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Ep.163: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.163: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution

Ep.163: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution

If you want policy, we’ve got policy- John Hudak from the 100 year old Brookings Institution joins us. John shares his thoughts on everything from the past and present overall global economy, rescheduling and Brexit- A note- this was recorded at the NCIA Summit, just prior to the Brexit vote and the June job numbers which were very good.
And for good measure, we throw in a yang to John’s yin with an introview with one of last years CannAwards winners, Remo.  First up is Remo and then John Hudak puts you wise, he a policy guy.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: John Hudak, if you want policy, we've got policy. John Hudak from the 100 year old Brookings Institution joins us. John shares his thoughts on everything from the past and present overall global economy, rescheduling and brexit. A note this was recorded at Ncia summit just prior to the Brexit vote and the June jobs numbers, which were very good and for good measure. We throw in a Yang to John's been with an interview with one of last year's can awards winners, Raylon. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the word economy. As you might know, nominations for the third annual can awards are open on and celebrating innovation and leadership by nominating those deserving a can of woodstock. The early bird deadline is August first. First up is Ramo and John Hudack. Alright, so. So here we are.

Speaker 2: Uber's Ramo. It's only audio, but he looks exactly like a looks exactly like it does, doesn't the picture. I look even better in real life. Actually. It's true and I probably sound better on radio. You do sound better on radio. Cool. Yeah. So you know you have a big presence not only in Canada but actually in the U. S as well, right? Apparently we do. I guess youtube is far reaching and actually global. We started selling our product in Canada and he's tried selling it the United States and globally and we're in our second year of business and we sell more product out of Canada than in Canada. It kind of blows my mind, but I blamed population for that. I look at America and Canada were 36 million people. America is 350 million people. It. It's just staggering. So that's where the people that. Right. That. That is where the people's at without question.

Speaker 2: As far as the nutrients, what do you think the magic is? The magic. A lot of his intent. You know Dr Emoto is. No. Okay. Dr Emoto was Japanese science scientists and what he's discovered is that water has memory and can actually take on positive and negative vibrations. And I tried this with my plants, I tried to supply nutrients, but what he's discovered is if you were to put like he has something called, you can look this up on Youtube, this will blow your mind. He did this thing called the doctor Emoto rice experiment and a lot of people have done this experiment. You'll see this over it, thousands of times on Youtube and what it does if you boil some rice and you're going to love this, but this is real life. It boils it and the same water. And then he separates it into a, sometimes two or three piles depending on what you want to do, works with two.

Speaker 2: And you put it into containers and labeled one container with positive words. And you label the second one with negative words. And what you do is you check on them every couple of days and see what's happening. And what you'll see in these, uh, videos over and over and over again is that the ones with the positive words, they don't decompose. They seem to do stay relatively white. But the ones with the negative words like, I mean, you're talking death hate, you know, just even bad word, you know, real estate backwards in the air here. Sure. You know, like fuck her, you know, just negative stuff be really negative. It starts to go green and black. And uh, so what I tried doing is after I seen this video is that I tried to my plants and we put a positive words on the plants and I didn't try and negative words because I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot, but we noticed over the control group we actually got healthier plants and a little more yield.

Speaker 1: John Hudak, if you want policy, we've got policy. John Hudak from the 100 year old Brookings Institution joins us. John shares his thoughts on everything from the past and present overall global economy, rescheduling and brexit. A note this was recorded at Ncia summit just prior to the Brexit vote and the June jobs numbers, which were very good and for good measure. We throw in a Yang to John's been with an interview with one of last year's can awards winners, Raylon. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the word economy. As you might know, nominations for the third annual can awards are open on and celebrating innovation and leadership by nominating those deserving a can of woodstock. The early bird deadline is August first. First up is Ramo and John Hudack. Alright, so. So here we are.

Speaker 2: Uber's Ramo. It's only audio, but he looks exactly like a looks exactly like it does, doesn't the picture. I look even better in real life. Actually. It's true and I probably sound better on radio. You do sound better on radio. Cool. Yeah. So you know you have a big presence not only in Canada but actually in the U. S as well, right? Apparently we do. I guess youtube is far reaching and actually global. We started selling our product in Canada and he's tried selling it the United States and globally and we're in our second year of business and we sell more product out of Canada than in Canada. It kind of blows my mind, but I blamed population for that. I look at America and Canada were 36 million people. America is 350 million people. It. It's just staggering. So that's where the people that. Right. That. That is where the people's at without question.

Speaker 2: As far as the nutrients, what do you think the magic is? The magic. A lot of his intent. You know Dr Emoto is. No. Okay. Dr Emoto was Japanese science scientists and what he's discovered is that water has memory and can actually take on positive and negative vibrations. And I tried this with my plants, I tried to supply nutrients, but what he's discovered is if you were to put like he has something called, you can look this up on Youtube, this will blow your mind. He did this thing called the doctor Emoto rice experiment and a lot of people have done this experiment. You'll see this over it, thousands of times on Youtube and what it does if you boil some rice and you're going to love this, but this is real life. It boils it and the same water. And then he separates it into a, sometimes two or three piles depending on what you want to do, works with two.

Speaker 2: And you put it into containers and labeled one container with positive words. And you label the second one with negative words. And what you do is you check on them every couple of days and see what's happening. And what you'll see in these, uh, videos over and over and over again is that the ones with the positive words, they don't decompose. They seem to do stay relatively white. But the ones with the negative words like, I mean, you're talking death hate, you know, just even bad word, you know, real estate backwards in the air here. Sure. You know, like fuck her, you know, just negative stuff be really negative. It starts to go green and black. And uh, so what I tried doing is after I seen this video is that I tried to my plants and we put a positive words on the plants and I didn't try and negative words because I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot, but we noticed over the control group we actually got healthier plants and a little more yield.

Speaker 2: So I'm, Hey, I took this a step further. We've made a nutrient company with these, uh, with his positive intent. I don't think intent is everything. There you go. Intent is everything. I agree with you there. As far as youtube is concerned. You mentioned that. Do you think that that's a one of your secrets as far as marketing? I mean, Kinda everybody knows Ramo, right? That's our marketing sledgehammer. It's pretty real. Uh, there's not many nutrient companies where you have the owner of the new nutrient company grows on plants, show you the plants, come out and smoke them with you even, and you know, we shoot all our video in four K, which is extreme high resolution, and if there's problems with the plants, you would see them instead. This is what you see. You see the best, healthiest, and happiest moment you've ever seen in your life.

Speaker 2: You see tons of crystal. It's awesome. It is awesome. And what I came to Canada this time, uh, with was an understanding that a, you guys are federally regulated, everything's Fine, no problems, uh, 43 dispensary closings later. I learned a few lessons here. What are your, what's your sense of the Canadian market and what's happening? Well, you know what, I'm kind of baffled. I'm blown away actually because in other Canadian cities, such as Vancouver, Victoria for nine years, they've tried, uh, you know, working with the city and they've got a bit of a regulatory structure in place and they're allowing licensed dispensaries. And what you know, Toronto should have done is maybe adapt the same thing because what's happened here is what an lp has and what a dispensary of the surface and it supplies are two different things for one thing, when you buy from an LP, and I'm not against Lps, you know, I'm for legalization of cannabis and I'm for access anyway.

Speaker 2: Anybody can get it. But Hey man, this is the one thing where I think the dispensary does have a huge advantage, is the consultation. You can go and talk to a bud tender and they're going to tell you exactly what the cannabis is for and they'll help you to the best of your ability as well. You can take a look at that, but you can physically see it. You could smell it, you can smell the turpines. And that's huge when you get a package in the mail. It's kind of like a crapshoot. It's complete mystery. Furthermore, when something goes into the mail, and I don't think it should be delivered in the mail, should be delivered in a milk like a milk truck that's climate controlled. Or even they can, uh, deliver medication to the pharmacy. It's an armored car that's climate controlled. So you don't lose any Europeans, in our case for cannabis.

Speaker 2: Sure. In the case of medicine, it doesn't go bad or spoiled, right? But it should be the same way because if you have some candidates that's been put into the mail and it sat in the mail truck and 120 degrees for 10 hours, that's going to kind of spoil it. Or it freezes or you don't know if it's been run over, squished, mangled. You don't know. But if you step into a cannabis dispensary, you watch that bud tender, load it into your bag and he personally gives it to you and you walk out with it. Uh, you know, a good solution would be this because these lps, they want customers. And guess what? These dispensaries have them. So why don't they just work together? Like, is this like total common sense? I'm not the only one that says, I know you see this to seth.

Speaker 2: That's exactly right. I'm going to ask you three final questions because everybody's walking by and kind of wave until you and you're shaking hands. Three final questions. We ask everybody. I'll ask them in order and then I'll tell you what they are. Trick questions. They are not trick questions. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack of Ramos Life? What is one song? One track that's got to be on there. First things first. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What's the most? What? What has most surprised you in cannabis? You know what? What's most surprised being cannabis is how cool people are. I traveled globally and people are always so cool. They let me try their cannabis to show me their gardens. And you know, when I first started growing cannabis, it wasn't like that.

Speaker 2: I started in the eighties and people didn't tell each other. They had gardens. They didn't share genetics. They certainly didn't make videos or take pictures or, or anything was too afraid of getting busted because of prohibition. But what's happened? Uh, actually I think I helped start it. I started taking pictures and posting them and making videos and putting them on youtube and you know, at the beginning when I started doing it, people hid from the camera and you know what's happened is, is a complete one 80, like the first time I went to Amsterdam, I remember I went to the coffee shop and they weren't down with. The cameras were not down. Fast forward to today, everybody whips out, their cameras are doing selfie pictures are taken, a little videos. It's just accepted now. I'm glad I helped create that. I know I helped make that change that that was the big surprise.

Speaker 2: But you know how cool people are globally about cannabis. If you're a cannabis smoker, you are a brother with another cannabis smokers somewhere else in the world. You have something in common that you know, even if there's a language barrier, you're there. You know what I mean? And it's totally cool in that. Totally surprised me with cannabis. There you go. What about a life? What's most surprised you in life? What's most surprised you in life? Well, the biggest surprise is if you do what you love and you truly chased that dream down, it will reward you so you don't do what you love. And I love cannabis and that's why I grow it. And that's why I created this company is because of love. There we go. It all is based in love. What about the song? The one song that's got to be on the soundtrack of Ramos' life. Go. I like, I like many, many songs. Um, Geez. You're stumping me or I'm a bit of a metal head from the eighties. So you know what, and you can probably relate it to. How old are you? 40. Okay. I'm 46, so we're pretty close in age. In the eighties when I grew up, I listen to a lot of iron maiden. I have long hair, so it's the iron maiden, the trooper. Go put it on right now. Ramos. Thanks so much. Thanks Seth.

Speaker 1: This episode is also supported by Focus. Focus is working on independent and international standards while offering third party certification for cannabis businesses. The foundation of cannabis unified standards helps build your business into the best it can be, focuses not a regulatory agency, so they don't engage in enforcement. Rather the organization has in place to help improve operational efficiencies, decrease operating expenses, and ultimately increased profit focus will help you build your business in a sustainable way. Guarding against risk and liability while protecting your Ip. Go to focus standards.org. All right, so, uh, so here

Speaker 3: we are. We've got John who deck from which I love to say, by the way, it's a great last name on it. Unless you're in New Orleans, if you're, if you're in New Orleans, it's a really lousy last name. Why is that? Well, the saints who dat. Yeah. So every time I show an ID, which is decreasingly, I need to thank God, but every time I have to show an id, I guess, who'd at screamed at me? So it's, uh, everywhere else. It's a fine last name though. John Hudack the Brookings Institution. Correct. As we just discussed, not the Brookings Institute. Um, and you guys have been around for a couple of years, right? One hundred years this year. Oh, happy anniversary. Thank you. And how long have you been with brookings? It'll be four years next month. Okay. So we're at this wacky cannabis show. What the hell are you doing here? So a cannabis policy was not what I have had a lifelong dream to do.

Speaker 3: I can honestly say that, uh, my background is in political science. Uh, the, I uh, went to graduate school for that and uh, I do a lot of work on the presidency. So this is also a busy year for that I've noticed. Yeah. Yeah, there's something going on. I hear what the presidency this year. Uh, so I do work on campaigns and elections and then the real nitty gritty sexy side of government, which is regulation, bureaucracy, organization, personnel, things like that. And uh, back in 2012, late in 2012, probably October, a colleague of mine comes down to my office, plops down in the chair and he says, have you ever thought about doing research on marijuana? And I said, I can, I can say for sure, absolutely not. And he said, well, you know, the states might legalize them the next couple of weeks and they're going to have this huge bureaucratic apparatus.

Speaker 3: They're going to have to build pretty much from scratch. They're going to be dealing with all these new questions that they've never had to deal with before. And there's some really serious governance issues that are going to be around that. The department I work in it brookings is called governance studies and that's mostly what we focus on governance and politics. And he said, no one's asking questions about governance around this are all coming at it from public health or advocacy or, or, you know, criminal justice perspectives. He said, I think you have a real opportunity to clear some, you know, clear some foliage in this space. So I said, well, let me look at it. I knew Washington and Colorado were voting, but I didn't know anything about the initiatives. I really didn't know much about what was going on. And so the more I looked at it, the more interested I got.

Speaker 3: And I thought, you know, I've got a lot of questions I can ask here that are not a huge departure. The policy area is a huge departure from what I've looked at in the past, but the basic questions we're not, and the more I read, the more I got interested in, the more I did research on it, the more questions I had, which is a goldmine for a researcher. Right? I'm the worst. It's been, yeah, it's absolute heaven. And the more states that legalize, the more these issues, uh, you know, go further. The more questions that pop up just naturally, not just in my mind, but what government has to deal with or is only going to increase over time. And so it's a, it's a study, it's a steady flow of information, a steady flow of questions and pretty good work. I'll tell you.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, thanks for being here. Of course. My pleasure. Uh, as far as, let's go back to you mentioned 2014. Um, and let's just jump in as far as policy is concerned. You know, we had amendment 64 and we had five. Oh, two in Washington, was there anything immediately apparent to you and the difference between the way that these things were coming to the ballot? So they were coming to the ballot in, in fairly similar ways. Similar groups were, we're backing them. They were dealing on the ground with a lot of the same sorts of issues. You had parents groups, you had law enforcement and you had a statewide and local government officials vehemently opposed in both places. Uh, you had a reasonably well funded campaign. Uh, you had a pretty professional campaign in both places, but then on the pro side there were divisions as well.

Speaker 3: There were people who were very traditional in the movement who voiced concerns about what this was going to look like. You had medical patients who are concerned that adult use who's going to take over and essentially displace them. You had people who looked at the initiative and said, no, this is imperfect. I think. I think we can do better. And so both in Washington and in Colorado, they had to go through the motions of trying to work with these groups, which I think they didn't. Obviously they didn't a very effective way, but also it was, I think a maturation point in the movement, uh, unlike any other because it was the first time that in a very serious way the movement came out. There's not from holy an advocacy point of view, but primarily from a political point of view. They ran that like they would rent, run any other political operation initiative process campaign that they did it in an intelligent way by messaging, by having the right communication staff, by having the right lobbyists, by doing focus groups.

Speaker 3: And ultimately that's how you win initiatives. Not by hoping and praying and knowing that you're right. Um, uh, but you win it by, you know, getting a lot of funding and then, and then devising a plan that has been shown to be successful in other spaces. I don't know how specific you want to get, but as far as 64, we've done a lot of talking with the folks that made that happen. Sure. What, what are the specific things that you noticed that they did well? Uh, that made it happen. You, you, you're talking about the bifurcation of, uh, we're, we're not just activists were actually a political apparatus and we're going to get this to happen. We give us specifics that you noticed. Sure. So I think having the organization that, uh, places like MPP, Vicenta Cedarburg and others brought to the table which included people who were grassroots activists, but we're also communications professionals.

Speaker 3: It was important to stay on message, but it was also important not to have just one message, one of the most magnificent things I think about, um, uh, a 64 [inaudible] and even initiative 71 in Washington DC was the people running those campaigns came to them by saying, you know, we have a lot of ways to connect with people and we have to make sure that those messages are going to the right people. And you know, it's 2016. So we're in a presidential campaign right now. What the Clinton campaign is going to say to voters in Florida is probably going to be a little different than what she says to voters in Wisconsin. Not because she's flip flopping, but just because they care about different things. Other states are in different places economically, politically, and so you target your message to your audience and a lot of times advocacy organizations who are running initiative drives fail to do that.

Speaker 3: They say, well, here's how we think about this issue and so here's how you should think about this. I totally agree with us because we know we're right. Exactly. And that's the fast track to failure. And so when you have communications professionals who are running and pollsters, so there was a lot of polling done around those two initiatives, particularly in Colorado, but also in Washington where they were asking people, you know, what, you think about this and why that's the most important thing is not just support or oppose, but why do you support or why do you oppose? And so you start targeting what you say to a libertarian is different than what you say to a millennial who's clearly an illicit market user or in Colorado, a gray market user. If they're in the medical system for recreational purposes, what you say to, um, you know, a white soccer mom is different than what you say to a black single mother.

Speaker 3: Um, these are all very dynamic. The most fascinating thing for me about marijuana is just how many different areas of policy it touches on and how many different issues that engages. And that's not true necessarily or it, it doesn't happen because of something unique about marijuana. It's because policy in our politics cuts that way. People think about things in very different ways. And so the initiatives were successful in the initiative initiative drivers were successful because they recognize that and then they just, you know, worked hard in that sounds like a silly throwaway line, but they were every day trying to stay on message, reacting to what their opponents were saying, trying to exist in this space where everything institutional was stacked against them and they just kept trucking on going door to door, a running advertising and ultimately connecting with 55 percent of voters in each state.

Speaker 3: Yeah. A and big winds certainly at the time. And then they went to separate ways, Colorado, um, you know, had the commission from the governor and Washington went their own way as far as the policies and the regulations that they adopted and adapted. Um, you know, Washington is still in the process of changing their initial decisions. July first, you know, it's going to be a whole new game again. Um, what have you noticed about the, you know, as we've gone down the road, first off, Colorado, you know, adult use open January first 2014 and we had to wait until July first 2014 for, for Washington w. What have you noticed? What can you say? How do you compare the two states? Sure. The, the differences between the states happen for a lot of reasons. Um, first, uh, in Colorado they had a fully functioning medical marijuana market that had recently been reregulated.

Speaker 3: And by reregulated I mean actually regulated. It was the first time 1284 you're talking about? Yeah. And uh, in what they did was they set up a structure. I'm a really professionalized structure that helped industry, that helped regulators and really helped the transition into adult use and so initially in Colorado you had carve outs for existing medical producers to start supplying the recreational market. Washington didn't have a medical market, anything like that, so they were a bit behind the ball. Again, from an industry perspective, from a regulatory perspective in just in terms of the day to day implementation, you know, and I just want to jump in because the operators in Washington would say we certainly did, but your point is it wasn't regulated like it was in Colorado. Exactly. You didn't have a market that was as a fully functioning as the one in Colorado and you also didn't have one that I think the state was comfortable turning adult use over to initially and thus the delay and thus the, you know the lottery.

Speaker 3: Exactly. Precisely. Did not turn it over to those same players. That's right. And for good reason, I think both choices were right ones. And so everyone always asks, well, what's the best practice? What's the right model? Isn't the Colorado model? Is The Washington model? Well, these, these states are implementing in very different spaces with very different histories and so should medical entities have a carve out, should you not give metal medical entities a carve out one in the case of Colorado and Washington, both of them were right. So how are they both? Right? They're both right because they're coming from different places. And so, uh, the other, uh, differences that existed of course is that Colorado went the constitutional amendment route and that creates some benefits and some challenges for the state. The benefit of course is that it can't easily be tossed out. It requires another constitutional amendment, another initiative drive to toss it out in Washington initiative five, Oh, two amended state statute which allowed the legislature then to make further amendments as necessary.

Speaker 3: Um, that can create a, you know, a space in which change can be much easier, which can be beneficial or it can, it can be a real challenge depending on your perspective and depending on the issue. But, uh, it also meant that changes were more frequent in some cases in Washington they needed that. But I think in some cases it seems like the ray of reinventing the wheel pretty often. Uh, yeah, we'd like to say there are building the plane while flying it. I think that's right. So let's, uh, you know, I guess we're talking about adult use, so let's just keep going. Uh, we almost never talk about dc because, uh, it, why don't we ever talk about DC. Why don't we ask you, well, well DC doesn't get any love. It's not just a marijuana thing and no one cares about tc unless you want to come and they come in April and see the cherry blossoms are beautiful, which are beautiful.

Speaker 3: The tourists who come see them in droves or not. Um, but, uh, but as a resident, as a, as a resident, as someone who has to squeeze on a subway, car it at 8:00 AM and, and, and just think horrible things of the people supporting our city economically. Indeed. Um, but no, in terms of marijuana, it's a funny thing. A lot of people don't realize that DC has a fully functioning medical marijuana system that is a heavily regulated, is one that looks and feels a lot like other, uh, other systems and other states that you have grow operations that are, you know, a couple of miles from the White House, which I think is just a beautiful irony. And, uh, on the recreational side, we have this other situation and that is initiative 71 passed by voters in DC in November of 2014. It passed with the largest majority support of any, uh, uh, recreational initiative thus far in the nineties or eighties, 1966 percent.

Speaker 3: Oh, was almost, I thought it was better than that and um, it was, uh, but yeah, compared to the 55, 57 we've had elsewhere, it was, it was overwhelming support. We'll do. Yeah. And a DC operates in this odd space and they have a city council which functions effectively as a state legislature. Um, though it's small, but it also, it serves DC is governed by two masters, the city council, the District Council in Congress. And Congress has the ability to, uh, nullify any initiative or any law that a DC passes and the process by that is spelled out. They have a certain period of time, once an initiative passes or a, a, a, a law passes that they can buy a vote of both houses of Congress vote to disapprove and then it's gone. So there was worried that that would happen. But the problem of course, is that in order for that to happen, Congress has to do something.

Speaker 3: They don't do, do things too often in Congress. It would be one thing if they had to approve it, right? If I had to say, once you pass it, it only takes a fennec once we approve it. But this is a disapproval. And so people were fairly confident. Congress wasn't going to have the votes to overturn the will of, of district voters. But a congressman from Maryland named Andy Harris, he's a Republican, he's Maryland's only Republican. He inserted a provision into a spending bill that said that the district of Columbia could use no federal money to implement initiative 71. He thought this was a nice backdoor way, uh, to uh, you know, nullifying this initiative without actually nullifying it. The problem was for DC government, every dollar that they take in is considered federal money as soon as it comes into the coffers because it's a federal district.

Speaker 3: Um, so even the local sales tax that they collect instantly becomes federal money, so they couldn't use any tax money to do this. Um, and, and that was a challenge. The problem for representative Harris, of course, was this under DC law, or I'm sorry, under, under federal law, a DC cannot use the initiative process to create a regulatory structure. So the initiative legalized home grows and it legalized use and possession, but it didn't set up a regulatory system or a market illegally functioning market. I'm under the homegrown system. You can gift but you can't exchange for money. So the Harris Rider did the worst thing of all scenarios. That was, it left in place, what you didn't need federal money to enforce, which was a homegrown system. Um, and uh, use and possession system. But it for bade the district government from setting up a regulatory system or illegally functioning market.

Speaker 3: And so now you're in the pseudo legal space. I guess we're all in a pseudo legal space whenever you're talking about this, but particularly so in dc where you have the right to grow, the cops can't do anything about it and the district can't regulate any, uh, anything around it. The challenge of course is it stands beside a fully functioning and fully regulated medical market that the Congress has no problem with. And so, uh, it may be shocking, but in this case the congress was, I'm a bit hypocritical, I guess you have to be once a once in a 100 years and they will have to act to change. That is the whole problem. So the Harris writer was inserted again into subsequent spending bills and it continues to maintain. I'm, I'm actually shocked that it continues. The DC government is trying some creative ways to try to get around it.

Speaker 3: My guess is it's not gonna work too well for them. Uh, but eventually that provision will go away. And in DC we'll move forward. They were, you know, the DC government is one that is not the most well functioning institution in the U. S I, I will say, and they were really serious about this. So in October it was actually Halloween, I testified before the District Council on what a regulatory system should look like. They were being really proactive about it. They knew pretty far in advance that this was going to pass. They were pretty certain it was going to pass the polling suggested it, um, once the campaign really got going. And so they said, you know, what is soon within 30 days of passage, they wanted the district council to pass a full regulatory bill and they were moving in that direction and the Congress stop them in their tracks, but his is artists that government can, in the odd ways that it can function.

Speaker 3: They were being very efficient and very forward thinking on this and they were shut down by Congress, which is probably the least efficient and least forward thinking institution. We have a, I'll take you at your word. Um, so since we don't have a ton of time, we'll skip everything else. And we'll just go to where we are and if you don't mind, I'd love to talk to you again another time. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, let's talk about, uh, the ballot initiatives and uh, you know, November seventh. So what do you see? I don't want to, I don't want to place a question in front of you. I want you to tell me what you see in these ballot initiatives. Sure. So, um, you know, you see a lot of variation and that's a good thing. I think, you know, not every system looks the same even though a lot of the same organizations have really built several of them.

Speaker 3: They are, they're smart about how these systems need to be agile to the population, to the place, to the history, to the existing institutions that are there. Um, and again, that shows a real professionalization in the movement that is a laudable and not laudable. It should be laudable whether you're a supporter or an opponent of legalization that it's not a one size fits all that gets forced into a state. It's something that is a little responsive. And, and that's always a good thing. You see a initiatives in all different kinds of states. You see them in blue states, you see them in swing states, you see them in a, a reddish state in Arizona, which is going to be a swing state pretty soon as, especially with trump at the top of the ticket and what you see are drives that in most places have come about through descent discord within the movement, multiple a ballot initiatives early on, multiple signature drives early on.

Speaker 3: Uh, I heard Rob Kampia from the head of the marijuana policy project and speak at the conference yesterday and he said, anyone who tells you that any of these initiatives that are slam dunk, including California's is lying to you. And again, that's the right approach to take. Now, rob might go home and think, you know, okay, we've got a couple of slam dunks here, but let's not be public about it. He's got to raise the money and get people to the polls of course. But I think he was pretty genuine about that. Each state on the ballot this year for adult use, a Maine, Massachusetts, Arizona, Nevada, and California, all face unique challenges, all face very different demographic. Um, uh, a challenge, uh, challenges as well I guess. And uh, they also face with a couple of exceptions, absolute institutional opposition to these. I mean, there's not much that unites the mayor of Boston, the Attorney General of Massachusetts and the governor of Massachusetts.

Speaker 3: But this issue does. Yeah. Which is really weird though, right? For those are Democrats with the exception of the governor. Right. And why, what's happening there? It's just, I think a real fear that exists over this issue and it's not necessarily fear of the sky falling or you know, reefer madness style paranoia. I think it's entirely political. I think people are worried that this will come to their state, it will screw things up and they will pay the political costs and frankly, but where is the evidence of that, you know, now that we do have a legal cannabis being sold and you know, economies in place and years of history, what are they looking at? You know, so the evidence of that exists largely in the delusions, delusions of uninformed politicians. Um, I think the best case study on this for a politician is John Hickenlooper, right?

Speaker 3: Someone who was totally opposed to this, he probably could have been a little more activistic in his opposition than he was, but still when the governor comes out and says, don't do this, you know, that can carry some weight for some voters. And uh, that, that's tough. And, and so over time though he's looked at this and he has, you could hear his language changing very slowly and now he is proud of it. He speaks with some pride about what his State has done. Nearly a proponent. Yeah, exactly. And he's, I won't necessarily call them a supporter, but what he is a supporter of his, that his government, his administration did this well. Right? And so I think you look at it and you can say to a politician, you might not like weed or you might like weed, but you don't want people to know it, but you know, this is an opportunity for you to succeed where people think you can and it's actually not that hard to succeed in this space and you've got some models to look at.

Speaker 3: And so yeah, you from the government or regulatory a regulator's perspective. Exactly. Because the operators would, would tell you otherwise. Oh, I, I think that's right. But in terms of, uh, you know, combating the concerns that exist that children are going to start using, there's going to be Dui ds, everyone's going to be dying on our highways, the schools are going to be loaded with marijuana because you might not know this, but there's no marijuana in any school, in any place in the United States. Nor has there ever have been. Never has been. Yeah. Children just don't smoke marijuana in an illegal states. And so, um, and by that you mean teens? Yes, exactly. Yeah. Um, but once, once recreational marijuana comes all ages, they just pass them out in the nursery. And so you look at this as sarcasm, just for anyone that's entirely a sarcastic.

Speaker 3: And so the, uh, uh, you look at these states and you think, why aren't you more like ave some who addressed this conference yesterday who said, you know, Lieutenant Governor of California, Lieutenant Governor of California who said, you know, I've had essentially a come to Jesus moment. I see the benefits of this. I know it exists in the state and a pretty serious way. Let's do this. Right? And he's, you know, he's frankly, um, put himself on the line on this, recognizing that he has the opportunity to do it right. And I would encourage elected officials in other states to do this. I will say I've worked with a couple of state senators in Nevada, uh, one of whom is a pretty significant, uh, marijuana supporter, a marijuana legalization supporter. The other is a Republican and she's not a, her name is Patty Farley. She's a state senator from, uh, the from southern Nevada.

Speaker 3: She's not an activist. She's not, you know, a long time a marijuana reforms supporter. She is someone who recognizes that this is going to come to her state probably this year, but certainly in the future. And she says, you know, I just want this to be the safest, most effective system we can get it. It's people like Patty Farley, it's people like Gavin newsome who are models of what an elected should be like in this space because they understand that this issue is about more than marijuana. It's about government functioning. Well, and from the Brookings Institution, that's our perspective. We don't take an institutional position on whether legalization is right or wrong, what we do and what my work does and some of my colleagues work does. It says if you're going to pass this, you may as well get it right. And so, um, that is uh, how we operate and it's a, I think how the better elected officials operate as well.

Speaker 3: And so I'll let everyone know. The, uh, lights just shut down in the room that we were in and it, you didn't blink an eye, you just continued, you finished your point, which was a, which was a good one. And here's the, uh, here's what I'm taking from you. I'm here. We have an industry here, we have policy here, we have governance. Let's just do that. Yeah. Um, so that'll bring us to, and there's so much more to talk about it, but again, we're limited on time. So, uh, we, we must get your point of view. You mentioned Arizona as potentially purple. Let's say. Um, how do you approach this, uh, um, this very interesting, uh, election? So the presidential election, dean, um, it's, it's a really interesting time for us. I think you look at the two candidates and one of the candidates, a Clinton was the one we were certain would be running the whole time and would get the nomination.

Speaker 3: And the other is the guy who no one ever thought would get as far as he did. You know, Clinton has a lot of vulnerabilities as a candidate and as an individual. And I think there were a lot of Republicans who were very eager to take her on with the Republican Party did was they nominated the single worst person to run against her. Um, you know, Clinton has a p, people criticize Clinton for a variety of reasons, but I think the Republican playbook this year was going to focus on three things in particular. One was that Clinton was old, that she was rich and that she was too connected to Wall Street. And so in place of that, Republicans nominated someone older, wealthier and more connected to Wall Street. And so it sort of undermines the playbook. I think any Republican would have had a tough time this year when, when you look at the race and you look at the map that Barack Obama had in 2012, which was a falloff from his performance in 2008, Hillary Clinton can replicate the Obama Map in 2012 from 2012, but she can lose Florida, Ohio, Nevada, and Iowa.

Speaker 3: And still be precedent. A really? Yes. That's, that's remarkable. That's a remarkable advantage for Democrats pair with that, that this nation is less white than it was four years ago in order to beat Clinton, the Republican nominee would have had to not just perform better than Mitt Romney or frankly up to what Barack Obama did in 2012, uh, among different demographic groups. The Republican nominee would have to do better because of the growth and Latino and black populations and so that the electoral math is just tough for republicans. And when you nominate someone like Donald Trump who is each day isolating more groups of people on more issues, I think it, it just becomes increasingly likely that a Clinton will be our next president. Well, a couple of questions. What about the rust belt approach? So, and are new poles out. We're talking kind of at the end of June here.

Speaker 3: That suggests that it's extremely close in Pennsylvania and then you just draw a line across to Ohio and Indiana and you get a little bit of red there. Um, and she does, let's just say she, she doesn't even lose Florida. Um, that starts to change the math, doesn't it? It does, um, in order for trump to win with a rust rustbelt strategy, he would have, he would have to flip a Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which I think is a pretty tough sell. A Pennsylvania I do not think will be a close state. The polling is saying that it is now. I think much of that is driven by sanders supporters who haven't come into the fold right now. I don't think there are many people who find Donald Trump appealing who weren't already voting for Romney in 2012 and in Pennsylvania I'm your, he's not going to flip moderates.

Speaker 3: He's not going to flip a young millennials that he's. He might drive some turnout among conservatives, but he might also keep some conservatives home to have to win all four of those states to have to flip all four of those states is a pretty heavy lift. I mean the worst among those states. The narrowest among those states from 2012 was a Ohio and the president still won Ohio by about 130,000 votes. He would have to flip 450,000 votes in Michigan in the state that has the largest Arab American population in the United States. And I, I, I don't think necessarily a, he's going to appeal well to Arab Americans given his rhetoric on the above that region of the world. So that's a fair assumption. Yeah. Hopefully. And so the, uh, the rustbelt strategy is an interesting one. It might be trump's only path to a nomination, but also when it's the end of June and, uh, the Clinton and the Democrats have $200, million more dollars on hand than you do and a thousand percent more staff than you do and have taken out $150 million dollars in ad buys through November.

Speaker 3: And you've taken out none. And Oh, you also fired your campaign manager and don't have a communication staff. There are institutional campaign reasons why any strategy is a tough one, but particularly flipping for states that haven't voted Republican in quite some time. And you weren't being hyperbolic. Those were actual specific statistics that are true. Yes. At least at this moment, at this moment. Those are true. Yes. So you don't think that this is close. This is not close for, you know, as we stand right now, there are certainly external shocks that could happen that could make it closer. This is not enclosed presidential race. I'll bite what could happen. I think a very serious terrorist attack on American soil, um, uh, something of scale larger than the Orlando nightclub shooting, um, uh, would, would change things. I think it would generate in a lot of Americans that type of authoritarian response.

Speaker 3: The US versus them looking for a strong man response that would certainly help trump. And I think in the face of a terrorist attack like that, Clinton would be a foreign policy minded diplomat about it in the sense that she would be very careful, careful with her words. She would certainly come out as strong, but it would be a very different response of strength than trump would have. And because of that, uh, you can imagine people flocking to trump. I think a very serious economic crisis in the United States would be a real challenge for Clinton because it would blame for, it would be tagged to Obama and she has tethered herself to the Obama records so completely that she could not, she cannot detach that. So whatever goes wrong for Obama now will hurt Clinton. And so those things would help help trump in a significant way.

Speaker 3: But again, barring an external shock, barring I'm not even convinced a Clinton indictment would, would stop her presidency. Why not? Um, because I, I think, uh, uh, Clinton indictment helps trump if trump looks clean and he doesn't and he doesn't. And I think a lot of people are just unwilling to get there with trump. I mean, an indictment is going to hurt her for sure. It'll make this a close race, but I'm not as convinced that it would tank her campaign in the way that again, a terrorist attack or an economic collapse might. Okay. So the indictment thing, that was my next question. We answered that one. The terrorist attack thing is, you know, uh, certainly unknown of course. Sure. As far as a financial collapse, um, it turns out there were signs for the last one. Yeah. Um, so, you know, do you see any signs of that?

Speaker 3: I mean, there's a little bit of a suggestion of softening in the job market right now. Talk about what are we talking about. So, uh, we've seen over the past two to three months a slowdown in job creation in a way that we haven't really had in five or six years in the United States. Um, it could be a one off, it could be just a couple of months that had a slow down. I think there is a lot of, uh, you know, investors waiting with bated breath to see if in a couple of days Britain exits the EU. Um, if, uh, you know, trying to see. I think there's a lot of a concern right now frankly, about what a trump presidency might look like ironically. And so people are trying to figure out what the future is going to hold and when that kind of uncertainty exists, it hurts jobs that hurts growth.

Speaker 3: It hurts investment and a lot of things. And so right now we're in this limbo period where we might be seeing a temporary slow down in growth and in job creation, or it might be something that will be more sustained over the next few months. Uh, two questions just quickly. As far as the British exit from the EU, I'm taking an America first philosophy. Why do we care about that? So we care about that. Um, in large part because of the economic system in the world is so interconnected that if Britain exits the EU, we, we've seen what has happened with the ups and downs with polling with this, what happens to world markets and when just with the polling. Yeah, just from polling when world markets see, cause I mean investment stock markets are all about trying to predict the future, right? And so any evidence you get about what future earnings will look like is going to affect the stock market and the current time.

Speaker 3: And so when you see polling that's information for investors to try to predict the future. And that future they're asking about is brexit is about Britain's exit from the EU. So when polling was moving in the direction of an exit and you saw some dips in the stock market and Frankfurt and London in real dips in New York yet who, legitimate dips, um, and then as you, unfortunately, after the member of parliament was assassinated last week and there was a period of mourning and they started pulling again, it looked like there was a shift in large part, it appears in response to that assassination of people saying, you know, maybe we've gone a little too far here when xenophobia and anti immigration sentiment and as polling suggested that the mood was shifting back towards stay staying in the EU. Stock markets increased a little bit. So I don't know enough about, um, you know, the eurozone and, and, and how that will, how that will longterm effect, uh, economics throughout the world.

Speaker 3: But I can guarantee that if Britain exits, um, there will be a very short term, at least downturn in, in a world financial markets. How long the recovery takes. I don't know. Um, I have heard from some experts that the ideas of what that will mean longterm have been largely overblown. But we've also never experienced a large economic power exiting the euro zone, so frankly, we have no idea what's going to be. So when you, uh, when you look at that, whether it's short term or long term, um, uh, compare your prognostication of how that affects our economy, um, compared to, uh, compare that compare to the last economic downturn, what are we talking about? Is this, you know, 10 percent of that is this, 90 percent of that is it, you know, it wouldn't be nothing like the economic crisis in 2007, 2008, that was a sustained deep recession that affected multiple sectors of the American economy.

Speaker 3: And it was also home grown, right? This happened not because of something that happened overseas. It happens because of weakness in the financial services sector and some, some really bad actions, uh, in the financial services sector, particularly around mortgages. It also encountered what was already a softening job market and a lot of things came together all at the wrong times to create a tremendous recession. We are not talking about an economic downturn to that scale, at least because of Britain's decision. I'm sure the, the, the snap will will hurt in the first month or two perhaps, maybe less, but yeah, because it's not a homegrown a issue and because I don't think Britain's exit will fully destabilize the eurozone because you still have France and you still have Germany and other economic powers there, um, that, you know, and in addition to that, our relationships with our trading partners really will not change.

Speaker 3: We'll still have a functional and a positive trading relationship with the rest of the eurozone and we also will with the United Kingdom as well. And so when you look at that, it's hard to imagine a real sustained problem unless Britain's exit through the eurozone into a serious recession that then had domino effects, but it doesn't appear that that's going to be the case because also Britain will continue trading relationships with the eurozone. They have to, it will just be from a different perspective. All right, so that's a poke if we, if, if you will. Um, and the other things that you talked about as far as the, uh, effect on our economy, um, were mostly uncertainty. Yes. Right. So if, if we're just dealing with uncertainty to go back to the last economic recession, economic collapse, economic calamity, um, there were structural issues with the financial markets and specific issues at hand and there were reasons, real true reasons.

Speaker 3: Do you see any of those? Um, I, I don't really. I mean, you know, the Dodd Frank Bill has done a lot to reform the financial services sector and I think that that has been helpful in trying to prevent the type of destabilization that that happened. Uh, again, the recession happened, not because banks gave out mortgages to people who they shouldn't have. That was certainly part of it, but that was not the only reason. Again, you don't have a recession that deep, um, without having multiple bad things happen all at once and some of them caused others. But, uh, we were in a position where it was the, I mean, the sale and the resale and resale and the repackaging of those mortgages. What else though? Yeah, well, uh, again, we, we were in a soft spot in the job market. We were, uh, you know, investment wasn't what it should have been.

Speaker 3: We were in a, also a period of uncertainty because we were facing a presidential election and that, that was a challenge. There were a destabilizing forces in the, uh, throughout the world as well. Um, those exist today also, but there were so many, there were so many issues in including a financial services sector that was poorly regulated beyond just mortgages in, in, in beyond the backed securities that you, you really encountered a situation where the government in a pinch probably could have fixed any one of those issues, but they couldn't fix them all in a week and they all sort of hit in a week and they dominoed as well. So, you know, the, the job market was soft and as soon as, uh, you know, the stock market plunged, no one was spending money, no firms, we're spending money because uncertainty was so profound. In fact, maybe it wasn't even uncertainty.

Speaker 3: I think there were a lot of people who are certain we were headed for a depression. And so that, that makes people, you know, keep as much liquid as possible. You stop investment, you stop expansion, uh, you, you stop expansion in terms of a capital a, but you also stop it in terms of employment as well, and factor that into an economy that was sort of already starving and you have, you know, 800,000 jobs lost in a month and then 700,000 jobs lost the next month and the stock market, you know, dropping by 50 percent in a couple of weeks and yeah, it's hard to bounce back from that. I think we're a little more stable now and that's disconcerting to hear you say we're a little more. Can you, can you choose your words please? We're quite, we're quite a bit more stable now and I think also that the government is more prepared than it was then.

Speaker 3: What happened in 2008? Uh, certainly some people predicted some pieces of that happening. I don't know of anyone who predicted a recession as deep as we ended up in that, of course also hurt global markets, which also, yeah, cycled back and hurt, hurt us in the process. I think the nation, uh, our leadership is a little more prepared and when the crisis first hit, a President Bush sent the treasury secretary to Capitol Hill to really outline just how bad things were. People didn't believe him. People did not have any idea that we were in the position we were in. It was beyond understanding, it was beyond comprehension for a lot of members. And now I think if we were ever moving in that direction, people would trust the treasury secretary, the Fed Chair and other financial, uh, leaders in this country, when they come with that type of word, it doesn't help that he came with a two page analysis.

Speaker 3: I mean, that, that could be, that, that might be the case. But, uh, from what I, well, dodge, what I have heard is that the meetings themselves were so stark in terms of language that it did convince. Some people certainly convinced Democrats and it certainly convinced some Republicans. But yeah, again, I think there are times when the government, particularly the Bush administration, this was true. It's true of Obama as well. They everything is a calamity and so everything is urgent. So there was a crying wolf perspective. I'm here and I think that was the episode that people actually realize, oh, you know, I guess there was a wolf and a the next time and to their credit to, to the government's credit, to the administration's credit, they haven't come back to Congress with that type of doomsday scenario since. Yeah. Economically. And so if they continued to do that, to try to extract x, sorry to extract things from Congress, uh, you'd be worried you're back into the crying wolf, but I think if the treasury secretary went to Congress tomorrow and said, we're in 2008 again, we need to respond immediately.

Speaker 3: I think they'd actually be pretty responsive. It would be a different meeting certainly. Exactly. Yeah. A pretty great stuff. Um, final thought here. And then I have three final questions. Final thoughts on considering everything that we should consider based on what you've just shared, a November eighth, 2016, what do you expect? What do you expect from 2017? What do you expect from 2018? Where are we going as far as your concern? Um, you know, I think obviously the, uh, expectations of the Clinton will win the presidency and if that's the case, you're going to see a real continuation of the types of policies that President Obama has supported. A Secretary Clinton has been very explicit about, about continuing and building on the work that Obama has done. I think she has an opportunity to be a very effective president, but it, it goes into direction.

Speaker 3: So she's either going to do one of two things. If she's president, she will either try to be the big picture precedent, the person who tries to push big initiatives through and she's going to fail at them. She's still going to encounter likely a republican house with a smaller majority and a democratic Senate without a super majority to be to filibuster. And so any big reforms, any big issues that she wants to conquer, just going to have a tough time doing it. And I think it's going to be grading on Republicans if she tries that route. I think if I were advising her and I'm not, um, if I were advising her, I would say in your first hundred days or 200 days, 300 days, what you should do is find five or 10 small issues that you can win on, that you can work with Congress on and get them done.

Speaker 3: Like they can be behind almost exactly that they can be behind in. That does two things for her. One, it will give her a series of policy successes that she can point to and say, you know, I didn't pass anything like obamacare or the stimulus, but I've gotten a lot of things done that Americans care about. And then right out of the gate she showing good faith toward working with Republicans, which I think the president could have done a better job of when he was sworn in. And so one of those two directions are going to go. If she goes to the initial route, it's going to irritate Republicans and make her presidency a tough time. If she goes the latter route, which we have some evidence based on her time in the Senate, that she's that kind of politician to be more pragmatic, she'll probably have a more successful presidency in an easier time working with the, with the congress.

Speaker 3: I think if we look out at the marijuana landscape, there's a real opportunity for a lot of initiatives to pass, um, in, in the, uh, in November, I think there are some medical initiatives that are likely to pass Missouri, Florida, uh, they're going, that's going to even Arkansas, maybe even Arkansas, which would be ironic given that the governor used to be the head of the dea. Um, that, that would be, that would be something that would be a statement. It certainly would be. Um, and uh, then you know, you're going to look toward what legislatures are going to do it. And, and again, that's another conversation. Hopefully let's just a tackle. I'm rescheduling or what I like to, uh, what I prefer. Dea Scheduling. There's noise here about rescheduling and all of that noise seems to sound like scheduled to. We don't need to re litigate a, you know, the difference between going to schedule two and schedule five or d scheduling.

Speaker 3: But what do you see? What do you hear? What do you think? Sure. So FDA has made, there's a current rescheduling petition before the federal government that was filed by Lincoln, chafee, the then governor of Rhode Island, and Christine Gregoire, the then governor of Washington. It has been a under evaluation for five years. They, uh, FDA has a, it has been announced, has made the recommendation to dea. Dea has said they will make their decision sometime this summer. It will come through dea and the Department of Justice. I will be shocked if marijuana is rescheduled. Um, I think that historically and statutorily it is unlikely that dea is going to move in that direction. I think they should, I think they should reschedule for a variety of reasons, but I think it's hard to imagine d e a reversing themselves on this point, especially because I think they look at the system as it is and they say it's good enough.

Speaker 3: Dea is not a proactive institution. It's a law enforcement entity that has spent its entire existence. I'm prosecuting the war on drugs and this is a signal that there is a weakness there. The new DEA chief I think has shown himself not to be a friend of the marijuana reform community and while there are legitimate research reasons why rescheduling is probably a good idea and I think there are a lot of myths about what rescheduling will do. That. Those are myths both among marijuana opponents and also among the marijuana industry actors. There are different myths, but myths, all the same. I think at the end of the day, if, if dea a reschedules this summer count me among the shocked. You're shocked about that. Let's, let's assume you're right. I mean, that's kind of why we're sitting. We're sitting here talking about the myths though, just to zero in on the myths that the, uh, that the industry feels that you see as myths.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So the industry thinks that if marijuana is rescheduled, a couple of things are gonna happen. First Big Pharma is going to step in, take everything over and shut everything down. And then, just to be clear, we're talking about schedule too, but for, for schedule too. Yeah. Um, and into that they are going to start using, um, a, a, a law that governs the FDA that says that they can step in and shut down anything that is falsely advertised. And so I actually heard someone speak yesterday, speak publicly at the conference yesterday who said Fda is going to use that power to say that you're calling this medical marijuana. It's not medicine. You have to stop this. The problem is FDA has that power right now under schedule one in if anything they have more of a power to do that and understand that one. So it's just a nonsensical discussion and I mean I've, I've grown horse debating people on this point and you just can't show them the light, but I mean at the end of the day that moving to schedule two will help some medical researchers in the United States and no one else is going to notice the difference.

Speaker 3: Okay. Well we were going to have to check back with you on that one. Sure. You know, there's tons to check back with you on that one. Specifically. You know, I think is the, uh, is the one I'm three final questions. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. All right. What is most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life? And on the soundtrack of John who? Dax Life? What is one track? One song that's got to be on there? First things first. What has most surprised you in cannabis? Gosh, I'm a. So what's most surprised me in cannabis actually is, uh, how innovative and a unique sort of uniquely thinking the industry is. You know, you look at it and you come at it. If you've never worked in this space before in your guided entirely by stereotypes of what a marijuana grower is, what a marijuana grow operation is.

Speaker 3: And then you go to a grow operation where you go to a conference like this and you see how many different aspects of industry, not just the growers themselves, but the secondary and tertiary industries. And you see it. I think if everyone could come to a conference like this where everyone could go to a grow operation, legitimate grow operation that changes minds on cannabis immediately because it dispels a lot of those myths. I'm just totally impressed by the industry and what they've been able to do and how professional they are. And there was a profit motive here, but there's also an aspect of social justice and, and giving back and a lot of ways. There's a lot of really admirable, uh, entrepreneurs, not just cannabis entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs in general that the industry has a lot, a lot to be proud of. There we go. Love to hear that.

Speaker 3: Um, especially from your perspective, what has most surprised you in life? You don't seem too old, but that, that's not all that old. Um, but uh, what, what has surprised me the most in life? Wow. I never get asked. I never get asked personal questions like this. Yeah. But, uh, uh, you know, I'll tell you why. One of the most remarkable things in it, it's a little bit connected to the cannabis industry, but I think it's true in a lot of the spaces I've worked in is, uh, how skeptical people are, have, uh, uh, you know, things that they observe from the outside, but then once they start to work inside those institutions or what they can actually get a feel, a lot of hope. And so it's true, again, with the cannabis industry, when you start to work with them and appreciate what they're doing, you get a lot more respect for it.

Speaker 3: When I spent time in Congress, it was the same thing I had in my head that Congress was this a lazy and lacks institution. And it certainly is for a lot of reasons, but you go work side by side with a member of Congress. There are some of the hardest working people you'll ever meet. People who honest to God, uh, do what they believe and are working hard for their constituents and actually care about their constituents. It's not universal, but I think it's easy to criticize from the outside, but when you really start to work inside these places that are sort of behind the glass, most of the time, whether it's a, you know, marijuana, whether it's congress, whether it's big business, whether it's small business, um, I think you can get a real, uh, a real positive feeling about those things that you once had a lot of harsh words for.

Speaker 3: Interesting. So keep living life would be your advice there. Yeah, no, I think so. In, in trying to break into spaces that you, um, uh, uh, the you wouldn't necessarily break into or the, that you're entirely skeptical of just trying to see the other side and do it as much as you can. Uh, there's a great, a Bob Dylan quote that I won't get into, but it has to do with walking in the other person's shoes, which brings me to the final question, which is, uh, on the soundtrack of your life. Name one track one song that's gotta be on there. This is, this is a brutal question for me. It's easy for some very difficult for others. Yeah. I, I, I can't even imagine my God. Um, it, it's funny. I, uh, uh, I just wrote a book on the history of marijuana policy actually and uh, that I assure you will not step on what is a magnificent series that you have going on and it's part of the research I started looking at like songs that had to do with marijuana and the, the length of it.

Speaker 3: I'm clearly dodging the question, but yeah, uh, the, the, the history going back to even the 19 twenties of songs that had to do with marijuana all the way up to, um, uh, uh, the current time. And I came across the song. This is absolutely not the soundtrack of my life, but, uh, there's a new song was new last year, uh, by, uh, a Halsey called new Americana. And it was the first time I'd ever heard a line in a song. There's a line in it talking about getting high on legal marijuana there. It was sort of the most unique things and it's a, it's sort of a throwaway line. And it so, so much music is, it has marijuana lyrics in it, right? Um, but it, I heard it on the radio and I thought, I've honestly never heard this before and I think most people don't think of it as anything because it's such a fundamental part of, of the creative mind and a lot of spaces, but I think it was actually a pretty neat moment and I was like, hey, you know what, if, if, uh, the stuff I work on is found it's way into pop music, I, I, I feel like I've achieved something so new America is not the soundtrack of my life, but I'll say it is the coolest soundtrack about the work that I do.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, we will take that certainly. And as far as the book is concerned, is it out yet? It comes out in the fall. The release date is mid October. It's called marijuana short history. All right, well we will definitely talk to you about that again, John. Thank you so much. Thank you. The spin. Great. All right. And there you have John who dac.

Speaker 1: I mean, come on. That guy. That's a big brain, that's a big brain on John who died. Very much appreciated talking to him and I can't wait to talk to him again. Can't wait to be in the same room again with Ramos. Appreciate him up top. Of course. Thanks to you for listening. If you haven't been to [inaudible] dot com yet, go there now.

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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.