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Ep.151: John Lord, LivWell

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.151: John Lord, LivWell

Ep.151: John Lord, LivWell

As you’ll hear immediately, John Lord is from New Zealand.  After growing up on a dairy farm, he ran an import/export business until he got tired of traveling literally around the globe on business each business trip.  John had realized he could make more money by morning tea than by pulling teets, and that global treks were a thing of the past so he settled down in Colorado before the cannabis industry came to town.  But he did of course eventually get into the business.  A prospective tenant of his wanted to open a dispensary and well, the rest is history.  And you’re so inclined, I’d very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at https://survey.libsyn.com/canneconomy

Transcript:

Speaker 1: John lord Livwell

Speaker 2: Agile here immediately. John Lord is from New Zealand. After growing up on a dairy farm. You ran an import export business until he got tired of traveling literally around the globe on business, each business trip. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on the social networks with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the world economy. And if you're so inclined, I'd very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at survey.Libsyn.com/can economy. That's L I s Y, n Jonathan realized he could make more money, uh, by morning tea. Then by pulling teats those are his words and that global tracks were a thing of the past. So he settled down in Colorado before the cannabis industry came to town. Buddy did of course, eventually get into the business or prospective tenant of his wanted to open a dispensary. And. Well, the rest is history.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean it's, it. I guess it's possible that John Lord of Livwell does have dreadlocks. I don't see them. Yeah, yeah, it was, you know, that little outfit that I'm going to put on for 4:20 and there you go. Now you do. You are mustachioed. I did notice that. How long have you had the mustache? Well, actually I had the little goatee beard and the mustache and then you know, I shaved off the little goatee beard, I think back last summer. And everybody says you've got a mustache. So apparently you know, like you can't see one without the other. You can't see one without the APP. That's Metta. That's really, that's an interesting concept. Yeah. Which we'll dive into a little bit more later. Usually I kind of get going with the livwell stuff and here's what we're doing and the whole deal because I think that will play this one before we play the uh, the other, the tour.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Which we just did, but there'll be in reverse order chronologically somehow, even though that's not reality. What am I, what I'm getting radio? Yeah. What I'm getting at here is we, we need to go directly to where you were born because it clearly was not Brooklyn, New York. It was a little bit further south. Further south. So where are you from? Okay. I'm from tea. I will move to, which is about two hours south of Oakland city, North Island of New Zealand, North Island of New Zealand. I've shared with you that I went to only the South Island, which for me that was good enough because that is the most beautiful place that I've ever seen in my life. And I'm not being hyperbolic. So this was during when they were filming the first Lord of the rings movies to date myself, I guess. Right. So it's, it's a, it's a, it is a very, very pretty place.

Speaker 1: John lord Livwell

Speaker 2: Agile here immediately. John Lord is from New Zealand. After growing up on a dairy farm. You ran an import export business until he got tired of traveling literally around the globe on business, each business trip. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on the social networks with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the world economy. And if you're so inclined, I'd very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at survey.Libsyn.com/can economy. That's L I s Y, n Jonathan realized he could make more money, uh, by morning tea. Then by pulling teats those are his words and that global tracks were a thing of the past. So he settled down in Colorado before the cannabis industry came to town. Buddy did of course, eventually get into the business or prospective tenant of his wanted to open a dispensary. And. Well, the rest is history.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean it's, it. I guess it's possible that John Lord of Livwell does have dreadlocks. I don't see them. Yeah, yeah, it was, you know, that little outfit that I'm going to put on for 4:20 and there you go. Now you do. You are mustachioed. I did notice that. How long have you had the mustache? Well, actually I had the little goatee beard and the mustache and then you know, I shaved off the little goatee beard, I think back last summer. And everybody says you've got a mustache. So apparently you know, like you can't see one without the other. You can't see one without the APP. That's Metta. That's really, that's an interesting concept. Yeah. Which we'll dive into a little bit more later. Usually I kind of get going with the livwell stuff and here's what we're doing and the whole deal because I think that will play this one before we play the uh, the other, the tour.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Which we just did, but there'll be in reverse order chronologically somehow, even though that's not reality. What am I, what I'm getting radio? Yeah. What I'm getting at here is we, we need to go directly to where you were born because it clearly was not Brooklyn, New York. It was a little bit further south. Further south. So where are you from? Okay. I'm from tea. I will move to, which is about two hours south of Oakland city, North Island of New Zealand, North Island of New Zealand. I've shared with you that I went to only the South Island, which for me that was good enough because that is the most beautiful place that I've ever seen in my life. And I'm not being hyperbolic. So this was during when they were filming the first Lord of the rings movies to date myself, I guess. Right. So it's, it's a, it's a, it is a very, very pretty place.

Speaker 1: It's amazing. So, uh, so here's John Lord. He's, he's growing up in Northern Ireland. It, it sounds like, not necessarily in the city. No, actually dairy farming family and a up way before dawn and help milk cows and that sort of thing before school and the, you know, it was a sort of a long day. So work ethic from the jump. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it was a and it was really that way. So how, how old do you have to be to start helping out, you know, on the dairy farm. I'm dot old enough to walk really and start off by feeding the chickens and it goes on up from there. As long as you can hold, you know, seed in your face basically. You have got it. And that's amazing. Okay. So chickens, we've got cows. What else on the dairy farm? Oh, practically, uh, you know, everything that could, um, you know, that had had legs and the day he was running around in some way, uh, but, but predominantly dairy.

Speaker 1: Um, so, uh, um, you know, of course young stock that replaced, you know, the older dairy cows, etc. So you had carbs and heifers and cows and all that good stuff. So this, you, you, uh, from before you can remember, you understood the cycle of life as far as dairy farming is concerned more so than I do even now because I don't want to know. But you were made aware immediately, so you came in contact with life and death and everything in between before you even knew anything else. Yeah, yeah. I, I distinctly remember, um, you know, being a, a young lady, I know eight or nine and I'm the coolest, you know, we uh, um, killed on the farm for our own meat, you know, for the, for the freezer, right. And, uh, my dad, uh, had a, uh, a sheep on it side with a, you know, it's uh, he had been to around his, uh, his shin and, um, made me a draw the knife across the throat.

Speaker 1: Oh no. Uh, um, you know, to dispatch the sheep and uh, um, he said, you know, before I did, it looks on, at this point, you know, it's just meat. And uh, that's the thing that you need to understand and uh, you know, yes, it's, it's that cycle of life thing and uh, you know, it, it, it's sort of a, you know, I suppose, uh, you understand that, uh, you understand, you know, the human need to put food on the table, etc. And, uh, and you understand what respect when to do that sort of thing. Yeah. So everything is all right there. This is the meat that we are using to, to live. And so what else could you possibly need than a dairy farm? I guess we were relatively self sufficient, uh, you know, we, uh, grew a large vegetable garden and uh, you know, a group and meet on the farm a sector and uh, you know, uh, pat from, uh, you know, just a few basics from, from town.

Speaker 1: That waS it. It was pretty simple life. And I'm getting the sense from your father. This is a pretty direct guy. If at age eight or nine you are dispatching of the sheep, I think is the use. yes. So pretty direct a worker, right? A business owner as well? Yes. Um, you know, he was a little, still is. um, he's in his eighties now. There you go. Um, and still is prolific in business. I'm a cool, sees a long since retired and sold the dairy farm, um, but owns a substantial amount of commercial property around the north, on, under New Zealand. And um, that keeps him really busy. So he is still busy into his eighties. Yeah. All right. He had a good, uh, uh, we, he bought a small high rise, I think it was half a dozen floors and there was a prominent group of lawyers, um, tenanted in the building and uh, he, uh, said, oh, well, who was going up to see them today?

Speaker 1: And uh, and uh, explained that he was the new land landlord and a and owner of the building and they were expecting him. So he went and saw the, saw the boss and they're going to go for a cup of tea. And so down the elevator out of the building 10, right. You know, uh, just past the parking lot for the building and my dad sort of wheels. I'm around, drops the back tailgate of the truck and he likes him up there and his business suit and drags a basket that my mum had prepared, you know, from the back of the ute and uh, proceeds to pour two cups of tea, you know. And uh, you know, she's, she's made a couple of little biscuits and things and uh, you know, so that's where they had their morning tea because, you know, he's not the sort of gentleman that's going to pay $8 for a latte, but anyway, there's no chance in anywhere that he's going to pay. No. But there was the, the, the, you know, the story sort of concluded with a. Yeah, you know, I, I told him son that, uh, you know, I don't think we'll be getting too many small little claims out of those people.

Speaker 3: So it was all part of the persona and the kind of old fox, I'm the landlord, here's how it works. So there was a listen and indeed that's okay. So then that, that plainly explain to you

Speaker 1: father, what about your mum mum? I think that, uh, you know, uh, is, is the sort of woman that one incredibly busy, um, she has uh, a couple of acres of roses. I think there's 1400 rose bushes. She's a rose judge, which is actually a big deal. Um, she's sorta too busy to get old and infect, you know, runs a big veggie garden and then sort of, you know, well, you know, I've got to get these flowers, cut this, that, and the other, done and take them into the old people, you know, in town it was. Right. Okay.

Speaker 1: Most of them are younger than you. And so she's a little bit while she's speaking philosophically. I think so. Right. So each of them have a couple of different things that they do. Oh yeah. Still to this day, to this day, I'm very, very active brothers. Sisters. Yes. I'm a, I'm the eldest. Uh, so, um, uh, three other siblings. I have a brother a couple of years younger than me, sister, four years younger. And then my youngest sister is six years younger. Okay. So there, there came a day maybe or a moment or a tIme period where john lord said to himself, you know what, I'm not going to be a dairy farmer. Yeah. Um, and, and that was quite the moment too because, um, you know, dairy farming in the blood, etc. Etc. Um, you know, I'm getting larger, um, and you know, the business itself was going okay, but, but the business of actual dairy farming was not at the time we were, you were gaining market share.

Speaker 1: The market was shrinking. Yeah. Well, well the way in which the market was controlled in New Zealand at that time, which is not too different to how it's done to do today is the New Zealand dairy border, the New Zealand dairy board. I'm the largest, um, seller or marketer of dairy product in the world. And okay. Um, so we had the single salad days going on. Farmers themselves would just not responsible for the sale of their product and indeed what paid up to 12 months after production. So how can you mindlessly produced something and not even know what you're going to get paid for it. Um, so very difficult circumstances and, and I believe the, the system as such to, to have some basic floors and um, I, I just wasn't prepared to have my own destIny put in what I felt were um, you know, and capable hands or anyone else's hands for that matter.

Speaker 1: And, and so, um, it fundamentally didn't suit me and um, I'd invested. I'm off farm and a small importation business. And so, uh, there was a spot in the market where it was, um, very, very good to, uh, to sell. Um, how, how old were you when you invested in that importation? Um, all. Alright. So w, we skipped a bunch of time here. So yeah. So you, were you a kid, were you a teenager when you, when you realized, hey, this is not going to work for me structurally, I'm, no, I'm, no, I was a, I'm in my late twenties, early thirties. So you were, you had gone through and you were working on the farm and you were doing that yelling at him and um, um, you know, a dairy farm, 350 milking cows, etc. And all of that sort of stuff. And was doing it in New Zealand family and Backed.

Speaker 1: Yes, I'm a thermally embarked upon a dairy farming career. So had gone through sheer farming process and that sort of thing. And then into farm ownership. Um, no school, no university and dane disillusioned, not through, through high school. Okay. All right. And then disillusioned to. Have you ever been to university? No. Huh. Okay. Interesting. well I wonder if you have thoughts on that, but we'll get to, we'll get to that later because, uh, clearly we have an example of maybe a, you know, someone not needing university, but a disillusionment understood. You have this import business, you sell this import business, right? Is that about right? Yes. well, the important business, um, I bought in my early thirties and basted in it. It wasn't doing particularly well after I sold the dairy farm. Um, I put a lot more time into it and realize that in actual fact you could make more money by morning tea then you could, you know, pulling tits. So there was a, that's a quotable quote, john. Oh.

Speaker 1: But it was relevant to the time and um, you know, we, um, you know, it, it was very interesting and I felt more in control of my destiny. and, um, I liked the fact that, um, you know, I had a greater level of control of where it was going. I'm happily importing out of both the states and, and europe. Um, and, uh, then along comes and changes in regulation New Zealand, Australia adopted the highest safety standard in the world for child safety seats. So what does that answer what you were in boarding? Yes, in part, yes, a child safety seats and uh, other baby product, um, you know, around that, um, and uh, selling in the local market. So upon the adoption of, of that regulation, um, none of the important seats would pass the standard. Um, so, um, I designed and manufactured, I'm a new child safety seat, um, and uh, we did, uh, uh, in about 35 countries around the world, so, so imports not going to work, you know, effort. I'll make something that will export yet, um, and uh, that was a whole lot of fun too. Um, you know, it was, uh, it was really interesting. Continue to import other product, but gradually, you know, the rest of the world adopted the highest standard. And so, you know, we were on the front page of the wave and uh, that went, you know, pretty well then, meaning you cashed a few checks. So yes, pretty well meats from, from john lord.

Speaker 1: So, uh, you know, most of the market, of course, just, just by default ended up here in the states are selling a walmart target, kmart, jc penney. And so, uh, you know, new zealanders when hanging of the commute and, you know, uh, you know, uh, put, you know, particular day, um, you know, just sort of dragging my butt onto the plane again and the person comes to the door. Good morning mr. Lord, you know, and I'm like, you know, there's a sort of one place where, you know, being, knowing that wells probably not a good thing. Um, you know, it was, it was sort of time to look at an alternate solution and uh, here in how many times a month or a year, where you going back and forth because that is quite a hike twice a month. Um, oh my god. And so it's a 24 hour flight or whatever it is.

Speaker 1: It's or 18 hours, yellow door to door from here is about a 22 daughter door. Right. Um, but yeah, I'd, I'd leave the sunday night actually, and I'm on monday and a monday. I'd have meetings on the west coast. Um, and then, uh, the next day sort of fly over to bentonville, Arkansas for, for walmart, then I'm up to up to chicago, et cetera. Then gemar reward, uh, I was going to get sears esn, see, right. Um, and uh, um, then, um, the next day, uh, onto the east coast and New York for toys r us and the likes, um, sometimes dropping or minneapolis for target and uh, um, and then, so that would be sort of towards the end of the week I had a hit out of the, off the east coast. I'm for london and uh, um, You know, visit some customers over there, um, and then on over to Belgium where have a supplier and then um, and then keep the loop going and head over to the factories in China, flying to Hong Kong and then take a boat up the pearl river delta and uh, you know, to a couple of manufacturing cities up there and then literally around the world.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Then get back on the plane and he'd back down to New Zealand, you know, so you could do the cIrcle so that you can do that in one week. Now that's true. Ten days to 14 days. Ten to 14 days. Yeah. And then how many days either appear or disappear as far as your travels are concerned? I'm trying to figure out the, the, the tIme line, uh, the, the, you know, uh, we're, we're the time, uh, where the day starts and where it ends is somewhere in the pacific. So if you go over it, do you miss a day or do you gain a day? Well, it depends which way you go around, but if you fallen from New Zealand uptake here in actual fact you, um, you, you're right here about the same time as your left down. There you go. All right. Which is why you look 22.

Speaker 1: Oh, thank you. because I figured if I went around the world that way all the time, it would have that effect. It's amazing. Thank you. But you're literally flying around the world 10 to 14 days at a time every month over and over and over again. How many years did you do that? Oh, and the aim. Duh. you know, I did that for about three and a. That was a three, 10 minutes. Yeah, that's about enough. Exactly. So, um, I had, uh, a friend here in denver, Colorado who had a small company called basic comfort, um, that I ultimately purchased off, um, um, towards the end of 97 and moved, uh, moved here in january of 98. This had nothing to do with cannabis. No, no, that wasn't. This is purely by happenstance that john lord from New Zealand, the town of course that you mentioned, whIch I could say, but I won't me help you try and move to.

Speaker 1: That's it. And it will spell that out for folks so that they can see it and read it. A crowded house. Neil and tim fin old on that subtle thing. Wait, crowded houses from that hometown? Yes. Oh wow. Yeah. There you go. Split genes. Originally accredited house. Midnight oil where they, uh, yet now you've got me anyway from somewhere. Yeah. Right now they're all there are australian. Yeah. See, this is the worst thing that I could say. AfraId. Um, so. And we'll get into that relationship but, but okay. So here you are in denver in the late nineties. And your work, you're a, this business was what kind of business again, exactly what I was doing. A baby product. So it was a continuation of what I was doing without the commute. Right. So you sold that other business in New Zealand or no? Yes, I sold a, the actual New Zealand portion of it.

Speaker 1: Got it. Yeah. Okay. And so here we are, here's john lord, fish out of water in denver. Not really because you're a global world traveler. Yeah. Um, you know, it's, it's interesting. Um, because I'm visiting it, living in it can be two different things. I really, really can come to America junk, right? Is that about. Yeah, in other words, here's America and now I know what it is type of thing. uh, and, and one of the very interesting things which, um, was hard to reconcile was, um, you know, you, you watched, um, sort of prime time tv, have, you know, everybody doing everybody else and in and all of this sort of, um, six and innuendo and all of that sort of thing. And then, you know, you thought this a highly promiscuous place and, and then when you actually came here and landed here, it's the most conservative places going.

Speaker 1: It's amazing. And um, some, you know, you can see why perhaps other cultures become slightly upset with, I think the persona that, that America projects, and it's not the reality of America, if you know what I mean. Absolutely. There's a fair amount of disillusionment when you understand this country in its whole, because you're talking about the export of our entertainment, which comes from los angeles and New York city for the most part. And those cities don't represent the United States of America very well. No, you know, and so it took a bit to reconcile and write and understand it. Do you have more there or is that a, what you would like to share? Um, you know, it was just interesting because it cools on New Zealand tv. We're relatively used to um, and, and don't have any kind of particular reaction towards theater, be it a bad breast or something like that.

Speaker 1: Sure. And, and you know, a coolest, you know, you have a wardrobe malfunction that turns into some bizarre event or you know, it just things like that kind of get a little bit out of whack. I wonder how long ago that was. I was during the superbowl bowl. Janet jackson is literally a wardrobe malfunction, is what they called. It is your point and there's no need. It's someone's flesh. It all. It is. And, and you know, in, in most other countries that had, have absolutely no relevance whatsoever. That all. Exactly. Okay. So are your, you're here and you learn, okay, I'm in America and America is not necessarily what I saw on the television, what happened in terms of the business. So now I'm doing this. I'm in the United States, I'm in denver, I'm sure I'm traveling. You're traveling still. Yes. It was a lot easier.

Speaker 1: Commutes the business continued to expand, um, and through the two thousands, um, and uh, um, ultimately, uh, you know, we grew larger and uh, and I purchased a, um, the, the building where our growth is situated today, but that used to be, you know, the larger shipping and manufacturing warehouse. Um, so that's, that's how that came to be. So that was another use a completely and entirely. So when you walk in a with me and all I see is cannabis and what you see is, well this used to be there and the bay, the car seats used to be over there. Is that about right? Yeah, that's true. You know, what it was, was pallet, pallet racking, end to end forklifts. Alright. And so I guess where is that moment is the, uh, economic downturn, does that have something to do with the switch, the inflection point because you're, you've brought us through to 2007, right?

Speaker 1: Yes. Well actually, um, nothing really to do with the economic downturn. I sold the baby products business to a public company on the east coast, a cold summer infant, uh, in 2008 in 2008. So you keep selling these businesses at, I would imagine a fair profit. Yes. So that's a, that's a theme that I think we'll come back to. So that was 2008. That is the year of the uh, economic downturn. I, I need to point that out. Yes it is. Um, it doesn't have a lot to do with baby products and the respect that an actual fact, uh, you know, it's a birth death and taxes kind of business, right? It's always there. It doesn't go down really right. People, people must have baby products and maybe they choose, you know, a model. It's $10 cheaper or something like that because it's, you know, with the feeling, the feeling, the recession, so to speak, but they still have to have one.

Speaker 1: There's nuance, but people still, they keep having babies is I will put it. That's right. Yeah. And uh, an actual fact, uh, you know, in most recessions that the, a birthright actually goes out, knocked down. That's it. And that's the, just like the liquor industry. Good times liquor sales go up, bad times, liquor sales go up. All right, so you sell that business, now you live in denver and you're doing nothing. Yeah. And that was a problem to me after about three weeks and it doesn't seem as if the guy has been working literally since he was able to walk, how's he going to be out of a job that's not going to work? No. I realized that. And um, did you not know that that was going to be the case? Did you think that you could actually stop while soda could survive on a beach longer than that, but it didn't work that way.

Speaker 1: And uh, you know, I got bored pretty quick. You know, there's only so much sort of sand between the toes you can take after today time to come home about three weeks. YeAh. So you come back and now it's 2008 going into 2009. Yup. Dot, dot, dot. So, um, I, uh, a least a portion of one of my commercial properties too. Um, uh, some cannabis grows and I'm one the industry itself, it tweaked my interest. I'm seldom is there. Actually new business created. I mean new business, not like a half twist on an old business, but new business. Right? So instead of importing this product, I'll make a new one and export it. That's a, that's a nuance. Now here's a, here's an industry, maybe this isn't a brand new industry. Yep. And they are rare, you know, like.com or something like that is new.

Speaker 1: And, and, and. Okay. so this was, this was new and, and that excited me and uh, um, okay. Um, these guys, within sort of two or three months I realized I was never going to see a rent check. And so the industry is interesting. These guys are not yet. We we already know what you're a father probably had instilled in you and being a landlord. Yeah. And that wasn't sort of a sitting, sitting on a nice dock door with the son blaze and then you face and smoking a smoking a joint and you know, that just didn't seem like an afternoon's work to me. No. No, because it's not. But uh, as far as your personal opinion on cannabis at the time, what, what was your relationship with the plant? If we could go into that for a moment to locate one? Um, I think initially, I think it was surprised.

Speaker 1: I remember walking down the main street of a golden Colorado just out of denver here and they, they have, uh, uh, there's a, a family business. Yeah, there's a little family, be a business up there and anyway, um, but, uh, it's my, my local town and so I'm walking up the street and there was a, you know, plastic folding table and some are happy campers. A running around trying to get signatures on a, on a, on a ballot measure. Sure. You know, to, to legalize cannabis and, and, uh, you know, something that slipped my mouth, that uh, michael, my, uh, my, my son that's also involved in the busineSs here, never will let me forget, I said like, that'll ever happen.

Speaker 3: Well now that's only ironic because that is exactly what everybody thought at the time. You know, that's not an outlier with that point of view at that moment in time,

Speaker 1: you know, um, it, it was relevant on the day. Right now. He's not listening. He's not forgiving.

Speaker 3: No, you can never forget. Of course not. That's the power of a father, son relationship right there, right? Oh, that's right. Yes.

Speaker 1: And um, you know, coming, coming back to the, you know, I was sort of watching the industry, which at the time was sort of the wild west of cannabis going on. Really? Yes, absolutely. And nobody really knew how to, how to kind of, uh, either do the job or behave, you know, as, as, as, as you know, business sort of a situation. And so this is before 12, 84, of course. Yes. And okay. The situation was, was, was kind of pretty interesting to watch because most did come out of California. I'm looking for a little more strengthened legalization to protect them, um, and, and not peeping out behind the blinds, etc. And see whO was packed at the froNt. And so you could get that, you know, um, these people that had a lot of pressure and an illegal situation for a number of years and we're obviously getting sick of that and uh, so, you know, I could understand that.

Speaker 1: Um, but the biggest problem was they had behavior never really modified in a lot of cases. They didn't grow beyond that kind of mindset. The drug dealer mindset, they hit the ceiling. That was, uh, yeah. And, and, but, you know, a lot was being asked all of them also in the respect that, you know, prior to legalization, of course, keeping a single shred of paper was probably not a good idea. Right. And, uh, because it was illegal and paper trails were not the sound of mind and okay. Then was suddenly asked the cost to keep every piece of paper for full transparency. And, uh, you know, move all the way through, you know, to show transparency and traceability and where's everything going? And that was, it's very easy for a child safety seat manufacturer. Um, you know, it's, it's kind of pallets, as you say, right.

Speaker 1: Um, so, you know, everything's tested, everything's got to be right, you know, baby products. So one of the most litigious fields going, so everything has to be right. um, and okay, to then relate this back to cannabis, we're asking people to run the gamut from, from being in the, the legal situation of not keeping any traceability whatsoever to this full disclosure. You're asking a lot in a very short time, you know, for, um, for people to change their ways and, and, and move that fast so fast and anybody, let alone not a business person, even business people. That's right. Yeah. And, and so, um, you know, you could, you could well see that in many cases the outcome was a fail. And um, and then you saw it there on your doorstep. Yeah. RIght. Yes. Um, so, um, you know, eventually, uh, um, it took over the business and that was, I am, you know, a pretty interesting time because um, there was a reason bout of a conflict between those that were still sort of living in the pre legal world shadows.

Speaker 1: Yes. And, and not prepared, you know, to come out, some did and did a damn good job, but the majority did not. So some, and I think what you're saying, some were not interested in coming out, right? Yeah. Yeah, that's, I think very true because it was actually easier to slip back into the shadows and a lot actually ended up going back to California, etc. Or, or, or to other places in an illegal environment at the time and um, you know, so, so that's kind of what occurred and those, that stuck with it. I'm just had to, you know, run this ever, ever increasing. I'm tired of a compliance. To give you some idea, last year there were some hundred and 41 regulatory changes to the law in Colorado, in Colorado. Western Colorado. yeah. Yeah. And, and so, you know, that's, that's a tough call. it's a lot.

Speaker 1: Yeah. For any business. That's what, a once every other day. Yeah. Yeah. That's what it adds up to be. It's insane. Yeah, it is. So that's last year. Right. So we're, we'll get there between, you know, a 12, 84, 2009 and you know, up through the vote of a, of 2012. Yeah. Those three years. What were you doing? Well, I'm learning, learning a lot. This was a product that I was unfamiliar with the business side of it. I'm highly familiar businesses, business, the product itself, you know, no previous experience and so I'm very unfamiliar with it and I think, you know, some of the, the biggest things, um, to learn was, you know, a huge respect for the product medically and um, you, you gained that almost immediately. Yeah, right. Yeah. Um, you know, I saw and just some incredible things, some, um, sadly incredibly ill people and, and what it did for them literally ease the bank. Oh, it, it incredibly helped And symptoms to the point that they could, you know, perhaps function, etc. And um, those sorts of things. Um, you know, uh, uh, a pretty powerful when you see them myself and regardless of whether there's a five year fda study, um, you know, um, I saw my, I saw my own study and uh, you know, I'm convinced this is a man that knows life and death. You understand, see that this works. Exactly, exactly.

Speaker 1: And um, you know, no, I, I, I, you know, didn't need to be a, I don't think any further qualified, um, you know, they're at wells in front of me and uh, you know, I'd defy anybody to draw a different conclusion. And, and so once you kind of hit that epiphany, is that when you ramped up production, in other words, where did your internal mindset and the business kind of escalating, you know, where were those two lines crossing one, I think, and understanding that, you know, the product was a, um, more than, you know, just sort of recreationally smoking a doobie that there was a real, there was something real about it and okay, that was a big deal to me. Um, I felt that, you know, sooner or later a regulations will change and it's probably going to be lighter, but, uh, at the time that's what I felt and I felt that also there was actually a huge need for the product and of course that every manufacturer is dream is at genuine need as opposed to a want, right?

Speaker 1: That's what we prefer. And so I'm sure there's a want to, but um, it had, uh, a need associated with it that say the likes of alcohol does not. um, so, um, I felt very, very confident. I felt good about the product itself. And as, as a manufacturer, you need to believe in what you're doing, you know, and, and this has been kind of an average of all my businesses is that I need to enjoy them. I need to be happy in what I do and I need to sort of believe in what I do. And I believe that the money is actually a byproduct of what you do. That's fair. I'll take that point. But we're talking to the same guy that once kind of regulations, these overreaching regulations came into the dairy farming. You said, you know, so why don't you just say no, it wasn't regulation that came into the dairy farming.

Speaker 1: I'm forgiven me for ms dot hearing. No, no problem. But let me explain. It wasn't regulation, it was the lack of ability to personally control my destiny. How is that different than a 121 regulations in one year? Okay. I still have the ability to control my destiny and okay, I get to still sell the product. Now I couldn't sell the dairy product. The New Zealand dairy board sold that. It had to go through them. So there's a key difference. Yes. And then they told you a year later what you go for it. And okay. That to me was a huge difference. Regulation. Um, I don't really mind. It's a barrier to entry in the end and okay. um, it keeps the casual players out. You need to be, be robust and committed, you know, to something with high regulation. So, uh, you notice that these regulations, even in the beginning, you know, we're coming out. Yup. Um, so for instance, if we were talking about 2009, the ogden memo would have been out. Now we go to maybe 2011 cole memo one comes out, um, or even 2013 coal memo to comes out. How much did you pay attention to that? I would imagine a fair amount. Yes. Um, you know, It meant, um, you know, the cole memo that they took the dea surveillance cameras down from around my grow. Right? Um, you know, that was a significant change. You appreciated that moment, that. And that was, it was. Okay.

Speaker 1: So was that a further escalation up because now we're passing these kind of tent poles of, of where you were along the way of just now will ramp up more now, will ramp up more was at another. Well, you know, I think, you know, all of those things will little incremental feeds the, you know, cintas in the right direction. I think that we were constantly, I'm, I'm behind in understanding the scale of the market. I think you live in you yet, the fundamental that I never understood was how prolific the use of cannabis is in society, period. Regardless of what its use is full. We'll be at recreational and medical. Um, I, I didn't understand the level of ease of use and, and I, and I don't think anybody else did really either, um, for the fact that nobody initially, um, built large scale grows. We owe, built small and then continued to add to it as we felt were the edges of the market were, um, I believe that, you know, we've, we've sort of got there now and uh, we've approached that level but it's taken us many years to get this file. um, I want to point out the difference

Speaker 4: in the scale of your facility and any other facility that I've seen, at least in Colorado. Um, when did you, when was that inflection point? We, I, we, I think we talked about it in the, uh, in the tour as well, but where was the inflection point? Now I've got some regulations. Okay, good rules. I can use rules where, where did you say, all right, let's just keep, let's produce more and more and more. Well,

Speaker 1: I think, um, you know, as the, uh, back then the m, m, e, d, m sort of pama, gated further regulation and I think that brought stability to the industry and um, you know, the regulation had a very positive effect and sort of giving guidelines and, and understanding where the boundaries were and it sort of help sort of formulate the basics of, of how to build the industry at the time. Certain things that could, that forced you in, in given directions. For example, vertical integration, you know, was mandatory, so you had to own your own grow and, and your own dispensary. Now

Speaker 4: when that rule came down and you very quickly had to go ahead and change things over, um, you've talked to me about the fact that you're, you know, production first, which certainly makes sense. Uh, whAt thought process went through your mind at the time? Was that it? Was this an annoyance at the time and then you realized, oh, wait a second.

Speaker 1: No. um, um, I was definitely in favor of, uh, uh, of being vertically integrated and respect that that's the most efficient supply chain, um, possible possible. And that's what I was doing in previous business. So I understood the model very, very well and it was the most, um, it fell in your lap. Exactly. And I felt back then when a retail prices were twice to three times what they are today, that, you know, one day soon your cost of goods is actually going to be very, very important just as it is when you supply walmart and okay,

Speaker 4: extremely important when you supply walmart that's right to the penny to the penny.

Speaker 1: And so, um, it would be necessary to really concentrate, you know, upon our production costs. Um, and the only way to do that is to add a little bit of scale where you can amortize a lot of, especially then, um, a lot of our costs with fee based on the med it, everything else was fee based. So of course the more production You amortize the theo over, uh, you know, down down comes the cost of goods. So, um, you know, we had to get to that point, it was, it was five times harder than it should have been because at the time, no legitimate supplier would even do business with us, you know, I was having um, various products delivered to my house because they refused to even deliver to our manufacturing facility. That'S how weird it was. Right. And as people became a little more familiar with the industry and the various memos and things like that came out and, and, and there was sort of stability sort of evolved.

Speaker 1: I'm that began to loosen up as that loosened up and more legitimate supply companies would talk to us. Um, we had a better product available is as a support industry the. But when we sort of started this, there was no support industry whatsoever. Even though you had a reputation as a manufacturer. Yeah, totally different. I, I, I did manage to trade upon that once or twice, but soon as the m word came out, uh, usually the phone would be put down, click in urea, forget it. BuT yeah, enjoy, have fun with that. Yes. So yes, it was just way more difficult than it is today to establish the business. All right, so let's catch up to today. Uh, don't use vote in 2012. What does that do to your mindset? I'm actually initially, um, I voted against recreational cannabis. You're the one on one and I, well, yeah, that's the why part.

Speaker 1: And um, the white pat was that I'd felt that we had made really good progress medically and then hot on the tails. It was, it was. I felt too soon we were almost throwing it in the face of the fed, you know, and I've just written these very nice memos, why would we go ahead and do this? And I felt that that was an antagonistic move on, on our behalf and which the activists will agree with that I had more to risk at the time than the activists or actual money by then, you know, with several million dollars invested in a, in a large growing facility and then retail, etc. And so, um, you know, it was, you know, we really had at that time, money on the line and I felt it just needed to wait a couple of more years, you know, it would happen.

Speaker 1: I agreed in it happening. I understand it just not on that date. And, but then it did happen on an okay. Well, you know, as, as a believer in democracy the next morning I said, well, the people spoke, dragged you in. I tried to get out. They keep dragging me back in. That's right. And so, um, you know, well, the people spoke so, uh, I guess we're gonna have to get on with it. So, uh, you know, um, uh, you know, of course here we are. So, um, recreational, you know, in the end, uh, you know, in retrospect, um, you know, the voters got it right. Yeah. Um, and I was wrong. And um, you know, um, that sort of all the risk to it, um, you know, we got away with it federally. Um, I feel that, um, you know, but there was a risk, um, but, but here we are and um, you know, I believe the great experiment has worked rather well in Colorado.

Speaker 1: Um, you know, if you sort of take a look around, it certainly has spurred the economy. Um, although it's very difficult to get too many politicians come out in favor of what it's done for tourism or, or anything like that. Um, but the other thing is too, that, you know, of course, you know, I remember the first absolute crazy screaming, um, of um, what was going to happen on halloween and of course, you know, all the children would be poisoned, the cetera, et cetera. It was this horrific thing going to happen and everybody was going to buy 20 or $30 candies and each and give them to children and, you know, um, which has been represented in human behavior. Never. But go on. Yeah, exactly. Um, but it was going to happen. I'm a course, you know, it, it didn't. And um, you know, um, I feel that they, you have social responsibility.

Speaker 1: In other words, society is growing up enough to handle this without being stupid and okay, that's it. That's a major deal. And then of course, the following halloween, nothing happened and I think we've gone through three of them now. Heavenly and uh, here we have two of them, but go on as far as don't use 14 and 15, is that right? Yeah. So the bottom lIne is though, that we're not seeing the wheels drop off a recreationally, um, you know, a hundred people can die this week from alcohol abuse, of course, and probably will, um, if there's one minor cannabis incident, it'll make the front page of the newspaper because we know there will be no deaths. Right? And, but those, even those scenes are not occurring. And what, as I said, it comes back to the fact that, um, society appears to be mature enough to handle it. Do you,

Speaker 4: you said something very interesting to me. So you're a successful business leader there. You just lined up, you've just explained to us how that is the case. Of course I was asking the questions. You weren't, there was no braggadocio, uh, which is, uh, learn a word I learned from reggie jackson, but again, that's a whole different thing. John. John, you said I was wrong. That was that. And very few business leaders, very few leaders nowadays really do that. Have you noticed that the people just don't admit that they're wrong?

Speaker 1: Um, you know, I, uh, uh, I like not to be a incorrect too often, but I'm more than happy to wear it. It, it, it, the buck stops at my desk and that's all there is to it.

Speaker 4: So the buck stops here. That's a teddy roosevelt quote and thank you. welcome to America again. Yeah, right. Um, but in all seriousness, as far as business leaders are concerned, as far as leaders, full stop, what is that? Because I don't think buck stops with, with me is teddy roosevelt. So at least at the turn of the other century, 1900, uh, there was a guy that believed it, that has fallen away. It feels like I'm, I'm asking you to wax philosophical about leadership in general in the 21st century. Sure.

Speaker 1: actually, um, you know, it's, it's something that I've grown into I think with gray here and um, you know, I'm better than I was, but I'm not as good as I want to be. I think this way the song goes or something like that, I'm not sure. Okay. But that's more about me than you. So, um, but I do believe in gaining experience in it and, and how we've set this company is we've invested heavily in our staff. I really do believe in them. Um, we have, um, um, a little bit of gray haired senior management and then I, whole lot of, of millennial youth and vigor and what that requires on is a huge amount of more than anything else, mentorship and um, I see my role as a mentor within the company. um, and uh, that's how I, I really try hard to come across for our staff.

Speaker 1: We have the energy, I don't have to supply this vast amount of energy anymore and, and indeed getting older cannot. Right, right. But that kind of a little bit of been there and done that at the right time really helps. Um, you know, I believe that most meetings on the, hopefully the dumbest one in the room that we've, we've hired, right? We have mentored, right with trained right and okay, you know, I want to be the dumb one at the meeting and by that way that company will grow, um, I won't then be uh, the buffalo nick in our company. I believe those managers or owners that don't get that part have limited their own growth of, of the company. they have stifling their own companies. So it's very important to perhaps keep, um, you know, the overall goals and direction in mind and, and all of that good stuff, but had heavier the rest of the company buy into that.

Speaker 1: Um, and then show you're as good as you would, um, you know, do the things that you say that you will and I think is very, very important so that, you know, there's a level of trust within the company. Um, and then, um, you know, if we screw up and we will admit your mistakes and learn by them, those, that's the preparation to a failure so that we can take the failure. Yep, and learn by it and not do it again. There we go. Your face changes every time you talk about your employees, it's almost like you're going to cry. I'm not kidding. Do you know that you care about those people? I don't know. I mean, you and I don't know each other very well. Yeah. Um, it's, it's the key to any successful company. Um, you know, I do care. Um, and uh, I've always, uh, I've always kid from my staff.

Speaker 1: I feel that, um, we all bring something separate to a business and be you, be you the janitor or be the boss. You bring that piece and it's the, it's the combined total that makes a company and um, it's a good thing to remain a humble and that and for that, you know, the company will grow and everybody benefits from it. Um, so, you know, you've created a, um, an organism that have all the pieces, um, and we all bring these little separate tenants in and then it's a matter of doing the conducting, you know? So yeah, there's a phrase that we use which is business is personal and in the face of, well, well it's not personal, it's just business now businesses pistol. It really, really is. And um, I think um, for those that put it another way, oh, it's just business they can mix and very uncaring decisions. Um, and I think that, you know, for, for me, uh, if we're making decisions, each decision has to be born of the white that is 550 families out there that get, you know, trying to pay mortgages and cars and, and brenton food on the table. So I'm a bad decision, you know, is, is, is jusT not an option. Um, it's going to affect, you know, 500 lives out there,

Speaker 4: least your employees. Yes. Right. Uh, that's pretty good stuff. John, I really appreciate just talking to you. I think we're up to the final three questions. Oh, so I'm going to tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. Okay. They are. What has most surprIsed you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life? And then on the soundtrack of john lord's life, what is one track, one song that must be on there, so that leads to be the hardest or the easiest. So what, uh, so now you just went through the fact that you're not a cannabis guy. This is not a guy that was selling weed in college or whatever. What has most surprised you in cannabis?

Speaker 1: I think the biggest thing is being definitely the medical aspect of the product that has been by far the biggest surprise that yeah, it's not just weed, it is medicine. Um, and then a second to that, as I said, as I mentioned previously, was actually the level of use within society. Yeah. It's kind of almost everybody type of thing. YeAh, right. Yeah. It's every type of person. defInitely. Definitely. If you took a profile of our customer at the demographic of our customer, it's just incredible. Um, I um, you know, struggle, um, you know, to sort of put them into a box and say, this is our customer because, you know, you'll, you'll walk to the dispensary and there's some young, perhaps dreadlocked 21 year old holding the door open for a little old lady walking in with a cane and it's an incredible thing to see because they're both smiling the way they are and an extremely respectful to each other. You know, it's, it's, it's cool to see. It really is. Yeah.

Speaker 4: Uh, so, okay. So that's cannabis. What has most surprised you in life?

Speaker 1: And the fact that I've never been able to predict it. Um, you know, it's been, it's been an exciting life. Um, and one with so many changes that uh, um, that's been the cool part of it. Um, iT, you know, it's never gotten boring. Would 15 year old john lord standing on the dairy farm, what would he think? I'm, he had his big dreams. Um, you know, he was always gonna go and do big things and, and that was all the welds to it, but he had

Speaker 3: no idea. Okay. That's all there is to it. Well, because he was 15. Yeah. Yeah. That's the funny thing about that 10 year olds, you know.

Speaker 1: Um, um, it, it, it has been, it's been a, it's been exciting. It's been good fun. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And you said that with a smile and that is fantastic. And so the final question on the soundtrack of john lord's life, one track one song that's got to be on there. What are we going to do? We're here. She, you know, she comes from a land down under. No, that's Australia. So let's just quickly do Australia, New Zealand. Explain if, if someone doesn't know what the relationship is between New Zealand and Australia, just a sum it up for us. It's two brothers fighting. Absolutely now. But most people from either country don't know that, right? I mean, no,

Speaker 1: I think they do it. It's very interesting. Um, Australia and New Zealand. I'm lost. I'm the highest number per capita in both wwe and wwe. Um, mainly because we were under the command of the british.

Speaker 3: It was like, okay, he's gone over the top first. Those guys, the guys from the antibodies went over first and so, um,

Speaker 1: when you take, um, australians and new zealanders anywhere else in the world away from their own sports fields, um, as I said, they're like two brothers, they will stand there back to back. RIght. And um, and so, um, there's a great deal though of camaraderie within that and that comes back to just the monumental sports matches and coach new zealand's number one.

Speaker 3: Well, let's talk about roadmap for a second. So, so how much better is New Zealand at rugby then? Australia, right? Just give us a taste of that. Oh look, you know, it's, it's difficult to draw a comparison, but, you know, it's almost not even the same, right? The fact that, you know, it's usually the tour and the final list that says it all around the world that says it all. Yeah. Yeah. So to say, nothing of South Africa by the way. Three nations. Uh, all right. So, so the song, we've, we've put it off long enough, john. Oh, you know, I'm at these times. You meant to come up with a stroke of brilliance and I absolutely can't, you know, um, you know, I suppose there's only one thing left and you know, it'd have to be. I did it my way. See, that's a good one. That's a, that's a good one. That's frank sinatra. Yes. Do you know who wrote that? No. Paul anka. Alright. You wouldn't believe it. It's true. Now, do you know the, uh, have you? I'm sure you know elvis, right? Yes. So there's an elvis live from

Speaker 4: Hawaii. Right? And so this was telecast around the globe, uh, live right at the time, 70, whatever. And he does a version of my way which rivals and I feel it's my people asked for me for some people, rivals the frank sinatra version. That's all set. Yeah. And then of course, and then I'm done. But then of course there's the, uh, sid vicious version of my wife from the sex pistols. Do you know, do you know about this? Oh my god. Are you know who the sex pistols? Yeah. Yeah. So you've got your punk rock roots in there. I just, after we're done here, what we'll do is I'll put that on and uh, I'm sure that you're going to love it. Oh, I'll move over and get on with a new thing. John. Lord, thank you so much. Thank you very much. Thank you sir. And there you have john lord.

Speaker 2: So, you know, that's the real deal. He's doing a tremendous amount of business with the number of dispensers that he does have and a growth plans are in the works. Very much appreciate john's time. Very much appreciate your time. Would love one more minute of it. At survey.libsyn.com/canada economy, If you don't mind.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.