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 @bryanfields24 and Kellan @Kellan_Finney sit down with Dr. Jordan Zager , CEO of Dewey Scientific to discuss

• How Dewey Scientific uses data to make better crop decisions
• RNA sequencing to maximize the expression of genes
• How to set up a breeding scheme
• The role of tissue culture in the cannabis space
• How brands can replicate their product to provide consistency across state lines
• Genetically engineered cannabis
• Cannabis as medicine


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: [00:00:00] This is the dime a 10 minute 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. Kellan, sitting here with me. And today we’ve got a very special guest Jordan Zager CEO, and co-founder of Dewey scientific, Jordan, thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?

[00:00:25] Jordan Zager: [00:00:25] Hey. Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I’m doing, I’m doing good. How are you doing?

[00:00:29] Bryan Fields: [00:00:29] Awesome. It’s a beautiful day here in New York, the end of  March. And we’re excited to kick it off.

[00:00:34] Kellan Finney: [00:00:34] And it’s pretty warm out here in Colorado, so

[00:00:36]Jordan Zager: [00:00:36] I’m jealous. It’s about 42 degrees and sleeting here in Washington right now.

[00:00:42] Kellan Finney: [00:00:42] It’s, it’s, it’s a normal spring,

[00:00:44] Bryan Fields: [00:00:44] I think before we get started, I think it’d be great. If you could share with our listeners a little bit about you and what Dewey brings to the space.

[00:00:51]Jordan Zager: [00:00:51] So a little bit about Dewey. We, we like to say that we’re bringing incredible science to the cannabis industry. And when we’re talking about credible science, we’re talking on the plant [00:01:00] genetics and biochemistry side. Cause you know, that’s really what cannabis is. And the end is it’s a plant that has very unique genetics and biochemistry. So we really try to apply modern science techniques to understand that. And then how to leverage that into the commercial cultivation and plant breeding.

[00:01:15] My background, I have a PhD in plant biochemistry and it was one of the early people to work with cannabis, genomics within academia. And I’ve discovered a few terpene genes, some synthesis. In the terpene family.

[00:01:29] Bryan Fields: [00:01:29] How did you get started in cannabis?

[00:01:32] Jordan Zager: [00:01:32] Yeah, so I ,  I’m going to go pretty far back here to my days in college, I worked in a plant biochemistry lab and you know, I was a college kid. I was smoking weed all the time. I was like, wait, I’m learning some really cool stuff about plant biochemistry. I happen to love this plant. Let’s, let’s make this my career. At that time, like there was medical and some States, and then recreational just, just started in Washington and in Colorado. So when I applied to grad schools, I only went to, looked for States where I could work with [00:02:00] cannabis, maybe at home, not necessarily in the lab that, that brought me to Washington. I found a lab whose main focus was the biochemistry of glandular tricombs and terpene production within secretary cells. So I, you know, I knew enough about plant physiology at the time.

[00:02:17] Oh, tricombs, terpenes sounds like cannabis, and it’s going to be pretty close to working with cannabis. So I joined that lab and then eventually I got to work with cannabis ,  part of my, my PhD project. And it was about that time that that project started. I decided, you know, let’s, let’s try to apply this into the cannabis space and it’s not like they’re, you know, at the time there were a bunch of large companies.

[00:02:38] Like there are today, at least in Canada, where they have like pretty in-depth research teams. And so in the time, since we’ve found a Dewey more and more companies have incorporated us in, but that’s, that’s how that was my path to the cannabis industry. Just a love for biochemistry and a, a love for cannabis.

[00:02:53] Bryan Fields: [00:02:53] Perfect combination. So before we happen to the questions. Take it back to Dewey. How, how did that start? Was that another [00:03:00] cannabis induced idea and kind of take us through that?

[00:03:02] Jordan Zager: [00:03:02] Yeah. So Dewey scientific it’s ,  it was founded by me and a plant breeder. When, you know, we, we started out as, as friends ,  umpiring baseball, actually, we were baseball umpires. And after a game, I think we went and smoked some weed and it turned out he was a plant breeder as a biochemist. And so we thought, Hey, let’s, let’s try to apply what we know to cannabis. So I think that that was in like 2015, 2016. We set up like a little makeshift lab in my house. We bought like some laminar flow hood on eBay, started doing some tissue culture in my house, and that’s how I liked it really started.

[00:03:35] And then, you know, fast forward a few years, we start pitching to investors. And we, we get funded. So really what we do is ,  we work with other companies, breeding programs, and we, we sort of supply them with, you know, the scientific expertise ,  as it relates to genomics, genetics, biochemistry to improve their breeding program. And so we work with a few folks in the space. We work with a couple of different farms in the [00:04:00] recreational space. Farm down in California, a couple of farms in Washington. And then of course we have our own recreational cannabis brands doing cannabis company. That’s in Washington and that’s it. And it’s whole ,  we, we do work with a couple of international companies. We’ve worked with some folks in, in ,  in Costa Rica. They, they recently just changed their laws. They’ve got a CBD market now. So we, we actually, we helped with the first import. Hampstead to Costa Rica because those seeds came through the Dewey lab ,  at one point. So that’s, that’s really what we do.

[00:04:28] Bryan Fields: [00:04:28] The classic tech garage story turned for the cannabis industry. So it’s, it’s awesome to hear the evolution of it for our space. So let’s, let’s kind of dive. Yeah. Sorry. Continue.

[00:04:38] Jordan Zager: [00:04:38] I was just going to say the first right to do tissue culture. You need an autoclave. So just like high pressure, high temperature. So we bought a Shopko down the street was, was going out of business. So we, we picked up like a $20 pressure cooker. And ,  that was how we, we made our first batch of media, $20 pressure cooker in my, in my garage.

[00:04:56] Bryan Fields: [00:04:56] Do you live in at home at the time?

[00:04:58] Jordan Zager: [00:04:58] No, this was, this was while I was in grad [00:05:00] school.

[00:05:00] Bryan Fields: [00:05:00] And imagine what your mom would say that if she opened up some, what the hell is going on here?

[00:05:04] So let’s, let’s dive into some of these things on the websites is better crop decision in its simplistic version. How Dewey do we do that?

[00:05:12]Jordan Zager: [00:05:12] So we are big fans of collecting data on your crop. If you’re going to want to improve something, you need to know what is going on. All right in the first place. So that’s, that’s sort of our approach there is, is capturing as much data, whether it’s plant performance data in the field, or if it’s data related to the genetic makeup of the plant, we take a full view of that too, and make better breeding decisions.

[00:05:36] Bryan Fields: [00:05:36] Let’s talk about those better breeding decisions. Are there ones you can specify, ones that are common in this space?

[00:05:43]Jordan Zager: [00:05:43] I, you know, I think with the increase, no, if we back up to when it became legal ,  with the, with the 2018 farm bill. You know, since then, there’s been a lot of progress by many companies in improving the genetics that are out there. I think the first couple years, everything was like a [00:06:00] cherry wine background. Now there’s, there’s, you know, maybe eight, you know, a few dozen of solid backgrounds that are out there. So, sorry, I’m going down a rabbit hole here. Genetic uniformity was a big problem with it. With the 2018 farm bill, like crops were varied, uneven. A lot of crops were hot. I mean, that’s still a big problem in the hemp space.

[00:06:18] You guys know that. So it’s, it’s a matter of, right. If you’re just breeding for, for low CBD or sorry, low THC abundance in a CBD backgrounds, you want to have the tools that can speed up your breeding decisions and your timeline to getting to what you achieve is that I don’t think that answers your question.

[00:06:38] Kellan Finney: [00:06:38] When I was thinking about this and you correct me if I was wrong, have you heard of the myostatin gene that was recognized it’s called the mighty mouse gene. Right. And so when I was actually thinking of what Dewey does, I was thinking about this kind of work that’s being done like by biohackers, I guess is the best analogy I could think of.

[00:06:56] And so, the presence of this gene or the actually [00:07:00] the absence of it causes muscles to increase dramatically, right? And so when I was thinking about doing it, I was thinking that’s exactly the type of work they do in terms of analyzing the plant to say, okay, like I see that say this specific strain has massive tricombs, right? And then all of a sudden it’s testing higher, but, but what is the exact reason that it has those larger tricombs and why is this strain yielding better when I extract it versus this strain isn’t, right? And so is that a good representation in terms of Dewey is going to come in and help me learn exactly genetically what’s going on from a expression standpoint. And then I can try to replicate that in my breeding program. Is that something that’s similar?

[00:07:39]Jordan Zager: [00:07:39] Absolutely. Yes. So, , you just have to have your trait of interest and when I say, yeah, you need the data on it, you know, you want to know, let’s say, let’s go back to your, your, , this plant is extracting extremely well. So, what will you do is, is to really learn the genetics behind that. You have to set up a breeding scheme. You want to have something that you want to set up a what’s called a segregating population. You want to have one [00:08:00] parent that has the trait. You want to have another parent that doesn’t have the trait you cross those. And then you, you look at the, the progeny, the children of that cross. And if some of them have the trait you want, and some of them don’t, you have, what’s called a segregating population. And that’s sort of the best way to go about understanding the genetics behind a specific trait of interest. You know, whether it’s powdery, mildew resistance or it’s extraction yield, that’s, that’s sort of the approach, the approach we take. So, specific examples of what we’ve done in the past are; One, is powdery, mildew resistance. We have developed more like molecular markers for that. So once we have these molecular markers in hand, it speeds up our breeding process. So rather than, you know, okay, we’ve got this Skittle Mintz, and we’ve got this lemon merengue that we want to cross.

[00:08:43] And this lemon merengue super susceptible to powdery mildew, but the Skittle Mintz is not, we can make the cross instead of, you know, going through the whole timeline of phenotyping, all those progeny. You then just have a quick genetic test at the time. They, they sprout their first leaves to identify what is [00:09:00] going to be powdery, mildew resistant.

[00:09:01] So we’ve done that with a few traits, a few different traits.

[00:09:03] Kellan Finney: [00:09:03] That’s awesome.

[00:09:05] Bryan Fields: [00:09:05] Yeah. How long, how long does that take? I know that’s ballpark and then that’s a pretty specific request, but just ballparking.

[00:09:12] Jordan Zager: [00:09:12] Yeah. So it’s, it’s really a matter of if you know the plants you’re working with. We’re talking about a 13, 14 week timeline.

[00:09:21]And if you don’t, well, then you got to start collecting data. So that that’s sort of where we come in with the cultivators. And, and just like, you know, provide them the scientific assistance to get what they want, right? Because most operators in the space right now, they know of what’s in their genetic library. What does well, for certain things, whether it’s terpene accumulation, whether it’s, you know, purple flowers or what have you, or, you know, resistance to different. You know, antibiotic factors or biotic factors ,  such as like, you know, right now doing we’re, we’re trying to tackle a fit resistance and at least develop some markers, race resistance. And so of all the different varieties [00:10:00] that are recreational grow ,  is growing. We do know some are incredibly susceptible and we know that some, I don’t want to say that they’re fully resistant, but they almost never, almost never gonna find aphid on them.

[00:10:12] So that’s, that’s sort of the next trait that we’re, we’re trying to capture. And so with this, because, because we haven’t really categorized our plants for this specific trait, the trait of aphid resistance, it takes a little bit of time there. So maybe, you know, maybe three or four flower cycles. So that is sort of a long timeline. If there’s there’s five flower cycles in a year ,  but a year to 18 months, I think is a good timeline.

[00:10:34] Bryan Fields: [00:10:34] And what exactly is that? What are aphids?

[00:10:37] Jordan Zager: [00:10:37] Yeah, aphids or ,  a, an insect pest. One of the bigger problems in the cannabis industry are aphids. You know, most, most folks control it by just having a really clean grow environment. But even then, like they can, if it’s consultant liberate. So what they do is they latch onto the plant and then they suck the sap, sort of the moving sugar water through the plant. And so it just leads to lower [00:11:00] lower production  from a plant standpoint, overall yields, cannabinoid, content, terpene content.

[00:11:05]Kellan Finney: [00:11:05] Change gears a little bit. You mentioned tissue culturing. Could you kind of provide a simple definition for listeners of what tissue culturing is. [What’s the] why is that different from traditional breeding methods where you’re just kind of crossing two plants and letting them grow and kind of doing the Punnett square? What was the guy with the beans?

[00:11:28] Jordan Zager: [00:11:28] Gregor, Mendel, green wrinkled and yellow, yellow round. Exactly.

[00:11:38] We seem to be so proud to him.

[00:11:41] Oh man. So actually tissue culture is not something that we use in our breeding.

[00:11:47] Kellan Finney: [00:11:47] It seems? 

[00:11:48] Jordan Zager: [00:11:48] You know, at the very basic level, we do go back to punnet squares. That’s what we refer to as Mundelien genetics. So like when we’re capturing all this big data, you know, genetic sequencing data, you can start to see traits segregate and [00:12:00] what we call it, mundelien fashion where it’s like one to two to one. Which is exactly the point of doing those Punnett squares. So, but, but to, to get to your question on tissue culture, tissue culture is a way for clonal replication, meaning right in the cannabis industry, people are always taking clones of their plants and, you know, cutting, you give it some rooting hormones, put it in some rock wall, or maybe some soil you get roots.

[00:12:22] Tissue culture is just a different way of doing that. And it’s done on a much smaller scale from a plant perspective, right? For a clone, for a healthy clown, or you wanna take like a six inch cutting for, I don’t even know the number, but for micropropagation or tissue culture based cloning, you know, you’re taking something that’s a few millimeter.

[00:12:43] Millimeters in length. And so it’s this the same thing you’re giving a cutting of the plant nutrients that it cannot get without roots and you’re tricking it to grow roots is, is the goal. So that’s tissue culture in the cannabis industry. There’s some companies that do their cloning methods that way, rather than the traditional cup cloning.

[00:12:59] And it [00:13:00] gives, it provides the benefit of young clone is grown in a completely sterile environment, which there’s evidence out there that you can remove some, you know, old accumulated systemic diseases or something from a tissue by using tissue culture. We’ve never done that. And I don’t want to make the claim that we can do that.

[00:13:19] Cause I have no idea on the legitimacy of those claims, but that’s tissue culture as it relates to cannabis in the short.

[00:13:25] Kellan Finney: [00:13:25] Appreciate that.

[00:13:26] Bryan Fields: [00:13:26] Yeah, I’ve got another site for you can really play a major role or can it play a helping role in the future with the personalized medicine by understanding exactly how. What the whole process works is that somewhere you see Dewey playing a role in the future?

[00:13:41] Jordan Zager: [00:13:41] Well as for personalized medicine, you know, I, I think that. You know, th the, the combination of all of the phytocannabinoids and the turpines within the plant are consistent, you know? Right. If you have, and this ties into it’s, it’s the entourage effect, right? If someone is using cannabis for medical [00:14:00] purposes ,  they want to get that same mixture every time. Just, just like you do with like aspirin.

[00:14:04] It’s always going to be the same ingredients, time and time again. So for, for folks going after a more natural means of pain relief or whatever reason you want to know, you want to find out what works for you. And then you want to make sure that those chemical constituents are always there. So where we can come in is, you know, we will know that in a given environment, this strain will always produce this chemical profile. And so the right there is there’s multiple factors there, it’s the environment, it’s the genetics, and it’s what the end-user’s getting, which basically comes down to the processing of the flower or the extract, whatever it may be. So from a genetic standpoint, it’s making sure that the plants that are being sent to the growers of, you know, medical cannabis growers, or even, even the patient themselves [that] the genetics that they’re receiving, or at least capable of providing the chemo type that, that [00:15:00] treats their ailments. There are variables in it that are out of the genetics control. But for the most part, if the, if the genetic makeup is there, the ,  the chemical profile will be there to help.

[00:15:10] Bryan Fields: [00:15:10] The environment, it’s gotta be such a complex variable to account for, and especially given all of the restrictions now with large MSO is kind of growing across different States. I mean, That’s how it worked, Jordan. I mean, you got major companies across state lines, all trying to grow roughly the same style products that when you go dispensary materially in California versus New Jersey, you can kind of feel familiar with the products, but there’s gotta be a ton of different variability. So how does that work?

[00:15:36] Jordan Zager: [00:15:36] Yeah. So from a genetic and biochemical perspective, like the, the major pathways that are producing medicinally relevant, or even bioactive components, right. We’re talking about the cannabinoids, we’re talking about the terpenoids and we’re talking about the flavonoids. All of these pathways are heavily influenced,at the genetic level in terms of genetic expression, which is really the driver, right? So if you think of back to the something you learn in, in [00:16:00] biology with ,  with Gregor Mendel is the central dogma of biology, which is  genes are at the first level. They get transcribed into RNA, which is the gene expression. And that gets translated into proteins and the proteins are like the chemical reactant reaction factories. So all of these pathways, cannabinoids, flavonoids terpenoids are incredibly sensitive to environmental interactions. And so in a genetic space, we call this gene by by environment interactions G by E. And so that is something that. Is I think the next big hurdle to clear in the cannabis space, you know, folks are getting really good with their genetics. The next hurdle, I think, to clear in producing that consistent product from state to state to state is ensuring that the environment is the same. So that the, these, these metabolic pathways that produce these biometric compounds are operating the same.

[00:16:54] Now from a recreational standpoint, you know, maybe the chemical. The, the chemo type isn’t as [00:17:00] important for the consumer. Maybe somebody just wants like super frosty buds or, you know, they only want purples. Those are two traits, you know, that ,  are absolutely controlled by the genetic makeup. But you know, if we’re talking about purple, you know, you could, you could have a purple plant when it flowers at 72 degrees. It’s purple. And when you flower it, 82 degrees, it’s mostly green. So that that’s an example of a G by E trait is, is plant color.

[00:17:26] And then, you know, something else like Tricom preservation, that’s, that’s like another big thing in the processing space right now. Making sure your, that your tricombs don’t wither because you want to have big frosty nugs for the recreational consumer that also, you know, might lead to a more potent flower, but also you’re retaining the turpines better. So it doesn’t matter how good genetics are. If these other steps aren’t taken care.

[00:17:49] Kellan Finney: [00:17:49] Is there a way that you could potentially implement like genetics testing throughout the life cycle of a plant, as like a quality control mechanism?

[00:17:58] Jordan Zager: [00:17:58] Yeah, it’s a technique. That’s a little [00:18:00] pricey at the moment, but it’s referred to as RNA seq. So RNA sequencing and what that does is it gives you an idea of. How the genes are being expressed. And so that’s actually a service that we do offer at Dewey with other folks is, we’ll look at your plants at different times. And so we can see when terpene genes are, are at their highest. And then, you know, we can modify that the grow environment to try to then, okay, how can we maximize expression of these genes? And that’s something we offer and, and, and have done at Dewey.

[00:18:31] Kellan Finney: [00:18:31] So say like I have a, my HVAC goes down one night, right. And I come in the next day and it is a completely different environment. I didn’t call you up. You come in, we are, we’re able to determine kind of what’s going on from a genetics perspective. Is that something that you could then coach us through on like how to correct the environment to try to get that RNA sequence back to where, where it should be, or is that kind of like a while you just accept it and move on kind of a situation.

[00:18:55] Jordan Zager: [00:18:55] Yeah, the, the results aren’t going to be immediate, right? If your HVAC goes down, [00:19:00] you got to get your HVAC back up and running or your house, right? But you know, let’s say right, you’re, you’re a company in California, and you’re growing indoors and you got a license for a New Jersey and you want to make sure your products are the same. Well, first off your genetics need to be the same.

[00:19:19]But yeah, so, so let’s say you start growing in New Jersey, your plant, you know, the, the chemical profiles is not there. This, this strain that just smelled so good in California, just doesn’t quite smell as good in New Jersey. We could answer that question with RNAC it’s w w we look at the, the gene expression profile from the same plant grown in what you think are identical conditions, and then diagnose what’s wrong using that gene expression ,  fingerprint.

[00:19:44] Bryan Fields: [00:19:44] Sounds like you’re the Ghostbusters to me.

[00:19:47] Jordan Zager: [00:19:47] Yeah. That’s the thing, a project like that, you know, that that’s not an immediate timeline. That would probably be a, a year to two year project.

[00:19:54] Bryan Fields: [00:19:54] We’re going to cut that part out from the two year timelines that people just here, these guys can come in, he can solve problems immediately.

[00:20:04] [00:20:00] Jordan Zager: [00:20:04] Yeah. Let’s raise expectations, please.

[00:20:06] Bryan Fields: [00:20:06] Kellan, did you have a question you wanted to ask?

[00:20:09] Kellan Finney: [00:20:09] I was just gonna ,  I thought you brought up a good point because I have consumed say like a N O G in Colorado, and then you go to California and say, I’m in Southern California and I purchased another OJI. Completely different versus even up in Northern California, there’s another hoagie. And it’s like, they’re three completely different plants, but they could have all started. Do you think they all start with the same genetics, but based on the environment that’s going to change it or is it we’re just at the point where people don’t really know what genetics are really starting with yet? Like, could you kind of walk me through why that is the reason from a genetics perspective?

[00:20:43] Jordan Zager: [00:20:43] Yeah, I think the first reason is that it’s probably not the same genetics. I think it’s really unlikely that clone from one source is going to be found all over the place. I mean, that’s, that’s what the cannabis industry has is, you know, it’s right with copycats, which is fine.

[00:20:54] But when it comes to understanding that from genetics, you know, there are tests out there that [00:21:00] you said that question, you know, medicinal genomics has a great product. For determining the lineage of something. So the first step would be okay, are the three OGs in these different locations? Actually the same genetically if no. Well, there’s your problem. If yes, then absolutely. Gene by environment is, is most likely driving that change.

[00:21:16] Kellan Finney: [00:21:16] Appreciate that.

[00:21:18] Bryan Fields: [00:21:18] Yes. My next question would be what percentage of the industry is using kind of techniques similar to the ones do we provide and is it based on the sheer size, that’s the determining factor, whether they move forward or not?

[00:21:32] Jordan Zager: [00:21:32] What do you mean by size, the sheer size?

[00:21:34] Bryan Fields: [00:21:34] So the size of the company, right? So we’ve got like boutique style growth who, who might be more geared or using it. And you’ve got like kind of larger ones where I’m curious to know, like, from your standpoint, what percentage of the, of the industry at this moment, both hemp and cannabis is using and doing scientific work, similar style analysis.

[00:21:52] Jordan Zager: [00:21:52] Oh man. Very pro probably 1% or less. Really the, the companies that are doing this are in the hemp space, the breeders, like the [00:22:00] really good breeding companies and in the correct space. Yeah. There’s a few folks that are doing, doing stuff. I think mostly in the rec. space, the companies that are doing this are in Canada and we’re talking right.

[00:22:09] Th the, the giants up there and because, you know, for the size of the company, That’s that’s really, our, our tools are, are more built for companies that are trying to get the same consistency in their products from different locations. So right, like a small farmer in Washington that is craft premium flower probably won’t have much benefit from working with us, but the, the, you know, folks that are trying to replicate their product, provide consistency to their brand.

[00:22:35] Those are the folks, sorry, their brand in multiple locations are the folks that would benefit most from what we offer.

[00:22:43] Bryan Fields: [00:22:43] It seems like a no brainer for the large Ms. Especially the ones that are like opening up shop in, in new locations, as fast as humanly possible. You need to have some sort of consistency, especially at people want that. So it seems like a no brainer for them.

[00:22:56] Jordan Zager: [00:22:56] Yeah, I think to some degree it ties so much into consumer [00:23:00] expectations of the brand. And because like some States don’t have vertical integration where the retailer is actually growing. It. It’s something that’s, that’s sort of hard to control, but for yeah, multi-state operator that is plant touching only, it makes no sense because, right, they want their brands to be the same, no matter where it is. Like Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola at my Chevron down the street is the same as the Coca-Cola where you are. And so for these multi-state operators, Hey, you’re got to have these quality control pieces in place. And genetics is a huge component of that.

[00:23:30] Kellan Finney: [00:23:30] Is this a technology that’s kind of unique to the cannabis industry or is there, is this used in other big ag?

[00:23:37] Jordan Zager: [00:23:37] Yeah, it’s, it’s definitely use another big ag. You know, I think a really good model is the Berry industry, the largest Berry provider in the US at least is Driscoll’s. I’m sure you guys have Driscoll’s in New York and Colorado, their entire business model is built on their R and D program at the genetic level. So that’s their first step of, of quality assurance is they have kick-ass [00:24:00] genetics. The next is may select their partner farms and [they’re there] they set pretty tight rules on what the farms can do and how they grow their berries and that everything from the pesticide treatment to the fertilizers that are ground prior to that, that comes down to the G by E gene by environment interaction. And then beyond that, they have, you know, very strict and standardized ,  processing procedures, right? Like everything, that’s A quality, it goes into their Driscoll’s brand. Everything that’s B quality goes into their other brand. Anything below that gets sold to somebody else or they turn it into a puree. So that’s an example of a different industry using the same tools that we’re talking about here at Dewey.

[00:24:40] Bryan Fields: [00:24:40] What’s the future roadmap or do we look like future roadmap?

[00:24:43] Jordan Zager: [00:24:43] Right now? We are ,  building our consumer brands. We are breeding breeding, breeding, breeding, always breeding and you know, we’re, we’re almost to the point where we’re going to start licensing our varieties to folks in Washington and [right?] these are varieties that are [00:25:00] resistant to a myriad of, of pests confirmed genetically. And then, you know, that are that complete with ,  with some of the popular varieties out there from a cannabinoid and terpene perspective.

[00:25:13] Bryan Fields: [00:25:13] Your biggest misconception is you started working in the cannabinoid space.

[00:25:18] Jordan Zager: [00:25:18] So from, from the time that I, I started working with cannabis to now, what was my biggest misconception? Oh, geez. I thought that we would have a larger barrier to entry ,  than we did. Right. I, I got Dewey was founded three years ago. I think at the time there was like, Eight States that have legalized it recreationally, not many. And now it’s now we’re in the twenties close to the twenties. So I think that that was this misconception. I was like, Oh man, no, one’s gonna be able to do this anywhere else, except for a handful of places. Now it’s like, Oh shit, it’s everywhere. But, but before, you know, starting Dewey, I I’ve worked in like medical collectives in California. I’ve been smoking weed a long time. So I shouldn’t say there was any major [00:26:00] misconception. I started knew what I was getting into. Also, I think the, the passing of the 2018 farm bill legalizing hemp threw me for a loop. I was like hemp, who cares? Like who’s going to be using CBD. You’re not getting high from hemp. So that threw us for a loop. And like, you know, made us question if we should do anything. And he’s sort of pivoting and ,  we, we did, you know, of course we started working with some hemp folks, but yeah, I would just say the growth of both sectors have been in adult use cannabis. I didn’t think it was going to be this fast.

[00:26:31] Bryan Fields: [00:26:31] Yeah. The industry moves just incredibly fast and it’s, it’s funny, right. As we go on this journey where the States announced, you know, they’re, they’re coming online, there’s huge progress, but at the same time, it’s like incremental and we’re still, we’re still in the first inning, which is like the craziest part. We’re literally just beginning.

[00:26:49] Jordan Zager: [00:26:49] Yeah, exactly, exactly. It. I don’t remember who said it, but they, you know, a week in the cannabis industry is like a year in anything else and split at the same time. Right? Like we, we don’t have [00:27:00] our act together on a federal level. Like we can’t even, you know, neighboring States can’t trade product. It’s we, we do still have a long ways to go despite the speed of the last few years.

[00:27:10] Bryan Fields: [00:27:10] We’re still trying to figure it out banking, which by the time this podcast is released, we’ll have it figured out is my whole foods.

[00:27:16] Jordan Zager: [00:27:16] Oh man. I really hope so. Oh man. That’s that’s

[00:27:22] Bryan Fields: [00:27:22] and then this podcast out until it goes down, no, it’ll happen we’re going to get it done. I mean, you can see they’re close, but it’s crazy, right? Like we ask people all the time that are outside industry that want to get in and are just perplexed by the type of obstacles that are kind of like self-imposed on an industry that is still fighting and thriving at the same time. And I think that’s the most impressive part is that some of these companies, including yourself, are doing really challenging next level things. And working with partners that are, rolling for all these additional obstacles.

[00:27:53] Jordan Zager: [00:27:53] Yeah. It’s, you know, you mentioned banking as a big obstacle. The other one is the tax situation. Like we have [00:28:00] to yeah, two yeah,. I don’t know if you guys have discussed this on your show, but this tax code that says the only thing that a, you know, provider of, of. In our narcotic, which of course cannabis is still labeled as, as such. The only things you can deduct, right? You can break the law by trafficking narcotics, but you better not write off your accounting expenses. Like the only thing you can write off are the costs of the goods sold. So like for a producer, like a cannabis grower, it’s like the soil, the lights, the pots, the fertilizer, and the people that grew it, but like their salaries. So like, that’s, that’s something that when I talk to folks outside of the cannabis industry and they learn about that, but like, are you, are you kidding me? And it’s just something that’s ludicrous. And it goes hand in hand with banking, like the financial perspective of how the cannabis operates right now. It’s, it’s amazing that there are companies, like you said, Brian, that are thriving the way there are some of these MSOE and all the hoops, they have to jump through. Like I do, we, we have to deal with one governing board [00:29:00] of the Washington state. Cannabis and liquor board. And like, I can’t imagine what, like, clearly it has to deal with like dealing with one entity. One, one government regulator is enough. So prop props to them.

[00:29:14] Bryan Fields: [00:29:14] I think that’s what they have a team of lawyers. So my team, like an entire baseball team full of lawyers, because it’s gotta be nearly impossible in the acuity. I don’t want to dive into that because that’s a whole nother topic on its own. But when that gets removed, these operators will just have a hold on, more profit. And people are like, Whoa, these guys made a huge amount of money this year compared to last year, like what did they do different? And it’s like, it’s not the government stop screwing them over.

[00:29:39] Jordan Zager: [00:29:39] Yeah, that’s a, that’s a, that’s a good investing tip, Brian.

[00:29:42] Bryan Fields: [00:29:42] I got to have a disclaimer at the end of this podcast. Now we’re not professional investors. You’re not take our advice, but yeah, absolutely. Before we wrap, we’re going to do two questions. We ask all of our guests. You could tell us your experience in the cannabinoid space into one main takeaway or lesson [00:30:00] learned to pass down to the next generation. What would that be?

[00:30:04]Jordan Zager: [00:30:04] Keep your end goal in sight. You don’t know what’s gonna get in your way of getting there, but as long as you have your eyes on what you want to get in the cannabis world ,  I think you can achieve it.

[00:30:13] Bryan Fields: [00:30:13] The last time you consumed any cannabinoids.

[00:30:16] Jordan Zager: [00:30:16] Oh, Jew. Before this podcast, I took my dog on a walk and then smoked a joint with him.

[00:30:21] Kellan Finney: [00:30:21] Love it.

[00:30:25] Jordan Zager: [00:30:25] I was going to ask you guys, if you ,  if you guys want to do to have a little tote stash before we started this, I’ll get on the same level, but we just got it.

[00:30:32] Bryan Fields: [00:30:32] We’ll have to save that for the patriotic members for the video subscription.

[00:30:36] Jordan Zager: [00:30:36] There we go.

[00:30:37] Bryan Fields: [00:30:37] But yeah, we should definitely get together as now off to a virtual one, but pursuing in person.

[00:30:43] So prediction time, will the future be genetically engineered cannabis? If so, what does that look like from a timeframe perspective? If not. Why not.

[00:30:55] Jordan Zager: [00:30:55] That is a great question. I don’t know if it’s tough [00:31:00] because like cannabis is an industry that has its own subculture that has thrived within America, right? And it’s, it’s often associated with, with, you know, preserving nature, right. It stems from, from the hippie movement, the free love movement. And so. For those types of consumers, GMOs are, they’re never going to consume GMO cannabis. So I think any, any company that is producing GMO cannabis is alienating sort of the, the, the base of cannabis users.

[00:31:28] Now that’s not to say it’s not being used today by certain people. I just don’t. I think that it’s GMO cannabis will ever really hit shelves just because of the makeup of consumers. Now, using it in breeding programs, as a tool to learn is probably the way that it’s going to be used. And it’s already being used by, by a few companies. And then, you know, that’s in the, you know, the plant aspect of cannabinoids. The other side is there are a bunch of companies right now that are either currently producing [00:32:00] or on the verge of commercially producing, engineered yeast grown cannabinoids, where they have genetically engineered yeast to have the entire cannabinoid pathway, including the precursors.

[00:32:10] So they’re feeding these East sugar and they’re in turn producing cannabinoids. And that that’s that’s. I think going to be a very useful tool as it relates to cannabinoids as a medicine and is going to be key for, for production of what, you know, call it the rare cannabinoids or even, you know, cannabinoids that don’t really exist in nature, but might have clinical relevance for ,  a certain disease or ailment

[00:32:35] Bryan Fields: [00:32:35] Kellan, thoughts?

[00:32:37] Kellan Finney: [00:32:37] Genetic gene ,  metabolic engineering is really close to my heart. It’s what I studied for a long time. And so, I agree with everything that Jordan said. I don’t think that, I mean, GMOs aren’t even allowed in Europe right now. Like there’s no way this, the plot, the demographic of canvas users that are going to entertain the thought of consuming a genetically modified cannabis plant.

[00:32:57] So, but as far as the genetically [00:33:00] modified organisms go like yeast, and E Coli, I, I do think that that is just going to continue to gain traction. And, but I do think at the end of the day, it’s only going to be for pharma. Because it goes back to the thing. If you aren’t producing say a THC molecule from E Coli and you’re using it to make a bait pen, that bait pen is going to have to say it’s from a genetically modified organism and they’re not, no one’s going to buy it at that point.

[00:33:25] So I think it’s going to be strictly regulated to kind of the pharmaceutical land. Brian, what do you think? What are your thoughts here? Would you consume some genetically modified cannabis?

[00:33:35] Bryan Fields: [00:33:35] If Jordan was bonded. Absolutely. Yeah. But then as a day, I mean, I crossed Jordan blindly.

[00:33:41] So the average consumer is not going to beat like just too many things going on guys.

[00:33:47] Like they’re not going to evaluate a product. At least I don’t think they will. I don’t think they’re going to pick up a product read the back. Like I don’t do that in it now when I buy products. So like, I can’t imagine. When you go to dispensary, buy these products. I don’t think that people are going to [00:34:00] be as informative in that.

[00:34:02] And I think you’ll have your slice of, of individuals who are really well-read and understand exactly what they want to consume like you do in other industries. And I think for the most part, it’s all about money, right? At the end of the day, what makes the most sense? What’s the cheapest way to mass produce the thing from a lean standpoint to get past regulations and then go from there.

[00:34:18] So I’m thinking the other side.

[00:34:20] Kellan Finney: [00:34:20] Well I like that. .

[00:34:22] Jordan Zager: [00:34:22] Well-stated for sure, for sure.

[00:34:24] Bryan Fields: [00:34:24] Jordan, before we wrap up, where can our listeners get in touch with you? If they want to learn more,

[00:34:28] Jordan Zager: [00:34:28] If you want to learn, check it out. deweyscientific.com. If you’re interested in our recreational cannabis brand, check us out on Instagram, [we’re] @Deweycannabis.

[00:34:35]And then of course, deweycannabis.com for our recreational features.

[00:34:40] Bryan Fields: [00:34:40] We’ll tag them all in the show notes so people can find you guys. Thanks Jordan, so much for your time and thank you everyone for listening.

[00:34:46] Jordan Zager: [00:34:46] All right. Thanks, Brian. Thanks, Kellan. Had a blast. [00:35:00]


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US Cannabis: A Generational Wealth Opportunity

In this episode, Jonathan Rubin discusses:
• Phyto Partners and what they do
• Outside industry examples of building a unique selling point (USP) and driving margins
• Trulieve’s current market strategy
• The Florida cannabis market
• How VC works in the cannabis space
• The benefit differences that retail and institutional investors receive

Phyto Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in the cannabis industry.

Get in touch with Jon Rubin on Twitter @Jonnyrubin10


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: [00:00:00] This is the dime a 10 minute 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, Kellan Finney, here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Jonathan Rubin, investor of Phyto partners. John, thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?

[00:00:24] Jonathan Rubin: [00:00:24] Hey, thanks Bryan. Thanks Kellan, for having me, everything is good in my neck of the woods. How are you guys doing?

[00:00:29] Bryan Fields: [00:00:29] Doing well, doing well. It’s a nice Friday here in April and we’re looking forward to chopping it up. How are you doing, Kellan?

[00:00:35] Kellan Finney: [00:00:35] You know ,  no complaints, a little snow on the ground this morning. So welcome to spring in Colorado, right?

[00:00:42] Bryan Fields: [00:00:42] Before we dive in, John would be great to understand from our listeners perspective, a little bit of back to yourself and how you got into the cannabis space.

[00:00:48] Jonathan Rubin: [00:00:48] Yeah, absolutely. So I started off working at a private equity fund, a generalist private equity fund called combis partners. They focused on control equity deals. Basically bought [00:01:00] majority stakes of companies and I was working in business development. So, you know, my job was to network with investment banks and essentially cast a wide net for finding as much deal flow as possible because at the end of the day and the venture capital private equity space, you’re only as good as, as the deal flow that you receive and have access to.

[00:01:19] So that was my primary job. I was doing brief screenings of the deals that came our way. And ,  analysis of the companies and I really wanted to do more. So my goal was to play a role in the investment decisions ,  for the fund and get to speak and, and learn from founders. And I used to be a cannabis consumer. It’s always been my sort of, you know, drug of choice versus alcohol. And I knew the industry was at an inflection point when I first started out. With legalization taking place in Canada at the federal level and all the legislation on the state, front in the United States. So I wanted to see if I could break into the space.

[00:01:55] Us cannabis is the great American growth story. It’s a story of cashflow positive [00:02:00] companies with high growth, a long runway for growth, great margins, limited license moats a steadily decreasing cost of capital and risk premium, and a recession slash pandemic proof business. These companies are currently trading at mid-teens EBITDA multiples. And if you compare that to consumer packaged goods companies, which are trading around 20 to 30 times EBITDA, and if you compare that to Canadian LPs that are trading close to 50 times 22 EBITDA ,  just from that perspective, They’re significantly undervalued comparatively, not to mention the us cannabis industry is growing at a 20% growth rate for the next decade.

[00:02:41] So a conservative example to look at valuation ,  I would, I would call it a base case would be to look at the total addressable market by the year 2030, which is estimated to be at least a hundred billion of retail sales. If you assume that the MSO is capture. 75% of that. So assuming that they’re selling [00:03:00] 50% of their sales, wholesale and 50% via retail, and you assume 25% EBITDA margins for that, a 20% market share leader in the United States.

[00:03:11]Trading at 40 times, EBITDA could be valued at 150 billion. And right now, you know, like we’ll, we’ll mention with CuraLeaf leaf is around 10 billion of EV that implies a potential 15 X upside, you know, from the largest us operator today. So I think there’s significant upside. If you have the staying power.

[00:03:32] And ability to kind of wait for this thesis to continue to evolve for the companies, to continue growing their earnings and eventually up list onto a us exchange where investors will begin to pay a fair multiple for these companies.

[00:03:47]And an opportunity came about with Phyto partners and I, and I jumped on it. And at Phyto partners, I participate in all the components of the venture capital ecosystem from deal sourcing ,  to due diligence on [00:04:00] companies, portfolio, company monitoring, and even investor relations. And I’m super excited about the future of the cannabis space.

[00:04:07] Bryan Fields: [00:04:07] Yeah. I’m excited to kind of pick your brain on some of those topics. So I think for the first question right off the bat. When you’re consuming cannabinoids, what’s your go-to meal?

[00:04:16] Jonathan Rubin: [00:04:16] Oh, that’s a good one. Didn’t get any prep for that question. No, I’m kidding. I, I tend to eat, you know, pretty healthy diet. I actually lost 60 pounds a couple of years ago, so I still keep it pretty healthy. I’ll, I’ll stick to like fruit I’ll stick to ,  you know, sometimes I’ll do some sushi, but I mean, it just depends on what I’m feeling. I’m not really the type to just ,  have a bunch of munchy snacks. Fair?

[00:04:37] Bryan Fields: [00:04:37] That’s fair. All right. So let’s dive into some of the, the real questions, right? The cannabis industry has been a generational wealth opportunity. What are your thoughts with that? Do you agree, do you disagree?

[00:04:50] Jonathan Rubin: [00:04:50] Yeah, I totally agree. You know, just given the fact that this is the one investment opportunity out there where retail investors actually have a fundamental advantage [00:05:00] over institutional capital, much of the institutional capital out there is unable to touch the space ,  because it is federally illegal.

[00:05:07] So they’re worried. That, you know, if they invest in the space, the government can come and seize their assets or that they could get in trouble. So this is a generational opportunity because patient capital ,  that is willing to take some risk and wait for, you know, a catalyst at the federal level has an opportunity to get in.

[00:05:26] On the great American growth story, which is us cannabis at very cheap multiples, relative to other similar industries like consumer packaged goods, or even ,  apples to apples, comparing it to the Canadian cannabis industry. You know, we’re able to get in at much cheaper valuation multiples. Meanwhile, we have a much longer duration of growth ahead and, you know, a higher growth rate for the years to come. So yeah, I do think it’s a generational opportunity ,  akin to when alcohol was ,  coming out of prohibition. And yeah, I think that [00:06:00] patient capital here will be treated very, very well and will outperform the broader indices by a decent amount.

[00:06:08] Bryan Fields: [00:06:08] From a timeframe perspective though, is there a finite window? You think that the retail investors kind of limited to? I know one of the questions that I field often is, you know, there’s so many different moving pieces, I’m more well aware of all that Canadian companies, which we aggressively try to move them back towards the U S which is likely a conversation of their own.

[00:06:26] So, in your perspective, John, is there a timeframe that you would encourage some of the investors to know that, Hey, like this is the limited window we think is really beneficial. Then, this is where I think you should start from ,  an informational standpoint.

[00:06:37] Jonathan Rubin: [00:06:37] Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, time is of the essence, the time is now.

[00:06:41]But you know, as soon as there’s a catalyst at the federal level, whether it be a safe Harbor language, which would essentially allow these institutions to invest without having to worry, or there’s an uplifting event ,  and it becomes federally legal, I think that’s, You know, [that’s] the minute that the arbitrage opportunity of [00:07:00] the limited demand of institutional capital will go away and multiples will probably be, be bid up because you’ll have a larger universe of investors that can actually come into the space. So I think that’s, you know, it’s very simple and sometimes, you know, the best opportunities and, you know, things in life are embedded in the simple, and it’s as simple as that. It’s, you know, as soon as there’s a federal ,  catalysts. I think the arbitrage opportunity, the generational opportunity will go away.

[00:07:29] It will still probably be a good investment depending on, you know, the price of these companies. But I mean, this right here is just one of the best risk reward opportunities on the market, primarily for those reasons.

[00:07:42] Bryan Fields: [00:07:42] Yeah. I couldn’t agree any more. And I want to go to Kellan to kind of expand on that and John a hundred percent, right? Like to me, even if that window closes, I still think there’s tremendous opportunity because some of these companies are just laying the foundational groundwork, right? They’re scaling as fast as humanly possible, and they’re still have all these other implications, all [00:08:00] these other roadblocks obstacles to ADE all these other hurdles that eventually will be replaced. They’ll scale, they’ll optimize and they’ll go forward. So, Kellan your thoughts on the whole generational wealth opportunity?

[00:08:11] Kellan Finney: [00:08:11] Yeah, I mean, I agree. I think it is one of the best opportunities, at least in our generation to generate a significant wealth in all transparency, cannabis is the only reason I started investing. [I] Oh, scientists by a traditional educational standpoint and worked in a lab for a while, kind of got out of that. And then I I think it was in 2018. We went till Ray went from trading around the $10 all the way up to like 300 and it made national headlines. All of a sudden I was like, Oh wow, like there is this tremendous opportunity for my wealth to just grow right? Passive income, all these other things. And so that was one of the most obvious signs. And from my perspective, as a retail investor with very, very limited experience, and that was the driving force for me getting involved in, in the [00:09:00] stock market and investing in general. And so, I mean, at the end of the day, like institutional investors don’t have the opportunity, that retail investors have currently, which is what Jonathan just touched on. And I think that the window will close, but as far as risk goes, I mean, I don’t think it’s as risky as a lot of people make it out to be. I mean, I’m out in Colorado and, and cannabis has kind of become a norm out here. Right? Dispensary’s are  just as common as liquor stores in the state. And ,  I look at it like the genie’s out of the bottle, like it’s going to be writ, I don’t see any way for even the federal government to come out and say, okay, the States need to re criminalize this and pulling that whole industry back.

[00:09:43] I just, I cannot see that playing out at all in my perspective. I mean, what are your thoughts on this, Brian?

[00:09:48]Bryan Fields: [00:09:48] Yeah, I think we’re going right. I think New York is the step in the direction that says like, we’re moving forward. And then, you know, New York, New Mexico, Virginia, everyone’s doing faster. The East coast. It’s these other [00:10:00] dominoes that are moving forward with Connecticut and Maryland getting closer. Obviously, Schumer’s pretty, pretty loud about what he’s looking to do. And as soon as safe goes through, I think it’s, it’s only a matter of time. We keep it moving. So I want to press back on John and, you know, get some insights on how he makes decisions and how he can recommend to the average investor on where to start to gathering the information. There’s endless sources of resources out there. But how does one understand the differences between the various operators in the space and then how do they know which one might fit their risk profile?

[00:10:30] Jonathan Rubin: [00:10:30] Yeah, I think that’s a good question. And I always recommend, especially for people that are just starting out to start by diversifying, and then eventually once they accumulate a knowledge base and understanding to then concentrate on, on what they are most convicted.

[00:10:45] And so, you know, obviously we have the ETF and SOS, and you can kind of, you can Google what their holdings are and you could start doing research, you know, one at a time ,  understanding each of these operators you can read through their quarterly [00:11:00] earnings report. I actually recommend reading through ,  the 10K document for any of the operators that are filing with PSCC. So for instance, green thumb, you can go on ssc.gov and read through their 10 K filing. And you can learn a lot about the business, where they’re operating in all of that good stuff, all of their financial metrics. And, you know, you start by getting a good understanding there, you can read a few of their quarterly press releases, understand kind of the growth.

[00:11:28] And then a lot of investing is just comparing, right? Comparing using, you know, the, the broader markets or other companies as a measuring stick. And if you do that, I mean, if you see these companies are growing at 150%, year over year. The only thing that’s comparative to that would be looking at these high growth technology companies, you know, that are actually losing money. And they’re trading at 30 plus times revenue versus cannabis companies are trading. You know, a lot of them are trading and under 10 times, or, you know, something to that nature. So [00:12:00] it’s not a great comparison to look at, you know, cannabis versus technology, but at the same time, comparing, you know, the growth that you’re seeing in the cannabis space.

[00:12:09] It’s pretty much one of the fastest growing industries out there and to be trading at a multiple that’s, you know, relatable to value stocks ,  is where the opportunity lies. So I think that’s, that’s like a good way to think about it. But mainly just, you know, reading through these quarterly reports and getting comfortable following the industry, signing up for newsletters, you know, going to these online webinars and just, you know, getting comfortable.

[00:12:34] I think right now it’s, it’s primarily a land grab kind of like you mentioned, we have the domino effect happening, New York legalized. We’re probably going to see some other States follow like Pennsylvania, probably Florida in the next, you know ,  18 months. So it’s just, it’s just a matter of time and it’s not like we’re forging building a new industry. That’s never existed. You know, the cannabis solicit market exists everywhere. People consume cannabis. So it’s an industry that already [00:13:00] exists, but we’re, you know, we’re moving from the illicit market to the legal market. And I think that’s why there’s a lot less risk. It’s not like we’re creating a brand new vertical that we don’t know if people are going to use it. Or if you know society, you know, condones it it’s out there. It’s already being consumed. It’s just now we’re having, you know, States and governments benefit from the sale of it.

[00:13:21] Bryan Fields: [00:13:21] Perfectly said.

[00:13:23] Kellan Finney: [00:13:23] I have a quick follow up question on that. How much weight Jonathan, do you put on the management of these companies? Right. In a comparison standpoint, I mean, is it something where you’re looking for individuals that have past experience in cannabis or are you more comfortable with. Individuals that are managing these companies from outside the industry that have been successful and say consumer packaging goods or, or, or something like that. How much, how much do you guys put into considering those as far as decisions made.

[00:13:52] Jonathan Rubin: [00:13:52] Yeah, I think it’s important for the management team to be adaptive and be used to highly regulated [00:14:00] industries. You know, I think that’s definitely important, but versus just looking at their previous history and where they’ve been or what successful companies they’ve built, I like to see kind of how they’ve been allocating capital. So I think at the end of the day, this entire, you know, Right now the growth for the cannabis space is about making good acquisitions and good limited license States ,  doing the right mix of, you know, debt equity, you know, stock and cash for those deals. So I think just the way that they do deals and, and think about growth and more importantly, the way they think about strategy to me is most important.

[00:14:35] I think right now it’s a land grab and going forward, you know, once the industry is more matured, That’s when I’m going to say, Hey, like, you know, I think the management team is going to be much more important at that point. That’s just my thoughts on it.

[00:14:48] Bryan Fields: [00:14:48] I wanted to ask a follow-up to that is, saw John Sandeman of air strategies on a rhino’s podcast. And he was talking about Liberty health deal and how he made that decision. And he [00:15:00] said that he didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. And that struck me completely different because here’s somebody who’s not supposed to be making like an emotional decision, but he knows he’s limited. And if he doesn’t act now he could get placed out, right? And that to me was another variable that I hadn’t thought of, right? That like, there’s such a limited opportunity where there’s the time essence where if he didn’t move there and somebody else scooped Liberty. He might now have to pay 10 X for maybe a less valuable variable. And then his overall goal is to try and add value to shareholders and do that mixture like you were saying, but how they place that emphasis on the balance is, is truly remarkable in understanding, you know, what’s a fair price to bet.

[00:15:43] Jonathan Rubin: [00:15:43] Yeah, no, I absolutely, as far as like kind of the deals that are happening with these larger MSO’s scooping up, you know, smaller ones, you know, th they’re paying a lower multiple of EBITDA, then their stock is trading for on the overall market. And hopefully, you [00:16:00] know, AYR is also able to make Liberty, you know, more efficient ,  bring, you know, their protocols and ,  you know, playbook to them, help them be, you know, organically grow.

[00:16:10] So I think that’s super important too. It’s like how, how they roll these companies up and, you know, bring them into the organization and all of that. But that’s really interesting.

[00:16:19] Bryan Fields: [00:16:19] Yeah. It’s gotta be so complex to try to be acquiring all these different operations and then roll them back into like your normal operations and then get them up to speed and in the same breath, look for the next acquisition, the next step, because you always have to be two steps in front thinking like that because these deals take time to put together.

[00:16:35] So let’s, let’s take one more step forward on the, the MSO thesis side from a standard side. I know like a lot of the focus has been on the U S side, but when cure leaf made their acquisition internationally, does that change your perspective on evaluating these companies? That now they might need to be thinking more from a global scale? And how does that relate to the way you put together? Your thoughts?

[00:16:54] Jonathan Rubin: [00:16:54] Yeah. I mean, I think it just adds to the future potential total addressable market for [00:17:00] these companies. International opportunity is actually is, is obviously huge ,  or will be huge. So. I think in the thesis, it just increases the potential Tam, which a lot of growth investors will eventually pay for. You know, I think right now it will pay to be focused on the US especially for all the other operators. I don’t think there’s, there’s a rush or anything like that to start acquiring assets in Europe, et cetera, until. You know, the framework is more solidified there until the demand starts to pick up there a little bit more.

[00:17:30] And there’s certainly enough of demand in the U S to start, you know, to capture before they have to go and do that. But like you said, I mean, Europe alone has population of like 700 million people. So like double the US but the cannabis market there is still tiny. So it’s almost like reminiscent of, of the us cannabis market, you know, 10 years ago.

[00:17:51] So I think eventually we’re going to start having those conversations, but for now, you know, with New Jersey coming online, the New York, all of these States, I think that [00:18:00] it will pay to be focused on, on those States.

[00:18:03] Bryan Fields: [00:18:03] Yeah, Charlie’s probably looking for that first mover advantage, trying to secure an asset they think is probably going to get scooped first. So let’s talk about that, that first mover advantage you’re in Florida. Obviously we know the big player in Florida, but what’s their plans? I know they’re dominating Florida. Are they going to continue to grow on the East coast? Do you have any sort of thoughts on where you think truly it goes.

[00:18:22] Jonathan Rubin: [00:18:22] Yeah, I think that they have an interesting strategy. You know, the, the hub model where they’re not trying to necessarily have a presence in every state, but in the States that they are in, they want to go deep. And I think that strategy will probably, [you know]  pay off in the long-term if, if, and when there’s interstate commerce. But I mean, even for now with their million plus square foot grow in Florida, they could still barely supply the Florida market. So I think that the day that they’re able to do interstate commerce, I think that they still need to ramp up supply pretty heavily. But I think that they will, you know, continue to have great margins because they’re [00:19:00] operating at scale. They don’t have to replicate facilities and, 10 20 different States because they’re focused on going deep in the States that they’re in.

[00:19:08] I think that they have an interesting strategy and obviously their margin profile is, is the best of the best out of the MSO’s currently. And I guess we’re just gonna have to see how it plays out.

[00:19:18] Bryan Fields: [00:19:18] Kellan, I know you did some research on Florida. You want to ,  add any areas there?

[00:19:21]Kellan Finney: [00:19:21] The only thing I would add is I do think that that’s probably the most well thought out plan as far as approaching cannabis from a national perspective. You talked to other manufacturers in different verticals for ,  they, they look at an East coast hub ,  kind of the middle of the country hub and then the West coast hub. And I mean, that, that plays into all of the benefits from the economy of scales, right?

[00:19:46] Building bigger facilities means you’re able to maintain quality, consistency and decrease your margins, right? And then having those three different hubs gives you access to the entire country with our ,  ability to just, [00:20:00] if it’s, if you are able, able to transport between States, which I would imagine once federal legalization comes ,  comes into play, that that’s going to be a no brainer. There’s going to be no issues with that. There might be some issues in terms of like dry counties. I don’t know how ,  alcohol is kind of handled in terms of transportation through counties that don’t allow alcohol sales right? There, there might be some nuances associated with that, but I would imagine that interstate commerce for cannabis will be facilitated no problem.

[00:20:29] And, and having those multiple hubs one on the East coast, West coast and in the central United States will be the most beneficial for not only margins, but build out costs. I mean, even building like a 30 or a small 25,000 square foot cultivation facility. You’re going to be looking at five, $10 million in just capital deployment to be able to facilitate something like that, right? And so, and then you’re going to still face all of the problems with maintaining consistency and quality in every single state. And it’s just not the model that [00:21:00] works. And it’s not the model that’s been proven time and time again, in terms of other comparable manufacturing sectors.

[00:21:07] Jonathan Rubin: [00:21:07] So that’s interesting. And I’ve been hearing a lot about three tier distribution model that, that takes place for a lot of States with alcohol and people are kind of discussing that as a potential downside risk for, for cannabis. I don’t know if you guys have any thoughts on that.

[00:21:23] Kellan Finney: [00:21:23] I do,I know that ,that’s kind of the approach that California has, has taken, right? Like you, in order to say you grow your cannabis in order to get your cannabis from your grow to a retail location, you can’t do that on your own. You have to go through someone with a distribution license, right. Which is the exact same way that the alcohol industry is kind of managed, right? There’s that middleman distribution situation. I think it works from a regulatory standpoint in terms of trying to, it helps the government regulate bigger, less people, but they’re going to be bigger. Right. So I think that that might be. An attractive option from a regulatory standpoint, it’s also going [00:22:00] to increase profits for anyone with a distribution license.

[00:22:03] It’s just going to solely focus on distribution. They’re going to be more successful, not having to fight. People with cultivation licenses that are also trying to distribute, you’re going to also, it’s probably going to result in higher quality services, right? Cause they’re only focused on one, one piece of the supply chain.

[00:22:19] Right. So they’re going to do a better job in my opinion. So there’s all those things that kind of, you could put into the protocol and if you’re looking at it, the downside would be it’s. You’re going to see big corporations come in and push the little guys out, there’s going to be a lot of ,  acquisitions.

[00:22:32] I mean, you can see a lot of the complaints right now in terms of how Amazon’s subcontractors are treated within the Amazon ecosystem. You can see there’s a lot of pushback associated with. So Amazon strong arming them on some certain aspects. So those, I think you could chalk up in the con column as far as that, following that model, right? It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out though.

[00:22:57] Jonathan Rubin: [00:22:57] Yeah. It’ll hurt margins for sure. As well. Like you [00:23:00] like truly having, you know, 75% gross margins, some of that’s going to be cut down. They have to sell to an intermediary, a middleman. That’s [going to] definitely not be helpful for margins, but

[00:23:13] Kellan Finney: [00:23:13] I mean, that’s what east, east, right? East is next plan is to go vertical. And the only reason is, is because they have to increase margins in order to pay their bills. Right. And so the best way they can increase margins is by owning the bile, but owning the grow and then their margins go through the roof. Cause they’re not playing that middleman $5 for a delivery charge. That makes no sense for 80% of their deliveries, you know?

[00:23:37] Jonathan Rubin: [00:23:37] Yeah, exactly.

[00:23:38] Bryan Fields: [00:23:38] Margins are also nuts, right? 75% is not, but I have actually a different question is, is in that same regard, once companies don’t have to be vertically integrated and they can focus on the one part of the chain, maybe then, they can still increase their margins because you can’t, I mean, you can, right? But most companies can’t be efficient at all the different operations. That’s why they kind of connect with other vertical partners. So I wonder [00:24:00] if, if these companies link up and go, okay, this is what we’re good at. We’re going to really drive home here and then they can focus on maximizing those margin.

[00:24:07] Jonathan Rubin: [00:24:07] Good point.

[00:24:08] Kellan Finney: [00:24:08] What about other companies that have that skillset and other sectors, right? Like Uber, right. Uber just came out and said they were looking at cannabis delivery. I mean, they’re currently optimizing their platform for delivering food and people from location, location. I mean, the headstart that they’re gonna have when they decided to get into the space.

[00:24:28] Yes. It’ll be almost a no brainer for say another company, just partner with Uber as a strategic partner and have Uber facilitate the deliveries because Uber has been spending the last. Two decades optimizing all of their margins for moving item eight, two from location A to location B. Right. And what are your thoughts on that?

[00:24:47] Jonathan Rubin: [00:24:47] Yeah, and Trulieve[you know]  I think like a few, like a hundred or so delivery vans, and they’re kind of managing the whole delivery process, but yeah, maybe they’ll want to outsource that similar to like when AWS came [00:25:00] out Amazon web services, you know, before that. Companies like Facebook and other, you know, other tech companies had their servers on premises.

[00:25:09] They had to, you know, manage those servers and AWS gave them a chance to outsource it for a smaller fee. And then, you know, Facebook and these companies can focus on, you know, what was making them money, what they were better at and it made sense to outsource it. So I think that that makes a lot of sense, given the, you know, given what the infrastructure that Uber’s already built and their ability to probably. You know, facilitate at a much cheaper price.

[00:25:33] Bryan Fields: [00:25:33] Right? And that’s why when people were freaking out that the Uber CEO said that, I mean, logically, why would he not consider that vertical? It’s a huge opportunity for them cannabis is exploding and people need this. He already has the infrastructure and the fleet and the technology. This is a smart play for him. And. I wonder if these conversations are already happening, right? Like people are already having strategically like, okay, like when this goes down, [our] we’ll announce, this agreement will have some sort of informal handshake and understanding that [00:26:00] we’ll look to incorporate you guys.

[00:26:01] Do you guys think that type of conversations are already happening?

[00:26:03] Jonathan Rubin: [00:26:03] I wouldn’t be surprised. 

[00:26:05] Kellan Finney: [00:26:05] Yeah. I would bet money that most, I mean, most large organizations at this point, have some team devoted towards researching the cannabis industry from my experience. I mean, I was at the conference four or five years ago when California wasn’t even RAC.

[00:26:21] And I remember sitting down and I mean, the DEA and the FDA were already having special group meetings regarding how to legalize cannabis on the federal level. And so, I mean, if the government is having special group meetings five years ago, you would imagine that large corporations that are trying to make cap are trying to generate revenue are also looking at this as a potential opportunity.

[00:26:42] I mean, perfect example, you could look at Johnson and Johnson, right? Johnson and Johnson has ABI KONA, I’m not exactly sure how they’re positioned from an ownership perspective within ABI KONA, but ABI KONA is following marching orders. If you will, from Johnson and Johnson in terms of [00:27:00] how they are running their incubation hubs and those kinds of aspects of getting involved in the industry.

[00:27:04] Bryan Fields: [00:27:04] So before we move into the prediction and some of the other questions, John, I want to ask real quick about the venture space and how that kind of works because. Unfortunately, or fortunately the cannabis industry always works a little differently. So from a VC space, how does that work in the cannabis industry?

[00:27:19] Jonathan Rubin: [00:27:19] Yeah, so, I mean, we started off on the ancillary side, so we weren’t looking at plants. How should companies, I only recently started learning and ,  and doing work on these multi-state operators, but you know, how it works for us is we aggregate deal flow. You know, we have articles that come out. We have portfolio companies and the founders of those companies send us, you know, other interesting businesses that they work with.

[00:27:42]We work with other, other VC funds and ,  basically, you know, we source deal flow. Whatever is interesting to us. We ,  we start the due diligence process for. So we speak to the founders. We learn about the business. We look through their financials, we speak to their customers. We try to speak to their [00:28:00] competition and learn about their competition. We get their data room access and just go through most of their contracts. We make sure that the management team checks out, whether they have past experience running a successful business or another company that was, you know, in a similar category. And, you know, that’s kind of the due diligence process.

[00:28:20] We do sparse checks in earlier stage companies. So, you know, call it series A and before that sort of series seed rounds, and we do more concentrated investments in later stage companies, especially at this point of the industry. As we continue to mature and develop. So when we first started in 2015, there were only a handful of companies that were doing over call it, you know, a million dollars in revenue run rate.

[00:28:46] And today kind of our criteria is like, you know, a company has to be doing at least two, two and a half million in revenue run rate for us to really consider investing just because the industry has matured and a lot of the ancillary [00:29:00] verticals that make business for these operators, much easier and more efficient. A lot of them have been established. So for instance ,  we invested into a company called leaf link in ,  want to say 2016, it was their series seed round. At the time and leaf link is the largest B2B wholesale marketplace in the cannabis industry. At the time. They were only in, I want to say two States and they facilitated like 50 or 60 million of transactions on the platform and that’s not revenue.

[00:29:30] That’s just the transactions that they facilitated. They actually charge a flat fee for the brands that sell on the platform and they had a couple hundred brands and retailers on the platform at the time and fast forward, you know, three or four years later, the company has several thousand brands and dispensaries on a platform has facilitated over, you know, has ,  over $3 billion gross merchandise value run rate. And, you know, essentially. They just ,  they just [00:30:00] secured an investment from founder’s fund, which is one of the most iconic venture funds in the world that doesn’t participate in the cannabis space, but they clearly saw an opportunity here on the, on the technology ancillary front with a company like Lee flank, which facilitates, I want to say over 20% of all the wholesale cannabis transactions in the United States. I think the number is much higher at this point, but ,  yeah, it’s ,  it’s, it’s pretty, pretty phenomenal to watch these companies grow, but you know, so, so we, we source deals. We do diligence. And another component of venture capital is raising money from outside investors.

[00:30:37] So we do that. We utilize different softwares and platforms such as PitchBook, you know, family and friends, et cetera. So we target accredited investors and we raise capital from them. And then, you know, we open a fund to do so. And the way that you get paid on the venture capital side is typically two and 20, and what that means is we earn [00:31:00] 2% of the assets. That we raise and we earn 20% of the carry, which is essentially the profit at the end of the day. So if we invest a total of, you know, call it just use simple math, a million dollars. And at the end of 10 years, it turns into 10 million. You know, we sell our, we liquidate our companies that either went public or were acquired. For the 10 years, we earn 2% on that million dollars ,  the entire time. So we’re earning $20,000 per year. And then on the 9 million of profit at year 10, we earn 20% of that. So, you know, so 1.8 million, that’s kind of how the incentive structure works when you’re managing a venture capital fund. So, you know, the numbers can get ,  pretty significant when you’re investing more larger amounts of money.

[00:31:49] When you have. You know ,  a company that, you know, hundred exes or something like that. So that’s when it gets really interesting and a lot of fun. You know, that’s the basics on [00:32:00] venture capital. And one thing I will add is, you know, it’s much different than investing in the stock market because you’re investing in private companies. So you can’t wake up tomorrow and say, Hey, I want to sell my, I want to sell my stake. You have to wait until the company’s either acquired by another company or you wait until the company goes public in which you’re issued [you know] public shares, where you can sell them on the open market. So typically the life cycle of a fund is around 10 years and investors that, that invested into the fund get paid back first.

[00:32:31] And, you know, we, we make the, the 20% carry on on whatever the profits are. Sorry for the long-winded explanation.

[00:32:37] Bryan Fields: [00:32:37] No, I think was really well said. I learned a ton that I didn’t understand that the two and 20, so I appreciate you breaking that down. The biggest misconception since you started working in the cannabis space.

[00:32:49] Jonathan Rubin: [00:32:49] I think a common misconception is that, you know, the real story is the medicinal side and all the, all the drugs that will be made from the plant. You know ,  [00:33:00] FDA approved drugs, but I think that really, it’s a, it’s a story of recreational substance that, that people have been using for thousands of years. And I think that adult use cannabis is where the real opportunity is for investors and just for the largest group of stakeholders. And I think that. You know, a lot of people will use the plant for medicinal purposes, but it will be, you know, they’ll be purchasing it from a recreational dispensary. It’s not going to necessarily, you know, the large part of the, market’s not necessarily going to come from drugs that you need to be prescribed to.

[00:33:31] So I think that’s one of them and ,  I’m having a hard time thinking of others. What do you think for you? What would you say is like a misconception, maybe it’ll spark some juices for me.

[00:33:40] Kellan Finney: [00:33:40] I agree with your statement as far as medical goes, I think this thing with big pharma and like actual medicine is big pharma is going to want to make money too. Right? Like we love to say that they’re out there just for the good of people and providing medicine, but they need to make money too. And the biggest obstacle why big [00:34:00] pharma has never really approached THC as a medicinal compound is because you can’t patent it. Right? Like they can’t patent it. Like they do all of their other drugs. Because you can’t patent nature, right? And so from a medicinal standpoint, I could see a lot of cannabinoid derivatives come onto the marketplace as medicines ,right? But traditional pharmaceutical standpoint and providing people with medicine, even like, if you’re looking at the derivative products from cannabis, like these oils and the concentrates that is a cocktail of 400 different chemicals, or even even 10, right?

[00:34:36] Depending on like the turpines and all these other things. And how far down that purification chain they take it. I mean, it’s really, really hard. I mean, you listen to pharmaceutical commercial now, and it’s like five minutes of these are the side effects. Right. And those are the side effects of one molecule.

[00:34:50] And like now they have 200 different molecules in this same drug. I mean the side effects are going to be obnoxious and they’re not going to be able to kind of shore those [00:35:00] up from a liability standpoint. And so I don’t think that the future of cannabis is going to be from a medicinal standpoint, unfortunately. I think that pharma will find some pharma kinetics that why THC binds with certain receptors and how it actually interacts with the human body. And they’ll develop a derivative molecule that looks really, really similar, but it’s not THC. And then they’ll patent it and that’ll be where the medicinal side of cannabinoids come into play.

[00:35:25] And that’s just my opinion on what are your thoughts here, Brian? What’s your biggest misconception?

[00:35:29]Bryan Fields: [00:35:29] I think at least on my side, the biggest misconception is that then people want to consume cannabis. It doesn’t have to be heavy THC. It can be, you know, a low dosage or an entourage effect or a bunch of these other minor cannabinoids that have maybe not medicinal benefits, but other serviceable benefits.

[00:35:45] And I think for me, I do enjoy consuming the plant, but I also don’t want the heavy THC side that kind of tends me to be a little more antisocial. So I think the biggest stigma is that when people say cannabis, they’re like, Oh, you just want to get stoned and go eat McDonald’s. And it’s like, not [00:36:00] exactly. That’s not really how it works, but you know, good luck to you in the future.

[00:36:04] Jonathan Rubin: [00:36:04] Yeah, I agree with that. And you guys kind of sparked some other thoughts for me, but yeah, that’s one of them it’s that, you know, consuming cannabis is not just a stoners game anymore. It’s not that, you know, that archetype of somebody just sitting around the bond, sleeping on the couch and, and munching it’s, you know, people that want to be more creative people that want to take a hit to microdose and engage in like a really interesting conversation.

[00:36:26]So I agree with you. I think that is a common misconception that will [you know] slowly but surely go away as people explore, you know, using smaller doses, like you mentioned, another misconception from the investment side, I would say is that, you know, as soon as it goes legal, you know, liquor companies and [you know] Canadian cannabis companies are just going to buy out all these licenses or they’re just going to be able to start growing cannabis and kind of just bypass the fact that these, some of these States still will have, you know, a limited license structure. And I think that’s incredibly false. I [00:37:00] think they’re going to have to pay an exuberant amount to buy, for instance, a license in Florida or, or one of these limited licenses in New York. And, and I think people just forget that Amazon can’t come into Florida tomorrow and start selling cannabis.

[00:37:15] They would have to pay, you know, an incredibly high amount for a license there. They can, however, go and compete with Apple and create a cell phone, or they can go compete with Celsius, the energy drink and make a drink tomorrow, but they can’t come into a limited licensed cannabis state. So I think that’s where you know, us as investors that are sitting patiently are going to win when that legalization event does happen. And these companies all want to enter this space and they’re going to pay a much larger amount for these licenses.

[00:37:43] Bryan Fields: [00:37:43] Absolutely. Next question. The last time you consumed any cannabinoid.

[00:37:47]Jonathan Rubin: [00:37:47] So I, you know, I consume with friends on probably like a weekly basis. I only do it at night because kind of like you mentioned earlier, it makes me a bit antisocial.

[00:37:57] I used to smoke a lot more, but I’ve [00:38:00] kind of slowed down ever since I started getting a little bit more into like self-growth and meditation. But I still enjoy it. I think that there are tons of health benefits to doing it. Sometimes it puts me in a different state of mind, a different perspective. I have great thoughts when I’m on it, versus when I was doing it, when I was consuming it pretty much every day. I got comfortable with it and it didn’t really take me into a, a different state of mind. So yeah, a couple of like, I want to say like a week and a half ago. Yeah,

[00:38:26] Bryan Fields: [00:38:26] It’s fair. Right? I mean, everyone has those stories where they used to consume it every day and the couch was their best friend and wish Netflix was around back then.

[00:38:35] All right. Let’s do prediction time five years from now, who do you think will be the biggest player in the space in regards to Evy? And from that standpoint, give us two smaller companies or long shot horses that you think in the next five years we’ll make a larger growth that people might be sleeping on right now from just an informational standpoint.

[00:38:58] Jonathan Rubin: [00:38:58] I like that question. I think from [00:39:00] an evy perspective, I think curely has the best, the best shot of winning that. But that’s not to say that I think that their stock price will be the best performing stock. I think that they’re going to have a ton of dilution. I think that the margin profile is not as good, but they’re also, you know, just the amount of shares that I envisioned them issuing ,  to keep up with this growth.

[00:39:20] I do not think there’ll be the best performing stock, but I do think that they will have the highest evy. I think probably the best performing stock over the next five years will be, you know, on between green thumb and Cresco, just based on kind of the efficiency and really just the management team there.

[00:39:38] I’m very bullish on those two. As far as the little players, I don’t focus on, on smaller players that much. I think that the industry is going to consolidate tremendously over the next 12 months and especially over the next five years. So I’d prefer to, to have a more risk adjusted bet and ,  invest in, you know, companies that are the larger tier one [00:40:00] operators.

[00:40:00] Bryan Fields: [00:40:00] Fair. Kellan?

[00:40:01] Kellan Finney: [00:40:01] I mean, I can’t argue with curely having the largest CB and in five to 10 years, for sure. I mean ,  some of the moves that they’re making internationally, I think they’re ahead of the game from that perspective. And I mean, they’re already, they already have the largest CB currently, right? I think it’s like, what 2 billion larger than the next competitor? Are they at 10 now? So, I mean, they already have a substantial lead. So I got, I think that for sure, they’ll be the biggest one. And then as far as the small player goes, I’m going to give Colorado some love. My Swayze, right? They’re penny stocks are trading down at like $2. I think last time I checked and I really liked they’re growing organically.

[00:40:40] And they’re really trying to just own Colorado right now before they, they kind of expand. And the way they’re doing that is they acquired Starbucks, which is a dispensary chain. And ,  in Colorado, I really liked the brand Starbucks. I think that a lot of locations that are well thought out in the brand as well, thought out the retail experience is [00:41:00] really positive.

[00:41:00] Every time you go to them, go to one, it’s very similar across the whole state. And so I think that they are kind of sitting in the background, learning a lot and really optimizing ,  that kind of retail side of the supply chain. And I think that that could really benefit them as they go to. Kind of grow and expand hopefully in the future.

[00:41:19] And, and I mean ,  Starbucks with being green, really similar to Starbucks, like I could see just ,  a lot of consumers ,  psychologically playing on that comfort of Starbucks and then they see the Starbucks thing and then not inherently creates like a comfort level that. I mean, it’s a big deal right? On the East coast where people are still very skeptical about cannabis, right? It’s the devil’s lettuce. I mean, those kinds of little tiny nuances in terms of tackling that psychological aspect from a consumer perspective, I think go, I think that’s undervalued right now, personally. So that’s my 2 cents. What do you think, Brian?

[00:41:52] Jonathan Rubin: [00:41:52] I’m going to check that out.

[00:41:53] Kellan Finney: [00:41:53] Yeah. Go check it out. I really liked the Starbucks brand. I mean, dispensaries are really cool and I’m a regular, when I do go shop for cannabis [00:42:00] at those dispensaries. And so that’s my truth. They were met. They were formerly known as medicine man, I think and then they went through some reorganization and renamed it Swazi a more attractive name. And I think they brought in some more ,  professional financial individuals to kind of help them shore up their balance sheet. And ,  in effort to hopefully expand from a Colorado perspective.

[00:42:21] Bryan Fields: [00:42:21] I might be wrong with them, but I think they had some also bad PR that they were trying to get away from and the easiest way to kind of, you know, wipe your hands of that is to change your name and people then don’t remember all the bad things that are associated to common practice in the pharmaceutical space and some of the other industries. So I wonder if that was the direction of why they did that. For me, I’m like you, John, I prefer to bet on the bigger horses, because while the, some of the smaller guys I think are doing great things and are showing incredible numbers, I think, you know, I want to go back to the first point you said about like that risk profile and what your time horizon is. And for me, I am invested at all across the board, really heavily focused on the cannabis companies. And I’d rather bet on the five [00:43:00] biggest horses and say, Hey, I know the game isn’t fair. And I know it’s an incredibly expensive. And at the end of the day, that’s the way the rules are. And I’d like to bet on the five or six biggest horses and say, good luck guys.

[00:43:11] Like over the next 10 years, the here’s my bet. Let’s rock and that’s how I do it. And that’s what I recommend to people. Right? Like there’s so many smaller companies that are doing great things, but you don’t cause 10, 10 licenses and guess who’s in there all the big guys. So, I mean, the game’s not fair.

[00:43:27] Jonathan Rubin: [00:43:27] Yeah. And also the smaller guys are being acquired at a much lower EBITDA multiple than the larger guys are trading for on the market. I think, you know, truly, even Cresco, they did deals that they bought companies that like four X, 22 EBITDA, which is a much lower multiple than, you know, their stocks currently trade for. So I think there’s a, you know, I think might as well be invested in the larger operator that the market’s willing to pay a higher multiple for.

[00:43:53] Bryan Fields: [00:43:53] Cool. So before we wrap John, where can our listeners get in touch with you? I know you’re pretty vocal on social media. Is there any handles you want to shout [00:44:00] out that they can reach?

[00:44:01] Jonathan Rubin: [00:44:01] Yeah. Check out the phyto partner’s website and then also, yeah. Twitter, you could follow me @JohnnyRubin10 and you know, that’s pretty much, that’s pretty much it.

[00:44:10] Bryan Fields: [00:44:10] Cool. We’ll tag everything in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time and looking forward to chatting with you in the future.

[00:44:16] Jonathan Rubin: [00:44:16] Thanks, Brian. Thanks, Kellan.

[00:44:18]Kellan Finney: [00:44:18] Take care.


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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!

In this episode, Bryan Fields @bryanfields24 and Kellan Finney @Kellan_Finney sit down with Laura Eisman and Allison Krongard, co-founders of cannabinoid brand Her Highness, to discuss…

  • How to tailor your branding and packaging to appeal to your target demographic (for Her Highness, that’s women)
  • How two successful entrepreneurs’ prior ventures set them up for success in the cannabis space
  • Why they’re excited for the New York market and which location is next on their radar
  • The future of Her Highness

…and everything you could ever want to know about creating a successful brand in the overflowing cannabinoid space. As always, let us know what you think, and if you have any questions about what we discussed, email us at [email protected].

About Her Highness:

Her Highness is the premier purveyors of female-forward cannabis couture – products and potions inspired by and engineered by women. They design and deliver experiences that elevate and celebrate women.

herhighness.com

herhighnesscbd.com

Twitter: @herhighnessnyc


[00:01:00] [00:00:00] Bryan Fields: [00:00:00] This is the

[00:01:57] dime a 10 minute dive into the cannabis. [00:02:00] This in hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents.

[00:02:05] What’s up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the dime has always, I’ve got my right-hand man, Kellen Finney here with me. And this week we’ve got very special guests, the lovely ladies and the co-founders of her Highness, Alison and Laura.

[00:02:18] Thanks for taking the time. How you guys doing today? Appreciate you guys taking the time. As we were saying, kind of before we got started, it’s nice to have that East coast kind of making that strong way forward and putting Kellen in the minority as the East coast really comes online. So. Ladies today before we kind of dive in, I’d love to hear from each of your backgrounds and kind of how you got into the cannabis space.

[00:02:39] So, Alison, do you want to go first?

[00:02:41] Allison: [00:02:41] Sure. Came from the design industry. I invented peel and stick chalkboard. That was removable and reusable, which was my sort of big venture in my former company and sort of during that process. And while I owned that company or throughout my entire creative career, I always had cannabis in [00:03:00] my life.

[00:03:00] So I’m sort of bringing the same energy of speaking to women about luxury products that improve their lives, but changing the topic to cannabis that always coming from the standpoint of design and quality and good branding, good formulas. And just bringing that into cannabis. Laura

[00:03:19] Laura: [00:03:19] your background.

[00:03:20] I come from a fashion background. I’m an art director by trade accounted. One of the first e-commerce fashion websites, pioneer in the internet industry back in 98, so long ago, and really took that industry at the time, which is very male dominated into a women’s forum by offering fashion and also working with fashion designers.

[00:03:43] And allowing them to display a collection. And, you know, also I had a love of cannabis, you know, my adult life and just watch the cannabis industry and spent like it also needed a woman’s [00:04:00] touch base, a gray, because the new developments just wearing nearly serving women. And just decided to come together and Alison, and really make a difference

[00:04:10] Bryan Fields: [00:04:10] in the industry.

[00:04:11] Yeah. And I’m excited to kind of dive into that and how her Highness was formed. So I guess to get started, let’s start with the hardest topic right away, your go-to meal after consuming.

[00:04:22] Laura: [00:04:22] Canada. Great

[00:04:23] Allison: [00:04:23] question. We are after doing years of research and also knowing how and why, and the different ways women consume cannabis.

[00:04:33] We took great care to dial down the munchies and all of our products. Our vape formulas have elevated Humulin to kill off the munchies at the end, all of our strange choices, how are other higher THCV? Higher humiliation. So that’s actually not the question for us. We are fairly anti munchie in our approach to

[00:04:56] Laura: [00:04:56] cannabis

[00:04:57] Bryan Fields: [00:04:57] fair.

[00:04:57] But if you were going to go in one direction, if

[00:05:00] [00:04:59] Laura: [00:04:59] you had a favorite, okay. I like to pair.

[00:05:06] Allison: [00:05:06] And it would be frozen

[00:05:07] Laura: [00:05:07] yogurt for

[00:05:07] Bryan Fields: [00:05:07] me. Those are both very nice. So let’s kind of switch gears back to her Highness. How was it formed? Where did the original idea come up with? Was there an inspirational piece or something that you saw that instantly you were like, boom, and then take me through the naming of her Highness.

[00:05:23] Right? How, how did that kind of come about and. The

[00:05:27] Laura: [00:05:27] backstory there, Alison and I wanted to do something together. We were, we just really respected each other as entrepreneurs and cannabis was just it for us. And so we, every day we had a brainstorming session, you know, the name actually came, we had a few contenders, but Alison came up with this for Highness and it was just ed.

[00:05:48] We knew instantly, and we grabbed the domain name for it and just started on. It, we knew it was a winner and Jaylen. Alison could talk about the formulation. We, you know, [00:06:00] very early on, we started having introductions to formulators in California. We’d go to California, you know, every other week to just get started on our product developments.

[00:06:11] But it was a really a challenging time. You know, we did that for about four years before it truly, truly came together.

[00:06:18] Allison: [00:06:18] When Laura came to me with the idea to do some, you do cannabis accessories actually was the original idea. And then once we got together, we sort of made it into cannabis products and accessories, but our conversations were about how to really feminize cannabis because we both loved cannabis, even though we use it in different ways.

[00:06:40] Laura came to it, looking for beautiful cannabis accessories, and not able to find them. And I came to it, having sold my company to a large public company and having to work for them for two years. Using cannabis medicinally for the first time in my life, because I’m such a person and not anxious and not [00:07:00] in pain.

[00:07:00] So I never used cannabis medicinally until I had a really depressing job. And I realized, you know, sort of noticing how other women self-medicate with alcohol and Xanax. Some of everybody in that office, I was like, wow, women need to know about cannabis because I fixed myself with what I do anyway. I just started doing it at a different time, like before work, instead of, you know, at night and it helped me get through work and be present and be good at it, you know?

[00:07:30] Cause I was creative director for their interior wall decor, everything. And so I took over all these lines and so it was fine to be high, but. Anyway, I came to it thinking that women who are good at marketing to other women need to get the word out about cannabis. And Laura is a great marketer. So she was the perfect partner to come together.

[00:07:52] Both of us have had the same conversation with the same customer about elevating her life, but we just [00:08:00] changed the topic to

[00:08:00] Laura: [00:08:00] cannabis. Yeah, I’d say, you know, and I started thinking about cannabis. They really wanted to normalize it and that’s just what I’ve done in my career. And so, you know, to bring it to women in a new way, you know, I’m a, I don’t want say distracting.

[00:08:15] It was a little too early for that, but we had our ambition and it’s almost like we had to start educating from, from the beginning because people have these seen, especially women have preconceived notions about what it’s like to be high and, you know, way back. New York city. When you would order your weed, you know, it came from the pizza guy and it was, you know, not nuance, you just sorta, mostly got, but you got, you know, and so it got a little more sophisticated, but you know, I think that a lot of women, when they recall being high, it’s like in college or, you know, some terrible edible experience, which they always bring up and which I still have to this day, by the way, Necessarily, it’s kind of getting them out of that mindset into a new mindset of like, you know, this is really so [00:09:00] useful in so many ways and, you know, not to get bogged down in wellness because Alison and I feel like wellness is just when women feel good.

[00:09:08] And so that includes pleasure. And that includes. You know, enjoying and having fun and just letting loose sometimes. And we adjust all those things, but it really is like, you know, especially now we’re in New York and all the customers are brand new, that it’s going to be a real kind of education. And the way to get that across to women is to show them a product.

[00:09:29] That they appreciate it. They left the packaging, they left what it can do for them. And so they use it and that’s really the way to bring it to their, you know, more of the mass market.

[00:09:40] Bryan Fields: [00:09:40] Yeah. Kevin and I, a hundred percent agree from an educational standpoint, that’s a huge stretch. And I think one of the things that your brand does better than, than most is that you gravitate really, really strongly to your target customers.

[00:09:52] So those women that are fighting those stigmas that are unsure, you know, Is this something that I can do and then could work out or be that, do it all, mom, [00:10:00] you see that product and you’re like, maybe I’ll give it a second look, and then you try it. And then you’re instantly kind of your, your stigma’s kind of changed.

[00:10:07] Right? And then you understand. But this is different than like in college or the pizza guy. There’s a different style that goes into it. So I want to kind of revisit what you said before. Alison, about the THCV. Is that a critical component in the products? Can you kind of share what that is for our listeners who are a little unfamiliar

[00:10:24] Allison: [00:10:24] with that?

[00:10:25] Well THCV, like you find it in Durban poison. There are certain strands that have higher concentrations of it. And actually it’s a little different than Delta nine and that in higher concentrations it’s sort of Trippier. So it doesn’t really work to isolate it and elevate it because it’s a different experience.

[00:10:46] But in small concentrations in certain strands, It does sort of change the, I would say like it’s sort of the soul of the high, like it changes it, but it kills off the munchies and in there’s [00:11:00] plenty of research on it. And now new research that might even be a treatment for diabetes. And, you know, people who use cannabis regularly have a lower BMI than the rest of the population.

[00:11:11] And that’s curious because cannabis causes the munchies, but what it does is it makes our bodies more efficient. And if we can target the aspects of cannabis that make our bodies more efficient, we have a product that is so much more appealing for women. Like not only can you take your pleasure? With, I think a better buzz than what wine can deliver, but it can make you thinner, healthier, make your body work better.

[00:11:38] Like if we can harness that message, we can break the stigma and, you know, with breaking the stigma of cannabis, breaking the stigma of female pleasure, which is what we do with our orgasm oil. Which is really targeted to get that conversation. Let’s talk about orgasms and make them better. And it’s the same with cannabis.

[00:11:58] That’s make our life [00:12:00] better, more joy, more feeling good. I find with alcohol, if you drink alcohol at night. It’s really hard to get up early and work out. And that is bad cycle for women. We feel better when we work out. So if you’re relaxed, time is killing off your workout time the next day. Like we can change that and fix that if we can get that message

[00:12:20] out.

[00:12:20] Bryan Fields: [00:12:20] Yeah. That’s perfectly well said from a science side, Callan THCV obviously is one area that you and I both are very interested in exploring. Is there information there that you’ve seen that kind of aligns with, you know, your perspective? I

[00:12:34] Kellan: [00:12:34] think Alison kind of said it perfectly. And I also am really impressed with kind of referencing a lot of these molecules.

[00:12:39] And I’m really curious to understand, like how long was that journey in terms of not only have you guys put in insane amount of time to the brand, but it sounds like. It’s been a giant research project as well, in terms of understanding all these different molecules that go into the experience of using cannabis.

[00:12:56] I mean, you mentioned humiliating. What does that educational journey been like [00:13:00] in terms of also becoming kind of a pseudo chemist? If you will,

[00:13:03] Bryan Fields: [00:13:03] at least the way you speak,

[00:13:04] Allison: [00:13:04] right. I’ve been keeping out on cannabis. For 30 years. So there wasn’t like, I was like, Oh my God, let me go to the library now and figure this out.

[00:13:13] If you know, it’s in my personality to find something I like and then make it better and better and better and keep reinventing it until I feel like I have the ultimate whatever. So I’ve been playing with strains and studying strains and, you know, trying to figure it out for a really long time. And it wasn’t until we started this company that.

[00:13:33] I had the opportunity to do it during the day, all day, talking to people who can just soak me with their knowledge, that it all really has come together and come alive for me.

[00:13:45] Kellan: [00:13:45] I mean, that’s got to put a ton of confidence in your guys’s user base as well. Just knowing that there’s been a ton of thought that goes into these products as well.

[00:13:54] Is that something

[00:13:55] Laura: [00:13:55] that you’ve found?

[00:13:55] Allison: [00:13:55] Yeah. Like you can see our thought in the product. Like, I don’t, I don’t [00:14:00] know if you here, you can see like, The crutch on our joint is 40 millimeters. So when you light it, you don’t Melt your eyelashes and your Gel manicure And you know, when I say like, all women who love hot, know the smell of burnt hair and Weed and everyone’s like, Oh my God, totally.

[00:14:16] But then there’s always a guy with a beard. Who’s like, thank you, sister. Like Nobody cannabis, ergonomic, like it’s ridiculous or things like are transdermal footpaths that go in your stilettos. Like transdermals have existed in cannabis for a long time, but nobody thought that women’s shoes need transdermals, but they do because in tight jeans and heels, you feel better.

[00:14:43] And that is wellness. But walking around in high heels, you don’t feel better. And the fact that cannabis has a cure for it, and nobody made it before we came along. It’s just rude, but thank goodness. You know, we’re here to really bring a feminine touch, you know, [00:15:00] to this space that’s been so male dominated in its design, even though women love pot, but men who are picking the crutch for whatever pony everybody gets is not thinking about long hair.

[00:15:11] Eyelashes or

[00:15:12] Bryan Fields: [00:15:12] nails. Yeah. I think that attention to detail is really what separates your brand from some of the others, because that’s not an aspect that I even considered. And I shared that quote with my sister and she, her first reaction was, Oh my God, I almost burnt my eyelashes off yesterday. And I was like, what?

[00:15:28] I was like, I didn’t even know that was a common thing. And then she shared, well, what about my nail Polish? I can’t even get white nail Polish anymore. And I was like, I didn’t even realize that these existed. And I think. You know, you’re shedding light on a really, really massive user base that understands exactly what they’re going through and it’s providing a solution plus an experience with the strong packaging.

[00:15:47] It seems like you’ve got the total package communicating. Really really strongly with your user base. So let’s talk about where we’re located in the United States. Is this something that’s just New York? Are we looking for globally? [00:16:00] Where are we right now and where we plan to go in the near

[00:16:02] Laura: [00:16:02] future? We plan to take over the world.

[00:16:09] We’ve been focusing on the States, the lag we launched originally in California, and then we decided to do licensing deals throughout the country. So we’re in Nevada. With a special focus on Vegas because our market is bad. And we can’t wait to go there. We haven’t been there during Cannes Amex, so time.

[00:16:29]And then we recently launched in Massachusetts, which was our first East coast mage for THC. We launched first of all on record, good time because our client, no tilt. Foldings wanted us to lunch during international women’s week. And the 20 stores that we launched in also down, like we’ve been doing, it’s just been such an amazing, welcome.

[00:16:53] We didn’t expect it at all. You know, we expected wherever on-ramp and it would just immediately go to [00:17:00] that customer. And we are based in New York. So we are so excited for new York’s legalization. But we do have our CBD line, which is national available on our website. And just recently we’ve. Been getting a lot of interest internationally.

[00:17:15] So we’re definitely on our way to be this household brand for women in cannabis, which is

[00:17:23] Allison: [00:17:23] know telco. Yeah, we’re going to make an announcement of a new state hopefully next week, which we’re very excited about, but we also are in contract for Ohio and Pennsylvania and in discussions with six other States

[00:17:35] Laura: [00:17:35] and Mexico, the year we have to be in 10 States.

[00:17:40] Bryan Fields: [00:17:40] That’s really exciting. So what’s, let’s talk the future roadmap, obviously. We’ve kind of studied your website and Kelly and I are a little sad that none of those products really speak to us directly and kind of wish maybe in the future we could kind of find something, but we can talk about that offline.

[00:17:53] So what’s the next steps. What other products can, you know, your fans and your loyal as kind of expect from her Highness [00:18:00] in the

[00:18:00] Allison: [00:18:00] future? We have a bunch of new products coming out. We’re super excited about our cat walkers, which is sort of our answer to the dog walkers. They come in this little box, but it’s with our long crutch.

[00:18:12] So you can smoke the whole thing. You know, usually with a dog Walker, it’s two puffs in a Roach and you end up flicking half of it and it’s small anyway, so this is our solution to that. And it comes with our marry me ring. So you can put your ring on and smoked your little joint. And that’s just fun.

[00:18:30] It’s like women love a gift with purchase. Like, you know, we’re coming out with more of our gift boxes. No, this is our get lit kit. Cause you know, we want to make a gift. We want to make cannabis to gift you, bring your friends. We also are working on some cocktail dummies in Vegas. And we’re working on diamonds, which we’re really excited about.

[00:18:53] We have an amazing

[00:18:54] Bryan Fields: [00:18:54] product. What would it be? Diamonds? Can you just kind of

[00:18:57] Laura: [00:18:57] shed light on that?

[00:18:58] Allison: [00:18:58] Diamonds are a concentrate. [00:19:00] It’s not an on-ramp product. You can dab them. I think would be the most common, comfortable way drop a little volcano or, you know, I think there are a couple of different ways to do it, but dabbing is probably the most common user-friendly and really the exotics are sort of a more curated experience.

[00:19:18] For people who are taking in the whole experience of the plants, a little stronger, also could be used medicinally, which is another reason why we want to come out with them. So we have a better product for the medical only States, but we’re really excited about that because our line really spans women from the on ramper.

[00:19:38] Which like we have our 2.5 milligram mints, which if you don’t know your dose or you too scared to try it, here’s where you can start to women who want no high and just want the benefits of cannabis and our orgasm oil, which, you know, there’s a market for that too women who are looking for exotic diamonds.

[00:19:58] So. We’re really [00:20:00] trying to target all women through our collection, but also through our social equity piece, which is our partnership with the last prisoner project where 50% of the proceeds of this product. Those two women who are in prison for a non-violent cannabis crime. So yeah, what we have coming out in the future is just more, we’re a lifestyle brand.

[00:20:23] We’re not a anything in particular brand. Everything that we do is targeted to either solve a cannabis problem for women or delight women through cannabis in a new way.

[00:20:35] Laura: [00:20:35] Then another category that we’re expanding on is we’re planning to launch a beverage. In several States and she liked, that’s a great way for women.

[00:20:44] It’s, it’s very discreet and a great way to consume cannabis. And also some my community

[00:20:50] Bryan Fields: [00:20:50] options too, really exciting verticals to definitely operate in. I got a couple questions before we wrap up biggest misconceptions since you entered the cannabis

[00:21:00] [00:20:59] Allison: [00:20:59] space. Well, if anyone thinks it’s easy, that’s a big misconception.

[00:21:03] Everything is harder and cannabis.

[00:21:05]Laura: [00:21:05] I would say just that everyone’s a Sterner because that’s not true. And there’s, you know, as, as the industry evolves, I’m so happy to see people coming in from all different industries and having something to offer this industry, because it really has a ways to go in, in many different.

[00:21:23] Facets and the industries that, you know, whether it’s retailers and, you know help with buying, you know, all the other parts of this pie that we feel like it’s kind of in the Jack ages sometimes are really starting to come together. And so I think that, you know, a lot of new people are entering and happy

[00:21:41] Bryan Fields: [00:21:41] about that.

[00:21:42] Well said before we wrap, we’ve got two questions. We ask all of our guests before we do the prediction. If you could sum up your experience into one lesson learned or takeaway to pass on to the next generation, what would that

[00:21:56] Laura: [00:21:56] be? I don’t know. I mean, I think the overriding thing is [00:22:00] that, you know, Canada was, is not just to get you high.

[00:22:03] And I think that’s so important to understand and it’s Majesta and there’s just so many ways that it can be helpful and that’s

[00:22:11] Allison: [00:22:11] huge. I would say in cannabis and maybe even more than in other industries, because of what it is, you have to be authentic in your messaging all the time, even when you get pushback.

[00:22:24] Like when we launched in California and we don’t have craft boxes and we have gold packaging and where. So New York and they were like, what? We couldn’t change it to fit in. Like we had to be authentic. Right. So as our message would get muddy and it really worked, and I don’t think we would have made it if we weren’t in that way.

[00:22:44]And keeping our message authentic. And even when the interviewers say like, don’t you think you’re missing half the market by only focusing on women? Like, well, yeah, we’re missing the male market, but not men who love women. So how many of [00:23:00] those, and so staying authentic and true to the message, no matter what, because the tides in this industry are forceful, but staying clear and true to ourselves has really helped us sort of.

[00:23:13] Keep threading the needle and keep pushing through

[00:23:17] Bryan Fields: [00:23:17] to kind of add on to your points about the messaging. I think as a male perspective. Sure. I wouldn’t likely buy those products to consume myself, but if I was looking for a gift for a family member of my wife, And I walked down, the dispensary does 9 million options, and I know I’ve brought her home and this amounts of products and I’ve kind of gotten some pushback and I’m pretty confident that if I selected one of the gold packaging and one of those, and I brought it home and showed my wife, she’d be way more open because he communicates directly with her.

[00:23:44] And I think she’d gravitate towards that. So I think. Sure you didn’t hit a hundred percent of the total market out there, but what brands really do. Right. But you honed in exactly who you wanted to get and you’ve made it easier for both genders to identify if this works and who it’s for. And I think you’ve kind of simplified it and [00:24:00] improved it by going that route.

[00:24:01] Thank

[00:24:01] Laura: [00:24:01] you. I mean,

[00:24:02] Allison: [00:24:02] that sort of differentiates us because a lot of people in the market. Make, whatever they make. And then they look for a customer, but we identified our customer and then made everything for her from the inside out, from start to finish. And that authenticity sort of resonates with the customer.

[00:24:19] Laura: [00:24:19] Yeah. Women need to feel like they’re, you know, they were just being forgotten in this whole initiatives. So, you know, when they see our product, they just gravitate toward it. And you’re right. You know, it’s you bring that home through women are average. She sees it. She relates to her at a meeting or mean, you know, you find that and she’s much more willing to try it because it was

[00:24:41] Bryan Fields: [00:24:41] made for her understands those tiny details, that emphasis that you put in, like you show up with the join and the difference there.

[00:24:48] So one last question then prediction time. The last time you consumed any cannabinoids.

[00:24:54]Laura: [00:24:54] Two minutes before the hour ago,

[00:25:01] [00:25:00] Bryan Fields: [00:25:01] in your opinion, five years from now, which area will be the biggest lifestyle, cannabis consumption, sex, wellness, workout, relax, sleep, etc. Any choices work. I thought you were going

[00:25:17] Allison: [00:25:17] to say where, I mean, I was going to say New York where cannabis is going. And I mean, New York is the greatest consumption, you know, biggest consumption state in the country, but you’re saying, where is cannabis?

[00:25:30] What sector? Yeah.

[00:25:32] Bryan Fields: [00:25:32] For women. Which one do we think five years from now? Do we think that will be the biggest?

[00:25:37] Allison: [00:25:37] I have to say flower because if smoking a joint with an extra long crutch where the smoke is cool, And you just get the full flower to me is the most satisfying way to consume. So, I mean, that’s, that’s my guess.

[00:25:53] Laura: [00:25:53] I, you asking ways to consume, register how he bragged to

[00:25:56] Bryan Fields: [00:25:56] use it. Yeah. Like which area do you think will be the biggest [00:26:00] one?

[00:26:00] Laura: [00:26:00] I think so. I think measure, not just for sure, because this, and especially our measure. Women write into us all the time. It’s a complete game changer. And once in a minute, I realize that, but even smoking with like during the fresh snacks and using the it around, I mean, just exploring that whole category.

[00:26:24] I can, I can just make you, you know, more aware and heal things deeper. I mean, you know, once women really get into that and discover that, I think that that’s going to be huge. I feel like there has been a stigma with sex and so it’s very empowering to them. And then I think they know that they deserve really well.

[00:26:43] Bryan Fields: [00:26:43] Absolutely telling your guys I’m going to go

[00:26:45] Kellan: [00:26:45] with Alison. I think flour is here to stay. It’s been the main. Kind of category prior to legalization. And I think that it’s really, really hard to recreate what nature has already spent so much time. Kind of perfecting, right. In terms of that balance of [00:27:00] all those different molecules and how they interact with your endoccanabinoid system.

[00:27:03] So I would have to say that flour and then I do agree that the sex and pleasure is probably one of the larger, most underrated product categories. I do think that there’s a ton of growth there.

[00:27:15] Bryan Fields: [00:27:15] I’m going to go slightly different. And kind of what you said before, Alison, about the replacement for the wineglass.

[00:27:20] I think right now, the, the go-to at least in my household is the wine glass after work, like super stress looking to relax. And I think once that becomes a staple where you replace that. With a beverage or other, some consumption method. I think the relaxing area, I think is a huge growth. I think for the doodle mom, who’s doing things throughout the day.

[00:27:40] Sure. They can consume, but I think that’ll be a little harder to pick up steam, at least initially I think down the road. Absolutely. But I think immediately in five years from now the replacing of the wine for like a joint or some other consumption method where they can restart their day, the next day with no hangover and still be functional, I think.

[00:27:57] Is, I think women obviously can move that [00:28:00] stigma. And then once they associate there, I think it will absolutely explode. And I think you guys are poised for that, and I’m really excited to kind of keep following your journey and stay in touch and see how it goes. So before we wrap up, where can our listeners get in touch with you?

[00:28:12] We’ll tag all the social media, but where can they get in touch with you guys? If they want to learn more? Our

[00:28:16] Allison: [00:28:16] website is her highness.com and then our social media tags are at her Highness NYC on all social media,

[00:28:26] Bryan Fields: [00:28:26] all those up in the show notes. We appreciate you guys taking the time and look forward to seeing you.

[00:28:31] Thank you so much.

[00:28:32] Laura: [00:28:32] Thanks ladies.

[00:28:33] Allison: [00:28:33] Thank you so much

[00:28:34] Laura: [00:28:34] fun.


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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!

In this episode, Bryan Fields @bryanfields24 and Kellan Finney @Kellan_Finney sit down with Neil Juneja Founder and Managing Partner of Gleam Law to discuss…

  • Legal issues on the horizon
  • Global cannabis import/export opportunities
  • Expected legalization date for interstate commerce and what it will mean for cannabis companies
  • Trademarks & patents for the cannabis industry
  • Enforcing domestic and international cannabis trade secrets
  • Plant genetics and the current legal battle
  • The origin of 280E
  • Antitrust issues for the cannabis space

…and Kellan vs big pharma for the millionth time. As always, let us know what you think, and if you have any questions about what we discussed, email us at [email protected].

Neil Juneja is the founder and managing partner of Gleam Law. Neil has written numerous articles on cannabis law and intellectual property and spoken at events including in the National Mall in Washington DC, Seattle Hempfest, Continuing Legal Education seminars, and many cannabis industry events. Neil also appeared in Newsweek, Time Magazine, and on several documentaries for his work in the cannabis legal industry. He has been awarded numerous accolades including selection as one of the 40 under 40 most influential people in the cannabis industry, five SuperLawyer’s Rising Star awards, and the National Law Journal Cannabis Trailblazer award.

Gleam Law is a cannabis-focused law firm made up of top cannabis lawyers who do not take themselves too seriously. We take pride in our commitment to our clients and our deep understanding of how the CBD, hemp, and legal marijuana industry works. From business law and cannabis banking to intellectual property law and civil litigation, we cover a range of expertise and are ready for any challenge you throw our way. We are not a big firm with a cannabis practice. We are a full-service cannabis law firm. We offer a wide array of cannabis-related legal services, including licensing, litigation and intellectual property.

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/GleamLaw/

https://twitter.com/GleamLaw/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/gleam-law-pllc

https://www.instagram.com/gleamlaw/


[00:00:00] Bryan: [00:00:00] This is the dime a 10 minute dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents

[00:00:12] guys. Welcome back to 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 Neil Juneja managing partner of gleam law, Neil

[00:00:22] thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today? I’m

[00:00:24] Neil: [00:00:24] doing great. How are you guys today? Doing well?

[00:00:27] Bryan: [00:00:27] Doing well, beautiful day here. The end of April.

[00:00:29] How about you,

[00:00:29] Kellan??

[00:00:29]Kellan: [00:00:29] I’m doing well, just enjoying a kind of a nice spring day out here in Colorado. It snowed and then it rained and now it’s kind of sunny.

[00:00:36] So we got it all in one day, you know?

[00:00:39] Neil: [00:00:39] So

[00:00:40] Bryan: [00:00:40] Neil, thanks for taking the time. I mean, let’s dive into your background and kind of learn a little bit about, you know, your. Experience prior to

[00:00:48] Neil: [00:00:48] the cannabis market. So I went to law school. I actually used to live in Colorado, try to be a snow more bomb. Went to law school in Seattle, did a physics degree at the same time.

[00:00:58] So I could become a patent. Attorney [00:01:00] came out of school, was working on intellectual property. But really when you get started, you do what’s called door law. So whoever comes in the door, that’s the law you do that day. So I would do anything from the patents and trademarks to helping waxing salons to what have you probates and just anything.

[00:01:17] And one of my clients that turned out to be a very good friend of mine, ended up getting the first cannabis shop that opened in Seattle. So that morning we were on CNN and then we cut the ribbon. We did Do not cross police tape as the ribbon got giant scissors and cut the ribbon. And then I was in Newsweek and time magazine for it.

[00:01:37] And the first bag of weed sold is now in the museum of MOHAI the museum of history and industry. So I, as far as I know, it’s the first cannabis in a museum in the us. So after that you know, I come from a background of cannabis and I mean, really who doesn’t, that was early in the, in this world. So I just pivoted the firm into working with cannabis specifically.

[00:01:59] Bryan: [00:01:59] Awesome. [00:02:00] And then to kind of dive in a little farther, Your go-to meal when you’ve consumed

[00:02:06] Neil: [00:02:06] cannabinoids? Nothing, because most of them, I can have annoyed consumption as a tincture to go to bed. So I guess it would be a tincture. We’ll press you a

[00:02:17] Bryan: [00:02:17] little harder next time. People looking for some food recommendations with their cannabinoids.

[00:02:21] So. Continuing on gleam law, like take us through, you know, what that specializes in. So our listeners who are hearing this for the first time can kind of understand exactly how you can sit in and add that into the chain for them.

[00:02:33] Neil: [00:02:33] So what we did with glean laws, we really aimed to be a one-stop shop for cannabis.

[00:02:37] Whether you touch a plant or ancillary businesses and any aspect of the plan from him to, you know CBD products to THC products, retail market, medical market lesser known cannabinoids, things of that nature. So as we’ve grown, we have six offices in five States and we will do anything from litigation administrative.

[00:02:56]We’ve got a number of firsts in our trademark department from the first cannabis [00:03:00] trademark in Mexico. First canvas, trademark, and Alaska. We’re working on some special stuff there. Real estate law, securities law. We work in Canada as well. It’s a pretty broad area of what we do here. It’s just, it’s a one-stop shop and we have six offices in five States.

[00:03:15] We’ve got clients in 40 States and on five continents. Wow.

[00:03:20] Bryan: [00:03:20] Okay. As the industry continues to explode, what is the number one conversation that gleam law is taking?

[00:03:26] Neil: [00:03:26] From a client standpoint. Well, as it explodes, I think what’s going on right now. And what we’re going to see over the next number of years is consolidation, mergers and acquisitions.

[00:03:36] When it goes legal federally, it’s going to allow public markets to come in. I mean, it could be the mall bros or what have you, the beer companies, but Four to 6 billion into the Canadian market years ago. So now they’re going to come in and buy market share the same way as the beer companies would buy a craft breweries in order to increase their market share, and then keep the craft breweries, but they would start making the beer and other [00:04:00] locations, same with liquor.

[00:04:01] So I think we’re going to see a lot of consolidation wherever possible, a lot of. Huge influx of money. That’s going to raise the value of these facilities and these ancillary markets. Lotta marketing is going to go in and do it in terms of intelligent marketing banking loss. So we do banking law as well.

[00:04:18] So we work with credit unions and similar companies in order to allow them to take cannabis money under federal law. And we’re going to. See that just completely opened up and now there’s no more cash on the street. There’s no more worries about that visa and MasterCard can be used. So that’ll be quite interesting.

[00:04:34] Yeah. A couple of those hit home pretty hard for our O M international markets. We’re going to start seeing import and export, which has a huge effect on the U S market because high-end cannabis like high-end wine is always going to go for quite a bit. But what about that basic wine? What about that Argentinian wine?

[00:04:51] You know, what about cheap liquor? We’re going to be able to produce cannabis at less than 10 cents a gram in South America and ship it up. So that’s [00:05:00] going to wipe out some of our homegrown, larger facilities, I think. Yeah.

[00:05:05] Bryan: [00:05:05] Like that’s, I mean, that’s an incredible topic to dive into. So like, is that something that they’re, they’re laying the groundwork for now?

[00:05:12] Is that something you see? Six to 12 months? Just from a perspective standpoint, where are we from a timeframe?

[00:05:17]Neil: [00:05:17] It’s going to be one it’s federally legal, but it’s already occurring. I mean, Columbia, you can go ahead and grow cannabis. And at least last time we were working down there it’s for export only same as the SUFU in South Africa, which we worked on some of that.

[00:05:29]So they export it to Canada, which then exports it over to Germany. So, you know, these things are occurring. The U S has left out of it. I think that’s a good thing for our markets here. I mean, We voted for it. It’s of all of, if we want to call it a drug, let’s say we do for today of all of the crazy drugs that get imported or exported.

[00:05:48] It’s a very much a US-based drug. We’re not shipping cannabis from Mexico anymore. You know, black market we’re the best in the world at it here. I think it’s good, but once it does [00:06:00] legalize, Oregon already put laws into place and said, they’re ready to export to other States. As soon as it’s legal federally, they already have the laws, even though it’s not legal to do so.

[00:06:07]So it’s going to really, really change the market rapidly. And then what it’s gonna come down to is your branding or your really top quality products or unique strains from a cultivation standpoint, we’re creating strains that provide other types of avenues that isn’t just high THC. Yeah. Over a hundred that are super interesting.

[00:06:27] Right. And we only started testing what half a dozen to see what its effect is. So that’ll be interesting. Value added products will be certainly interesting. We’ve see the best branding of cannabis products in the U S. Versus anywhere else on the world. We’re just, we just have that much competition that much R and D which is fantastic.

[00:06:48] And so, and I mean, I’m in the Seattle area right now, and there’s no vertical integration here, which means there’s so much competition for shelf space and there’s so much research and development on products. The branding’s [00:07:00] amazing. The product quality is amazing. I will put our value added products against anyone in the world, just because we worked so hard at it.

[00:07:07] I was operating up in

[00:07:08] Kellan: [00:07:08] Washington and it is very, very different than say, Colorado, just from how they drafted the laws in terms of a free for all. And I mean, it’s re really drafted for innovation, right? That was the mindset behind how they designed Washington’s laws, right. Is competition breeds innovation.

[00:07:24] And so there’s like, you can go to some Spencer’s it’s like 2,500 different brands. In a dispensary, you know what I mean? So I completely agree with, with that thought process. And I mean, there are some absolutely incredible products up in the Washington area.

[00:07:37] Neil: [00:07:37] Yeah, it’s just that type of competition. I don’t think it was designed for innovation.

[00:07:41] It’s it’s a result. It was designed to allow a cottage industry to, to thrive. And it was designed based on old laws from the undoing of prohibition where they didn’t want it. Somebody to be able to muscle retailers or cultivators just by being Walmart or the 10,000 pound gorilla in the corner and tied house laws.

[00:08:00] [00:07:59] So, you know, it’s, it’s a hold over from prohibition, but yeah, I agree with you. It definitely works. And I would hold our cannabis up against anybody else, but California Barry strongly disagrees with me, so that Emerald triangle. I know, right.

[00:08:15] Kellan: [00:08:15] There’s a little chip on

[00:08:17] Neil: [00:08:17] their shoulder do make fantastic products and they grow.

[00:08:20] So,

[00:08:21] Kellan: [00:08:21] I mean, talk to our perspective. I don’t know if you could really compare any high-end humble outdoor cannabis to anyone else in the world. In my opinion, from an outdoor perspective, indoor, I think it’s a different conversation, but outdoor cannabis. I mean, they know they’ve been doing that for a really long time.

[00:08:37] Neil: [00:08:37] Yeah. Perfect area for it. I have, I’ve never seen anything real with that tall that well,

[00:08:45] Bryan: [00:08:45] Agreed. Agreed. So Oregon has interstate laws that are, they’re already kind of working through. I mean, obviously they are way in front of the rest of the crowd, right? Like New York kind of just took those steps than other East coast are kind of going forward.

[00:08:57] How do we as a, let’s call it the [00:09:00] United States, get on the same page and kind of get cohesion between, you know, how to protect the different markets and then kind of make those next steps.

[00:09:07] Neil: [00:09:07] I mean, it depends where you are in the industry, but wherever you are, if you’re already in the industry, that knowledge base, that thought leadership is useful in these other States getting off the ground.

[00:09:18] So if you’re a cultivator, well, you know, you could work in other areas and teach them how to do it, or set up your own facilities. If you’re a value added product like vaporizer products or food items where you can license those into other. Basis and increase your market, share across border, or you could just prepare for federal legalization, but who knows when that’s going to happen?

[00:09:38] Anyway, I mean, it could be, this year could be in 20, 29. Biden’s not going to sign it. He’s not going to veto it. Do we have the votes? I just don’t even know anymore. I don’t know, man. Would vote for it. So Biden could probably do it without the house. And Saturday, if it just goes to the DOJ and says, you’ve got to tell the da to, to D less this or D schedule this, which he won’t.

[00:09:59] So, [00:10:00] I mean, there’s a couple of ways to do it, but I don’t know if we’ll have the votes this year to do it. So if

[00:10:04] Bryan: [00:10:04] you were going to take, you know, let’s say the collective at gleam law and make one statement saying that this is the number one issue that we take on the most, or that we hear from our clients the most.

[00:10:15] How, how would you select that one? Or what would you call that one?

[00:10:18] Neil: [00:10:18] That’s a tough question. I mean, it really is not a one size fits all, but usually, I mean, it’s setting up their company is extremely important. Getting into the market and then ongoing work branding. You’re getting trademark protection.

[00:10:32]Patent protection for your strains can be somewhat useful. It just depends who they are. Right. Getting banking can matter quite a bit, especially in these new States. I mean, Virginia for Jamie just rushed it through the legislature, to the governor’s desk. I can’t believe it. I mean, we’re seeing this quick, but they don’t have banking.

[00:10:49] So that means you got cash on the street. You have crime, you’ve got all these dangers associated with it, to the community. That’s not even directly tied. To the markets and how do we make it legal in the [00:11:00] first place? Not just because it’s harmless, but because we want to keep the cash off the street, we want to reduce crime.

[00:11:06] It’s about community. It’s not just people who want to consume. Yeah. There’s, there’s so many

[00:11:10] Bryan: [00:11:10] variables there, right? Like there’s the, the reduce the crime. It’s let the people out of jail that have been wrongly imprisoned. And then it’s just trying to organize things. It’s, there’s so many variables. So. To continue on that.

[00:11:20] Kellen, what do you think from an IP standpoint? I know this is a common conversation that we have about protection and things like that. So where do you go when clients come to us and ask for

[00:11:31] Neil: [00:11:31] that stuff? It’s a tough

[00:11:32] Kellan: [00:11:32] conversation, right? It’s because right now it’s not federally legal. So you could go through the entire process and develop a patent on your.

[00:11:42] Current method say it’s an extraction method or a manufacturing method. You have some niche and you go through and develop a patent and go through the steps. I mean, it’s going to be really, really hard to enforce it right now as the law stands. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Neil, but it you’re not the [00:12:00] is a federal court going to.

[00:12:01] Here a patent case, a patent infringement case right now, I was

[00:12:05] Neil: [00:12:05] certainly. And let me tell you why. So the both patents and trademarks are under the same office at the federal level United States patent and trademark office, although they derive their powers from two different parts of the constitution, trademarks from the commerce clause patents from section eight.

[00:12:20] What does that. Article one section eight closets or you know, everybody at home. Go ahead and just Google that anyways, the copyright claim or copyright rights come from the same part. There’s a patent rights in the constitution. But with patents, you’re not actually given a right to do anything.

[00:12:37] You are given an what’s called an exclusionary, right. To stop others from making, selling. Offering for sale or importing that invention. So when you go ahead and Sue somebody for patent infringement, you’re not saying, well, I’m practicing this. You’re not even admitted to doing anything illegal. You’re just saying that person’s practicing this and they need to stop that violates my patent.

[00:12:56] So that’s totally fine. Trademarks. On the other [00:13:00] hand, And getting trademarks for cannabis is extremely difficult, but there’s certain ways to get around it or to work with the U S PTO and other scenarios. You can get it for similar items that you can enforce as long as you’re actually using them in interstate commerce.

[00:13:14] And those scenarios, if you Sue somebody for trademark infringement and you have a legal use and they don’t, well, they shouldn’t be an issue, but if your used isn’t legal, well, there’s certainly many counterclaims. The infringer can make including trying to cancel it or that you’re, you know, you don’t have unclean hands.

[00:13:30] A lot of this just hasn’t seen the light of day as far as, you know courts haven’t gone that far into turn question, not cheap to litigate. Unfortunately, if both parties are well-funded. We were talking

[00:13:41] Kellan: [00:13:41] about protecting market share and the us kind of being the best at cultivating cannabis right now in the world and the best at marketing as well.

[00:13:50] And so is that something that if I’m cam right, I’m Kim rivers truly, and I’m standing there trying to protect my market, share and protect the us cannabis market. Am I [00:14:00] actively out pursuing these kinds of patents as a means to protect it from the, the, the global marketplace. Is, is that something that you would, you would advise, how would you kind of approach that?

[00:14:09] You know,

[00:14:10] Neil: [00:14:10] patents? I mean, let’s say you have a grow method that you really think is unique. There’s two options, trade secrets. Just don’t tell me one, but if somebody develops it independently, there’s not much you can do about it. You can only go after somebody if they steal it, or if somebody receives it knows it was taken improperly.

[00:14:26] The deal here is a patent says, look, instead of making a trade secret, I’m going to share this information and it’s going to be owned by the public after my women monopoly goes away or 20 years. So in that scenario now everybody knows it. So if anybody’s infringing, you’ve got to go find them and then Sue them.

[00:14:44] That’s a problem. And if you want to do it internationally, well, now you want to file another countries through the patent cooperation treaty, and now you’ve got. White a bit of fees if you’re going to try to hit every country. And that usually needs to be figured out within 12 months center. Other countries are 30 months.

[00:14:59] So [00:15:00] that’s one method of going about it. It just depends what the invention is. If we’re talking about strains and there’s a couple of different ways to protect it, but part of the reason to get Pat and some part of the reason to do that for strains or other inventions, Is not just enforceability, but patent portfolio, raising funds, marketing aspects.

[00:15:18] So there’s other benefits of it. With strains, you can get plant patents on cannabis and on him, you can get utility patents, although you’d need to make a tissue deposit of some kind. And the first utility patent for this, the deposit was made in Ireland. And I’m not sure how it got from the U S to Ireland.

[00:15:36] And that question has never been answered, but. I mean, if it was moved there, I guess that would be quite illegal. So that’s an outstanding question. And there’s another type of protection called the plant variety protection act, the PVP that you can use for him. And that requires a seed deposit. So the plant patents are for asexually reproduce plan.

[00:15:54] So. It’s going to be the same genetics. And the first one of those is Ecuadorian sativa, by the way. And plant [00:16:00] variety protection act requires a few thousand seeds to be done. Okay.

[00:16:04] Kellan: [00:16:04] I have a follow-up question that, so I have heard through my art, I’ve learned through my reading and hopefully you can clear this up is that technically you’re not allowed to patent nature, right.

[00:16:14] Which is why kind of big pharma has avoided a lot of medicinal. Plant medicines, right. That are kind of the cocktail, multiple chemicals, because you really can’t patent a plant. Is that, could you kind of clear that up for me? Is that exactly how that’s kind of what’s the line in that sand, you know, not being able to

[00:16:32] Neil: [00:16:32] patent nature.

[00:16:33] So when it comes down to it utility patents, what we mentioned about 94 and 95% of patents and patents are extremely, yeah. Plant patents are extremely rare. Utility patents can cover F1 hybrids as well. So let’s talk about where that line is. And they say anything under the sun made by man is patentable.

[00:16:53] And this case came from Shaka Bharti. I hope I got that pronounced. Right. And what it was is a guy went in and. Adjusted a small [00:17:00] life form of might have been a bacteria in order to eat oil years ago. So he goes to patent it and obviously has no, they fight the case. And in the end they said it had enough of a hand of man from God’s creation in order to be patentable.

[00:17:14] So in that scenario, you shouldn’t be able to get a plan patent for a utility pattern. I’m sorry, utility patent on a plant, but one did occur recently for cannabis. And the argument was that their crossbreeding was such enough of a hand of man in order to make it not a product of nature. I don’t know if I agree with that, but plant patents on the other hand really are just, this is my new tomato plant.

[00:17:36] I crossbred. Yeah, what can you do with it? I mean, everyone’s going to be unique. So it’s only if you’re licensing that exact genetics to somebody else. Can you go after them for infringement if they violate like that, or if somebody else steals the genetics, you can’t independently create that exact same tomato plant or that exact same cannabis.

[00:17:53] Every single one is different unless it’s the same genetics. Exactly.

[00:17:57] Bryan: [00:17:57] So I want to ask a follow-up to that.

[00:18:00] [00:17:59] Neil: [00:17:59] How is

[00:18:00] Bryan: [00:18:00] someone going to prove that I was the first one to cross these two genetics to make this. Unique strain.

[00:18:08] Neil: [00:18:08] How’s that going to go down? They aren’t every person who crosses those two genetics actually results in a different plant with different genetics.

[00:18:15] They may look like siblings, but they’re not the exact same child. They’re not clones. That’s just, that’s that’s, that’s the way it works. I mean, look at your brothers and stuff. Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah. The flip side is, so you have a strain and everybody else crosses the same thing and everybody else has no strains.

[00:18:33] I mean, unless there’s the luck of the draw. Sure patent it. That’s great. You say it’s patent. Maybe you license it out. Maybe you get funds for it, but it’s not really worth all that much unless you really got a unique one. A good thing to think about this and I’m no botanist is with apples. You plant an Apple seed and man, every single one is different and most of them are not edible.

[00:18:53] That’s why Johnny Appleseed wasn’t actually helping people eat. He was helping people make liquor. Cause that was. All those seeds were good for. [00:19:00] Cause I go to those

[00:19:00] Bryan: [00:19:00] stories. So I’m going to take a quick quote for you from your website. And I want to ask your opinion on that courts. Typically hold product manufacturers, liable for placing unreasonable, dangerous products on the market.

[00:19:11] However, community standard and expectations play a role in what be can considered unreasonably dangerous. Neil. What does unreasonably dangerous mean? Is that high THC or is that more on like the pesticide mold

[00:19:24] Neil: [00:19:24] side? I mean, we’re going to see what that means. I think in cases we’re fighting a couple of product liability cases that complete BS some of them that STEM this, one’s interesting.

[00:19:34] This one stems from vitamin D acetate. This guy says lungs got injured. He sued every company that made a vaporizer that he smoked, but he also admitted to be, to smoking black market vapes. So I don’t know. I mean, it’s definitely a cash grab, but these are starting to come up unreasonably dangerous. It also can draw from causation.

[00:19:52] Right. So how do you draw the causation specifically? Let’s say from vitamin E acetate to death. That’s still, [00:20:00] we’re not a hundred percent certain. I mean, we all are, and I’m sure our listeners are, but that’s not a court of law and that’s not science specifically. So I’m not sure exactly where that line will be drawn yet.

[00:20:09]I think it will be things like these, some States, fortunately are banning some of these additives. What is it, Eagle 10 or Eagle 20. That just happens to turn into cyanide when you combust it. That’s really not a great thing to inhale, I think. But can we show causation to damage? Who knows a baby that explode, that seems unreasonably dangerous.

[00:20:26] So we’ll see, is this going to be up to

[00:20:28] Bryan: [00:20:28] the lawyer whose first con excuse me, the, the judge that’s going to set a precedent and then things are going to evolve. Like how, how do we take the first step going forward before we kind of go from

[00:20:38] Neil: [00:20:38] there? And other States will be influential the judge or the jury?

[00:20:42] And we’ll want a jury will matter, but you know, if it doesn’t get appeal that doesn’t become law. So each state, I mean the whole idea that 50 separate state laws exist in this country make it. So there’s lots of disparate rulings and lots of disparate laws. And I mean, clearly we see that with cannabis [00:21:00] or hidden the fun side of it, Oregon.

[00:21:02] That’s now legal and regulating psilocybin, which is just fantastic.

[00:21:07] Bryan: [00:21:07] What do you see as the next big obstacle from a

[00:21:09] Neil: [00:21:09] legal sense? It really will be when we bring down the borders, what does that mean? Gonna look like? And I think it’s going to very much look like liquor. We have federal law for liquor and for alcohol, and then we have state laws and County laws.

[00:21:22] So can you ship to certain States? Well, that’s really up to the state. What can you buy Pennsylvania? You can buy it. It only a government run store, a bar, which is a real problem. Oregon again, has you know, government stores, California is super cheap. Washington is super expensive, Utah. It’s very difficult to get licenses to open bars.

[00:21:41] So I think we’re going to see there’s dry counties in places. So I think we’re going to see a lot of that. As far as from a regulatory standpoint, from a legal standpoint, it’s really just going into hyper competitive markets. And we saw this early in each state. That didn’t have a limited license situation.

[00:21:58] And in those scenarios [00:22:00] you have hyper competitiveness because everybody thinks that you’re going to get rich off of it. Black market was 70% margins. Well, that’s not actually the way it works when you’re paying employees, LNI or employment insurance. When you’re playing taxes when you’re paying seed to sale software packages, the margins go down a lot further.

[00:22:19] And since it got so pro, so hyper-competitive with so many licenses, well that forces the cost of product down and now everybody’s suffering a little bit. And so I think we’re going to continue to see just this hyper competitiveness going forward until the market stabilized. Biggest

[00:22:34] Bryan: [00:22:34] misconception in the cannabinoid

[00:22:36] Neil: [00:22:36] industry that his dorm room stoners.

[00:22:38] And it really is interesting because there’s, there’s a lot of different groups in this market and you know, those, not the dorm room stoners, but the black market growers where the best to get in. But a lot of them didn’t know how to sell. Scale their, their closet grows into an acre of plants. So that was super interesting.

[00:22:58] Now another of the big ones was [00:23:00] these Dorman stoners, or these positive growers would join up with money men, and then everybody would fight and then everybody sues each other and you know, all these different partners would get in bed together. That wasn’t great. I would say that’s probably the biggest misconception I see now it’s pretty diverse.

[00:23:13] It’s going, we’re starting to lose diversity. You know, it used to be a more gender and racially diverse than it is now, but that’s what happens when markets grow and the hedge fund guys come in and, you know, it becomes a little bit white male dominated. Before we do

[00:23:27] Bryan: [00:23:27] predictions. We ask all of our guests two questions.

[00:23:30] If you could sum up your experience as a takeaway to the next generation or lesson learned,

[00:23:35] Neil: [00:23:35] what would that be? We’re talking about for a lawyers. Everybody wants to get into cannabis law and I call it cannabis law, but in the end, it isn’t, it’s just an industry like any other and you’re just doing real estate law and answer or administrative law or litigation or intellectual property, or, you know, mergers and acquisitions.

[00:23:51] And so when people want to get into this industry, whether it’s lawyers or non-lawyers. Don’t just go and start learning classes and getting [00:24:00] canvas certifications. Although that’s one method, use your background. If you’re a marketing guy just targeted towards cannabis. If you’re in HR, well, don’t go learn, bought me, go to HR and cannabis.

[00:24:11] It’s just an industry. We have all the same jobs with a little bit of a twist and you know, more and maybe the advertising and marketing will be popping up. The it target is great. Just the software developments we’re going to see is fantastic. The science developments are fantastic. It’s a great

[00:24:24] Bryan: [00:24:24] response.

[00:24:25] The last time you consumed

[00:24:27] Neil: [00:24:27] any cannabinoids, probably this weekend or last week, a one-to-one to one THC CBD, CBG, a tincture. It might have been this weekend just whenever I have trouble sleeping or I’m out of

[00:24:38] Bryan: [00:24:38] whiskey in time, five years from now the biggest lawsuit that you foresee that changes the cannabis game

[00:24:47] Neil: [00:24:47] forever.

[00:24:48] That’s interesting. Product liability, you brought up maybe one of them, but it’s going to be massive corporations suing each other, probably for some sort of market share false advertising or something [00:25:00] of that nature. By it, if we’re talking about the biggest one that’s going to change, the industry is probably going to be a suit against the federal government that may legalize it.

[00:25:08] People have been trying, I don’t see that happening with the onerous draconian tax law. A lawsuit could come from that. But when we legalize it federally, I think that goes away. And the IRS even said, we have an issue receiving these large quantities of cash, but we know we basically have non unconstitutional tax provisions here.

[00:25:26] We don’t care. We love the windfall from you guys. So that’s super interesting. I think we may see lawsuits on what age you can actually consume this from a recreational standpoint. I don’t mean THC. I mean the other cannabinoids, I think that’s going to be super interesting. Cannabinoids Delta aide to these other things that we’re going to be seeing right now.

[00:25:44] I mean, it’s constantly shifting, but with Delta eight or CBD, you could. Theoretically, sell it in a toy store to children to smoke. I mean, at least that was the case six months ago. So where that’s going to end up is going to be a fight. CBD is going to be a [00:26:00] lawsuit because I mean, Epidiolex has an FDA approved, which means all other CBD is technically not legal for consumption, but man, it’s in whole foods.

[00:26:08] It’s on Amazon. What are we looking at here? So that’ll have to be figured out, is it, is it generally considered safe? Or should it be FDA approved to take a natural product? People would be consuming per 12,000 years, at least. And now you need FDA approval that costs millions of dollars again, and nobody else can sell it without the approval that I think that that’ll probably be the biggest suit.

[00:26:30]It will be the FDA approval for things like CBD, CBG, CBN, et cetera.

[00:26:35] Kellan: [00:26:35] I think we’re going to see another two 80 E lawsuit. I know that Harbor side maybe last week lost that

[00:26:41] Neil: [00:26:41] really, really long. Yeah, that got drug

[00:26:44] Kellan: [00:26:44] out for it for a while. And do you think that that kind of. There’s set in stone now. And people are just like, corporations are not going to approach that in terms of deploying capital and trying to over, over turn

[00:26:56] Neil: [00:26:56] that, I mean, I’ve got clients that say two 80 [00:27:00] kills them, but look, it’s a level playing field, really.

[00:27:02] Everybody’s dealing with it, obviously. It’s not okay. I mean, you can be taxed over your profits, especially at a retail store, which is ridiculous, but it is a level playing field. And when it goes legal federally, that goes away. Because two 280E specifically says, you know illegal trafficking of schedule one, or schedule two drugs and the backstory of how that was created involved.

[00:27:22] A guy that was bringing in cocaine by submarine and was deducting business expenses and cost of goods sold. And they put that rule into play. Cause IRS went after him and he won and he won guy must’ve had an

[00:27:33] Bryan: [00:27:33] amazing lawyer and it could be like, this is the route we’re

[00:27:36] Neil: [00:27:36] going to take. Like, we’re going to go here. Yeah, those are all

[00:27:40] Bryan: [00:27:40] incredible things.

[00:27:40] And I wondered to piggyback off you calendar if you know, Cresco of truly with Columbia care. Clearly, if all those guys got together and said, like, We got to stop two 80, you know, I wonder if that would have more momentum behind that. And ultimately who knows

[00:27:53] Neil: [00:27:53] to go back and question the principal, another issue with antitrust, we may see some, one or two companies [00:28:00] taking over too much of this industry and they’ll have to be broken up, which would be super interesting.

[00:28:05] Yeah. Because if, if

[00:28:06] Bryan: [00:28:06] green thumbs and truly have merge, right. And then, you know, some of these outside industry players try to come in. What is too big, right? Like, how are you, how do you compare them? Are you comparing them against their peers or to outside industry? And then that becomes a whole nother issue of understanding.

[00:28:20] Kellan: [00:28:20] Yeah. I mean, there’s so many people have thrown the monopoly word around in Florida. That, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of almost just second nature. When you talk about Florida, the talk about the large amount of market share that truly has, and you call it what you will, but I mean, it definitely is more and more common.

[00:28:38] I hear that monopoly turn getting thrown around, at least in Florida.

[00:28:41] Neil: [00:28:41] And I could see that for a medical product is saying that, look, you have to be a certain size in order to properly regulate this or sell it and make it safe. And all of that, I could see that argument. I don’t agree with it, but I can see that argument, but once it goes, recreational or adult use is a better term that doesn’t work anymore.

[00:29:00] [00:29:00] Yeah,

[00:29:00] Bryan: [00:29:00] exactly. So the one main takeaway that I think I learned here is that everyone that asks Kellen and I, for our opinion guys, contact Neil, he can help you. And at the end of the day, it seems like we’ve got ourselves a bunch of issues that are going to be coming forward and. Having someone like yourself in their corner would make a huge difference for them.

[00:29:15] So Neil, where can people get in touch with you? Your social

[00:29:17] Neil: [00:29:17] media, things like that? Yeah. So the law firms called gleam law, like the gleam in your eye, but if you can’t remember that, just type in something like asshole, attorney.com, asshole attorneys.com, asshole, lawyer.com. Those all go to me. So it was an octopus law.com for some reason.

[00:29:32] And you can always email me with any questions. Gleam all like the gleam in your eye. And you can email me at Neil  dot com or I mean, asshole, ugly mo.com. If you want it, that’ll probably go to me. We’ll link up all those in the show notes. So thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it. Absolutely.

[00:29:47] Thank you for having me. [00:30:00]


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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!

In this episode, Bryan Fields @bryanfields24 and Kellan Finney @Kellan_Finney sit down with Josh Crossney @JoshCrossney, the CEO & Founder of Cannabis Science Conference, to discuss

  • Josh’s background as a cannabis industry executive
  • Origin of the Cannabis Science Conference
  • Cannabis as a personalized medicine
  • The necessary first step in cannabis education
  • Montel Williams and other celebrity influencers that are working with the cannabis space
  • The current status of cannabinoid products made for children and the future of where they’re going
  • How to standardize testing
  • What lab shopping is and how it influences the industry

…and how space is changing as these areas continue

Company Description:

Cannabis Science Conference is the world’s largest and fastest-growing cannabis science event. Our events have a specialized focus on analytical science, medical topics in cannabis, cultivation and hemp science. Our conferences pull together cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, policy makers and interested novices. Our semi-annual event is aimed at improving cannabis science. Join us in Baltimore, MD and Portland, Oregon for exciting conferences with keynotes, presentations, round table discussions and exhibits.

www.CannabisScienceConference.com

Facebook: Cannabis Science Conference

Insta: @CannabisScienceConference

Twitter: @CannaSciCon

Clubhouse Club: Cannabis Science & Medicine


[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: [00:00:00] This is the dime

[00:00:04] a 10 minute dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and

[00:00:09] tangents. 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 really special guest. Josh Crosby CEO, founder of cannabis science conference, and man of a million different responsibilities.

[00:00:25] Josh, thanks for taking the time. How are you

[00:00:26] doing today?

[00:00:27]Josh Crossney: [00:00:27] What’s up guys. Thank you so much for having me. I’m doing amazing. How are you guys doing?

[00:00:32] Bryan Fields: [00:00:32] Doing good, doing good, really excited to kind of break down a variety of these different topics. How are you doing today?

[00:00:36] Kellan Finney: [00:00:36] I’m doing well excited to have Josh in the building.

[00:00:39] You know what I mean? Or, or in the, in the zoom building, I guess, right

[00:00:43] Josh Crossney: [00:00:43] when he went version of a building,

[00:00:46] Bryan Fields: [00:00:46] I guess, at least at this moment, but we’re looking forward to kind of misspelling some of those rumors. So I think Josh, before we dive into some of the hard hitting questions, I think it’d be great for our listeners to kind of learn a little bit about you and your backstory and how you got into cannabis.

[00:00:58] Josh Crossney: [00:00:58] Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I [00:01:00] from a consumer standpoint, I’ve been involved with it since, you know, high school, as many of us have, but you know, from a professional standpoint, it actually was a little bit of an interesting journey. So going back to probably, you know, 2014 is when I initially.

[00:01:13] Started peeking into the industry. And at the time I was actually doing staffing and recruiting for the analytical science industry. So I had a foot in the door with, with that community and with placing individuals in roles with, you know, environmental labs, food, safety labs, government positions, providers like instrument manufacturers, sample prep companies as going to some of the conferences.

[00:01:31] And, you know, Pittcon is a big one that I still am very involved with now, but at a totally different level than I was back then, because I worked more on their cannabis stuff. But, you know, looking at the industry I’m based on the East coast. So I’m in Maryland. So all the stuff that was happening in California and Oregon and Washington state, it might as well have been in another country.

[00:01:49] Cause it’s like, it didn’t feel like any of that was happening here on the East coast. So when things started to really happen more and more and more. Quickly, even though they weren’t happening here, I saw that they were taking off more on the West [00:02:00] coast, so I kind of knew it was only a matter of time.

[00:02:02] So something, like I said, I’ve been interested in and, and, and consumed, you know, most of my life. So, Oh my gosh, for me, is there an opportunity for me to work in this space that I, you know, honor, and, and it’s already such a big part of my life. So I, I’ve always been a firm believer in, you know, knowing your lane and staying in your lane and like knowing what you’re good at knowing what you’re not good at.

[00:02:21] So before I got in the industry, I really wanted to take the time to check it out. So I went to some trade shows, talked to some people in the industry already to try to just get a feel of what the industry already was, what it was missing, what it might’ve benefited from having. And, you know, one of the things I learned early on, you know, back in 2013, 14, was that the science.

[00:02:42] And specifically like the quality control testing was nothing like the analytical quality control industry that I was currently involved with. So, you know, to put it into context, you know, since 96 in California being one of the States, they didn’t have any requirements for cannabis testing until they implemented their adult use [00:03:00] program just a few years ago.

[00:03:01] So for me, I was just like, wow, this is crazy. Like knowing that almost every other thing that, you know, humans come in contact with or consume has, you know, rugged standards and methods of quality control testing. So that was the first step. And then I really realized that most of the, you know, I guess you would say like the events and trade shows that were out there were doing a really good job and I really enjoyed attending them.

[00:03:22] But they were really centered around the business side of the industry. So for me, just like, you know, like I said, coming from the analytical science space, I know that research is what advances, you know, anything forward or any industry forward. So for me, although we were seeing a lot of, you know, the great celebrities and great industry Titans that have built these big brands, we weren’t necessarily hearing as much from the leaders that were actually doing the research and discovering the science.

[00:03:47] Behind the plant and, you know, to that effect, like, you know, you dig a little deeper and there was information and research out there. It just necessarily wasn’t being shared and, you know, to a researcher, you know, there might not be such an advantage to them to [00:04:00] go share their, you know, valuable research to a bunch of business, people that are just focused on the investment, the business side of the things.

[00:04:06] So, like I said, although, you know, the shows that I attended had done a really great job at that. We really saw that window to say, Hey, well, what if we created something that really catered to the scientific professionals, analytical professionals, the researchers, the medical professionals, and, and, you know, that’s kinda where we went.

[00:04:23] You know, we started the show, you know, really planning the show. So I started the nonprofit J Kenna in 2014. And then in 2015, we started planning the first cannabis science conference. And we had our first one in October of 2016 in Portland, Oregon. So again, like I said, Baltimore boy, I would have loved nothing more to then had started this show in my own backyard.

[00:04:45] But you know, the thing is we’re about the education, the science information, sharing the empowering, but at the end of the day, you have to keep the lights on. So in order to keep the lights on and have these events, you have to have, you know, an active market for people to participate in. So at the time, you know, [00:05:00] there just wasn’t that on the East coast.

[00:05:01] So we took it to Portland, Oregon, and launched it there and, you know, just grew the show and had doubled and doubled and doubled each year up until 2019. And then we decided, Hey, it’s. Finally time, you know, we’re seeing all this movement on the East coast, you know, Maryland had medical, all these other States were, were moving along.

[00:05:17] There was a lot of talk in New Jersey and New York at the time about adult use, which now we see how that’s turned out. So we were like it’s time. And really that was a full circle moment for me. And like I said, it would have been great to have launched it here, but it was almost, I don’t want to say prouder, but almost like a cooler moment for me.

[00:05:34] To like, bring something that I had created and made into something back home to my community. So it’s been a journey and it really great one, you know, up until last year, it was a little bit of a hiccup in the, in the plan, but we’re, we’re still here and we’re still, you know, fighting and pushing and educating and doing our part.

[00:05:51] Yeah, I think

[00:05:51] Bryan Fields: [00:05:51] that’s really well said, and there’s a bunch of different areas that we’ve got synergy. And I want to really dive into the cannabis science conference, especially from the East coast standpoint. I, [00:06:00] I mean, I can’t hear and say that loud enough that there’s such a substantial educational difference between the two coasts.

[00:06:05] And it’s really exciting, especially now hearing you say that right. Starting the West coast and brought it back. So before we dive into the cannabis science company, start out with like a pretty hard header your go-to meal after consuming cannabis.

[00:06:18] Josh Crossney: [00:06:18] That’s a good one. I mean, I know it’s probably like cliche, but like pizza, like there’s this like dope, dope pizza place.

[00:06:25]Around the corner from me called Filipo’s and you know, one of those smack like Saturdays where you’re just like sitting there and watching TV and you got to get the mozzarella things too. If you’re like going really in, you got, you

[00:06:35] Bryan Fields: [00:06:35] know, so cool. So let’s dive into the Academy science conference, right?

[00:06:40] Like. How was that for me a conference, right. That like, how did you know the direction? I know you kind of your, your blended background, analytical space and kind of focusing there, like, do you think that it’s changed over the years? Like where do you see the focus going from where it was and where do you see it going from a science standpoint?

[00:06:56] Josh Crossney: [00:06:56] Yeah. So, you know, when we first started, there was, you know, obviously a lot [00:07:00] of emphasis on the quality control and the, you know, analysis side of things, but we really have seen a big dive into so many other facets of that. Like the research has really just evolved and obviously like in Israel, you know, one of our great friends, Dr.

[00:07:13] Dedi MIRI, Who comes and speaks with us, you know, many, many times in a row is such a brilliant researcher. So we’re really, you know, seeing a lot of different, different walks, but like one thing that I’m really interested in seeing more and more from is, you know, the personalized medicine side of things.

[00:07:30] And I think, you know, that that’s so important because cannabis, you know, it is such a great plant, but there are so many different kinds of cannabis if you will. So some people say strain, some people say cultivars, some people say chemo types, but you know, Whatever you call it. Can I have my profile of, of the product every time you change one little thing of that.

[00:07:49] It’s a totally different medicine, if you will. So really understanding, you know, individuals and what they’re trying to treat, and also, you know, target treating that with the certain type of medicine and the, [00:08:00] you know, the cannabinoids and the Europeans that worked for that condition and that person

[00:08:03] Bryan Fields: [00:08:03] telling you want to dive in there.

[00:08:04] Kellan Finney: [00:08:04] Yeah. I mean the personalized medicine thing is really interesting. I think that’s probably the next front, if you will, in terms of the development of consuming cannabis from a general population standpoint, not only from a digital standpoint, but from a user, like a recreational enjoyment standpoint, right?

[00:08:20] Like. Say it’s a Saturday morning and you went out pretty hard with your friends and you’re not feeling the greatest. I think that there’s probably a different strain. That’s going to make you feel a little better on a Saturday morning versus mid afternoon on say a Workday you’re trying to. To grind out some creative projects.

[00:08:40]It’s going to be a completely different combination of cannabinoids and terpenes to kind of help motivate you in that sense. Right. And so I think that there’s a ton of opportunity in terms of teasing out and flushing out those ideas, that chemical profiles that kind of caused those reactions Andrei.

[00:08:56] And then not only, we’re not even touching on the medical [00:09:00] benefits in terms of chronic pain. And all of those things from a medicinal standpoint,

[00:09:05] Josh Crossney: [00:09:05] truly. And you know, for me, like one of the things I use cannabis for is for anxiety. So there’s a whole section of certain kinds of cannabis that I stay away from.

[00:09:14] And it tends to be the more lemony, you know, scented, you know, I hate to use the term sativa and to cook. Cause I feel like we’re starting to get beyond that. So I don’t want to exactly. But you know, for me, it’s like, I can like. If I bring it to my nose and it has that little lemony or super like citrusy scent, usually that type of cannabis will exacerbate my, my anxiety.

[00:09:34] And, you know, I talked to so many people that are like, Oh, you know, they want to try cannabis and they try it one time and they’re like, I didn’t like it. And it’s like, You know, cannabis. Unfortunately, one of the, one of the things for people that aren’t used to it that are trying as medicine is it can be a trial and error.

[00:09:48] Like you’re not guaranteed. It goes to dispensary. The first thing you purchased is going to be, you know, the magic ticket. And also, you know, one of the, one of the factors is that, you know, Being a bud tender in the industry is an entry level position that’s [00:10:00] industry. And there’s not a lot of incentive.

[00:10:01] It seems to, you know, give proper training and education. And, you know, at the end of the day, the bud tender is the conduit between the patient and their medicine. And a lot of times they don’t have the education to really give informed information other than what other people seem to like. Or what, you know, certain cannabinoid, THC levels or CBD levels.

[00:10:20] And I think that is a big factor. And, you know, we really encourage you know, dispensary’s and businesses to send their staff to our shows because we do a medical cannabis track. That really is, you know, right at that level of teaching, you know, people that are dealing with patients, you know, you hear from doctors, nurses, patients, stories you know, anything that has to do with medical cannabis.

[00:10:40] That’s what you learned in that track. And, you know, bud tender come to that track and walk away after two days and really, you know, not know everything, but have a lot more knowledge when they’re dealing with their patients to give them informed information. Yeah. I think that’s really

[00:10:52] Bryan Fields: [00:10:52] well said and to kind of expand on that when someone walks into a dispensary and they ass the person, they met four seconds ago for recommendation and [00:11:00] he’s kind of confronted with an opportunity.

[00:11:01] Oh, well the sour diesel sells really well here. That person is making recommendation for the masses. And as you were saying, cannabis doesn’t suit that, right? Everyone has their own kind of feeling. And for me, very similar, right. I’ve got anxiety and I used to consume cannabis and I used to make that anxiety just spark.

[00:11:17] And then for awhile, I kind of slowed down. And then recently during the pandemic, I kind of removed wine from the equation, went back towards the cannabis, shout out callin for alpha me out there. And it made a massive difference in my life because I was like, you know what? I was like, I was consuming the wrong products the entire time.

[00:11:33] And once I found the ones that the kind of helped me and made me feel like the way I wanted to, it was an incredible experience. So I would love for, for more and more people to just kind of get educated on that, on the possibilities and the understanding that it’s not the masses and it’s not sour diesel for Callanan.

[00:11:49] And for me, it’s growth glue. It’s, it’s, everyone’s different. So what’s step one. Obviously the conference is helpful and obviously you’re doing a tremendous job with that. I know you’re in clubhouse and going out there, but like, For the average [00:12:00] everyday consumer, especially on the, here on the East coast, who’s got no idea what’s going on.

[00:12:04] Right. It doesn’t know THC from CBD, really, which is super, super sad. Where do they start?

[00:12:09] Josh Crossney: [00:12:09] Yeah. You know that’s a great question. And I, I think, you know, before you even start there, I think the first place you start is the history of cannabis. So even if you just do a brief dive into that, but just understanding the fact that, you know, I was in cannabis has been used and accepted in society as a medicine and a commodity for far longer than it’s been prohibited.

[00:12:28] So going back to that ancient medicine and just learning a little bit of that, But also really importantly, learning the history of the war on drugs. You know, what that was stemmed about with, you know, the racism, the greed and everything that was built in there and what has led us to where we are now.

[00:12:43] And, and that you kind of have an, a more of an understanding of just why it doesn’t make sense. So where we are now and kind of where we’ve been over the past, you know, 50, 60 years with it. And, you know, I think that, you know, it is unfortunate because I think that there’s not a lot great ways to like, learn from that ground level of like, okay, [00:13:00] what is CBD?

[00:13:00] What is THC? So, you know, I, like I said, our medical track really does it, it caters to the medical professionals learning, but also, you know, This is the thing, someone walking off the street knows about the same amount, about cannabis as a medically trained doctor from Harvard, because they’re not learning about it.

[00:13:15] So it really that ground level stuff, like it gets baked in there, but you know, to learn about like stuff, like you said, like what’s CBD with THC. I mean, if it’s that ground level, I would like Google it or like, you know, check out some of that other stuff, but like above and beyond that, like we can certainly help you out at the cannabis science conference.

[00:13:31] I do a column, each issue for a magazine called cannabis science and technology magazine. And that is a little high level, but they just recently have released a new publication that I’m on the editorial advisory board for that’s called cannabis patient care that is centered and catered to the patients.

[00:13:48] So again, cannabis science and technology would be a little more high level. My columns are more of thought leader interviews the cannabis crossroads. So obviously people can check those out if they’re not super advanced [00:14:00] analytically, but some of the stuff in there is kind of. Sciences. So if you’re not like you don’t know it, it might be a little much, but yeah, I would definitely suggest cannabis patient care.

[00:14:08] You know, I work really closely with a friend of mine, nurse, Heather Manez with cannabis nurses association. They do a lot of education. Yeah. I mean, I think there’s some great groups out there, but you know, I think just jumping in and diving in head first and learning as much as you can. I know for me, I’ve learned so much over the past seven years, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been using cannabis.

[00:14:28] You know, like I said, a very long time, but, you know, I thought I knew something about it, but then I realized I didn’t really know anything. And it just, you know, just being that sponge and being willing to soak up that information and, you know, networking, you know, I would say like other than any other issue that I’ve been a part of this industry is so open and you make long lasting friendships and connections and you know, it’s not just business and you know, some of the networking relationships that I’ve built and friendships.

[00:14:55] Have certainly helped me get to where I am and then build my knowledge. You know, I wouldn’t know half of [00:15:00] what I, what I know now, if it wasn’t for friends like Dr. Sue Sisley, Dr. Ethan Russo, like I said, Dr. Daddy, Mary people like Tracy, Ryan. So definitely get out there and meet people and get connected.

[00:15:09] That’s that’s definitely one advice I would give.

[00:15:11] Bryan Fields: [00:15:11] Yeah, I think that’s great advice. Right. And not being turned off by one off putting experience, right. To cannabis that you’ve consumed in your college dorm room is likely not the same cannabis you’re consuming on the streets or I’m dispensary. So kind of like understanding that each person takes a little time.

[00:15:26] And I think, like you said before, like, You’re, you might have to go through a selective process of understanding what’s benefits you. So, so Kellen, do you kind of have the same experience when you’re kind of walking people through? I know you’re in Denver and obviously you guys are like light years ahead of us East coaster.

[00:15:39] So like, what is that like? Are people more educated? And if they’re not, where do you, where do you send them to start to really understand how that goes? The consumer

[00:15:46] Kellan Finney: [00:15:46] in Colorado is definitely more educated. It’s just a matter of being exposed to the industry for a much longer period of time. I mean, five years ago, there were billboards on the interstates marketing, different cannabis products, you know what I mean?

[00:15:58] And so just simple [00:16:00] exposure like that kind of helps to curb that cultural stigma that. Was the product of prohibition for so long. And then a lot of it really has to come from personal experience. Like it’s a journey for everyone on their own. And I think that sometimes it can be a little daunting to, if you just dive straight into like cannabis science and technology, like.

[00:16:22] And you’re not a scientist. And you’re like, okay, like, Whoa, this is just way, way above my pay grade, I guess you could say. But I think one thing that I thought was really, really cool actually was in 2019 in Baltimore when me and Brian or Brian and I went and attended the cannabis science conference.

[00:16:37] Right. And Montel Williams actually spoke there and I was like, Okay. Cannabis science conference, Montel Williams. This is going to be interesting, but then sitting and listening to his, his entire journey and all of the work that he did and all the different medical professionals he talked to. And this was before prohibition was when it was still very illegal in the nineties.

[00:16:56] You know what I mean? And he was running a television show, like to [00:17:00] hear all of that his experience and his journey through developing cannabis and utilizing it as a medicine in his own life. And like how you, he then learned about all of this scientific knowledge to then apply to his own life. And someone like Montel Williams to someone who’s not a scientist, that’s not a very scary person to go listen to.

[00:17:19] You know what I mean? And he can kind of speak to the masses and then that hybrid blend of the science that he knew. As well as his personal experience with it. And I mean, I didn’t know that he was such a badass, by the way, like, I mean, in the military kind of a spy, he also knows Russia. And I was like, this guy is

[00:17:36] Josh Crossney: [00:17:36] legit.

[00:17:37] And I always say, I got to give Montel his props because like, Celebrity influencers, you know, I mean, that’s a whole thing that it’s like, that was never, like, we didn’t create that in the cannabis industry. You know what I mean? Like brands have been doing that forever. And, you know, we have, over the years had the opportunity to work with some really amazing celebrity influencers that are involved with the cannabis industry.

[00:17:57] For me, we kind of have a strict rule that it’s like, We’re not [00:18:00] just going to have the person that’s like, Oh, you’re a celebrity. You’re going to sell tickets. We’re going to have you there. So for us, it’s like, we work with, you know, celebrity influencers and friends that have a substantive connection to medical cannabis or cannabis science.

[00:18:13] So you mentioned Montel, you know, I always, like I said, give him his props. Montel is one of the longest running celebrities. You know, other than rap culture, you know, that kept us alive, you know? Long before anyone was talking about it. But, you know, going back to the nineties, like this was like you said, Montel Williams was still on TV, being public and open about this was a choice that he made and he has definitely put his name and his brand behind this, you know, a hundred percent along the way.

[00:18:37] And you know, I always say that Montel is a true Testament to the medicinal properties of cannabis, because if you went to a conference and saw him talk for an hour, And he doesn’t just talk on the stage. He comes out and walks through and you know, he’s telling, talking to you back and forth to the people.

[00:18:53] So it’s like, if someone, after you saw that as like, Oh, that guy has that mask, you would be like, really? Like, you know what I mean? Like, how is he able to [00:19:00] like zoom around here and do what he does? And, you know, he testaments that to cannabis and, you know, we’ve, we’ve also been able to work with people like Olivia Newton, John who, and her husband, Amazon, John.

[00:19:10] Who are great family, friends of ours. And, you know, she has her own cancer journey with cannabis and they shared their plant medicine journey together with them. And, you know, like Fran Drescher, even, and her cancer journey and using cannabis and you know, Ricky Lake was there the same year as, as Montel, I believe there was like a The scheduling thing because they were flying in and their flight was delayed.

[00:19:30] I think we switched the days that they actually spoke if I’m remembering correctly, but you know, Ricky Lake with her partner, Abby Epstein, they directed and produced the film. We, the people that’s all about the pediatric cancer patients that are using cannabis as an option. So we’re definitely on board with the, like I said, the celebrity friends and celebrity influencers, because at the end of the day, you know, their followings, their fan base really projects our message to a much wider.

[00:19:55]Audience then we would or would not have, but like I said, we we’ve been really lucky and we [00:20:00] choose to work with those that really are passionate about this plan. And aren’t just trying to be the next get rich quick plan. So we feel very blessed in that it’s gotta be a

[00:20:10] Bryan Fields: [00:20:10] tricky kind of a valuation period, kind of walking them through and letting them know that we’ve got strict criteria and you kind of have to have these.

[00:20:17] The instinct to check the boxes. So can’t imagine how hard that is to kind of push back on the big, well, we need to hear more of the story first before we kind of accept you in here. That’s gotta be

[00:20:24] Josh Crossney: [00:20:24] okay. Yeah. And we get a lot, you know, agents that reach out about different people and, you know, we talk with them obviously, but like, again, we’re really lucky, like.

[00:20:32] You know, a lot of the people we worked with just about, you know, most of them it’s been a friendship or a direct introduction or something like that. So it is kind of like a circle of like a family, if you will. And it was interesting because Olivia and her husband actually came and attended our 2018 show in Portland the year before she spoke, when Fran Drescher was speaking and they both know each other for work that they’ve done with like cancer you know, charities and things like that in the past.

[00:20:57] So they’re kind of like they miss each other, but like, [00:21:00] it’s, it’s crazy. Like, you know, Friends like, Oh, Joe, Olivia. I said, hi. And it’s like, but really just, you know, amazing people. And, you know, I just, like I said, feel very lucky and you know, like I said, we do consider others that, that reach out obviously, but we’ve been very lucky that, you know, everyone we worked with so far has been like a friend of a friend or someone we already knew.

[00:21:20] And just someone whose story already resonated with us at that. If that makes sense. Yeah, that makes

[00:21:25] Bryan Fields: [00:21:25] a ton of sense. And let’s, let’s kind of continue on that conversation. Some of the pediatric stuff you were talking about, can you kind of shed some light on, you know, that’s a hard undertaking, right?

[00:21:34] You’re, you’re fighting a multiple different variables and then how does one start that and then, you know, kind of shed light on or what people can do to help or raise

[00:21:43] Josh Crossney: [00:21:43] more awareness about that? Absolutely. Well, you know, I can share my. Experiences with it and what my, you know, Tracy, Ryan, I mentioned her, she’s the founder of Cana kids and saving Sophie to organizations that are devoted to education and advocacy for pediatric cancer, [00:22:00] epilepsy, autism, but the whole gamut of condition and, you know, advocating for cannabis.

[00:22:04] Educating families, how to, you know, go about that, connecting them with the right professionals, like doctors and dosing consultants. I, when I started in this journey, I’ll be completely honest. I did not anticipate like, Oh, cannabis and kids is going to be like by secondary, like thing that is like my passion point of this industry.

[00:22:21] But very early on in my journey in cannabis, I connected with Tracy and this was back in probably 2014. And. You know, her story was so interesting to me and I’d seen her in a couple of articles. So I actually posted about the conference on LinkedIn and she had read it at the very first conference. Like this is like a year before we even have it.

[00:22:39] I’m sitting here promoting this little conference on LinkedIn and she messaged me. So we get on this call and. She’s just telling me her story. And you know, at the time, you know, when her daughter was diagnosed with months old, her daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer at eight months old. And he started using cannabis as part of her regimen around that time.

[00:22:59] So like, for [00:23:00] me, when I connected with Tracy for the first time, like even like being open, yeah. I minded my whole life. You know, I’m from Baltimore city, from the East coast, like, you know, Live and let live. It’s kind of been my philosophy, you know, you’re not hurting me. I’m not hurting you, but even for me, as open-minded as a person, as I am, when she said that to me, like her daughter was using cannabis, I was kind of like, not shocked, but there was a moment where I was like, really, you know what I mean?

[00:23:23] Like, wow. And then when I learned it, wasn’t just. CBD. I was another moment of like, wow, but then the more I like talking with her and the more I educated myself, the more I learned, I was like, why should there be any more stigma associated with a pediatric patient that has the same type of cancer that an adult is able to treat?

[00:23:42] Somewhere else when it’s not controversial that we’re pumping kids, look, chemo, radiation, opiates, benzos. So all these different things. So like I said, so for me, it was never a judging place. It was just a moment of pause. Like you could say a clencher Pearl moment, but like the fact that I had that [00:24:00] moment.

[00:24:00] Solidified in my mind that this was going to be something that I was going to always advocate for and was going to be very passionate to me because there’s a lot of other people out there that aren’t, as open-minded, as I am that need to hear these stories. And, you know, it’s really hard to deny a sick child.

[00:24:16] An option, you know what I mean? Or a sick mother. And, you know, I always have noticed in this industry that, you know, these moms and these candidates, like they get shit done. You know what I mean? Like they go, they’re the ones advocating. They’re the ones changing laws, you know what I mean? And even now, like I get like a little choked up talking about them cause they like, they’re just really special people and you know, it’s, I think anyone would children can.

[00:24:38] Even if they’re not in that situation, can just imagine what it would be like to have your child going through something so detrimental and why not let them have this as an option, you know, where no one’s going around saying Cannabis Well, you know, some people probably do, but I don’t go around saying cannabis cures, anything or heals cancer or any of that stuff because we just intellectually, scientifically cannot say that as of yet, at least.

[00:25:00] [00:25:00] But what we do know is that cannabis is certainly helping these kids when they’re on chemo. Being able to eat, being able to maintain you know, quality of life for these other conditions or treatments that are coming from these conditions are suffering from. So I, like I said, I was unexpected. But while welcomed into my heart and, you know, Sophie Tracy’s daughter is so near and dear to my heart, she is growing up so fast.

[00:25:23] And you know, she’s been using cannabis this whole time and you know, no, one’s out here saying it’s a silver bullet. That’s going to cure everything. You know what I mean? Because Sophie is still going through her journey. You know, she just had a surgery a few weeks ago, but cannabis is helping her. Have a quality of life that might not otherwise be there.

[00:25:39] It’s an amazing

[00:25:40] Bryan Fields: [00:25:40] story. And I appreciate you sharing that because those are the type of stories that I think need to be said louder and louder. As people understand that, how can we as society tell people this makes you feel better or she feels better? How can we tell her no, after all the things she’s going through in her life, she deserves every opportunity to feel better.

[00:26:00] [00:25:59] And if this is what makes her feel better, We should provide all those opportunities. And then, you know, obviously from the science standpoint, let’s go farther. Let’s figure out what’s going on there and let’s figure out more people to help because at the end of the day, cannabis can be many different things.

[00:26:14] It can’t be all, but it can be many things. It’s about understanding what it can be and what it can’t be. Just like any other medicine. And it starts with understanding. You know the problem and then working to solve

[00:26:23] Josh Crossney: [00:26:23] it. So I appreciate that. I mean, there’s, there’s certain things that we know, you know, inflammation and pain, like, okay.

[00:26:28] We know that helps. So, you know, Sophie’s had three brain surgeries now and literally every time they’ve cut into this, girl’s head, the doctors come in and can’t believe that it’s, it’s the same patient because there’s no swelling, there’s no black and blueness. And it’s just obviously the, the scar there, it looks like a healed star.

[00:26:46] And like, you don’t see that the day after. You cut a child’s head open and take a piece of their brain. You know what I mean? So the inflammation and the pain part, like we know that there are things we know. I think there’s a lot more that we could figure out. You know, one of the things [00:27:00] that’s challenging, you know, I mentioned Dr.

[00:27:01] Sue is one of my nearest and dearest friends, Sue Sisley. And you know, she went through all this trouble to do this research with veterans and then as forced to use a product that is not. Comparable to what’s on the, on the commercial market. So for those that aren’t familiar, you know, if you get licensed to study cannabis in the United States, you have to use samples that come from the university of Mississippi that are grown by the national Institute of drug abuses standards.

[00:27:28] And, you know, not to down the night, but it’s like, why are they involved in this? It’s like national drug abuse. So if we’re trying to study. The potential positives, even think someone else would maybe handle that. And, you know, it’s just, it’s frustrating because it’s really is apples to oranges. And you know, one of the talks I give actually show it side by side of, you know, the samples that Sue was forced to do research with compared to what, you know, we’re all now in love and used to on the commercial market.

[00:27:55] And it’s like, it’s, like I said, like trying to set like study apples and get the results of [00:28:00] oranges. It’s just not going to happen. I

[00:28:01] Bryan Fields: [00:28:01] see you nodding, do you want to talk on a side side on that? No, I mean, I completely agree with everything you said. Cool. Let’s let’s kinda switch gears slightly a little bit.

[00:28:10] You were talking about Pittcon and the importance of kind of testing and then kind of the ear shock of the fact that like this wasn’t instituted. So can you kinda take us through that on, on what’s currently going on there and then where you kind of see it going just from an outside industry

[00:28:25] Josh Crossney: [00:28:25] standpoint.

[00:28:26] Yeah. You know, as far as the testing goes, it’s still is not exact science. That makes sense. So, you know, we’re still seeing a lot of the same situations where there’s like lab, lab shopping going around. I know you guys have probably heard of that where, you know, even still people are learning more and more, but there’s still that.

[00:28:45] Desire for the highest THC. So there are certain ways of getting that. So I really think that we won’t be in a, in, in the best place with testing until everything is completely standardized. Everyone is using the same rule book. If you will get into the same [00:29:00] instrumentation to do the same type of testing.

[00:29:02] So it is still a little bit of the wild, wild West, and almost. You know, marketing, if you will. In some ways that is a really important element. The more important element I think is the contamination side of things, especially when you’re working with, you know, like I was just saying like cancer patients, people that are immunocompromised, you know, I always say that all cannabis is inherently safe.

[00:29:22] You know what I mean, cannabis, no one’s ever died as a director. Overdose of cannabis, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not things that you have to worry about, like contamination from human air or environment and things like that. So the cannabis itself is pure and safe, but you know, us idiot human sometimes can mess things up without even knowing it, the environment, you know, where you’re growing it, the temperature, all those different things.

[00:29:44] So it’s so important. And that’s, you know, that, like I said, when I connected with Tracy was right around the same time. I realized California didn’t have any testing. And I’m like, so there’s a baby in California. Now. Luckily she was working with people that were adjusting, but I’m like in theory, there are babies in [00:30:00] California that are not that our medicine is not tested.

[00:30:02] You know what I mean? And that just wasn’t okay. So I will say that, like, from that point, we’ve come a long way. I mean, at least it’s required in most markets at this point. I think we still have a long way to go. I think we’re close. There’s a lot of great organizations. That are working on standardization of testing, but it’s, it is challenging.

[00:30:21] You know what I mean? And getting a collective voice together, you know, is, is really important too, because really this is, you know, the pioneering of cannabis testing is happening right now. So like getting it right is important and getting right the first time, you know, I think it’s important as well.

[00:30:37] So, but hopefully sooner than later, we’ll get, we’ll get there. And, you know, we’ll have definitely some talks about that at the upcoming show and highlight some of those conversations as well. Yeah. Yeah. We’re

[00:30:48] Kellan Finney: [00:30:48] making a lot of progress on that front. I mean, I, I’m part of the, AOAC the cask organization, right?

[00:30:54] Cannabis analytical science program. For those that aren’t familiar and AOAC has been around for a hundred years, they write a [00:31:00] lot of the analytical. Methods that the federal government uses to regulate pharmaceuticals and other food and drug products as well. I think probably the most exciting aspect though, from a development standpoint is, is the national Institute of standards and technologies.

[00:31:16] They’re finally getting involved their branch of the commerce department within the federal government. And so seeing the federal government actively. Be involved now. And granted it is in the hemp space more and more or less, they are looking to develop a standard reference material for CBD flower.

[00:31:35] Yeah. Once you like really start to dive into some of the lab shopping that goes on and these kinds of variants and results, it really boils down to, there’s just no standard reference material for people to utilize, you know? And so that’s one thing in terms of you could claim that there that’s part of the discrepancy between labs is that they’re not using the same equipment and there’s no standard reference material.

[00:31:57] Right. But there is lab shopping going around. I mean, [00:32:00] actively, I was. A part of that same game.

[00:32:02] Bryan Fields: [00:32:02] Can you explain on what that is in case someone doesn’t know? Because I feel like sometimes we talk about that. Right. And it’s kind of assumed practice, but I just think if someone’s hearing this for the first time, when you say labs shopping, what does that mean?

[00:32:13] Kellan Finney: [00:32:13] You send a sample

[00:32:14] to four labs and you’re going to get four very different potencies. And like Josh said potency is King. And there’s actually, it’s like a sliding scale, right? Especially on flower So if it tests between 15 and 20%, this is what the dispensary will give you per pound. If it tests between 20 and 25%, you get a different price.

[00:32:34] So on and so forth. Right?

[00:32:35] So

[00:32:36] the, this lab shopping can literally result in tens of thousands of dollars difference. In that harvest for a grower. And that can mean either keeping the lights on and paying all their employees and giving out bonuses or their operation off. And so it’s literally forced these growers to lab shop because their bottom line is their livelihood.

[00:32:59] And so that’s, [00:33:00] that’s what we mean

[00:33:00] Josh Crossney: [00:33:00] by lab shopping, at least. Yeah. And then, and the, the, you know, the results, I mean, we’re talking about a natural products or that obviously there’s variances in percentage, but like the results, like, I mean, in one of my recent talks I gave, it was like, A product in Oregon was pulled from the shelves.

[00:33:14] And I think it was listed as like 17% on the shelf, THC, and they sent it to four other laboratories and those results ranged from 13% to 31. So it’s like, that is like, is it 13% or is it 30%? And to like, You know, someone like us, that’s like, Oh, maybe like we’re just looking to smoke and sit back and watch like something funny on TV.

[00:33:34] It’s one thing. But if you’re like the parent of a sick kid, who’s like getting this medicine and you’re trying to like target those a certain amount of THC 13 to 30%, like, which is it, you know what I mean? And and I’m glad you brought up NIS actually did an interview for my last column in cannabis science and technology.

[00:33:51] With when the doctors from there talking about their whole rollout rollout program. I think the title of the article is. Is this cannabis or hemp to [00:34:00] German because that’s one of the things that they’re trying to help with as well is, you know, is this cannabis or is it ham? Cause you know, that’s a whole nother podcast and a whole nother conversation.

[00:34:09] Yeah.

[00:34:10] Bryan Fields: [00:34:10] To your point. My mom calls it scary pot, right. When, when we bring over and she goes to this scary pot and like, sometimes I look at her and I’m like, got no idea, mom. Like, so I just tell her no, just to kind of help it, like from a, from an anxiety standpoint, but like I’ve got no idea because like you were saying, right.

[00:34:24] It says 13% could be 30%. We’re hoping for somewhere in between. And hopefully she’s not the one that takes her away. So let’s, let’s ask a different question, Josh, in your opinion, the biggest misconception since you entered the cannabis

[00:34:38] Josh Crossney: [00:34:38] space? Well, just one. So I’m off. You know, I, I think that for one, I think the biggest thing, which, I mean, I don’t know that it was a misconception to me, but I think it’s society in general is that cannabis is dangerous or harmful in any way.

[00:34:55] And you know, for me, I think that it’s actually the opposite. I think that there’s so much. A [00:35:00] potential for this to be used for so many different ailments medicinally, but I also see cannabis as something that is a safer, more natural, healthier alternative to recreational and illicit drug use and alcohol use and cigarettes.

[00:35:12] So I think that’s the biggest misconception. I think another one is, you know, maybe. Not everybody is a cannabis CEO, even if their LinkedIn says they are, I think, yeah, that that’s the big one. You know what I mean? That cannabis is dangerous or harmful in some way. And you know, I just also want to kind of say, we’ve talked a lot about my work with cancer kids and like pediatrics, and I just want to be clear that I do not advocate for, you know, underage children to use or utilize cannabis.

[00:35:39] Unless they are going through an ailment or condition where it is helpful for them because, you know, I never want that to be misunderstood that we’re out here trying to say how everybody’s, you know, children should do this because they shouldn’t, you know what I mean? Like I have friends in the industry, you know what I mean?

[00:35:55] Who are like, my kids don’t use cannabis because they’re not sick. You know what I mean? But it’s like if they were, [00:36:00] they would. So I think, you know, I think, I guess it’s important to, to point that out.

[00:36:03] Bryan Fields: [00:36:03] Sometimes. Yeah. Especially after the governor of Nebraska went out there and the press conference and said, if you legalize cannabis, it will kill your kids.

[00:36:10] Because I mean, that was true for him to even pull something as outrageous as that, because I didn’t see that in the cards of outcomes. So before we dive into prediction, we ask all of our guests two questions. If you can sum up your experience in the cannabinoid space into one main takeaway or lesson learned to pass on to the next generation, what would that be?

[00:36:30] Josh Crossney: [00:36:30] I would say to just like, you know, take your time, really evaluate what you’re good at, what you can bring to this industry and try to apply it to this industry versus jumping in and just trying to, you know, say, Oh, I want to sell cannabis or I’m going to grow cannabis. You know, what, guess what. If you don’t have retail experience or cultivation experience, maybe neither of those are for you.

[00:36:51] So I always say, you know, know what you know, and know what you don’t know. Cause that has been the biggest blessing for me to be involved in the science and the medical part of it. Because [00:37:00] I, you know, I was already involved with that industry and, you know, really just value the connections that you make in this space.

[00:37:06] Don’t try to. You know, come up from anybody or bite anybody’s ankles because you really can make great long-lasting friendships and connections that can be mutually beneficial, but definitely try to go into that with genuine genuineness and, and not opportunistically because people in this industry are real and they will suss it out if you are in not your intended.

[00:37:29] But I will say if you go into a pure intentions my experience, at least I met some of them as beautiful people. That will be part of my life forever.

[00:37:36] Bryan Fields: [00:37:36] The last time you consumed any cannabinoids,

[00:37:40] Josh Crossney: [00:37:40] about five minutes before

[00:37:41] Bryan Fields: [00:37:41] that’s called prediction time, 10 years from now. What advancements in the cannabis industry, in your opinion will have the biggest long-term effect.

[00:37:54] Anything is on the table?

[00:37:56] Josh Crossney: [00:37:56] Well, I mean, I would hope that within [00:38:00] 10 years we would see global acceptance. And understanding of this plan. I would hope that by then we would have, you know, global research, you know, done even far more than what we have now. I think it depends on which, which way this goes in the U S you know, there’s a lot of people that wanted to go one way.

[00:38:18] There’s people that want to go another way. I think that adult use cannabis and medical cannabis can live side by side, on a federal level and even a global level. I know that a lot of. You know, industry, and sometimes the lobbyists that are involved with the, you know, the, the money and the industry are, are advocating for adult use versus, you know, medical.

[00:38:37] And like I said, you know, I could be wrong. I don’t want to, I don’t need everyone to agree with me, but I do feel that this is something that. On a adult use level, we’ve got to decriminalize this, open it up and open the cages and start to really undo the unjust wrongs from the war on drugs. And, you know, we’re starting to see like social equity programs here and there that are, you know, [00:39:00] doing the best that they can, you know, when they can.

[00:39:02] But that we need to see this on a, on a national level. And, you know, with a Swoosh of a pen, have every jail cell that people are sitting in for cannabis open up immediately. The fact that we’re not there yet when there’s people making millions and billions of dollars of this plant boggles my mind. So I’m hoping that certainly within 10 years we get there, but also on the flip side of that for medical.

[00:39:25] You know, I work with these kids. I work with, you know people that have Alzheimer’s and, and the elderly population and sick people with cancer. And we can’t forget that we wouldn’t have any of this. Had it not been for patients advocating in California for prop two 15 in 1996. People like Dennis Barone and others that really pushed the wheel on this.

[00:39:44] And, you know, I always say that had 96 not happened in California. Would we be here? At all, you know what I mean? So I just think that leaving the patient behind at the end of the finish line, what seems a little bit wrong to me? So I personally, like I said, I would like to see [00:40:00] that, and I think that would leave the door open for more research and more scientific advancement, because I think if it goes the way of adult use, there won’t be as much of an incentive for that research and involvement, especially from, you know, the larger institutions and hospitals and things like that.

[00:40:15] If that makes sense,

[00:40:17] Bryan Fields: [00:40:17] you want to take a stab at that.

[00:40:19] Kellan Finney: [00:40:19] I mean, I agree with everything Josh was saying, I just don’t want to, the only thing I would add is hopefully in 10 years that the endocannabinoid system is actively taught in most medical schools, right? Yeah.

[00:40:29] Josh Crossney: [00:40:29] Yes. Let’s make that a one year ago. I mean, that would be amazing.

[00:40:34] Kellan Finney: [00:40:34] And cause I think that’s going to motivate and help just get that entire ball rolling even more, you know?

[00:40:41] Josh Crossney: [00:40:41] Absolutely. That boggles my mind. Right? Like

[00:40:43] Bryan Fields: [00:40:43] how, how could possibly doctors, right. Some sort of cannabinoid product to a patient when they’ve never learned about it. Right. They’re just kind of been like, well, this sounds something like my good hair, try this like that, that post my mind.

[00:40:55] I, I can’t believe that. To take

[00:40:56] Josh Crossney: [00:40:56] my staff restricted to it, it’s restricted the way [00:41:00] that recommending the physicians are allowed to interact with their patients. So they’re not really allowed to say like, Oh, I think this product will help you. Or, you know, this, this dispensary has the product that works.

[00:41:10] My other patients that have this, because there’s that separation. So it’s like even the ones that are getting educated about the endocannabinoid system really can only recommend it to their patients. And then they’re kind of on their own at that point in most markets, at least. So it’s something that like, I can’t tell you how many doctors I’ve sat down with that are just pissed, that lag they’ve they’ve spent the money in front of the Harvard, the Hopkins, you know, all the, all the degrees in education and they don’t learn about this.

[00:41:37] And it’s, you know, it’s a function of the human body. It’s a system of the human body, you know what I mean? Imagine if this was any other, you know, system of the body, we, we, we would be eons away. So, you know, it just brings it back to, it is a political issue and, and, you know, it’s sadly it’s not a left or right issue.

[00:41:54] And it goes deeper than that. Because we’ve seen both sides of the aisle have opportunity over the [00:42:00] past, you know, six, seven, eight years, and we’re still. Kind of where we are. So we’ll see. It’s pretty

[00:42:06] Bryan Fields: [00:42:06] crazy. It’s like to simplify it, right? It’s like, Oh, the doctors don’t learn about your right thumb. And they’re like, well, we know it’s there.

[00:42:11] Yeah.

[00:42:12] Kellan Finney: [00:42:12] We’ll figure that out. Eventually. I think the most beautiful thing is that even that the knowledge base isn’t there, the plant works. Right. So it’s like brand is still there. It’s still finding its way into these, these

[00:42:23] Josh Crossney: [00:42:23] things. It’s not going anywhere either.

[00:42:25] Bryan Fields: [00:42:25] No, she’s not. No, she’s not. So Josh. We’ll have to have you come back and discuss cannabis firsthand, been kind of really break it down and kind of share on some of those insights, but for our listeners that want to get in touch, they want to learn how they can get involved.

[00:42:36] Obviously the cannabis science conference we’ll link up all the things in the show notes, but where

[00:42:40] Josh Crossney: [00:42:40] can they find you? Yeah. At all social media, cannabis science conference, me personally at Josh Krasny. And also if you’re on clubhouse, check out our club, cannabis, science and medicine over 11,000 members and followers already and just a couple of months.

[00:42:53] So.

[00:42:53] Bryan Fields: [00:42:53] Wow. That’s pretty impressive. Yeah.

[00:42:56] Josh Crossney: [00:42:56] Well, I appreciate it. Thanks for your time, Josh. Thank you guys. It was an honor joining you. [00:43:00] Thank you so much. Take care.

[00:43:02] Bryan Fields: [00:43:02] Yeah.


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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!

In this episode, Bryan Fields @bryanfields24 and Kellan Finney @Kellan_Finney sit down with Jake Kuczeruk, Vice President Of Business Development of ArcView Group, to discuss:

  • ArcView’s role in the cannabis space
  • Why ArcView’s research has been so crucial to the industry
  • The timeline for the next wave of large scale mergers and acquisitions
  • Which space is Jake most bullish on
  • What kind of financial investment it takes to start a cannabis company
  • How Cookies built a prominent lifestyle brand
  • Which A-list influencer will release the next cannabinoid brand

arcviewgroup.com

The Arcview Group is a vertically integrated company servicing the cannabis and hemp industry, built with social justice and responsibility at its core. Arcview has been a trusted global leader for over ten years, providing a broad spectrum of programs and services for:

IG: arcviewgroup


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

[00:00:10] What’s up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the dime as always like on my right-hand man, Kellen Cindy here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Jake cruiser at Arcview ventures.

[00:00:20] Jake. Thanks for taking the time. How you doing together?

[00:00:22] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:00:22] Doing great. Brian Kaelin, always a pleasure catching up with you guys. I’m actually, I’m not on the ventures team. I’m on the kind of main Arcview group and the consulting side.

[00:00:32] Bryan Fields: [00:00:32] I apologize for that confusion. And that’s on me and I kind of want to dive into those topics today and kind of learn about that.

[00:00:37] So take us through that. Take us through how you got into cannabis and then we’ll kind of go into the RQ side. For sure. And,

[00:00:43] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:00:43] and trust me no fault, because it is extremely complicated to navigate the web of art fuse, different sub entities. And we’re launching new things all the time. So I got into cannabis you know, actually, you know, a couple of years ago, about two and a half, three years ago.

[00:00:56]And you know, but honestly it was really a reaction to me following [00:01:00] what I’m most passionate about. You know, looking at most of my professional and my personal life, you know, going back to college, I mean, you know, cannabis is something that I realized it very quickly is something that really helped with my depression and anxiety XYZ.

[00:01:13]And then over the years, working at different companies and everything from, you know, my own startups and music and men’s wear. To Devin design agencies to try and citing robot companies. And some of the other stuff I’ve done over the years, I realized, you know, I’m, I’m the kind of guy who is, you know, it’s fun to be at the bar and buying people drinks and connecting that way.

[00:01:32]But I was always a little bit more comfortable out on the smoking patio in front you know, with a joint or a vape and, and you know, using that to kind of build connections. So to me, you know, I think I had a kind of a big moment, you know, I think this wasn’t a 2018, 2018 when. A lot of the blockchain stuff was falling apart that I was doing.

[00:01:50] I had some, some crazy experiences with smaller startups and I had been left in the cold twice when a two companies I was at that I thought were, were chugging along nicely and [00:02:00] raised millions of dollars. Both of them called us into the office and said, look, we’re out of money. Good luck. Find a new job.

[00:02:05]So I figured look, the next thing I’m going to do, I want to make sure it’s the end all be all the industry I want to be in forever, did a lot of soul searching and naturally. The time was right for me to jump into cannabis. I started building a kind of an accelerator and an investor network in conjunction with friends of mine.

[00:02:23] I was going to do like a 40 mile $49 million SPV and a million dollar demo of funds in a run. The whole thing out of my buddies warehouse. It’s San Francisco and have kind of this kind of coworking accelerator component as has I was doing that. Certainly the surprisingly, the investor who has given me a space goes, look, he tells me, I’ll have on six months into this thing saying, look, I just had a great weekend with these guys from RQ kind of doing what you’re doing, but they’ve been doing it for a full decade.

[00:02:50] And I think they’re hiring. So ultimately, you know, he put me in touch and the rest is history. You know, I ended up flying down John Downs, you know, of course I’ve kinda ended up replacing on the BD [00:03:00] side. As he moved on to to Asia horizons, doing crazy stuff with CBD and hemp in China. And then, yeah.

[00:03:06] You know, honestly, I was thrown right into the lion’s den. Once I joined my second week, I was I was actually, my first day I was told, Hey, do you like new Orleans? Because there are going to be in there next week for MJ MGBs. And fortunately for them, it’s my favorite place in the world. So it started off really nicely.

[00:03:21] And I came at the pivotal moment in which, you know, we had a little bit of a change in leadership. You know, we raised our series. A’s lash were acquired by entourage effect capital. And with that, Troy, obviously it was taking a little bit more of a backseat role as Troy date and one of the original founders Mark.

[00:03:37] So as it happened, you know, there was a transition team kind of in place before Kim Kovacs our fearless leader as the CEO ended up joining and you know, the rest is history. I mean, really, since I’ve joined, we’ve gone from this investor network with, you know, a couple events, you know, kind of the antithesis of antithesis of an MJ is, you know, not a 35,000 person mega conference, but you know, 500 people in a [00:04:00] room, 60, 70% of that room are investors.

[00:04:02] I mean the four events we threw really was. What our view was, you know, everything else was, you know, of course our research which was the industry leading most cited, but we’re realized we don’t need they as an events company. We’ve been around for 10 years. We know everybody we’re a first or second degree connection away from really everyone, you know, and how much money did we leave on the table by not getting a piece of ease meadow, Tokyo, smoke packs, mad men, all of these are Greystar stages when they were still in their very early.

[00:04:31] It’s phases. So for us, we got the broker dealer stuff spawn up, we got the fond spot up. We got the consultancy spot up. And these days, of course, due to COVID, you know, we’ve put physical ads back. Yeah. I’ve been doing digital content every week. Oh, that’s a long-winded

[00:04:46] Bryan Fields: [00:04:46] answer. Yeah. And I’m looking to kind of unpack some of those.

[00:04:49] So before we kind of dive into the hard hitting questions, let’s start with the hardest, one of all. Your go-to meal after consuming cannabinoids. That’s

[00:04:56] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:04:56] a tough one and it all depends on time of day. But I am as [00:05:00] a, a proud native Detroiter. My mind immediately goes to Detroit style pizza. I am so pleased that over the last year or two, this has started to take off at the national level.

[00:05:10] Everybody from pizza hut to little Caesars now has their own Detroit and surprisingly the bar right near my house. I moved down to LA over the holidays. Silver Lake lounge. Has Detroit style pizza and it’s phenomenal. So to me there, there’s nothing that puts a bigger smile on my face and I’ll take crappy Detroit pizza too.

[00:05:26] I’ll take hungry highways. I’ll take little Caesars, but that’s probably my go-to you

[00:05:32] Bryan Fields: [00:05:32] like what you like? And it got to respect that from a new Yorker and we might challenge you for best pizza, but at the end of the day, you know, it’s important that you get what makes you happy. So let’s go back to your day to day with our few.

[00:05:41] So take us through, you know, what a normal day in a day looks like for you and type of responsibilities and types of projects that cross your desk. Yeah,

[00:05:47] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:05:47] I’d say that, that the answer to that has changed dramatically since, you know, my first day here. I mean, early on it was, Hey, I’m selling sponsorships and demo booths and pitches that are our live events that really ended up getting [00:06:00] replaced by our strategic Alliance program in which we’re working with best in class service providers to just, you know, give them a dedicated rep, be able to work with them and kind of modify.

[00:06:08]What we’re doing based on their own shifting needs. So definitely working with a lot of service providers, you know, when it comes to earlier startups I’m either kicking them over to ventures or consulting or capital, but really, you know, my day to day is largely at that consulting side. So for me we started getting a lot of inbound, right?

[00:06:26] When the pandemic hit for people, who’ve been buying our research research reports for years, and I’m talking large European ag techs top five companies, large North American CPG companies. I mean, Everybody was reaching or not everybody, but a lot of people were reaching out and, you know, getting that caliber of cold inbound saying, look.

[00:06:45] We’ve been buying your research. Now we’re thinking about moving into this space, exploring this acquisition, you know, we’re looking for it and do some due diligence. And we realized, okay, we need to get this thing formalized. So David Abernathy and I did a bunch of work in 2020, everything from [00:07:00] large enterprises down to early stage startups.

[00:07:02] And really kicked off at 2021 with getting this thing independently funded and starting to scale the team. And we’ve been on a real tear since then working with a wide array of of different clients. Definitely some, some very well-known

[00:07:15] Bryan Fields: [00:07:15] names. I’m not asking you to share any of the names, but if there is there like a group of type of services that come, let’s say more often than not where you’re like, wow, this is definitely the majority of ask.

[00:07:24] Is there one you can share there? Yeah,

[00:07:26] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:07:26] of course. So I’d say, ah, well, we get a lot of is, you know, Hey, I’ve got a bunch of money I’m coming from real estate. I’ve got the side, I’ve got my license, but I don’t know a damn thing about cannabis. How do I build compelling pitch materials? How do I figure out my product mix?

[00:07:40] How do I even learn things like, you know, how to work with this grows? So for us, it’s, there is a lot of the education side and building out, go to market strategies and, and, you know, helping these, these companies really get off the ground. And in some cases attract further investment. You know, we do a lot of work with dispensary’s round SOP.

[00:07:56] We do a lot of, yeah, a lot of, a lot of founders are slammed. They want to [00:08:00] open a new location, but they’re tied down to their existing and they want to be able to pass the keys to someone else to keep things moving forward. We do a lot of work, you know, any industrial and smokable, hemp space, you know, both in the U S and abroad actually.

[00:08:13] So that’s been really interesting is really helping different firms figure out their state by state expansion strategy and in general, you know, get

[00:08:20] ready for federal legalization.

[00:08:22] Bryan Fields: [00:08:22] Yeah. And I think that’s the fun part of the industry, right? Is that with all the state-by-state challenges and all these other obstacles and people are like, I’ve got this money, where do I start?

[00:08:29] So chilling. When we have conversations with operators and all the time they come to us and say, I got this boatload of money I’m interested in being in this market or this market, which one do you think, where do we usually start with them and kind of take us through

[00:08:39] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:08:39] that. I was going to say it all. It all really depends on on who the, you know, and, and what they’re really looking for here.

[00:08:45] And, you know, as you can imagine, there’s, there’s often a lot of early-stage operators that are trying to figure out what the best ROI is going to be for them. There’s a lot of investors, you know, that asked us the same questions around which forces to back, you know? So I, I think it always, it’s always kind of a mix.

[00:08:59] It does [00:09:00] come down to personal passions as well. You know, especially if they have experience in something like CPG, we’re gonna tell them, Hey, you’ve already got these relationships. You know how this stuff works. You know, that’s probably going to be your best bet. Others who are looking for something like, you know, a high cash business, you know, decent margins.

[00:09:17] You know, opening a retail location and doing, you know, obviously delivery special needs there. We’re launching that right when COVID starting. And I think that there’s a, there’s a lot of directions we can take them in. I’m personally very bullish on the beverage space. We have some great connections here in California, you know, up and down the supply chain, you know, definitely get started.

[00:09:35] Bryan Fields: [00:09:35] Awesome. And Kellen, where do, where do we take them from the conversations? I know Jake kind of shared light on, on the suggested seats as well. What do you think, you know, what’s your go-to approach when having conversations with operators?

[00:09:45] Kellan Finney: [00:09:45] I would say it mainly depends on the location. They’re looking to kind of set up shop, right?

[00:09:51] If they’re looking to go more like to California or established market, I think it’s a completely different conversation. I mean, like for instance, if we were just [00:10:00] talking with someone last, was it last week regarding trying to set something up on the East coast? We both were like, I think it’s a really smart play if you want to get into New York.

[00:10:09] And you’re not one of the big MSOE already, they’re probably the most intelligent play. Would they be build out a facility and try to sell it to them, the MSLs, you know what I mean? And I think that that location is absolutely critical in how you deploy that kind of capital. You know what I mean? What are your

[00:10:23] Bryan Fields: [00:10:23] thoughts on that, Brian?

[00:10:25] Yeah, I think strategically, you know, When we go back to the gold rush, not everyone was getting rich from the goal, right. There’s people selling the shovels. And I think that analogy isn’t heard enough because everyone kind of screens for cannabis and wants to be in cannabis, but you don’t have to have a license.

[00:10:39] Right. Because the game is incredibly expensive. And I think one of the misnomers that’s commonly. Shared round, is that like, Oh, I can just start a business. And I think you’re right. You can, but in the cannabis space, it’s different. It’s incredibly expensive. And there’s all these obstacles to kind of challenge that thought process.

[00:10:54] So Jake, when people kind of come to you and they say, Hey, I got this money. I’m ready to go. Are they [00:11:00] kind of surprised sometimes by the overall sheer financial, like investment that it takes, because I think at least my opinion, some of the conversations we had, people were blown away by some of the costs that are, they’re not services, their upfront costs.

[00:11:13] They have to invest in kind of getting absolutely

[00:11:16] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:11:16] I’d say that’s extremely common. And you know, there’s so many of these emerging markets where the system is far from perfect. You know, someone will get this fail to apply for our life since we’ll have to secure their space, but they haven’t really figured out how to dispersing license.

[00:11:31] So they just need to keep sitting on that space and paying rent and having it go into a black hole until they can get that license. I mean, these are situations that are plating founders all across the country, but once again, I think it’s, it’s hyper variable based on you know, their background. You know, I talked to old real estate guys in Florida that also have huge ag tech operations in the Midwest.

[00:11:50] They’re like, Oh yeah, you know, a hundred million dollars I can sell fund it. It’s no big deal. You know, but at the same time, you know, that’s, that’s an outlier. Most of the people I think do get a little bit of [00:12:00] sticker shock. You know, and, and in, in a lot of different areas you know, even the cost of things like, you know, insurance and legal, you know, can be a lot for many things and sorry for cutting you off town.

[00:12:09] I did not realize that wasn’t for me. Definitely. Great job. I’ll tell you. That’s a big decision. We keep getting hit with this. Do I launch in California, build a strong brand identity, get that flywheel started and then, you know, get requested by users on the East coast, you know, that want to see these products come here, you know, kind of have that scaling happen organically based on, you know, positive brand and then reception versus do I just launch directly in an emerging market?

[00:12:35] Do I spin up in a. New Jersey and try to get something off the ground, you know? So I think that’s, that’s what a lot of people are struggling with. Is, is it this kind of you know, do I launch directly into these markets and just be kind of one to many or do I establish the clout first and the biggest market?

[00:12:49] Yeah. And I think that

[00:12:50] Kellan Finney: [00:12:50] I want to make one point there. I think. Launching in California, you can approach it with a completely different business model. You can kind of treat it like a traditional industry where you’re trying [00:13:00] to launch a brand and you can go out and source your different products and kind of do your own QA QC and then kind of do kind of a drop ship model almost versus on the East coast where you’re going to call it.

[00:13:10] You have to instantly try to be vertically integrated. If you want to start a flower brand, for instance, you’re going to have to. Grow your own flour, or you’re going to your Rolodex in terms of different companies to source that flour from is going to be really, really limited. You know what I mean? And so I think that that is a, a huge misconception that a lot of people don’t really realize is that in these established markets, you are able to utilize a more traditional business model then kind of on the East coast.

[00:13:36] Bryan Fields: [00:13:36] I get asked that question always, right? My response is typically in a form of a question because I also don’t know because if you’re in California, sure. You have an established educational customer who knows exactly what he’s looking for it. But on the East coast, that brand identity doesn’t really transfer because how does it transfer?

[00:13:53] Right? Is it, is it the influencer? Who’s Froning the product? Is it curely visit truly and, or is it like cookie? So the [00:14:00] direction from branding I think is not determined yet because cookies to me is probably the most well-known. But I don’t know, at least in my opinion, I don’t know if that’s going to be acquired by a company down the road.

[00:14:12] I obviously they working really closely with gage and these other companies, but I don’t know how that becomes a common theme where I walk into a dispensary and I’m like, okay, I want this brand. So how Jake, how, how do you provide recommendations to these, to these customers who are like, Hey, do I go to Oklahoma and set up shop here?

[00:14:29] Or do I kind of double down in California? And I know. It’s an established market with a lot of competitors, you know, what’s your go-to response,

[00:14:35] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:14:35] go to responses. Where are your friends, what markets do you know, where are your contacts? The Awana fly out to the California and start everything from scratch and lean on me to make some good intros or, you know, do you want to, you know, especially if you’re coming from a traditional side, like, you know, finance or something, You know, do you have a pool of angel investors that can kickstart you?

[00:14:56]From there you have a good friends and family network, you know, you [00:15:00] generally there’s this strategic advantage of being in the same time zone, as you know, where your company is most active that’s, that’s always, you know, it’s an obvious thing, but it’s something that I think a lot of founders don’t think through, you know, they take the risk and move out West and hopes to work for us for the best.

[00:15:13] And, you know, especially under the pandemic, it’s not as easy to get out there and network. But I’ll tell you, I, when it comes to kind of, you know, a brand identity that carries out East, you know, we have seen that, you know, a lot of this is anecdotal, but you know, there are requests for products that they’ve tried while on trips.

[00:15:29] I mean, Papa and Barkley is one that I get commonly asked to have friends on the East coast, you know, saying, Hey. You know, I was able to buy the pure CBD online and I was able to buy some of the three to one topical to help with my pain after golfing, you know, from the dispensary while I was out there outside of shipping it to me now, where can I find this?

[00:15:49] Yeah. So I’d say that’s a huge part of it, but you know, on the branding side, I’m happy you brought up cookies, you know, no one really can touch their level of, you know, building a proper lifestyle brand. [00:16:00] You know, you can’t walk down the street in downtown LA and not see some guy wearing a cookies hat or cookies shorts or cookie hoodie.

[00:16:06] And I’ll tell ya, you know, it helps by getting on impact son, you know, and, and, you know, it sounds crazy, but it news, you know, looking at who’s most active on social media, you know, the hype beast culture that is so prominent, who’s active in the comments. You know, who’s sharing this with friends, who’s using this as a cloud item versus, you know, something where it’s, it’s, you know, just a medicine and, and really you find that, you know, brands like cookies.

[00:16:31] And I think we’re seeing more and more similar competitors. I mean, even like carrots, for instance, they’re doing a cannabis thing now, but just similar, you know, we’re seeing similar stuff. I think even jungle boys is starting to kind of branded themselves in this direction, disease branding themselves to send the director.

[00:16:45] I mean, steezy as a whole. No, they’re downtown a downtown LA facility. I mean, they have a whole, like, e-commerce started our whole retail store. They got t-shirts, they got button downs, they got music. I mean, it’s like the Starbucks now where they’re going to give me a Nora Jones [00:17:00] CDs. So I think all of that kind of plays hand in hand and, you know, it’s, it becomes an interesting part of your, your retail strategy of, Hey, which of these retail locations wouldn’t have these potential partners.

[00:17:10] And do more than just get me sales, who can give me that shelf space, who can help me with my brand and who can put me on webinars, who can, you know, let me contribute to their blog. I mean, all of this goes towards building a brand. Yeah. I think

[00:17:22] Bryan Fields: [00:17:22] we’re still in such the early stages of that. Right. We saw Seth Rogan come out with house plan, which is really exciting because, I mean, naturally you saw the connection between the two of them.

[00:17:31] Have you see Jay Z super-involved with his company from more of like a leadership role. So. To push it back. Who’s next in the space who, if you had to guess what sort of big name influencer kind of pivots into this space? If you can share, if you don’t know, we can take a guess. How does that work? I’ll

[00:17:48] tell

[00:17:49] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:17:49] you.

[00:17:49] That’s a great question. I’ve never had that I’ve ever been asked that if he hasn’t already, I think Joe Rogan is going to end up doing his own. I think a lot of these podcasters are going to realize they have some [00:18:00] very loyal things that will eat up and buy and anything they’re putting out there. And, and, you know, honestly, it’s.

[00:18:06] It’s all, a lot of people that are on the air, I think are going to go this direction. You know, we’ve seen the athletes, we’ve seen the musicians infused dinner tonight that has a bunch of athletes and musicians involved. But you know, I think we’re going to see it coming from weirder and weirder places.

[00:18:21] I think we’re going to see Sean Hannity pushing his own CBD. He’s pushing, you know, other CBD brands now, but none really targeting conservative consumers. And this is a gradually growing market segment. I don’t agree with the politics. I’ll be very upfront about that. But there is a. Big untapped market opportunity as new demographics, start to get exposed to this.

[00:18:41] And you have to look at the thought leaders. These guys are listening to you. Yeah. I think it’s really well set. So

[00:18:46] Bryan Fields: [00:18:46] telling your guests, Joe, Rogan’s

[00:18:47] Kellan Finney: [00:18:47] really good gas. You know what I mean? Or not gas, I guess maybe an educated guess maybe. Right. Who would, I guess, I mean, athletes, I don’t know. I’ll tell him ahead.

[00:18:56] Who do you

[00:18:57] Bryan Fields: [00:18:57] think Brian? The rock. I think the [00:19:00] same style, right? I mean, I know it’s crazy thought, but if you think about it, right, the people who can generate buzz and then promoted in their natural lifestyle in social media, you can’t spend that type of money. Right. If you were going to, or the Kardashians, right.

[00:19:12] God, they could just absolutely explode if they cannot look like a teach C V style like vape Stover. Right. We might as well just shut the industry down. They’ve absolutely crushed it. So if they are listening, we’re going to have to take some sort of promotional rights for that. That’s who I would take.

[00:19:26] Telling me, you want to take a stab

[00:19:28] Kellan Finney: [00:19:28] Kardashians are good. And Joe Rogan, I’m not super into pop culture. So I’m terrible at these kinds of a situation. So I got to pick someone out of the blue, you know what I mean?

[00:19:38] Bryan Fields: [00:19:38] She’s a scientist. He was a scientist. I said, choose a scientist. The,

[00:19:48] it comes back, throw it up. I want to switch gears and kind of, yeah. I want to come back to Jake about kind of the day to day. Obviously we talked about the CPG and kind of the financial commitment in your opinion, what concept is not thought about [00:20:00] enough? Where the, the people come to you and they say, Hey, Jake, I want to get into this space.

[00:20:04] This is what I’m thinking. And they’re like, they’re leaning in, in this one direction to the last, but you’re like, Hey, everyone leads in this direction. They’re not thinking about this. You should be more six months in advance thinking about this direction. What would you would say? I wish more people came to me thinking about this concept.

[00:20:20] That

[00:20:20] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:20:20] is a really good question. Yeah. Let me think on it for a second. I I’d say. It’s rare that we get approached from a subscription boxes, but I’ll tell ya, my first second startup was a monthly men’s wear subscription box and the recurring revenue aspect there. I mean, yeah, it’s the multiplier that investors are looking for, but also, I mean, recurring revenue is a great thing to have, you know, any of those going to be unpredictable.

[00:20:43] So I’d love to see people getting, you know, as regulations start to permit people getting creative here. I think we’re going to see a heck of a lot more subscription boxes and in, in targeting a lot of different things and not just including cannabis, but also improving including lifestyle products as well.

[00:20:59] I think that’s [00:21:00] a real untapped market opportunity. I mean, our CEO cam was previously the founder of my Jane, you know, which was acquired. And that was very female focused. They’d send a rep to your house, to walk through the products with you, but I’m going to see more of these things come and do them.

[00:21:12] Now, once they figure that out, you know, how can we get, you know, five skews here to get, you know, with just within California or just within one of these markets? And more importantly, boxes that target heavy users and real enthusiasts, everything I’ve heard pitch to. So well, yeah. We’re trying to give a sampling of items that, you know, it’s a lot of people got to dial in what works for that.

[00:21:33] Well, you know what, who’s buying the most cannabis, who’s buying 200, $300. We’re the weak, the heavy users who care about premium quality, small batch stuff. You can’t get anywhere else. Those real grails, you know, land raise crazy genetics, you know, stuff that you’re not gonna find anywhere else. I think there’s a.

[00:21:50] Huge market opportunity. I mean, think about it like wine vintages. I love like, I mean, you see that with wine clubs where it’s Oh, we went into the sellers and we busted, we’re busting out a [00:22:00] 1993. You’re going to get this in your box. Oh my God. You know, I think we’re going to see that with cannabis where, Hey, these genetics were smuggled out of Amsterdam and you know, and then late 1980s, and they’ve been sitting in my basement.

[00:22:11] I, I grew up with some expert help. So you’re smoking stuff. It hasn’t been consumed in 20, 30 years. That I think is a, is a really interesting side. And if I leave RFQ, I’ll probably start to spin up something like that.

[00:22:22] Kellan Finney: [00:22:22] I think Appalachian is huge and I applaud California. And a lot of the steps that the growers did multiple years ago to kind of push the appellation through.

[00:22:31] I think it’s a great way to protect those genetics as

[00:22:33] Bryan Fields: [00:22:33] well. You know what I mean? I’m with you a hundred percent too on the SAS model, right? Put together a box, just absolutely multiply exactly what it costs and then just limit the exclusivity of it, right? Say. We only have a thousand boxes. We’ve got these genetics from humble that haven’t been seen since some outrageous date it’s exclusive offer now, but you have to commit like the 12 month and you’re a hundred percent.

[00:22:53] Right. And then, so they get even one step further. That brand or products you can outside [00:23:00] license that were like lists out to these other people. Because at the end of the day, cannabis acts like other industries and consumers still are consumers and they behave a certain way and they kind of go in that direction.

[00:23:10] So I’m a hundred percent with you on that space. I

[00:23:13] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:23:13] think we’re, we’re really agreed on the exclusivity side, you know, and, and how that’s so untapped. I mean, it’s everything from, I mean, look at how it’s plan, you know, when, when they rolled out, you know, there was a huge waitlist and people were posting all over social media.

[00:23:26] Oh, I’m on the wait list. Oh, did it get any, I mean, this is just. 28% THC, you know, got pretty good cannabis, but the exclusivity is what built the hype, you know, and, you know, I think we’re going to see the same thing when it comes to retail locations. I mean, certainly there’s, there’s some big ones you know, that are out there that do these kinds of speakeasies, you know, and, and I think we’re going to see more and more of these in, in cities, throughout the country, even some cities that aren’t fully online yet.

[00:23:52] And I think, you know, taking it a step further, I mean, think of things in like in San Francisco, like, you know, the battery or the Olympic club or these, these [00:24:00] institutions that also have, you know, everything from fitness centers to little hidden movie theaters to live music. I mean, blending all of these things together and making cannabis much more experiential.

[00:24:11] I mean, it has to be. Exclusive, you can’t make these things open to everybody or it’s going to be a mob scene. And, and it, you know, I think we’re starting to dial that in and, and obviously you can’t, don’t make it open to for everybody. I mean, the, the regulations just aren’t there to support, you know, except for going to a music festival, like outside of dance, where you can purchase, you can.

[00:24:31] I don’t think you can consume, but you can be around some bars, live music. I mean, the, the real intersection of these areas hasn’t been perfected yet. Yeah. We have the OG cannabis cafe in West Hollywood, you know, but they do live music, you know? Is there, is it like a members only type of thing? So much untapped territory Kill

[00:24:50] Bryan Fields: [00:24:50] it. And I hit a speakeasy in New York with the jam band when we walked in and had a dispensary, a jam band. And it was a, it was like a hidden, it was crazy when they told us about it. And they’re like, Hey, just [00:25:00] knock on the window. We were like, this is, this is super weird. And then they opened up the elevator and we’re like, this is out of control.

[00:25:06] Like, because it’s been here the entire time, how many days is here? How, how has this like, not shut down? But it was also, Manny was one of those where like, I wanted to tell every single person and they were like, where was it? And I was like, it was the corner of this street and this street. And they were like, I went there.

[00:25:18] I didn’t see anything. I was like, it’s probably one day only, but it was

[00:25:21] Kellan Finney: [00:25:21] my buddy who actually tried to go back to it and he said it wasn’t there anymore. So they like must move it. And it was pretty, pretty wild. You know what I mean?

[00:25:30] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:25:30] This New York, I think I know who it is. And they’re planning a relaunch in the legal markets.

[00:25:35]They were heavy on their lounge aspect. They always had a lot of celebrities and athletes, and there are a few love, love, love doing our little after parties when we did our New York events there. And just go in there with a bunch of investors and you know, other, other, other friends. So we’ll get back to those days now.

[00:25:50] Bryan Fields: [00:25:50] So why not switch gears slightly? Recently harvest and truly have announced truly it was going to acquire harvest. I want to know in your perception, how long does something [00:26:00] like that take to come together? Here’s

[00:26:02] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:26:02] these relationships form years ago and you grow comfortable with, I mean, decision to merge, you know, is a big one.

[00:26:09] You want to make sure that it’s going to be a company and another team that you feel very aligned with both personally and professionally. You don’t want to be, if you’re tying in with somebody. It can’t be a group of drugs. So, you know, I think in general, a lot of these relationships, you know, they get catalyzed, you know, places like, you know, one art art view event or an mg biz event, or, you know, even just in a random chance encounter, you know?

[00:26:31] And I’ve met some great people at an airport, you know, before that were in cannabis that ended up becoming close connections. So I’d say, you know, it takes time to build that trust. And if you’re partnering, especially companies of that level, You know, chances are, you’ve known each other for quite some time.

[00:26:45] So I’d say at least a year or two, but you know, I’m have, you’re talking to MNA or squarely in the age of it right now. So smaller companies, you know, you can get acquired sometimes for a song and dance, you know, Hey, what are your numbers look like? Eight. Where are you based? [00:27:00] Okay, well, we’re dispensary.

[00:27:01] That’s trying to verdict vertically integrate as much as our shelf space as possible. Let’s let’s get your pre-rolls is our prequels now, or some of these big Canadian companies, you know, the big Canadian public’s, they’re coming down to the U S and they’re just doing roll-ups of a bunch of brands, brands that might even be doing, you know, sub 10 K a month in revenue.

[00:27:19] They just want to be able to snap up as many as possible if they in bigger. So, yeah, very weird time for MNA. I’d say the relationships that work out the best are the ones that have the most time care and face time put into them. Do you

[00:27:31] Bryan Fields: [00:27:31] think other companies like GTI or Cresto or curely accelerate their plan based on a step like that?

[00:27:39] I mean, that’s an aggressive move by truly have an, obviously it’s not a land grab. Like Kim said, she, she is teaching. We understood exactly what she wanted, but do, do you think other large operators feel the need to kind of respond.

[00:27:50] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:27:50] You know, grassroots cure. Shirley was probably the bigger, you know, come to Jesus moment for them where they’re like, okay, we really need to start thinking about, you know, if it makes sense to go it [00:28:00] alone, or if there’s a way we can, you know, dominate billable full country.

[00:28:04] I mean, all of these SSOs, you know, raised a bunch of money, their goal is to scale organically state by state. But as competition heats up, that timeline does get shorter and shorter as as these other big mergers that occur. The timeline gets shorter and shorter because they’re snap it up territory everywhere.

[00:28:19] So yeah, I would say it absolutely does, you know, get them accelerating their plans a little bit and getting a little bit more creative and, you know, even testing the waters. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the biggest firms send out more or less secret shoppers to interview for some of these companies and learn as much as they can about, you know, where they’re headed.

[00:28:36] Or you know, needless to say, people are getting poached, you know, you’re looking at people, you know, competitors, and you’re realizing, you know, let’s, let’s ball over on James and bring your talents to South beach and have you you know, have you start somewhere new. Yeah.

[00:28:49] Bryan Fields: [00:28:49] This industry sure has the cash to kind of acquire top talent.

[00:28:52] So want to kind of take it one step further and then we’re diving into the prediction. Biggest misconception since you started [00:29:00] in the cannabis space.

[00:29:01] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:29:01] I mean, it’s the classic answer here is that, you know, it all depends on who you’re talking to and, you know, it’s often a lot of. You know how people inexperienced with cannabis maybe had it during college who thinks it’s, you know, it’s, it’s Doobie using blunts and getting high.

[00:29:15] And that’s the only people who still consume the stuff by, you know, now you see, I, I old anecdote here, but you know, case in point, there’s what God’s greenery, you know, there’s somebody that showcased RQ before that. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s cannabis and CBD, but it’s really tying it into Bible verses and, and, and, you know, building this kind of religious connection to cannabis, you see the same thing in India with Vedic medicines and how that’s influencing the product mix for some people.

[00:29:38] So to me, the stigma is starting to disappear. Certainly, you know, retirement communities are doing cannabis parties now and, and exploring these products. So I’d say that that’s while that’s the kind of the default answer, you know, I would say. The better answer. And the most shocking misconception I get would probably be something around, [00:30:00] you know, teach higher THC products are the only thing you need to look for.

[00:30:03] They’re going to get you the most high. They’re the, they’re the best ones out there. I think the sentiment shift is happening. I think we’re seeing it. I’m seeing it on my own LinkedIn and Facebook and all that jazz, but you know, I think somebody put it this way that I really liked think it was Jessica Sharp actually.

[00:30:18] And she said, Well, you don’t walk into a liquor store and just get 1 51 every time, find something that fits your mood. And and in general, you know, getting something that’s, that’s very terpene, rich getting something that’s very fresh. You know, getting something that has a high, you know, minor cannabinoid ratio here, where you were dealing with you know, the CBN and CBG and everything in between, you know, that starting to be prioritized as.

[00:30:41] People start learning about these other cannabinoids and learning about terpenes and having the, you know, the Pepsi challenge of here of having something that might be super high. THC. That’s been sitting on the shelf for six months and is outdoor versus something that is, you know, this beautiful bounty harvested last week of some really exclusive genetics, [00:31:00] you know, even, you know, places.

[00:31:01] I like like, like flower cup where I get all my own cannabis. You go on there and they have a section for their freshest. Products, which I have not seen anyone else do. So I’m seeing that sentiment shift and, you know, I know that’s a little bit more on the consumer side, but it does bleed into the investor side where we have people reaching out, you know, or operators side saying, yeah.

[00:31:20] Cultivate and make sure everything is over 30% THC and that’s going to be our differentiator. It’s like, okay, not really a differentiator anymore. It also a very myopic view of, of what makes cannabis good. So, or beneficial to the

[00:31:32] Bryan Fields: [00:31:32] health, right. And that, and that kind of educational knowledge comes with experience and trial and error.

[00:31:37] So it takes kind of time. And as markets kind of develop and consumer becomes more educated on the various kind of characteristics of the cannabis plant. And I think those will continue to be really, really important. If you could sum up your experience into a lesson learned or main takeaway to pass on to the next generation.

[00:31:56] What would that

[00:31:57] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:31:57] be? Obvious one, your buy cannabis [00:32:00] industry is so intertwined with sustainability, with climate, with economic justice, with social justice, with racial justice. I mean, so many people still in prison for this it’s it’s it’s mind boggling and the great work of people like last prisoner project to help with that, you know, it gets highlighted, but not nearly enough.

[00:32:17] Not in the industry. You might not know any of these names. So, you know, I think for me, it’s, it’s, I hope the next generation really does take that to heart and, you know, make it part of their own identity as well. You know, we don’t want to see this thing become, you know, it’s going to be it’s inevitable, but where you don’t want to see this thing become.

[00:32:35] You know, craft beer where, you know, the first couple of years, 20, 2012, 2013, a lot of choices out there. A lot of people that are supporting each other, lifting each other up, sharing secrets, sharing recipes, doing collabs into this massive consolidation of, okay, your AB InBev. If you’re a bar and you want to have my products, you got to carry these hand you these tabs.

[00:32:55] And then we’ll give you this craft one that we’re pushing. Now, I’d say what I [00:33:00] love about this industry. The most. And one thing that makes it truly unique as somebody who’s worked across a million different random industries is this is the one where people that are competitive have no trouble supporting each other.

[00:33:12] A lot of the time, my favorite stories are, you know, I’ve had an issue where I came to him looking for gummies and I was like, Hey, I need somebody to manufacture these gummies. I kicked it to some guy I thought would be perfect. He goes, look, we’re good at hard candy. We’re good at tablet gummies. I’m not.

[00:33:27] The basket instead, let me cook you over to somebody. It’s a direct competitor, but I think they do great work. You do not see that elsewhere. I hope that carries

[00:33:35] Bryan Fields: [00:33:35] on. Yeah, last time you consumed any cannabinoids.

[00:33:40] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:33:40] Surprisingly, I didn’t have my morning CVD or a big fan of the Wolf sciences crappies team, who I know you featured before.

[00:33:49] Bryan Fields: [00:33:49] Thanks for sponsoring the podcast again. Ben

[00:33:50] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:33:50] Nicola. One of my favorite people in the industry, just a warm, warm dude who is. Super knowledgeable in this great work. I did pop one of his CVN [00:34:00] tablets. Last night, you know, before I went to bed, CBN in general has been really helping me not only sleep better, but have dreams again, which is something that as a frequent cannabis user, I’ve really missed partly and they’re CVN, honey, you know, it’s either a crappy CBD CBN.

[00:34:15] Or it’s partly CBN and melatonin that I take every evening, but I would say I run our accelerator program. The real answer here is I got done with last nights companies that were were showcasing and getting mentored feedback. It was a long night in the first thing I did was fire up the volcano from finest.

[00:34:35]That I wanted to try some fresh squeeze to OJ so packed a couple of volcanoes of that and enjoyed my nutmeg Netflix, and that’d

[00:34:42] Bryan Fields: [00:34:42] be reality TV. Perfect. All right. Prediction. I’m more of like a hot take but we can just call it in the prediction side. With Alabama sits and legalized medical marijuana and more and more States coming online with adult use is federal legalization even important anymore

[00:35:00] [00:35:00] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:35:00] because you know, the one thing that I think is going to happen here is they’re going to really leave it up to the States, even if they decriminalized or legalized at the national level.

[00:35:09] You know, to, to kind of make their own rules the way they have with, with booze, you know, having packaged stores in East coast versus, you know, grocery stores in 10 States can also serve liquor and all that jazz. And there’s whole foods down here with a craft beer bar and a wine bar and an Erawan has a natural wine store here.

[00:35:26] I mean, it’s, it’s crazy that the differences, you know, in these different areas, but I’ll tell ya, you know, what I really see happening here is because. They will do criminalized. Don’t buy your cannabis compliantly in Illinois as an Illinois citizen, and you’re on your way to visit friends in Indiana and you’ll get pulled over.

[00:35:43] And then, you know, unfortunately it’s, it’s Indiana that I think at the federal level, there has to be that guidance there. You know, which, which doesn’t lead to you getting a ticket. You know, cause if you bought a compliantly and you’re not driving under the influence Indiana, shouldn’t be allowed to say, no, you can’t have that anymore.

[00:35:59] So [00:36:00] that’s why I think is going to play out and why it is so important is because people do not stay in one state, look at the East coast, you have States the size of postage stamps. You know, you come on Delaware, Rhode Island, get it together, you know? You know, so I think it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting to.

[00:36:13] So to kind of think about cross border commerce in general, I don’t think it will just be a free for all. I think that will nuke a lot of markets if they do it, but they will leave it up to States to determine if they want to have cross border commerce and accept cannabis coming in from adjacent States in smaller States where they do not have the space to do cultivation and scale and refined products at scale, it’s going to make sense to import it from the guys next door who are doing.

[00:36:37] In other States, that’s going to completely new, competitive advantage and really destroy the existing market and operators there. So we’ll see how it plays out, but I’m excited. I’m grabbing the top point either way, Kelly,

[00:36:47] Kellan Finney: [00:36:47] two points. I think that federal legalization is important for tax purposes and banking and all of those monetary perspectives.

[00:36:56] I also think it’s really, really important for. The [00:37:00] psychological aspect of the American population, as well as the world population. Right. I think that having the federal government come in and say, okay, this is legal now, or at least decriminalized, I think at that does wonders for all of those. Really, really conservative individuals out there who still think that it’s the devil’s lettuce or, I mean, who was that?

[00:37:21] Oklahoma Senator, who said you consume it, it’ll kill your kids or whatever. Like, I mean, those kinds of things just need to completely stop. And with federal legalization, I think that that kind of draws a line in the sand from a psychological perspective. At

[00:37:36] Bryan Fields: [00:37:36] least I still think people like him will say crazy shit like that because.

[00:37:42] I don’t know what provoked him to say that obviously there was no information brought and he just kind of went for it and maybe it’s financially motivated. So I’m going to take a different approach. And I think it kind of blends both sides where it depends on who you’re talking about. Right. If an everyday user just wants to consume cannabis, doesn’t they don’t really care about it.

[00:37:57] If their state goes rack and they can get it, they don’t [00:38:00] really care. But for, I think for the industry to continue to grow and these kinds of handcuff restrictions to be removed, I think it’s incredibly important that. You know, the government kind of goes forward and takes that, obviously the interstate stuff’s going to be incredibly detailed and, and complex to kind of itemize out how those things work and, you know, thank God those guys get paid a ton of money in order to figure those things out because that’s going to be incredibly challenging.

[00:38:23] So. I guess we’re on agreement in some aspects of that.

[00:38:26] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:38:26] Oh yeah. Hello. I think those who are trying to figure it out, you know, candidly don’t have a strong knowledge of cannabis and, you know, we have some connections at the state department and, you know, catch up them at a time and they’re a sponge they’re eager to learn as much as they can.

[00:38:39] They want to make sure they don’t drop the ball and do things where regarding international cannabis important export that is going to kill our industry. So I, I have seen a real olive branch extended, even on both sides of the aisle. I mean, we had. Cory Gardner and Earl Blumenauer on the same webinar.

[00:38:54] You know, they’re a very opposed and everything but cannabis, you know, Barbara Lee, Earl, I mean, these, these are the people [00:39:00] who call David Abernathy from our consulting team and ask them, Hey, you know, the more acts coming out, here’s some of the new amendments, you know, can you review these, let us know your thoughts.

[00:39:08] You know, we want to make sure this has good policy. So there is a real. You know, I’d say a bipartisan effort for, for a lot of our elected officials to, to learn this inside and out. And we’re going to be headed to Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, to do stuff involving some local, local government and local investors to educate them around this.

[00:39:27] And they’re transparent. We know, we think cannabis is blunts and all that jazz that we just don’t. I don’t agree with. So, you know, I see this as a great opportunity to blow some minds, change some misconceptions and thank God we have things like, you know, golf, which has embraced CBD in cannabis, you know, so heavily you can’t go to a pro shop now and not see, you know, topicals and, you know, it started to get you know, I I’d say kind of, you know, recreation and entertainment.

[00:39:53] I mean, it’s hitting both sides of the aisle and, and no matter who you are, there’s now a cannabis product for you. That’s, you know, [00:40:00] it’s going to cure whatever you’re struggling with because everybody’s struggling with something.

[00:40:03] Bryan Fields: [00:40:03] Absolutely. Especially after the pandemic. So Jake, before we wrap up, where can our listeners get in touch with you for operations space that are looking to kind of learn more, you know, where can they find you?

[00:40:12] Yes,

[00:40:13] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:40:13] the circle back to the beginning of the complex nexus part fuse and different sub entities. I’m really easy to get to. Because there’s legit four people in the country with my last name and they’re all my family. So K U C, Z E R UK. You can find me on every social media channel because I’m the guy who snaps up slash cruiser on everything.

[00:40:31] Sorry to everybody in Eastern Europe. I beat you to the punch on clubhouse.  Gmail cause rack on LinkedIn. Got it all covered. That’s the easiest way to reach me directly. It was anything I could personally help with. Do Arcview we have leave forms right now, the website. So I would say go to Arcview consulting.com arc V I E w consulting.

[00:40:51]And you can get directly over to me. My direct email is Jake who’s [email protected] I’m usually pretty responsive. Yeah, definitely [00:41:00] inbound. And I’ll tell ya, you know, in, in general, I would say for those that just want a little bit more go to RQ access.com, take a look at some of our webinars, the digital content that we’ve been pumping out the replays of some of the past ones and just get a sense of who we are and what we do.

[00:41:14] And I think from there, you know, regardless of what your objective is and connecting with our view, be it an investor operator. Price, whatever I am kind of the glue that can route you to the right department. RQ ventures has their own website. There’s even an intake form. If you’re trying to submit your startup to raise money, RQ capital got their own website.

[00:41:35] So RQ group.com. You can get routed to everything from there. Very long-winded. I know.

[00:41:40] Bryan Fields: [00:41:40] Yeah. I think the webinars were a great resource, especially during the pandemic. So I definitely encourage everyone. Who’s looking to learn more to kind of go through those replays because there’s a ton of really valuable tidbits in there that are still applicable to today.

[00:41:51] So appreciate your time, Jake. Thanks for your time,

[00:41:54] Jake Kuczeruk: [00:41:54] Helen and Brian, I can’t thank you enough for featuring me. I got a real kick out of this. The format caught me a little bit of [00:42:00] surprise at the beginning. Yeah. I didn’t realize it was a group combo, but I’ll tell ya. I really enjoy this. This was one of the, actually the favorite podcasts I’ve done because not strictly business questions, not strictly cannabis trends all over the map, which I think is what, you know, it’s the education that regardless of who you are, that’s what you need right

[00:42:16] Bryan Fields: [00:42:16] now.

[00:42:17] Appreciate that. Appreciate that. We’re going to clip that and put that as our intro. Thanks Jake.


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