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
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.
Facebook: Cannabis Science Conference
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?
[00:32:36] 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.
[00:34:10] 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.
[00:42:12] 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] 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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