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!

Rosie Mattio has been hailed as the PR Queen and named as one of Forbes 15 Powerful and Innovative Women in Cannabis. Bryan and Kellan had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn how Rosie grew her own firm into the #1 ranked Cannabis PR firm.

Listen today to hear Cannabis marketing insights and learn from the best in the business.

Featured in Today’s Episode:

  • Founding the #1 Cannabis PR Firm
  • Bringing Cannabis into mainstream media
  • Oprah and Vouge in Cannabis Cannabis marketing strategies
  • Cannabis client relationships

Rosie has helped assemble global media coverage in mainstream publications, including the first cannabis article ever published in Oprah Magazine. Her firm has grown with the Cannabis market. Visit https://www.mattio.com/ to learn more.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Dime Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor or your favorite streaming platform.


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents. What’s up guys. Welcome back to that episode of the dime has always got my right hand, man, Kellen Finney here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Rosie Matio founder and CEO of the power.

[00:00:23] Matio communications. And what have many have dubbed the cannabis PR queen Rosie. Thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?

[00:00:30] Rosie Mattio: I’m great. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to chat with you guys today.

[00:00:33] Bryan Fields: I’m excited to dive in Kellan, how you doing?

[00:00:35] Kellan Finney: Doing good. Doing good. Just enjoying the weather out here.

[00:00:38] How are you Brian?

[00:00:39] Bryan Fields: Doing good? Doing good today was a crazy day for me, but we’re excited to kind of dive in. So Rosie, before we get started, I think it’d be great for our listeners to learn a little bit about your background.

[00:00:49] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, so my background is traditional public relations went to Boston university, studied communications there.

[00:00:57] Graduated, went to work in big agencies in New York city like Howard Rubenstein and Alison broad, and then went out on my own to start my own. Lifestyle PR firm in 2004. And then in 2014 found the cannabis practice of our agency, which we’re so grateful is now the largest cannabis marketing services firm in the industry.

[00:01:18] Bryan Fields: I think that’s incredible. And I saw recently you were one of the top companies recognized by Inc, which is an incredible accomplishment, given all the obstacles and cannabis. So kind of taking us back to the beginning. Is there a single moment where you realized you wanted to be in the cannabis?

[00:01:33] Rosie Mattio: You know, like this is just, it’s sort of like fell into my lap.

[00:01:37] So I worked in big agencies in New York and lived in Chicago for a bit and had some kids in between. And my husband took a job out in Seattle in 2013 and we moved out there and I, at that point I had three kids and I was driving them to school in the morning with 20 minute drive ’em over the bridge and through like some towns and the way to school.

[00:01:55] 7 38 in the morning lines outside of cannabis dispensary’s and then we started going to like, you know, social events or going to meet people in Seattle and there be, you know, moms, people pulling out vape pens. So it just started, it was like fortuitous that we moved to Seattle, which had just got adult use.

[00:02:11] And just randomly my background was in food and technology PR and I was approached to the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for a cookbook and I was a cannabis cookbook. And I always am pretty good at what I done, but when the New York times at fast company, and mashville rural, like begging for an exclusive on a story, a little light bulb went off and I said, wow, there’s something here.

[00:02:31] And so like, I didn’t set out to, you know, get into the cannabis space. It sort of fell into my lap, but you know, fast forward, six years later, almost seven years later, it’s my whole life. And, and like, I have a fire in my belly and my soul that I never had it, you know, in my whole life, you know, very, I have a wonderful life, but this is really just, you know, Just so much like so much fulfillment in my life.

[00:02:53] So, you know, it just sort of grew into this, but like, I know I didn’t exactly set out to, wow. I saw cannabis as an opportunity. Let’s do this, but as I learned, I realized, or I’ve been growing up with it. So it’s been a wild.

[00:03:05] Bryan Fields: And I’m sure it kind of dating back to when you first got started the, the looks and the conversations that people had with you early on versus where we are now.

[00:03:12] I’m sure they were kind of like, maybe like a little more of like the stigma with cannabis. Can you kind of share like what those conversations were like with loved ones with family and friends?

[00:03:21] Rosie Mattio: I have a few stories. I’d tell like, one of them is Zoe. We moved out to Seattle Washington, my husband’s job.

[00:03:26] He worked in finance, which is pretty buttoned up. You know, industry. So when I first started taking on these cannabis clients, like I thought it was cool and, you know, I didn’t have like much to lose like posting about it. I was just having such a good time. I would post on Facebook being like, Hey look, my new cannabis client.

[00:03:43] And my husband saved me like Rosie, you know, I’ve got sort of this, you know, conservative job, you know, you’ve got four kids. Maybe don’t want me posting so much about cannabis. And, but then fast forward. 2 20 17. We were moving back to New York city to be closer to family. And he was interviewing for jobs in New York and he walked into job interview saying, my wife is a smartest woman alive.

[00:04:03] She’s got a cannabis company. So it’s amazing. Having watched. This whole thing play out. And the de-stigmatization, there’s still some there, but I think a lot of my parents also were like in a, what are you doing? You know, I got a lot of the jokes, the stoner jokes and also like people just have misconception about what I was doing.

[00:04:20] I remember like going, coming home to New York or going to, you know, being on the carpool line and people asking me like, if I had weed for them, Well, I don’t actually sell cannabis. I do marketing for it. So there were, there was always lots of stories and there’s one more, I would tell this about like, how things have changed.

[00:04:35] It’s like a funny thing about it. I have these kids and I asked my daughter, you know, do you know what cannabis is? And she goes, yeah, that thing you paint on, she thought it was canvas. Now they know what it is. But it was just sorta like it just funny how this has evolved.

[00:04:47] Bryan Fields: Yeah, the evolution of it and from where you were and where we are now.

[00:04:51] I mean, it’s probably an incredible watch and especially from like a coast to coast standpoint, Kellen, and I always talk about how like the west coast is so much farther ahead than where the east coast is and how, you know, education that stigma is still kinda around here on the east coast, as people are kind of learning slowly about the benefits and the opportunities in the space.

[00:05:07] So let’s kind of dive into the company that you founded. Can you kind of share some of the value that you bring to this.

[00:05:12] Rosie Mattio: Yeah. So, and I’ll talk about a little bit the shit as well. So, you know, when I came to the cannabis phase, like I said, I had just had mainstream PR background. So we took that approach from the beginning.

[00:05:22] So like my background had been in food. So when the fast company, when the stoners cookbook project came into my lap, I didn’t go to like the canvas publications. There were only a few, really a few then. And there were so few people covering canvas anyway. So I went to my food reporters. That was like, those are my people.

[00:05:38] Those are my contacts. So we are bringing this mainstream approach to canvas, obviously, you know, 10% vacations our base. And, you know, majority of the consumers are still reading those, but we know where the pack is going. So we always just felt that from early on that the cannabis products were looking like, you know, mainstream, CPG.

[00:05:57] So we went after the Oprah. The Vouges of the world. So I’m bringing that mainstream background, but understanding what’s happening in cannabis has been one of the secrets to our success. And also just just taking some of these disciplines from Renee, from running my own PR firm for so many years, like using data.

[00:06:12] And just like I said, taking that mainstream approach has helped elevate our clients. And that’s what I think sets us apart from some of the more endemic canvas agencies. And also, but on the flip side, you know, we do see some of the. More lifestyle PR firms coming into the space. Now, you know, they’re seeing the opportunity that we’ve been working on for all these years.

[00:06:31] And they don’t understand the nuances. Like since we’ve been doing this show slow so long, we understand like what you can, I cannot say making claims like what’s new, right? Once the people like will partner with the main you meet and see like some of our clients have many agencies and they’ll say, they’ll try to put out a pitch.

[00:06:45] Did you know cannabis as a wellness product? Like we’ve been talking about that for seven years. So if you’re going to a reporter who has been hearing from us for so many. That’s not new. So we understand the nuances and what’s new and what’s newsworthy, which sets us apart from other agencies. And also the one of those shifts that’s been since the beginning, like when a lot of these reporters took a bet on us and we were early on, like when I went to Bloomberg, you know, they were covering it more from the finance side of things, which they still are, but we started bringing some of the lifestyle angles.

[00:07:11] First stories ever written in mainstream publications like Vogue and Oprah came through Mattio because, you know, we spent the time educating them. And now, you know, you, there are seven editors at Vogue who would cover cannabis. So that’s been cool to watch like more mainstream media start writing about it more, but, but there’s still challenges.

[00:07:29] Like when I used to do food PR and I worked for a popcorn company. I would w we wanted to get pressed for the new popcorn. So what we do, we make a pretty package. We’d stick it in FedEx. So we email that we mail it to editors. We can’t do that. We can’t ship cannabis products. So like, there’s still a lot of challenges that we face.

[00:07:44] We’re trying to establish canvas as CPG. You can’t get sheet magazine to try yet. I think that’s

[00:07:50] Bryan Fields: really incredible too. And like, Kellen, I want to go to you on that because we always talk about with cannabis has all these additional layers and challenges. And for these other individuals who are trying to enter the space and they’re looking at getting, they’re just blown away by all the challenges and what Rosie’s saying, it’s just another layer to the challenges.

[00:08:05] So Kellen, like from that standpoint, I mean, cannabis is just layered with different challenges. So what, what opportunities do operators have in order to kinda like break down the barriers and get the word out on the opportunities of.

[00:08:17] Kellan Finney: Honestly from my experience, I think it’s like old school marketing techniques, like boots on the ground, vendor days going to dispensary’s with people from your team.

[00:08:26] Right? So like, when I was working in the industry as a lab manager, I would go to vendor days to explain the product to the budtenders, to the consumers. Right. And like, that is the only way that you can truly get the product in their hands legally. Right. And then explain what they’re looking for, why you did certain things from a formulation standpoint, as well, as well as, as well as growers, right?

[00:08:50] Like growers going to vendor days. Absolutely. One of the most valuable marketing things I’ve seen, because then budtenders can repeat exactly what the grower was thinking, why they did certain things, what that strain is really trying to achieve. Right. So those are the biggest or the really the. Outlets.

[00:09:07] As far as like being able to communicate with someone, what the product is supposed to, or the true nature of what you’re trying to achieve with that product from an operator to the consumer in person, because like Rosie was saying, you can’t mail this stuff out. It’s challenging to get the product in a lot of people’s fans.

[00:09:24] So like you just have to do it super old school. Like there was no internet, like 50 years ago kind of marketing status. You know what I mean?

[00:09:31] Rosie Mattio: It’s true. And also like in that in person, like some of the things that we did to set us up for success in garner, some of these mainstream media pieces was we would actually fly out editors to California.

[00:09:41] This was like 2015. We like. Oprah out to Palm Springs to visit Candescent, which was one of our early clients with them today. It’s a very expensive way to do it because you know, it flight hotel, but how else are they going to experience understand what’s happening? So say thing like trying to do these in-person events and now we’ve got COVID so that’s a little challenging, but this is a brand new industry.

[00:10:01] And like some people don’t even know what, you know, cannabis in 2021 looks like. So we really have to have that, like hand-to-hand combat. And also some of the challenges we haven’t spoken about. And why we’ve grown so rapidly is some of the limitations we have in terms of social media people who are tuned in some of them may know that, you know, if I’m launching, I use the popcorn example, a new popcorn flavor.

[00:10:21] I’ll buy some ads on Instagram and I’ll target the right people. But canvas companies are not allowed to spend money in the social networks. It’s illegal. I mean, they won’t let us, so there’s a lot of challenges that like, We’re marketing with one hand tied behind our back. So over the past few years, we started as media relations.

[00:10:37] We added social media and influencer to our service offering because we’ve figured out ways to compliantly do social media without getting accounts shut down. So knock on wood. So, yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of limitations and, but there’s also a lot of challenges to be like, if you’re a creative thinker and you know, you’ve got, clients are willing to, you know, push the envelope in terms of just creative ideas and sons, because like we, like I said, we have to be compliant in the way we market.

[00:11:02] There’s a lot of options. So as

[00:11:04] Bryan Fields: one of the leaders of one of the fastest growing companies in one of the fastest growing industries, rosy, like what is a normal day like for you? I know you must have your hands across the board, but I, I’m always curious to know, you know, what is a normal day like for you

[00:11:17] Rosie Mattio: look like, I always say like the busier, the more you get done.

[00:11:20] So my day starts very early in the morning. I get up around 4, 4 30 in the morning. Every day I get my workout in early on fitness, big part of my life. I feel like it sets me up. You know, it gives me energy for the day, get up and workout. And I’m answering emails that came through on the west coast.

[00:11:34] Like, you know, when I go to sleep. 10 o’clock at night, it’s the only 7:00 PM. So I’m checking a lot emails from the west coast in the morning and then head into the office. And usually it’s back-to-back client and team calls that we have. We work in pods. You call us, we’ve got like different teams in the agency and we do check-ins and a couple times a week.

[00:11:50] So back to back calls now. Things are opening up a little bit, doing some meetings in person. So just a lot of calls, a lot of strategy meetings pitching. I do some podcast work and we have our own podcasts. I spend some time doing that, but my day wraps in the office around six, 7:00 PM. I go home and I try to unplug for two hours and be with my kids.

[00:12:09] I’ve got four child children, so cook dinner, and then I get back on to see what I missed on the west coast for a couple of hours as they’re wrapping up their day. Go to bed and start over the next day. So, and a lot of travel now that it’s October, 2200, that a lot of ’em coming up a lot of conferences.

[00:12:26] So I’ll be back on the road a lot too, which

[00:12:27] Bryan Fields: I’m grateful about. And I’m so fascinated, kind of dive in there because it is so hard what you’re doing, right? Like scaling a business in an industry that is kind of unpacked in certain areas. And then working with clients. Such unique needs, right? Not everyone has the same needs across the board.

[00:12:42] So all your clients need special opportunities and special need, and that’s gotta be so challenging, kind of to, to build an infrastructure of resources around you and your, and your team in order to support your clients with all of their ongoing needs. So take us through that approach when you’re scaling your business, were there certain kinds of tactics in areas of.

[00:12:59] We should look to bring this on or how do you work through that thought process?

[00:13:03] Rosie Mattio: Yeah. So just to get a little more of the history. So in 27, like I started in 2014, I was, I was on my own until 2018. So in 2018, I think I had nine or 10 clients all by myself and the opportunity was there. Like I saw it and it was a very scary time because I knew what I knew how to do, but I didn’t know how to build a business.

[00:13:22] And you had told me that. 46 employees and 60 clients today would have said you’re crazy. And I remember my husband saying to me, like it was, I think it was around August, September of 2018. I was, it was actually the summer of 20 2018. I was like, frazzled. Like I could not let the quality of the work go down.

[00:13:39] My entire business has been built on reputation. And I remember like sitting at dinner with my husband. Like crying being like, I have no time. I could barely breathe. I was dropping the kids off at school and he was said, Rosie, you got to scale this business. You need, you’ll hire people. And I said to him, I do not know what I’m doing.

[00:13:55] I don’t want to build a business. I just know how to like pitch stories. And he said, well, imagine one day. You get up in the morning, you take the girls to school, you go to the gym and then you go into your office with your cup of coffee and you 15 people working for you. And I said, Dan, that will never happen.

[00:14:09] And it just that time I did take on an intern to help me and the intern happens when the daughter of one of the CEOs of one of the non-cannabis companies I’ve been working with longtime entrepreneur. He may we call me up and some temper 2018. He said, Rosie let’s have coffee. He said, Rebecca, who’s his daughter.

[00:14:24] Rebecca told me what you’re doing on the side here. And it’s very interesting. Like, what are you doing with this company? Like, you’ve got something here, you know, you could have a PR agency. And I said to Mitch, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to run an agency. I don’t know, hire a person. I don’t know, manager anybody he’s like, but I do.

[00:14:41] So he joined me in October, 2018. So we’re coming on three years together and he said, and he helped me build the infrastructure. So we hired. Like real employee in November of 2018, I went to MJ biz con in November. And so when there was nine Pines came back and 14 finds the buzz was building around the agency and we are hired employee number one, and then slowly methodically over the past three years, we’ve added to the team and added to the roster.

[00:15:07] And this was very scary for me. I’ve never managed anybody. I’m a bit of a control freak. I like things my way. I knew how I’ve done, things like that. It’s so long this way and like, how am I going to unleash control? And it’s been the best thing I ever did because now I have the freedom to do what I love to do, which is meet with the entrepreneurs.

[00:15:24] Think of strategy, bringing in new business. I love like the sale. I love talking to people learning about their businesses and I have an amazing team that’s doing the work. Not that I don’t do the work cause there’s some, I still love a pitch. Like last week I like, I had an idea for pitch and I pitched to myself.

[00:15:40] Going on, you know, but I felt, it felt so good. Like it never gets old getting the hit and when like blown to bits, he was like, we want to write this story and like, boom, you know? But also the meantime, so we start with a lot of these companies early on like headset we’d been with since day one Condesa been, they wanted, as these companies have grown in a more marketing needs.

[00:15:58] So it’s happening at the higher social media agency. You might be time for our company to add investor relations because they’re going public or maybe they need to build out their blog and they would come to us and say, Rosie, do you know anybody who can do this for us? And I was like, we can do this.

[00:16:12] And we built all so, and our clients trusted us because we’ve been such long-term good partners them on the PR side, they trusted us to build these other functional expertise for them. So we started, it was one woman show with one service in our 46 people, 60 clients, we do eight different services. For example, our investor relations team we hired the fellow who started the IRR division at Aurora.

[00:16:35] In Canada, he built that, that team from, you know, he was also like to like 10 people on the team. I think they had four analysts, the ends up 20 analysts and he keep the joint left and he’s built at our IRR division. And now we have like, I think 10 or 12 investor relations clients. So we built a lot of infrastructure in the agency and then we also we’ve created more services.

[00:16:54] For our clients. So that’s sort of like how we’ve set it up and we’re, and we’re, we’re scaling along with our clients as they grow, we’re growing with them. And it’s been amazing to have these long-term partnerships where they trust us. And we feel really proud to be supporting the industry in the way that we do.

[00:17:08] Yeah,

[00:17:08] Bryan Fields: I love it. And the ecosystem that you’re currently building, it’s incredible to watch as a marketer by trade. So just to see the opportunities and to grow that your company’s experience is just amazing to watch. So I want to talk to you about some of those companies, curely terrace, engage a company, works with a bunch of the leaders in this space.

[00:17:25] So who is one of the companies that is kind of under the radar that many of our listeners might not be aware of? That you’re kind of like these guys are going to do really big.

[00:17:33] Rosie Mattio: Oh, gosh. I mean, there’s, there’s so many are doing so many things, but I think gage was like a great example, right? So like we’ve been working with a gauge for a year now.

[00:17:40] And like we were watching what was happening over there, like incredible brands in Michigan, like such a strong leadership team. Like when they open a store there’s lines around the corner. And like, there were a single state operator and there was like a little bit of buzz around them. And you know, we are long-term partners, a terrorist and, you know, Jason Wilde made a big investment engage early on.

[00:17:57] We were like watching what happened. Something’s gonna happen. You’re like these guys are on a rocket ship and then, you know, we found that, you know, right before, cause we did the work around the terrorist and was acquiring them. So like we love watching those things come to fruition. We’re also working with like a new technology solution called the Spence female led and.

[00:18:16] Powering some like rate e-commerce in the industry. I’m very new, just the announcing, like their seed round, but she’s like powering some of the largest MSO. So watching them and this that’s a lesson, actually, people listening, like there’s a lot of technology solutions in this space that have been around a long time, but like Kyla.

[00:18:34] The founder has this incredible technology and some of the bigger operators are taking a bet on our, because it’s so good. So the lesson is a lot of people couldn’t be like, it’s too late to join the industry. No, it’s like still such early days. There’s just so much opportunity. So I love watching, you know, a female founder come in and, and take on some like big accounts.

[00:18:50] Like she works with like a set and another one of our clients. Wh, and I love when I went to the AWS website yesterday to see what products they had said, powered by dispense. That’s so cool to watch somebody so new in this space, any traction among one of the biggest players. So there’s a lot happening in the industry right

[00:19:06] Bryan Fields: now.

[00:19:07] That’s an incredible across the board. Everyone’s kind of grown, but there’s all these other needs and dynamic opportunities. Are you sometimes sitting with the client and this is maybe my misunderstanding of how the kind of space works, but if you’re sometimes sitting with a client, you’re like, you know what, I got to make an introduction to these guys because they’d be great partners.

[00:19:23] Is that kind of sometimes the role that you play, where you’re kind of playing like matchmaker

[00:19:26] Rosie Mattio: there? Yeah, it is. And I say that that’s part of the value of working with us and we do have an ecosystem. Right. So It’s like, for example, we work with spring break customer loyalty platform. We’re been them for five years now.

[00:19:38] I think, you know, it’s not part of our job. I don’t get paid to do this, but like we know their technology is awesome. So we’ve made a lot of interest to our dispensary clients and brand clients that you got to try this. And a lot of them and use them and then nothing makes us happier than seeing our client’s partner.

[00:19:53] Right. Or even like, just some of the fun things that have happened is that we were representing a SPAC and then we were representing an MSL and next day or a single state operator. And next thing you know, like, they’re like, we’d like to introduce you to our PR firm. And it was the same PR firms. So we did like the glass house and brand spec.

[00:20:11] And I was like, and it happened like three times already. We like it because now they’re timestamps and it’s like, well, do you know, RPR for firm? We should get them together. And it’s been us. So like, we fricking love that. It’s just like so much fun. Or also like I posted this morning on Twitter. Like there was a Forbes story that ran about Florida and we had like three different clients for different clients, like folded in it.

[00:20:30] So some people like a lot of the questions we asked. Pitching finds like, well, how do you deal with conflict? Right? You work with so many companies, like, how do you choose a favorite child? I’m like, I don’t have to there’s room for everybody. And he called them like, quote, unquote, like the hashtag , we’re able to get a lot of clients because like, we become this like go-to agency, the reporters come to us, we’re able to give them like somebody doing ancillary, somebody.

[00:20:53] Doing a brand or product. And like, that’s an amazing thing. Like, yes, we got everybody yet. So I think that’s part of the value of working with us as well as we have this ecosystem. And like we had a party at MJ biz two years ago. And what I loved was that after it’s how much business. Like I’ve done it, that party just because he brought people in a room and we try to align ourselves with best in class, good people.

[00:21:13] Like we have like a note, like quote unquote, asshole policy here. So we feel really proud of, and people just like meet up and are able to work together.

[00:21:20] Bryan Fields: Yeah. And I think that that kind of trust with the relations with reporters so, so important, especially in Canada. So many people have been burned kind of by bad introductions and relationships.

[00:21:29] And it’s so crucial early on to make sure that the partners that you’re aligning yourself with are the right type of partners moving forward. Because like you were saying, rosy, like relationships and reputation are so, so key right now, especially early on in this

[00:21:41] Rosie Mattio: space. Absolutely. It’s all about relationships.

[00:21:44] And like I said, my entire business has been built on referrals. Right. Like and that’s one thing. Because it’s such a small industry and we doing this so long, like I think I’m such good friends with so many of my clients, like some of my closest friends now are clients like who would have thought, I just think it’s something special in the industry that some really great humans and like, you know, we’re all building this together and you do feel that comradery, like you don’t feel like the, I mean, it’s getting more competitive obviously, but you don’t feel that competition.

[00:22:12] Like I felt in other industries they just feels very different, which is just part of the fun of it

[00:22:17] Bryan Fields: But one of the areas that I definitely want to bring up is some of the incredible pro bono work you’re doing about helping the industry move forward. Can you kind of shed some light on that to let some of our listeners understand that, you know what cannabis is a ton of positive opportunities?

[00:22:28] There are still some issues going on that some people just might not realize are still affecting the space.

[00:22:33] Rosie Mattio: Yeah. So given our growth and the position that we’re in, you know, it’s not lost on us. So there’s some people that are incarcerated for the war on drugs. It’s, you know, how have these affected communities?

[00:22:44] They have been, you know, basically terrorized by the war on drugs is not lost on us. We feel like it’s our responsibility to give back and help in any way we can. So. He’s done some things like you know, fundraising activities, but then we realize that and, you know, donated a bunch of it, which is great money, super important, but we realize that there’s a lot we can do with that skill set to help some entrepreneurs that are trying to get a leg up in this space.

[00:23:07] Like our services do not come cheap. We launched almost a year ago, the pro bono program to help, you know, diversity candidates with their marketing. So there’s an application process. You go on our website, you can find it and we take on. Three companies per quarter and we help them figure out their social media plans to public relation plans.

[00:23:25] We, we work on it, you know in earnest to get them started so that they understand like how to set up a marketing program and we do completely, you know, free and it’s been great because then, then we see, you know, a press placement for our company and it goes a long way media. So we feel really grateful that we’ve been able to do that.

[00:23:43] I’m not going to continue to do that. We’re going to continue to find other ways to, you know, invest in help given our skillset. And our time is very valuable. So it’s, it’s been great to see that happen and the team is super pumped and super jazzed about it. And also something we’ve done is, you know, we are communicators.

[00:23:58] And then I have my podcast. We also launched a second podcast and agency called high priority. Which aims to elevate the voices of those affected by the war on drugs and raise some of the issues that are about around diversity and inclusion in the industry and shed light on those to keep that conversation going.

[00:24:14] So that’s a core tenant for the agency and it will be forevermore

[00:24:18] Bryan Fields: glad you brought that up. Cause I really wanted to bring that up and highlight the importance of that because telling like, well, we’ve talked about it. It’s one of those where sometimes it gets kind of lost in the shuffle that people still are incarcerated in this space and that there.

[00:24:29] Hey, your opportunity for all, when they’re trying to kind of position themselves in. And so Kelly, what can others do besides kind of help support Rosie and contribute to the positive movement of this?

[00:24:39] Kellan Finney: I think what Rodney said, money always helps. Right? So like donating to some of these non-profit organizations.

[00:24:44] But I think the biggest thing that needs to happen is people just need more action, right? Like if you’re in a legal state, reach out to your legislators and reach out to people that actually can make a change from a legal standpoint, right? Because at the end of the day, boots on the ground is really what’s needed more people actively participating in change associated with.

[00:25:07] Getting people out of, out of prison for something that you’re consuming legally, right. They in Colorado, it’s completely legal. Anyway, if you’re over 21, you go, go buy cannabis. And there’s still people in prison for selling cannabis. Right. And there’s people making tons of money for doing it right now.

[00:25:22] And so. Actively participating, getting involved in these non-profit organizations that are trying to right this wrong, if you will. And I mean, and if you’re a lawyer or something like that, donating your time from pro bono perspective, or if you’re actively participating in the industry, doing the things that Rosie is doing, as far as helping the social equity portion of, of the industry move forward, I think is, is one of the most important things you could do and getting the word out right.

[00:25:48] Continuing to talk about it, I think is going to be one of the most crucial things, because this isn’t going to be like, okay, we opened the thoughts it, and all of a sudden everyone gets released, right? Like this is going to, this change is going to take time. Right? The legal process is low, very, very slow.

[00:26:02] So in order to right this wrong, it’s going to be a long journey if you will. And we just need to keep talking about it and keep bringing it to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Am I.

[00:26:14] Bryan Fields: I think it’s so important and kind of continuing on that path. So Rosie, when you’re speaking to some of these reporters and trying to help them understand the kind of issues in the space, is this a common conversation you’re having with them?

[00:26:23] Like, Hey, we need to bring more lights than can you kind of shed some light on how, how

[00:26:27] Rosie Mattio: that works? Yeah. I mean, we feel like it’s our job as like this conduit between media and our clients to, to educate, you know, both. So yeah. I mean, we work very, very hard with our clients to make sure. A lot of them already doing the work themselves to have to create these programs.

[00:26:42] And obviously we’ll work to promote it, or we’ll come to this idea that, you know, we’ve learned about this organization and doing great work, the local partner, maybe you guys want to do that. It’s, we’re doing that. And then we’re also working with the media to make sure that they know what our clients are doing.

[00:26:53] So the more attention we can get on the good work that’s happening the better it is me for everybody. And it, you know, even just a little bit of like, you know, pressure to make sure that like people know that there’s something they need to be investing in cause of the right thing.

[00:27:06] Bryan Fields: Yeah, it’s incredibly important.

[00:27:08] So let’s slightly switch gears as one of the leaders of the industry. What is one idea or concept that others in the industry might not be

[00:27:16] Rosie Mattio: aware of? Oh my gosh. This is like a hard question as it relates to

[00:27:19] Bryan Fields: what anything cannabis.

[00:27:22] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, I think that at least for like, from RC I think there’s two things.

[00:27:25] I think people outside the industry, like don’t necessarily realize that there is still some stigma to break down. Right. So I think there’s that. And that’s what, like our job, making sure that, you know, we’re stopping the stellar jokes and all that type of thing. I think with any industry, I also think that we have to educate our clients leads from our RC, that, you know, the mainstream media is.

[00:27:46] It’s still not there yet. So like, while we might have like incredible products, like it’s still gonna be a long haul to get media, to write about like cannabis flower and have them understand that, like, while it is a CBG, like there’s other type of marketing mix that we’re going to need to do to raise visibility for like, what is like the biggest part of the industry, you know, which is still flour.

[00:28:04] So those are the things that I think people don’t realize least from our CMO. We do

[00:28:09] Bryan Fields: love it. All right. We’re going to go to a quick, rapid fire. Oops. Okay. I’m trying to do. Which meal would you prefer? Infused pizza or spaghetti? Bolonaise

[00:28:19] Rosie Mattio: oh, you looked at my bio, you know, my two favorite foods. Oh my gosh.

[00:28:23] You know what? I’m dying to try that Stony pizza. So I’m going to go.

[00:28:27] Bryan Fields: Yeah, that one, that one looks good. Every

[00:28:29] Rosie Mattio: time you post my last meal on earth is Bolonese or pizza. So I

[00:28:33] Bryan Fields: needed to know which one you’re going to choose. If you’re going to choose one Kellin pizza forever pizza, pizza rider dash using cannabis.

[00:28:41] When working out can be beneficial, true or false

[00:28:44] Rosie Mattio: trail. It’s totally true. I’m, I’m a big proponent of it for before, during, after.

[00:28:51] Bryan Fields: Different products for different times or?

[00:28:53] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, so I use sometimes I’ll have like a little bit of a, of a sativa before I work out. It gives me, it gets me in the zone.

[00:29:01] I use the topicals for for any, for muscle pain. I love that cause like I’m a big athlete. And then to sleep, I use cannabis asleep because of. It gets beat up by my workout. So yeah, I use it a bunch and it’s been also like recently I changed my bodybuilding competition and I couldn’t drink because like, I, my calories were so low, but I want it to hang and chill, but this is like not a rapid fire answer.

[00:29:22] I’m a big talker, as you can tell. But I wanted to go out with my girlfriends and have. But like, I couldn’t afford the calories when they were so low and I was training for this competition. So I would drink the cannabis beverages, like select squeeze. I’d keep that in my purse or a can. So yeah, I, I switched alcohol for cannabis and it really helped me hit my fitness

[00:29:40] Bryan Fields: goals.

[00:29:41] I appreciate you posting those. It helps motivate me when I got to get my lazy ass off the couch to kind of work out. I see you’re posting, like, you know, and I, I can do it

[00:29:49] Rosie Mattio: if I have time. I I’d like a no excuse that the gap I have time. Anybody has that. Yeah, I

[00:29:53] Bryan Fields: appreciate that. So killing fitness. True or false.

[00:29:56] True. I mean,

[00:29:58] Kellan Finney: your eyes get red when you smoke, which means it’s a vasodilator, which means you’re increasing blood flow. So I think that it could be a performance enhancing drug, maybe, you know, as we’ve

[00:30:06] Bryan Fields: seen from the Olympics already performance enhancing. All right. 10 years from now, cannabis beverage will be larger from a category standpoint than flour, true or false, I

[00:30:20] Rosie Mattio: think falls, but I think it’ll grow.

[00:30:23] Bryan Fields: Same. I think it’s

[00:30:23] Kellan Finney: false. I think flour is what cannabis really is. And it’ll always be that way. In my opinion, you just can’t replicate. I mean, maybe they can, there’s some smart scientists out there, but right now I just think the quick onset of consuming flour is going to be really, really challenging to, to overcome from any, any other product category.

[00:30:43] Bryan Fields: I’m going to take the beverage side. I am so bullish on that category.

[00:30:47] Rosie Mattio: I mean, I love them. I love beverages and also truth. The matter is like we’re seeing like, you know, that’s where the constellation investment is. Right? So like, I think some of these, you know, welcome it and we’re seeing cannabis out piece alcohol and wine in some states like Illinois.

[00:31:01] So it’s definitely growing. I just think flowers still can.

[00:31:05] Bryan Fields: And, you know, hangover opportunities like, like I’m with you. I’m curious though, like, when they talk about like adoption of new product categories, for the people who don’t smoke flower, some more of the people who are as in with the smoking, the drinks are going to be so enticing for them because from a social standpoint, I think that people still have the stigma of like smoking and cannabis in college, but once they try one of these seltzers, I think their eyes are going to just completely light up because they had the bad experience with the edible or they had an off putting one and then they try this beverage and they’re like, so I can feel amazing.

[00:31:36] I don’t have an hangover and it tastes.

[00:31:39] Rosie Mattio: But I tried Levia last night by an air just to acquire Levia it was delicious and it was five milligrams. Like the perfect demand gives you that little buzz. So I’m a huge beverage fan. Like that is my favorite category. How many of

[00:31:52] Bryan Fields: those two do people drink, right?

[00:31:53] Like, I’m so curious. Cause like from alcohol standpoint, a lot of people are consuming so many of those as like a social standpoint, but from a cannabis one, like, is that going to be one where you can consume multiple? Is that depending on the tolerance

[00:32:04] Rosie Mattio: dependent tolerance and the product, right? Like the cans are two and a half milligrams.

[00:32:09] So like five to 10 milligrams is my sweet spot. So I, and they have a highway which is five, so I would eat the drink two high, right. Same thing with Olevia I think a five is great. So just depends on your tolerance. It sends a different tolerance. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:21] Bryan Fields: Excited to kind of get those here in New York where I can place my, my alcohol that really nicely.

[00:32:26] So kind of switching gears when we’re rapid fire, since you’ve been in the cannabinoid industry, what has been the biggest mistake?

[00:32:33] Rosie Mattio: The biggest misconception is that we’re all like, you know, stoners and it’s like, and people don’t realize that this is like, people are still not hipped, that this is like a real industry that like, we’ve got like a booming agency.

[00:32:45] It, that people just like, it’s like a mystery of what we do. And like, just like when we used to rent food and perfume, there’s like, no difference. So that, and also the misconception is that, like I mentioned earlier, that it’s like too late. It is still such an early ending. I know you’re seeing the buzz now.

[00:32:59] We don’t even have banking. We don’t have, like, there’s still some states that don’t have it. This doesn’t, these are just medical, like it just so early. So those people that have that FOMO, like get in,

[00:33:08] Bryan Fields: jump in, right. And it’s one of the fastest growing markets from an east coast standpoint, the states are just coming online, which means these companies just kind of lay their groundwork for.

[00:33:18] So before we do predictions, we ask all of our guests, if you can sum up your experience in the cannabinoid space into one main takeaway or lesson learned to pass onto the next generation, what would it be?

[00:33:30] Rosie Mattio: It’s such a good question. I mean, and, and this, I would say about, I guess I says I’m with industries and just about like how it, my philosophy on business, it just really like investing in the relationships and especially in cannabis, like it’s still like, so yeah.

[00:33:44] That, you know, we really need to like build an incredible network of trustworthy people that are all, you know, marching to the beat, the same drum. So investing in the relationships and really getting to know people and understand like, you know, how they tick, I think is just like a great business lesson and something that I’ve just seen play out in cannabis.

[00:34:02] So anybody coming into industry it’s like invest in relationships. Like obviously it’s like a big opportunity, but like, don’t be so opportunistic. You’re not taking time to meet learn because I’ve, you know, learned when you listen. When you listen and learn from others, like that’s the way the world war

[00:34:17] Bryan Fields: that’s really well said.

[00:34:18] All right. Prediction time. We’ve seen incredible growth in the cannabis industry. What area, anywhere on the board is still untapped in your opinion. I

[00:34:29] Rosie Mattio: still think actually it’s beverage, right? Like it’s still such a, it’s like less than 1%. Like I went through there. It’s going to be. It’s going to be a monster.

[00:34:37] I also think incorporating, you know, cannabis like into exercise. I think we’re going to see like a lot of that. We’re seeing some more books come out. So I do think we’re going to see more of that in future.

[00:34:47] Bryan Fields: That’s the good one. I was going to say beverage,

[00:34:48] but

[00:34:48] Kellan Finney: I’ll, I’ll, I’ll think of something else.

[00:34:50] As far as product categories, I think edibles there’s just right now, it’s like, you can get gummies, you can get. You can get maybe some hard candies. So I think that you’ll start to see more edible products, like maybe like granola bars or something. That’s more like health conscious because like right now you go to the dispensary and 99% of the edibles on the shelf.

[00:35:14] Really really high in sugar. Right. And so I think that potentially there is going to be an opportunity for a brand to launch a product that is more health conscious instead of like these gummies and these really, really sweet chocolates and hard candies. Right. I think that that’s probably the most under represented.

[00:35:33] At least from an edibles perspective, in my opinion.

[00:35:35] Rosie Mattio: And I also think something that we’re going to see, and it’s not necessarily a form factor. It just seemed more experiences. I think we’ll start seeing more of that with some of these more cosmopolitan cities coming up like New York or single out consumption lounges.

[00:35:46] So I think we’re going to start seeing more on premise stuff going on that’s because like, you know, people want to do cannabis, you know, when they’re doing things. Right. So I think we’ll start seeing more of

[00:35:55] Bryan Fields: that. Yeah, and I think it’s gonna help from educational standpoint. I think the experience of that will be so amazing because people will learn that cannabis can be used in many different, just like Rosie was saying, like, she needs those, like a pre-workout you can use it as a post and you can use as a recovery to help sleep.

[00:36:12] Like I think that starts with educating people and putting them through experiences like the tourism and those consumption lounges. Exactly. I think what’ll help kind of. The industry forward from, from that angle.

[00:36:24] Kellan Finney: So I also think that helps because if you like compare cannabis to alcohol and you’re like, oh yeah, I’m just going to go home and drink a six pack.

[00:36:32] Like people look at you strange if you’re like, oh, you’re just going to start drinking by yourself. Like versus, oh, I’m just going to go home. And people consume cannabis by themselves. But with consumer lounges, I think it’ll really, really help with that cultural stigma. Cause you’ll be like, oh, Look, everyone else is consuming as well.

[00:36:48] So like it’s more of a kind of mainstream

[00:36:51] Rosie Mattio: thought process going around the couch. Like I love to go to a concert and have, have cannabis. Right. So I love how, like it’s so much more fun going to combination of laughing when we be laughing, like great.

[00:37:04] Bryan Fields: Exactly love it. So for Rosie, for our listeners that want to get in touch, they want to learn more, you know, where can, where can they hear more with

[00:37:11] Rosie Mattio: you active on social media?

[00:37:13] You can find me on Instagram or LinkedIn or Twitter I’m out there. But also our website, there’s lots of ways to contact us. Definitely feel free to hit me up on, on social cause I’m pretty active and I try to respond to awesome. Yeah.

[00:37:25] Bryan Fields: So we’ll, we’ll go ahead and link those up in the show notes.

[00:37:27] Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to seeing you in MJ.

[00:37:31] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, I can’t wait. You got to come to the Matio party. We’ll send you the invites going out today.

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Nearly half of the states have implemented or are in the process of implementing regulations regarding Delta-8. However, some of the states with the largest markets (California, Texas, and Florida) have yet to provide any insight as to how the state will handle the new molecule. Due to this fact, there are more branded products that have started to hit shelves across the country. From our perspective, this suggests that there is enough runway before the products are completely outlawed or legalized to justify investing into development and launch of Delta-8 brands. Even though this is the case Delta-8 distillate did fall 5% from last month to $1000 / kilogram, the second consecutive decrease, this summer. This could be a result of more operators providing the product, or a lack of demand, either of which would negatively influence the price. We recommend staying closely attuned with each state’s regulations relating to Delta-8, as they may vary depending on where your operations are based.

Note: Figure 1. 2021 Delta-8 legality by State sourced from New Frontiers.

Editors’ Note: This is an excerpt from our Monthly Playbook. If you would like to read the full monthly playbook and join the thousands of others you can sign up below.

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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!

What is Delta-10 THC?

The Dime has its first returning guest, Dr. Matt Moore, principal scientist at Benuvia Manufacturing to discuss Delta-10 THC. Before listening to today’s episode, check out our prior session with Dr. Moore where we discussed Delta-8 THC (link: https://anchor.fm/thedime/episodes/Delta-8-THC-Deep-Dive-featuring-Dr–Matt-Moore-epgkvn) or our intro to Delta-8 episode (link: https://anchor.fm/thedime/episodes/Delta-8-THC-emd2s8)

Featured in today’s episode:

· Delta-10 THC

· Tetrahydrocannabinol clinical research and analysis

· Lawmakers lack knowledge about cannabis

· What should be on the radar of people in the Cannabinoid space?

Become a supporter of The Dime Podcast: https://anchor.fm/thedime/support

Benuvia Manufacturing is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-purity, pharmaceutical cannabinoid ingredients and products.


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents.

[00:00:11] What’s up guys. Welcome back to the episode of the dime as always. I’ve got my right hand, man. Tell him Finney here with me. And this week we have our first returning guest, the doctor himself, Dr. Matt Moore, Matt. Thanks for taking the time. How are you doing?

[00:00:27] Matt Moorerv: Doing great, glad to be here. My name’s Matthew, I work at a company called the Navia manufacturing working on we process development of cannabinoids and the agendas and taking them through their clinical trials.

[00:00:38] Bryan Fields: Cool. I’m we’re excited to dive into a new topic for those who listened to back in February, we teased out one of our most popular episodes, the Delta eight and today we are returning to discuss the newly popular.

[00:00:53] Is that, is that a fair way to start? Nope, 10.

[00:00:56] Matt Moorerv: Probably so Delta 10 has an interesting story and it [00:01:00] definitely is referenced as far back as 19 63, 64 in a Japanese convention on psychedelics. They don’t have a synthetic route that they describe or anything like that, but it’s been referenced there.

[00:01:10] There’s also references to it in 1982 with material. And there’s conflicting stories about whether or not it’s psychoactive let’s

[00:01:19] Bryan Fields: let’s before we dive into that, like, let’s, let’s give the listeners a little more, just like an understanding, right? Like from like a simple, simple standpoint,

[00:01:29] Matt Moorerv: D 10 Delta tin is one of many, many forms of tetrahydrocannabinol.

[00:01:36] Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very, I, I brought up its name so I can say it an entire. It is six, a AR 10 AR Delta nine, tetrahydrocannabinol, negative friends night. So any one of those that isn’t Trent tetrahydrocannabinol can be changed to make a different comment. So if I have. 6 8, 10 ASMR Delta nine tetrahydrocannabinol plus trans nine.[00:02:00]

[00:02:00] That’s actually a different species. And the plant in general, and this is the case for a lot of plants. They only make generally one isomer of a given natural product. And if you make it synthetically, then you end up most likely with a lot of natural or a lot of isomers that would. Delta chin is a constitutional isomer.

[00:02:18] If you are familiar with the structure of THC, there is a double bond and the secondary range and the location of that double bond is what determines if it is Delta, H Delta nine, Delta 10 Delta, three Delta for Delta seven. And then there’s a subset among each of those, because the confirmation of that ring and the confirmation of the methyl group associated with that ring and the connection to the aromatic ring, all determined the shape as the like whether it’s a flat molecule, whether it has a ball shape and the direction that that bullshit gives whether forward or out of the face of the molecule all affects how it binds to the cannabinoid.

[00:02:56] And so this is, this is where it gets very [00:03:00] confusing. Delta eight and Delta nine, there are only two isomers of each of those. There’s the plus and the negative version of each of those. And if you’re starting from CBD, you can actually get, receive MC Delta eight out, which is not ideal. So, if you get received much, it means that you have a 50, 50 mixture of isomers.

[00:03:18] And ultimately what that means is you only get 50% if only one of the isomers is at. And there are also other, I mean, there are horror stories about this as well. So there’s the story that they tell you in. Oh, Ken is about a drug called thalidomide and in the UK would use as a prenatal vitamin. And if you have one isomer, it’s really great prenatal vitamin.

[00:03:39] And as it turns out, if you have the other items. Which it was sold as it was seeming to make sure it creates horrible, horrible, horrible effects. And so specifically these women were taking receiving mixture of Linemite in order to, you know, help their pregnancy. But what they were doing was specifically poisoning.

[00:03:58] And that’s not a concern for [00:04:00] our da or our D nine, because the other instrument it’s not toxic, they all have the same toxicity profiles. That’s also one of the complaints you hear about da is no one knows the toxicity of it. And it’s like, well, da has had toxicity profiles run on it because it’s the primary impurity in DNI.

[00:04:15] And DNI is a pharmaceutical drug and you can’t get the TA load. To actually accommodate pharmaceutical guidelines. So in order to justify having some amount of data in there, you want to toxicity profile on that molecule and you say it’s the same or less toxic than this other molecule. And so therefore it’s inconsequential to that point.

[00:04:35] So DEA has been extensively studied for safety. That’s something that people like really gloss over decent. On the other hand, almost nothing about safety. The closest thing to a safety profile was in the 82 paper with the two them where he tests doves. So what they look for is they give these molecules to a set of birds.

[00:04:58] And they look to see if [00:05:00] the way that they behave changes and if they do, then they determine that it’s psycho act. And so they got mixed results with their D most likely because the easiest way to make is through a radical summarization. That also produces da and then all four isomers of detail.

[00:05:17] So I don’t know enough about the pharmacology to know which of the decent isomers is the psychoactive one. I know someone who is, that’s where I received my sample many years ago from a guy in a country who has much, much more lenient policies against things like that. And there’s at least one isomer of Delta.

[00:05:36] Tim is psychosis. However, there’s been several, I mean, and this is all anecdotal stuff, but people like posting to is not, not the gold standard of truth here that they didn’t have a psychoactive experience. So if someone smokes a lot of weed every single day, they probably won’t have a psychoactive experience.

[00:05:55] Even if they eat the strongest edible, right. They may get [00:06:00] really high and a little uncomfortable, but they’re probably not going to see visuals. They’re probably not going to. I feel like the world is falling out from underneath them.

[00:06:07] Bryan Fields: So we dealt with 10 just to kind of make sure that we clarify that point.

[00:06:11] If someone doesn’t consume THC all the time, they might hallucinate,

[00:06:18] Matt Moorerv: they might. But that’s assuming that you got the right iceberg D 10, which there are not many effective ways to determine that. And I can guarantee you, none of them are found in the places that are making the tender.

[00:06:31] Bryan Fields: Okay. So if I buy a product that’s D 10, just ballpark percentage chance that I’m going to, I think your words triple.

[00:06:40] Matt Moorerv: That I have no good read on. However, I would say the chances of you getting a product that says that it’s Delta gym actually being any one of those isomers of Delta 10 exclusively is almost nonexistent.

[00:06:54] Bryan Fields: So let’s, let’s take a couple steps back, demonstrate take me through this, right. For [00:07:00] someone who doesn’t really understand from a chemistry standpoint, DVD, THC da way, are we, can you kind of build that picture, like backup for it?

[00:07:09] Kellan Finney: From a chemistry standpoint. I mean, a lot of what Matthew was talking about, it was mainly organic chemistry. And so again, organic chemistry is a challenging subject in college. The one-on-one the long story short, he was talking about different molecule structures and how they, the structure changes how they interact with the human body.

[00:07:27] So in layman’s terms, it’s a different structure. If it has a different name and that different structure. Do you think about how organic molecules typically interact with the human body? Especially from a psychoactive perspective, typically binding with an enzyme. So you can think about it as a lock and key kind of situation.

[00:07:47] And so the molecules that have the right shape or the right key shape that fit into certain receptors in your body will cause that psychoactive behavior. And [00:08:00] when it comes to detox, There’s four different versions of in terms of how the molecule is shaped in three dimensions. Right? If you look at it on paper, it all looks the same in a 2d structure, but if you take it in the three, three dimensions, it folds and it moves in certain ways, which create.

[00:08:19] Enantiomers is that right? Right. Well, so there

[00:08:22] Matt Moorerv: are different answers and different Diastat.

[00:08:25] Kellan Finney: Yeah. I always mess up.

[00:08:29] Bryan Fields: I was like, ah, it’s been a quick minute. So

[00:08:32] Kellan Finney: we went over that and okay. But long story short, there are different shapes in three dimensions because they’re different shapes. They either fit in that lock of

[00:08:40] Bryan Fields: an enzyme or they don’t.

[00:08:42] Kellan Finney: And so that’s where we’re referring to the psychoactive characteristics of these different molecules is as it relates to. Is that, does that make a little more

[00:08:53] Bryan Fields: sense for you? Yeah, that that makes more sense. Right. And, but to continue on the [00:09:00] one-on-one path, right. Like, I feel like a lot of times we’ve had these conversations and some people kind of come up with and ask questions like, Hey, like, can you kind of expand more on that?

[00:09:07] Or like more on this means. So I guess to continue on that conversation felt a, was really popular here in New York. And I feel like in Texas also it’s Delta 10 popular now. And if. Is it because people haven’t moved towards it. They’re not aware of it. It’s too hard to make. Like what what’s that thought process?

[00:09:27] Matt Moorerv: So from my research that I’ve done in, like the more, this is, this is a space where art meets science let’s call it that that’s a friendly way to say it. And so the way that the first modern reported Deaton was found was with a crop of him that was near a wildfire. And the flame retardant that was used to Dows the area got drifted over onto the crop and that crop then sat in the sun with this chemical on it.

[00:09:59] And that chemical [00:10:00] happens to be a radical initiator whenever it’s exposed to heavy UV light. And so they had 10% of some unknown. It is a true investigatory study. So not, and had an analyze which are in the structure and found that that’s what it was. And then there’s some work. They were able to do some more specific, like explicitly controlled medical chemistry to improve their yields and have a more controlled system.

[00:10:22] People are making it because they can’t write, like I have the new THC you want it. Well, not necessarily. Right. Like, that’s a bold leap to make. I have a new THC. Okay. Well, what if this is one that just happens to cause seizures, right? Like, I mean, the difference between, you know, adrenaline and byproduct for it is, is a methyl group.

[00:10:44] And that single methyl group is the difference between you having a heart attack or having your blood pressure go so high that you start pumping blood vessels as to like, just because it’s like close to what I want, you know, close to what I want is a million miles away. As far as I’m thinking.

[00:10:59] Bryan Fields: Is that story [00:11:00] true though?

[00:11:00] That they put like a chemical on a plan? Like, is that how that really went down?

[00:11:04] Matt Moorerv: That is how they reported it. That’s like, that’s incredible.

[00:11:07] Kellan Finney: It’s pretty

[00:11:08] Bryan Fields: crazy to think that innovative science can happen like that. I mean, just by like chance where, I mean, maybe that’s how groundbreaking work. So then continue on that route.

[00:11:17] The simplest question. Can people make D time from CBD? Yes.

[00:11:21] Matt Moorerv: So that’s not as. Because you want to go from D nine to D 10 and you can make D nine from CVD. If you’re really clever and really good at stopping it, the same chemistry that transforms CBD the D nine transforms denied it to you. And in fact, it does it faster.

[00:11:41] And so the second that you make Denine, it’s more likely to make da than it is to do anything else. That same molecule would rather come back and make da, then go to the next CBD molecule and make another molecule in general. There are some catalysts that can be used that don’t behave. Stick around to hear more about that later [00:12:00]

[00:12:01] Bryan Fields: sponsoring this podcast, come up in that part out if that’s not the case, because I guess I wonder like from a science standpoint and maybe chemistry standpoint, obviously with CBD being like over saturating the market, obviously people need to look for an outlet and be aid was the route they took.

[00:12:21] But scientifically, I’m assuming just making an assumption here. The da was easier to make them depend. Oh yeah, yeah.

[00:12:27] Matt Moorerv: Yeah. So decent is an example of a molecule that you have to force into existence. It will never be your main product. It is not thermodynamic the third product. It’s not even phonetically the preferred product.

[00:12:40] So even if you do it as fast as you can, you’re still going to get a distribution of denied D and D 10 and X. As well as all the other items are already listed, because what you’re doing is creating a radical cascade and it can send that double bond and the TFC anywhere around that does that. Right.

[00:12:54] And so what that means is you always get a distribution of products and until someone develops. [00:13:00] Specific catalysts, which not to say that, that can’t be done. They’re chemists who spend their entire lives, developing catalysts like that. And there’s probably some radical initiator tennis that could be like, oh yeah.

[00:13:10] If I pull this mystery bile off my shelf and I put it in there at 10%, you’ll get only 10 hours. And I’m sure at some point that’ll be revealed to the world. But as of right now, the chemistry that exists. Is not something I would ever want to do if I was trying to make a profit.

[00:13:28] Bryan Fields: Right. And then obviously to make a profit, you need to have someone buying these products and consumer wise educational level of understanding all of these different cannabinoids is challenging.

[00:13:38] I mean, here we are having a conversation about it, trying to understand exactly how it works. So killing from an industry standpoint, how often do you hear Delta 10 spoken about,

[00:13:47] Kellan Finney: I didn’t care about it at all until. Two months ago when I was on like Kush dot-coms marketplace. And all of a sudden, now you see companies starting to sell DTS.[00:14:00]

[00:14:00] I don’t know if that was because in the last two months there was a, I want to say maybe a slight crackdown by the Colorado department of health on dump fate manufacturing, at least in Colorado. That’s not the case in other states, but I think Delta 10 could, could have potentially started hitting the marketplace because of some of the regulations associated with Delta eight and some of those items that are being spoken about.

[00:14:24] So they could have then just been like, alright, well, Delta tens, the next. Cannabinoid, that’s the easiest one to synthesize. And there’s a lot of these big companies that are in that pseudo startup kind of small cap range as far as the, the size of them. And they’re looking for as much revenue diversification as possible.

[00:14:46] And so they are giving resources to these R and D chemists to try to develop any, to take their massive stocks of CBD and turn them into. Usable molecules that actually sell. And it [00:15:00] turns out that THC currently is selling a lot better than CBD, just from a supply and demand perspective, especially in states that don’t have.

[00:15:08] Legal cannabis

[00:15:09] Bryan Fields: markets. So to kind of piggy back off that obviously Colorado may da legal, is it one of those where people just kind of shift them to deep pan and they’re like, well, BAC legal. We can just do D 10 and of the regulators, like, whoa, that’s just not how it works.

[00:15:28] That’s

[00:15:28] Kellan Finney: exactly. They can’t write fast enough

[00:15:32] Matt Moorerv: predicated on the assumption that TA. Right. Which again is an assumption because the DEA has a schedule, one number for da and you have to request quota to make it. I know because we request it every single year. So the idea that it’s not scheduled by the DDS.

[00:15:55] It’s not true. I would be very hesitant to ship any da material [00:16:00] across

[00:16:00] Bryan Fields: state lines. It’d be so insane for these regulators. Right? Like they, they work super hard, especially for these legislations. They were like, Hey, like we finally got it done. Deeds done. Right. And then. You know, they get a text message and it’s like, well, the ten’s popping up and they’re like, what the hell is this?

[00:16:15] And like, so how, like, how do we align? It seems like we’re moving in like three different speeds. Right? We’ve got like the consumers we’re trailing behind everything. We’ve got the industry who’s like out in front trying to do everything they can in order to figure out like where’s profitability. And then we’ve got like the regulators and the legislation kind of like somewhere in between the two different parties trying to figure out like, what’s.

[00:16:37] What’s legal. What’s not, and how to kind of Inforce these things. So NA how does that work?

[00:16:45] Matt Moorerv: Well, so one, we reconcile that by stopping electing people, to legislate things they know nothing about that would be a good first step. I think, I don’t know a single person who represents me, who has a science degree, but there has been tons of [00:17:00] legislation passed every single year.

[00:17:02] That would be that I, as a scientist, look at and cringe at the way that they. You go back to the 1984 analogues act, they have addresses on how to regulate and monitor this right. Delta 10 THC might, may or may not be an analog of Delta nine, THC and Delta eight THC. But seeing as they’re all tetrahydrocannabinol at the same mass and same function in poverty relationships, they are analogs according to the legislation that definitely says.

[00:17:32] That they’re illegal. Right? So in, in the regulation they specifically call out function, right? So that’s why synthetic spice and all of those K2, all of those things were so easily passed under the analogs. That is because they serve the purpose of getting you high. And so if it serves the purpose of getting high, it falls under the analog, therefore da and D tin should all also fall under the analogs that now is the da going to enforce it.

[00:17:57] No, they’re scared too, because the legislature at any [00:18:00] time could pass full legalization. I wish case the da has no concern about it at all. And it’s a hundred percent FDA. FDA doesn’t want us to say anything because it’s not a drug yet. Well, it is a drug. THC is a drug CBD is a drug. So we can’t just say it’s over the counter available.

[00:18:14] They’re already prescription drugs. So unless there’s a bunch of work done to prove that it’s safe for over the counter sell, then the FDA is also going to be like, oh yeah, we can’t. And they’re just going to stand there silently until legislation is forced upon them because they don’t want to be the party.

[00:18:30] That’s guilty for making an action. That’s incorrect. And so until there’s actual legislation and we’re going to be at an impasse, so we still request allotment for our D nine and our da, we request a lot for CBN or our impurity profile, right? Like, and CBN is not even really psychoactive. I mean, you could argue that if you did enough, but like how much of that you need to be.

[00:18:52] Know, I’ve never smoked enough hash to get high, but I will say that I’ve had a CME in bait that [00:19:00] really helped with back pain, more so than CBD or THC alone, interestingly enough, but I did not feel high at all.

[00:19:07] Bryan Fields: So, so is this a case of same, same but

[00:19:11] Kellan Finney: different? No. I mean, it is interesting to think that that’s probably why it’s still the wild, wild west.

[00:19:18] Right. Yes, because the DEA and the FDA are kind of, kind of have their hands tied, you know? And even when it was

[00:19:26] Bryan Fields: like Mexican standoff.

[00:19:29] Kellan Finney: Yeah. And I’d like to think everyone’s wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots and we’re in an old Western town, you know what saying?

[00:19:36] Bryan Fields: Anchorman season two where it all just like, they’re just like all standing around, staring at each other, like throw it down.

[00:19:43] Kellan Finney: That’s exactly. What’s going on. I was at a conference five years ago in California cannabis conference. And there was some FDA individuals at that conference and they said that they were having focus groups about how to deal with this five years ago. Right. And so fast [00:20:00] forward five years, and it’s still federally illegal.

[00:20:02] So it’s going to have to come from some sort of bill that’s passed through the Senate and the house. Before the FDA or the DEA does anything. And I mean, the DEA isn’t even really isn’t even going after the, after cannabis, not heavily at all, you know what I mean? Like they don’t have the funding to write it.

[00:20:18] That’s

[00:20:18] Matt Moorerv: from my understand, their internal directive is still the opioid epidemic, especially as it should be. Right. Like, okay. This should not be a DEA issue. It should be an FDA issue because one at the bare minimum, you’re going to see at least two isomers of D-10 THC And again, there’s no safety studies on D-10 at all.

[00:20:39] For any of you. So until that comes out, I mean, there are plenty of things that you can go get and have a non neuro-typical experience after huffing them. So that doesn’t make them, there’s the fact that it gives you high doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing to put in your body, but you know, like [00:21:00] another thing about the da with this safety in regards to relative to these two is if you look up Marcus Rogan, his company last year, earlier this year, put out a paper.

[00:21:10] That showed that if you babe, or if you smoke cannabis, then most of the denied converts to da that’s the thermodynamic pathway. It wants to be da. And so in fact, there’s probably more safety studies on da and we just didn’t know it.

[00:21:25] Bryan Fields: That’s pretty interesting. So let’s kind of dive into some of the research that I did on the internet and to describe the research I searched up at 10 and wanted to see kind of what came up.

[00:21:35] I hadn’t really learned too much about it. So I wanted to kind of see, so one of the quotes that I saw said that Delta 10 has the potential to appeal to a mass audience. That’s looking for a psychoactive benefits without the potential downsides caused by Delta nine, THC D 10 could be insanely popular because it can offer you for you and increased focus without paranoia and anxiety.

[00:21:59] [00:22:00] That’s a

[00:22:00] Matt Moorerv: hundred percent speculation. Of

[00:22:02] Bryan Fields: course it’s speculation. But like, what’s the thought process behind that?

[00:22:05] Kellan Finney: It’s good marketing. That’s the thought

[00:22:07] Matt Moorerv: behind it, someone snugged it

[00:22:11] Kellan Finney: because maybe they got the wrong isomer and it wasn’t psychoactive. Like Matt said in the episode, right. It’s like, oh, I did it after I smoked my weed.

[00:22:22] Like, I was totally relaxed

[00:22:24] Matt Moorerv: until. Are done at a university or a private company funds the actual studies and makes ICH compliant. True. Single isomer detail. Right.

[00:22:37] Bryan Fields: We don’t know how the was. Sure. And I wasn’t looking for like, obviously coming to do scientists about this, but I was more about like the concept on how.

[00:22:49] This person without reading the article, which of course, neither of you did, how would they try to associate a large audience to saying that it can increase focus without the paranoia and the anxiety? [00:23:00] That’s the part that intrigued me is because to me, to kind of bold claims, and I know that from this industry, we’re not supposed to make any of those types of claims.

[00:23:07] Right, right, right. So that’s, to me is, seems pretty bold. And considering what you said. They’ll depend on us, the chance to be insanely poppier, because it offers this euphoric feeling and increased focus, which seems to be pretty subjective. Right. Obviously we could all take the same product and feel very different.

[00:23:26] And also without the paranoid anxiety on the same part, I’m not sure about the two of you, how many times you’ve consumed cannabinoids and been anxious or paranoia. So I guess starting there, how, how does that whole thing.

[00:23:41] Matt Moorerv: By smoking weed every day and having a better baseline of THC in your system, you prevent yourself from being overwhelmed, but then you get an experience.

[00:23:50] Apart from that, I find it hard to believe that you could simultaneously increase, focus and reduce anxiety as those two generally coincide with each [00:24:00] other. Right. That’s the whole problem with Adderall, right? Is like people take Adderall and they get really productive and they get all their shit done.

[00:24:06] But then at the end of the day, they’re just like, everything’s wrong with it?

[00:24:13] Bryan Fields: I had a buddy in college that had to start by cleaning the room. Otherwise he’d spend the entire dime on Adderall and these rooms, or he is his kind of steps forward where I’m going to clean my room first and then take that all to the folks. But I think that’s a really good point. And Kaelin from your standpoint, like, is that something where, where this person’s making these claims about the fork and the locking in of the focus 10 cannabinoids help with increased focus?

[00:24:36] Does

[00:24:36] Kellan Finney: that person have a Dr. Period? Did you check the authors

[00:24:41] Bryan Fields: name and it needs to be an MD

[00:24:45] Kellan Finney: instead of another random case situation, because like at the end of the day, all of those claims are medical claims, right? And like, I’m not a doctor. I can tell you the exact biochemical situation that goes on internally for most humans [00:25:00] when they do experience anxiety.

[00:25:02] And if we’re going to talk about a molecule preventative, Anxiety, which is a biochemical reaction to the external environment that you’re in. Then we should probably be referencing exactly what that mode of reactions that are cascading through the human body, that, that molecule is causing that either prevent or facilitate either up-regulate or down-regulate that exactly.

[00:25:25] Chemical environment that is you experiencing anxiety, right? Increased heart rate, these other things. So, I mean, at the end of the day, that’s, if you’re going to make claims like that, they need to be vetted. And is there a reference to some primary literature that was accomplished at a hospital, like up from a clinical trial perspective?

[00:25:42] You know what I mean? Like, this is how, like, you need to try to. These kinds of claims when it comes to molecules that have never been studied from a clinical perspective, you know what I mean? So like that’s

[00:25:52] Bryan Fields: 5%, a hundred percent, and that makes a ton of sense too, and right. To continue on that path. Right.

[00:25:57] Like I read this article and I was [00:26:00] excited because the way he described the cannabinoids feelings is everything that I would look for and experience. But of course, as we know, Very misleading way and maybe some marketing fluff. I’ll admit. So you’re saying that after

[00:26:12] Kellan Finney: reading it, you would buy product.

[00:26:14] Bryan Fields: My first question was, I’m going to ask

[00:26:19] let me read you some of the alerts. Focus energy boost of creativity. Like, I mean, these are, these are all like the limitless, like feelings that have that get like locked in. And I mean, from a an initial marketing standpoint, I guess to back up the question is don’t, Turpins play a really vital role in this sort of combination effect that are not being described at all in this process.

[00:26:43] Or am I completely off. That

[00:26:44] Matt Moorerv: is complicated because they help with the absorption of molecules, right? Like not just cannabinoid start, things are, and like they assist in helping them sort of small nutrients micronutrients that you have in your food and things like that. There’s only [00:27:00] one beta carry off lean actually binds to the CB one receptors.

[00:27:03] And so it plays a role in that as well. But so like the example being syndromes are THC drug. It is just THC. It has strawberry flavor and vitamin E is a oxidative protective, any oxygen, and it is incredibly effective at stimulating. And easing any sort of neuropathic pain and there are no type things in there.

[00:27:28] So it still functions as it’s supposed to, not to say that the turpines and the entourage effect are something that’s really valuable and needs to be investigated more because I do believe that they play a role. Right. And it’s just that whenever we’re talking about ultra pure DNI, right? Like the stuff that you get out of a plant, you’re going to isolate it and get it up to 95%.

[00:27:46] Whereas if you do it synthetically, you’re going to have 99 plus, and that 5% of other little minor candidates. Seems to play a huge role in whether or not someone has an axial eugenic effect from it and whether or not they have a really anxious [00:28:00] high. So whenever people overdo it on their syndromes, because it doesn’t hugely and they, you know, they’d be like, what’s 50 milligrams that doesn’t sound like very much and it’s 10 times the normal dose.

[00:28:11] And so, yeah, and it’s pure THC. They don’t have anything that attenuates how it affects that CB one receptor. I can see how that might play a role. But there’s a lot of conditional statements in there because it’s all speculative and there are not pharmacokinetics studies that prove it to be true until then all of this and all of these weird mixtures that are being produced, I would want them, you can’t make a claim on that mixture.

[00:28:34] Right? Cause the mixture may have an effect that any single isomer doesn’t, which is why there are clinical trials, but things that are 50% CBD at 50% THC and 75% CBD and 25% THC. As like these ratios, they they’d play some sort of role because they affect the receptor and the protein in different ways.

[00:28:53] So THC binds in the CB one receptor, but CBD is what’s called an alasteric modulator. And [00:29:00] so it actually, so if this is the receptor, it’s even, he comes in and it sits on top and it makes it smaller. And that gives out your natural anatomize that normally sits in the CB one receptor and also kicks out THC.

[00:29:11] If you have a whole lot more THC than it kind of like, well, we’ll send it out while I was in and out. And so there’s all sorts of different things that can be attenuated, but these different mixtures. So to say that terpene or another isomer doesn’t have an effect would be wrong. However, these guys making these claims with D 10 are just blowing smoke

[00:29:31] Bryan Fields: fair to wonder it’s like the science aspect.

[00:29:34] We’ll never be able to catch up to all the different combinations and. Products out there. I mean, it seems like the science is behind. Obviously we need to take some time. We need some research and then some funding, but like it fair to wonder like how the two of them will kind of get on the same

[00:29:49] Matt Moorerv: timeline.

[00:29:50] There are types of studies that can be done. And so there’s all sorts of work that’s being done to improve that. Not for cannabinoids, but for pharmaceuticals in general. Right? So drug [00:30:00] discovery can take a long time and doing a structured reactivity analysis because I said a rule I was taught is nature.

[00:30:06] Doesn’t make stuff. Right. We find stuff in nature that has a use, but that’s not to say we can’t take that and make it better. THC is really good at a lot of things. That CBD is really good at a lot of things. That’s not to say there isn’t some designer molecule that we could pay that would be better. So like a simpler example.

[00:30:24] Do you use traditional motor oil or some better? No. Then most, I don’t think a car has been using traditional motor oil since 2005, 2004, something like that. Whenever they switched off. Mean it switched to synthetic because it was worse. We did it because we specifically designed the properties we wanted in that molecule and then bulked it up and, and produce that.

[00:30:46] So that way it wants exactly how we want it. That’s why you can run your car to 10,000 miles. Now you don’t blow a cylinder. And maybe D 10 isn’t, maybe the R isomer is the best cannabinoid ever. And it cures everything. And that might be the [00:31:00] case, but until we actually see ultimately pure controlled studies of that molecule, it’s all smoke.

[00:31:07] Alright. So

[00:31:07] Bryan Fields: then let’s kind of dive

[00:31:12] Kellan Finney: once it’s legal, once cannabis becomes. I think that you’ll get regulations. And then now you have federal regular regulatory bodies that are a gonna regulate the sale. So now these companies that are sitting on inventory as a CBD, there will be a huge penalty for even exploring the manufacturing of say Delta three or the next cannabinoid.

[00:31:35] Right. And so then there’s no financial benefit to the investment. There’s only going to be a huge detriment. And so then at that point, The whole, the entire cannabinoid industry will be regulated on a federal level. And you’ll see everything changed because you won’t have gas stations selling Delta 10 beverages.

[00:31:55] If it’s not legal, because they will lose their license and go to jail. [00:32:00] Right. Because they’re breaking the law at that point right now it’s so gray that no one knows what the law really is. And if you have a really good lawyer, You’re going to potentially be able to get your way out of it because of how the law’s written at this point.

[00:32:13] And so that’s, that’s my 2 cents on how all of these, how the, yeah, the science won’t catch up. It’s going to be regular regulations. That’s going to dictate what is generally available to the, to the mass market.

[00:32:27] Matt Moorerv: Right. So

[00:32:28] looking at how they react as well is looping back around there, like places like Merck and Pfizer, major drug companies that do structured reactivity analysis Look at. Growing in organ and as in a Petri dish. Right. And how does it respond to that organ What does it do to a liver What does it do to the kidney? Look at the different toxicity, common toxicity routes and say, oh, it doesn’t kill a liver. That’s a good sign, right? Because you may have this thing that works tremendously in rats and then you put it in a person.and they just die Right. Like you eat chocolate every single [00:33:00] day, but if your dog gets into your dark chocolate, then he could just die or a great, right. Like just these common things that are everywhere and they don’t have any effect on a smaller or different creature. And because of one mutation in one inside that humans have that no one else does.

[00:33:14] It could create traumatic cascade events. And that’s the type of thing that has to be avoided, which is why things are tested on animals. Generally before they go into humans. Last

[00:33:25] Bryan Fields: time we spoke about da, we, we talked about the challenges of making a stable product. Does DTN have that same issue?

[00:33:34] Matt Moorerv: So anyone who has trouble making a stable Deej product should definitely not buy the da isn’t

[00:33:42] Bryan Fields: no, that though, like no one is writing on a label.

[00:33:46] I don’t make a stable da product. Buy my product.

[00:33:49] Matt Moorerv: Well, discoloration.

[00:33:52] Bryan Fields: But when you buy a product, you don’t inspect the inside of the package. You just buy the package, correct?

[00:33:59] Matt Moorerv: Yeah. [00:34:00] So I don’t, I wouldn’t buy da for that reason.

[00:34:05] Bryan Fields: There’s a lot of things, not regulated too, that people just kind of take for granted.

[00:34:09] This is like the worst thing I hear is like, oh, I bought it on the internet. Like, it’s fine. And it’s like, that’s a really troubling statement. That’ll probably get you in trouble. And like a lot of different areas specifically, if you’re consuming products, you buy off the internet and just take for granted.

[00:34:23] Matt Moorerv: What’s it like things like the color was da that people try to sell. Da is not colorless. The molecule itself absorbs a certain spectrum of light that gives it a yellow, 10 of sheerest of pure D and it’s, and I’m talking 99.99 is yellow is very, very Pell, but it is not colorless. And so things like that, like in babe cartridges, more what I would reference it with the, with the color being.

[00:34:48] If you’re in just colors as you’re smoking it out of a vape cartridge, still not da da, it doesn’t do that. So actually an edible is like a little bit less terrifying because you, you [00:35:00] eat random stuff all the time. And like your food has a bunch of little micro things. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s

[00:35:10] Bryan Fields: I removed five or six different foods off my consumption.

[00:35:15] Matt Moorerv: You don’t like the acceptable number of cockroach legs and your chocolate? No, I think

[00:35:19] Bryan Fields: this is the part of it where like, I would like to cut this out and I think maybe we just removed that far.

[00:35:26] I mean, the beans is not the worst part. It’s like the tomato aspect, this launch, all the things that I really enjoy, that I’ve just been ruined me.

[00:35:33] Matt Moorerv: I’ll read any FDA guidance on food then.

[00:35:36] Bryan Fields: Sure. So then let’s kind of simplify the whole topic, right? There’s like this educational thing that we always try to go back to and try to help our listeners make better educated decisions.

[00:35:45] We talk about the complexity of walking through dispensary and being overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products. One could argue that if DEA gets pushed pretty aggressively to being illegal naturally. Some of these facilities will look to push for D 10 products, [00:36:00] which become increasingly more popular.

[00:36:02] Should you provide hesitancy to meet? Should we encourage our listeners to maybe hesitate before buying T 10 products? What do you think?

[00:36:10] Matt Moorerv: I absolutely like the chemistry that there is similar to buying CBM from an unknown source in the market. There are tons of ways to make it. And there’s only about one way that I would.

[00:36:21] To make a version that I can sit. And the chances of them using that method are pretty low, because I know that they’re not currently published, but not published. And there’s not any patent literature. So that’s type of chemistry that you would have to be an organic chemist and know a lot of background to, just to just have that knowledge.

[00:36:37] Most of these people making these molecules do not in my industry.

[00:36:44] Bryan Fields: I

[00:36:44] Kellan Finney: mean, and I wouldn’t even say like, just any old brand and organic chemistry, right? Like organic chemistry. There is a fine line between someone who has passed organic chemistry and someone who’s like a wizard at organic chemistry and organic chemistry is hard.

[00:36:58] Right. We started off by saying like, [00:37:00] it’s the class with the highest DWF rate in any college at every college across the entire globe. Right. There’s a reason it’s so challenging. I mean, you are literally making new molecules that the environment has a nature, right? Like if you can put that into perspective, it’s, it’s insane.

[00:37:17] Right. And so there’s a lot of people just mixing things together, like wizards back in the day. And it’s a lot of like potions right now because. I mean, I’m going to go back to the reference of us all wearing cowboy hats, stand around in an old Lester town, right? The guy that has the new elixir that could cure everything.

[00:37:33] And if you’ve seen some of the, the marketing from like the early 19 hundreds about like the elixirs that could cure your back pain and make you grow and you’re smarter and all these things that are not illegal to claim, like we’re kind of right back in that same way. Gray area. Right?

[00:37:52] Matt Moorerv: One of the best ones I’ve found was in, it was an empty bottle and one of my grad school labs, which was a tincture and [00:38:00] chloroform made with heroin and stem cannabis extract, as well as like 28 ounces of pure alcohol.

[00:38:12] I don’t know what it was marketed to cure everything on the bottle. Right.

[00:38:20] I’m like you’re drinking chloroquine. It’s also going to cure your life, I guess.

[00:38:25] Bryan Fields: I mean, from a marketing standpoint, if they don’t start making progressive moves forward with kind of getting states online faster and kind of clarifying what is legal and what’s not, I think that depends going to get popular, especially when people start marketing it around alertness focus, energy, creativity.

[00:38:42] It doesn’t have to actually do that. But if they can push that and people can conceptualize that concept and they’re like, well, it’s a better version of Adderall. You’re going to have such mass appeal that it’s going to just be overwhelming. And, and that’s the kind of scary part too, is that like, like we were saying before, it’s like, there’s the three different [00:39:00] speeds that are moving the customers, the industry, and then the regulator.

[00:39:04] So I just say one minute. From a marketing standpoint. Like it’s hard not to get excited when you read that, but also talking with you guys, it gives me so much more pause when being open to considering those products, just understanding the science behind

[00:39:18] Matt Moorerv: it. So one of the, one of the aspects that is overlooked is, is not the toxicity of any given canal, because do tend to be completely American.

[00:39:28] It may automate it’s psychoactive and has no toxicity. What about the other 5% of stuff that’s in there? The other 3%, 2%, even if it’s 1%, if you take it every day, there’s a reason that, that we have these guidelines that limit it to like a purity level of no impurity to being more than 0.1% based off the assumption that you’re not going to have more than a gram a day, which would be, which would be right at 10, 10 milligrams of material.

[00:39:56] Right. So you’re talking about trying to stop people from taking 10 milligrams of material. [00:40:00] And something that they may be smoking, like, especially like the, the, the flower with the eight on it. Right. If you’re smoking that every day, if you’re smoking joints at that every day and chronic, then that’s something that’s in there.

[00:40:11] 10 milligrams may end up being alive if it accumulates or if it’s carcinogenic or if it’s right, like there are any number of things that are incredibly potent at really low levels. Whenever it’s treated. And so that’s the reason like if pharmaceuticals are, have to, right, I’m not going to say that the price of pharmaceuticals represents their value.

[00:40:31] That’s the reason pharmaceuticals are expensive is because of the documentation and the purification and all the work that goes in to prove that I’m not giving you anything other than what I tell you what I’m giving

[00:40:42] Bryan Fields: then. So we’ve got two predictions this time. It’s 20, 23. It’s not too far from now.

[00:40:48] Is Delta 10 wildly popular.

[00:40:52] Matt Moorerv: Depends on what happens with da, I guess, and with fully was Asian. I mean, I think that people could just go buy some bud. They would be able to buy some bud, [00:41:00]

[00:41:01] Bryan Fields: but it’s 20, 23 and I’m looking for is D 10 popular. And when I, when just to give a framework of reference of what popular means similar to the type of buzz that da has kind of given the space,

[00:41:14] Matt Moorerv: probably, I mean, right.

[00:41:16] Like people seem to really like the novelty of the new thing. They’re like, give me some CDs. CDC is not even psychoactive and it may have anti-inflammatory properties, but there’s only like one brief study that shows that it, that it might

[00:41:31] Bryan Fields: what weeds that study. They just like to hear a new cannabinoid in the morning to their friends.

[00:41:35] So it’s just insert new cannabinoid and say, give me that telling your thoughts. No,

[00:41:41] Kellan Finney: I don’t think so. I think that by 2022. You’re going to see, continue to see this cascade of states legalizing adult use. Right?

[00:41:50] Matt Moorerv: What do you mean that by 2023, there’ll be another one in front of D 10. That’s more fun.

[00:41:56] Kellan Finney: No, I don’t think so.

[00:41:56] I go back to the fact that I think the popularity in da is [00:42:00] strictly driven by the fact that people want to get high and Delta, it gets you high and you can sell it legally and states that weed’s not. Right. And I think that I go back to the point where people could just smoke Bob, like you said, Matt, like they would just smoke bud.

[00:42:14] Right. So I think by 2023, there’s gonna be a massive, I think the market’s only going to continue to grow. I don’t think we’re going to slow down as far as adult use states coming online. I think it’s probably only going to speed up potentially. And so by 2023, I think that more than 80% of adult consumers that are looking for this kind of stuff will have access to.

[00:42:36] Right. I mean, that’s my, that’s my desk. So that’s what I’d go with. Does

[00:42:40] Bryan Fields: B can have, let’s say a plate.

[00:42:47] Kellan Finney: No, I don’t think

[00:42:47] Matt Moorerv: so. I think it could. Yes. Any of these marketing claims are true right through then as of right now, they’re not clinical claims. They’re marketing [00:43:00] plans. They’re also on a material that is mildly terrifying and concept to me to try to consider. Sure.

[00:43:06] Bryan Fields: And I’m not saying any of us should be the Guinea pigs in pushing the details, but in the same aspect that people could find a way to boost creativity, focus, alertness, they’re all looking for additional outlets and ways to improve their efforts.

[00:43:20] Or at least some people are. That’s why people take shit on Adderall and scholars. Maybe not for all the same reasons we described there, maybe for personal reasons, but there’s reasons why. That that’s really popular in college. And if people can take a more natural product to kind of meet those needs, I think it works.

[00:43:37] And obviously there’s a ton of signs that needs to go down. The marketing claims obviously need to be validated, but I think if there is a product that can kind of suit that combination of a more focused bus, paranoid feel,

[00:43:51] Matt Moorerv: I mean, I think designer cannabinoids are a hundred percent billable, the same of the psychedelics and entheogens right.

[00:43:59] There’s been a [00:44:00] moratorium on them for 40 years. And then as it turns out, the second you make them clinically available, they have a huge clinical value. Right. But again, nature does not make stuff. We just happened to find shit that nature made and we’re like, oh, this is cool. It gets me hot. And as it turns out, if I add a flooring group right here, I never processed it and I can be high for the next six months.

[00:44:20] That’s a little

[00:44:20] Bryan Fields: too old for me. All right. Real prediction time. Last time you were on mat, we teased out, we were talking about Delta eight, which if you’re listening to this podcast, go back and listen to Matt’s apparently the most popular episode. And I’m fearful that by the time this gets released, he won’t be number one.

[00:44:35] And Matt really wants to be number. We talked about da, we don’t really deep into it today. We’re talking about Delta 10 max. What’s the next cannabinoid that is going to be more forward thinking approach that some haven’t really thought about that should be at least on the radar.

[00:44:56] Matt Moorerv: So one of the things that you’ll find [00:45:00] is.

[00:45:01] CBD and THC V markets. So these are the ones where the active part of the molecule is more or less the same, and it has a different name tell. So I’m looking at the molecule that has a five member gel. You also can get a three member tell and a seven member tell also the one. Yeah. And a four out of the crude extract.

[00:45:21] Those are the most common ones. The odd numbers are way, way more common, but the C3 is in clinicals as CBD B and compared to CBD, it’s essentially identical. THC will probably meet the same thing and they’re hesitant to schedule THCV because it has a different mass, even though it has a very, very similar effect, different mask, different molecular formula.

[00:45:43] Well, now we move further away from the analog Xact and they’re very hesitant to make any plans about something. Wasn’t really talked about prior to CBD being a big thing and it being a big thing. And now it’s all hemp derived, CBD and THC, so that they’re very hesitant to move against that. Well, the [00:46:00] C7.

[00:46:01] Actually tends to be significantly on the order of a thousand times to 5,000 times more potent the C7 molecule, it occurs like 0.2% relative to the, or yeah. 0.2% relative to the C5 in any given THC plant. So not something that you can really isolate your way to, but synthetically can be made very, very easily, like the exact same way that we make our denied and all of that.

[00:46:27] Our C5. That’s something where if nothing else, you could give one, 1000 the dose and have the same clinical effect. And so I think that the way that we’re going is people want a natural one bear in mind, that’s 114 different molecules that you can call it more than that. Or from the plant. So once people get less averse to the idea of synthetic the term synthetic, then I think that that will be the way to go.

[00:46:56] Because again, nature doesn’t make things for us. So there’s [00:47:00] three modifications you can make to a THC molecule that basically will give you an irreversible. Of course, most people don’t want that. But if the intent is to make a molecule, it gets you high, then we’re not going to abandon my find the best one.

[00:47:13] If you want to find the random best one heroin already exists. And also the Delta Delta,

[00:47:20] Bryan Fields: our teaser clip. It might just take that one. Heroin. That’d be a real good.

[00:47:27] Matt Moorerv: You’re the same synthetic steps away with da D 10, the same number of steps away from a natural product as you are with heroin for morphine and the same with THC, which we didn’t even talk about today.

[00:47:38] I don’t even know what that was. Oh, acetate it’s CHC acetate. Water-soluble one. It’s the only grease cycle.

[00:47:51] Kellan Finney: All

[00:47:51] Bryan Fields: right. So, so what I’m hearing from you is the next time you come on, you want to talk about THC? Oh,

[00:47:57] Matt Moorerv: I don’t know that there’s that much to talk about other than [00:48:00] it’s literally the same modification that goes from, from morphine.

[00:48:05] Bryan Fields: Well, I’m pretty sure I can find at least one article to bring up to really upset the scientists in the room. So I’m sure we can find something to talk about calling your cannabinoid of choice for the future. That will be more popular. And I saw you doing a little research, so I’m expecting

[00:48:20] Kellan Finney: a good one.

[00:48:20] You won’t buy a little research? No. Are they TCV potentially. I’ve heard a lot about to CV, a lot of the anecdotal evidence from individuals who have. Consumed it say

[00:48:32] Bryan Fields: it’s not, as soon as it goes in line with what Matt

[00:48:34] Kellan Finney: was saying, that it’s not as potent, so it’s a lot easier to consume throughout the day.

[00:48:41] It’s harder to overdo it. Exactly. And so I think because of that, if you’re looking at like a potential business model, if you have a product that you’re selling, that they’re gonna consume more of throughout the entire day, then that equates to making more money. In my opinion, [00:49:00] Right. Or just like, if you’re doing a one-to-one ratio, I understand there’s a lot more variables involved in that assumption.

[00:49:05] Right. But because of that effect, I think that it could potentially be a lot more popular when smoking lounges get mixed with bars, you have people consuming alcohol and the spins are a real thing. We all went well. A lot of us went to college and understand how that whole thing affects a lot of individuals, right.

[00:49:23] Pointing to one of us,

[00:49:26] Bryan Fields: but didn’t go to college. I apologize for the technical issues is my internet dropped. We appreciate you listening. And we’ll release this episode with video on YouTube as well. Let us know if you want us to keep dropping the video recordings. Thanks again for the support.[00:50:00]

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Listen to The Dime Podcast’s episode today as Bryan Fields (Twitter: @bryanfields24) and Kellan Finney (Twitter: @Kellan_Finney) discuss

Cannabis as a CPG with Colin Landforce (Twitter: @landforce)

In this episode learn about:

  • Aggressive Advancements that are happening in the world of Cannabis
  • How BudTenders enhance the Cannabis Experience for New and Veteran Users
  • Experiences for a Newbie when they walk into a Dispensary for the first time
  • Terra Tech Merger with Unrivaled Brands
  • Consistency as a pillar in the STICKS™ pre-roll brand
  • Biggest Misconceptions in Cannabis

Follow The Dime Podcast (https://anchor.fm/thedime) on Instagram and Twitter

Colin Landforce is the CTO of Unrivaled Brands https://www.linkedin.com/in/colinlandforce/

Colin Landforce, co-founder and President of LTRMN, is a versatile entrepreneur that has taken his 10 years of experience in regulated and emerging consumer spaces and brought that to Unrivaled Brands, Inc. team. A tactical leader, Mr. Landforce is responsible for bringing three consumer brands from concept to shelf while leading the growth of one of the largest cannabis distribution networks in country, serving more than 1,000 storefronts to date. With deep experience at the intersection of recreational cannabis and CPG


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents. What’s up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the dime as always. I’ve got my right hand, man, Kellen Cindy here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special day. Twitter famous Collin land force.

[00:00:20] Collin. Thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today? Thanks for having me guys. I appreciate it. I’m well, thank you. I’m doing well. I’m doing well. Just enjoying the weather out here in Colorado, right? Yeah. I’m excited to kind of dive in and before we start calling congratulations on the recent announcements and the going public, that’s a huge success.

[00:00:38] I’m looking forward to kind of diving into some of those topics.

[00:00:41] Collin: Absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate it. We’re excited as well.

[00:00:44] Bryan Fields: So let’s talk about how your background and how you got into the cannabis space.

[00:00:48] Collin: Yeah, definitely. I’m a lifelong serial entrepreneur. And as an adult, that kind of translated for me and.

[00:00:55] A lot of service providing, particularly in Mar marketing and product. So I had big clients, little clients, kind of everything in between. And ultimately ended up serving a lot in the restricted consumer goods spaces. So firearms, drones, skincare, cosmetics, couple other in that realm. And then finally we landed in cannabis.

[00:01:14] The origin story is some guys that I grew up with started flipping packs to dispense. There’s a heavy marketing and product focus in that group. So I, I jumped, jumped, the shark got in and the rest is history. You know, it started doing, I think, 4 million, like I said, bulk flour to dispensary’s in 2017.

[00:01:34] And now we are CPGs all the way to the moon.

[00:01:37] Bryan Fields: Over the last four years, you’ve probably seen a pretty aggressive progression of the industry just from where it was and where it is.

[00:01:46] Collin: Yeah, I think generally, I think I tweeted this morning that it’s still on the first setting. I think that’s probably about right.

[00:01:52] But it, it moves very, very quickly as you guys know, and it’s, it’s definitely come leaps and bounds for us. We didn’t know what products it was going to be. We knew that if we had the network, we could adjust and, and move accordingly. And so that’s what we’ve done. And the more refined consumer goods, the carts, the edible.

[00:02:11] I think there’s a huge play there. We also really like the extracts, the flour, but the core stuff that’s been around.

[00:02:17] Bryan Fields: So I think almond question that’s always gets asked, and I’m curious to know if that’s for you, is Tom what’s that day, like for you, you know, take us through a normal day to day.

[00:02:26] Obviously, no days are the same, but just from a regular basis, you know, what does your role entail and what you’re doing for the company?

[00:02:32] Collin: Yeah. So with the announcement yesterday and us going public, my, my title is now CTO. I’ve always been pretty focused on technology, our tools and our software stack.

[00:02:42] And I’ll be doing more of that in the future. Day-to-day though I’m in the mix. I think a lot of people, especially in the MSL and then in the public space, get abstracted from what, what we’re actually doing. And what we’re actually doing is, is making CPG with a super volatile, super inconsistent rock.

[00:03:00] Good. So I’m based in Portland. We have a hub and light manufacturing, more assembly here. We have hubs mirrored, very similar setup wise in Northern California, Southern California. And I’m in the mix trying to make things better, improving processes making decisions about how we’re routing raw materials, what product lines.

[00:03:19] And just fighting the good fight. Really?

[00:03:20] Bryan Fields: Yeah. It seems like you’re got your hands in a lot of different buckets at the same time.

[00:03:25] Collin: I think that’s, that’s how entrepreneurship goes and you know, I’m excited to be playing on the biggest stage but we’re still in the weeds. No pun intended. Well,

[00:03:34] Bryan Fields: so let’s dive into one of those brands sticks in the past.

[00:03:37] You’ve described them as BeltLine. Can you share a little bit more about how you kind of came to that comparison and leading into.

[00:03:44] Collin: Yeah. So like you said, STIX is a value brand for us. And it was, it was the first product that we set out to do in my side of the origin story of unrivaled. And like I mentioned, we have the network and we’re waiting to figure out what products we’re going to start with.

[00:04:02] And the pre-roll is such a staple and such crap. I think even to this day, you go into a store, you buy, you buy a joint, it might be good. It might not. And especially four years ago. So we set out to make a really, really fantastic pre-roll and something that I’m often surprised by people outside the industry, not understanding like the difference between sun-grown and indoor We we set out to make just a really good staple. And that was, that was just outdoor pre-roll accessibly priced, easy to get out the door. So for us, that meant a lot AB testing. We imported a hop milling machine from Germany and we did, I think in the end it was 12 different variants of particle size. And density.

[00:04:41] And we made these little test packs and we send them out into the world and we just got tons and tons of feedback and it came back very, very clear that density a particle size, Y this is the recipe for a great pre-roll and then we’ve made several million of them since. And then we’ve also got a different, a different recipe for the indoor indoor materials, much more resonance.

[00:05:00] Much more finicky to deal with. And it did not come out the same when we did the same testing exercise down the road. So I think we started with sticks, origin story. It started as a pre-roll brand. We extended that on the value shelf rather than in the pre-roll category. So we have carts, we have flour moon rocks are a big play for us there.

[00:05:19] I think a moon rock skew is very bang for the buck value oriented skew. And so we’re going big on the, the combined category. Excuse me. .

[00:05:28] Bryan Fields: And you want to dive into that from where you’re located. Is that kind of the same process you’ve seen?

[00:05:34] Kellan: Yeah, it is the same process I’ve seen. And I think that starting with like a pre-roll, which is a staple from the traditional markets, I think is, is really intelligent.

[00:05:43] I have a random question for you. They’ll call in. Do you guys see a lot of variance in terms of different indoor material, or is it something that you’ve got have just found the right vendors to work with as far as supplying that indoor material to create that same consistency? The same with the outdoor material.

[00:05:57] Is there other kind of vetting. Situations, or I guess, is there other variables that you guys require before you bring in a batch and go through the milling process to pack the pre-rolls? Because we not all outdoor is created equally the same with not all indoor is created equally.

[00:06:15] Collin: Absolutely. We definitely have regular partners, but as a starting point, we’re talking about agriculture and then with the diversity across strains, grow methods, harvest it’s all over the place.

[00:06:27] So even, even with those same regulars, there’s just a super wide net of, of what product ends up looking like and something. I say and talk about internally here as we, we design for efficiency and optimize for flexibility because it’s going to be all over the board. And so that’s kind of the approach we’ve taken.

[00:06:44] You can only plan for so much in that, that realm, that being said, we definitely do have specs, right? If it’s coming into a jar, this is what the inputs need to look like. And then this is the spec for the product that comes out the other end and the same thing on a pre-roll. Here’s the input spec and what we expect out of it.

[00:07:01] And, you know, hopefully the worst case scenario there is, we just have to adjust. We, we obviously avoid sending back product. Generally only do that in the case where it’s just materially different from what everybody understood. We were getting. Yeah,

[00:07:13] Kellan: I think that’s one of the most from my experience, it’s one of the most undervalued aspects of doing business in the space is the experience of procurement team has and how much that actually affects all of the downstream products from concentrates to vape pens, to pre-roll.

[00:07:28] So I give your, your procurement team, all the credit.

[00:07:31] Collin: I’ve watched a lot of really seasoned supply chain folks come into this and, and be a lost puppy. The same. It’s just not that the good news components are packaging is that stuff is, but when it comes to the core it’s these are not tomatoes.

[00:07:47] Kellan: 100%.

[00:07:48] We’ve actually had clients that have made very, very large mistakes in terms of going out and signing supply agreements with the wrong partner. And it turns out this wasn’t the right way, and now they’re committed to a massive batch of material and it just, it never works out that way. So one of the most undervalued aspects of the supply chain is that that experience.

[00:08:09] From a procurement standpoint

[00:08:10] Bryan Fields: from the bud light angle, I’m intrigued by that. Like I walk into a dispensary. How, how does Y understand or gravitate towards that product? If that’s the one I’m looking for

[00:08:20] Collin: every brand’s got amuse, right? I liked the bud light one with sticks. Just everything about the brand energy.

[00:08:25] You could also take it to the color. Right. Bud light has a very distinct blue. The sticks. Green is a fantastic green. I love the stick screen. I can’t remember. It’s actually. Name, but those colors are very prominent. Our brands, right? Cabana blue is a very, very specific blue, but I think the dispensers do the work for you there, right?

[00:08:44] Consumer walks in and the bud tender is going to point them where they want to go. And if it’s value oriented, that’s an easy call. I think everything in our industry is, is still very much dictated by the bud tenders. So we don’t have to do much of the work, having the brand that aligns with that ISA ethos and collateral that aligns with that obviously helps.

[00:09:01] Kellan: I think it’s super intelligent because I think that’s one of the largest segments of the market is the value buyer right now. You see it across the board in every state.

[00:09:10] Collin: Another thing we lean on, which is really across category, but I think especially applies to sticks is we, we price out wholesale with the end consumer in mind.

[00:09:18] So tax is a big variable. Of course our wholesale pricing is all intended to have that land out the door. At a price that makes sense to a consumer. So whether that’s, you know, 8 30, 3 ends up 20 bucks out the door for 17 ends up 10 bucks out the door and that’s, that’s within assumed, you know, assume Keystone and 20% those things vary, but we price everything so that it makes sense to the end consumer.

[00:09:42] Kellan: Do you have, do you have MSRP conversations with dispensary’s and are they willing to, do they like hear you guys out from that perspective?

[00:09:49] Collin: I think it varies widely by the operator. Generally. Good luck. Right. Yeah, you can have that conversation, but I think the biggest operators, their whole, their whole game plan is, is to get, get a lower cost.

[00:10:02] It allows them to undercut the MSRP. So, yeah. Good luck.

[00:10:08] Bryan Fields: You’d probably do any sort of educational with these budtenders because they play such a vital role in the experience for these consumers.

[00:10:14] Collin: That’s the whole game. We call it education and appreciation. So in the past, you know, pre pandemic, we had a suite at the Moda center, which is where the blazers play a suite at the staple center which I’m sure you’re familiar with and education and appreciation.

[00:10:28] But tenders are the influencers and the tastemakers at a one-to-one level. And they’re going to talk to people about and sell people, the stuff that they know and the stuff that they like. So arming them with talking points and helping them feel educated and be educated and serve their customers. The path.

[00:10:47] So appreciation and education with budtenders is, is our game

[00:10:51] Bryan Fields: well said. Do you think that’s the future though? Do you think as the industry kind of evolves, people will continue to rely on bud tenders for guys? I mean, obviously naturally that’ll be an easy, conversational point, but do you think that’ll always be such a heavily reliant relations?

[00:11:07] Collin: I think it’ll probably vary by category. There’s a lot of good parallels. You can draw with booze, they get a little different between liquor and wine, et cetera. But I think that this is a good one in that there’s a lot of beer when I’m buying the bud light, I’m just grabbing it out of the freezer act and, or the cooler and I’m out.

[00:11:23] I also could go into a bar across the street and get a very specific cocktail that’s recommended to me by somebody that’s super knowledgeable. So I think in game is like probably the full end of this.

[00:11:35] Bryan Fields: So let’s dive into the other two brands. Do you have kind of associations similar to the way you, you compared to the bud light?

[00:11:43] Collin: Yup. So I’ll give you these, and these are from my head. This is not, this is not our, our formal position to me. Cabana’s like a move CLICO right. Corova is, is a Jack maybe it’s probably higher price than a Jack. So maybe it’s maybe it’s a Johnny Walker black label. Again, this is, this is out of my head, not my department.

[00:12:02] But I think, I think that paints a good picture, right? Krav as the 800 pound gorilla in the room for us. And my favorite thing about really what we’re doing is how ingrained in the culture Corova is Brian, you see my tweets about this? I think a lot of them SOS are making these brands that are for hypothetical cannabis consumers.

[00:12:21] Was here for the people that want to get high and that aren’t afraid about anybody knowing about it, right. It’s built on high potency, the thousand milligram black bar, which is a legend in the cannabis industry is where we came from. And there is no. There’s no soccer, moms eaten a thousand milligram black bar.

[00:12:39] Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of people eating on because in California, that is not a recreational product, but there’s actually a 2000 and a 1000. We have a licensee in Arizona, in Oklahoma. So you can go even crazier. If you want to there.

[00:12:52] Bryan Fields: What do they sell for, for 2000 milligrams?

[00:12:54] Collin: I don’t know, off the top of my head.

[00:12:56] Bryan Fields: Would someone consume that in one second?

[00:12:58] Collin: I, I think so.

[00:13:00] I can’t speak to that type of consumption very well. Right. I, myself, I’m a pretty casual user, but I think what I was just hitting on is really like a key thing for me. There are so many companies that have a marketing agency build an avatar and create a brand that’s light and fluffy and, and for the soccer mom or the yada yada.

[00:13:20] That’s nice. In the meantime, we’re going to sell products to people that actually use weed.

[00:13:25] Bryan Fields: Yeah. I mean, listen, from marketing sense, everyone’s golden goose is always the soccer mom, right? Like whenever you started off, that’s who I want. Always. And that’s great, but like realistically, what are they buying?

[00:13:35] And is it any of these products? Likely not, but I think their future down the road server, when can build those brands for them. Right. You know, what you’ve kind of established out is like, we’re here now. And we’re going to build that market share because I think rans and marketing will be what kind of transfers over state lines.

[00:13:52] As we, as people start to get a little more experienced and understand, Hey, like I got this product, I loved it. Now I want to get it here. And then they start kind of angling from that perspective.

[00:14:01] Collin: Our golden goose is people that smoke weed. Yeah.

[00:14:03] Bryan Fields: Well then you’re in the right industry. So I want to kind of slightly switch gears, but say in more of the dispensary.

[00:14:10] You walk into a dispensary for the first time you’ve smoked flower in the past, how would you call and simplify the experience to walk a uneducated consumer through a product selection choice in order to kind of get.

[00:14:26] Collin: Sure the best answer to this question is go to the spot in Santa Ana or bloom and San Leandro or Oakland and find out.

[00:14:33] But I think that budtenders start with, with a seed, right? So I’ve smoked flower X, right. Start with a seed and go from there. That’s a tough one to answer. But I think that accessibility comes into play. Right? And so things like pre-rolls are more accessible than flower that they’re made out of just from a hardware needed standpoint.

[00:14:52] And then other skews go from there. I may be a little bit dodgy there, but I think you get what I’m getting at every one of those scenarios is so hand to hand. And I think that is kind of the beauty of that bud tender relationship and the cannabis experience right now. And like I said, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

[00:15:10] Maybe certain categories, right. And at a distillate based edible, much easier to, to go. Great. I just want that one. It tastes like strawberries. But I don’t think flowers going anywhere and extracts going anywhere. And I think that’ll be catered to every single one. So for Colin, it’s probably a joint maybe.

[00:15:27] Bryan Fields: Because I the reason I asked you that is when I was with Kellen in Seattle, we walked into dispensary. It was one of the first ones that walked in and there might’ve been 10,000 products. It felt like there was a thousand different flour choices hundreds of different edibles. And I was just kind of like, I don’t even know where to start.

[00:15:42] So I kind of like asked him and he’s like, well, what do you want edibles? And that’s a common question we get asked because most of our listeners are east Coast-based. They’ve only been to one or two dispensers, but they’re excited about the opportunity with New Jersey, New York, Connecticut coming online.

[00:15:54] So they’re like, which product category should I start with? What should I go for? And that’s why I was curious someone like yourself, you’ve got an educated brand, strong consumer focus, you know, what would that experience be like for you?

[00:16:05] Collin: Right. Our experiences are very one-to-one. That’s a great, great example.

[00:16:08] I think a lot of retail formats, retail formats vary across the industry, but all of ours are one-to-one bud tender relationships. So for me cart, probably right. Especially in that vein, but the one-to-one relationship and the budtenders ability to guide the conversation around your preferences is a super valuable one.

[00:16:27] And so that, that one-to-one is a big part of our retail experience. And I think we’ll be going.

[00:16:32] Bryan Fields: I agree with that. I mean, I’m a flower guy and I been a cannabis consumer a long time, and I’ve worked in the industry for a long time. And when I go into dispensary, It’s that one-on-one relationship. And every single time I’m like, and I’ve seen a ton of different flower and every single time I asked them what what’s new and we have a conversation and they guiding even my kind of buying decisions in the dispensary, because it’s just way of that whole interaction.

[00:16:58] And it’s a comfort level too. And I don’t think that it’ll go anywhere until you can go into a store. Like with bud light and you can pull it out of the refrigerator without anyone being there, kind of as the gating agent associated with those kinds of products, then

[00:17:12] Collin: you have certain categories where that’s just never going to happen.

[00:17:15] Right. If I, we just got some Trop cherries, and that’s the best weed I’ve seen seen in a while. If I go to a store looking for that strain, like you may have that strain. But if you’re the bud tender, you know, oh, well this is, you know, this sun-grown is last year’s, this is last year’s harvest or yes, it’s that, but I’m not really sure that it’s, that, you know, the label says that it doesn’t look like trap cherries I’ve seen before in the past.

[00:17:36] Right. And that those inconsistencies that are going to be present in a lot of these categories are all, is going to make, make that a super high touch conversation. Yeah.

[00:17:46] Bryan Fields: The process of adding another product to your brand, you start with the customer perspective in mind, or do you start with the product type and then kind of work out to flushing out the.

[00:17:54] Collin: Yeah. I mean, we have a fairly famous 117 point checklist for this kind of a thing. I think it starts with, it starts with the market,. I think a lot of the times in a lot of industries, consumers may not know exactly what they want. So the first step is the market and seeing what is out there in the category, what the pricing is like so on and so forth.

[00:18:12] And from there, you can back into things like cost models and beyond our moon rocks, our sticks moon rocks are a great example of this. I think there was not much of that in the market in Oregon, before we launched. There are a couple, I don’t want to, I’m not trying to presume that we were the first, but there was not much demand.

[00:18:28] I think a lot, there was a lot of uncertainty with our sales team about if there was actually a demand for that. And we were confident there was, we looked at what’s out there, we back into the cost model. We source the components and and, and. So I think it’s market first, which is kind of maybe backwards, right?

[00:18:42] And with that product market fit, doesn’t always come

[00:18:44] but also from a product

[00:18:46] Bryan Fields: market fit standpoint, the market is still kind of developing as consumers kind of adjust what they’re really looking for and kind of how that experience entails. Just to clarify, what is he moving?

[00:18:55] Collin: So a moon rock is flour mixed with oil dusted or rolled in.

[00:19:00] So it’s kind of, it’s a little bit of everything jammed, jammed into, into one. So we do in California, we do three and a half grams, so eighth, and then one gram moon rocks, and Oregon. We do one grand moon rocks. And I think the there’s probably, if you Google it, you get these images of these nugs with like oil losing out of them.

[00:19:17] When you go to do a, a CPG that’s one gram, every time you can’t really do that. So we developed a process around that. Milling the flour to then get a consistent one gram every single time moon rock. And like I said, it’s, it’s a great bang for the buck product.

[00:19:32] Bryan Fields: Yeah. I don’t like enough to try that one time because through the recent announcement, right?

[00:19:36] Like how long was that process going through? Can you share some details of kind of, you know, what that was like? It must’ve been obviously an exciting one, but. A ton of probably paperwork and information, you know, from a commitment standpoint, whenever you kind of merge with another one, there’s a big kind of going forward moment.

[00:19:53] So, you know what, take us through a little bit about that.

[00:19:55] Collin: Yeah. So for me in this drain, this is my second round of M and a so second big integration of two companies and and then reaping the rewards and the struggles and challenges of doing that. So for us, there’s this massive. Influx and infrastructure.

[00:20:09] Right? We got cultivation infrastructure to build our brands on a, in both states. We’ve got facilities, we’ve got more retail, all that. And in terms of the process you’re absolutely right. It’s a slog on the back end. You’ve got the audits. You’ve got really the integration of the humans, right? This is a massive undertaking.

[00:20:26] There’s obviously redundancies there’s processes that mix or mesh, or don’t their strengths. There’s weaknesses. There’s a change curve. You Google change. There is a, I don’t know the actual name of it, but a widely known change curve that like, Excitement acceptance doubt or something somewhere. Right. And it drops off a cliff and then it, and then it levels out.

[00:20:47] And I think that there’s never been anything more accurate that changed per graphic with some emojis splattered on it has been in several decks of ours internally, and I’m excited to finally be here. Like I said, it gets us onto a bigger stage and I’m really excited to be, you know, the west coast MSO.

[00:21:04] There’s a lot of people playing at a very high level. All over the country, the nature of the industry is that it’s super fragmented. And for the time being we’re the west coast folks, I’m excited on that value proposition on that focus and what it is because California is as big as it gets in terms of economies and in the United States or the world.

[00:21:22] And so it’s like, it’s a good area to focus. Plenty to do.

[00:21:25] Bryan Fields: Yeah. I would say that’s pretty fair. So how long does something like that peak from, I’m not saying from like the initial conversation, but just kind of like rough ballpark on like, Hey. Is might be some serious. We should probably kick it around internally.

[00:21:36] What we’re thinking like, just from the ballpark timeframe.

[00:21:39] Collin: I think that our merger with Terra tech that ended yesterday with unrivaled brands was uncharacteristically quick. Three months it was announced, announced in March, obviously in the workflow works longer than that. We announced the close yesterday, which was the 8th of July.

[00:21:55] The first round we did with cannabis. You have these regulatory approvals. Ours happened through the middle of COVID. So we had a purgatory period. 19 months or something in the first pass at this right. Where everything is done. We’re just waiting for, for somebody at the government to check a box and call it, call it done.

[00:22:14] So from that standpoint, that, that creates a lot of unneeded angst, just from a leaving it up. But I think something we’ve done is just once the LOI is, are signed, it’s full speed ahead. Right? And there’s, there’s certain mechanics you put in place to address a possible outcome of, of things not going through, but full speed ahead on integration and, and working together.

[00:22:36] And then on days like yesterday, all it really means is great. Everybody’s got the same email address now and a redirect website. And we’re finally doing this, but we’ve really been in it for months. Alrighty.

[00:22:48] Bryan Fields: I think that’s, that’s perfectly said. So I guess the next question would be what’s next. What’s the next target?

[00:22:53] What’s the next. Kind of outcome. What are, what should we expect from you guys in the, in the short and near term?

[00:22:59] Collin: Yeah. So we’ve already announced our acquisition of silver Streak which is exciting. We really liked the DTC space. You know, we have our retail stores, but I think the entire trend of DTC is a really interesting one.

[00:23:11] And I think that knowing that we’re not going to be on a USPS truck anytime soon, I think kind of thing. Mixture of cannabis retail, and then bringing a faux DTC experience or an on demand experience is a really interesting one and was silver streak it’s as big as it gets delivery service wise in Northern California.

[00:23:29] And we’re excited where else I can go. And then I got to kind of stick to our guns with our CEO’s comments on this yesterday, we’ve got more deals in the pipeline. We’re excited to keep expanding and adding strategic pieces that, that line up with. West coast MSO and serving cannabis consumers rather than hypothetical ones.

[00:23:47] Bryan Fields: My follow-up question would be like you, you left out a coast. What are we expecting from the east coast?

[00:23:53] Collin: So our west coast focus is for today. Can’t speak too much to the future. Obviously we have big ambitions and there’s a lot to do. There’s a lot of ONTAP markets over there for now it’s west coast.

[00:24:03] And I think that kind of focus is super productive for the day to day of a business, which is outside of the obstructed MSO and is like really what matters. And so that focus has been super productive for our team’s vision. Day in and day out and mine as well. So we’ll, we’ll just have to take it one coset at a time.

[00:24:19] And, and while we’re on the topic west coast

[00:24:21] Bryan Fields: , make sure to edit that part out. So do brands travel, so you walk into a dispensary, you see a brand you love do, do brands travel like that, and if not, what do you think the industry needs in order to conduct to have that established brand. Like a Coca Cola, like a Pepsi where you walk in, where you’re like, that’s the product I’m looking for.

[00:24:40] How do brands get to that point?

[00:24:42] Collin: So brands travel logos on packaging, don’t travel. I think there’s a lot of the ladder in the industry, right? The real brands in cannabis are the ones that are embedded in the culture. And those brands, all travel cookies travels, right? Kiva travels. Corova travels sticks, travel.

[00:25:02] A lot of the brands that we see you can’t say that for. Right. And that’s because they’re manufactured by a marketing agency in the last 24 months or similar. So brands absolutely travel. And that’s what we see with Corova right. Corova is licensed in Oklahoma and Arizona and has a huge presence there.

[00:25:20] That’s that’s off the brand. And you can not say that for a lot of the brands.

[00:25:25] Kellan: I agree with that so much. I’ve seen there was a one brand in particular that I know, I, I just, I was debating whether I even say it just now in my head, but I’m not going to, I’m not going to there’s one brand in particular that was acquired in the past.

[00:25:39] And it was acquired by a larger company than what they were, and they completely change the entire formulation. And it’s different when you. State to stay in one state. It’s, it’s a specific solvent type type extraction concentrate in another state. They decided to use a different solvent. And so it’s just like, just like you said, it’s same logo on the packaging, but it’s a completely different product inside the packaging, which is just they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

[00:26:06] Then they’re just not being loyal to the industry and the consumers. And once everyone kind of. Figures it out. It’s going to be, it’ll be rough water moving forward. So yeah,

[00:26:16] Collin: consistency is, has always been a pillar for us and it’s for that exact reason, right? You don’t get to do a brand even, even one state at a time.

[00:26:24] If I can’t walk into the store, down the street and buy something and then go, you know, over the mountains, through the woods for the weekend with my family and walk into a store there and buy the same thing. Then that there’s not an actual brand happening. There’s there’s a package with the logo.

[00:26:38] And then at a bigger scale, the same can be said across states, right? That is a package with a logo. They’re not even putting the same stuff in it, much less, much less the same stuff with the same processes, a consistent form factor. That is how a bud light happens. That is how a generational brand happens.

[00:26:55] That’s how M and M.

[00:26:57] Bryan Fields: And is that because of cost saving, you think that’s what they’re doing?

[00:27:00] Collin: I think it’s the combination of cost saving and trying to like speed the market disorganization internally. I don’t think it’s one variable. I think it has to do with kind of multiple variables. Right? Like they expanded too quickly.

[00:27:16] They entered the market, they weren’t prepared to enter. Then they were like, okay, well we launched the brand and all of these dispensary’s are asking for us to carry it. What else can we put in it? And then from a top down, there’s just individuals that are in decision-making positions that don’t have experience in the space, which you see that time and time again.

[00:27:37] I think we touched on it earlier in terms of the experience with procurement, right? Like most undervalued position. And so there’s people making decisions that are like, well, it’s all TAC. So like, what’s the difference? You know what I mean? So I think that you can’t really pinpoint it to one specific variable.

[00:27:53] I think it’s a combination of a lot of different variables in my experience, from what I’ve seen,

[00:27:58] Kellan: I think M and a is a big piece of it, right? On a spreadsheet. It’s all the same. And so that’s, that’s especially the case. If, if that brand expansion happens by with rows in a spreadsheet, then it makes it that much easier for that to happen.

[00:28:10] Right. You buy processing lab X, they have this hardware great ship, the logo. And then, and then.

[00:28:16] Bryan Fields: We’ve talked about all that time, that, that really finite balance of like the optimization and growth, like how these, these big hematomas are feeling so, so fast and ultimately the consistency of the product, it’s going to be almost impossible to kind of replicate as they’re kind of just scooping up all of these places, because like you’re saying, they’re likely to shipping the logo and just saying, throw it out.

[00:28:36] Collin: Right. Yeah. I mean, the industry is so challenging. Like when I was in, I spent some time in Northern California working and it was like, you could get an OJI from Northern California and then you would get a batch of OJ from Southern California and they are completely different batches and they’re going to create completely different products.

[00:28:52] So even from that perspective, it’s just that the industry is. Fragmented. And that’s going to create all of these issues from a branding perspective, which again is why procurement is so important too, to building that consistency within, within a brand. Yep. I agree.

[00:29:07] Bryan Fields: Biggest misconception in the cannabis space.

[00:29:10] Collin: I think the biggest misconception in the cannabis space is the hypothetical cannabis. user Right. Again, drummed up in a marketing agency, an avatar for a customer that may or may not exist, or if they exist, they buy that little vape pen every six weeks. Right? We’re going after folks that go to the dispensary every day or they go twice a week or they go three times a week.

[00:29:32] Those are the people that consume cannabis. Those are the people that are loyal to brands. Those are the consumers. And I think that there’s a huge divide. Across those. And I think it’s perpetuated by the fact that a lot of the large MSOs are operating in limited licensed states where whatever exists is what exists.

[00:29:49] Right. And they’re setting that tone. When you come to the west coast, there’s been legal cannabis for 25 years in Oregon, in California, maybe it’s 20, right.

[00:29:59] Kellan: It’s 25 96 is when I would say technically it was legal in California. Right? Right.

[00:30:03] Collin: So the brands that have grown out of that and the consumers that have grown up.

[00:30:07] In the culture and the industry that’s grown out of that is not a manufactured one. It’s the most authentic in the country. And that means that I think the most influential brands in cannabis globally will come out of the west coast. And I think in my opinion today, it’s cookies and it’s for all of those reasons,

[00:30:24] Bryan Fields: what we do, prediction time, we ask all of our guests the same question.

[00:30:28] If you could sum up your experience into a lesson learned or main takeaway who pass onto the next generation, what would that be?

[00:30:38] Collin: Build? I have a strong bias towards action. I think everything that gets done in general, anywhere in any industry in any space is by people that did it. And that may seem obvious, but I think a lot of people sit on the sidelines and wait to be asked to do.

[00:30:54] Or guided to the light and builders belt. You just do it. That’s how we get here

[00:30:58] Bryan Fields: 10 years from now. What will be the main differentiator when consumers are selecting a product in the dispensary? Brand product category influencer, fulfill recommendation.

[00:31:09] Collin: I think 10 years from now, we will be getting into a more mature market where brand really makes a big difference today.

[00:31:17] It’s much more wide opening in California. Brand is a huge factor. And in Northern California and Oregon genetics and growers are much bigger piece of the puzzle, but I think the more mature it gets, the more the brand will. And 10 years from now, we won’t even be close to mature, but we’ll be headed down that path.

[00:31:35] Bryan Fields: What ending do you think we’ll be in, in 10 years? I bet it will be in the second half of it. I bet. I bet. Five or six, just based on the speed. Right. With alcohol, it took a hundred years is not going to, or I guess we’re a hundred years into alcohol. I don’t think that that’s one of the places where the comparison falls off.

[00:31:51] I think we’re going to be in fully, pretty mature industry 10 years from now, especially if we get federal legalization in the next 24 months.

[00:32:00] Kellan: I think Colin set up perfectly. I think brand is really what’s. Everyone’s going to kind of write home about if you will. I think that’s, what’s going to dictate decisions and I mean, just like people don’t buy RC Cola and if they buy Coca-Cola right, like you don’t hear people talking about RC Coke, you don’t hear you.

[00:32:15] Don’t see. A world famous soccer player, pulling a RC Coke bottle off of the stage. Right? So I think at the end of the day, it’s going to be brands that are going to dictate it.

[00:32:24] Collin: Let me tack onto that. I think an important caveat to that is brand is not logo on a package brand is expectation setting and consistency and community and culture.

[00:32:35] And so with those things as brand and logo on a package is easy to confuse, but it’s not.

[00:32:41] Bryan Fields: Just big spin on that it’s trust, right? Like there’s a, there’s a trust factor when you select a product there’s expectations that consistency of the product is going to be what you’re expecting because in this industry, at least from what I’ve seen, sometimes consumers have an off-putting experience the first time and are likely deterred from going back down that route again.

[00:32:59] They’re either they had a bad experience with an edible in college. They, they did this, they did that. And they’re unlikely to kind of consider that in the future. So I think if you’re saying trust is so important for this experience and sometimes the first experience is that delicate balance. So for me, obviously, brand is the high choice.

[00:33:15] I think it’s both a recommendation. And you’re from now, I’m going to believe that we’re going to be way past where we are now, probably for thinning, maybe third, but I think they’ll still be a big group of consumers that haven’t kind of migrated into mass adoption. And I think they’ll still be hesitant just because I think the stigma, at least from the east coast standpoint is still so stomped on come people that they’re unlikely to attempt it.

[00:33:36] I’m talking more about like the boomers age. I think they will be a little more hesitant to try it. And I think in Kenya, They’ll still have that stigma where I think the other generations will be more likely to go forward. So I think for their soldier recommendations, I think the dynamic of a friend saying I had this product when I went out to Oregon, I had tried tried six.

[00:33:54] It was amazing. You got to go grab it. I think that’s huge because I think someone here that goes out there for the first time is looking for that specific type of brand and trust. So. Cool. So Colleen, before we wrap, where can our listeners get in touch with you? And we’ll pack it all in the show notes, they want to learn more.

[00:34:08] Collin: Yup. Twitter guy. So my last name is land force. Exactly how it sounds. L a N D F O R C E. And at land force on Twitter, I’ve been making a conscious effort to do tweets last six months and I will continue to do so. And then for us on rivaled brands.com, just like it sounds you can get a great rundown of what we’re up to our brands, where to buy.

[00:34:32] All that good stuff right there.

[00:34:34] Bryan Fields: Cool. Well, appreciate your time.

[00:34:35] Collin: Thanks guys.

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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!

Bryan Fields (Twitter: @bryanfields24) and Kellan Finney (Twitter: @Kellan_Finney) broke down the Medical Cannabis Industry with Dr. Jean Talleryand of MediCann.

Dr Talleryand’s 20 years in the medical field make him an expert when it comes to Cannabis as a form of medicine. Listen now to hear Bryan, Kellan and Dr. Talleryand discuss the following:

  • What is The Dosing Project™?
  • Why is the medical industry slow to adapt to new changes?
  • How does one decide if medical marijuana is a good fit?
  • How are providers being educated on what products to pick?
  • What are the most common uses for Medical Cannabis?

Subscribe to The Dime Podcast on your favorite streaming service or by visiting: https://www.eighthrevolution.com/the-dime-podcast

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[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents. What’s up guys. Welcome back to the episode of the dime as always. I’ve got my right-hand man Kellen Finney here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest back the T in the building back to tea.

[00:00:21] Thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?

[00:00:23] Dr. Jean: Doing well. Thanks for asking me to be alive.

[00:00:29] Knowing how you doing,

[00:00:30] Kellan: doing well, just a Scott down and joined the 4th of July out here in Colorado. So it’s another sunny day. Just looking forward to the rest of the week

[00:00:39] Bryan Fields: for sure.

[00:00:40] Dr. T it’d be great to kind of get into your background and how you got into the

[00:00:44] Dr. Jean: space.

[00:00:44] So I first heard about cannabis in California during my residency, so that’s more than 20 years ago. I finished residency. I started in 1995 and finished in 92. Toward the end of my residency, I had a patient come to me and asked me to sign this form. And I guess I had known cannabis in college and pretty much dropped it from there.

[00:01:07] You know, medical school training is pretty rigorous and it’s tough to keep yourself together and be using regularly. So the patient really struck me because. Was not asking for opiates for his chronic pain. In fact, he was handing them over to me and asking me to sign this paper and said, that’s just fascinating as well.

[00:01:29] I, you know, I I’m trained in family medicine and was specifically looking at complimentary and alternative. Medicines. So things like traditional Chinese medicine puncture, so Canada’s fit right into the herbalism paradigm. And so really worked with what I was interested in. And here I was in Northern California watching the community using cannabis.

[00:01:53] It was perfect to learn more about it. So I signed a paper and the patient was pretty happy. Pain under control. And I said, wow, this big, you know people handing out, usually they come into your office and they’re asking for pain medicines or for hope prescriptions. And so this was before the whole crackdown on opiates.

[00:02:12] But to see this was really looking into the future and going, wow, this is going to change the medical industry as it’s still doing that.

[00:02:21] What year was that?

[00:02:22] That was 98. So my last year of residency, and then back then, there were some clubs in, that’s what they call them in San Francisco, Dennis Perone clubs.

[00:02:35] There’s a club called champs. And, you know, once they heard that, that I was a doctor willing to entertain their use of cannabis, that they. Budding to me. So I began to learn more from my patients and more about the plan and how it works. See that it had many benefits, including treating chronic pain,

[00:02:55] Now,

[00:02:56] Bryan Fields: let’s kind of dive into that.

[00:02:57] Obviously 98 was a very different time than we are now. Were you hesitant at the time to kind of sign off on that because you took a very different route than many of your peers would have taken. And some might’ve been very hesitant to kind of sign off on that. That would be the road less traveled. So can you kind of hear how you thought about that decision?

[00:03:18] That’s a tough one.

[00:03:18] Dr. Jean: Absolutely.

[00:03:19] Well, you know, complimentary and alternative medicine is also a bit less travel than surgeries, traditional pharmaceutical. Medicine. So I was already putting myself from their friend. Yeah. At first I kind of laughed at it cause I didn’t know the science behind cannabis.

[00:03:35] And I just saw you ask them folks just trying to get hot. But as I learned the science side, you know, and learn the impact. Wow. It really changed my spine. It was good to get introduced to, you know, some physicians that had been doing this for awhile, you know, since the seventies trying to advocate for patients like that.

[00:03:56] Yeah, I’ve heard and rattler Todd Mikuriya, who were really pioneers in California in being advocates for patients. But yeah, I definitely put me in the fringe of the medical world. It’s something I was probably born to be anyway. I’m third generation physician. So I came in. Medical school was a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and having grown up with dinnertime conversations on the medical industry anyway.

[00:04:24] So it fit me pretty well

[00:04:27] Bryan Fields: after that first patient did a second patient come with a similar request, because like you were saying, others kind of flooded towards you. You know, if you’re interested in kind of taking a different route than the opioids, and you’re looking for a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana, that likely could have been one where either it took a little while, or it could have been quickly after.

[00:04:46] So how long roughly.

[00:04:48] Dr. Jean: Well, you know what one friend tells two friends and then so on, and then pretty soon the dispatch history or the club gets to know your name and what wasn’t long. I took a, a break, you know, after residency, wasn’t long, probably around 2000, 2001. I was seeing more patients than I could handle.

[00:05:08] And I took a little break and eventually realized that, Hey, this could be a business, you know, of course. Training as a physician doesn’t necessarily make you a good businessman. So it took a little while for it to distract me. Oh yeah. I guess this could be a business. So we started medic Canon in 2004 and Medi-Cal essentially was the Referral service that said patients interested in medical cannabis to two physicians to evaluate

[00:05:38] them.

[00:05:40] Bryan Fields: Some of those other physicians that kind of joined the network were, were there some that were hesitant to kind of be a part of it, obviously from a research standpoint, there might’ve been not as abundant of information back then. So like how did you communicate to them? All these opportunities and upsides, because one of the area to we’re looking to expand on is kind of the educational gap and communicating all the possible values.

[00:06:02] But where did you go there?

[00:06:04] Dr. Jean: It’s still a work in progress 20 years later, just to, you know, heads up the medical industries, just getting around to this idea of computers are a good thing. We’re really slow and conservative in regards to adopting new ideas. And cannabis is definitely one. At first, it wasn’t great.

[00:06:23] You know, I definitely would run into the fringe physicians, you know, who were just doing it to make money or, or do something out of different rebellious and sort of trying to train them to apply the science was a little hard, but over time I developed. A method. And now it’s interesting because what my goal is is to train physicians, to be, you know, a little bit researcher, a little bit prescriber, you know, using the idea of an equals one, you know, a case to look at the patient that way, rather than me telling them how to use the cannabis and what mostly it’s about education, rather than talking to the patient rather than.

[00:07:07] Dictating what they’re going to do. And that’s a little hard for physicians. We’re so used to knowing all the answers, you know, so teaching them to sort of regain their scientific explorative training and really be, you know, a research scientist rather than. Prescribers in the field, that’s really the goal.

[00:07:25] So it’s still hard to burden physicians because relinquishing that powerful position is part of the, how you become a medical cannabis physician. But it’s a very interesting, and you learn from the patients and you end up. Sharing that educational approach, educating, educating patients in your interaction.

[00:07:47] So, yeah, I don’t know if your experiences, when you seen physicians, is that was what the approach they had or just kind of find the paper and see you later. But really that’s what I’m trying to get docs to do is document what the use patterns are, understand the dosage and get specific about what you’re treating.

[00:08:07] And really worked with an experiment patients with new products, burying products, too. I have, for an example, I did. And you can stop talking, but I will talk forever. That’s for an example, I have one of my early patients was a four year old girl, a little girl. Who had that Mannix Gusto syndrome that was made popular or famous with Dr.

[00:08:33] Gupta’s using Charlotte’s web, but I had that patient also, or, and and we did also notice how CBD was really stop her seizures. But the problem of course, with the industry is that the plant is married. And so we would get great results for several months. And then when the batch change and here comes the seizures again, and we didn’t know what the, what was wrong.

[00:08:59] Well, it is different where we, you know, what had changed in the batch and I’d ask the growers. Did you change? Are the turpines changing? Well, of course they’re changing. Yeah. Probably causing her to have her seizures come back. So that really highlights the biggest issue with the industry now is how to take a variable plan, multiple chemicals, energy, and getting it to something predictable where we dose it and where we can understand exactly what combination of active ingredients are affecting the outcome.

[00:09:34] Right now, she is 13 and Using Epidiolex. So she’s come full circle on it. And it’s working by the way, trying to convince her neurologist to use Epidiolex years ago. It was a no go. We’ve actually, they’ve come around and now she’s successfully being treated with.

[00:09:58] Bryan Fields: It’s an amazing story. And Kellen, I want to go to you because I got a question about the variability of the, and then the PR person response is hear you’re building up the product and the variability of the individual.

[00:10:08] Are those going to be counterintuitive when approaching the success of a product?

[00:10:13] Kellan: Yeah, I

[00:10:13] mean, at the end of the day, I think this is why a lot of people nowadays, especially myself, Kind of criticized big pharma for only using like a one chemical approach for treating illnesses. But at the end of the day, it’s the most sound scientific approach in terms of trying to get results.

[00:10:35] Right. Just change one variable at a time. With cannabis there’s instances where you will create a product. And just like Dr. T was saying in terms of the variability from a terpene perspective, but there’s a bunch of other final chemicals that are present in an extract from cannabis. And when you start changing 8, 10, 12, 20 different chemicals in a quote-unquote medicine.

[00:10:59] It really, really makes it challenging to have reproducible results from a treatment

[00:11:04] Dr. Jean: perspective. Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s going to be a challenging for pharmacology and pharmacology is not developed with that in mind. So it really is sort of breaking new ground in pharmacology, but very exciting because it could really produce a whole group of new medicines.

[00:11:26] With multiple active ingredients that are acting synergistically. So yeah, very exciting to, you know, grab a cannabis, maybe an old plant, but it’s really pushing our, our methods to newer methods. So excellent. Direction thickness. I think

[00:11:42] Bryan Fields: sometimes those newer methods are challenging for people and for older generations, particular to kind of adjust to the possibilities.

[00:11:51] Maybe I haven’t prescribed cannabis before medically for these patients, but who am I to kind of pull this option off the table for some of these individuals and these poor children that are suffering from some of these upper, from some of these diseases, because there is that challenge, like you were saying, Dr.

[00:12:06] T of like, understanding that true nuances of the plan and then prescribing it sometimes is looked at as like a last resort when unfortunately. It’s too far down the line. It should be considered as an option upfront in order to help these people, because we’ve seen early signs that are positive. Sure.

[00:12:23] There’s not been an overwhelming amount of evidence early on to kind of give a strong sample size, but the early indications are strong. How do we communicate? It’s small sample sizes as a powerful starting ground to a larger material.

[00:12:38] Dr. Jean: Well, that’s a great question. Yeah. We just have a handful of folks who are well, you know, to bring back my, my example of the little girl who was on multiple medications and the seizures were not going away.

[00:12:52] And as you know, had surgical procedures to try to stop the seizures and they weren’t working completely either. So in, in the end, when you’re out. Options and you sort of brought up you know up against the wall, you know, and there is this one option it’s working, it forces you to go into it.

[00:13:11] So that’s kind of what I think it’s going to do in some ways unfair, you know, it’s pretty safe. I think pretty, because I think often many people say it’s completely safe and, and, you know, there are incidents, instances of folks getting hurt by using cannabis. Now, something as simple as having a fainting episode, as, as you take a to-be for, while you’re driving, you know, things like that.

[00:13:39] That we don’t talk about very much. So there are negatives to it, but overall it’s pretty safe, especially compared to some of the pharmaceuticals

[00:13:48] Bryan Fields: that are out there to push back on Callan’s biggest enemy. And if you’ve listened to a podcast for Kellen versus pharma is a reoccurring theme here. So, I mean, big pharma obviously is not going to want to give up their market share because it is a really in dollar and it might be even understanding the financial impact.

[00:14:05] What role is big form of going to play in the advancements of medical marijuana? Can they be an ally or are they going to be kind of this back and forth enemy? So partner in this, I want

[00:14:17] Kellan: to just take one quick, second. I think they can be an ally, but I think that the benefit of having cannabis not institutionalized within big pharma provides one benefit at this juncture.

[00:14:29] Say there is something really negative that happens. And it happens to an individual who has a very strong legal team from an experience standpoint. They could come after and shut the whole thing down because say it’s a couple big companies doing. The liability aspect and the legal lawsuits and all of that will come in and just crush a lot, a big company because they have the bank account to pay those punitive damages.

[00:14:58] And so if something negative happens, having a fragmented space right now, while we still work out the kinks from a medicinal standpoint, Could potentially help the industry stay afloat and continue to move forward. Because at the end of the day, the reason big pharma focuses on one chemical medicines is because of liability and lawsuits.

[00:15:19] You know what I mean? And, and at the end of the day, they’re trying to develop a medicine to treat a specific illness that is variable within every human, because humans are all different, right? Like personalized medicine is a thing, but it’s gonna take time. And while we work out the kinks of understanding how you put the five keys in the lock, instead of just one key in one lock it’s best to kind of have that on the fringe where some angry person can’t go after all of the capital required to continue that company to continue to work out those kinks.

[00:15:51] So that’s, I’m just going to I’ll end it right there, but that was my one little pro pro thought about the big pharma being involved.

[00:15:59] Dr. Jean: Yeah, I agree with you that Rick farmer can be an ally, but it really is frame shifting. Well, you know, first we all have this sort of enamored vision of the magic bullet, right?

[00:16:12] The magic bullet that can do all, you know, in one. And it’s just not realistic, but it’s great for industry because if you happen to own and produce the magic bullet, then, then it’s very simple. And every time. Add an extra active ingredient. The complexity is exponential, right? And so it’s not just the linear it’s, it’s an exponent.

[00:16:36] So going down that road is, you know, as, as my partner Dr. Abrams say, it’s like going down the rabbit hole, you know, you can get lost very quickly trying to figure out what magic bullets or what active multiple activities. I will do. And then people are very different and that’s something new in the pharma.

[00:16:58] I mean, the whole idea of precision medicine, where we actually will do a genetic swab, figure out what type you are right now. If you’ve got high blood pressure, you know, there are a handful of medicines we might prescribe to you for high blood pressure, but we wouldn’t really swab your cheek and figure out what your genetic makeup is before we prescribe the medicine.

[00:17:20] And that may be the future. So that may be where pharma is going, where we’re, we’re getting more and more precise. We’re dialing in through multivariate analysis and understandings, which group of chemicals may work for your individual position.

[00:17:39] Bryan Fields: Well, I want to agree with both of you. I just don’t think that’s how real life works.

[00:17:44] Big pharma is interested in owning their moat. They’ve got a stranglehold on how it works. They want less variables because they want to control how it works and they want to control the prices because at the end of the day, Kaelin, while I’d love for that to be accurate about fragments in a protected meaning.

[00:18:00] You don’t care about these personal gratitudes for people and actually helping people. In my opinion, they care about dollar signs, right? Like, because the opioid manufacturers didn’t really care that people were having all these issues. They cared about dollar signs. And at the end of the day, my opinion, what motivates big pharma.

[00:18:20] Kellan: I know, but one thing to just remember when you kind of stand that is big pharma cannot own the moat because these are chemicals that nature makes right. They cannot patent chemicals from nature. So that is where the it’s the most challenging aspect. And so with Epidiolex, They own a formulation that includes all of these products from cannabis plant, and then they also own the genetics.

[00:18:44] They keep it under lock and key. There’s a ton more trade secrets involved in how GW does business than most pharma companies. Most pharma companies are like, here’s our patents. Here’s our acts. Here’s our, why it’s out in the open. And there’s more trade secrets in terms of, they only source there, the biomass from one cultivator, right.

[00:19:05] They had to do it this way because they have to control the genetics and it’s under super, super lock and key the exact environment that they are cultivating it because those are dictating the chemical profiles and they can’t own that. And so like, that’s the biggest obstacle. And I know there’s a lot of really smart lawyers involved in big pharma, but at the end of the day, they’re not gonna be able to patent th.

[00:19:28] They’re not going to be able to patent CBD. Right. And so it’s going to have to be this special formulation and they’re going to have to get creative and start adding in synthetic chemicals that are not ubiquitous to nature.

[00:19:38] Dr. Jean: I believe the Epidiolex is just CBD oil,

[00:19:45] Kellan: but it’s a formulation, right? CBD is not schedule one, but it’s what they did.

[00:19:51] And this is just smart lobbyists, right. Is what they did is they formulated a various mixture of CBD and other oils to create Epidiolex. And then the formulation of Epidiolex is what was rescheduled to, to schedule three or whatever. Right.

[00:20:09] Bryan Fields: Is it just CBD? Isolate? I thought there was turpines and some THC in there.

[00:20:14] Dr. Jean: No,

[00:20:14] because every time they thought of leaving those in the complexity, Yeah, so they just ended up now, there is a formulation, how to, how they got to it, how many milligrams per kilogram. And then of course, you know, making it stable, which is what the rest of the non-pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers haven’t quite gotten onto it.

[00:20:40] Make the same thing every time doing that when you’ve got multiple ingredients gets tricky, but yeah, at 10 milligrams to 25 milligrams per kilogram, which is a whopping dose by the way. And not really what’s available out there in the industry in terms of, you know, can you get that by going to start at dispense?

[00:21:00] Very hard to get that dose. It requires you getting, you know, a couple of hundred milligrams per tablet for an adult size. So

[00:21:11] Bryan Fields: did your endocannabinoid system evolve over time? For example, if you’re five years old and then you’re 25 years old, do you need a different sort of formulation in order to kind of still attack that same issue?

[00:21:24] I’m

[00:21:24] Dr. Jean: not sure if the endocannabinoid system changes over time, but your body weight changes and we prescribed medicines based on body weight. It becomes less of an issue as you grow older part, especially for children. You know, as they’re rapidly changing body weight, better adjust the medicines. To that, that’s why I said that, you know, milligrams per kilogram body weight, then that’s what we were using to try to dose the Lennox, Gusto kids who were having those seizures.

[00:21:55] Bryan Fields: Grandmom’s perfectly says that a many to many problems as we just continue down this rabbit holes. Let’s talk about consumers from a medical standpoint, what type of common issues are you seeing directed towards medical marijuana and kind of take us through just everyday conversations that our consumers are having.

[00:22:14] So for example, if someone is dealing with an issue internally, and they’re just not sure if medical marijuana could be a good fit, what sort of everyday things are you hearing that you, you can share with?

[00:22:24] Dr. Jean: So in terms of, you know, what are patients presenting to me with? Yeah. They’re, you know, the, I’d say the top four in the four corners of the yard are, you know, trying to improve pain, this sort of pain, you know trying to get sleep.

[00:22:43] A lot of insomnia up there improve anxiety. Or mood is really, you know, improve mood because, you know, anxiety or depression, improve mood and then appetite, everything to do with your guts. So those are the four corners of the world. You know, I was thinking about the other day, and I don’t know how geeked out you want to get with this, but it’s the autonomic nervous system, you know, if you think about the sympathetic.

[00:23:11] Fight or flight and the parasympathetic really controlling your your Your basic functioning involuntary functioning. There’s, there’s a link between them autonomic nervous system and the endocannabinoid system, which is where cannabis active ingredients are affecting. So it’s going to be interesting to sort of tease those two out, see how they would.

[00:23:34] Bryan Fields: Yeah, and I appreciate you breaking those up into the quadrants. So then I guess my follow-up question would be for someone like myself, who likely has all four of those issues, but would I be picking individual products to kind of suit that? So for example, in the, during the day, if my anxiety is running wild, I would lean towards this recommended product.

[00:23:52] And if I’ve got pain from my anxiety, then you would take this one. So is there kind of like the individual based approach you would take or how would you recommend. I usually

[00:24:01] Dr. Jean: start with the dominant, active ingredients in the products and really sort of trying to you know, present this THC. Or TMCA, you know, versus CBD or CBDA.

[00:24:14] So which one are you going to take one? Are you going to take the other, or you’re going to take a mix of the two and that sort of really helps the simplify because it isn’t experimentation. Right? So by understanding what THC does, what its effects are an advert. Affects it helps the patients, you know, choose one or the other.

[00:24:36] And I like to explain it to the patient this way. I’d like to, I say so the endocannabinoid system, imagine it as, as a car engine and engine is running and you’re going to be adding either fuel THC or oil CBD. So they work differently, but they both helped the engine work a little bit better or help a little bit better.

[00:25:00] So, you know, obviously, you know, a little gap and a little oil in the engine is better than just one or the other alone, you know, is sort of the assumption and probably pretty close to true. And so let’s start with those ingredients and w what you’re feeling and. What what it’s affecting. So it doesn’t have to be just, you know, this product is going to, you’re going to get better with anxiety by taking 10 milligrams of THC.

[00:25:27] That’s what I have to convince other doctors that we can’t be prescriptive prescriptive at this point. It’s going to take us years to really get prescriptive. We’ve got to be experimental and introduced. The players in the game and let them have the patient, understand the players and, and then start experimenting with dosing.

[00:25:47] And of course, starting low and creeping up discussing which modes of administration work for you. It could be that your headache gets better by rubbing a topic. Application on your forehead, or it could be that your headache gets better by taking a tincture or are smoking the flower. So it is not really one way, one path to getting the headache better.

[00:26:11] There are many paths and many active ingredients. So it’s, you know, what’s, what’s going to be your direction. Let’s explore. And that’s really, I think the best approach at this point, and maybe always the best approach with all the complexities of it. Eventually we’re going to get specific formulas, helping a large crowd of people where they’re going to be.

[00:26:33] We’re going to be able to say, okay, you know, five milligrams of THC and 20 milligrams of CBD. Alleviate the 90% of the headaches in this cohort of this core population. But at this point we are not there yet. We’re still trying to figure out I was telling those. We’re still trying to figure out how to categorize the different products out there, where to put one product versus the other.

[00:26:59] Bryan Fields: How did we get there?

[00:27:00] Dr. Jean: Wow. How do you tease apart a tag or math? You know, I think the, I love the crowdsourcing approach. I really love it. I think it’s a stroke of genius too, because we have the ability. To get information from the crowd. And let me explain it a little bit more. So traditional clinical studies follows a very specific route where there are four phases to studies from studying the safety of a particular active ingredient, all the way to producing the active ingredients, figuring out what dose works best for groups of people.

[00:27:36] And then. It works, you know, phase 1, 2, 3, once it goes through the different phases of clinical trial, the last phase is phase four, where it’s now the product is now out in the market and we’re gathering information on the safety. And the efficacy of the product from when it’s out there in the market.

[00:27:58] Well, cannabis really needs skips phase 1, 2, 3, and jumps into phase four. So it almost allows us to get information that feeds back to improving a product and then running it through phase one, two and three. Does that make any sense or am I talking to much. Yeah. So I love this phase four approach.

[00:28:19] People are trying it now. Let’s sort of sample the crowd, see what’s working for who and then sort of zero in on the magic formula up there. And then take that and then go through the traditional approach. Making sure it’s. In, in a group of people, typically phase one studies are just a handful of people.

[00:28:43] Phase two, three. If you’ve got, you know, a couple of hundred people in your study, that’s the large study phase four is sampling the masses and sampling everyone. So you get things like rare adverse events from phase four. That’s why you see certain products get released into the market pharmaceutical products.

[00:29:03] After going through phase one, two and three. They get released into the market. And then you find out years later that it’s being recalled because now that everybody’s got a chance to try it, we’re really seeing what the, what the problems are with it. Rather than that small study studies are models for the environment, but now we don’t need the bottle everyone’s using.

[00:29:24] We’re going to get the data from that and really get a good understanding of how

[00:29:29] Bryan Fields: it’s this, the dosing project. Can you kind of shed some light on how you think yeah. Is this, is this the dosing project? I was hoping you’d say the name, but now I just want to confirm, like, this is, this is the intention.

[00:29:45] Can you shed some light on that?

[00:29:47] Dr. Jean: Right. Right. So the promoting our research started the dosing project. We figured, you know, we, we started a research group thinking, okay, we want to get a lot of different companies collaborating on cannabis research to improve the industry and improve the medicine folks out there.

[00:30:07] The thought, okay. Maybe we’ll go through the traditional route, but it’s a very long and lengthy process and choosing which magic formula to bring through the traditional path is it was starting. I mean, how many different possibilities could be out there? I think people are trying that and they’re running into dead end because it’s like searching for a needle in the haystack with all this.

[00:30:35] So we just decided let’s sift the haystack through our fingers and see have the needle fall out, you know? And so let’s sample the crowds and see what they’re using and see what’s working that really what the dosing project is. So what we’re doing is basically crowdsourcing. We’re getting folks to try different products.

[00:30:54] We’re getting information on the product that they’re trying and how it works. And using that to come up with a good understanding of how many milligrams per kilogram of a magic formula that requires to improve pain and improve sleep. I was just going

[00:31:13] to

[00:31:13] Kellan: say, I think it’s a really cool time to be alive right now because of the infrastructure from a illegal and medicinal market standpoint at this, at this juncture, because this wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago without the amount of testing and compliance.

[00:31:28] That’s been forced on the industry. Because now individuals can see exactly what the active ingredients are in the product, because they’re required to get a tested before they can sell it to the consumer. So that’s a, I think I just wanted to point that out to the general listeners, because I think that that’s a unique aspect that the dosing project is working with right now that wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago or

[00:31:49] Dr. Jean: yeah, even 50 years ago, you know, because we can use the.

[00:31:54] And we can crowdsource a lot easier now than we could. 30, 50 years ago. It’s going to really revolutionize, I believe pharmaceutical development to a different paradigm of where, where we can use phase four information, much more rapidly to improve formulations.

[00:32:17] Bryan Fields: Can I be a part of the study. Do I have to buy certain types of products like medical versus black market versus recreational?

[00:32:23] Like if I’m interested in being a part of this study, is there a certain path you are looking to take purchase certain types of products and where I purchased them from?

[00:32:32] Dr. Jean: Well, you know, at first we just decided to just as a proof of concept, we decided to. Study, what most people are using out there, which is the flower smoking, the cannabis flower we’re able to to rapidly, you know, fairly rapidly just after 700 responses, but really after a hundred responses, we were able to see statistical significance and we’re able to see that there’s a group of people that had significant pain relief after.

[00:33:05] Smoking the flower, a high THC flower at an estimated dose of 0.9, four milligrams per kilogram. What does that mean to the it’s about three quarters of one grand joint. So if I talk to patients there, if I said, wow, you know, we’re, most of our patients are getting complete relief with that. A lot of my patients.

[00:33:27] I would have difficulty with that because that’s a lot to consume for some folks who are used to just taking a puffer to, and, and that’s all they can tolerate maybe because it makes them anxious to take more, the smoke bothers them. All sorts of reasons why they can’t take more. So it gets difficult for them, but those who are able to take it or have been reporting significant pain relief at that, at that dose.

[00:33:53] So it starts to put a stake in the sand and lets us know, okay, maybe this is something we can work with and develop, you know, products that are based on that dosage. Hence the name of the project, that dosing project, you know, it was crowdsourcing. Seeing what they’re using and then creating a dose effect relationship that we can communicate to the world so that they can predict what the product is going to do to

[00:34:21] Bryan Fields: them, for people who want to be involved.

[00:34:23] So people, listeners that are hearing this for the first time and being aware, is there, can they contribute? Do you want additional participants share some more information on that? So instead of Kellan and I fielding a hundred questions of people wanting to be connected, We can just send them directly to where it’d be most valuable for you.

[00:34:41] Dr. Jean: Yeah. We’re well, you know, we’re in the second phase of the docent project where now we’re getting, you know, we were sampling for proof of concept. We’re just staring. Cannabis because that’s, what’s available and that’s what most people are doing. But we are transitioning to specific products that are available out there.

[00:35:01] And yeah, we’re looking for sponsors who want to put their product into the dosing project to see. What comes out of it, what dose is really effective. This is a great opportunity for a sponsor to start to make label claims and begin to, you know, help the consumer, understand what the majority of people are experiencing with their product pretty rapidly.

[00:35:28] I mean, we were able to get significances in just six months of work where your traditional study takes years. So it’s a quick, fast way to get to an answer

[00:35:39] somewhere,

[00:35:41] Bryan Fields: but it’s the number one question you get asked when people find out your role in the industry?

[00:35:48] Dr. Jean: The number one question I get asked by my patient?

[00:35:51] Bryan Fields: Just if you’re walking the street, introduce yourself and say, this is who I am. This is what I do. What, what would be kind of like a generalized, common question you get approached with.

[00:36:03] Dr. Jean: Can I have your number and I make an appointment, honestly, that’s probably the, you know, it, it seems, and maybe I’m a little skewed being in California, but it seems that everyone has tried cannabis and understand that.

[00:36:23] Not everyone has looked at it from a, the medicinal viewpoint. And, and so, you know, folks who were struggling with, you know, the four corners, the anxiety, the pain, or they want to find something that’s working for them. And often pharmaceuticals have issues. And so it’s, you know, they’re interested. They want to interest in, and it doesn’t work for everyone for us.

[00:36:49] I mean, that’s, that’s normal, but to explore. And to go through it and see how it might work for you is, is pretty interesting too. And you know, we’re also uncovering old methods of, of using, you know, for example, in Jamaica, the medicinal way to use cannabis. Might be the, take a, the flower and boil it in water and then strain the flower out and drink the water.

[00:37:17] And this is what might be given to kids or elderly, whereas smoking, it may be more considered back. And so taking that medicinal and looking at the active ingredients, and if we saw that. Most of the ingredients were, are acidic cannabinoids, which are not active, but have potential anti-inflammatory anti-anxiety effects.

[00:37:45] So it’s interesting to sort of, you know, take the crowd and help them change the way they’re using cannabis or offer them different options so that you can dress through.

[00:37:57] Bryan Fields: If you could sum up your experience into a main takeaway or lesson learned to pass on to the next generation,

[00:38:04] what would that be?

[00:38:06] Dr. Jean: I really love this crowd sourcing approach.

[00:38:07] I think it’s going to, you know, using technology. Using computation to really dial into precision medicine. It seems very confusing to have all these ingredients, you know, many to many problem, all these ingredients and many different people with different chemistries, but we have. Technology now to sort of match people and create this better effect than the one size fits all approach.

[00:38:37] That has been the dominant way of the pharmaceutical industry. So I think that’s going to really exciting medicine down the road. It’s going to be the future. You know, where you are, personal your medicine is personalized and cannabis is going to be a great candidate for that. That’s what I’m looking for.

[00:38:56] Bryan Fields: Prediction of time, 10 years from now, medical marijuana, will it be accepted as widely as some of the other pharmaceutical ads forward? And if so, which area will be the biggest youth face?

[00:39:15] Dr. Jean: Well, sorry to say. I mean, I thought we would. I, you know, in fact, I, I would talk with the other doctors and we’d put that song on whether it’s going to be 10 or 20 years before things were going to really progressed to, you know, cannabinoids and other active ingredients in the plant being part of medicine.

[00:39:39] And I was on the 10 year side. But it’s been 20 years and we’re not even close. So I say, I don’t know, it’s moving slowly. So in 10 years, I think we’re still going to be trying to figure out the right pattern of, hopefully it moves. But it hasn’t so far, we’re still stuck in, in, you know, the fear of THC, the fear of the psychoactive or the and, and the unknown, you know, as doctors are, you know, conservative generally slow to progress to new things.

[00:40:11] So it’s going to be slow. W we’ll be maybe a little further on as we are now. Turns out science is hard.

[00:40:22] Kellan: I do think that it’ll be more accepted than it is today. And I think that’s just going to be a product of having legal cannabis available. And I think most states at that point. And so I think when. When you legalize it and recreational use becomes standard. I think people then, or who are skeptical about it in general, are going to have at least a curbed opinion related to the medicinal benefits of it.

[00:40:49] Right. And so I think, I think it will be more accepted, but at the end of the day, the complexity of the plant, I mean just the amount of chemicals and natural products within a typical cannabis plant over 400 from an active chemical ingredient standpoint. It’s going to take a lot of not only kind of phase four dosing project kind of trials, but we’re also, we, we forget to mention that there is an entire foundation of the endocannabinoid system that is still currently being built out from an understanding perspective.

[00:41:20] And a lot of this work needs to be done by institutions and universities, and that requires federal support and federal funding. And we’re only starting to barely see. This kind of research being conducted and yeah, there was a record amount of primary literature publications last year associated with an endocannabinoid system in cannabis, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

[00:41:41] And I mean, we’re talking like traditional pharmaceuticals had hundreds of years and especially in the last, I would say 75 years from the 1930s on. There has been, there’s been an exponential amount of primary literature associated with the, the human body and our understanding of it. And that’s how we’ve been kind of, we’ve been using all that information to treat individuals and develop new pharmaceuticals in terms of.

[00:42:06] The chemical structure of specific proteins that different chemicals fit into and cause these different reactions within the human body. So, I mean, it’s just, it’s a massive undertaking and it’s a mountain that needs to be climbed and it needs to be climbed in so many different fashions. And there’s just so, so many people that need to get involved to be able to kind of push this forward.

[00:42:29] It’s going to be an army of scientists. Yeah.

[00:42:31] Dr. Jean: That’s a great point, Kelly. And I really think that the collaboration. Is gotta be a big focus if we’re going to move this quickly. And yeah, if we’re going to do this in silos, it’s going to take a lot longer. So a good

[00:42:45] Bryan Fields: point. Yeah. We’re fighting so many battles on, on so many fronts.

[00:42:49] Right. And in addition to all the science and the research, it’s the stigma though, right? Like you can still have the conversation. With your physician about, Hey, like I’m in pain, I need help. And he’s like, here here’s opioids. And I’m like sick, thanks. Or he’s like, Hey, you interested medical marijuana. And even, even me, who’s in the space.

[00:43:07] It kind of feels different where like, it doesn’t feel the same type of conversation I’m having. And I think that starts with it being more widely accepted and more conversations happening in plain sight, more research coming out and more breakthroughs and understanding all these benefits. And over time that stigma will follow.

[00:43:25] We go away in 10 years. Yeah, you’re right. We’ve got a ton we need to accomplish in 10 years for it to be as widely accepted. And in addition, big, pharmacist’s not going to give up their wrong financial decision. Not in a way, man. They’ve got that. They’ve got the pockets of the lobbyists and money talks, right?

[00:43:42] So for them to be open to this, I think it involves them taking a different strategic opinion because obviously we discuss some of their challenges. I think that there’s so many variables, 10 years with all the challenges we have. I don’t think we’ll get there, but I’m also optimistic and hopeful that we can get there.

[00:44:01] They could be the

[00:44:01] Kellan: next Kodak though. Visual camera came. They never saw it. They’re like, no, come on. Hey, this is an optimistic

[00:44:09] Bryan Fields: opinion. We’re going to get a cease and desist letter from big format.

[00:44:19] Dr. Jean: But, you know, from a doctor’s point of view, if you look at the clinical studies that they’re producing on clinical studies.gov clinical trials.gov, you’ll see that most of the studies right now are about cannabis use disorder. You know, they’re not really looking therapeutic, they’re looking into, so it’ll show you that the perspective is still skewed, you know, from, from traditional medical perspective.

[00:44:46] You know, this use disorder, but not, you know, treatment oriented or, or beneficial.

[00:44:53] Bryan Fields: I traveled internationally with my, my medicine.

[00:44:58] Dr. Jean: I don’t think so. You know federally, I don’t, I guess there are some countries that have. Except it cannabis, but typically it requires a doctor’s approval and, and that doctor needs to be from the jurisdiction of where you’re going.

[00:45:19] And so. Try to go to a place and then get a an evaluation there. Even from state to state, you know, technically you can’t travel. There are some states that for example, Maine has a program where if you have your medical cannabis now from New York, you can go to Maine and apply and get that transferred to me.

[00:45:41] And then you can have access to the name that you’re going up there for the summer vacations.

[00:45:46] Bryan Fields: Sure. And I just kind of wondering out loud because my pain and my anxiety, when I get in the car and cross the state line, it doesn’t just go, oh no, this pain anxiety is just stuck in New York. You’re fine, Bri.

[00:45:57] Like you don’t go worry about it here in Maryland and Jersey life is good, but I mean, just traveling, right. If you’re going to go from New York to, let’s say Maryland, you’ve crossed over four states, like I’m just going to leave my medicine at home. I mean, that seems pretty rigid.

[00:46:09] Dr. Jean: It’s a very common problem.

[00:46:12] Yeah. I’m constantly having to coach patients on how they’re going to handle that. They traveled from state to state.

[00:46:19] Bryan Fields: Good thing. Anxiety has boundaries, right?

[00:46:23] Dr. Jean: Not state boundaries.

[00:46:27] Bryan Fields: See, thanks for your time for our listeners that want to get in touch and learn more. Where can they get in touch?

[00:46:31] Dr. Jean: Our research is at www dot the T H E C E S C, Charlie, Edward, Sam, charlie.org.

[00:46:42] So yeah, go to our website and see what fun things we’re doing. If she needed a recommendation go to www dot Metuchen, EDI, C a N n.com. W we’ll see what we can do to help you. Thank

[00:46:55] Bryan Fields: you very much. We’ll link that up all in the show notes. Take care, right.


Thanks so much for listening to The Dime . Subscribe or follow us on Seeking Alpha, Libsyn, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play or Stitcher. And we’d really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. It helps others find our show.

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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!

Bryan Fields (Twitter: @bryanfields24) and Kellan Finney (Twitter: @Kellan_Finney) were fortunate enough to sit down with Mona Zhang (Twitter: @ZhangMona) , Cannabis Policy Reporter from Politico.

We were able to pick her brain on cannabis legislation as more states legalize cannabis.

In today’s episode you will find:

  • What will future legislation and policies look like?
  • States that are pushing forth THC Caps
  • How can we get pro and anti-legalization advocates on the same page.
  • Do limit licenses in certain states benefit the business or the consumer?
  • Big Companies vs Small Business in Cannabis industry
  • Corruption and political favoritism issues within the Cannabis Industry

Be sure to subscribe to The Dime Podcast to hear new episodes the moment they are released!

https://www.eighthrevolution.com/the-dime-podcast


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents.

[00:00:11] What’s up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the dime as always. I’ve got my right-hand man Kellen Finney here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Mona John states cannabis policy reporter from.

[00:00:23] Mona. Thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?

[00:00:25] Mona Zhang: Thanks so much for having me. I’m doing well then crazy few months on the canvas

[00:00:31] Bryan Fields: there. Imagine we’re excited to dive in and tell him, how are you doing today?

[00:00:34] Kellan Finney: Doing good, just enjoying another sunny day out here in Colorado. Excited to talk to Mona Ramona

[00:00:38] Bryan Fields: before we dive in.

[00:00:39] I think it’d be great for our listeners to kind of get a little bit about your backstory and how you got into the cannabis.

[00:00:45] Mona Zhang: Yeah. I mean, I used to cover media. I went to school for journalism and I, you know, I worked at some media publications like media bistro and ad week. And I just saw a lack of good cannabis journalism, especially after the first states, Colorado and Washington legalized.

[00:01:01] And so, you know, I had this idea of starting a cannabis magazine that never panned out. And I thought, well, you know, I could start a newsletter. That’s like low barrier to entry. So I started my own cannabis newsletter and eventually started freelancing and doing like freelance journalism on the Cannabis That was in 2015. And that was really cool to see a place like Politico and national outlet hire a team of cannabis reporters, which they did in 2019. And so it’s been, it’s been really great to work at, you know, an organization like Politico and really delve into all of the nitty gritty of policy issues.

[00:01:37] Cause it’s just such a fascinating topic.

[00:01:40] Bryan Fields: Yeah, I think that’s really exciting and I’m excited to kind of dive in there. So what’s it like covering cannabis versus other industries? Do you think, as a whole politicos team of reporters kind of looks at canvas a little differently, like in some other industries, you know, can you kind of shed some light?

[00:01:55] What it’s like covering cannabis specific.

[00:01:57] Mona Zhang: Yeah, it’s really interesting because you know, political has a lot of policy verticals. I think cannabis is a special hole because it intersects with so many other policy issues. You know, like we’ll collaborate with our colleagues on the finance fee or the agriculture B, and these are reporters who have expertise in those areas and we’re kind of able to combine our expertise.

[00:02:20] But it’s interesting because of the federal state conflict, it just creates so many policy issues like banking, like taxes, you know, you have this state patchwork of regulations. I’ve been learning a lot about FDA, like food and dietary supplement regulations lately. And it’s just like, it’s really interesting as a policy reporter because you learn about all these other areas.

[00:02:43] Bryan Fields: Awesome. And what are those areas that I heard recently on your weak ass podcast? About anti legalization advocates. So on this podcast, we always talk about positives, but I don’t think we shed enough light on exactly why some people have hesitancy with cannabis. So what is the main driver? What do you think is the main reason these anti legalization efforts and what is their main stance?

[00:03:05] Mona Zhang: I think it really depends on the advocate. You know, I talked to a lot of anti legalization advocates and they range from just, I think like some people have still this like kind of reefer madness mentality. I think people have very valid public health concerns, you know, especially with regards to impaired driving or you use.

[00:03:25] And so it’s, it’s an interesting kind of spectrum of advocates. You know, a lot of times it’s like public health advocates or people. You know, fields like psychiatry and that type of thing, but it is. It’s interesting to see how that world has kind of evolved because I feel like a lot of anti legalization advocates are now sort of pushing things like the bill in Colorado to limit THC potency and canvas concentrates.

[00:03:51] The approach is shifting from being like anti legalization to like THC potency caps. And like, what else can we get in legalization bills from like a public health perspective?

[00:04:02] Bryan Fields: Dive in there, obviously from Colorado, that’s a big standpoint. Do you think Wayne maleness is describing that is the direction that most are taking or are there other areas that you see in Colorado that you think are kind of

[00:04:13] Kellan Finney: pausing it?

[00:04:14] I mean, I think Colorado is probably unique example because it has been legal for five years now, plus, right. And so it’s forced a lot of the people on the opposite side of the argument to mold new approaches and new angles to try to combat cannabis as it is. And I think that potentially. This is just my personal opinion.

[00:04:36] I think a lot of the advocacy and like the individuals that have a strong opinion, opposing cannabis, I think are slowly beginning to change as society. And as our culture changes and adapt. To cannabis being legal. And so with that, I think that it’s slowly starting to move that opinion from super, super far against cannabis to, okay.

[00:05:02] There could be some potential positives to cannabis. Now we need to regulate it. And, and I mean, with, with capping potency, I think that that’s important anyways. I mean, from a scientific perspective and a toxicology perspective, the dose is what makes the poison right. I don’t know anyone that really truly needs to consume 99.9, 9% THC on a regular basis.

[00:05:25] Right? I mean, you even look at like aspirin or other kind of medicines and they’re all dosed out properly, according to the person’s weight and their metabolic and all of these other. Variables so that you don’t poison them, right? Like you can drink too much water and die from drinking too much water.

[00:05:40] So I think with, with cannabis potency caps, I think that’s needed just to, to regulate it. I mean, you can’t go by 99% alcohol either. Right? You can get moonshine. And I think they cap it. Every state might be different than Colorado. 90% ethanol moonshine, right? And so there’s a need for those kinds of regulations.

[00:05:58] And I think that it’s in part, a safety feature that needs to be built into the regulations as well as it’s being driven by individuals that have started to accept cannabis as an illegal substance. With certain stipulations. What are your thoughts on that? Brian? I kind of go back and

[00:06:16] Bryan Fields: forth because at the end of the day, it sounds to me and please correct me if I’m wrong.

[00:06:21] It doesn’t sound like they’re like, Hey, we need more research in order to understand limits and putting people in safety places where like no cannabis is bad. The devil’s lettuce and all those outrageous stigmas like, oh then, and to me, maybe that’s just a more optimistic, welcoming stance of saying like, Hey, sometimes new facts are hard to quote Ben Culver and maybe some people in the older knees are a little more.

[00:06:44] Stuck in their ways. So I wonder how we kind of progress forward without the research, because even after we have the research, there’s going to be pushback, right? There’s going to be scientific saying, Hey, we need to do more extensive studies or, Hey, we didn’t study on this person. So, I mean, with all these, these areas, obviously the federal government is trying to balance this act.

[00:07:03] They’re deferring to the states to kind of go forward. Mona, what do you think is kind of the best way to kind of communicate through these anti legislation with people that there are positives in these? Yeah.

[00:07:15] Mona Zhang: Actually to the research point and the Colorado potency cap bill, there are a lot of research provisions and it is very much like we have to set up a way to research this stuff.

[00:07:25] And then this committee will do the research and then recommend like policies to us. So that’s like a really. Great thing about the Colorado bill. I think in some other states you do see a move to like, you know, Vermont was the first state to have any sort of PhD potency cap. And that was 30% for flour, which, I mean, flour usually doesn’t go above 30% anyway, and cannabis concentrates at 60%.

[00:07:50] But I think it is hard to have a policy discussion between. Pro legalization, anti legalization advocates, because the research is so recent and because the research is so mixed, you know, when I listened to these debates on state legislatures, it’s, you know, cannabis supporters citing all of this research to support their point.

[00:08:12] And then People who are against legalization, citing all this research. They, and the truth is there are studies that show youth use going up in states that have legalized marijuana. There is research showing youth use going down in states that have legalized marijuana. So the research is mixed and it’s really hard to like, you know, it’s just people taking whatever numbers, support, their

[00:08:32] opinions, last example.

[00:08:33] Bryan Fields: So what do you think would be beneficial in order to kind of help? Let’s say, get people on the same page. Do you think that’s just people on both sides of the debate, just kind of laying it down to the numbers. Like what efforts do you think would be beneficial in order to help kind of progress the conversation?

[00:08:48] Mona Zhang: I think

[00:08:49] that, you know, engaging with opposing points of view are a good thing, and I think it’s, it’s a lot easier done, I think on the state level than the federal level, especially in state legislatures where they’re debating marijuana, legalization, bill. And they’re really getting into the policy details and committee.

[00:09:07] There are anti legalization advocates saying, Hey, we don’t want marijuana legalization, but if you’re going to do it, please consider this amendment. You know, please consider, you know, doing some sort of public education campaign on impaired driving or, you know, and, and they are engaging with the issue in a more substantive way, rather than saying, we just oppose it.

[00:09:28] They’re saying we oppose it, but like here. I think this would make the legislation better. So I feel like that shift is just naturally been happening in state legislatures as the issue moves forward in the U S

[00:09:39] so then let’s kind of continue on that path. Why are states looking to overturn these initiatives that are majority approved by their local Reynolds?

[00:09:48] In

[00:09:49] theory, they are procedural legal challenges, you know, and Mississippi and South Dakota and Nebraska too. These are all legal challenges saying, Hey, these initiatives weren’t qualified for the ballot and a way that conforms to the state constitution, it violates a single subject rule that violates whatever.

[00:10:07] Provision of the constitution. However, I did talk to an illegal expert in state constitutional law, and he told me that all procedural challenges are really screened for, you know, policy issues. They don’t agree on the policy and they figure out a way to challenge it procedurally. And so I think you know, the fact that.

[00:10:29] Governor Kate Reeves of Mississippi. He’s very, very conservative. But he recently said he would be open to having a special session for medical marijuana because the court, the state Supreme court overturned the medical marijuana legalization law. And I think for politicians. You know, 74% of people voted for that.

[00:10:46] A kind of just like it causes a big issue in 74% of voters vote for something that the Supreme court overturns. It’s not great politically for him. So I think just like the sheer support for these issues are going to help move things along on that front. Even if the courts do strike it down.

[00:11:06] Bryan Fields: I think that’s really well said, and I want to go to you Kellen.

[00:11:08] Cause it seems like the cannabis wave is coming and some politicians are trying to slow the wave and others just kind of get gobbled up of it. We’ve talked about governor Rick, it’s talking about, if you legalize marijuana, it will kill your kids, which I will put on the top five best quotes of all time, because I still need to figure out how he came up with that statement.

[00:11:26] And if he just went off the Casper, if someone was like, Hey, like this is the word choices you’re going to use because we’re supporting this. So like, As a politician. Do you think that there’s a balancing act that they’re doing, trying to figure out how to keep their constituents happy, but also from a conservative nature of trying to slow down?

[00:11:44] Kellan Finney: So my disclaimer is I’m not a politician and I, my view on how a lot of these issues kind of play out is that I tend to favor. Yeah, they are playing by the rules of the law, but the motive behind how they’re playing the game. As underlying objectives that they’re trying to fit into the rules of the law.

[00:12:09] Right? So I think at the end of the day for Mississippi to overturn it, I think that there’s other people within the state that have alternative motives and they wield power and they are able to, to overturn those kinds of things based on non-legal motivations, right. Versus their own personal opinion.

[00:12:30] And I think that there’s a lot of like hidden agendas that drive these kinds of situations. But at the end of the day, I think the most important thing for people that are pro legalization of cannabis either medically or adult use that clearly this has been a very, very long. Battle. That’s been fought over the last 70 years or 80 years from a prohibition standpoint.

[00:12:53] Right. And so, or I guess 90, right, 1933 or something when it was. And so for the last 90 years or so they’ve been fighting this prohibition and we’ve made a ton of progress as a society in terms of adult use medical use across the United States. And I think that spending time to try to. Address, these underlining agendas they’re pushing, I don’t think is productive to the overall stance of marijuana legalization.

[00:13:23] Right. And so I think that just continuing to. Stand on the scientific literature that shows the positive attributes of cannabis consumption and the positive attributes of all these minor cannabinoids, as well as, I mean, hemp for instance, right. Hemp is part of the cannabis plant. Right. And there’s a ton of building benefits that it can provide society.

[00:13:46] I mean, hemp rope and create, right. So I think that if we just continue to fortify the positive sides of the. I think that eventually these kind of underlying hidden agenda topics from my perspective will kind of just fall to the wayside. I don’t think they’ll ever just completely go away, but I do think that as support continues to be generated for it, if we just continue to look at it from a positive stance and continue to have the conversations, right.

[00:14:14] I think it’s important that scientists talk to politicians and politicians talk to scientists and, and there’s this ether that all of the information is communicated. As fast as it can. I think that’s the only way to really, really approach it. I don’t think that you’re going to make any progress standing in the mud and playing the same game that the other side is playing in my opinion.

[00:14:33] I mean, I could be wrong and that’s my nonpolitical opinion, I guess. Right. What are your thoughts though? I think that’s all

[00:14:38] Bryan Fields: really well set in, and it’s such a challenge from understanding how like the policies go with politicians, but I want to kind of switch gears because there’s an area that you lightly touched on.

[00:14:47] When we’re talking about the limit licenses in certain states, obviously some states have gone ahead and limited the amount of licenses they’ve given out. And there’s obviously a bunch of different ways that that can be evaluated. So Mona is that intended to benefit the state, the businesses or the consumer when they limit the number of licenses that are given out?

[00:15:05] Oh,

[00:15:07] Mona Zhang: is it intended to benefit the state or the consumer? I mean, I think it depends on the state. You know, when Virginia was having its legalization debate, I was really surprised the lawmakers put a statutory cap on licenses and the reasoning behind it was to prevent any big marijuana companies from harming smaller businesses.

[00:15:31] I question whether that is the best way to achieve that goal from a policy perspective, because we haven’t really seen that happen in other states with limited licensing. Generally speaking, when they’re limited licenses, it is the better capitalized, bigger companies that are, you know, favored in such a market, but that was their reasoning behind it, which I found pretty surprising.

[00:15:54] So, I don’t know, you know, it really just depends on the state and in Connecticut, for example, you know, I was talking to one of the policy. People at Lamont’s office. And he was saying like, we don’t have a statutory cap on licenses and it’s going to be awarded by a lottery instead of some sort of like merit-based process, precisely to avoid some of the pitfalls that you’ve seen in other states.

[00:16:17] And so, yeah, I mean, and I think there’s also a sort of fear when it comes to legalization that you’re going to see pot shops on every corner. And I think that kind of fear also drives some of this you know, license, cap policy.

[00:16:30] Bryan Fields: What are some of those pitfalls? Some of the other states I’ve seen just in case our listeners aren’t familiar.

[00:16:35] Mona Zhang: Yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s corruption issues, especially when there’s limited licensing. There’s definitely, I mean, there’s outright corruption issues. And then there’s sort of like political favoritism issues where people who want licenses, you know, make these huge donations to certain politicians, campaigns or whatever.

[00:16:52] And then there are a lot of. Entrepreneurs who lose out on licenses. And it ends up being like in Missouri, for example, there’s this like huge legal issue with all hundreds of entrepreneurs appealing their licensed denials and the state is spending millions of dollars on like fighting these appeals on outside attorneys.

[00:17:10] And. it Can delay the launch of the market. It can delay the growth of the market. And, you know, it’s interesting because it’s a sort of area of common ground between more, you know, lefty cannabis advocates and like the right leaning, more libertarian free market types who are like, everybody should get a shot at this.

[00:17:32] And, you know, we should let the market decide the winners and losers rather than the state deciding the winners or losers. Through what is often a dubious merit based scoring process. Once you have that, it opens up a whole other can of worms.

[00:17:47] Bryan Fields: That’s perfectly said. And I think, you know, we’ve had conversations with operators who are looking to kind of expand their licensed opportunities and ask for recommendations on which personnel to put on this.

[00:17:56] And they say, Hey, we’re just looking for someone for the license. And we kind of like you were saying muddies the conversation because these people aren’t really attached and they are there just for the merit base. I can see the corruption aspect, right? If people are doing favors or even differently said making donations for political campaigns, obviously that’s a huge issue and it does favor some of the bigger players, but at the end of the day, cannabis is very expensive.

[00:18:21] And I kind of look at it like a golden ticket opportunity. In these limited licensed states, you kind of agree with that. Like in the Willy Wonka style, like you open up, if you, if you get that lottery ticket and you open it up, you’ve gotten herself out opportunity to touch some market share in an untapped market, especially here on these.

[00:18:36] Mona Zhang: Yeah, absolutely. It is a golden ticket. And because of the cap, these licenses are worth more. And it is an interesting debate because there are states that, you know, really wanted to send our social equity and their legalization bills. And they’re like, well, we need to cap the licenses because of this.

[00:18:53] And there are other states that are like, we really care about social equity and that’s why we shouldn’t capital licenses, you know? So it’s interesting. And I think, you know, I recently. Wrapped up a story on main and social equity was never really that big of a discussion in Maine, but they’re low barriers to entry.

[00:19:11] Make it really easy for anybody. You can pay a few hundred dollars and start your canvas business with a growth hat and a few hundred dollars licensing fee. Like the barriers to entry are very low. And the medical program, at least right now. And it raises some interesting issues with these other states that have approached social equity with these, like, you know, convoluted programs that they’re having trouble implementing.

[00:19:36] And it’s like, You know, some states are achieving some of those goals by not even having one of those programs and just having low barriers to

[00:19:43] Bryan Fields: entry, you know, find balance. So Kellen, what do you think they should do? Obviously, the software equity is a huge deal and letting people out of prison is a huge deal and kind of adjusting for some of the wrongs of the past.

[00:19:55] But how do you stay at school? Balancing those.

[00:19:58] Kellan Finney: I would like to say I’ve seen a successful social equity program played out in a state. I just haven’t yet, as far as what the vision has been and the execution associated with that, I think Mona makes the best point when she said that it seems that states that have completely ignored that have actually provided the best opportunity for minorities to get involved in the industry.

[00:20:22] Right. And, and better themselves from that perspective. As far as releasing individuals from prison, I think that that’s a no brainer and that should completely be the forefront of all of these discussions. I think it should actually take precedence over the social equity aspect of it. Right. I think we should fix what we did wrong before we kind of keep moving forward.

[00:20:43] Right. And so that’s my, my stance on it. As far as limited license states versus not limited licensed states. I mean, I worked in, in Washington where you could just go buy a license if you had enough money and they just kept giving them out. And it created a really Rocky start to the industry versus Colorado, because you would walk into a dispensary and there would be.

[00:21:04] 2,500 different brands on the shelf because it’s a free market. The best will survive. They want to encourage competition. And if you show up, like, let’s see what you got kind of the situation, right? It makes it a lot harder to regulate. You saw from a business perspective, I experienced a lot more shady interactions and a lot more bad actors because.

[00:21:25] Anyone could come and show up and just play the game. But it turns out the game was really challenging to play from a traceability standpoint and, and following all the rules properly. And it led to a lot of sour, a sour taste in my mouth when dealing with a lot of different companies, trying to outsource certain aspects of, of the supply chain.

[00:21:45] And so that was a huge challenge. But then the ops side of that would be Colorado where they didn’t give out a ton of licenses and yeah. I think the logic behind it was, it’s easier to regulate a couple really large players than it is to regulate everyone in their mother kind of getting involved. And so I understand the logic associated with that.

[00:22:08] What that created from a negative standpoint is it created these quote unquote almost like monopolies. Like you can look at Florida too, right? Like queen camp might have a monopoly depending on how you look at it. Right. And I’m not downplaying that or applying it. I’m just kind of stating the facts that when you own over 60% of the retail stores available for consumers to go purchase their product.

[00:22:31] Might be close to monopoly, you know what I mean? And, and you can make arguments that that could be good. It could be bad. And we’re not here to really do that. But I think that no matter limited license versus not limited license you from a conversational standpoint, it can be framed. As either positive or negative, depending on who is kind of framing it up.

[00:22:54] And so on the east coast, at this juncture with like New York being in the limited license state, there is no question that it will favor the big MSLs that are highly capitalized that have teams, lawyers that can go through these two, 300 page doc it’s to follow the rules. The barrier to entry. Is much, much greater than any other state from, from that perspective.

[00:23:18] And so it’s challenging if you’re a small mom and pop. In New York that was looking to get in the Canada space. Unfortunately you should probably consider relocating somewhere like Maine or, or even New Mexico. Right. New Mexico had these, these caps on the big licenses. Right. Which I think they have a good hybrid system right now, but they also have a small micro license.

[00:23:39] Where you can go grow 200 plants. The barrier to entry from a financial standpoint is much smaller. You can be completely vertically integrated. And so I think that that is an attractive way to approach this. I think that there’s also potentially some scientific experiments going on. I guess you could say from a social perspective.

[00:24:00] So if the federal government wants to see what works best, it makes sense to let some states have limited licenses, but some states, everyone in, I have a couple of hybrid models and then they’re like, all right, let this play out for five years and we’ll see what works the best. So when we go to, to implement this on a federal level, that it’s actually something that works and we don’t have to.

[00:24:21] Sit there and revise it year after year and cause all of these struggles, I mean, you got something to say to that.

[00:24:26] Bryan Fields: Brian, let’s hear doesn’t that make it harder for people like poor Mona. Who’s got to cover all these different states with all these different policies and all these different obstacles. I mean, what you described to me is pretty much saying that in New York, If your mom and pop moved with smaller, safe, cause you don’t have a chance.

[00:24:42] And I think that’s kind of unfair because at the end of the day, this is America, right? The land of the opportunity. And if you’re telling people that here’s their opportunity to dive into cannabis and to fulfill their entrepreneurial spirit, but they can’t do it because they don’t. Billions of dollars in teams of lawyer.

[00:24:57] I don’t think that’s really so fair. And for, for Mona, I mean how she she’s covering all these states and then she’s got to communicate to her readers. Oh yeah. That was this state. And then with this state, it’s different. I mean, we’re talking about an educational difference between all in all the information and then being able to comprehend where like over complicating the policy, if that’s the way that’s going, what do you think about that?

[00:25:18] Mona Zhang: Yeah, I think cannabis policy can be really convoluted. And you see with these legalization bills, they’re hundreds of pages long because to legalize marijuana, you have to, you have to change all these other laws that intersect with the criminal justice system or with the education system or whatever.

[00:25:36] That’s why these bills are so long. I think with the licensing issue, it’s like, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this binary of like limited licensing or not, you know, States where the law gives the power to the regulators to sort of roll out licenses as they see fit. I think that strikes a good balance between just like a free for all which leads to, you know, an Oregon situation where you have this boom and bust and like people go out of business.

[00:26:01] Cause it was just so oversaturated. But if you give regulators the flexibility to be able to like, Give out licenses as they see fit. And as the market will take, you know, that seems to be an approach that has yielded less problematic outcomes.

[00:26:20] Bryan Fields: I want to dive into a recent conversation. Your colleague now the FERC had with Bernie Sanders, and if you haven’t heard it, it’s definitely worth Googling the short story as it is.

[00:26:30] She approached Bernie to ask him a question. She introduced herself as a cannabis policy reporter for Politico and his immediate response was, are you stoned? Mon is that like a traditional, do you think, like most politicians are going to have some sort of normalized response like that? Like, I don’t think that’s a fair response, but I mean, obviously he answered honestly, but what do you feel about.

[00:26:50] Kellan Finney: I actually

[00:26:51] Mona Zhang: was surprised by that exchange. I don’t think that is a question that Natalie gets regularly when she’s reporting on the hill. So coming from, you know, a Senator that has been like a long time champion of legalization is a little bit surprising, but also just funny. I mean, the exchange is funny and if you haven’t listened to it, it’s it’s online.

[00:27:12] And we released the audio on dispatch as like a short episode. But yeah, it does. It does show how far this issue still has to go. If you’re like, you know, reporting on cannabis policy and people are asking if you’re stoned, it is like, you know, we, we were talking earlier about like, if you are, I don’t know, an alcohol industry, reporter people, aren’t asking you when you’re doing your job, are you drunk?

[00:27:36] You

[00:27:36] Bryan Fields: know, I think that’s perfectly wasn’t, especially for someone like Bernie, who, you know, they always talk about how he so far released policies for him to say that it’s kind of opening and I’m sure. There’s some Midwest states out there that are using that as like a championing ground and be like, Hey, see, like, if Bernie feels this way, you know, it’s normalized where the stigma still exists.

[00:27:55] So countless, I mean, your thoughts on it.

[00:27:57] Kellan Finney: I think it just, honestly, I think it just highlights how far we still have to go from a cultural stigma perspective, right? Like, Even individuals that live out on the west coast and in California or Oregon or Washington, or even Colorado, we cannabis has been legal for some time.

[00:28:15] Now, especially in California, that’s kind of been legal since the nineties. You could potentially make an argument, right. And the, that amount of time has allowed the society as a whole. To kind of assimilate to cannabis, being another recreational outlet for humans to consume for whatever reason.

[00:28:39] And that’s, that’s led to the change in overall opinion and perception associated with the plant and the use of the plant versus over on the east coast where it hasn’t been so prevalent and it still is treated. As it was 30, 40 years ago, you can just see that, that it takes time for these kinds of and cultural changes to actually precipitate.

[00:29:06] Right. And I think that that right there, it just perfectly sums up. Yeah, we’ve come a long way from prohibition, but we still have a long way to go to change the minds of the general population across the entire country and across multiple demographics.

[00:29:24] Bryan Fields: I think I brought that and overall, like I think it hurts the industry.

[00:29:26] I think that continues to solidify a stigma. That is a negative one. And at the end of the day, people use cannabis solely for medicine. And when you ask that question with the connotation and the perspective behind that, usually at least for me, feels like a negative one. So I’m hopeful that in the future, politicians and people will understand that that’s not likely the best initial response when being approached by people.

[00:29:49] Sort of quickly switch gears, Delta eight, very popular subject. We’ve talked about this a bunch of times. Mona, do you think Delta aid is a fad or do you think it’s here to kind of.

[00:30:00] Mona Zhang: I think it’s here to stay. I think there are people who are, you know, I’ve heard a lot of anecdotal stories from people who are legitimately helped by Delta eight, from a medical perspective who have tried CBD, who have tried Delta nine, THC and medical marijuana products.

[00:30:17] And they say Delta eight has helped me the most for like, you know, neuropathic pain and those sorts of issues. Again, all anecdotal, no science on this at this point, but I think. You know, it is a different compound that Delta nine THC. And I can see it staying, but I there’s obviously like a fad aspect of it.

[00:30:37] And it’s recent. I don’t know, recent growth in the market. Because of various factors because of, you know, states that don’t have legal cannabis because of, you know, the sheer amount of CBD isolate that’s been sitting around in the hemp market and people need an outlet for that. And there, there are all sorts of things contributing to this.

[00:30:58] It is a trend in some respects.

[00:31:01] Bryan Fields: Yeah, I think growth might be understanding it’s like an explosion, right? Especially here in, in some of the like New York, for example, where it’s not, you know, adult use is not possible. So people kind of lean towards products that they can purchase over the internet and are a little more trusting of it.

[00:31:16] So Kevin and I have kind of dove into this from understanding whether it’s a fat are here to stay. And we wonder if, whether or not this is just kind of a short term. Temporary and public, government’s kind of like, Hey, you know what? Like this is illegal, but then my opinion, and then I want to go to you telling is that maybe the CBD market will look for like another sort of compound to kind of find another offshoot for a revenue stream Kaelin.

[00:31:37] Kellan Finney: What’s your thoughts? I think that there’s no denying that when humans ingest Delta aid, it does cause Affects right. More so than CBD, but less so than Delta nine THC. There’s no denying that as far as the manufacturing practices that are being implemented to produce Delta eight, I think that’s where the majority of the questioning is now being centered.

[00:32:00] And I think that’s where Colorado has. The department of health, that’s where they took their stance on. It is just from the lack of regulations and the lack of understanding and the lack of testing associated with the manufacturing of Delta eight. And I think that’ll get sorted out in time, right?

[00:32:15] It’s just a matter of kind of trial and error and figuring out. The best way to do it, what’s the safest way. And how do we regulate it? Right? Because the last thing we need from an industry standpoint is some kid in New York to consume a Delta eight product. And it just so happened to have some sort of chemical that was really toxic in it, that wasn’t removed from the manufacturing process, and then they get really sick.

[00:32:38] And now there’s this front, this headline story. Kid dies of consuming, dealt ADHD in New York. You know what I mean? I think that’s the last thing the industry needs, but we’ll work through all of those as a society. And then as far as outlets for CBD, I do think that this is just the very beginning of the iceberg, right?

[00:32:57] Delta 10 is probably next. I know that when they start moving around that, that double bond, in terms of Delta eight, Delta nine Delta 10, it does have different binding affinities to your CB one receptor. And it interacts with the endocannabinoid system slightly differently, which is why you see these anecdotal claims associated with a better consumer experience with Delta eight versus Delta nine.

[00:33:22] I know that it doesn’t have as high of binding efficiencies. A lot of people say they can actually function. More so on Delta eight than Delta nine. But I mean, at the end of the day, there is. The, our understanding of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system is in its infancy. And as we continue to move forward, there’s just going to be more and more breakthroughs from a scientific standpoint on these minor cannabinoids and how they interact with the human body.

[00:33:49] And I think this is just the beginning. And so Delta 10, if I had to. If I was a Batman, I would say Delta tens, the next big one to kind of take off and we’ll see how that differs from Delta nine and Delta eight, a and then, I mean, there’s just a JC acetate, right? There’s another one that makes the water soluble.

[00:34:08] And so there is a whole plethora of different molecules that can be achieved by using CBD as a starting material.

[00:34:16] Bryan Fields: We got a lot of science and research studies. So more

[00:34:20] Kellan Finney: content,

[00:34:20] Bryan Fields: right? Delta 10, for sure. For us, we’ve already heard the rumblings there and we’re going to do another episode coming up on that because people start asking questions and, you know, the only way for us to understand is to kind of just dive in and figure out, you know, what about it?

[00:34:33] So Mona, the biggest misconception since you started working in the cannabis.

[00:34:40] Kellan Finney: I mean,

[00:34:40] Mona Zhang: I guess just to go back to the Bernie thing is like this idea that it is some sort of like silly topic, which I think the fact that, I mean, hopefully more major news organizations will hire cannabis, beat reporters, but it’s.

[00:34:58] You know, consequential subject and it intersects with so many other areas, whether it’s criminal justice or public health or financial services, or what have you. That’s a really complex and important issue that affects a lot of people. And I think one big misconception now that I think about it is that there’s this idea that like, oh, people don’t really go to jail for cannabis anymore.

[00:35:24] And. You know, there are still tens of thousands of people incarcerated for cannabis. There are people thousands of people who are serving de facto life sentences for marijuana offenses. So it, it is a really, still an important social justice or criminal justice issue. Even though a lot of states have decriminalized cannabis, it’s there’s still a lot of issues on that

[00:35:43] front.

[00:35:44] Kellan Finney: Absolutely.

[00:35:44] Bryan Fields: Well, today you could sum up your experience into a main takeaway or lesson learned to pass on to the next generation. What would it be? I think

[00:35:53] Mona Zhang: it’s important to be clear headed when looking at the impacts of policy with these social equity programs. Like I covered Oakland social equity program when it first came out and it was, sounded so good on paper.

[00:36:09] And I was like, wow, this is so innovative. It’s so cool that Oakland is doing it. And when other jurisdictions started doing it, I was like, wow. Like, it’s amazing how much this has shifted the conversation around cannabis policy and how the sort of debates in the legislature are about this issue. But I also think there is a sort of like desire to seem like you’re addressing the problem from a political standpoint.

[00:36:35] You know, we’ve have not seen one of these programs be really effective in terms of their stated goals and achieving their stated goals. So I think it’s important to just look at the data from, from all of these various different policy proposals. Really think hard about like what, what is actually effective at achieving these outcomes.

[00:37:00] And I think a lot of states are starting to do that. You know, a lot of states are looking at Illinois as a cautionary tale. Now, instead of like, in the beginning, Illinois was hailed as like, it’s going to be this leader in social equity,

[00:37:10] Kellan Finney: you know, the Illinois thing. I it’s just incredible. Right. Like, absolutely.

[00:37:15] They still haven’t given out one. Have they? Yeah.

[00:37:18] Bryan Fields: What do we think is the issue there? It’s an

[00:37:20] Mona Zhang: implementation issue. This is actually. What’s been sort of like possibly delaying the launch of new York’s market is because there is this sort of disagreement between the governor and the Senate about who should be in charge of implementing the cannabis legalization law.

[00:37:36] And you might pass a law that looks good on paper, but if you stumble on implementation, then you know, you’re not achieving those goals

[00:37:45] Bryan Fields: plays a big factor.

[00:37:47] Mona Zhang: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, with all of these licensing things, lawsuits are just one of the big reasons why things get held up. People don’t get a license and they Sue, you know, they, a judge just overturned Detroit’s licensing regime, which is supposed to favor legacy applicants and, you know, ruled it to be probably unconstitutional.

[00:38:06] And it just, it just creates all sorts of delays and

[00:38:09] Bryan Fields: problems. Yeah. Lawyers just continue to win. All right. Let’s do prediction time. Do you think. In president Biden’s first term, he will find federal legislation. No, I don’t think so.

[00:38:23] Kellan Finney: I don’t think so. Either

[00:38:25] Mona Zhang: things can change crazier. Things have happened on the cannabis beat.

[00:38:28] You might not think something’s going to happen and it happens, but as it stands now, I am skeptical that it will happen.

[00:38:34] Kellan Finney: I wrote a, I read a headline though. That might be interesting. And we talked, talked about this on a podcast last week as well. I read a headline. Amazon taking the stance that they did.

[00:38:44] It was actually in the cannabis scientists, the day that we talked to on the column and MC and it actually said that Amazon taking their stance on no longer drug testing, their employees. And I didn’t read the article, unfortunately, but then the headline also integrated the aspect of Amazon showing support for the Moore act as potentially a catalyst to facilitate federal legalization within the next couple of years.

[00:39:13] Is that where you’re gonna go, Brian steal your thunder.

[00:39:16] Bryan Fields: So I always tend to believe that like, sure. Like from a news standpoint, they haven’t made much noise. Sometimes the smaller moves and the smaller announcements kind of compound these bigger ones, right? Like Amazon making these public stance, the NFL saying they’re going to invest all this money.

[00:39:32] It just seems like people are starting to slowly adjust their thought process. And to me, these big became, this are making public stances differently than they normally had. Makes me believe. There’s some aggressive momentum that they’re like, Hey, we need to kind of change our PR tune. I’ve got a different stance on why Amazon said that.

[00:39:51] I think there was a variety of reasons that I’m not going to kind of spoil it and how you have to read it in the monthly playbook, because I just finished that pizza. Definitely. It’s definitely not just one time. Amazon is pretty strategic with how they take their stances and there’s a variety of different reasons why I believe that they said that.

[00:40:08] At the end of the day, I’m going to take the opposite of both of you and say, yes, he does. Obviously I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’ll just say it for counter stance. I think he does it. And I think it’s a, it’s a quick one. As we’ve seen on each post, I mean, a year ago, we didn’t have any of these states and now like they’re just falling like dominoes and who knows.

[00:40:25] We could meet up in six months and be like, wow, that was crazy. We all said, no, look it’s for sure. Yes. And I think in the cannabis industry, it moves super, super fast. And sometimes by not thinking something’s gonna happen. It means maybe things will happen faster than we believe.

[00:40:38] Kellan Finney: Yeah, that’s

[00:40:39] Mona Zhang: a good point.

[00:40:39] And the Amazon point is an interesting one too, because I mean, at the end of the day, it’s like, are there 60 votes in the Senate? And does Amazon change that? And with. Legislation. It’s so hard. Like people can agree on legalizing cannabis, but then agreeing on actual legislation is a different matter.

[00:40:58] That’s why New Jersey took so long. That’s why New York took so long. And so getting everyone who might support legalization as a concept, In the Senate to agree on an actual legalization bill as another matter. And to get 60 votes on that, it’s looking tough at this point, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

[00:41:17] Kellan Finney: And what you’ve just

[00:41:17] Bryan Fields: said is just so perfect, but also so frustrating and the same thought, right? Everyone agrees that this is supposed to happen, but to vote on it a whole nother Stanton. And at the end of the day, not saying money moves, votes. Money moves boats.

[00:41:31] Kellan Finney: Amazon has a little

[00:41:32] Bryan Fields: bit of money to John’s.

[00:41:35] So Mona, before we wrap, where can our listeners get in touch? What areas on social media are you available? And we’ll link it all in the show.

[00:41:42] Mona Zhang: Yeah, I’m on Twitter. It’s my last name. First name Z H a N G M O N a M. You can follow all of our coverage at politico.com/cannabis. And. Yeah,

[00:41:56] Bryan Fields: thanks so much for your time, Mona.

[00:41:57] Thanks for having

[00:41:58] Mona Zhang: me. This was fun. Thank you.


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