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Ep.198: Steph Sherer, ASA & Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.198: Steph Sherer, ASA & Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine

Ep.198: Steph Sherer, ASA & Jaime Lewis, Mountain Medicine

Steph Sherer joins us to discuss the history of Americans For Safe Access. Going way back, Steph wasn’t a recreational proponent of cannabis, but came to the plant as medicine in SoCal. Following success with cannabis as medicine, Steph moved to NorCal and became an activist in the space ultimately launching americans for safe access culminating in ASA serving the federal government.  Steph takes us through how you can affect change on ballot initiatives if they passed but you don’t love the specific language in the initiatives. Roughly 66% of the work still needs to be done. But Jaime Lewis first joins us to give an update on what she’s got going on in both Colorado…and officially Massachusetts.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Steph sherer and Jamie Lewis. Steph Sherer joins us to discuss the history of Americans for safe access going way back. Steph wasn't a recreational proponent of cannabis that came to the plant as medicine and southern California. Following success with the plants. Step moved to northern California and became an activist in the space. Ultimately launching Americans for safe access, culminating an asa serving federal government step takes us through how you can affect change on valid initiatives if they pass, but you don't love the specific language in the ballot initiatives. Roughly 66 percent of the work still needs to be done, but Jamie Lewis first joined just to give us an update on what she's doing. Going to both Colorado and officially Massachusetts. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the head mechanic. Economy to economy. Steph sheer proceeded by Jamie Lewis

Speaker 2: better. I grew up in San Francisco at a sense with a lot of the suicide girls that were also fulltime strippers, strippers, like in my early twenties. I have great respect for this broad wow. Talk about the Swiss re perspective. I mean, and frankly if that was a buck, oh, five, I'd be in Vegas. I mean that's just coined upon clean like men at their own game. I mean, it's a beautiful thing day. I reached out as I would say I respect the game respect again, but you know, I don't normally feel that way. I just, yeah, it's just one of the things that's pretty common amongst a lot of really powerful females in the industry with a great respect for strippers. I'm not sure what that's about. We can dive into that later.

Speaker 3: No. Yeah, I do think that it's about hustle. I think that that is what it's about. You know what I'm saying?

Speaker 2: It's a great respect for another fellow female entrepreneur who's getting their shit done.

Speaker 3: Exactly. A Jamie Lewis. It is so, uh, such a pleasure to have you back

Speaker 2: separate. It's always good to engage with you. How was your instance fall? Beginning of the summer. Beginning of fall.

Speaker 3: Oh, uh, how was end of summer, beginning of fall. I'm just so busy. I was, I've been talking to some great people on this here show. So that's, you know, that's kept me busy. Whereby you, what's, what's the latest, what's the latest in, in your, your to state a attack is what we have, right? Colorado and Massachusetts.

Speaker 2: Well, the most exciting news in my world is I just reached my 100,000 mile mark, so I'm one k again with united. So that's so Islam.

Speaker 3: Oh, that's a huge. That's a big deal. That's a big deal. Fellow travelers. No,

Speaker 2: it's a big deal. I'm still questioning how to get the global service, but maybe by the next time we interview I'll have that. I'll have that all wrapped up in my professional world. I, um, well the most exciting news for us here was mayflower medicinals was finally approved through both the city council unanimously to allow us the use of medical marijuana and then we pass our final hurdle at the end of July would be Boston zoning authorities to be granted our conditional use permit. So we are now in the construction phase of all of it. We will open in Boston, believe it or not, I will be opening a dispensary in Boston.

Speaker 3: Congratulations. That's a long time coming. Uh, you know, well done on that.

Speaker 2: Thank you. You, um, you learn a lot, you know, being given the opportunity to um, he told him no the first time and then come back with a vengeance to get it done right. The second time was not something everybody gets to do. So, um, I certainly took advantage of the opportunity and I succeeded and I had an amazing team behind hope it all happened.

Speaker 1: Steph sherer and Jamie Lewis. Steph Sherer joins us to discuss the history of Americans for safe access going way back. Steph wasn't a recreational proponent of cannabis that came to the plant as medicine and southern California. Following success with the plants. Step moved to northern California and became an activist in the space. Ultimately launching Americans for safe access, culminating an asa serving federal government step takes us through how you can affect change on valid initiatives if they pass, but you don't love the specific language in the ballot initiatives. Roughly 66 percent of the work still needs to be done, but Jamie Lewis first joined just to give us an update on what she's doing. Going to both Colorado and officially Massachusetts. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the head mechanic. Economy to economy. Steph sheer proceeded by Jamie Lewis

Speaker 2: better. I grew up in San Francisco at a sense with a lot of the suicide girls that were also fulltime strippers, strippers, like in my early twenties. I have great respect for this broad wow. Talk about the Swiss re perspective. I mean, and frankly if that was a buck, oh, five, I'd be in Vegas. I mean that's just coined upon clean like men at their own game. I mean, it's a beautiful thing day. I reached out as I would say I respect the game respect again, but you know, I don't normally feel that way. I just, yeah, it's just one of the things that's pretty common amongst a lot of really powerful females in the industry with a great respect for strippers. I'm not sure what that's about. We can dive into that later.

Speaker 3: No. Yeah, I do think that it's about hustle. I think that that is what it's about. You know what I'm saying?

Speaker 2: It's a great respect for another fellow female entrepreneur who's getting their shit done.

Speaker 3: Exactly. A Jamie Lewis. It is so, uh, such a pleasure to have you back

Speaker 2: separate. It's always good to engage with you. How was your instance fall? Beginning of the summer. Beginning of fall.

Speaker 3: Oh, uh, how was end of summer, beginning of fall. I'm just so busy. I was, I've been talking to some great people on this here show. So that's, you know, that's kept me busy. Whereby you, what's, what's the latest, what's the latest in, in your, your to state a attack is what we have, right? Colorado and Massachusetts.

Speaker 2: Well, the most exciting news in my world is I just reached my 100,000 mile mark, so I'm one k again with united. So that's so Islam.

Speaker 3: Oh, that's a huge. That's a big deal. That's a big deal. Fellow travelers. No,

Speaker 2: it's a big deal. I'm still questioning how to get the global service, but maybe by the next time we interview I'll have that. I'll have that all wrapped up in my professional world. I, um, well the most exciting news for us here was mayflower medicinals was finally approved through both the city council unanimously to allow us the use of medical marijuana and then we pass our final hurdle at the end of July would be Boston zoning authorities to be granted our conditional use permit. So we are now in the construction phase of all of it. We will open in Boston, believe it or not, I will be opening a dispensary in Boston.

Speaker 3: Congratulations. That's a long time coming. Uh, you know, well done on that.

Speaker 2: Thank you. You, um, you learn a lot, you know, being given the opportunity to um, he told him no the first time and then come back with a vengeance to get it done right. The second time was not something everybody gets to do. So, um, I certainly took advantage of the opportunity and I succeeded and I had an amazing team behind hope it all happened.

Speaker 3: You get knocked down and then you just get right back up.

Speaker 2: It really is just a few letters in. Oh, that just lights a fire under my ass. I don't know what that is as a kid. I mean, he's told me no, and I'm going to figure out a way to get the yet.

Speaker 3: And you did. So you're going to operate now obviously, you know, it doesn't matter about adult use for you. Um, this is, uh, a medical facility, right?

Speaker 2: It is a medical facility and we might've as tell the list, can we tell the listeners that we're working on

Speaker 3: on election day? Yes. Well, I mean that's allowed. I'll allow it.

Speaker 2: So today is actually really exciting for Massachusetts and then four other states, but we're potentially looking to go recreational here after this evening as we all know, it's a bit of a process to get the recreational regulations and an industry created. So I don't imagine that it's going to happen anytime soon. So our facility will be opened up as a medical marijuana facility and of course they're just here for medical marijuana.

Speaker 3: There you go. So that's anytime soon. What, what, uh, what kind of timeline now do you have that you've been licensed in? All of that?

Speaker 2: So we said no, we just, I've been working closely with the team on the cultivation designed and built out. We're looking for that building from it in the next few months to break ground on construction. So we'll be doing a lot of bull dogs in the winter. I'll be bringing on staff soon after that and then we'll be looking to open our doors by end of summer, beginning of fall of next year. So roughly a little less than a year if I keep pushing. That would be my timeline.

Speaker 3: Excellent. All right. So then in the meantime, obviously there's a ton of work but a mountain medicine, the goat roars in Colorado, right?

Speaker 2: It does. Good. Is doing really well. We um, you know, we're a small company but we're definitely, we're definitely not in good man. We're hanging on that mountain. We had been for gosh over seven years now and it's doing really well. We came up with a ton of new really creative product. I brought on an amazing chef who has a chocolate and pastry background, so he is actually a really creative, innovative products we're using, you know, we've got this more on the market that's made with the marshmallow chocolate ganache and I don't know if your mouth waters when you hear the word good knowledge, but mine certainly does. So we've really sort of push the envelope with bringing in what we've always done, that sort of culinary flavor and ingredients background. We're still rocking. The honeys are our co collaboration with hylands honey is probably one of my most successful things that I've ever done with the goat because it's really tapped us into that local and local sourced market with people that really resonates with them. It does amazing in the mountain towns, you know, locally sourced boulder honey combined with locally sourced cannabis. Really tells that beautiful story. The honey sticks pens. My new favorite. This more with the marshmallow ganache.

Speaker 3: Got It. Yeah. Ganache is definitely a, a, a salvatore, a trigger, a keyword if you will. Without question.

Speaker 3: All right, so, so, uh, I'm gonna see you in Vegas. Now that you've revealed the day that we're speaking, I'm going to see in Vegas next week, but we've got some business to attend to. A last time we spoke. I did. I neglected to ask you a favor from Steve Fox who said that, uh, he wouldn't name on the soundtrack of his life one track one song because he wanted you to do it. And then I spoke to again, uh, and uh, uh, he said it once again. So I, I don't know, I mean, you, you, you, if you don't mind, we do need at least one song on the soundtrack of Steve Fox is life one track one song that's got to be on there and I don't know. Can you do to

Speaker 2: um, I can, I can do too. All right, now I was prepared just for the one bringing in to west coast rappers that we both love dearly in with all of what is going on today with the passing of what will now be illegal cannabis in the longest standing state in the country to have medical in my home state, you know, recommend that we do California by a Tupac and Dr Dre. That's my top choice right there. Yeah. Yeah. I'm bringing in the heavy. Yeah, bring it in the heavy for this one and I think it's really sort of symbolic of all the work that he bought and done for all of us. Love that men face. He's amazing advocate for our industry. So I give him that song. Yes.

Speaker 3: So I like it. I like them.

Speaker 2: The other one.

Speaker 3: Oh yeah, if you want to. I mean, could you. He did say west coast rap. I mean that is what he prescribed and then he had no further comment.

Speaker 2: Well, I don't know if you've seen me do some breakdowns on the dance floors at any of these events. The real serious better hip hop in DCR like our hip hop rap, west coast rap. Then that's our channel. Don't be fooled by that little skinny white boy because he can shake. Definitely can shake. So I want to give a shout out to that. Well, it's well deserved. That's the move.

Speaker 3: And I do. I do want to recommend to folks, if you haven't heard the Steve Fox interview, listen to the Steve Fox interview and then imagine him on the dance floor is if you don't know him personally.

Speaker 2: Yes, yes. It has to be done in that order and only in my work.

Speaker 3: So were you were, you were a I guess a teasing. A second. A second song. I don't know.

Speaker 2: I don't know if I can do it right. Alright. Trumps my really close. Can I get back to you? Oh sure. Absolutely. And then everybody knows that I picked it

Speaker 3: and I'm sure that we. Yeah. No, let me get greedy. And what, what about a song for you? It doesn't have to be west coast, so it could be anything. Now this opens up, you know, the, the possibilities of, of how you're feeling,

Speaker 2: you know, I am going to pick the song that I danced to know when we did finally get approved for art, our approval. And I'm in Boston. I did a little groove, a little shake on the dance floor. Um, celebrate that. And my favorite song is Biggie, biggie smalls dream, our biggie smalls. Um, it was, uh, it was all a dream I started. It. Was that, that, that would be the one that I would pick for me. Now, I don't know if that's the official name of the song as much as,

Speaker 3: but we, we, we take your point. I can hear it in my mind. I, I don't, I can't tell you if it is the name of the song or not. I know what you're talking about. What I love. And, and, and this is why, you know, Steve Fox is, is a smart guy. We know that, but he's extra smart here because you took this seriously and you could've just said that song for him, but you, you knew that that wasn't necessarily specifically what he would want and for him, this one's for you. So we'll come back to you and get the second Steve Fox on. Um, you know, Jamie Lewis, you know that whenever I talked to you it's a damn pleasure. I'll say that out loud.

Speaker 2: Always a pleasure. So you remind me and I was fun and engaging street in and I truly respect all the words that you do because you highlight some really key players that are bigger and smarter than I am. A welder me, so thank you for that recognition.

Speaker 3: I appreciate the, uh, appreciation and um, you know, I would contest the fact that there's anybody smarter than you, Jamie.

Speaker 2: Thank you. That means a lot. Jamie Lewis.

Speaker 3: Yeah. We'll talk to you in a bit.

Speaker 1: This episode is also supported by Canada security America operating in the cannabis industry. Since 2009, CSA has become one of the largest total solution security companies in the U. S with new management, new leadership, and new ownership, CSA provides everything from systems and monitoring to armor, transportation for movement of cash as well as security armed guards. The three essential elements of security for any cannabis business. CSA provides the highest level of quality service in Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, California, Washington, and Nevada. Go to Canada. Security Dot com. For more information, Steph and seth, how adorable. Pretty good stuff. Sure. How easy is that for you to say, Oh, well, it's much easier to pronounce it correctly. So steph sheer. Oh my God. Hey, I say thank you so much for having me here. Thanks. Thanks for having me on your show

Speaker 4: as we just discussed and as you know, uh, because you're a human being, uh, who is, uh, has intellectual acuity. It is before election day when we're recording this. However, it will be a leg after election day when we post this. And so will you personally have your own feelings about the election you professionally actually are focused on after election day, which is great because I just walked in on. Do you care to share the, uh, the phone call that you were just on it? It's after election day business, right? Yeah. So, um, no matter who is the next president, I think it's going to be paramount that we finally pass federal legislation that will

Speaker 5: end the conflict flick between state and federal laws. And as a, I'm sure many of your listeners know, uh, the only thing right now I'm the only barrier we have between the states and federal. The federal government are two things. One, is there a list of guidance, a requirements put out by the Department of Justice People call the Cole memo, which is just a guidance document. And the second thing is that we, for the last two years, Congress has passed an amendment that we refer to you as the cjs amendment, uh, to the Department of Justice, a appropriations bill that keeps them from spending any funds and going after medical cannabis in the states to pass laws. And we actually have seen three prosecutions be dropped because we've passed that amendment. But the courts have said, if we don't pass the amendment, those prosecutions can be picked back up and it means that just a guidance memo is the only thing between the industry and the Department of Justice without question and one is this next voted on again, the you as well.

Speaker 5: It's a little tricky. We passed the amendment through the Senate this year, um, but as everyone knew, may know that there's actually a, was a continuing resolution on this year's budget. So usually the budget ends in September. Um, Congress rarely gets it together to vote on a, on a budget then, uh, so this year never, almost never. Actually, I was never a. and uh, the budget has been pushed back to December ninth. And so in a continuing resolution, what that means is that the federal government just operates under the existing budget. So whatever was in the budget for that was passed last year, that that's what we're under until after the election. However, um, and one more and one month. Right. I keep thinking that the planets is going to end at the end of the election. So that's right. There was one option that grant us that, right, if you're hearing this, a couple things didn't happen in the election I guess, but anyway.

Speaker 5: Um, so this year, um, it's unclear whether Congress will be voting on the Department of Justice as a standalone appropriations bill. Most likely what will happen is, is that they will actually be voting on an omnibus bill, which has, has, you know, bills that have been pushed together between the state, sorry, between the Senate and Congress. And what that means is that there's no opportunity for adding amendments, right? So whatever omnibus bill is put in front of Congress, that's what they vote on. So really between now and the, and the continuing resolution expiring, which is December ninth, um, you know, some kind of scary people are going to be deciding this future. And that includes, um, senator shelby from Alabama and so did lay it out. Yeah. So basically, um, because of his position in the appropriations, the majority and the minority chairs actually come together and look at the bills and then put something together to put before a both houses.

Speaker 5: And so we have shelby that's leading that effort on the Senate side, and we have our champion, senator Mikulski is the minority, but this is the first time she's helping us pass this when she's not the majority leader. Uh, so it's so there in lies the rub. Yes. Yes. And so what we're just letting people know that this is a possibility that the cgs amendment has to be passed every year, which a lot of people don't know. And secondly, I would say if you, if you have a representative as a Republican, especially if they voted for Cgis last year, get on the phone with them, call them and ask them to let shelby know that they, that they want to see this amendment in in 2017 budgets. And since you

Speaker 4: do this all the time, let's remind folks of what a phone call actually does.

Speaker 5: So a phone call, one lets your member of Congress know that someone in their district cares about this issue. Um, as you can imagine, um, uh, there's a lot on the plates of these members. And I, and I think it's interesting that people, you know, don't really understand the difference between a member of Congress coming to DC to represent, um, what their, what their constituents want versus just passing, you know, advocating for what the laws are in their state. So if you're in a state that has a medical cannabis law, it doesn't mean that your elected officials are coming here and the first thing on their agenda is ending the federal conflict. Um, they really need to hear from individuals. And I think, um, specifically around this ask, um, if I'm, senator shelby isn't hearing from other Republicans outside of Alabama, there really isn't much of an incentive for him to include the cjs and in the next budget. Well there's zero incentive for him. Yes, yes. Just, just

Speaker 4: one issue. There's just no incentive. Yes. So he has to hear from others.

Speaker 5: That's right. That's right. And, and specifically, um, you know, Republican members of Congress that have, that voted for cts last year, um, I'm sure they want to see that protection carried out in the next budget and they just need to be made aware that could, we could lose that, that protection.

Speaker 4: So if you're listening to this before December ninth, which, uh, I guess percentage wise, most of you are, you literally, all you have to do is call your Republican member of Congress if that person represents you and tell them to tell shelby to vote to put this into action. Is that about?

Speaker 5: That's right. And we can, we actually have made it pretty easy for your listeners. They can go onto our website safe access now.org and go on to the vote medical marijuana. I'm a section of our website and it will actually tell you how your, um, how your members of Congress voted last year. There you go. And it will, and it will connect you to a number so that you can call them.

Speaker 4: Oh my God, it's all right there. Do you even have a script for people that were there too? There's actually a script. They're there. We all have to do is dial 10 digits with my, with my finger. That's right. Actually probably seven because it's local. That's right. And then I just have to read off of the Internet. Yup. Okay. Pretty easy. It's pretty simple. Pretty simple. All right, so do that. Let's take this tangent, um, because if you've made it this simple, you clearly have been doing this for quite some time, right? So let's just talk about the institution will get to you, the institution itself. I mean, most folks that are listening to this will know the, the, the institution, but how long have we been around here?

Speaker 5: So I, um, help found Americans for safe access in 2002. Uh, I'm a medical cannabis patients and I, um, had my doctor actually brought up medical cannabis use to me. I was not a cannabis consumer before I became a patient. I weren't, I was not.

Speaker 4: You're the executive director of the asa was not a cannabis consumer before. That's correct. Amazing. That's correct. So that's amazing. Well, it's actually kind of

Speaker 5: funny story. I, um, um, I guess it's funny as these stories can be, but I'm a, I actually started losing my kidneys as a side effect of antiinflammatories. I was onto treat condition called dystonia and my doctor and I were trying different types of antiinflammatories they weren't working. And one day, um, my doctor closed the door behind him and asked me if I smoked pot and I saw this did come from your doctor and what state is this? Was in California, is in San Diego actually have enough. Um, and this was in 2001 and uh, so he asked me if I smoked pot. I told him I didn't and then he asked me if I knew where to get some and I just stared at him for a long time and I think I said something like, am I your youngest patient?

Speaker 4: Did he mean for him?

Speaker 5: Well, that's what I thought. I didn't know because I actually met. You have to remember back then when we're talking about medical cannabis, they were talking about, you know, people who are dying with aids and cancer. Um, you know, basically the first laws where if you're dying you should get to smoke pot if you want to. I mean honestly for prop 2:15 in California, if it would, the language would have been hookers or heroin voters probably have been like, yeah, if you're dying. Sure, sure. Exactly right. So I had no idea about the medical benefits for anti-inflammatory purposes and once he convinced me that he wasn't trying to score weed from me, he just explained that he had two other patients that were using cannabis instead of other anti-inflammatories and it was working for them and he said, I know it's legal in the state of California, but I don't really understand what the laws are and I think if you can find some that we should try it as an option.

Speaker 5: So I was um, the difference between California doctor and any other state basically. Maybe. I mean, I was probably the way that patients find medicine is probably similar as well. I basically just called all of my friends that listen to reggae and Wu Tang and it was like the snowfall. Oh, right. Because you weren't us, you literally had no idea. I really was not a consumer. So, um, uh, so that was an interesting process and of course, you know, I mean I was in my early twenties and San Diego so it wasn't impossible to find, um, but I was more difficult than la but go on probably. Well then, um, but I went, started going through their stash. It was pretty quickly they were getting annoyed with me and so they handed me over to their dealers, um, which it wasn't like something out of the odds or anything.

Speaker 5: I was, it was just kind of embarrassing, you know, asking a skater kid for my medicine and I heard about these underground dispensary's in the bay area and I went up to visit and kind of say it changed my life. I went to the Berkeley patients group, which is still operating actually. Um, I'd called them ahead and they said just to get a letter from my doctor and they would let me in. I got there and you know, I didn't know that there was a difference of strains. I didn't know that there are different ways besides smoking, I could take it and I left that experience feeling dignified, you know, I left with two weeks' supply. Um, people actually let me ask questions and didn't just shut their backpack as I was trying to decide exactly or a parking lot. Um, and, you know, it was just such a phenomenal experience for me that when I got back to San Diego I realized, you know, this is, I have a chronic condition, this is going to be something, a part of my, it's gonna be part of my life.

Speaker 5: And I was running a, a political consulting firm in San Diego at the time and I decided just to let my clients run out. And then I moved up to the bay area. I've been up there for maybe a couple months and the dea raided one of the facilities in San Francisco. Which one? Uh, it was actually Ed Rosenthal's, his, his garden and that, and that a dispensary. And that's when I realized that this was illegal. Um, but I also realized that the people that were running these centers were committing federal civil disobedience is every day to provide people like me medicine. I was so honored and just humbled. And so I went to the, at the time there were 11 and the entire world and ask them what they were doing to protect themselves and they said they were keeping their head down and I just said, I don't think that's working.

Speaker 5: You're selling cannabis to 5,000 people, you know, in, in downtown Berkeley. Um, and so we set upon a campaign part, part of it was a pr Eisa. Hutchinson was head of the dea at the time. So we were asap versus asap. That's where we got the native Americans for safe access, um, to be asap versus asap. And you really set it up for. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Because we, we were, we basically wanted to do a pr campaign to highlight what the Bush administration was doing in California, but to do that in other places around, around the country.

Speaker 4: And so when we say we mean Debbie Goldsberry, right?

Speaker 5: Uh, Don Duncan, Martin Lee, yeah. There's a lot, a lot of folks that were around from the beginning and, and a lot of people that were around at the beginning of that, um, you know, the couldn't be very public about their participation as well for the reasons that you cited earlier. Yes. Yes. So asap versus asap. So a Thursday. So, um, there was a grassroots organizing strategy component. Um, and then there was also a, a legal component and a legislative component. So we knew that if, if we had any chance and pushing back the federal government that it couldn't be a bunch of patients and their providers taking on the federal government, we needed at least a city behind us. Um, and so that led us to pass the first distribution laws in the country and the bay area of California. Um, so that, so that then the cities would be standing next to us, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland.

Speaker 5: Um, and then we reached out to advocates from drug policy reform but also other patient advocacy like HIV AIDS activists that I've worked with on other issues in the past. And I asked them, hey, if there's a raid, another rate in California, would you like to participate in a campaign to bring awareness? And to my surprise, we had cities or organizations in 55 cities sign up and said that they wanted to help justin, California or no across the US. So we knew we had to have a messaging outside of California. Bush didn't care very much about California. Well, I mean, that's not open up that Pandora's box of what was cared about and what wasn't right. But, uh, but we needed some voices, but anyway, go on. Um, and so, uh, we decided not to wait for a raid. And instead what we did is we had an action June six, 2002, we served dea offices in 55 cities with cease and desist orders that said beyond notice that if you make an unlawful entry and another one of these facilities, you can expect a grassroots reaction.

Speaker 4: So this is, um, the greatest, one of the greatest demonstrations of balls that I've ever heard of. So why? I mean, that's, that's, that's remarkable. Literally, it's unbelievable. That is actually unbelievable. So share with us, if you would, staff how you came to this decision, that we're actually, we're going to serve them. How did you, I mean, seriously?

Speaker 5: Well, to be honest, I think the first plan was just to get everyone in the country ready, right? For you to do something if there was a rate. So there would be some reaction. Um, because I guess the other part of the story that I didn't tell about the raid in San Francisco is that it wasn't covered anywhere in the country except for in the San Francisco Chronicle, which no one, even in San Francisco reads that paper and it was on page eight slash 24. It was a paragraph, right? The Nation didn't know what was happening in California. So, you know, we needed to make sure that if there was another rape, people knew about it. Right? And so that meant organizing press, we set up a, um, an alerts, uh, um, press listserv that, until press, if you're on this, if there's a rape, we'll let you know right away we organized spokespeople for each of the collectives, elected officials, right?

Speaker 5: We've got all of these in a row and when we had 55 cities say they wanted to help, um, we decided like, well, let's, let's be proactive instead of just waiting for another raid. Uh, let's, let's get this dialogue, you know, out there and just give us a sense. You said, you know. Yes, definitely across the country. Give us a sense of some of the cities. Yeah. So, uh, Philadelphia in DC in San Francisco actually in San Francisco. Um, uh, we shut down the federal courthouse. I'm 23 of us got arrested. Actually a picture of me getting arrested right there at that action. Actually just looking very nice. I'm sitting here. I'm not shouting. It's like a very nice picture of you. Yeah, it's actually a, the with. I always tell people that the police was asking me about my nails. He's literally leaning over. Your shoulder is kind of, looks like he's kind of whispering.

Speaker 5: It's like if you don't mind being arrested. Yes. He basically, that's what he was telling me. If you don't get up, he'll be arrested. And I said, I know, but at the same time, we also had an action at the Department of Justice here in DC where 12 people were arrested and they shut down that building. Um, and then we had, um, you know, from Montana, Montana, yeah, we had actions on Montana. We had actions in New Mexico, Arizona. I'm a Florida North Carolina church drill. So it was, it was, it was definitely, it was all over. It was all over. And, and what it did was two things. One is it got changed the dialogue about what the federal government was doing in California. Um, it brought forward the patient's voice that this was actually not just an issue but for lawyers between state and federal law, but this was actually something that was affecting patients' lives.

Speaker 5: And so the next raid that happened was actually in Santa Cruz. It was a raid on a, on a facility called wham. And uh, there was no national news everywhere during that raid. And we, and we, we got back the headline, right? And so instead of reporters saying, federal law trumps state law, end of the matter, right? We, uh, we saw headlines that said federal government terrorizes patients, right? And really began creating. Exactly, exactly. So that was really a, a majority of our strategy from the beginning, but once we started getting media, um, around the, the federal work we were doing, um, our phones, we're just, we're literally just blowing up in California, have patients calling us and saying, you know, we're not worried about the federal government, we're working worried about local police. And then that's when I realized that my county sheriff, California Highway Patrol, right, all of those things.

Speaker 5: So that's when we realized that no one had actually, there wasn't really a, an organized campaign to implement proposition to 15. Um, and so, um, we began. I'm coordinating a stakeholders in California. Uh, we had a conference where we were just sort of listening and at the end of the conference everyone said that they wanted a set of carry that campaign forward. Um, but we've got to do a lot of interesting things where we're looking at both legal strategies, legislative strategies and, and public education strategies. And we're still carrying out the work that was on that first strategic plan, um, but it also meant, you know, we, we put out a report called out of compliance where we had people call us if they'd had a law enforcement encounter over the last six months. And uh, from that report we actually sued California Highway Patrol and forced them to change their policy and they gave us funds that, that created our legal campaign actually.

Speaker 5: And every single CHP officer had to sign something saying that they knew about the policy change. Look at that. It's pretty exciting that affecting change. Yes. So it's, and a lot of the work that we did early on through the courts in California, we now see reflected in legislative language and new states, right? The state doesn't want to get sued. And so they make sure that there are instructions for law enforcement about what to do. Um, you know, if they pull over a patient and your phone's ringing off the second, if you have to get that, we'll cut it. No, I'm okay. I don't want to hang out on them, make it stop because I'm used to. Yes, exactly.

Speaker 4: Dealing with the business at hand and you said that you're still dealing with, you know, you're still doing the business from then and we'll get to that in a minute. You use. I said we'll get to you personally and you did say on, you know, at the beginning of this journey, or at least on the precipice of this journey that you had clients that you kind of let kind of fall away, but why did you have clients? What were you doing?

Speaker 5: Um, so I, I, I did political consulting and, and in San Diego, so I did some fundraising for nonprofits. I helped, um, nonprofits with strategic planning. Uh, best work, do this stuff. I'm from volunteer work. I had done my whole life. If you're not like some poly sci major from whatever, whatever, or are you a. yes, I am, but I'm also, I'm someone who's been a, uh, I guess, uh, a political advocate as long as I can remember forever. Yeah. Where'd you go to school? Um, so I went to school in San Diego and Arizona, um, but I actually, um, this campaign kind of came up in the middle of my education, so my education was really on the streets to get this done right from your heart and your heart informed your mind as opposed to your, your mind informing your heart because we have many executives in the space who are now advocates who came in from their mind.

Speaker 5: Yeah. That essentially, I mean, I think for, um, um, for me, I mean, I, I, I think that when you look at any, um, any social change that's happened in this country, um, there have been certain elements that have always been a part of that. And part of that has been grassroots activism. It's been people standing up for, you know, to change a law that's wrong. There are, the courts have played a role in determining which of those laws apply and how and how our communities address them. Uh, and then there's also a role for academia right there. So all of these components exist around any, um, uh, any form of social change. And I think that, that, you know, obviously when I was 25 years old starting Eisa, I didn't think I would be sitting here. I was 15 years later, um, and didn't necessarily know the road that we're going down, but what I did know is that, um, is that there were laws that were harming people and that, um, that if we could focus people's attention that we could do a lot.

Speaker 5: What would you tell your, you know, 20. What did you say? How old were you? Twenty five year old self. Now understanding that when you started it, you didn't know you were starting it. Yeah. What would you tell your 25 year old self with your knowledge base now? I think I probably wouldn't tell her anything because I don't, I don't think if I said, hey, 14 years later, you're still going to be fighting pretty hard way more difficult than you think it is. It's going to be much more difficult. So I don't, I think I might've kept her in the dark because I think a lot of people, when they approach this issue, they're like, they look at it and say, okay, there's 80 percent support nationwide. Um, you know, there are all of these states moving forward. The science is there. And that's definitely how I looked at the issue that I, I'm, I'm, you know, I had worked on global trade policies before, right?

Speaker 5: Which, so there's not even 80 percent of Americans and understand what those are to even have an opinion about them. Right? So, so many people that have opinions. This is true, this is true on Andre Policy these days, now they do. Um, but, but, uh, but, but so when I, when I was looking at the political landscape around changing medical cannabis laws, um, it did seem like this could happen right around the corner. And, um, and I think, you know, the, um, what's really interesting is in the last 18 months at Americans for safe access, we've been implementing programs that were on our strategic plan in 2002. Five. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Were we talking about, so talking about things like, um, product safety standards, um, you know, uh, we, we've joined with the American herbal products association to create best practice standards that are now being adopted by governments across the US.

Speaker 5: And actually now internationally I'm getting, uh, the American herbal Pharmacopoeia to produce the cannabis monograph. Um, this, you know, this document means that I'm regulators at Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Health. They can, they can see the document and see how to regulate cannabis like any other agricultural products. Um, we have been working with a doctor out of Harvard, Dr Steven Corn on a program that will actually, when your listeners are listening to this, it will be, it will be launched, um, called cannabis care certification. That includes 25 hours of continuing medical education on cannabis that is backed by the American Medical Association. This is the training set that you have. That one is actually specifically for, for, for doctors now, for, for the industry we actually have. Yes. So for the medical cannabis industry, we do have a, you're doing so much that I can't even keep track for the operators or the operators.

Speaker 5: We have the patient focus certification program and that program is actually where we were under that program. It's, it's, it's where we connected with the American herbal products association and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and that program, we set standards, we actually train our members in, in, in, in the industry how to apply those standards to their businesses, but also how to meet those standards. Uh, and we also actually do physical audits of the locations to make sure that they are following those standards. And it's really the first time, um, you know, consumers can look for the PFC seal and know that that product has met, um, a, a set of product safety standards that are the same no matter what state you're in. So there's doctors, there's patients, there's operators and we talked about the amendment. But let's talk about the cares act. Okay, great. So let's just say I just called my Republican representative.

Speaker 5: I just hung up the phone and I still need something else to do. Right. So let's talk about the cares act. So right now the cares act is, is stuck in committee. Um, and it's sitting in Senator Grassley's committee. This is the same as the justice committee. So this the same place where the Supreme Court justices are sitting. Right? This is that committee. Yes, yes. Grassley from Iowa. And what's interesting to sit on stuff, he does like to sit on things. He likes to sit on things, but he also likes to introduce legislation that he has no interest in passing. Oh. And interesting it. No way to go about it. So, um, you know, I, I think that when your goals are as big as ours are at Americans for safe access, we definitely have to look at objectives that we've made and other sort of sub goals.

Speaker 5: And I think I'm out of all the success, you know, obviously we want to pass cares and that's the ultimate success. Yep. But in introducing cares and really pushing this dialogue through the Senate, which is the first time we've even had this dialogue in the Senate, we've seen senators like senator Lindsey Graham sign onto cares. Um, it's not just a, um, uh, a liberal view from your left wing. He's definitely not, definitely not, um, but it's also pushed, um, both grassley and Feinstein who are, are both very anti marijuana. It's pushed them to have to concede and some areas which is interesting. They're both very supportive now of CBD and pushing cbd forward and they actually introduced their own bill around cbd, which interestingly actually created a federal exemption for, for patients that needed it. So, um, so even though we haven't gotten grassley to move the way we want him to, we can definitely see the power of this movement, um, that Grassley and find steiner or even taking baby steps.

Speaker 5: And when you say fun, so having that, that's a Democrat is, you know, you, you speak of her as though she's like, you know, Kinda got the same political stripes is chuck. But no, uh, yes. I mean, I'm a senator Feinstein, um, on most issues. I'm on most social issues, but she is a, she is a, uh, a proponent of the drug war sheet. I mean, she, um, is a drug warrior. Now why does, this is harvey milk's friend, right? Why? How is that? Well, how do you square that circle? You know, you're the California and I'm not. Well, how did she wind up like this if, if, if the, if it's starting to crumble away. Fantastic. But how did we get here, do you think? I think it's something in her pearls. Do mean the ones that you were. I'm just kidding. Sorry. But that's really.

Speaker 5: I mean, I don't have a better answer. Right, right. No, I mean, I, I wonder if you take those pearls of wisdom. No, I, I, um, I mean, I really don't know to be honest. I mean, I think that, um, I'm, part of it is, is, has been her role in the justice committees and a lot of her career. She just passed a lot of, what were the parties called where people did a lot of drugs so rave. A lot of anti rave legislation, um, and I think part of it is just been because of her power within that, within that committee that, um, you know, pro drug war Democrats went to her for leadership and so she became the voice whether she was or not type of thing. And I may be giving her too much credit, but, but yes, she is, she is, she has not been helpful.

Speaker 5: Yes. Um, so, you know. Okay, so there, there she is. And what that kind of opens up a conversation about where we are politically. I'm just taking the democratic platform. Someone like you, I'm sure is, has, has read it and is very interested in it. They keep saying that it's the most progressive platform ever, number one, Steph, would you agree? And, and number two, why and what's the reason for it? Um, so I'd say the, the, the democratic platform is as progressive, um, at least in the, in the last 20 years I'd say that I've read the platform, right. Um, and there is a, it does mention medical cannabis and moving medical cannabis issues forward. Um, and I think that, um, that, that Bernie Sanders, that his, his, his campaign had a lot to do with that. I think, um, you know, unlike, I'm the third party campaign of Ralph Nader in 2000, you know, where he ran outside of the party, Bernie Sanders ran inside the Democratic Party and part of his goal was to reform the Democratic Party and, um, and, and he was, he was successful.

Speaker 5: I mean that, that certainly has happened externally as far as internally not asking you to kind of recall any specific conversations that you've had, but do you feel that, do you feel that there's a movement within the movement type of thing? Yeah, I mean, I, I was really strict but I was at the Democratic National Convention this year in Philly and, um, I was actually really surprised at how many delegates when they found out what I, uh, what I do. Um, I knew that there was something in the platform about medical cannabis. They didn't know exactly what it was, but they knew that there was something in there. And that's pretty exciting. Right. It's pretty exciting. And that, um, that there, that they felt that their advocacy had been addressed by it being in there and so squared the circle for folks that haven't been used for the past 20 years, how different is that to go to a, to go be, to have people understand who you are and basically have enough knowledge to actually have a conversation with you.

Speaker 5: How different is that? I would say it's like night and day. I mean, um, the, the, the fact that, um, people are actually able to have a discussion about medical cannabis beyond, um, just this concept if, if, you know, if you're sick, you should get to high, get high if you want to, is pretty phenomenal. Um, I think, you know, my role with inside the DNC and um, I didn't go to the RNC this year, but I did last year. Um, I would say isn't that much different from my, the life before medical marijuana. Um, but I will say, what is, what is so different is, and I think that this has to do with the number of people that are using medical cannabis in this country today, is that people move away from the jokes pretty quickly and they actually correct themselves before I respond to a horrible joke that they've made.

Speaker 5: And, and it's, and I think that with over 3 million people legally using medical cannabis, everybody knows somebody already right thing. Yeah. So, so, and so, you know, where somebody would make a joke of like, you know, wink, wink, medical cannabis, there's usually one of their friends that says, actually, my aunt, he lives in Orange County, was using it for, um, gi disorders and it's safe and it changed her life, right? That there's actually, um, and, and I think that, that, that, that, that's happening across, uh, across the United States. And so when people want to engage on this issue, um, it's more about how do we do this? Or what does it look like when we win versus is, is this a medicine? So, pretty big difference.

Speaker 4: It's, it's a, it's stark. It's remarkable. Uh, I'm glad that you've been able to kind of see the fruits bear at least, you know, at least two being low hanging, right in some respects. Right. I mean, how satisfying is that personally?

Speaker 5: I mean, I have to say one of the biggest moments for me as you know, I, I left my legal status as a patient in California in 2006 to move to dc to open open RTC office and um, which meant I didn't have a dispensary I could go to, was, was, um, purchasing off the illicit market and uh, a few years ago, 2015, I got my medical cannabis card here in DC and I go to a dispensary and NDC. And I really, um, I don't think I really realized how, how much it affected me being a criminal, um, until like until I got that card and had it in my hands. And it's, it's a pretty, it's a pretty amazing feeling to, um, to know that, that, that, that experience I had as something that, that literally 3 million people in this in this country get to experience because of the work that our members do.

Speaker 4: So then let's kind of bridge the gap here because when we talk about, um, you know, what, what happened with the voting, we really focus on adult use and don't focus so much on Florida with the medical, medical versus rec or medical versus adult use. Um, for, for you, where do you divide your time? How, what do you, you know, folk, how do you focus your resources?

Speaker 5: Uh, well, our organization, our mission is focused solely on medical cannabis and um, and so I think that, uh,

Speaker 5: the also one of our values is that we don't believe that anyone should go to jail for it. So I, I, it was very important for us that when we passed medical cannabis laws that we're not creating new crimes. Right? So, so in that way that, that is how we approach that issue as far as adult use and, um, and medical at those actual programs, every state spend a little difference honestly as far as the outcome was good because a lot, which is crazy. And I think that what's scary for me is this, is that I get asked all the time if marijuana was legal for everyone, wouldn't, wouldn't your organization be able to, to close shop? Wouldn't when that just mean that everyone had safe access. And it's a fair question, but the answer is absolutely not. Definitely not. And, and, um, but if you look at states like Washington state, uh, where the, the legalization or adult use, um, industry actually hired lobbyists and had them completely dismantle the medical cannabis program. And we actually, um, I was probably, when you're, your listeners are hearing this, they can probably go to our website and see a report that we're working on right now. I'm about the state of Washington and the impact, um, that the dismantling of the medical cannabis program has had on patients.

Speaker 4: Let's talk about that. Let's take that time because, um, I think that most people, even in the industry or not most people in the industry, but there are some people in the industry that don't even understand, um, you know, really the gravity of what what's happened because what Washington state did was, um, really, um, you know, forgo the medical market that was and kind of create a new medical market sort of. So what am I saying?

Speaker 5: So I think, um, I first want to just say that this is complicated, right? So, so it's not just sort of an easy answer. And, and, and people who are confused by it, they should know it's confusing. So I don't want to say that if people just haven't taken the time to look at it, um, but what we're seeing one is, um, just how, uh, how hard it is for a patient to get access. Um, so it was so specifically in Washington because they closed down a thousand dispensary's. I'm just the actual ability for a patient to find a location that has cannabis, any type of cannabis. That's one challenge. Um, so let's say you now have to drive three cities over to get to a place that is selling cannabis. Now the next question that comes up is what are they going to be selling, right?

Speaker 5: And what products are there? And so what we're, what we're finding through our research is that is that the adult use community wants a very different product line than what the patients want, um, ordinance. So, um, no topicals, very few teachers, very few high cbd products, um, and we're seeing sort of the, the r and d, The used to be going into developing products for patients now going into figuring out products that can get people the most messed up as possible, right? So then you're actually at the store, they don't have the products you need, but you're talking to somebody who works there and maybe you're standing next to someone that's going to a concert, um, and are looking for marijuana to enhance their experience at the concert and you're trying to have a conversation about a movement disorder. Right? And really try to have that conversation and it's very uncomfortable.

Speaker 5: Uh, and definitely, um, you know, a little discriminatory if you don't want people hearing, hearing your comments about being a patient. And to be fair, let's just say that the bud tenders, which we have to find a different word by the way, if you have one, let me know, have been newly certified, right, so that they can first, you know, kind of discuss medical cannabis. Um, so I'll say that and you would say what I would say I'm a very few of them have actually enrolled in that program. Um, and that's what, that's what the report will show is actually looking at those numbers specifically. But then the patient decides, okay, I have to have some canabinoids in my system so I have to pick one of these products, one of these, one of these, I don't use products. And then they're paying an outrageous amount of taxes, excise tax.

Speaker 5: So add all of that seven percent. Um, I'm actually not sure what it's down to their retail but, but also upstream as well. I'll come to the, you know, onto the individual patient. So that means that our medication that is not covered by insurance is now possibly three times more expensive than it was under the law. It means that we're not able to find the products that we were using and who knows how far we have to drive to find it. So, um, so that's really specific to Washington state, but I think many of those elements are going to be the same for every state that's looking at the two programs. And what I would say is that I think that when you're talking about regulations around the cultivation, manufacturing and, um, a testing, um, most of those regulations can look identical, right? The only place I would say that they were different is actually the taxation on the square footage.

Speaker 5: Um, cbd. I'm a varieties. Um, they actually take longer to flower. They need more room to flower. So it's a, there's actually an unfair competitive advantage for someone who's producing something high thc. Um, so there's a few differences in the regulations, but the pretty minor, um, and it's really when you get into the distribution, the retail point where we're, I think we're going to see or want to see most differences and then the actual taxes on the product. What are you seeing from your seat or you're standing point would have your choice stuff. Um, you know, are there other Washington's on the horizon? Well, I think that, um, you know, for years and decades advocates like myself would sit around and look into this crystal ball about what would happen if x, y, or z happened. Right. And what's exciting now is that is we don't need the crystal ball, right?

Speaker 5: There's actually programs that are being, you know, that are moving forward, uh, and we have a lot to learn from them. And so, um, as far as the language that is in the initiatives, um, I think people have done a good job at really carving out a place for medical with the hopes that it won't hurt the program. But I think people need to be vigilant across, you know, every, every step of the implementation. Um, and, and remember that, yes, there may be some duplicative regulations, um, but that is going to serve patients. So, so not just to say, you know, what, it's just easier if we can do this through one system, send the patients and um, you know, to be honest, that's not what many of us have been fighting for for the last almost 15 years, 20 years.

Speaker 4: Talk about that. That change in, in mindset as far as you are concerned. Um, as far as I am concerned, as far as a patient or consumer or anybody that cares about this as concerned, talk about, uh, after, uh, this election and the reality which we are now in, for anyone that's, we're in the ear of what is, what needs to happen, you know? Yeah. Okay, fine. You went and voted fantastic. Now what is the support or need to do

Speaker 5: now? Um, you need to look out for alerts from Americans for safe access about public hearings on regulations because we'll go public hearing. Exactly. And, um, and I appreciate all of, um, all of our members, uh, and people in the movement, I appreciate all of their calls, a pointing out what's wrong with the legislation and regulation. I'm, of course me and my staff, we always feel this calls. Um, but I would say that out of, you know, 99 percent of those complaints, there was actually somewhere upstream that someone could have participated in. So, um, you know, these laws as they're being implemented, they're going to affect you as a consumer, as a patient. And if you, um, if you want to just sit on the sidelines and complain about every, every problem, fine, but if you actually want to be a part of shaping this history, right, this exciting history and really looking at what regulations will look like, then show up when the Department of Public Health is, is holding a hearing or they're asking you to send in letters, send them in, look at, look at the regulations.

Speaker 5: And I said, everything I would just say is, is don't assume that industry and consumers have the same, the same stances. And, you know, it's interesting because really in reality, Americans for safe access was created to be a safe spokesperson for the industry, right? Know exactly that we really, it wasn't safe for someone who is running a dispensary to say, Hey, I'm committing 40 years worth of violations of federal law as you spoke. Exactly. Yeah. So Americans for safe access was originally was created to be a spokesperson both for patients and those that served us. Right. And it was safer for patients like myself to get up and talk about what dispensary's we're doing because I was in, in less risk. And I think that, um, that as we've moved forward, I would say 99 percent of the time industry and consumers are on the same page of moving forward what we want to see.

Speaker 5: But it's not always true. And I think that now that we're really moving into a legal market, I think we might see more differences and what those are going to look like are going to be, you know, product safety protocols. Um, you know, I think a lot of people, um, in the industry see them as a pain. Um, and as, uh, as a consumer, I see them as, as a necessity and I think there something about taxation or were, you know, were different businesses can be located. There may be some differences, but I would just say to every consumer and every person that's participating in the industry, whether you were working in the industry or you're an owner of a business which are also two different points of view, sure that you're participating and, you know, these, uh, public comment, it's not a, it's not all rigged as one of our favorite candidates like to talk about it. It is actually, once you move to this level, it's, it's bureaucrats and bureaucrats are. Their job is to listen to, to the interpretation that the members have, are the citizens have of that law.

Speaker 4: So if maybe if, uh, to to, to put it forthrightly, if, if I'm in a state, right, that has adult use on the ballot and I, um, you know, a supporter of legal cannabis, but I'm voting against this ballot initiative because I don't agree with all of the language. What can I do at a public hearing, uh, to affect change? Is it all baked in, like you said, is it raised it all done once we, once we vote the law vote, what's on the ballot in?

Speaker 5: What's interesting is I would say very little is baked in, right? And it actually, um, legislatures can, can change ballot initiatives as well. So just because the language that you wanted didn't make it in, doesn't mean that you get to check out and I'll say this, the, you know, almost every single medical cannabis law that has passed in this country, um, the legislature has passed at least two bills to clean it up, if not more. So this bill, whether you liked it or not, it's just the first step. Um, and um, if there are problems that you had with the language or that you can see moving forward, um, you know, don't keep those to yourself. A really, um, you know, participate in, in, in, in the public hearings, participate in, in the implementation.

Speaker 4: So, uh, just the first step in a, what you just described as either a two or three step at least process. So it, it's, it's anywhere from a third to only a third to a half of what gets done. Right. So there's still either, you know, two thirds or a half still that needs to get done. So even if you didn't like it, go to the public hearing and if you do like it, go to the public hearing. Is that fair? That

Speaker 5: is fair. That is to take your. Yeah, no, that's, and I think you said it better than I thought. Maybe I was trying to say it a little more, but I think that it's my right as the host. I like it. I like it. Yeah. Um, but I think that's right. I think that, um, you know, whether you like it or not, um, you know, this movement, um, I would say that we're, we, we haven't, um, uh, hit the tipping point yet. So I would say that we're not even halfway to where to where we need to be to make sure that medical cannabis is a permanent part of, of the United States. Right. This could, there could still be backlash. Is there still a lot there? But I would say we're, we're close to halfway there. Um, but if, um, if organizations like Americans for safe access stopped working on this tomorrow, this would roll back on us. Absolutely. Okay.

Speaker 4: Questionnaire. And so this is where I say thank you. Oh, you're welcome. On behalf of everybody. All right. Um, well I should ask you a final question before the three final questions. Did we miss anything?

Speaker 5: Um, I would say that, uh, you know, there's a lot to be excited about as a medical cannabis advocates. Um, and you know, um, since you brought me sort of back to the beginning, you have just remember how difficult it was as an individual patient to find any information about how to use cannabis. There wasn't, there wasn't an Americans for safe access when I became a patient. Right. Um, and so I was really just, you know, going by what drug dealers were saying some random things on the internet and people that like reggae, as you said exactly like, how do I do this exactly, how do I do this? And you know, now if one of your loved ones has a condition that cannabis can be helpful for you, just go on Americans for safe access and download a brochure that says cannabis and medical marijuana that's been peer reviewed by scientists and, and they take that to their doctor and the calibration, the level of dialogue is just phenomenal.

Speaker 5: Same thing with your regulators and said, you know, when they have questions about product safety, you don't have to guess, you can just pull the regulations off of the American Herbal Products Association website and hand them to them. So, um, you know, I think that for advocates today, it's important to be aware of the work that's happened before you and to really be good stewards of that work and, and to bring it into a future where, um, you know, for medical cannabis patients, uh, I'm looking forward to the day that, that I only think about my medication when I take it, that I don't have to worry about where I'm going to get it, what happens to me after I, I obtain it and how I'm going to pay for it.

Speaker 4: Well, I will, uh, I'll sit back and, uh, you know, in, in reclining chairs and enjoy that day with you. How about that? Sounds great. Sounds great. Because it's going to happen like when we're still around, which is again why I'll say thank you. So thank you. Three final questions. Okay. The three final questions are, if you don't know, um, what has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack of your life? One track, one song that's got to be on there, but first things first, what? I mean, you might have already said this answer based on, you know, where you came from, what has most surprised you in cannabis?

Speaker 5: What has surprised me most about cannabis is just how entrenched people's feelings about this plant are, whether your support before it or against it, and that it really is almost a, almost like a religious response, right? Meaning that there aren't, there's no facts behind it that people really just have. They either like it or they don't. And, and people who who don't like cannabis really don't like it. Um, and so I think it was surprising to me as I, as I was hearing from the federal government, you know, the list of reasons of why cannabis had to be scheduled one, uh, as we were, um, as we were answering those questions and bringing up that that still didn't make change, that they weren't actually looking for the science. That was something else. Um, and my opponents, when they brought up objections and I would spend, you know, weeks putting together a memo for their response that if, you know, it actually had nothing to do with the scientific facts. And really, um, something out of a visceral reaction to this plan. So I think that was, that was a big surprise for me. Well, I mean, it's not okay.

Speaker 4: Good time for facts these days. You know what I mean? Facts don't quite have the same respect that they used to. Um, but that's, that's a great answer. Thank you. What has most surprised you in life? Staff?

Speaker 5: What has most surprised me in life? Um, I would say, um, people's willingness to talk about what they know. Um, and I would say I, my, um, my career, I've had lots of mentors, just amazing mentors and you're asking me sort of how I, how I got to know all the things I know to be doing this work and really as I've come across people, um, you know, whether it's doing communications work, whether it's working on regulations for other plants, um, uh, just asking people who are experts, what they know and um, and, and their willingness just to tell you. So there's benefit in having dialogue. There is some benefit in dialogue. But I think that, I think that a lot of time people see experts, our field experts, subject matter experts as really not tangible, right? It's people that are, that are, that are far away from them. And what I've learned is that, um, you know, there are people and like most people, they like talking about what they know and what they do. Those

Speaker 4: are the real celebrities. By the way, you know, subject matter experts who are a quantifiably subject matter expert. Go ahead and follow them exactly, exactly on twitter as opposed to whatever a person you can find on some channel on your television. Anyway, speaking of entertainment staff on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on their

Speaker 5: shining star earth, wind and fire because I think that celebrating our advocacy and the work that we're doing is so important. Um, and if we really waited right for our, our big goals, um, uh, to, to get met before we celebrated, you know, it would've been a long 14 years that this celebration. Exactly. I would invite your listeners that every time they call a member of Congress on their way to that public hearing, um, you know, when they're, when they're educating themselves about product safety protocols that they put on Shining Star and really know that they're a part of making this change happen. I love earth, wind and fire. He can't beat that. I was in the same kind of timeframe with you. I thought you were going to do well. I just want to celebrate, but that's rare. Earth and that's a different thing. We'll go with earth, wind, and fire because you know you can't go wrong. As I said, Steph, share, you can't go wrong if you listen to you. Thank you so much for what you have done. Thank you so much for what you are doing. Thank you so much for what you will do. Well, thank you so much for having me. You got it. And there you have steph sherer

Speaker 1: and of course Jamie Lewis at the top. Very much appreciate Steph shares. Work. Very much appreciated your shares time. Very much appreciate the same for Jamie Lewis. Both great women that we have in this industry also. Of course, thank you for your time and for listening.

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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.