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Ep.196: Lift Expo Recap (Canada)

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.196: Lift Expo Recap (Canada)

Ep.196: Lift Expo Recap (Canada)

We present an indubitable cornucopia of view points from  the Lift Expo Recap. We’ve been loading up with pre US election run-up so this has certainly been an episode in waiting. David Brown first joins us an an introduction. Hugo Alves then joins us and discusses his point of view of cannabis in Canada from his legal perspective. His thought, and the thought that emanates generally from our neighbors to the north is that federal recreational use cannabis will be on the books in early 2018. We round out the conversation with Hugo discussing what constitutionality means in Canada- and what to expect from the interaction of federal and provincial law as it relates to retail. Jodie Emery then closes with her perspectives on where the industry is and where it’s going.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: from Canada. The lift expo recap. We presented an Indu biteable Cornucopia of viewpoints from the lift expo. Recap. We've been loading up on pre US election run up, so this certainly has been an episode in waiting. David Brown first joined us as an introduction. Can you go out lists then sits down and discusses his point of view of cannabis in Canada from his legal perspective. Just thought and the thought that Mnh generally from our neighbors to the north is that federal recreational use. Cannabis will be on the books in early 2018. We round out the conversation with you. Go discussing what constitutes banality means in Canada and what to expect from the interaction of federal and provincial law as it relates to retail. Jodie emery then closes with her perspectives on where the industry is and where it's going. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy from Canada, the lift expo recap. There you go. Okay. So, uh, well there's, there's a guy, he's the boss. I mean, come on, he's just going to be walking around. Working is what he's doing, right? Picking up paper bag. You do everything is what you do around here. We are another lift cannabis expo. I mean, how happy are you? We're, we're in the. We're rounding around lunch right now, right?

Speaker 3: We're happy. We're happy. Another big turnout looks to be another successful weekend. So yeah, there's turnout. Yeah, there's a ton of uh, uh, uh, booths here and sponsors and exhibitors and Dr. Mark were kicked us off today and you were kind enough to, uh, to have me do the q and a for that. What do you think we just saw? I think it was historic. I think we, we just had the vice chair of the taskforce engage, engage the public in a way that they haven't yet. And I think that he was able to convince a lot of people that he understands these issues that I think a lot of them think he's tone deaf to the task force is tone deaf to. I think it was amazing. I think it was a great conversation. He talked for a lot longer than we expected and we answered a lot of amazing questions and it shows that the government is listening, you know, they, they, that was my takeaway completely is that if nothing else, that's all their doing.

Speaker 3: Um, you know, his, his point, um, he had many points. One of them was that he's been to many communities, he's been to many, uh, parts of the cannabis economy. He's been to many parts of the, uh, the, the, the Canadian, a society that has nothing to do with cannabis and he's really listening to all voices. And as far as, you know, a citizen of North America from my perspective of Canada for you, I feel like that's all we can ask him to do. Yeah. So he's doing the job, he's doing the job, you know, and the task force, I believe the number I saw recently, it was 28 cities that they visited in the last couple months. Engaging with people is a huge task a and like you say, you know from the states, the US is going to be looking at this model that that candidate is building.

Speaker 1: from Canada. The lift expo recap. We presented an Indu biteable Cornucopia of viewpoints from the lift expo. Recap. We've been loading up on pre US election run up, so this certainly has been an episode in waiting. David Brown first joined us as an introduction. Can you go out lists then sits down and discusses his point of view of cannabis in Canada from his legal perspective. Just thought and the thought that Mnh generally from our neighbors to the north is that federal recreational use. Cannabis will be on the books in early 2018. We round out the conversation with you. Go discussing what constitutes banality means in Canada and what to expect from the interaction of federal and provincial law as it relates to retail. Jodie emery then closes with her perspectives on where the industry is and where it's going. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy from Canada, the lift expo recap. There you go. Okay. So, uh, well there's, there's a guy, he's the boss. I mean, come on, he's just going to be walking around. Working is what he's doing, right? Picking up paper bag. You do everything is what you do around here. We are another lift cannabis expo. I mean, how happy are you? We're, we're in the. We're rounding around lunch right now, right?

Speaker 3: We're happy. We're happy. Another big turnout looks to be another successful weekend. So yeah, there's turnout. Yeah, there's a ton of uh, uh, uh, booths here and sponsors and exhibitors and Dr. Mark were kicked us off today and you were kind enough to, uh, to have me do the q and a for that. What do you think we just saw? I think it was historic. I think we, we just had the vice chair of the taskforce engage, engage the public in a way that they haven't yet. And I think that he was able to convince a lot of people that he understands these issues that I think a lot of them think he's tone deaf to the task force is tone deaf to. I think it was amazing. I think it was a great conversation. He talked for a lot longer than we expected and we answered a lot of amazing questions and it shows that the government is listening, you know, they, they, that was my takeaway completely is that if nothing else, that's all their doing.

Speaker 3: Um, you know, his, his point, um, he had many points. One of them was that he's been to many communities, he's been to many, uh, parts of the cannabis economy. He's been to many parts of the, uh, the, the, the Canadian, a society that has nothing to do with cannabis and he's really listening to all voices. And as far as, you know, a citizen of North America from my perspective of Canada for you, I feel like that's all we can ask him to do. Yeah. So he's doing the job, he's doing the job, you know, and the task force, I believe the number I saw recently, it was 28 cities that they visited in the last couple months. Engaging with people is a huge task a and like you say, you know from the states, the US is going to be looking at this model that that candidate is building.

Speaker 3: This is the first country, the first [inaudible] country legalizing cannabis. It's a big deal. It's a complicated process and they are listening. They are learning a, it's a diverse taskforce that has a diverse country with a lot of different ideas. It takes a long time to reach consensus with all those ideas. Without question. You mentioned the diverse country. I want to kind of as far as we can, we kind of talked about it a little bit. Uh, in the quick conversation we had before this Ontario was the home of the, uh, the big version of this. Here we are in BC, you know, Toronto versus Vancouver. As far as the folks that are walking around, you know, what are you noticing? I feel like the exhibitor situation is, is a somewhat static. Yeah, exactly. That's, that's similar. What are you noticing as far as key differences for yourself?

Speaker 3: Honestly, I think it's a very similar crowd. I mean, what we saw in Toronto when I'm seeing here is a great cross section of Canadians and this isn't just your typical cannabis event and yet this isn't just a cannabis business event either. You have consumers of general public, you have industry professionals, uh, and the conversations that come out of that because this isn't just preaching to the choir, this is an opportunity to talk to the general public an opportunity to talk with a lot of very legitimate players within this industry. I'll tell you what I noticed. What I've noticed is that the folks walking around the folks asking questions that aren't necessarily in the industry here in Vancouver seemed to absolutely know what they're talking about. A seemed to really be, you know, as far as the intellectual property, it is certainly here. As far as the folks walking around in Toronto, I noticed folks that are certainly cannabis enthusiasts, but not necessarily those that have a large depth of knowledge of, of what, what, what the plant is, does and will be type of thing.

Speaker 3: BC is the epicenter of Vancouver is the epicenter for cannabis in Canada. Absolutely. Uh, and maybe North America. Uh, I might dare to say, uh, there's a lot of people who've been doing research activism for a long time. So yeah, I mean, you could maybe say there are a lot more, uh, more informed conversations here. W where do you think we're going with this? You know, as far as just your personal opinion on Canada. We had Dr. Mark where say that, uh, yes, he's going to give the task force. The task force is going to present their findings on November 30th. Um, you know, to the ministers, the ministers will do with it what they will. Uh, we're not going to have legal cannabis in a, you know, the second quarter of 2017 is we're hoping for, but it's certainly going there. He said, how not, if, you know from your perspective and how do you think we're doing up here in Canada?

Speaker 3: I think, you know, there's a lot of people, I think especially in the general public, people who aren't paying attention, who feel like it's taking too long. Uh, I think that we're making enormous strides. I think if you look at the, the, all of the issues it takes to actually change the legislation at a federal, provincial, municipal level. I think we're making strides for your American listeners who are familiar with the incoherence of the US system because of that lack of federal legality. Sure. Uh, that is the work that's going in right now and that will allow for a smoother transition down the road. So I think we're making enormous strides. That is what surprised me so much. The most surprising thing from Dr. where was he was representing the federal government of Canada and speaking so coherently. Yeah. Uh, he, he, he understands the endocannabinoid system.

Speaker 3: He is, he understands the cannabis economy. He understands the cannabis culture speaking so coherently to all of the issues that affect the cannabis is fascinating from a federal perspective. It's fascinating to me and he's an amazing choice and I think a lot of people saw that when he was announced as the vice chair. He's a great because he comes from decades of understanding of the cannabinoid system of medical cannabis from a very legitimate place, and yet he isn't from the auto a bubble and I think that's a lot of the similar to the Washington DC bubble. There were a lot of people don't really understand the broader conversation he does. He sees it from the activist viewpoint, [inaudible] from the government standpoint. He understands how to reach that delicate consensus. Yeah. Amazing. Well done. I mean, I guess I'll say so far because you still have another day and a half year.

Speaker 3: You got a long way to go, but, uh, you know, take the win of, of this morning. Uh, I would be remiss if I didn't ask you for a song from the soundtrack of your life for, for today, for the moment. It could be anything. Could be the same song you gave us last time. Doesn't matter. Oh yeah. I'm going to have to. Rick. Roll you guys again. Once again, never again. Never going to give you up. Never going to let you know that you're. Rick rolled me last time. Cannabis. We love you. David Brown. Thank you so much. Thank you seth. Talk to you soon. We're coming for Ya. There go.

Speaker 1: This episode is supported by gateway. Gateway is the business accelerator or the cannabis industry born out of Silicon Valley. They find the best startups in top tier founding teams and then provide them with seed capital structure curriculum proven in silicon valley. Beautiful Office space partnership deals worth over $100,000 in custom curated mentorship through an amazing network of top experts from both silicon valley and the cannabis industry. You have questions or would like to work in this environment? Visit Gateway [inaudible] dot com. This episode is also supported by treatibles. All mammals have an endoccanabinoid system. Our bodies and our pets bodies produce endocannabinoids. Very much like the cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis. Treatibles containing a proprietary blend of non psychoactive cannabinoids derived from non industrial hemp. The cannabinoids in their treats have an entourage effect for pain management, inflammation, epilepsy, the list goes on and on. Use the code can economy@treatibles.com for a 10 percent discount. Treatable [inaudible] dot com code can economy being modest. That's fair. So Hugo, all this, I mean, if there's a guy in Canada that, uh, that is you, you would be him, but you, you know, what you're talking about is the cannabis. That's a priority. There we go. Do you know what you're talking about? Cannabis. Yeah, I do. Why? Why do you? How? How do you know?

Speaker 4: Well, because in Canada, cannabis and the business of Canada, this is a regulated business. I'm a, I'm a lawyer. So that's my business. I know the law. I like to say the cannabis loves lawyers. Lawyers love cannabis to be honest.

Speaker 1: So what would give us a two to begin here? Give us your state of affairs in terms of cannabis in Canada. We heard this morning from the vice chair of the taskforce, you know, legalization is around the corner. Maybe not second quarter, 2017 like people are talking about, but certainly soon. Um, you know, Dr Mark Ware said, how not, if, you know what, what are you thinking? What are you hearing on the ground?

Speaker 4: Yeah, that's a good question. So I, what I'm hearing on the ground is that the November 2016 date is set in stone as the date that the task force is going to release their recommendations to the Department of Justice and that from there the goal still remains to introduce a regulation into part one of the Canada Gazette, which is where they publish laws for commentary and a public period. So it's not yet law to. That's still on track for sort of mid 2017. Good. So from there you will still have a period, like it still has to work its way through parliament has to be read but to liberal majority government. So if they want to pass it it will get passed. So I would expect there to be cannabis recreational use regulations on the book sometime early 2018. Yeah.

Speaker 1: Right. And that's a conservative estimate I, I would imagine.

Speaker 4: Done. Yeah. You know what, one of the things that have to realize that how cannabis law in Canada differs from cannabis law in the US is it's not driven by a bunch of people who voted, voted set of regs onto a bill and voted into law here. It's very much a political process. So you've got to look at it through a political lens. There is a, a liberal majority government. They got a four year term. You don't want to introduce, at least in my view, you've got to make a choice. Do we go fast or go slow? If you go fast, then you need to introduce it into law with enough of a buffer between the next election where if there are kinks to work out, they're not fresh in everyone's mind. That can be used by opposition parties as a very, uh, let's say a very, a sore that hasn't healed.

Speaker 4: Yeah, sure. So if you go fast, you got to go fast and if you go slow then you're probably not looking to do it close to the end of your first term where it becomes an election issue. But I think because our prime minister has made legalization of recreational use, a campaign platform issue, um, for him not to introduce it during the first term, that in and of itself would be fodder for opposition parties. There you go. I mean, we can, if we're not going to go against you because your board will go against you because you didn't do it. Exactly. Exactly. So, and that is the political lens, you know, that's, that's such as the political process.

Speaker 3: Steed. Alright. And thank you for taking us through a little bit on the lawmaking on how it all goes. We, we talked about this on one of the panels and I wonder what your thoughts are. There was a drastic change in the way that the industry as it was, um, dealt with cannabis. In other words, many more players came into the market in 2009 when Barack Obama was voted in a. and then he did certain things along the way, including, you know, a few memos. But, um, you know, there were, there were, there were comments in, there were things, but, but really it was just generally him being voted in that changed the feeling on the ground and many more people got involved. I'm not saying exactly the same thing here, but what I am asking is how has your job changed going from.

Speaker 4: Oh, it's changed a lot. So, um, so I think the same effect happened here. And you saw also I think, look, I work for a large national law firm platform, right? So when I told them that I wanted to start a cannabis based practice, they were very supportive, uh, you know, very supportive of the entrepreneurial ism and all that sort of stuff. But there's no denying that when Trudeau was elected and that cannabis legalization was high on his platform of campaign issues, that, that sort of change. You know, people look at this now as, yes, there was an industry and it was in response to a constitutional challenge, but now it's gained a momentum where it's a real industry. And one of the bets that I took in starting my own business in this industry is that there would be increasing, I don't want to say professionalization in a, in a, in a bad way, that the people that were early movers weren't professionals.

Speaker 4: They were there and very, very smart people who have built tremendous businesses, but just people who would not ordinarily get into the cannabis industry that had great jobs as head of investment banks, I head of chartered banks are now saying looking at this and saying, this is viable, this is real. We want in. There we go. Right? So that, that's been a huge change. All right? So congratulations on all that. And uh, you know, good luck on getting sleep at some point, I would imagine and see it tonight. Yeah, absolutely. So, wait, so, uh, so as far as you know, I'm constitutionality. Yes. I want to ask you this question, um, tell me what I'm asking you when I talk about constitutionality and the dispensary model that is in Vancouver now licensed in Victoria, about to be licensed in BC in general. Uh, talk about how that interacts with any federal program that comes out.

Speaker 4: What does constitutionality mean here in Canada? Well, we have a division of powers and so when Vancouver past its bylaws, we looked at them, they did, they clearly had legal advice to make sure that what they were regulating was in the provincial division of powers and didn't infringe upon federal division of powers now where they completely like, did they get it completely right? I don't know. We'll see. We'll see. We'll have to ask, uh, a real constitutional lawyer about that. But um, they did it. They got it right enough where the federal government, including it was a harper federal government, a lot more conservative when it comes to cannabis chose not to challenge you to say the least. Yeah, exactly. Chose not to challenge it. So I think that one of the big things that we're going to see and, and you know, we have been approached by the various groups in government, but at a provincial level in various jurisdictions, one of the things that we're going to see is when the recreational regs come in, there will be a negotiation between the federal government in each province about how do you implement these federal regulations at a provincial level and how does the, the, each province exercise it's jurisdictional powers to regulate in a way that makes sense for their province, which I very much appreciate.

Speaker 4: A is a great lawyer answer. And what does that mean? Well, what it means is that in jurisdictions where they've made a determination that they will allow a physical point of retail that's owned independently, um, they will have a significant say at the negotiation table as to whether or not that is the mode of distribution for their problems. Now there's a host of issues that come along with that, you know, like what does access look in British Columbia versus Ontario versus Manitoba. But I, you know, look like I have to tell you the conversations I've had, I think that physical points of retail are very much in the conversation. And uh, as a lawyer who is a believer in markets, you know, I, I think that's a good thing. So I, you know, I would, I would suspect in British Columbia there will be a very strong voice for physical points of retail that are independently owned.

Speaker 4: I'm starting to say this a lot. My three key principles are safe patient access, sensible regulations, and a true adherence to capitalism. When you say you believe in markets, what are, what am I saying and what are you saying? I think we're saying the same thing right now. Like I believe in markets. I think regulation is necessary to protect public health and safety to make sure that there is certain quality controls in place which goes hand in hand with public health and safety, a responsible consumption knocked targeting sort of groups that may are susceptible to youth and things like that. Yeah. But in terms of developing an efficient market to service consumers, because in my view, if you're going to pass regulated adult use regs, part of the goal has to be to defeat the sort of black market. Yeah, definitely. And the only way you can really do that, like, you know, I think history has a lot of examples of where command and control legislation doesn't get the job done and mark has given us a quick for instance, so we were following well look like, I mean taxation is a command and control way to encourage us or discourage certain behaviors and that is one way the government's use.

Speaker 4: And then there are market waves and you know, I think with, if you allow a market or robust market to exist, you know, the best and smartest survive and thrive and presumably that's who you want to lead a market because that promotes your public policy objectives of quality controlled and, and sensible distribution and responsible advertising and all that sorts. There you go. Yeah. Let, let. Uh, I think Darwin has something on that as well, right? You know, survival of the fittest. I'm not sure. Have you ever been to the Galapagos? No. No. I know you got a lot to do. So I'm going to ask you the final three questions that we always ask. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack of your life? Name one track, one song that's going to be on there.

Speaker 4: What has most surprised you in cannabis knowing that you were in? You're in this big national law firm. You're the cannabis guy. You come to them and you're like, listen to this. Listen to what I'm going to do, and they actually supported you. What has most surprised you get? How many people love cannabis? There's a lot. Yeah, I mean, look, it is. It is something that plays a role, a very positive role in a lot of people's lives, and what surprised me maybe the most is how many people have embraced the sort of the viability that cannabis is, has a real future as a medicine that can change the world. There we go, and I, I bet half the audience thought you were going to say industry and you said medicine and that's why we like you. What has most surprised you in life? What's most surprised me in life?

Speaker 4: The harder I work, the luckier I get. And the truth. Isn't that crazy? It is. Someone told me that one time and I thought, okay, I'll give it a try, but if it works, you gotta work hard. You get lucky. There you go. So you are getting lucky. The problem is you're working so hard. That's true. I have a great team around me, so I mean I can't discount that without them. I can't do any of those. There you go. Soundtrack of your life. One track, one song. That's got to be on the soundtrack of my life. One Song maybe. Um, I don't know. Something by the smiths. Oh Wow. Look at you dating myself. There you go. Say hello to Morrissey. I will use all that stuff is almost a pleasure. Thanks very much. Take care.

Speaker 3: Would you say that you're louder than mark or mark's louder than you?

Speaker 5: I can project my voice for the that I can be actually very, very loud. When I was a summer camp counselor, I would be the one to call the get old days

Speaker 3: kids out of the forest and shit. So how many, how old were the kids? All ages eight to 13. And what was a key lesson learned for being a camp counselor? Well, I, I just love nature, so it was just. I always went to that campus. What about managing the children whom I love working with? Kids would love to do more of it when I'm done all this activist shit. So all this activist shit. What's the latest as far as Jodie emery is concerned? What are you thinking about right now? We're here September 2016, right? We're at this big industry thing. You said it's just more people, more logos. But um, what are you thinking about? What are you talking about? What's on the top of your mind?

Speaker 5: I find it a bit weird that you can't actually display candidates here. There's no actual cannabis plants or, or, or bud. So everybody here is here because of that bud plant. But the plant itself is not allowed to be on display, so there's something kind of, I don't know, it just didn't sit with me because my booth is here. Cannabis culture and you know, here in Vancouver, activism started in 1994. Got Really kickstarted with my husband, mark emery selling seeds and bonds and magazines and pipes. All of which are illegal and getting raided and arrested and refusing to close. And so everything that's happening here today in in a big way thanks to him for pushing the boundaries decades ago and getting arrested and going to jail. And we've been doing that activist work for so long and I love seeing the development of industry. I love seeing the businesses and job opportunities and there's so much that's great about this.

Speaker 5: But what's always missing from these events more now than before is the activist spirit, the community spirit and the voice. For those who have been victims of prohibition. Like you're here and you're looking around and there's nobody talking about the criminal records or the arrest or the fact that today, while we're here doing this, people are getting arrested and going to jail and that that's my number one concern is that marijuana prohibition is still in force and effect and I'd love for us to all make money and jobs and all that. But you know, these events tend to forget the roots of where this all began and what still goes on today.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And, and what we're starting to see, I know that there was an expungement program that was happening in California. Are you guys not having that same kind of a full circle kind of enlightenment on?

Speaker 5: Well, what's disappointing is that Trudeau, Prime Minister Trudeau, before he became prime minister, the Liberal Party base, the members voted for legalization of the convention. So they forced it on the party through a vote at their convention and Trudeau at the time was not really in favor of legalization. He even voted for mandatory minimums. And you know, the government hasn't really talked so much about the criminal records. I mean, he did at first, at first trudeau didn't want to say legalize and music. Well decriminalize it, stop arresting people, you know, he even told a bunch of students that, you know, it's wrong for them to be criminalized and have these records, but then he dropped that talking point and his legalization talking points changed into strictly Health Canada regulation, strict control, stop the gangs, protect the children, and just a lot of propaganda that you used to hear from prohibitionists, which makes me very concerned because legalization could just be regulation and regulation is what prohibition itself is, right? So, you know, if they try to overregulate it, it will just be a new prohibition. That seems to be where we're going.

Speaker 1: Well where's your line? That's what I kind of want to get to. Right? In terms of, you know, it seems like you do recognize we might have to do something here. Where is too far? Where's, you know, I don't think you'll be where it's not enough, but, but where's your line? Where, where is it? Okay. And where does it make sense?

Speaker 5: I, you know, to be honest, events like this are or throw me for a loop I get so I get so torn up and confused about this whole industry. I mean you want to make friends with the people who can change the rules, but you also need to criticize them for continuing to harm homeless people and I want to support businesses like the licensed producers, but I can't support the ones who want to criminalize the competition and you know, it's just so many elements and things at play, like even the fact that lift itself is working with the licensed producer program so they get a lot of flack from grassroots activists and I agree with those criticisms, but at the same time I want to be here. I want to meet with these people and Educate and Oh, there's, I'm trying to figure all this line drawing and invoke rules.

Speaker 5: What rules do we follow them? Which do we disobey? Because all marijuana legalization, activism and business has come from civil disobedience. That's come from ignoring the rules and just doing it even though it's illegal and that's great because civil disobedience has gotten us to this point, but what rules do you follow and not follow it, and it comes down to even simply having my booth here where we wanted to display cannabis and you were told not to and at first he said absolutely not. We're going to put it on display because that's what we're here for because it is about the plants, but then at the same time it's like, well, the convention center made them promise not to allow any, so I don't want to get them in trouble, but it's a prohibition and I literally had to prohibit the display of cannabis and cannabis expert. So all these lines across like which do I follow? Which do I not? And I, I feel like that's a, that's getting more and more difficult as we wade into the waters of rules and regulations and bylaws and all that.

Speaker 1: It's, it's complex, it's nuanced. It's difficult to understand where we should be mentally, emotionally. You know, what we should support and what we should

Speaker 5: coaster it is like literally today I'm here, but last night we were supposed to have a diversity conference at my lounge, but the hosts, Charlo Greene got stopped at the border. She's not allowed into Canada because marijuana is illegal and yet here we are today at this massive expo with you know what's really going to represent millions of dollars in commerce. Sure. And yet at the same time, you know we're not allowed to smoke pot except for in the pin outside or you're not allowed to speak so and people are getting arrested. Even today and our store in Peterborough, Ontario got raided, but the owner got out 62 years old, spent the night in jail. He came out to find because candace culture represents activism behind our businesses and he's ready to reopen on Monday. So we have. It's a roller coaster. I wake up in the morning wondering what's going to happen today? Are we getting a task force coming to town? Or if you're getting an expo or a re, you know what's happening

Speaker 1: and it's the answer is all of it constantly. It's a whirlwind. It's a headache, you know, it's, it's exciting though. I always say it's better to be busy than bored. Will be better to be busy than bored. Kind of simplifies it. And, and what I mean by that is, you know, you mentioned marks early days and, and you did join him, you know, a while back now. And so when you talk to yourself from day one in cannabis to now you mentioned the confusing bit. What about all of the progress, you know, what about that, how different is, are the conversations that you're having now versus the conversations that you're having in the late nineties? Right.

Speaker 5: That's interesting is I think in terms of the industry, we're seeing exponential growth and interest in media attention in use, in everything. So you know, two years ago there were expos like in Toronto and they're about this, but not quite and event hoover has never been. We've been the center of the culture for so long in many ways, but not the center of commerce and business. So this is the first truly successful trade show for marijuana in Vancouver. Um, and I hope it continues to succeed, but, you know, seeing this growth, it overwhelms me when I first show up. I keep saying I'm inspired, but also intimidated. It's very professional. It's growing rapidly. And where do we fit into this? At what point do we have to drop the activists that goes straight to business? Well, I don't know if I need to do that.

Speaker 5: I want to do activism and business because what I've learned from all businesses, there's always government bylaws and bs you've got to be ready to deal with. So, um, you know, if you're not ready for the challenges of being in business period, then you won't be able to do it in this industry. But it's obviously got a lot to offer. And even five years ago you couldn't possibly dream of this. You wouldn't even get an expo center. They wouldn't let you hold a weed expo in the city. And now it's, it's legitimize, it is legitimized. And let's go to Vancouver. You mentioned Vancouver, the city of Vancouver has begun licensing dispensary's. What are your thoughts on that? The licensing regime is extremely strict and designed to shut down 95 percent of the dispensary's. And that's a fact. The city admits that the rules they introduced are going to eliminate, um, you know, most of the 200 shops that opened, they said go from 200 to 12.

Speaker 5: And that's what they're saying. They're aiming for it to go from the 200 that existed down to 12. And apparently a lot decided to close on their own because they can't afford the tickets. And the challenge, um, one of our franchise locations in town here does have tickets. It does have an injunction. My name is on a court order. Um, so what is your name not on a quarter or always challenged that. I'm sure I'm on a number of lists, you know, um, but we've got all these different challenges that I feel are unfair and I keep calling them discriminatory bylaws and enforcement. I mean, if I wanted to go open a coffee shop, I just need to get the money, find a landlord sign and get a business license and then good luck. Hope you do well with marijuana dispensary that think you need to jump through all these hoops.

Speaker 5: It's $30,000 to if you get the license, you're not allowed criminal records, you're not allowed any associations with, you know, and all sorts of rules. No Smoking on site and just overregulation and it's unnecessary. And the only reason those overregulate jewelry rules exist is because of prohibition and fearmongering and the propaganda that we've dealt with forever and it's continuing to demonize cannabis and to treat it like something very dangerous. And it's not mean coffee, like keeping it up coffee. It's an addictive stimulant. Eighty percent of adults are addicted to coffee and you know. Exactly. Then a lot of people can't function without it. Well that sounds like a disaster. If you described marijuana that way, 80 percent of adults are using it and they can't go without it. They can't start their day with it and you know, they're paying five bucks for one cup of it.

Speaker 5: Can you believe it? I know it's happening. Right? And so marijuana is so benign and simple as just a Darrin plant. It drives me crazy that there's all these rules you should be allowed to just treat it like anything else. So something that just happened, I do want to point out because it, it, it has, it, it, it turns out that it didn't have anything to do with legislation or regulations. Uh, it turned into something very different what happened in Toronto, just just the other day we have, we have credit, a different shops. So, um, you know, in two of them had been raided. And then Mark Emery, my husband went out and decided to open his own shop. He borrowed some money to invest in his own franchise of our business. So I own the company canvas culture. So he's now a franchise owner. I just dreams once again his, he hates that.

Speaker 5: But yeah. So he's doing very well though. But the, you one of these, these are one of the issues that the dispensary is deal with is rotten landlords. And so this landlord at first said, I'd love to have your marijuana store. We're big fans of your activism. We love what you do. We know people, you know, everything's groovy. Sure. Give us $24,000 straight up front for rent. And the next day the property manager is trying to kick them out. So the next day and every day after saying, you gotta get Outta there, Mark said, that's not fair. We have a lease. It's for marijuana sales only. I'm not even allowed to do any other business except sell marijuana. Agreed. That's our contract. So mark woke up one morning and found police upfront, but because we have been rated and please do raid Toronto shops regularly, um, he was concerned that was a raid.

Speaker 5: So he called me up and he went on facebook live and streamed that. These cops were outside and we tend to get media whenever stuff happen. So we all have an understatement. So mark got all the media there and the cameras and they all came inside and interviewed him and he was very emotional about it, you know, this is a dream of is it's a business that he deserves to be. And he sacrificed, he went to prison, he's done his time, he helped make this all possible. Why can't he just have a shop? So, um, it was very stressful. Then another one of those mornings where you wake up just hoping you'll have a coffee and read the paper and things take a bit of a turn. But, and that was all about the landlord and the landlord. It's the landlord calling the cops at wanting to evict them, but they didn't serve any victim eviction notice or anything.

Speaker 5: They just left. So it's more like intimidation and because it's a marijuana store, it's illegal and therefore you don't really have any recourse. So it's, it's a challenging thing, but he made a deal. They've figured it out. He's going to be leaving, getting his rent back, but he found an even better location. So we're not going anywhere. Good. And um, I'm a fan personally of the true definition of capitalism, but if, if I sign a lease with you and then I eventually the next day, that's not capitalism, that's just rotten bad behavior. I mean. And, and that's, you find it in lots of businesses though. There's bad everywhere, there's bad tenants everywhere. There's great landlords in great tenants too. So I always tried to remember whenever I'm criticizing any experience or any group, like, you know, the licensed producers get demonized a lot and I am critical of them in some ways, but at the same time they are doing it an important service and many people benefit from them.

Speaker 5: So I'm always trying to see both sides to talk more about the licensed producers, just so people can hear Jodie emery talking about the licensed producers in a positive way. What is going well as far as you're concerned? In a nutshell, everything's illegal. People get arrested, they go to court, the courts changed the laws. So in Canada we had many patients and dispensary's getting arrested, charged and going to court and having the court's order, the government, you must provide medical marijuana access now under the conservative government or even further back under the previous liberal government, they obstructed marijuana access. They were against it, they didn't want it. And then when Harper got elected with the conservatives, they are even more against it. So every time the courts ordered them repeatedly to improve access, they would do the littlest thing, they could at least possible amount of change they could put in and then it would get challenged in court again, since this tedious, expensive, painful process, really truly unfair to the patient's left hanging all the time.

Speaker 5: But this system came out where the patients were allowed to grow their own or designate someone to grow for them and everything was kind of okay. You know, some people got ripped off by their growers. Some people couldn't find doctors to sign the paperwork. There's still issues. But then the harper government thought, what if we take away all those gardens since we don't like people growing it and just have access provided through a few limited companies and that was introduced in 2014 were these licensed producers would be allowed to provide to the patients through the mail only and you know, that didn't really sit well with a lot of people and that was a harper design program. It's actually designed to fail. First of all, these licensed producers have to raise an enormous amount of money and investment in capital and really sell a product that isn't worth anything yet to them and then go into stock market and promise their shareholders returns.

Speaker 5: And this is all based on patients who are mostly broke and they don't have money so that the licensed producers on the one hand have to promise to shareholders great returns. But on the other hand, they have to provide a cheap, cheap cannabis product for patients who really need it and can't smoke garbage. They need quality and quality costs. So those poor licensed producers, that's all I gotta say. They're dealing with an over regulatory prohibitive regime that's designed to strangle him to death. And that's why I'm even surprised to see licensed producers I didn't know existed. I eat, we all hear about tweed. We all heard about bedroom can tilray that. He knows some big names. Yeah. And so you've got these names, but then there's a lot of others too. And they're all struggling and they're all competing against each other too. So when we criticize, oh, those big bad licensed producers ganging up on us and it's like you can bet they're beating each other up behind closed doors too.

Speaker 5: Business. It's competition. They've got to compete. And many of them are struggling because the government model is not designed to help them in any way. It's over leave restrictive. It's expensive, it's not working. Um, but I understand why they try and jump through the hoops to try and make it work. That's what most people do. And when you mentioned the dispensary regulations in Vancouver, they suck. They're terrible. They ignored days of testimony, begging them to do it differently. Um, but they went ahead with it in some places like mine are staying open regardless and others close down, but some have complied with the rules and they're really trying to get along, you know, they want to not be confrontational and I don't like being confrontational, but I realized that out of everybody in this industry, um, I can leave it to the pros to do all that pro stuff and I'll be the rabble rouser on the street with my protest sign saying, stop arresting people and let everybody be in this industry.

Speaker 3: Would you go for a, a license Vancouver license

Speaker 5: if I could get one, but I just don't believe we could. I don't think that our, first of all, you can't get a location that's within a distance requirement and mentored meters. Right. And then you're not allowed to have any smoking onsite. And I really strongly believe that the model of distribution should be similar to Amsterdam even, you know better than Colorado. I, let's go to Amsterdam where they've been doing it for quite a while, quite a while. And that model works. You go to a place where you can buy it and use it in kids aren't allowed and everybody's happy. The prices could be better. The quality too, but you know, we can take care of that here. I'm pretty sure. So that's why our cannabis culture stores and lounges are designed on this vision of legalization that you should be allowed to conclude, yes, and to consume it and to enjoy it and talk about it, but the regulation say you're not allowed to do that.

Speaker 5: You're not allowed to be a gathering place and you have to have all these rules and telling people about risks to your health. And I'm thinking there's no warning at the coffee shop that it's an addictive stimulant. They're selling me. There's no that. It's just they. They are so afraid of marijuana. We've dealt with decades of fear and if only you could look at it for what it is, it's truly benign plant that can really help a lot of people in many ways. And if it weren't for all these decades of prohibition, we wouldn't have all this fear about it. And the fear is what's causing all these rules, but we really don't need them.

Speaker 3: Yeah. The 9,000 years before the last 90 think what we should be looking at.

Speaker 5: Right. We've been all right. We do. Okay. You,

Speaker 3: you just won a thought on, on mark again. You mentioned the fact that he got emotional and this is a guy that's been arrested, gone to jail like 30 times. Whatever the number is. It's around that number. I'm not being hyperbolic. Yeah. For Real, for real civil disobedience. And why? Why was this man who has been through more than any of that than anyone else? Why do think he got emotional

Speaker 5: this time? Because he was facing the loss of his dream for no good reason because he's at this point, you know, he thought he could be getting rated. So it's, you know, we didn't know if it was police kicked him out for pot or the landlord either way. It's the idea that this is a man who's devoted his life to cannabis and he has always wanted to create something he could participate in. And he's gone to prison and he's done his time and to do something that's peaceful and wonderful and so, um, so rewarding in, in a spiritual way to meet the people face to face and to get an endless parade of people who come in and they say, this is my dream. They also say, this is my dream, that I don't have to go lie to a doctor about insomnia, that I don't have to wait till I get sick.

Speaker 5: They don't have to join a membership list and worry that the cops are going to have my name. They just want to go somewhere where they can look at cannabis, touch it, smell it, take it home, use it or use it with us in the locations we have that allow for that, you know, that's their dream and what. And nobody's being harmed. Nobody's being hurt. And so when you have harmless, peaceful people being harmed by a law, it's wrong. I don't care what it's about. It doesn't matter what you're talking about. It doesn't matter if it's about growing broccoli or selling lemonade and it will stand unregulated, which we know actually. Please do come crack down. I mean it's the danger of over regulation that gets to absurd extremes like in Florida where they're getting arrested for feeding the homeless, you know, there's laws against providing life sustaining materials to homeless people.

Speaker 5: This is insane, but that's what government laws and regulations do. They constantly overreach and seep into so many parts of your life and so you suddenly realize you're about to be strangled to death by red tape and it just all wrapped up around you. You know, it's observed laws that harm people were harmless. And then the most offensive part of course, is that we're all forced to pay for it by our taxes and everything they do to us. We're paying for it through money. They robbed from us through force. So that bugs me a little bit. So I've asked you this,

Speaker 1: I'm going to ask you again because you, you have a pure way of looking at this. In other words, this is a benign plant. We don't need this red tape because the plant doesn't need it. We're. Where did you realize this? When did you realize this in terms of the journey of your life, when did this all become crystal clear to you? Because you have a very specific point of view?

Speaker 5: Well, I, I remember when I first started supporting legalization after I was against it for a long time as a teenager, but I was pro pot legalization, but I still had this mentality of um, you know, let's go after all the other drug users, you know, don't go after, go after all the meth users in heroin, junkies and everyone else. And then I remember the point when I immediately noticed it wasn't so much about pop being great and you shouldn't be criminalized for it. It was that criminalization of a choice of a, something you consume is wrong. So prohibition is wrong. Um, in drug prohibition is wrong and they're for all drugs should be legal because everywhere we go, we see drugstores are selling drugs to people left, right? And Center kids are given drugs for add all the time. People are given drugs every single day.

Speaker 5: Doctors are flooding North America with opioid medicines that are killing people and so much destruction and it's like drugs are everywhere. So what's the point of some of them being illegal and then, well, how many hours have you got? So we've got some major issues here that um, and for me it's about the principal does that you have the right to choose to do something if you're not harming others. If there's no victim, there's no crime. So we shouldn't be criminalizing anyone for cannabis. And it's one thing, you know, to make something illegal, it's evil to make something illegal when that thing isn't hurting. People like pot, but it's doubly evil to make it illegal when it's not only not hurting people, you know, follow me here. Not only not hurting people, it's helping people. Candidates is not benign. It's actually saving lives. And so it's doubly evil to deny people access into arrest them for it. That's just, especially when all the alternatives they're pushing on us are in fact poisonous. Like the Canadian government right now just said that they don't want to continue paying for veterans to have medical marijuana. They want them to use traditional opioid medicine pills instead because they can't establish the link of reducing opioid abuse by substituting with cannabis. Now in fact, there have been a number of different studies in investigations into this that, yeah, ptsd and drama is in fact a crisis and veterans are using cannabis and it is helping them, but

Speaker 3: that actually puts a lot of different things together and surprisingly so. PTSD. Yes. Then there was just an article in the Washington Post that mentioned on opiod use and addiction and the fact that a cannabis actually satiates it actually positively affects that meaning reduces opioid use and abuse and addiction.

Speaker 5: Yeah, and you know, it's, it's, it's crazy. Once you start looking candidates, and this is where, you know, we might start losing. People think I'm a conspiracy theorist, but cannabis can save the world and solve so many of our problems and I know we get laughed at when we say that, but give me an issue. Like for example, what about, you know, climate change, if you want to believe in it or anything, if there's too much carbon in the atmosphere, him will remove that from the atmosphere. Hip can reverse climate change. And what about wars like wars abroad, all these oil war as well. Let's go from old dinosaur fuel and start using renewable biofield from him and we can eliminate that need of going overseas and opioid medicines. These pink painkillers and all this addictive medicine, let's substitute it with cannabis. Okay, so alcoholism, that's a major issue to a lot of people die from alcohol. A lot of dangerous, terrible things happen. Sexual assault and violence and rape and fights from alcohol. Let's reduce alcohol use with cannabis. There's so many different issues that we can use cannabis to solve and it sounds crazy. People don't want to believe it. So when you said to me like where did I get this immediate idea about cannabis and all that, I started at one spot and then I started to expand my mind and then you start falling down the rabbit hole and it's like, oh,

Speaker 1: this goes deep. And, and as far as going deep, Jodie emery, little Jodie emery, like when you were a little kid, were you like, you know, walking around the school yard, like when you were a kindergarten, first grade, like say, you know, rallying people and

Speaker 5: said the, like a little clubs for saving endangered animals and protecting the environment. I'm a nature girl. I grew up, I love nature, I love plants, I love social justice issues. Um, so I guess that's how I grew up, but I was also very authoritarian and there was a leadership student, but it was also against marijuana. I was against drinking in high school and then I was against pot and I gave people a hard time for it. And I said that was your point of view then whatever they're told me because I was a leadership student and because I respected and admired all the teachers and authorities and I loved the look of cops all in the same uniform. And like I liked this authoritarian aspect of leadership and all that. And then I realized, Oh, I was lied to. And uh, started to change rapidly from there. That's all documented in a few interviews and stuff.

Speaker 1: Are Your folks, which side of the fence today

Speaker 5: are totally supportive of me and I just remember my mom saying when they found out I was smoking pot, they said, God, you shouldn't smoke pot because you could get arrested and it will ruin your life. Like it wasn't. You shouldn't smoke pot. It's going to drive you crazy. It wasn't anything like that. They knew that it was a safer choice in alcohol, but they knew that it being illegal meant there would have be serious repercussions not from the pot but from the criminalization of pot. So stay away from it until it's legal and that's how a lot of people feel that that's the through line to today. Even today and today, it's still illegal and so I bet you there are a lot of people wandering around who came here to see what it's all about and they're just kind of bewildered by going, wow, and so professional and this is like a busy trade show and it's slick and is growing and science and tech.

Speaker 5: I mean there's a mad scientist lab over there, big glass balls and tubes and I don't even know what's going on and we'd anymore give me a joint. I just want to go back to the grassroots, but it's crazy and it's exciting. Yeah, it's cool. I mean, you can imagine that the ordinary public who doesn't know much about Paul is coming here and going, wait, this is all still illegal. You're telling me this is all still criminalized. Like they don't even know it. Most of the people here, but under section 40, 62 point two of the Criminal Code of Canada, even a printed pamphlet like that lifts things is everything that's printed with marijuana is illegal in this country. Every book, every magazine, anything about marijuana is illegal. Look it up. Section 40, 60 point two of the criminal code and mark every tried to challenge that by selling high times magazine, bringing them in illegally in the Canada and selling them and trying to change that law Jagger's book as well.

Speaker 5: The emperor's new clothes of course. But um, the law still stands and most people don't know it. And so it's, it's, it's such a trip when I wake up and you know, we're getting rated in one place and there's a multimillion dollar expo in another and it's all illegal and it's crazy. You remained delightfully confused. Oh yeah. It's a whirlwind. Right? And you know what, it's probably not going to change because as with all battles, I mean, even liquor laws are only changing in places now and probation under while ago, but there's still a stupid rules in place and there's still always change. And civil rights movements, you know, like gay rights and all these different issues, they don't win. Once you cross a certain line, you don't vote yes on legalization has done, let's all relax now you've got to be active always because we always have to push forward.

Speaker 5: Government's never given us freedom. We've always had to push it by pushing the envelope. You know, we've only ever gotten this far, um, by really demanding to mess up the system. And that goes for any industry. It goes for any disruptive technology from Uber in anything at all. You have people changing the status quo and challenging it. And saying, I'm not gonna do this, I'm going to do something differently. And doing it differently means doing it in a way that's not being done. And that means defying convention and that means you're a rabble rouser. So you know, congrats to all the people are willing to push the limits because that's really what changes society changes the world from airplanes to Internet and everything. You need to be willing to say, what we've got now is not good enough. I'm going to change it and I'll do it. It takes to make a difference.

Speaker 3: There you go. Three quick final questions. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life? And then on the soundtrack of jody emory's life, one track, one song that's got to be on there that's last. What has most surprised you in cannabis? That's a big question for Jodie emery.

Speaker 5: I am surprised to learn that we have evolved with this plant and there's this part of me that, you know, not very spiritual or anything, but I think cannabis is the tree of life. And at first when I heard people saying that, I thought it sounded insane and it sounds like you must be part of a call or something. What, what is this real life stuff? But you know what? I really believe cannabis will help people change their minds and when people's minds change, like what happened to me, then everything changes when you're willing to be more tolerant and peaceful. I really believe that we can save so many lives and change humanity and it sounds so hippy dippy. Even as I'm saying this stuff, I can't. I'm going to laugh at myself, but I really believe cannabis has so much more to offer us.

Speaker 5: Of course, including things like Alzheimer's, preventing Alzheimer's and even cancer preventing and treating cancer. I mean, there's so much potential this plant has to offer us. Um, but I find it incredible how it most responds when you're doing it for the right reasons. And that we've evolved with it and you know it when you start using it, you know, that we are meant to be using this plant. Um, so that's the most surprising thing is how deep it goes into our very background and genetic makeup of the endocannabinoid system is fast. And so long term it sounds like there's still hope. Of course. What has most surprised you in life? It might be the same answer in life. Yeah. I'm, I'm, I'm tripping out still by how I'm here in this body, in this world. You know, a high school friend once told me, she wrote me on facebook when it first came out and she said, God, you remember me, we run leadership class together and you started smoking pot and you said you're gonna work from our camry or marrying him or both.

Speaker 5: And she wrote me this when I was already working for him and Mary, are you dead serious? He said yes. So I'm like, okay, maybe I have some manifesting theory here. I'm the crazy trippy stuff like how I testified in Washington state legislature for legalization before the one that passed background. Mary Lou Dickerson in 2010 or 11 rather, and I testified there and then about a year later I get a phone call from the trailer park. Boys might Clattenburg the director of the trailer park boys and he says that, God, I'm doing another movie and I wrote you into my script based on the video I saw on the Internet. So would you like to come to you in the movie playing yourself testifying to the Canadian Senate about legalization? And I said, that'd be great. So I am in that movie. That's what some people see me, trailer park boys three, don't legalize it.

Speaker 5: It's called. And I. It's funny because I played that part and I played myself and I deliver a little spiel about legalization and then I forget about it and time goes on and earlier this year there's a Canadian Senate meeting, liberal Senate meeting in parliament and people are invited to go. So I flew to auto. I went and I was allowed to ask a question and I stood up and I talked and the media was there and I talked to the senators and sat down and then a bit later I saw a trailer park boys clip and I said, wait a minute. In that movie I was testifying to Canadian senators have illegalization and here I am testifying to Canadian senator, the illegalization. I am literally living a movie my life imitating art imitated life. That was a trip, so you know what? I've been through the ringer to I guess you know, prison ain't no cake walk and Dina prisoners wife and keeping business going and activism and it's a struggle and I juggled a lot, but it's a trip.

Speaker 5: That's why I'm surprised that I was an anti marijuana authoritarian teacher's pet and look at me now. Soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. Oh No. I heard you ask this of the stage and I thought, I don't even know what I'm going to say to that. You know what, I. I don't really have an answer for my whole life, but lately I've been listening to this song. Oh my gosh. What is it called? Um, disparate use by. Is it? Who is that? I can't even remember. I can look it all up on my phone. It's on my phone because, you know, different songs have messages or things that inspire me and sometimes I have to get fired up and remember, you know, I'm really fighting for a lot of people that really need us to speak for them. They don't actually have the voice that we have. It's called disparate youth by Santigold Santigold. Is this a lady? Anyway, it's just something about how, I don't know. Go listen to it. I don't know

Speaker 1: what to say. I like to sing in the shower too. I have a morning cup and that's a good one to get me all fired up. So Jodie Emery, pleasure every damn time. Thank you so much. See you next time. All right. And there you have the lift expo recap to getting a lot of questions lately, recently about Canada. So, uh, there are some answers, very much appreciate David Brown's thoughts. Energy. You go, Alvarez, thoughts, energy, jody, emory's, thoughts, energy. Very much appreciate your energy, your time, and your listenership.

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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.