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Ep.211: Greta Carter & George Jage

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.211: Greta Carter & George Jage

Ep.211: Greta Carter & George Jage

Greta Carter, G Car Companies & George Jage, MJBiz Con

Greta Carter joins us and takes us through her storied career in big banking. She discusses the fact that the historic economic downturn provided her with an opportunity to reinvent herself, which led her to an entirely new industry. She became an activist in the space help protect patients but she needed to find a way to pay the bills, so she used her republican background to marry commerce with cannabis….and finally Greta shares her philosophy, “If you’re not part of the game you can’t change it.” But first, George Jage joins us from the Marijuana business conference and expo. Joseph Aboud is the guy with the suits, and George, it turns out is the guy with the trade shows. He shares with us where we are as far as cannabis in relation to comparative industries and trade shows.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Greta Carter and George Jage. Greta carter joins us and takes us through her storied career in banking. She discusses the fact that the historic economic downturn provided her with an opportunity to reinvent herself, which led her to an entirely new industry. She became an activist in this space to help protect patients, but she needed to find a way to pay the bills, so she used her republican backGround to marry commerce with cannabis. And finally, gretta shares her philosophy. If you're not part of the game, you Can't change it, but first george j dot joins us from the marijuana business conference and expo joseph abboud is the guy with the suits and it turns out that george is the guy with the trade. Josie shares with us where we are as far as cannabis in relation to comparative industries and trade shows. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host seth adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two word economy, george j.credit card. George, I've been dying to ask you this. Okay. this

Speaker 3: question since, uh, since the first time I saw your name, how do you pronounce your last name? Jj page with thej page with a j. J h? Yes. It's lebanese. I'm actually lebanese and irish. I get drunk and blow my car. Oh, okay. That's an interesting approach to life. Uh, other lebanese folks. Uh, casey kasem, you know casey shirts. Ptb feet on the browsers. Yup. Yup. Alright. Jamie farr. That's right. Joseph, a bank? No, no, no. It's a dimmer. George zimmerman? No, no, no, no. The other guy with the, with the shirts, with the suits. It'll come back to me. He's lebanese to uh. Did you grow up in beirut? No, I did not. I grew up in milwaukee. My, I, I'm third generation. My great grandfather had actually moved to this country and had a barber shop with a casino in the back in chicago.

Speaker 3: So. Okay. Alright. So there's the entertainment kind of stuff coming in. It's coming through generationally. so you grew up in milwaukee, do you remember? Harvey's wall bankers, of course. Of course. I grew up with 82 brewers. I think that was the last season. I actually enjoyed baseball until probably this world series. Obviously a, well you can't be my, my, my, my dad's side of the family all live in chicago and um, I, my grandmother who passed away a couple of years ago, she was a die hard cubs fan for her entire life. Did that. Yeah. So I mean it was just an exciting world series. Good for baseball is good for the country to have something to pay attention to besides the election. I mean, at least a brief period. Yeah, absolutely. We could do that, but we don't have a ton of time. I will ask you something at the back end just for good measure, but you know, how do we have the pleasure of your services here in the industry?

Speaker 3: Let's, let's do the thing that you always do. Let's get it out of the way. Oh sure. Well, you know, I, I've, I just, I got into the events business. I'm out of college actually. My father was in the apparel business and uh, he was, he had some struggles as an off price retailers selling to companies like tj maxx and marshall's and much smaller companies that we're looking for off price goods. We ended up starting a trade show out of necessity for the price people and um, you know, started with 20 exhibitors and uh, debbie reynolds hotel casino movie museum. Debbie played nightly. Um, I think, you know, the black jack dealer dealer, like there was two tables. He turned around and deal both tables the same time. I'm not sure, but, um, you know, it was exciting though. And, and, and especially in that industry, I mean, these are people that were buying in and liquidate merchandise.

Speaker 3: So what they had in the warehouse, they were ready to sell today. They were very, very hardcore merchants and they lived and died by every deal. And, but you could see the wheels of commerce really spin around this event and, and made people millions of dollars, help people's businesses, help them hire more employees, really benefited well beyond just the transaction to show. Um, we actually started a publication for the price of oil industry. It wasn't much of a publication at the time, um, and it's grown somewhat since then. um, after we sold it to a company in london, um, uh, I had moved out to las vegas and um, kind of through a course of a friend had asked if there's a trade show for the tea industry, right. Um, and, and it got y t out of nowhere. She, she was just really passionate about 10 or a husband and I have known each other for awhile.

Speaker 1: Greta Carter and George Jage. Greta carter joins us and takes us through her storied career in banking. She discusses the fact that the historic economic downturn provided her with an opportunity to reinvent herself, which led her to an entirely new industry. She became an activist in this space to help protect patients, but she needed to find a way to pay the bills, so she used her republican backGround to marry commerce with cannabis. And finally, gretta shares her philosophy. If you're not part of the game, you Can't change it, but first george j dot joins us from the marijuana business conference and expo joseph abboud is the guy with the suits and it turns out that george is the guy with the trade. Josie shares with us where we are as far as cannabis in relation to comparative industries and trade shows. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host seth adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two word economy, george j.credit card. George, I've been dying to ask you this. Okay. this

Speaker 3: question since, uh, since the first time I saw your name, how do you pronounce your last name? Jj page with thej page with a j. J h? Yes. It's lebanese. I'm actually lebanese and irish. I get drunk and blow my car. Oh, okay. That's an interesting approach to life. Uh, other lebanese folks. Uh, casey kasem, you know casey shirts. Ptb feet on the browsers. Yup. Yup. Alright. Jamie farr. That's right. Joseph, a bank? No, no, no. It's a dimmer. George zimmerman? No, no, no, no. The other guy with the, with the shirts, with the suits. It'll come back to me. He's lebanese to uh. Did you grow up in beirut? No, I did not. I grew up in milwaukee. My, I, I'm third generation. My great grandfather had actually moved to this country and had a barber shop with a casino in the back in chicago.

Speaker 3: So. Okay. Alright. So there's the entertainment kind of stuff coming in. It's coming through generationally. so you grew up in milwaukee, do you remember? Harvey's wall bankers, of course. Of course. I grew up with 82 brewers. I think that was the last season. I actually enjoyed baseball until probably this world series. Obviously a, well you can't be my, my, my, my dad's side of the family all live in chicago and um, I, my grandmother who passed away a couple of years ago, she was a die hard cubs fan for her entire life. Did that. Yeah. So I mean it was just an exciting world series. Good for baseball is good for the country to have something to pay attention to besides the election. I mean, at least a brief period. Yeah, absolutely. We could do that, but we don't have a ton of time. I will ask you something at the back end just for good measure, but you know, how do we have the pleasure of your services here in the industry?

Speaker 3: Let's, let's do the thing that you always do. Let's get it out of the way. Oh sure. Well, you know, I, I've, I just, I got into the events business. I'm out of college actually. My father was in the apparel business and uh, he was, he had some struggles as an off price retailers selling to companies like tj maxx and marshall's and much smaller companies that we're looking for off price goods. We ended up starting a trade show out of necessity for the price people and um, you know, started with 20 exhibitors and uh, debbie reynolds hotel casino movie museum. Debbie played nightly. Um, I think, you know, the black jack dealer dealer, like there was two tables. He turned around and deal both tables the same time. I'm not sure, but, um, you know, it was exciting though. And, and, and especially in that industry, I mean, these are people that were buying in and liquidate merchandise.

Speaker 3: So what they had in the warehouse, they were ready to sell today. They were very, very hardcore merchants and they lived and died by every deal. And, but you could see the wheels of commerce really spin around this event and, and made people millions of dollars, help people's businesses, help them hire more employees, really benefited well beyond just the transaction to show. Um, we actually started a publication for the price of oil industry. It wasn't much of a publication at the time, um, and it's grown somewhat since then. um, after we sold it to a company in london, um, uh, I had moved out to las vegas and um, kind of through a course of a friend had asked if there's a trade show for the tea industry, right. Um, and, and it got y t out of nowhere. She, she was just really passionate about 10 or a husband and I have known each other for awhile.

Speaker 3: And so, um, and I, I just kind of stuck in my head and for some reason it just kind of swam around there for a little bit. I did some research and I saw that there was a, you know, a demand for a trade show for this because there was a lot of tea companies, emerging, specialty tea companies there were exhibiting at coffee shows, fancy food shows, but they didn't have a community or identity of their own. That's really what trade shows do, is they bring together community that they create an identity. They created a culture, they, they, they drive commerce in an unbelievable way, which one of the most exciting things that I love about events, but we also started the north american team championships. We evaluated the best teams in the world, was created in an online summit, cheats on me, a program for people get certified as [inaudible].

Speaker 3: Um, we had a online publication, world t news, so that business was, um, uh, was interesting because somebody had told me at the onset that, uh, anybody in the, in the tea industry brought that, had money, brought it with them and, and it was, it was a tough business. I mean, the marginS were fairly thin. Um, you didn't have the commercial volume did with the specialty coffee market. So, um, you know, over time, um, especially after the reception recession, I was able to stabilize the business, but, um, I knew it was time to move on. I'm a company f and w media acquire debt. We launched another event with them called healthy beverage expo. My wife is running the business with me as well. And um, I was just at a transitionary point and a lot of people would ask me about, you know, hey george, you should start something in the marijuana industry, so he's starting to take off.

Speaker 3: And I just felt that there was already people in that space. And actually that led me to a conversation with some of the people that started the very first trade show for the cannabis industry in holland ventures in cassandra and a managing editor and chris walsh and I might have a chance to meet with them and I just got really excited about this opportunity. and um, I think my life skills that I've had to be able to bring it into this, this company and really, you know, um, leverage, you know, the editorial team and the marketing and sales effort to really create a really professional trade show. We're here as folks are setting up the, uh, exhibit hall 2012 slash 20 slash 13. Which one was the first one? So the first show was in 2012 and that was held at a masonic lodge in denver, 2013.

Speaker 3: There was, um, was up at the racetrack in seattle. Yeah. And at that point it was just primarily a conference with, um, you know, a handful of tabletop, loose allen fraud, you know, 10 I think the first year to second year, um, and, and, and then the company has security, some space down here in las vegas. When I came on board, we were able to renegotiate a lot of those contracts and really build some scale very quickly this and really kind of developed that really kind of quintessential trade show experience. Now this is an industry to, that doesn't have a lot of these companies that are coming in here in new businesses, new entrepreneurs. We're very excited people, very talented people, but they might not have ever been to a trade show before. And so there's was some education that needed to go along with what a true trade show should look and feel like.

Speaker 3: They think that that has emerged. Now we're going to probably come close to 10,000 attendees of this show at this point, right know we're over 9,000 as of this morning, registered for the show for the past couple of years. Kind of been at this size and growing type of thing. Sure. We actually were named the fastest growing trade show in the entire United States and by whom? By trade show executive, the leading magazine, so they know. All right. Yup. And so if we're here this year and we're slightly bigger than we were last year. Sure. And you and I are on the edge of the exhibit hall with exhibits from here to the front door. Yes. What does that mean for next year? So what this means for next year. We're moving over the last phase. convention center. We're very excited about that. Collectively, the real I think is about, I want to say about 150,000 total gross square feet here will be in close to 450 to 500,000 gross square feet mentioned next year we will see a much bigger exhibit hall.

Speaker 3: We've had to restrict a lot of exhibitors from taking larger boosie just so we didn't end up with a bigger show floor and fewer exhibitors. We want to make sure that, that diversity continues to increase, allow companies access to the marketplace. So in terms of booths, you know, you mentioned trade show executive in terms of number of booths, in terms of numbers of attendees, where does this industry compare to give me another industry which is similar in size and scope, not necessarily growth. We talked about growth, but as far as 10,000 people, x number of exhibitors moving over to the convention center, who we play involved with, what other kind of industry? Um, you know, I mean there's another show that's going to be over there actually at the same time as this next year. The demo, which is A diving equipment manufacturers association. Um, you know, we're actually, um, I, I was working with our editorial team to, they're going to be doing a chart comparing our show to other industries.

Speaker 3: I mean, you know, the former ceo used to run the world. Tea expo is around 3000 people. For example, the specialty coffee association on a really good year, like if they're in seattle or if they really are in boston, some of the stronGest markets they'll see about 10,000 people at especially the coffee industry. and now it's about a $65,000,000,000 industry. Right. So, um, you know, so I think that, um, actually, I don't know, actually, I think they're close to about $30 million. You'll have to fact check that one out. I'm fine. That's fine. Um, we take your point that as far as size and scope, you know, it's, it's right around coffee is basically what we're saying and I think, you know, you can look at this as a agricultural than you can look at this as an infrastructure event. Um, you can look at this, you know, from the recreational market and like the bar nightclub show for example, which is how they emulate here in las vegas as well.

Speaker 3: I'm obviously kind of a similar industry catering to the retail segment of the alcohol industry. Right? Um, but you know, again, you've got shows like ces that's over 100,000 people. I don't think it will probably be there, but I expect that we'll see probably 30 to 40 percent growth in our attendance and um, our exhibit all year over year for the next five to six years this year and next year and the year after. Absolutely. How much did a vote effect, I guess attendance, how much did you really see that change knowing that the show was really one week or two weeks later. And, and, and I think that, um, a lot of people in this industry and I think, I think in most people in America where there's certainly a little bit surprised given the polling data coming into this lesson. Let me stop you. Every single person was shocked.

Speaker 3: Yes, no matter, no matter your political stripes, either side of the fence, you were shocked that the of the election results. I mean, it was a huge win for the industry. We expect that it's going to expand the market by about a billion dollars now. That's also going to take anywhere from, you know, 12 to 24 months, maybe longer for some of these markets to fully actively see your low energy guy basically. Yeah, hardly. What do you, what do you need the monster energy from? I mean, I'm sitting right across from you and, and I could touch her with my hand and you have this giant monster energy drink. It's in my second that you need the monster energy drink. You really don't. I don't think. What do you think about that? Well, you know, I, I have been accused of being a little bit high energy. What's, what are your parents like that?

Speaker 3: The milwaukee folks, is that just you and you aliGned? I dunno, I dunno. I think my mom's a little bit. I energy too. She lives here in las vegas, so you know, she's, she's definitely part of the hippie generation herself. Got it. What was the last time you were in milwaukee? Uh, I don't know. Uh, I will be. I was there actually. I'm over the fourth of July. My dad still lives there. I'm actually taking chris walsh, our managing editor to the seahawks packers game so that I can take and plow the sanctity of the frozen tundra. That's it. Well, uh, you know, have a good trip. Yes. Three 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 your life named one track, one song that's got to be on there, george.

Speaker 3: But before we get to that first things first, what has most surprised you in cannabis? Um, you know, I, I think that, I don't know if I get surprised that easily. Um, you know, I, I think that one of the things that is interesting, certainly I think for our business, when I mentioned there was 30 events that popped up, um, the massive amount of multiplicity that are, that is happening in each business channel. Um, and, and it's a gold rush. Everybody's coming in and they think they're, you know, a little bit sharper, a little bit, you know, why is your on how to do something or they're going to do with some somehow different and it's not just our business testing companies. I mean, obviously there's dispensary's all across, you know, that all have their own unique flair. But um, you know, it's, it's what happens is as these market activate, and certainly with testing services and products, it's like, it's, it's somewhat is going to become a race to the bottom where they're going to have to compete on price.

Speaker 3: Um, and I think that, um, that's never a best strategy for us to do this. No, don't do it in quality. That's it. What has most surprised you in life, george, this election, this election, hands down. Um, I am in a state of shock. Yeah. Well, here's what I'm surprised about. What I'm surprised about is how I'm just learning that 50 percent of people didn't vote. Twenty five percent voted for 1:25 percent voted for the other. And none of those three segments of people talk to each other. Really, when it comes to politics, there is no actual real dialogue happening. What are you, what do you think about that? You're a guy that brings people together. Yeah. I, I think, I mean, it is true. I mean, you know, there's just, it is a lack of dialogue on the whole, on the whole case. And this is where, you know, when you get people together in the same room, um, you hash out ideas and it's about being open minded and listening to learn and to new and learning new ideas from new people from 200 people that I've spoken to.

Speaker 3: Plus I know that not every single person in here is from the same political kind of leaning. No, no, no, not at all. And, and I agrEe with that. We actually did a survey, um, have in july talking about, you know, who's supporting what candidates and are they supporting financially? Um, we're a little bit surprised by those results, you know, even back then and, and certainly um, you know, we compare to, you know, people that are actually in the marijuana touching business versus maybe investors and was certainly a skewing towards investors. Len, more towards the republican party. Um, yeah. Um, I, I, it's, it's hard not to get into the political debate on this stuff. Um, you know, I just think that, uh, it's, it's really, really scary that we have just elected somebody that is the least qualified person ever to sit in that office ever in the history of american, just based on the qualifications of the 44 there came before.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think know the qualifications, but I mean it's just all of the hate rhetoric and it's, it was really interesting article in courts if you want to kind of spend down that political spectrum, but I mean it talked about that this is, this is basically moved away from being a right left conversation is about, you know, either isolationism and nationalism. You got an and globalization and, and I would even argue that it really comes down to a conversation about me versus we and, and I listened to some npr conversations talking to people that work in diners and supported Donald Trump, talking about how we want Donald Trump to go in and drill more oil out of the gulf and start proving more fracking and, and that's going to keep gas prices down. So the rv place down the road is going to sell more rvs, which means more people are going to come in the diner, which means I'm going to get more tips.

Speaker 3: Sure. So it was a very, very much. Her decision was based on immediate conversation. And the reality is, is we live in a planet that is overpopulated and will continue to get overpopulated until we get to a conversation that talks about we as a civilization, as humanity, as a society. Um, you know, it's, it's, we're, we're, we're regressing. Alright. So, so we'll either talk about that next time we got a few hours before going or going to mars. You know what I mean? Those are the two options. I guess so, uh, so the final question and either the most difficult or a track of my life. Who name one track one song that's got to be on there? Uh, um, I would have to say it was the wedding song that my wife and I danced too, which was michael bublé sway. Aw shucks. Georgia. I, I gotta, I gotta get a few brownie points since I'm out of town. You do? But I thought you said you live in vegas. We actually moved to denver. We set up an office this summer. Our company's grown from about 10 or 12 people over 20, you know, close to 25 people in the last year or so. Excellent. And we set up an office in denver. We've, we've headquartered there. It's been great and we continue to grow the company. Tell your wife, uh, thanks for letting you come out here. This. I will. All right, I will. Thanks. I appreciate it. You got it.

Speaker 1: This episode is also supported by consumer soft. Face it, your life starts and stops with your multiple devices. Technology is the centrifical force of running your life or your small business. Chaos ensues. If a device fails you, whether it be for your laptop, apple or android device. Consumer soft is immediately available through my phone support for consumers and technical support. Lie for businesses. Get fast, professional assistance. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Removed that feeling of panic when something goes wrong. Call eight, five, five, six, nine, eight, three, two, four, one or go to consumer soft.com. The healthy choice, the caffeine kick. Um. Alright. So, so we're in a Nevada and I asked you if

Speaker 4: you had a home here and you said no. Right?

Speaker 5: I, I, it sometimes feels like a home because I'm back here with some frequency, but I haven't lived here for about maybe

Speaker 4: 10 years. All right, so you did live here. You did live in Washington state. I did write you do live in Colorado, Colorado, California. I am. All right. And I mean those are all three very rich states, if you will. Do you see a trend there? Cannabis industry. So, um, which one did you live in first? Washington,

Speaker 5: I actually, when I lived in Nevada, I was, I'm in banking. Citibank had had moved me here, back from europe.

Speaker 4: Okay. So let's Just start at that moment. You're, you're working for citibank. What kind of a position did you have at citibank? I managed their startup businesses, so bringing organization to lots of chAos. I'm pretty good at so that, I mean, you're built for this. This is the perfect, I mean thing, right. So you're doing citibank and then, um, when did the cannabis things strike you? When did that, when did you realize that I'm, you know, a citibank person, I'm dealing with startups. When was it that you said, oh, wait a second, here's an industry that I might want to get into?

Speaker 5: I think there was a real awakening for me when 2008 crashed, like, um, the financial crisis hit most of us and there was um, an opportunity there for me to reinvent myself and that took me on a path to look at the state of Washington and where that was headed and I became friends with steve de angelo and northern California. Yeah. And um, so most of my work in the first, I've been in the industry for about nine years and the first three years was really dedicated to political progression and trying to bring regulations to an underground economy, try to give protection to those who are getting arrested and that was highly, highly an emotional time for me when I had the exposure and experience to what was going on in other northern California and the raids and the arrests and everythinG really did. And, and steve really exposed me to some beautiful people there that have been fighting for a long time just to get good, clean medicine to help them with their ailments. And I found my political voice then. And uh, there's not a lot of money and political activists and we know, and my husband, um, you know, I'm pretty much said, hey, you got to go find a something that pays you right. While I was in the heat of it there with, um, with Washington. And because republican background, I looked different than some of your republican background. Yeah. Um, I haven't

Speaker 4: more conservative image because you look like a, you know, like a businessperson. Yeah, right. Yeah. Okay. Um, and then, uh, you brought Washington into our conversation, um, where are you going back and forth between Washington and northern California or

Speaker 5: I was spending time between the two and then when they start to become interest in, in further regulations with the political figures in Washington, I was, um, I organized a trade or a group up there to bring voices together for those that were in it. Yeah, it was the, uh, cannabis. I'm a coalition for standards and ethics. Sure ese. Yeah, absolutely. I founded that and that was to, was, it was really another amazing experience for me to see folks that have put their children through college and kept themselves underneath the radar and quiet all of a sudden starting to poke their heads above ground and saying, hey, we want to legitimize this. And they were trusting me and helping them navigate that.

Speaker 4: So I Just want to kind of unpack how we, uh, how we got here because you're a banker. Okay, fine. Married. Okay, fine. Um, economy hits, you know, and you say rather than be in banking, which was a mess. Um, let me reinvent myself. And, um, I, you know, now I know this new guy, steve de angelo, and I can see these patients are, need their medicine and I can actually talk a exactly right. You know, and I can talk to legislators and regulators and um, you know, maybe I'm not a democrat and, you know, maybe I don't have dreads in my hair. Um, you know, uh,

Speaker 6: so

Speaker 4: then you go up to Washington and you start this, uh, industry association and try to get the regulations, uh, going, uh, and, and that's that.

Speaker 6: So

Speaker 4: I, I think I get it, um, go all the way back now, uh, in your, in your biography to how you became a banker. Was that when you were, when greta was like a little child, was she saying to herself, you know what I want to be when I grow up, daddy and mommy is a banker.

Speaker 5: Oh, that's funny. I'm citibank. I'm, I started out there, uh, 18 years is when I was with them and say would be two decades on. Jeez, when you started, when you were four, you go. Yeah. So I, I like um, a structure. I like regulations. I am a ambitious and I am in, I do well in environments that pushed me and that also gives me that structure. So citibank was really did it. I left there as a vice president and managing budgets of 'em up to $80,000,000 and still people moving 200 plus kind of, um, activities underneath me. So yeah, I did well with that. Yeah.

Speaker 4: Okay. All right, so that, I mean, that sounds like what you're saying is that structured environment, you know, with the go ahead and give us all the regulations you've got all cut through to I'll do what I need to do to make sure that we are adhering and abiding by those regulations. So this sounds like the right job for you. You're a vice president then the economy hits from a banker's perspective. You said you're a vp at the time. Give us a sense of. Because for every, all of us, it was chaos. Right. It sounds like it would have been that way for you as well for you to walk away from what seemed like a, you know, a perfect position that you had for a number of years. So what was it like when you know that an uncoupling started to happen and uh, you could see that we were on our way, you know, precipitously down, uh, the financial mountain, so to speak.

Speaker 5: Yeah. There was a stage there that I applied those entrepreneurs. Citibank is really wonderful at nurturing entrepreneurial skills and I applied those skills to the real estate industry and that real estate industry is also one of those that are regulated in. What's interesting about real estate is that there was a time when there was no governing over real estate either, right?

Speaker 4: We'll still not a New York city try to rent or buy an apartment. It's insane, but go on. Very good. Yeah.

Speaker 5: So I had a combination of a fast changing, highly regulated profession that I did well with citibank and then moved into purely an entrepreneurial kind of role of, of real estate and construction, 2008 hits and it was um, financially devastating for us and it gave me the opportunity to say I've got nothing left to lose because it all went away. And so thIs very scary market of forfeiture and banks being closed and everything else that was happening both in the cannabis industry and in traditional business. I said, you know what? I want to look at it. And then looking at it got emotionally pulled in when I saw people who maybe aren't as comfortable at speaking to lawmakers and, and are scared to pop their head above ground. I remember this is nine years ago, people are still getting arrested. Kids are being taken away, right? I mean, it's not a fun time in the cannabis industry. Right? I have nothing to lose. Right. So I three years then it like speAking

Speaker 7: with lawmakers and Washington is just such an incredibly open, beautiful, transparent legal infrastructure in living in seattle. It was just awesome. We worked with the mayor for the very first, uh, uh, ordinanCe on cannabis in the world and um, our group helped with that, that evolved into helping and supporting, um, uh, alison holcomb, writing of the five, oh, two. And then I said what the heck, I'll apply for a license and then I applied for five one them. And uh, so there's your job to your husband. sounds like your phone's ringing and I guess it will throughout the thing because there's, there's at least five companies and we'll get to more of them. Um, but how, you know, how did you actually find cannabis because it's a, uh, nine years ago that was not an normal thing to kind of just jump into. We understand how you could jump into it, you know, based on the financial industry plummeting.

Speaker 7: But what was it specifically? Was it a, you know, a non cannabis event that you met steve at and then he explained to you what he does or how exactly did you get into the industry? Is my question. Sure. That's a really great question. I've been consuming cannabis since I've been 18 and I was no stranger to the plant with high frequency. If I'm living in a fairly fast paced world and being a single mom of five, had I not had cannabis to go home to after a really busy, hectic days, I'd probably weigh 300 pounds and be drinking a two bottles of wine a night. So cannabis I was self medicating way back then, not realizinG that I was doing that. Wellness, if you will. Wellness. You said single mother of five. We're going to talk about that in a second, but you also said you have a husband, so that is a newer husband as well.

Speaker 7: Fair enough. I Just want to make sure my life's complicated. It sounds like it. All right. So boys and girls or what was it as far as the five? I have two boys and three girls. And so, uh, there you are, you're, you know, uh, working at city and you have these five children. Um, what's it like raising five children by yourself? Gretta, that sounds insane. I have my niece and nephew who, my sister and brother in law, very hands on, both of them manage it and it still seems like chaos. One person with five kids, I can't imagine. It's a little bit of a complicated story and I'm sure that this is probably Going to get edited and you can figure out how you want to fit this in or not. My sister died and I adopted her children. I see. And so I was um, 18 years old with um, you know, have, have

Speaker 5: four month old and a 10 year old who wIll being the two book ends. So the kids grew up, um, uh, and we grew up together and I was, you know, by the time I was 30, they were pretty much up in, on their own.

Speaker 7: Understood. So we were kind of kind of a, we're all in this together approach to it sounds like together now. And we grew up together

Speaker 5: and they had been around a cannabis at that time too. But they were told that that was something we don't talk about. And um, my youngest son has, has been a political activist from the standpoint of funding a lot of the mpp and things like that where he, our contributor towards that. So he was really my doorway into meeting steve. Got it. And we had thought about at one point of opening up a business in northern California and steve, um, had a business at that time called can be with a couple other people, right. And we,

Speaker 7: a couple of industry luminaries abounded at can be, which has been just a,

Speaker 5: a blessing to me that I met him at the right time and he had opened up a number of, of doors for me of people that were really in the, in the movement at that time because it surely wasn't an industry nine years.

Speaker 7: No, not at all. Do you mind if we talk about your sister and what happened there? She would died when she was 29. It was a blOod anorism went to bed with a headache and woke up and didn't wake up. One of my very good friend's father, uh, when we were about 15, 16, same thing happened. Um, and iT's just so sudden, it's just, you know, yeah, yeah. it's been a long time ago, about 40 years ago. Thirty five years ago for me. But yeah, now I think they operate on it and there's some success with that symmetry. But yeah, yeah. So you, you, you know, you bring in the first couple of kids there and you're only eight years older than the oldest kid. So, um, and then for the next whatever, raising those kids and they're helping raise you and you're helping raise them.

Speaker 7: And thank god I had that candidates go home to at night. I hear ya. I calm down. So that, you know, was that a, a nerves thing, you know, as far as the wellness is concerned. Um, for folks that are listening to this that aren't necessarily familiar with the plant as medicine, um, that, you know, are interested in this from an industry perspective. And maybe I've never tried the plant kind of explain, you know, you're, you know, well, doesn't that mean that the next morning you wouldn't be able to focus and you know, I find it, it's

Speaker 5: so interesting because you can find almost anything you want on the internet about the plant because we don't have good research out there. Right. But, um, unbeknownst to me how it was supplementing my broken endocannabinoid system was the stress that I had on in my life was always put me in high gear and over the moon when it came to pressure and timing and all that. And yeah, exactly. And so the cannabis supplemented the broken into canaveroid system that we have inside of us. And it calmed me down and gave me a peace and a patience with the kids at night. You're making a line with your, the side of your hand. It's almost like a gave you balance, it sounds like. Oh, for sure. Exactly. When you say endocannabinoid system it balanced out, that's exactly had a deficiency. That's what you know now that's becoming a knowledge that we can all have brought me to homeostasis.

Speaker 5: You know, a good, pleasant place to be and as we fast forward to where I'm at right now, it's certainly never interfered with my ambition or my drive to learn and to have changes in my life and a lot of people want to say, oh, cannabis makes you a couch lock and makes you with knowing or creates no ambition as like hack now look at me. That didn't happen at all and I've been doing it since I've been 18 and I still do it and I love it and thank god for it, but you know. So then let's get directly back to the five licenses that you secure in Washington right at the time. Um, and then how many different businesses did you start with those?

Speaker 5: When I first was doing the activism side, sure. I was concerned about the forfeiture. My voice was becoming louder on the national level. And so I was worried about hitting the radar of dea agents. Sure. So the industries that I started out with before I went into direct cannabis businesses were ancillary businesses and using that startup skill that we talked about before with citibank. I started up a, um, a doctor's clinic where the doctors would, um, look at cannabis as part of the solution for their patients, not the only solution, but part of it. Interesting. Right. And we grew that to five locations and when I sold that business, we had a 45,000 patients that we had recommended cannabis. Oh yeah. That was pretty cool. From an activist stamp that is not bad. Yeah, it is directly affecting lives is what that is that it did.

Speaker 5: And it also created a base of acceptance there in seattle that people weren't jumping out of windows and, and all of that. So, um, that was one of the ancillary businesses. The other one was around education. I started the cannabis training institute with americans for safe access. Steph shares a good time and we were again trying to impart, um, you know, real knowledge about what's out there with cannabis and not the propaganda that you can see sometimes on the internet and that had a certification program. I saw that industry, that business too. I think it still is going though. And then, um, I applied for the licenses then for cannabis because now it was becoming a more acceptable, we were, the state had, if you believe in the 10th amendment, we had the right to be able to vote that in. And I held that the constitution of the United States. You're right, I think we're all behind that one state's rights one, if I'm not mistaken. It is. It is. And let's hope trump leaves that one alone.

Speaker 4: Well, it's, I mean, you know, part of the bill of rights, right? You know, the first 10 amendments. So we'll get into politics in the second because you did mention that you're a republican. I definitely want to talk to you about that because, uh, it's become, I'm painfully obvious that, uh, um, half the country isn't talking to the other half of the country as far as politics is concerned. So, um, we'll, we'll get to that. So, so now you've got your five licenses. You have been in the cannabis industry, if you will, movement at the time with the two. You know, the doctor thing that, the training thing, um, what uh, how did you for re intimate those five licenses?

Speaker 5: Well, the, we were the 71st to actually be granted a cultivation license in the world and we took, we bootstrapped it, a couple of partners up there and myself, um, we took maybe about a $300,000 investment now underneath my leadership within a year and a half had built it to where we had offers and valuations that are coming in and around two point $6 million.

Speaker 4: So that's a remarkable for 18 months. Yeah, thank you. That's that city training coming in handy. Again,

Speaker 5: not we build to scale and we were moving about $250,000 worth of weed a month. So, I mean, that's amazing. Yeah. It's um, it is when you were thinking and you know, it's kind of scary because you think about there's a lot of people in prison for having done a lot less. Yeah.

Speaker 4: Nope, that's absolutely the case. Um. Oh, okay. So, so, uh, obviously now growing, obviously, you know, well within the space, both feet planted in the space. What year are we talking now when, when you had that grow, when you grew that grow to that? Uh,

Speaker 5: well it was four years ago that seattle and Colorado passed at the last election. Right then. So that took us about two years to get the rules and the regs up and um, we then saw I'm not real good with yours. So I would say it was probably been operational life gardens. Uh, it's probably been operational for two years and I sold my

Speaker 4: two and a half. Right, because it was July 1st. Um, but obviously more than that. So there was a tremendous amount of time then that you did spend on activism, uh, before jumping in with the two businesses. And then, uh, you know, the, uh, the five licenses and then, and then here we go. Okay. So now, now we're up to kind of current as far as Washington, talk about Nevada, talk about California as far as cannabis and gretta.

Speaker 5: Sure. I've always had a consulting business where we, you know, I believed the best people in the first people on my team as a lawyer and a good accountant. And we started, um, uh, when other states were coming up, we started writing applications for other states and I had a little bit of a reputation out there for, you know, trying to keep the bar high in the industry. And I mean been

Speaker 4: just because that's subjective. What do you mean

Speaker 5: the bar high, the industry has survived in an underground economy, a very gray, um, if not black market for 20, 30 years. Sure. Right? Yeah, absolutely. And with that, there has been practices that were flat out illegal, right? And I've never done anything illegal, but I have operated in a, in a gray market where the line isn't as black and white

Speaker 4: and you mean beyond the fact that it's a cannabis is federally illegal and it is legal in certain states. Uh, what you're talking about is to this day as far as you know, a legislation and regulations are concerned. There is a fair amount of gray on how things have to get done.

Speaker 5: There is, yeah, there is and my practice has always been to operate in the spirit of the law, but it's not as well defined that we still know what the lawmakers intentions were

Speaker 4: [inaudible], so trying to get as close as possible to that black and white as you as you really can't.

Speaker 5: Absolutely. And that earned me a reputation and one that I'm, I'm thrilled brought david goldwater and chris olsen, my two partners here in, in las vegas to my doorstep and

Speaker 4: we did a, a, a, a tour at one of your facilities with david goldwater, which is when we found out that he was related to barry goldwater because Arizona is right next door. So that was a, that was an interesting thing. We did again, a right on the fringes of politics, but go on. So those two guys obviously became key, uh, for you here in this state. Yes.

Speaker 5: Yeah, these two, these two. Jovan, when they've been lifelong friends and our local residents in las vegas. And I'll never forget when I pick them up from the airport and would they, they wanted to fly up to seattle to meet me and they had been looking for a cannabis voice on their team and they had been through some of the more traditional, you know, underground cannabis folks and it wasn't working for them because they are very much in the public eye and very much on, um, uh, working in a regulated market, right. And I pick him up at the airport and they're sitting in the back of my car and I'm going, oh my god, I'm so busy, when am I doing with these guys? And we just hit it off. It was a, it was amazing. And from that day on, and now it's been, what, three years, amazing partners. And I'm never, I mean, I've seen them under stress. We've worked on, we wrote the license with them and just just love him to death. So.

Speaker 4: And how's that business going in the right? It's right off the strip basically. Right

Speaker 5: y'all. So we opened up in, you'll find cannabis dispensary. It was, I, I, I believe it was like the third one that was open and we have claimed market share in the top three with a, on the retail side, in a very competitive market in las vegas since we've opened

Speaker 4: and talk about that very competitive market, you know, let's, and this, uh, interview now has become, we're going to jump around the whole time and that's okay. But as far as the Nevada, you know, um, we're going to get a don't use soon. Congratulations. But as far as medical cannabis is concerned, it is a brand new market essentially in the grand scheme of things. You say it's already very competitive house up.

Speaker 5: Oh my gosh. When washington's licensed come came out, you know, you just had to be really astute and really clear with your plan and you had to have a little bit of money. Right? So the entry level to get into a Washington was low one wise moneywise right. And um, now you come to las vegas and we're writing that application and the competitiveness for the licenses here, especially if you were able to win all three. I mean, we know that people who spent well over seven figures just on the application, those are sunk costs just on the application and um, so yes, highly competitive to just win and then once you want it, you are, you know, are challenged with a limited population of, of medical patients in this state. Right. And the reciprocity that uh, um, uh, Nevada had the foresight to include

Speaker 4: meaning me with my medical card from any other state can come in and go ahead and buy cannabis at your shop.

Speaker 5: Yep. Very, very cutting edge, very progressive and shows a lot about, um, the state saw insight on, on how they want to take, um, this industry and that I, I, I am the last I had checked, I believe that over 30 percent of our, our patients that csr coming in from California.

Speaker 4: Uh huh. [inaudible], which is a remarkable, um, and things will change now that I'm a crsa is uh, making its way through, um, you know, that's the medical, uh, regulations and obviously they also just voted in adult use in California, which is what brings us to you being in California. How long have you been living in California?

Speaker 5: I moved there in may and before we leave Nevada though, what I also want to mention is that we just opened up our, um, we're waiting for the final inspections on our cultivation center and then we'll be working with, um, dr jeff raber on the processing side in, in Nevada. And I have two other amazing partners up in sparks, Nevada, which is the sister city to reno. I'm tammy and spike duke have been

Speaker 4: wonderful gentleman. His name is spike duke. Yes. I'm completely jealous that one of the coolest guy names that I've ever heard

Speaker 5: that's a, a family operating business. And I felt really privileged that they would invite me in because they would typically just do things with family, but again, they needed a cannabis expert and it. And so we, um, worked on their team and was, we were successful at winning those three licenses to and we opted up there to first open up the cultivation center for the cultivation centers going there. But we will soon make paths to get the. And again, that hits like the California market coming over from tahoe and in that area,

Speaker 4: spike duke, you got introduced me to spike all. Alright. So that's Nevada, Nevada. Alright. So wait, when did you get to California?

Speaker 5: Why have people from around the country asked for me to be on their team and uh, they in the states that they score cannabis expertise and things like that, they need to find that right mix for their, their team. And I had the, it was a real eyeopener in las vegas to see just how much the application process was going to cost and how I'm incredibly competitive. It became the days of being able to bootstrap it like we did up in Washington are far, far behind us and that's a sad in some regard, but I needed to find a partner that shared the same values. And that was um, interested in, in making commitments, uh, in a large scale, um, towards the industry. And I was, I'm incredibly blessed with another partner who sought me out and lived in la. And she is, um, actually, uh, a woman and we have been working together for about a year and a half now. And um, she had invested in land in business, in desert hot springs and that brought me then to look at what's going on in desert hot springs and southern California from my perspective, northern California, his god, the bigger and more established players right on. We've got some really impressive work that's been done up there. Southern california's was killed, chaotic and kind of a mess. We all know what's going on and

Speaker 4: la or choices. But uh, as far as operating businesses, not necessarily the, the same kind of accusation that you have up in northern California

Speaker 5: for sure. Uh, so if ever there was a book on how not to regulate cannabis industry, la would be the first example of right. They're working on it now. They are improving. They are. And so that in itself presented the opportunity for me.

Speaker 4: So you keep, you know, as we go along here, you keep saying these people saw me out, these people saw me out, these people saw me. When, when folks kind of come to you and say, you know, something like, my name's spike duke, I'm going to say that as often as I can, but if, if, uh, you know, hey, I've got my, my operation going here, I'm really looking for, you know, a cannabis person, some cannabis inside, some cannabis expertise. What are some of the first questions that you'll ask me? What am I going to hear from gretta? What is she going to ask me if I approach her to be a part of my business?

Speaker 5: The thing is that very first thing is where are their, their political views on cannabis and what's their experience? Because if they aren't going to accept or welcome the activism side of me, I probably am not the right partner for them.

Speaker 4: Look at that. so you absolutely remain an activist when you say I need to know what their views are. What are your views as we speak here? So obviously cannabis is medicine, but you know, kind of if I'm an operator, obviously I, I'm accepting the fact that cannabis is at least medIcine, uh, at least enough for me to operate in the space or you know, cannabis as wellness for, for adult use. What do you actually mean as far as, you know, um, the activism side. What, what are you looking for?

Speaker 5: we all know now that the war on drugs has not worked, right? Absolutely. So what I'm trying to do is bring together this underground culture in to an above light industry that works with transparency. And I go so far to believe that not only should we be hiring people that have past incarceration because of this plant where a lot of states want to deny access to the licenses, I believe that there should be tax credits there for people who now embrace that it was wrong to ever make cannabis illegal to begin with

Speaker 4: tax credits for communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Is that what you're saying?

Speaker 5: Right. That end and that we hire. So like if I hire and you tell I'm not a politician, so like if I hire you scenes. Exactly,

Speaker 7: but if I hire my staff and they maybe can't find Jobs elsewhere because they got a felony for cannabis, sure. Then we should be. Those businesses should be rewarded with a tax break for hiring those folks, hiring that person, whether you know, make sure, let's make sure that that person is qualified and could actually do the job. But horse, if you know, uh, for some reason that Person has a felony, let me get a tax credit for pulling that person back into operating society basically. Exactly, exactly. Because with legalization, what's happened, seth, with legalization and people don't really realize it, but we are displacing a whole bunch of workers. Oh sure. Right. That have been with intellectual property. Yeah. Yep. Exactly. And so what's gonna happen to those workers? They may not have the financing to be able to get into the, to buy their own business.

Speaker 7: They may not have the wherewithal to know what it's like to operate a business that's going to have times where it's 15 percent profit margin instead of a 200 percent profit margin. So where do those people fit? And we need to be responsible from a social perspective of trying to merge those two with those of us that are in the industry. Yeah, no, absolutely. And when you say 15 percent versus 200 percent profit margin, that means that I have to do everything right as opposed to basically get it right to make the money that I need. And that's before we're even getting to a biding by regulations. Right? That's right. That's right. And that's a low profit margin, right? You need to, you need to have your in house, back of the office in order. Um, let's, let's talk about excise taxes, if you don't mind if we're on the, you know, what I support, what I don't support what I understand, but I agree with whatever.

Speaker 7: Pretty high excise tax in Washington state. I know that you said that you're now moving, moved. You've moved out of Washington as far as a ownership, correct? I did. Okay. Um, this might have something to do with it. Right. So let's talk about that. So they completely changed from what was a non-regulated medical market to a completely regulated adult use market and then added back medical, is that right? Okay. Can you tell from your perspective from your former operator in the state? It's kinda tell me that back from your perspective because that's my perspective. That's exactly what happened. And if there's anyone listening from other states that are out there in anticipating you're contemplating legalization in their states, they need to look at it as a case study. California and Washington are very closely aligned in their history. Both had, um, acceptance of cannabis on their books for, you know, since [inaudible] 96 and 98, but never regulated, right or not very well and never regulated in Washington, kind of regulated in California now more regulated in California, but continue long.

Speaker 7: California and Washington both empowered the local municipalities to put those regulations in place. Right? So if we look at those two as a case study, and then both of them also vote in adult use, right? So there's like an end, nope, no state is going to go out there and have two arms of a regulation. They're not going, they're not going to pay for that. And so there has to be some kind of a hybrid. But if you look on the flip side of what happened in Colorado, Colorado first, and this is what states in my opinion should be doing, is first get medical end, get it regulated and have a strong foundation. And then when adult use came in, it was much easier to fit that on top of their, their um, not that they still don't have their challenges, but they were able to move into that environment and still retain medical because medical has true benefits to people.

Speaker 7: Yes, of course. So, uh, you said it set it in on top of what was already a medical regulations. They knew how to have storefronts with, you know, a medical cannabis. And then now we added adult use, um, folks, uh, perceived that that was the case in Washington, but at a state level it wasn't regulated. The medical market was not regulated in Washington and so it was replaced then by adult use and then kind of this added a medical, um, you know, and, and so are you worried then about what's going to happen in California? Uh, regarding medical cannabis? I'm not the only one. Of course we are, we are very much concerned about what's going to happen to the patients access to safe medicine while this now because those, those rules aren't expected to come out until the first of next year of 2017. But emc rsa is there, so, you know, that is statewide medical regulation for California, which is on the books and yes, they're working on them at the same time. Um, so doesn't that give California a leg up over a. What did happen in Washington came. One of the things I want to clarify why like marissa is the, has been appropriately. I'm mrs. Yeah, that's why is.

Speaker 7: So I'm in murcia is, is out there. It much like Washington is very high level and what the state is doing, it mirrors exactly what Washington did and I applaud it. They are going around the country with a stakeholder meetings saying this is how they're interpreting this one line item in their regulations and now they're trying to build more detailed rules underneath that regulation. So the

Speaker 5: regulated market in for medical in California does not yet exist.

Speaker 4: No, it doesn't. And they're Just trying to establish that at the same point. You know, January 1st, 2017. Um, but what my, my point there is a yes, they're still working on the language taking your point, but the language is their language was never there in Washington or am I mistaken

Speaker 5: in Washington? I, I get where you're thinking it wasn't over there, but there was some things out there. I can't remember the, the bills that were out there, but for a, you know, senator kohl welles. Oh my god. She is a saint in Washington and a hero. She has every piece of legislation that was ever passed in the state of Washington. She's been working on and she goes back 19 years, so every year there was something out there trying to get

Speaker 4: but never catch though because emc rsa past. Yes.

Speaker 5: Yeah, there was a, there were bills out there that we operated under and the city of seattle created its own ordinance.

Speaker 4: Sure. And that's why these local municipalities, I'm not talking about talking about statewide regulation, right? But let's get back to, uh, a know where we actually are. California. Exactly. Which is, um, you know, here we go. So you're a little bit nervous, uh, about uh, uh, about medical marijuana in California. Let's see how it all goes to you as an activist. Let's, let's take this point rather than just seeing how it all goes. What can I do if I'm a California resident, uh, to make sure that medical cannabis remains and you know, adult use, um, is, uh, the, the, the bill that's actually written that is the letter of the law reads as I would like it to read. What, what, what do I do? You know, if I want to be an activist, like a light gretta. You saId you started seeing up in Washington, what can I do?

Speaker 5: Well, thank you for asking that question because it is an important one and people many times will be intimidated to say I can't be that person. There's a number of different ways that you can participate and one is grassroots and the other one's grasstops. Grassroots means you're getting out there and in your deaLing with your local lawmakers and policymakers and participating at the state level when they have these workshops, states doing a great job in California. They're going around and I think they held nine of them soliciting people for input. So you, um, and It's free to go to that. And of course there's a time commitment to that. And then the other one is that, um, there is a, uh, a need for financing. We need to finance lobbyists. We need to. There's a number of trade organizations that are out there, political groups that are also out there trying to speak in behaLf of their membership. So if you don't have the time or the wherewithal to be able to do the grass roots will then do the grass tops. And, and contribute

Speaker 4: to go to meetings, let your legislators a here, your actual voice or if you don't have time to do that and I'm putting that in air quotes, go ahead and then donate money, right? Yes. To the right groups, to the right groups. What are the rIght groups as far as you're concerned?

Speaker 5: Well, you can go out there. It depends on where you are in the state and locally. So I don't want to endorse any of them right now. We did start a search though, would be do your research just um, yeah. Do your research. Make sure their values align with yours. Uh, we did start up a trade organization in desert hot springs. Desert hot springs is again, like seattle was to me in Washington. I had of their time. They see the opportunity. The city in the community have been amazing to work with their writing ordinances that are the first in the state. Um, and we have a, it's been a magnet for cultivators to come. Um, and these are very smart business people investing multiple millions of dollars into very large scale. Grow. Our grow is 30,000 square feet and we are the baby, the small one.

Speaker 4: Oh, you're tiny. Yeah. Thirty thousand feet of marijuana become song very recently, very recently. So over the past year or two, which is precisely the, uh, the timeline. Uh, Okay. So, so get involved, you know, whether it's with your feet or with your wallet type of thing, right. Whether it's, um, whether it's one of those or the other. So let's, you know, kind of final, uh, let's, let's finally go to this, uh, this word that you used, which was republican earlier and uh, there's the other word democrat. And I Think if I look at the recent history of the United States, I see that democrats used to be republicans and republicans used to be democrats. Right? And it seems like we're in a shift a somewhat now as well in that, um, folks in, um, you know, a labor used to be democrats. It seems like that's kind of now shifting.

Speaker 4: It's becoming uncoupled. and so I feel like the word republican or democrat, I mean a less than they ever did or as little as they did once upon a time. Um, however, we still have 50 percent of the country that just can't talk to the other 50 percent of the country. I mean both, both hats, um, can't talk to each other. So where do you come down? Do you mind if we go here as far as republican or you kind of the, uh, uh, where do you, when you identified as republican, how did you identify as a republican?

Speaker 5: You know, I like how you say that it's, um, the definition of republican and democrat is changed over my lifetime. Significantly. I, myself is, I'm a, socially, I'm more democratic, bUt fiscally I'm more republican, right?

Speaker 4: Socially, socially liberal, fiscally conservative.

Speaker 5: Yes, exactly. And I have, um, for the Last nine years been a, a single issue focused girl, which is cannabis, which is cannabis,

Speaker 4: which as we always say, no matter if you're a democrat or republican, cannabis gets more votes than you as we saw. It's true. It's true.

Speaker 5: So we had an amazing election short this year. Oh my god. So cannabis I am, I am really, really high on, on where we are with, with um, the election results in that regard. I think that um, uh, you know, and I did not vote for trump, but I will say that. Okay.

Speaker 4: Had yoU voted for, do you mind if I do this? How'd you voted for romney and mccain? They had my interest but I did not vote for them. Okay. And what, what's the last republiCan you voted for? For uh, you know, higher office for the presidency.

Speaker 5: Go bacK and think [inaudible]. I always looked at who they were going to put in place for an attorney general.

Speaker 4: So cannabis has been your presidential issue for it for awhile. So would be, you know, maybe even 2000. Right? Because 2004. Right. Did you vote for George W. Bush by any chance? Do you remember? I did. You did. Okay. So there you go. That's just the George W. Bush in 2004, 2008. No, I'm in cannabis. I can't have this. This is, this is a ad sets. As I got to get the dike, I'd have somebody else. When did you start noticing this shift that I'm talking about that kind of made everybody aware, you know, uh, on, on eleCtion day in 2016, um, did you notice a difference in you remember republicans that you were voting for versus not, you know, in other words, how much of this is cannabis and how much of this is a shifting of what republicanism was from your perspective? Can you answer that? Ask that a different way? So a 2008, you start voting on cannabis at the presidential level. Um, as far as you know, the rePublican, you grow up as a Two thousand eight forward or you know, right around that time, had you noticed a shift in that party and slash or the democratic party that you had grown up with? Or is this more recent for you? Just as it is for all of us. Wow. When did this change start start happening from your perspective?

Speaker 5: Neil franklin, who is the ceo for lead, right. Great guy. And I'm a, uh, rachel kurds. A good friend of mine, an attorney up in seattle, Both exposed me to a book that was a defining moment in my political life and that was a, it's a book called the new jim crow by Michelle Alexander. And the veil really got lifted for me as a white woman to not be aware of how much we gave away our rights to prosecutors when this war on drugs just became final in the eighties. Unconscionable. To me,

Speaker 4: that is, is that the timeframe or was it a next step through the whole thing?

Speaker 5: FortY years. Okay. Goes back from the history of the book. Isn't, is more much more recent than that. But the, um, it was a defining moment for me that I could not tolerate anymore the, of not having a voice in what was being done in our society to people of color and poor white people and all in the name of, of the war on drugs. And, um, that's when, to answer Your question, when all parties agendas started to become, um, an issue for me. And what's really crazy to me is that obama administration, we have arrested more people for cannabis underneath his two terms than we did combined with both bushes. Yeah. So this is not a party issue. This is just a very messed up

Speaker 4: and he deported more folks than any other president as well. So, um, so this kind of establishment thing, uh, that we've been hearing about you, you're, you're seeing that from your perspective in the cannabis industry without, without doubt, that they're, it's, it's basically, it's just, you know, a ruling party, no matter what kind of coming down on cannabis coming down on folks that, you know, illegal immigration, et cetera, et cetera. Um, so, um, so as far as being involved in getting involved, um, you know, how, how important is that? Yes, from a cannabis perspective, but Just from just a, you know, general, uh, I'm a, I'm an american perspective.

Speaker 5: I can only speak For myself and in that regard that I waltzed through life with this privilege of not being aware of what was happening in our country. And I have, I feel like iT's been an evolution for me. And one that I'm pleased that I am now aware of, but I'm also very embarrassed that I didn't do something about it. Yeah. So I,

Speaker 4: I share that embarrassment by the way I share. I, I'm completely embarrassed. You know, I didn't vote for trump either. Um, and initially I was embarrassed by the fact that, um, that, you know, somebody that I, you know, you could argue as unqualified to be based on past qualifications for the office, uh, is, is president and, and based on all the terrible things that he said about all of the different groups of people, among other things. Um, I, I have you, you know, over this, uh, a period of time changed that embarrassment to being embarrassed myself, being embarrassed for us as americans that we are in talking to each other. That's what I'm now embarrassed about because it does make sense that somebody that doesn't seem qualified could get in based on the fact that we're not talking to each other. You know, we don't agree with each other.

Speaker 5: And you know, we can, we can pull our pants up like big boys and say this is where it's at. Or we can go kicking and screaming, which you know, I, these protests that are going on, they're not going to produce the results that they think. We're not going to take back this election. We're in bed with trump now for the next four years. So you know what, let's make the best of us it. And let's figure out how do we move forward as is where I'm at with it.

Speaker 4: Yeah. And take those rules, take those gretta rules if you will, of getting involved, going to meetings. It doesn't have to be cannabis, it could be any issue that's important to you can make sure that you show up for, you know, at, at those meetings that are called, they are public as public office. That's why it's called public for a reason.

Speaker 5: South. You're absolutely right. It's not Just cannabis that we have to deal with. It's whatever your passion is, get involved. If you're not part of the game, you can't change it.

Speaker 4: If you're not part of the game, you can't change it. That's greta carter. We're quoting you on that. I have three final questions. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. First question is, what has most surprised you in cannabis? Second is what has most surprised you in life, and third is on the soundtrack of credit card. His life. What does one track? ONe song that's got to be on there? Either the toughest were easiest question, but we'll get to that first things first. What has most surprised you in cannabis? You might've already answered this.

Speaker 5: The fear people have, have it, have it, have it that are not familiar with it. Just the fear and how they can spIn that fear into propaganda that changes the direction and the minds of people is mind blowing. To me, that's the.

Speaker 4: Yeah, that's straightforward. That's to the point. What has most surprised you in life?

Speaker 8: Okay,

Speaker 5: that's a good question. It's probably more a. I'm old enough to say life doesn't ever surprise me anymore. It's like you never know what's Going to be around the corner, but that's what makes it such a, such an incredible journey. And I've learned over time that journey is really what we're about. It's not the destination. So enjoy who you're working with and enjoy what it is that you're doing and feed that passion.

Speaker 4: Life's a journey, not a destination. A, I take your point. It's been been made by others. When, when you say, I'm not surprised anymore, you know, I kind of know what you mean because I'm less surprised now by surprising things than I used to be. Um, so is that just experience, is that just wisdom

Speaker 5: or is that a little piece of being Senegal,

Speaker 7: you know, who would've thought trump was gonna win? No, Zero people I think is really the answer. You know, there were some, uh, folks that um, you know, kind of predicted it, but I think zero people actually thought he was going to win except trump. He was the only one thing. I don't think he thought he was either. I mean, I, I really don't until, until you start seeing, you know, Wisconsin and Minnesota and North Carolina and uh, absolutely people are, they want change without question and that was his strategy and that was his base and that used to be the democrats base. And that's why I say, you know, these, these, uh, republican and democrat terms, these are, these are things of the past, if, if the bushes, you know, voted the same way as the obama's a republicans and democrats, that, that doesn't really help us anymore, you know, as far as explaining things, you know, we need to go a little bit deeper, right?

Speaker 7: I would agree with you there. A gretta carter, the, uh, oN the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. That would be one republic counting stars. All right, so I, I don't know that one. I'm going to get into it, but what is there a key lyric that you, uh, why does everything that's bad for me? Make me feel so alive? Yeah. Yeah. I can subscribe To that. Fighting cannabis and forefront of possible prison. And all of that, that was not maybe the best for me, but I never felt like I was better suited to do something in my life than I was, um, on those political fronts. I could go to jail, but I absolutely should be here every single minute that I'm doing this. Somebody needs to be in. That's somebody you should. I'm stepping up for it. There we go. Grow to carter. Thank you for stepping up. thank you for your time. This has been quite a pleasure. Thank you. So keep up the good work there. You have grown a quarter.

Speaker 1: That is an interesting person for quite a while. Definitely did not know, uh, at least some of the stuff that she shared with us there. And no matter how well you knew her, I bet there was new stuff in there for you to very much appreciate your joining us to begin with and very much appreciate your time. As always. Thanks so much 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.