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Ep.227: Chris Walsh & Tripp Keber Part III

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.227: Chris Walsh & Tripp Keber Part III

Ep.227: Chris Walsh & Tripp Keber Part III

Chris Walsh, MJ Business Daily & Tripp Keber, Dixie Brands
Chris Walsh joins us and shares that he wasn’t always a cannabis guy…his friends poking fun of him when he first joined MJ Business Daily but in describing the changes to Denver, Colorado and society in general Chris has now hired some of those very same friends. A native Coloradan, he now works blocks from where he grew up…he’s surprised but proud that cannabis has it’s home in Denver. And finally Chris goes on to share his philosophy on reporting in this day and age. Tripp Keber then returns and gives us an update on how things have changed for Dixie Brands and cannabis in Colorado. He takes us through internal and external expansion.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Chris walsh and trip keber. Chris walsh joins us and shares that he wasn't always a cannabis guy. His friends poking fun of him at first when he joined mj business daily, but in describing the changes to denver, Colorado in society in general, chris has now hired some of those very same France, a native of Colorado, and he now works blocks from where he grew up. He surprised but proud that cannabis has a home in denver and finally chris goes on to share his philosophy on reporting in this day and age, trip keyboard then returns and gives us an update on how things have changed for dixie brands and cannabis in Colorado. He takes us through internal and external expansion as well as state and even federal initiatives on which he's working. Walk into cannabis economy. I'm your host seth adler. Check us out on social with the hammock and economy that's two ends in the word economy. Chris walsh followed by trip. Kiva, perfect.

Speaker 2: Well, but now the, I mean I'm interviewing an interviewer, like how does this all work? First, thank you for giving us a few minutes. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. It's good to finally meet you in person. Same here that I listened to many of these over the year, so I appreCiate it. We've been in the same room a number of times, right? But a cannabis. You've alWays been in cannabis, right? I'm looking at you a clean cut guy know when I first got in. I think a lot of my former colleagues in the newspaper business were surprised. What are your closet pothead, you know, working for a marijuana company now. Now I've hired a couple of them, but yeah, sure, exactly. Now, uh, the. Now you have the last laugh or at least one of the middle labs, right? Where did you grow up? Uh, I grew up in lakewood, Colorado.

Speaker 2: So a Colorado, one of the few and a lakewood. Nice bright. It's nice, decent, decent sober. What were the folks, uh, up to what were they into? What are they doing for jobs? Just like when I was growing up. Oh sure. Um, I think the denver metro area was heavily dependent on energy and it was a very boom and bust cycle. Uh, and that was that. That's kind of been the story of denver for awhile until reasonably. Yeah, the eConomy wasn't nearly as diverse as it is now, but it's funny. We have offices in marijuana business daily in lakeWood, and it's literally five blocks from where I grew up, which is very weird. and he used to walk to the 7:11 right. Bias now, but quite front of eye candy cigarettes. Now we have marijuana business daily. There are over 25 people. You know, the editorial director, it's very odd.

Speaker 2: They never would have thought you'd be in this business and I'm sure you can go down to black and advice and pre roll. Right? Exactly. Yup. Yup. Strange times we live in. Indeed. So what, what is that like though? what does that do to a Colorado? When I speak to somebody that grew up in Colorado, seventies, eighties, whatever. This is a totally different place. It is in many, many ways. And you're in your hometown. What is that like to walk down the street? What is that? you know, it's uh, it's uh, because there's been a huge influx of people clearly and jobs and it's becoming a hipper place to live, you know, it was always kind of a cow town even when I was in college. Um, and, you know, it's nice to see Colorado will be at the forefront of something. sure. What I was after I graduated from college, I worked for a newspaper sprays covering high tech and Colorado is almost always the place where companies would build divisions like other locations, but nothing was headquartered here or the big companies were headquartered here and that ripples through the economy, you don't have this strong job situation.

Speaker 2: So finally we were known for sometHing. so it's nice. It's been nice to see that happen. Where were you, uh, how much time did you spend at the broadmoor in Colorado springs? You know, we would go there on sundays and sit, sit out on their patio area near the lake and actually get the New York times and have cocktails at 11 in the morning. And reading your clientele, that sounds like stay there though. It's like $700 a night. Yeah. No, it's tough to exactly get a room. But uh, where'd you go to school? I went to Colorado state university and uh, then to the newspaper business in Colorado springs. Did you ever leave the state of Colorado? I did, yeah. I lived when I was growing up. My father and Maryland, he's also a journalist, a white house correspondent. A ha. I lived with him for awhile, but after I graduated high school I went to Colorado state university. That I worked at is at 10 that I was at the rocky mountain news in denver. I remember the grogginess or ap. It's, it's gone now, but we're actually, when that folded, I had already been planning for an exit. I was getting my mba. I went to South Korea. So not only have I left Colorado, going halfway around

Speaker 3: the world to leave South Korea. So this guy from this little town in Colorado and in South Korea, how much of a culture shock was that? it was huge. I've been a big international traveler for awhile before. I moved over, so I had been to other countries living in other countries, completely different. So it was a huge culture shock. It was great for nine months in that time to come to the wedding. Yeah, the honeymoon was over. Although I did meet my future and current wife there and thinks she's from Korea and she knows she's trying to run. Of course he is weird, but how that will work then that's fine. You know, uh, your name, the international marriage. Uh, no matter what. That's fantastic. So you guys came directly back to Colorado? We did. And, and I, she had, hadn't been here. She lived in Australia for awhile.

Speaker 1: Chris walsh and trip keber. Chris walsh joins us and shares that he wasn't always a cannabis guy. His friends poking fun of him at first when he joined mj business daily, but in describing the changes to denver, Colorado in society in general, chris has now hired some of those very same France, a native of Colorado, and he now works blocks from where he grew up. He surprised but proud that cannabis has a home in denver and finally chris goes on to share his philosophy on reporting in this day and age, trip keyboard then returns and gives us an update on how things have changed for dixie brands and cannabis in Colorado. He takes us through internal and external expansion as well as state and even federal initiatives on which he's working. Walk into cannabis economy. I'm your host seth adler. Check us out on social with the hammock and economy that's two ends in the word economy. Chris walsh followed by trip. Kiva, perfect.

Speaker 2: Well, but now the, I mean I'm interviewing an interviewer, like how does this all work? First, thank you for giving us a few minutes. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. It's good to finally meet you in person. Same here that I listened to many of these over the year, so I appreCiate it. We've been in the same room a number of times, right? But a cannabis. You've alWays been in cannabis, right? I'm looking at you a clean cut guy know when I first got in. I think a lot of my former colleagues in the newspaper business were surprised. What are your closet pothead, you know, working for a marijuana company now. Now I've hired a couple of them, but yeah, sure, exactly. Now, uh, the. Now you have the last laugh or at least one of the middle labs, right? Where did you grow up? Uh, I grew up in lakewood, Colorado.

Speaker 2: So a Colorado, one of the few and a lakewood. Nice bright. It's nice, decent, decent sober. What were the folks, uh, up to what were they into? What are they doing for jobs? Just like when I was growing up. Oh sure. Um, I think the denver metro area was heavily dependent on energy and it was a very boom and bust cycle. Uh, and that was that. That's kind of been the story of denver for awhile until reasonably. Yeah, the eConomy wasn't nearly as diverse as it is now, but it's funny. We have offices in marijuana business daily in lakeWood, and it's literally five blocks from where I grew up, which is very weird. and he used to walk to the 7:11 right. Bias now, but quite front of eye candy cigarettes. Now we have marijuana business daily. There are over 25 people. You know, the editorial director, it's very odd.

Speaker 2: They never would have thought you'd be in this business and I'm sure you can go down to black and advice and pre roll. Right? Exactly. Yup. Yup. Strange times we live in. Indeed. So what, what is that like though? what does that do to a Colorado? When I speak to somebody that grew up in Colorado, seventies, eighties, whatever. This is a totally different place. It is in many, many ways. And you're in your hometown. What is that like to walk down the street? What is that? you know, it's uh, it's uh, because there's been a huge influx of people clearly and jobs and it's becoming a hipper place to live, you know, it was always kind of a cow town even when I was in college. Um, and, you know, it's nice to see Colorado will be at the forefront of something. sure. What I was after I graduated from college, I worked for a newspaper sprays covering high tech and Colorado is almost always the place where companies would build divisions like other locations, but nothing was headquartered here or the big companies were headquartered here and that ripples through the economy, you don't have this strong job situation.

Speaker 2: So finally we were known for sometHing. so it's nice. It's been nice to see that happen. Where were you, uh, how much time did you spend at the broadmoor in Colorado springs? You know, we would go there on sundays and sit, sit out on their patio area near the lake and actually get the New York times and have cocktails at 11 in the morning. And reading your clientele, that sounds like stay there though. It's like $700 a night. Yeah. No, it's tough to exactly get a room. But uh, where'd you go to school? I went to Colorado state university and uh, then to the newspaper business in Colorado springs. Did you ever leave the state of Colorado? I did, yeah. I lived when I was growing up. My father and Maryland, he's also a journalist, a white house correspondent. A ha. I lived with him for awhile, but after I graduated high school I went to Colorado state university. That I worked at is at 10 that I was at the rocky mountain news in denver. I remember the grogginess or ap. It's, it's gone now, but we're actually, when that folded, I had already been planning for an exit. I was getting my mba. I went to South Korea. So not only have I left Colorado, going halfway around

Speaker 3: the world to leave South Korea. So this guy from this little town in Colorado and in South Korea, how much of a culture shock was that? it was huge. I've been a big international traveler for awhile before. I moved over, so I had been to other countries living in other countries, completely different. So it was a huge culture shock. It was great for nine months in that time to come to the wedding. Yeah, the honeymoon was over. Although I did meet my future and current wife there and thinks she's from Korea and she knows she's trying to run. Of course he is weird, but how that will work then that's fine. You know, uh, your name, the international marriage. Uh, no matter what. That's fantastic. So you guys came directly back to Colorado? We did. And, and I, she had, hadn't been here. She lived in Australia for awhile.

Speaker 3: A long story short, I took her on a tour about eight states and said, where do you want to live in? She said, I really liked Colorado. The best reminds me of Australia and there's parts of it are wrong, you are wrong. So I have not been to Iran. I have been to Australia and I had not kind of put those two together in my mind before you just set it right now. But the landscapes are similar. I can see what she's talking about. Yeah. The landscapes of people are friendly. The suburbs reMind her silvers where they live in the mountains. Remind her of Iran. Okay. So, you know, it was a nice mix for her and surprisingly the woman from the rod is now also in the marijuana industry. Look at that. We won't take that further because let's just keep this to you.

Speaker 3: But what I will ask about Australia. Where was she from in Australia? She lived in perth for a while. so perth is the only thing on the west really pretty much. Right. I've been to perth, I don't not go there. So I, I was dating a girl and uh, she was from perth and so I went to perth. It's, it's, uh, it's out there. yeah. I will never forget on the plane ride back to sydney. We were getting back to sydney for the new year's celebration. A zoo was on the, uh, was on the plane and uh, she told me that to my girlfriend at the time told me and not current girlfriend told me that I was the only one laughing. Oh really? Yeah. So I thought zoo lander was a pretty good signal. You're not with her anymore. Exactly. That's why. That's what broke us up.

Speaker 3: that's absolutely not true. Anyway, so, so, uh, Iran in Colorado, you can go ahead and industry and that's it, right. See, see you get back here. And I would imagine time to get back into the newspaper business here, right? Yeah. I had some other solid offers, interviews lined up, but newspapers and Colorado and elsewhere at this job kind of popped up and the co founders from the banking world and the marketing world and niche publishing something covering marijuana. AnD so they ended up hiring me to watch the content. So now and I am interrupting you on purpose. Um, when you left, tell us what the cannabis economy in cannabis culture was to when you got back. And then I'll ask you about this job thing, but just compare the two realities with years. So this was

Speaker 2: when I left denver, it was beginning of 2011 and there really wasn't a marijuana industry. The speaker there wasn't even on our radar. I was a business reporter at one of the main newspapers, denver, so that's something we Covered it all. It wasn't anything to cover and so then things moved really quickly. I didn't really follow it. I moved to South Korea, was writing about editing about york, Korea and hyundai and other big companies and you know, I come back two years later and at that time there were more dispensary's in the denver area that starbucks. So clearly the industry had a rapid rise and that's why I said, hey, this is, this is interesting.

Speaker 3: Oh, so you did, you know, as you know, this kind of opportunity made itself apparent to you, you know, this job in partiCular you were. It wasn't like, oh, well, okay, fine, I'll take this one.

Speaker 2: No, I need for a long time business journalist. This was like, this is what you want to do, right? You want to cover a very complicated, potentially interesting industry that has a lot of room for growth and a lot of complications that need someone to help people figure it all out. So it really had all the elements that I love about journalism. You know, now we do much more than journalism, but um, but yeah, that piqued my interest immediately and there was no, no question in my mind. I'd never once hesitated and said it or if I want to get into this and I'm not, I don't come from the marijuana culture now. I much rather would have a craft beer or a shot or something. So it wasn't like this was a marriage between my passion and career.

Speaker 3: It wasn't a passion. Right. As, and as I look at you with all due respect, you don't look like a cannabis enthusiasts. Right? I mean, you know, that's kind of stereotypical, but I think nowadays the, there is no definition. No, there isn't. That's true. That's true. But maybe I'm peering into your salt. Yeah. Right. But as with most folks in the industry, I would imagine at some point you did realize that this was more than just bells and whistles. This was more than just regulations. This was more than just an industry, you know, being formed. When did that epiphany? I would imagine that there was an epiphany occurred that, oh, wait a second, this is a, this is more than just an industry.

Speaker 2: Well, it, the, the more than just an industry side, and correct me right away when I would go out to events or go meet with people, I mean people were passionate about this play to them. It wasn't a lot of the pioneers disposable business opportunity. This was their passion and they had a chance to do it semi illegally. Right? Um, and that was always interesting. I covered a lot oF industries in my career and none of them had this level of passionate covered intel for a while. Those people make computer chips are passionate about computer scientists or, but a lot of the people in the door. But in this industry there was always that passion. So I knew right away it was different to movement and we really have to respect that and understand that right away we're actually, we would have failed or not anyone's, you know, respeCt or trust. Um, but, uh, I think, you know, we, we almost pulled out actually late 2011. There were raids, crackdowns and that it was iffy about where everything was going to go, but right after that in 2000, 12 late is when you really saw it, you know,

Speaker 3: 2012 is the folding and some. Okay, fine. We can see that writing on the wall

Speaker 2: where you saw that they actually this house to be telling potential become more than just this niche medical industry in a handful of states and really come to power and that's. I think that's cool.

Speaker 3: Yeah, it absolutely is and I want to get to that, but in terms of the sitting around the table and saying, oh, is this gonna work? Is this going to last? Are we going to be here? Please take us through that.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So, and you know, we started in may of 2011. We actually have different dave. He was called dispensary insider and the way we're going to provide information for dispensary owners that would help them run their business with a lot of other industries have and they would subscribe to and pay monthly or annually and in depth insight into how to run their business. The subscription model is much better than the advertising part of it is. Chris, come on. So at least you tried. We tried and we quickly realized a, a no one running this stuff is really reading anything news. They're kind of run my business, other business and they weren't as. They didn't come from business backgrounds so they weren't used to having a trade publication looking onto that for advice and they don't want to pay for it. I know. Why would I?

Speaker 2: Yeah. So we never charged but we could see quickly like, oh, how are we going to generate revenue? So, um, well I don't think we made revenue for at least a year, but I'm more, much more of the little. We did special reports and things like that that sold a little bit, but so later in 2011, the rates of escalated, hundreds of dispensaries are closed and it was a really anyone's guess as to whether the industry was going to make it. A lot of people were worried and tHere was a competitor to us at the time and they backed out and they were backed by a huge company called deal for media out of New York and they do trade publications and they had done one conference and they had a subscription model and they said, nope, forget it. They said 98 percent of the people that came to their conference came with cash because they didn't want their names recorded.

Speaker 2: Of course not. So at the time. So they said this isn't a good business. So they got out and then early in 2012 I had actually they had put me on a different project to research other industries that we could do this. Where else can we go? Where else can we. We had other publications and I said, you know what chris, keep your hand. Keep one foot in this, start reaching, researching are. by the time I got done with that project, said let's double down on their own because we hit 2012 things started to get a little better. It was, this was before the elections. I'm good as far as polling initially. Pretty pretty good as far as the vote. And we were seeing increaseD readership product because of that. Right. So people were starting to find us and we said, okay, if we're going to do this, let's have an event, let's, um, let's make a go at it.

Speaker 2: And so again, we redoubled our efforts and then I've ever did. Clearly in Washington state though. Where did you have the first event? It was in denver. It was step the sherman street event center, which is a masonic lodge. I think the women's and men's restrooms are different for short. They have to be able to fly. And it was an old Creaky place. It had a great character, especially for this industry, but there were some issues with it, but you know, we had, we had, I think 30 booths and 400 people and we thought that was amazing, you know, 400 kelvin. Yeah. so, you know, that was not too long ago. That was 2011 or 2012. So, uh, then we had our vegas event just we 11,000. So you can, that's a reflection of the industry. I'm not tooting our own horn. We have benefited from it.

Speaker 2: But um, you know, take growth, press it's hockey. Stick this. Now, you know, we, we've spoken with george who has a different way of speaking than you do. He says he's the color man on the man. so that makes a whole lot of sense. Actually makes a whole lot of sense. Um, 11,000 people, you know, going from 400 to $11,000 going from that reality to this reality because we spoken with other folks about the journey from 2012 to 2017. But as we see in 2017, are we starting to get out over the skis from your perspective, because you talked to a bunch of people, are we just hitting the stride at the right time or where do you think we are as far as that hockey stick growth in reality, you know, it's, it's really hard to say right now because I think we were just past the first phase of growth that we were going to enter the next boom.

Speaker 2: Sure. Uh, and it could have been louder and faster and bigger than the one before. But of course the election kind of changed the perception. I think things looked like they were going to go with hillary's way, didn't. So that was kind of a surprise to a lot of people. Right? So I think no matter your political stripes, no matter what, even if, even if our surveys found, you know, a third of the executives in the industry backgrounds, so there's a good percentage of people in the industry have that support trump. And, uh, I think that either way is fine, but I think clearly under clinton we would have probably seen more of the same, which are the hands off policy, right? Um, and then under trump we just don't know. So, you know, I would have said here comes out next boom brace for it.

Speaker 2: All the stars are aligned, stole the election was historic and the new markets coming online, we're going to triple or quadruple the size of the industry if they are allowed to move forward. What about your current reporting? I obviously, you know, I'm just two guys talking. Are you starting to hear what might be a message, you know, from either folks in the industry who are hearing from folks in the government or from folks in the government who might know or shaking my head no. Smh way. You've just, rj again, no one knows. And you know, we have our ears close to the ground. We talked to people every day and you know, there are some people are very optimistic and there are still people sounding board and bills and say you guys are not going to be ready when this hits the face and there's going to be able to come.

Speaker 2: We are both siDes. Uh, and it's, you know, we, we did a big report on this. We talked a lot of people. We used our institutional knowledge and kind of the, the, basically the sport five scenarios that could happen under trump. A mix of them could happen, there could be boards are, but these are the overarching ones. And you know, it's hard to say. I think the bottom line is we could try to crack down on the entire industry will be very difficult. I'm legally and financially and resources wise where the government, uh, so the, the best scenario would be kind of the status quo. He wants to create jobs. However, we have seen in just 10 days of his presidenCy, he is willing to do anything that upset anyone. So to say that he's a state's rights guy, there's no way to mess with this industry.

Speaker 2: It's too big. It's too complicated. Legally, I believe you can use any of those arguments to justify the. Nothing might happen because when I speak to folks that, that kind of are a kind of see life from the right type of thing. THat is what I hear. Hey, it's states rights. I mean, come on, we got operating business, we've got tax revenue. They're not going to touch it, but it's a terrific argument and hopefully that's what happens. Um, and trump has indicated he's gonna go that way, but we have seen time and time again, you know, someone close to him, I forget it was even said, don't really listen to what he's saying all the time. So, so how do you gauge what he's going to do? We don't know. Right? And maybe he'll turn out to be this great ally for the industry. We just don't know.

Speaker 2: As a reporter, I want to speak to you as a reporter and I don't want to talk about politics. I want to talk to you about how you do report using our current president as a subject and don't listen to what he's saying. Just watch what he does. I kind of have taken now as a citizen, right? Um, because I don't consider myself more important. Uh, you know, he will do x. If that's the headline, I won't read it because no one knows. Right. So he will do x, preparing to do. Why forget about that. He did just do this and here's what was written in it. That's what I'm watching, right. I always. What's your take on it? Yeah, I mean, I think that's a good point. You know, we're trying to figure out what everyone else says, what he's doing. I alluded to this before we, you know, my father was a white house correspondent, is coming, six presidents know, traveled on air force one or many, many times 35 years and he doesn't know what's going on, you know?

Speaker 2: And so part of that kind of crazy mainstream media, he's very, very, very objective using the old school journalist, not these new school where they kind of put their opinions and everything. So yeah, I mean to your part of the fourth estate, yes, there was a fourth estate. He's part of it, right? Well, you know, trump is now called the media are the worst people on the planet. So, um, uh, we don't know where, what, what's going to happen, but no, to your point, I think that that's a good way to look at it. I think know, tweet something out or says something off on that and a fundraiser or some event or, or who knows, um, you know, we don't know or you don't know whether it be half the time, you don't know what it means. It's very vague or it could be taken multiple ways and whether that translates into concrete policy, we never know.

Speaker 2: So I think you have a good way of looking at it. It ain't over til the fat lady sings and when the fat lady sings, in this case it's trump actually doing something. Not just saying, so the song happens to be an executive order. Yes. Yeah, exactly. So you know, it shouldn't surprise anyone if you have a month in the tries to crack down on the industry wrestling. Right. Why? How could it be surprised? It may well be. I think a lot of people wouldn't be the people that we talked to. There are some people that say there's no way it's the public support is too strong. Is he going to go against police board? Well, I think he showed you just care all the time about public health faculty. The majority right now, he probably cares what certain people, but not necessarily the general population. Half aspect of public opinion, not public opinion. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And again, I'm not ripping on him. I don't knoW this is a dog in this fight. We just want someone to support the marijuana industry and if he doesn't then we're not gonna be happy at all

Speaker 3: that. That is a brings me to my next point about just simply reporting and journalism. People talking to each other and how do you take people's comments and, and everything like that. I sit here as a guy that is a human beings and would just like to continue in life and have conversations with people without, um, one of the words that I say being a buzzword that is misconstrued as I meant something by it. That must be a polItical statement because you use, you know, this word, this word as like, as a guy who does words for a living. How um, what is your emotional makeup? Yeah. Cup at

Speaker 2: this point. Well, I mean I've seen both sides of this. I was a reporter for 15 years and then now I'm an editor, amanda to reporters and do other, you know, market research report or events. But um, So I interviewed a lot. So I've been on both sides of this And I mean I have sympathy for both sides. I have some people that reporters trying to do their job and figure out what's going on, but you know, one word can be taken out of context and something can. And I've had that happen to, you know, or something you said that little snippet is the only step that they use without Context. You're not really. Um, so it's, it's tough and you're a reputable reporter comes from a line of orders. And so I appreciate that comment. I mean, in just general conversation, everything has become so politically charged.

Speaker 2: It's hard to just have a conversation. It is. And that's why I was kind of dancing around our conversation. Say, look, I've never been in trouble because anytime you talk about anything political or anything that trickles down to politics because almost everything needs to. I think everyone is so on edge and so sensitive that a good reason in some cases that, you know, you have to be careful. He had been in private conversations. Um, so yeah, it's a crazy atmosphere right now. Or I, uh, somehow I'm making a statement by the rat ride sharing app that I use, right? Yeah. Apparently. Whatever. We could go on and on and I would love to talk to you again. I know that we don't have a ton of time today, so I want to ask you the three final questions. Certain traditional math, I'll tell you what they are.

Speaker 2: I'll ask you them in order. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack? Chris's life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. But first things first. Well, what has most surprised you in cannabis? You might've already touched on it, but you know, taken as that question. I think how mainstream it's become. I mean I really didn't think it would ever become a space treat and handle more or less people are accepting that I have an aunt who was under the gun and when I started this shoe was, so that's great, you know, and that was medical so it was easier to justify medical. So medical, recreational and she hasn't found it on and I know people are in the country, in the world that are fascinated by it or anything. So I'm surprised at how quickly the attitudes have changed or maybe they've been there and people just didn't express.

Speaker 2: And how quiCkly the business mainstream business community come in noW, and I know that upset a lot of the pioneers and love people that love the plant, but you know, uh, for good or bad, the business community is rush again now. And I thought it wouldn't take long. well, you thought, uh, that we would have to establish banking before traditional people would come in. Absolutely. Banking and the stigma is still there and a lot of areas and these people still are great of risking their careers, a professional personal invitations, but you're just in the last two years as I, uh, some money when he does that too. Absolutely. And I love to watch money guys. Uh, the first time that they hear about to 80. That's what you get in that business.

Speaker 2: But anyway, uh, what has most surprised you in life? It's the same that I'm in this job now, right? I would have never ever guessed. I'd say that's one of the biggest surprises in my personal. Now, does your wife similar to you and that she's in the industry and you wouldn't expect her to be? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, she's, you Know, she's pretty laid back and cool and uh, you know, so wrong. And then she lived in Australia for a while and then we met, sorry, andrea and her dad's a ms researcher and in Iran. And so it's uh, it's interesting that we are both kind of on the cutting edge of cutting edge industry. Right? So it has this stigma. I mean, there's absolutely no way I would've guessed this like a lot of people you'll find cutting edge, uh, chris walsh. Right. And you know that the marijuana, you know, my friends call me the pop guy or you know, the marijuana messiah.

Speaker 2: I mean that's just like so far from my background, it's pretty fun. Absolutely. In that you said you brought some of those old guys in, right? Yes, yes. We have a big staff now and I hired some former, a newspaper reporters that I used to work with, straight edge gastric, totally straight edge guy. Even some with the patches. Maybe. There we go. Yep. I'm going to ask you a question that I've not asked someone before. He's your favorite movie. All the president's men. It's up there, right? Yes, absolutely. I mean, it's hard to say no if you're a journalist. were you surprised that woodward looks nothing like redford? That would be the second biggest surprise I got lucky with that was honestly, I have to say, not getting into politics, but trump's our president is what it is. I have to say that mean I never, ever would have expected it.

Speaker 2: Um, so I think just speaking on that, before march I sent a text and then on election night I sent a text and march to my father and my sister on election night, I checked back just to see if I did because I remembered that I did. But did I really, my texts was president trump get used to it. And so in march I had an inkling that this train is not stopping, but still shocking. Um, but I digress on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on these. That's a tough one. I don't know if it would define my entire life, but definitely my cannabis life. And even before that probably. Whereas my mind by the pixies. Oh look, I don't know where it is. Things are moving so quickly and there's so much going on and juggling so much that it's hard to figure out what's up and, and this is when I find out usually that the actual age of someone because I was going to say you look younger than you are by taking the pixus. You see what I'm saying? Yeah, we're right in the same

Speaker 1: names. Chris. Thank you so much. Remi off. Absolutely. Keep doing what you're doing. All right, you too. Thanks. This episode is supported by Brandon Branch. Brenda branch provides intellectual property legal services with a focus on the cannabis industry. Shabnam malik and Amanda Conley founded Brenda Branch in 2015 to provide nimble cost effective intellectual property services. Brenda branch is proud to offer high quality services with flexible billing arrangements, including flat fees and monthly subscription plans to meet the needs of early and mid stage companies. Brand branch helps companies with branding creative content and compliance. Go to brandon branch.com/can economy for more detail. Global headquarters. Right. And we just, we just.

Speaker 4: What about these uh, skateboards? This is, this is an attachment basically. Yeah. This is artwork for me. I can assure you I'm not a skateboarder with amanda had seven head injuries. Concussion should not be on a skateboard, but I do occasionally do core work here in my office, close to my couch, standing on my skateboard deck while conducting conference calls. That's fair. I believe it. And you are at the reckless. You are admitting to the head injuries that may explain a lot for many breaking news or. No, no, no, no. Widely distributed information. So trip, man, it's a, it's been quite a ride for me. I now know you for four years, which is insane. Um, you've been doing it way longer. A current state of affairs. Here we are, January, 2017. Uh, how different is it, uh, from, you know, I don't know, the summer of 2013 when we met for instance, I can tell you, uh, because so many of us had that delusional confidence that I talked about often, you know, we are confident that 2017 is going to be our gear.

Speaker 4: It's going to be different this year. There's going to be no regulatory changes are threats from the federal government, uh, whatever it may be, but, uh, you know, we're very excited about where we are professionally as a company. We're dealing once again with massive growth in 2016 and we begin to really execute on what we started early in 2014, which was the shift from licensing our ip to actually controlling and operating these corporate manufacturing and distribution facilities. That's through a very, very complicated structure and ultimately with a joint venture partner in the market. But uh, we're pleased to see Nevada online and 16, we're pleased to see Arizona come online in 16 and then Arizona, excuse me, in Oregon and Washington hopefully in the next couple of months. Alright, so the first question for me and anybody else is going to be how, how are you doing that? How can you own in another state, you know, without giving away the special sauce.

Speaker 4: You said it's complex, but what more can you give us? Well, uh, again, uh, we keep a lot oF things close to the vest, but, uh, in november of 2:16, the New York times did an excellent cover story on us which did a pretty good job articulating what that structure is and again, emphasizing that is very, very complicated. But there are ways and also taking into consideration the tax liability that we as an industry face related to to 80 eat. I can tell you in every circumstance, meaning the six markets that we have relationships with a Florida and uh, Maryland being seven and eight, that there is a always going to be a licensed partner in that state. And so allowing dixie brands and one of its affiliates to bolt onto that as is ultimately how we do so not to plug another media outlet, but the marijuana business magazine.

Speaker 4: I'm just recently, uh, this month did a cover story which my partner and I were able to grace the cover. It was an honor, a promise right now, far more important, uh, than he and I to be on that cover. But again, it's a much more detailed, a story that is designed to be read by the cannabis business executive. Again, we're not interested in giving away our secret sauce, but, uh, it does give you a general structure. I can tell you three things that we've learned over the last 24 plus months that it is much more expensive, much more complicated and much more. Um, uh, you know, drawn out to, if you will, it's just not something you'd go and build a facility overnight. It's gonna take probably conservative 150 to a hundred 80 days to, to build these facilities, each market. That's the unfortunate aspect.

Speaker 5: It's very, very inefficient still as an industry and just to kind of a gloss over it because you did cite the two sources. folks should read those pieces, but basically it has to do with when and how the plant is touched. That is essentially it. That is correct. Absolutely. And, and not to build a bridge

Speaker 4: between the entities that would allow a federal agency to go in. And so we are very, very thoughtful from everything from headcount to who does what within an organization to make sure that we stay above the fray or beyond reproach. And that comes from basIcally some excellent professional services companies, people that are provide consulting to us, help us understand that we believe that would stand up to an audit.

Speaker 5: We were able to even have to deal wIth your consultants and lawyers. Cannabis loves lawyers, I like to say at least so far. Right. So I want to kind of go over the culture is at least, um, quickly, uh, what I noticed here, I said to you before we turn these on, I'm seeing a lot of faces that I didn't see before this trip. So, um, you know, it's, it's kind of nice. It feels like there's a whole new kind of breath of fresh air and a whole new set of mind kind of walking the walk in the halls here. Clearly I think

Speaker 4: we as an industry are certainly dealing with continued massive growth is certainly dixie brands and slash or its related affiliate are no different. But the fact of the matter is, is that your correct and that we continue to be able to attract, um, you know, certainly experts in their industry are experts in the category that is now serving our industry. We have, you know, everything from phdS to mbas to individuals that have a tremendous amount of experience and in the security world, these are all aspects that Incorporate or incorporated by the cannabis industry. And I think the social stigma, if you will, um, that scarlet scarlet seed dependent upon how you refer to cannabis marijuana is becoming less and less prevalent than we still acknowledged that there's kenna, kenna bigotry. It's a term that I like. Um, but we're starting to see. We're starting to see that that mainstream a professional, uh, really take a long, hard approach certainly with the elections in november of last year. I think set a very centered, very strong message to society that cannabis is likely here to stay, whether it be for medical and slash or adult use.

Speaker 5: It's the only thing we all can agree on. One thing that came out of that election, um, and, and as far as, you know, this office, it really, you wouldn't know that this is a cannabis company. There's just people with button down shirts on and that's about it, you know, I think they've done an excellent job. I mean, I describe ourselves as big boys and big girls. that doesn't always translate 24 hours a day,

Speaker 4: but you're right. I mean, we do an excellent job of providing the level of transparency to all aspects of government, local, state and federal should they ever have an Interest. Um, we have hosted a in 2016, almost 4,500 individuals. About 50 percent of those are clients or wouldn't be customers now serving well over a thousand customers across the United States, meaning retailers or medical dispensaries. But the other 50 percent, those 2100 people a still broken out evenly into categories of legislators, regulators and law enforcement officers. And so transparency is incredibly important. There's nothing super secret, uh, uh, that is taking place here other than the intellectual property that We own and protect. Um, but, uh, you know, being able to see into a room and allowing us to, uh, allow us to show you what we're doing I think really demystifies and creates a level of comfort that, you know, they may not have had in years past. So it's important to be able to share what you're doing and I think that ultimately accelerates the growth of our industry. and when you were building this building when I came here for her too, or what

Speaker 5: most excited about was those very windows. Yup. The electrostatic, the magic glass. That's it now, you know? Yeah. Okay. We're growing up. That's fantastic. We've got new folks in here. Um, I do still get the sense that they're, the, the bond between the band of brothers and sisters from early on remains

Speaker 4: very much so. I mean, you obviously have done an excellent job in some of your journalism is reporting on that. And uh, again, I do not dispute the statements that I've made in years past that cannabis is a lot like high school. Most of us entering into it as freshmen in 2010. Some of us maybe have had a fifth year, I've been in 2009, but over the course of those four years, culminating with the graduation of adult use implementation in 14 for Colorado, um, uh, those relationships still remain and I do business with many of those individuals daily. I'm selling them cannabis and then we're working on state and federal initiatives at the, uh, in the evening times because these are individuals that have really prospered, uh, and their companies associated with it. And so, um, it's something that we can take full advantage of is really start to control the narrative and it's predicated ultimately on that trust that was built over those now six years.

Speaker 5: I want to come back to, to what, uh, you know, those conversations and just kind of go through real quick. The, the other kind of cannabis culture is the other cannabis communities is as you kind of touch in and visit partners and such, Nevada. How, how does that compare it to, to the, the band of brothers here in Colorado? You know, the, your, your high school Buddies, you know, four and six years on Nevada. How does it compare?

Speaker 4: Well, you know, I operate in Nevada and I'm very fortunate and privileged to serve approximately 70 percent of the market, just 60 days into it. So we're really excited. We all know that that market was challenging for many of those operators in 2016. I'm really, really pleased to see the patient counts spiking. I'm not coincidentally to coincide with the, uh, the implementation of adult use, which we hope to see you earlier or later this year as early as the summer. Um, but I don't get the impression that those same relationships or bonds have formed, or at least it's not obvious to me who's probably perceived as an outsider even though I do business in the state of Nevada. Um, the waY they established the licensing required for individuals to be really well established by nancy was financially, excuse me. Um, and there's nothing wrong with it, but I see, you know, massive egos and the brands associated with that.

Speaker 4: And that's good. You know. And, and by the way, I have one as well. And so it's nice to see, you know, what I hope to be a collaboration now with the Nevada cannabis industry association and some of these other affinity groups that are starting to align themselves. Um, but I would suggest it's, it was a very, very different structure that the state of Nevada rolled out than what we had in 2009 and a good portion of 2010. Remember in Colorado, the marijuana enforcement division was not established until august of 2010. So many of us had already established all sorts of bad habits and we're lazy and x, y, z category or lowe's came in right before louis came in. That's exactly right. So I'm louis kosky now a, uh, come to the dark side. Is that exactly? He saId he is not. I spoke to a consultant of sorts, right, of sorts.

Speaker 4: But he still maintains his dale a day job is as a government worker. But andrew, I think it's officially made these off. He's done on spot. I'm talking to him on saturday morning and I heard he is fortunate enough to be a, the second honoree of the heads of state roast takes place. I was foolish enough to go first last year and it was a brutal, a lot of slings and arrows, but I heard andrew will be there this year accepting the cup. So I look forward to being in the audience. It'll be, it'll be a better seat, I promise. All right, so that, that's Nevada. How much of a game changer, not to spend too much time on this because it's prognostication and you know, that doesn't work really as we know. Um, how much of a game changer though Is don't use in Nevada with the global tourism that they have, you know, if, if we can hit summertime or even fall of this year, I think seth, it's massive.

Speaker 4: I mean, candidly, uh, and I think many people would readily admit it to me. The market didn't form up in Nevada as everybody had hoped under the medical regime. Right? Uh, and so you had businesses, many of them are friends and contemporaries that were a languishing. Um, and a lot of money had been Invested in all the rules and regulations that really the hoops that you had to jump through, we're really, really expensive. And so I'm really pleased because I've already started to see in a sort of a rebirth, if you will, and that industry is only two years old, if your will. And so, uh, we're excited to see that progress. I think you're going to start to see businesses flourish and a tremendous sense. Um, you know, I hear a lot of people upset here in Colorado alleging that marijuana tourists or tourism dollars are down already because they can go to a market like California.

Speaker 4: They can go to a market like Nevada. I will remind them technically they cannot consumption. I don't think that stopped many people in that. Certainly california's I've read, but I think it's really going to be the saving grace. And, you know, candidly, I personally don't care where the mecca of marijuana tourism resides. I will do business wherever it is, I can assure you. And so I think it's going to be, um, really the, the infusion, if you will, uh, that, that state needs will ultimately allow the statement, it's associated licenses, the businesses to prosper. I hope that will be one of those as well. There have always been, at least as far as long as I've been in a kind of two capitals of cannabis business, not tourism, but business. And that certainly has been denver. And you know, you could say northern California, of course folks in los angeles would argue that there too, are you noticing a little bit of a, a shift or eyes kind of darting as far as where to place a new business in cannabis will certainly.

Speaker 4: I think there's a tremendous hotbed of activity in los angeles county in particular. And unfortunately We do business. They're serving from northern California. And you have some very, very well established brands with a lot of the known associates, meaning iconic celebrity musicians or celebrities themselves or are tied into those businesses. Let's not forget that you have the ability to deliver cannabis to a consumer direct through great businesses like ease or speed. We'd, um, many of those are going to follow, I'm sure, and potentially maybe follow suit and other markets. Technically you cannot do that. I randomly in the state of Colorado but might see that in other markets. But listen, you know, it's not about, I can tell you one individual, it's not about one brand or one company. It's about an industry that is starting to really coalesce and we're starting to collaborate. I emphasized earlier that we as an industry now in 17, are really going to control the narrative.

Speaker 4: We can talk about that later. Um, and that takes collaboration. Uh, and so you're seeing people that not only howard likeminded, but have the ability to provide the appropriate financial support. Now we can tell you people like rob kampia, mpp will still say majority of the industry doesn't do its part, but you're not giving enough. You're not given enough. Uh, well, it's ironic because, uh, I resigned my position from mpp effective December 31st, uh, not for any other reason that my core mission, which is to build my business. I have sat on it probably in excess of a half a dozen boards over the last five years related to marijuana reform. I clearly have done my part, in my opinion, and we continue to do so in the form of financial support, but what we are doing here at dixie brand is incredibly complicated and requires a majority of my focus and my waking hours. ANd so, um, I believe that I partied wIth everybody's support and slash or respect, most importantly rob's and pcs listening to this. But, um, you know, it's uh, it's complicated, but you're starting to see this, this coalescing around some common themes, certainly to 80. He would be really nice if we could have a banking, uh, by the way eventually. Sure. Um, in a, in a massive level. Uh, and so these are things that I think you're starting to see working on in 2017.

Speaker 5: Yeah. No. You know, as far as these bigger, broader themes, you know, getting, getting down to brass tacks, you bring up to 80 or, or excise tax for that matter. Right. I don't know how much of it is a, is a rumor or is a hushed speak or what have you, but folks now, uh, you know, are, are talking about whether it has to do with the, uh, the, the cannabis caucus or otherwise a, a proposed excise tax of federal excise tax. So

Speaker 4: yeah, you're absolutely right. I mean there's, um, there are groups are being formed, the federal level to augment what npp and then cia and some other, these amazing organizations ssdp normal. There's a tremendous amount of effort that has been invested at the federal level, but most of that is related to marijuana reform. Uh, and m specifically, there's organizations that are being formed by big, big players in many markets and it's not that you have to be a big player, just that you have to be able to provide big financial support. And so there is not discrimination. Excuse me. There's not discrimination, of course, um, for any size business, but the financial responsibilities that you have to step up to generally preclude a smaller business from doing so, but being able to control the narrative, including trying to eliminate all, um, uh, effectively in its entirety to act and replace it with the federal excise tax that we believe that we have a compelling story to share with the federal government, whoever's willing to listen to that and be able to be a much more predictable model that a business can build upon.

Speaker 4: Uh, you have businesses here in Colorado as an example that are, you know, generating inaccessible $100,000,000 in their effective tax rate is, you know, in the 60 and 70 percent range that's not longterm sustainability. ANd so it's, it's shocking that it's short term sustainability. well, I can tell you, uh, it's, it's been painful. I didn't know these, these players, these are my brothers in arms, if you will. These are my larger customers, coNtemporaries that we stay up late at night, uh, working on these federal initiatives that will hopefully be beneficial to all parties. And, um, and I think those efforts will become much more public and public in the next several months and just, you know, doing the straight math myself, if you eliminate to age than I can, you know, deduct what I should be able to deduct so then I can definitely kind of afford that excise tax.

Speaker 4: That's federal excise tax. And then once cannabis is a kind of helping out the federal government so to speak, sure, they're hooked and they're absolutely, we're all in the deep end treading water together. Um, and that's something that, listen, I am not, uh, you know, uh, the math genius at this company, but when you start to look at, uh, the profound financial impact that those have not only to the benefit of the federal government, but equally, if not more importantly to our bottom lines as cannabis business owners and it's massive and we as an industry, uh, unequivocally should get behind this efforts. Hence it will become much more public over the course of the next several months. And collaborating with companies like ncia and mpp and ssdp and all these amazing organizations that have been around for decades, um, because this is not a group of arrogant, big marijuana, whatever that big marijuana means, I still think of us all as a small to mid size businesses because you are right. Marijuana is actually meaningless. It does not mean anything. If

Speaker 5: it's the correct, hopefully it will mean something, you know, in 10 years,

Speaker 4: 100 percent agree with you. And so this is required in industry to be headed generally in the right direction and in the same direction. Um, and you know, I think that will have an audience in the not too distant future. I can tell you unequivocally that there have been real communications made with our president and potentially some of his more recently appointed cabinet members. Several. We'll see how that benefits us.

Speaker 5: Some I'm looking in your eyes and I'm saying I'm going to ask the next question. And you were saying that you're not going to answer the next question probably. Right. So let's try well, who you've been talking to, trip a, no comment, but we discussed it, but um, you know, just taking it back to and, and uh, I can't wait to talk to when the microphones are off, but uh, taking it back to Colorado because you have, we have proven this out as far as the governor was certainly not a fan on the way in, but put together a task force and everything has gone well as far as tax revenue is concerned. You talk about just, you know, I know that you have somewhat of a relationship with the governor about his kind of, um,

Speaker 4: uh, evolution. We truly as evolved as a human being with respect to his perspective on cannabis. And I had the pleasure of being in the governor's mansion over christmas time and we were invited guests by the way. We didn't come in through the back door. And first of all, I was incredibly proud to watch my business partner chuck smith. I'm a be incredibly well received by true captains of industry and other power players from other industries because we're starting to interact with the oil and gas industry here. We're starting to find common themes with respect to lobbying. Um, but you know, I think last year, I don't know if was at the aspen ideas festival, but um, you know, governor hickenlooper really has, I think in some respects said, listen, I may not have agreed with the fact that, well, he may not have wanted this fascinating social experiment to be conducted on his watch in his backyard.

Speaker 4: He didn't ask for it, really weren't sure how it was going to go down. Right. But he admits wholeheartedly that it is working. Um, he still discouraged as well. He encourages states to give it a few more years. And I think actually andrew friedman is outgoing or his former marijuana coordinator, what we lovingly refer to as the drugs are probably admit the same, but clearly that is not the trend. States are legalizing marijuana for medical benefit and adult use cannabis. I'm at a fast pace. We fortunately have models like Arizona and Nevada and Colorado to rely upon on the mistakes that we've made. We can learn from those and I think we're starting to see real benefit. Um, they're talking about putting additional on cannabis here to make up for the deficit. Uh, what are your thoughts on those? I'm not a huge proponent of a proponent of signing up for more taxes, uh, uh, but We have a tendency as an industry to give till it hurts and then more, uh, and uh, it's probably, uh, an easy fix from the state's perspective and their theory as well.

Speaker 4: The price of cannabis is dropping in a precipitous rate because it's been commoditized and so far go, we need to make up for it by taxing it and higher capacities, which it does doesn't really. I'm not an economist. Yeah. Tell that to anybody I was going to say to any business. School professor was a political science major, so don't ask me by the end of the day I get basic macroeconomics and that's probably not going to be a longterm fix, but it does speak to the fact that they're hooked, as you said, for sure. Right? I mean, they, they have this money coming in, they see that it's abUndant and it's like, okay, well then let's just go get more of it. You are using a, the sales tax, revenue lIcensing fees to fight homelessness. Now homelessness, excuse me, in the state of Colorado specifically in denver. Um, you are using it to reinforce, um, you know, police departments, law enforcement agencies to fight real criminals that exist and are distributing far more dangerous narcotics and now you're seeing it to fill gaps if you will, uh, in measure in tax areas that need some more heLp.

Speaker 4: It's amazing that, that is just. Did you think that that would ever be the case that it's like cannabis is going to save this budget? You know, this line item in the budget. That's why you get invited to the governor's mansion party, as I said, they want to make sure that they understand that your business is trending in the right direCtion. You know, I don't think the numbers are out yet, but I predicted in early 2016, um, that we would, you know, do between one four, one six as an industry last year. I'd say the number will probably be in that one plus 1 million, $300 or $1,000,000,300 million category. It waS over a billion with the last. Yeah. So that's again, a signifiCant growth year over year from 3:50 to 700 to nine 96 to whatever it will be a for 16, but it's a big, big number. And if you were in the mountains, uh, in any of these resort towns in december that there were lines out the door, certainly in aspen, Colorado, where I have a home and you're seeing still a tremendous amount of tourism associated with cannabis and adult use a consumption.

Speaker 4: Those numbers are precipitously going up. The price, however, is precipitously going down, down, as you mentioned, talk to that and what that's doing to the industry here in Colorado because I mean the price is low. It is. I think it's a. We saw a 50 percent reduction from 2016 where I think it was a price at a whoLesale power of recreational cannabis was about $2,600. This is according to an industry where a source and then we're going towards a thousand. Yeah, and it's probably closer to this month, january of 2017 to between 12 and $1,300. I would not personally want to be in the wholesale distribution of flour because, uh, you're seeing massive compression on profit and margins. I'm the end of the day. It's excellent for a business like my own because our cost of goods sold is driven by that wholesale pricing model when you're a large consumer of wholesale marijuana, which dixie Colorado is a as well as in other markets where we're seeing that commoditization.

Speaker 4: It's really powerful to our bottom liNe. The reality is is that we have the ability to make our products more affordaBle and so lowering the wholesale pricing in theory should also allow the retailer to lower their pricing. I can tell you that doesn't always convey a, it's been incredibly frustrating to me personally because I haven't been able to control nsr p, which is manufactured suggested retail pricing. Um, at the end of the day I'm reminded constantly that it is their storefront, not mine. Therefore they will price it they way they see fit even if it's at a, at a multiple or two or three x. But walmart doesn't really ask not. And so there is that collaboration and so you're seeing massive large outdoor commercial cultivations swaying is, which was highlighted, uh, most recently in a 60 minutes piece I think is really a demonstrating with the future of large scale industrial agriculture related to cannabis looks like a when you have these massive fields with what looked like christmas trees, but it really cannabis plants.

Speaker 4: And so, you knoW, we're fortunate to be able to do business with the likes of louis suetonius and some of these other large, you know, apex a at the top of the chain cultivators. And so that's really helping our business. I can tell you in many cases cannabis is not the most expensive or is not the most significant line item a in a, in a, in a, in a product set. And so that's the packaging and the packaging continues to become more applicated or more complicated, even more significant because it's regulated. And then you got to make it look good. Right? Good luck. Yeah, good luck joe. It's a, it's incredibly challenging. And you know, a lot of the times by the time we're ready to roll out a product set, you know, the rules potentially have changed. of course, sticker on the box are you not to stamp it, uh, you know, the yield. So these are all things that we dealt with again in 16. We are hopeful that we've come to have a good space where we have strong regulation and strong clients requirements that protect the consumer primarily from themselves. But I hear time and time again that an adult who was cognizant of the packaging and was also coherent, meaning he wasn't under the influence, could not get the package open. Uh, and so many emily take a, you know, a hatchet to it. Well, unbelievable.

Speaker 5: I was gonna ask you another question in there, but I want to make sure to, to cover, you mentioned that you're going into kind of eastern eastern markets and what I know from being in New York, you know, uh, living in New York, but based on a plane, as I say, I'm the cannabis economy, the cannabis culture, the cannabis community, completely different, very different. So from your perspective share.

Speaker 4: So I'm all the way up through, you know, the dating process was a dramatically different experience. Um, uh, and I'm referring to my most recently formed a relationship with curio, which is a Maryland based partner who received all three categories.

Speaker 5: Dennis dennis is in that group, I think. Dennis mcdonald. Dennis, I think he's in there somewhere.

Speaker 4: Yeah, possibly. But Michael Brown, who's the ceo and where I primarily interact, I'm, is, you know, you're building an amazing facility by definition, marilyn is going to be a strictly medicinal, uh, and very restrictive early on. I don't even believe our drinks will be first to market because those will be limited, but there's some sunset clauses that will allow us to bring other innovative delivery systems that look more like food product and uh, that, uh, medicine, um, we believe that an individual has the right to consume cannabis in a way that they deem appropriate for themselves as he manufacturers infused products. I would generally discourage people from smoking flower, but that could be accused of being self serving. So, um, but yeah, the model is very, very different. Um, the partnerships look different. The entrepreneurs behind these businesses look different now. I happened to be from the east coast like you a grown up there and spent time, particularly in Maryland.

Speaker 4: I went back to baltimore after being away 20 years and did not recognize what that city, how that city is evolved. And I do believe that cannabis has a great opportunity to accelerate the rebirth of some of these, uh, more depressed areas in baltimore would be, um, included in that. I think, uh, kevin plank from under armour. It's got a hell of a headstart, seen what he's done in that region. Um, but, um, listen, uh, I believe that we'll be able to connect the dots when you start to see, uh, those dominoes fall in the northeast, like Maine and potentially Vermont. And, you know, obviously Rhode Island, Massachusetts, uh, um, this is all incredibly exciting and you'll see a dixie flag printed, excuse me, planted in several other states on the east coast before the end of the year. Uh, and we're really excited about that. Again, at the end of the day, I grew up on the east coast and I'm very excited to bring our business back there.

Speaker 5: I like it, I love it. And I'm excited for you and for us, I that one question that I wanted to ask you before it had to do with the packaging and the repackaging and the, in other words, when they, you know, when you guys first started it was fits and starts of new regulations and this and that, or are you more prepare? I Would imagine you have to be more prepared now for the brakes to be put on, you know, in two weeks you've got to do this. Are you just more prepared for something like that? I remember the first couple of times at that happened, you know, there was hair being pulled out, but at this point,

Speaker 4: yeah, very much so. I mean, uh, fortunately in almost all circumstances were involved at what they call the workshop level to make sure that the regulators get it correct. Uh, and so the fact the matter is, is that, you know, people like joe hodus, my chief marketing officer, lindsay topping is, or director of marketing, are actively engaged with the regulators to make sure that packaging, labeling and accurate responsible dosing, um, are in place, but also done at a reasonable level. You cannot make this punitive to the industry because you will have people pulling back in, as we alluded to off a mike, that, you know, you don't want to see businesses that have been in business for seven plus years failed because of a financial burden that was implemented by a rule. Right? And so, um, we will tolerate the hypocrisy, uh, that we deal with that you generally do not see in a bottle of vodka that is child proof, tamper resistant, resealable, and allows for a dosing cup like my elixir platform does.

Speaker 4: Um, but yeah, I think, again, it goes back to controlling the narrative. I think, you know, in Colorado and in states like Arizona and Nevada that have a very strong regulatory frame or format, certainly a Washington state as well. Um, you know, you, um, are starting to see things congeal, right? The foundation has been built over the course of anywhere from two to five and half, six years and uh, and so we're building upon that the road, the compliance, uh, that strong relevatory format will continue to trickle in, but we hope it's less nature, less reactionary and more predicated on a real real need, not because we're trying to protect a 10 year olds from consuming gummy bears that are infused with thc. Listen, that is not our model as an industry to selling cannabis, the kids and we have a very, very strong commitment, a very strong fiduciary responsibility to the consumer, both the adult and other. I think that's why we've tolerated, but we're at a point now where we're being able to prove through the strong opponents of mariJuana reform that it's just not true. Kids are not being rushed in buses to the ers. No, I'm sure there is a percentage of the population is dealing with that, but it pales in comparison to the abuse and use of alcohol or forbid opioids

Speaker 5: or, or even household products. That's true. I mean, I'm, I, and I, I, I now, because I like to use that as an example scenario, like say I'm also a consumer, so I'm buying the pipe tide pods, don't, don't, you know, this is not an anti tie votes, but I did eat one last nIght because it looked so delicious, are really attract. It's amazing. And the packaging is not. But I mean, that's, that's the hypocrisy that we're talking to her, you know, any person, any kid can get into that little bag with a quick zip lock and whatever. Um,

Speaker 4: well it's, it's, uh, it's been incredibly challenging to stamp etc. Yield on a gummy. Uh, but I think most companies are starting to, uh, to be able to perfect that. Um, again, we generally as an industry will grin and bear it. And again, we will always step up and do what is right and was responsible and most importantly reasonable but not to the detriment of a business or worse an industry.

Speaker 5: Um, nOw let's just finish with a prognostications because why not, right? If, if we're sitting here now it's January, 2017, you know, december of this same year, um, what do you expect will have happened that maybe we wouldn't expect? In other words, you know, that move on the federal landscape. Do yoU think that, uh, there's actually teeth in that?

Speaker 4: Well, you know, once again, I asked for the crystal ball for christmas, you know, and get It, didn't, uh, did not deliver it sand it and not maybe because I was a bad boy, but, um, you know, I always hesitate from making annual predictions because they're very easy to measure. Um, but I Do believe fundamentally that the trump administration is going to be neutral or potentially neutral positive. Uh, we certainly understand the aMbitions that he has as a precedent. And it's clear in this first 10 days, cannabis has not been on his radar taking on much more complicated, uh, issues and initiatives. Um, I do understand him to be a states rights person. I do understand him to be a massive opponent of the war on drugs. Believes fundamentally those failed. Um, you can't find an industry that is creating more jobs, uh, at a faster rate in my opinion, than cannabis tax revenues are real.

Speaker 4: Let's not forget that we are removing the fuel from narco terrorists that exists, you know, to the southern border and elsewhere because that is a billion three or a billion for that. They're not going to get from the sale of cannabis in Colorado. It's going into the building of public schools, etc. Etc. And so when you start to look at these things in the grand picture and you remind yourself that the attorney general likely operates at the pleasure of the president of the United States, which clearly it is the president trump show, uh, that we have learned that, that I think we're going to be okay. I'm mimi cannabis, cannabis, we as a, as an industry are going to be okay. Um, now we also be accused of getting comfortably numb or making myself. But you know, I fundamentally believe that my business will continue to prosper. I am not pulling back. I saw some recent polling that suggested that a good portion of the industry was on pause. That was right around election day though. Right? And so I think you're seeing the reports coming in that it's not going to be as bad as everybody would hope. And

Speaker 5: then I'll say, yeah, it's definitely not at the top of the list. That's what we definitely have learned. Um, I guess we'll just ask you the final question. I've asked you the final three questions, but now on, I'll just ask you the one because I always like to ask on the soundtrack of your life one track one song that's got to be on there. So this doesn't have to be perfect, bUt it's got to be a song that's got to be on the trip kieber soundtrack.

Speaker 4: Well, uh, there's a song by elvis called the moody blues and it goes when sunday come see you monday, tuesday, wednesday through another day. Again, I'll leave iT

Speaker 5: that because I don't want to torture, but it's, it's, it is. It's amazing. And says a little bit

Speaker 4: like the moody blues in dave's role. In two weeks we'll into months of the fact of the matter is, is that, um, you know, we continued to exist. We continue to build in many cases, thrive. And um, yeah, we're blessed. We're really, really fortunate. I, I'm honored to be a part of this industry and have the pleasure of working alongside 100 plus other men and women here in the state alone and do something that is historical and it's, it's really been honored to work alongside you and, and your subscribers to share what we're doing. It's, it's a fun format anD I appreciate being part of it today.

Speaker 5: We appreciate you. And by the way, if you're listening and you haven't seen him, go look for the pictures of trip as elvis because they're out there. I don't want to know that piece, the other fixture. So

Speaker 1: thanks so much, man. Thanks so much. And there you have the inimitable. Sure. Kieber always fun getting a chance to sit down with trip, whether the mikes are on or off. Really appreciate his company. Very much appreciated chris walsh's company. Good to talk to him about, you know, how he's getting along in the world as a reporter and of course, thank you 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.