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Ep.354: US Congressman Raul Grijalva

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.354: US Congressman Raul Grijalva

Ep.354: US Congressman Raul Grijalva

On his thoughts on cannabis, US Congressman Raul Grijalva joins us. Representative Grijalva shares his point of view on serving our veterans after they’ve served for us, “Professors doing evidence based, fact based, science based studies on the application of cannabis to veterans in terms of dealing with the stresses and mental issues that they brought back with them from Afghanistan and Iraq, therapeutic application, the veterans want it. Even establish veterans organizations that have been around for 100 years want it. And you had the legislature threaten to take away funding from the University of Arizona if they didn’t stop the study and didn’t get rid of the professor. Professor left, continued the study somewhere else.”

Transcript:

Raul Grijalva: Raul Grijalva, representing the Third District in Arizona.

Seth Adler: Excellent.

Raul Grijalva: One, two, three, four.

Seth Adler: If you can give me your first pet.

Raul Grijalva: My first-

Seth Adler: Pet.

Raul Grijalva: Oh, that I had-

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: ... when I was ... Oh, it was a dog, Blackie. He lived 14 years. He was my buddy. I got him when I was about five years old.

Seth Adler: What kind of dog was it?

Raul Grijalva: A mutt. I mean it was a ... But a very good animal. I mean, I hung out with that dog a lot. And he put up with all my insecurities as a kid-

Seth Adler: Interesting.

Raul Grijalva: ... telling him my life story-

Seth Adler: Interesting.

Raul Grijalva: ... my plans for what I was going to do.

Seth Adler: Was Congress in the works back then?

Raul Grijalva: No. I was seven years old. My goal was to be the guy that drove the ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I thought that was probably the primo job of all time.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Everybody's happy when you get there. Right?

Raul Grijalva: People are waiting for you. I mean, it was just great.

Seth Adler: That's fantastic. Well, I mean, you're kind of doling out laws like you would be doling out ice cream. So in a way it's a similar-

Raul Grijalva: Not as many smiles, though.

Seth Adler: Unfortunately, right? Speaking of that, let's dive in right there. As far as the Cole and Ogden memos being rescinded in the beginning of January, it's only a couple months. But it feels like more than that.

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. Under Obama, there was an understood leniency to the application of-

Seth Adler: Well, those were the Cole memos, right?

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. And the guidance that Cole memo provided was the rule.

Seth Adler: Sure, and it did put in place rules.

Raul Grijalva: It put in place rules that-

Seth Adler: No cross-border trade, no-

Raul Grijalva: Children, on and on and on.

Seth Adler: There we go. Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: As more and more states either looked seriously, like Arizona, for medical marijuana passing in terms of a referendum from the public, the legalization efforts that have happened in other states, the decriminalization efforts in other states ... As more and more states went into that, the need to provide that Cole guidance was essential. Because we were still working on a law, a federal law, that ranks marijuana in a Tier One narcotic.

Raul Grijalva: Raul Grijalva, representing the Third District in Arizona.

Seth Adler: Excellent.

Raul Grijalva: One, two, three, four.

Seth Adler: If you can give me your first pet.

Raul Grijalva: My first-

Seth Adler: Pet.

Raul Grijalva: Oh, that I had-

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: ... when I was ... Oh, it was a dog, Blackie. He lived 14 years. He was my buddy. I got him when I was about five years old.

Seth Adler: What kind of dog was it?

Raul Grijalva: A mutt. I mean it was a ... But a very good animal. I mean, I hung out with that dog a lot. And he put up with all my insecurities as a kid-

Seth Adler: Interesting.

Raul Grijalva: ... telling him my life story-

Seth Adler: Interesting.

Raul Grijalva: ... my plans for what I was going to do.

Seth Adler: Was Congress in the works back then?

Raul Grijalva: No. I was seven years old. My goal was to be the guy that drove the ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I thought that was probably the primo job of all time.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Everybody's happy when you get there. Right?

Raul Grijalva: People are waiting for you. I mean, it was just great.

Seth Adler: That's fantastic. Well, I mean, you're kind of doling out laws like you would be doling out ice cream. So in a way it's a similar-

Raul Grijalva: Not as many smiles, though.

Seth Adler: Unfortunately, right? Speaking of that, let's dive in right there. As far as the Cole and Ogden memos being rescinded in the beginning of January, it's only a couple months. But it feels like more than that.

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. Under Obama, there was an understood leniency to the application of-

Seth Adler: Well, those were the Cole memos, right?

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. And the guidance that Cole memo provided was the rule.

Seth Adler: Sure, and it did put in place rules.

Raul Grijalva: It put in place rules that-

Seth Adler: No cross-border trade, no-

Raul Grijalva: Children, on and on and on.

Seth Adler: There we go. Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: As more and more states either looked seriously, like Arizona, for medical marijuana passing in terms of a referendum from the public, the legalization efforts that have happened in other states, the decriminalization efforts in other states ... As more and more states went into that, the need to provide that Cole guidance was essential. Because we were still working on a law, a federal law, that ranks marijuana in a Tier One narcotic.

Seth Adler: That's it, Schedule One. That's right.

Raul Grijalva: As the consequences that ... If we're going to reform criminal justice systems and filling our jails with non-violent-

Seth Adler: Offenders?

Raul Grijalva: ... offenders, as was the case ... Minimum/maximum as well, maximum/minimums sentencing that occurred around there. The severity of them in some states and at the federal level ... And that was part of the effort, too, to begin to reform the criminal justice system, and to be respectful of a self-determinate decision by voters in a given state.

Seth Adler: Oh. So the 10th Amendment is what we're bringing up here, Congressman Grijalva.

Raul Grijalva: And it strikes me as ironic, whether it is this current fight with California around sanctuary issues by Sessions that in the Senate he's Mr. State's Rights.

Seth Adler: Yup.

Raul Grijalva: He fought Civil Rights advances, fought any issue where there, he interpreted as Federal overreach, telling our little states what to do.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: And now you have on this ... And I think he's a primary mover behind it, Sessions, no question about it. His own philosophical point of view-

Seth Adler: Personal.

Raul Grijalva: ... and very personal. He now, and unfortunately in the power's attorney general, rescinds the Cole memorandum and the guidance, and begins the process of re-introducing that enforcement only mentality around the issue of marijuana irrespective of what a voter or voters decided in a given state. And that trend is not going away.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: It's going to continue to grow. And I think-

Seth Adler: Speak to that. What are you saying, there?

Raul Grijalva: That as the consequences of Colorado, California, of Washington and Arizona becomes more and more evidence based, that this does not lead to the demise of society as we know it.

Seth Adler: Right. The sky does not fall.

Raul Grijalva: In fact, that the crime associated drops because the middle man is gone.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: And it's more temperate. But you also see ... We spoke to a mom whose five-year-old kid today that you finally got permission to be able for the baby to have cannabis as part of their treatment and the seizures that this child had endured for four years went away.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And it was part of a therapeutic, health management plan for this baby.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: The vets ... And this happened in Arizona. Professors doing evidence based, fact based, science based studies on the application of cannabis to veterans in terms of dealing with the stresses and mental issues that they brought back with them from Afghanistan and Iraq, therapeutic application, the veterans want it. Even establish veterans organizations that have been around for 100 years want it. And you had the legislature threaten to take away funding from the University of Arizona if they didn't stop the study and didn't get rid of the professor. Professor left, continued the study somewhere else.

Seth Adler: You're talking about Dr. Sue Sisley, who we've absolutely interviewed. Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And we sent a letter that this is absolutely crazy. And the therapeutic value to the veterans, that's put aside. So we have health issue, we have therapeutic issues, and we have the will of the voter involved in this.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And the consequences of ignoring that is the hypocrisy of saying state's rights is one thing we protect. But if we disagree with you and I'm the attorney general, I can turn that around.

Seth Adler: All of a sudden I can have a different point of view.

Raul Grijalva: Exactly.

Seth Adler: Right?

Raul Grijalva: Exactly.

Seth Adler: Now you bring up kind of state's rights as they relate to race. I've noticed that you call the plant marijuana, and I wonder why you do. Because that word, as you know, is put in place as far as the Mexican workers in the west using this dirty, dirty plant, marijuana. They've literally created that word to invoke racism. And I wonder why you utilize it and not the other word, cannabis, that you could use.

Raul Grijalva: I grew up with it.

Seth Adler: Okay, that's fair.

Raul Grijalva: I grew up with it and I don't know, whether it was ... There are so many words in Spanish for cannabis.

Seth Adler: I'm sure.

Raul Grijalva: [Foreign language 00:08:39], marijuana, the list is endless. The creativity never stops on that.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: But I think it's more of historical context and that's the word I learned.

Seth Adler: Yeah. I ask the policy guys this all the time, because they use the word marijuana. What they say is because that's how it's written essentially in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. So if it's in law as marijuana, we got to kind of call it marijuana. Right? So what can we do, here? So now, the Cole and Ogden memos have been rescinded. As far as medical cannabis, which is the only thing you have in Arizona ... And we'll get to why that is in a minute. It's protected, at least for the moment by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment.

Raul Grijalva: Right.

Seth Adler: What about the McClintock-Polis Amendment, which I know you support, which would go ahead and protect adult use shops and businesses as well as the myriad other bills that are within Congress?

Raul Grijalva: The financial services side of this, the financial services part of it, legislation in the state ... If you look at it in a comprehensive way that it's the legislations, like Mr. Polis has, that Blumenauer has and McClintock has, and it is financial services relief so that we are not penalizing and making it impossible to do business in terms of financial transactions. So it's not considered a wiring crime if you send your money to a institution, a banking institution.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: Those are all part of, I think, a package of acceptance. In this atmosphere, when you have someone, a zealot like Sessions, it's going to be difficult.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And you have a makeup like you have in this Congress, it's going to be difficult. But you see more and more of my more conservative colleagues, Republicans, having to bend to the will of their states.

Seth Adler: Yup.

Raul Grijalva: And that's good.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: They acknowledge the fact that this hard line by Sessions and the Trump administration is hurting them and it's hurting their state. It's hurting the revenue that's coming into their state. And so for a lot of practical reasons, some of them political survival, nevertheless it's on the same path. And this is by [inaudible 00:11:11], also. The Senate is thinking and doing the same thing. I suggest that we're maybe three, four, maybe two sessions away from a more comprehensive piece of legislation that essentially protects the state and not only de-criminalizes but begins the process of providing from the research, therapeutic, health, financial kind of policy infrastructure that no longer makes this the heinous crime that Session wants to make it.

Seth Adler: You're saying two sessions, that's three or four years away, is what you're saying.

Raul Grijalva: I really believe that.

Seth Adler: But that is forever if the Federal attorneys can come after my business right now, which they can.

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. Like I told you, and I said that ... It's not even a disclaimer. That's reality.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: But I'm very confident that the mood ... Polling indicates it, if you want to believe that. But just the sense and the mood among the American public in general, particularly the generations that are becoming prominent in this country and will be the leadership, that's where the mood is going. And if policy is always-

Seth Adler: Lagging indicator.

Raul Grijalva: ... is the last one to acknowledge.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: But this is moving so rapidly. This is a red, red state, Arizona, and it passes twice, medical marijuana.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: I'm thinking two elections from now there'll be a legalization effort.

Seth Adler: Let's jump to Arizona then, for that reason. Famously, eight out of nine states went ahead and legalized cannabis in some way, shape or form. In the last election, Arizona was the only one that did lose and it's because of money that was put in there most notably by Sheldon Adelson. What were your thoughts when that vote came across and you saw that there was no win as far as adult use?

Raul Grijalva: Very disappointing. All the indicators were that it was going to pass.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: The late money, the unlimited, undisclosed money at the end, and that was very ... Also, I think there was a ... Among the advocates and organizations that are promoting it, didn't have the unity there that there was some difference of opinion as to what should be emphasized and what shouldn't from purely a business side to more of a consumer side.

Seth Adler: There wasn't a vociferous support, is what you're saying.

Raul Grijalva: We didn't have the unity so that we had a split message. I think lesson learned. Next time around, that's not going to happen. And second of all, I think we should have reacted much quicker in disclosing this is the guy behind the effort to kill it. And by the time we reacted, it was-

Seth Adler: It was too late. It was because it was him. It was Discount Tire. From now on, by the way, I buy my tires full price, just so you know. And of course, the maker of Fentanyl, which go figure on that as far as the opiod crisis is concerned. Right?

Raul Grijalva: No effort on the part of Sessions to look at big pharma and how they've began the widespread addiction to opioids in this country and how now they've fed a whole new elicit industry because of them. But they get away with it. And we're back to thinking we can prosecute the little person for the minimal consumption.

Seth Adler: I want to get back to Federal. But you bring up the little person, here. How much of this is that, do you think?

Raul Grijalva: I think it's a lot. I really do. I think that any issue, any culture change in this country, it's driven from the bottom up. And I think that that's where this impetus is coming in those states. And a former staff person that worked for me now works as a lobbyist for the women growers in Colorado.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And doing well, I mean, this is her advocacy.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: And her point to me was that it was ... The ground swell started somewhere else. And that we caught up with it.

Seth Adler: We being the Federal government, us congressmen.

Raul Grijalva: The Federal government, those of us who consider ourselves professionals at this stuff, caught up with it. And it's cross-pollinated because you can't ideologically say this is purely a liberal, progressive point of view. No.

Seth Adler: Listen to the stream of folks that I've got here. This is not liberal. I've got folks on here that have said that I would never vote for a Democrat, and there's more than one of them. We got everybody. As far as cannabis, everybody's here.

Raul Grijalva: You have the liberal community, the progressive community in Arizona and where I'm from in southern Arizona, that we're pro-legalization.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: But you also had the cowboys in the other parts of the rural areas that were pro-it as well, same bumper sticker. One on a truck, one on a Prius, I guess. I don't know.

Seth Adler: Sure. Yeah, right.

Raul Grijalva: But it was the same bumper sticker.

Seth Adler: Yup.

Raul Grijalva: Vote yes.

Seth Adler: Whether it's state's rights, whether it's personal liberty, whether it's-

Raul Grijalva: And I think there's a whole civil libertarian streak to this.

Seth Adler: Certainly.

Raul Grijalva: And I think that's where the momentum is. This is one issue that it's hard to pin down an ideology on, and that's probably good.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Absolutely. There is no red, there is no blue, there is no left, there is no right. So understanding that, getting back to what we can do here in Washington DC in 2018, I understand your point. I take your point. Two more sessions, three, four years ... What can we chip away with or what can we chip away at in 2018? What might be realistic to do in this year?

Raul Grijalva: I think the Polis legislation, I think is a possibility. I also think that there can be an incremental thing. I think we could look very closely ... I think if we create a balance in this government of ours between the legislative branch and the administrative branch, then there's a lot of things we can do. The House controls the purse strings, and I think one of the first gestures has to be on this enforcement overreach that Session is doing, is begin to look at those purse strings.

Seth Adler: I got you. And that's why McClintock-Polis, because it says you can't come after it with any of the money.

Raul Grijalva: Exactly. And so I see that as probably the most realistic in 2018, and effectively you create a stalemate while you get the momentum for the law.

Seth Adler: Right. Keep the ball rolling.

Raul Grijalva: But you need an incremental win.

Seth Adler: Incrementalism, you know, it's so funny. You're not going to believe this. Raul Grijalva and Matt Gates both mention incrementalism. I swear to God, you both used the same word.

Raul Grijalva: Oh, my God. He's probably saying the same thing.

Seth Adler: Yeah. But that's the whole point about this, you know?

Raul Grijalva: I think getting that, controlling the purse strings in 2018 with a balance here, then everything has life to it.

Seth Adler: This brings up balance, right, as far as budget is concerned. This is not something that you just kind of picked out of the air. This is an issue for you. You've got an idea of how to balance the budget in 10 years. Now, do you still have that based on we did the tax law, so it might have changed your numbers a little bit.

Raul Grijalva: Changed the numbers quite a bit.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: I think we got to reverse some of those numbers.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Raul Grijalva: I think you got to pull back on some of the breaks that were given in that tax reform package.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Raul Grijalva: I think you got to change the equation, create revenue, and then you're in a better place to begin too, to deal with the bigger issue of not only a balanced budget, but how you deal with your debt and your deficit.

Seth Adler: Well, I mean, it seems so obvious. But it's unbelievable that I don't get to ask this question so much. Why is a balanced budget and dealing with the debt so important to you.

Raul Grijalva: Because when we've had a surplus we've been able to react to situations like we're talking about today.

Seth Adler: Right. In the '90s with-

Raul Grijalva: When we've had a surplus, we've been able to invest.

Seth Adler: There we go.

Raul Grijalva: When we've had a surplus, it is-

Seth Adler: We get to go to the moon.

Raul Grijalva: Things happen.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And when you go year after year with a budget that is hanging on by its fingernails with no flexibility to try or do anything different for the American people, that's when we get the situations that we have now. That's when you get gridlock. That's when you get dissatisfaction. That's when you get anxiety on the part of the American people. They don't know what their future is going to be.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: Because they don't see their government providing aid and comfort. They see their government as the enemy.

Seth Adler: Yeah, absolutely. So if amending, so to speak, the tax law that was just passed, what other issues would you mention that maybe folks on the other side of the aisle might be attracted to?

Raul Grijalva: Just the idea of having some serious balance. And what I mean by balance is that between the two parties, that neither side is going to get their way, entirely.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: And it shouldn't be that way.

Seth Adler: Exactly.

Raul Grijalva: Because when that happens, just you get the kind of aberrations that you're seeing now.

Seth Adler: That's it.

Raul Grijalva: And so Senator of the House is in the hands of another party other than the majorities that are there now. Then you have an opportunity to negotiate, compromise, and this whole spirit of bipartisanship actually does flourish. And I'll tell you why. Because there's no risk.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: Everybody's taking a risk, not just one side.

Seth Adler: What didn't happen then? We just did have a Democrat in the White House, and then the Congress was controlled by Republicans. What were the issues there as far as getting stuff done so that we can solve it now?

Raul Grijalva: I think what happened, and this is my opinion-

Seth Adler: Yeah, sure.

Raul Grijalva: The majorities in the House and in the Senate came to a conclusion that they were going to inhibit Obama's ability to get anything done. And we got the Affordable Care Act done and paid a price for it.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: But I'm still glad we did. What I'm saying is that once everything is seen through a prism of we can't let them win, nobody wins.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: And that was the prism that we were dealing with during that time. We're not going to let them win.

Seth Adler: What would be, then, something that we could work on here now that the shoe is literally on the other foot type of thing, or in the reality that you're speaking of with a-

Raul Grijalva: A different makeup.

Seth Adler: Yeah, a different makeup, but with a Republican in the White House. I'm just putting it that way for the intents and purposes of this conversation. What would be the thing to work on?

Raul Grijalva: Infrastructure.

Seth Adler: But now you're spending money again, though.

Raul Grijalva: And you have to. You have to put people to work.

Seth Adler: But then how do we pay down the debt if we're doing the infrastructure? That's what I don't understand. You know?

Raul Grijalva: It's a revenue generator. For every dollar you put in, you get $2.10 back.

Seth Adler: And it's jobs.

Raul Grijalva: Put people to work, they're buying big stuff, they're feeling more secure, and that's going to be reflected in the economy.

Seth Adler: It's money well spent.

Raul Grijalva: It's a job generator. The better jobs you generate, the economy is better. And I think that we have to go back to FDR, Eisenhower, all of them. Those two depended a great deal on the best talent that we have in this country, and that's our people. And once they invested in them, the people forget that under Eisenhower, huge investments in public education that hadn't occurred before.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: Particularly our land grant systems and our colleges. FDR, even the New Deal, Social Security, and all that. But what I'm saying is when those investments were made in the American people, they responded.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And so you have to trust history. What did Mark Twain say? History doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes. And I think it will rhyme again.

Seth Adler: I like that. I'm going to use that if you don't mind.

Raul Grijalva: No.

Seth Adler: Well, it's not even yours. Right?

Raul Grijalva: It's Mark Twain's.

Seth Adler: It's Mark Twain's. All right. So I will ask you the three final questions. I'll tell you what they are. I'll ask you them in order. First question is what has most surprised you in cannabis. Second question is what has surprised you in life. Third question is on the soundtrack of your life, Raul, one track, one song that's got to be on there. But first things first. What's most surprised you in cannabis?

Raul Grijalva: What's most surprised me about cannabis has been for me growing up and being told by everyone, including my parents, that that was the road to perdition, that anybody that dealt with marijuana, smoked it, whatever-

Seth Adler: You're smoking your life away.

Raul Grijalva: That's the end of your life.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: You'll be mainlining in-

Seth Adler: No time.

Raul Grijalva: ... two weeks. So what surprised me given all that, given the punitive laws that were put in place, given its Tier One rating, that somehow in the course of these times, what's considered a fringe issue for fringe people, all this time it's been mainstream.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Raul Grijalva: And I think what surprised me more has been these states and these recent elections and referendums and initiatives that have kind of brought mainstream America to lay their voice down. And that turn of events has been very, very surprising.

Seth Adler: Yeah. It's everybody, is what it is.

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. And so the second question was-

Seth Adler: Sure. What's most surprised you in life?

Raul Grijalva: I think 14 years ago when I got here, that was the biggest surprise.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Raul Grijalva: I mean, we weren't supposed to win. We won. We did really well. I'm still here.

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: I kind of felt like the President Truman story in his book. He talks about when he got appointed he was a haberdasher, not a good one, in Missouri. But he got appointed to the Senate and he's sitting there, and he's going to himself, "These are all great mean that I've heard on the," there weren't women there, but, "all great men that I've heard on the radio. How the hell am I going to deal with that?"

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: And then he said six months later ... No. He says, "What the hell am I doing here?" Then six months later he says to himself, "What the hell are they doing here?"

Seth Adler: Right.

Raul Grijalva: That has been my biggest surprise-

Seth Adler: I got you.

Raul Grijalva: ... that I underestimated myself. And the-

Seth Adler: Soundtrack. On the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's going to be on there.

Raul Grijalva: Old school. Well, not old school. I mean, you know, the perpetual question me growing up. Are you a Beatles fan or are you a Rolling Stone fan? I'm a Rolling Stone fan.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Raul Grijalva: And so it would probably be one of two songs. Either Beast of Burden or Can't Get No-

Seth Adler: Satisfaction, right?

Raul Grijalva: Yeah. One of those two.

Seth Adler: We'll take them both. Congressman Grijalva, thank you so much.

Raul Grijalva: My pleasure.

Seth Adler: Really appreciate your time. Hey, keep fighting, will you?

Raul Grijalva: I will.

Seth Adler: And there you have US Congressman, Raul Grijalva. Very much appreciate his time, very much appreciate your time. 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.