fbpx

Ep.330: Michael Bronstein

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.330: Michael Bronstein

Ep.330: Michael Bronstein

Michael Bronstein returns to discuss the fact that he sees the state legislature of New Jersey legalizing adult-use cannabis within 2018. Governor Murphy campaigned on the issue and there’s no question where he stands as far as support. That said, there’s not necessarily agreement on a timeline. What Michael does know is that the New Jersey State Senate President is for it and wants legal cannabis adopted. There’s more of a question in the House. Michael further notes that important bridges have to be built, just like on any legislative agenda. In his view the ultimate legislation must of course speak to licenses and product availability and may also speak to social justice. On product, the lesson has been learned from New York and he feels that there will be flower available in New Jersey.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: That's two Ns an the word economy. Michael Bronstein. I'm all over this. You know microphones. Michael Bronstein, you the reason that we're sitting, we would always sit down. It's not. We don't need a reason for. We normally sit down. We normally sit down, unless of course we're standing and the reason that we're sitting down this empirically, we've never stood together as you're never stood. We stood together, always said that's not true. We both had food. I don't. I don't remember that last time we saw each other. You were, you were under the weather. I was under the weather. I'm back. Okay. You think New Jersey's happening? Adult use 2018. We're good. That's what you think. I do believe that. All right. Okay, so let's go on the record for having said that. Let's talk. Let's talk about that. So we've got one year essentially. Yes. Until we vote on this in New Jersey.

Speaker 1: Where are we now? Right now we are in a place where people who are making policy or considering what these next steps are going to be in terms of formulating a program and potentially adopting legalization through a state legislature, the state legislature through a state ledger. So not only are we looking to do adult use in, in New Jersey, we're going to do it through the state legislature, the state legislature. Now, you know, I was going to say that you don't need the governor, you know, to, to legalize as we know from Colorado and other states, uh, although the, you know, uh, Mr Murphy, if I'm not mistaken, supportive of the issue where, where's he on this newly elected governor of New Jersey. So governor elect Murphy has made this a policy priority. Excellent. He has been quoted extensively in the media on this issue and even campaigns on this issue.

Speaker 1: Okay. So there is no question where governor elect Murphy stands on this issue. Check that box. That box is checked. Now as we go into legislature, why do we want to name names or what are we, you know what I mean? How are we feeling about who's involved and what's what. It's almost too early to name some names, but there have been hearings that have been picked up on in the press. I've been to a number of these hearings and the last hearing that we had, which was, you know, several months ago at this point, it was sort of what happens next. Is there a there there, right? If you will, right? Yeah. Now with somebody who campaigns on this issue, there is a there, there, there is much more of a. they're there now than there was. So when you say we're going to pass through the legislature, we don't have to vote on it. We don't have to wait until November.

Speaker 1: Now we are. We do not have to wait until November. So what kind of timeline are we on? So that's the big question and I don't think that anybody is necessarily in agreement on a timeline and I think that all of us know that legislative, the legislation gets done. It's definitely sausage and it takes a lot of time to cure me to grind it or get it into the habit. Come out looking like a sauce, right? Yeah. So there's gonna be some time. Okay. We're going to have to happen now listen in the. The thing that we do know is that the senate president, Steve Sweeney, Democrat, Democrat, who controls very large portion of legislative agenda has said that he is for this and once it wants it a doc, check that box. Check that. Okay. The house. There's a little bit more of a question.

Speaker 1: This sounds familiar. This sounds almost like the, uh, the federal, uh, you know, colleagues or every other state. Yeah, sure. For some reason. Sure. Yeah, that's right. You know, maybe there's some wisdom in the upper chambers. That's what they say. Right. Okay. So fine. So a little bit of gray, if you will, in the habit of Greg, what about the aisle, right. If we have at least a very important Democrat on one side, is there anything on the other side of the aisle that we can look to that we can be happy with that we can be confident in?

Speaker 1: So, New Jersey's legislature is Democrat controlled. Sure. Majority. Heavily majority. Like 75 percent ish or something like that. Jersey. Yeah, it's right next to New York. It's northeast. Yeah. I mean, look, there are there definitely republican elected officials. Sure. And uh, and they matter in, in, in what goes on, there will be a, there will be some listening to the minority part. So there's an important bridges that are, that have to be built on any legislative agenda. There have to be some boxes. Again, we talked about boxes being checked in that area, so we need to even find that box is essentially it. You know, I think that that's fair to say. Right? I think that that's fair to say there's been a, you know, there's a bill introduced, but the thing is is that what everybody is going to have to know going forward, and this is the same thing in every state, is what is if we all know that we want to do something, what is it that that's something looks like, Oh, can I think people are more interested in finding out what these details are because bills that have been proposed in other sessions, things that have been talked about, they didn't have a chance to move.

Speaker 1: That's two Ns an the word economy. Michael Bronstein. I'm all over this. You know microphones. Michael Bronstein, you the reason that we're sitting, we would always sit down. It's not. We don't need a reason for. We normally sit down. We normally sit down, unless of course we're standing and the reason that we're sitting down this empirically, we've never stood together as you're never stood. We stood together, always said that's not true. We both had food. I don't. I don't remember that last time we saw each other. You were, you were under the weather. I was under the weather. I'm back. Okay. You think New Jersey's happening? Adult use 2018. We're good. That's what you think. I do believe that. All right. Okay, so let's go on the record for having said that. Let's talk. Let's talk about that. So we've got one year essentially. Yes. Until we vote on this in New Jersey.

Speaker 1: Where are we now? Right now we are in a place where people who are making policy or considering what these next steps are going to be in terms of formulating a program and potentially adopting legalization through a state legislature, the state legislature through a state ledger. So not only are we looking to do adult use in, in New Jersey, we're going to do it through the state legislature, the state legislature. Now, you know, I was going to say that you don't need the governor, you know, to, to legalize as we know from Colorado and other states, uh, although the, you know, uh, Mr Murphy, if I'm not mistaken, supportive of the issue where, where's he on this newly elected governor of New Jersey. So governor elect Murphy has made this a policy priority. Excellent. He has been quoted extensively in the media on this issue and even campaigns on this issue.

Speaker 1: Okay. So there is no question where governor elect Murphy stands on this issue. Check that box. That box is checked. Now as we go into legislature, why do we want to name names or what are we, you know what I mean? How are we feeling about who's involved and what's what. It's almost too early to name some names, but there have been hearings that have been picked up on in the press. I've been to a number of these hearings and the last hearing that we had, which was, you know, several months ago at this point, it was sort of what happens next. Is there a there there, right? If you will, right? Yeah. Now with somebody who campaigns on this issue, there is a there, there, there is much more of a. they're there now than there was. So when you say we're going to pass through the legislature, we don't have to vote on it. We don't have to wait until November.

Speaker 1: Now we are. We do not have to wait until November. So what kind of timeline are we on? So that's the big question and I don't think that anybody is necessarily in agreement on a timeline and I think that all of us know that legislative, the legislation gets done. It's definitely sausage and it takes a lot of time to cure me to grind it or get it into the habit. Come out looking like a sauce, right? Yeah. So there's gonna be some time. Okay. We're going to have to happen now listen in the. The thing that we do know is that the senate president, Steve Sweeney, Democrat, Democrat, who controls very large portion of legislative agenda has said that he is for this and once it wants it a doc, check that box. Check that. Okay. The house. There's a little bit more of a question.

Speaker 1: This sounds familiar. This sounds almost like the, uh, the federal, uh, you know, colleagues or every other state. Yeah, sure. For some reason. Sure. Yeah, that's right. You know, maybe there's some wisdom in the upper chambers. That's what they say. Right. Okay. So fine. So a little bit of gray, if you will, in the habit of Greg, what about the aisle, right. If we have at least a very important Democrat on one side, is there anything on the other side of the aisle that we can look to that we can be happy with that we can be confident in?

Speaker 1: So, New Jersey's legislature is Democrat controlled. Sure. Majority. Heavily majority. Like 75 percent ish or something like that. Jersey. Yeah, it's right next to New York. It's northeast. Yeah. I mean, look, there are there definitely republican elected officials. Sure. And uh, and they matter in, in, in what goes on, there will be a, there will be some listening to the minority part. So there's an important bridges that are, that have to be built on any legislative agenda. There have to be some boxes. Again, we talked about boxes being checked in that area, so we need to even find that box is essentially it. You know, I think that that's fair to say. Right? I think that that's fair to say there's been a, you know, there's a bill introduced, but the thing is is that what everybody is going to have to know going forward, and this is the same thing in every state, is what is if we all know that we want to do something, what is it that that's something looks like, Oh, can I think people are more interested in finding out what these details are because bills that have been proposed in other sessions, things that have been talked about, they didn't have a chance to move.

Speaker 1: Okay. And when you start having things that have the chance to move, people start paying attention a little bit more. Okay. So as we're paying attention a little bit more, what is in what we do know about? Who introduced the bill that we're talking about? I guess a senator's Qatari has it bill also a Democrat also also democrat. From what part of the stats? The he is from the middle part of the state. Don't get into an argument about where people are, whether they're north or South in New Jersey, whether they would consider him north. Right. Uh, that is a very graphical axes. Yes. We don't need to. I don't want to write what exit are you from judge, and I should say wearing, wearing my stripes. I'm from Philadelphia, right. So to me, which is southern New Jersey, to me by the witches witches, southern, southern New Jersey.

Speaker 1: To you and to many people in New Jersey. He, right? Yes. It turns out well for the people in southern New Jersey, it's Philadelphia. They, my cousin is the biggest eagles fan on the earth. What about me? And he's a pretty big egos. Well, but he's from southern New Jersey, is what I'm saying. I would put them up against you. I will, I really do. Oh yeah, you. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The whole thing, I mean whole thing. Oh sure. He signs texts from Randall Cunningham. You know, I love Randall County. Of course you do. Well, I would have not picked out, couldn't you? Alright. So we've got the. We've got the bill in the legislature. What is in that? What can you tell us and what our legislators finding as we speak? The thing is is that I don't think that there's necessarily. I think that they're going to be things that change.

Speaker 1: There's going to be a framework that's going to be put together that people are going to have to think about, you know, coming into next year. But are we like, are we limiting the number of licenses? Are We, you know, what, what does it, what are the types of things to be honest with you are all up for discussion. Oh Wow. Oh, so this is a very loose legislation that we've, we want to legalize cannabis in New Jersey basically is what it says. There is legislation. It says further than that, but I'm just telling you in terms of the politics, everybody's open mind to everybody. Let's figure out something that works. Yes. What do you think will work based on what's happened in other states and your understanding of New Jersey? What do you think might work understanding that this is one man's opinion, uh, what might work in New Jersey in an important opinion?

Speaker 1: It turns out, I'm sure you've got, I mean, you're in rooms as you discuss it, you know, so there's that sitting, sitting, sitting in rooms. Yeah. So what might work as far as the construct, you know, what, what, what might it feel like? Might it feel like Colorado mightn't feel like Washington state? Hopefully not. Please don't say Washington state, but you know, like give us a little bit of a sense of what you think might work. In my view, it will be, if you can imagine an east coast legalization model, k based off of pseudos and pseudo Colorado will be borrowed and there will be things that like everywhere else I have become somewhat unique to the places where they are. It has to be unique to us because we're smarter than everybody else. So we can't do it exactly the same way as another state, but pseudo Colorado.

Speaker 1: What's that? Based on another state. Maybe some flair. So there we go. So with some flair we'll discuss flare later. Meaning maybe not even in this conversation, but pseudo Colorado, uh, that seems to be a good idea, right? I mean they're dotting i's and crossing t's on their regulations constantly as you do, but it seems to have worked in Colorado, right? You know? Yes. Now they have the added benefit of having a regulated medical market on their way into regulated adult use. New Jersey does have a medical market, but it has been. I don't know if the right word is destroyed but really hampered by the former governor. So where are we with that aspect

Speaker 1: versus what was healthy in Colorado? Is that some of the flare that you're talking about that we kind of have to put it back up on it? No, I don't. I think it's more the specifics now when I talk about Flair, I think it's more about a, more about the specifics because we're working from a general idea, you know, when you talk about things like licensure, what types of products are going to be allowed? You know, there are other things that are coming up. Social justice issues. Yes. You know, I've been coming up, coming up quite frequently inside the legislature. Yup. So there are a number of people who feel that, um, that, uh, that there needs to be a remedy for things that, that, that have been going on, um, you know, just proportionately affected by the disproportionately affected by the war on drugs have to be taken care of. There we go. And these policy avenues, there are angles here to be able to, uh, to be able to address those issues. And by now in this conversation, I know better than to ask you what we'll get. We'll get to that down the line, but we are. That is on the board here. That is on the, you know, the things that will definitely be taken very seriously. That's one of those things that is one of those things. Now you mentioned products, a New York state.

Speaker 1: It's a problem as far as the limited amount of products that are available on shelves. Do you think New Jersey notices that?

Speaker 1: I think New Jersey notices it. Okay. Are we going to also try to go smoke lists in New Jersey now? Okay. All right, now, so then we'll continue. There will be, in my view, there will absolutely be a flower. Oh yeah. Oh Wow. Yes. Okay. All right. And everything else type of thing or maybe not a lot. A Lot, but not. Maybe not everything. Maybe not everything. Okay. Because we're not the west coast is your point. We're not the west coast. Right. And I'll tell you something. People in New Jersey, they don't want to live in the west coast. Yeah, they live in New Jersey. Lived in New Jersey damage. Yeah, exactly. Jersey. Bruce springsteen would never even. Yeah. Right. Okay. Right. Because we're here. We're supposed to be here. We're supposed to be here. We're doing this on purpose. That's exactly right. Yeah. Uh Alright. So products we feel like are going to be kind of open minded, a social justice.

Speaker 1: We're going to be kind of a open minded, um, licensure. I feel like that's a little bit more gray as far as this conversation is concerned. I think that that's true. I think that it's a little bit more gray. You know, there's a question of, all right, are we good? You know, people are always asking is it going to be vertically integrated, is it going to be, you know, and these things all have to be. That's why you're not even touching it at all because you're talking about everything about everything and you want to on everything on the table as far as that's concerned. I think everything has to be left on that as to be left on the table. Do you think that is? We don't know and I don't think necessarily every legislator you know, understands or is having, having thoughts about it right now about what that particular system looks like.

Speaker 1: It's an education process. It does seem that a, when you explicitly limit licenses so that it's a very small number, uh, which is completely disproportionate to the state populous that, that doesn't work, that that's my opinion. What are your thoughts on my opinion on unlimited licensure? So New York has five licenses and we have a lot of people and it's not working. In other words, we can't figure it out. How many people are in New York? 10 people. Yeah. It's like 12 license. It's like 17 people. Plus my sister moved, so she's not. That's right. I have a sister in law that lives in New York. I haven't been there personally and maybe I don't know, but my point though, right, so we got. I mean we. Do you think that we're going to try to engineer something like that. There was a big brawl in Florida to this to this end, you know, very aware of these.

Speaker 1: Wrong. Okay. Good. Very aware. Okay. So it's on our radar and we want to do this smart. Something greater than zero. Something less than unlimited. Okay. That's basically he said not. I think he said nothing. No, no, no. I know, but okay, fair enough. You're not saying nothing when you say something more than zero and something less than I'm living. Yeah, I think there. I think there'll be a reasonable expectation potentially just because it's a different market about what you know, what licensing might might look like or might might feel like coming out of it. I mean that's my general sense. Good. But we are learning the lessons of New York and Illinois where it's like if you only give it to this many people that you don't have a patient count to sustain a market in a real way and grow that market in a really.

Speaker 1: Oh, so you're talking about on the medical side of the equation, I'm talking about everything or you're talking about everything. Yeah. Okay. Like if you just have a. oh well patients. I mentioned patients, but if you just have five people that can sell in a, in a brand new market, it doesn't work. Like that's not, that doesn't, you know, we love the free markets. Right. And that's not how a free market go. That's not how any market goes. What I think is that markets tend to sort themselves out. Okay. When there's a market, when there's a market. This is my point. Yeah. So we're making the same point. Wonderful. That's good enough for me. I'm moving on. I'm moving on. All right. So now back to timeline. Right? If my initial timeline I was fine with November of 2018 being the timeline, but we're doing this through the legislature so we don't have to wait that long is where I kind of backtracked to. Is the end of the year of 2018. Is that too much to ask, do you think or what are your thoughts? I do not think that it's too much to ask. I do not think it's too much data, but it's somewhere in that neighborhood. It is somewhere in that neighbor. Why if it's somewhere in that neighborhood, would it be hoover us to also put something on the ballot for 2018?

Speaker 1: I don't think so. Okay. Why? I don't think so right now because I liked the idea of jersey, so the way it works in New Jersey, the ballot in New Jersey actually has to go through the legislature for something's put on the ballot then. Nevermind. That is. That is. That is the rub. We thought about that. We thought of. I thought about it. We look at it. What other states are like that? I mean, I don't mean to put you on the spot, but like that's in the know. I mean this is, you've got the right guy here. Yeah. So there, there are other states, there are definitely other states that do it. New Jersey, New Jersey is. That is what I would call kind of a hybrid model. It's not like the West where you just go out, get your signatures and you're in business. Sure. All right.

Speaker 1: It's, it's a little bit more democratic out west. Sure. You know? Yeah. That's how these things get done. Absolute. So in the east, a number of things that have not happened in the east, like for example, vote by mail, which New Jersey has by the way, adopt. Okay. But if you look at the, if you look at the vote by mail states, generally most of them are in the west coast. Other, there's a, you know, there's even a, you know, there's a state that's gone completely vote by mail and when you look at those, those are the ones that tend to have. What state is that? That would be a, uh, Oregon. So they don't go to the polls anymore? No. Really? Yes. I think that, that makes sense. Then I can vote whenever I wanted to live on the east coast. This doesn't make sense.

Speaker 1: No, I work. I voted in New York. Have you ever seen what that's like? I was the first time first and online this election day and there were not many people that were online when I left, so I voted and I'll, we can talk about who I voted for afterwards, but I really took it very seriously as I would. And uh, you know, mayor was on the ballot. You're probably be, be disappointed in the fact that I didn't necessarily vote for our tall guy, but I didn't vote for uh, you know, uh, uh, Ms Dot Staten Island either. So I, you know, there was the smart cities guy. Do you know the sports guy? I do not know the smart cities. He's like a good. You should know him like as far as people are concerned. Really? Yeah. I'm going to be doing it. That's what I'm saying.

Speaker 1: And I'm going to be doing an interview with him and, uh, it's an interesting perspective is what I would say. But anyway, where are we? So vote by mail Oregon. Great. You're saying that there are things that we do on the west coast that we wouldn't do on the east coast and as far as the legislature or putting things on the ballot, it's tougher to get on the ballot in New Jersey than it would be. That's right. That's why we're going to start seeing on the east coast in general. Yeah. We're going to start to see the first moves in legislatures to, to get legalization passed through legislature. And obviously we've run into issues and other states. I'm sure this is a, this is a tricky process. The first is never easy and it's a little unpredictable. Well, I'm in, I, I'm very excited. Uh, I liked the idea that it's very possible that we can get this done before the end of the year.

Speaker 1: I do. You sound very bullish about it. Uh, just while we're here, we should probably talk about attachments. The latest. Oh, for sure. So attach has been very, very busy. This spell it out for us, just 100 percent. So ace a c, h, the American trade association for cannabis and hemp bright at that, at that age and that age, that age. Someone came up to me yesterday and they said, you know, I always thought it was attack and you're like in some, in some instances, in many ins if need be, if need be, there's an attack. So what are we looking at on the agenda for you guys for 2018? So we are actively involved in all of these states that are, that are going to legalize. Um, you know, we've been organizing industry participants over the course of this last, these last seven months.

Speaker 1: We actually signed a memorandum of understanding with a stm international [inaudible], which is one of the oldest standards bodies. Sure. In the United States. Sure. And we are working right now to develop industry standards and help create legitimacy to regulators in the marketplace from a standardization standpoint. Wonderful. And we have spent a lot of time and a lot of work. I think the first set of standards could be adopted within the next couple of months, but it is a consensus body. There are many large industry players that are on it and quite frankly, I think getting an mou with them was big time. Big, big time. Cool. Yeah. Keep me in the loop on that. Seriously, you know, as far as this thing, as far as personally keep me in the loop with what goes on there on hundred percent. That's what we need. You know, so we have in January I'll be down in New Orleans and will be a for the STM international conference.

Speaker 1: The first one was actually in Toronto, so I was in Toronto with many of the attached board members up there to participate, to participate in the standards making process. It's been unbelievable, you know, taking something from where you know, where we all need to know it, you know, we all know that this is where it has to go. Exactly. And we are legitimately using this space and that's, that's our entire primary goal. And we've got, you know, a number of the big industry players around us who've been involved. We've obviously been some of my very good friends. Some of your very good friends, some of your very good friends has been been absolutely terrific. Yeah. So last year actually we won um, campaigns and elections magazine, a organization of the year corporate grassroots organization in the year. Congratulations. It was the, it was a major, major, legitimate marker when we have basically, you know, all the political consultants in the country, they all read this, they all read campaigns and elections and the fact that they selected the organization, it was the first time they ever selected any type of cannabis organization.

Speaker 1: Sure it was, it was, it's been amazing. And that's fantastic. That's just good for the entire industry for people like that who are reading that to see that and to award that 100 percent. Right. All right, so I've got three final questions for returning guests. Michael, I'll tell you what they are and then I'll ask you them in order. What would you change about yourself, if anything? It might be something you're 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 on there. That's always the last question. It is always the last bit. I should have known that these were coming. Well, yeah, of course. No, no, no. I, I am a listener than not just on this. Yeah. These, uh, these questions for returning guests are somewhat new. It's a newer feature. The third one I recognize she was. That's always the last question. It always will be the last question. The third one I recognize. What would you change about yourself? If anything? It might be something you're already working. Something I'm already worked. It might be it. That doesn't necessarily have to be.

Speaker 1: That's a great question. I mean like these socks. Can we talk about the socks? So these sugar daddy socks. You can literally. None. The sugar daddy came short socks yesterday. The Sugar Daddy Daddy candy socks. Yeah. What I would do if I were to change something about myself as I go out and buy new socks. Okay. That's fair. So that's one, and especially in the new year, the upcoming year, what would you change about anything else if anything? Now this means you have, you have, you are omnipotent, right? That's, that's all powerful. You can do whatever it's space and time. Have Note. You can bend the space time continuum. Doesn't matter in terms of cannabis. What I would do. Okay. I will give you in terms of candidates there enough, change the stigma. Yes. Okay. There should be people who are using cannabis. It should not be. There should be no stigma attached to them.

Speaker 1: If you see someone with even an old fashioned joint for instance, and you see another person with like a beer, you should have the same reaction which has no previous social. There shouldn't be as social judgment indeed between those things. I love and that's, that's something that I would. That's something that I would change. We're closer. I'd say people always ask me, I say, well, what are your. When you see people talk, they say, well, what are your, what are your consumption's use? Do you use, do you use whatever? Why does it matter? Sure. Yeah, it shut, it doesn't, it doesn't like how much beer do you drink? How anyone else are you? My doctor, my doctor asked me how I drink. What does it mean? Why does it matter? Right, right. Yeah. And as far as a consumption for my doctorate, it's not gonna mess anything up like the alcohol mind.

Speaker 1: Right. You know, anyway, on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on. Oh, that's tough. I know. Well, but if you were doing, you know, uh, you could do streets Philadelphia by Bruce springsteen. So you bring in both the, you know, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. My Mind, mine is led Zeppelin's full in the rain. Okay. There we go. With the whistle in the middle with the whistle in the middle, we'll take it was the soundtrack of my life. And there you have Michael Bronstein. So the sausage is being made in New Jersey as we speak. Very interested to see what comes out of the state. As some of you know, I'm here in New York, so very interested to see what happens if that state particularly thanks to him. Thanks to you, stay tuned.

Read the full transcript:

Become a member to access to webinars, quarterly reports, contributor columns, shows, excerpts, and complete podcast transcripts

Become a Member

Already a member? Login here.

Subscribe now to get every episode.

Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.