to be in the industry and be, you know, somewhat successful for, for a long time. And, um, I am a, uh, consumer of cannabis. Uh, it helps me with my [00:02:00] anxiety and stress and. Um, something that’s very close to me and dear to me. Um, so when I got the opportunity to work with M and the urban aroma crew, I met M one actually through Kanye a couple years ago and we became friends.

[00:02:16] So when I got the opportunity, I just jumped at it. I loved the platform. I love what we, I love what we’re about. And, uh, I’m, I’m here to add value however I can.

[00:02:27]M1: Okay. Um, yeah. Um, My name is

[00:02:35] I, um, have known, uh, to most of the world as M one, one half of the tell it like it is everything is political rap duo dead press that function, uh, as messengers in the hip hop space. Definitely. Like, uh, reality music, um, speaking to exactly to where people are and like, uh, and like really reflecting a certain kind of truth and speaking truth to power, [00:03:00] um, is kind of like my secret power.

[00:03:02] Um, and so the, uh, the intersection of cannabis and culture. Has been evident to me since the beginning. One of my favorite messengers is Peter Tosh who came with the message to legalize it, um, at a time where, to me, you know, he threw that yard marker so far ahead of where we are right now that I, I knew it, it was gonna be the place for the future to catch up and for us to be, um, I’m.

[00:03:39] You know, cannabis, uh, um, you know, operator. And, um, I came to this space mainly because I saw that, uh, what is happening in cannabis is phenomenal, as phenomenal as changing people’s ideas about human rights or, you know, about. [00:04:00] Healthcare or, or the way we, uh, you know, educate our youth. Um, these, it’s a pivotal question in our life around health and wellness in that way.

[00:04:09] And, um, again, as I. Started to, you know, meet like-minded people, um, in these spaces. Um, one of the most interesting people who I saw, who understood who, uh, the, the, the, uh, acute differences and what cannabis was about. With John monopoly, again, like I said, working, um, you know, political campaign and, and, and with him in other creative ways, let me see how, um, John monopoly gets them and that, um, he was already had, you know, uh, a foot planted in a cannabis space and I felt that he would be great with ours, he with urban enrollment.

[00:04:48] So that’s how we started collaborate.

[00:04:50]Bryan Fields: So I’d love to learn a little bit about urban aroma and kind of the value that brings to space. Is it for the traditional operators or for the retail market? Tell us like what the platform currently is and then where [00:05:00] we, we see it going in the future.

[00:05:03]M1: You want to do that, John?

[00:05:04] Or you want me to start in that? You, you start in. Okay. So, uh, urban aroma is. A, uh, cannabis directory, um, at it space. If I had to just say, start about where it is. Um, but it’s definitely. Has branches and is a seed planted to grow in many directions. So, um, it is a, a, a destination where cannabis meets culture, meets activism and can grow into those places.

[00:05:37] Not only can you, you know, uh, through our SEO, uh, and, and, um, in the east coast and gray market areas put in where to find weed. Um, anywhere up and down the east coast and urban aroma will, will be the place that you will, will direct you toward the, you know, the finance purveyors, um, you know, of boutique and quality cannabis that have, have, you know, the type of ethical standard that, you [00:06:00] know, we have been used to from the west coast for so long.

[00:06:04] Um, so, but also along with bringing you, um, where to find that we are also going to explain the philosophy of why, you know, um, you know, Why we ain’t legal in DC yet, you know, why there’s a statehood issue what’s going on in New York and what mayor Eric Adams says about it, or what the, you know, operation of cannabis management OCM is saying, uh, we’re gonna bring you culture and a way to activate, um, your and empower your mission to, you know, free to plant, I think, ultimately to free to plant.

[00:06:37] So that’s kind of what urban aroma. Does and will do what was,

[00:06:42]Kellan Finney: uh, what was the inception for urban aroma? How’d you guys come up with the.

[00:06:47]M1: Urban aroma came, uh, after working with some of my comrades for a long time, I come from a, a, a revolutionary background, obviously. So, you know, we saw this space as one that was inundated with an upside [00:07:00] downness of kind of people who were interested in exploiting the plant and who also the people who had done, you know, who had paid the most price and were sitting in prison for the plant.

[00:07:10] Weren’t benefiting from it at all. Meaning black and brown. So the inception of urban aroma came and balancing that space and wanting that to change. Um, so, you know, we wanted to put the, the, the controller in the hand of the so-called minority or black and brown user or legacy operator it’s to expose.

[00:07:29] What the legacy work has been for all of these years, they kept the cannabis alive. They kept weed and marijuana popular and a time when it was very unpopular and where we were prosecuted and persecuted for it, you know, um, you know, that is the inception of why urban aroma happened in the first place.

[00:07:48] Um, and what more, better voice to empower? What urban aroma means, then the voices that come out of the urban music, the hip [00:08:00] hop community, R and B, um, you know, we are, you know, if we take it way back to, you know, duke Ellington and, and, uh, and dizzy Gillespie blowing, blowing on Jay’s. That is our truth. You know what I mean?

[00:08:13] Jazz was invented out of this paradigm. So, um, that, that’s what urban Rome was about. It’s about putting like the, the voice back with the voiceless in, in that space and getting some sort of reckoning and that’s, that’s why it was conceived. And just to

[00:08:27]John Monopoly: piggyback off of what M was saying, it’s it is a real travesty.

[00:08:33] Black and brown people represent less than 4% of the overall market, as far as, uh, being able to operate in the cannabis space in this country. Uh, the way that we’ve been persecuted and locked up

[00:08:48]M1: and are still locked up

[00:08:49]John Monopoly: for something that now looks like it’s gonna be federally legal in the very near future.

[00:08:55] Um, we’re here to shed light on, um, You [00:09:00] know, the operators that look like us and just to support, uh, the movement

[00:09:06]M1: in general. Yeah. And, and even before John goes on, cause he, he, he, again, he, um, this is a, a great reason why we’re here. He can touch base with, you know, a lot of the community that feels the same way we do.

[00:09:19] So, you know, we’ve worked with people who are, you know, pushing the, the, the, the line on policy and legislation, um, and organizations who we collaborate with and work with like mission green, you know, Weldon, Angelos, and, and those, those kind of people who are the ill and, and that charact. To directly, directly put money on the books.

[00:09:43] For can people who have been locked up for cannabis. And, uh, I think that that really matters, like to be able to say, you know, this is, you know, this money or this, our efforts will directly benefit going the books so people can eat or write letters [00:10:00] or make action for the people that John was just talking about.

[00:10:04] Um, you know, have been leaned on and it’s a trave travesty that we don’t have that voice. So, um, not only we talking to talk, but that’s the walk that we are. We are walking. That’s

[00:10:14]Bryan Fields: how, how does, like, something like that happen? It’s conversations with political parties? Is it, is it larger outreach? Is it awareness?

[00:10:19] Take us through that conversation? You know, how, how does something like that, you know, take it from where it is and continue forward so that the people who have been, you know, wrongfully locked up can get those, those benefits, like you were saying.

[00:10:31]M1: I think it comes from awareness and education. Cause a lot of people don’t even know.

[00:10:36] They have no idea that cor Vancouver. Got like for 40 tons a week. Just we, they have no idea that Dante Westmoreland got all this time, um, and organized his own campaign to free himself in the Trump during the Trump campaign. I think [00:11:00] when

[00:11:00]Bryan Fields: people, people find.

[00:11:05]M1: How that did the information is to say these, this is really happening in the real world and it’s wrong in the face of what people will believe is a progressive government.

[00:11:17] You know, you’ve got the people at the top saying we are gonna do something and they not doing nothing. So this is, I think the educat.

[00:11:29] That and, uh, to get involved, that’s where it starts. I don’t wanna say that. I think that the, the education is really communication. One of the best, uh, channels to communicate these kind of political messages and everything is, is music. And so, like cannabis and music have kind of been intertwined from a cultural perspective for a really long time.

[00:11:52] And, and John, you wanna kind of touch on how much. Cannabis has influenced the music industry. Oh, wow.

[00:11:59]John Monopoly:[00:12:00] So I remember the chronic album. Yeah. like, I mean, you wanna talk about influence, right? Right. I remember when it was still kind of cool to be a smoker and then Dre dropped chronic and everybody’s smoking immediately.

[00:12:18] Like within three weeks of that record, explode, exploding. Everybody was smoking. And it seems like it’s better. I’ve been smoking ever since. There’s such a, there’s such a, a big intersection there between cannabis culture and hip hop culture. You know, since the beginning of hip hop, almost, I would say that cannabis has played a part and, um, you know, it’s definitely played a part in my life since I was very young.

[00:12:44]Bryan Fields: Is it an important part in the creative process as well in the music making? Or is it more of someone that just enjoyed on the side? You know, take us behind the scenes on how, how it’s used from a music sense. I know

[00:12:55]John Monopoly: when we’re recording records, you know, whether the artist that I’m working with at the [00:13:00] time is a smoker or not, it’s always around, it’s a part of the creative process.

[00:13:06] It’s a part of the overall. Process, whether we’re listening to music, whether we’re shooting visuals, whether we’re creating, it’s always around. And, um, especially being, you know, in, in LA where like most of the artists come to record and create, um, with it being such a big part of the California culture.

[00:13:28] Um, it it’s, it’s every.

[00:13:33]M1: I wanna, I wanna say like what’s so crazy is when the chronic came out, we did not know what chronic was, you know, like, uh, I think obviously

[00:13:50] the, um, they were like, we about to show. World this magic. And I think, you know, we [00:14:00] in New York, we were smoking, you know, smoking BC, you know, British Columbia shit with the orange hairs on it. We were smoking Arizona. We were smoking things that did not necessarily

[00:14:13] that were not as green or open. And, and, and blowing on. And so it definitely sent like a, a, a me, it was, um, but, um, I just wanna say in the creative process, you know, even if you don’t, you’re not a smoker of cannabis as a creator, as an artist, like mono said, It’s in the room. And to me it becomes a great translator.

[00:14:37] You know what I mean? So that, you know, we, we ride, you know, the, the, the elevation that comes from the high and the THC and the, and, you know, CBD and terpenes and all that’s that’s present in, in the plant that is almost like a plug of communication with the brains of the people who we.[00:15:00]

[00:15:00] You know what I mean? So I think it’s, um, of, of, of, of the music and of the culture and that’s, I think, has to go, you know, a part that, that cannabis has played in, in what we’re doing, especially in hip hop music, you know what I mean? So, um, yeah. Um, so part of me, John,

[00:15:20]Bryan Fields: I wanna go back to you from a creative standpoint.

[00:15:22] Are there certain products and strains I got

[00:15:25]M1: so.

[00:15:26]Bryan Fields: Sorry, bud. Are there certain strains in creative products that certain artists lean on? For example, does Kanye west have a preferred product or does a certain artist look for a certain product to kind of help them in an album in certain challenges? Or is it more just like the flowers, the flower, and this is the one I appreciate, like how, how specific is the, the creative aspect with the, the artisanal craft?

[00:15:47]M1: Yeah. Is no craft, ye doesn’t

[00:15:48]John Monopoly: smoke like that. Um, we’ve smoked together a couple times, you know, He doesn’t have a particular strain cuz he doesn’t, he’s not a smoker, but um, [00:16:00] yeah, I think there are preferred strains and I, I, I don’t think it’s one that I could name necessarily. Um, you know, I know that, you know, That a, that Allen Iverson, Viola is like a preferred strain.

[00:16:18] Of course. Anything in the cookies universe

[00:16:21]M1: is, is super hot

[00:16:22]John Monopoly: right now. Yeah. And definitely what young lb is doing when you joke up and runs, I think between those three families, you get kind of like most of the preferred hottest strains today. Yeah. What do you, would you, would you say that’s accurate M or who am I missing?

[00:16:44]M1: I mean, look right now, like for instance, you know, Mario BMO say again, I said, I

[00:16:52]John Monopoly: forgot to say gumbo is

[00:16:53]M1: a preferred strain right now. Yeah. I mean, like I said, Shek made latter, right? That, that [00:17:00] shit was, I see this everywhere. It was like having a hit fucking. You know what I mean? It was like when Lil Wayne made a Millie, Black like it’s in every studio, you feel what I’m saying?

[00:17:11] Like it was like, so it’s amazing to see the, especially geneticists such as like Mario Sherbinski come forward and affect our culture. You know what I mean? Like he hangs around with all the young producers, you know, um, you know, I be in rooms where he he. is Just as much as celebrity and as studio making music as the artist is, you know what I mean?

[00:17:34] So, you know, so you, you can, um, you know, at course, you know, young, lb and Runtz I think he said that already. And, and, um, and you know, for me, like I remember a time coming up where it, you know, Kush was what it was. It was, you know, master Kushing OG Kush, Kush had developed and was, you know, permeating the east coast and almost all good weed was called Kush at that point.

[00:17:57] I’m, I’m gonna take it back to that, that point. [00:18:00] So if you wasn’t smoking kushion in the studio, we probably couldn’t get down. You know what I mean? Like, and you know, before that, you know, you. You had that, that uptown Piff, the Piff was amazing. And we, and that was, that was always in the studio. If you ain’t have Piff then your studio wasn’t lit, I promise you, but Piff, but

[00:18:18]John Monopoly: Piff was more of a New York specific

[00:18:20]M1: thing, right?

[00:18:22] Indeed. Exactly. Outside of New York like that. Yeah. Nah, it wasn was, it was New York and just like New York sour. You know what I mean? That’s that strain itself, you know what I’m saying? And um, so you knows, you know, I, I just, it like, it is regional, obviously, you know what I’m saying? It’s regional, but that, that to me, and I’m a indica smoker, I can’t smoke CI seafood and create shit.

[00:18:44] You know what I’m saying? Like, I’m a indica. I know people, some people need that up, but I need to feel it heavy. In order for me to tap into that vital place. You know what I mean? But yeah. Anyway, you know, I will say though, the west coast came up with a lot of good [00:19:00] strains, but one of my favorite strains is New York sour beasel and style,

[00:19:04]Bryan Fields: for

[00:19:04]M1: sure, for sure.

[00:19:06] For sure.

[00:19:07]Bryan Fields: So let’s talk about the influencer partnership, obviously with, with music and cannabis being so linked together. One of the challenges we’ve heard in the industry is that, uh, bigger names are attaching themselves to strains and, and creating brands in order to kind of push their likeness, but are, are really detached from the actual product on the plant.

[00:19:24] Do you see that as a challenge? Is that something that you’ve seen in your circle? Can you kind of take us through your opinions there, John? You wanna go. Sure.

[00:19:32]John Monopoly: Um, I’ve seen, you know, and I don’t wanna say any names, but I’ve seen very influential, huge artists that are cannabis friendly and cannabis promoters, uh, two in particular.

[00:19:46] And again, I, I just prefer not to name names cause I don’t want them to think I’m kind of sure, you know, crediting their efforts, but I’m, I’m, I’m watching them struggle. You know what I mean? It’s like when you look at a guy like. A [00:20:00] Berner or a young lb who are like huge stars in cannabis. And some of our counterparts from the music side that are much bigger stars than them, right.

[00:20:14] That have millions and millions of followers and platinum records and world tours, but they can’t figure out how to get the same traction. Um, in the cannabis space as they do in the music

[00:20:28] and lifestyle space. And

[00:20:30]M1: it’s,

[00:20:30]John Monopoly: it’s

[00:20:30] really challenging, um, because there’s just certain nuances that people buy into and certain things that they just don’t as, as cannabis consumers, and it’s just being a part of the culture.

[00:20:41] So I’ve learned over these last couple years of just kind of being in the space and, you know, just paying attention that just because you’re a big influencer on the music side. And you’re a big cannabis advocate that doesn’t necessarily translate immediately at least to, uh, a [00:21:00] successful brand in cannabis.

[00:21:02] And, um, yeah, it, it is just tricky. It’s

[00:21:05]M1: just tricky. I wanna, I wanna pick piggyback on what monopoly said and I love it because you got a great mind. Uh, and John monopoly examining this and that is, you know, if anything, if any, anybody knows what’s, what’s tricky is meaning like delivering to a consumer, a product.

[00:21:25] Then, then John does which he’s done successfully, um, in culture in many ways, you know, manifested it in so many ways, whether it be albums. Or clothes or anything that becomes through the mind of the artist. So, you know, I gotta say that it’s this, you know what I mean? Like when I see a brand and I see that who is attached to, I, I have to know deeply that this artist understands the, the plant the way I do.

[00:21:59] And this, [00:22:00] this is a very intimate way. It’s cool that if you just smoke. That’s cool. You know, but I’m talking about, see it as medicine and it doesn’t mean you gotta like smoke a lot, like me or roll big, big joints or anything. It just means that you have that intimate relationship with the plant. And I think that shows, I think people can tell, I think people know burning smokes big and good.

[00:22:24] That’s the reason why they can trust that brand. You know what I mean? So if you don’t see other brands taken off, it’s almost because we haven’t seen the intimate relationship you may have had with that plant. I know people have seen mine that’s for sure. You know what I’m saying? Like I wrote so many songs about what it’s like to, you know, be in that journey and go through that journey and people kind of off can, can even come up to me with my favorite shit and be like, I know this is your favorite shit.

[00:22:50] Cause you talk about that. You know what I mean? I think, you know, there, if, where you have that intimate disassociation with culture, I think that that [00:23:00] is gonna play a major part in brands that are associated with artists taking off. You know what I mean? The more you let us in, the more we are like, oh, I, okay.

[00:23:09] I understand. Well, we are the same, you know what I mean? And you know, like John monopoly got, you know, you know, uh, you know, the, the, the strain for, for bipolar. For, you know, and people are gonna say, oh shit, I’m fucking with, with mono shit. Like, cause I’m on that too. I be on that time too. You know what I mean?

[00:23:31] So I, and I see, uh, that’s how I, I see monopoly. We got together cuz I could see, oh, this man smokes for a reason. It it’s a part of his DNA and that you know that to me, you know, that, that speaks volumes.

[00:23:45]Bryan Fields: I think that’s so important cuz on the, on the internet side for Twitter, there’s always this push back and forth on when the big celebrity more musician attaches themselves to a brand.

[00:23:53] And then there’s the, the purchasing manager who says he’d never buy this because he doesn’t really sell so well. And I think. One of the [00:24:00] things that excites me with the announcement of, of John become an urban aroma is the ability to kind of pair those creativity together and develop that trust.

[00:24:06] Exactly like you were saying them so that it it’s deeper than just that initial push. And I can only imagine, you know, the, the challenge of getting in and then kind of solidifying yourself with, you know, the everyday consumer who sees a name and, and is not sure, but then trust in that. And then the values delivered upon moving forward.

[00:24:23]M1: Right. Right.

[00:24:24]Bryan Fields: Are the hottest trends and strains? Do they start in the dispensary or in the legacy outlets or underground?

[00:24:31]M1: Can

[00:24:31]John Monopoly: I, can I talk on

[00:24:32]M1: this M oh please.

[00:24:34]John Monopoly: Underground first legacy second then in stores, everything starts in the streets, everything. Same way with a record, your first spin, ain’t gonna be a radio.

[00:24:47] Your first spin is in the club. Your first spin is in the strip club. It starts in the streets. Very very similar to the cannabis space. You got guys, and, and again, I’m not going, I don’t wanna incriminate [00:25:00] anybody, but you got guys that are making huge amounts of money in the cannabis space. Now be because of the simple fact that they laid a foundation in the black market.

[00:25:12] Now they can do stuff above ground because they’re so hot that they, that they’re moving real weight, you know? Where they need to, but all that, all that starts on the ground, when you say, would you say M or am I off,

[00:25:25]M1: uh, 100%. Right. Uh, and I, and to, to me, uh, underground or, or the streets is synonymous with legacy.

[00:25:32] You know what I mean? Uh, there, that is synonymous to me. And, uh, because, you know, we are the ones who, again, are gonna smoke it in the room, without anybody watching it really takes to say, is this really what it is? Is this, is this what that is? Is that, is this, that. You know what I mean? That’s in, that’s in the conversations of the rooms or the people, and we, it’s not about anything except for how does this taste, how does that feel?

[00:25:53] Ooh. Uh, you know, and that is where we develop, you know, that word of mouth, you know, we gonna [00:26:00] pass it along. Like, like John said it it’s gonna be in the strip club that, you know, mean your place is going be lit simply if it smells like, you know what I mean? If you smelling like that runs. Yeah, you probably, I probably wanna come in your spot, you know what I mean?

[00:26:16] And, and do what I do. So, you know, um, you know, at the end of the day, I think the dispensaries, this leads to the higher question that corporate or dispensaries in that market and the legal market. Has to really take leadership from, from the legacy market. If it happens the other way around, people are going to bulk that in bulk the industry and have no have distrust and, and you know, what they say that they provide and go to the legacy market, which is the reason why I’m.

[00:26:48] The competitive legacy marketing like California is the way that it is why, you know, most people would rather be legacy 80% and only 20% of the people in cannabis are participating in illegally. You [00:27:00] know, so let’s, let’s do it. Right. You know, let’s listen to the streets first. Let’s listen to the legacy first and, and build and build from there.

[00:27:07] That’s my 2 cents. And I mean, I think a lot of the strongest brands come from, from that whole avenue, right. I mean, we were talking about burner and jungle boys. They didn’t cut their teeth in the, in the legal market. Right. They didn’t learn the skills they, they know now. Right. That creates that tremendous products that they put out there.

[00:27:24] That’s not from the streets and legal, uh, legacies. And now

[00:27:28]John Monopoly: they got two of the biggest brands and it all started underground for the people you’re talking

[00:27:31]M1: about. Yes, sir. and, and just like, and, and to piggyback what Manop said, like, like Jay-Z came from crack and admittedly and when, and when he became the president of Def jam, he said that marketing strategy was me.

[00:27:49] So, you know, literally you could, you could get a bunch of aha who graduated and read a bunch of books and went to college about marketing and, and urban. It, it [00:28:00] has, it has to come from that real experience and really, so,

[00:28:04]Bryan Fields: yeah. Yeah. How, how do we get them to make the transition so that they’re feeling comfortable to in the more, uh, legal market?

[00:28:11] So there’s a fair balance for, for, let’s say all.

[00:28:17]M1: You wanna say that? I’m sorry. Yeah, I do. And I’m sorry about this beeping in my background. I hope it’s not so intrusive in, in here. I think it should go away in a few seconds. Um, you said, repeat the question. How can we do what now?

[00:28:28]Bryan Fields: How do we, how do we get the people who are underground now to feel comfortable with coming out and, and operating in a legal market with, let’s say the rules and regulations of getting the products tested.

[00:28:37] So how do we get that, that balance to get them to feel comfortable, to take that steps forward into, into more of the prominent light?

[00:28:44]M1: I mean, you know, the first step, obviously, Is to have a trusting relationship with the legal market that says we won’t be prosecuted for the things that we did in the past while this wasn’t [00:29:00] this market wasn’t legal, meaning brow beaten by law saying we weren’t, aren’t gonna be in a position to get the first licenses or looked at in some sort of side.

[00:29:10] I mean come like, and I, the term is, is, is amnesty. It’s full amnesty. And I think you’re not starting with amnesty. You’re not gonna be able to build the trust in the legacy market and let people come forward and say, look, you know, I have amassed this empire from cannabis this long, you know, um, you know, I’m gonna come take, you know, my empire and said money and wealth and resources and put it in your banks and we can, let’s do this all legal and tax it and let’s make it all.

[00:29:35] The only way that’s all gonna work out is if we have an established, um, communication and, and, uh, and framework with structure and policy that, um, holds amnesty as, you know, a way that we can come forward. From the true legacy operator, which I think is only gonna be defined by the legacy operator ourselves.

[00:29:59] You know what I [00:30:00] mean? It’s not gonna be defined by the state of, for federal. And with that being said and sanctioned and legitimized in this way, go through the process of saying, look, we’re gonna come forward and we wanna offer all that we have, but more than what we want, wanna do is not be penalized for what we’ve done in the past.

[00:30:17] And that’s how we gonna start. That’s the place to start.

[00:30:21]Bryan Fields: That’s so powerful. So what is one thing you learned in the music industry that applies to the cannabis industry?

[00:30:28]John Monopoly: Um, I learned very, um, how to market and launch an artist. Just from hustling, you know, working at different labels and management companies and working with different artists.

[00:30:45] I kind of learned the ins and outs of how to brand and, and how to promote and how to launch a brand. And it there’s very. Similar, uh, process in the cannabis space. You [00:31:00] know, you, you gotta build a brand, you gotta push it. You have to make sure that it’s hot in the streets first, you know, before it crosses over.

[00:31:08] So there’s a lot of parallels in that space. And, um, that’s that, that’s what I learned. And you wanna speak to it?

[00:31:15]M1: I mean, there’s, you know, I don’t wanna speak to the brilliance of John monopoly. I, I, who am I to even say anything? Um, he, he laid it out. I think he might have gave up a little bit more jewelry than you should gave him.

[00:31:27] Um, but, but I could say this, um, as a touring, Artist for 20 something years traveled the world some more times than I would care to admit. Um, the most important thing to do is connect with people. It is that people feel you and understand the, and the presence and importance of what. [00:32:00] You know, what’s between us, you know, and culture and music, you know, it’s a song that means something sometimes even if it means just get fucked up or have a good time or free ourselves, it means something to us and cannabis can be in that space.

[00:32:13] So like, you know, I think like what I’ve learned is like building that community, building that real community, that they can’t take that from us. I don’t care how much. Many laws you write. I don’t, how care, how many times you go to the capital steps. People are going to act in a manner that makes sense for us.

[00:32:34] And if we are community, if we are United on it, then we can make the definition. You know, it’s like literally all power to the people in, in the form of cannabis. You know what I’m saying? Um, so that’s what I, that’s what I take from. From like, you know, the music industry, um, especially hiphop is like really follows no rules and really sets its own trends as, and, and is empowered by our, uh, community that is in many [00:33:00] ways, outcasted, you know what I mean?

[00:33:01] Like our opinion matters. Nowhere else has except culture, you know, we, and, and, um, even in places where we should naturally be leading, you know, like sports and, and, and entertainment and, and. You know, um, you know, I think we can change that relationship here. And, um, so that’s, that’s what I, that’s what I learned from, from music and, and that, but I just really gotta say, I’m thankful to be able to, um, you know, see the leadership of, of, of, um, mono, because yeah, that, that says it all.

[00:33:30] And that’s the future. I think what’s one

[00:33:34]Bryan Fields: way the cannabis plant has shocked. You

[00:33:39]M1: has shock ha has what shocked you.

[00:33:44]John Monopoly: One way the cannabis plan shocked me. Um, wow. It shock. I’ll say it shocked me when I was young. When I first started getting kind of [00:34:00] comfortable with cannabis in high school, uh, I was shocked at. When I started to learn how to use it, right. How much it actually relaxed me.

[00:34:12] Like, I didn’t know what the actual effects were. I just knew at a young age that I liked the smell and it seemed like something that I should fuck with at a very young age, but I didn’t know it was gonna. Know, completely cool me out as it has for 30 years. So

[00:34:32]M1: what, what about you? Em, I would say this, you know, it’s definitely the same, like the revolutionary thing that it did to my mind and.

[00:34:40] The freeness of it, allowing me to be, be me. I mean, I think that thing is, uh, you know, done wonders. I think psychedelics can do that. I don’t, and I, I don’t think it’s just unique to cannabis, you know, it can be, it can be present in, in, in Sila Simon. You know, and, and, [00:35:00] and, you know, like other kind of things, but the breakthrough definitely came from me in cannabis, and I feel the same kind of relationship with it as a, as mono, um, as Johny.

[00:35:09] But I would like to also say that recently, like in a Mo like kind of hippy way, like, I would find my way to like, Eureka and, and, and other places in California, you know, in Seattle and Portland where, you know, like it was like, man, you know, regarding of what the plant is, happens on another spiritual level.

[00:35:27] So then you have like development of like the lifestyle. So it’s like him. And like other ways to process this, you know, this thing into something more powerful than just something that we smoke. I mean, we could really make full like industry around it. And I, I saw fabric and textiles begin to be born from it.

[00:35:47] And now it’s like talking to people like Isaiah Thomas, like. He’s producing so much hemp. Um, and, and that he’s creating, you know, uh, you know, mechanisms and, and P parts that, [00:36:00] uh, are durable enough to replace, um, you know, bolts, steel, bolts, and nuts in cars. Um, that’s pretty shocking to me. I think that just what, and what’s more shocking is the fact.

[00:36:13] I know this, so I know the government knows this, but chooses not to move on something that can be so advantageous for them. You know, that’s, that’s fucking. You know what I mean? So that’s what I would say.

[00:36:28]Bryan Fields: probably money motivated, unfortunately. Right? Like I, I think at the end of the day, the government, uh, is influenced probably by previous decisions.

[00:36:35] And some of them may not be the best decisions for the collective and the environment and they, they choose to do that, but you’re right. A hundred percent. And I, I think it’s perfectly said with the unlocking that cannabis can do. And I think that’s really the most exciting part for the masses. And I think here on the east coast, who, you know, haven’t had a chance to get as much exposure to the plan as.

[00:36:52] As they might like just given the, the current framework, I think the unlocking is really coming. So let’s talk about the summer series. I’m excited to learn about [00:37:00] that. You know, the, the pairing, you know, take us, take us through that, you know, what can we expect and, and, and shed a little light on, on what that’s gonna be like.

[00:37:07]M1: Sure.

[00:37:07]John Monopoly: Uh, urban aroma summer series, uh, the events take place at legacy New York, which is located at 98 orchard street on the lower east side. Uh, we had our first event with the young lb from, uh, jokes up and runs. Uh, it was a big success. Um, And then we, we just had Mike S uh, last week and we have a lot of really exciting, um, artists, uh, that we’re working with to come do drops and come, do meet and greets.

[00:37:39] And we’ll, we’ll be announcing our calendar, uh, very soon. Um, and yeah, it is been great, you know, and, and I’m really excited to, to, to, you know, tell you who, who all we have confirmed. We’ll just kind of at the end stages of locking everybody in, but within the next week or so you you’ll be seeing some announcements online [00:38:00] with an actual schedule with the, uh, actual, uh, uh, artists that are affiliated.

[00:38:05] But so far we’ve done, like I said, young, lb and Mike abs and they were, and they were both

[00:38:10]M1: good turn. What’s the awesome future roadmap. Yeah. I just wanna tag on and say, I just left New York city. Um, I’m from Brooklyn, New York. The summertime in New York is an awesome time to be outside. The summertime of 20, 22 is crazy.

[00:38:28] Cuz cannabis is emerging and, and so many, so many dispensaries out everywhere. It’s like fucking crazy. It’s Popp. Like mushrooms and which is great because we wanna build community. And so the idea of the summer sessions like monopoly said is to engage in a community that can, we can keep the energy moving around the lower east side, where we founded.

[00:38:52] So like little enclave, our spot, our gallery there, and our dispensary really works for like, just being able to bring people [00:39:00] in. And we, and then we have a spot in a nice downstairs where we, you know, just do multimedia and, and have the ability to do, you know, everything. Cannabis, you know what I’m saying?

[00:39:14] Um, like you said, like lbs party was crazy. Mike EPS who came and burnt it down stupid, but like, you know, we, we, we are hosting other cannabis brands and other partners that are nearby and, and, and community that we all want to come in and partake together. So that’s kind of what the summer, the summer series is about.

[00:39:33] You know what I mean? And we, the best doing it, especially with the, we fuck with so. It has a

[00:39:38]Bryan Fields: focus on giving back, which I think is so important. And I’d love for you guys to kinda shed on that, that it’s not about just the event and the plan and the collaboration of music together, but also the association of helping others and giving back.

[00:39:49] Can you, can you shed a little light on that?

[00:39:55]M1: Well, I, I definitely will say, oh, you wanna start me? Not, no, you [00:40:00] start him. Okay. Yeah. I wanna say that. What people are gonna get used to is that when you visit certain, uh, places that are cannabis friendly or progressive, that because you do. You ship in on something that’s from a higher purpose. You know what I mean?

[00:40:22] Like, uh, you know, for instance, you know, we work with the ASAP foundation, um, ASAP, this foundation has developed these fentanyl kits. Um, you know, anybody who knows ASAP yams or who, who knows, you know, Fe or any one of those dudes know that they are advocates are like, you know, we can prevent. Not knowing what we’re investing in, or even identifying the things that might be harmful to us before they get into our bodies.

[00:40:49] And so, you know, you’ll find, uh, uh, the, that, that the testing kit, um, there, right there on our, on our counter and legacy, um, you know, we [00:41:00] are associating again with brands like mission green weld, Angelos, where we literal. Dollar for dollar

[00:41:06] will

[00:41:06]M1: match people and putting down on the books of, you know, uh, cannabis, incarcerated cannabis people, you know, men and women, um, who many of them we’ve begun to, to free and start working on friends.

[00:41:19] But. Um, more than anything, we just need to let people know that they’re there. So, you know what I mean? We’ve, we’ve given, you know, 30 tens and thousands of dollars in this campaign already. And, um, and we’ll continue to do that. And, and our brand people, army farms, my brand, um, that comes to us going outta dead press is literally about when you, when you, uh, purchase our gummies, our sea Mo gummies or our, you know, people.

[00:41:47] Flower bags you give to political prisoners and you give to, you know, um, you know, urban black campaigns that support, you know, against police brutality and the rest of that type of stuff. So, um, I just, you know, that again [00:42:00] is the ethos of what urban Roman is about

[00:42:04]Bryan Fields: before we do predictions, we ask all of our guests, if you could sum up your experience in a main takeaway or lesson, learn to pass onto the next generation, what would it be?

[00:42:14] M you wanna go.

[00:42:17]M1: Nope. Manop. I want you to go first. I gotta think about that generation. You said if I could thumb up, what was it

[00:42:24]Bryan Fields: again, thumb up your experience in a main takeaway or lesson, learn to pass onto the next generation. What would it be? Can be life related advice,

[00:42:35]John Monopoly: work harder every day. Um, be relentless.

[00:42:43] And no matter how many doors get closed in your face, never give up.

[00:42:49]M1: Oh, oh, I mean, I would, I’m gonna start where man, I left off, which is beautiful because when you said that, [00:43:00] like the only thing I could think of that first thing that came to my head was never give up. Um, cause like, uh, I can, like, I can testify that right now.

[00:43:12] these are some crazy times in America, in the world, you know what I mean? And. It’s not gonna make sense the way it’s being told. We’re gonna have to see it from an alternative point of view. I’m convinced of that. I’m convinced that the lens is gonna have to change and the tellers are, the stories are gonna be different.

[00:43:34] And the, you know, you know, and we’re seeing it all come to pass shit. The criminal weed is now the. A superhero savior for our community, you know? Um, I never thought I’d see some of these days, um, you know, it can look bleak, it can look like there is not worth it, you know, I’ve been there, you know what I mean?

[00:43:56] Um, and, but more than anything, [00:44:00] if you don’t give up and you can keep the idea that you have in your head, that hope is there. We will likely succeed. Just don’t give up. And, um, that’s what I will pass to the next generation. Yeah.

[00:44:16]Bryan Fields: Well said, all right. Prediction time. It’s 20, 27. What type of events releases or activities are happening in New York to make it the biggest cannabis market in the world?

[00:44:29]M1: Wow. You know, it’s being released. License, they’re giving licenses out. Okay. They’re releasing that in New York. And guess what? It’s not being done fairly. They’re not considering they’re giving licenses out and about to roll out the second, uh, set of licenses. I think they car licenses and, and I just think that.

[00:44:57] Social equity doesn’t do it. [00:45:00] So, you know what we’re seeing along with every, all the new dispensaries that that’s happening in New York, which makes it amazing place to be. You should have you seen Washington square park lately. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then Google it. And you know, I just think that.

[00:45:19] If, if, if we’re gonna play this thing fair, you gotta consider the L operator so we can be out there and we can be popping and make, you know, this as hot as the summer in New York is. So I’m turn your question that way. Like,

[00:45:34]John Monopoly: so you said predict what and how we’re doing. What in

[00:45:39]M1: 2027,

[00:45:41]Bryan Fields: what type of events releases or activities are happening to make New York the biggest cannabis market in the.

[00:45:50]John Monopoly: I think by 2027, you’re gonna see retail and every borough just popping everywhere [00:46:00] and hopefully, hopefully black and brown people will be represented in that group. I think you’re gonna see whatever version of web three. Um, there’re gonna be some NFT or web three activations that I can’t think of how it would work now.

[00:46:19] Cause I’m not so familiar with this space, but I know it’s the next frontier. And by then it should be a new version of that probably coming out and there’ll be activations in the digital space. Um, but again, more so than anything, I just hope that black and brown people are represented when retail blows up in New York.

[00:46:41] Because by then, it’ll definitely be popping

[00:46:44]M1: Ellen. You know, I, I, I wanna add on to that prediction as well. I think New York is going to scale to be the largest kind of boutique operation like or producer. My prediction is you’ll be [00:47:00] able to get, we’re gonna catch up as far as conservation and understanding how to scale, make our grow of the plant.

[00:47:08] So unique. There are so many. Unique tastes in New York and the hi combined with the rich history of New York, like 20, 27 is gonna look crazy with what is gonna be available as far as like plant plant medicine and the rest of it. I think it’s gonna be better than Amsterdam, Morocco. Barcelona California, any of that shit ever was, is gonna be the green giant.

[00:47:34] I agree. I think one thing that’s gonna push that too, is gonna be consumption lounges. I think New York is gonna be huge on consumption lounges, especially with the amount of, um, get togethers that, I mean, everyone loves to just hang out and that whole community aspect associated with, with New York, which is what I think everyone really loves about New York is that community aspect and just getting together.

[00:47:56] And I think. Uh, consumption allows, and the ability to [00:48:00] smoke and consume together is gonna really separate New York from other states.

[00:48:04]Bryan Fields: Brian, what do you think? I, I think a little bit of intersection of both, and I think John kind of touched on it before, but like a, a hidden underground album release party that’s pushing a brand or a strain I think is where like the, the streets can kind of take it to the next level.

[00:48:17] Right. That exclusivity that builds like the massive hype. I think that’s what makes New York kind of special. They have these like small enclaves where like there’s small social circles where, unless you know about it, you don’t know about it. And it exists here in New York now. And I can only imagine.

[00:48:31] With the intersection of music and cannabis, continuing to growing with the leadership of both of you gentlemen at the helm, I’m excited for New York, and I think that’s gonna help take us to the new level. And I think that’s what what’s gonna separate us from California. I think California’s not as closely tied into some of those hidden things that I’m at least envisioning in my head.

[00:48:48] Maybe it does exist. And I just have no idea, but I’m excited for that opportunity.

[00:48:53]M1: Me too. Well. Okay. Sure. So

[00:48:57]Bryan Fields: gentlemen, for our listeners, they want to get in touch. They wanna learn more [00:49:00] about urban enrollment summer series. Where, where can they reach you?

[00:49:04]John Monopoly: Uh, you can hit me on Instagram at, at John monopoly.

[00:49:07] J O H N monopoly, just like the board game. M O N O P O L Y.

[00:49:17]M1: Um, You can always reach me out, obviously one dead press RBG, but more than in that go to urban aroma under school at urban aroma under school, we’re building our social media. We, uh,

[00:49:31] you

[00:49:31]M1: know, we’ve had, because of you already know what happens with cannabis, um, online. So, you know, we, we developing. You know, ways to really communicate who we are and what we are.

[00:49:43] But if you hear this, then go to urban aroma underscore, or even just urban aroma.com and, uh, just check out what we have, who we service, um, and, and the communities in DC and New York, um, that we can blend together and turn into like, you know, magic, [00:50:00] you know what I mean? So that’s where to find us. We’ll link

[00:50:02]Bryan Fields: it up in the show notes.

[00:50:03] Thanks for taking the time, gentlemen. This was fun.

[00:50:05]M1: Thanks guys. Thank you.

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