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Ep.310: Sabrina Fendrick, Berkeley Patients Group

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.310: Sabrina Fendrick, Berkeley Patients Group

Ep.310: Sabrina Fendrick, Berkeley Patients Group

On the day that the rules for temporary licenses in California were released Sabrina Fendrick sat down where we put her on the spot to discuss what was happening in real-time. She was bouncing from meeting to meeting with government affairs, regulatory advisory as well as supply partners. In real-time, Sabrina highlighted questions about packaging and labeling wondering if there were going to be grace periods and whether or not the regs would fit together with the trailer bill- which we subsequently learned- there are and they do. Questions do remain around supply chain and the ability to do business with different license types which we’ll cover in the very next episode. Sabrina does note that Lori Ajax has been supportive and transparent and understands the situation at hand.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Sabrina fenrick returns on the date that the rules for temporary licensing in California were released. Sabrina federick sat down where we put her on the spot, does discuss what was happening in realtime. She was bouncing from meeting to meeting with government affairs, regulatory advisory as well as supply partners in real time. Sabrina highlighted questions about packaging, labeling, wondering if there were going to be grace periods and whether or not the rates would fit together with the trailer bill, which we subsequently learned there are, and they would have questions do remain around supply chain and the ability to do business with different license types, which we'll cover in the very next episode. Sabrina does note that Laurie Ajax has been supportive and transparent and understands the situation at hand. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social at the handle can economy. That's two ends of the word economy. Sabrina fender. Hello. Testing one, two, three. Oh my God. It's a brain offender. So today is California Regulations Day. Just to let everyone know,

Speaker 3: you know, podcast land knows no time, but that's the day that we're talking to each other. Today is the day that says the hour and they're kind of dropping and maybe they're available online and you were just texting and trying to see what we see. We're all just running around like crazy. Trying to get our hands on it. Yeah. I just passed a couple of people and just came from a government affairs meeting and they just had their advisory committee meeting in Sacramento that was live stream. So we watched that. And what did they say in that? Um, it was a lot of sort of formal process of how the committee is going to operate and do things like that. But it was while we were having this government affairs meeting. So yeah, we were, it was on. Yeah, that was a lot of discussion. Other government affairs. It was great. We just got to nerd out. It was so much fun.

Speaker 4: So the committee, how much? How many, what, who's on it, what's, what, you know what I mean? The committee that was speaking to you.

Speaker 3: Oh No, the committee. This is the official, like I'm bureau Ajax. Yeah. Lori, a Jackson. I'm just several other stakeholders that had to apply

Speaker 4: x, this, that, the other good. And she basically said the regulations are coming out, everything's going to be fine. We're all friends. We all love each other. No. What was her, in all seriousness, what was her kind of message? Do you remember? I'm putting you on the spot,

Speaker 3: you know, she's been saying the whole time they're having something. Is there going to be licensing on the first um, temporary a couple of, there's a couple of compliance supply chain questions in terms of like transitioning into 2018. Yeah. That. Oh, what are those? What are your questions as we go here? So, um, you know, one of the big issues is packaging and labeling and if there were going to be grace periods on that because some of the regulations include like tech size and symbols and language and everything and um, it takes these manufacturers months to get all of this packaging ordered and designed and everything and so they're dropping these regulations now, but if we have to be compliant with that in the next six weeks, then that's going to be a major issue

Speaker 4: because we're in the middle of November just so that we're in six weeks would be put us at January first. And it seems to me, and of course we'll read them, that she and her compatriots, uh, don't want to disrupt things. It seems like they understand that there is an industry that is operating and that we need to kind of, you know, go at this together.

Speaker 1: Sabrina fenrick returns on the date that the rules for temporary licensing in California were released. Sabrina federick sat down where we put her on the spot, does discuss what was happening in realtime. She was bouncing from meeting to meeting with government affairs, regulatory advisory as well as supply partners in real time. Sabrina highlighted questions about packaging, labeling, wondering if there were going to be grace periods and whether or not the rates would fit together with the trailer bill, which we subsequently learned there are, and they would have questions do remain around supply chain and the ability to do business with different license types, which we'll cover in the very next episode. Sabrina does note that Laurie Ajax has been supportive and transparent and understands the situation at hand. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social at the handle can economy. That's two ends of the word economy. Sabrina fender. Hello. Testing one, two, three. Oh my God. It's a brain offender. So today is California Regulations Day. Just to let everyone know,

Speaker 3: you know, podcast land knows no time, but that's the day that we're talking to each other. Today is the day that says the hour and they're kind of dropping and maybe they're available online and you were just texting and trying to see what we see. We're all just running around like crazy. Trying to get our hands on it. Yeah. I just passed a couple of people and just came from a government affairs meeting and they just had their advisory committee meeting in Sacramento that was live stream. So we watched that. And what did they say in that? Um, it was a lot of sort of formal process of how the committee is going to operate and do things like that. But it was while we were having this government affairs meeting. So yeah, we were, it was on. Yeah, that was a lot of discussion. Other government affairs. It was great. We just got to nerd out. It was so much fun.

Speaker 4: So the committee, how much? How many, what, who's on it, what's, what, you know what I mean? The committee that was speaking to you.

Speaker 3: Oh No, the committee. This is the official, like I'm bureau Ajax. Yeah. Lori, a Jackson. I'm just several other stakeholders that had to apply

Speaker 4: x, this, that, the other good. And she basically said the regulations are coming out, everything's going to be fine. We're all friends. We all love each other. No. What was her, in all seriousness, what was her kind of message? Do you remember? I'm putting you on the spot,

Speaker 3: you know, she's been saying the whole time they're having something. Is there going to be licensing on the first um, temporary a couple of, there's a couple of compliance supply chain questions in terms of like transitioning into 2018. Yeah. That. Oh, what are those? What are your questions as we go here? So, um, you know, one of the big issues is packaging and labeling and if there were going to be grace periods on that because some of the regulations include like tech size and symbols and language and everything and um, it takes these manufacturers months to get all of this packaging ordered and designed and everything and so they're dropping these regulations now, but if we have to be compliant with that in the next six weeks, then that's going to be a major issue

Speaker 4: because we're in the middle of November just so that we're in six weeks would be put us at January first. And it seems to me, and of course we'll read them, that she and her compatriots, uh, don't want to disrupt things. It seems like they understand that there is an industry that is operating and that we need to kind of, you know, go at this together.

Speaker 3: Yeah, sorry. Ajax is very supportive and transparent and totally understands the situation. The thing is that, um, all of these regulations have just sort of fit in with the framework of the trailer bill. So there's actual statute and that's where there's some quite. That's the only thing we know right now. And so one of the law, the law says you have to have packaging, child resistant packaging on all your products and everything like that. Sure. They have the ability to put in a grace period in the regulations. Right. But we don't know. Well we think they could, but it depends on how they interpret the trailer. Bill [inaudible] the trailer bill only gives grace period to testing, which we also need by the way, which we also need a Berkeley Berkeley patients group, but Berkeley has been testing. We have to test so that doesn't change much for us. Um, but yeah, the packaging and labeling. And then also it's the supply chain. So because the distribution piece district that would, there's the distribution piece, you're not even talking about that when you say, well, when I'm interviewing you, right, you should

Speaker 4: be the one talking. Well, yeah, feel free though. I'm happy to listen to um, supply chain first. Go ahead

Speaker 3: Shane. So, um, you know, if there's not a lot of jurisdictions that have passed ordinances or permitting for adult use for within the state of California, state of California because it's all like local control, local fiefdoms. I called them indeed. And local fiefdoms. Yeah. And they have. So the question is, will we only be able to sell products from vendors that are permitted with an, a type license and there's not going to be that many. Right. So is there going to be enough supply to do that or will we be able to use, you know, m type license products to sell to a. But I for the time being in the grace period, how I. Yeah, that's another question that will hopefully be clarified.

Speaker 4: Have you had previous meetings with Ms Dot Ajax?

Speaker 3: Uh, yeah, I've, I've spoken with her. I, I speak more with their um, uh, assistant chief legal counsel.

Speaker 4: Fine. And is your sense that they understand these issues? Yes. Okay, good. I'm certainly not the only one bringing this up. Everybody is, I'm not even bringing it up because we can bring it up. All we want. Are they listening and it from your point of view, it's seemed like she was listening when I spoke to her, but I'm not an operator [inaudible], you know. So what you're saying is it does seem like she and they are understanding of the things that need to happen in order to not have, what is it? Chaos.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And it's actually the department of Health that has the packaging and labeling, labeling regulations. And Laurie Ajax is the bureau of cannabis control, so that's not,

Speaker 4: but she seems to be meeting on a regular basis with kind of all stakeholders, including amps that department. Okay. So that supply chain, uh, then let's go to distribution. That's a different thing. Where are we with,

Speaker 3: right. So finding I'm licensed distributors and then the same question of type A or type M distributors and I'm so that there's enough people to move legally move the supply to the retailer and that's sort of what I've been doing here and been working on for the last few weeks is really just getting a list of people that are going to be distributing and people that are licensed vendors and manufacturers that are licensed. And um,

Speaker 4: so type A, let's break it down just in case type a type a type a's, adult use and medical. Okay. That makes sense. That adds up. And what are you finding your. So we're here in Vegas, Mj Biz con. And so what are you finding? Is it a group of folks that you are familiar with? Is it a group of folks that aren't so familiar with as far as who already has their eyes on what they should be doing?

Speaker 3: Yeah, it's um, it's mostly the people that I would've expected. I've met a couple of new ones too. Thank God. Why? Thank God because I'm, I'm just concerned there's not gonna be enough supply so I want to make sure that they're at least for because um, you know, Berkeley and Oakland are going to be the only jurisdictions in the bay area to sell adult use, which means there's going to be doubling or tripling of customers and um, make sure they need to make sure we don't run out of weed industry jargon, industry jargon. Okay, good. So that, so you are finding new partners? Yeah, and it's almost. And we have to figure out how the actual process because they have to remit the excise tax to the distributors and you know, we can have certain deals with them, want to make sure that they set aside some product.

Speaker 3: And so there's a lot of sort of just creating these whole new relationships or, or shotgun marriages we call them shotgun marriages, lots of them. Why can you explain the thinking behind excise tax going from retailer to distributor as opposed to to the state. So the distributor is responsible for remitting it to the state. The reason as it was explained to me by the CD Tfa, which is the old, the Board of Equalization Formula, Board of equalization now California Department of fee and tax, something they want to know, they want to make sure that they get their cut, even if there is diverted cannabis, they want the tax before it's sold. So the distributor back the excise tax, we're giving them, the distributor is also collecting the cultivation tax. Okay. Yeah. Why wouldn't the state just take it from each of those players themselves? That seems to be more direct if they're worried about it being direct.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So it's a good question if, you know, they, they just wanted to make sure that, um, that it. Yeah. I don't know, maybe it has something to do with like a trust issue just because of the traditional nature of the industry. Sure. And specifically with track and trace and everything. So everything is batched and followed. So everything they know is like the value of what's moving is covered. And when you say trust, you're talking about a California and that's where the gray is, right? Uh, and coming out of the shadows into the light, you know, that type of trust situation. Um, and so the distributors, who are some new players in some old players, maybe the state felt most comfortable with that group as opposed to retailers or cultivators? Well, the original intent of the distributors was, um, it was in both, uh, Emc Rsa and the Ama, but in Emc Rsa it was mandatory and you weren't allowed to, um, you couldn't have any other license.

Speaker 3: So, and that was sort of based on an alcohol model that was by the teamsters among others and just didn't seem like a terribly feasible. It was something that the alcohol industry was very supportive of. Sure. Um, and that was really a quality control that was the intent, like a quality control sort of just making sure everything is on the up and up. But as you know, everything evolved and it wasn't required in prop 64, prop 64. Um, to the extent that it was in Emc Rsa, but it still is, at least now, it just makes more sense. It's more doable. Right. And I can have maybe more than one type of license. Yeah, okay, fine. But that is how, you know, the excise tax comes from the middle of the supply chain, I guess. Yeah, right. Yeah. Well, yeah. I mean we're retailers so you can remit the taxes as you're buying the wholesale bulk product or um, after you've sold it.

Speaker 3: But within, I think it's within three months. I just, I, it's so fascinating that it doesn't go directly to the state. It's a very, very, uh, you know, when we were meeting with the, um, cd Tfa and just trying to talk through all of this stuff, I said, you know, have you guys looked at what other states have done because you know, where this is not the first. And they said they did and there's no other state that is doing this tax situation like this and it's distributor thing. And so they were like, there's nothing to even look at it. And I, you know, I don't understand why new states and jurisdictions to always feel compelled to reinvent the wheel. We're going to do it the right way. We know how to do it, you know, and it's been done before and you can see what's successful and what's not.

Speaker 3: You don't have to come up with some crazy structure to just freely go out. For instance, like this one, we didn't have to create it. This one. No we did not, but it is. So. All right. So then when Sabrina, who is literally trying to find partners so that she has product for her customers is running around here literally when you get back to Berkeley in what? Friday, Monday, Saturday, whatever. W what do you think next week is going to be? Oh, next week we're having a big meeting with all the managers and so like, because we'll know everything and now it's go time like gotta get ready for 2018, let's just do it. It's just go time. Yeah. So connecting our buyer with all of these uh, distributors and really started developing and formalize those relationships and um, you know, have all of, get the register system set up the new like tracking all of that stuff. Yeah. It's just go time, go time. You're the policy person. Right? And so you have experienced with this, you know, over the past few years and you know, a couple even more than that. Exactly. Couple few. My question to you is, based on where we are, based on what we're talking about right now,

Speaker 4: when do you expect it to maybe potentially kind of smooth out? You know, it's going to be a little kinetic, it's going to be a little chaotic leading up to Jan one and obviously coming off a gen one, you know, is July first, kind of a nice maybe of 2019. Yeah. So you, this is going to be 12, 18 months of a little bit of a naughtiness yeah, that's what you think and feel. I'm pretty sure is going to be two years. Who knows? I mean have you looked at the other states? They're still figuring it out. Yeah. And Oh no, but I mean they're still figuring it out, but Colorado is doing like change your font size. You brought up font size to this and it's got to be that they're dotting i's and crossing t's. Right? So that, that's not what I'm talking about.

Speaker 4: What I'm talking about is functioning supply chains and everybody knows who's who and everybody knows what's what and the excise tax. Oh look, it does work this way. It's fine. Don't worry about it. Eighteen months is what you're saying. Yeah. I think getting all of the, the vendors and operators in order and licensed and then also getting all these local jurisdictions to get their stuff together and so it's all working in one big smooth machine. Yeah, I. Yeah, I would. I would a year at the least year at the least 18 months, kind of maybe two years. Sure. We should. Hopefully after two years we are who we figured we should be on our way to dotting the i's and crossing, dotting, dotting i's and crossing t's. That's what you're doing now. Now you're dotting t's and crossing off. That's the whole point of the fact that it's crazy time.

Speaker 4: Crazy time in veteran phil. How do you like that? You should take it and you should just leave it for your voicemail messages. You know what I mean? Sorry, I can't come to the phone. It's crazy time in Fenrick Ville. Please leave a message and when I find myself I'll be back. So what? Yeah. Besides this, I mean, is there anything else that you can be thinking about? No. No I don't. I mean like how's life? What else is this? Is, was that your dog than I meant? No, the white one. Yeah. How's the dog? She's awesome. What was her name? Holly? Yes. She's great. She named after Haley's comet. No, it just came to me. I was like, she looks like a holly. Oh, and it's not Haley. I'm saying Helen, you're saying holly, like Allie with an eight. Which your DC. You're, that's where you're from.

Speaker 4: And our accents are different in one would call that kind of northeast, eastern seaboard. Well, I'm my, my dad's side's from New York. Yeah. No, we talked about that, but that's what I. What I'm getting at is why do we have different. I would never call Halle Halle. I would call Haley Haley. Do you see what I'm saying? Is it Halley's comet? It's h a l l e o. So maybe it is like Halle Berry. Yeah, yeah. Oh, I never thought of that. Oh God, yeah, that's what your dog's named after his family. Barely with an age. Okay, so the dog's doing fine. She's doing great and still welcomed at BPG headquarters to dogs. Oh, who? Who has the other doctor? Lauren Watson. And how? What's they look the same size as holly. What do I know that name, but all black. She's named after a character on game of thrones or some show that I don't watch.

Speaker 4: Do you know why I don't watch it? Dragon's dragon. That's not. It's just too much. I can't. How am I supposed to invest my time? You've got dragons flying around, but people tell me that that's not the right way to look at. Oh, I don't. Everybody's obsessed with it, but I don't watch it. Yeah, no, that's okay. I've got other stuff to do. No time as we just discussed. So because we have to eat lunch. I'm going to cut this short. I'm going to give you the three final questions for returning guests. Are you ready for those guys at the ones that I can ever answer every time? Well, no, no. So, and they're even tougher. Uh, yeah. So what would you change about yourself, if anything might be something you already working on? What would you change about anything else, if anything? And on the soundtrack of your life? One track, one song that's got to be another. It's the regular salt. That's the question. That's always the last question. What would you change about what we just, it's because you're a music fan, so it's tough to find the right message. What would you change about yourself, if anything? It might be something you're already working.

Speaker 4: Um, I would try to be

Speaker 5: more

Speaker 4: organized, less cluttered, but it that way. I feel like for this industry, you're very much on the organized side of things relative in maybe I'm just a hard judge on myself. Maybe a different spectrum. You're less organized, but here, you know, but more organized. That's what you're going. I mean, yeah, just in general, like, you know, clean up and I bet you know, who has time for that kind of Shit? Well, like, it's all terrible, but you know, there's always the, the, the unorganized person certainly would, would say, who has time for that? I mean that's the unit. Who has time for that? The organized person? Yeah. I mean I'm to. I can. It's more of a personal life side of things. I would change. Like I, I've great on the work side, like that's not a problem. Totally. But oh well I went through like a good 10 year period.

Speaker 4: Everything was like perfect for business and then on the personal side of is like, just apparently it's always like that. Yeah. Well, because either your personal life is great but work sucks or you got to balance. That's what the work life balance is. What the millennials are talking about. I do. I'm, I'm more of the work hard play hard balance. Exactly. Because your jen. I think jen, why is what we discussed like not purely gen x. So there's a name for that now. No, no, no, no. It's. Jen was. No, no, no. We don't do that. That's a ridiculous name. I am. There is a barrier. No, it's called the Oregon trail generation. I understand of this. I Have Oregon trails. Fine. Xenical. That's stupid, but yeah. No, definitely. No, no, no, no, no. You're talking about you're born between 80 and 85. Yes. Right, exactly. It's Gen y, Gen y. they're the millennials. I'm Gen X. Your Gen y. He stupid. What would you change about anything else if I have to agree to disagree or. No, that's fair. That's fair. It's a generational divide. What would you change about anything else, if anything? I mean you would. What? It would do anything in the world. Yeah, exactly. Maybe our current political structure or our federal political structure. So now you mean like the guy on top? I don't understand what's going on there. Do you mean like we know that communism doesn't work, but it seems like maybe capitalism's a little broken too. Like how big are you going when you say let's change things. I wasn't not like I'm just, let's not wish there was a more of a logical rational. There we go. Compassionate and empathetic

Speaker 4: body. That's an attainable goal. Seriously. Say the words again. In all seriousness. Logical, empathetic, compassionate, reasonable, rational. Yeah. Those are. I mean those are attainable. Got Seriously. So like we got close. Ah, I think we need to raise the bar as far as who we're voting for it across the board. Yeah, that's all I'm saying. I think that's what you're saying and I think we need to change, um, you know, gerrymandering. Yeah. And no one should be mentoring, certainly not jerry. No, but in all seriousness, we have to not have combative elected officials going to Washington to try to fix things. They don't want to try to fix things because of gerrymandering. Agreed. And they, yeah. You know, there's just, uh, a lot of special interest. I mean, right now it's just nobody's ever experienced anything like our government and the current state of affairs.

Speaker 4: So we're all just kind of like, you know, the first six months after the election was just a total state of shock and I think depression and ptsd, which is a post traumatic trump disorder syndrome. So the PTT, Ed Peton. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I think I'm on that. Listen, I understand the whole, um, we need to shake things up and the people that I voted for before have not come through for me and I'm hurting and I, let's just send somebody that just sounds completely different, so I understand it from that person's point of view, how this could happen. But having said that, I

Speaker 3: mean, come on, let's just be serious and let's be compassionate and let's not be commander. Yeah, look, let's just raise the bar as far as the way that we talk about things. Yeah, I mean that's A. Yeah, that's where we can start there. Yeah. And you know, with all of these, um,

Speaker 5: I'm like

Speaker 3: sexual harassment things and an Alabama and this election, the sessions, um, election to replace, to replace some more. Yeah. Um, it, it was sort of Nice to see that there was a line pedophilia that is actually drawn by the Publicans I, you know, for awhile I was wondering, I was like, we don't know that that's true. You might get voted or the Senate for the Senate Republicans for them to come down and say, yeah, no, no, no, no, not this. Not this. Yeah, that is. I'm like, it's good to see because I thought I was like, there's no floor. They will just keep going. So that's good. So we'll say. So here we can. That. That was the start. Yeah, exactly. On the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song. That's got to be honest. So just do like, you know, when I always do. What'd you do last time? I forget the medicine by

Speaker 3: I. my brain is just not. I don't remember that. I don't think that's by um, Guru. I don't remember you saying that. Yeah, I think, but there's others in that. I always think of them after I do this interview. Next time I'm going to write it down for the next. I'll say them all right after this. Do you know what I'm saying? But the medicine is what you're saying. The medicine. Yeah. Who by Guru. What is that? It's a song about we. Oh, okay. The medicine makes all the sense in the world. Now. Sabrina fenrick. Thank you so much. Let's go eat lunch. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1: And there you have Sabrina fenrick. I very much appreciate her allowing me to put her on the spot like that. She is smart enough and talented enough to be able to do that. Not everybody could. This is one of those times where you say, hey, this is when this is happening, so I very much appreciate her time 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.