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Ep.342: Constance Finley

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.342: Constance Finley

Ep.342: Constance Finley

Constance Finley joins us following a successful career in finance. She’s been in cannabis for the past 10 years and has evolved with the industry, now well-licensed as we make our way through this next reality. Constance is now focused on providing a pharmaceutical grade product with verified results from physicians.

Transcript:

Constance: I'm Constance Finley.

Seth: Do you have an official job title?

Constance: I'm CEO and founder of Constance Therapeutics.

Seth: Okay. And these big, giant windows here at WeWork, with the beautiful sun coming in ... Right?

Constance: Right, at WeWork.

Seth: At WeWork. But that's new though, right? Because you've got the lab kind of not obviously at WeWork.

Constance: Two blocks away, we have a large formal lab with offices there, but we needed some space away from the actual production of cannabis, and so we have executive offices two blocks away at WeWork.

Seth: To do your business think.

Constance: Yes, and to do things like this where you don't want to have the ethanol smell and issue, etc. etc.

Seth: Alright, so just before we get to today, let's quickly just understand what the reality was before January 1st. What is the state, before January 1st, of Constance Therapeutics, so that we understand? Because I think most people know your name, and understand that there is Constance Therapeutics, but just turn everyone wise.

Constance: Okay, so where we are is approaching 10 years in business, legally, here in California. I formed Goat Hill Farm, which is our manufacturing entity, in 2008, and it was California collective. Then we were inundated with doctors sending use patients because they were getting well, according to the doctors, stage four patients, cancer.

Seth: Stage four cancer, right.

Constance: Yeah, so we had a global business then and that 70% of the patients that came to use came from out of California, and that was legal to do so. They came here and participated. And so the business has transitioned a lot, but we've been always a vertically integrated. We control our genetics to the extent possible in this environment, and we work closely with our farmers who have our dedicated clones and our methods. Then we use our patented manufacturing processes, which I developed back in 2008 to 2010. So then we worked directly through a coaching methodology with our patients, so that we've never had a single recreational user. For the first five years, we didn't have anybody that came to us except through doctors, so our business has evolved as the message of the efficacy of cannabinoid medicine has evolved.

Constance: I'm Constance Finley.

Seth: Do you have an official job title?

Constance: I'm CEO and founder of Constance Therapeutics.

Seth: Okay. And these big, giant windows here at WeWork, with the beautiful sun coming in ... Right?

Constance: Right, at WeWork.

Seth: At WeWork. But that's new though, right? Because you've got the lab kind of not obviously at WeWork.

Constance: Two blocks away, we have a large formal lab with offices there, but we needed some space away from the actual production of cannabis, and so we have executive offices two blocks away at WeWork.

Seth: To do your business think.

Constance: Yes, and to do things like this where you don't want to have the ethanol smell and issue, etc. etc.

Seth: Alright, so just before we get to today, let's quickly just understand what the reality was before January 1st. What is the state, before January 1st, of Constance Therapeutics, so that we understand? Because I think most people know your name, and understand that there is Constance Therapeutics, but just turn everyone wise.

Constance: Okay, so where we are is approaching 10 years in business, legally, here in California. I formed Goat Hill Farm, which is our manufacturing entity, in 2008, and it was California collective. Then we were inundated with doctors sending use patients because they were getting well, according to the doctors, stage four patients, cancer.

Seth: Stage four cancer, right.

Constance: Yeah, so we had a global business then and that 70% of the patients that came to use came from out of California, and that was legal to do so. They came here and participated. And so the business has transitioned a lot, but we've been always a vertically integrated. We control our genetics to the extent possible in this environment, and we work closely with our farmers who have our dedicated clones and our methods. Then we use our patented manufacturing processes, which I developed back in 2008 to 2010. So then we worked directly through a coaching methodology with our patients, so that we've never had a single recreational user. For the first five years, we didn't have anybody that came to us except through doctors, so our business has evolved as the message of the efficacy of cannabinoid medicine has evolved.

Seth: So you say that you have as much ... You didn't say genome. What did you say?

Constance: As much control of our genetics as it has been possible, yes.

Seth: So when you say have as much control over the cannabis genetics as possible, what does that ... Does that have to do with sun-grown? What does that mean?

Constance: What that has to do with is I did all the growing the first five years of the business and we were very, very amazed, like the rest of the world, when doctors started saying, "Hey, 96% of stage four second occurrence cancer patients got well that I sent to Constance Finley." We were shocked.

Seth: What does "got well" mean?

Constance: Into remission is what he said. Now, you're not quoting me. You're quoting a doctor, and that blew us away. And basically, I thought that he must be wrong or that we really, seriously considered a placebo effect because I'd been trained as a therapist and we know placebo effect is high in cannabis, but we gradually learned that wasn't true by passing off the phone to others who had the similar reported results from doctors.

Seth: And is there a certain type of patient that this more works for than not? In other words, I feel like if we're going into remission from stage four cancer, wouldn't we want to send every single cancer patient to this doctor into Constance?

Constance: That was kind of what was happening. We seriously ... Patients were angry at us because we had like 300 inquiries a day. We couldn't even begin to respond to all of them, so that's true. But what I did with that excitement and that discovery was we said, "Lock it down as much as possible." We could not test blood levels in THC in California, even though it was legal to grow it and use it, you couldn't access a lab. So we couldn't get tons of information that we needed and there was no serious geneticists at that time that would even begin to look at what we were doing. So we tried to access people who were open-minded and we said, "Preserve it as best as possible." So I'm going back to your question about the genetics is we haven't been able to perfectly do so, and at certain times, we've done a better job than others, but to the extent of our organization's capacity and the ability to do so under the law, we have paid attention to the genetics as well as the manufacturing process.

Constance: Most people took the good news of cannabis and they said, "Cannabis is so broadly efficacious, it doesn't matter. Just throw cannabis at people." And so what we said is, "Hey, it does matter." In fact, the cannabis extracts that were on the street in the black market at that time, I felt I was in danger of dying from taking it for very long. So cleaning up the process, professionalizing it, then when the results came in against any expectation, then we started patenting and standardizing and saying, "Let's keep it exactly the same." So we've taken it to pharmaceutical levels of standardization and we've patented it. And if I don't go on too long about this, what's so exciting, for instance at CannaTech, where I met you with Dr. Mary speaking last March about finding out that not only does the individual strain component matter as to which kind of cancer it treats, but also the method of extraction can be even more important. So our attempt to as perfectly as possible to preserve I think is really being born out by the evidence-based research that is now being able to be done.

Seth: So now we're doing the evidence-based research, obviously in Israel. What about here? I think when you referenced labs earlier, you were talking about diagnostics labs, blood labs. Right?

Constance: Yeah, for the PSA to get ... What was the PSA level from our super high potency medicine? Right? What were we doing?

Seth: And are you able to access those labs now or is that still a search that you're in?

Constance: So I believe that now we can. We have not been able to circle back to that because there's nothing more crippling than huge success, right?

Seth: Sure.

Constance: Our bandwidth is now to the point that we're turning these issues over to pharmaceutical partners and to product studies and to other partners who can help us gather this data because our organization is still fairly small. We're still like 15 people.

Seth: When you say pharmaceutical partners, I know that there are a bunch of biosciences-type companies that are in the cannabis industry and are cannabis companies. Are you talking about the traditional pharmaceuticals that we know and love when you say pharmaceutical partners?

Constance: Well, the one I'm talking about in particular is Tetra Bio-Pharma in Canada, and so they're doing hard clinical research, FDA approved, and Health Ministry of Canada approved. We Americans, or we US forget to say that other part, but it's just as important. But so they now have already signed R&D licensing with us to import legally through the DEA and FDA channels our actual extracts with our genetics into their research at McGill University in Montreal.

Seth: Alright, and where are we, as far as that research?

Constance: So where we are is formalizing the DEA channel to legally get our extracts from right down the street, two blocks from where we're talking in San Francisco, into the hands of the researchers at McGill, and we know we-

Seth: Crossing the border to Canada?

Constance: Exactly.

Seth: Okay.

Constance: So there's a second part of it where we can match our genetics and work up there with what ... Because we have extensive profiles of the genetics at various stages of our work, so we can recreate, but to get going right this moment, we need a legal channel and that's underway and should be accomplished within a few weeks, as we understand it.

Seth: Okay. Now, I was under the assumption that you're a Bay Area-type person until you said right, R-I-G-H-T. And then I heard some kind of evidence of some other type of accent.

Constance: I'm always so pleased when people say this. When I was in college, people used to ask me if I were from the UK. And now I would say, "No. I'm just uptight and just intellectually-oriented," and wish I were. No, I'm California born and raised.

Seth: Alright, so what was that "right?" I don't know. Something happened there.

Constance: I read too much as a child.

Seth: Okay, fair enough, and we've got the phone ringing off the hook.

Constance: So sorry.

Seth: See, Constance can do two things at once. I think that might be because you're either intelligent or female, or both.

Constance: I'd vote for female on that one.

Seth: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Alright, so born and raised Northern California?

Constance: No, central.

Seth: Okay.

Constance: My grandfather was a homesteader and was one of the founders of Danish Creamery. He had a big herd of cows, so he was Oklahoma and made the trek. We were about a quarter to a third Native American, Cherokee, and so it was part of that whole legacy during the Dust Bowl.

Seth: Yeah, so he, an entrepreneur, was that your grandfather or father?

Constance: It was my grandfather.

Seth: Alright, and what about your grandmother?

Constance: My grandmother was there with him, multitasking.

Seth: So she was working on the homestead. Multitasking, exactly. When do we get to your parents?

Constance: Oh, do we have to?

Seth: What I'm getting at is essentially your childhood and what that was like. In other words, in those early years, you kind of figure out who you are. When you were a little kid in Central California, what were you into and what were you doing?

Constance: So that is a really good and interesting point. I've reflected back after cannabis came into my life as such a surprise and realized that the trajectory wasn't such a surprise. So I had the benefit of being able to have solitude as a child and to be able to be on these large farms and I didn't have to be shepherded around, so I think in some ways, independent thought was encouraged by that and the rural living. Also, the appreciation for plants and for farming. I didn't even know I had any skills until I was in my 50s and started raising cannabis, and it was amazing. The other thing, too, forming a farmer collective to sell dairy products. Right?

Constance: When I found myself kind of secreted away about six years ago into Grass Valley into the back of one of the businesses in Grass Valley, Nevada County, California, where they have a pretty restrictive policy, but cannabis thrives nonetheless. And we were there talking with farmers about legali- ... Legalization was coming, and we needed to form collectives to be legal. I had the first grower meeting at my home that any grower had ever been to back in 2014, I believe. We had 65 growers and we had dinner. We had accountants and attorneys telling them to come out of the light, and people were crying.

Seth: Come into the light.

Constance: Come into the light, yes. Yes. And so then it was like, "Wow. Wow, I am related to my grandfather." You know?

Seth: Right. Same thing. Different product, same thing.

Constance: Right.

Seth: You said that you didn't get to cannabis, at least as far as your career, until your 50s. What was that inflection point?

Constance: Boy, it was a really serious pivot.

Seth: Okay.

Constance: So I started out life a young psychologist. I had a master's in clinical. I was headed into being a union analyst. I taught graduate school at Naropa University, and I taught at Lone Mountain College, which is now part of USF. And so it was all about clinical psychology in my life, and I think that was a great focus for understanding oneself later, but I sort of burned out on helping people by about the time I was seven years into that in terms of sitting and listening to the narrative hour after hour, taking slow, careful steps.

Seth: Yeah. Is it that so many of us are the same with the issues that we have and it was kind of the same thing over and over again, or was it just really kind of mentally helping people day in and day out is draining, so to speak?

Constance: I think it was, Seth, because that's an emotionally-based practice rather than an essentially and intellectually-based practice. The vehicle that you're using are your feelings and your emotions, and I'm a highly intellectually driven person who likes to play in her mind. An interaction for me is little more work.

Seth: Got it.

Constance: My young self didn't have good enough boundaries to be able to do that without exhaustion after a while.

Seth: Okay. Fair enough, so exhaustion. You're tiptoeing into exhaustion, and where does cannabis come in?

Constance: So I turned to business, and everyone said, "What? Everyone leaves business to go to psychology. What are you doing?

Seth: Yeah. You're going the wrong way, Constance.

Constance: Yes, but I followed that intuitive self that my union practice had fostered and I became a stock broker at Smith Barney.

Seth: No, you did not!

Constance: I did.

Seth: Constance Finley the stock broker? Are you for real? At some Smith Barney?

Constance: At Smith Barney when it was still a good firm, when it was a boutique firm, before Sears and Andrew [While 00:15:44] and all that. Yeah.

Seth: Oh, this is the liar's pokers [inaudible 00:15:48] Smith Barney. I know you keep saying Smith Barney, but I mean this is like a real place.

Constance: Oh, yeah. It was a real [tony 00:15:53] boutique kind of investment firm and we had high-end clients, and I learned to manage money seriously as a broker. I had very good training.

Seth: Yeah. So that would be intoxicating, the income from such a position.

Constance: Oh, no. Not truly. You know all the fantasies about all the money one makes both in cannabis and on Wall Street are sometimes exaggerated.

Seth: Oh, fair enough.

Constance: I was a lowly broker.

Seth: I see.

Constance: I learned for the first time to make a decent living, but when the markets went down, I wouldn't trade. So I was never a popular ... I was more of a buy and hold and not generate a lot of brokerage commissions.

Seth: I see, uh-huh (affirmative).

Constance: But I really did learn to take client needs seriously and how to handle money for other people, which as you know now with serious investors in Constance Therapeutics, it's still a very similar fiduciary duty to anybody who trusts us with money.

Seth: Right. So you were a stock broker that wasn't, you know ... You weren't a trader, essentially.

Constance: Right.

Seth: Pun intended.

Constance: Yes.

Seth: Alright?

Constance: Right.

Seth: So okay, so then we're making our way closer to cannabis, I bet. Right?

Constance: Yeah, the circuitous zig-zaggy path of the cosmos, we're going to get there. There's another couple of zig zags, though.

Seth: Okay.

Constance: So what happens is I fell in love with making investments instead of trading investments for people. I saw the value of long-term building, and the tax credit program of 1986 came out was the first housing program in the US that made sense. So I went from managing portfolios to creating investments in low-income housing, and we were pioneers in doing so in California. I built small broker dealer networks nationally that placed the products with high net worth individuals, like the $100,000 purchase into a private placement. And then my last deal was placed with a large institutional bank in total. And the reason it was my last deal is because I fell off a cliff physically.

Constance: I was traveling 60% of the time. I was going back and forth in the country, looking at deals and working with Boston Financial and other people that I ended up helping support on the East Coast with California real estate deals And, let's see, this hand, my left hand, it started shaking violently. And I had surgery on my right shoulder and basically fell apart physically. I was in Boston for 28 days, and the doctors there said, "You have to quit. You have to immediately go home. You're risking permanent damage to yourself."

Seth: Okay, so I just want to clear this up for myself. Physically, you were having issues. You did not actually fall off of a cliff.

Constance: Sorry.

Seth: Right?

Constance: Yeah. No, it was metaphorical cliff.

Seth: Understood.

Constance: It was a really one.

Seth: I'm getting it now. And then is this simply stress-related, or what did they tell you the problem was?

Constance: For 10 years, they told me various things. They said, at first, severe repetitive stress, worse than we've ever seen. Maybe you have some sort of esoteric autoimmune condition that we can't quite diagnose. Went to Stanford, they said, "Eh, it's not rheumatological." Turns out they were wrong. 10 years later, we found that I have a rare diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis.

Seth: I don't know what that is.

Constance: Yeah. Most people don't.

Seth: Right.

Constance: It's very much like rheumatoid arthritis, and it manifests in women with crippling joint problems primarily in the upper body. In men, it becomes a bamboo spine. They're bent forward. It's crippling and a postural defect that becomes absolutely ... You can't even lift your head. But in women, it manifests differently, which is why it took 10 years for me to be diagnosed. And we now know just as many women have it, but for a hundred years, people thought, "No." So I was an invalid and I was housebound. I didn't see people for weeks at a time, other than doctors. Lost my social life. Couldn't go out to dinner and movies. Couldn't lift a pot, couldn't drive. So no one really expected me to live through that. I managed through with what persistence I, myself, sometimes can't recall. And at 10 years, I was finally diagnosed by a brilliant rheumatologist.

Constance: He saw me and in 10 minutes he said, "This is very rare. I think I've got it. By the end of the day, we'll know," and it was. So then I went on a course of treatment on the really powerful drugs. They have to try you on all the DMARDs and NSAIDs and all that. And so those immediately failed, and horrible side effects. Then they took me into the biologics, which are the drugs that cost about 6 or $7,000 a month, Humira you hear about your TV all the time, Enbrel, Remicade. So they took me through every single one, which is not recommended. It's incredibly aggressive, and the last one was Humira. I took it twice. We didn't know if I'd live for six years, and that's when cannabis came into my life.

Seth: Uh-huh (affirmative). So I mean, the guinea pig-inization, if that's a word, of humans from doctors using pharmaceuticals, that is something that I experienced with my mother, who was sick for three years with amyloidosis, which is a rare condition, kind of like cancer is the way to explain to people that need to move on in the conversation. And they really did do that. "Oh, we'll try this. We'll try that. We'll try this and we'll try that." And all of these things that we're trying, the side effects of this add up to that, and now we have to do this and now we have to give you surgery on this because of the side effects from the drug that we gave you before. And oh, we started you on something six months ago, which the FDA just recalled, or whatever, however that happens, and so you have to stop taking this because we now know it actually is really, literally dangerous, much more so than whatever they were saying on the commercials.

Constance: Familiar, isn't it? One of the things that I hope cannabis does is actually magnetize us mammal humans enough to pull us back from that burned out allopathic model. Right now, we have the chance to enter with modern science, modern evidence-based methodology to this ancient plant-based medicine, and we know it does almost no harm. We know it's grass, generally recognized as safe. Humans have been playing around with ethanol in cannabis for a few thousand years, and we know them pretty well.

Seth: Right.

Constance: So I would like us to move past this method of using humans as guinea pigs on synthesized, isolated molecules, were your side effect profile is always going to be so, so much heavier than when you're dealing with a more whole plant-based medicine. And our vision is whole plant-based medicine is now time to come to the future of science and surpass this burned out model.

Seth: I love it. That kind of brings us back to your partners and how are you ensuring that we don't ruin the plant by trying to get to the ends? If you talk to David Schubert at the Salk Institute, he'll tell you that drug discovery is completely different than it ever was. It's ridiculous because it's almost a means in search of an ends, as opposed to ... We need to get more specific with this whole plan, so that we can solve problem X, but if we synthesize, if we add, that's where side effects come in. So how are you making sure to kind of keep it as pure as possible?

Constance: Well, the main thing we have to do is to keep a voice in this conversation. So this is where business meets science. If I'm just another compassionate hippie from California pushing whole plant medicine, I'm not going to be around to have this conversation. Right?

Seth: That's it.

Constance: So we respect science and we've been really at the forefront of saying, "Yes." But we, like Ethan Russo and some other really important thinkers in cannabis, we believe that whole plant extracts are more efficacious and it's the limitations of the modern methodology that's been developed on rats and mice. One of my heroes is a professor, I think it's [Vander-hoot 00:24:43] in the Netherlands. And he is a plant chemist, and he talks about the fact that right now, the model is so broken that pharmaceutical companies and academic research results in novel drug discoveries only 3% of the time. Now, we're spending billions and billions. Right? 97% failure. And one of the reasons is that rats and mice aren't very close to us. And in fact, supercomputers can do a much, much better job right now analyzing the factors that are relevant to us. And there is no excuse for using rats and mice anymore. It isn't even evidence-based at this point. So then, of those 3% ...

Seth: How is it not evidence-based?

Constance: Well, if you have a process that fails 97% of the time and it costs billions and billions of dollars and results in a 3% success rate, which within the first six months to a year, 50% of those drugs are discarded from the damage that they've done that was not expected.

Seth: So we're down to 1.5%?

Constance: 1.5%, right?

Seth: Yeah.

Constance: And look at the amount of effort across the universities across the world. And the fact that cannabis is held to ridicule because it hasn't been put through mice tests? Give me a break. It's been put through human tests for thousands of years.

Seth: With some success, right?

Constance: Yeah, exactly.

Seth: And then that brings us back to your stage four cancer patients, right? And so what are we doing to come to the other side of that so that we can wave the flag and say, "Okay. Now it's time to pay attention to what we've been doing to these folks who are going into remission?" Because it sounds like it's still a ... I don't want to call it a rumor, but it's still kind of behind-the-scenes type of thing.

Constance: It's a verified outcome study from one doctor, and so of course. And then other doctors have seen lots of ins of one, treated scientifically the evidence, but only of one or of only five. So this is where Tetra Bio-Pharma comes in is they approached me after hearing me talk at CannaTech in March and they said that you could save us, Constance Finley, about three years in our research because what you've done is standardized whole plant extracts. Now, so because of the pharmaceutical level of standardization, we can return to the extract and say, "This is what we did." So then they're able to put that into their oncology and oncology pain and opioid addiction recovery research. And so it's been one of the deepest pleasures of my existence that [gee 00:27:26] Chamberlain said that to me, and that I realize the value of those 10 years of really, really hard work and self-funded until last year. And here, we have something that is a value to show the efficacy of cannabis in hard science.

Seth: I love it.

Constance: FDA-approved.

Seth: I love it. Alright, so that brings us to ... Let's kind of quickly dot I's and cross T's of what's kind of happening right here in California with you and your company. We've got our new regulations, so where are you one that end as far as applying for licenses and it's San Francisco and not Oakland or Berkeley. Where are we with all of that?

Constance: Boy, you have to be so persistent and so intelligent to survive in cannabis. That alone should counter the stoner images, right?

Seth: Exactly. That's exactly right.

Constance: We didn't produce last year for nine months because of the regulatory shift affecting where we were and that because we talking with governments. April of '16, we had seven different governments approach us and say, "We want you to be our medicinal provider." I can't fudge any roles. I can't say, "No one will know." I have to be there with my bright, shining legality all the way back. We were shut down for nine months in terms of current producing and selling and from our previous location.

Seth: And you shut yourselves down, let's just ...

Constance: Yes, exactly. We weren't rated, yeah. But because the rules changed, we were then in a ... Like one day, we're completely fine. We have a business license. We're going forward. The next day, "Boop. Wait. We don't know." So we waited. And so we spent significant resources, and I'm really, really happy to say we chose San Francisco. San Francisco is a business-friendly city and it is extending the same friendliness to cannabis. It is making extraordinarily reasonable rules. It would've cost me about 400,000 in excise tax fees in my last location. In San Francisco, there are no added fees, so affording San Francisco real estate is possible for the incredible business climate. There's an office of cannabis in the mayor's office. Right?

Seth: Right, yeah.

Constance: Where we are is San Francisco has encouraged everyone to come out of the black market holes they were in and doing everything they could, and they were pretty inundated. Our lab was the first transparent cannabis lab to receive a building inspection, and the city employees sent us congratulations and they also sent us a referral to a family member.

Seth: Great.

Constance: That's the kind of trust that we want to develop in our world. So San Francisco, because it was inundated, they have stricter rules in some instances, and so right now, we're back on a couple of weeks shut down. So we are legal at the state level by being [inaudible 00:30:16], but within the city of San Francisco, we have to wait to receive our permit, which is underway.

Seth: Right. And that's just a matter of days or weeks, just a matter of time, and it's because we have to be oh so legal. Right?

Constance: Absolutely.

Seth: What did you call it? To shine the bright ...

Constance: The light of legality? I don't know. I'm just trying to describe that you have to do it even better, just like without regulations in California, we had to exceed whatever regulation we thought would come down the pipe because that's who we want to be.

Seth: That's it. That's who you are, Constance. Right?

Constance: Thank you. Thank you, Seth.

Seth: Alright, so amazing. Fantastic. Thank you so much for the work to date. Can't wait for the work to come.

Constance: Thank you.

Seth: I will ask you 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. So first thing's first. Took you a while to get around to cannabis. Right?

Constance: It sure did.

Seth: But what's most surprised you?

Constance: Okay. I used to say when I first started speaking on behalf of cannabis, I would say that I was afraid to use cannabis as medicine because I didn't want to be a stoner.

Seth: Okay.

Constance: Right? And I found that instead of a bunch of silly, stupid people, I found a sisterhood and brotherhood of some of the smartest people in the world, and that secret society of cannabis users, they're my people, and that was a huge surprise.

Seth: Yeah. All of a sudden, all of these people that everybody's been [fufuing 00:31:54] all this time, nope. That's the good people. Those are the good people over here. Right?

Constance: Silicon Valley CEOs, when you get in private rooms and, hey, creative types in Hollywood and, hey, the best politicians, around the world.

Seth: The best politicians. What an interesting set of words.

Constance: Isn't that interesting, that I can hang out with people using one of my medicinal vape pens that are in Trump's board rooms occasionally? Isn't that interesting?

Seth: That is interesting. Well, I mean Peter Thiel we know is friendly to cannabis, certainly, himself personally.

Constance: Absolutely. Privateer funder. Yup.

Seth: So there's one. Yeah.

Constance: And yeah. It's really exciting to see that the back rooms are not nearly as closed as the front rooms.

Seth: What does that mean?

Constance: That behind the scenes, cannabis is a friend to a whole lot of powerful people.

Seth: I see. Okay. So we just have to tell the front rooms, I guess. Don't we? Right? I mean why is this so difficult? Please. What has most surprised you in life?

Constance: Do you mind if I tell you what I really think is the most surprising?

Seth: Yeah.

Constance: It's kind of woo woo.

Seth: Why? What do you mean why do I mind?

Constance: Well, it's a little out there.

Seth: Okay. I won't mind. I promise.

Constance: Okay. I think that we create our own reality, and I mean that in a really literal way. And cannabis has been an incredible vehicle for helping me to explore changes in consciousness because of the potency of what we do. We would approach more like psychedelic level of significance in personality effect. And it's really helped me embrace both from the external success of helping others with cannabis and what's that brought, but also just the evaluation. Who said cannabis was bad? Who was afraid of using cannabis prior to 10 years ago? Who was that person I was, and how have I been affected, and what was the truth? And what is the truth as it unveils it as we go forward?

Seth: I see.

Constance: It's really radically made me accept that my anxiety today is of my creation, that I can't manage it completely doesn't mean that it isn't of my creation.

Seth: So we are our own worst enemies, that type of thing.

Constance: That's the good news.

Seth: Right. That's the good news, exactly. So that's how easy it could be to solve the issue at hand, essentially.

Constance: And that's the lesson I think we're all here learning. Right?

Seth: Right. Yeah. Yeah, so that's helpful to have your psychologist roots. I don't think you used the word psychologist, right? Did you?

Constance: Well, yeah. I used to really obsessively read about nothing but the articulation of inner states, so I thought maybe I should write a book. Remember Aldous Huxley writing about his explorations of consciousness with drugs?

Seth: Of course, yes.

Constance: And if I had the time, I would love to curtail ... Not curtail, but explain and document my own inner journey with this really potent medicine that I take a lot of to stay functional.

Seth: I would suggest for book titles, either A State of Constance or A Journey of Constance.

Constance: The book has to be eponymous too?

Seth: Well, you're the one with the Constance Therapeutics. You did that to yourself.

Constance: They made me do it, Seth. I was like, "No, no, no!"

Seth: But you said you didn't even have investors up until a couple years ago, right?

Constance: I know, but I had marketing people. Everyone was calling it Constance's oil and I was like, "No!"

Seth: Just don't do that, but it's working out, so we're okay with it. Right?

Constance: Yeah, it's working out.

Seth: Alright, so this brings us to the most important question, which is on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there.

Constance: I thought I wouldn't have an answer for you, but it's come three times loud and clear. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach.

Seth: Oh, look at you. Oh, now I've got to go play that on my phone. I can't wait.

Constance: Yep. It is one of the most innovating and joyful, slowly building tunes in the world, and it transports me to the state of joy that only being able to build this company can match.

Seth: Take that, Beethoven's 9th.

Constance: Yes. I am certainly a Bach girl, but I love Beethoven too, and jazz and RnB and hip hop.

Seth: Sure, sure. Where are you in the jazz pocket? What reveals itself to you, I guess?

Constance: Straight ahead trios, like Charlie Hayden and, I'm trying to think of the pianist I love so much.

Seth: Not Felonious Monk?

Constance: Oh, for sure. My cat was named after Felonious because he wouldn't get out of my Steinway Grand.

Seth: Of course. That makes sense.

Constance: Yeah. No, I love spare straight ahead jazz and experimental but not too rowdy.

Seth: Not too rowdy. I got you, so Weather Report, not necessarily Son Raw?

Constance: No, Weather Report's a bit on the rowdy rock side for me. A little too fusion-y.

Seth: Okay, so it's too more fusion-y. Exactly.

Constance: Yeah.

Seth: I got you.

Constance: No, I like the pure stuff.

Seth: Okay. Fair enough. So we're talking about a Lee Morgan is going to be right up your alley, right?

Constance: Yes. Yes.

Seth: Like any Art Blakey ...

Constance: Red Hallway.

Seth: Any of the jazz messengers, Brad Holloway. There you go.

Constance: Yup. Totally. Totally. Oscar Peterson, and the Sunflower guy that Oscar ... He's on The Vibes and he does a famous record with Oscar Peterson.

Seth: Yeah, I'm not a Vibes guy.

Constance: So on vinyl, on my system, it sounds really great.

Seth: Okay. Fair enough. I'll be over shortly. How about that?

Constance: Alright. That sounds good.

Seth: Constance Finley, thank you so much for the work that you have done, as I said before, as you are doing, as you will do. Really, seriously, this is the good stuff so we can't wait to hear more.

Constance: Thank you so much, Seth. It's been a pleasure.

Seth: And there you have Constance Finley, clearly, a long-time advocate, a long-time activist, a long-time operator within the cannabis industry, so very much appreciate her time. Very much appreciate 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.