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Ep.281: Charles Jones

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.281: Charles Jones

Ep.281: Charles Jones

Charles Jones joins us and shares that a fellow parent had called him concerned that her son was using marijuana and asked him if it was safe. He did some research and found how many cannabinoids there were, how they interacted with one another and emerged from his research with an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, could create a broad range of psychoactive substances which could treat everything from insomnia to pain to improving creativity. He realized that an extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant. Which led him to the conclusion that cannabis isn’t a drug so much as a drug development platform which much safer than opioid alternatives.

Transcript:

Speaker 2: Charles Jones, Charles Jones joins us and shares that a fellow parent had called him, concerned that her son was using marijuana and asked him if he was safe. He did some research and found out how many cannabinoids are work, how they interacted with one another, and emerge from his research with an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, he could create a broad range of psychoactive substances which could treat everything from insomnia due to pain to improve and creativity. You realized that an extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant which led him to the conclusion that cannabis isn't a drug so much drug development platform, which is much safer than opioid alternatives. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the hand mechanic economy. That's two words on the word economy. Charles Jones, Charles Jones. Oh,

Speaker 1: you look like this reputable person that could run any business and you're running a cannabis business. Why do we have the pleasure of this? You know, adult looking person who seems completely reasonable in our fine industry. Another parent called me concerned about the fact that her teenage son was using marijuana, wanted to know whether I thought it was safe. She knew I had a science background. She knew I used cannabis. Okay. I said, let me get back to you on that. And I dug into the peer reviewed research on Google scholar and emerged more or less from kind of being just swept away and fascination by how many cannabinoids there were, how they interacted with one another, turpines the entourage effect, and emerged from this with, uh, an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, you could create a broad range of psychoactive substances that could treat everything from insomnia, pain to improving creativity and listening people out extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant that marijuana wasn't a drug so much as a drug development platform and cannabinoids and terpenes.

Speaker 1: Pretty much. There's no ld, 50. There are much safer than the alternatives be the opiates or a Ssri or, um, benzos. So I wa, I never got an answer to her question. Got It. Than to say wide recommend your, you know, you tell your son to wait until they're in adults before they put thc into their brain. Sure. But along the way I saw this vision for what we could do with cannabis. I didn't see anyone else doing it and I decided to leave corporate America and pursue the idea. When was this? April of 2015. Okay. So, uh, in cannabis years, you know, cannabis. Here's your dog years cheer. About 15 years in now. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So, science background, what does that mean? Right? Science mindset up. My father was a chemist and a chemical engineer and I did very well in science and math emerge from college with degrees in math, computer science.

Speaker 1: And uh, where'd you go? Sufi University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. Okay. And where are you from? West Virginia. Okay. The Blue Ridge mountains, I believe they're technically in Virginia. I see. Certainly will seem. John Denver's a. that's what I was doing in my own show. Exactly. Fair enough. Okay. So West Virginia, what was that like growing up as a kid? Right. Kid, teenager. What was, uh, what was it like on the, on the streets of a town in West Virginia while I was in the click of kids at the intersection of merit scholars and marijuana users. I also was in that, uh, largely all of us were determined to get out. Right, okay. Fair enough. And Arbor Michigan. And why did you pick that institution? Um, didn't quite knew what I wanted to do. It's a big school, a lot of different. Um, and I loved the culture. And you never liked the Ohio state, so it felt like a fit I would imagine.

Speaker 1: Well, when Ohio state would come to play at Michigan, I would take the tickets I got as a student, scalp them. Yes. And then go on tour with the grateful dead. There were so not only a businessman, also a person with good taste in music. And also, uh, this cannabis enthusiasm. It seems like it went as far back as, as West Virginia, is that fair? Yes. Okay. But you don't, you don't have the dreadlocks. You're not wearing this tie dye shirt. Right. And I'm sure that this kind of comes back to the, some of the principles of your organization. Um, when was it obvious to you that a pothead wasn't a pothead?

Speaker 1: I mean, I would say that I've always been a bit of an ambivalent marijuana user. Okay. I love the elevation. I don't like this stupid vacation. Fair enough. Um, so as part of doing this research for the other parent, when I discovered, oh, I think if we combine these cannabinoids and these ratios, we can produce the elevation without the Stupa vacation. That was exciting to me. Go further. And then what ultimately became the product that you're talking about as far as that specific? You know, concoction. Right. So we then tested. So I made a number of educated guesses based on the peer reviewed research. Yep. And then we test it and um, I'll never forget our first lucid mood testing party where we started with the contaminant base and all of us enjoyed that high more than any we had ever had in our life.

Speaker 2: Charles Jones, Charles Jones joins us and shares that a fellow parent had called him, concerned that her son was using marijuana and asked him if he was safe. He did some research and found out how many cannabinoids are work, how they interacted with one another, and emerge from his research with an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, he could create a broad range of psychoactive substances which could treat everything from insomnia due to pain to improve and creativity. You realized that an extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant which led him to the conclusion that cannabis isn't a drug so much drug development platform, which is much safer than opioid alternatives. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the hand mechanic economy. That's two words on the word economy. Charles Jones, Charles Jones. Oh,

Speaker 1: you look like this reputable person that could run any business and you're running a cannabis business. Why do we have the pleasure of this? You know, adult looking person who seems completely reasonable in our fine industry. Another parent called me concerned about the fact that her teenage son was using marijuana, wanted to know whether I thought it was safe. She knew I had a science background. She knew I used cannabis. Okay. I said, let me get back to you on that. And I dug into the peer reviewed research on Google scholar and emerged more or less from kind of being just swept away and fascination by how many cannabinoids there were, how they interacted with one another, turpines the entourage effect, and emerged from this with, uh, an understanding that by combining cannabinoids and terpenes in the right ratios, you could create a broad range of psychoactive substances that could treat everything from insomnia, pain to improving creativity and listening people out extremely wide range of effects could be found in this one plant that marijuana wasn't a drug so much as a drug development platform and cannabinoids and terpenes.

Speaker 1: Pretty much. There's no ld, 50. There are much safer than the alternatives be the opiates or a Ssri or, um, benzos. So I wa, I never got an answer to her question. Got It. Than to say wide recommend your, you know, you tell your son to wait until they're in adults before they put thc into their brain. Sure. But along the way I saw this vision for what we could do with cannabis. I didn't see anyone else doing it and I decided to leave corporate America and pursue the idea. When was this? April of 2015. Okay. So, uh, in cannabis years, you know, cannabis. Here's your dog years cheer. About 15 years in now. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So, science background, what does that mean? Right? Science mindset up. My father was a chemist and a chemical engineer and I did very well in science and math emerge from college with degrees in math, computer science.

Speaker 1: And uh, where'd you go? Sufi University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. Okay. And where are you from? West Virginia. Okay. The Blue Ridge mountains, I believe they're technically in Virginia. I see. Certainly will seem. John Denver's a. that's what I was doing in my own show. Exactly. Fair enough. Okay. So West Virginia, what was that like growing up as a kid? Right. Kid, teenager. What was, uh, what was it like on the, on the streets of a town in West Virginia while I was in the click of kids at the intersection of merit scholars and marijuana users. I also was in that, uh, largely all of us were determined to get out. Right, okay. Fair enough. And Arbor Michigan. And why did you pick that institution? Um, didn't quite knew what I wanted to do. It's a big school, a lot of different. Um, and I loved the culture. And you never liked the Ohio state, so it felt like a fit I would imagine.

Speaker 1: Well, when Ohio state would come to play at Michigan, I would take the tickets I got as a student, scalp them. Yes. And then go on tour with the grateful dead. There were so not only a businessman, also a person with good taste in music. And also, uh, this cannabis enthusiasm. It seems like it went as far back as, as West Virginia, is that fair? Yes. Okay. But you don't, you don't have the dreadlocks. You're not wearing this tie dye shirt. Right. And I'm sure that this kind of comes back to the, some of the principles of your organization. Um, when was it obvious to you that a pothead wasn't a pothead?

Speaker 1: I mean, I would say that I've always been a bit of an ambivalent marijuana user. Okay. I love the elevation. I don't like this stupid vacation. Fair enough. Um, so as part of doing this research for the other parent, when I discovered, oh, I think if we combine these cannabinoids and these ratios, we can produce the elevation without the Stupa vacation. That was exciting to me. Go further. And then what ultimately became the product that you're talking about as far as that specific? You know, concoction. Right. So we then tested. So I made a number of educated guesses based on the peer reviewed research. Yep. And then we test it and um, I'll never forget our first lucid mood testing party where we started with the contaminant base and all of us enjoyed that high more than any we had ever had in our life.

Speaker 1: And we're all longterm users because what I was clearheaded yeah, I didn't have trouble remembering what I was doing or what I was thinking. Uh, I felt really good. It was like, I felt good. I didn't feel stoned. What did you have more of what a drive less of, you know, beyond the obvious, less paranoia, less social withdrawal, less lethargy, I mean in the product that you took the, um, so it was a mixture of cannabinoids with a one to one ratio of thc to cbd. There we go. And then our chemist then layered on a terpene formula. And unbeknownst to us, he gave half of us in one turpin formula, the other half at different terpene formula. And I was chatting a very lively standing up chatting with some of the other team members and half the team, including my chief technology officer had, were all laying down.

Speaker 1: Okay at all. Like headed for the floor, popping their head up, watching the rest of us chat away. And then Dave, our cto says, Jacob Chemists. Yeah. Did you give this group the same turpin form is this group? And he shook his head with a shit eating grin and we're like, God damn, we're onto something. There we go. Exactly. We can see it just in this small sample size, this small group. So, uh, when you come out of the University of Michigan with computer science and a couple of other things, I think you mentioned. Right. What were the other. I ended up going to a software development was my first career. It was@homeandendingwithastentedIBMfollowedbya.com. Okay. So the IBM days, was that in purchase New York? That was in Hawthorne. It was in New York at Ibm Research Facility in Westchester County. Okay. And what were we having trolls do? What were you, you know, what was I doing?

Speaker 1: And Ibm absolutely. Um, I was lead an international team to develop an ecommerce extranet for the IBM PC company prior to them selling to Lenovo and Lenovo. Right. And so that did work, if I remember correctly. Oh, it was a very successful project. And I remember buying my think pads on IBM doc. I mean, I feel like I was one of your customers, I guess end users, you may well have been I think pads at the time, a very good machine and then all of a sudden it was a Lenovo, which was still a good machine, but then it all got very confusing. How did they trust you with this very big job?

Speaker 1: Um, I was originally on a different project. I did a back of the envelope calculation. Couldn't see how it ever it'd be profitable. Went up the chain of command till I found the VP responsible for the project, asked him about it. He became quite defensive. I came back to my team at IBM. I said, if I can figure out this thing doesn't have legs, sooner or later, other people are going to figure out, doesn't have legs. So let's look for something really fun and exciting to do. Our boss, left town, run a two week vacation. We worked night and day on a little skunk work project and we had a working prototype of a, the ecommerce extra net. By the time he returned, he went up the chain of command, send out an email blast, all the other executives, his theory being, is this too good and obvious an idea for a company as big as IBM do only this little group to have thought of it, and sure enough, seven groups were working on something similar.

Speaker 1: Interesting. We brought them all together. We all did our little powerpoint dogs and ponies and everyone agreed. My vision was the clearest, so I got the whole project. Congratulations on it. Now as far as you're a CEO now and back then you were one of the worker bees. You went to upper management with an idea or with a concept of what he told you to do or she told you to do. This was not going to work and obviously you've got an emotional response where he maybe you shouldn't have. Then you went ahead and major business case in a completely different area and sold that to them and actually worked out. What's your advice for ceos on the one hand and worker bees on the other hand, in those same situations? In other words, where, uh, someone from the team is coming to me and saying, hey boss, what we're working is probably not a good idea.

Speaker 1: That's the first question. Second question is, if I'm the. If I'm the person saying, hey boss, this isn't a good idea, what's a better way of communicating that so that the boss will actually hear me both sides of that coin? If you could. It's a complex question because it's two questions in one. I mean, I can only tell you what I did. What I did is I was curious. I was confused. I didn't see how this is going to make money. And so I asked questions and eventually the guy got annoyed and defensive and I read his defensiveness is he knows damn well this isn't going to be a successful project. That's how. Oh, so you knew his defensiveness was a tell to you that he was actually, he was thinking along with you, but because of the various levels of management, he couldn't just say you'll write it.

Speaker 1: I think it was more committed to his job then he was to success of the firm. Yeah. That time that happens at a, at a big corporation and a small so you know, to the worker bees find companies where they're committed to success. That's part of the culture results oriented. Um, after. So after that, a bunch of IBM to an end. All right. I saw an idea, a raised three point $7,000,000 worth of venture capital, uh, struck a strategic alliance and went for it with what idea? At the time, Amazon.com was the only ecommerce merchant that offered collaborative filtering. People who bought this book also bought these books and they were attributing in their annual report a substantial percentage of their revenue to that recommendations as we call them a recommendation engine. The technology is very complex, too complex for Barnes and noble and other ecommerce merchants have a smaller scale to do themselves.

Speaker 1: Literally they could not figure it out to bring folks back to, at the time there were plenty busy with other things, right? So thought is why don't we offer this on an asp basis, software as a service basis. Sure. To all of these ecommerce merchants and do it centrally. For what company was that? It's called [inaudible] dot com. Why O.com? And we did well with that, didn't we? I did not do well with that. Why did not wait for such a good idea? The, the bubble burst. Oh No. And we were. Our existing ecommerce merchants were going into business faster than we were signing up. New Ones. Eventually. Only customer was barnes and noble and it didn't support our staff and pets.com. It just didn't work out type of deal. Right, exactly. Okay. So Yo.com. So did fantastic. You did, you got the VC, you've popped the paperclip off the business plan and really did your thing there in the.com boom.

Speaker 1: And unfortunately Charles bust. And so where did that leave you? Well, looking around, there wasn't much market for you ceos, a failed duck mom and um, I had through my technology career always ended up in kind of customer facing solutions. How do you translate the technology into a business solution to serve the business? And I had an opportunity to do some business process analysis. Okay. For Capital One, Huh? And um, they were growing leaps and bounds and they're also at a point where they were transitioning from a high growth single line of business credit card company to a mature, diversified financial services firm. And I happened to be there. I had had a fascination with organization development type work, um, how people think, leadership development, things like that. And I, my priors briggs type stuff are way beyond Myer Myers. So when you say that, what do you mean?

Speaker 1: We're way beyond Meyers-briggs, right? Because the four letters and whatever with much more scientific rigor. Fair enough. Okay. Um, so I was being housed in the same conference room as the consultants that were leading the leadership development culture change project. And I ended up with a big role in that project. I see. And from there some of the executives started asking me if I would coach them and my boss is just like, Charles don't say anything. They don't have to know. You've never coached anyone before. And so I became an executive coach and that's what I was doing when I got the call from the other parent asking if I could assess the safety of marijuana for their kids. Fair enough. And so we're, we're almost to the other kinds of products that you have out now, but just one more thing here. We kind of got your take on, you know, uh, if I'm a worker bee, we've got your take on, if I'm a CEO, that odd little space that you were able to kind of find of coaching leaders, right? Without giving away the special sauce because who knows, you might go back to that type of consultant, but what, what are those folks kind of looking for, you know, from an executive coach who, oh, by the way, didn't necessarily have that much experience but could talk the talk in a way that made them think I need to hear this person.

Speaker 1: I think it all, it depends because there's obviously a large range of, of cases. Sure. Um, so you had emerging leaders which showed a tremendous amount of potential. Um, they're often well served by having mentors as well as coaches. Most people have one or more behavioral derailers, if you will. Yeah. They might become volatile when things don't go their way. So a good executive coach can help resolve some of those, can really help them become more effective in terms of how they communicate can be a sounding board. There's a lot of varieties and it does help out of things. Yeah, it does help. I would imagine that you are not someone that, uh, uh, is reporting to them or they are reporting to. In other words, you're not a board member, you're not one of the team. Virtually every company I worked for, if it's a senior executive, they're being coached by an external consultant, external coach.

Speaker 1: If it's a lower level person, they might have someone in hr who's coaching them, some sort of third party, a kind of relationship. It has to be that way. Otherwise it's fraught with danger and devotion. Right? Oh, I think some of the best waiters also coach their employees, but it's in context in context of helping them achieve certain results for the company. There we go, right. That's the best coaching always takes place in the context of that. Alright. So lucid mood helping me achieve certain results for me, for my being. Yes. What other lucid moods are we working on? You know, kind of a show us the cards, so to speak. What would show that we have out there? So we have a wellness line. Okay. And enjoy. Okay. And the wellness line apparently includes a focus. Okay, great. For somebody with Adhd, um, I'm sorry, what were you saying? I'm kidding. Yeah. Uh, someone.

Speaker 1: I'm a little too sarcastic. Yes, yes. Um, and soon will be coming out with uplift which has, has an antidepressant type qualities to it. Sooth, uh, for someone that tends to be a little anxious. Sure. Sleep to help people get to sleep, a relief which provides pain relief and we've done a clinical trial on it as effective as Vicodin for treating chronic pain. Wow. Wow. That's huge. All of our stuff's effective. That's fantastic. Have a neuroscientist on board then designs these things. Where did you find this team? Right. I mean, you know, because they found me largely. Okay. I, uh, since I got the idea reached out to, uh, my cto, he's a mechanical engineer, um, production manufacturing for 35 years, right. Um, second executive on board, our chief operating officer, he actually had been in the industry working for a company that with some similarities to us called Abu.

Speaker 1: Oh, sure. Okay. And so he used to be their chief operating officer and when he came on board, um, the neuroscientists found me, graduated from Vanderbilt, uh, with his phd wanting to work with the endocannabinoid system and um, and here we are and here we are as far as the endocannabinoid system and him and this focus product because, you know, we've, we've kind of been through pain and those other things regarding focus specifically. Uh, what is it that's working? What are you helping me with? Because the lay person's perception is that it's the opposite of focus, right? How could cannabis help me with my focus? I'm essentially reduces your ability to multitask and whatever you're focused on, all of your attention will flow into that. So people with Adhd like it, people that want to get into a flow state like it, you know, you want to, can you give me another level of, you know, what's in there type of thing, you know, percentages or this or that.

Speaker 1: Okay, fine. So that's proprietary and patent pending at this point. That's fantastic. And I thank you for clarifying. It's not that you don't know, it's that the people listening shouldn't know, but it does work. It's our co, our competitors and fair enough. Fair enough. So, uh, okay. And then we also have a joy in line. Yes. We'll be bringing out party and it has a very prosocial and reduction of inhibition field to it. Very clear headed. Very. I'm a euphoric, but without the dissociation you typically associate with you for you to get from marijuana. Okay. So very nice. Very uppity. Um, we also will be around music, which, what does that, you just music becomes orgasmic to listen to. Absolutely. I've got a question coming up that has something to do with that, but what, what is the relationship between the product that I'm taking and music itself, I guess, is that so am I going to the festival?

Speaker 1: I'm going to the concert and, and sure you're, you're sitting at home listening to tunes, whatever it is. You just lose yourself in the music and it's very, very pleasurable. I love that concept. Can you tell me more about what's happening there, you know, as far as how the product works with music or. Um, so we just have a terpene blend, which if you have thc and cbd near system produces those effects. Fair enough. I did say to you on the way in, if there's something that, uh, you don't want to talk about, don't talk about it. That's a, you're demonstrating an ability to do that. Uh, because we're, again, we've got to protect our intellectual property. I very much appreciate that. I also though, where are you based Boulder, Colorado. I'll see you in boulder because this music idea is this. The concept is fascinating to me, so I can't wait to see what happens and then I can at least talk about it from a patient perspective.

Speaker 1: Is that fair? Sure. Alright. So I have three final questions for you. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. What has most surprised you in cannabis? What has most surprised you in life? And then on the soundtrack of your life? One track, one song that's got to be on there. That's the music question. But first things first, what has most surprised you in cannabis? I guess going back to not only West Virginia, but you sitting at the computer and say, so two part answer. So what surprised me most about cannabis is that it's a drug development platform from which you can create a broad range of psychoactives that are helpful to people in their life that add to their wellness that add to their joy with a level of safety you don't find in opiates or Benzos or even NASA.

Speaker 1: It's um, what, what are those things for non scientists? Uh, well opiates, everyone knows that was on anti anxiety things like a or Benzos, valium and Adivan and Xanax. Got It. Um, and assets are things like a leave and I've often, I say. Okay, fantastic. Thank you. Okay. So, um, so that there's so much that you could do with it. Yeah. And that it's so safe. No one has ever overdosed on marijuana. Never. And no one's ever died from marijuana and that's only since the beginning of time. Yes, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Then what's surprised me most about the cannabis industry is how many bright, passionate, committed, sociable people there are in the industry. Yeah. I'm enjoying it way more than my dotcom days. Those days were so interesting because a ego really was kind of all over the place. I remember the parties from the.com era, you know, like just being huge parties for no reason whatsoever. I went to a party with 200 people and Elvis Costello was the uh, for no reason, for no reason and just ego ruled the day. Is that fair to say about.com? There is certainly some of that. There's certainly some of that, but it's a, it's a kinder group of people. Fair enough. What's most surprised you in life?

Speaker 1: So I'm 56 years old. You look great. And uh, thank you. Um, and I think what surprises me is that I continue to be surprised, you know, when I was living through the Dotcom era, is very aware. This is a very unique point in history, right? We're never gonna have a number one, another one of these and here I am in another one of these and it's really not even that much time at our current pace and acceleration. Who knows, there might be a third opportunity of, of this magnitude before I die. Absolutely. I'll see you in the ai days to come. How about that? Right. You know, because they're upon us. Uh, but that's a different story for a different podcast on the soundtrack of your life. Charles one track, one song that's got to be on there. So the, my very first grateful dead concert.

Speaker 1: Yes. Second set. Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world. That's right. And I lit up, I fell in love. I've been a dead head since that day. So I think I'd have to answer with that. I mean, when I heard that song for the first time off of, I believe without a net for the record. Okay. Okay. Uh, that was a good tour. What a line leak up and find out that you are the eyes of the world. I mean, talk about euphoria and responsibility, Charles. My goodness, if we, uh, if we all take them up on that, I think we should be fine though, right? You know, each and every one of us. Think for ourselves, you know, and act accordingly. Charles, this has been a pleasure. I can't wait to come see you in boulder for your music, so to speak. Oh, I look forward to hosting you and you're in there. You have Charles Jones.

Speaker 2: I appreciate his patience with me. It was later in the day there and a, I had done a number of interviews in a row in the sarcasm started to boil over, as I'm sure you could tell. So thanks to Charles for his time. Great to have folks like him in the industry. Thanks to you for your time. 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.