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Ep.165: Ray Gracewood, Organigram; Peggy Moore, Love’s Oven

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.165: Ray Gracewood, Organigram; Peggy Moore, Love's Oven

Ep.165: Ray Gracewood, Organigram; Peggy Moore, Love’s Oven

Ray Gracewood of Organigram, one of the licensed producers in the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations program in Canada. Then Peggy Moore of Love’s Oven out of CO. Ray takes us through what’s happening his company as well as the overall state of affairs in the MMPR. Peggy Moore then joins us to give us an update of sorts from CO as well as the background on her company. As you’ll hear, these interviews took place in May.  As this goes up, the main thing that’s changed is that the potency issue in CO has been postponed. Ray Gracewood then Peggy Moore, enjoy.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: So here's Ray gracewood from organic Graham, and if you're keeping count, we're Ghana. Graham is one of the 30 licensed producers in Canada. That's right. Let's just start with the basics as far as your license producer perspective on what licensed producer means. Sure. So Organic Graham is one of 30 licensed producers across Canada. So the licensed producer network is, is managed through the MMPR, a program here in Canada of spelled that out for us just for everybody so that we know m, m, p, e, r, I see what you're. Okay. So basically the entire legal medical marijuana industry is regulated through the MMPR and that is um, direct mail, straight to patients, 100 percent mandated through physician, um, prescriptions or medical documents. A organic Graham would be the only licensed producer, uh, east of the province of Quebec and Canada. So we're located in Moncton, New Brunswick, and New Brunswick is near Prince Edward Island Brunswick as near Prince Edward Islands near Nova Scotia.

Speaker 1: They see what I'm learning. Yeah, yeah. Near newfoundlands. Yeah. And just north of main Aha for your New England listener. There we go. So that's where you are. Uh, how much is the licensed producer? Um, community managed by geography is a, just a happenstance that you're the only one east of Quebec. A, I wouldn't say it's a happenstance a, but what I would say is that, uh, it's managed by geography in that it's well spread out. Uh, so there's, there's a strong penetration of licensed producers in western Canada, specifically in British Columbia, uh, quite a few in Ontario. And then generally if you were to kind of break down the country by population, uh, it would make a lot of sense that there would be fewer in Atlantic Canada just based on density. Right? So Organic Graham, what's in a name? Why Organic Graham Inc organic ink. So we're a publicly traded company, which is the ink, uh, what goes into the organic.

Speaker 1: Graham is a, we're a hundred percent organically grown product, uh, so that is what we would consider to be our number one differentiator for our brand. It's the thing that sets us aside from all the rest of the licensed producers in Canada. It would be the thing that we're most proud of and it would be the thing that we sort of protect as much as possible. We'll wait for the calls to see if anyone else thinks that they're 100 percent organic. Why do you know that you're the only ones? Well, it's a w were, well, first of all, we're not the only ones because the other licensed producers that uh, uh, have some parts of their production that into, um, that they would consider organic eco cert is the national body across Canada that governs our process and we've got a relationship with them to be eco certified sort of through our entire process.

Speaker 1: And, and so that's an important thing for us to sort of articulate to our clients and then for to understand what goes into organic and why we would see it as a, um, as a better production process. Sure, and what are some of those key principles from a production standpoint? Uh, well it's, it's, um, it's all natural fertilizers. Uh, it's totally a non radiated. Um, so our production processes in line with their guidelines, uh, it's all natural inputs into, into our soil. Um, and it's, it's naturally grown product. Uh, what kind of feedback are you getting from the product that you've grown? And that is, uh, of course, um, a, a, a, a question to get at where you are in the process. How much have you actually put out into the marketplace? Yeah, sure. Um, so the feedback, to answer your first question, feedback has been good and getting better.

Speaker 1: Good. Uh, and we've taken great strides particularly in the last three to six months, but progressively over the past year when we started shipping, um, where we know that product at the end of the day is going to be the most critical thing. And I think from an MMPR perspective, um, product quality, product consistency, fair priced, all of these elements are really going to be the, the, the piece that, that makes our entire system success or fail. And we need to make sure that the product stacks up against any other product available, whether it's in the white, gray or black market. Um, so it's been a huge focus for us to get to the point where we can put our product up to any other product within the MMPR or otherwise and fair to say that the consistency and what we can continue to kind of communicate to our patients says that this is a better option for you.

Speaker 1: And it's something that, um, is, is, uh, you're going to be more comfortable with. So if you're willing to go up against a anybody, how much of that actually happens? Describe the supply chain. Are you focused on your region or are you focused on kind of the national footprint? Absolutely. National footprints. So the nature of the business here in Canada is it's all direct mail and all licensed producers are fully licensed to ship across the country. Uh, so it is a national marketplace unlike the US right now. Um, so, you know, just based on geographics and, and just sort of the natural way that we are developing our business. We do over index on the east coast, but have a bit more of a focus on the Ontario market, western Canada market, um, to make sure that we continue to be one of the major players across Canada, across Canada so that you're there on top from now until the end.

Speaker 1: So here's Ray gracewood from organic Graham, and if you're keeping count, we're Ghana. Graham is one of the 30 licensed producers in Canada. That's right. Let's just start with the basics as far as your license producer perspective on what licensed producer means. Sure. So Organic Graham is one of 30 licensed producers across Canada. So the licensed producer network is, is managed through the MMPR, a program here in Canada of spelled that out for us just for everybody so that we know m, m, p, e, r, I see what you're. Okay. So basically the entire legal medical marijuana industry is regulated through the MMPR and that is um, direct mail, straight to patients, 100 percent mandated through physician, um, prescriptions or medical documents. A organic Graham would be the only licensed producer, uh, east of the province of Quebec and Canada. So we're located in Moncton, New Brunswick, and New Brunswick is near Prince Edward Island Brunswick as near Prince Edward Islands near Nova Scotia.

Speaker 1: They see what I'm learning. Yeah, yeah. Near newfoundlands. Yeah. And just north of main Aha for your New England listener. There we go. So that's where you are. Uh, how much is the licensed producer? Um, community managed by geography is a, just a happenstance that you're the only one east of Quebec. A, I wouldn't say it's a happenstance a, but what I would say is that, uh, it's managed by geography in that it's well spread out. Uh, so there's, there's a strong penetration of licensed producers in western Canada, specifically in British Columbia, uh, quite a few in Ontario. And then generally if you were to kind of break down the country by population, uh, it would make a lot of sense that there would be fewer in Atlantic Canada just based on density. Right? So Organic Graham, what's in a name? Why Organic Graham Inc organic ink. So we're a publicly traded company, which is the ink, uh, what goes into the organic.

Speaker 1: Graham is a, we're a hundred percent organically grown product, uh, so that is what we would consider to be our number one differentiator for our brand. It's the thing that sets us aside from all the rest of the licensed producers in Canada. It would be the thing that we're most proud of and it would be the thing that we sort of protect as much as possible. We'll wait for the calls to see if anyone else thinks that they're 100 percent organic. Why do you know that you're the only ones? Well, it's a w were, well, first of all, we're not the only ones because the other licensed producers that uh, uh, have some parts of their production that into, um, that they would consider organic eco cert is the national body across Canada that governs our process and we've got a relationship with them to be eco certified sort of through our entire process.

Speaker 1: And, and so that's an important thing for us to sort of articulate to our clients and then for to understand what goes into organic and why we would see it as a, um, as a better production process. Sure, and what are some of those key principles from a production standpoint? Uh, well it's, it's, um, it's all natural fertilizers. Uh, it's totally a non radiated. Um, so our production processes in line with their guidelines, uh, it's all natural inputs into, into our soil. Um, and it's, it's naturally grown product. Uh, what kind of feedback are you getting from the product that you've grown? And that is, uh, of course, um, a, a, a, a question to get at where you are in the process. How much have you actually put out into the marketplace? Yeah, sure. Um, so the feedback, to answer your first question, feedback has been good and getting better.

Speaker 1: Good. Uh, and we've taken great strides particularly in the last three to six months, but progressively over the past year when we started shipping, um, where we know that product at the end of the day is going to be the most critical thing. And I think from an MMPR perspective, um, product quality, product consistency, fair priced, all of these elements are really going to be the, the, the piece that, that makes our entire system success or fail. And we need to make sure that the product stacks up against any other product available, whether it's in the white, gray or black market. Um, so it's been a huge focus for us to get to the point where we can put our product up to any other product within the MMPR or otherwise and fair to say that the consistency and what we can continue to kind of communicate to our patients says that this is a better option for you.

Speaker 1: And it's something that, um, is, is, uh, you're going to be more comfortable with. So if you're willing to go up against a anybody, how much of that actually happens? Describe the supply chain. Are you focused on your region or are you focused on kind of the national footprint? Absolutely. National footprints. So the nature of the business here in Canada is it's all direct mail and all licensed producers are fully licensed to ship across the country. Uh, so it is a national marketplace unlike the US right now. Um, so, you know, just based on geographics and, and just sort of the natural way that we are developing our business. We do over index on the east coast, but have a bit more of a focus on the Ontario market, western Canada market, um, to make sure that we continue to be one of the major players across Canada, across Canada so that you're there on top from now until the end.

Speaker 1: We try, we think there's potential and being on top, uh, okay, so that's the kind of the geographic supply chain. Let's talk about the, the kind of, the value chain, how you work with a patients, um, but also how you work with doctors and let's take patients first because that's what folks expect and then we'll get to doctors. Sure. Um, so education is a massive, a massive focus for us right now. There's a lot of misinformation in the market. Uh, there's a lot of confusion. Uh, the MMPR system is, has been incredibly successful, uh, but can be cumbersome from a patient perspective when they first get into the market when they first start to try to understand the industry. Uh, so for us, I'm client service has been huge, fully trained staff on hand to make sure that we've got all the questions for patients and a lot of cases we got to remember that, um, the patients that we're dealing with oftentimes, um, you know, can ha know, deal with stress issues, for example, chronic pain issues, ptsd, all these kinds of things that can have an impact on how they communicate and, and how, how they need to be comforted and how things needed to be kind of communicated in a way that, that, that they can understand and that they feel comfortable engaging with us on.

Speaker 1: So we put a lot of focus on that first line, a client service piece to understand sort of how that, how that needs to be a focal point. Yeah, totally. And I want to get to your side of the equation, but from the patient side as far as a qualifying conditions, you mentioned ptsd. That's something that is not uniformly in the legal states on each, you know, I'm in each state's regulations. What are the qualifying conditions in, you know, uh, as far as I'm on par is concerned. Well, there needs to be a distinction made where we can't legally say that certain sprains, strains are condition specific. We can't say that um, marijuana is successful against a certain condition. Understood. Uh, what we can do is we can communicate to our patients what we've heard in the stories that we've been told from other patients, so we can parallel like conditions or situations and say in other cases, this is what we've heard from our patients and it creates a sense of community.

Speaker 1: So absolutely they can rely on us to deliver that kind of information that is firsthand, that is from somebody who's maybe suffering from the same kind of set of conditions, et cetera. Um, which is a good thing that we can start to foster that relationship. It creates loyalty, all these good things. Yeah. And that's exactly how it's done in the states. As far as the actual card, you know, my medical card, how do I get that? I get that from a doctor, right? Correct. Yeah. So the way that the process works here in Canada is a patient would interact with a physician and a would go through the process and if the physician determines that they have a condition where medical marijuana would fit the bill, uh, they then write a medical document. That medical document comes to a licensed producer, a interaction occurs with the patient firsthand to determine, um, what is the right strain, whether that's, you know, Endeca dominate, sativa, dominant hybrid, you know, uh, that we talk about whether, you know, dried flour versus cannabis oil, et cetera.

Speaker 1: So big education piece that happens there. And then from there the order gets placed, it's in the mail and they've got their product within a couple days. There we go. As far as a Health Canada is concerned, which is the federal governing body, correct. They have not handed down, am I hearing you right, that they have not handed down a list of qualifying conditions that the physician must, uh, you know, apply the license or the card to it is completely up to the physician. That's right. That's right. So that's a key distinction between Canada and the US by the way. Yeah. So, so, so that is um, an advocacy piece that we're working towards to get things a little bit more formalized. A, I think it also helps physicians get a lot more comfortable with the environment with which they're writing medical documents. So yeah, to your point, huge distinction.

Speaker 1: Uh, but we're not quite there yet with that formal list a, right? No, I, I'm saying it is always a positive thing. Oh yeah. Okay. So as far as your relationship with physicians, let's talk about that, the education, uh, to them and, and then the education that they're providing back to you. So, um, education right across the board is a huge focus right now and I think that there is still a legitimate stigma to the product within the physician environment. Um, a lot of physicians are true believers in the product, they understand it, but there's a lack of formal research that's been developed and that they can sort of parallel to the world with which they live, which would be based on structured research and process and conditions specific. And it's just not quite as regulated as a lot of the other environments with which they work.

Speaker 1: So a big part of our job is creating educational pieces and having events and trying to get them into a peer learning environment where, um, you know, if we can provide some kind of a service there, which is, you know, whether it's connecting doctors, etc, will do anything in our power because I think that the important thing is there are physicians that are true believers and they're the ones that can help educate their own industry more so than somebody like a licensed producer who obviously, you know, it's in our best interest from a business perspective, but we're not in the business to, to, to try to create believers out of nonbelievers specifically in the physician community. Exactly. However, if I'm a physician and your physician and we're talking about it, then that information is more, uh, you know, it is easier digested, I would imagine.

Speaker 1: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. What kind of events do you do or you know, what kind of platforms do you set up for that kind of information, a supply type of thing? There's different things. We, um, uh, we would participate in a lot of conferences, uh, so physician focused conferences, whether that's in sort of the chronic pain space or, or other kind of, um, you know, condition specific conferences where we can either play a sponsorship role or as an exhibitor or something where we can kind of be there and provide some form of education that would essentially be our frontline communication piece and then also kind of with, um, a local representatives within certain markets to, to kind of just be the face of the brand and to help sort of on any requests or information pieces. Sure. Okay. So that's the physicians coming back to the patients now you listed a, you know, customer advocacy and customer support and customer relationship as the biggest key.

Speaker 1: Get further into that. Okay. Um, so yeah, earlier today when we discussed it was a point that was brought up and, and I think that I'm client services a massive part of this business right now and it's a huge focus of ours in that, um, the industry itself is growing so fast, uh, and we have to create an environment where we've got the answers to as many questions as possible that we can create a level of comfort with patients and potential patients and physicians and, and basically act as a lead, a information source for people who need some help navigating the MMPR system, need help advocating the use of medical marijuana to treat their conditions. So for us, there's a massive focus there in that we think it's a differentiator, but also at the end of the day it's on every lp to create a level of comfort and, and to help kind of get rid of that stigma and for people to understand that as an alternative.

Speaker 1: And it might not be the frontline treatment, but as an alternative, it's a product that makes a lot more sense than some of the other options in the marketplace that have different side effects that, you know. Let's go there. Let jump in. Go ahead. What do you mean? Well, we would be affirmed believer in medical cannabis as a great treatment for a lot of conditions such as chronic pain and Parkinson's and all these kinds of things that we've heard a lot of anecdotal feedback. Sure. That it works. Um, other treatment options were, I think what we're hearing from physicians. Opiates for example, have a lot of bad side effects and it's not a natural treatment. And, and we are seeing some great, uh, we're getting a lot of great feedback on the results when a, when a patient will go through that process where maybe that is a, is a treatment for a period of time, but then they get to the point where they're off that and onto medical cannabis and are seeing, um, you know, a far more productive sort of day life experience, um, and still getting the treatment that they need.

Speaker 1: So if you're just trying to deal with as many facts as possible as you, uh, as you answered my questions. Exactly, exactly. So, you know, as far as, uh, as far as those facts, as far as education, I think now we've talked through physicians and we've talked through the direct kind of relationship that you do have with your consumers. The mail order system. Yep. One of the big and the, uh, that panel will go up before this conversation just to provide context. Yep. One of the big pieces of the was, uh, was dispensary's was retail shops. So what I want to do is kind of in this conversation between you and I removed dispensary and just put retail outlet, whether that's pharmacy, whether that's dispensary, whether it's alcohol, I, I can't see liquor shops doing it, but whatever, uh, you know, a regulatory regulated system, um, you, the dots, the i's, crosses the t's.

Speaker 1: Uh, take me through your thoughts on that in terms of what the retail environment could look like. Okay. So, um, first and foremost, we would be a believer that recreational legalization is imminent. Um, in terms of the timing of that, um, it's really anyone's guests. So they, they say 2017 at which time the process gets formalized, but then the process will indeed take time. And so, so the reality provide context to take that tangent for a second, the, uh, adult use, let's say it gets signed in by summer of 2017. How long did the, the, this current MMPR process take? Do you have insight into that just a couple of years, right? Yeah, a couple of years. So April 2014, I think it's where we're going to came in. Um, so yeah, it would just be over two years that we've been sort of under this, um, this regulatory body.

Speaker 1: So yeah, as we kind of move forward, I think, um, adult use is on everybody's radar, on everybody's agenda, um, and it's going to create a whole different market. I don't think that we can lose sight of the importance of the medical market, um, and the regulatory processes that have been putting in place and how that's working very, very well right now. I think that's important when we think about what that retail environment may look like. Um, as I said earlier, anybody who tells you what the reality is going to look like is just full out lying because nobody knows at this point, uh, but they're taking the steps in the right direction to get the right bodies in involved, you know, and I think the dispensary model, we've had some significant news just this week on, on, on dispensary's in Canada to reiterate a number of dispensaries.

Speaker 1: A high number of dispensers in Toronto got raided and shut down just yesterday. Yeah. So, um, so yeah, that's um, that model has been in place for quite a while. I think we all owe a lot of respect to that model and I think that there's been a lot of advocacy and information that's, that's, um, that, that that's been a positive thing for the industry. Uh, but at the end of the day, I think there's a firm distinction as we look into adult use and federal regulations and how that breaks down province by province, by province in Canada at the end of the day it needs to work within a legal environment. And, and, and that's the dispensary I'm issue starts to break down a little bit is that, uh, uh, I think there's a lot of pros to the dispensary model. I also think there's a lot of cons to the, to the dispensary model.

Speaker 1: Um, and there may be a process with which over time they can figure out how that dispensary model may work within a retail environment going forward. I think there's a lot of educated, well intended professional people working within that industry that could absolutely work with in whatever kind of parameters. And putting place for adult use in the future. Um, so I wouldn't be throwing the baby out with the bathwater by any stretch, but I think that the, the nature of that business is going to have to evolve just based on federal regulation completely. And so beyond the fact that the dispensary model in Canada is currently not federally regulated you, you mentioned that you have a couple of issues with it. Is that the one or are there others that you see that are issues with the dispensary model as it stands, but beyond the fact that it is not federally regulated that that's one, but I think, um, you know, there's, there's several, you know, like at the end of the day such as, um, I would look at product.

Speaker 1: Okay. So the amount of regulation that's put into product tracking within the LP network and the whole mmpr a system would blow your mind right back to seed out. We've got the same in the states. Absolutely. So the tracking on quality, on consistency, on child resistant packaging, packaging, all of these elements have been put in place to make sure that it's an incredibly safe environment for all patients within Canada. Right. That makes a lot of sense to everybody. Totally. It, it's, it's a bulletproof argument when you parallel that to what's happening within the dispensary network today, we're not sure where the product came from. There's no consistency of packaging, there's no regulations that they go through in most cases. Um, the difference in educational and, and, and professional nature of the people that you deal with. And, and I say that with all due respect and totally understand, totally are incredible.

Speaker 1: They know a thousand times more than I ever will. And then there's others not so much. Right, right. So, so the call it quality, control of personnel, uh, the quality control of the entire experience has so many variants to it where it's not regulated, it just, it needs to be tightened up. Yeah, sure. I'm with you 100 percent of the way there. You know, uh, if the dispensary model, excuse me, the dispensary model needs to be regulated from seed to sale as far as quality is concerned as well as child resistant packaging and the whole thing. If that is the case, then I would imagine that's okay. Does that make sense? Sure. That could make sense. Right? So, well, I mean that's, that's what they're doing in the states. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So if you, if you think about that as a potential a distribution and logistics solution, that may make a lot of sense.

Speaker 1: Essentially what that creates is, um, you know, and it could be publicly run, right? So you mentioned, uh, you know, I don't know about the whole liquor commission angle, right? But I think that there's a lot of discussions being had about the strength and logistics and supply chain and category management that exists within that industry right across Canada. And the question becomes why wouldn't we leverage that? Right. And where the government is involved in it, it starts to become like a, you know, a very economics driven conversation where if I was in that seat sitting down like there's a lot of value to be had in, you know, so that's not to say that, you know, that's what I think will happen or that's what I prefer to happen. But it could absolutely happen. Yeah. And they could leverage the dispensary network as the retail as part of that.

Speaker 1: Exactly. And what's interesting is the, uh, you know, uh, initial activists in the states, mostly in Colorado, um, used the phrasing a regulated like a alcohol regularly cannabis like alcohol. And so if you, if you actually take that forward, then you can go ahead and get into the liquor shops, uh, which are already have that federal regulation and system all set up. Yeah. I am taking the tangent because I know from speaking to you before we turned on these microphones that you're coming from a, from a different industry than cannabis. Yeah. So, so yeah. My, my background is in a different industry from cannabis. My background is in is in beverage alcohol and I think there's a lot of learnings within that industry in terms of how we evolve a that can be applied, know, take us through it because you're definitely the first person that has a, that experience specifically.

Speaker 1: Well personally my fat on my, my background is in, uh, is in the commercial side of, of, of that business and specifically in marketing and brand development and product portfolio innovation, all these kinds of things. Um, so, so that's the stuff that I really enjoy. Um, and I've got a pretty good understanding of how that works within the beverage all alcohol network. So, um, when we think about what a Canadian environment could look like, you've got a lot of experience as I said, within that, within that world. And I think that when it comes down to shelf positioning, when I think it comes down to category management principles, like those are very sophisticated, you know, business practices that only exists in so many industries. And when you've got a government government regulated environment where that already exists, it's pretty tough to say no. And that's not to say that I would be a believer, we would be a believer that physically having the product and the same location is a good idea, right?

Speaker 1: Because there's a lot, there's a lot cons on that side of the fence, let's say that might not be a good idea, but that's not to say that there's certain parts of that business that could be fully leveraged to make sure that you can scale up appropriately, that you can develop an industry that's professionally run, that's based on business practices that make a lot of sense are the tried and true. So there's a lot of kind of pros to that beyond kind of shelf management. And you know, you mentioned just a couple of principals. Well, what about philosophically, um, you know, coming from a, you, you didn't call it the liquor industry, what do you call it? You have a specific set of words that you average alcohol, beverage, alcohol. Get into the philosophy from the beverage alcohol industry and the similarities that you see in the cannabis industry in Canada as we speak.

Speaker 1: That's an industry. That's an interesting question. And I think, uh, right now distinction right now, the similarities would be relatively limited. Uh, when I look at what the future may look like, it starts to become a different conversation. There starts to be parallels, right? Um, so for example, the importance of brand, right and beverage alcohol, it's all brand, it's all brands, right? So it's all about lifestyle, it's all about brand, it's all about understanding your niche, it's all about having a differentiator. It's all about, you know, um, making sure that pricing strategy makes sense. All of these kinds of things in category and all so, so there's a lot of, you know, thinking that would get us very quickly and this is a consumer product. And once we get to the point where we're thinking more about recreational legalization, adult use, whatever you want to call it, um, we get to the point where we start to talk an awful lot about brand and I think there's a lot of power and brand and I think that there's, um, you know, at the end of the day, um, every consumer packaged good business or industry evolves in much the same way.

Speaker 1: And we're at a very exciting time where a small, I'm going to say a small group of, of those in the industry right now because it will exponentially increase just based on the potential, let's hope. Right. But, uh, is gonna have an interesting opportunity to really shape what is a brand? Yeah. It, like in the Canadian landscape, right? Like how does it exist? And obviously all, you know, always done within the framework of the regulations that are put in place and we have to kind of work through that and figure that out. But for me personally, that was the most, uh, that was one of the things that intrigued me about Kinda the future focus piece and again, not to diminish today's a medical reality where there's incredible work being done and we're, you know, we're very laser focused on creating a product within that space right now.

Speaker 1: But also it's Kinda how I look at it as it's the 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM thought time that that's kind of looking down the road. What are the kinds of things that we can work on within an industry to start to create some structure and to make sure that we scale this appropriately to minimize the number of mistakes that we make. There you go. And uh, that's, uh, there's a lot in that comment, so I'll let that marinate for a second. But you know, you are just talking about adult use now. Coming back to medical as you did while you were, uh, in, uh, the beverage alcohol industry. Like I say, the right words, call it whatever you like. What, what did you call it again? Liquor. When you have experienced in that industry, you are not a physician as far as I know, you're not a pharmacist as far as I know, it's correct.

Speaker 1: What are the similarities and differences between pharmaceuticals here in Canada as we speak and cannabis as we speak? The differences between pharmaceuticals and cannabis at the similarities. Similes. Yeah. Friend, you're an LP just from a cannabis producers perspective. What do you see as similarities? Well, I, I think what we see right now is an evolution to becoming more similar. Um, so, uh, recently, um, we've moved from a pure flour environment into cannabis oil. Many licensed producers are now licensed to do cannabis oil and it's quickly become, um, a very significant part of the industry and is essentially on fire. Um, it's become, it's, it's far exceeded our expectations in terms of the percentage of tonnage that's gone through cannabis oil, especially over the last three months. But I think that the natural progression of that gets into say capsules that are capped at a certain milligram per milliliter and, and it can be regulated in a far more familiar way to physicians.

Speaker 1: And I think once we get to that point, the conversation changes with physicians where it's, we're no longer pushing water uphill and trying to get them to understand the difference between indicas and sativas. And you know, like street names of, you know, like to me early days, that blew my mind. It blew my mind when they say, so you're going to go in and you're going to talk about, Oh gee, cush to a physician like is that is the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life. But if you can get into saying, you know, it's um, you know, x percentage, this x percentage that here's what the terpenes are and whatever, that's, that's what their interest. They're interested in understanding the Dosha, dosage of the cannabinoid content in the medicine. Right. And outside of that, unless you're like sitting around having a drink with them after six to nine area, right? When that happens. Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so really I think we're getting to the point very quickly where it's becoming a far more familiar landscape for them and we're still a couple steps away, uh, but I think as we get closer, we're going to see more physicians start to get more comfortable and get on board. So, uh, here's a final question before the final questions. If we're here in May of 2016, which we are, um,

Speaker 3: how do you feel about, uh, you know, the industry

Speaker 1: well, I think, I think we all feel very excited about the industry. I think we all feel uncertain about the industry, uh, but I think we all feel confident in the industry and I think that um, the discussions like we're having in Toronto this week are a good indication of the quality of people both in the crowd and on the panel of what the interests are. I think there's a lot of people in the industry they're in or for the right reasons, focused on the right things and I think that were constructively talking about the things that matter the most and I think on the regulatory side, those conversations are happening over time and there's been, you know, high level directive that is going to get us to the point where we need to get to. So I think collectively we're feeling very good about the industry, you know, and we're working on process, excuse me, processes to scale up both on the production side, the client service side, all these kinds of things. So I think everything seems to be going in the right direction. We're all very optimistic. It's just a matter of figuring out what tomorrow is going to look like because right now it's a, uh, it's a fool's guess.

Speaker 3: It's a question mark question mark and I will say to the Toronto a dispensary closures, it's about a year and a half ago now that, uh, Barcelona did the same exact thing and shut down. Not all but some, and I think it was even most of the dispensary's saying, you're not doing this the right way. There's no way for us to work with you based on the fact that you're not providing us any information that we could regulate. I saw that as a positive thing because a, it left the good players, uh, going and now they're in a situation where they've had supreme court rulings and there is, um, you know, an effective type of a system that is a on its way to happening. You know, who knows when that will happen. But as, as long as cannabis, whether it's medical or recreational or adult use is structured around regulations, no matter what the system. And no matter what the setup is, then you know, that's the win. It's got to be regulated and it's got to be regulated effectively. Couldn't agree more. You know, I think that the industry

Speaker 1: wide consensus is the number one priority is public health. Yeah. It's keeping it away from minors. It's creating consistency, quality standards, all these kinds of things. So that only comes from regulations, you know. So I, I think the regulatory discussions, as I mentioned, they're going in a good direction. I think the right things are happening, right? People are at the table. Um, so I think we will get there eventually, but it's, it's obviously going to take a lot of time.

Speaker 3: There we go. So we'll check in with you along the continuum of time to see how you're doing, but I've got the three final questions. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. Okay. First one is what has most surprised you in cannabis? What is most surprised you in life is the second question. And then on the soundtrack of a ray

Speaker 1: Grace Woods life, which by the way, you could be a singer songwriter from 1979 with the array gracewood a name, but a cadence. That's it exactly on the soundtrack of your life. Name one song, one track that's got to be on there. But that's last. The first question that, that you need to ask or that you need to answer is what has most surprised you in cannabis? Uh, what has surprised me the most besides, I made the point earlier about the, just the fact that talking about like street names to physicians, that's the shallow answer that goes. That was just never really sat well with me. Uh, at a high level. The thing that surprised me the most is the quality of people in the industry. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, it, it's, uh, it's been a fascinating ride for me so far. Uh, I've met some incredible people along the way.

Speaker 1: A well intended but professional smart and they know their business. And so that has been very rewarding for me. A very, very positive, but also at the, you know, very surprising considering what I thought I was getting into originally. Yeah. Who are these people, um, which you can do a different cadence and get a Jerry Seinfeld of course. Uh, what has most surprised you in life? What has most surprised me in life is a. That is a tough question to us. Everyone. Kind of like the biggest question. Yeah. Do you think about it? Yeah. Yeah. What has surprised me in life? Um, you know, what? That you don't have all the answers, you know, nothing surprises me anymore. Oh, okay. Are you over 30 by any chance? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, not to say that I've seen it all, but I mean, I, uh, you can kind of take everything in stride now.

Speaker 1: You gotTa have big shoulders, you know, especially in this industry. It's like everyday is something new and it's like, right when you think you've got, you know, a foot going in the right direction, one conversation lighter. It's, you know, hard left turn. So, you know, it's a, you got to sort of roll with the punches. It's, you know, that's just the pace of this industry, so I've had a lot of surprises in life, but really I'm, I get so many surprises in the last, you know, since starting up this gig that I can't even pick one. Right. That's fair. Um, on the soundtrack of your life. Right? What, uh, what does one song, one track that's got to be on there? See, I'm a big music fan, so this is a tough, tough question to ask. Well, there was the one song that hit you when I asked you the first time, what was that?

Speaker 1: Or what one artists maybe that, that, uh, that you were thinking about? Well, you know, you know what the song that always comes to mind and it's like, it's like a woe is me thing. It's a lemon heads. It's a shame about ray. Oh my goodness. That comes up to you. You might be 40 with that answer. You might. Now, how old are you ivy? Mid Thirty. Oh, oh, maybe I, uh, meanwhile, please give us an update on the tragically hip. Uh, so we had some bad news. Yeah. The entire nation is in, is, is in pre morning. Yeah. So gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal cancer and a brain cancer brain cancer and it has broken the heart of my country. So it's. Having said that, there was a huge tour announced. Well, that's right. So yeah. And that's the way that gordy would go down.

Speaker 1: Right. Is Rocking. That's right. Going down, fighting. So yeah, he's a, he's got several dates I think lined up through August. Uh, so it'll be a bit of a farewell tour. So a bit bittersweet, but I'm at the end of the day. It's like an end of an era, you know. So as a music fan, as a Canadian, it's, it's been a tough week. But I'll tell you, I like 2016 is the year that the music died, you know, it's like every week we're getting a new one. It's, it's just been a bad year. Well prince, exactly. So uh, well our best to Gord. How about that thoughts and prayers and all of that follow us and uh, enjoy the, the last leg of the tour, I guess. Right, for sure. Ray Grace with thanks so much. Appreciate it. Thanks Seth. Nice talking to you.

Speaker 2: This episode is also supported by Bova. Bova takes the pain out of people's passions, maintaining a human or a guitar or cannabis flowers, a painful time consuming mystery over that makes it all very simple so you have more time to enjoy your passion, both for the users to way humidity control, adding and slash or removing moisture to maintain ideal relative humidity or moisture content in the flower experience. Better color, aroma, flavor and efficacy. While eliminating money lost to evaporation. Top cannabis businesses are using Bova to cure store and merchandise flour. And you should too. Go to [inaudible] dot com. For more information. Peggy Moore from love's oven. You know, we've been in the same room a lot of times. Uh, and you, you haven't been on yet, but here you are.

Speaker 4: Yep. Uh, for those who don't know, love's oven take us through. So love seven was founded in 2009 as a of licensed medical infused products manufacturer in the state of Colorado. I became involved in the business in 2011. And, uh, help my former business partner build out a commercial kitchen so that the brand can be relaunched at that point. Right. Um, I took over as sole owner in the spring of 2013 made of very big scary decision to jump into the recreational market. And I was um, actually one of only three infused products manufacturers operating on January of 2008 January. First of 2014, Huh? One of only three. Correct. Who were the only. Who were the other two? Well, they weren't even in the edibles mark. Okay. Um, so I was the only edibles provider operating on January. First of this, Dixie not considered an edibles.

Speaker 4: Dixie would be considered out about are drinkables. Let's call my shit. All right, fair enough. All right, so that distinction, um, basically what we're saying is that you have a tremendous amount of time and energy put into this industry. Uh, here we are, we, you and I happen to be in Canada of all places right now when we are having this conversation, how much does what they're talking about feel like Colorado in 2010? Um, I, I would say a fair amount of what they're talking about tier feels like Colorado in 2010. What's really struck me since I've been hearing though is kind of the difference and the embracing of the medical properties of the cannabis plant. I take it almost as fact. They do, they do. And they really see it as a very viable, mainstream, almost mainstream alternative to a regular Pharma which for a treatment of symptoms.

Speaker 4: So it's, uh, it's really very enlightening and I think a good example of where the US might be a little bit behind them in that way. Yeah, no, absolutely. As far as philosophy industry wide as well as outside of the industry, it seems like the entire culture just takes us back. The fact that a cannabis does have medical medical benefits. It's good stuff for sure. Yeah. Uh, okay. So then let's dive in. It's May of 2016. It happens to be, um, how you feel an in Colorado feeling great. So we just had our one year anniversary and our new expanded facility, we've accomplished a hell of a lot in the last 12 months, especially. We had a, a tremendous growth in terms of sales. We've really had some great opportunities to get out there and have the brand more well known. Um, I personally, uh, big become involved with.

Speaker 4: I'm a little more on the regulatory side of things. So I am now the chair of the cannabis business alliance alliance district group. So it's been a recent development this year. Um, that's really, uh, allowed me to get kind of a broader industry perspective on a day to day basis, uh, as I go about my work and try to represent the industry both to the media to law makers, to regulators. So what are the keys that you're trying to tackle that the cannabis business alliance, what, what's top of mind got a few things going on in Colorado right now that we're trying to tackle. So, um, first of all, at the, at the local level, we just got done working with the city of Denver. Is Sabre considering whether or not to maintain a moratorium that they had on cannabis businesses and they lifted that moratorium, although put a cap on future locations, um, we also kind of at a local level but a down south a little bit.

Speaker 4: The, there's an effort going on in Pueblo, Colorado to um, kind of resend legal cannabis, Sarah. So we're working with our industry partners there to uh, start organizing around, you know, how to, how do we kind of battle that at the pole because there are some big operations in Pueblo, right? There are some human vape, is a got something in pebble, the Pebble Pueblo phone. No mistake. It seems like every big company that is a got gross that they are operating in some way, shape or form in Pueblo and several of the manufacturers of infused products are located in Pueblo as well. Why? Why is there an effort to resend? What's the reasoning given? So it really seems to be a concern about health. So, um, how so? Yeah. So increased hospital visits and, and some concern about children being exposed to the product. So I think, you know, it may be as much politics play it as anything else, but certainly there's a few hospitals onboard expressing concern about the interesting side effects.

Speaker 4: What about the, uh, the tide laundry pods. Is there also an effort to stop production of those now? We always put that forth as, as a place that we're really, the synergy can be better, um, better spent, more dangerous. Um, but whatever, that's not what we're here to litigate. All right, so you've got a that, what other issues are top of mind as far as the CBA as well? So there's still some concern being expressed by some in Colorado about the potency of marijuana. So in Colorado currently we don't cap of the potency of marijuana and she, you know, as you know, um, marijuana has become more potent to over the years as our grower who said, I know that as a person. Yeah, sure. Yeah. And um, you know, I think most people the way they deal with that as a smoke less or consume less, right, but there, but there are some groups out there that are concerned that the potency is too high and I'm really, without a solid research, they are claiming that there could be some health effects because of that.

Speaker 4: So we were anticipating, we said a little bit of this and that and the legislator, that legislative session that just ended, we're anticipating that there is much more to come on this topic in Colorado. So we're kind of organizing to uh, and talking as an industry about, you know, what, what is it, what should it be and, you know, do we need to kind of put up a fight around this? Well, you know, it's certainly concerning on the adult use side, more concerning on the medical side because there can't be caps on the medical side as far as the amount of pain that a medical patients or have been dealing with and been medicating with since 2009. So if you take away my 100 milligram or 50 milligram application, uh, that's not going to be helpful. It's going to be more expensive, et Cetera, etc cetera.

Speaker 4: Definitely some groups would like to see the potency, I think limited on both sides of the equation, that the current approach seems to be more around recreational but our. But our concern is an industry group is really about, you know, okay, you kept the potency and what does that really mean? Well, we see strains that are just gonna go away so they'll no longer cease to exist. So you could see entire crops cut down because of that. But the other thing is from a purity perspective, so from a concentrated, the concentrated variety of the product, if you limit the potency, then you have to kind of add something else into the concentrate to reduce, uh, reduce that potency and what are you going to add in and what does that really mean to the purity of those particular extracts. You might be forcing us to make an organic product not organic.

Speaker 4: Correct? Correct. Which is a baffling. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. What else? You got, it sounds like you got a time here. Let's keep going. Well, I think, uh, so we talked about potency. We talked about a plug below. We're, we're continuing to, um, you know, I think just really embark on education of consumers. That's a job that just is. No, it's never going to be done right. We're always going to see new consumers entering the marketplace and that need for folks to understand how the various methods of consuming cannabis might impact them. So we're continuing our efforts around the start low go slow campaign in Colorado for edibles. We're a reviving a education around the consumption of concentrates. So as we see that market continue to grow, so really it's all about continuing to educate and holding our peers really accountable, holding ourselves and our peers accountable to doing the right thing as we evolve as an industry.

Speaker 4: So for example, at love's oven we just recently went through a certification program that brings us up to the same kind of food safety standards that the FDA would be looking for is if they came into our shop and it was a pretty long grueling process. Actually to implement all of the right procedures and go through a couple of audits to ensure that we were there, but we just got certification last week. Congratulations. When you say long and grueling, what timeline do you actually mean? About a year. Oh, it did take. It took about a year. Yeah. So seven years. Uh, in real life right now. Cannabis life. Our guests. What else besides. It sounds like a big change. You mentioned other big changes, uh, you know, at love's oven over the past 12 months. What else? Okay, so we are putting the final touches on a soon to be approved extraction lab, which is not something that we had in our kind of arsenal of a, of products before.

Speaker 4: They're 3000 feet of course, under 3000 feet. Uh, we're in the right zoning and we have an explosion room within another room and explosion proof hood, but we're going to do two different types of extractions. Initially we'll do some, uh, ethanol based extractions that are gonna allow us to produce a very high quality, pure food grade oils. We're going to launch a line of chocolates and our version of whatever a gummy is, and we'll also do some hydrocarbon extractions for smoke balls. We're looking forward to launching that under a new brand or his sister brand called concentrated love. Oh, I see. I see what you've done there. Yes. Necessarily go into the oven. Correct. Concentrate. Concentrated love. We keep the love was the. Now you had mentioned, you know, kind of 2013, you really personally took over. Is that fair? Correct. So was that, was there a rebrand at that point as well or was it, was love's oven from the, from before then through now?

Speaker 4: That's correct. When you, what were you doing before you got into this whole thing? So, uh, I worked for a giant health insurance carrier and I was an operations for much of my career towards the end of my career with them, which was the, the end was may of 2014 for me with them. But towards the end of my career I was doing something called operational integrations. So we would go into newly acquired companies, do an assessment on their operations, compare that to the operating models at United Health Group, and we kind of blend the two together. Yeah. So perfect training. Well, it's really was, I mean health insurance is a highly, highly regulated industry in the United States and uh, it's federally regulated as well as each state has their own sets of regulations. Think about that as it comparison contrast to the cannabis industry as each state comes online and the regulations are a little bit different.

Speaker 4: So, um, it prepared me from a regulatory perspective when I got into cannabis. I just sat down, got, uh, got up at 4:00 one morning and read all the rules, 400 pages over. I'm, I'm a Dork. So, or, or a good business for a good business person. But the other pieces is that my strong operational background has really prepared me to bring a very small company. We started out with less than six people in, you know, we've grown to now a company of 30 people and probably will be at 50 people pretty quickly. But really those strong operating principles have allowed us to maintain that steady growth, maintain low turnover, and, um, I think continue to move the business forward. No, absolutely. Where are you from Colorado, right? I was not born in Colorado, but I've lived there since 1976. So practically that's a fair amount of time.

Speaker 4: Where were you born? I was born in Indianapolis, the beautiful midwest. So you remember it? Well, no, I won't go there. But you remember Peyton manning at least. Oh yeah. And peyton eventually, you know, followed me to Colorado. That's why. That's why I think I saw an interview. That's why he said Peggy. Um, all right. So you didn't spend a lot of time in Indianapolis. It's most of the time has been in Colorado. Well, you know, I, I went to high school in the Midwest, so I see. I moved to Colorado when I was a senior in high school. Okay. And so you have some of those midwestern values. What does that mean? Because I'm from New York, so I have no idea what I mean when I say midwestern values. Well, you know, obviously I am a, um, a sticker when it comes to a job, so I worked at one, I, I've had two jobs.

Speaker 4: This is my third job in my adult life, so that's it. Just three, three, three when I was at for five years when I was up at 4:33 years and now I've been doing this for three years, so I'm going to stick around, stick around. Yeah. When I commit, I really, really committed. But um, I think the other kind of values said that I bring with me, and this is, I don't know if that's really related to where I grew up or just more into my family upbringing that, you know, treat people as you want to be treated. Um, you know, your, your employees are the heartbeat of your operation. If you know, if you can get them on board, if you can get them on the same page with you. And if everybody is working together and trusting each other, you're going to be able to do whatever you want to do regardless of what industry we're talking about.

Speaker 4: Yeah, no, absolutely. And it kind of, uh, you know, we, we, um, we just talked to a, an executive from or organic Graham and he said, you know, it's really key to have to build the brand, what you're talking about, really use a mission, you know, and you know, how, what, what is the mission at love's oven, do you have it, you know, uh, specifically stated, or what is it that your employees are rallying around? What is the concept? We're continually kind of modifying our mission statement to keep up with the times, but really what they're rallied around is putting forth the best quality product that we can in the marketplace. So very consistent, a very quality oriented, something that people will want to consume and news and, and what's great is that the employees are my best brand ambassadors. So that's why I don't bring up a brand so much because again, I think that if you, uh, if your folks are on board with you, they carry that brand forward. It's not even something we have to work terribly hard at. It's infused, if you will. Correct. Um, all right, so, you know, as far as where we are, let's take the moment in time you, you, you kind of specifically um, you know,

Speaker 3: laid out the, you know, the issues that you're facing that the industry is facing, the, you know, what you're doing at love's oven specifically. But if we do take you, because if you're the, you know, one of the initial players in Colorado, which is one of the initial places where all this started, a leaving out California of course. Um, what, how do you think we're doing? Where are we, you know, if, if we go from 2009 to 2000, 13 to 2016, where are we on this continuum do you think?

Speaker 4: Well, I think we're maybe 70 percent of the way there already. I do. And one of the really remarkable things that just happened as said, our, our governor love him to death. He had no, he comes from a kind of a similar background and bringing up the craft brewery. I'm just straining to Colorado. He just has gone on record to say, you know, he, he approved. So, you know, at the sky hasn't fallen in Colorado and she now he thinks that it just might work. So that's been a huge step forward for us. And as we

Speaker 3: no cannabis has post partisan or pre partisan, meaning that it gets more votes than you do

Speaker 4: whether you're a republican or a democrat. Yep. And we're talking about Democratic governor John Hickenlooper. But he was steadfast against this. He was. And in fact, uh, he, he aligned himself with the couple of former governor. So, you know, one was Republican, the other one Democrat, and they all three came out against cannabis being legalized after we have voted MP beforehand. Timing there, they actually put forth a pretty good campaign effort to try to encourage folks to say no. So, you know, up here either Mamata pokes, don't listen to the radio or watch television or just a, you know, the, the uh, calmer minds prevailed. But, um, so it's really been a big step to really get the governor, you know, a little more in line with the industry. And, you know, I think the industry is really working hard to get back to the communities, certainly in the tax revenues have not hurt anybody at all. It's really been able to help support, you know, the building of some new school infrastructure, some good public education campaign. And you know, I think everybody kind of was starting to say, yeah, it's here to stay. So let's embrace it.

Speaker 3: Indeed. When you, when you start to talk about the bees, the billions as far as, uh, you know, dollars for the industry in Colorado alone. Um, you know, I think we kinda got to open our eyes a little bit. We do, especially if the, as you say, sky hasn't fallen, right? Correct. Correct. All right, so we've got three final questions. Okay. I'm going to tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. One is what has most surprised you in cannabis? Second question is, what has most surprised you in life? The third question is on the soundtrack of Peggy Moore's life. What is one song on track that's got to be on there? So first things first, what has most surprised you in? Well,

Speaker 4: so what's most surprised me in cannabis is, um, you know, how quickly people's perceptions are starting to change. Um, you know, I, I, when we first legalized, you know, there was still quite a, a division out there in the Colorado public and even in the Colorado media in terms of this is, it's gotta be either good or bad. There's no middle ground, no wait and see. And now you know, again what the governor even coming on board, you know, we're starting to really see that this is more more mainstream. So the reporting that we see on television is more unbiased and you know, people have moved on to other things. That's a, I saw a quote and we have a local magazine and the Denver area 50 to 80 and over talking to people that are moving from out of state and they said in the magazine, yes, cannabis is legal here. No, please don't talk about it all the time.

Speaker 4: Right. So I thought that that was very telling in terms of how quickly, you know, we just kind of brought it into the culture and we're moving on. Amazing. What has most surprised you in life in life? Um, my, my life continues to surprise me all the time, but, uh, you know, I would say that I've gone, I've kind of push the envelope all my life. I was not an easy child to raise. I had to ask lots of questions, did lots of things that I probably shouldn't have, but beyond asking questions, I ask lots of questions and I said, Oh, well, forget this. I'll just go ask my friends questions. I never be at home. So, but um, what's most surprised me as just kind of the, um, when I look back, just the love and support that you get from your friends and family, you know, regardless of, you know, what sort of choices that you make.

Speaker 4: And that applies to me personally. So once you have your inner circle, find your inner circle and exist in your inner circle, that inner circle has a tremendous amount of strength for particularly. So you're okay relying on the inner circle is what you're saying. Yes. So open up and allow that to happen. Would maybe be advice from you to others and take, take minutes, take time in your life to look back over your shoulder and say, wow, you know, I made that choice and you know, maybe it wasn't the choice everybody else who would have made, but you still have supporters and that that's what helps move me and motivate me. Oh, that's fantastic. So the final question might be the toughest one, or it might be the easiest one on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song into the mystic by Van Morrison. I think that that's the first. I don't know. I, you know, now we're up over 1:50. I don't know, a van Morrison has, uh, been listed before, but into the mystic. I mean, come on. Yeah, I can

Speaker 3: feel that song. That's a song you feel that, you know. Oh my God. All right, just go put it on right now. Find it on the spotify or whatever. Let's go. My goodness story of my life. Peggy Moore. Thank you so much. All right. I'll see you in a minute. And there you have ray gracewood and Peggy Moore.

Speaker 2: So interesting things happening. Obviously both in Canada and Colorado did was an interesting pairing. Hope you enjoyed it. If you've not been to kind of words.com just yet to nominate those deserving, please go there, but if you don't feel like it, don't do it. Thanks for listening. Very much. Appreciate just that.

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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.