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The Cannabis Industry Voice


NCIA hosts a weekly podcast with guest members who share their experiences, challenges and successes operating businesses serving the legal cannabis industry.


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Improving U.S. Military Veterans Quality Of Life Through Cannabis

Improving U.S. military veterans quality of life through cannabis with David White, Communications Director of Veterans Cannabis Project. VCP is dedicated to improving US military veterans quality of life through cannabis. They empower veterans to live healthy, fulfilling lives, while advocating on their behalf for unrestricted and supported access to medical cannabis through the VA just […]
Improving U.S. military veterans quality of life through cannabis with David White, Communications Director of Veterans Cannabis Project. VCP is dedicated to improving US military veterans quality of life through cannabis. They empower veterans to live healthy, fulfilling lives, while advocating on their behalf for unrestricted and supported access to medical cannabis through the VA just like any other medicine. David is focused on helping U.S. veterans improve their quality of life through access to cannabis. He talks about his role there and his day to day, as well as what’s going on with the organization. We go through what’s going on with Veterans in the U.S. and why they need cannabis to address their health concerns.

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Taking Cannabis Companies Further And Faster

Taking cannabis companies further and faster with Dave Roberson the CEO of Kukuza, a RoseRyan company. Kukuza helps cannabis companies with finance and accounting. Kukuza Associates are committed to taking cannabis companies further and faster with proven cannabis accounting and finance solutions. Accustomed to the hectic, high-risk pace of Silicon Valley, our consulting firm offers […]
Taking cannabis companies further and faster with Dave Roberson the CEO of Kukuza, a RoseRyan company. Kukuza helps cannabis companies with finance and accounting. Kukuza Associates are committed to taking cannabis companies further and faster with proven cannabis accounting and finance solutions. Accustomed to the hectic, high-risk pace of Silicon Valley, our consulting firm offers a broad range of strategic and tactical finance solutions to meet a cannabis company’s every need, at every stage of its lifecycle. We bring expert cannabis finance expertise to all types of canna companies, including cultivators, extractors, manufacturers, distributors, retail businesses as well as investors. Focused on the unique needs of cannabis businesses, Kukuza Associates calms the chaos, lays the critical foundations to scale rapidly, sets up the company for maximum growth potential, and readies the business for investors and dealmakers. A Silicon Valley powerhouse, Dave leads the charge at Kukuza Associates to help cannabis companies of all sizes and across all segments (growers, extractors, manufacturers, distributors, retailers) reach their full potential by having expert finance capabilities behind them. His know-how on the industry was tapped for an Accounting Today cover story about the few “pioneering” firms that have dedicated solutions to the accounting and finance needs of cannabis companies. Dave previously spent six years as an advisor to tech companies, leading major projects in the areas of finance, strategy, due diligence, capital structure, corporate governance, sales, and human resources. One of those projects involved heading up a dedicated RoseRyan team of over a dozen finance pros who provided transitional services for the Symantec-Digicert divestiture. Dave is also a vice president at RoseRyan, where he is on the leadership team and oversees the firm’s expanding presence in the private equity space.

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PR In The Cannabis Industry – Grasslands | A Journalism-Minded Agency

Grasslands | A Journalism-Minded Agency with Ricardo Baca, CEO of Grasslands. The company is a PR agency for the cannabis industry… Ricardo is formerly an editor at The Denver Post, producing The Cannabist for over three years until December 2016, and is known as being the first full-time marijuana rights editor for a major American newspaper. Ricardo […]
Grasslands | A Journalism-Minded Agency with Ricardo Baca, CEO of Grasslands. The company is a PR agency for the cannabis industry… Ricardo is formerly an editor at The Denver Post, producing The Cannabist for over three years until December 2016, and is known as being the first full-time marijuana rights editor for a major American newspaper. Ricardo Baca is a 20-year veteran journalist, keynote speaker, TEDx veteran and thought leader in modern media and drug-policy circles. He served as The Denver Post’s first-ever marijuana editor and founded news vertical The Cannabist, where he extensively covered the advent of adult-use cannabis and related issues across the country and around the world, as seen in the feature documentary Rolling Papers (Netflix). In 2016, Ricardo launched Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency to work directly with business leaders in highly regulated industries, including cannabis, energy and traditional healthcare. Named Marketer of the Year by AdCann in 2019, Ricardo has received numerous accolades for his trailblazing work covering drug policy, cannabis business, and culture, and continues to columnize and host podcasts for a number of top publications.

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State Level Symposiums On Hemp Throughout 2019

State level symposiums on hemp throughout 2019 with Christie Lunsford, The Hemp Biz Conference. Christie has been involved in the cannabis and hemp movement for more than a decade and provides consulting and education. She is currently holding state level symposiums on hemp throughout 2019 and hosting an add-on workshop called NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference at our upcoming Cannabis […]
State level symposiums on hemp throughout 2019 with Christie Lunsford, The Hemp Biz Conference. Christie has been involved in the cannabis and hemp movement for more than a decade and provides consulting and education. She is currently holding state level symposiums on hemp throughout 2019 and hosting an add-on workshop called NCIA’s Hemp Biz Conference at our upcoming Cannabis Business Summit. Christie has also served as a consultant during the licensing, development, and formulation phases of multiple cultivations, medical cannabis centers and infused product manufacturers in California, Colorado, Illinois, and Washington State. Recently, Christie successfully guided a client through a complex regulatory process to obtain one of the five medical cannabis business permits awarded in New York State. Prior to launching Endocannabinoidology, Christie distinguished herself as an industry leader by focusing on cannabis industry product standards. She served on the 2013 American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee, and currently sits on the Standards Creations Committee for both Infused Products and Cultivation of the Foundation of United Cannabis Standards (FOCUS).

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Allowing Exportation Of Cannabis Out Of Oregon

Learn more about allowing exportation of cannabis out of Oregon with Adam Smith from Craft Cannabis Alliance. In a career spanning more than two decades, Adam has been sole or collaborative founder of a series of successful non-profits and public policy campaigns, has served on the boards of directors for statewide and national civic engagement […]
Learn more about allowing exportation of cannabis out of Oregon with Adam Smith from Craft Cannabis Alliance. In a career spanning more than two decades, Adam has been sole or collaborative founder of a series of successful non-profits and public policy campaigns, has served on the boards of directors for statewide and national civic engagement organizations, led teams of nurses in collective bargaining negotiations across Oregon, lobbied members of Congress and state legislatures, advised non-profit and for-profit clients on a range of issues, and was a founding partner in a company bringing Pacific Northwest craft beer and artisan wine to Hawaii. Adam’s writing on drug policy and civic engagement has appeared in more than 40 print and online publications, including REASON Magazine, The Guardian UK, Mother Jones Online, Alternet, and The Razorwire. He has also produced chapters for the books Busted; Stone Cowboys, Narco-Lords, and America’s War on Drugs, Drug Trafficking and How To Get Stupid White Men Out of Office. Oregon is seeking the legislative process surrounding allowing exportation of cannabis out of Oregon, we speak about that process and much more.    Transcription:   Get informed get inspired and get connected. Thanks for tuning into another episode of NCIA’s cannabis industry voice on cannabis radio. I'm your host, Bethany Moore and I'm the Communications Project Manager at the National Cannabis Industry Association. It's my pleasure to introduce my guest today, Adam Smith of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, and so much more based in Oregon. Great to have you on the show today, Adam,  Hi Bethany, thanks so much for having me I’m looking forward to talking more today about what's going on in Oregon but let's start by learning more about you and your background and what kinds of experiences you had before getting involved in the cannabis industry, That's a lot of years to cover, so we'll do it quickly. I really come from the pulsar movement. Originally I got involved in drug policy reform in the early '90s and ended up in the early days at a place called Drug Reform Coordination Network "derna which is now StopTheDrugWar dot org, and I started publishing a weekly news magazine covering the drug or a drug policy from their form perspective, and it was really early in the days of the internet, and there wasn't anything like that out there, and so it really became an interesting Center, where we were covering again, I was getting to interact with him, speak with people doing Needle Exchange and prison reform and cannabis and psychedelics and it was just incredible experience and during that time I present, could inside the Higher Education Act which eliminated federal financial aid eligibility for any student for any drug conviction. So if you had gotten home in the Dima when you were 15, you were lifetime now, ineligible for federal financial aid? And so we launched a campaign we put out a resolution, and we launched the campaign, through students that were on our list and sent them a resolution to go to your student governments in you Administration and get them to sign on to this and the response was amazing. And we had dozens of campuses started to organize, and out of that, we launched something called Students for sensible drug policy which is still around. And some listeners may know or maybe alumni.  And in 30 countries, which I did not grow it to that. So that's where I come from. And years in between, I've done other non-profit work and civic engagement and expanding vote by mail and I've worked for labor unions, but a couple of years ago, a few years ago, when things got legal here, I got really interested in diving back into drug policy and it was watching, watching the industry begin to emerge here from the medical community and from the Elisa world and, and it became clear that we needed to organize and so we started the CRF contest line and now I will get too far as in like "We're gonna... I guess we'll talk about that, but that's really my background. And so I come to this from the policy side, but I think that how legalization happens and how the industry emerges is really important on the policy side, as we look to end the drug war in addition to making cannabis available to folks.  Yes, that is great. I love hearing that. I'm familiar with Stop the drug war. And of course I think a lot of people in the industry have heard of SSDP, students for sensible drug policy which is headed up currently, by the lovely Betty Aldworth... Alright, we're so happy to know and love Betty.  We do go to speak to or tomorrow, I'm doing a podcast with Betty tomorrow on marijuana today with Chris Lawler and Grant-hood Stan Goldman and so I'll be talking about I... Oh that's great, oh yeah. So, SSDP, is a great organization to support if you're looking to support an organization that's not industry per sale, and you wanna do the grassroot stuff. SSDP, is literally creating the cannabis industry’s future leaders. Some of these people are probably gonna go into policy or start their own businesses or in some way, shape or form do something once they graduate college, to serve the cannabis industry, so that's great, thanks for telling us about your background there.  So you mentioned you got curious about cannabis again that... Once legalization in Oregon, hit, and you formed the craft cannabis alliance is that right? That is true, yeah, it's really interesting. I had a little detour from policy and did some work with a friend of mine who's in the wine industry, and he was bringing craft beer and artisan wine from Oregon in the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii, and I got to go over there and do a bunch of work with that, and it became clear to me what the Craft brand meant and what the Oregon brand meant. And so when I got back from doing that everyone was talking about this is organs next grade craft industry and I sort of looked around and thought Well maybe or it could end up being a dozen Canadian arouses that wipe everybody out and that seemed to be headed possibly in that direction. And so as an organizer, I thought, Well, we should lift up the craft industry we have it here, but the first thing we need to do is identify what that is. We sort of know it when we see it. And it really came down to folks that are companies that were majority locally owned, that were connected to communities, and that Sara set of values, and those values really came down to people who are committed to ethical business and employment practices to sustainability to positive community engagement and to ending the drug war. And if you were local, and you and those were values you shared, then as far as we were concerned, you were part of the craft industry here and so... And so we started to do that and do that organizing and initially we thought, Well we should tell... Oregonian, that there's a difference between everything is grown in the state, but there's a difference between cannabis that's grown by local farmers incomes that's grown by Toronto bank account, no offense to the Canadians who are our friends and that folks should support the local which is actually a real strong Oregon value. We really do support local businesses, and so we thought we need to let people know that there is a local industry here that's values driven, but over the first three harvest or so the glut became so bad that it became clear that even if every Oregonian the state, but nothing but local, it still wasn't gonna save the local industry, they're just the prices that crashed, and it's interesting organ. When we legalize cannabis we did something or did something that was very wise I think, and very Aragon in which is... We legalize the industry, we had right Oregon and Northern California have been the producers of the vast majority of domestically grown cannabis for as far back as anyone can remember, right? And so the time Oregon legalized for adult use they had a 20 year medical we had a 20-year medical program here and literally generations of growing before that, and so we had 3500 riders to medical growers and we knew we had thousands of register growers, and the state rather than try to go corporate and say, show us that you have 20 million and you can have one of a dozen licenses. They actually organ-made licenses cheap and Unlimited and actually ran a marketing campaign aimed at growers that called go legal. And the message was, we know you're out there, whether you're registered medical you're not registered at all, come in out of the cold, come be part of the legal industry, and I... Yeah, and that was important because cannabis has been such an important economic driver in some of the poorest rural and agricultural regions of the state and it particularly since timber sort of went out and so this was important. And so rather than try to wipe that out, which of course, eight years of pro-"bih in invite it in, and thousands of people jumped in and put everything on the line to be part of this legal industry. What we didn't think through entirely when we legalized the industry we had here, the industry we had here was an export industry and had always been an export. strum Sadat yeah, suddenly all about cannabis and more was now hemmed into a market of 39 million people and Oh my goodness, we have a million extra pounds of cannabis. How did that happen, right?  And so, now we start talking about, Oh, there's an over-supply problem. But the framing of this is important, it's not really an over-supply problem, it's a market access problem and because if cannabis like every other legal product that is produced in the state of cannabis could be sent into other markets that desire it, we would need every ounce of cannabis, we could produce under current licensure and we'd probably have to expand licensing here. Yeah, gotcha. So, crannies, Alliance, is working to focus on the craft Oregon growers and support that locally controlled craft industries. What it sounds like, right? And it's not just growers, it's producers, it's all licensed types but the truth is what we're looking at is that Oregon and Northern California are really the only sort of indigenous scaled up-producing region in the country, right? And so, there's something here that's important that's connected to communities that is connected to this incredible talent base, and this incredible ? grow some of the world's best and because of this oversupply in the price crash and because of the lot we are the folks that are really hurting here, and the folks in California, I think that are going to be facing the same thing soon. Are the locals are the folks that don't have access to capital markets, right? And so, we have when the over supply problem happen I started to say the framing is important 'cause if we call it over-supply, then the answers we come to are all hurt farmers. How do we have fewer of those people or fewer licenses, and how do we make them produce us? But when we understand that it's a political problem in a market access problem answers, we come to are more expensive. They are, how do we get our political leaders to stand up with us in demand that we'd be able to access other markets as we have always done, absolutely. And so we began the process of moving toward licensed Interstate transfers, between legal states and the FIA. Let's definitely talk more about that. "After the commercial break, we do need to give some time to our sponsors. So, hold that thought, We'll be right back on NCIA’s cannabis industry voice, stay tuned   We’re back on cannabis radio, and we've been diving in with Adam Smith from the craft cannabis Alliance about what's going on in Oregon and how it produces some really great cannabis as does Northern California, but there are some federal prohibition, issues, of course, that are preventing the market from truly driving.  So let's talk more about that.  From what I understand, Oregon is seeking a legislative process at this point surrounding allowing exportation of cannabis out of the state, which you mentioned before the commercial break. So let's back up and talk more about how all this came about. Oregon is overflowing with cannabis. It's growing faster than it can be consumed by Oregonian is that right? Try as we might... Yeah, that's funny. So there's plenty of legal issues to be surmounted. It's important to talk about the current state of federal prohibition, which doesn't allow cannabis to cross-state lines, I believe that was lined out in the Cole Memorandum as well, even between legal states. So you can even between California, Washington and Oregon, you can't even move it between those states. So these are creating these standalone markets that literally only serve itself within state lines and try as you might, as you said, I get it so what is the impact it's having on the farmers and the dispensaries? Well, obviously here we have seen prices crash and so that has made everything very difficult for everyone. The product makers, and the farmers particularly or stuck in... Or stuck as long as its producer or stuck into a very small market. And the truth is we need to look at when this came about, and it became clear that we have an economic crisis going on, here we are looking at between rest is we're looking at between half a million and a billion dollars in local capital that is in the process of on the verge of or at risk of being wiped out, and that's not like Nike's local capital or Intel's local capital that is farmers and small investors and entrepreneurs and families and friends and people who were homes, businesses, and a lot of that is centered in some of the poor regions of the state. And initially, people thought... Oh, well, that's just capitalism but it's not capitalism is we have a great product and we can send it to New York and they send us money and it's legal is capitalism, we are prohibition, right? And, prohibition distorts market and causes all kinds of unintended consequences, and so some of the unintended consequences that we are looking at are not only the economic crisis that's happening here, but the fact that there are places in the country that are now looking at growing cannabis at scale where it's environmentally unsound, or even totally responsible to force that to happen. We have states, we are working with some patient access groups in Delaware where it's legal to be a medical patient but there's no real access to clean-tested quality medicine, and a state like Delaware is unlikely to suddenly spring up a huge production industry, with bio-diversity and different products and so see if cancer patients in states that cannot get access all medicine while we have a million pounds of the world's best cannabis sitting and rotting on shelves on the other side of the country. So, you, on a "parsa yeah, so you have a patient access issue. And the other thing that we have is a real economic issue within the industry, which is when the walls eventually come down, whether that's in two years or five years or seven years when federal probation ends. No, you are not going to be able to keep products from one state out of another state. We can't keep California oranges out of Florida, right? The protectionism doesn't actually exist in the wild, in our system, it only exists here as a remnant of a dying probationary regime. So right now if New York legalize and New Jersey legalize as an Illinois legalize and Connecticut lives each of those states will invest billions of dollars into redundant production capacity that is not economically competitive necessarily or environmentally sound that when the walls come down, will be faced with competing against cannabis that's going to come from places that it actually grows and so it is insane, economically to make that investment to move forward as if each state is gonna be its own site. I'm not the future of the industry is 50 state self-contained production. Totally, that leads me to my next question. Obviously, the solution here is to allow delicious or in Canada to be exported to these places that you're saying maybe don't have a great climate or maybe is it a mature market and would be redundant? So let's talk a bit more about the benefits of exporting and what would that look like? You already mentioned that patients would have access to safe, clean tested medicine, but what other benefits come about? If we were to allow a state crossed exporting well, you would avoid real economic harm, a real environmental harms in Florida, they need to dementia giant spaces in Nevada. They're using water in the desert, right? And so, you would... Cannabis is a resource-intensive crop, but it doesn't need to be as resource intensive as it is in many of the states where you would have to try to grow it. Sure, and so I always say You can grow avocados, in New York, if you want, you can build a facility, it's just a bad business decision for overs farm of avocados. Apparently, she has an avocado farm. Now, really, maybe we can talk on a growing some cannabis maybe your listening you got a spot for you, so I... So that is, those are the benefits and also being able to move product, between states will also make it easier for more states to decide to legalize right faster because you won't have to set up an entire production industry, as a states know how to regulate retail and distribution, right? And we can do that. And on the other side of this on the law enforcement side, even on the prohibitionist side, they're concerned right now and it's gonna get worse as California continues to come online. Is this oversupply in, this lot and product leaking out into elicit markets. But if your answer to that is to say, "Oh we're concerned about over-supply or we're concerned about diversion and our answer to that is to make sure that New York and count and Connecticut and Illinois all have to create their on industries. You're gonna flood the country Sur with unnecessary condoms, and then you're gonna then it's gonna be 10 times worse than you're linois. Totally get it, yeah, yeah. And so from all sides of this, not us from the reform side, from the industry side prohibition to store markets and creates on attended content months the way markets actually function is stuff is produced where it is best and most efficiently produced and it is sent to places where it is, where it is desired commons on as a... And so this is actually the future. And so our goal right now is how fast can we make that happen so we can, if New York legalized tomorrow, it will take them years, the bill shelves with quality products, we could move millions and millions of people out of illicit markets years sooner, than we would otherwise, do if we could just move product across these imaginary lines in. So we get to here is the campaign and we think we have a pretty direct path to do this by 2021 and that is the goal. Awesome, yes. So what does that path to allowing exportation look like from here that you probably have to work with the Governor and when are champions in Congress in DC, like Earl Blumenauer and run wide and in the senate, yeah, we have a great benefit here of having Senators like Merkley, and Wyden and members of Congress like Blumenauer. It's just incredible they've really been leaders and I try to con... Out to them any time I can. They are real champions for not only the industry, but for social justice and criminal justice and common sense and lately agree, yeah. And so, here is the path. So we have a bill right now in the Oregon legislature that will give the executive branch, probably through the Liquor Commission, authority to approve out-of-state transfers, under agreement with other states, because it's not federally legal, there's federal there are no federal guidelines and so you could only do this under agreement in an Anita. My state, right? And the agreements are not complex it's... We will accept your testing requirements you will color to our labeling requirements, but you need to set the framework for how these exchanges happen, right? Yeah, and so we have in the last eight or 10 months, we've really changed the understanding of the issue here among our political class. They understand that the future of this industry for Oregon success in this industry includes exporting products and that this is the obvious way to move forward. And so we believe that the bill will pass now the bill requires that the fire obviously, we need two things we need another state that wants to bring product in and we also need some level of permission or tolerance from the federal government if the federal government is going to mow everybody down and put them in prison, no two governors are gonna send people out to do that it... But we wrote the legislation very broadly, so that we can do this. If the federal government gives direct permission which would be through federal statute or indicates tolerance, which can be through a Department of Justice memo or policy statement. We write these memos we... It's been helpful, they been helpful, right? This is all that the entire industry is running under right now. It's not even a memo, it's a deceased memo, it's just the outline of the federal government, saying, "Look if you're operating on your state laws and you're doing it responsibly we are not gonna use resources to prosecute that and so we are aiming at making it obvious that state that license transfers between consenting states it is an obvious part of protecting the state industries. It is smart policy and so we are pushing in the congressional side so that we can get licensed Interstate transfers, included in whatever bill is going to move forward, that will protect the state industries right now, let me back up and say There is a path for this through the Republican Party, and it involves re-talking about free markets and capitalism and how that smooth things out. But their Pelican Party right now is a little bit chaotic, so it's a little difficult to know how sure that path is, but there's also a path through the Democratic Party which feels much more straight forward which is we talk about the environmental insanity of forcing every state that legalized, is to grow cannabis. We talk about patient access we talk about small businesses being crushed here, and a lot of democratic issues, right? We told up moving people out of a list markets faster, things that will resonate with Democrats and then we head toward the 2020 election in which cannabis is going to be a major issue. Yeah, and so we need to tell this story so that when the Democrats take over, it is part of their understanding of the smart way to protect the stand undersea even if the Democrats took over both the Senate and the White House, I believe it will still take them several years to really work out how to end federal prohibition, but I believe that they will immediately stand up to protect the state industries on... Alright, let's take our last commercial break here in the... Come back and talk more about the... Is it the one fixed cannabis campaign? It is, although you... Right, yes, yes, so, alright, we're gonna talk more about that. We'll be right back. Stay tuned, NCIA’s cannabis industry voice will be right back   Alright, we're back on NCIA's cannabis industry voice and we're wrapping up our chat here with Adam Smith from the craft cannabis alliance based in Oregon and we've been having a pretty exciting conversation about the future of Oregon and the future of exporting delicious cannabis to states that may not have access yet may not have mature markets, and doesn't make sense for them to invest billions of dollars to try to reinvent the wheel in that state. So we're talking about, it's called the one-fix-campaign Senate Bill, I bet to it is a to in this legislative session and it's co-sponsored by our friends over at the Oregon retailers of Cannabis Association, as well. Day and was re-as well. Yep, and they're a great all awesome. So if any listeners want to learn more, it looks like the website is www spelled out on e16 cannabis org. Awesome, so I appreciate the crafts Alliance pushing that and it makes good sense.  You're doing the math and yeah, it makes perfect sense to me. And it is forward-thinking where we're looking at a world where we're moving past this state by state limited Pro... A bit on the scenario, right? And so just to finish up the thought... So, the aim is, again, there is definitely a path through the Republican Party and as my name being Adam Smith, I get to talk about capitalism and markets, and we get a lot of really good response to that as well. But for the Democrats, if the Democrats take over the Senate, I believe we can make this such an obvious part of protecting the state industries that we can get licensing at transfers amended to whatever they decide to pass in Congress to protect the state industries. But if they just take over the White House, I believe that we can get a democratically appointed Attorney General, will almost certainly write a new memo protecting the state industries explicitly, and we wanna make sure that this is included and again, we're not talking 'bout opening the gates for anyone to send it anywhere. We're talking about licensed Interstate transfers, between consenting states and I... And there's a consumer side to this, which is, consumers in all of these states are about legalized deserve access to the best products in the world from Oregon and California and elsewhere are why exactly would we stick? You can get the best of everything in New York. Why would they not why would they have to be stuck with with cannabis, that was third rate. Sure I... Yeah, so, if listeners really wanna get involved, does it make sense for them to reach out to their senators and members of Congress and tell them to support this? Yeah, so I, I... Yes, that yes, he has yet. You had... The other thing is the exciting thing is that now that we've sort of gotten the Oregon side nailed down, I try to be careful and knock on wood, when I say that, 'cause I love to pass it, but it feels like we have a lot of momentum and we're very confident we're gonna pass this and our Governor Brown is gonna design it and we are hopeful that she will stand up and be a national leader on this issue. But the next phase is we are, I am now, we are now starting to bring in our partners. Whether that's in California to start talking with folks about supporting export, because their over-supply is gonna dwarf organs over supply in a couple of years. Yeah, I and I, or... But also, skates to find our allies where there's a desire to bring cannabis and yeah, I... And so we need a partner once we have a partner that is advocating to bring it in, now we have the German Federal question that we can bring to the federal government and whether that's lobby in Congress or an attorney general, and that's everything so awesome Les. Reach out to us. If you are anywhere in the country, and this interest you from the export or the import side, we wanna talk to you and we're in building the network for this. And so speaking of talking to our law makers before we wrap up the show here in a minute, of course, wanna talk about NCIS annual lobby days. It is happening May 21st, 22nd, and 23rd in Washington DC and we have hundreds of "ncia members from all over the country that have signed up and are joining us to walk the halls of Congress to educate our members of Congress on all kinds of issues that affect our industry like banking... 280E, social equity, the CBD veterans, medical access and exportation is probably gonna come up to... So, I in... I also wanna point out that the craft cannabis Alliance, as well as the Oregon retailers of Cannabis Association, are part of NCIA's Allied Association Program. Happily, so yeah. So just briefly tell us about what it's like and what the purpose of the program is from your perspective, and how it's gonna benefit our industry. Oh, it's terrific because you can organize in your state, and because the industry is so state segmented, it's very easy to be isolated in what you're doing, and somebody there needs to be an entity like If NCIA didn't exist, it would have to be created, right? There needs to be an entity that is looking to pull all of this together, all of the folks working on this and engaged in this and it just makes everything we do more powerful. I don't know, it's also an incredible knowledge, resource and experience resource that we can bounce things off folks who are... Got in it as well, so I... And I'll be better. And you are a resource too, it's a mutual exchange of information, we learn from you... Boots on the ground, and we give view resources to help your association thrive as well and give you federal advocacy information. So thank you for being a part of the program. It's going well. Rachel Kurtz is our program manager for that and awesome by the way, a love Rachel. Yes, we've got a lot of good industry veterans here and in our industry, including yourself, so thank you for being involved in drug policy and cannabis reform for as long as you have, and we've made some progress over the years as we can see.  Yeah, when I first got involved, I think 19% of the country or 20% of the country thought cannabis should be legal. And we were the crazy radicals. It turns out we were just pretty mature. Moderates yes, yes. I had friends, 10-15 years ago, who were a little afraid to associate with me when I started talking about cannabis 'cause they have government jobs in DC and I'm like, "It'll be fine", and now one's everyone's pretty much like, "Oh cool," so yeah, anyway, off we go into the future and the future is bright, I think. So thanks again and if any listeners want more information, had to craft cannabis Alliance dot org to connect with Adam.  The one is a... Yeah, thanks for being on the show today, I am really appreciate it, definitely, thank you so much and thanks to NCIA, for everything you guys, do thank you. Can't wait to be back in Oregon, soon. It's one of my favorite states. Alright, okay, thanks everybody for tuning in until next time.    

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More Sophisticated Supply Chains

In this episode, we discuss Sophisticated Supply Chains with Vince Ning, Nabis CEO. Nabis a distributor of cannabis products servicing hundreds of licensed businesses in California. Prior to starting Nabis, Vince began his career as an engineer at Microsoft before founding a software company called Scaphold, which was later acquired by Amazon. Jun started as an engineer […]
In this episode, we discuss Sophisticated Supply Chains with Vince NingNabis CEO. Nabis a distributor of cannabis products servicing hundreds of licensed businesses in California. Prior to starting Nabis, Vince began his career as an engineer at Microsoft before founding a software company called Scaphold, which was later acquired by Amazon. Jun started as an engineer at Facebook before founding an artificial intelligence company called Allganize. We talk about how the cannabis industry’s structure is maturing. We started off seeing vertical industries where companies were required to grow, process, and sell their own cannabis, but now we’re seeing more sophisticated supply chains which include distributors, like NABIS.

Advocacy
/ Community

Advancing Marijuana Law Reform Legislation

Advancing marijuana law reform legislation with Aaron Smith. Aaron is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Before the organization’s launch, he was a public advocate for cannabis policy reform. Initially, Smith worked with Safe Access Now, a group of medical cannabis advocates based in California. He then went on to […]
Advancing marijuana law reform legislation with Aaron Smith. Aaron is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Before the organization’s launch, he was a public advocate for cannabis policy reform. Initially, Smith worked with Safe Access Now, a group of medical cannabis advocates based in California. He then went on to become the California State Policy Director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). In addition to his work with the NCIA, Smith has written a number of opinion articles that have been featured in newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Learn more about NCIA's 9th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days on May 21-23, 2019.     Transcription: Get informed, get inspired, and get connected. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice on Cannabis Radio, I'm your host Bethany Moore, and on the Communications Project Manager at the National cannabis industry association today, I am happy to be sitting with the executive director of NCIA, Aaron Smith, who is also the Co-founder, hello Aaron! Hey, thanks for having me, it's always great to be here with you, Bethany and all of our great listeners out there, absolutely, and we're going on two and a half years of this podcast soon, which is pretty exciting speaking of time, and the passage of time, you founded NCIA nearly 10 years ago at this point, and a lot has happened to say the least. Let's just briefly talk about what things were like 10 years ago, versus now in 2019. Oh, wow, well, there's like you said, a whole lot has happened around the development of the legal cannabis industry and the policies affecting our industry, of course, in 2010, when we founded "NCIA there was no adult use cannabis laws on the books anywhere in the country in the hat and there weren't for another two years in Colorado, in Washington, came on board and we had I think maybe one piece of legislation that had been introduced in Congress, maybe to dealing with marijuana reform issues with a very small handful of liberal Democrat and Libertarian Republican co-sponsors. And now, I honestly couldn't even tell you exactly how many pending at this very moment, but there have been dozens of pieces of legislation, pending and we have about a third of the house co-sponsoring some of the positive legislation and more and more opinion leaders and thought leaders around this issue coming forward and calling for not just incremental change, but full adult use and tax and regulate cannabis, like alcohol across the country. Yeah, absolutely wow what a wild right? It's been mostly positive from here. When you look at the future, how would you describe your vision for the future of the cannabis industry at this point? And has that changed from what your predictions or view was 10 years ago, when you started NCIA? Ultimately, we wanna see a future where adults are never in danger of being put behind bars, for using a substance safer than alcohol, and we want that substance to be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol in a way that is accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country not consolidated into larger corporate cannabis, so to speak, although those businesses should have an opportunity to grow and become larger employers, but we know vision really hasn't changed, but we have got to where we are now, through incremental progress, seeing the new legislation on incremental issues like Banking Reform and to a... Which I think we'll talk about those a little later? Building momentum behind these incremental reforms toward that day when we can actually pass comprehensive legislation. And there's multiple versions of comprehensive marijuana legalization bills out there. I think the vision remains the same. I'm continually pleased with the way that the progress has been going steadily and almost exponentially at this point. We have one of uncertainty in this White House, in the department of justice, but it's been certainly just seeing the new DOJ had the nutrient who's, I think, as we speak right now, testifying on the molar investigation before the Senate, but he happens to Attorney General bar happens to have a very, very different opinion of Cannabis than his predecessor or even his administration. Yeah, well, yeah, I think it goes to show that regulation works, which is one of our hashtags and it's not going to happen overnight. As you said, These are incremental changes toward a goal. I totally agree. So here we are, 2019 "NCIA as an organization has grown as well, we have 25 staff members, and counting, and I think I was employee number five and we have nearly 2 000-member businesses nationwide at this stage and we're gonna talk more about lobby days in a bit but generally speaking, how would you describe NCIS role in the cannabis industry today and some of the important things we're working on, what you've already mentioned. So, "NCIA as first of foremost represents the industry, broadly meaning that we represent the political interest and economic and social interests, of cannabis businesses of all sizes across the country, different verticals within the industry and we are working toward that day when we have more of a free market approach, yet regulated approach to cannabis and "NCIA has developed over the last couple of years beyond just the work that we're doing in Washington DC, which is so very important and why we found at the organization in the first place, we've expanded that work year after year after year expanding our DC office and our presence on the hill, but we also added so many different member benefits for members networking opportunities, exclusive access to information, the ability to things like this podcast and abilities for our members to get their name out there into the industry and their ideas and thoughts out there. And we're going to continue to see more member benefits rolling out in the year ahead and into next year as we prepare for really the post-Prohibition-era NCIA. Yeah, looking forward to it. And in the meantime, our members are doing a really great job of getting involved. We've been... What we've been in hosting Community committees. Sorry, I... We've had committees, member-driven committees on various topics throughout the organization, and industry and those members in those committees are they're writing really helpful white papers to give advice to our members on everything from marketing advice, finance advice, insurance advice. So we're really becoming more sophisticated, and getting smarter and we're doing it together, which is really great. And we also have the policy council that's also producing some really great white papers that are a bit more higher-level policy recommendations, best practices. So there's a lot going on here, definitely in addition to all the other benefits that we've been packing on to our membership to provide value for them, absolutely. So, the most exciting event of the year, and arguably, I think one of the most valuable events, that we host is our annual lobby days and it's right around the corner, it's our ninth consecutive year in a row, heading to Washington DC with "NCIA members. And telling our stories to members of Congress, how are you feeling about things this year? This is always one of my favorite events, and favorite activities of the year in terms of being able to help move the dial in DC, but also in a way to bring our members together behind that work and connect with one another. And as you think you said at the top of this, that the regulation works and our message, we take to DC, is being able to show how regulating marijuana, is working in the states, whether it be medical Canada and demonstrating the fact that not only is this good public policy, but introducing members of Congress and their staff to the real people, the human beings that are behind this wonderful industry of ours. And this year is going to be, I think, the most impactful yet and maybe have accused of saying that year over year, but it's actually, true it's... We just had the house turnover from the Republican majority to a Democratic majority other 89 new members of Congress on the House, Representative side and nine new senators that are taking up the cannabis issue from a federal perspective for the first time, this is an opportunity for us to be able to take those meetings with these new members that are getting in an e-acclimated in DC and with the momentum that's on our backs with so much happening at both the state level and the federal level. We are seeing a reception in these offices in DC more than we ever have before. I think the last I checked with our wonderful government relation staff we had over 150 meetings already scheduled as of now, and we still have a few weeks to go before we get to lobby days. And I think that the more that we can continue to demonstrate that regulation works in terms of creating jobs and revitalizing the economies but also, in terms of public safety, the more data is on our side, the close that we're going to get to finally reaching the point where we go over the tipping point, and we have federal law that at a minimum, defers to states and allow states to enact their own policies, and ultimately when we really want is federal law of the taxes and regulates cannabis coast to coast. Yeah, that'd be ideal, yeah. We already have hundreds of NCIA members who have registered and we're looking forward to seeing that number double, and I believe we were able to hit every congressional office, in one way, shape or form last year, and possibly the year before as well, because of the numbers that we have of NCA members showing up. So let's keep up that momentum. We're going to take a quick commercial break, and then we'll be right back to that. More with Aaron Smith NCIS executive director, a statue in "cia's cannabis industry. Boys will return once we give a voice to our sponsors in 2018, the national cannabis industry association SAS 60% increase in congressional co-sponsorship of their priority legislation, the federal legalization of hemp as well as the election of a new Congress expected to be more cannabis-friendly.   Alright, we are back on NCIA’s Cannabis industry voice on cannabis radio, I’m your host Bethany and we're chatting with NCIA’S, Executive Director Aaron Smith. Obviously, lobby days is right around the corner here, May 21st, 22nd, and 23rd super excited to be heading to DC soon. I hope those of you that have registered, a book your flights and got your hotel, all squared away or your Airbnb whatever works for you we're looking forward to seeing you on a aranei. Let's go over some of the priority legislation. The "NCIA members are gonna be educating members of Congress on starting let's start with banking since there has been so much progress already just this year. Yeah, this is the safe Banking Act as stand for the secure and fair enforcement Banking Act which is introduced just a couple of months ago, re-introduced by Congressman Ed Perlmutter and Denny heck on the House, and Senator Jeff Merkley. Over in the Senate has the, I think, has the best chance of actually being enacted into law, this Congress, it's received two hearings already on the House side with getting out of the house financial services committee, just a few weeks ago with a 45 to 15 vote including 11 Republicans, I think, yeah, that's why the co-sponsor stands at 169 cosponsors as up today, and it seems like every day more and more signing on. And that's because, Mancini perspective at NCI started, this was an issue that hardly anybody even knew about and it's really evolved into an issue, at least on the hill. We knew about it in the industry, but not on Capitol Hill, but now it's one of the issues that there's almost in say, almost a consensus on the House side, that this is a priority and we have some more challenges on the Senate side, and that's another reason to come out to DC to talk about if you're an employee in the industry or a business owner, I'm sure you have some stories about how the outdated banking regulations as they relate to cannabis affects your business, your safety even unfortunately. And we need those stories told in the halls of Congress and that's what lobby days is all about, especially over in the Senate. Senator cros, the site, I'm sorry he's the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which is ultimately has jurisdiction over the Senate, version of this bill, he represents Ido, which is one of the three states left that doesn't have any kind of marijuana. This is not a priority for him because it's not something that he's dealing with in this state, but we need to make sure that we're there to really educate leadership like that as well as the rank and file on both sides, how to why this is important and how to move this forward. Yeah, yeah, let's go meet him and shake his hand and chat with him and tell him what's going on. And on the subject of telling our stories, I do wanna mention during one of the hearings, NCIA asked our members to submit testimony and I shout out to all the members that spoke up and submitted their testimony about how banking has impacted their business. We were able to submit I wanna say almost 100. Yeah, yeah that's amazing, I'm glad we were able to do that at really underscored our argument for safe banking. So some other issues that we focus on include a policy, social equity veterans, medical access. Let's talk more about some of these other legislation focuses, especially our new Hemp and CBD Coalition. Yeah, I got you brought that up. The farm bill last year that was enacted in the law, for the first time, included provisions that would effectively legalize industrial hemp, and then also created a path forward for the regulation of hemp drive CBD in states where that's legal and tasked the FDA to come up with the rules and the regulations around surrounding the manufacture and distribution of CBD products which if you watch the cannabis industry at all, it's hard not to notice that this is an area of the great growth within the industry, but has been completely unregulated and actually... Actually, under a prohibition scheme for this whole time, so we're really excited to have leverage and "cia's position as the largest cannabis industry trade association in the country to pull together a coalition of over 70 advisory members, who represent cannabis or CBD, have businesses, entrepreneurs as well as policy experts medical experts to advise "NCIA in the rule-making process and inform ultimately FDA through testimony that they're upcoming hearing on May 31st, in Washington, DC, on sensible regulations, around the manufacturer of CD and hemp products that balance public safety, public health as well as the needs of our business members to be able to thrive. And that's... That's a really telling that we've pivoted into regulatory affairs and rule making, which is something that the cannabis industry is really used to dealing with... At the state level, but at the federal level, we've just been up against prohibition and this is the first time that we're really working with an executive agency on the regulation of a cannabis product and I know it's not THC, but it's a cannabis product and I think that this will set the stage for down the road when, when we're working on other cannabis products. And you mentioned Social Equity, we also are rolling out a publication that outlines the social priorities for ensuring that social equity provisions are included in state and federal legislation around marijuana, so that those who have been most impacted by the war on drugs, and at the flaws of failed Marijuana prohibition people of color and other minority communities have a leg up on an opportunity to participate in this new industry that's growing so quickly. And we're actually going to be hosting a luncheon with our breakfast. I'm sorry, on May 23rd in Washington DC to roll that paper out, we already have some members of secession Black Caucus. We were gonna be speaking at that, and this is something that we've probably done in a relationship with the minority cannabis business association. Nice, nice. Yeah, it sounds like we're in a little bit more of a position to be proactive on some of these issues now instead of on the defense. So it's probably a nice change of pace. What else is our big focus this year? Anything else? Yeah, so the far as incremental changes, we mentioned... We talked about banking we're also going to be sharing stories with members of Congress about 2-8, which is a crippling policy that from outdated federal tax policy that prevents businesses from taking the ordinary deductions and keeping the industry from being able to grow and we invest in communities and we're also gonna be working on the big picture legislation like the marijuana Justice Act which is probably one of our preferred legislative vehicles out there that would tax and regulate cannabis, but also addresses some of the social equity issues and through prohibiting federal funds to go into states that have disproportionate incarceration rates for people of color, which sadly is I think all of them at this point as well as a pushing the States Act, which is more of a very basic bill that allow state to allows businesses within states that have some form of regulated marijuana to operate outside of the Controlled Substances Act and address as many. If not all of the more industry-related concerns that, again, this is really about putting a face on the industry, it's one thing for us and our lobbyists in DC to work this every day on our members behalf but it's so much more powerful to tell the story in a personal way that only those who are directly impacted by this can, and that's what lobby days is all about. Yeah, awesome, well, thank you for going through some of those key pieces of legislation that we'll be focusing on this year and every year until they get resolved. We're gonna take a quick commercial break, in a minute, but when we come back, we're gonna dive into specifically what lobby days is all about what it's gonna be like and just talk a little bit more about what's going on in CIA. So stay tuned, we will be right back in "cia's cannabis industry. Voice will return once we give a voice to our sponsors, the National cannabis industry association six annual cannabis business Summit, and Expo Returns to San Jose, California, McInerney Convention Center July 22nd through the 24th register today at Cannabis business Summit, dot com. And take part in the most influential award-winning cannabis conference, and trade show host of by the cannabis industries only national trade association, TIA is cannabis business Summit, an XO offers attendees. The days of engagement and interactive programs arrive early, so you could participate in our pre-conference workshops and off-site tours join hundreds upon hundreds of exhibitors and thousands upon thousands of attendees at NCIA’s 6th annual cannabis business Summit, the next monthJuly 22nd through the 24th and saying hose California register today at Cannabis Business Summit, dot com, the cannabis business Summit, dot com.   All right there, back we're wrapping up our conversation with an NCIA’s executive director and co-founder and we've been chatting a bit about our key pieces of legislation that we focus on particularly this year at lobby days with hundreds of NCA members, again NCIS lobby days is made 21-22 and 23, in Washington DC this year. And reminder, friendly reminder "NCIA members must register in advance to attend a Aaron mentioned our GR team is already setting up meetings with hundreds of congressional offices in forming the teens that will go navigate them. So please, if you haven't registered get off the fence. The websites, the cannabis industry, dot org, lobby days 2019 and there's a lot going on if you've never been before. So let's go ahead and talk about what those three days are gonna be like. We're also launching a new VIP day, on the 21st, the first day, which is something we haven't done before. So let's start by talking about what the reason is for VIP Day and what that's gonna be like. Yeah, the VIP Lobby Day is an exclusive event for members of our pack leadership circle, which is a new program that we've launched at the beginning of this year for contributors to the "NCIA PAC of 1000 or more. One of the benefits they get is access to this VIP day among many others, throughout the year in our pack just to back up is our political action committee that "NCIA uses to contribute to candidates who support the cannabis industry running for Congress, and so it's so important that we are able to support the financially support these campaigns in the system that we have. It takes a lot of money to get elected to Congress. And we were really proud to have been able to raise a great deal and spend a great deal any over this last election cycle. helped elect 50 members of Congress who were champions on our issue. And the VIP day is sort of partly an opportunity for some of those members of Congress to me in a more intimate setting with the contributors to the NCIS political efforts. It will include a series of meetings on Capitol Hill as well as a luncheon with some of the newly elected members of Congress that were supported by the pack as well as just some other surprises for our pack leadership circle folks and we definitely encourage anybody listening is a member of "NCIA or even if you're not to get involved with "NCIA and call if you more information about the pack give us a call or send us an email info at the cannabis industry dot or cool yeah, thanks and surprises. Sounds pretty fun. So looking forward to seeing what VIP days, give a big... So of course there's the actual lobbying itself, the going and sitting down and talking with the members of Congress and their staff and how that works. We group people into teams so between three and five people that are NCAA members, will be put into a team together and we send them off the various pre-scheduled meetings with these congressional offices. So are you gonna take meetings this year, Aaron? And are you excited about visiting any particular offices? Well, first one... One is just also kinda back up and talk about the way that the lobby days, works because I know that sometimes, somebody if you're buried in your business, you're not really... You're not a professional obvious we don't expect you to be, but we make it really, really easy. And as Bethany as you said, we have teams that are led by seasoned lobby days veterans, so to speak, who have attended in the past and are used to navigating the hill. We also have an app that all lobby these attendees will be able to download that'll have your schedule and talking points and all the information you need, just right there at your fingertips. We also have some online webinars leading up to lobby days that once you register, you'll get information about with some training and tips and tricks on citizen lobbying and then a mandatory breakfast training in person in DC on the 22nd, really want... Do you sify this for you as much as possible and make it as easy as possible to participate in the system? For me, whether I take meetings I tend to go with the flow and jump into the ones that I feel in the moment I should be in 'cause I do like to kinda sit back and also just listen to what our members have to say. So, I'll bounce around at some different teams and it's great to hear, it's great for us, not just me, but all of us on the staff to also hear directly from the members of a kind of what they're facing back in their day-to-day business and really, 'cause it helps us amplify that message. The other 362, three days a year that we're in DC, this doing this without having 300 of you in town, so... And of course, also really, really important that we get in front of these new members of Congress, there's between the House and Senate there's almost 100 new fresh faces in there, that are dealing with some of these issues for the first time. In many cases, many of them are are generally supportive but they still need to learn more about the issues and so, even meeting with those members of Congress who really support us is really, really valuable because we want them to be armed with as much information as possible. Yeah, absolutely, I'm looking forward to seeing what those new members of Congress are like especially since some of them replaced, some members of Congress who were not friendly on our issues. So we really have a great opportunity here, I think. So as we wrap up the show here I wanna encourage everyone to get more information about lobby days. There are blogs and videos from previous years. You can watch to really absorb what it's like. Head to our website, the cannabis industry dot org, specifically, the cannabis industry, dot org. lobby days, 2019 for more information. Alright, well, Aaron thanks so much for sitting down with me today, and really talking about this exciting event, lobby days that we do and I'm looking forward to being in DC right around the corner here. That's right now, thank you for having me be a great conversation and I look forward to senior and everybody in DC as well. Awesome, alright thanks. everybody for tuning into NCIA’s Cannabis industry voice on until next time, the opinions expressed on this cannabis radio dot Con program are those of the guests and hosts and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff and management of cannabis. Radio dot com any re-broadcast or redistribution without proper docent of cannabis radio dot com is prohibited when it comes to their kids.  

Community
/ Education

Helping Businesses Understand The Emerging Marijuana Market

Helping businesses understand the emerging marijuana market with Jeffrey Stein, VP of Sales of Consumer Research Around Cannabis, based in Houston, TX. The company’s goal is to help marketers connect the dots between cannabis customers and the broader North American consumer economy. Consumer Research Around Cannabis provides client-focused research, designed in helping businesses understand the […]

Helping businesses understand the emerging marijuana market with Jeffrey Stein, VP of Sales of Consumer Research Around Cannabis, based in Houston, TX. The company’s goal is to help marketers connect the dots between cannabis customers and the broader North American consumer economy. Consumer Research Around Cannabis provides client-focused research, designed in helping businesses understand the emerging marijuana market. The company offers insights into this category while attitudes and legislation evolve in the U.S. and Canada.

Their research facilitates decision making for clients such as investors, legislators, lobbyists, advocacy groups, advisors, product developers, competitive product companies, and other associated industries. Consumer Research Around Cannabis furnishes credible research to make timely, solid, well-informed decisions. There’s lots of polling out there, such as Gallup and Pew Center polls about legalization. Based on their research, we talk about what are we seeing as far as public opinion or approval in various markets of either adult-use and medical cannabis, as well as what other data points are interesting as Jeffrey looks into this research.

  Transcription: Get informed get inspired and get connected. I'm your host, Bethany Moore. I'm the communications Project Manager at the National cannabis industry association today. My guest is Jeffrey Stein is the VP of sales of consumer research around cannabis, the companies based in Houston, Texas, the company's goals to help marketers connect the dots between cannabis customers and the broader North American consumer economy and we will learn more about what that means shortly. Welcome to the show, Jeffrey, thank you for having me, Bethany great, great, so let's dive right in and learn more about you and your background and what kind of experiences you had prior to getting into this cannabis research world? Well, I spent many years in the broadcast industry in sales and management and driving revenue, in this sector is not only about quantitative ratings, Nielson and things like that. We're also about qualitative positions, of your audience and demonstrating that a media properties audience matched the consumer characteristics of a proposed client. So when a client learns more about the qualitative aspects of their media property, they always enjoy more success, more revenue and more return on their investment. That was an area that always fascinated me and where I had a lot of success. Gotcha, yeah. Data is king. Especially in this day and age. And the more metrics and information, you can get, the better poison, you are as a company is that kind of a concept behind it? Absolutely, the data is king. Someone once said, "If you're out there working without research, then you're just another guy with a story. It makes a lot of sense. Great, okay, so that's a lot of good information to have in your background. Good knowledge, good skills really actionable stuff. So here you are working in the cannabis industry and movement, how did you make that jump from you said the broadcast industry and other sort of customer qualitative metrics, how did you find yourself getting involved in cannabis which has just been legal for adults for just a few years now? Well, I did some work for a market intelligence company and I was aware of our sister company. The media audit the media audit is kind of the foundation of our survey work it's a company that works with a lot of broadcasters, publications, magazines looking at hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of consumer topics, so that mediate companies can better position their audience and beginning to work with them. The owner of the company, who's was always a few steps ahead of everyone else, it seems. We started to talk about the cannabis industry and aware of it, I certainly... And the growth and the legalization in certain states, and we began to talk about looking at cannabis consumer research, and we looked around and said We... There really isn't anyone really doing this since we already had a very strong foundation in doing consumer surveys we sat down with a few policy shops, cannabis policy shops when we developed a few hundred questions about usage and spending levels and things like people's public opinions and so forth and added them into our surveys. So here we are doing a survey that's covering all this stuff on demographics and plan to purchase an income and education and we added in those questions and that's kind of how this company was born. Okay, got it. Are those surveys, they're specifically about cannabis, or were they grouped into a larger survey about various things? That's a great question. It's grouped into a larger consumer survey and we feel that that's the reason why we were able to get a good solid research. It's not a can, research project, it is a consumer research piece or cannabis is just maybe 10% 80% of it. And so people, I think, once they get to the Cannabis section are just more comfortable in answering the questions in in relationship to a bigger consumer survey questionnaire. Yeah, that makes sense, thanks for explaining that. I asked because I think in some instances, some people may not be comfortable giving their personal information and answering a survey about cannabis, because maybe there's still a private user, they're not out as it were, they're not open with their community or their family that they're a cannabis consumer so they might be a little hesitant. What do you want my name for? Like No, I'm not giving you my information. I don't want the world to know I smoke cannabis. So, it is interesting to hear that it was grouped in with some larger questions and it does make sense that they might be more comfortable 'cause they've already just answered questions about maybe other wellness products or things like that. So, wow, yeah, that's interesting, cool, alright. So to learn more about consumer research around cannabis, the company, you're the vice president of sales. Tell me more, a bit more about your role and what you do day-to-day and what's going on with the company, this year. Well, my role is mostly sales, so I'm working with companies that are not only cannabis product companies, investment companies, but we're also a data firm as well, so we're forging relationships with other data companies to start to really cross-to have this information much deeper ways whether it may have to do with, with cigarette use, it to back us rather, or soft drinks, or alcohol beverages. So we're kind of expanding into that area. We have data on over 65 markets in the US and we do a new... We serve eight as So we survey an entire area for Los Angeles or Miami or New York, the entire DMA and we also have the ability to aggregate data to a statewide level, but our clients seem really to like the fact that we're doing call it a local market survey, so we're doing work in Canada as well, we've done a Greater Toronto research piece and we're about to expand that to a national survey for Canada, and we're working with firms that deal with a lot of CPG because they see the growth of cannabis and they wanna figure out how best to get into that vertical. Yeah, that makes sense. Are you on the road a lot going to these various markets, or is that something you get to do, from a desk? I work, I work from my home in Orlando, Florida. We have lots of meetings, I probably do 10 or 15 go to meetings a week, but I do a little bit of travel. I've been to several cannabis conventions and events but I find that working people like go to meetings and of course I've met several of our clients but they like to be able to see the data they like to be able to understand what our methodology is how we pull the data. So yeah, I work mostly from my home, me and my three cats. Oh, three cats, that's nice, yeah. Well, before we had to commercial break here, you mentioned cannabis conferences. So I will go ahead and remind listeners that NCIS next cannabis business Summit, and expo is coming up in July. You can get more information by logging on to www cannabis business summit com, to register. So definitely check that out, it's gonna be, it's our biggest conference that "ncia hosts throughout the year in addition to the seed-to-sale show and the California cannabis business conference. So this is the big one, it's in San Jose, California, in July, and again, now is a good time to start planning to go to the conference, pick out your hotel, find your hotel buddy and don't forget the register, there's early bird opportunities. The earlier you register. So again that website is cannabis business Summit, dot com. Are you planning to come to the conference off? Are you gonna make it to California? I am, I'm planning to be there. As a matter of fact, I was just working on the form earlier today to see if we can be a speaker there. Oh excellent, great. Yes, we are accepting speaker proposals for our Fall conference, actually, right now through April 30th, so that's the California cannabis business conference. It takes place in October, and all NCIA members are eligible to submit a speaker proposal which we take months in advance of every conference. Alright, we're gonna take a quick commercial break, here, but we're gonna come back and talk with Jeff more about consumer trends and research in the cannabis industry, so stay tuned. We're back on NCIA's cannabis industry voice on cannabis radio. I'm your host, Bethany Moore and we're chatting with Jeffrey Stein from consumer research around cannabis. So let's talk about some trends in the cannabis industry based on the research going on. There's a lot of pulling out there, like the Gallup and the Pew Center polls about legalization. That cap is a lot of attention to... So based on your research generally speaking, what are we seeing as far as public opinion or approval in these various markets, whether their adult use or medical only. Well, what we see is obviously in states where it's more legal and recreation as Leo we're seeing numbers 48 to 55% legality and that seems to be going up in states where it's not as legal those numbers or more in the 40s, and as high as low as maybe 39%. But the good thing is that cannabis is here to stay and those numbers show it, even in states where it's not legal, you're still seeing 42-43% approval of both medical and recreational cannabis. So I think that's a great trend. Yeah, yeah, you could even be elected president, with those kinds of numbers. Yeah, I mean that is good. I'm sure there's still a lot of stigma out there about not wanting cannabis on the streets, because of Prohibition-era war on drugs era type of messaging, but in the 40s or even in the '50s is pretty impressive. That's most people I think. So from a bird side view here, some of the top takeaways about consumer trends, whether it's adult use or medical meaning what are people consuming and how often sure, well in our consumer in our questionnaire, we do ask questions about whether people have used it in the past year or in the past month and then we also ask questions about specific types of usage in... In other words, are they smoking it, are they using edibles and so forth? And one of the things we see is in markets where it's legal, we see a much more diverse usage in markets where it's not legal flowers and buds. Are still the largest percentage of what people are utilizing. But again, in places where it's legal. And I was looking at Seattle this morning for a client, it's remarkable how diverse it is between concentrates and drinks and edibles and topical people are utilizing it in many more different ways because they're finding that they can find cannabis that meets the way they wanna use it. Oh, absolutely, yeah. tinctures. topics you mentioned. I guess it makes sense that in markets where it is legal, for adults over 21, the entrepreneurs are able to offer more products, makes sense. I'm sure there's some CBD, THC, confused hot sauce out there somewhere. In that, I'm sure we would like to sample. Yeah, so, Washington obviously, was one of the first couple of states to legalize cannabis for adults, but what about these red states or states who might consider red states like Kentucky or Virginia, they are very slow to warm up to legalization, to the cannabis industry. What are you seeing there in those markets when it comes to approval and public opinion? Well, in states like Kentucky and Virginia clearly we're seeing lower percentages but they're not as low as you might think. What's very interesting is that there's a much higher percentage of people who disapprove and there's also a higher percentage of people who have no opinion and those two things, tell me that they need to be more educated on what's going on out there. A lot of these people still don't understand what CDS are and what they're utilize what they can be used for and that they don't have they don't get you high, that kind of thing. So, that's still something that we're battling just as a nation making sure the people are more educated with a more educated... Again, we see the disapproval lower and the no opinion considerably lower. Yeah, that makes sense in education, I think in a lot of ways, our industry is word-of-mouth education, or you have to know someone who knows something about cannabis in order to learn something about it because there's still massive restrictions on official government research here in the United States. So what we have to educate people is coming from research that's done outside of the country, perhaps, or... And more private research data points. So really getting to those people with no opinion for starters, would be huge just to inform them what it is. And you're right, people are still learning with the difference between CBD and THC is... And on top of that, there's CBD, and CBD, and CBN, that we're all learning about as well. That I'm personally very excited about. So I'm also curious about the data points that might be really interesting when you're doing this research. Do you ask information about maybe their occupation or is their income level, or if they're religious and go to church or not? We do as part of the foundation of from the media audit, we have a lot of questions about income and occupation and religion and I'll give you one example, when we look at people who say they've used their bought cannabis in the past month and attend religious services regularly were we see a pretty small number of people who are a pretty large number of people who have used utilizing cannabis, but then when we look at that same question and attend religious services occasionally, as opposed to regularly get out of cannabis use coach through the truth. It's three and four, and sometimes five times higher depending on the marketplace. I was just looking at Tam or this morning. It's the difference between 95000 people who said they use it and they attend religious services regularly and almost 400000 who say they use it and at 10 services occasionally. So, that's one data point that we see the other. When you look at occupation, not necessarily in total number, but when you look at an index we clearly see in many markets that income higher tech jobs, higher educated jobs of people who identify themselves as business owners or partners or managers index, pretty high, and cannabis use as opposed to those who have lower educated, or more middle income jobs. Sure, and it probably matters that Some occupations require you to operate heavy machinery. In which case, those individuals would have to be careful about everything from prescription drugs to alcohol as well, as Cannabis. 'cause you wanna be safe on the job. But I kinda think it's funny about the... Sometimes attends religious services versus always does. I'm just thinking of when people go home to visit family for Christmas and you go to church and you have the dinner and then all the cool kids go out to the garage or around the back of that house in the park up. And so it might be a little bit of that. We see it across incomes as well. Hiring cup jobs in most markets believe it or not, the index for cannabis usage is, conceal higher, that's not to say it's not high with blue collar or with lower service jobs depending on the market, but consistently we see higher tech jobs and proprietors and managers and corporate positions with a much higher index. Sure, sure, I can see that. I think that makes sense, alright, we're gonna take our last commercial break here and then we'll come right back and chat more with Jeffrey Stein from consumer research around cannabis. So, stay tuned will be right back. Alright, we're back on NCIA's cannabis industry voice on cannabis radio, and we've been chatting with Jeffrey Stein from consumer research around cannabis learning a bit more about trends in various markets around the country, whether it's adult use or medical or not legal at all. So just to break away from that talk for a minute I was interested to hear you say you worked for the broadcasting industry for a long time and that probably means you have experience with other industry associations. NCIA obviously, an industry association for the cannabis industry and every industry has its own industry trade association or more than one, even. And what that typically involves is working with regulators and it sometimes interacting with government officials and doing public education. I'm curious what kind of experiences you may have had from that perspective, from the broadcasting industry that you could share? Well, I personally have not gotten involved with a lot of regulators, although I have had any number of conversations with state senators, and in various states who have utilized some of our data and I wanted to really more understand was going on their state so that they could better understand how to legislate and how to move things forward. I have been involved. We have some partnerships with some other data companies that are involved in the convenience store industry and that is one that is very interesting because as you know, many of them are carrying CBD products and many of them want to carry more of that, so they want to better understand just what is that relationship between people and what they're buying and alcohol and tobacco, because those are the things that drive people into convenience stores. So we've had a little bit of experience with that as well. Yeah, right at the broadcasting industry is kind of standing by, especially the radio industry. Our data allows us to cross-tab and say, "Okay what stations? If you're spending 300 to 100 a month on flowers and buds. Where are you engaging in a newer websites? So as part of the media audit, we have that data and cross tabs with cannabis. So they're just kind of watching and waiting, to see when and how they'll be able to start grabbing a piece of that pie, which as we all know, the advertising is very, very limited for cannabis at this point, but it's gonna change, and we hope to be at the forefront of that, when it does, yeah, absolutely, even as someone who's been a cannabis activist for full is, I don't know, 16-17 years. I'm used to legalization here in Colorado, now but I still... I smile when I hear something on the radio advertising a dispensary or I see a billboard because to me that means it's being normalized and it's just really exciting, especially I'm sure every activist, that's listening to this show can relate to the feeling of it not feeling like this negative stigma for it to just be a normal part of life. So that's pretty exciting. So back to being involved with NCAA your company's been a member for a little while getting involved in our nearly 2000-member business network across the country, or conferences or networking events, why... Why is being a member of NCIA important for a company like yours? Well, I think it's important to be a good corporate customer, client, or whatever you wanna call but if you're going to be in an industry, I think it's important to be part of the biggest trade organization. I was certainly part of broadcasting trade organizations in my day and attended many conferences and discussed not only did business with people, but discuss the important issues of the day, and I think the same thing "ncia pulls everyone together and as a platform and the foundation to share ideas to share to do business together, and ultimately to be behind you guys, as you press forward with the education to our legislators and to the public in general. You got it. And on that note, our next lobby days event is coming up May 21st, 2223, and "ncia members have begun registering and our government relations team is contacting congressional offices and setting up meetings and doing that behind the scenes work. That's really exciting, so I thanks to the NCA members that have registered for lobby days already really looking forward to seeing you there. And if you have not registered yet, please register as soon as you can, the sooner the better, and if you don't register, we won't have any meetings for you. That's just how it works. And thanks for mentioning our education in general, I think it's good for those who are both new to the industry, as well as those who have been in it for years and I think the kind of research that your company is providing is the research that wasn't available to a dispense re-owner 10 years ago, or perhaps even five years ago. So now the data is at their fingertips that's true, and we hope to grow with the industry, and we're expanding in Canada, we're getting ready to do some work for the government there, and we continue to expand and to anomaly expand, but expand the questions that we ask and better too, so that we can better serve our clients, we're all becoming more sophisticated as time goes by, which is really exciting. And encouraging, as we wrap up the show here I just wanna mention "ncia does host regional evening networking events across the country throughout the year in addition to our big two-day conferences but the evening networking events are great for just being connecting with business owners in your region. We have the Cannabis caucus event series, we also have the industry socials event series. Great way to get connected and informed and I understand at the next event we're hosting in Florida you'll be... You'll be attending our Florida industry. Social, I will a lot. Awesome, well I hope some of you Florida people can register for the Florida industry, social coming up, here in a couple of months and meet with Jeff. Okay, so that we have run out of time, so I wanna thank you... Jeff for joining us on the show today and I believe the website is consumer research around cannabis dot com is that right? That's exactly right, awesome, to hearing from folks out there and helping them answer their questions, and dealing with their challenges in the business world, in of which there are no sorting. Alright, thanks everybody for tuning into another episode of NCIA's cannabis industry voice, until next time

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Cannabis Focused Sales

In this episode, we talk Cannabis Focused Sales with Francesca Vavalva, a co-founder of Alias Cann. Alias is a cannabis sales and marketing company based out of Delaware. They offer cannabis focused sales, planning, processing, and marketing services. With cannabis legalization in a majority of states across the country, the time to adapt and innovate has […]
In this episode, we talk Cannabis Focused Sales with Francesca Vavalva, a co-founder of Alias Cann. Alias is a cannabis sales and marketing company based out of Delaware. They offer cannabis focused sales, planning, processing, and marketing services. With cannabis legalization in a majority of states across the country, the time to adapt and innovate has arrived. Alias Cann marries years of expertise in sales and marketing, knowledge of the cannabis industry, and client products or service to create mutual growth. Integrating with Alias Cann is seamless and offers powerful advancement in a quickly growing field. They operate within the client's existing structure, so you can continue to do what you’re good at, and they will take care of what you’re not so good at.   Transcription:   Get informed get inspired and get connected. Hello, thank you for treating into another episode of NCIA’S cannabis industry voice on cannabis radio. I'm your host, Bethany Moore, the communications and projects manager at the national cannabis industry association today. My guest is Francesca Vavala, a co-founder of Alias Cann. Alias Cann is a cannabis sales,and marketing company based out of Delaware, they offer cannabis-focused sales planning processing and marketing services. Welcome to the show, Francesca thank you, great to have you. So let's dive right in and learn a little more about you, your background, many experiences you might have had prior to finding yourself in this exciting cannabis industry and movement sure happy to...  Yeah, my way to get to this whole cannabis world was very circuitous. It was not a direct line. I started out as a high school and middle school English teacher, and a private Catholic school. Yes, a about as different as you can get an A. and so I eat six years in, that I decided I had more of an entrepreneurial spirit than I had initially anticipated, having... And dove into real estate because I had a fairly low threshold and offered a lot of opportunities to... You still use an education background, and also mixes it with the sales and to have a self-made destiny Option A... But after a few years of that and was very successful, it was great, but it was un-fulfilling in a lot of ways, and so I had had these two experiences where one with teaching was very fulfilling and the other with sales in real estate was very lucrative. I needed something that meshed the two, and so I ended up starting to do some writing for a company that was in the sales and marketing space, in the traditional mainstream industries. And I took to it I got to use my brain, I got to use my sales muscles in flex those and then from that, the owner of the company and I started working together, and exploring, the cannabis space and saw a need for what we could bring to the table and he reached out and said, I'd like to do this and I'd like you to start this with, me. And so that kind of brought us to the very beginning of our journey which was really exciting. Well, yeah, that's an interesting journey. Kinda left than right then. Here we are. Yeah, exactly. Oh, that's really cool. So I bet your former high school students think you're really cool, now, but they might just be with them may but not handing the mini swag to wear around. So, all seen. So as far as getting in the cannabis industry, it sounds like you came across this business opportunity. What about your personal passion or the inspiration or any personal experience you might have had with the plan or developing a relationship with the plant and the movement? I was really lucky to find this space and to get to learn from so many people and develop and nurture and cultivate that passion. If I can use that plan words because prior to really getting into it, I had very limited exposure. I was pretty much like a dare kid and it was a drug and it was scary and the big bad out there and it wasn't until very late in life in essay. My late 20s that I actually found out what cannabis offered rather than the threat that it's supposedly posed and I quickly dove head first into a lot of the myths and dispelling them and doing research and it was incredibly enlightening, which was exciting and frustrating at the same time because it felt very much like I had been, I had been... We all been lied to for decades, and it's such a long... Well entrenched myth, and I that it's hard to dig out from that. So it became really important for me to teach other people like me that were where I had been, that it's not what we had always thought. Just like the food pyramid is no longer the gold standard for dieting the... It's not the boogeyman of drugs or the gateway to the nefarious things. And I had had a personal experience because my sister has several palsy and I didn't know anything about how cannabis could have helped her until it was much too late unfortunately, so that really struck a cord with me and that she loved it. Several policy her whole life. It's not to generative it doesn't get more so better, but there's complications at the severity level that she was at. And one of those is a recurring bouts of pneumonia from ASP rating salient herons 'cause it be spasmodic properties of serve palsy and it was eventually a super bug of pneumonia in 2013 that I took my twin sister from me. So I'm so sorry to hear that, thank you. It was... That's an awful kind of pain to go through losing your other half. But at the same time, it seemed to compound it because there was something there the whole time that could have helped it could have changed things and I didn't know. And I never, ever want somebody to be in that position that my family was in that she was in to not have access to a medicine that's so good for you that can help so many ways. Well, thank you for sharing that story and yeah, don't beat yourself up. There's a lot of misinformation, as you alluded to, with the government lying to us about let's be real. It's still a schedule one drug on the Controlled Substances list, meaning it has no medical value which we all know at this point, there is actually research out there. Yeah, as it does and more and more research as we're able to access it is proving what the hippies knew all along. Right, exactly, exactly. So here we are in remind we're moving forward with this stronger by the day movement of the cannabis industry and here you are as a part of it, having co-founded the company. Alias can... So let's talk about the present your role there, your day-to-day, what's going on with the company, it's going well. I have to say, if we're being completely honest about everything, it's an uphill battle because this is a new space and so I think everybody is writing the rules and discovering the rules as we go, along and figuring out how operations are gonna go in their businesses and since our whole business is built around helping others build their business, it is a steep climb, sometimes, but we're convinced that the view is worth that climb and so we're keeping at it and it's definitely a passion and a mission to get out there and we've loved the clients that we've worked with, and we've been able to help reach more of their target customers and get them into more shelf space and to expand their brands. And it's exciting, fun stuff. And because we get to do new things with new clients every time we get to have the benefits of these long relationships and also the excitement of a new relationship so it's the best of both worlds, it's everything day-to-day. We're really about focus, we're focusing on the sales side of things, and then the marketing activities that we have really support all of our sales activities in our endeavors, so we've got people in our office smiling and dialing all day that grunt work, that nobody wants to do, smiling and dialing. I love that I get writing that down right now I... Yeah, yeah. And then on my end, and my partner, Mike and we just get to do a lot of vision casting, which is a beautiful thing. And seeing how we can get into more spaces to help more people and what offerings we can have to grow other businesses support. Our whole tagline is, No one grows alone, and that's our goal every day is to grow our own company by growing others, and those people are going to then benefit their growth is going to benefit their employees, and it's going to benefit their customers, and it's just this compound effect. That's really exciting in lovely that's great, it's great to hear your passion about the work you're doing as well. How long ago was it that you founded the company with your partner and how many people are on your team now? We started looking into cannabis, I wanna say he went to MJ bison in Orlando, so that was, I wanna say 2014 maybe. And then together, we went to a JBS in DC, and that was sort of our last walk and scope and research so that was when we officially started doing the work to get our company up and running, but I believe we were founded and incorporated in 2016, until then we were kind of just dabbling in it and getting ourselves ready making sure that we understood the landscape both competitive, and opportunity-wise, and knowing that we had a place. Because there's nothing worse than somebody coming in with just a... Oh, this is a hot new thing okay, I'll come in and get mine. And it's like, No, that's not how we work at all that we've gotta come in with advocacy education, and benefiting others. That's the only way to grow is a collective growth. So it was a lot of lead up to that. And then an official launch in 2016, I believe. And in terms of our team, we have about I wanna say just under 10 dedicated sales people for cannabis specifically, but because we built this company off of our mainstream company, it's the same services, same building. We have this really cool bench strength of about another 20-30 people that we can pull from, if we get that need and we can say Alright, it's time to train you now on what cannabis is versus what you were doing. So it's great 'cause we have this whole sales culture behind this and all this management and training and these systems and processes in place, and then we can just teach others about cannabis when we need to. Awesome, yeah, good for you on doing that discovery work before diving in. I think there's a lot more to the cannabis industry than people realize, particularly with compliance and regulations, or model CRA. Cool, yeah, awesome. Alright, well yeah, thanks for sharing that. We're gonna jump into our first commercial break and then we'll be right back to talk more with Francesca of Alias can. So please, stay tuned,  Alright we’re back on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice on cannabis radio. I'm your host, Bethany talking with Francesca from Alias Cann. So, Francesca let's talk more about the cannabis industry, which has a, a slightly higher percentage of women in executive roles than some other non-cannabis fields in the country. What is your experience being a woman in leadership? It has a lot of parallels and overlap in the mainstream industry. There's still, I think, a lot of male domination in a way that if you're going to a meeting, you can still expect a lot of a more traditional presence there and it can feel like you're given almost a cookie as a leadership token, but I think it has to do the positives far outweigh those experiences and there's such a great feeling of being a woman in leadership, because it's this collective drive. To keep pushing people that maybe were formerly marginalized or ag order overshadow or overlooked into these roles that they've always belonged in that we've always needed their voices in. So whether that's women or minorities, or whatever it is, people need to hear a variety of voices. And I think that's been exciting for me because I get to be one of many instead of basically like squeaking mouse in the room. I think it's almost in a way a mom was pretty wire to be like, "Do I belong do I have a seat at this table? Do I belong in this conversation? But the fact of the matter is, going into those meetings with the assumption that... Yes, I absolutely do, I've already earned it, I have nothing to prove and I'm bringing my value just in showing up with the experience and the education and the thoughtfulness and the mindfulness that I'm bringing to the table. It's been a really kind of personal journey as much as it's been this kind of abstract principle journey as well. So, it's a tough question to answer because it can go both ways, but yeah, I like owning it, it's been a fun challenge to take on. Yeah, I really enjoy hearing your inspirational answer to that where you know you belong you walk into a room and still in the back of your mind, you're expecting someone to ask you to go get them a cup of coffee, you sit down at the head of the table anyway, and you are present and you know you have something to contribute that's valuable, that's really great, thank you for sharing that, thank you yeah, I gotta just get that eye contact and we can pay attention, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's the super woman power move that you're supposed to do that makes you feel confident before walking into a meeting. Yeah, that's a good one, yeah. So talking more about women, we do tend to be trend-setters in modern culture, women are often response responsible for slang fashion, and we're also leading the way in helping to normalize and de-stigmatize cannabis as a wellness product as we're seeing cannabis moms and people from various different demographics, using cannabis. But women are definitely... I'm a Cana mom, I can a woman. They're out there saying This is a wellness product. How do you think... How are you seeing us continue to do that? What's your perspective from what your company is doing and from as you've been learning about the industry, what are you seeing as women are in the front here? Kind of waving the cannabis flag. I think it's really kind of harnessing the role of the Underdogs? Or the unassuming ones because for so long, there was this very full year stereotype about who used cannabis and while that might have changed decade, decade that was originally founded in some really racist ideology and then moved to more of this stone image that was about how cannabis is going to send you down a path that you don't wanna go down. That's about lack of productivity and lack of success. Suddenly you have women coming in and saying, "I don't know I'm using this, so you know you can trust me. And I don't know if that's partly almost, an association with motherhood or care taking but it's like, No, if she's doing it versus instead of the... Oh, they're doing it. And that's the power there as women, is like we can come up and say, You don't get to define what cannabis is and you don't get to find who uses it because I'm using it and you'd never contact expected. And that makes people check their expectations... Hopefully, if that's done right. And that's a very powerful tool in ending the stigma and saying, "Well what you thought was true is it true in this instance? Doesn't that make you question what you've always thought was true across several aspects of cannabis, and beyond? And I just love that challenge, I absolutely just relate because it's powerful. And in terms of our company, we really are pushing this professionalism is that we are the same people that are going to be selling a lot of other products in other mainstream businesses and we're not going to dumb-down our professionalism and not... We're going to must elevate the conversation and the image by having these women that could be in a Nordstrom catalog or coming off of or whatever, it is a powerful business meeting. They're still having those they're still the same women in the cannabis space and that's awesome. Yeah, I think we're seeing more women doing yoga. We're enjoying a cup of coffee on their balcony versus Bud babes who are in bikinis which is great. Yeah, it is and I can't wait for the day where just like the wine glasses of Mommy needs a glass of wine. I wanna see them like I need to do. Yeah I, that's fine, you're not a bad person for that. Yeah, yeah, awesome. So you're probably working with some established companies, but you're also working with some brand new companies that are just launching in the industry, so there's probably an educational moment with them as you're taking your experience and helping them brand and market their products. Is there any advice you might have for those companies or challenges they should be aware of? And ready to face? Sure, it just depends how long you got. Sure, just a minute before commercial breaks, so yeah, okay, I'll try and keep it store to the high-level stuff. So I think a lot of times what people see is that they're expecting a much easier road then they're going to have and whether that's they have this great idea and so of course that's going to win, we would love to think that it's not the truth unfortunately, the reality is that you need a lot more than a really good idea... Or a really good product 'cause that doesn't... Not that doesn't make a business. A business is about having operations and systems and people and processes in place that can get you from A to see not just having the "Gee that's in the middle, and being like, I can start in the middle and go to see that doesn't happen. So I think setting realistic expectations, is the biggest challenge in the field, and then also just reminding them that we need to be conscious that we are part of something bigger than a business we are part of a movement, and there needs to be a social consciousness and awareness around that movement as much, and that has to be built into your business. So, they can't run separate they have to run parallel and to be genuine and to really provide a whole solution to the space. Awesome, great advice, awesome, okay, we're gonna take our last commercial break here, and then we'll come back and wrap up our chat with Francesca from an alias can. So stay tuned, we'll be right back. Alright, we're back on NCIA’s cannabis industry voice podcast, on cannabis radio we're speaking with Francesca Vala of Alias can. And I mentioned at the beginning of the show that you're based in that tiny little state over there, on the East Coast, just tucked into Maryland called Delaware. Yeah, and we don't hear a whole lot about Delaware but legalization is increasing in states, all across the country, and we're seeing that east coast segment warm-up to cannabis, which is super exciting. Any predictions on when we think Delaware is gonna jump on board into the cannabis industry, I think we are going to see it this year which is fingers cross-knock-on all the wood that you can find right now, but that's the anticipation that's the buzz that we were getting from our work in legislative halls and lobbying days and all of that, so we're very much a part of the movement to legalize in the state and we like having those conversations because a lot of it has to be maybe sometimes, shutting your mouth and listening to what those objections are and talking to people like the minority leaders, and not just the people that want to agree with. You already agree with you, it's important to listen to the injections, and then say okay and I see where you're coming from and have you thought about this because that's all they want, they wanna know that they're not paint it as this bad guy that they have reasons behind their decisions. And so we're here to change minds that has to start with listening I... So I think It'll definitely happen. Delaware tends to be slower than most of the rest of the East Coast especially the north-east, but we are not the size state or economically "want to be an influencer in terms of national legalization so our business is very much outside of the state. In fact, we don't have any business in Delaware, so it won't change anything for our company that Delaware legalize but to me, every state has to have their wins because it's going to change more hearts and minds and get more momentum behind the a movement, and the ultimate goal. Yeah, absolutely, I'm really glad to hear your involved at the state and local level in whatever capacity you can be. And of course, the state-by-state battle is happening, the dominoes are slowly falling across the country, but important to that work is the federal work that "ncia does, for example, and our annual lobby days are ninth annual lobby days, how is coming up? May 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Last year, we had between 250 and 300 CI members fly out to DC and our GR team always does a great job of setting up these meetings with congressional offices with groups of "ncia members to educate and answer questions and listen to the concerns. Of course, there's plenty of members of Congress who are already friendly to our issues, but some of those challenging but really important conversations are the ones with the officers who either oppose or maybe aren't so sure and need more information. So if you're a member of  NCIA which alias can is, I hope to see many NCIA members register register today, please register today for lobby days. Because we have to have those conversations, we have to do that education. You have to shake their hand and tell them about your kids and that they play soccer. And what school you went to? And they need to know that you're a real human being who has business interests and sharing your struggles, as a business owner is really important. So if you're interested listeners interested in learning about lobby days www the cannabis industry or lobby days, 2019 lobby days, 2019 is super important. We've got a ton of people registered. Of course, the momentum is still going. Please register as early as you can, because our GR team does a lot of behind-the-scenes work in advance, putting teams together, setting up meetings with congressional offices. So thanks for being involved locally and at the state level Francesca and hope to see you in DC next month for lobby days as well, Oh yeah, yeah, on either. Yeah, I'm so glad to hear that. And of course there's all kinds of information if people listening do wanna do some outreach at the state and local level, even if you're not a member, there's a ton of free resources on our website particularly in the industry reports area of our resources, both our policy council, as well as our committees are producing extremely helpful resources that you can download, print it out, take it to your local regulators, and have a chat with them and go through things like ideal suggested recommendations for policy. So check out our website, particularly the industry reports area there's a lot of information there and as we wrap up here, I just wanna mention our regional networking events, the cannabis caucuses and the industry socials are happening throughout the year. So please check those out, and of course the cannabis business Summit, and expo is happening in July and tickets are on sale and we're looking forward to it, this is our biggest trade show of the year. The website for that, for tickets is cannabis business Summit, dot com. So I'm looking forward to seeing you some of those events Francesca and I really appreciate you depending me on the show today to chat about our exciting industry. Yeah, oh I'm so happy to be here. I'm so glad we could have this talk because it's important too, and it's important to have as many people involved in the conversation as possible. It's the only way we can keep moving forward and getting the results that we need. You got it. Where can people find out more about alias? Can you can visit our website at AliasCann.com, that's aliascann dot com, and you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter as well, so you can always interact with us. We've got people like actually engaging, there's no robots at running anything, so we're real people and we love to talk to to you and can always email me at Francesca, at aliascann dot com. Awesome, thanks so much, Francesca. and thanks everybody for tuning in to another episode of NCIA’s cannabis industry voice. Until next time...

Advocacy
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The Solar Development Project

In this episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice, we are joined by Tom DiGiovanni, with California-based Canndescent. Some big news from Canndescent recently is the solar development project, which is a first of its kind in the cannabis industry. Bethany and Tom go into detail about the project and how it can change the future […]
In this episode of NCIA's Cannabis Industry Voice, we are joined by Tom DiGiovanni, with California-based Canndescent. Some big news from Canndescent recently is the solar development project, which is a first of its kind in the cannabis industry. Bethany and Tom go into detail about the project and how it can change the future of the cannabis industry. Sustainability is a big issue for everyone, not just in cannabis, and Earth Day being right around the corner some cannabis companies are stepping up their game to address ways to become more sustainable for the future. Canndescent is working hard to inspire such sustainability in an attempt to help the entire industry flourish. Tom specializes in providing top-notch finance, operations, and accounting expertise to fast-growth companies with a primary focus on consumer products, technology, real estate, and renewable energy. With more than two decades of executive level experience in a variety of high growth business environments, his career has been mainly focused on helping high growth startups and middle market companies deal with critical business needs - ranging from creating and implementing major strategic plans to dealing with tactical issues like cash flow, expense reduction, sales growth, etc.

Advocacy
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Disadvantages The U.S. Has In Cannabis Legalization

In this episode, we discuss disadvantages the U.S. has in cannabis legalization with Oscar Velasco-Schmitz of Dockside Cannabis. Aaron Varney, Maria Moses, & Oscar Velasco-Schmitz are the heart and soul of Dockside Cannabis, and the reason the company exists. All of them stem from backgrounds in either business, technology, or both- and their unique stories are […]
In this episode, we discuss disadvantages the U.S. has in cannabis legalization with Oscar Velasco-Schmitz of Dockside Cannabis. Aaron Varney, Maria Moses, & Oscar Velasco-Schmitz are the heart and soul of Dockside Cannabis, and the reason the company exists. All of them stem from backgrounds in either business, technology, or both- and their unique stories are what brought Dockside to life. In 2009, Oscar had been advocating for cannabis rights for years and was able to establish lasting relationships with people and policymakers like city attorney Pete Holmes, which helped to shape bits of the conversation around what cannabis policy for Washington could look like. He later connected Maria with someone who ran a medical collective, and the two of them agreed to move forward with their own cannabis shop. The U.S. is basically falling behind in the global market now with other countries legalizing cannabis for adults or at least medical use, and of course, they’re not subject to U.S. tax laws. They discuss if the U.S. is at a disadvantage due to these restrictions, as well as the fact that we’re seeing cosponsors on our legislation from BOTH sides of the aisle, both democrat and republican. That's due to our industry getting out there and educating them about our issues and putting a personal face on it. They speak about what kind of anecdotes or research we need to be sharing with those who are not yet supporters of our issues.   Transcription: Get informed get inspired and get connected.  Hello, thanks for tuning in to another episode of NCIS cannabis industry voice from your host Bethany Moore. I'm the Communications Manager at the National cannabis industry association today, I'm happy to introduce my guest based in Washington State Oscar Velasco of Dockside Cannabis, welcome to the show, Oscar. Good morning, Bethany, I'm very happy to be here, thanks for having me, absolutely great to connect with you.  So for our listeners, let's get to know you a bit more, let's talk about your background and any experiences you had before finding yourself serving the cannabis industry, running Dockside cannabis. Yeah, sure, well thanks for this opportunity to share a bit about myself. I'm a native of the beautiful cosmopolitan city, known as Mexico City. And my mother and I immigrated to the United States when I was two-years-old and so I've been privileged to be raised by culturally, and bilingual my entire life, and certainly that's had influences on my thinking and just knowing that there are other cultures and other modes of communication and understanding besides the dominant paradigm.  Leaving Mexico City, we moved to California and it was it the contrast because I was raised in an agriculturally rich and very rural region, of the SAN Laine, a Valley in California, so very, very stark contrast to a busy metropolitan city and one of the advantages of... Of being raised in this agricultural region was the access to the politics that were happening at the time.  My step-father was very involved in the United Farm Workers at a very... When I was very young, and I was exposed to political movements, and thinking and strategies and tactics and so at a very young age, I understood that to be able to make a significant impact, you needed to organize and mobilize resources and so that was great. I very quickly learned that farm living, was not necessarily something I wanted to do my entire life so I pursue education and I really took to, I really took to traditional school and that found me at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and here in California, in general, has a very, very long and rich history of Cannabis culture and cannabis exposure, both production. And how do I say, that's just like the sight of cannabis has definitely been inculcated throughout many, many decades in California. Sure, the culture. And specifically in San acres California. And for me, that was the first place that cannabis use was really normalized and where I was made aware that Okay, it's, "this is not, this is not the devil's weed. Growing up in the Central Valley in the sand Working Valley. There was definitely a very conservative political mindset, and the dominant paradigm was to teach children that drugs were bad, that was there was no other narrative there. Just drugs are bad. While the DARE rallies were fine and everybody had a good time and it was an opportunity to take a field trip with your classmates. It was a bit of an indoctrination. And so for me, having been exposed to the culture of Cannabis in Santa Cruz not all of Santa Cruz is this way, but a lot of the folks that I hung out with, that were responsible and respectful cannabis users, really, really helped to form my ideas about that. And just a bit about the background of my studies in Santa Cruz, I was lucky enough to study theoretical linguistics and education and philosophy and history of human consciousness anthropology, psychology, sociology a number of different topics. But what I ended up majoring in and doing research work in theoretical linguistics. C is what ended up bringing me to Washington State. I worked on a project and somebody at the Natural Language group at Microsoft took interest in my work and I had my first interview for the Microsoft Corporation in Atari, in half Moby California.  I... It was kind of an interesting set of circumstances, but little did I know, going to Santa Cruz, I went there to study math and then dear friend said, Oh yeah, think you'd really like linguistics, you should check out a couple of classes. And I did and I fell in love and loan. Behold, University of California, Santa Cruz has one of the top Linguistics departments in the world. So I was exposed to a very sophisticated level of thought technique and really just the scientific method with regard to, with regard to language, and so that led that led to that led to my career in software here in Seattle. Yeah, when nothing I've been exposed to cultures and politics and travel and art. And while at Microsoft, I studied business and economics, through mentorships and I've always been interested in civic structures, and so naturally with all of the culmination of all of those things, I started researching cannabis, law, and I began writing white papers, presenting, them to friends that were policy makers here in Seattle and LA, and behold all of them said "Well this subset, what? You're kind of crazy, but this is logical, this makes sense. And so a group of other very brave and folks that had the courage of their convictions to speak truth to convention we began forming a commercial model for medical cannabis here in Washington State.  Okay, when was that, what year was that?  That was in the year 2000... Late 2010, early 2001, got it right, yeah, and... And even before Washington State, I had medical cannabis laws. Thanks to then Senator Gene Colwell, in 1998, just three years after Prop 215 in California, and just to circle back, while I was in Santa Cruz, I ended up meeting the grandfather of a good friend and the gentleman was... You must have been in his late 80s, maybe early 90s and I was very well for himself. He was an executive at the Safeway corporation, kind of a conservative guy, at least from appearance, but his attitude in 95 was... Oh yeah, yeah. marijuana should be should be absolutely legal. So that was also a paradigm shift to me is seeing an elderly person who was well-educated and very successful in their career, not necessarily dread lock working at Aalto Creamery exposing that the cannabis was the source for good. So anyway, to say that the cannabis movement in Washington State has been strong for a long time, even before medical cannabis, we all know that the husband parallel markets reconciling demand-supply paradigms for cannabis for a very, very long time right, so having medical cannabis statutes in whatever jurisdiction allowed for a vehicle to have patient advocacy and to speak up and to say, "Hey we really we want to use this for medical purposes, and we should be allowed to do so and you can see there's been a lot of... There's been a lot of movement in that space it is. And now with the adult use initiatives that have passed through multiple jurisdictions in the US and across the globe right right, and now there's adult use cannabis for adults over 21 in Washington and you run the dispensary called Dockside cannabis. I'm honored to I'm honored to serve as a founder of Dockside cannabis. Yeah, this is true. And we have four stores in the Seattle Metropolitan area, and I don't know, great where honored to serve patients and adult use consumers. Fantastic, great thanks for telling us more about your background there. We're gonna take a quick commercial break and then we'll be right back to chat more with Oscar from Dockside cannabis. So stay tuned in NCIA's cannabis industry.  Alright, we're back on NCIA’s cannabis industry voice weekly podcast on cannabis Radio, I'm your host Bethany and we're talking with Oscar from Dockside cannabis based in the State of Washington, Oscar. So tell me more about what you're doing these days, today in the Seattle Metro area. You mentioned, of course, the operation of your four shops of Dockside cannabis. What else is going on up there? And how else are you involved? Yeah, so at... At this point, we're now starting to see not just normalization of attitudes towards cannabis, but normalization of business practices and normalization of infrastructure within the state of Washington. And so, to that end, we've had to really build a lot of the institutions that provide the foundation for such things to happen. One of those institutions is the cannabis Alliance, which I'm privileged to sit at this point, an adjunct board member of the organization we started off through Americans for Safe Access first doing patient advocacy that then morphed into an industry group called the Coalition for cannabis standards and ethics, and then, that organization merged, with different groups throughout the state. CS Collier canes centers and ethics was founded in Seattle and one of the... One of the demerits of only being a Seattle-based organization, was that we weren't really getting a lot of the voices from different parts of the States. We put together an outreach initiative to contact other folks that had interest and had opinions and had experiences throughout the state, and we found that there were other organizing bodies, and we decided to meld those organizations into the Coalition for cannabis into the cannabis. So it's a bigger part in... And through that organization, we represent a constituency of about 250 members throughout the state, and these are folks that are producers, processors, retailers folks in ancillary businesses such as HR consultants accountants bookkeepers soon and so forth. Any aspect that would feed into the cannabis supply chain, both directly and at an ancillary level so procurement of packaging, so on and so forth. And so that's something that's keeping me busy. I've also been privileged to be invited to sit on a couple of advisory boards both for the city of Seattle to the Washington State Senate and to provide just to provide input to our regulatory body which is the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. And they need to hear from you.  They certainly do they really do, they really do and I... So for as much black as they take on, I think people have to understand that this is a nascent industry and cultural shift of being able to normalize a good, in a good market that has already existed that has been reconciled in parallel markets before and so transitioning that and creating the infrastructure of the regulatory the regulatory underpinnings. It's a significant undertaking and so takes work to get it right is work to get it right. And so I think really patients gathering communication, it's all fundamental to making the system work. So that's the work that I'm doing on the policy side of things, on the regulatory side of things, on the business side of things, like I mentioned, we and my two partners operate four stores here in the Seattle area and now that that has normalized as well and as we've established our business rules and protocols and systems and so on, and so forth, this is allowed me to present a different things like continuing legal education seminars. And I was approached by somebody afterwards from the audience who said I need to write your brain, and so immediately. Wow, no, thank you, and I said, "Well let me talk to my group and see what we can put together. And so now I've now have stepped into an executive consultant role, where I serve it as advisor to private entities to institutional entities, as well, as a tribal entity here in Washington State. Yeah, and it's not a privilege to be able to work with all of the... Just different groups. So that's what's keeping me busy and the one to... Yeah, no, it's great to get involved in all of those things and make sure that the opinions and the information and the facts are available, so yeah, thanks for staying busy. I know it's probably a lot to take on, but... Oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And another thing I forgot to mention is that, I'm just talking about the work that I've been doing here in Washington state, a lot of the foundational work that I very happily did has transitioned into folks outside of the state of Washington reaching out to me for guidance, for information just for feedback and to learn about the experiences that we've had here in Washington, what we've implemented so I've been able to help folks talk about these topics in Arkansas and Missouri, in Tennessee and a broad in exchanges in Germany, in Israel, in France, in Italy, in Mexico and just essentially creating, creating this web of support to or what does a global shift in cannabis regulation, and statute. Yeah, we've only got a couple minutes left in this segment and I did wanna talk a bit about global markets, but first quickly banking and taxes are two huge issues for the cannabis industry and you are subject to those pretty awful federal tax code section 280E of the tax code, meaning, you can't deduct most normal business expenses. Can you quickly just talk about that and how it's impacting you and the need for reform? Yeah, okay, so, well your listeners must know the history of  280E. so I'm not gonna get into that, right? It's an interesting story as it's a very interesting story. But effectively what this does is the businesses that operate within the cannabis space that are actually touching the plant, as the code specifically says, Cannot take standard business deductions. Right, 'cause it's a "cisalpine exactly for trafficking of Schedule one or Schedule two narcotics. Okay, well they're very, very interesting. You can read the code, you can read a very narrow scope interpretation or very broad scope interpretation of that code. Consider the fact, consider the fact that the businesses that are state-licensed and regulated by jurisdictions are in concessionary relationships with the jurisdiction that oversees their business existence. Okay, without giving too much away, about our thinking about this, there are approaches that businesses can take to minimize the impact of this very, what I believe is not a lot that is unjustly applied to state licensed businesses. This is not trafficking. So clearly we need to update the law, we need to absolutely yeah, NCIA’s approach is to amend that section of the code to exempt state legal cannabis businesses. So, while getting that kind of amendment is a process in and of itself, of course, and we work through the various channels that we have with our GR team in DC. So yeah, obviously it needs to change, it's out of date, it doesn't make sense. We're in a whole new paradigm now, so it's just gotta change another thing Ethan, if I make the Congressional delegations, in Washington DC, from the different states need to know that those tax dollars that are what I believe are unjustly and perhaps illegally being pilford from these businesses are not staying in the state of those businesses, they're in fact they're being extracted by the federal government, and so the constituency of these representatives are being negatively impacted by an antiquated code that desperately needs to be updated, yeah. So this is something very important to note, and for some of your listeners that want to exchange if I may selfish selfishly say Please feel free, too. I don't know if you'll give my contact but feel free to send an email to info at doings dot com.  Cool, great, yeah, let's take our last commercial break here and we'll be right back to chat more with Oscar. stay tuned. We're back on NCIA’s's cannabis industry voice on cannabis radio, and we're chatting with Oscar from do side cannabis about all things cannabis. We've covered some deeper issues related to Section 28 of the tax code and how that's impacting the cannabis industry. Also banking, banking is a big deal in NCIA is extra excited about banking right now because we've had movement on the safe Banking Act the secure and fair enforcement Banking Act, which provides safe harbor for cannabis companies, however, it is only out of committee at this point, which is still a very big deal, but it still has its journey as a bill sitting on Capitol Hill making its way.  So, Oscar, talking about the banking crisis what's interesting is Washington State has actually made some progress on its own on this front for cannabis companies. Can you tell me more about what's going on in the things for that?  Absolutely, thanks Bethany. So, credit unions have really stepped up to serve the industry and Washington State, cool and while not all capital market products are available yet. Through these institutions, the primary operating functions that allow for businesses to operate day-to-day are in place, and they are under strict compliance rules around using these services, and again, it's up to the sole discretion of these private credit unions as to which business entities the bank, so there's a rigorous vetting process that goes on to be able to gain access so we do have a limited amount of banking services, albeit without the use of credit cards yet, because that's a completely separate set of protocols, right? Yeah, absolutely, well, that's great to hear. And while we're working on the bigger banking crisis nationally hopefully more credit unions in other states will step up and follow suit for the friendly credit unions we're finding in Washington State. That's great, a son and a... So yeah, let's jump to another topic real quick. Obviously in the US we're saying co-sponsors on our legislation that supports our industry on both sides of the isle Democrats and Republicans and we, the industry are getting out there and educating them. And putting our personal face on it. So, there's anecdotes and research that we're able to bring in and show these regulators and lawmakers to tell them what's holding us back. What has your experience been around some of that really important information, or maybe research that we still need absolutely, yeah.  So we still need to fund basic research around the plant, we need to fund basic research to really investigate at the molecular level. What are the benefits, specifically to different indications for medical purposes, what are health externalities, that we should be considering? This all requires basic research. These are a lot of the questions that I get from really big picture thinkers from institutions. What are the risks that are involved, what are people thinking? And unfortunately, because of the stigma and the statutes in the US, a lot of this research has not happened here a lot of it is happening in Israel now that medical cannabis is legal in, Europe. You're gonna start to see a lot more research happening there. And so really, the US is really, we're cutting ourselves at the knees by not doing this. And in fact, there's a vehicle here at the University of Washington in putting together a cannabinoid Research Center, which we deal with the pharmacology, psychopharmacology the plant biology, all aspects, and not just you do But also Washington State University to do the research on agronomy, the agricultural research as well and so a lot of efforts are underway, and the different jurisdictional legislature legislative bodies need to fund these efforts as does the federal government of America, truly...  Yeah, so before we wrap up the show here, yeah I'd like to mention one of our policy council papers about how the US is falling behind in the Global cannabis market, which is actually the name of the Policy Council paper we published. It can be found in two spots on NCIA’s website, it's in the industry reports section under the news and resources, and it's also in the policy council area, which is under the About Us so I highly recommend checking out that report how the US is falling behind in the global cannabis market. Okay, so before we head out, I wanna say thank you so much for being involved in "ncia you've been a member for many years, and I appreciate your involvement in the community, local and national, and I do hope to see you at lobby days this year in May, if you can make it, the game at one. Yeah, May 21st through 23rd, for more information about that, go to the cannabis industry, or lobby days 2019 and you must be a member of NCIA and you must register in advance to participate. So friendly reminder to those listening. So yeah, thank you again, Oscar it's always a pleasure to connect with you and thank you again for being a member of NCIA. Of course, yeah, I just wanna say NCIA was at the forefront of this effort, and it's really provided the megaphone and the platform for our voices to ring in the ears of our elected officials. So thank you for that NCIA mutual gratitude.  Alright, okay, thanks everyone for tuning in to this episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice, until next time.  

Community
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The Future Of Cannabis

The Future of Cannabis with Ari Cohen, Vice President of Operations with Dixie Brands. Dixie began as a smaller operation about ten years ago and has since then has expanded exponentially and is in almost every dispensary in Colorado. That means a lot of fast scaling up and hiring a lot of people. At Dixie, they […]
The Future of Cannabis with Ari Cohen, Vice President of Operations with Dixie Brands. Dixie began as a smaller operation about ten years ago and has since then has expanded exponentially and is in almost every dispensary in Colorado. That means a lot of fast scaling up and hiring a lot of people. At Dixie, they believe that cannabis is powerful, that quality is important and that accurate dosing is everything. Which is why, since 2010, they’ve been leading the industry through research, education, and advocacy. Dixie has also established themselves as the trusted source for innovative, safe, effective and delicious cannabis products along the way. Dixie handcrafts every product with pure-extracted THC and a process they are proud of. They go far above and beyond the mandated batch testing and triple lab test every product they sell. Because when it comes to cannabis, consistency, and accuracy are highly important. Given Ari’s experience in the restaurant industry prior to joining Dixie, where restaurants are launching and expanding and scaling up, we talk about how the skills gained in that sector have helped him at his position.

Advocacy
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Cutting-Edge And Versatile Vaporizer Products

In this episode, we are joined by Ali Abouzalam of Bee Nails based in Fort Collins, Colorado, producing vaporizer products. Bee Nails has donated to and volunteered with local charities such as the National MS Foundation and Colorado Beekeeper’s Association. Bee-Nails was founded in 2015 and is the Colorado Vaporizer Company that puts its people […]
In this episode, we are joined by Ali Abouzalam of Bee Nails based in Fort Collins, Colorado, producing vaporizer products. Bee Nails has donated to and volunteered with local charities such as the National MS Foundation and Colorado Beekeeper’s Association. Bee-Nails was founded in 2015 and is the Colorado Vaporizer Company that puts its people before its profits. Their passion is to deliver “The Buzz Effect” through providing cutting-edge and versatile vaporizer products. They are an industry leader because of you, the Colony. Bee Nails continuously innovate their designs for their E-nails, E-Nail Kits, Wax Vaporizers, and Dab Rigs primarily based on Colony feedback.

Community
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Israeli Cannabis Companies

In this episode, we speak with Sara Gluck from the America Israel Cannabis Association. AICA was started in 2015 in order to foster collaboration between North American and Israeli cannabis companies and individuals. AICA provides value to not only members but to the larger cannabis community in a number of ways. Sara is an experienced […]
In this episode, we speak with Sara Gluck from the America Israel Cannabis Association. AICA was started in 2015 in order to foster collaboration between North American and Israeli cannabis companies and individuals. AICA provides value to not only members but to the larger cannabis community in a number of ways. Sara is an experienced healthcare entrepreneur that fell into the cannabis space. Sara has experience in consulting, marketing, and operations roles for both her own and other companies. She received her MBA from the University of Virginia – Darden and her B.S. in Advertising from the University of Texas – Austin. She currently resides in Denver with her dog, Lily.

Community

Innovators And Pioneers Of The Cannabis Industry

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. John Oram of NUG Inc. NUG is an Oakland-based, vertically-integrated cannabis company with strong historical growth and performance. From its cutting-edge technology to its award-winning products and dedication to community involvement, the company is comprised of true creators, innovators, and pioneers, taking pride in their craft in […]
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. John Oram of NUG Inc. NUG is an Oakland-based, vertically-integrated cannabis company with strong historical growth and performance. From its cutting-edge technology to its award-winning products and dedication to community involvement, the company is comprised of true creators, innovators, and pioneers, taking pride in their craft in an organic and efficient style that sets the industry wide standard from seed to sale. The company was founded in 2014 and houses the largest cultivation operation in Northern California across three facilities, along with world-class R&D, extraction, distillation, and post-processing laboratories. Dr. Oram holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in environmental chemistry and engineering from the University of California Los Angeles and bachelor’s degrees in analytical chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Oram. has a deep knowledge of Cannabis and the Cannabis industry. Co-founded CW Analytical Laboratories to establish standardized testing and certification protocols to ensure the safety and quality of medical Cannabis. CW Analytical Laboratories is now recognized as the most trusted analytical laboratory in California.

Community
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Food Safety In The Cannabis Industry

In this episode, we speak with Trevor Morones, the CEO and President of Control Point. They secured Control Point through U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the dot com was unavailable therefore they locked in dot consulting. That term is often spoken with a bitter taste due to the consulting world filled with billable hours and […]
In this episode, we speak with Trevor Morones, the CEO and President of Control Point. They secured Control Point through U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the dot com was unavailable therefore they locked in dot consulting. That term is often spoken with a bitter taste due to the consulting world filled with billable hours and unseen results. This led Control Point to be liaisons, where work is performed on the line or in the trenches to engage with teams. They discuss the big-picture challenges and needs of the cannabis industry as it relates to food safety, as well as the ideal as far as food safety regulations go, plus what lessons can we learn from other non-cannabis food safety controls industry, like the fresh produce or meat industry.

Community
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Food Safety In The Cannabis Industry

In this episode, we speak with Trevor Morones, the CEO and President of Control Point about food safety in the cannabis industry.  When they secured Control Point through U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the dot com was unavailable therefore they locked in dot consulting. That term is often spoken with a bitter taste due to […]
In this episode, we speak with Trevor Morones, the CEO and President of Control Point about food safety in the cannabis industry.  When they secured Control Point through U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the dot com was unavailable therefore they locked in dot consulting. That term is often spoken with a bitter taste due to the consulting world filled with billable hours and unseen results. This led Control Point to be liaisons, where work is performed on the line or in the trenches to engage with teams. They discuss the big-picture challenges and needs of the cannabis industry as it relates to food safety, as well as the ideal as far as food safety regulations go, and what lessons can we learn from other non-cannabis food safety controls industry, like the fresh produce or meat industry. Find out more about Trevor and Control Point at controlpoint.consulting/profile

Community
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Reducing Opioid Dependence With Cannabis

Tune in to the latest episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice! Reducing opioid dependence with cannabis, and much more with Rocco Iannapollo from Tundra Restaurant Supply. Rocco is the Business Development Director at Tundra Restaurant Supply, now serving the cannabis industry as Cannabis Kitchen Supplies! Tundra has served the commercial restaurant industry for more than 25 years. They […]
Tune in to the latest episode of NCIA's Cannabis Industry Voice! Reducing opioid dependence with cannabis, and much more with Rocco Iannapollo from Tundra Restaurant Supply. Rocco is the Business Development Director at Tundra Restaurant Supply, now serving the cannabis industry as Cannabis Kitchen Supplies! Tundra has served the commercial restaurant industry for more than 25 years. They talk about his background and experience prior to finding himself serving the cannabis industry, his reason for being in the cannabis industry movement, as well as the fact that the public is becoming aware of the opioids crisis, and how cannabis helps. Enjoy this deep dive into reducing opioid dependence with cannabis.

Community
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Differing Regulations For Cannabis Products Versus CBD/Hemp-Derived Products

In this episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice we are joined by Edmond Torbati, of Founder/CEO of Label Choices. Label Choices is a leading label company that has deep roots with some of the industries most recognized labels. For more than a decade, Label Choices has worked to deliver the highest quality labels and the best […]
In this episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice we are joined by Edmond Torbati, of Founder/CEO of Label Choices. Label Choices is a leading label company that has deep roots with some of the industries most recognized labels. For more than a decade, Label Choices has worked to deliver the highest quality labels and the best possible service. Label Choices is an environmentally conscious company that can provide your company with solutions to help minimize waste and lessen the impact on the environment. They speak about the differing regulations for cannabis products versus CBD/Hemp-derived products, and about some of the differences for those products and how that impacts an entrepreneurs experience in the industry.

Making The Cannabis Industry Bigger, Better, And More Sophisticated

In this episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice we are joined by Patrick Rea, Founder of Canopy Boulder. He has a diverse background that includes M&A, strategic management consulting, venture finance, B2B media, e-commerce, CEO coaching, and entrepreneur mentorship. Canopy Boulder is a venture fund and accelerator focused on the cannabis industry. They speak about […]
In this episode of NCIA's Cannabis Industry Voice we are joined by Patrick Rea, Founder of Canopy Boulder. He has a diverse background that includes M&A, strategic management consulting, venture finance, B2B media, e-commerce, CEO coaching, and entrepreneur mentorship. Canopy Boulder is a venture fund and accelerator focused on the cannabis industry. They speak about how they're making the cannabis industry bigger, better, and more sophisticated, as well as what type of people or companies that Canopy Boulder helps.

Join the movement

NCIA is leading the cannabis industry's unified and coordinated campaign to ensure our business sector is treated fairly and has the opportunity to reach its full potential. Now - more than ever - is the time to invest in your business and the future of the industry by becoming a member.