Because Washington state’s cannabis economy began with such an excess of operators, there is currently a massive consolidation process taking place, according to Alex Cooley, co-founder of Solstice. Because of that excess, there were, naturally, some operators who conducted business poorly. As a result, Washington’s market and price point essentially collapsed (luckily, the economy has balanced out since then.) Cooley also touches upon the Oregon export bill and believes that legal export will ultimately lead to a better, safer cannabis industry. While limiting licensures may not be the best idea, Cooley instead suggests a merit-based system: “so long as you can meet the standards that are put forward by the state, then you can receive licensure. And I think as more and more these states have come online, we’ve got a firmer and firmer grasp of what that merit looks like.”
Seth Adler: Alex Cooley returns. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com, that's two Ns and the word economy, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. You can go to canneconomy.com and listen to basically five years of me and Alex having conversations like these. It's been that long, so do check that out. Also, check out this message from MedMen and then Alex Cooley.
Seth Adler: MedMen is the most recognizable cannabis retailer in the US with operations across the country and flagship stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Recently, MedMen entered Florida for the first time, the third-largest medical cannabis market where the company is licensed for 35 total stores. It's all part of MedMen's impressive footprint, which currently spans 86 licenses, including pending acquisitions. Learn more about how MedMen is creating a safer, happier and healthier world at MedMen.com.
Seth Adler: Yeah, it's Alex Cooley.
Alex Cooley: And Bruce.
Seth Adler: Well behind back there.
Alex Cooley: Over there.
Seth Adler: That'll be a different thing, completely.
Alex Cooley: I'll yell in the background and hiss.
Seth Adler: That's, I think, cogent. I think that that makes sense. That adds up.
Alex Cooley: Right.
Seth Adler: Right.
Alex Cooley: Right.
Seth Adler: You're a big algo algorithm guy, right?
Alex Cooley: I try to be. I never did great at math but I see patterns.
Seth Adler: You're aware of numbers and letters.
Alex Cooley: Yes. I am aware of them. I am absolutely aware then.
Seth Adler: You're okay if they coexist.
Alex Cooley: Yeah, I'm totally comfortable with that. I mix the numbers up but not the letters.
Seth Adler: Okay. Oh, yeah. I see.
Alex Cooley: I reverse them.
Seth Adler: Right. Yeah, yeah. Me too. Like you remember SAT. You remember, did you take that test?
Alex Cooley: No. No, it didn't.
Seth Adler: Oh, really?
Alex Cooley: Yeah, I got out of that one.
Seth Adler: How?
Alex Cooley: Yeah. I just went straight to a community college.
Seth Adler: Oh, okay. So then you're like, "I don't need to take that."
Alex Cooley: I don't like your rules, man. That's kind of been a pattern for a while.
Seth Adler: Yeah. But aren't you still the Chief Executive Officer of a cannabis company?
Alex Cooley: Oh, no. No, no, no.
Seth Adler: That's gone.
Alex Cooley: I was never the Chief Executive Officer.
Seth Adler: Oh.
Alex Cooley: No, no, no, no, no.
Seth Adler: That's so interesting that that's what my perception is.
Alex Cooley: That's a lot of people's perception, actually.
Seth Adler: Well, because you were the... Would you call yourself the head dog? What did you call yourself?
Alex Cooley: I think the reason why a lot of people considered me the CEO... Well, two reasons. One, it's rampant in the cannabis industry that people love to get themselves titles. Two, I've been the face. I've been Mr. Solstice forever. So my business partner, who is the president of the company, doesn't come to these things.
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