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Ep.266: Lamine Zarad

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.266: Lamine Zarad

Ep.266: Lamine Zarad

Lamine Zarad joins us and provides a Banking 101 lesson. He joined Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis doing his best to avert disaster. He realized at that height of the economic apocalypse that the only stable thing was the federal government which was going to be the savior of us all in his words- and he wanted to know how and why.  He studied public policy and public finance and got a job at the US Treasury which is why we discuss the entanglement of the banking system and political system in the US, Dodd Frank, the Volker Rule, the Bank Secrecy Act as affected by the Patriot Act, Glass-Steagall, proprietary trading, FinTech, blockchain and how that all relates to cannabis.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Lamine Zarad joins us and provides a banking 100. One lesson. You joined Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis, doing his best to avert disaster. You realize that that height of the economic apocalypse, that the only stable thing was the federal government, which was going to be the savior of us. All in these words, and he wanted to know how and why he studied public policy and public finance and got a job at the US Treasury, which is why we discussed the entanglement of the banking system and political system in the U. s dodd frank, the volcker rule, the bank secrecy act as affected by the Patriot Act glass steagall proprietary trading, Fintech, blockchain, and how all that relates to cannabis. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends in the word economy on the system means Gerrard born in Azerbaijan. Oh, you were born in Azerbaijan. Correct. And that was always a country that sounded fun to say Azerbaijan. But on the ground. What, what was happening? What, what does what I mean, this is like in the seventies, right? That's right. Well, 1979 supersized. Oh, so you're younger than God. What, uh, what was happening on the ground in Azerbaijan and 97, so nine years,

Speaker 4: teens, seventies and eighties. Azerbaijan was still part of the Soviet Union. Ussr, uh, however, because of its geography and because it was on the outskirts of the Soviet Union, the Soviet regime, the rule did not apply quite as stringent as it did in other republics. I say it was a lot more laid back than the rest of the country.

Speaker 1: The long arm of the law was not quite that long,

Speaker 4: quite that long. Exactly. Exactly. So it had its own culture. It was able to sort of preserve a lot of ways that, uh, that Azeris were able to survive, you know, for centuries, you know, it's at the crossroads of many different empires. Historically, the Persian empire, the Ottomans, the Russian empire of the Soviet and so forth. And before the ariens went through there and then many others,

Speaker 1: everybody got in on it. Everybody, everybody got in on the action. Who's, who's the bordering, uh, you know, countries.

Speaker 4: Sure, sure. So, so to the south of us pajamas, Iran, to, uh, to the West, you have Armenia, alright to north, uh, it's technically Russia, but it's the North Caucasus, right? You have Dagestan than Chechnya. Uh Ha. Uh Ha. Yeah. Okay. Yup. And to the, to the East Caspian Sea, and on the other side of the Caspian Sea of Kazakhstan. All right. So, you know, this is not an easy place, I don't think. Right. It's actually, it's actually quite easy culturally. It's, it's, uh, it's like, it's like New Orleans have a, you know, I'd love of the Middle East or, or Central Asia or whatever you want to call it. Sit somewhere in between you gotta set up a cannabis defense. Yeah, exactly. Let's do this. Alright. So Buck, who now is. So interestingly, historically that area has, it's very rich in natural resources, particularly oil, right? Right. In fact, that's where the oil was discovered by humanity.

Speaker 4: It was used and lanterns by Romans and many other people who kind of went through there. This is the first oil. That's the first first oil that OPEC. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then the oil is used in industrial applications. There's also, you know, a derived from, from that area. In fact, uh, you know, Hitler's push to, to go through [inaudible] and Gloria Stalingrad was to get to buckle because if, uh, if the Germans got to buckle, the war would have taken a very different turn. They would've been able to supply the entire Third Reich with a rich soil and so Soviet spot really hard to keep them off. Uh, in any case, the area now is, uh, is sort of a combination between Dubai and Ibiza. A culturally those. Wow. Because that, those are different. Culturally I'm allowed to do whatever I want to visa. I'm not allowed to do whatever I want to do by.

Speaker 4: Right. And Azerbaijan, you can do both. Okay, fair enough. I guess that's like a certain parts of Manhattan. The. Yeah, there you go. Good analogy. Right. Alright. So how long were you there? So I spent my childhood there. My father is Tunisian and would travel between buck who in Tunisia until 1989 and in 1989 the Soviet Union fell apart. And um, so my family, my family's part, Armenian and my mother's side and Armenians, uh, you may may or may not know, experience genocide at the hands of Turks at the turn of the century and Azeris culturally similar to Turks and mop. My mother is actually half Missouri, half Armenian meeting, which is a pretty, uh, unique, unique combination a. and we were forced out because of that unique combination interest to became refugees and ended up living in Moscow because that was the closest, a quote unquote stable area, what we can go to in 1990.

Speaker 4: So we'll live there for four, five, six years to be precise and then came to the states. So you never did live in Tunisia a? Yes, I spent an aggregate that's probably spent a couple of years, but we summered in Tunisia, I say, of course. All right. So in Moscow, in 1989 slash 90. Is that Gorbachev to Yeltsin or was it just still Gorbachev? Gorbachev and Yeltsin? It was, in fact, Yeltsin was mostly Yeltsin. It was. What was that? How old were you? Uh, so between 10 and 16. And that's instead had to be just crazy. It was absolutely insane. So imagine I'm a fairly well established country, an empire as some call that at the time the cease to exist. So it was anarchy period. It was in fact in 1995 as a height of Russian anarchy. And this is why you'll Putin came to power and individuals like putting, we're were able to, uh, grab the, this sort of filled the vacuum, right?

Speaker 1: Lamine Zarad joins us and provides a banking 100. One lesson. You joined Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis, doing his best to avert disaster. You realize that that height of the economic apocalypse, that the only stable thing was the federal government, which was going to be the savior of us. All in these words, and he wanted to know how and why he studied public policy and public finance and got a job at the US Treasury, which is why we discussed the entanglement of the banking system and political system in the U. s dodd frank, the volcker rule, the bank secrecy act as affected by the Patriot Act glass steagall proprietary trading, Fintech, blockchain, and how all that relates to cannabis. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends in the word economy on the system means Gerrard born in Azerbaijan. Oh, you were born in Azerbaijan. Correct. And that was always a country that sounded fun to say Azerbaijan. But on the ground. What, what was happening? What, what does what I mean, this is like in the seventies, right? That's right. Well, 1979 supersized. Oh, so you're younger than God. What, uh, what was happening on the ground in Azerbaijan and 97, so nine years,

Speaker 4: teens, seventies and eighties. Azerbaijan was still part of the Soviet Union. Ussr, uh, however, because of its geography and because it was on the outskirts of the Soviet Union, the Soviet regime, the rule did not apply quite as stringent as it did in other republics. I say it was a lot more laid back than the rest of the country.

Speaker 1: The long arm of the law was not quite that long,

Speaker 4: quite that long. Exactly. Exactly. So it had its own culture. It was able to sort of preserve a lot of ways that, uh, that Azeris were able to survive, you know, for centuries, you know, it's at the crossroads of many different empires. Historically, the Persian empire, the Ottomans, the Russian empire of the Soviet and so forth. And before the ariens went through there and then many others,

Speaker 1: everybody got in on it. Everybody, everybody got in on the action. Who's, who's the bordering, uh, you know, countries.

Speaker 4: Sure, sure. So, so to the south of us pajamas, Iran, to, uh, to the West, you have Armenia, alright to north, uh, it's technically Russia, but it's the North Caucasus, right? You have Dagestan than Chechnya. Uh Ha. Uh Ha. Yeah. Okay. Yup. And to the, to the East Caspian Sea, and on the other side of the Caspian Sea of Kazakhstan. All right. So, you know, this is not an easy place, I don't think. Right. It's actually, it's actually quite easy culturally. It's, it's, uh, it's like, it's like New Orleans have a, you know, I'd love of the Middle East or, or Central Asia or whatever you want to call it. Sit somewhere in between you gotta set up a cannabis defense. Yeah, exactly. Let's do this. Alright. So Buck, who now is. So interestingly, historically that area has, it's very rich in natural resources, particularly oil, right? Right. In fact, that's where the oil was discovered by humanity.

Speaker 4: It was used and lanterns by Romans and many other people who kind of went through there. This is the first oil. That's the first first oil that OPEC. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then the oil is used in industrial applications. There's also, you know, a derived from, from that area. In fact, uh, you know, Hitler's push to, to go through [inaudible] and Gloria Stalingrad was to get to buckle because if, uh, if the Germans got to buckle, the war would have taken a very different turn. They would've been able to supply the entire Third Reich with a rich soil and so Soviet spot really hard to keep them off. Uh, in any case, the area now is, uh, is sort of a combination between Dubai and Ibiza. A culturally those. Wow. Because that, those are different. Culturally I'm allowed to do whatever I want to visa. I'm not allowed to do whatever I want to do by.

Speaker 4: Right. And Azerbaijan, you can do both. Okay, fair enough. I guess that's like a certain parts of Manhattan. The. Yeah, there you go. Good analogy. Right. Alright. So how long were you there? So I spent my childhood there. My father is Tunisian and would travel between buck who in Tunisia until 1989 and in 1989 the Soviet Union fell apart. And um, so my family, my family's part, Armenian and my mother's side and Armenians, uh, you may may or may not know, experience genocide at the hands of Turks at the turn of the century and Azeris culturally similar to Turks and mop. My mother is actually half Missouri, half Armenian meeting, which is a pretty, uh, unique, unique combination a. and we were forced out because of that unique combination interest to became refugees and ended up living in Moscow because that was the closest, a quote unquote stable area, what we can go to in 1990.

Speaker 4: So we'll live there for four, five, six years to be precise and then came to the states. So you never did live in Tunisia a? Yes, I spent an aggregate that's probably spent a couple of years, but we summered in Tunisia, I say, of course. All right. So in Moscow, in 1989 slash 90. Is that Gorbachev to Yeltsin or was it just still Gorbachev? Gorbachev and Yeltsin? It was, in fact, Yeltsin was mostly Yeltsin. It was. What was that? How old were you? Uh, so between 10 and 16. And that's instead had to be just crazy. It was absolutely insane. So imagine I'm a fairly well established country, an empire as some call that at the time the cease to exist. So it was anarchy period. It was in fact in 1995 as a height of Russian anarchy. And this is why you'll Putin came to power and individuals like putting, we're were able to, uh, grab the, this sort of filled the vacuum, right?

Speaker 4: Sociopolitical vacuum that existed because uh, it was, it was absolutely free thrall, mafia ran or the people selling arms, you know, it was the country's falling apart. Uh, so it was, it was an interesting time. That is an interesting time. It almost feels like a, it was going through, uh, through its adolescence as you were going through your adolescence. And that's, that's, that's a good way of putting it. Yeah. So you come to the United States were to. I come to United States to Georgia. Yeah. Through Atlanta to Augusta, Georgia outweighs so and picked up golf of course. Right of, right away. I actually did spend in my high school a year, spend time working for masters. So you mentioned Chechnya, but why choose ga in America?

Speaker 4: I guess we figured it was the closest thing to the caucuses, but it all started. I mean, was there work? There are what I mean right now. That's a great question. Saying Atlanta, you're saying like Georgia, Georgia, right? Yes. Um, so my, uh, my mother married an American while we were living in Moscow and this is how we came to the states also, there was a divorce there. That was. How old were you at? 10. In fact when we moved to Russia, so dad didn't come with the dad, came to Russia, but there the family divorced right away. Okay. So that is not an easy thing as a 10 year old. No, no, no, not at all. Not Right. Yeah. But I had distractions would imagine. All right. So, so a kind of a Stepdad, American. How'd you get along with him? Really well. Oh good.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Alright. So he was from Georgia, not from Georgia originally, but that's where he. Okay. And uh, what was his work there? So he was a missionary to a, to Russia, working for church and so my mother, when my mother met him, he decided to move back and, and really take a place in church and did not work out. So then you moved to in a sales role with, um, I believe a courier, a Dhh I believe. Yes. Yeah. I'm trying to think of what's down there. Could, could, could've been fedex. I think it's a precursor to DHL that bought out some company. I forgot the name. Okay. All right. So he's doing that. You're working at Augusta. Did you meet any of the, uh, famous golfers? I met Tiger Woods. How was that? And it was interesting. Well, I approached him and asked him a for an autograph and he declined.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Turns out he was, he's a, he does have jerk tendencies. He does, at least in my experience and also other people's experience, so. Okay, fair enough. So that's what you were doing. I mean, did you pick up golf? Do you know how to play well or? I don't. Unfortunately. All right, that's fine. But you do know how to caddy or what do you know how to do? I know how to watch it. That's great. That's great. Not many people do. By the way. You know, it takes a while. I like to say, if you make fun of me for watching baseball, I'll make fun of you for watching golf fair. You know what I mean? Fair enough. So, uh, where did you go to school? Well, I went to high school in Georgia. Yeah. We're not talking about. That's right. That's right. I, I joined the marines right after you did. So before going to school, instead of going to school, you joined the marines. Now here's a guy that's from Azerbaijan. He's got this, you know, a Cornucopia of blood running through his, uh, you know, veins. Uh, you've lived in Moscow, you are living in Georgia. What would make that guy joined? Yeah,

Speaker 4: the military. Yeah, that's an interesting question. I've asked myself throughout the year, especially while I was in the Marine Corps. Yeah. What the hell was I thinking? Um, in any case, there are many. There's not a one reason, right? It's a very complex decision, it's complex, not just a career but a life choice that one makes. And uh, and at the time, I think ignorance certainly played a role. Sure. Uh, you know, raw, romanticizing the experience, certainly played a role, but I've done some research and uh, and I found out that people who spend time as refugees, uh, there's, there's a high correlation of joining some sort of structured organization entity because you have a certain degree of insecurity and the kind of constantly seeking out a fraternity or a fraternal type experience where you feel secure and this is, this is possibly, you know, subconsciously why I made that decision, that knows,

Speaker 1: that makes a ton of sense. Right. I mean, that reads, you know, direct to me, uh, how accurate is the depiction of the marine sergeant in full metal jacket?

Speaker 4: Yeah. It's, it's pretty close to it to be united. Yeah, absolutely. Especially, especially, uh, the bootcamp, you know, quote unquote, it's very stringent. That was great experience. I mean, I've got coming after coming out of the experiences. I've had a, it wasn't very traumatic, but uh, but it certainly helped me, you know, figure out who I am, where I stand, and my limits as well. Physical limits and mental limits once a marine, always a marine. Right? Correct. And did you serve anywhere I deployed to Iraq? You did. And what year was that? That was in 2004. So at the height of the insurgency instead of an, a surge in Al Anbar was an Alamo province. What do you care to share with us about that experience? Uh, you know, not that there's not much to share, quite frankly. I think it's been covered really well by the media, but in my mind, which can be a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, but, but in your experience, let's stick with that.

Speaker 4: Yeah. In My, uh, you know, combat lives fairly mundane, right? I was sort of attached to a combat unit. I, uh, you know, uh, patrol the area and it's 85, 90 percent mundane patrols, a punctuated by brief action and uh, you know, occasional, occasional fire, direct or indirect and uh, and that's, that's basically it. Got It. And that's a very plain spoken way to describe the experience. How long were you there? I was there for eight months. What did you, as you're on the plane back? Yes. What were you thinking? What did you learn from that experience? And then, you know, maybe a year later. What else did you learn? That's a good way to dig deeper. I like it. Uh, so I will tell you that besides combat life, I've, I've, I've, I've had some really unique experiences there. I was assigned to what's called a mayor cell.

Speaker 4: The way US government governs in the Middle East by utilizing old British methodology and establishing sort of a hierarchal structure that's, that's military structure that resembles civil structure. And you appoint military officers as a, as governors regents. Oh, so a mayor. So you were truly a mayor, a mayor. I was not a mayor. I worked for a mayor. I got, there was a colonel who was a mayor. Got It. And I was fortunate enough that it was fairly low, low ranking at the time. I was a corporal, enlisted, not an officer. And, uh, and because I, I was taking business classes and, and uh, you know, I studied business and logistics, uh, we somehow this, this, this colonel somehow asked me a few questions and then some unrelated fashion and was impressed with my responses and asked me if I could help them with a few things.

Speaker 4: There you go. And uh, and because of my background and my limited Arabic abilities, I became sort of as assistant liaison at that. Um, the communicate it messaging. Yeah. From, from allied forces to local contractors. So we, uh, we've worked with Iran local contractors in and essentially managing the entire base 20,000 personnel posts. There's a very large base. Sure. And, and it's functioning like the city had wastewater that we had all kinds of different things that, that associated with the city, you know, various, uh, you know, we have to ensure the traffic laws were enforced and so forth. Wow. So it was, it was pretty fascinating. It was like running a small city. Yeah. Yeah, that's a fascinating. Absolutely. And so if he's in charge, you're doing most of that work is basically lost. The girls doesn't work. Exactly. So again, I'll just return to the kind of, what did you learn from that?

Speaker 4: You're basically, you know, the guy running the city, right? I mean, you know, inaction, so to speak. Right? Uh, well I've learned quite a few things and I think one of the most important things is as the cultural communications, right? I've learned that um, westerners, and by that time I was, I was squarely at western or in my thinking, uh, are very linear and if you're a marine, you even more linear in your thinking expectation and your perception of time is very linear and it's a very condensed, right? When I say you know, that something has to be done in an hour, you know, that our represents a timeline for me that goes from point a to point b within a certain period of time. It's absolute, it's completely. Yeah, you're right. It's absolute for, uh, for someone from that region. For instance. Time is, um, is nonlinear expectations are very different.

Speaker 4: It's relationship based time is only only as good as the relationship you have with that person. And uh, and it goes into multiple directions, it's multidimensional and uh, and when you have those two mindsets clash, you know, it's not pretty. No. So I've got the complete different at completely different expectations about what a minute means, which brings us to a New York minute is precisely why I'm so impatient versus Georgia minute. Absolutely. Those are longer you asked and that exists in this country too, but uh, but imagine a, the rift, the divide between military thinking and uh, and a local, you know, local warlords, but a local rulers who, who, who likes to drink tea and talk about, you know, interesting, positive things, uh, but, but not necessarily execute on, on what we asked them to execute on. So you got to flex it. Is that fair flux?

Speaker 4: Yes. Yeah. So we have to, we have to be flexible. And, and I was, I was the flexible component in between two, uh, two factions send lamine he'll deal with it. That's right. All right. So, so that's a very unique experience, right? So you come back on the plane. What job did you know that you had to have when you were out of the military? So I knew that I had to make money, right? Yeah. That was how the system works. That was a driving force. I still had no idea what I want to do with my life. I, uh, I just knew that hey, I was really poor at one point in my life. I don't want, I don't want to ever want to be there. And now that I got out of military, I'm, I still feel poor, right? I want to do something that makes me money.

Speaker 4: So, uh, so I went to University of Texas and uh, I item horns, hook 'em horns and I studied business and finance, international business, be precise. And when I graduated I wanted to get a job with international corporations doing, doing things that like I did in Iraq, dealing with sort of multicultural type a type players and you know, willing and dealing instead. Uh, I have obtained a position with Merrill Lynch and, which, you know, led me to many different personalities, worked in asset management at the height of the financial crisis. Where were you? I was in Dallas, Texas. Okay. I, uh, I took over a portfolio from someone who just left and, and I, I shortly sort of discovered that people were jumping ship and anyone with any experience, uh, brokers were leaving Merrill Lynch. So what year was this? Now? In 2007. Two Thousand and eight. So the of 2008.

Speaker 4: Correct. And you're coming in your new guy, you're like, hey, this is great. Now what? Hey, my name's limine. And they're like, I quit today. That's right. And did you understand what was happening in any real way? I had no idea until, uh, until I would say August of 2008. So before us kind of, you know, regular people. That's right. When did this become apparent to you? What did you realize in August? Just so wouldn't it became apparent when a lot of the clients we're losing our money? Uh Huh. And uh, we had individuals and private institutional clients included, uh, you know, with portfolios that have been eroded by 50, 60 percent in August, I believe it was by August. Yep. Although that time is fuzzy for me. Yeah. No, fair enough. But the, the decline was precipitous is essentially what we're saying. Indeed. Uh, so then September, October hit here goes Lehman and you're still in that position.

Speaker 4: I'm still in opposition. And then what? And instead of growing my portfolio and managing people's books, I'm mitigating your crises. Disaster, a complete disaster right now, John thing at a time, a ceo of Merrill Lynch would talk to us on weekly basis issue he's addresses and discuss how we are the strongest company with cleanness books. Sure. And of course the entire portfolio was toxic of. Yeah. And Chase I think bought you right? No, no. Bank of America, excuse me, Bank of America bonds, right. I, that was a aspirational thinking on my part. Yeah, exactly. When did that occur? Where were you? How did it change? I don't remember which month, whatever the occurred, but I do recall, I think Ken Lewis at the time, CEO of Bank of America came and spoke to us and expressed as a profound love for Merrill Lynch and how his entire life he wanted to buy Merrill Lynch, which I mean, you know, could have been true actually because Merrill Lynch a vaunted a institution that's right, without question, that's right.

Speaker 4: Once upon a time, once upon a time. And he saw an opportunity because a, it was devalued and quite frankly is pennies on a dollar totally. And Bank of America purchased it. It was, um, at the time compare to walmart buying saks fifth avenue brands. Totally. And um, at the time that, so lehman had fallen and then there were all these, there were these now other institutions where we can let these fall or is someone please going to buy them because if no one buys them then it might be the end of time. Precisely. Precisely. And it felt like inside a lot of insecurity. Okay. And, and, and as I mentioned, if people were leaving before, people certainly leaving now. Sure. Any, anyone with any decent portfolio or a really intellectual prowess knew that they had to go, uh, you know, the Second Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch and try to retain folks, but they try to retain individuals who, who were senior. Yeah. And has institutional knowledge, which was not me by a long shot.

Speaker 4: So they, uh, they said it's okay if you want to go. So what lamine did in anticipation of that, a Lamina decided to enroll into a graduate program to, to sort of hedge my bets. Sure. And when I enrolled in the graduate program, I was still with Merrill Lynch a there. They knew that my attention was divided and they're asking me to, uh, to focus on one or the other. And I chose to focus on the graduate studies, which I feel like in retrospect was the right thing to do. It was a, it was very wise, wise thing to do graduate studies in what. So as you can imagine, uh, the whole things crumbling, you know, sort of a chaos, uh, end of the world type of type thinking that's happening and you are not being hyperbolic. Of course we all remember that it did kind of sorta feel like maybe it's the end of the world for a systolic.

Speaker 4: Yeah. And the only stable thing we've had at the time as the federal government and the federal government was going to be the savior of assault and I want them to know how and why and why is federal government capable of doing this? Why is the Federal Reserve, why do they have the power that they do and with monetary policy, why can congress influence fiscal policy and what are those things even mean? So I enrolled in public policy program at the University of Texas, uh, uh, Lbj School of public public affairs, which was at the time top one of the top 10 schools in the nation in public policy. And I focused on monetary policy and public finance because that's, that was supposed to hold that Sorta Holy Holy grail and the answer to, to the whole issue that I'm going to find out how this whole thing is happening. That's right. Yeah, that's correct.

Speaker 4: And, and I did, I enrolled and I studied. That led me to a, to really unique career night. I, I worked in Texas Senate as a part of the internship experience. I thought, well, maybe, maybe public service as a thing to do for me and perhaps I could work in the Senate. I can be a Senate staffer, perhaps a technocrat one day short, and uh, and figure this thing out and run this thing. I can pretty much deal with anybody on to, in between two sides of a opinion. Right, exactly. Exactly. It was a disaster. Uh, and, and I love, I love the senator I worked for. Yeah, I, uh, you know, I love the staff, but the process itself, the legislative process is such a mess. Now let me, let me just get this straight. What you're saying to me is that running a town in Iraq during war was easier than working in the state Senate of Texas. Absolutely. Oh my God.

Speaker 4: The Texas state Senate. I'm might as well be, you know, a state senator and in Afghanistan, and it might as well be ran by Taliban for most part. Oh my God. The type of mentality, the subtle process. It's, it's unbelievable and I think, I don't think most people realize unless you actually deal with and, and review the policies that are being proposed, there's still a degree, uh, there's an old that this sort of a, you know, protects the civil society from, from absolute insanity that, that series. But, but, uh, it's, it's crazy. It's, um, it's unruly for most part and uh, and, and the process, it's solved this systemic issues associated with the legislative process where we're turn off. For me, I mean, it, it, it was relationship space, uh, and it's not necessarily, um, there wasn't much logic, you know, so to speak. Got It. Advocacy groups and lobbying groups kind of prevailed. The, for instance, I worked on a piece of legislation that was supposed to be bipartisan.

Speaker 4: We were trying to abolish institutions that are state supported institutions for the mentally disabled individuals and move them into community based institutions and, and, and both sides of the aisle sort of agree that it's a good thing to do these, uh, these state run institutions had a whole slew of issues of there. There are a number of abuses. Doj is in fact, was investigating the main one that we're trying to close for 10 years, couldn't shut it down because of the advocacy efforts of various unions. So, so you have the left issue and then you have to write issue. Uh, the community was going to lose money and there was an economic impact and so, so the Wright fought against that as well. So, you know, seemingly bipartisan issue went nowhere for 10 years. They've been getting nothing, absolutely nothing as opposed to agreeing not getting something done.

Speaker 4: Indeed, indeed. So when I completed that, um, that assignment, yeah, you know, I had a grade and I walked away from unhappy. Uh, it was, it was an experience. So I decided that I really wouldn't know what I wanted to do is marry my passion for banking and finance or now a newly found passion for public service and how do I do that? So I kind of looked into a federal government and the US Treasury and became very, very attractive as an, as an option. And I'm a marine. Right. You know, I got the, I got the blood for this. I can do this, you know, it's a Hamilton like experience going from the military to the treasury being an immigrant, um, in any case. So us treasury and I did not know that at the time, you know, the media sort of reports the Federal Reserve as a defacto regulator for financial institutions, but the OCC, the office of the comptroller currency is in fact the main primary regulator.

Speaker 4: And I've learned that, uh, and I immediately decided to obtain a position with the OCC. So I've applied. Decided to. Right, exactly. So you applied. Go on. I've applied. Uh, I was put through a ringer, a take three different tests, I think three or four interviews that I went through and uh, and I was appointed to wear a to Denver, Denver, Denver. It's a from Texas to Denver, appointed as, what was the position a bank examiner. What does that. Yeah, so it's a, it's a fancy pants bank regulator, a job that basically allows you to go into financial institutions, spent anywhere between one week to a month examining the books and what they're doing. There's not just the books but the processes. And then, um, and it's a dual role, so what, it's safety and soundness, that's sort of a domain of those which means that you're, you're both a bank cop and also a consultant.

Speaker 4: Does that seem counter intuitive? Uh, maybe to an outsider, how is it not counterintuitive? Yeah. So interestingly it was, let me just digress a little bit and give you an overview of a, of a banking system. United States. Fair enough. Yeah. So us as a dual system, there's a federal banks in their state, chartered banks, fine, right. So nationally chartered banks operate nationally, some and some of them fairly small and other community institutions and state chartered banks comply with state regulations, but occasionally also have federal regulators if they opt into a say federal reserve system or a, if they carry FDI insurance and FDC becomes the regulator as well. So nationally chartered banks buy into occ for the quality of the regulatory oversight and to get access into the insight of what every other National Charter Bank does. Right? So occ imposes sort of fee structure. Of course, occ is in fact not financed by, you know, congressional appropriations, ocs, finance by those fees.

Speaker 4: So occ is very incentivized to keep those banks in its system. Is Occ a federal institution? It is. Is OCC funded by the federal government? It's not, it's funded, but this is. This is what we should digress even further. Yeah. A US banking system is a byproduct of the US political system. Okay. The two are so highly intertwined that they cannot exist without the other. And this is what we learned in, uh, during the financial crisis. This is exactly the point that is, that is the point, uh, for better or worse, right? Uh, at this point it's, it's impossible to untangle the two, although I think there are quite a few people who would disagree with me, but sure. I, I think it's to be very difficult, if not impossible to untangle the two. So the point is not too big to fail. The point is to entangled, to too entangled to, to really do anything for that matter.

Speaker 4: Wow. Yeah. Okay. Right. So you learned that. I have. So you, uh, based on that relationship, now I understand how you could be a consultant and also a regulator, so to speak. Exactly. So consultancy offers value to banks, right? If we just walk in into every financial institutions, you just, like any other cop, a cop could stop a car for, you know, a broken tail light and then find a million other things, right? Sure. Financial. Imagine financial institution that's so complex that it's nearly impossible to be 100 percent compliant is always something that you could find. Wells Fargo can tell you that, right? I'm sure they could, they could attest to it. In fact, we. Nevermind, I'll digress. I'll digress. It it to a different story here at D and we'll go in. We'll go pass wells fargo. Um, so when you walk into financial institution, the idea is to, um, to look at their structure and make your decisions based on risk, right?

Speaker 4: So innately that, that is, it's subjective, it's subjective in a and it gives it a regulator and ability to make those decisions on, on their own. The regulators cannot rely on, on the entire system to make every single decision they have to make a fast, efficient decision based on risk associated the bank. So you have the flexibility on the other hand, you want to keep the institution happy so you add that to get the fit because you have to get the fee as you go through the books. He finds some inefficiencies and you make suggestions or recommendations as, as, as they were called at the time, uh, and those recommendations are supposed to be the value add to a tool to bank bank managers and in terms of telling them, hey, the bank down the street is doing as better. You guys could do the same thing and you didn't know about it before, but we have, we have the inside because we have the vantage point seeing the entire system.

Speaker 4: That's right. Well let me take a break and ask you for a, about a couple of things. Sure. I'll put you on the spot and we'll see if it works. Glass steagall, can you describe to the lay person what glass steagall was and why it might be a good idea or why would it be a good idea? Actually let, let's talk about dodd frank instead. Fine. I was going to ask you that also. So I think this is a little more important than. Fair enough. Yes. Yeah. I'm going to ask you about the volcker rule to. Sure. Sure, sure, sure, sure. Let's talk about dodd frank because as a forefront of everyone's mind. Okay, great. So dodd frank as a, as most I think listeners probably know was sort of implemented the smarter ones with the, at least the smart ones to uh, to help us to never faced what we faced in 2008 a dodd frank brings about many regulations to help banks get rid of risky assets.

Speaker 4: Right? And really layman terms and very sort of gentle. Oh sure. So it effectively de risks a banking, you know, as an institution, which sounds welcome. It sounds fantastic. And as a regulator it gives me something to do as a former regulator. Sure. I should say yes. However, interpretation of any law, uh, and, and distillation of that law into regulations as a, as an intern, it's a lengthy and interesting process and it's very nonlinear, right? So what happens is that you have many different people, you have individuals with certain ideas of how to interpret the law, the distill it into regulation and, and he can, it can be overreaching at times. So de-risking what transcended the initial intent to get rid of the toxic assets, for instance, and not get into a high risk securities like the Swat at any various are derivatives, Mrs Ward, the Volcker rule was as well.

Speaker 4: And we can talk about that momentarily and in wanting to really sort of an intrusive way of telling banks what they can and cannot do. And it really touches the cannabis industry, right? So it's sort of externality that cannabis is facing, uh, as a, as a, as part of the dodd frank were, uh, were BSA. The Bank Secrecy Act was sort of put it a forefront in terms of money laundering. And BSA was most recently amended by US Patriot Act, right? Right. And so US Patriot Act has a counterterrorism tilt. So effectively what the federal government has done indirectly through dodd frank shorter is to say that the cannabis industry presents potential terrorists risks. Right? And we, and I did get the, I do get that a however, not with all of that knowledge is, you know what I mean? I had the shortcut shortcut version of what you just said. So it sounds like there is not a binary choice of yes dodd frank or no dodd frank, it sounds like what we should do is actually work on dodd frank.

Speaker 4: Precisely, precisely. So we can't, we can get rid of dodd frank. It would be disastrous for the industry. We shouldn't get rid of dodd frank because what you're saying, correct. Because there are some people that think we should correct, correct. Shouldn't, and can't. Dodd Frank is incredibly important, but we can't, we can't find ourselves in the situation that we found ourselves in 2008. Right? Because the banks have free throw and went to do the problem with, uh, with banks and financial institutions in general that they're very archaic and their interactions. And their structures, I should say, yeah, banks know how to borrow money and then I'll have to lend money, but that's about it. They don't know how to manage risks associated with other activities. And this is where, uh, you know, Volcker rule loves volcker rule specifically sort of focuses on proprietary trading. So just describe it to the lay person and then.

Speaker 4: Sure. So take us through it. Sure. So Volcker rule has many different aspects to it, but what we'll focus on proprietary trading, which means that, look, I'm a bank and I borrowed money and Ireland money, right? I take deposits, you know, your grandmother deposits, you know, $2 into an account and I'll take her $2, I'll aggregate a bunch of other other, other accounts and then I'll lend it to someone else. Now I have some residual money left from that transaction. And instead of lending it to someone, I invested in capital markets, right? Oh, I want to make more money because you guess what? Lending is not as good as it used to be. I am going to invest in something that was really risky. And then, and then I'm going to start playing the market with this, right? And then, oh, I made some money on this.

Speaker 4: So now I have this whole proprietary trading division that that's going to play with the money I make is, is my money, I can do whatever I want with it. That's an institutional money. And, and that's what the Volcker rule essentially addresses. It says that you can do that. You're a bank not to do that. You cannot do that. You're a bank and you're not designed to be a trading platform. You're not designed. You don't have the knowhow. You guys know how to borrow and in London, stick to it. Right? Why would somebody say that? Uh, we need to abolish that rule.

Speaker 4: I don't know, for the life of me, I don't know. Someone who clearly does not understand banking and doesn't, uh, perhaps, uh, signs, uh, some mythical powers to financial institutions that don't exist. Fair enough. Just while we're here and then we'll move on, just give us glass steagall quick and dirty and move on. So actually let's, let's talk about, I think there's an important component here that before glass steagall oh sure. Let's discuss the risky component here that the, the, the issue with proprietary trading and banking in general and what banks can and cannot do. Good. And so what banks cannot do for instance, is managed risk associated with nascent, nascent technologies and unknowns. Right. Oh, okay. Right. I see where we're going, but this Lomita okay. Yes, yes, yes. I think it's important to focus on what we wouldn't be focusing. Yeah. And that'll get into political discussion.

Speaker 4: I gotcha. No, no, no. I'm literally here. I'm trying to have a conversation that has nothing to do with politics. Okay. I'm literally, you know, yes, I hear this and I hear that. So I want to know about both. Literally my. Now I always say I come from the left, I'm trying to be in the middle, you know what I mean? Like that's all I care about. Fair enough. Fair enough. The information. Um, but go on. Fair enough. Okay. I think, you know, this is a cannabis conference and I think we're alluding to drive this point home. Yeah. Right. Well, what's going on here with or without talking about regulations, uh, the, the sort of tangentially related to canton. Fair enough. I think it's important to focus on what banks can, can and cannot do and why it's impacting this industry. Okay. Um, when I was a regulator, I, I noticed that financial institutions were incapable of effectively managing risk associated with nascent technologies, the unknowns I mentioned before, and, and this new sort of an emerging risk of decentralization and we talked about a derivative instruments in the past and, and creative, uh, you know, financial instruments and all this financial engineering, this sort of existed in mid two thousands and it's still does still does to an extent, uh, and, and how that affected banks because the system simply couldn't grasp grasp or risks associated with it.

Speaker 4: Now going forward, uh, the financial engineered is not, not no longer the issue, right? We have regulations have caught up to it. The issue is now technologies, technology's quite fintech. So the fintech space, that centralization trend, the peer to peer lending platforms, the AIRBNB's, the Uber's of the world, that's sort of a sharing economies and so forth. Banks are now finding themselves in the same position that they were in say, late nineties and two thousands when financial instruments are coming on board and they had no idea how to use them, but they looked attractive and there, there were sort of participating in the process taking on these securities and, and then finding themselves with bunch of toxic assets. Same thing, same trend sort of happening again. And these banks, you know, helping platforms like say, uh, what is it called prosper or the lending club to two backs on these quote unquote Peter Peer Loans, uh, by, by underwriting them and, and really taking on that risk.

Speaker 4: And when I was a regulator I, I really want to get ahead of trend. And I talked to my superiors and I, and I got out there and I sort of proselytize or the risks and potential benefits as well. But then comes cannabis and cannabis, if you think about it, is not a technology, but in an industry that, that mimics all of those risks, that those technologies present it, it contains all of those risks because it's decentralized because of the regulatory mess that sort of surrounds it, right? Every state, every, every jurisdiction, every municipality has its own sort of a esoteric laws, especially in California. Absolute. Correct. Right. It's, it's very fast growing, nascent. It's dynamic. So, so you have these banks now that either completely stand away and sidelines, right? Or the ones that diving in headfirst without truly understanding those risks. Well, right?

Speaker 4: Yeah. And as a result, it creates risks and inefficiencies. So as a, as a former regulator, I want to get ahead of this trend and this is why I created, you know, token, right? And without really pitching, you know, my platform here on the show, I do want to talk about technologies that exist out there besides us. There are other technologies that help financial institutions to manage risk properly. So you get out there and say, look, we can, um, we can utilize advanced technologies to, to sort of mitigate the risks of money laundering by knowing who's making purchases, knowing where they make those purchases, a, having a background in some of the individuals and creating these models to sort of project the risk forward, understanding the baselines of these activities. Really truly knowing your business and knowing the customers like a Kyc, know your customer component, the banking.

Speaker 4: So that's, that's what I want to talk about. So what is blockchain? Right? So what is blockchain? Blockchain as a really unique technology. Blockchain is part of the decentralization trend I mentioned, you know, I mentioned the Uber's and Airbnb's, but there's a decentralization and currencies to write currencies, for instance, as they existed in the past, the Fiat currencies. Uh, I mean, what is money, right? Money is just a unit of measure that represents some intangible value that you and I have some utilities, I'm economic utility. Sure, right. And, uh, Richard Nixon can tell you that he taking us off the gold. He certainly could. You certainly could. Well, let's, let's go beyond Richard Nixon. Let's let, let, let's, let's, let's even backtrack all the way to maybe a byzantine or perhaps you know, have at it. Absolutely. Egypt early, earlier days were, um, were individuals conducted commerce based on barter.

Speaker 4: You know, I, I had something you wanted, you had something I wanted which traded these things, uh, because society was fairly unsophisticated. It was pretty easy to do and that society become more, became more sophisticated. We had to rely on power hubs or brokers and, and temples at the time became those sort of trusted hubs. You knew that it's a temple, you worshiped in it, you know everyone who, uh, who ran it. So they must be good guys. Sure, I'll give them, you know, my chicken and you can give me your goat and they'll, they'll trade it for us. That way I don't have to on, on whether your code is good into my chickens. And temples became these early Proto banks. Right? So as society became more increasingly more sophisticated, we had to make those hubs highly focused on that function. And so we created these centralized hubs and they existed in finance that existing communications and so forth, right by the industrial era, you know, we've developed science to sort of back these interactions.

Speaker 4: Sure. We've developed mathematical formulas, statistics, and so forth to make this more efficient, but it was still centralized. So as we progress, as, as humanity, we get these new technologies that now help us go around the hub and, uh, and, and, and sort of validate that relationship in just as efficient fashion, if not more efficient. So by 2006, uh, Lo and behold comes a blockchain, the bitcoin at the time, right? So bitcoin is built on blockchain, right? I guess using a blockchain language, right? Ledger, using the blockchain. Blockchain is as a shorthand for an Algorithm, a decentralized ledger, right? The powers, bitcoin transactions, Bitcoin is nothing, right? Bitcoin is a digital entry. And if you're in Singapore and I'm here in DC and I was to send you a piece of digital, you know, entry on the Internet. Who's to say that I did that while the blockchain is, there you go.

Speaker 4: Lock chain is a series of algorithms and equations that compete and create an entry that goes inside of a block that's attached to many other blocks and, uh, and a software on my computer or note as it's known in there, you know, thousands of other nodes around the world that have that same ledger replicated it. So it's, I think the best analogy I've heard, it's even for me, you know, someone who used to work for office of comptroller currency is still a very complex a concept, but it's very elegant concept. Um, the best analogy for it, if I was to give you a dollar and there are 5,000 cameras taking a picture of me giving you a dollar. Yup. Uh, you know, there's, there's a proof you can never go back on and say that, that never give you that, right? 5,000 of us know that you get made that dollars around the world in safes that you can't access, right?

Speaker 4: That's, that will be the closest, although not the most accurate analogy, uh, that's what the blockchain is. So the blockchain effectively creates an Itam. It immediately service does not, does not rely on centralized hub, right. And uh, and that's what the blockchain does and the blockchain revolutionizes the way we interact it decentralizes then. Now we don't have to rely on these hubs that validate things. The brokers, if I was to send you money across the world, I don't have to go through bank of America, HSBC, uh, you know, doitture bank for that entry to replicate itself multiple times. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. You're reinventing money you don't. Reinventing is actually a really good way of putting it. It's like reinventing the. We went back to very primitive interaction where two individuals, any anywhere in the world can exchange value with a degree of trust, right.

Speaker 4: Without having to trust each other because technology sort of mitigates that for them. So how could this possibly work? Yeah. Right. I mean, I get it. It makes sense. I want to be all about it, but, uh, that doesn't sound realistic at all. And that's right. That's right. It sounds very realistic considering that, uh, you know, blockchain's being a blockchain, like technologies have been in a sort of adapted in mass even by financial institutions. So how is what I'm saying I was being sarcastic or not? Sorry, I don't get sarcasm. I'm a marina. Remember? That's it. Exactly. And how is it being adopted? Yeah, yeah. In many different ways. So right now in very early stages, so sort of exploration, uh, you know, there are banks developing their own ledgers and thinking that maybe we can create a private network of just financial institutions days that the opposite though, isn't that counterintuitive to the entire.

Speaker 4: It is idea. Okay. So, so, you know, blockchain was designed by whomever, uh, with a, with an idea of democratizing. And that's probably not the art and blockchain enthusiasts probably hate that term because the democratization still relies on essential as some, some centralized component I say, but it decentralizes to this centralized experience entirely to, to take away really any human being from, from, from a broker broker side of things. Uh, however, if, if you were a bank, that's not a good idea because you are in fact a hub. Sure. You either go out of business and it ceased to exist. Here's the old temple, precisely you're the temple and you wanted to retain that, uh, that sort of power so that you don't have to. Thank you. Thank you. I was going to say position in a society, but power works, uh, so as a result, you want to cooperate the technology and, and you want to sort of mold it into your processes.

Speaker 4: Of course, banks, they're not consciously nefarious, right? They're systemically nefarious. Fair enough as we discussed. That's right. Yeah, exactly. And, and what they see, they see an opportunity and they want us to capture that opportunity. They see a way that they see blockchain, not for what it is and what it's supposed to be in the future, but for certain elements that can benefit them like faster settlement. Can I do things of that nature? Perhaps updating their payment's rails. You know, instead of using a Nacho that does ach, they may want to use a blockchain based system or the centralized ledger based system to dabbling, dabbling, slightly, modifying incrementalism, right? This is what large institutions do that incrementally change things that dial because let's face it, they can't. They're not startups. They can't pivot. So they are startups. However, yeah, like my startup, the recognize the power so that that gets us to it.

Speaker 4: So let's just do it. If I'm listening to you, I have my cannabis business, whether it's a dispensary, a manufacturer, I'm an ancillary business. Whatever lamine what you're saying sounds interesting. I'll go with you to where you are, which is where and what are you. You know, what, what, what is the value to me right now as we speak? That's right. So the value to you is access to banking and payment processing, right? If you're a cannabis business, to get a bank account, we're not a bank. We have to get you a bank account through a bank. For a band to feel comfortable, they have to know that you're not a money launderer. Right? To simplify these things, every single penny that comes through your business, they have to know that it's accounted for and they have to know who made a purchase when they made a purchase and that they're not.

Speaker 4: Money laundering is either. You have to make sure that you don't sell anything else, but stuff that's been authorized to be sold at your store. Right. And it's very difficult to know these things with you. One hundred percent certainty unless you have a class and cameras and safe, unless you have 5,000 cameras taking a picture of every transaction and there you have it basically. Right? I mean, we could go further into what the hell's going on, but that says enough does this. Right? So, uh, and you do have relationships with banks as we speak. We do. All right. And, uh, what else might I need to know? It sounds like it's got to be unbelievably expensive, I would imagine, right? No, absolutely not. So blockchain is open source, right? And it's free, right? Yeah. So when we extend an account to a business relationship, uh, we don't charge consumers, right?

Speaker 4: We don't charge banks but to a business, it's a payment processing relationship. Right. So we charge per transaction just like, hey, I'm really anyone. Okay. All right, great. Yeah, so that's fascinating. And again, you know, I usually don't talk now to folks that kind of offer solutions to the space, but based on the beginning of our conversation, I knew that we needed to send this sit down. Also, blockchain is fascinating and completely brand new and no one knows what it is. Even the people that are doing it. I'm a and I say that ingest. Thank you for getting it. Marine. Um, what was your highest rank by the way? A staff sergeant. Staff Sergeant. So if I called you staff sergeant, would that be like, am I allowed to do that? Sure. You know what I mean? I'm a civilian now, so that's all right. Fair enough.

Speaker 4: Uh Huh. So just because I brought it up twice and you avoided the question twice. Can we just do glass steagall real quick in the twenties, right? Repealed in, uh, under Bill Clinton, whatever. Give us the whole thing. Sure. So, so the glass steagall essentially separated banks and broker dealers, right? So if you, a bank, your city group and Yoan Smith Barney for instance, you a true which which, which was the case, yeah, you could no longer owned Smith Barney and then, and there had to be a broker dealer on their own and they had to make those deals independently and if you're a financial institution, you can just be a financial institution that's a bank that borrows on Lens, but the time there were still able to do proprietary trading. So interestingly enough, yeah, during the financial crisis, the activities, they've got banks in trouble. What I've still got them in trouble of glass steagall was in place.

Speaker 4: How? Because the proprietary trading. So banks were not trading those securities, buying, selling as part of the broker dealer relationships there we're not buying and selling for someone else on behalf of someone else. They were doing it themselves. So to take your city, Smith Barney analogy, a city could not by Smith Barney under glass steagall Bill Clinton takes that down now city can by Smith Barney. And they did and they did. Your point is though that in the financial crisis hit we city doing the trading exact Smith Barney Smith Barney. Of course that's a, everything's fine, but it was city doing the trading, which is glass steagall doesn't help you precisely, which is why we need the volcker was why, which is exactly why we need the volcker rule. We need to make sure that banks, if they do any investments, uh, invest in things that are safe like us treasuries, you know, and there's the.

Speaker 4: Listen, the yields not too bad on the top. Not at all. It's, it's, it's ridiculously good. I'm going to tell you the final three questions and then I will ask you, I'll ask you the final three 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 on the soundtrack of your life? One track. One song that's got to be on there. First things first though, what has most surprised you in cannabis, right? Marine Mr. Marine staff. Sergeant Staff Sergeant? Yeah. Uh, what, what, what really surprised me about cannabis, I sort of expected the wild west. Right, okay. And uh, and, and the, the sort of a implicit affiliation with the wild west and evoked this idea of, of crazy people running, running wild with no rules.

Speaker 4: Yeah. But probably hippies to boot, right? Yeah, absolutely. Hippies Galore. Not a lot of organization when, and admittedly I got into cannabis fairly light right into 2015 by that time. There are organizations, corporations out incredibly professional, right? I've, I've, I've met business owners, dispensary owners came from Wall Street investment bankers on Wall Street. Sure. Successful Investment bankers now run dispensary's. Yeah. They see this as an opportunity and I see it as a legitimate opportunity and that's probably, that's probably the biggest surprise was sort of encountered in space. What has most surprised you in life? Oh, that's a tough question. I'm not easily surprised by things as you, as you can tell, throw them out of cannabis example. Exactly. What most surprised me on life.

Speaker 4: I would say innate human ability to adapt, right? It never ceases to surprise me how well we adapt to things. So we were faced with things that are just shocking to us occasionally. I agree, and then, and then two minutes later, you know, we'll live with it and perhaps even more surprising is our, uh, you know, our surprise that at the fact that when that thing that we just got used to, it goes away. Right. How easily are we sort of got used to it. Right. So for instance, uh, you know, progressing a life and career. Yeah. It can be surprising where you get, right. You can have imposter syndrome that, oh my goodness, you know, I made it in life. I am a ceo of a startup and then it startup goes away hypothetically speaking. Right. And it's even more surprising. Yeah. You're a square one. So constant surprise, followed by constant normalcy. Exactly. Followed by constant surprise. So I guess to tie it all together. Yeah. And your terms, the cyclicality of human experience. There we go. That's good. There you go. That is very good.

Speaker 4: That tweet writes itself on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. Oh Man. So many songs. I'll have to, uh, since we're getting political, um, let me get with beyonce. Let me go the onset and let's go with the entire lemonade album. Okay. Which, which I think is a masterpiece of a, of just American art. That is not what I expected. That is not what I expected at all. I figured since we're talking about surprises, so we'll go ahead and surprise you there. It. So here's to Viansa. Here's to you. Let me thank you for, uh, not only educating us, uh, but serving our country. Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you for that. Thank you so much seth. And there you have Lamina Rod.

Speaker 1: Well, that's all good information to know. I guess not sure what to do with it, but that's the stuff that, uh, you know, we should be talking about as opposed to the winners and losers from whatever happened today in the news. Thanks to [inaudible], thanks to you for listening. Stay tuned.

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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.