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We have the distinct pleasure of being joined by Sue Taylor a California state certified cannabis educator who recently secured a license for a dispensary in Berkeley- ICANN Health Center. We discuss gaining the license but also dive in on potential of cutting that fistful of pills seniors take to just a few. We also touch on race relations and the power of education. But David Dinenberg first joins us to talk about Microsoft. Yes, he takes us through just how the Kind Financial Microsoft partnership occurred.
Both interviews were done digitally so bear with us.
The MCBA July Spotlight Episode.

Transcript:

So both of these interviews were done digitally, so bear with us. Sue Taylor proceeded by David Dannenberg. Okay, so we've got David Dine

Speaker 1: and Berg from kind financial. You might know him from the New York Times or any paper in the world, I guess from a couple of months ago. Uh, David, what the hell happened?

Speaker 3: We partnered with Microsoft in the cupboard government solution division in seeking government contracts in the cannabis space.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So, um, you know, anybody that I talked to a that doesn't know you says that double that can't be right. There's got to be something wrong there. Um, and then everybody that does know you kind of looks at me and smiles, you know, I don't know what that means, but, but for the, for the folks that don't know you, how do you know, take us through the first kind of outreach to Microsoft or the other way.

Speaker 3: How did this all happen? Fundamentally, I believe that people and companies and ceos are only as good as to people around them. And I've made a conscious effort over the last couple of years of trying to bring in people that can not only invest but can open doors for me and as well as for obviously kind of financial. So I'm fortunate enough to have a, uh, an advisor and partner in a gentleman from Philadelphia where I come from, who had a previous relationship inside of the healthcare division of Microsoft. So he made it very soft introduction for me. Uh, I spoke to the gentleman. I got bounced around internally inside of Microsoft for quite some time. Eventually I ended up talking to, uh, one of the leads of the, uh, you know, the government division of Microsoft and, you know, we had a very open and honest conversation about how we both look at the industry and what the future is.

Speaker 3: Rejection of the industry might or might not be a. But the one thing that we both agreed upon was that compliance is the key for, for every heavy, heavily regulated industry. And, and Microsoft has a business, obviously it's a large behemoth obviously, but you know, they have different divisions inside and do different things and they have a specific division inside of Microsoft, uh, that, that looks at government opportunities throughout the United States. Whether that stays municipalities, counties, townships, whatever that might be a Microsoft as a company that likes to be in a position that if they don't have a software solution, they want to have a partner that has a software solution. So that's really big picture how the conversation internally started with them. It took a long time. You know, it took several months, I guess long time. Not that long. It took probably between six and nine months

Speaker 1: for Microsoft. That actually doesn't even sound like that long of a period of time,

Speaker 3: which is actually why I stopped myself from saying it was a long time. But yeah, for, for, you know, in the cannabis space, you know, six, nine months that it took for them to say yes, you know, cannabis probably the industry probably changed three times since then. Right. But they moved much slower than the industry goes, but you know, they'd look at this as, you know, we don't touch the product, they don't touch the product. We are providing services that are a necessity for governments enabled to push legalization forward and to make sure that the cannabis industry is. If the foundation is a compliant and for the clients compliant foundation,

Speaker 1: and do you think that was the key that, uh, you know, it was the government kind of piece of this. It sounds like that's what it's all about.

Speaker 3: One hundred percent. Yeah, absolutely. One hundred percent. I mean, obviously, um, you know, every business in this industry, we all, we all clamor for, for, for the genesee and credibility, uh, that's something that I take very seriously, you know, from my investors to my advisory board, to my legal team and all that kind of stuff. Um, and this was no different from me, which was a, you know, we're looking for a competitive edge and whatever we can do and quite frankly, we got lucky that I work hard. Sure. But you don't get lucky with were hard work and I understand that, but, uh, you know, they, I in the right place, the right time. But I do think that, you know, our team who's around us, who's inside of our company, how we look at the industry, um, the fact that, you know, I like to believe that, you know, we're very transparent. Incredible company that's doing good things and I think they fundamentally believe that compliance is the backbone of every event, of any industry. And they were very interested in looking at that. Yes.

Speaker 1: Alright. So then let's go, go backwards in time and let's figure out how you got to that point because it does sound like you had a. yeah. Had a warm, a kind of introduction which, which works out well obviously. Um, you know, uh, all the way back when you and I were introduced to each other in 2013, which is about what, 25 years ago, um, you know. Yeah, exactly. So, so go from the initial kind of thought of kind financial up through, you know, accurate, soft up through the whole thing. When you first started a kind financial, what did you have in mind? What did you have in store for yourself?

Speaker 3: Funnier because you and I first met in Denver 2013. My company was called back in. If you remember, and you know, when I lived in Philadelphia and I saw a 60 minutes episode on the emergency medical marijuana, you know, the, the part of that episode that I gravitated towards was the lack of financial services, lack of pranking, all cash, no credit cards, all that kind of stuff. And so I originally being naive back then saw the opportunity, yeah, you know, I'll buy a bank, I'll start a bank and I'll solve the problem that way, you know, I learned very, very quickly that it's very difficult, you know, the United States has an issued a new banking charter at the federal level in over 10 years at this point. Uh, and they were not going to issue their first one for, for cannabis bank, a schedule one substance.

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