fbpx

EP. 430: Boris Blatnik, KannaSwiss

Cannabis Economy Podcast
EP. 430: Boris Blatnik, KannaSwiss

EP. 430: Boris Blatnik, KannaSwiss

Boris Blatnik joins us and shares just how a participants must be in the Cannabis industry: “With business in general, you have be adaptive, but in this space that’s moving so lightning fast, you’ve really got to be able to pivot and change.”

Transcript:

Seth: [Boris Blatnic 00:00:00] joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes are on Caneconnomy.com, that's two N's in the word economy, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. Caneconnomy.com has a ton of direct insight from scientist, policy, and business executives in the space. First a word from [Wanner 00:00:18] Brands and then Boris Blatnic.
Wanna know with Wanner Brands, Nancy, state expansion into Florida.

Speaker 2: Yes, this is our latest partnership.

Seth: Really different type of state.

Speaker 2: Extremely different. So as you know there's very limited licenses available in Florida as it's completely vertically integrated, with no wholesaling. The good news however, is that each license holder has the opportunity to open twenty-five dispensaries. And so we'll at least have a strong presence in twenty five very strong retail locations.

Seth: I guess, so Cannatech kind of just ended.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: We're still here, you and me in Tel Aviv. That's a bird, we got the Mediterranean Sea right there.

Boris: Beautiful.

Seth: It's fantastic.

Boris: It is.

Seth: How long is the flight from Switzerland?

Boris: It's about three and a half hours, easy. It's a short little haul.

Seth: Yeah, you have it better than I do.

Boris: Well.

Seth: It's longer to New York.

Boris: It is.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: But New York is a melting pot.

Seth: Sure, yes it is. We'd like to think of it that way, exactly.

Boris: It's literally melting.

Seth: It is melting now. I mean as we get into summer.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Look out. All right, so Boris Blatnic.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: From Cannaswiss.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: We got a lot to talk about. Number one is, how much business you're doing?

Boris: How much business I'm doing?

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: Well right now we're focused on our wholesale sort of bulk...

Seth: So where's the cannabis coming from?

Boris: We are buying from farmers in Switzerland.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: We are extracting that material. We have enough now until the end of the year. This year we'll be growing about three hundred hectors in Switzerland. We're looking to grow also in Greece. We're waiting for the licencees for that.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: So that we can grow up to one percent. Because we can import legally that material back into Switzerland[crosstalk 00:02:09].

Seth: Into Switzerland, okay.

Boris: We're in talks now, so in Turkey, and in South Africa.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: Because at the end of the day we need to keep those costs down, right?

Seth: Okay. You don't own the farms?

Boris: We do not.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: It's too much[crosstalk 00:02:23].

Seth: And you don't plan to own the farms either?

Boris: No, I mean[crosstalk 00:02:25] this is thousands of hectors.

Seth: Why? But, why? In other words, we've got operators in North America who are buying as much land as possible. Why are you not using that approach?

Boris: I think for now, it's an economic approach, right? We don't have the funds, we're a privately funded company. We're growing organically. We are looking maybe to get a little injection, a little seed round now.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: But our valuation keeps multiplying exponentially month on month. So we're I guess just waiting for the right time. And owning the land, yeah I guess it could be an interesting asset, but I see growing as a, it's a dying breed right now.

Seth: [Boris Blatnic 00:00:00] joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes are on Caneconnomy.com, that's two N's in the word economy, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. Caneconnomy.com has a ton of direct insight from scientist, policy, and business executives in the space. First a word from [Wanner 00:00:18] Brands and then Boris Blatnic.
Wanna know with Wanner Brands, Nancy, state expansion into Florida.

Speaker 2: Yes, this is our latest partnership.

Seth: Really different type of state.

Speaker 2: Extremely different. So as you know there's very limited licenses available in Florida as it's completely vertically integrated, with no wholesaling. The good news however, is that each license holder has the opportunity to open twenty-five dispensaries. And so we'll at least have a strong presence in twenty five very strong retail locations.

Seth: I guess, so Cannatech kind of just ended.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: We're still here, you and me in Tel Aviv. That's a bird, we got the Mediterranean Sea right there.

Boris: Beautiful.

Seth: It's fantastic.

Boris: It is.

Seth: How long is the flight from Switzerland?

Boris: It's about three and a half hours, easy. It's a short little haul.

Seth: Yeah, you have it better than I do.

Boris: Well.

Seth: It's longer to New York.

Boris: It is.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: But New York is a melting pot.

Seth: Sure, yes it is. We'd like to think of it that way, exactly.

Boris: It's literally melting.

Seth: It is melting now. I mean as we get into summer.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Look out. All right, so Boris Blatnic.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: From Cannaswiss.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: We got a lot to talk about. Number one is, how much business you're doing?

Boris: How much business I'm doing?

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: Well right now we're focused on our wholesale sort of bulk...

Seth: So where's the cannabis coming from?

Boris: We are buying from farmers in Switzerland.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: We are extracting that material. We have enough now until the end of the year. This year we'll be growing about three hundred hectors in Switzerland. We're looking to grow also in Greece. We're waiting for the licencees for that.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: So that we can grow up to one percent. Because we can import legally that material back into Switzerland[crosstalk 00:02:09].

Seth: Into Switzerland, okay.

Boris: We're in talks now, so in Turkey, and in South Africa.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: Because at the end of the day we need to keep those costs down, right?

Seth: Okay. You don't own the farms?

Boris: We do not.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: It's too much[crosstalk 00:02:23].

Seth: And you don't plan to own the farms either?

Boris: No, I mean[crosstalk 00:02:25] this is thousands of hectors.

Seth: Why? But, why? In other words, we've got operators in North America who are buying as much land as possible. Why are you not using that approach?

Boris: I think for now, it's an economic approach, right? We don't have the funds, we're a privately funded company. We're growing organically. We are looking maybe to get a little injection, a little seed round now.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: But our valuation keeps multiplying exponentially month on month. So we're I guess just waiting for the right time. And owning the land, yeah I guess it could be an interesting asset, but I see growing as a, it's a dying breed right now.

Seth: Well, it's a commodity, as we heard Lilac Power, for instance spoke about that.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: So, what about the manufacturing facilities? Are you manufacturing, or are you kind of...

Boris: No, that we all do in house.

Seth: That is in house.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: And how many square feet... We do square feet,[crosstalk 00:03:23] right? How many meters of...

Boris: Yeah, square feet, we're about a hundred thousand square feet.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Of manufacturing?

Boris: Of manufacturing.

Seth: In Switzerland?

Boris: Correct.

Seth: Okay, and so some of it comes from Greece?

Boris: I'm sorry, my conversion was wrong.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: It's ten thousand square feet.

Seth: Okay, that sounds a more realistic.

Boris: That's a lot smaller.

Seth: Exactly. Like, "Oh I don't remember Switzerland being so big on the map, but okay."

Boris: Yeah, no ten thousand square feet.

Seth: No, okay so ten thousand.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: All right, and then are we looking to grow that aspect?

Boris: To grow that up?

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: Like to be a bigger facility?

Seth: Indeed.

Boris: Absolutely.

Seth: I'm essentially asking you, "Where are you going for the future of the company." Where is that?

Boris: I think having the Swiss stamp of approval, or Swiss made stamp, is kind of a plus for us. And we wanna make sure that we keep that.

Seth: And why is that?

Boris: Switzerland is known for it's quality products. It's known for it's position, quality, yeah I mean that's what we want to associate ourselves with.

Seth: Excellent, okay fine. So what about the rest of Europe. 'Cause you're talking about Greece, which I think is in Europe.

Boris: Yes, it is.

Seth: Right? But of course I'm talking about Germany, and Spain, and France. What is your interest in doing business with countries like that from Switzerland?

Boris: I mean we are selling now currently in five continents. And so whoever wants to buy our product, we are happy to sell it to them.

Seth: You're selling wholesale.

Boris: We're selling wholesale and we also have about thirty skews right now, for our own branded products. We have an interesting delivery methods, going from your typical tinctures to water soluble tech, also patented transdermal creams have been done in vivo and vitro and human clinical trials. So super effective things with the availability obviously going into he ninety percent range.

Seth: You did the clinical trials, or did others?

Boris: No, others did it.

Seth: Who? For instance so that we know.

Boris: So, for the transdermal creams, there's a company out of the united states that I know just went public in Canada, called [Gephuion 00:05:26].

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: They're the ones that provide the base cream, and then we add our botanicals, and our cannabinoids into that base cream.

Seth: Five continents, places such as what?

Boris: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, North America, South America.

Seth: North America, such as places like what?

Boris: The United States.

Seth: Like where?

Boris: New York. We're going into New York and LA in the very near future.

Seth: In the very near future.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: All right.

Boris: By mid May.

Seth: By mid May, you might even be there now, 'cause Podcast line knows no time.

Boris: Beautiful.

Seth: Anything in Canada? Other than the partnership?

Boris: No, nothing in Canada.

Seth: Okay. What about South America?

Boris: Yeah, we're looking into Mexico right now and Peru.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: And then we're also looking...

Seth: What about Columbia? Everybody talks about Columbia.

Boris: I know, but Columbia, that's the thing, everybody's talking about it, right?

Seth: There you go.

Boris: I think they still have a little bit more legal framework to work out.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: And it's still in the early stages.

Seth: So, everybody kind of makes it easy by calling them- So I'm an international producer and distributor, I'm a multi state operator in the United States. Come to us for retail, we're the best in distribution in California. How would you describe your organization? It seems maybe a little bit of wholesale, but you're also manufacturing, you're also importing. It's a very unique structure.

Boris: It is. And We've been quite lucky along the way to find the right partners. Timing is everything. I heard a quote the other day that I've been using quite a bit. It's a Charles Darwin quote.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: Which basically says, "It's not the smartest or the strongest of species that survives, it's the one that's most receptive to change.

Seth: Huh.

Boris: And that couldn't be truer in this space. I mean business in general I guess you have be adaptive, but in this space that's moving so lightning fast, you really got to be able to pivot and change.

Seth: Interesting. Because he is credited with only the strongest survive, and you're saying, that's a misinterpreted quote.

Boris: It is.

Seth: Interesting.

Boris: It's not the strongest, nor the most intelligent.

Seth: Right. Well thank god, because I'm sitting here so smart.

Boris: Likewise.

Seth: Yeah, exactly. So thank goodness it's not going to be only our intellect that gets us over the hump. We just talked about today, how did you build the company to where it is? How long have we been doing this?

Boris: We've been in business about four years, well that's not true. We've been working on the business for four years.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: We actually started our first commercial sales in 2016.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: We had pretty good sales the first year, for it being kind of a new product. And since then it's just been more or less ten X.

Seth: Give us a sense of how the regulatory infrastructure of Switzerland and import and export, has changed as you have grown. How did it start?

Boris: For us, I mean it was really a matter of being able to go into a business that's legal, whereas the CBD there's a legal framework there. In Switzerland also they legalized the flowers, the consumption of CBD flowers last year in 2017.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: So the stigma around the plant has diminished over the last year and a half.

Seth: Within the country?

Boris: Within the country, and I think that's slowly starting to spread throughout Europe as well, as more territories open up.

Seth: So it's really, it was hemp first, as far as regulatory?

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Okay. And then where are we with medical cannabis in Switzerland?

Boris: I mean, they're coming up with new pilot programs now, even on the recreational side.

Seth: What is legal, how is it, you know?

Boris: So there is a couple pharmacies that sell THC for medical use, but it's very, very difficult to obtain a license.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: Being able to get that given to the patients.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: I know they stared a pilot program for five thousand users. It was first come, first serve. And they're just trying to see now, what the effects would be on having an adult use sort of market.

Seth: Got it. Okay, so they're doing research before they make decisions.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: That is such an interesting concept.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: It's amazing.

Boris: Yeah, but the regulatory issue is obviously a big topic all over the world. We've always been saying we wanna play by the rules, just give us the rules.

Seth: The rules, yeah.

Boris: Right?

Seth: Exactly.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: What does it mean to be in the EU in cannabis? So how does that regulatory infrastructure play?

Boris: I haven't gotten myself so deeply involved in the THC side of things.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: Because that's just a compound that we haven't been playing around with.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: We are in the process of obtaining a license now to produce, and to play around with the compound.

Seth: Right.

Boris: And make new products, so as that develops our knowledge of these regulatory issues we'll increase as well.

Seth: Will that be a separate company and, or a separate brand?

Boris: Don't know yet.

Seth: Okay, I have to ask the question, you have to...

Boris: Yeah, no don't know yet.

Seth: Yeah, that's fair, but that is where we will then start to have to kind of discover what the EU thinks. Is that about right?

Boris: I think so yeah.

Seth: Because as far as industrial hemp is concerned, it's okay. We don't have the, what? Controlled substances act of 1970, that's the US and the US alone.

Boris: Right.

Seth: But, industrial hemp is part of the cannabis plant, which as far as the UN treaties are concerned is still a no no, right?

Boris: Still, yes. But recently we had the WHO kind of re-categorize...

Seth: But that's very recent.

Boris: Very recent, yeah, but hopefully that snowball will become an avalanche.

Seth: Okay, fair enough. And so does it feel like then that Switzerland is more kind of on the front edge?

Boris: I mean, when you're looking at it from the outside, I would say yes.

Seth: That's okay.

Boris: But, the Swiss are more of a, "Lets wait and see."

Seth: Deliberate.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Okay. And then how are they as it relates to EU rules? Are they kind of towards the front of change, or kind of, "We wait until everybody else did the thing."

Boris: Yeah, they're kind of like, "Lets see and wait." But they're also not dumb. They like to get that tax revenue in.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: And I think they see the cha-ching at the end of the tunnel.

Seth: And are we on the Euro in Switzerland?

Boris: Are we in the Euro?

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: What do you mean by that?

Seth: Like do you use Euros?

Boris: No, Swiss Franks.

Seth: Yeah, exactly.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: That's because of the Swiss bank accounts.

Boris: That's right.

Seth: Well, banks sure will be in the EU.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: But you can go ahead and take the euro and keep it over there.

Boris: Exactly and we're part of [inaudible 00:12:11] but not officially part of the EU.

Seth: Explain that for folks that might not know.

Boris: Boy, that's another topic.

Seth: So it's a specific part of the EU?

Boris: Yeah, I mean there is free trade going in and out.

Seth: Right.

Boris: At least for people to go in and out, but there's still taxes. We'll still have to deal with taxes of going in and out of Switzerland into the EU.

Seth: So, I'm just gonna go ahead and take a left here, and I hope you don't mind.

Boris: Not at all.

Seth: Right? 'Cause I'm American, we got our own stuff going on.

Boris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth: You guys are in the EU, but you are not part of the euro, and there's another country like that, which is the United Kingdom.

Boris: Yes.

Seth: Now again, this is just me asking Boris, this is Boris talking to Seth. What do you think, like when you see what's going on, what are your thoughts, just generally?

Boris: To be honest this is like groundhog day, I have no idea.

Seth: Well lets just...

Boris: I mean it's just same thing[crosstalk 00:13:07] different day.

Seth: Yeah, and you're speaking of in the moment that it's always like, oh and then they go back and then they make a decision, they didn't make a decision, bop, bop, bop. Lets just say that it happens, right? Because it looks like that if they don't make a decision, they do make a decision and that's how hard Brexit. And again that could've already happened, cause podcast line knows no time. So assuming that that is the reality.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Right? Because they're not gonna do EU elections, whatever. What do you think about how that decision was made and the relationship with the EU. I'm trying to get a European perspective here, Boris.

Boris: I really don't have an opinion on that. I think just due to the fact that I'm so detached from it, it won't effect me.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: So, and to be honest, I don't think 99% of the Brits understand what's going on.

Seth: They couldn't, because it is chaos.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: I think that it is fascinating, that the political infrastructure, with the exception of Theresa May, is pulling nonsense.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: So there's one negotiation partner, now let's bring it back to business. There's one negotiation partner. The negotiation partner has told you exactly what deal they will take.

Boris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth: And that there is not other option.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: And that's that. And so then it comes back to the British politicians and they're playing games with the populous. It's remarkable. If you don't vote for her deal, you are voting for hard Brexit, that's all that is.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: It doesn't matter if you vote against hard Brexit.

Boris: That's right.

Seth: How is that?

Boris: Listen, it is as confusing to you as it is to me and then to everybody else.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: I'll take the Swiss approach, "Lets wait and see."

Seth: I mean, 'cause they say, as [barniea 00:14:58] said three options of hard Brexit, or they do EU elections, or they take the deal. And what's fascinating to me about global media, and maybe it's different in Switzerland I don't know, but everything that I've seen as I've traveled here has said it's Theresa May's deal. It is not Theresa May's deal.

Boris: No.

Seth: It is the EU's deal.

Boris: That's right. That's a good point. That's a valid point.

Seth: They personalize it to her, as though it's her fault.

Boris: Right.

Seth: And she's the only one that actually did any work.

Boris: Yeah, I mean it's like the affordable care act, Right? Obamacare.

Seth: Obamacare. Same thing.

Boris: Same thing.

Seth: That's exactly right. That's a little bit different, because that was... While Brexit was a kind of self owned type of thing, as was Obamacare and of course I'm American, I'm showcasing the fact that I'm American to you.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: From your perspective, it's exactly the same thing and I'm like, "Oh no, no, no, that's totally different.[inaudible 00:15:54] American. Fair enough.
As we go here, you mentioned it is those who change are the ones who will succeed, or those that are most successful in change will be the ones that are most successful overall.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Where do you see everything going here, as we make our way through 2019, 2020, 2021. Are we talking about essentially... the world health organization has already weighed in from a global perspective, you should be finding out about cannabis, and how cannabis can work and what it can do in your country. And do it now.

Boris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth: So that kind of says it all, doesn't it?

Boris: It does. It think the more studies that come out, and the more proof that we can give to the regulators and to different authorities, the easier the adoption will be.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative). What do we need to avoid.

Boris: Avoid?

Seth: Yeah, what are you worried about if anything?

Boris: I mean, I'm worried about a few things, but I think...

Seth: A few things, or a few things?

Boris: Just a few.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: But I think getting out of that sort of stigma of the marijuana culture with the tye-dye T-shirts, and all that.

Seth: That's already, that ship has sailed I think.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: For everybody, but the regulators maybe.

Boris: Exactly.

Seth: There we go.

Boris: And it only takes one moron to...

Seth: Sure. His name was Jeff Sessions, in the United States of America.[inaudible 00:17:17] whatever. It turns out that that was not really that big of a deal.

Boris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth: But we do have to kind of explain, and make sure that everybody understands and while explaining, research as much as possible as quickly as possible.

Boris: Exactly.

Seth: Because you need science to back this thing up. Okay, fair enough.

Boris: Clinical trials, scientific papers, you gotta bring it all up now.

Seth: All right. What were you doing before this?

Boris: I was in telecom prior to that, and then I did infrastructure projects in Africa.

Seth: Oh really?

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: What do you know about Africa?

Boris: Well, I lived in Angola. I worked in Angola for about eight years.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: So, I got to visit quite a few countries, understand the culture, and yeah it was an interesting time.

Seth: For me, it seems like cannabis, including industrial hemp, is a tremendous solution, as far as job creation across the world.

Boris: Yep.

Seth: Including in Africa.

Boris: Yep.

Seth: Your thoughts?

Boris: Listen, I think spending twenty million dollars on a facility in South Africa is ballsy.

Seth: I thought you were going to say something like cogent. Why do you say ballsy?

Boris: You never know, I mean the sort of temperature can change very very quickly down there, and so can governments and peoples opinions on things. We like to see things for the long term. Africa is slowly getting out of the mentality of today's the last day, you never know what's gonna happen tomorrow. Their slowly starting to see that there is a long term horizon on things. But that isn't completely gone yet, I think it'll take one or two more generations for that to happen.

Seth: One or two more generations?

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: So dumping a whole bunch of money into Africa is buyer beware type of thing.

Boris: Exactly. You never know, you might get lucky. Most likely if you have good partners you'll survive. But definitely beware.

Seth: Why would we grow cannabis in Switzerland, if we can grow it in South Africa? Might be something that someone would say to you.

Boris: I totally agree, and we're looking to grow in South Africa and various different other territories around the world. Switzerland is just unique in the fact that we can grow up to one percent without any license. One percent THC that is.

Seth: Which is above industrial hemp by the way. Traditionally it's point three percent and below.

Boris: Well yeah, traditionally, but most cases whenever you test a flower after a harvest, it's gonna be over point two. So the Swiss authorities, I can't remember when it was exactly, but they changed that from point two to one percent, just because they don't wanna go through all that paperwork.

Seth: And that's what I was getting at with how does Switzerland do their own unique thing, that's a unique decision made.

Boris: That's definitely a unique decision, and also you now just...

Seth: To get away from the red tape essentially.

Boris: Yeah, why give us more work.

Seth: Any of us, all of us. The regulator included.

Boris: Everybody, yeah.

Seth: Fascinating. All right. So you did telecom, so you're over forty is what you are.

Boris: Yes I am.

Seth: Yeah, okay. And then you did infrastructure in Africa. How did you get that job? How did that come upon you?

Boris: That was after a boozy dinner.

Seth: Okay.

Boris: With a friend of mine and we came up with a business concept, we wanted to focus on post-crisis regions and emerging markets. So we went to Iraq. And the companies we were representing, were like, "We're out."

Seth: Yep.

Boris: "We suggest you get out too."

Seth: Yeah, exactly.

Boris: 'Cause we went to Sudan.

Seth: Oh boy.

Boris: Sudan had very very interesting projects as well, but they just didn't have the money to pay for the projects. And the next logical port was Luanda. They just finished thirty years of war, civil war. So there's a lot of work to do.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Amazing.

Boris: Yep.

Seth: That interesting stuff. How many years did you spend going back and forth.

Boris: About eight.

Seth: Eight? Going back and forth?

Boris: Yeah, I did about a month on, a month off.

Seth: Got it. Okay. Fascinating. That's interesting stuff. Before telecom?

Boris: Before telecom.

Seth: What was before telecom?

Boris: Before telecom, I had indoor go-kart tracks in the United States.

Seth: Are you serious?

Boris: Yeah. Entertainment facilities.

Seth: Where in the United States?

Boris: In northern Virginia.

Seth: What the hell? What did your parents do when you were growing up to provide the entrepreneurial sprit?

Boris: They weren't around.

Seth: So yeah...

Boris: No I'm kidding.

Seth: Oh okay. That's such a fun joke.

Boris: My father died when I was young.

Seth: Wait, so this is not a joke, okay.

Boris: No, my father died when I was young.

Seth: Young like...

Boris: I was nine.

Seth: Okay. So my mom died when I was thirty, you were young.

Boris: I was young exactly.

Seth: All right.

Boris: So, I didn't have that father figure, he was also an entrepreneur, and I think, I don't know it's in my DNA.

Seth: Gotcha, understood. All right.

Boris: I understand life cycles as well, they go up and down, right?

Seth: It's gonna be either this, or that.

Boris: Right.

Seth: I hear you. All right, so mom was pretty strong then.

Boris: Definitely.

Seth: For bringing us through. How many siblings do you have?

Boris: I have one full sister, and then I have a half brother, half sister, same father.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: And a step brother.

Seth: So it's a few people.

Boris: We're five, we're a clan.

Seth: Right, I got you mulling around, but there was definitely a, "I'm gonna have to go out and do my own thing here."

Boris: Yeah, there was yeah. It's also self- I needed that pride and kind of I need that sort of challenge.

Seth: I got you.

Boris: I'm a competitor.

Seth: Competitor, glutton for punishment?

Boris: Definitely.

Seth: I got three final questions for you.

Boris: All right.

Seth: I'll tell you what they are, I'll ask you them in order. What's most surprised you in cannabis? What's most surprised you in life? And on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's gotta be on there. First things first, what's most surprised you in cannabis?

Boris: The speed of how things evolve. Really, because I remember my first meetings, it was literally meeting with gangsters, right? And now it's meeting with business executives, so that and that's in a three year time frame.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: That's fast.

Seth: THat's fast.

Boris: That was the most surprising. And I guess all the true benefits of what the plant can do. I didn't know anything about CBD, right?

Seth: Exactly.

Boris: And within my first month working at Cannaswiss, I had a older lady come in with her daughter. She just lost her husband of fifty plus years, hard Parkinson's, depression, she wasn't talking, I was talking to the daughter. And they came unannounced. I sat down at the table. We gave them some CBD, or the older lately CBD. Shaking, elbow shaking tremendously. And within twenty minutes, a sparkle came in her eye, she looked up and she says, "Look, look at my hands." And the hands were dead still. And it was emotional, even thinking about it now I'm emotional.

Seth: That's crazy. That is crazy. And she said it?

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: She was non-verbal....

Boris: She was the one that just like said, "Look." And made eye contact for the first time. And after that I said, "I'm sold."

Seth: We gotta do this.

Boris: This is real, right? I've been consuming THC for a long time.

Seth: Right.

Boris: And so I understand the plan, how it helped me as well with various different things.

Seth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Boris: But CBD was just something that was foreign to me, I'd never heard about it.

Seth: Right.

Boris: What is CBD? I learned very quickly how effective it can be.

Seth: So for me, I'm in because of that. What you just described.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Right? And I understand that globally we do capitalism. And I understand we gotta be in business tomorrow...

Boris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth: ...to make change.

Boris: Right.

Seth: I get it.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: It does feel like to me though that, are we all here for the patient? I don't know.

Boris: No, definitely not. I think most people are here for the money.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: That's for sure, but...

Seth: Is there a way to change that guy that has Swiss bank accounts? You know what I'm saying?

Boris: Yeah, I don't think so.

Seth: Right.

Boris: But, at the end of the day if you can get both things out of the business. You make money and you're helping. Nothing more beautiful that that.

Seth: I gotcha.

Boris: A[crosstalk 00:25:29] obviously, right?

Seth: There's gonna be people, and they're just gonna be in it for the money, and that's just gonna be the way it is.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: And then you pick your friends about the folks that are making money and all, so maybe make a change.

Boris: Exactly.

Seth: Okay. Boris, I like it. So that's what's most surprised you in cannabis. What's most surprised you in life?

Boris: In life. Wow. That's a huge question.

Seth: Sure.

Boris: I don't know. To be honest, I really don't know. That's a tough question. What's surprised me most in life.

Seth: Well, think back to when you were in- did you go to college?

Boris: I did.

Seth: Yeah. Think back when you were exploring your relationship with THC.

Boris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth: That you're now a business person in legal cannabis, global legal cannabis.

Boris: That's a great way to put it. I mean yeah, definitely one of the biggest surprises is that I'm in the business now, doing some change and yeah I think that's, that's not the biggest surprise of my life. I don't know what the biggest surprise. Maybe when I became a father.

Seth: Okay, and then how many kids do you have?

Boris: I have two.

Seth: All right, how olds the oldest one?

Boris: Six.

Seth: And how olds the youngest one?

Boris: Well they're turning six and three in a month.

Seth: Six and three in a month.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: Okay, are they twins?

Boris: Nope.

Seth: Yeah, I'm messing with you.

Boris: Thank you.

Seth: Yeah, you're welcome.

Boris: They're just a few days apart though.

Seth: That's good. On the soundtrack of your life, one track one song that's gotta be on there.

Boris: Aw man. That's tough. I recently watched Bohemian Rhapsody, so maybe we are the champions.

Seth: Okay, but that can't be a good movie. Was that a good movie?

Boris: It was good.

Seth: Are you sure.

Boris: Yeah, it was not bad actually.

Seth: All right but how big of a queen fan are you?

Boris: Not so big. I mean I'm more like Pink Floyd dark side of the moon.

Seth: Right, sure.

Boris: I'm also big into jazz...

Seth: What jazz? Give me some.

Boris: Like Medeski Martin and Wood

Seth: Oh okay, fair enough.

Boris: I love them.

Seth: So the wood brothers.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: So wood, and his brother made an album, and maybe they made a couple of albums, it's pretty good. It's not Medeski Martin and Wood.

Boris: Yeah.

Seth: But it's like, it's pretty good

Boris: Yeah. And obviously reggae.

Seth: Sure.

Boris: I got a few bands there that I like.

Seth: You go back to Desmond Decker?

Boris: Sure, of course.

Seth: Yeah.

Boris: I love all that studio one stuff [inaudible 00:27:44]

Seth: There you go.

Boris: Yeah. And yeah one of the bands I really like is thirty foot ganja plan. They do some good stuff.

Seth: There you go. My favorite thing always is to hear business people talk about tricomps. Really it's my favorite.

Boris: Oh my lord. Tri what?

Seth: Exactly. Boris this was a pleasure, I can't wait to check in with you down the line.

Boris: Likewise. Thank you Seth. And there you have Boris Blatnic, very much appreciate his time. Very much appreciate your time, stay tuned

Read the full transcript:

Become a member to access to webinars, quarterly reports, contributor columns, shows, excerpts, and complete podcast transcripts

Become a Member

Already a member? Login here.

Subscribe now to get every episode.

Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.