Ep. 506: Saul Kaye, iCan

January 20, 2020

Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of iCAN, briefly joins us and begins by sharing his thoughts about the cannabis market in Malta: “I don’t like cannabis markets that are export only. If you’re not treating your own patients, you’re doing a disservice to your country […] it’s a business thing, not a patient thing, and I think there should always be a balance.” Kaye also discusses potential mergers and acquisitions coming up this year and notes that, although there’s been a recent turndown in the industry, things will likely improve by April. Kaye believes that, across the board, hemp should legally be allowed to contain up to 1% THC. He also discusses the unending future growth of the cannabis market, the commodification of CBD, the future of adult use markets, and more.


Seth Adler: Saul Kaye 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. First, a word from our supporter and then Saul Kaye.
Seth Adler: I've known the family behind Medicine Man for the past eight years. Pioneers in Colorado, the family business helped set the path for global adult use cannabis. mg Magazine has voted them top 50 cannabis companies to work for, two consecutive years running. Check out their website at medicinemandenver.com or visit one of their locations in Denver, Aurora, Thornton or Longmont the next time you're in Colorado to understand how one family has helped chart the course for the next great American industry.
Seth Adler: You can hear the laughter of Boris Blatnik in the background. We're in Malta. It's Saul Kaye.
Saul Kaye: Hello, Seth.
Seth Adler: This is crazy town, right?
Saul Kaye: It is. I've seen so many people here in Malta. Who knew?
Seth Adler: Who knew? Well, what do you think of Malta, because you and I have never named checked Malta before.
Saul Kaye: No.
Seth Adler: What do you think of Malta as a cannabis market, Saul?
Saul Kaye: I don't like cannabis markets that are export only. If you're not treating your own patients, you're doing a disservice to your country.
Seth Adler: "So we are ensuring that it's medical and so we can't necessarily do a lot with this number of patients, and we're making sure to export it. We'll take your business though if you want to manufacture here."
Saul Kaye: Well, that's it. So it's a business thing, not a patient thing, and I think there should always be a balance.
Seth Adler: Okay. Not a balance yet?
Saul Kaye: No.
Seth Adler: Have you noticed there's a little bit of a crunch? Have you noticed that it's not so liquid in cannabis?
Saul Kaye: It's a challenge, I think, which will lead to an opportunity in a huge amount of distressed assets in M&A coming early next year, I would say.
Seth Adler: Hundreds of millions of assets unfunded, is what I hear.
Saul Kaye: Yes.
Seth Adler: Those are the numbers?
Saul Kaye: Yes.
Seth Adler: That's crazy town.
Saul Kaye: There's a whole turndown in the industry, yeah.
Seth Adler: And so what does that mean? What does it mean in 2020? What am I going to see?
Saul Kaye: Well, I think it'll turn around by April, 2020.
Seth Adler: How is it going to turn around that fast? People don't even know that it's this short, you know what I'm saying?
Saul Kaye: So a lot of production is coming online. As our production starts to hit the shelves, it is getting sold. Every gram of cannabis being produced right now is sold. Maybe there's some glut in Canada but not from what I'm seeing and maybe in certain product sets.
Seth Adler: The folks in Oregon, I'll tell you there's a little bit of a glut.
Saul Kaye: Well, Oregon made-
Seth Adler: That's an economy within an economy-
Saul Kaye: It's a massive mistake.
Seth Adler: Well, that's a different conversation.
Saul Kaye: But a lot is coming online and that is going to be a driver again of better revenues than have been shown, and also a lot of the money was raised to date on a dream. "I'm going to be a grower, I'm going to be a producer, I'm going to be in international and I've took that money and I've gone and set it up."

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