Q2 Podcast Highlights:
Episode 419 – Adam Bierman, MedMen
- There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the cannabis industry than 2019. And there won’t be a more exciting time to be in the cannabis industry than 2020 when we get there as well. This industry as you have witnessed is being born as we live. This will be the industry of our lifetime.
- People get too fixated on individual events or milestones. It’s about momentum and progress. The fact that the discussion is happening, that there’s a real, viable path for something like the STATES Act to pass – that’s progress.
- This is creating a snowball that’s got so much momentum that it’s going to knock the house down when it gets down the hill.
- We all have one shot to end prohibition and right the wrongs, and create a safer, healthier, happier world. We have one shot and let’s not take it for granted.
Episode 420 – WA Governor Jay Inslee
- We have not experienced increase youthful usage in any significance. We have not seen additional criminal behavior. We have not seen those concerns.
- We now are generating about $700 million a year in revenues that can help both our health and the State of Washington. The majority goes to health related enterprises and the remainder goes to a general fund which supports schools and all our other services.
- We now have probably three or four thousand plus people working in the industry. And we have small business people who have a payroll to meet and are paying their taxes. It became mainstream very, very quickly.
Episode 421 – Chairman Steven Hoffman, MA Cannabis Control Commission
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Episode 422 – Hadley Ford, iAnthus
- We have to think about the customers that we’re delighting, which is our shareholder. We’re a public company. We work for our shareholders. As much as I’d like to do whatever I want, I have people that I have to be responsible for.
- By definition, if you want to have a national brand, that means you have to have that national footprint. But does it mean you need to be in 50 states? Probably not. But you need to be in a meaningful number of states that can influence and define that national awareness around a brand.
- Money’s good, right? You want people to make a buck. That’s how you attract capital. That’s how you attract employees. But if that’s what’s getting you out of bed in the morning, you’re never going to make money.
- One foot. You just got to wake up every day, get one thing done. If that’s all you do, you’ll be successful. You got to get one thing done. That’s all you got to do.
Episode 423 – U.S. Representative Joe Courtney
- What we would like to do is to boost domestic production so that he could really just go right down Route 395 – which is the rural stretch of highway in Connecticut – go to a farmer, and help put some cash in his pocket.
- The bill, as a matter of legislative text, removed industrial hemp from Schedule I, so it made it a legal product again. It took hundreds of years to get us back to that point, but we’ll take it.
- The ripple effect of a government shutdown extends far beyond the 800,000 federal employees who were told to stay home during that time period. We’re still digging out from under it.
- One of the things that we’re excited about is that, in the wake of the farm bill, we’re already seeing interests in terms of building process facilities, which is the key to really unlocking all of the amazing potential of hemp.
Episode 424 – Steph Sherer, Americans for Safe Access
- 57% of the United States private workforce still drug tests. It doesn’t matter if you’re a patient. And so, those people are off the table; they cannot even try cannabis. It can’t even be an option for them if they want to keep their job.
- Not very many people in this country have a $1,000 a month laying around that they can spend on their medicine. So, the lack of insurance coverage, that takes a third of the population of the United States off the table to ever even be able to consider medical cannabis.
- What we really need are federal guidelines, because every state is a little different. You can imagine from a patient’s point of view that there shouldn’t be a difference in product safety.
Episode 425 – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
- I feel a huge potential, which we are just at the start. An inflection point at the lower part of the F scale, going toward exponential explosion of demand and of opportunity.
- Israel is a special place [for cannabis] because the origins of this science is here, and we just touch the tip of the iceberg.
- It’s a huge world of science waiting for exploration. We have here highly disciplined growers. We have here top-quality scientific community, and a lot of interest. And we see it from day to day.
Episode 426 – Peter Miller, Slang
- So fast forward: Trudeau won. Cannabis legalization is in the news. All of a sudden people get interested in this sector in a way that they certainly weren’t before from an investment standpoint.
- I think some of the biggest cannabis businesses we’ll see haven’t even been started yet.
- Brands are more than just agency-created visuals tied to something generic that you can force feed the public.
- You can’t hack time. You have to be in market. You have to be delivering value consistently to create that trust.
Episode 427 – Lilach Power, Giving Tree Dispensary
- I think it would be very smart of companies to go and do the GMP certification right now because not many are going to be, and that’s going to set them apart and that’s going to give them that edge to compete once regulations do come in.
- If you eat at a cheap restaurant or a fancy restaurant it should still be able to pass the same health department regulations. I’m expecting the same when I’m going to consume cannabis.
- When money comes in, industries change, so there’s different people in it and there’s different results that people are expecting. Investors are looking for different results than just, “look at this life we just changed.”
Episode 428 – Haleli Sharir, Cannabics Pharmaceuticals
- Cannabis is not strange to cancer patients. There are surveys about cancer patients who are consuming cannabis not just to relieve pains – some can swear that this basically killed their tumors.
- Diseases are connected. Each tumor is connected. You cannot separate the tumor from the person.
- We’re not saying we’re going to recommend, we said we provide data. And data is power. And data is the power to be used by the patients and the doctors.
- I don’t think you should completely ignore standardization, but you have to better understand the source of the disease or maybe the genetic background before you go and standardize.
Episode 429 – Professor Gil Bar Sela, Rambam Academic Hospital
- Cannabis, until now, it’s a short term medication. You can’t use it for the long term, and that’s one of the main problems that can be solved, I think, in the industry. It will have acute and chronic effects so that it will work for 10 or 12 hours, not just for three or four.
- We are doing pretty good, but the next step is really to reach to a specific product, to a specific indication, to understand why we are giving it, for what reason we are giving this and not the other. I think it’s the next step.
- I think it’s very important that people can use [cannabis] in a different age, in a different indication, and still it will be helpful for the quality of life. I find it every day very surprising and amazing.
Episode 430 – Boris Blatnik, KannaSwiss
- Switzerland is known for its quality products. It’s known for its position, quality – I mean, that’s what we want to associate ourselves with.
- With 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.
- The regulatory issue is obviously a big topic all over the world. We’ve always been saying we want to play by the rules – just give us the rules.
Episode 431 – Dr. Silviu Brill, Tel Aviv Medical Center
- When you failed to help your patients, helping reducing pain, improving quality of life, improving sleep, you try to have more things in your arsenal.
- In treating pain, you have only subjective things to ask. Does it help you? Is it reducing your pain? Is it improving? Nothing that I can measure, like blood pressure or temperature. So everything we are doing in my profession is asking and speaking and understanding your patients.
Episode 432 – Dr. Michael Segal, Shaar Menashe Hospital
- It’s a very difficult challenge to change the mind to think about cannabis like it’s a drug, and to understand that it’s a treatment, a very efficient treatment, not all in post-trauma but also in other disabilities.
- There are a lot of psychiatrists that are convinced if you see a post-traumatic patient before cannabis and after cannabis you see two different persons.
Episode 433 – Mickey Dor, Israel Ministry of Health
- I believe the first thing is to start research. Those things go together. So when we have more research, more physicians will be inclined to start to use it.
- The personal approach – I mean personal treatment – is the future … Bureaucracy is always of danger. And over-standardization means too much bureaucracy.
Episode 434 – Tahira Rehmatullah, Hypur Ventures
- We’re giving these crazy multiples to cultivators, for the most part, who are not producing enough revenue on that side; and that market, in my opinion, is going to decline because […] it’s going to be a commodity.
- If you are operating in the market and you’re interacting with a lot of these businesses on a day-to-day basis, you’re starting to see some of the issues that they’re having. And I think that that will continue. [Distressed assets] will become a larger issue. Some companies will be able to pull through it, and some are going to go into true distress phases.
Episode 435 – Bridget Conry, Champlain Valley Dispensary
- We really feel like we’re not going to change everybody’s mind by yelling at them […] You’re going to change their minds by being professional, and being open to conversation, and being patient to listening to their side, because it takes time for some folks.
- We’ve always invited regulators in, because the more regulation that we have, the more people who are certifying what we’re doing, provides more confidence in the community overall.
Episode 436 – U.S. Representative Jared Huffman
- We’re going to have to fine tune this in California to get it right. Or else we’re going to drive folks right back into the underground economy.
- [The STATES Act is] the simplest and cleanest way to fix the disconnect between federal policy and the growing number of states that are legalizing cannabis.
Episode 437 – MCBA & U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer
- I think when you finally can articulate your demands very clearly and mobilize communities to make sure everyone is on the same page, you can have a big impact on legislation.
- Business owners have to take the lead. Start to assess the needs of the community that you’re operating in. Look at the communities that have been devastated by the war on drugs and figure out how to, without regulations in place yet, how to repair the harms that were done by the war on drugs.
- Unfortunately, we’re not seeing the equitable participation in the cannabis industry. Right now, it’s estimated that less than 1% of business owners across the country in the regulated cannabis space are people of color. That simply cannot continue.
Episode 438 – Kyle Kingsley, Vireo
- So many social ills come from opioids. Cannabis does not drag those issues along with it. If cannabis replaced opioids, that would be an absolutely remarkable day for society.
- When I started this, I thought there was very black and white medical and adult use cannabis. The reality is, there’s this huge gray spot – health and wellness – in the middle. A lot of things fit in there.
- I think that a lot of people are going to be harmed if we wait for just formally approved FDA products to get through the pipeline. I think we need to jump the gun here a bit and get people access.
- If it is a significant improvement of your life to have a little bit of THC on a Saturday evening as you’re watching TV, I think you should have access to that tool if it’s safe.
Episode 439 – Saul Kaye, iCan
- We’re now in the post-cultivation era. We’re looking at how to produce cannabinoids in laboratories, how to maximize cannabinoid output in the plant, and how to mix the cannabinoids in a way that gives us therapeutic outcome. That happens in Israel better than anywhere else.
- I think countries that regulate only synthetic cannabis will lose the race, ultimately.
- We’ve got an active, young community [in Israel], who’s just finished the army, who are now voting and saying, “I’m not putting my vote based on security anymore, I want a change in cannabis.” And they’re going to vote for a change in cannabis.
- I think it’s the other countries that are going to make quicker moves: Malta, Macedonia, Croatia, the Baltic. I’m dealing the other side, the Ukraine, Belarus, Russia – they haven’t turned onto cannabis yet, but they’re starting.
Episode 440 – Kris Krane, 4Front Ventures
- The ultimate legitimization of cannabis and legalization is going to be recognizable national brands. It’s going to be brands that people feel a real affinity toward.
- You could see insular states. You could see exporter states. You could see importer states. You could see a combination. [The export market] may not be what a lot of people think of as just one, big, free open market across the country.
- Mexico already produces a very large percentage of the vegetables and produce that are consumed in the United States. I think there’s no reason why that wouldn’t be any different in cannabis.
- [The industry is] going to end up looking a lot more like other traditional industries where most of the money flows through to the private equity folks and the hedge fund folks and the white guys with the thousand dollar haircuts and the Patagonia vests, and I want to make sure that those of us that really, really deserve it, that have stuck our necks out, come out of this with a piece.
Episode 441 – Emily Paxhia, Poseidon
- Every day, something is happening that is so different and it feels intense and it comes together very quickly, and if you don’t monitor and adjust and make those moves and stay nimble, you will be in trouble.
- Remain calm, move quickly, use the information you have available to you and you’ll be able to navigate through these tricky times.
- Let’s face it, there’s a lot of things we can draw on from life experience that really do inform what we’re going through in this industry.
Episode 442 – Jon Najarian
- If you’re somebody who trades, like I do, you need banking.
- Clearly, no pun intended, Cannabis is a growth business. This is going to be well beyond $100 billion business; we’re looking at half a trillion, trillion dollar business.
- One of the reasons that we could look and take something off of Schedule 1 is, well, look at how much money you save if you’re not incarcerating people for this Schedule 1.
- Think how many smart guys, smart girls are out there putting things together, whether it’s scientific, medical, whether it’s recreational – there are going to be so many different ways to play the space and to profit.
Episode 443 – Ben Larson, Nanogen
- The only way to make sure that what you’re executing on is taking you to where you want to be is to take that time and really just clear your mind and center yourself and realize that what I’m going to be executing on today, the things that I’m get be saying yes to, the things that I might even say no to, is all, in an essence, getting me to where I need to be.
- Does your vision still make sense? Do your customers still want your vision? These are all things that need to be considered every day. If you don’t leave time to really just think of everything holistically, you might go too far down one path.
- That patchwork of regulation that we’ve been experiencing, that we always talk about amongst the states, I mean, we’ve been seeing that throughout the world. You’re having regulations loosen all over the place.
- If we can start to translate those regulations, at least that part of it, over to the CBD side, then we can really kind of start getting some high-efficacy products. I think we’re very close.
Episode 444 – Karan Wadhera, Casa Verde
- If you see how traditional industries have shaped over time, and where a lot of the value ends up being held, it ends up being in those consumer-facing brands, and does not end up being more toward what you would consider the commodity.
- I think [the industry in Europe] will shift a lot quicker because they have the ability to see how markets have developed in Canada, and the US, over the course of the last decade. And so, they can make those decisions a lot quicker.
- We are aware of what we are consuming when we have a class of wine, when we have a beer, or when we have a shot, whatever it is. And in cannabis it’s a lot more difficult, especially when it comes to inhaling and vaporizing.