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Ep.329: Nick Kovacevich

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.329: Nick Kovacevich

Ep.329: Nick Kovacevich

Nick Kovacavitch joins us and shares his background in college basketball and how he takes lessons learned on the court to the board room. Lesson one as he says is figuring out how to work together. While you can develop deep relationships on a team, you don’t have to necessarily like everyone as long as you’re all committed to the same goal. You’re all working for the same purpose. Work together to benefit those who have specific skills and put them in a position to succeed. None of that is different in business. The competitive nature of sports is also hard to get away from in business. Recorded at MJBizCon, Nick notes that his competitive spirit has him wanting to compete and win. But he balances that gut response with the fact that the cannabis industry must have collaboration and will have consolidation.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: nick kovacevich. Nick oF asa, which joins us and shares his background in college basketball, and now he takes lessons learned on the court to the boardroom. Lesson one, as he says, is figuring out how to work together. While you can develop deep relationships on a team, you don't have to necessarily like everyone, as long as you're all committed to the same goal. You're all working for the same purpose, work together to benefit those who have specific skills and put them in a position to succeed. None of that is different in business. The competitive nature of sports is also hard to get away from. In business. Recorded at mj biz con. Nick notes at this competitive spirit has him wanting to compete and win, but he bouNces that gut response with the fact that the cannabis industry must have collaboration and we'll have consolidation. Welcome to cannabis economy.

Speaker 1: I'm your host, seth adler. Check us out on social with the american economy. That's two ends of the word economy. NicK kovacevich kovacevich. I'm so glad that I asked because that is Not what I was thinking. Say that one more time. Kovacevich, what kind of thAt SlAvic in some way you are correct? Operation croatian. Yeah. So, uh, I have croatian friends, they've told me to come to Croatia because it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. You got to go now. have you been? Yes. You didn't grow up there though? No, but I have a second cousin that lives there. He makes homemade grappa. It's phenomenal. I gotcha. But how often do you get back? I've only been the one time and it was in 2012, but it's already getting so popular. Yeah, like just, it's becoming one of those places that people go, we don't want to go to the places that people go, yeah, we want to go to the places and then you're like, everyone starts going like, oh man, I was there years ago. That's exactly last decade. That's exactly it. I don't, uh,

Speaker 3: you know, I got a dive right in, you know, you've been one place that not many people have been and that's the sweet 16 nick. so I'm just going to dive right in. Okay. Uh, it was division two. I will say that so sweet. 16 of the ncaa tournament. That's not the nca tournament. I'm talking about the not the one you're, you're probably watching on tv division to. Yeah. Um, you know, great competition. Or our college was a southwest baptist university. We were ranked number two in the country for d to my senior year. We also be Utah at Utah. Okay. So we're good. We're good, right? Yeah. But you know, it's, it's, it's a step below the, the big tourney. but um, you know, we, we certainly had a lot of fun there. We, we built a great team. We unfortunately got knocked out in the sweet 16.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Uh, before going onto a of the elite eight, which they have in Massachusetts for a, for division two. So it was, it was a good experience. I played one year of division one at, at san jose state and uh, we want a whole six games that year. Got it. So we didn't make it to any tournament starting to make more sense because when you walked in, you're taller than me. That's not hard to do, but you're like a normal sized person and I think you were small forward, right? Yeah. It's a shooting guard. Small forward shooting guard and [inaudible] small forward ind , two. Yes, exactly. Alright, so then san jose state you said? Yeah. Okay. And did you, when did you start any games at all or. No, I, uh, you know, I was, I think 100 percent that year from three. One for one, had a pretty good division one career.

Speaker 3: It's fantastic. I might be in a history book somewhere. Sure. Like moonlight graham, if you've ever seen the movie field of dreams or read the book shoeless joe, uh, but he didn't get to bat and that's a different sport. I guess what I need to know from you being on the court is what have you taken forward from that team sport? Yes. Okay, fine. You were in d one, you did compete at a high level. You're saying you're not wearing a starter, but you were d, two. What do you take from the court into the boardroom, so to speak? I think the most important thing right is figuring out a way to work together, right? You know, I've been on so many teams and, and you know, you get to obviously develop really deep relationships, but it's not necessarily that you have to like everyone on your team, but you guys are committed to the same goal, right?

Speaker 3: So you're all working for the same purpose. You figure out a way that you're gonna work together to benefit those who have certain skiLls and put them in positions to succeed. And I think it's no different in the business environment and certainly there's the competitive aspect of sports, which I think is hard to get away from when you get into the business and you're, you go around, you know, we're at a show like this and I see a bunch of other guys doing what we're doing, right? We're trying to do what we're doing. And so, you know, you get that competitive spirit where you're like, you know, you want to go out there and you want to compete and you want to win. Uh, and you know, you have to balance that with the, you know, the idea that especially in the cannabis industry, there's so much opportunity that it's not a zero sum game. And so there are going to be other people that find niches. There's going to be potential collaboration, uh, with competitors. Uh, there's gonna be some consolidation, you know, mergers and acquisitions and ultimately there's gonna be some friendly competition, but if you bring the mentality that you're going to be a winter and everything you do, hopefully you can rise above the competition and, and, and be, you know, meet the successes that are set by our goals of our orders

Speaker 1: nick kovacevich. Nick oF asa, which joins us and shares his background in college basketball, and now he takes lessons learned on the court to the boardroom. Lesson one, as he says, is figuring out how to work together. While you can develop deep relationships on a team, you don't have to necessarily like everyone, as long as you're all committed to the same goal. You're all working for the same purpose, work together to benefit those who have specific skills and put them in a position to succeed. None of that is different in business. The competitive nature of sports is also hard to get away from. In business. Recorded at mj biz con. Nick notes at this competitive spirit has him wanting to compete and win, but he bouNces that gut response with the fact that the cannabis industry must have collaboration and we'll have consolidation. Welcome to cannabis economy.

Speaker 1: I'm your host, seth adler. Check us out on social with the american economy. That's two ends of the word economy. NicK kovacevich kovacevich. I'm so glad that I asked because that is Not what I was thinking. Say that one more time. Kovacevich, what kind of thAt SlAvic in some way you are correct? Operation croatian. Yeah. So, uh, I have croatian friends, they've told me to come to Croatia because it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. You got to go now. have you been? Yes. You didn't grow up there though? No, but I have a second cousin that lives there. He makes homemade grappa. It's phenomenal. I gotcha. But how often do you get back? I've only been the one time and it was in 2012, but it's already getting so popular. Yeah, like just, it's becoming one of those places that people go, we don't want to go to the places that people go, yeah, we want to go to the places and then you're like, everyone starts going like, oh man, I was there years ago. That's exactly last decade. That's exactly it. I don't, uh,

Speaker 3: you know, I got a dive right in, you know, you've been one place that not many people have been and that's the sweet 16 nick. so I'm just going to dive right in. Okay. Uh, it was division two. I will say that so sweet. 16 of the ncaa tournament. That's not the nca tournament. I'm talking about the not the one you're, you're probably watching on tv division to. Yeah. Um, you know, great competition. Or our college was a southwest baptist university. We were ranked number two in the country for d to my senior year. We also be Utah at Utah. Okay. So we're good. We're good, right? Yeah. But you know, it's, it's, it's a step below the, the big tourney. but um, you know, we, we certainly had a lot of fun there. We, we built a great team. We unfortunately got knocked out in the sweet 16.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Uh, before going onto a of the elite eight, which they have in Massachusetts for a, for division two. So it was, it was a good experience. I played one year of division one at, at san jose state and uh, we want a whole six games that year. Got it. So we didn't make it to any tournament starting to make more sense because when you walked in, you're taller than me. That's not hard to do, but you're like a normal sized person and I think you were small forward, right? Yeah. It's a shooting guard. Small forward shooting guard and [inaudible] small forward ind , two. Yes, exactly. Alright, so then san jose state you said? Yeah. Okay. And did you, when did you start any games at all or. No, I, uh, you know, I was, I think 100 percent that year from three. One for one, had a pretty good division one career.

Speaker 3: It's fantastic. I might be in a history book somewhere. Sure. Like moonlight graham, if you've ever seen the movie field of dreams or read the book shoeless joe, uh, but he didn't get to bat and that's a different sport. I guess what I need to know from you being on the court is what have you taken forward from that team sport? Yes. Okay, fine. You were in d one, you did compete at a high level. You're saying you're not wearing a starter, but you were d, two. What do you take from the court into the boardroom, so to speak? I think the most important thing right is figuring out a way to work together, right? You know, I've been on so many teams and, and you know, you get to obviously develop really deep relationships, but it's not necessarily that you have to like everyone on your team, but you guys are committed to the same goal, right?

Speaker 3: So you're all working for the same purpose. You figure out a way that you're gonna work together to benefit those who have certain skiLls and put them in positions to succeed. And I think it's no different in the business environment and certainly there's the competitive aspect of sports, which I think is hard to get away from when you get into the business and you're, you go around, you know, we're at a show like this and I see a bunch of other guys doing what we're doing, right? We're trying to do what we're doing. And so, you know, you get that competitive spirit where you're like, you know, you want to go out there and you want to compete and you want to win. Uh, and you know, you have to balance that with the, you know, the idea that especially in the cannabis industry, there's so much opportunity that it's not a zero sum game. And so there are going to be other people that find niches. There's going to be potential collaboration, uh, with competitors. Uh, there's gonna be some consolidation, you know, mergers and acquisitions and ultimately there's gonna be some friendly competition, but if you bring the mentality that you're going to be a winter and everything you do, hopefully you can rise above the competition and, and, and be, you know, meet the successes that are set by our goals of our orders

Speaker 1: organization. There you go. All right, so you did mention the show. So were at mj biz con here in vegas and you mentioned essentially your chief competition is what I'm, how I'm translating what you just said is your chief competition is you, yourself, your own company. Let's make sure to rise to our best. Exactly.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I think, you know, we put a big focus on, you know, doing things the right way. Yep. Building our business in a way that's sustainable that we know is creating long term value and ultimately a lot of the short, short, short term stuff will take care of itself and, you know, it's hard being a public company, uh, which we've been traded since 2016. HoW's that going? The otc? Where are we at a, you know, it's going great. I think, you know, we've built a lot of value in our market. We've been able to raise capital through that vehicle today. We're trading a, around $2 and thirty cents range. Not nothing. It's, you know, it's, it's great. I, I think, uh, you know, we're very happy with where we're at now. You look at a market like Canada where it's federally legal for cannabis and you know, the types of premiums on valuations at those canadian companies are getting is astronomical compared to where we are in the us.

Speaker 3: So we know that there could be a major catalyst event at some point where federal legalization comes or, or a change in stance from some of the, uh, you know, federal administrations and we could see a huge spike. Like we've seen in Canada, uh, but again, we're not going to build our business around, you know, hype and promotion and what happens in current events. We're going to build it around sustainable business practices that lead to organic growth that lead to longterm value, that lead to opportunities for acquisitions and, and, and nonorganic growth. And ultimately the stock price, the market, all that stuff will take care of itself.

Speaker 1: So there you have what seems to be a truly correct approach as far as any company, specifically a publicly traded company, specifically a publicly traded company in cannabis. Yup. We've had guests on here from formerly public companies, uh, you know, that have not gone well because the focus was not on the company. The focus was on the stock. Yes. So talk through, you know, how you have or how you did approach going public

Speaker 3: and what you wanted to make sure, you know, everybody knew. Talk about that. When did that happen? You said 2014? Yeah. So, you know, it's a, it's actually a very interesting part of our story and basically it was 2014. Uh, we, we had been approached, um, you know, just before that by a company that was a publicly traded company in the cannabis industry that was a more under the model of promotion and getting their stock price up and artificially and then using that pump and dump. Is that what you're talking about? You, you know, you, you could call it that. There's a lot of phrases, I'll use my words you use yours type of thing. Yeah. So the, you know, we were proposition to be acquired by this company and we looked at, you know, we, we try to look under the hood a little bit of what this company was and we realized, well gosh, these guys don't even have much of a company.

Speaker 3: We have a recurring revenue model. We have a business model that makes sense to the, to the everyday consumer, the everyday stock market participant. And so we knew that our value proposition would resonate, I think better. Yeah, with the market. And we knew that if we, if we were going to do it, we didn't want to even be remotely considered to be in that category. So there's a few things that we wanted to do differently. Number one, uh, there was a big stigma around reverse merger, a type deals where people go public by buying a shell company, so, you know, not all of those are bad actors, but they've created a bad reputation for the entire sector. So we wanted to avoid that altogether, which meant we needed to do an organic filing, we needed to get a clear two year audit of our financials and you know, we're in a cash business, obviously a.

Speaker 3: So as a private company, you're not always thinking about how do I make this auditable? So we bring in a cfo that had nine years of public accounting experience that was able to help us prepare our books and records so that they were in order. We hired an auditing firm that was pcob compliant. We got through the two year audit and then we filed the registration statement with the sec. Uh, that went through a couple rounds of comments. It was approved, uh, once we were approved as an effective registrar, uh, we went ahead and filed a, what's called a 15 to 11 application to get a ticker symbol. We were granted our ticker sYmbol, which is k a s h be a backup in place by the way, continue back in december of 2015. And then we used a market maker to help us open up our market, uh, at the start of January, 2016.

Speaker 3: And we and we began trading and building from there. And so what we've been good about doing is in terms of our financial structure, keeping it very clean, no toxic financing, virtually no debt in the company. Um, so we know we have a strong balance sheet, something that people can look to on the outside and go, hey, you know, these guys might be small. I can see they're growing, but there's nothing in their actual corporate structure of financing that's going to be a huge red flag red flag or something that's going to create a lot of downward pressure on the stock. So we kept that clean. Uh, we were able to go get a major wall street analysts coverage something that know us cannabis company, um, has yet to do a. And we were the first and since then, you know, the same firm that covers us, it covers some canadian companies. So, you know, we're trying to do things a little bit bigger and better than, than what other people doing to separate us. And we've seen the success. I, our stock trades, well, we've been able to raise capital, we've been able to grow the business. And so we've been very pleased.

Speaker 1: that brings me back though to your background, because southern baptist university, I'm not, not a gargantuan school. Is that fair to say? San jose state may be bigger. I mean you said [inaudible], so like where is the, uh, you know, we're, we're, you trained in this type of activity to know what you're doing in, in this world, right?

Speaker 3: Yeah. well, I'm an entrepreneur and as are you. And so I think, you know, as entrepreneurs, the first thing you learn is hopefully right if you're going to be a good entrepreneur is that you don't know everything. Right? And the only way that you're going to be able to really build something that's multifaceted is probably not by learning it all yourself, but by bringing in people that have the expertise. So we've surrounded ourselves with great legal firms, with accounting firms, uh, with investor relations and public relations firms that had been able to guide us and navigate us through and doing things the right way. And ultimately it comes down to management team as well. And I think that's where, uh, you know, again, a lot of cannabis related companies have fallen short on being able to bring in traditional top tier, you know, management, uh, attract them from outside industry, get them comfortable with what we're doing here in this space and allow them to bring some of those best practices and apply it to our industry. And we've been able to do that since 2014 when we brought on a ben wu, our president who came from eight years of private equity was a wall street guy. We'd have jim mccormick as our new cfo. He spent 20 years in the tobacco industry. So he was a british americaN tobacco running whole, you know, countries for that, for that organization. so again, it, it, it's not about me, it's not about the other founders necessarily. It's about what we've been collectively able to do with the team that we've, we've outsourced and brought in.

Speaker 1: Okay. It's not about you, it's about them, but it is about you because you are open minded enough to know that you don't know everything. Not every entrepreneur knows that and there are many here at this event that are not aware of this, uh, this actual thing. So as far as your modesty is concerned, you know, where does that come from? Talk about your folks, you know, what, where did you grow up? So I grew up in santa cruz, California.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So it is a very liberal town. Yeah. um, my dad was a assistant district attorney believe or not used to put people in prison for, for joint of marijuana. I can very much believe That every single person listening to this believes that. And he was a judge as well. So, you know, certainly, uh, you know, a guy who does things by the book, uh, and, and you know, you need some of that obviously in this industry, you got to you to stand out, but you also need, you also need to be able to navigate what can be sometimes muddy waters here in the cannabis space. So, you know, I've been able to get what I've learned from my parents, the values, uh, that were taught to me growing up a combined with let's make sure we hit on it, you know, certainly, you know, integrity, reputation, yup.

Speaker 3: Um, you know, that's where we want to do right by people and ultimately we know that's what's gonna make it more longterm and sustainable. Learning how to, uh, you know, to, to be an honest communicator with the people that you're either involved in, your team, people you're doing business with so that it becomes a win win situation. Um, so stuff like that that, that I was able to learn what your mom did. My mom was actually a marriage family therapist. So she's communication, she's got it down, right to figure that out. Well, you know, you'd have to talk to my wife about how I'm doing in that department, uh, but I have been married two and a half years and it's been, it's been awesome. So really learning how to, how to manage work and family life, um, is something that I personally have been dealing with the last few years and my wife's been very supportive of, of what I'm trying to do and build and in my professional career and I think, you know, growing up with a family that had been, my parents had been married, you know, over 40 years now and uh, they, you know, they were able to teach me how that all works.

Speaker 3: Right? And, and how you balance, you know, uh, uh, professional life with the family life and so taking a lot of that as well and hopefully doing some, some good things there. One last thing at the dinner table with your dad. Take us through, you know, maybe uh, explaining something to him or just having a regular conversation with a judge or a lawyer or a district attorney as, as a kid. What's that like as a kid? I think I, you know, you, you kind of create your reality is what is, is kind of been taught to you and what you see and you emulate. And so I think it became more interesting as a, as I became a young adult and I started to question things and you know, you talk politics, you talk religion and you know, my dad's a guy who says, hey, look, I've been there.

Speaker 3: I was uh, you know, I, I, when I was in college I was out pRotesting and now I'm moved more to this side of the spectrum. So I would say, well, you know, I want to argue these points and it's never fun arguing with the lawyer. I'll just tell you that right now. That's what I'm saying. So, but we, we managed to, um, you know, it ultimately keep it about, you know, the topics and it's nothing personal. Right? And I, that's the big probleM that we're seeing, you know here in this, in general, in this country is like everybody is taking everything so personal and I think, you know, it's okay to have a debate about these topics. We must have a debate, we have to, right? It's the only way we're going to learn other perspectives and you can come to your own conclusions and that's great. Support those, uh, but always be open to talking and learning something new. I think.

Speaker 1: Amen. And it's because it's been set up as it's us versus them politically. And I keep trying to remind folks that the them in that equation is us. It's we the people United States of America. Hello. Right. You know, what are we arguing about? Why are we letting them separate us?

Speaker 3: And I think cannabis is why I'm so excited to be in this industry is I think this is really an issue that we're seeing is there's been this huge divide and now we're seeing that divide is, is being eroded because people are realizing that there's, there's policies that make sense around cannabis. Yep. That appeal to whatever side of the political spectrum you're on. And it's awesome to see the progress we made. I know there's still a lot that needs to happen. That's it. And part of our joB as a professionals, entrepreneurs, you know, businesses that are ahead of the curve that are, that are out there, that are in the media, is to promote not just the business side of the industry, but the social side as well, and, and making sure that the industry is being pushed forward in terms of the policies that affect the everyday cannabis consumer that affect the legal system, the justice system, uh, policies that certainly affect the business and the commerce and the communities that we're in, communities that we're in and that's part of our job. And so it's a, it's a great platform and we're happy that we can incorporate that into, into what we're doing.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And as we go here, it does seem like a, well, no, it's empirically true that no matter if you're a republican or a democrat, cannabis gets more votes than you. It's the one thing,

Speaker 3: the data, the data shows that doesn't lie.

Speaker 1: And as far as tax revenue, that's proven that that's actually going into communities. And, you know, as you see a Canada pull ahead, you, you kind of mentioned Canada and you know, uh, Mexico, decrim a europe come alive here, asia, you know, investment eyes opening a as an american. It kind of makes me sad that we're certainly, we're not leading here anymore. What, what are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 3: Well, I use, of course is when you're talking about. Yeah, you, you said it, you said it, you hit it right on the head, right. We're not leading. And that is, that is upsetting, right? Especially when you look at, you know, where, where I grew up in California, um, you know, my wife's tremendous, you know, county, I have a lot of friends in humble county and we're talking a region that's known globally as the best cannabis producing region in the world. Yet they can barely sell their cannabis legally in their own state, let alone other states in the United States, let alone internationally. And now you have country companies in Canada that are doing what, of course they're supposed to be doing, which is going out, locking up international agreements. But that's where we should be, right? To your point, we should be leading that. So that's upsetting as an entrepreneur, right?

Speaker 3: In this space, I think it is somewhat of an interesting dynamic where it actually creates an opportunity. Uh, we would love it to be federally illegal. I think all of us want that, especially from a social standpoint, but from a business standpoint, it does create somewhat of a moat where we have these large fortune 500 companies as billion dollar balance sheets that aren't really able to participate yet in our industry. Gives companies like kush bottles the opportunity to grow into a multibillion dollar company hopefully over a certain period of time with the protections. And ultimately if it's done right, we keep getting more states online. Yeah. We keep getting more markets. We keep getting more progress. Eventually it will tip the scales and we'll get the federal legalization and it'll be at the right time where a lot of these smaller businesses have the opportunity to put themselves in a position to be competitive in a position to be potentially acquired.

Speaker 3: A gives them optioNs. Right. It doesn't put anyone on the benefit of cannabis being federally illegal. Exactly. So I think we just look at what's happening. We do our part to drive change. Yeah. Um, and in our current state, we figure out how to work the best that we can in the environment that we're in. If, if all of us as entrepreneurs here at the show, I mean there's about 600 booths at the show, uh, if we were all doing that, trust me, the progress will come sooner than sooner rather than later. We got to everybody listening and everybody here and everybody in this industry really just needs to do it right. Because it's my sense that the, you know, we haven't been really a necessarily, um, don't want to say investigated, but, you know, the, the bright shining light has not happened yet. And when it does, we're going to need all the players to be doing it the right way.

Speaker 3: Exactly. Because the bad players are going to, you know, kind of a inversely, uh, and adversely affect the good players a 100 percent. And I couldn't agree more. I think with kush bottles, one of the things we did early on is we advocated for packaging regulations, right? Um, stuff like food grade materials, stuff like child resistant requirements, uh, you know, really is, it's good for our business of course, but it's good for the industry because the last thing we need is a, you know, a kid get into cannabis package and in a negative news story, the last thing we need is somebody getting sick because the material that was used to package their edible had bpa in it. We don't need batteries on vape pens blowing up, right? So being able to provide quality products, advocating for good regulation is something that our company has always been about.

Speaker 3: And I think again, it comes down to when that real spotlight is shown, when the federal governing bodies are involved, uh, what are they going to see? All right, what w, when they start to unturn some of these stones, what are they going to find? And I think we need to be proactive and get ahead of that. And when they look and they go, wow, this is a heck of a lot better than what is going on in the black market, what's going on with the cartels, or maybe even some other, uh, you know, legal industry or other legal industries. And we're, you know, it's refreshing to see, uh, some prosecutions happening in the pharma industry, which we as cannabis entrepreneurs know is something that is just ridiculously more dangerous than, than what we're trying to on the agenda we're trying to push. So we're finally seeing some of that stuff that the public is becoming aware through social media and, and, and all these great news organizations that are, that are coming up, um, that these, this pharma industry is not as. Just because your fda compliant doesn't mean you're doing things the right way. Well, I think, and you, you,

Speaker 1: we kind of talked about it earlier and now as far as politics and policy and product and industry, let's not just accept what people say. Yes, let's actually have a conversation. Let's look under the covers a little bit. Let's make sure that what we're, what we're buying is what we want to be buying and you know, what folks are saying is actually true.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And I think, you know, again, we're, I hate to see people that are just dismissing information because again, it doesn't necessarily validate or agree with their point of view. I think we need to get to the truth on some of this stuff and that's why I love the direction that, that media is going, uh, freedom of speech, the ability to put information out, uh, in a, in a cost effective manner, like a podcast. Right? And, and get it out there and so people can hear it and they can at least digest it and make their own informed decisions. So it's, it's, it's great. I think it's all changing right in front of our eyes. I think we still have some time to go here, but, uh, you know, we're excited about our part that we're playing. I'm sure you feel the same way. You wake up every day, you're excited to go to work. Absolutely. I mean, that's ultimately all you can ask for is to have a passion in this, in this world, and to be driving value for, for what's important to you.

Speaker 1: One hundred percent. I'd love to talk to you all day. We don't have that kind of time, so I'm going to ask you the three final questions. I'll tell you what they are and I'll ask you them in order. What's most surprised you in cannabis? What's most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack of your life? One track, one song that's got to be on there. What was the last one? A song for the soundtrack of your life, but don't worry about. Okay. First things first. What's most surprised you in cannabis?

Speaker 3: I think what's most surprised me in cannabis is

Speaker 1: I think

Speaker 3: it's really the passion for the industry. I think you just, you knoW, there's a lot of people say, oh, there's all these professional entrepreneurial that doesn't surprise me, right? I'm like, I know there's going to be talented people in this industry that you know, you see. In that case, I think what surprised me is the fact that generally speaking, everybody in this industry is in it for most of the right reasons, right? They have some sort of a passion. They have, you know, ideals around, you know, again, social causes, things like that, and that's driving their passion for their business. So that's great to see. And I, I think of so many industries that you could be in where, you know, you just don't care. It's a necessity, but it's not exciting. It's not something to be passionate about.

Speaker 1: By care, you mean care for the product and its potential in the same way as ken

Speaker 3: care for the product, care for the potential care for what the transformation that the industry is going to make on society as a whole and all that good stuff.

Speaker 1: There we go. AlrIght, so now that you've brought it to big picture, what's most surprised you in life?

Speaker 3: I think what's most surprised me in life is the fact that honestly, what I've learned here aS a, as an entrepreneur, and I, I think About this all the time, it brings me back to gratitude. Um, the fact that we have such a great opportunity here in our country that someone like me can start from nothing and build a business, you know, go public access, capital scale, nationally scale internationally, and you think about just the, the fortunate opportunity that we can get an education here and parlay that into entrepreneurism, parlay that into employment, uh, for, you know, hundreds of people. It's great. And so I think what surprised me most is just the faCt that, um, you know, the United States is, is obviously a great country. Uh, I think the opportunity that we have here is phenomenal and that's something that should be appreciated. Uh, so I just wake up every day. I'm happy that I was put in this position and I don't want to do my best to take advantage of it. And I'm just surprised that, you know, we're, we're so lucky in this country and I'm surprised that more people aren't doing more to help again, create opportunities for people. Yeah. Because I think ultimately there's going to be a lot of winters and we can either help promote that or we cAn go the opposite direction. So you have to choose.

Speaker 1: It's your choice, right? You know, either beyond this side or that side. But uh, you know, let's, let's do things right. Uh, and what was that last question? Oh yeah. On the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. So it doesn't have to be your favorite song. It doesn't have to be a perfect song. It doesn't have to be appropriate for the moment. It's just as you've gone on in your life, whether it was basketball, the first, uh, entrepreneurship opportunity that you had, we didn't talk about or this one one track that's definitely on the soundtrack of your life.

Speaker 3: That's tough question. I'm like, I'm drawing blanks all over place. That's all right. You got one? No, no, go ahead. Right.

Speaker 1: I was just going to say, as we're getting ready for the big game, right, you know, maybe on the bus, what are we listening to back in the day? How about that?

Speaker 3: Well, back in the day there was a lot of, you know, a lot have a good hype, a rap music that I used to listen to, eminem, you know, that type of stuff. So I Think that that stuff gets you motivated and pumped up. But um, you know, ultimately I think, you know, in terms of songs that can kind of speak to this industry, I mean, I think, you know, what comes to mind and certainly for me is, is reggae music and, and you look at a, you know, bob marley and songs he was putting out, I think we're going above and beyond on the business side and I think we're bringing a lot of other stuff, but ultimately if we can go back to kinda what he was all about, right? And, and, and you're talking about peace and love and building communities and, and you go down to Jamaica and, and you see the impact that he had in his short tenure in that, in that country. Sure. It's phenomenal. So I think, you know,

Speaker 1: can I, can I suggest one then go ahead. And as far as the plant, you know, kind of being taken from us. Right. And the prohibition type of thing and, and all that. Let's just do redemption song. I like redemption song on behalf of the plant from bob marley. Done. Nick, I appreciate it. Came to us to keep doing the good work. All right. All right. Thanks for having me. And there you have nick kovacevich really liked that, uh, work together to benefit those who have specific skills and put them in a position to succeed. Makes me thiNk of because he talked about basketball. Michael Jordan and dennis rodman. You know, they weren't friends, but they worKed well together. Thanks to nick, 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.