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Ep.297: Marc Graboyes

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.297: Marc Graboyes

Ep.297: Marc Graboyes

Mark Grayboyes joins us as he comes out of stealth mode to share that he and his team of former biotech executives and research scientists are all doing advanced formulation sciences with purified cannabinoids to formulate product for improved delivery. Mark shares that he’s been working in the industry for the past three years and as you can tell, he’s been working not only on the product but the pitch. He went to college in Boulder and has been there for the past 25 years. Mark brings pharmaceutical industry experience to the cannabis industry and so we ask for lessons learned from pharma which we can voluntarily apply in cannabis as an industry…as well as understanding what simply is not possible based on schedule 1 classification.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Mark graboyes Mark Graboyes joins us as it comes out of stealth mode to share that he and his team of former biotech executives and research scientists are all doing advanced formulation sciences with purified cannabinoids to formulate product for improved delivery. Marcher said he's been working in the industry for the past three years and as you can tell, he's been not only working on the product but the pitch. He went to college in Boulder and has been there for the past 25 years. Mark brings pharmaceutical industry experience into the cannabis industry, and so we asked for lessons learned from Forma, which we can voluntarily apply in the cannabis industry as well as understanding what simply is not possible based on schedule one classification. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy, Mark Gray boy said graboy all stars. I was going to say Greg Boyle

Speaker 2: to you, but you beat me to the punch. I saw the gray boy all stars in March at the Fox theater in boulder and it was fantastic. They put on a great show for those that are not aware of what the band is. How would you describe the, uh, you know, Karl Denson, New Orleans funk at its best. There you go. If you, um, they might rip your face off is basically what it is. That's what I like to say. All right, so let's. And I did see the dead last couple of nights to, so in boulder dead and company and getting company was at folsom field in boulder, have Friday and Saturday night. So as a grateful dead fan, when you say I saw the dead, it always, it's like, I don't know, you know, just the use of the. Anyway, that's a whole different for different.

Speaker 2: Not Jerry. That's, that's really my pleasure. Yeah, exactly. Which is fine, you know, it's also not pig pen, you know, so lets you know, where do we start and where do we stop, you know, it's uh, it's also not the God shows you. No, no, no, no. I've been John, John Mayer rips on the guitar. I give them a lot of crazy. Alright. Who's great. So, uh, let's just make sure we understand what your company does because I was happy to tell you that I had no idea. And then you told me that you've been around for three years. We have been, we've been in stealth mode. Okay. Quietly executing our research and development programs. So we're a next frontier bioscientist as a team of former biotech executives and research scientists who were all doing advanced formulation sciences, um, with purified cannabinoids. Really, uh, you know, working with highly purified thc and cbd to scientifically formulated for improved delivery.

Speaker 2: Okay. And that is the focus of our R and d program. Uh, we, I co founded the company in early 2014. We raised the first round of seed capital in late 2014. We've established R and d partnerships and we've recently established a manufacturing partnership in Colorado where we will be launching our first gen one line of products in Colorado in the third quarter of this year. Okay. So a very soon coming up quick. Especially knowing that this isn't live, this will go up in a few weeks. It'll be almost tomorrow essentially. Perfect timing. Exactly to that end. Right. If that's what tomorrow is a. let's talk about yesterday. You've got some big brains in there. Right? So let's talk about yours. Where are you from? I grew up outside of Philadelphia and then I moved to boulder for college back in the day and I've been really working in the Boulder Denver community for the better part of 25, 30 years.

Speaker 2: So you are a hometown guy now there a. I guess we shouldn't talk about the phillies and the mets. Me being a mets fan? No. Right. Or the giants and the egos either. Yeah, it's a with the giants and the eagles though. We can both agree on the cowboys, which is always nice. Head is. Yes. Definitely. Point of agreement there. Anyway, so you get to boulder, w, what did you major in? I majored in entrepreneurship and small business management. That was the thing that was a thing like you're my age. They had that at the time they did. We were one of the first entrepreneurship programs in the country, I believe. Interesting out of cu boulder. What were the kind of tenants that they instilled in, you know, it was really about a lot of small business management. So, um, some of the cooler things I did in college was I developed a business plan for what became tabernash brewery, which was a microbrewery.

Speaker 1: Mark graboyes Mark Graboyes joins us as it comes out of stealth mode to share that he and his team of former biotech executives and research scientists are all doing advanced formulation sciences with purified cannabinoids to formulate product for improved delivery. Marcher said he's been working in the industry for the past three years and as you can tell, he's been not only working on the product but the pitch. He went to college in Boulder and has been there for the past 25 years. Mark brings pharmaceutical industry experience into the cannabis industry, and so we asked for lessons learned from Forma, which we can voluntarily apply in the cannabis industry as well as understanding what simply is not possible based on schedule one classification. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy, Mark Gray boy said graboy all stars. I was going to say Greg Boyle

Speaker 2: to you, but you beat me to the punch. I saw the gray boy all stars in March at the Fox theater in boulder and it was fantastic. They put on a great show for those that are not aware of what the band is. How would you describe the, uh, you know, Karl Denson, New Orleans funk at its best. There you go. If you, um, they might rip your face off is basically what it is. That's what I like to say. All right, so let's. And I did see the dead last couple of nights to, so in boulder dead and company and getting company was at folsom field in boulder, have Friday and Saturday night. So as a grateful dead fan, when you say I saw the dead, it always, it's like, I don't know, you know, just the use of the. Anyway, that's a whole different for different.

Speaker 2: Not Jerry. That's, that's really my pleasure. Yeah, exactly. Which is fine, you know, it's also not pig pen, you know, so lets you know, where do we start and where do we stop, you know, it's uh, it's also not the God shows you. No, no, no, no. I've been John, John Mayer rips on the guitar. I give them a lot of crazy. Alright. Who's great. So, uh, let's just make sure we understand what your company does because I was happy to tell you that I had no idea. And then you told me that you've been around for three years. We have been, we've been in stealth mode. Okay. Quietly executing our research and development programs. So we're a next frontier bioscientist as a team of former biotech executives and research scientists who were all doing advanced formulation sciences, um, with purified cannabinoids. Really, uh, you know, working with highly purified thc and cbd to scientifically formulated for improved delivery.

Speaker 2: Okay. And that is the focus of our R and d program. Uh, we, I co founded the company in early 2014. We raised the first round of seed capital in late 2014. We've established R and d partnerships and we've recently established a manufacturing partnership in Colorado where we will be launching our first gen one line of products in Colorado in the third quarter of this year. Okay. So a very soon coming up quick. Especially knowing that this isn't live, this will go up in a few weeks. It'll be almost tomorrow essentially. Perfect timing. Exactly to that end. Right. If that's what tomorrow is a. let's talk about yesterday. You've got some big brains in there. Right? So let's talk about yours. Where are you from? I grew up outside of Philadelphia and then I moved to boulder for college back in the day and I've been really working in the Boulder Denver community for the better part of 25, 30 years.

Speaker 2: So you are a hometown guy now there a. I guess we shouldn't talk about the phillies and the mets. Me being a mets fan? No. Right. Or the giants and the egos either. Yeah, it's a with the giants and the eagles though. We can both agree on the cowboys, which is always nice. Head is. Yes. Definitely. Point of agreement there. Anyway, so you get to boulder, w, what did you major in? I majored in entrepreneurship and small business management. That was the thing that was a thing like you're my age. They had that at the time they did. We were one of the first entrepreneurship programs in the country, I believe. Interesting out of cu boulder. What were the kind of tenants that they instilled in, you know, it was really about a lot of small business management. So, um, some of the cooler things I did in college was I developed a business plan for what became tabernash brewery, which was a microbrewery.

Speaker 2: And uh, we, one of the first master brewers in the United States, spent three, spent three years in Germany getting his master brewing certificate. His name was Eric Warner. And so he would come into class, he would bring a cooler full of, uh, of, of like craft beer for us to taste and help him decide what he was gonna uh, what he was going to produce. Right. So, um, it was a lot of business planning and obviously a lot of general business core curriculum classes, finance, accounting, marketing. Excellent. And so you did, you said you started that business, you started that brewery. Uh, I help write the business plan for that brewery. Yeah. Excellent. And that was while I was in college. Okay. So you come out and who gets you A. Actually, I came out, I spent a year in Vale and then I went to law school.

Speaker 2: So I went to law school in Boulder and then I practiced corporate finance and securities law for eight years with a number of different large national law firms. I spent five years with a very, a prestigious firm named coulee there, one of the largest silicon valley based firms, really doing venture capital formation, a IPO mna work for both public and private companies. General Public Company representation. As a lawyer, what are you looking for when you know you're brought in? It's like, hey mark, we need you for another one. Uh, what, what am I kind of giving to you if you're my lawyer and what don't I want to hear from you? What do I want to hear from you? Well, you know, most of my work was really transactional, so I was not a litigator, so generally companies were pretty happy to be working with me, which I really liked because making it happen.

Speaker 2: I was a deal guy, you know, I was really focused on, uh, helping my client close deals, financings and mergers and acquisitions and a consistent with my passion for entrepreneurship, helping grow businesses. And so what if I'm working with my lawyer in that situation, what am I, what do you want from me? What do I, what, what is the best thing for me to give you? What's the worst thing for me to give you if we're in the, if we're on our way to closing a deal? Yeah. I, you know, certainly a innovative technology, innovative technology and a great management team. If you can give a lawyer innovative technology and a great management team, we're going to be okay. Yeah. So those are the basics, right? And that's what you were doing for seven years. Uh, that was all sorts of VC. That's all sorts of tech.

Speaker 2: Where does bio come into tech as far as your concern? So that's a great question. So, uh, as I mentioned, I was as practice that was a practicing attorney for eight years and then I went in house with one of my clients, which was a public biotechnology company by the name of Alice Therapeutics and I spent eight years as a senior vice president, general counsel of a public biotechnology company that, uh, in license and developed the first drug ever approved for the treatment of peripheral t cell lymphoma, which is a very rare and a deadly type of non Hodgkin's lymphoma. It was a small market, but um, you know, we, we developed the first drug ever approved by the FDA. We in licensed it, took it through clinical trials, obtain regulatory, and then we built a commercial sales organization from scratch, scaled it to 50 salespeople, $50 million a year in revenue.

Speaker 2: And then we sold the company off the spectrum pharmaceuticals in late 2012. Did that entire process of working with the FDA to kind of selling the company. How long was that? Was that the entire time you were internal or A. Yes. So it was neat. Yeah, we, we, we had a, we had a lead drug candidate that was in phase three clinical trials when I joined the company. Got It. That trial was not positive, so after spending about $250 million dollars in seven to 10 years, our company was forced to abandon that project. We were fortunate that we had another drug in the pipeline and that drug that we had in the pipeline was the one that we obtained FDA approval for. We had in licensed that drug from a very prestigious cancer center in New York City named Memorial Sloan Kettering. Sure. Of course we, you know, we licensed the drug from them and then we took it through phase one and phase two studies and what was really unique about our drug development program was that we were able to obtain FDA approval on the basis of a phase two clinical trial. So we didn't have to go through phase three, which is very rare, but it's a, you know, where you have

Speaker 2: orphan indications, very small number of patients with a high end met need for treatment. Sometimes the FDA will approve drugs on an accelerated approval basis and that's what we were able to maybe something like, um, you know, uh, seizures in children where I'm going with similar. Yes, indeed. So although Gw Pharma had two positive phase three trials, so a little bit further along, but they're a little bit further along than you, but essentially though, what I'm asking you is

Speaker 2: turn us wise to what you already know about getting something through FDA approval process and basically onto shelves in quotation marks and how we're going to do that in cannabis. Sure. So, uh, I should clarify that we're not taking the FDA pathway under, so we're taking a cannabis pathway. Totally understand. But nonetheless, you know, things we learned from Pharma, one is that in order to get a drug approved by the FDA, typical you're working with a Cmo, single chemical, chemical entity, excuse me, a single chemical entity that is highly purified. So, you know, there's almost no chance that you could ever get a whole plant extract, for example, approved through the FDA. They're really looking for high standards of purification and high standards of formulation. And so what we bring to the table, what we're really focused on is leveraged jargon, our pharmaceutical industry experience to work with highly purified cannabinoids.

Speaker 2: Initially we're working with thc and cbd in different ratios and then scientifically formulating it as a pharmaceutical grade product that provides accurate dosing, consistent formulation, improve bioavailability, and really optimizing it as a, uh, you know, as a pharmaceutical grade drug. And so you've had three years, albeit in stealth mode, but what have you learned about the plan? What have you learned about the patients and the communication, if you will, or collaboration between the two? Sure. So, you know, what we've learned about the plan is that, uh, the cannabis plant has 500 chemicals on average in plant form. And when you put it through an extraction process, you're still left with somewhere between two to two to 300 chemical compounds. And typically thc and plan for them is, you know, 17 to 22 percent by weight. And when you do an extraction, you can increase the potency of it up to 60 to 70 percent on average.

Speaker 2: But you still have authority of 30 to 40 percent other and that other in an extracted concentrate, they're largely impurities and unknowns and those impurities and unknowns effect the way you can formulate a drug and the potency and the purity and the effectiveness of the, uh, of the active compounds. And so, um, you know, what we've learned in the problem we're really seeking to solve is the fact that the vast majority of today's products are highly impure, they're poorly characterized, they're not well formulated, and it affects the safety and the efficacy of these compounds. And so while we acknowledge that there's tremendous markets and will continue to be big market opportunities for all different forms of cannabis products, we believe there's a very important and meaningful opportunity for cannabis products that are really scientifically formulated for accurate dosing and improved delivery. Still though with 200, 300 chemicals right in them, which is why, as you said, we're taking a cannabis route, not an FDA route.

Speaker 2: Is that fair? That's correct. Okay. Well, but our products will not have two to $300. So what we do differently is we put it through a a second purification step, and so you go from plant to extract, but then we take the extract and we put it through a purification process that allows us to isolate the cannabinoids and purify it up to above 90 percent purity. So down to how many chemicals. Then ideally we'd like to be down to a single and a single chemical entity. Right now we're probably A. I don't know that I could answer how many chemicals are in are purified thc. The CBD that we're getting through, the hemp based market is 98 percent purity and the other, the other two percent is a one to two other chemicals, but again, this is why we're going through the cannabis route as opposed to the FDA route.

Speaker 2: Right? Because we would love to get down to one. We're not there yet, so we have to keep going. Well, I think that there's a couple reasons that we're taking in the cannabis route. Please. The first is, as a team of former biotech professionals, we realized the that that FDA drug development is a very time consuming, expensive process. We just mentioned that it was seven years and they were already kind of a long way into it. That's right. Yeah. Seven to 10 years on average, a couple hundred million dollars a cannabis gives our team the opportunity to really help patients bring safe and effective medication to patients and consumers in a much more time efficient cost effective manner. And that really excited us as, as, as, uh, you know, business and biotech professionals, the ability to leverage all of our experience from the pharmaceutical industry, but bring products to market and much more time efficient cost effective manner to help people's wellbeing, which is fantastic.

Speaker 2: If, uh, I'm listening and I'm my father, meaning a boomer who has been listening to this show and still isn't in on cannabis as medicine. Uh, talk about, you know, the research that you just mentioned, uh, and kind of bring me along as to what you're doing, you know, with cannabis and how you're applying what you already know and pharmaceuticals. Uh, absolutely. That's, that's a, that's a great question. So what we know based on the scientific literature is both thc and cbd are highly active molecules and, and, and they're particularly effective as anti inflammatory and, and, and analgesic or pain relieving properties. And we also know from the scientific literature the thc and cbd are synergistic in that they can work together to provide more effect than you can get from either one individually. This is the entourage effect. It's, it's, we call it the synergistic effect because people use the entourage effect to really refer to whole plant medicine.

Speaker 2: And we are only talking about thc and cbd talking about high thc and CBD. Yes. And the scientific literature has, is pretty extensive that thc and cbd both possess a, you know, great potential for pain relief and for neuropathic chronic pain in particular. Uh, and uh, and so we're working with highly purified thc and cbd and leveraging the synergy between the two to be able to deliver the benefits of those active ingredients, but also in a non-psychoactive microdose manner. Because we find that, especially with chronic pain, for example, which is prevalent among the elderly, that again, I like to call them boomers, but go on. Okay, yeah. Boomers, um, that, uh, you know, these are people that are open to the benefits of the cannabis plant but don't necessarily want to get high. They're not liking looking for the psychoactivity of the plant. And so if you can start delivering these as alternatives to opioids, for example, which is a huge public health crisis, and really bringing products to market that are safe, effective and scientifically formulated for a, you know, accurate dosing and, and improve bioavailability and they can be used in lieu of opioids.

Speaker 2: There's a big target market out there. They don't want to, uh, you. You said that they don't want to get high. I'd prefer if you used the word dysphoric, right? Isn't that an industry term? I've not heard that one. So, uh, my doctor, if I go in there and I say, you know, okay, give me the pills. And he goes, okay, well take one. And as needed, you know, if you need another one, I take that second one and all of a sudden I'm all woozy and everything. He tells me that that's dysphoric. Dysphoria. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm being dysphoric. I have some dysphoria. Okay. Yeah. I learned something new. Yeah. This is great. I might not, I might not even know what I'm talking about. So you might want to check that. But, uh, and, and, and do and do let me know, hopefully before we, uh, we put this up.

Speaker 2: But, um, but then there you have it, right? If I'm, if I've got a fistful of pills and I'm listening and I take these pills every day and I take this pill because of that pill, that pill gives me this a side effect which I. So I take that pill so that I solved that side effect. But my favorite, my favorite commercial, um, and, and I'm being sarcastic is the, uh, opioid induced, um, a constipation, a pill. So what the, what the pharmaceutical company is admitting to me on my television is that they've given me another different pill that has made me constipated. And now they want me to buy this second pill. If it's a second pill, it might be the 10th pill. I take care of the constipation. Then of course the boat would be the next question. What is this pill do and that I'm going to have to take another pill.

Speaker 2: What are your thoughts on all of these things knowing that you're coming from that space? Well, I think whenever, you know, the goal of the pharmaceutical industry should be, has to provide safe and effective medicines to help people's life. Uh, I don't know that the pharmaceutical industry is, you know, all that altruistic and an honorable in their pursuit of safety and effectiveness at all times. Um, but I think there's a lot of good people that are trying to help people. And uh, the reality is we've got a, we've got a great team of those people who are really looking to help patients. And then that brings us to your team, right? You know, you, you now have operated in both spaces and what do you see as the similarities between the two spaces and the differences between the two spaces? You know, that's a tough question to answer because the reality is we're a pre revenue, you know, uh, start research and development organization with about direction of industry.

Speaker 2: And you said the pharmaceutical should be altruistic. Do you see a difference in cannabis or not needed? Not necessarily, and I don't let me put words in your mouth because you're one of these suits. By the way, I, I probably qualify as one of the suits in this industry, sadly. I'm trying to be, I'm going to be diplomatic. So, uh, I think that there are many parallels between the two industries in their, you know, pursuit of a profit motive. And I think the reality is, is that, uh, you know, this is a capitalistic society. There's a huge market opportunity and it's the fastest growing industry in the ema, you know, in the United States right now, and you have a lot of people that are chasing a chasing dollars and chasing profits. And I think there's some similarities there as far as capitalism. I'm all in on it, right?

Speaker 2: Because I have to be by definition. So, uh, you know, if I'm already there, uh, what about safe patient access? What about as we kind of dive in and manipulate the plant that we have, adding side effects potentially to what, who to where there are side effects now, what are your thoughts and how are you kind of doing your best to ensure that that doesn't happen? I think more needs to be done. Okay. I, I don't think the industry as it's currently structured makes a true research and development very easy. One hundred percent. I think with you, I think that I think that it's a, it's a huge unmet need in this industry generally is providing a regulatory framework that allows innovative companies that are committed to safe and effective medicines to do the research necessary to, uh, you know, to demonstrate safety and effectiveness of their drug products and, and the way the system is evolving does not promote that type of research and development is, it's been a real challenge and we're privileged to be working with some really smart advisors and talented legal teams that are helping us structure a highly compliant strategic partnerships and relationships that are allowing us to do the type of research and development that we wanted to and we need to do.

Speaker 2: But I'm fundamentally, there are some regulatory limitations on our ability to do everything we'd like to do. All right, so without a doubt, I am in lock step with you. If I'm an operator or a regulator, what would be, you know, your thoughts here. In other words, you just said the system isn't developing the way that we'd want to. What is the system and how do we change that? So the system varies in every state. Sure. We happened to be located in Colorado. Got To tell you about the regulatory framework. Yes. Okay. In Colorado. Okay. So for example, there's no real mechanism to provide samples to volunteers to participate in clinical trials, which is some done without question and pharmaceuticals has been for ever. It's required to be a, you know, you couldn't put a pharmaceutical drug on the market unless you had tested it in volunteers or not always volunteers.

Speaker 2: Oftentimes in patients with the, you know, the target disease and indication before you could put it on the market in the cannabis industry, you can't test anything in patients or volunteers before you put it on the market because of the controlled Substances Act. So that we have to wait for basically it's actually because of the state legal cannabis regulatory system. Yeah. But I can't use because of the fact that cannabis is a schedule one drug and please turn me wise. Oh, I see what you're saying. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That can test the blade that I would with pharmaceuticals. That's right. Which are not scheduled one. And so it, it's up to them to make that change. Right. Let me ask you another tough question. I appreciate. I'm asking you. I think difficult questions. I hope they're difficult. They're great question. All right, good. Um, let me ask you this question.

Speaker 2: Is Cannabis medicine? I absolutely. I think that the. Well, hold on there. I would say that certain of the cannabinoids have demonstrated that they are active ingredients that provide therapeutic benefit. I don't know that cannabis as a plant with its 500 chemicals that is consumed via smoking or vaporizing would meet the standards of a medicine. You, you did say you were a lawyer, right? I did. That was a very lawyerly. So there's interesting. There was a, um, the National Institute of Health and has. What's that? Nih. Yeah. The NIH has put out a, uh, a study of valuating cannabis, smoked cannabis, in fact for the treatment of chronic pain. And they concluded that cannabis was safe and reasonably effective for the treatment of chronic pain, but they did not think that, that, that a plant or a crude extract was suitable for use as a medication. So they've acknowledged the Nh, Nih has acknowledged that it, it has potential as a medicine, but it's not in an optimal formulation yet based on what, in other words, they see the result.

Speaker 2: And now I'm talking to you is like a lawyer and to scientists. Do you have kind of, you know, you've got that, uh, uh, that cocktail of, of information, uh, within you. Okay. So on the Nih I see the results. I say yes. Okay, fine. I can see that it has a positive effect. However, based on nothing. It's a plant and so it can't be. So they do have a framework for a botanical drug approval. Okay. I think there's been only one or two botanical drugs that have been improved through that framework to date. Um, but there are many plant based medical drugs, but they're all, you know, purifying and formulate it as are the opioids. For example, you know, a lot of these derive or plant based derivatives, but they're purified and then they're formulating and cannabis has that potential. It has vast medical potential.

Speaker 2: But I, I, I think we're hard pressed to say that, you know what, it's still the emergence of this industry that I'm smoking, vaporizing, you're eating highly and purer and poorly characterized, uh, you know, cannabis products is the answer. I think there's room for improvement to really realize the full potential of the plant. And so do I believe that there are therapeutic benefits to the plant? Absolutely. Yeah. But I think there needs to be legitimate, you know, advanced scientific research and formulation to really realize the full potential. I appreciate your answers. Uh, and it is a, I guess it makes sense that the, uh, basically where you come out is the fact that we need a company like yours. Right? Of course. That's what I'm here for, Mark. I think we've done well. I've got 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. But first things first, here's this biotech guy. Here's this lawyer who wrote the business plan for a brewery. What's most surprised you in cannabis and cannabis? Yeah.

Speaker 2: I think the thing that surprised me the most in cannabis is probably the emergence of the recreational industry. I think that are, let's call it the retail candidate or adult use cannabis industry. I. Yeah. Can we, can we use that? Do you think? We should. You know, I don't think we should use that. I because I think it's the adult use market. It's not available over the counter because it's not available over the counter. You can't walk into a pharmacy or a liquor store or a grocery store. You have to walk into a dispensary. You have to be 21 years of age. Got It. So that's how it's not otc. That's how it's not otc. Once I'm in receipt is also regulated by the FDA. There we go. And so adult. Currently the cannabis industry is not regulated by the FDA and maybe someday, but as we sit here and we talk about the adult use cannabis industry, it is not otc. Got It. But I interrupted you. Your greater point was, but I think that's the thing that surprised me the most, I think, you know, everyone is seen in California was the first to approve the medical marijuana industry many, many years ago and I think everyone, based on the recognition of the, you know, the vast therapeutic potential of the plant and its ability to help many, many sick patients.

Speaker 2: You know, we saw the medical side of the industry coming in. It's been a long time coming. But how fast though the adult use side of this industry has emerged in the fact that, you know, as soon to be legal in nine states is amazing. It is amazing. What are your thoughts on personal liberty? On what personal liberty? Personally, I, I, you know, I think that uh, we should be free to make our own choices so long as, uh, you know, there's some safeguards in place. I mean, there's gotta be rules and regulations along the way. I'm a lawyer, I believe in, I believe in, you know, law and order and compliance and, but so long as, you know, if we're talking about it in the context of cannabis, personal liberty, I mean, I think clearly cannabis is way safer than many other controlled substances that are on the market today, alcohol, cigarettes, and uh, you know, the fact that we have a federal government that is not yet granted us, the personal liberty to use cannabis products is, um, you know, in my view, it's tragic.

Speaker 2: I mean, I think it's, I don't use cannabis as the gateway drug. I view cannabis prohibition as the gateway to harder drug use, which is now in explicitly and implicitly being proven. But whatever. Yeah. What's most surprised you in life? The fact that I'm sitting here today as a cannabis entrepreneur, you know, I could not have seen that growing up. I don't think I could have seen it, you know, five years ago when I was a senior executive of the public biotech company. But here I am and uh, uh, I, you know, it's a huge surprise, but I'm very grateful and I'm very, I'm very excited to be part of this, uh, this industry. We're happy to have you. And I guess further to that end, I see the, uh, the inside of your jacket, the lining has kind of signed up. It kinda this paisley effect.

Speaker 2: I wonder, would you be wearing this at the publicly traded biotech company? Is this your style? Are you letting it out a little bit? Oh, no, no. This is, yeah, this is me, me, fair enough. On the soundtrack. Further to that, on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on their, uh, you know, it's got to be springsteen born to run the one and only I told you I was a philly guy. Exactly. Jersey area. That was my first concert when I was 14 years old. My Dad took me to see spring, seen the river at the spectrum and the was a. He played, he played until one in the morning. Of course he did. I still remember walking out of that stadium and uh, I've been a springsteen fan ever since the boss, the spectrum home of the broad street bullies. Indeed. Mark, thanks so much. Thank you very much. I enjoyed it. Thanks for your time.

Speaker 1: And there you have Mark Gray boys so you can hear it. There is a different type of mine. There's a different type of executive here in the cannabis industry. Mark says that he's been here for awhile, but uh, it's just been quiet about it. So very happy to be welcoming executives with that type of experience. Can wait to see what he'll do. Thanks to him. Thanks to you. 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.