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Ep.306: Kayvan Khalatari: MCBA Spotlight

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.306: Kayvan Khalatari: MCBA Spotlight

Ep.306: Kayvan Khalatari: MCBA Spotlight

Kayvan Khalatbari returns and shares with us the issues which are driving him to run for Mayor of Denver. While the vote isn’t until 2019, Kayvan shares his thoughts on everything from ditching the ditch to social what do do about cannabis in the metropolis. Kayvan says he’s seen the city change and opportunity dwindle. He’s seeing long-time residents move away. He’d like to see a city that’s sustainable and forward thinking. He’s looking to create equitable opportunity with a synthesis of art, community, entrepreneurship and government with communication and transparency between them. And so he’s proposing Denver as Hemp Capital of the world which will draw business and provide jobs while not looking to spend anymore than is already in the budget.

Transcript:

Speaker 2: Kayvon Khalatari returns. Kayvon Calipari returns the chairs with us, the issues that are driving him to run for mayor of Denver. While the vote isn't until 20, 19 Kayvon share his thoughts on everything from ditching the ditch to what to do about cannabis in the metropolis. Kayvon says he's seen the city change and opportunity dwindle. He seen longtime residents move away, like to see a city that's sustainable and forward thinking. He's looking to create equitable opportunity with the synthesis of art community, entrepreneurship in government with communication and transparency between them and so he's proposing denver as hemp capital of the world which will draw business and provide jobs while not looking to spend any more than is already in the budget. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Check us out on social, but they handle Kennecott dummy. That's two ends of the word economy. Kayvon. Collet, Bari. Still I'm taking lessons. I just had it in this way. Morning on trying to to be

Speaker 1: less boring when I talk. Well, can I, I want to jump in here please. So I think what you mean is you like to talk about policy a lot and people like to hear about policy but not all of the details. Please. Kayvon is that right? Is that what we're getting at? Well, there's, because I don't find you pouring this potentially content. Yeah, boredom. Okay. Uh, there's also the fact that I'm just monotone as the son of a bitch. Oh, I see. Oh, the tonality. Yeah, it's true. You could go up and down more. I, I tried to emphasize. Well that's good. Well, because you've got now a new project. Is that fair to say?

Speaker 3: A new project? Meaning that, uh, oh. I don't know. I saw somewhere you and I, you know, we come in contact and so like, I know you're running for mayor in Denver. Yeah, it's true. You should, you should check out your twitter feed or your facebook, whatever you do thing robots. Yeah, that's you. Oh, you do the bots. That's good. I don't know. It's a good idea. Very personal with my social media interaction and your personal with the people you're running for mayor of Denver, but it's not until 2019. Why? Because we're still in the end of 2017. Why do you think and why was it a good idea for you to let us know and we'll let them know that this was happening? Well, I think whether it's a good idea is to be determined. Fair enough, right? Yes. Why did you decide that?

Speaker 3: Well, I did. I decided to for the, for similar reasons to wanting to run first place, which is that I don't like the direction of the city a lot of other people don't. And what, what do we gain by standing on the sidelines further? Um, I know that this run can in an already has a help bring folks together that are feeling a bit disenfranchised right now, um, that it's allowing us to accelerate and make more loud. Uh, some of the, the grievances that we have as residents of Denver and I know that at the very least, and I've mentioned this before, it's certainly not my goal to run and lose, um, but even if I do, I have no doubt that policy will be affected by my running, that we're going to have conversations we would not have had otherwise. The kind of Bernie Hillary effect type of deal a little bit.

Speaker 3: You, let's push the agenda that I think matters more to people, um, as opposed to what our elected officials and, and maybe others in the pipeline that aren't quite elected yet, but our had been bred to become elected. Um, want us to focus on, let's control the agenda a little more in this conversation. All right. So as far as controlling the agenda, I look at Denver as somebody that flies here and has been flying here for like 15 years and I see nothing but growth and everything is great. And wouldn't it be true for everybody that, uh, well not everybody, but most people would be thrilled with the direction of the city. And then I heard about the ditch and I was like, oh, okay, well, you know, the, the big dig in Boston, I can see how they're doing that. And then you told me about ditch the ditch, what's ditch the ditch, ditch the ditch is a.

Speaker 3: and I believe that any good resistance is built in collaboration and a coalition amongst people that you wouldn't generally associate with each other. Um, ditch the ditch is a coalition of developers of business owners, have residents of north of faith based organizations, have transportation advocates of environmental activists, have lawyers of all these people that I'm probably haven't worked on this topic before. And finding some common ground and saying this is wrong for Denver in so many ways. So I guess let's make sure that we understand what the ditches first before we fully ditch it. Let's first understand what the ditches. The ditch is the largest infrastructure project that the Colorado Department of Transportation has ever undertaken. Um, it's purported to cost $2,000,000,000. Um, but if there's any, um, you know, if, if, if, if past projects or any, um, insight into what this is going to end up costing, we're probably looking at six to $8 million.

Speaker 2: Kayvon Khalatari returns. Kayvon Calipari returns the chairs with us, the issues that are driving him to run for mayor of Denver. While the vote isn't until 20, 19 Kayvon share his thoughts on everything from ditching the ditch to what to do about cannabis in the metropolis. Kayvon says he's seen the city change and opportunity dwindle. He seen longtime residents move away, like to see a city that's sustainable and forward thinking. He's looking to create equitable opportunity with the synthesis of art community, entrepreneurship in government with communication and transparency between them and so he's proposing denver as hemp capital of the world which will draw business and provide jobs while not looking to spend any more than is already in the budget. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Check us out on social, but they handle Kennecott dummy. That's two ends of the word economy. Kayvon. Collet, Bari. Still I'm taking lessons. I just had it in this way. Morning on trying to to be

Speaker 1: less boring when I talk. Well, can I, I want to jump in here please. So I think what you mean is you like to talk about policy a lot and people like to hear about policy but not all of the details. Please. Kayvon is that right? Is that what we're getting at? Well, there's, because I don't find you pouring this potentially content. Yeah, boredom. Okay. Uh, there's also the fact that I'm just monotone as the son of a bitch. Oh, I see. Oh, the tonality. Yeah, it's true. You could go up and down more. I, I tried to emphasize. Well that's good. Well, because you've got now a new project. Is that fair to say?

Speaker 3: A new project? Meaning that, uh, oh. I don't know. I saw somewhere you and I, you know, we come in contact and so like, I know you're running for mayor in Denver. Yeah, it's true. You should, you should check out your twitter feed or your facebook, whatever you do thing robots. Yeah, that's you. Oh, you do the bots. That's good. I don't know. It's a good idea. Very personal with my social media interaction and your personal with the people you're running for mayor of Denver, but it's not until 2019. Why? Because we're still in the end of 2017. Why do you think and why was it a good idea for you to let us know and we'll let them know that this was happening? Well, I think whether it's a good idea is to be determined. Fair enough, right? Yes. Why did you decide that?

Speaker 3: Well, I did. I decided to for the, for similar reasons to wanting to run first place, which is that I don't like the direction of the city a lot of other people don't. And what, what do we gain by standing on the sidelines further? Um, I know that this run can in an already has a help bring folks together that are feeling a bit disenfranchised right now, um, that it's allowing us to accelerate and make more loud. Uh, some of the, the grievances that we have as residents of Denver and I know that at the very least, and I've mentioned this before, it's certainly not my goal to run and lose, um, but even if I do, I have no doubt that policy will be affected by my running, that we're going to have conversations we would not have had otherwise. The kind of Bernie Hillary effect type of deal a little bit.

Speaker 3: You, let's push the agenda that I think matters more to people, um, as opposed to what our elected officials and, and maybe others in the pipeline that aren't quite elected yet, but our had been bred to become elected. Um, want us to focus on, let's control the agenda a little more in this conversation. All right. So as far as controlling the agenda, I look at Denver as somebody that flies here and has been flying here for like 15 years and I see nothing but growth and everything is great. And wouldn't it be true for everybody that, uh, well not everybody, but most people would be thrilled with the direction of the city. And then I heard about the ditch and I was like, oh, okay, well, you know, the, the big dig in Boston, I can see how they're doing that. And then you told me about ditch the ditch, what's ditch the ditch, ditch the ditch is a.

Speaker 3: and I believe that any good resistance is built in collaboration and a coalition amongst people that you wouldn't generally associate with each other. Um, ditch the ditch is a coalition of developers of business owners, have residents of north of faith based organizations, have transportation advocates of environmental activists, have lawyers of all these people that I'm probably haven't worked on this topic before. And finding some common ground and saying this is wrong for Denver in so many ways. So I guess let's make sure that we understand what the ditches first before we fully ditch it. Let's first understand what the ditches. The ditch is the largest infrastructure project that the Colorado Department of Transportation has ever undertaken. Um, it's purported to cost $2,000,000,000. Um, but if there's any, um, you know, if, if, if, if past projects or any, um, insight into what this is going to end up costing, we're probably looking at six to $8 million.

Speaker 3: They do say that past is prologue, right? I mean, that's a thing people say that. Yeah, we, I mean we're, we're still dealing with it right now with these public private partnerships that are driven by a familiar developers, uh, in being handed working hand in hand with the city. Um, but, but it's, it's essentially redoing a five mile stretch of ice 70, which goes through a central Denver, you know, not just widening it, but taking it from being this elevated, uh, upon a pedestal interstate that's really broken up north Denver from the rest of Denver, uh, to making part of it surface level. But taking two miles of actually putting an underground. So why you mentioned, uh, a big dig in Boston or Bertha and Seattle, both projects that I think still have a lot of people upset that they happened. You know, it's one thing to have this go underground.

Speaker 3: It's another to do it through multiple superfund sites. Um, it's another to do it through the poorest neighborhood in Denver. Um, it's another to take businesses and homes away from the most tenured community, uh, that we have in Denver. Uh, all of these things and much more, many more reasons, you know, not focusing on public transportation. Uh, this is a 10 year project. What are we going to do? And it's done. And we realized, Shit, why don't we have rail lines? Why don't we have streetcars? Why don't we focus on bike lanes and all these other modalities. Um, so I think a lot of folks are concerned that this is really putting us behind when it comes to where we should be headed if we want to be this world class city that our mayor and other other members of city leadership like to tout this is big.

Speaker 3: I was going to say it sounds like a project for like 1960, you know, like obviously we're going to have a lot of cars here, so we should focus on how to better, you know, let those cars go through the city. We, it's a different time and place and everything. Now. If you widen roads, you're, you're encouraging people to drive more, uh, you know, that that is something that studies over and over have shown. This is something that, you know, Dallas recently ditched a project similar to this, um, because of similar pressure from a coalition like ours. Uh, but cities across the country and America is a bit behind on this topic. Um, you know, countries in Europe have, have used far farmer progressive transportation techniques in cities. It's not just transportation city development, right? It's how we interact with the city. It's how we interact with our density, how we encourage diversity in, in, uh, throughout our city and not becoming this very compromised and sectional thing as a city. If we want something to be truly homogenous and to, um, to grow into this world class city again, that we, we say that we are, we have to think about things differently and we have to build it that way. We do. And it's not just about get from getting from point a to point b. it's about how do we design everything from point a to point b and in between,

Speaker 1: alright, so affecting those communities as well as everything else around how folks will get from point a to point b and you know, what folks use for transportation and how they use it. Great. That sounds like something that at least more than a few people are interested in that aren't necessarily elected officials. I gotcha. What else would be on this kind of a reason for getting into this thing? You know, the, maybe the first, the initial pedestals, the initial a tent poles of a platform. What are you thinking?

Speaker 3: Part of the other issues that ties into something that I didn't mention with regard die 70, which is that they uh, bypassed EPA standards to get this project approved. Why did we do that? So they could get it approved. Got It. So we bypass the EPA so that it does get approved. It like the, none of that makes sense to me is my point. Essentially lowered their standards to get this thing approved without doing the proper environmental analysis through what is the dirtiest zip code in America. Okay. That was this big article about that. Uh, there's also a park hill golf course is a place that very historic and Denver, they're ripping it up to do a new flood drainage project here in the city that was never supposed to be connected, die 70. We found documentation of the mayor saying that it actually is necessary for a 70, a few years back.

Speaker 3: Sohcahtoa mental lie on that. So there's lawsuits around both of these, but those are very good examples of this administration doing things that are not above board, that are not transparent, that did not incorporate public input into the process. When we're talking about public, private partnerships and they're taking over transportation. We're selling our city to multinational companies in transportation. Dia, our rail lines are streets now are parking at our convention center and on and on and on. P three s can work, but they can only work with transparency. They can only work with all stakeholders. Being a part of that process, discussing their concerns and coming to some consensus about how we move forward.

Speaker 1: Let's have a table, let's have seats at the table and let's put people in those seats that represent other people than just maybe two parties. Especially if we're talking about the public private partnership. Let's make sure the public is well represented.

Speaker 3: Correct. Yeah. So other issues, right? That, that tie into that affordable housing. When we're talking about homelessness, the city has had trouble putting members of the people experiencing homelessness on work groups to discuss homelessness. You know, we have business owners from the area. We have members of the city, uh, in departments or elected officials be a part of these. We have service organizations, but we don't actually have the people that are being affected by it and it's created this huge gap in affordable housing or what I think we're getting into calling attainable housing. Affordable housing is based on a really arbitrary standards, um, based on income that people make. A that isn't nearly considered of all the people that are on the bottom part of that affordable housing scale. Um, there is no affordable housing for them in that we're not building it for 21,000 units short in Denver.

Speaker 3: We have, I think at the last number I saw was 40 or 50,000 people in Denver. Paid now more than 50 percent of their income on housing. That's not sustainable. Nope. And people knew this growth is coming. You mentioned Denver's growth. You would look out on the outside, you say this is, this place is booming, it's great, and it is right. Denver is moving in a good direction and development is inevitable. Gentrification is inevitable. But if you're not conscious and considerate of the symptoms of that overdevelopment, if you don't know when to maybe apply the brakes a little bit. Yeah. Uh, or when to be inclusive of communities that are essentially getting bulldozed right now and make sure that they have some, some, some quality of life, an opportunity even stay in the city that they can have some opportunity after that. Development's done. If you don't do that, you've lost really with Denver, um, became so desirable for in the first place.

Speaker 1: You're not talking to all the people. You're only talking to a part of the pie. Uh, speaking of all of the people homelessness that you bring up is a really. Actually, this has become a big issue for you. How and why did you jump in at with the Gusto that you have jumped in with, you know, you're a busy guy, right? You, anybody that gets an email from Kayvon knows that there's like 25 logos. So it's not like, you know, you're just sitting around and Oh, maybe I'll help with the homelessness situation. Why did that rise to the top of the things that you could do with your time? If you say, if you see something, say something, something,

Speaker 3: you know, and being involved in drug policy for 13 years, you quickly realize that it's not about drugs. It's, there's three social policy deficiencies that we have in this country that we criminalize poverty, uh, that would criminalize, um, you know, the drug use, a homelessness, sex work, these public health issues that we should all be rallying around supporting and finding some resolve in. Um, we're doing nothing really, but making people's lives worse, making it harder for them to, to claw back out of that situation that they're in and when I see in the city how we treat homeless people, you know, housing and the lack of attainable housing is one thing, but if you do live on the streets to not have access to a storage unit, to put your stuff in, when you go to work, you know, 60 percent of the people that are homeless in Denver have jobs.

Speaker 3: Sixty percent, 60 percent. Now what do you do when you go to work? You can't carry all your belongings with you, you sun trust a friend or you have to leave it somewhere and hope it's there when you get back. Um, you know, or mayor and, and businesses downtown complaint about deification all over needles all over. Well, why don't we have more public toilets and supervisor, a sharps boxes and places where people can put these, were not upon our way to getting attainable housing so that we don't have to worry about it anyway. Yeah. You know, housing first is a proven model. Housing first works and when we're not doing that, if you're not going to do that, you at least have to try to give people a chance by offering the other things that they need to cut back on their feet. And we're not doing that.

Speaker 3: The fact that 60 percent of homeless people in Denver have jobs. It's a testament to a lot of things. It's crazy. It's, it's, it's the, it's the housing, but it's also the fact that we have stagnant wages. The wages aren't growing enough. Well, that's all across everywhere and that's across the globe. It is. And it's still something a local municipality can take on if they choose. Sure. This is something saddles taken on. Um, you know, we could be offering public transportation free for indigenous people, but who was hazed for that? So then this is where, right? I'm welcome to politics in the 21st century where we actually start to have a conversation and I think that's the silver lining. That's the benefit of where we are, is that folks are okay. Medicare for all. Got It. Totally. I'm with you. I love it. How do we pay for it?

Speaker 3: Right? You know, like a free college. Okay. But work study, like what, how do we pay for it? So when you say free transportation, how do, what is the funding mechanism there? Well, so for transportation, the system's already there and often under utilized, right? So we have everything in place right now to simply print out a card and offer that to somebody that doesn't cost us as a city. It's negligible. The buses are running, the seats are open. Yeah. Interesting. Let's talk about housing. Uh, it costs three times more to incarcerate someone than it does to subsidize their housing fully. It costs less money to provide mental health services, um, and other public health services on a, on a very rudimentary level, uh, to people just generally what they need right to, to stay sane and sober. I look at Harm Reduction Action Center, which I sit on the board of offering very basic human needs.

Speaker 3: Survival needs for people is far less expensive than providing this in while people are incarcerated. Our criminal justice system alone, we could look at these public health issues as public health issues, uh, and, and, and, and move that into this public health sphere and really treat these people and give them what they need to get back on their feet for far less of a cost than we do through taking somebody through court, having those attorney's fees associated with having their booking, having their incarceration, having their reentry services, having their inability to then get a job or housing or childcare or financial aid to go to school because of this often arbitrary nonviolent drug offense or criminal record. We are making it more expensive than it needs to be. And that's the conservative part of me. Yeah. I think a lot of our, you know, I'm very socially liberal, very socially progressive, but when it comes to how we spend our money, um, it's ridiculous. We waste so much money on things that even if we need them, we're not getting as efficiently as we could as effectively as we could. And lockers are a perfect example of that, right? Well, this week we installed a four lockers, sexy pizza on the outside of our walls because again, storage is an issue and we did it for $80, you know, a part costs you guys $80 in labor, right? Uh, to, to provide storage facilities for four members of the homeless committee, all of which have jobs. Right.

Speaker 1: And, and this is essentially a lifesaving. You mentioned how it, where they put their stuff. This is where they put their stuff at cost you 80 bucks

Speaker 3: when we chirped at the mayor's office last year about the need for these storage facilities. Yeah. Uh, they installed a couple, a single unit, um, things down, kind of randomly downtown. $3,000 per locker installation. Now we can install it came out to be on a high side. We could, we can install 92 locker units for the price that the city installed one.

Speaker 1: How were, because you're jumping in on this now, right? As far as being an elected official, where is that waste? Is that just the fact that it's just a little bit too bureaucratic? Is it the fact that we don't really look at where we're spending the money or how we're spending money, or is it all of the above?

Speaker 3: It's all of the above. I think one, we have members of our city government both elected and appointed in these departments that don't have a lot of real life experience in business, in, in getting things done on a shoestring budget. You know, I know a lot of folks that run nonprofits here in Denver that are doing 10 x what the city, you know, version of that program is, um, uh, I think they lack the ability to, one know when they're getting ripped off, uh, to, to negotiate appropriately in three. I think they're being reactive to a lot of the, these, whenever you're reactive to something, you need to fix it. It's broken, it costs a whole lot more absolute if you're maintaining it over. Yeah.

Speaker 1: And you never solve it appropriately either because you're behind.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And that's, that's how we're approaching. I think a lot of our quote unquote solutions in the city is reacting to them. Um, you know, uh, being I think more emotional in our response and really hiring contractors, uh, that are, that are ripping us off at the end of the day. I don't want to sound trump ian and tell you that these guys don't know how to negotiate and I can't, but I mean they really don't.

Speaker 1: Well, there is, I think the lesson of, again, 2016, 2017 politics is let's open our ears more to what's being said and how that's being digested and then act on that. And it doesn't necessarily mean that, uh, somebody you completely really disagree with in every policy decision, um, doesn't necessarily have a, a good point on the way into it. Meaning, uh, you know, our government's getting ripped off. Okay. There maybe there is a point there. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to grab anybody by any, you know, part of their anatomy to follow through on that. Did I go too far? Is that one step too far?

Speaker 3: Take any of the issues that we're dealing with that I would say my platform contains. You know, when we're talking about lack of public transportation, we're talking about a lack of attainable housing. We're talking about violence and are a police force that is as high as anywhere else in America. We all acknowledged these things are broken and we all say a city leaders and people on the outside say that we're going to fix it and then we want to, that we want to want to try to correct it, but the solutions I think that we're implementing are vastly different

Speaker 1: and obviously not enough. When I speak to Neil Franklin about a policing and he says, we've gone from, we've gone to a term of a law enforcement as opposed to peace keepers, you know, that law enforcement, you, they used to be called peacekeepers. What are your thoughts in that area as far as, uh, maybe some solutions.

Speaker 3: Yeah, it's, there's a couple of issues that we have here in Denver. So per, per taxpayer in Denver, we pay out more, um, to, uh, to settle civil suits associated with abuse of police power. So whether this is the cops murdering somebody or severely beating somebody, um, highest in the nation and we go back and forth with San Francisco. Uh, that's our, that's Denver Police Department. Okay. We also have done for sheriff's department, which is county. They run our county jails. We're one of only two counties in Colorado that doesn't have an elected sheriff. Uh, one of the few major cities in America that doesn't have an elected sheriff. What's the benefit of unelected sheriff? I guess a accountability. Oh, okay. So in our jails right now we have 40 to 60 abuse cases a week in our jails. This is inmate on inmate and this is men and deputy deputy and inmate. Um, it, it's leading to deaths. Uh, it's leading to people being disfigured, being disabled because of the things that are happening in this jail often for, again, folks being there for nonviolent drug offenses that didn't harm anybody else. Uh, they're, they're contributing to these civil suits that were paying out.

Speaker 1: And if it's supposed to be a correctional facility, if it's supposed to be a correctional facility, it doesn't seem like it's being very correctional.

Speaker 3: No. And they're overcrowded and we have to really get, get across to folks that this isn't just about inmate health, this is about the deputies that are working in there day in and day out, and they are leaving in droves from that position because they can't deal with it emotionally. Probably the best people are leaving because they're smart. Exactly. So you get this abusive environment that gets created and that gets perpetuated if nothing gets done about it. So when you go and you, you asked the sheriff about, uh, all of these damning statistics and all this violence that's happening in the jails, he points you to the mayor, mayor appoints the department of safety, department of safety points to three minor heads within the department of safety and others, all of whom can't solve the issues of the buck, right? Don't, don't, don't look at this and say, yes, this is broken. Let's fix it. And that's how we, that's what we treat. A lot of issues. So I'm working with the Colorado Latino form, uh, in a couple of other organizations on an elected sheriff ballot initiative that would run in 2018, assuming we get the signatures for it. And then we would elect a new sheriff, our first ever elected sheriff in Denver in 2019, along with a mayor in 13. Members of city council.

Speaker 1: Look at that. Uh, you mentioned ballot initiatives and that reminds me of the extensive cannabis advocacy that you. Of course you've got. I wonder in that area, what would be part of the Mayor Callate Bari Platform? What would you do with cannabis? What would you do with hemp? What would you do and you know, kind of bring or push or otherwise?

Speaker 3: Yeah. Uh, you know, first I would be a, I think a little bit more warm to embrace, uh, the cannabis industry here. Uh, whether you're looking at our fire department, our health department.

Speaker 1: I had just this most recent. I'm sorry for interrupting, but this most recent, uh, we're in Denver right now and I heard a couple of stories which are remarkable about at least one of the groups that you just mentioned.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And, and, and zoning to this city is doing everything that it really can to be. I'm not welcoming or not welcoming to, to try to push back on some of the progress we've made, missing a lot of the industry move out of the city. We're seeing the industry move to Aurora or to Pueblo or some of these outer lying areas because they're sick and tired of dealing with the city and county of Denver and you know, uh, their social use in what we passed with initiative 300 last year. And then, you know, this was passed under the, the, the, the thought, the, the voters thought this, that this was going to be equal with alcohol. That we're going to be looking at going into similar establishments and seminar, similar areas that allow for cannabis consumption. That hasn't happened because of a bureaucratic limitations. Restrictions put on it by Department of Excise and licensing.

Speaker 3: Uh, that's really, I think, screwed the intent of the initiative and made it unpretty pretty unworkable. I don't even know if we're going to have any folks that ever end up with licenses. If we do it, it's going to be a handful. Amazing. As opposed to the, I think we have well over a thousand bars and liquor stores and sure scattered all over the place. So I won. I would just be fair, right? Let's treat cannabis businesses like any other business. I'm plain and simple and I think when you do that, um, you allow for folks to understand, you know, keep Denver at the forefront of cannabis progress across the country, which are very quickly losing right now. I think cities in California and California as a whole are gonna kind of trump denver dramatically. I'm coming up here in the future. Um, but I would also encourage other industry to come here.

Speaker 3: A hemp being a great example of that. A lot of states surrounding Colorado, Colorado itself. We're producing a lot of him. We still don't have processing facilities in this country. Uh, that is another way that I think Denver in Colorado can differentiate itself and, and stay on this path forward by encouraging someone to come build that processing facility either in or around Denver. I think of all the, you know, everybody knows the materials we can build with him, but if people are listening to this podcast, they know damn well that this is a fuel and a protein and a and a building material and a plastic. It's everything that we want it to be in building. This hotel could be built out ahead if we want to do

Speaker 1: food, fuel, fiber, Pharma, et Cetera, et Cetera,

Speaker 3: cetera. Around and on and on. Yeah, and why would we not? If we're talking about creating jobs here, we want to bring Amazon second headquarters here, fifty thousand one hundred fifty thousand, 100,000 dollars more paying jobs. We already have one of the lowest unemployment in the country here. Where are these people going to come from? Not Denver. They're going to be flown in and we're going to be in more of a housing crisis. I don't know why we wouldn't want to build something organically that something that the people here in Denver can already participated in that are having trouble making wage, um, that, that are going to pay well, um, that are going to be a part of this new industry, this new frontier as opposed to bringing in some multinational company and really downtrodden, being more downtrodden than the people that are already here

Speaker 1: because it actually doesn't fit with the community. What are your thoughts? I think to myself, um, you know, it doesn't make sense. Handouts to Fortune 50 companies. So like when we talk about healthcare and I see that there are billions of dollars that go back to the insurance company so that everything works. How is that possibly the solution? And then I read about Amazon, you know, wanting a headquarters in the u. s and cities literally tripping over themselves saying, well, you're not going to have to pay this. You're not going to have to pay that. So it's actually the people we, the people paying for Amazon to make a corporate decision. I am not for that. I mean, Amazon is a, I'm a, a, a, a fan, I'm a customer. I certainly utilize the service. It's very convenient, but I don't think that I should pay for them to come to my city, to it. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't add up to me. Where do you come down on that?

Speaker 3: Yeah. You know, we could apply that to a lot of development in Denver right now where there are tax breaks given to development and it is getting passed onto a residents of Denver through property tax increases. Uh, it is a problem that we have, you know, at the end of the day, these companies, I know Amazon maybe not be making a lot of money because that's their business model, right? It's true to expand so aggressively that it doesn't matter that you're going after market share and you'll correct yourself one day, but there are a lot of developers in Denver that are getting massive tax credits, um, massive grants and government dollars and making a lot of money on the back end. I look at a take or our housing requirement, we have affordable housing requirements as part and we just got rid of it actually, but we're re instituting something similar where you have to have a certain percentage.

Speaker 3: All new units go to the affordable housing and if you don't build those you have to pay a fine. The fine is so much less than what these people would get it for. Fair market rate if they sold it or rented these things out so they're not going to pay the fine. Yeah, so you know, one, we're, we're, we're, we're giving. We're handing it to people but to also, I think very shallowly trying to put on a front and say that we're going to try to fix this with some of these fees and fines that are just really easy to get around. I, I don't get it. I don't get how we give into a company to make to, to increase that bottom line so dramatically when I don't think the city understands that even a $100 increase in property taxes for someone that is living paycheck to paycheck is a dramatic increase.

Speaker 3: When we talk about [inaudible] and the development, a lot of these people are going to be in the flood plain now and they have to get flood insurance if they can even afford it, if they can even get it approved. You're looking at a few hundred dollars between taxes and insurance that these people have to get, um, several hundred dollars a year that, that could mean the difference between them staying in Denver, not, but it, it, it, it's a cycle. We hand it off to these companies, if not through those tax, um, forgiveness, uh, initiatives, but by engaging in these public private partnerships where essentially they get to charge whatever they want. They can come in at a bid for a billion dollars and have it end up costing three. And that's on us, Denver taxpayers to pick up that bill for their inability to, to thoroughly vet this process.

Speaker 1: So you, you sound like a socially liberal, fiscally conservative in terms of the budget, in terms of the city budget, what would that look like as far as you're concerned? How much more money do you need or do you not need much more money?

Speaker 3: I'm of the opinion that we don't need a whole lot more money. When I look at our go bond. I don't know if you're familiar with that. I'm not a every 10 years we max out our debt, we call it the general obligation bonds or borrowing a billion dollars for the next 10 years. I'm familiar at the federal level with that kind of thinking. So primarily infrastructure projects, libraries, schools, healthcare, things like that. Totally for a lot of what we have in our go bond and I think it's really necessary. Um, what I, what I'm not forest the fact that we're investing more in a two swimming pools, that we're investing more in a welcome screen for a dia airport than we are in affordable housing in Denver. And uh, our, our priorities are far out of whack. So when I go, when I talked earlier about, uh, taking these criminal justice dollars and moving them towards public health and bypassing that system entirely for these nonviolent offenders that are really just trying to get back on their feet, I'm investing in, in a workforce training.

Speaker 3: Um, instead of, I think some of these silly grants we give out so that people can go to school to become what a philosopher, I don't know where you're going to do at the end of the day with that. We need plumbers, electricians, we need, we need contractors. We have people that will build stuff. I was one of the reasons construction is so constantly here because we can't find the talent to do this. And we're talking. I mean, we have programs out there. They're paying for this, for free for people to get this training. But even the city to take on some of that cost five to $10,000 for some of these certifications for people to be allowed to be in those professional positions. Um, I don't think we need a whole lot more money. We need, if we need any money at all, we need to spend, but we have farmer wisely.

Speaker 3: We are a economy driven by sales tax. The city and county of Denver in the state of Colorado are driven by sales tax. We have never had better years than we've had the last five years in. Cannabis obviously has a lot to do with, I would imagine that does energy as does technology, as does these quality of life rankings that we continue to be put towards the top of 'em, but what have we gotten for it? And we, I don't, I don't feel that we've gotten anything of value from the city, from an infrastructure standpoint, from a cultural standpoint. And we've also given away all this property given away all this land and said, oh, you don't need to pay property taxes for the next 30 years, Mr. big developer. So we're not only putting ourselves in a very bad position right now, uh, with regard to our fiscal, um, a standing, uh, were really destroying our future as well by, by taking that money off the table going forward.

Speaker 1: All right, so all of this sounds very reasonable. One last thing on your cannabis advocacy. I now ask you seriously as somebody that was a big part of passing amendment 64 and the whole thing, you know, listened to the old interviews to get more. I think, you know, in my humble opinion, it is time for a, the big d schedule push rather than have our hearts and minds on whether we can turn Mississippi. Why not get everybody together and say, Hey, let's make sure that we keep this industry within this industry and just worked a dea schedule. Now we know it's not going to happen tomorrow based on how many years have you been doing this and you know, we're still federally illegal, but at least, um, but isn't it now that we should be talking about making it not federally. Illegal dea scheduling, repealing the repealing and replacing the controlled Substances Act, which is a trademarked by me, by the way, really isn't. By the way, you know what you need, need to replace it with nothing. You don't need the controlled substances, but what are your thoughts though on getting us all together and saying, all right, let's actually make the schedule push now.

Speaker 3: Yeah. There are some groups working I think loosely on that. When you're driven, when you. When you have industry lobby that's driven by commerce of cannabis, there are first focusing on the things that are broken. The effect their businesses directly.

Speaker 1: Fine. We have to do to add first. I get it. I'm not even saying that we need to do that. That's what

Speaker 3: I'm saying is that when that's where the money's coming from for the lobbying push, that's what they want to fix her banking into Ada. They see, and this is the benefit in my opinion, as an advocate. Yes. Business owner. That doesn't mind a little friendly competition. Sure. That we should advocate for dea scheduling, that it should be a bigger push for us. Yeah. I think to look at it on a smaller level, take Minnesota New York, Florida. Those are the worst cannabis programs in the country as a New Yorker. I agree with you. Why? Because there's very few players. That's it. There's very limited licenses that have such a high barriers to entry. They, they lack innovation, they lack participation. They, uh, they lack any desire amongst advocates or activists to be involved and to make those programs better, even if it is there, they're suppressed by these people that are trying to cement their market share and make sure that they don't lose that by an expansion of these programs though when you do schedule, I think a lot of people that have their stake now in the industry a little bit fearful of losing their position and opening this up.

Speaker 3: But I think that kind of protectionist attitude could lead to some serious issues of dea scheduling doesn't happen and rescheduling.

Speaker 1: That's what I'm saying isn't rescheduling worse for those very same players out. And a lot of

Speaker 3: Hulu side of like Hillary Clinton for instance, was a huge proponent of rescheduling cannabis, not dea scheduling and, you know, uh, I don't know how trump's going to ultimately act on this. I don't think he gives a shit personally. Um, so now, as you know, Jeff, the Elfman Jeff sessions does, um, but these scheduling ultimately is what we need to be vying for if we really give a shit about the history and why we're here and what cannabis means to people because that does allow these pharmaceutical companies to play if they want to, if we really, Scott does allow these adult use participants that want to make it into a cultural phenomena, uh, wherever they are to participate in that. And it allows that person that lives at home, if they so choose to cultivate cannabis in their backyard to continue doing. So

Speaker 1: if we schedule everyone plays and what the market decides decides you can, we can be on CNBC right now. Who, whose, why would you be against that? Let the market, uh, you know,

Speaker 3: and people should consider the traction and in cannabis progress, the last decade has been really fueled by its comparison to alcohol. And if we really want to compare this to alcohol, alcohol's dea scheduled and if there's a lot of freedom involved in it. And yes, we have, our major players are coors or Bud Inbev, whoever the hell these are big international companies are that

Speaker 1: bought them since then, budweiser, not American, even though it says America on their cans sometimes. Yes.

Speaker 3: The same time you also have this microbrew explosion shared across the country. You have homebrews becoming a massive industry because we've allowed people to control that process if they choose to. And I think we should be vying for the same thing with cannabis.

Speaker 1: Perfect. So I find myself squarely on the same page as you, which I feel like is a good place to be. I have three final questions for returning guests. These are somewhat new. I have. Oh my gosh. So here they are. I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. What would you change about yourself, if anything? What would you change about anything else, if anything? And, uh, on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. That's always the last question that has to be. But what would you change about yourself? And it might be something that you're of working on,

Speaker 3: you know, like, I want to meditate more or whatever. What would it be? Well, you mentioned the speech thing at the beginning, right? Yeah. You know, I, I, if I could change one thing about myself and I think this plays into a lot of what I am perpetually trying to improve on would just be my confidence. I think you're serious. I do. I have confidence in, I think what's behind me. Okay. Yeah. I have confidence in the people around me. Um, I don't always have confidence in my ability to get better at things that are inside me, you know, whether that's speaking better, I'm having, um, just being able to, to, to, to improve myself with regard to health and exercising more and to just really like control of these things because I'm a little bit to external. I apply my resources and my energy to things around me, uh, as opposed to internally.

Speaker 3: And I lacked the confidence to be able to do that because I've been focused on what's outside of my body for so long. You're so used to pushing all of the energy out, you have no more energy for within. Sometimes I have trouble really understanding how I can take care of myself better. I'm so I'm working on that and I think it's an important part of this process running for office because, you know, I don't think I'm going to be working anymore, uh, that I have been for the last decade. Um, but I think the, it's gonna be a different environment that I'm going to need strong mind and body and heart to take on and that's going to be pointing out things about you too. You already are. And I think that's great. And I want it and I think that's probably the first step is to, to engage others in that process.

Speaker 3: Just as I've supported other people. Um, I would love, uh, and I think they want to, to support me in my betterment. Well, here you are here so, you know, uh, I'm in, uh, as far as far as what would you change about anything else? So we have to leave Denver out of it because we just spent this entire time talking about that. But anything other than Denver, what would you change anything about? I mean, I, I think the world, uh, and it's problems that can't be solved entirely, but we could get along way, um, if people could understand what compromise means and that it. No, I don't think we need to work on that.

Speaker 3: I don't care if it's religion or politics or policy or sport. Like there's, there's too many people that feel that the extreme is the only way that it's my way or the highway. And I, I, you know, it goes back to the saying that if, if everybody's upset at the end of a process than you probably did it right. Like it was probably done about as well as it could be, if, if, if no one's happy entirely. Well, if no one's 100 percent happy. Your point is your point, I think. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And I'm really good at fucking upset.

Speaker 1: Like if everybody's totally miserable, you've won. Now Brandy from the trailer park boys, it's water under the fridge, right? Yeah, sure. Put her under the fridge. Um, no, I, I just think it

Speaker 3: and that, you know, it comes with a dialogue and transparency and collaboration, but being able to first want compromise and know that that really is a opportunity for improvement and progress. Um, but second actually acting on it and implementing compromise, uh, I think this world would be an entirely different place. It, it ain't about giving in. People I think can still hold on to all the values that they hold dear and you can still put your foot down when it really, really matters to you, but let's not get lost in the details. Um, because I, I think at the same time a lot of folks are hypocrites and the same thing, they'll champion is a non negotiable today. Um, we'll probably, you know, sweep under the rug tomorrow.

Speaker 1: States rights for Jeff Sessions, for instance. Yes. Huge, huge advocate of states' rights until he's the attorney general of the United States, uh, on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there,

Speaker 3: you know, um, I would say with the recent passing. Ah, here we go. All right. P certainly wild flowers.

Speaker 1: Wild flowers. Okay. All right. That's, you know, that's a, it's not certainly, it wouldn't be on the greatest hits, but I can we just put the traveling wilburys album on there? That's where I was going to. I been, yes. The first one because there's volume three, which is a, the second album, which I love. By the way. I love the fact that they called the second album, volume three, but volume one, we agree. Let's just do that. Let's do it. Yeah. Can we do the whole thing? Absolutely. Goes outside your rules, but it's. There are no rules. The rules were meant to be rewritten. How about that? A Kayvon [inaudible]. Call it Bari for Mayor Twenty. Nineteen. We're just doing Kayvon. Kayvon might be a little difficult for the website.

Speaker 3: The time of this recording, uh, not entirely done. Should be done Monday or Tuesday.

Speaker 1: Okay. So you buy the 10. It'll be. That's good enough. So what will we say

Speaker 3: the website for the campaign is Kayvon for Denver Dot Com, k a y V, a n a spelling for out because we're not lazy. Um, and uh, I would, I really would encourage folks if you don't necessarily even care about Denver, they care about, I think a progressive movement that I believe are starting to take shape and we'll make ripples across the country. Um, and if you care about the cannabis industry, I'm standing up for itself. I would be, I believe the first elected official in a major city that currently owns cannabis businesses. And I believe the first, uh, and I don't know if this is a benefit or not for, for the listeners, but the first Iranian, a mayor of a major city in the United States.

Speaker 1: Well we will, we'll talk about the Iran deal, you know, we're, we're pulling

Speaker 3: out of that or, or no or not or yes we are. And I mean, does anybody know? No trump? No. That's the whole point. That's the whole thing. The whole thing is it's all static and you won't know anything. This is, we've got to, we got a lot of wild times ahead of us. No matter what kind of campaign I run, I'm going to need to raise two to $3,000,000 to be competitive and that that's for another story, right? Campaign finance laws in Denver are messed up. Yep. I'm the. You can donate 10 x what you can at the state level and you can do it from corporations or from individuals and that's how this mayor got into office. Seventy percent of the money that he is raised to put him there has been from developers a very transparently. So if I'm going to compete a need to raise that money and I hope people join me in that, go get 'em Kayvon for Denver Dot Com. Kayvon for Denver Dot Com. Go get 'em. Go get him. No, no, no. It's you that has to go get them. Go get them. I'm going to go get them. I want other people to go get him for me.

Speaker 2: You want other people to go get them with you. I want us to go get it together. And there you have Kayvon collet. Bari. Looking to collaborate on the future, very much appreciate Kayvon, you know, hey, that's a guy that likes to do stuff. So, uh, you know, that's the kind of guy that should be in office at least somewhere. Thanks to him. Thanks to you. Stay here.

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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.