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Ep.336: Bibiana Rojas, Colombian Cannabis

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.336: Bibiana Rojas, Colombian Cannabis

Ep.336: Bibiana Rojas, Colombian Cannabis

Bibiana Rojas joins us and shares that Colombia legalized medical cannabis and did so with the country being a true medicinal market. What she means by that is that cannabis has to walk and talk like a medicine. No flower is on sale, no shipments take place. The rules state essentially whatever we do with pharmaceuticals, we’re doing with cannabis. Bibi’s company has now received licenses to cultivate. For background, her family had a number of businesses and based on Bibi’s international business experience, she was elected to be the steward and she takes us through where she’s going with the business in Colombia’s cannabis economy. Incidentally, Bibi is also kind enough to give us a lesson in global treasuries.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Bibi Rojas Bibiana Rojas joins us and shares that Columbia legalized medical cannabis and did so with the country being a true medicinal market. What she means by that is that cannabis has to walk and talk like a Madison. No flowers on sale, no shipments take place. The rule state, essentially whatever we do with pharmaceuticals we're doing with cannabis. Bibi's company has now received licenses to cultivate for background. Her family had a number of businesses and based on bds international business experience, she was elected to be the steward and takes us through where she's going with the business in Columbia's cannabis economy. Incidentally, bb is also kind enough to give us a lesson in global treasuries. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Check us out on social, but they have a kind of economy that's two ends of the word economy. Bb role like it. Yeah. I like to do any other accident. This is my only one. Oh, this is nice. I see

Speaker 3: what you're saying. I plan my Jamaican accent. These, this accent too, this is how you're making them Psychos, right? That's it. I just needed to make and we do miss it. No, I got it. I heard it hit my British one is watch. So you are correct. You are not. This is not a talent of yours a bit, but just in case I'm doing cannabis. No, I got you. All right. So just to set the scene here, it's early in the morning. You're sipping coffee so that might happen. And it's also windy because we're in Kawaii, Hawaii, if anyone can believe it, I can believe it. You can believe it because we're here. It's gorgeous. It really is. And um, how would you describe it? The waves are coming up on the beach here and there are a lot of palm trees and nice and happy people. And the two of us are sitting here in business were smiling. The world is fine. Rainbows are coming. Oh sure. And you and I know different faculty. I think it's a beautiful day. Perfect Day of way of studying the day. It is, it is a. But again, we're in business attire. We're working here, right?

Speaker 4: I have my beautiful heels. I'm in a dress or wearing the color of the ocean to blue. Look at that. Yeah, it's good that we call this morning each other too much.

Speaker 3: Well, the thing is, um, I don't know if you remember what I was wearing yesterday or as you said, you saw me in Vegas. I saw you in Vegas. That same thing. It's always the same thing. So that's how I do it. Makes it easy. It's like a Steve Jobs, you know, that's what I really limit that as a thing that I have to worry about it.

Speaker 4: Exactly. Yeah. And practical. There's better things to worry about. There aren't, we made were more complicated because we're more memorable sometimes

Speaker 3: you are absolutely more memorable. At least I think so. And I think that's a good thing. I think that, I mean, what do you do? Like I'm a regular guy, right? I don't know. I'm just going to jump in here and see what you see if you want to discuss it. I like it. Um, and again, it's windy. Hold every coffee. Oh yeah, that's a good idea. So, you know, I, I'm aware that men are stupid and by that I mean simple minded, you know, we're very, you know, kind of straightforward, kind of think of one thing at a time. I'm painting with a broad brush and I'm also aware that women are complex and for our simple minds sometimes that comes across as crazy. Is that fair? I could see that. I can see where you're coming from. Yes. But this whole new thing, like this year and this year is the year of the sexual harassment. Oh my God, yes. Situate like people, men, right. Who? I, you know, I'm one of them. I didn't know that we did this, that we can actually keep it in our pants and this, I mean like the stuff that I'm hearing is remarkable. Anytime that I talked to one of my female friends are like, yeah, I believe it.

Speaker 4: No, no, I. and I, I think um, it's been surprising because women, we keep it quiet. I myself have been at some point in time sexually harassed, right? And in my mind I always felt guilty like, oh, maybe I did, I did wrong. You know, I'm the young intern and then this boss came to me. It was my problem because I'm the third, he's the CEO. Probably I did something wrong. So I keep it quiet because I want people thinking I did something wrong because then I'm all about that girl. I know with everybody talking now Sunday realized like, oh, we, it wasn't just me and he's everybody, but we all kept it quiet. Um, and, and I, I hear man on sometimes like, oh, now you cannot even look at a woman. I was like, it's not about that, but he's, I think, you know, when you have touched someone up in a proper way, would you invite someone or they say, no, thank you.

Speaker 4: And now just stop talking to them. Now there are no longer invited to meetings or the stuff that you have problem is because she said to a another type of invitation. So it's sad that it's happening. I'm, no, I'm very good at the moment. It's wonderful because now he's like it. It's keeping everybody in check on his boy from the high level that I think people, I think many men are scared now. They are like, Ooh, they're starting to think about, did I did something because it's also not the recent that people are talking about stuff that happened 20 years ago. So he's like, well, in 20 years I'm probably did something. I probably didn't.

Speaker 1: Bibi Rojas Bibiana Rojas joins us and shares that Columbia legalized medical cannabis and did so with the country being a true medicinal market. What she means by that is that cannabis has to walk and talk like a Madison. No flowers on sale, no shipments take place. The rule state, essentially whatever we do with pharmaceuticals we're doing with cannabis. Bibi's company has now received licenses to cultivate for background. Her family had a number of businesses and based on bds international business experience, she was elected to be the steward and takes us through where she's going with the business in Columbia's cannabis economy. Incidentally, bb is also kind enough to give us a lesson in global treasuries. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Check us out on social, but they have a kind of economy that's two ends of the word economy. Bb role like it. Yeah. I like to do any other accident. This is my only one. Oh, this is nice. I see

Speaker 3: what you're saying. I plan my Jamaican accent. These, this accent too, this is how you're making them Psychos, right? That's it. I just needed to make and we do miss it. No, I got it. I heard it hit my British one is watch. So you are correct. You are not. This is not a talent of yours a bit, but just in case I'm doing cannabis. No, I got you. All right. So just to set the scene here, it's early in the morning. You're sipping coffee so that might happen. And it's also windy because we're in Kawaii, Hawaii, if anyone can believe it, I can believe it. You can believe it because we're here. It's gorgeous. It really is. And um, how would you describe it? The waves are coming up on the beach here and there are a lot of palm trees and nice and happy people. And the two of us are sitting here in business were smiling. The world is fine. Rainbows are coming. Oh sure. And you and I know different faculty. I think it's a beautiful day. Perfect Day of way of studying the day. It is, it is a. But again, we're in business attire. We're working here, right?

Speaker 4: I have my beautiful heels. I'm in a dress or wearing the color of the ocean to blue. Look at that. Yeah, it's good that we call this morning each other too much.

Speaker 3: Well, the thing is, um, I don't know if you remember what I was wearing yesterday or as you said, you saw me in Vegas. I saw you in Vegas. That same thing. It's always the same thing. So that's how I do it. Makes it easy. It's like a Steve Jobs, you know, that's what I really limit that as a thing that I have to worry about it.

Speaker 4: Exactly. Yeah. And practical. There's better things to worry about. There aren't, we made were more complicated because we're more memorable sometimes

Speaker 3: you are absolutely more memorable. At least I think so. And I think that's a good thing. I think that, I mean, what do you do? Like I'm a regular guy, right? I don't know. I'm just going to jump in here and see what you see if you want to discuss it. I like it. Um, and again, it's windy. Hold every coffee. Oh yeah, that's a good idea. So, you know, I, I'm aware that men are stupid and by that I mean simple minded, you know, we're very, you know, kind of straightforward, kind of think of one thing at a time. I'm painting with a broad brush and I'm also aware that women are complex and for our simple minds sometimes that comes across as crazy. Is that fair? I could see that. I can see where you're coming from. Yes. But this whole new thing, like this year and this year is the year of the sexual harassment. Oh my God, yes. Situate like people, men, right. Who? I, you know, I'm one of them. I didn't know that we did this, that we can actually keep it in our pants and this, I mean like the stuff that I'm hearing is remarkable. Anytime that I talked to one of my female friends are like, yeah, I believe it.

Speaker 4: No, no, I. and I, I think um, it's been surprising because women, we keep it quiet. I myself have been at some point in time sexually harassed, right? And in my mind I always felt guilty like, oh, maybe I did, I did wrong. You know, I'm the young intern and then this boss came to me. It was my problem because I'm the third, he's the CEO. Probably I did something wrong. So I keep it quiet because I want people thinking I did something wrong because then I'm all about that girl. I know with everybody talking now Sunday realized like, oh, we, it wasn't just me and he's everybody, but we all kept it quiet. Um, and, and I, I hear man on sometimes like, oh, now you cannot even look at a woman. I was like, it's not about that, but he's, I think, you know, when you have touched someone up in a proper way, would you invite someone or they say, no, thank you.

Speaker 4: And now just stop talking to them. Now there are no longer invited to meetings or the stuff that you have problem is because she said to a another type of invitation. So it's sad that it's happening. I'm, no, I'm very good at the moment. It's wonderful because now he's like it. It's keeping everybody in check on his boy from the high level that I think people, I think many men are scared now. They are like, Ooh, they're starting to think about, did I did something because it's also not the recent that people are talking about stuff that happened 20 years ago. So he's like, well, in 20 years I'm probably did something. I probably didn't.

Speaker 3: This is exactly my point. You know, like I'm a pretty average guy and uh, like I get it like women look good, but you know, I'm also able to not touch people that I don't know

Speaker 4: and I'm also able to keep everything close that should be closed. That's wonderful. Do you think that will be easy? Right. That's what I'm saying. Women can do it. I see an attractive man. I don't have the need to start showing all my stuff to him. You just leave it open.

Speaker 3: That's what made me laugh. I just want to make sure because people can't see us. So, so, uh, okay. Good signal language here on the same page with the fact that maybe this is actually good and then we can kind of raise the bar societaly here. I agree. You know, with the relationship between men and women, which I thought was always here, but I guess it hasn't

Speaker 4: men and women in other, you know, I, I've in this cannabis industry and facebook when everybody started doing the Hashtag, me too. I also saw a lot of gay men saying me too, as a gay man, there's other ceos who have been maybe in the closet taking advantage of those young interns or someone under them. Yeah. They're a gate and they also work. They didn't want to say anything because maybe they didn't want to be out of the closet. Sure. So he's not only been a woman, I mean this is just respect for other human beings. We as human beings can all talk to each other with clothes on without saying anything weird about it. That's amazing. Look at us humans. Yeah. So civilized.

Speaker 3: Well, and then you know, there's a whole nother thing which maybe we'll get to, which is, that's not what we're seeing at the highest levels of politics right now. Oh, well we can get into that later because we got to cover Columbia and cannabis for. I mean that's really why we're here. So I have not had anybody on from Columbia. Exactly. So you are representing. You are indeed. So first things first, we need to kind of lay the groundwork for what is happening right now. And you mentioned yesterday we're here at the ICBC. That's why both of us are here. And you mentioned that you're famous for a coffee, maybe something else that starts with a c and now this cannabis that starts with a C, right? And so it's, it's easy and uneasy all at the same time. Is that fair?

Speaker 4: Yes. I'm a, as you said, it's a Columbia legalized cannabis. This is medical cannabis. So Columbia has been like a true medicinal market. And what I mean by that is that they said he has to walk and talk like a medicine. So sounds like Israel by the way. You've all learned shaft, so it's almost the same thing. The only difference is that in Israel you can sell flowers is not not what they say. Well, they're saying, well, there's no other medicine that you get in a flower. Any other medicine is processed and again, these eastern medicine, so you have to get it. Let me say another difference with Israel is that Israel is. The medicine is shipped directly to the patient. In Colombia, no, and ships medicine to a patient. If you need medicine, you go to a pharmacy in cannabis, you will go to a pharmacy.

Speaker 4: Again, they were very simplistic in a way there were saying we already have a market of medicine. We don't have to regulate that. We're just saying any questions you have about how to regulate the medicine, just go and check out what Pfizer or anybody else is doing. Well, we haven't regulated is how'd you get to a point to make a medicine based of cannabis and that's what we're going to regulate. You know, how to cultivate, how to process extracted and that market is what we regulate. That's what they did in this past year and then in August of this year they finish, you know, publishing all of those regulations so people can start applying for licenses in August 2017. And then when does it go live, so to speak is live now. People are applying to license my company. We already applied for our licenses for cultivation, both psychoactive and non psychoactive and extraction license.

Speaker 4: Um, there's already a few companies who have their license. They apply and they already got it. There's about six companies have those. Okay. How long do you have to wait? Um, generally, generally fast. They in, in the law it says they have 30 working days to say the government to say either yes or, but which means they can. They don't deny it right away. They have to say, Hey, listen, is your $500, 500 pages document within, understand this, are we the insidious? Can you please send that, send x, Y, z? And then they will do that twice. If after those two times, do you still want me to, then that's when they will deny three times. That makes sense.

Speaker 4: For Baseball, you know, baseball players, we have common by baseball players and I lived in uh, in the US for a while. So, you know, I, I know a little bit here in the US. Did you live? Um, I went to school. My undergrad, they didn't Floria in ucs, central Florida. My mom lives in Orlando still. Then I'm a finance undergrad. So then I went to New York. I worked there for awhile in Times Square and now with Dick Stuck surveillance from would they what, what were you doing? So I was basically when a company does an IPO or a secondary offering, I will track that stock to see how is he, how is he doing? And then it was mostly like investor relations support. So if they start selling a, a stock then you can address it before they sell all of it and see what is happening.

Speaker 4: Or if they're buying some of your competitors then you can say, hey, come on by mine. I'm doing that. For how long? That was a short period. It was short lived. He was about six months and then I went to work for Kimberly Clark in Neenah, Wisconsin, the New York City. It was a little different than moved from Manhattan to Nina, Wisconsin, I have to say. But he was wonderful. I was pleasantly surprised. I still do. Yeah. Huge company. Beautiful people. I have to say, I love people in the Midwest. I'm a packers fan now. I'm a cheese head now. So now. So go pockets, go bug, go. Um, I still go once a year at least to game. And the People's team, of course the whole town owns. Yes.

Speaker 4: Yes, exactly. So Tundra is beautiful people and I do like cheese. I like beer too. And people like beer too. So this is home, another home. That's another home. That's my second home. I have something for Kimberly Clark. So I, I was a cost analyst. I started working in. There are no movements, so you know, when you go to surgery and they have that, did you say wounds? No, he's woven. So you know, when you go to the doctor and they give you that little robe, that paper, but paper that's called no moving nonwoven and that is made out of polypropylene and polyethylene. That's good for me. Right? So I'm. Well, yeah it is. I mean it is not permissible. So for surgeries and stuff like that, they have those things offer the face masks. Face masks. Thank you. So I work on that and then I move into the fascinating world of depend.

Speaker 4: So I learned about incontinence products, a brand. You know what, What's interesting is that I was just talking to this older couple that I met online for getting a win when getting coffee and a hennessy hammocks is their business. So a check them out. Okay, fine. That's a free plug. I'll tell them later. Um, but uh, you know, I, we got to talking about pharmaceuticals and I told them my favorite pharmaceutical is a opioid induced constipation. You know the pill is for opioid induced constipation. So what this company is doing is they're offering to sell you a pill that will solve your constipation that was provided by one of their other pills, which I think is nice. One bucket to another one. It's an interesting. And they fiber I guess is the other bill that fibers. That's right. That's right. But you see, you bring this up.

Speaker 4: I bring this up because you were talking about dependence. Not. Depends by the way. Depends am I. Right. And that's, that was my parents. I learned about incontinence products, diapers, or for adults are made. So that was my life. Was it still with nonwovens I would imagine, right. Well, part of it, one of the liners is women's, but I moved, it was a different factory so I was promoted to diapers, diapers, and then from that was stealing whiskers. And then from there I was promoted to headquarters which was in Dallas two, if I remember right. The area code four. Oh, seven from Orlando, Orlando. Your cell phone, right. I. Okay. Um, so then I was in Kimberly Clark in Dallas, headquarters in strategic analysis. So I was working with a CSO and the CIO, CEO, chief strategy officer that correct. And then from there I went to do my mba at wharton. So I moved to Philly.

Speaker 3: Wait a second. That's a pretty good school right here. We have, right? This Colombian person who goes to New York. Sounds like you do pretty well there. You find a job in Wisconsin. You do pretty well there. They ship you off to headquarters. You do pretty well there. Did they say to you, hey, why don't you get your mba? Or did you say to them?

Speaker 4: No, I went. I actually, even though they promoted me to headquarters, I was a little disappointed that I wanted back then my dream job was treasury and there was only one position available and they gave it to another excellent colleague of mine. It was between him and me. He got it. Okay. So then I was like, oh, I didn't know about this time for me to move on. I'm going to go onto my mba.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And I'd given it to you because you were most likely making seventy cents on his dollar. You would have been much cheaper cost savings initiatives for Kimberly Clark, sadly, but said, all right, that's it. I'm going to wharton instead. And so were you. UCF is not that great of a school if I may. No, I get it. How did you get into wharton? Was it that Kimberly Clark experience?

Speaker 4: So I, um, I have to say when I apply, I apply. Wharton and Stanford were my two long shots. I had to say for shots do other schools because I was like, I'm from wharton with your stuff. You get in, read those blogs and he's like, all these people, their g mats are like $800. And I was like, Oh, I'm, I'm not 100 that role. Um, and I feel I'm smart, but I know this, it sounded like people who had cured cancer and gone to the moon and whatnot. Um, but I think it's, the whole package is not just about the grades is what you have done is the recommendations is your essays, is what you're, your own ambition, your drive.

Speaker 3: So they let the person in. Not The pie is not the friendly there.

Speaker 4: So I did get in, in Stanford, I was in, uh, in, in the wait list, um, and I just didn't want to wait. I said, no, I'm going with work there. I did like the campus of Stanford course better, but I liked wharton. I was like, I'm not going to wait. They don't. What if I miss my chance? I,

Speaker 3: I bet it maybe they changed their mind or something, so I don't want to risk going to say yes. I got you. What was your concentration at Wharton? So I was um,

Speaker 4: intrepreneurship on finance because I was still a finance president. Worthen loves finance.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Why were you, why was your dream job? Treasury? I haven't heard that very often.

Speaker 4: I was just doesn't, especially with a multinational companies like Kimberly Clark, I wanted to see how they did the hedging for currency because they have obviously companies all around the world. So they are in Columbia, they're in China, they're in Africa, they're in Europe, in the US and currencies move a lot. So it was like how are they protecting themselves? And I was always curious if treasury was hedging and working with futures are doing swaps or whether, whether I want it to know how they were doing it. Yeah. Now a days I think about it, I was like, that's not as interesting. Kind of is, is way more interesting. But for some reason back then that was.

Speaker 3: So let me ask you a question. You might know the answer to this because I've always wondered this and especially with Brexit, kind of metastasizing the fact that the UK or as we now know it, England, or as we will know as soon I'm, the pound is always more valuable than the American dollar. And I simply don't understand why.

Speaker 4: Yeah, it's um, I think it's part of, um, is in real economic success. Supply and demand of how they currency sets its value, right? Yeah. So for example, to bring it home three for Columbia, for years, the $1 was 2000, 3000 pesos in Columbia. So now people will be like, well, what happened? It's only the US economy stronger. And He, again, he's just a supply and demand. So what happened was the oil prices decrease, if you know it was, it used to be almost $100 a barrel and then he went down to like $45 a barrel. Columbia has reduced a lot of oil, oil is normally paid, normally paid in dollars. Sure. So when they price decrease, they were like the less dollars coming into the economy. So if you think of supply and demand, there's less supply that made the price up. So now that's why a dollar costs more. Now

Speaker 3: that I understand. That makes perfect sense. Yes.

Speaker 4: So now if you bring that into a global scale, when there's a supply and demand also in different economists, if there an I'm less amount of pounds that I can make the price go higher. And then that. The funny is that when people talk about Bitcoin, bitcoin is. Well that's. Well we could talk about for that for our hours and we'll digress. But yeah, he's one of these like what is bitcoin? Why the price went from either not at some point in time cost $1 now do now. He's like crazy person. Yeah. Why is that? There is a limited quantity. It just increased. There's nothing behind it. In theory, when we talk about the pound, he's like, oh yeah, there was gold at some point in time when we had the gold standards because you could go to a bank and exchange that for gold. Right?

Speaker 4: Nowadays we know that's bs. That's nobody's done that. I think, um, someone was looking like, no, US president has been to Fort Knox in forever. Right. So because it will look bad. Like you just don't want to know the truth. Like this is no longer tied to the cartoon. I think because the Nixon. Yeah, exactly. He's now we know that movies are still treat this piece of paper just because that's society volume. We just believe it and so it's based on nothing is what we're kind of saying going on. That's why we, we just created this stuff and then we just leave on that. Then fight for it. Then people will kill for that. Of course. Doesn't that go for the argument that maybe bitcoin could be just as valuable? Maybe you shrugged your shoulders. Maybe it's happening. Some people doing it, there's nothing behind it, but there's nothing behind any other cars.

Speaker 4: The either, as I say, not exactly, and I'll tell you what makes me think that it is more valuable. When somebody like Jamie diamond, the CEO of chase a gets angry about how not valuable that is, that that raises my tentacles and say, oh well wait a second. Maybe it is valuable. If he's so angry about something is happening and it's happening here what it is, we're not exactly clear. Cryptocurrencies coming out, it feels like a scam, but at the same time it's like if enough people believe it and they keep trading it, it becomes this crack come something way of trading. Again, like when people trade at salt was because he was volleyball. If we start paying each other in cannabis, who's to say that is not a currency? It is. If you are willing to. If the president accepted as payment under the way it works, you just need people to believe it.

Speaker 4: So then let's quickly in one sentence, go from wharton to cannabis. How did that happen? Okay, so so quickly then I went from wharton to bcg. I working at Boston consulting group that was in Atlanta and back then I was looking for the next thing to do and my family, we own a few family businesses. Back then there were six, 5 million businesses and my dad, he was about to turn 70 and he said, well, I need to pass this to the next generation. I have three siblings. My older brother that point in time, he's Christian and he was saying, I don't want anything to do with money. I went to be a pastor. He has been a firefighter. He has been a soccer player and many different things. Professional soccer player, yeah. Is it, is it messy? Is that. Oh, I wish. No, not quite, but close to this.

Speaker 4: I love you mom. You are the messy of Columbia because he's Argentinian, right? I mean like, I don't, I can't name it a Colombian, a football player that bba hummus, so he's not, he's not the one of them. And uh, so anyways, he was not the person to take over the business and my two younger siblings, one was seeing college, he was in Boston and my younger sister was in high school. This was four years ago. So my dad's like, well I have those three and then I have, they won that has worked a multinationals, it has a Wharton Mba, has working consulting companies and consulting has worked with banks and like all the fortune 500 companies, I'm the one that might understand money. Who Do you think we should cover? Uh, so I took the hint and I said, okay, I'll come back to Columbia for a couple of years just to see how he works.

Speaker 4: I haven't been back then I had political asylum in the US, so I hadn't been back to Colombia for 10 years. I need to stop. You need to understand what you mean. Okay. So another Francis is here. So what happened is back in 2001 as we kind of hinted at the beginning, is Columbia hasn't always have the nicest story of calm country that love each other. Right? So back in 2001 is when the FARC was very strong in Colombia and describe that for folks that don't need. So the FARC is the gorilla. We by now, we have signed the peace treaty with them. That actually happened now, but in 2001 they were very strong and they were taking over different parts of Columbia where we have our family businesses is called. Wieland is a state that is in the southwest of Bogota and is between the two mountain ranges of Columbia.

Speaker 4: So it's a very dense area. It's ideal for gorilla who's trying to high then do bad stuff, right? So I ain't going man. We called it the red zone. So we always have our business that's in the red zone. And for many years we were threatened because of the businesses. The gorilla used these practices where they asked for like a war tax basically saying either you pay us money or we're going to put a bomb in your company or kidnap someone or killed someone. Right. Um, extortion basically. So we were one of the families that the one to pay that because if we paid them, we financed them and you know, it's a vicious circle. They have more money, they have more power and they keep doing it. So we refuse to pay. So they put four bombs in our companies. Um, they kidnap a employees in our companies.

Speaker 4: Um, we had, back then we had like about 15 bodyguards that the army provided for us and the police provided for us and in 2001 that my dad also run for mayor for that city. So at some point he also became political. It wasn't just economical but political because part of his campaign was saying that we should stand up against the gorilla and the gorilla. The light. That message reason. I don't know why he didn't want to be part of his constituency. Yeah. Bradley. So my dad, uh, in 2001, there was this big incident where they got into a famous building in Neva does the city where we have our businesses and they kidnapped a lot of people, including the wife and the two sons of a senator who was one of my dad's best friends. Right. So when my dad realized, he said, if a senator of Columbia cannot protect his family, there's no way I can protect you.

Speaker 4: You have to leave the country. Right. Um, and my mom was living in Orlando, so divorced or are divorced theory. Oh yeah. For instance, divorced. They got remarried. They had kids again. So now that I have not married to each other. No, no, no, no, sorry. No, no, no, no. The other people, I don't want to start here in the family. Exactly. After this podcast, people will commonly will call me. No, no, no. They're happily married to other people. Um, so then I moved to London, then my dad is like, I'm just stay there and figure out life. I'm like, yeah, he's a bike. Then I was in my third year of finance. So like no one had back at that point in time, no one in my family had ever studied in the US. So it was like, I don't know, but go figure out how to study and make a life and good luck.

Speaker 4: That's why ucf, because he was, as you were saying, it's not the best top school in the US, but I didn't have much choice. He wasn't like it was close to me and seemed like a legitimate school online school. So I just went there. I'm like, hi, do I enter here? And they're like, do you have sats? I'm like, I don't know what that is. I have these other clauses in these other country. Does that help? Anyways, that was part of the setting up and I had political asylum then becomes believable what the political telemis is. When your life is in danger in another country, you can request in that country political assignment, they will say, we will protect you. You can actually requested play. This isn't just a thing that you thought that you know. So what is the process? So the process is you actually have to go with the immigration officers.

Speaker 4: Then there's these forms that you have to fill out and they will interview you and you have to provide proof and evidence that your life was in danger. They just don't give it to anybody like says, then you're like, oh, okay. Welcome to the US. Because I do know a lot of people want to come to us. Which for me was very easy to prove. We had all this. The goals, the goals of the bombs. We have the letters with threats. We have letters from the army saying that they give us the bodyguard's. Back then I was 20 years old, so I was suddenly see mark an easy target because he was um, I had a predictable routine. I had to go to class. So do you want to kidnap me? I mean clause between 10 and 11, these rooms, the schedule and I'm. And I'm young and it's easy for them to take me and make you walk through jungles.

Speaker 4: And one of the army when they. We went through this training about what to do for kidnapping because this is not like in the movies and sometimes Americans think I'm good. That means our kidnap for ransom and you know, do those later. You're out maybe with less money by your eyes in Columbia. People are kidnapped for eight years. So we went through all this training of telling you, especially for example, for me, they were like, well, you're a young lady of 30 years old. We have to be very clear. They're going to rape you multiple times, so don't fight it. It's not worth it that are going to do it either way, but if you don't find that at least they don't injure you. Um, and they say this in front of my dad. So this was kind of the training we had where I was like, I had to be prepared if they ever kidnapped me. The best way to survive was to collaborate. Um, so I'm, I'm happy. Obviously that didn't happen. I'm just move to the US, had political asylum and was able to make a beautiful career getting bcg so I cannot complain. Oh, it's been awesome.

Speaker 3: That's amazing. That's amazing. So you come back and I've now seen a, I've maybe it was on by service. They were doing a report on FARC were the guys that were in there have families all of a sudden they never did before and all that. So it, is it now that you, uh, you said you came back after 14 years? Yeah. Is it normalized meaning like is it, is it a calmer than it was truly or

Speaker 4: is definitely much calmer and we are still right now wearing that transition periods so that I could just sign the sign the peace treaty with Columbia, with the Colombian government that just happened, our president, uh, one day, normal price of peace because of this. Um, you will have any opinions on Colombians and what happened if this is good or not? What do you think? Well, I don't know if I want to be on a podcast or it. No, that's fine. That's totally fine. But I have what I do want to say, it's like we all want these. Sure. That is hard for people who were torture or kidnapped or killed for eight years and stuff is not as easy to turn the other cheek and say, okay, now see some of them, for example, the gorilla has said that they are going to run for president next year. We have presidential elections and they want to be a candidate. I don't know how that's going to play once he, you know, time will tell us, but anybody can be president. It's hard to imagine. Yeah. Well we know now that for sure the US has proved that bad. Yeah. It's, it's hard for me to imagine that a person who is responsible for killing a lot of people was going to be my next precedent. Yeah, we'll. That scares me, but we'll see.

Speaker 3: So. All Right, so your dad says, all right, you got to take over the business. You say okay, fine. I will. Where does cannabis coming?

Speaker 4: Okay. So, so we have our other six companies which are not related to cannabis. So they are like car dealerships and insurance company. Sure. We have production and distribution of Oriente, which is in Columbia. Okay. Somethings he married to some book or some very licorice. Um, we are in real estate. I'm so we have different businesses. And then last year when the media started talking about, hey, there's the senator who is loving to legalize cannabis and it starts being published about this lobbying Senator Columbus. And yes. Uh, so because Kenya is legalized in July, so around January, let's say the media started talking about this, this is happening, what people think are not so as a familiar with, they're having these discussion like, Hey, what do you think about this kind of this when I have to be honest, I, I am. I was completely ignorant about cannabis as a Colombian.

Speaker 4: I grew up, I was brainwashed with a war on drugs that Nixon was like, Columbia's are the worst and you know, now with Netflix and Narcos, people can see what it was. So do you know that this is all the bad people? So you know, I will never touch cannabis and I never consumed cannabis. And I looked down on people who use cannabis. But then when we started seeing these media were like, well, maybe this is the better way. If they legalize it didn't make sense. They will take this away from the gorilla. And I didn't know we were just up in mind that. And then there was a conference in May last year in Orlando, which is where I went to school. My mom lives there. So I was like, oh, well maybe I'll go to that conference and check it out. He was from andj business daily.

Speaker 4: And um, and then I fell in love with candidates. I, it, it opened my eyes. I realized I didn't know about the endocannabinoid system terpene send my receptors, cb one and cb two and the testimonies of people who had been using cannabis and how they have a kid that had multiple seizures and problems throughout the day to now living a normal life. And I fell in love and on, um, when we say the cannabis company, we didn't even think it would be something. We will be very into it. But I completely fell in love. And then I realized that also, and they started having these motivation, that social motivation of Columbia to have and the name of our company's Colombian cannabis, because it's precisely that we're proud of the roots of the ordinance is Colombian. That everything that needs to be negative about this at anybody who says, ah, these, um, I was a Colombian going through airports in the eighties and they will bring dogs and take me to a special room and I will be interviewing because you're Columbia.

Speaker 4: Yeah. What's Columbia? And I knew if I was single room by myself, like there's something about this, clearly I look like a drug dealer. So I'm now taking that into something positive that we can actually do something good for people for Columbia and the rest of the world. And even those farmers, like again, we are going to cultivate our, our vision is to cultivate in that same city what I call he was at redstone. So that song that was so affected that a lot of farmers ended up moving to other parts of Columbia moving away or like me, that I move away from Colombia to the US to have political asylum because we were running away from the gorilla. Now I want to bring them back and say, no, let's do this. And as the cannabis we're going to start doing something that is amazing for people we can help.

Speaker 4: Um, yes. And then I didn't expect that a, now my American friends laugh at me because in college, you know, people, American people in college, seller of cannabis. And I, as I said, I never used it. Then I looked down on them, um, I broke up with boyfriends because they ha, they use cannabis and now those ex boyfriends are like, you have to be kidding me that you have, do you have a cannabis business? I'm like, yeah, sorry. I was um, I was ignorant. But now, right now I realized that I was not informed. And now that is my new mission is telling people and informing and telling them. And I will sit down for hours if they led me to talk about all the beautiful things I can say about cannabis. I love it. Yeah, love it.

Speaker 3: You mentioned one thing about the political asylum and it made me think you must have thoughts and I don't know if you want to get into them about immigration because you spent many years in the United States of America as an immigrant, right? I'll just lay it on the table like that. What are your thoughts on what's happening now and how folks view immigration? It's a global thing with the Syrian refugees, which kind of puts a different tilt on it everywhere.

Speaker 4: I totally agree. I mean for me, again, think of. I, I have the perfect case is that if the US had, you know, turn around and close the door and say, no, you don't have political salomon. I had to come back to Columbia. I probably could've been kidnapped and raped multiple times for eight years or tortured or killed. And instead of that life, I ended up coming to the US, working for Kimberly Clark, going to wharton, working for BCG, Bain, my taxes, a lot of taxes because I ended up being in a very high income, right? So I, and I felt like I was a very good citizen. I was helping him, habitat for humanity. I donated blood and all this stuff because it's part of the. I, I, I love the US. I feel American, even if I don't have the title because I, even my humor people still live in Colombia because they don't get my jokes.

Speaker 4: But he's an American humor. I liked American humor, right? Um, but it was because they embraced me and I embraced it. And it changed my life. Instead of having a sad story that could have been horrible. I turn it around into something positive that I can help the economy and I can help other people. And that's important for any immigration. And again, for example, when trump was elected, I was shocked. Uh, trump went to wharton. He did. So he will have the same alma mater. Um, and that part is a little sad. I think he's a brilliant man as a business person. I admire him as a businessperson. Now, is that the procedure either? No. Some of these policies like immigration is, it's hard for me to buy in because again, if that had been my case, you would have been sad stories and I was surprised with many Americans do that.

Speaker 4: People who I thought were very pro immigrants, like even in the Midwest, people who are very close to me who always were like, Oh, love Bev will have Colombians there all the time with me and I, I never felt discriminated. They were the ones who vote for trump. So it also showed me a different side of some people where I was like, I thought you thought in a different way. And they're like, oh no, you're okay because, you know, dark Mexicans. And I'm like, well I am. I mean I'm not Mexican and Columbia. It is the same principle. I'm still an immigrant who came here to look for a better opportunity. I'm not saying. And they're like, yeah, there is, but you know, you're smart and you're nice and you're not doing bad stuff. I'm like, well, my Dorothea aren't either. It's just a stereotype. So

Speaker 3: where do you think that, if this is your, you're talking about friends of yours who are thinking people who are intellectual beings? Yeah. Where do you think the thinking stops that they can say something like that to you? Because they're obviously not. They see a person that they are friends with and they're like, oh, well I know you, you're a person. I'm talking about this massive humanity that aren't people essentially.

Speaker 4: And I think it's like maybe, and you know, I, I have no idea because you will have to ask them to play. But I think as the on a numbers right, when they see me and they're like, well you're not going to take my job. So like one of my friends said that directly to me. He's like, well, you're smarter than me is like you went to Wharton Id and so you're not going to take my job because you're taking jobs that I could never get. What he told me that the Mexicans, they can take the jobs that I can take, so now they are my competition and there are many more of them than me, so in his mind he was like, it's competition. So he was.

Speaker 3: So it comes down to the fact that we haven't done a good job of making everybody feel as though they can get along in the American economy

Speaker 4: or that I knew in that moment when he told me that in my mind was like, well then you can get an Mba to do, you can apply to work with. I mean I didn't know if I could. I tried. He has never tried as like, so you can try it. I mean it's open to everybody. The same as it makes sense to anybody. The opportunities are out there. It depends is how, how much work you're willing to put in.

Speaker 3: And he said it sounds like he's just pointing his finger and I point I point out to folks who are pointing fingers. When you point a finger at somebody, look at the three fingers pointing back at you, say that you said that to. Is it a phrase? And I learned that here and I'm here. I could talk to you forever. Right? But we don't have that kind of time. Yeah, no, I like it. Uh, I've got to ask you the three final questions. I also have want to come down to Columbia and you know, as you go here, are you planning outdoor grow greenhouse grow.

Speaker 4: So, um, I want to bet and he's just a bad test. We know there's not a silver bullet, perfect way of doing anything candidates, but we are going to bed to do it outdoors because what we're trying to do is I want to make it the lowest possible price to make it more affordable. Colombians. I've had this discussion where, um, for example, some of the costs of cannabis in the US or Canada or Europe is that prices that Latin American people cannot afford. And if they're thinking about keeping those prices, like I mentioned yesterday, they sat, dv x is approved in Colombia. They're not selling it yet, but if are in Europe, they're selling at 300 euros and they're thinking about the similar prison, Columbia, no one is going to be able to afford that. So people who have multiple sclerosis are not going to be able to afford it.

Speaker 4: So we're trying to think of making things in a more affordable way for our people. So we're going to try to bet on that. We, I've visited, um, I've, I've traveled around the world by now. I've gone to Israel and Canada and the US different places to Costa Rica, Jamaica now here, Hawaii. Um, and I've seen it that it's possible to do outdoors and have good quality medical products. Sure. So we're going bet. That's the day we worked with Ed Rosenthal's birthday was yesterday and we were lucky enough that I'm, for some reason he was willing to talk for us to for two hours. And um, you gave us some tips on how to do it outdoors because I've read all his books. He, he wasn't one of those that taught me everything about cannabis. I read every single book he has. Um, but that one is mostly focusing doors. So now he was telling me some stuff about the doors. Um, so thanks Ed.

Speaker 3: There we go. See A, he's in a couple of the hemp fest episodes that we've got on here. Awesome. Yeah. Get with the light that feels. Yeah, no, I'm, I'm blocking the sun with my hand and that's okay. But um, yeah. Oh Geez. You're okay. I'm okay. Alright. Try to do the advertisement. You brought up taxation. You brought up now how you want to build this company for Colombians and you come from a family of wealth. You come from a family of, you know, um, means and you have education. And I, when I talk to folks who are on who have a similar background to yours, who are kind of on the more conservative bent as far as politics are concerned, they always say, well, you got to pull up your pull yourself up from your bootstraps. And I agree with that. That's what I do every morning. And uh, I said, I come from the left. I tried to be in the middle of a better way to say that as I'm independent and I just think for myself, how would you speak to your friends who see you as a person, um, and tell them about your life experience that you're having about actually considering others, you know, and, and putting the weed in the community and, and, you know, maybe less, less I and more weak.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Um, and I clarify. I don't, when you say that I come from a family of wealth, we, we, we have money now, but we are not familiar. That comes from wealth. Like my dad was. Yeah, he built it. He was one of 10 kids. Got It. When they were young, they were very, very poor. They had to take turns on who will lead to which day because there was not enough food for everybody. So five kids could eat. The other five had to go and figure out where to eat. And He build all of this by himself. And this is how we all in the family have learned like we have to work harder than we may have money today, but I'll go tomorrow and that's why it's important to educate ourselves. Um, and even when I came to the US, when I can do this, it's not like my dad had friends seeing the gardener on, but he's, he could not do anything for me.

Speaker 4: He would say, well good luck in the US. I have no idea what to do. You'll figure it out. So my first job was selling knives. CUTCO. I think I down a lot of people did that. Oh my God, I still have them by the way. I have those knives. That's fantastic. Nice. By the way. So I sell knives. Then I worked a bit of a pyramid scheme, but fair enough. But I mean he worked. He did talk to me about cold calling and how to do a good cells protocol. So that was my first job. Then I work as a mannequin, a mannequin, a mannequin in a store for clothes. And you pretend to be a mannequin and you just stay. There. It is it serious as you do that and let people poke you to see every jeffery ell or not, which I was terrible.

Speaker 4: I will laugh all the time. There was no such a good man. He can be a terrible mannequins. Too much of a brain for America. I'm not kidding, but it pays some bills because again, when I came to us I didn't even have. They were like, we look for your social security and you have a credit history. No one. Who are you? I was like, I just arrived yesterday. From there. Then I worked in Barnes and noble as like a cheer and so we have been working our way up. Um, and again going now to your question of thinking of that, we is the same as the person that you look down on today because because maybe there he started the cashier or selling knives or a gardener or whatever. That person may end up being the CEO of a company stayed on. You never know because all we need is a brain and the drive to want to do something and it can be done.

Speaker 4: We have, hold on it, I remember my family were doing it. Another lesson there is to maybe not look down on other people ever. I mean there's white it. We're all human beings. Everybody's fun test to Ted, talk to some people and you hear their stories. They're amazing. I remember these, um, I still talk to him all the time. The security guard in wharton was these guys that has the most beautiful voice. I still thinking the world and he will eat the morning. He was just seeing students are coming in. He'll just sing. And the worth a huntsman hall is like this big building that has an echo and you could hear his voice through the holes. What an amazing guy. And he's heart is pure gold. So anyways, I digress.

Speaker 3: Sorry, but I just had this beautiful human being that you wouldn't necessarily know if you didn't pay attention. Right? All right. So here's the three final questions because we got to go to the thing. I'm bummed me out because I can speak to you for another hour. We'll continue to talk when you come to Columbia where every deal. Alright, so the three final questions, I'll tell you what they are and then 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, but first things first, what has most surprised you in cannabis? You kind of mentioned it earlier. Everything.

Speaker 4: What has most surprised me about cannabis? Well, yeah, I was very ignorant, so I will say just even learning about the endocannabinoid system for me.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Price. Yep. No, let's go with that one because that's a good one. We're going to be short to exactly what do we have to be an I apologize, but that is the. That is my answer to this, which is my body is built for the plant. The plant is built for my body and doctors don't know about it yet. It's not being taught in college. In Madison. Tologist yet yet. Right? What's most surprised you in life now? We just went through it. You got, you've got some pretty good lessons in there. Got some pretty big surprises.

Speaker 5: Ooh.

Speaker 4: Oh Man, I didn't know what surprised me in life. I think it was that bar that I think the biggest inflection point in my life was that coming to the US and learning that because when I came to this I was not very happy. I didn't came happily here. I came because when I came it was in an emergency so I only pack a suitcase and my dad's like, oh, will be back in a week. And so I didn't say goodbye to anybody. I didn't say goodbye to friends or to family. I had a boyfriend at that time. I didn't say goodbye. And then ones that I was here, he's like, oh, just kidding. You're getting political asylum. Good luck. And then I came back to Columbia for 10 years later, but then it took me, um, maybe a month to realize that something really negative could be turned into something really positive. And it's all in my mind is it all depends on the attitude about it. Yeah, that's it.

Speaker 5: I love it.

Speaker 3: On the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there. Oh my God, that is tough. Give us, if you, if you don't mind, whatever your answer is, if you could also give us like a Colombian artist and a Colombian song. I'd love that.

Speaker 5: Ooh. Um,

Speaker 3: I don't know what the soundtrack of my life. I feel like it has to be something like the song that I always moved to. What is that like big butts for me. I love that. Sounds like some of my very good friend, I won't say his last name, but my very good friend Matt loves that Song Too. I just that sound good. It's all, it's buddy Thursday night and I still love it and I'm like, oh my God, they can look at her body. Um, that is the soundtrack of my life. Probably not the most professional answer, but I do love the songs. And then at Columbia narrative, I mean

Speaker 4: one is Shuchita bus, they're all fantastic performers. What about somebody from back? Because those are, those are current artists, right? So what about somebody from maybe like a wild back in Colombia? We'll chuck it has been for awhile. Like, oh, I mean like, you know, fanny or records, you know, like uh, Willie Cologne and all those guys that tropical. Well, I mean kind of I'm mentioning Puerto Ricans, but you know, with a little bit, a little bit of home for a little bit of backbone, you know, maybe some horns who will, can I say, oh my God, now I feel like I'm blanking out. No, damn, no, that's. Oh, I know maybe someone that ds because that is like budget natto which is very Colombian, so we've got to look that up. And those are like, yeah, those are like the classic. If you look at something like, I think that's like a classic, you're going to have to email me the spelling of all this. Will do. Pronounce your name for us because you didn't do it in the beginning. Bibiana Rojas. I go by bb. I say like bb King, Queen. And the recipe will always be queen. Thank you so much. A pleasure. Thank you so much. Sorry that I get so happy and talk to so much that does a lot people for you though. Listen, this is the whole point, so I appreciate it. No, thank you so much. Thank you. Let's see. In Columbia

Speaker 1: and there you have bb Rojas. That's. I mean, she's a fascinating person. She's had a fascinating life and in many ways it feels like it's just beginning, so very much appreciated. Bibi and her time very much appreciate you and yours. 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.