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Cannabis Economy

Cannabis Economy- A Real-Time History of Cannabis- provides information from elected officials, regulators, scientists, business leaders, advocates and activists on cannabis as medicine, wellness and economic opportunity. Follow @CannEconomy

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Ep.315: Adam Bierman, MedMen

Adam Bierman joins us and lays out his priorities for 2018, those being money, markets and the mainstreaming of the industry. On the money side, he certainly noticed the Constellation Brands deal in Canada (it was of course precluded from happening here in the United States). On markets the Medmen fund investing in Canada in MedReleaf went better than expected. On mainstreaming cannabis. They’ve got 6 retail shops in Southern California which Adam sees as the biggest cannabis market in the world. He’s working with the stores and educating the public on the new reality on the ground as of January 1st. And to that end, on mainstreaming, he’s exposing Medmen and legal cannabis to a whole new market with pride and responsibility.


1 Jan 2018

Rank #1

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Ep. 392: Danny Moses, The Big Short

Danny Moses, known as one of the characters from The Big Short but also as the real person in the flesh, joins us to talk about the past couple of years. He needed a break from Wall Street, and was first brought to cannabis by its obvious possibilities for easing the opioid crisis. Moses is excited about the industry and its promising prospects for growth with unique characteristics such as a lack of institutional money, leverage, and debt. Now is the time to see how the market responds in the face of legislation like the Farm Bill, with big companies already lined up to make the most of new opportunities.


31 Dec 2018

Rank #2

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Episode #132 - Ryan Vandrey Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Vandrey is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins.  His research focuses on the behavioral pharmacology of cannabis among other things.  Heather Jackson from Realm of Caring is who introduced us to Dr. Vandrey and he let’s us know what he’s doing with them.  On researching the plant, Dr. Ryan Vandrey.


31 Mar 2016

Rank #3

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Ep.301: Lori Ajax, CA Cannabis Regulation Chief

California’s Chief of Cannabis Regulation Lori Ajax joins us in a two part interview to share what’s happening with California Cannabis Regulations. In the first part of the interview, recorded in Sacramento California, she notes that she has monthly meetings with all state agencies involved in cannabis regulation. Lori feels that all of California’s involved State Agencies realize the importance of cannabis legalization to the state. She notes that each of the agencies needs one another to ensure success across the board. In the second part of the interview Lori shares updated branding information as well as online resources available to the industry.


13 Nov 2017

Rank #4

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Ep.168: Sparc & LivWell Tours

It’s been a while since we did a tour- so we’re giving you a double helping.   This is a companion episode to Sparc CEO Robert Jacob in Episode 76 and LivWell CEO John Lord in Episode 151. As you well may know, Sparc is a storied dispensary in San Francisco and LivWell has a gargantuan operation in Colorado.  These are two great retailers each with distinct approaches to safe patient access in two of the top Cannabis Economies. So buckle in and enjoy the thousand mile journey in under an hour.


4 Aug 2016

Rank #5

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Ep.358: CA Cannabis Control Bureau Chief, Lori Ajax

California Cannabis Bureau Chief Lori Ajax returns for an update on the industry realities post July 1. She shares that the Bureau is listening to the industry and making adjustments as they go to ensure a healthy marketplace. She notes how important it is to participate in public comment to ensure your voice is listened to, heard and receives a response.


23 Jul 2018

Rank #6

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Ep.225: Art Way & Mason Tvert: MCBA Spotlight

Art Way, DPA & Mason Tvert, MPP Mason Tvert returns to give us an update from MPP. He shares that if you look at cannabis in a vacuum, things are as good as they’ve ever been.  Mason notes that Arizona losing with 49.7 percent in the most hostile media environment that he’s seen in his 12 years of fighting for cannabis reform with a tremendous amount of opposition money is actually promising.  Art Way then joins us and takes us through his personal history which turned out to be a perfect background for a career in advocacy. He shares his philosophy of harm reduction and meeting people where they are to get them to where they need to be. Finally Art shares that you can’t communicate with someone unless you fully understand from where they’re coming.

1hr 14mins

20 Feb 2017

Rank #7

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Ep.357: US Congressman Darren Soto

US Congressman Darren Soto joins us and gives us his thoughts on Florida and Federal cannabis policy. He also shares how his thoughts on states rights affect more local policy, "I do believe in local rule, and certain counties and cities should have the character that they've traditionally had, and this may be something they feel is inconsistent with it. Others embrace it. So I get that part of it. I just worry about how different Floridians have different access to one particular type of medicine when with every other type- they're not restricted by geography." And also how those same thoughts might affect federal policy, "we're in the Stone Age here in Congress, so if we even can get that done it would be a step in the right direction. But our main goal is to ratify and give legal cover to the various marijuana legal regimes throughout the United States based upon the different state laws." 


16 Jul 2018

Rank #8

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Ep. 382: Kristi Knoblich, Kiva Confections

Kristi Knoblich from Kiva Confections joins us and shares the difficulties of preparing for further regulation on the industry: "Even for a company like us that has been preparing for eight years, we still couldn't prepare for everything, because there are so many parts of this that are out of your control and it really takes a village. It doesn't really matter how prepared we are. If our customers are not prepared, if the packaging companies are not prepared, if things get delayed, there's just any number of issues that can come up." 


10 Dec 2018

Rank #9

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Ep.345: Khurshid Khoja

Khurshid Khoja joins us and shares his deep history in the cannabis industry. He notes how he’s been approaching the California market in 2018 based on the myriad changes stemming from the first week of the year.


23 Apr 2018

Rank #10

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Ep.305: Troy Dayton, Arcview Group

Troy Dayton returns. We discuss the fact that cannabis should be America’s to lose, but that’s in fact what’s happening. Canada is of course burgeoning with capital, import and export. The international trade winds are blowing and Troy says it’s hard to imagine a situation where we don’t see 20+ compound annual growth rates for the next decade or more. The European investors are starting to get excited. Troys ays Asia investment is waking up with asymmetry knowledge to capital. But as noted, the fact that there’s an adversarial Attorney General in office, risk is still very much alive.


27 Nov 2017

Rank #11

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Episode #119 - Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, Dockside Co-op

In today’s episode, we talk with Oscar Velasco-Schmitz of Dockside Co-op as he shares his exciting story with us. From being raised in rural California, to working at Microsoft, and then starting Dockside Co-op in 2011, this hopeful entrepreneur tells it all while further sharing his perspective on the migration of cannabis with us. Enjoy!


15 Feb 2016

Rank #12

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Ep. 383: Tim Cullen, Colorado Harvest Co.

Tim Cullen joins us and shares the influence of expanding beyond an exclusively verticle integration model: "When you come into the store, there's never less than 15 to 18 strains on the shelf and it's because of that wholesale market that we can do that."


13 Dec 2018

Rank #13

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Ep.314: Jmichaele Keller, Steep Hill

Jmichaele Keller returns to tell his personal cannabis story. Going back, he had cut out carbohydrates from his diet completely. But substantially increased travel had those carbs wade their way back into his daily plan. Which led to him finding himself in the emergency room. Over the past couple of years he’s been to the hospital four times. The reason for these visits was due to a GI “adventure” as he calls it which has him living in a constant state of inflammation. He had found that CBD solves this problem. He found a product that worked for him, but he didn’t have that product on the road which leads to what he calls an attack where his stomach becomes distended. On top of that attack, his body rejected CBD product which it turns out was not well tested.


28 Dec 2017

Rank #14

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Ep. 434: Tahira Rehmatullah, Hypur Ventures

Tahira Rehmatullah is in impressive leadership positions at not one, not two, but three major cannabis companies – it is no surprise that she has plenty of nuanced insights about the business side of the industry. For example, she notes that larger companies have been strategically diversifying their revenue streams in order to stay afloat amidst competition and fluctuating tides. As well, she believes that it is only a matter of time before countries stop importing products from Canada and start self-producing at half the price. Besides business, Rehmutallah predicts how medical cannabis might eventually look in the U.S. and shares her predictions for the 2020 election.


23 May 2019

Rank #15

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Ep.362: Prof. Dedi Meiri, Technion Israel Institute of Technology

On the actual clinical trial research being done on cannabis now, Prof. Dedi Meiri, "we are starting with para-clinical. We first screen on cell lines from tumors, many types of cannabis. We have an ability to screen a lot. We have over than 600 different types of cannabis, and every one of them have hundreds of different compounds, and we know, in my lab, to identify all of them, to purify them if we need. So, we're starting with very wide screen."


20 Aug 2018

Rank #16

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Ep. 419: Adam Bierman, MedMen

Adam Biermann returns, sharing the changes and retail developments of what he calls the “industry of our lifetime.” This is because the cannabis industry is being born as we live, with growing support on all sides giving it momentum for progress. He emphasizes that this momentum is what matters most, rather than fixating on single events. Cannabis companies face unique struggles in the emerging retail market, including arduous zoning restrictions, legal matters, public perception, research, and investment strategies. But those are all just small parts of the growing snowball leading to an avalanche of business in the space.


1 Apr 2019

Rank #17

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Ep. 404: US Congressman Darren Soto

Darren Soto discusses big changes happening of late. While previous years have been difficult in terms of passing legislation, the new democratic congress brings with it a more positive outlook. The change gives legislation like the Farm Bill and STATES Act greater possibilities to pass. Darren covers the reasons why legalization is something to continue fighting for in the face of antiquated stigmas, poverty, even more harmful prescription drug alternatives.


7 Feb 2019

Rank #18

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Ep.343: Al Harrington

Former NBA phenom Al Harrington joins us and shares the valuable lessons learned from his pre-pro coaches. He discusses his career in the NBA, what he learned from the veterans when he got there and what he learned from the former commissioner when he left. Al also of course shares what led to his foray into the cannabis economy and why exactly one of his company’s is named after his grandmother.


9 Apr 2018

Rank #19

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Ep.329: Nick Kovacevich, KushCo

Nick Kovacavitch joins us and shares his background in college basketball and how he takes lessons learned on the court to the board room. Lesson one as he says is figuring out how to work together. While you can develop deep relationships on a team, you don’t have to necessarily like everyone as long as you’re all committed to the same goal. You’re all working for the same purpose. Work together to benefit those who have specific skills and put them in a position to succeed. None of that is different in business. The competitive nature of sports is also hard to get away from in business. Recorded at MJBizCon, Nick notes that his competitive spirit has him wanting to compete and win. But he balances that gut response with the fact that the cannabis industry must have collaboration and will have consolidation.


15 Feb 2018

Rank #20