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Ep. 421: Chairman Steve Hoffman, MA Cannabis Control Commision

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep. 421: Chairman Steve Hoffman, MA Cannabis Control Commision

Ep. 421: Chairman Steve Hoffman, MA Cannabis Control Commision

Chairman Steve Hoffman joins us and shares some of the protections put in place relating to Cannabis legislature in Massachusetts: “I think that every state is unique. So you can learn, but every state is different demographically, the laws are different. Massachusetts is the only state that has this explicit requirement about ensuring that disproportionately impacted communities are full participants in the industry. So you can’t just lift and shift from other states.”

Transcript:

Seth Adler: Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com, that's two Ns and the word economy. We've got a whole lot of direct insight from cannabis luminaries on the updated canneconomy.com. First, a word from [Juanna Brands 00:00:00:19] and then Chairman Steve Hoffman.

Juanna Brands: Want To Know with Juanna Brands. Nancy, global expansion, specifically into Canada.

Nancy: Because it's already federally legal for medical and will be federally legal for recreational. Once they are completely federally legal, they will have the opportunity to not just produce product for their own population, which is sizeable. It's equal to the size of California. But they're also going to have the opportunity to produce product in Canada and ship it anywhere in the world where it is legal. And even beyond that, this is interesting, the Canadian companies, again because it's legal, are actually able to be listed on the major stock exchanges, so they have enormous stock valuations. So they actually have the money to even go directly to countries where it's legal and just set up operations there. So it's a very exciting opportunity for us to partner with the right group in Canada.

Seth Adler: So we've got Chairman Hoffman, thank you so much for giving us a few minutes and thanks for having us here in Massachusetts.

Steven Hoffman: My pleasure.

Seth Adler: Where cannabis is legal, sir.

Steven Hoffman: Cannabis has been legal for Massachusetts for a while.

Seth Adler: For a while, since November 20th or-

Steven Hoffman: Well, it depends. Medical marijuana was approved by the voters in November of 2012, adult use November of 2016.

Seth Adler: Indeed. And when we speak of legal cannabis, usually we mean adult use, the medical program has more legs under it.

Steven Hoffman: It's had more time, obviously.

Seth Adler: Yeah. What did you learn from that program?

Steven Hoffman: I think couple of things. One is if you look at our regulatory language and structure, a lot of it comes from the medical marijuana program in Massachusetts. I think they did a really nice job in terms of regulatory development. It was a very slow rollout. Not much happened for the first couple of years. That was another lesson we learned the opposite way. But I think that the Department of Public Health deserves a ton of credit for the way they stood up that program, the way they regulate it. The transition from them to us, which happened in December of last year was very smooth and very collaborative. So I have nothing but good things to say about the way DPH handled the program.

Seth Adler: Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com, that's two Ns and the word economy. We've got a whole lot of direct insight from cannabis luminaries on the updated canneconomy.com. First, a word from [Juanna Brands 00:00:00:19] and then Chairman Steve Hoffman.

Juanna Brands: Want To Know with Juanna Brands. Nancy, global expansion, specifically into Canada.

Nancy: Because it's already federally legal for medical and will be federally legal for recreational. Once they are completely federally legal, they will have the opportunity to not just produce product for their own population, which is sizeable. It's equal to the size of California. But they're also going to have the opportunity to produce product in Canada and ship it anywhere in the world where it is legal. And even beyond that, this is interesting, the Canadian companies, again because it's legal, are actually able to be listed on the major stock exchanges, so they have enormous stock valuations. So they actually have the money to even go directly to countries where it's legal and just set up operations there. So it's a very exciting opportunity for us to partner with the right group in Canada.

Seth Adler: So we've got Chairman Hoffman, thank you so much for giving us a few minutes and thanks for having us here in Massachusetts.

Steven Hoffman: My pleasure.

Seth Adler: Where cannabis is legal, sir.

Steven Hoffman: Cannabis has been legal for Massachusetts for a while.

Seth Adler: For a while, since November 20th or-

Steven Hoffman: Well, it depends. Medical marijuana was approved by the voters in November of 2012, adult use November of 2016.

Seth Adler: Indeed. And when we speak of legal cannabis, usually we mean adult use, the medical program has more legs under it.

Steven Hoffman: It's had more time, obviously.

Seth Adler: Yeah. What did you learn from that program?

Steven Hoffman: I think couple of things. One is if you look at our regulatory language and structure, a lot of it comes from the medical marijuana program in Massachusetts. I think they did a really nice job in terms of regulatory development. It was a very slow rollout. Not much happened for the first couple of years. That was another lesson we learned the opposite way. But I think that the Department of Public Health deserves a ton of credit for the way they stood up that program, the way they regulate it. The transition from them to us, which happened in December of last year was very smooth and very collaborative. So I have nothing but good things to say about the way DPH handled the program.

Seth Adler: Last year being 2018.

Steven Hoffman: Last year, we are in 2019 last I checked, right.

Seth Adler: It's exactly right.

Steven Hoffman: Time flies when you're having fun.

Seth Adler: Time does fly and November 20th is when we officially came online, but there were some stops and starts and some fixing things before we really began. What was your sense of that evolution?

Steven Hoffman: I wouldn't use that same language. I'll try not to sound defensive.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Steven Hoffman: So the voter initiative was passed in November of 2016.

Seth Adler: Yes sir.

Steven Hoffman: The legislature, state legislature of Massachusetts, immediately put a hold on things and said, "We're going to study this issue." They spent eight months. They put together a joint study committee. They came up with a bill, it was signed by Governor Baker, July of 2017. So that was eight months just there. In the legislation they created a five person independent commission of which I'm the chairman. Our commission was appointed September 1st of 2017, and we immediately got to work. We had no staff, we had no office, we had no money, but we rolled up our sleeves and started working. We went on statewide listening tours. We had public hearings and we drafted a set of regulations that were promulgated with the Secretary of State March 15th, I believe, of 2017 which was the legislative mandate. We were required to do that. Excuse me, March 2018.

Steven Hoffman: So we met that mandate. Then the legislation said we had to start accepting applications as of April 1st. We did. The legislation then set a negative mandate, which is we could not accept applications until June 1st, so we didn't.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Steven Hoffman: And then the first licenses that we approved, were, I think, June 20th or June 21st of 2018. So everything again according to what was laid out in terms of the legislation. And then from that point on, once we started approving, reviewing and approving licenses, people get provisional licenses. They have to then build out their facility consistent with what they told us they were going to do. We go out, inspect, we give them final licenses, and as you said, November 20th were when the first two stores opened. So I think people can say it could have happened faster or maybe less fast, but it was a pretty steady and smooth process in my opinion.

Seth Adler: Well, once it was in your hands, I agree. Absolutely. I was speaking of, yes, those breaks that were put on by the legislature.

Steven Hoffman: That was before, I was a private citizen back then. I had no idea I would end up in this job in a million years. So I don't have perspective on that quite honestly.

Seth Adler: Let's dive in on that before we get to the present and future, because when I looked at your resume, so to speak, it seems appropriate that someone like you would be in a position like yours albeit unlikely.

Steven Hoffman: Certainly.

Seth Adler: You've got Bain in your past, you've got a real high level position at Sapient.

Steven Hoffman: Yes.

Seth Adler: Among other things. When you look at this industry as a management consultant, before you did get in, what were your thoughts?

Steven Hoffman: Well, I think it's known around the state. I voted against this initiative and I voted against the initiative, not because I don't support the objectives. I believe that prohibition does not work. I think that this is a great opportunity for cities and towns to generate new industry, new jobs, new tax revenue. It's a great opportunity to give back to those communities that have been harmed by prohibition. So I support all of that.

Steven Hoffman: My objection to the Voter Initiative in 2016 was, my God, this is really complicated and there's a really short timeline here. And so from my perspective as a management consultant and as a business person, I just said, "I just think this is a really complicated thing." I'm used to startups. I started up two companies. This is starting up an industry, and an industry that is new and is also federally illegal. And so it's a really, really complicated set of issues. And I just thought the timeframe was a little bit short given the complexity of the situation.

Seth Adler: Flash forward to-

Steven Hoffman: Here I am, it's to be a little bit ironic that I'm in this position now.

Seth Adler: How did your mindset evolve? Did they ask you, did you say, "You know what, if you're going to do it."

Steven Hoffman: I was retired. I told the story before. My wife was very unhappy with my retirement. She's a physician and she's going to work forever and she didn't think that it was appropriate for me to be retired. I was 63 and so I was looking, I was a little bored. But I was looking for something different than what I had done. Something in the not for profit sector, something where I learned some new skills, meet new people. But I didn't know what that was. I knew what my criteria were. I was talking to people, I was networking, and then I got a call about this out of the blue. And my immediate reaction was, "No way, why would I do this?"

Steven Hoffman: They asked me, the treasurer asked me to think about it for 24 hours. And so I did and my wife got home that night from work and I said, "Babe, you'll never guess what came along." I said, "I'm not doing it." And she said to me, I'm actually parsing this a little bit carefully so that it's cleaner than what she said, but she said, "Are you out of your mind? How could you not do this? This is the adventure of a lifetime."

Seth Adler: Interesting.

Steven Hoffman: And here I am.

Seth Adler: Wow. All right, so fair enough. [crosstalk 00:07:08] So we have your wife to thank, type of thing.

Steven Hoffman: Or the other way I say it is, the thing is, if it goes sideways, I'm throwing her under the bus.

Seth Adler: Sure, of course. Of course. But so far so good.

Steven Hoffman: So far.

Seth Adler: And what I really appreciate is when folks that weren't necessarily behind whatever initiative it is are then in charge of it. So Governor Hickenlooper, I've spoken with him.

Steven Hoffman: Yes.

Seth Adler: He was no fan.

Steven Hoffman: Right. Governor Baker.

Seth Adler: Governor Baker, I haven't spoken with him, but Senator Cory Gardner. No fan. And then the voters decide. Right now, you've come from the business side. You're not necessarily a politician.

Steven Hoffman: I'm not a politician.

Seth Adler: So what those guys say, the politicians say, "Hey, the voters are the bosses." You've got a little bit of a different kind of viewpoint.

Steven Hoffman: Well, not really, because one of the first things we did, we are subject to the open meeting law, which means that everything we've done has been in public. So all of our commission meetings are in public, all the decisions we make, all of the debates we have, they're all in public. One of the first things we did, and this is because I'm a business person, I said, "We're an organization, new organization. We need a mission statement. All organizations need a mission statement." I've written and collaborated on writing dozens. And then this one we did in public. We did a draft, we debated it, we parsed it, we wordsmithed it, we came back and we went through three iterations and got to something I'm really proud of. The first line of that mission statement is "Honor the will of the voters of the state of Massachusetts."

Steven Hoffman: So whether I'm a politician or not, it's all about doing what the citizens decided they wanted done, which is to make this legal and accessible and safe.

Seth Adler: What where some of your reactions to some of those early meetings when you were, "Oh my God, I'm actually here, I'm actually doing this."

Steven Hoffman: I was terrified. Because I've never done any of this before. The biggest-

Seth Adler: You're used to the door being closed, right?

Steven Hoffman: I'm used to the door being closed. But the biggest thing, so we had our first public commission meeting maybe two weeks after we were appointed. So sometime in September of 2017. And we had the meeting and that was hard enough, but then it was over. And I was packing up my suitcase, my briefcase, and I was ready to leave. There must've been, I don't know, 15 or 20 press that surrounded me in a semicircle and wouldn't let me leave and started throwing questions at me and there are cameras and microphones shoved in my .... That took some getting used to.

Seth Adler: Okay. You're not used to that.

Steven Hoffman: I don't think I'm used to it yet, but at least it doesn't terrify me quite as much as that first time.

Seth Adler: And just for our knowledge, I consider myself an anthropologist, not a journalist.

Steven Hoffman: I saw that. I saw that.

Seth Adler: You're okay here.

Steven Hoffman: I'm fine. Actually. I'm fine with journalists as well. It's just, it was just something I'd never experienced before. I've given a lot of talks and done public speaking and run board meetings, so that part of it is not a challenge. It's just literally, as I said, getting up and having cameras and microphones shoved in your face and questions thrown at you from all directions. That just takes some getting used to.

Seth Adler: So there's the landscape as you describe it. We're starting an industry-

Steven Hoffman: Correct.

Seth Adler: ... not only a business and many businesses that have to be within that industry. We've got the public who is absolutely part of what we're doing here, we've got the media, which is absolutely part of what we're doing here. So enough new things certainly.

Steven Hoffman: Right.

Seth Adler: Yet we did still hit our deadline.

Steven Hoffman: Yeah. I'm very proud of what we've done. I know that people will disagree with some decisions we've made. There's some issues about whether we could have gone more quickly. I'm very proud of what we did, but I'm even more proud of the process. I'm proud of the fact that we did everything transparently, that we engaged the public with. Literally, the first, aside from this press conference I was just talking about, or the scrum, one of the first decisions we made is we were going to go out and do eight public listening sessions around the state. And we did. And we went out and didn't say a word. We just said, "You got three minutes to tell us what you think." And we must have had several hundred people come in. And some of them were saying, "This is the worst law I've ever heard of, stop it." Other people said, "Why aren't you moving more quickly? This shouldn't be regulated at all."

Steven Hoffman: And literally everything on the spectrum in between. And it was great because it really did give us a sense of not just the issues but how passionate people were on both sides. Because this initiative passed 53% to 47%.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Steven Hoffman: So it's close.

Seth Adler: It is close.

Steven Hoffman: And there's passion on both sides.

Seth Adler: Without question.

Steven Hoffman: And this public listening tour that we did, I think was great because it really gave us a visceral feel for what was on people's minds. So everything we've done, starting with the public listening sessions with our debating what kind of licenses we were going to give out, what the licensing process is going to be. Everything was done publicly, everything was done transparently. And again, people can disagree with our decisions. Hopefully nobody feels that the process was anything other than completely fair and transparent.

Seth Adler: Understanding that the public was certainly a part of it, I would imagine that you would have had to look at other states that had come before you.

Steven Hoffman: Absolutely. Sure.

Seth Adler: What did you learn from other states? I'll just leave that open like that.

Steven Hoffman: Sure, sure. So we obviously had talked to every other state, there are states that were ahead of us, like Colorado and Oregon and Washington State. There were states that legalized the same time we did like Nevada and Colorado, and we learned from them all, and they hopefully learned from us as well. I think that every state is unique. So you can learn, but every state is different demographically, the laws are different. Massachusetts is the only state that has this explicit requirement about ensuring that disproportionately impacted communities are full participants in the industry. So you can't just lift and shift from other states.

Steven Hoffman: But we learned a lot and some of them were good things, lessons that were positive. Some of them were mistakes that other states said, "Gee, if we could have done it again, we would have done a little bit differently." And people were incredibly open sharing, as I said, both the positive and the negative of their experiences. And it was extraordinary helpful. And it's nice that right now we're doing exactly the same, with, we're talking to people in New York, we're talking to people in Rhode Island and other states that are contemplating getting into the industry. We're just returning the favor that was given to us by the other states.

Seth Adler: I'll take that lead. Has it surprised you as a business person, to see other heads of state governors now just whipsaw towards legalization? From my perspective. My words, not yours.

Steven Hoffman: I don't know about whipsaw, but it doesn't surprise me that people are investigating it for two reasons. One is, I think they've seen in the states that have gone forward so far, including Massachusetts, but even the states that are ahead of us, that this industry can work, it can provide something the public wants. And can do so in a safe way. Great jobs, economic revenue or economic opportunity, tax revenues. So I think they're seeing, while there's still some skepticism and concerns, it's not a bad thing. And it can be stood up and regulated in a safe and effective manner. So I think that's positive. I also think that it's pure economics, which is, there's tax revenue available here and they don't like seeing it go to other states.

Seth Adler: That's it. Especially with the, I've heard of billboards being put up.

Steven Hoffman: I've heard that as well. I haven't seen them, but I've heard of those billboards.

Seth Adler: So as we sit here, podcast land knows no time, but we happen to be sitting at the beginning of 2019. As you look out to the rest of 2019 and even further to 2020, what is on your desk? What are you ensuring stays on your desk? What are you delegating?

Steven Hoffman: I think there's, ultimately everything is on my desk. But I think there are couple of things that are our biggest focus for 2019 as a commission. One is just continuing the process. We have given out 112 provisional licenses as of last Thursday, we have a queue of several hundred. So we're going to just continue to process licenses and hopefully see it more broadly distributed across the state than there are right now. Because cities and towns are moving at slightly different paces across the state. So I want to see a more even distribution of licenses, particularly retail.

Seth Adler: How can you affect that?

Steven Hoffman: We can't, all we can do is process the licenses that come to us.

Seth Adler: Got it.

Steven Hoffman: But the cities and towns are starting to work. Some are moving more quickly than others. There were moratoriums in place for 135 cities and towns that mostly expired at the end of last year, at the end of 2018, so it's going to happen. So just continuing what we're doing is certainly part of it. We did take over the medical program in December of 2018, just making sure that that transition continues to be effective, that we integrate the personnel of the agency, make sure there's no disruption to the patients. We have some work to do because our regulations and medical regulations are not completely aligned. Some places they shouldn't be, but some places they need to be.

Steven Hoffman: So we've got to think about how to evolve the medical regulations and our own regulations, which we're doing again in a totally public and transparent way. There are two big issues that I would say we're making progress on, but I'm not satisfied with where we are right now. One is bringing banking into the industry. We have, or three banks have decided to support the industry, the adult use industry in Massachusetts and that's good. And that's all that we need right now given the scale. But it's certainly not going to be enough as we add more licenses and more retail stores. So continuing to work with banks and help them understand the industry and how it's being regulated and deal with some of their concerns. That's a big issue that we'll continue to work on.

Steven Hoffman: And the legislation requires us to build up a diverse industry and one that does give back to those communities, as I mentioned earlier, that were disproportionately impacted. We're reaching out, we have equity programs, we have training programs. We're asking every applicant in their license application to tell us what they're going to do, not just what the state's going to do but what they're going to do, for diversity and for equity. A lot of good things are happening there. We're nowhere near where we need to be yet, and that's just going to be a continued challenge. But we are working hard and completely committed. And actually in my case I'm quite optimistic we're going to get there.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Nowhere near where you need to be as far as that equity program, but very far ahead of anyone else. That is, within the industry, we know that that is the-

Steven Hoffman: It's [inaudible 00:16:38] Massachusetts.

Seth Adler: Without question.

Steven Hoffman: And I'm proud of that fact. I hope that we're going to build up an industry that is a model for other states, not just in terms of equity and social justice, but certainly including those dimensions. But it's hard work. It's really hard work, and it's going to take a collaborative effort, not just at the state level but private industry and cities and towns. And some things that are going on right now in Somerville and Boston where they're trying to figure out how they can ensure equity in their communities. It's all going to have to work together. And we're making, when I say we have a long way to go, we do, but I don't want to imply that we're not making progress. We're making great progress and we're doing a lot. I'm really proud, but I recognize that we've got a lot more to do.

Seth Adler: And you say that as far as banking as well. So you've got the five banks.

Steven Hoffman: Banking is, there's only so much we can do. First of all, we can't force a bank to come into the industry.

Seth Adler: A hundred percent.

Steven Hoffman: We can help them understand, as I said, how we're going to regulate, how we're going to enforce our regulations, but we can't force them. But the other thing is that, as long as the federal laws stay the way they are, it's going to be a challenge.

Seth Adler: Well, so, on federal law. So Department of Treasury issued FinCEN Guidance in concert with the third Cole Memo. The Cole Memos were rescinded as we well know.

Steven Hoffman: But they're certain-

Seth Adler: But this was not. But FinCEN guidance was not.

Steven Hoffman: Right, right.

Seth Adler: Someone like you speaking to whoever you know, do you point that out to them?

Steven Hoffman: So I have, I said, "I can't force any bank." We can't force any bank to participate, but doesn't mean we're not doing outreach. And so we've spoken at the Mass Bankers Association a couple of times. We've spoken at the Cooperative Credit Union Association a couple of times. I've met individually with banks, and yeah, part of it is pointing out what you just said, but part of it again is, here's the way we're standing up this industry. It's going to be professionally run, it's going to be well regulated, the regulations are going to be enforced. We have a requirement that everybody that has a license is on our seed to sale tracking system. You remember seed to sale conference?

Seth Adler: Sure.

Steven Hoffman: If that's appropriate to talk about. We have an API, so that any bank that decides to enter this industry can track their clients through our seed to sale tracking system, which dramatically reduces the compliance costs. Because there's two challenges for banks entering this industry. One is the federal issue, the other is, it's a very expensive industry in terms of data and in terms of manpower. We're trying to make it a little bit more cost effective by giving them, and when we spec'd out our seed to sale tracking system, we said, "You have to build in an API link so that banks can track their own clients." And I don't know for sure whether that's happening in other states, but I know that was a very important part of our development.

Seth Adler: Understanding that you aren't necessarily a supporter.

Steven Hoffman: I am. No, I said-

Seth Adler: But to begin with.

Steven Hoffman: I said, "I support the objectives," just the timeframe I was a little uncomfortable with.

Seth Adler: Totally understood. But going back to that management consulting background and seeing how expensive it is just to play ball in this, did that surprise you in any way?

Steven Hoffman: It's not something I'd thought about a lot. I think if I had analyzed it, I would have said, "Yeah, this is going to be pretty expensive," because of the regulations, because of the fact that you have to go through both a city and a state licensing process. Because things that you take for granted in other industries like insurance, getting a lease, a lot more complex in this industry. Certainly more lawyers involved. If I'd done the analysis, I would have said, "Yeah, this is a pretty expensive industry to enter into." Forgetting about the cost of capital for building out your facility and buying inventory. Just getting a license and getting started is expensive. So it is what it is.

Steven Hoffman: We tried very hard when we were building our licensing process to make it user friendly. It's all online on a portal. We try to make our application fees and our license fees reasonable, in some cases quite seriously reduced to create incentives for smaller players. So there's only so much we can do, but we've certainly recognized that capital is a big issue in this industry.

Seth Adler: Indeed. The medical program, also a big deal for those that that follow closely. I wonder is the goal to, you said blend in certain areas I would imagine for efficiencies, but is the goal to keep it distinct?

Steven Hoffman: Well, it's going to be distinct in a couple of ways. One is, the inventory is different. We have limitations in adult use. We have pretty strict limitations with respect to potency. Whereas for medical the limitations are much higher, because patient needs are different. So, the final inventory is going to be different.

Steven Hoffman: The point of sale will have to be different because medical is not taxed and adult use is, so you've got to have separate checkouts. Medical, right now, you need a medical card to get into a facility. To get into an adult use facility, you just need to show proof of age that you're over 21. So some things are going to be different, but a lot of the back office and administration and perhaps at some point, some of the compliance and inspection. Right now they're two separate organizations and there are unions involved. So it's not a no brainer. So we're going to just try, the most important thing and the way we've handled transition thus far is make sure that the patients are not disrupted, that they still have access to what they need. And I think so far we've done very well on that and so whatever changes we choose to make, and they're still being discussed and they will be for the first part of this year, whatever changes we make will not disrupt patient access. That's the one non negotiable as we talk through this.

Seth Adler: That's fantastic. Safe patient access, that's what this whole thing is about.

Steven Hoffman: Absolutely.

Seth Adler: Just quickly on taxation, do you have anything else to add? I know that that's not really your remit.

Steven Hoffman: No, it's-

Seth Adler: But the layers and-

Steven Hoffman: I will tell you that when I first was appointed, I went around and met pretty much every senior state official including in the legislature and they said, "Look, we think we got the tax right, the 20%, but we don't know." And we're in the middle, if you look at the other states. What they said is, "Come back to us in a little while and tell us whether we got it right or not, and tell us what you think, whether we've got it too low and we could generate more revenue, or it's too high and it's creating a price barrier between what you can buy illegally versus what you can buy legally."

Steven Hoffman: So I don't know. I know that we've been asked to look at it and observe and come back to the legislature and say, "Here's what we think."

Seth Adler: Perfect. That's what we're, I would hope that that's what they're asking. I'm glad to hear that they are.

Steven Hoffman: That's exactly what they asked.

Seth Adler: I've got to ask you the three final questions because we have no more time. So the three final questions are, 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. First things first. What's most surprised you in cannabis?

Steven Hoffman: Just the passion of people that are on both sides of the issue.

Seth Adler: On both sides. What's most surprised you in life?

Steven Hoffman: That I'm married for 41 years.

Seth Adler: It sounds like you made out well on that one.

Steven Hoffman: I did.

Seth Adler: Based on our conversation.

Steven Hoffman: I have no idea how that happened. But 41 years of happy marriage.

Seth Adler: On the soundtrack of your life, One track, one song that's got to be on there?

Steven Hoffman: Down By The River. Neil Young.

Seth Adler: Look at you. Look at you. Thank you very much, Chairman Hoffman. Very much appreciate your time. Look forward to checking in with you down the line.

Steven Hoffman: Thanks. Take care.

Seth Adler: And there you have Chairman Steven Hoffman. 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.