Ep. 450: Carlos Curbelo

July 18, 2019

Carlos Curbelo joins us and shares his beliefs on how solving issues regarding immigration can help sort out other legislative problems: “I think that solving immigration is important because as we discussed earlier, we need workers. We need an immigration system that’s compatible with our economy. It has to be fair. We’ve always been a welcoming nation. It speaks to our values. But most importantly, if we solve immigration, that’s when we actually start healing our country’s politics, healing our society. That not only is healthy, but will make it easier to reach consensus on other issues like cannabis reform, like climate change and what to do about that”


Seth Adler: Former US congressman Carlos Curbelo returns. Welcome to Cannabis Economy, I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes canneconomy.com. That's two Ns and the word economy. We've got a ton of direct insight up on canneconomy.com, including a basically monthly column from Carlos Curbelo himself called Middle Ground. This is an audio version of that. He is also joining us at the digital workshop that we're doing featuring top level insight for business, policy, and science on what is and what should be happening now in cannabis. First, a word from Bedrocan and then former US congressman Carlos Curbelo.

Seth Adler: Bedrocan is a patient driven global pharmaceutical minded cannabis company. Their entire end to end process is GMP certified through Dutch and ultimately European authorities. Bedrocan is the market leader in Europe for medical cannabis and has been the sole supplier to the Dutch government for 16 years. Through the Dutch government, Bedrocan provides product to 15 countries currently. As a science based company, Bedrocan invests in clinical research. The Leiden University conducted a double blind placebo controlled clinical trial on fibromyalgia with Bedrocan products, which yielded promising results. They're now working on a followup to that study. Bedrocan is also working on the extent to which cannabis can reduce our reliability on opioids. Bedrocan believes that clinical research is key for the future of the company, standardized product, the industry and the patient. Visit bedrocan.com for more information.

Seth Adler: Okay. This is Middle Ground with congressman Carlos Curbelo. Congressman, thank you so much for your time.

Carlos Curbelo: Good to be with you, Seth.

Seth Adler: It's good to see you. So immigration reform is one of these issues where you actually didn't mind speaking up a little bit.

Carlos Curbelo: A little bit.

Seth Adler: Yeah, and so it's one of the issues that we want to talk about here. First, let's kind of take the cannabis door in to immigration reform. You know, how would we do that? What do you see as the connection between the two?

Carlos Curbelo: So immigration is mostly an economic issue. I mean it's also an issue that speaks to our culture and to our values. But primarily it's an economic issue. It's about labor and consumers. And we're at a great time in this country as far as the economy goes, a lot of good news. Just recently another strong jobs report, unemployment keeps dropping. And that's something to celebrate until companies can't find people to hire. And I think we're getting pretty close to that point as our unemployment drops up closer to the 3% number.

Carlos Curbelo: That's when immigration comes into play. We're not going to, magically have a lot of babies in this country that are going to grow up quickly to join those labor force. So immigration is really the only solution. It's the lifeblood of our country. It's the reason the United States is what it is today. And as the labor market continues to tighten, the cannabis industry, which is growing thankfully all over the country and in a majority of states, cannabis companies are adding jobs. That's wonderful news. We're north of 200,000 jobs in the industry. That means 200,000 families, households that depend on this industry.

Carlos Curbelo: But if we can't find workers for the industry, well that's bad news not just for companies but really for consumers, because it's going to be harder to get the products you want at the prices you can afford. So that's why immigration, you know, it's become a cultural subject. It's become a wedge issue over the last decade. But really it's a simple economic issue, and that's one of the many reasons why we need to get it right.

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