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Ep.344: Aaron Smith

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.344: Aaron Smith

Ep.344: Aaron Smith

Providing an update on all things NCIA, Aaron Smith returns to discuss what the association is seeing.

Transcript:

Aaron Smith, the executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. It's been like a long time now already. Right? How long has this we, you and I know each other for a very long time now. I think in cannabis ears probably about 45 years. I think that a seven, 45. You might be. You're being too kind. I think it's, for me it's closer to a 42 right now I'm on the. I'm like almost my age. Yeah. That's the way it works, but you're looking at.

Speaker 1: You're looking good. Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. Okay. First things first. Of course, right? Uh, it was a Thursday. I don't remember which day, but. Oh No, it was the first week of the year because California had just come online as I was that same week, a jeff sessions, the attorney general rescinded the three coal memos and the Ogden memo before, by the way, just for fun, did not rescind a fence and a guidance, which I found interesting. And so did Jim Cole. Um, when that happened that day, I don't know what does a Guy Aaron Smith think

Speaker 2: in the moment, you know, it was certainly a disappointment and I was on, you know, little a near surprise on January fourth, but I'd say, you know, it wasn't really a huge surprise because the, you know, the Department of Justice, uh, and essentially all the executive branch departments have been looking at Obama era memos and taking the approach that they need to be done away with. And then in this trump era. And uh, so, you know, while the announcement was disappointing, uh, it's really, you know, important to know that it's not a huge shift in policy and that there was no directive, that there needed to be some coordinated crackdown. And as you mentioned, the fincen guidance was still left in place and the Treasury Department said that they didn't know anything about this. So there was no, there was no coordination with, uh, with treasury, there's no coordination with Congress and from our understanding, even the White House

Speaker 1: or his attorneys a crossed the land, right. There was not any coordination at all, which is actually a positive thing as you and I both know. Okay, fine. So that's kind of immediate, uh, reaction as far as you not being surprised. You and I spoke kind of back, I don't remember one who was maybe after the election and before, uh, you know, inauguration and there was a little bit of, and definitely within the industry there was a little bit of excitement of this, you know, administration treating a cannabis differently, you know, some of our, uh, you know, very good friends who are definitely on the right side of the political sphere. Uh, we're almost guaranteeing that this was going to be a very friendly administration. So in that way I was surprised. I mean, you know, just based on the conversations you were having and then for this, you know, for him to, I think jeff sessions to resend it, it makes sense, but for that, for this administration to allow, it was surprising to me. Well, I mean, there was, there's never been a guarantee and I think some, some people have become a little bit overconfident, certainly, certainly. But

Speaker 2: this again, jeff sessions was on an island, you know, this was not something that was ordered from above and even in coordinated with above. And, uh, I think that we haven't seen, uh, we've seen, you know, some investors get some cold feet here and there, but by and large, I mean the industry is still going gangbusters and people are continuing to invest and grow their businesses. And I think that, uh, you know, sessions is kind of a relic of a past time bygone era of bygone era. Right? And it does not represent the, certainly not the majority of Americans, but I don't think even represents really the majority viewpoint within the, within his own party and his own administration.

Speaker 1: Certainly not. Certainly not. And you, you noted that there wasn't necessarily a coordinated a thing that happened or you know, a, a next step after the rescission, you know, he, he did write his own three paragraph memo. Fantastic. But that same week he did sit

Speaker 2: a new attorney in a new federal attorney in the San Francisco area, new federal attorney in the Los Angeles area, Los Angeles being covered by a being called central California somehow. Um, but that raised my eyebrow and makes me think still to this day that, that there is maybe something that could happen specifically in California. Well, I mean, certainly there's some concern because what, you know, what resending that memo means is that, uh, this, you know, enforcement priorities are now up to individual us attorneys. There are some of these, these interim attorneys and have been appointed and not confirmed who we don't know where their stance is on cannabis. But then we've also seen us attorneys like Bob Troyer from here in the district of Colorado who immediately came out and said the priorities aren't changing. And I think state attorney general, you know, said, hey, we're on the same page. I don't know what page jeff sessions is on, but me, you know, federal and state are on the same page in Colorado.

Aaron Smith, the executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. It's been like a long time now already. Right? How long has this we, you and I know each other for a very long time now. I think in cannabis ears probably about 45 years. I think that a seven, 45. You might be. You're being too kind. I think it's, for me it's closer to a 42 right now I'm on the. I'm like almost my age. Yeah. That's the way it works, but you're looking at.

Speaker 1: You're looking good. Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. Okay. First things first. Of course, right? Uh, it was a Thursday. I don't remember which day, but. Oh No, it was the first week of the year because California had just come online as I was that same week, a jeff sessions, the attorney general rescinded the three coal memos and the Ogden memo before, by the way, just for fun, did not rescind a fence and a guidance, which I found interesting. And so did Jim Cole. Um, when that happened that day, I don't know what does a Guy Aaron Smith think

Speaker 2: in the moment, you know, it was certainly a disappointment and I was on, you know, little a near surprise on January fourth, but I'd say, you know, it wasn't really a huge surprise because the, you know, the Department of Justice, uh, and essentially all the executive branch departments have been looking at Obama era memos and taking the approach that they need to be done away with. And then in this trump era. And uh, so, you know, while the announcement was disappointing, uh, it's really, you know, important to know that it's not a huge shift in policy and that there was no directive, that there needed to be some coordinated crackdown. And as you mentioned, the fincen guidance was still left in place and the Treasury Department said that they didn't know anything about this. So there was no, there was no coordination with, uh, with treasury, there's no coordination with Congress and from our understanding, even the White House

Speaker 1: or his attorneys a crossed the land, right. There was not any coordination at all, which is actually a positive thing as you and I both know. Okay, fine. So that's kind of immediate, uh, reaction as far as you not being surprised. You and I spoke kind of back, I don't remember one who was maybe after the election and before, uh, you know, inauguration and there was a little bit of, and definitely within the industry there was a little bit of excitement of this, you know, administration treating a cannabis differently, you know, some of our, uh, you know, very good friends who are definitely on the right side of the political sphere. Uh, we're almost guaranteeing that this was going to be a very friendly administration. So in that way I was surprised. I mean, you know, just based on the conversations you were having and then for this, you know, for him to, I think jeff sessions to resend it, it makes sense, but for that, for this administration to allow, it was surprising to me. Well, I mean, there was, there's never been a guarantee and I think some, some people have become a little bit overconfident, certainly, certainly. But

Speaker 2: this again, jeff sessions was on an island, you know, this was not something that was ordered from above and even in coordinated with above. And, uh, I think that we haven't seen, uh, we've seen, you know, some investors get some cold feet here and there, but by and large, I mean the industry is still going gangbusters and people are continuing to invest and grow their businesses. And I think that, uh, you know, sessions is kind of a relic of a past time bygone era of bygone era. Right? And it does not represent the, certainly not the majority of Americans, but I don't think even represents really the majority viewpoint within the, within his own party and his own administration.

Speaker 1: Certainly not. Certainly not. And you, you noted that there wasn't necessarily a coordinated a thing that happened or you know, a, a next step after the rescission, you know, he, he did write his own three paragraph memo. Fantastic. But that same week he did sit

Speaker 2: a new attorney in a new federal attorney in the San Francisco area, new federal attorney in the Los Angeles area, Los Angeles being covered by a being called central California somehow. Um, but that raised my eyebrow and makes me think still to this day that, that there is maybe something that could happen specifically in California. Well, I mean, certainly there's some concern because what, you know, what resending that memo means is that, uh, this, you know, enforcement priorities are now up to individual us attorneys. There are some of these, these interim attorneys and have been appointed and not confirmed who we don't know where their stance is on cannabis. But then we've also seen us attorneys like Bob Troyer from here in the district of Colorado who immediately came out and said the priorities aren't changing. And I think state attorney general, you know, said, hey, we're on the same page. I don't know what page jeff sessions is on, but me, you know, federal and state are on the same page in Colorado.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. And I think in California and across the country, uh, if, if there are law enforcement actions, I think that they will be the exception, not the rule, but what's most important is that the industry, uh, prepare for the worst and ensure that they are, you know, the industry actors are operating and above, above report full unambiguous compliance with state law and being good corporate citizens. Uh, so that it makes it very difficult politically, uh, to, you know, go after them. And then they'll probably, uh, those that are looking at taking some kind of enforcement action will most likely be looking at those that are operating in the shadows are in the gray. The gray areas of law, which we in the industry are not interested in any way. We don't want those people to be, you know, having anything to do with, uh, with legal cannabis.

Speaker 2: You know, I, I did speak to Debbie goldsberry and we did a, you know, a raid preparedness thing. Maybe not necessarily in Colorado, but certainly it seems like in California and otherwise that would be a good idea, right, to, to make sure that we're, we know what to do if something does happen. Yes, sure. And it always was it all. This has always been federally illegal and I think that maybe, you know, this reminded me of some folks that the totally illegal always has been, but it's important to remember, you know, you, you bring up a California and a friend like Debbie. No, we go way back to the times when there were raids and federal law enforcement actions happening on a near weekly basis in California. Certainly. But the landscape has changed so much since then and that there were no regulations then and there were, it was questionable whether or not collectives operating California. We're a legal under state law under certain interpretations. Maybe, you know, we certainly took the interpretation that they were, but others, you know, there was, there was a gray area that gray or no longer exists there right now. State licenses. There's a state, you know, state authorities that are, that are licensing and uh, ensuring compliance with these laws and this emily different and I've spoken with Laurie Ajax who is wonderful

Speaker 1: and, and certainly is no left wing Hippie dippy. I mean this is a person that should be regulating an industry and it happens to be cannabis that is the case, you know, in California. So here we are, you've mentioned that, uh, investors have gotten cold feet, at least some I've heard from everybody that that is the case and then varying levels of degrees of, of how bad it is. It at least initially, you know, what were folks in the industry, what we're members of Ncia sharing with you and maybe even the investors themselves.

Speaker 2: You know, I actually was, when I got up that morning and found out that what had happened, I was really nervous that a lot of our members we're going to be, you know, freaking out and panicked. I, and that wasn't really the case. Certainly not. I think, you know, we, I, we, it happened right before we went on a tour of multiple, you know, quarterly cannabis caucus events that we do with our membership around the country and everybody I talked to was actually very confident and feeling resolved that the industry was stronger than Jeff sessions and that we're going to continue to grow and continue to become more prosperous and more apart, more entrenched in the, in the US economy. So I was heartened to see that. In fact, I actually am reminding folks that it isn't time to sit back and think that you know, that this is just going to happen on its own. Now is the time to double down on our efforts to, to change federal law.

Speaker 1: I did notice though, that a, if you've been in the industry for kind of only two or three years or less, those people were, were more panicked than anybody I spoke to that like you, anybody that's been around for like a decade. It's like, yeah, and Debbie herself, even it says, uh, she said, uh, okay, if it takes 20 or 30 more years, fine. But it's gonna happen. It's gonna happen a lot sooner than that. Of course, of course, of course got to be the case, but, but that's essentially the point. It's federally illegal. It was federally illegal with the coal memos. Jim Cole told me, you know, hey, we wrote these memos, but it would have been a lot better for the legislature to do something about it even at the time, you know, so it is now time to act, which brings me to a Tim Coleman who stated that he feels that cannabis can be legalized federally within the year 2018.

Speaker 2: Um, well that, you know, I, I hope he's right. That seems like that's a bit bold, but I think that what we are seeing in 2018 is the galvanizing of support around this issue in a way that we wouldn't have seen if this hadn't happened. What we're working on is, you know, getting up the cannabis protections in the appropriations bill that's being debated right now. And some other more short term fixes, but you know, we're, we're seeing, you know, Cory Gardner, Republican senator from Colorado standing up and screaming, yelling and screaming about this. Somebody who opposed legalization just a few years ago. Yeah.

Speaker 1: Said it through the shouts. Yes and yes. And so he's also mentioning state state's rights, right? You know, and

Speaker 2: personal liberty when defending cannabis just as we have always been doing. And so we're, you know, and I think somebody like, you know, some of these, these Republicans, I don't think they really wanted to have to talk about marijuana right now going into the midterm election, uh, but jeff sessions just kind of forced their hand and force them to take sides. And when they looked at, you know, two thirds of Congress represented state with illegal, some form of legal marijuana and three quarters of the American public says they don't want the federal government interfere. They Kinda, you know, it's just really hard to take jeff sessions site on this. Yeah, totally. So I want to come back to the fact that we are now in an election year again. So I want to come back to that, but there's just this wacky business that's been going on, so I want to make sure to talk about it, you know, some, some, certainly some board changes with Rob Kampia.

Speaker 2: Well, it's not on the board anymore. Right? So let's just talk to that. Sure. You know, and rob has put in, you know, many, many years of service into the cannabis reform movement in the industry that bore out of the movement that we are proud to represent a. But the board did take action to remove rob due to some misconduct issues, a pattern of misconduct issues that weren't becoming of a member of the board and a while it saddens us, it was the right decision, uh, and uh, you, it's time to move forward and focus on the mission focused on the mission. One more thing though here, before we get out of it, is the fact that, uh, we, in the cannabis industry, there's a lot of hugs, right? There's a lot of love, there's a lot of family feel to it. There's a lot of friendship that's different than other industries, right?

Speaker 2: We're here at the seat to sales search show for NCIA. If you go to the whatever's happening in another conference room, I guarantee you there's not as many hugs. Um, and so there's also just kind of weird personal stuff that that's come up. Some of it even with you, um, you know, mentioning old relationships that we are all aware of. Right. I remember your old relationship, I guess. Is there anything to worry about as far as you. Should we be worried as far as you in terms of, uh, you know, findings or anything like that? That's, that's the question. I certainly am not, not worried about that. Um, you know, I, there's, you get to a leadership position and you're somewhat public and in a certain space there's a and, and gaining influence and a traction. There's always somebody that's going to make some innuendo or something out there about something inappropriate, but, you know, it's been any window has been thrown out there for, you know, going on a year now and uh, I'm still in here and mostly just focusing on the mission at hand.

Speaker 2: And, uh, you know, it's unfortunate that there's a few detractors out there that are trying to distract for whatever their own personal or their proceeds personal gain is. Okay. All right. So that happens is what it is. Now we got to deal with this. Do you think that that's an, I, I kind of weighed into this with the understanding it's because it's such a tight knit community and friendship and love. Maybe some of it though is based on the growth, right? Yeah. I mean this, this happens in any industry, any organization or business that grows and you know, as a, as a nonprofit of democratically with the democratically elected leadership like Ncia, I think some of our dirty laundry is a little bit more public and maybe you would have at a private business, uh, but these things, you know, these growing pains and we're not really experiencing anything different than any other company organization that, that has grown.

Speaker 2: We experienced 70 percent growth last year. We, the growth of NCIA outpaced the growth of the industry overall by more than double. And, you know, that means that we have hired a lot of people and we fired a few as well, just like any other organization does and there's been, there's been some, uh, some issues on the board that are being resolved, but the board is, is overwhelmingly committed to serving the membership and especially the work we're doing in Washington DC to defend the industry, uh, in this sessions era. And you're just a, we've brought up staff changes. So I, you know, without mentioning names, if you know who I'm talking about, um, what do you think, uh, just not a fit. What was the thing there, you know, and ordinarily are not talking about hr issues in public. It's fine, but, you know, sure, there was somebody on staff who was here for six weeks, uh, in, in my opinion, and the opinion of the vast majority of the staff and the opinion of an external hr certified hr consultant if it wasn't right and the person needed to move on.

Speaker 2: Happens this time every day. All sorts of companies and organizations were kind of a, it's a, we're adults. We're grown ups. And uh, this is, this is the business at hand type of thing. Sure. Alright. So great. As I said to you before we started this, we got to talk about everything because we have to talk about it and you know, as well as I do that I want to spend no time on things like that because we have to legalize cannabis, which that's the issue at hand. Right. But, you know, I'm just one more thing before we get to that. How are we ensuring that there's no more shenanigans and stuff like that that goes on, you know, is there a task force or something is you know, what's, what's going on to make sure that we've got the ship righted and everything's kind of moving forward appropriately.

Speaker 2: Well, you know, like I said, the vast majority of the board, uh, is committed to making sure that the organization is going in the right direction and we are going in the right direction. You can see that by our growth and our membership and even through some of this bad, these bad editorializing we've seen about NCIA. We've been growing dramatically. I think 22 members last week. Okay. And a 22 new members. Right. And you know, there was a small minority on the board. Now a very, very much a shrinking minority on the board that wasn't really in alignment with the values of the organization. And uh, and that's that. And the values of the organization are, let's make sure to legalize cannabis. What would I. well, yeah, I mean we're, we're here to advance a legitimate and professional cannabis industry primarily in this, at this time. That means educational events like this one that we're at to help raise the bar and you know, promulgate best practices in the industry. And then also of course like we've been talking about the work that we're doing in DC. Yes. To legalize cannabis so that it can one day be regulated like alcohol and sold across, you know, across state borders, like any other adult product.

Speaker 1: I think we've added and now we're coming to 2018, you just said can be sold across state borders. I don't know how out loud we've said that in the past. So the new kind of, you know, thing that we're focused on here.

Speaker 2: Well, sure. I mean it's always been the goal but are allowed here and we're getting closer to it every day. Yeah. No, right now we are still sort of in a defensive posture with the reception of the Cole memo, uh, working on, you know, more incremental issues like fixing to iii so that we can take tax deductions. Let's go now.

Speaker 1: Here we are. So here's 2018, we're making our way to election day to 81st. Where are we in? Where are we going?

Speaker 2: So we had a really good shot last year, uh, getting up to 80 to 80 effects in the big tax reform proposal. Unfortunately that did not happen. Okay. We came very, very close closer than ever before. We have, you know, new Republican champions on that issue. A Congressman Carlos Curbelo, a on the house side and Senator Cory Gardner on the Senate side. Even Mac gets like gates. Yeah. Okay. So, you know, we built a coalition of support like we've never seen before. Uh, the political will wasn't white there last year, but we're continuing to fight the December. You're talking about the end of last year, last month. Um, and, and, and, uh, but we're continuing to find other vehicles to advance, you know, that kind of, uh, an amendment or writer. There's tax extent, tax cut and extension packages and other things coming up. When you

Speaker 1: say there wasn't a believable will there, what were they telling you? It's just, you know, not this vote. And because of xY, , Z, like what were the, what are the things, what are the sticking points, what are the things that we can do to kind of make it a little bit more? Well, don't worry about it.

Speaker 2: I, you know, I think the, um, I mean there's just a lot of it is, has to do with priorities. You know, you're talking about hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of different, you know, different provisions and possible amendments that are being considered. And this wasn't a high enough priority for, for some. But also one thing that we really need to work on is educating lawmakers. The joint committee on taxation. Uh, especially into the economic benefits of reforming to ate because they unfortunately looked at this as a, as a small revenue negative for the federal government when our, you know, we've done an economic analysis last year that we presented to Congress that actually shows quite the opposite that over the course of 10 years to add reform will actually be a benefit to the federal.

Speaker 1: How so? Because if you're going to take, because I can tax the heck out of you and I'm getting all that money. So if I, if we take away to add, I'm not going to get my money. Well, it's a really short,

Speaker 2: short term approach to it. But you know, in the woods respond to longterm. If you can't deduct your, you know, your employees payroll, you're less likely to hire more employees and therefore there's less income tax coming in. You're less likely to reinvest in your company. You know, it's like, is it going to short term thinking? He said, well, I could tack some a business 100 percent and I'll make more money. But that's not true because you tax business 100 percent. They'll just close, right. So that's where we're at and uh, and that's a very conservative argument actually, that you would think that it would resonate. It does resonate with conservatives. Uh, but we're still, it's still, this is a con, you know, continuing to be a longterm educational campaign in DC, like so many things are. Okay. Cory Booker's, Bill, uh, there are a couple of different bills.

Speaker 2: Uh, there's this, uh, scheduled to bill, which I'm not too thrilled with. What are your thoughts on, on those bills and you know, where we're going with those that you through a scheduled to a concept but actually optimistic about all the flurry of legislation that came out at the beginning of last year when the new Congress came into office and then also some in response to the DOJ announcement. Yep. Very encouraged by all of this legislation, support all of it to some degree or another, maybe with reservations here or there, but the fact that we're seeing this title wave of support is something like we've never could have imagined just a few years ago. And I think that ultimately there will be a coalescence into one or two proposals that, uh, that the industry can get behind of what, you know, what cannabis regulation really should look like once we're at a point where congress, where the political will and the temperatures there, where Congress can actually pass a bill.

Speaker 2: Not necessarily in an election year, I'm, you know, and I don't even think it's the election year that, uh, that's, that's our biggest challenge, you know, not this, you got to, I don't think it's going to happen this year to be honest, you know, I mean, we, Congress is the fact that they got the tax reform through, uh, last year at all was, was a miracle. The government's already shut down once this year. And we were talking about another government shutdown. So, you know, when we're, and that's not even the debt ceiling. Yes ma'am. Got In there and you know, and these are the kinds of things and these are, these are emergency crisis situations that Congress is unable to address because they're just generally dysfunctional. Right? And, uh, you know, it's time for, you know, this is a much bigger issue than cannabis. But, uh, you know, I would say personally, it's certainly time to rethink who, who our leadership is in Washington dc if we're unable to pass budgets ordinarily.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Not to mention to, you were talking about all of the people, right? I mean, any elected official is your point. It's an assistant, you know, it's a systematic, it's a systemic problem. Indeed. It's, it's, uh, not, you know, everybody loves their individual member of Congress, but everybody hates congress as a body. Right? Yeah. I don't know if that's the case anymore. I think that's changing, right? Because they're, their approval ratings have always been like in the twenties, but that's the body of gardeners. Right. And then I love my particular and they keep getting reelected and that's, you know, that's part of the part of the system that we work term limits man. But that's a whole different podcast. Okay. So, uh, once we get to election day, it's not a, a presidential election. So it, as far as federal, you know, uh, elections are concerned as far as state, as far as, excuse me, as far as center, as far as house, you know, how far do you go as far as ballot measures and all of that gives us a sense of what you're thinking now about election day 2018.

Speaker 2: Well, you know, the one that I'm most excited about is Michigan. Michigan has a really good piece of legislation that's going to be on the ballot to tax and regulate. And this is, you know, a huge state will be the second biggest legal cannabis market in the country. I think it's the fifth largest state or somewhere in there. Yep. And, uh, this is, you know, it's the Midwest, it's a, it's a politically pivotal state. Yep. Uh, that, that, you know, a purple state and they've been working on it for a while. Right? Yeah. And we're, we're seeing a lot of excitement just so from the industry side there as well as they've, you know, they've recently regulated medical cannabis and Michigan and uh, so, you know, Michigan is, I think where we all eyes are on Michigan for this unit active, you know, and I know that, uh, there's, there's also a medical cannabis in Missouri, a Utah and some other initiatives that might be out there this year.

Speaker 2: UTAH. Can you imagine I'm in Utah, is the North Dakota of 2018 I guess, right? Well, at this point, you know, you've got 90 percent of the country supporting, you know, the rights for patients to access medical cannabis. Even Utah going to come along on this, you know, you'd think Congress would be, uh, at least not too far behind. I gotcha. So, so now, you know, taking a few steps back and kind of seeing everything that we talked about. And otherwise we've got the sessions, rescission and his own memo, which is three paragraphs and you can read it very quickly. Um, the, the coal mine most were longer. They, there was a fair amount of thought that went into a right, but you know, I, I'm with Jim Cole Fan, so I have to, you have that precision, right? We, we've got bills in Congress, we've got election day coming up as far as the state of the industry, how is 2018 going to be different than 2017 in your perspective?

Speaker 2: Well, you know, I uh, and maybe I'm being a little optimistic here, but I think that the industry, I think what happened at the beginning of the year as a wake up call and I think this industry is going to be more politically engaged than in previous years, uh, through, you know, not just through Ncia of course, you know, of course we want members of Ncia but also paying more attention who, you know, who they're electing into office and giving money and you know, donations and campaign work with campaigns and support those who support this industry, support Michigan Support Missouri's or Utah, whatever, you know, these ballot initiatives. Because there has been sort of a, maybe a lackadaisical fields. Sometimes people think, well, this, that's done. Yeah. It's just instead of the tube is done, especially when you mentioned, you know, the folks that have only been here for a year or two that maybe they had the, they haven't been here since before the end of this industry, since the Cole memo, right.

Speaker 2: For, for the Cole memo. So I think that we're going to see a reenergizing, uh, around this is not just another industry, but also it is still a political movement. It's the only industry that's illegal under federal law and therefore has to be a political movement at least until we achieve a and into marijuana prohibition. Eyes are open in a different way, right? The, the, the, uh, uh, the tentacles are out in, in a different way. Is that right? I mean, that little sense that I get a little bit of pressure, a little bit of tension, you know, that comes from, uh, you know, the trump administration, uh, clauses some uncertainty and, you know, nobody's comfortable about it. But sometimes that could be a good thing in terms of activating, not just also not just activating a actors and people in the industry, but, uh, elected officials.

Speaker 2: And the people around the country who support this issue, who have also maybe been a little bit lackadaisical on this and you know, an apathetic now, you know, we're again, we're seeing is this tidal wave of support from elected officials that we never seen before. So hopefully we can get some stuff done here in 2018 through the congress. We're not going to necessarily be really disappointed if it doesn't happen this year. We continue on as we always have. Right? That's right. So I've got the three final questions for returning guests. I don't know if you've heard these yet because there's someone new. I'll tell you what they are all asking them in order. Third One's always the same. The first question for returning guest is what would you change about yourself? If anything could be something you're already working on. Second question is, what would you change about anything else if you could?

Speaker 2: And then third question is on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. You know that one. So first things first, what would you change about yourself? If anything? It might be something you're already working on. Brutally honest. I, I'm working on quitting smoking tobacco. Here we go. Finally, as soon as someone. I consider you a friend, I've never said anything about the smoking because I used to be a smoker and the worst kind of person to talk to a smoker about smoking is an ex smoker. Right? So I'm just happy to hear that is essentially what I'm saying. I think that's, it's a, it's a nasty habit and a good for you working on that. Good. I'm very happy to hear that. Seriously. All right. What would you change about anything else if you could? So you're now the bend, this space time continuum. You're all powerful. Whatever you. Anything else? Well, you know, I'd like to see. I think people have a little bit more prioritizing of happiness in their lives. You know, sometimes it seems like they're, you know, people's priorities are centered around materialism or money and, or power and influence and you know, all of those things are good to have to, uh, I, you know, I at least try to also prioritize my own happiness and I think others

Speaker 1: see others do the same. It's also easier to be happy if you're not shouting at someone or being shouted at. And I mean just generally like, you know, we have as, as a society gotten into, you are 100 percent wrong, you know, it. Let's just take the political sides of things, but it's everywhere, right? That sides 100 percent wrong and well, no, that's 100 percent wrong. Well, you're both 100 percent wrong. That can't be true. Stopped shouting about it. I mean just shed, just like, let's bring the tone down and actually have a discussion dialogue. All right, so I liked that one too, on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. Uh, what did I say last time? Oh, I'm a huge fan of the cure. So we'll say the cure fascinations to I think 89. I don't know if you said fascination, fascination street last time, but you have mentioned the cure.

Speaker 1: You mentioned susie and the banshees. A phone, not mistaken possibly, but I have a goth of the cannabis industry here. Indeed. But I always like to push you on your, your punk days. So I, you know, like if there's a, a, I don't know what, what would you, what would you say, what would you mention if I, if I just say, you know, punk, it could be English, punk, American punk. I'm using that post punk that Susie, Susie, yeah. These days I've been listening to this sort of revival of post punk, which is uh, you know, bands like super obscure bands and this industry I'm sure like soft kill or a cold cave. See all sorts of weird obscure stuff. The kids are listening to you, but I don't have kids. You see guys in their forties because I'm, I'm just at the sex pistols and the ramones, that's where I love us. And then of course, you know, you've got your mc five bright, who you come on, everybody loves them. And uh, you know, well, let's give a tip of the cap to a, the stooges and iggy pop, right? Why not buzzcocks? There you go. That's the real stuff. That's why we're going to you with this. You got and there you have Aaron Smith. Sure. The Times they are changing, but the more they change, the more they stay. The same. Very much appreciated. Erin's 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.