Q2 Column Highlights:
Biography – Dr. Sharon Sznitman
- Everyone can learn from the sociological angle. But a sense of alienation makes it possible to discern more clearly how society shapes our personal lives.
- Instead of looking only at the possible damage from using cannabis, scientists are now examining the benefits of using it.
- A study I have conducted shows that exposure to media messages about medical cannabis makes people think that cannabis use is less harmful and increases support for the legalization of cannabis consumption at leisure.
The Present – Betty Aldworth
- If you look at the history of the industry, essentially all of the early actors and adopters came from advocacy.
- While navigating this space between advocacy and industry, we must build an industry that realizes the values of the work. We must protect the values that will ensure long-term sustainability and social acceptance of the cannabis industry.
- The work of restitution of the harms of the war on drugs can’t fully come from government. It needs to come from an industry that is dedicated to employment practices, community, and corporate social responsibility practices that really acknowledge where we’re coming from and address those issues head on.
Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 – Julianna Carella
- While hemp-derived CBD producers should be able to go get a bank account with no issue, that’s not necessarily the case.
- The DEA no longer has the authority to regulate hemp. But the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has made it clear that they intend to regulate along with the Department of Agriculture.
- The guidelines around what producers can’t do are well known. However, the guidelines around what producers can do seems to have everyone confused.
- Producers need to understand what the regulations are and make sure that they stay within those guidelines. Don’t look at what other brands are doing to get that information. Talk to people that actually know.
Health – Rick Trojan
- Hemp, from a health standpoint, is a superfood for animals and people.
- There are hundreds of cannabinoid extracts from the plant, including CBD, THC, CBN, CBG and so on. We have receptors within a mammal body called CB receptors. Thus, there is a built-in relationship between the plant and our bodies.
- As we start replenishing cannabinoids into our system, our bodies start healing and naturally communicating better. Meaning it can heal better, move better, and have less anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
Mass Incarceration vs. Solving Incarceration – Neill Franklin
- Even though legislation is changing and we have made great strides in bringing this war on cannabis, or cannabis prohibition to an end, we’re still making hundreds of thousands of marijuana-possession arrests every year in this country. So, we still have a very long way to go.
- People of color are still being arrested and jailed at higher rates than their Caucasian brothers and sisters. That, in and of itself, is just an indication that we still have a serious race issue to deal with in this country that goes beyond cannabis.
- Law enforcement is going to continue to push back. Because they think that the more people they search, the more guns they’re going to find, the harder the drugs they’re going to find.
Portland Regulations – Jeannette Horton
- Every market has taken a slightly different approach to regulation in the cannabis industry. Each state is a unique market with its regulations creating a different cannabis economy.
- There is a tremendous amount of competition, which makes it tough. And it means that not everyone will survive. We’re still in the middle of these kinds of experiments state-by-state.
- There are some extraordinarily well-positioned, well-run, strong leadership cannabis businesses in Oregon. They’re owned by people of color who aren’t getting funded. That lines up with traditional industry; outside of cannabis, people of color and women do not get funded. That construct provides a massive opportunity.
Todd Rundgren – Don Fertman
- That’s where we’re going with this self-destruction idea – that there’s something inside of us that feels that we’re messed up and we don’t deserve it. So, when the moment of grabbing the golden ring comes, as it gets closer and closer, and we reach out our hand, we suddenly drop the hand just as we have that opportunity to grab it, because something inside said, “We don’t deserve it.” The alcohol is talking, the drugs are talking, and they talk for us and they take over.
- He actually used drugs to be creative, as many of us have done. But he was in a situation where it expanded his mind and then he went onto something else. So, the addiction didn’t take over, but it did influence. Drugs did influence his work at some time and caused him to, if anything, be commercially self-destructive.
- I think in reality, those of us who have a proclivity towards addiction that addictive personality comes out in just about anything we do.
Approach – Kris Krane
- There appears to be a tendency from some business folks to try to reinvent the wheel. As an industry, we need to be doing more to support the advocacy organizations that already exist. Without them, none of us would exist as an industry or as businesses.
- When considering industry as a tool for advocacy and policy change, we need to be mindful of our business practices.
- As new players enter the market and see this as a business opportunity, they should be brought around to advocacy by being exposed to how it advances their business goals.
- The development of the industry and the ability of people to put capital to work in terms of product development is exposing people to cannabis in a way that wasn’t possible under prohibition.
Responsibility – Betty Aldworth
- For a company that’s looking to attract this dynamic, talented, whip-smart group of employees or customers, an effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is critical.
- Very few cannabis companies have gone through a rigorous and comprehensive process to define a set of values for aligning their CSR activities. That kind of process generates, internally, in an almost organic fashion, the sort of day-to-day practices that create a more appealing environment to younger employees and customers.
- If a company can look at its employment practices and policies to figure out ways in which to move power from top-level decision-makers to the broader team, then this also distributes accountability from top-level employees to the entire team.
- We’ve also had to make, and need to continue to make, deep investments into advocacy work. We need to legally protect and expand protections for the industry. Prohibition isn’t over yet, so we do still need to make significant investments in fixing those problems.
1st in Colorado – Chuck Smith
- Today, we look around and we see upwards of a mid to high 70 percent approval rating for some form of legal cannabis in the United States. We see country after country looking to build a legal program. But back just four or five years ago, there were more people that were detractors from the industry than proponents for it.
- Of course, you don’t wake up on a Tuesday and start selling product on a Wednesday. You have to really anticipate and build the packaging, labeling, formulations, and perform testing. All of these things take a lot of time as you’re working with third party suppliers and people trying to build things from scratch.
- If you can stand up to that pressure and those constant changes, to the trials and tribulations that we’ve gone through in this industry, and you can do it with others, then there’s a bond formed both between companies as well as within your own.
The 2000s in Cannabis Activism – Debby Goldsberry
- As we morphed through the decade, suddenly certain parts of the cannabis industry started to turn towards this kind of commercialism. People in the cannabis industry started to say things like, “Well, you’re not wearing a white buttoned up shirt with a collar, a tie, and a jacket. So you’re not really appropriate for the industry anymore.” We really saw big business start to edge in.
- I thought the power of the plant would really change the way people think. As it turns out, the power of money is so powerful that it can sometimes trump even biology.
- We’re all being hit in the face right now of how deep racism and how separated our society is on basic ideas and morals. Maybe we’re going to get the outcome we want in the long run. Baby steps are nice, and evolution is nice. I think we need both.
- Let’s hope we get some institutional knowledge around the fact that regulations are important in the cannabis industry. They’re happening all around us, and we have to be a participant in coming to the table and understanding that we’ve got a far right, a far left, and we’ve got a moderate in the middle. Compromise is necessary when it comes to making regulations and law.
Energy – Rick Trojan
- You’re going to fill your motorcycle with [hemp seed] oil and you spill it everywhere on the farm, and that oil is actually not toxic to the ground. You could actually absolutely spill it on your salad and then take it and eat it.
- It’s so absolutely incredible that same seed can provide an energy source for current automobiles and current diesel engines, and can also provide an energy source for our bodies.
- There’s a lot of cellulose material which is the inside stalk of the plant, and that cellulose material can be burned with coal. It burns hotter and it can help the coal burn hotter, longer, and cleaner.
- From an energy and BTU output, [hemp seed oil] performs just as well as corn or anything else, more or less, that’s being used for thermal energy.
Sustainability – Carlos Curbelo
- There are a lot of ways that cannabis and marijuana are related to the climate. Obviously, it’s an agricultural product at the end of the day, and we’re seeing how changes in the climate are stressing farmers all over our country. We’re seeing more extreme weather and droughts. Obviously, warmer temperatures in parts of the country affect certain crops, and marijuana is no exception to this reality.
- As we continue studying the effects of climate change and working toward mitigating it and adapting to the change that’s inevitable, certainly the marijuana industry is going to have to be considered. Perhaps some investments have to be made, because again, marijuana is really becoming a significant part of our economy.
- Convincing people on the fence who are suspect of something requires one-on-one conversation. You need to speak to people in a way where the issue becomes relatable to them.
Endogenous Cannabinoid System – Julianna Carella
- Based on the fact that cannabis has been globally illegal has led to a lack of true science on the books. True clinical trials need to occur. Science needs to happen. In the meantime, we depend on what we experience.
- If an animal consumes too much CBD, the worst thing that can happen is a very long, sweet nap. Cannabinoids are safe and non-toxic, and this gives pet parents a lot of comfort.
- Because they mimic our endogenous cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids have the power to actually make or break our health.
- The endocannabinoid system in animals regulates peripheral and central nervous system, immunological system, organs, and vital physiological functions. It basically insures the major systems of the body works synergistically.
Mass Incarceration vs. Solving Incarceration Part II – Neill Franklin
- One thing that we must think of when we hear the terms over-incarceration, mass incarceration, etc., is that our goal should be no incarceration. The same way we talk about murders. What’s a reasonable number of murders in the City of Baltimore? Zero.
- We basically have legislated morality, and that’s something that we never should have done. Morality is something for you and your family’s community to decide – your pastor, your baseball coach, your math teacher, your psychiatrist, etc. If we were to allow the family and the community to police morality, we would chop off a big chunk of criminalization.
- Schools, communities, religion or community centers, families – these groups can all be a part of the change by stepping up their game in the sense of a restorative justice model where the community takes control over what’s occurring within itself.
- If someone does something to harm someone else, there needs to be a community-based process for rectifying that behavior and bringing the victim and the offender together in a process to help remedy that issue. Educate everyone involved so that it doesn’t happen again.
’97 – ’00 – Ethan Nadelmann
- These were tricky times, but we had a huge victory in ’98. Then we moved – the ensuing years were the years that we had to get these initiatives implemented. Some states began to move. Nobody was exactly sure what we were doing. This was before the days of legally setting up a medical marijuana dispensary.
- It was all about ensuring that individuals with a medical need and a recommendation from a doctor could grow their own cannabis or obtain it. Their caregivers needed protecting if they helped patients grow or provided it.
- It was a very tricky process. The public opinion was on our side. It made us confident. These victories were by no means inevitable. None of them won by huge amounts, but we won by enough to feel confident.
- That victory of Proposition 36 was the single greatest victory for sentencing reform since the repeal of alcohol prohibition. It essentially derailed the criminal justice prison industrial juggernaut in California for a year or two. Then it made our opponents get it back on the tracks, and the system kept growing. But, we derailed that system.
Company Vision = Industry Mission – David Hua
- This movement is kind of just the baton being passed to us to continue to move it forward. Right? It’s not like the way it is now is perfect. It’s far from it. There’s a lot to do. There’s progress, but we have to keep pushing ahead in order to make it work for everybody.
- You have also the aspirational. What things could be and how do we get there? Connecting the dots backward from that vision.
- What’s crazy about this industry, is everyone has so many different perspectives. It’s so massive. To try and get a collective vision on where it goes, and how it goes, is going to take time. It’s also going to take collecting these perspectives so we can align and have the right view of it.
- The best way that you can serve the cannabis industry and continue to pass the baton a long way down the road is to stay in business and to deal with this day by day. Have a clear company vision. Have that clear personal mission and work together. That’s what will help drive the industry forward.
Risk as Reward – Mike Gorenstein
- Good decision making is a matter of picking and calculating the right risks to take, and then deciding from a risk profile what makes sense.
- When you see an opportunity you have to think about not just the risk of taking the opportunity, but also the risk of not going for the opportunity. What would I think for the rest of my life if I saw something that I loved, but didn’t take the risk and go for it?
- Whether it is an immense business success or not, I think the risk is sort of missing a once-in-a-multi-generational opportunity. There’s a tremendous risk in missing the chance to be able to do something you love that’s also good for people, that helps people.
- The only way that you can completely eliminate risk from your company is to shut down your business. That’s the reality.
Amendment 64 – Shaleen Title
- In Colorado, there’s an interesting mix of voters who come from interesting and distinct perspectives. Cannabis brings people like me, who focus on social justice, together with people like Libertarians, who came at this from a freedom perspective.
- In Massachusetts and other states, we have been very intentional and deliberate about addressing those issues. In making sure that diversity is something that is built into the law from the start. Making sure that when youth have a problematic relationship with marijuana, that it’s addressed with education, treatment and prevention.
- Law enforcement continues to do what they know works. If you change the law, they’ll change their tactics.
Size vs. Direction – Tim Cullen
- We run a business with the intent of making payroll and making money and making a living. We support a lot of people. At the same time, you need to be happy with what you have.
- I don’t have to work 90 hours a week to be successful. We have success based on what we have now. I get a good balance in my life with work and family and community. That, to me, is the essence of owning a business.
- If owning a business is just stressful to you and is taking time away from other things you wish you had going on in your life, maybe owning a business isn’t right for you. The essence of why I would want to be a business owner is to achieve that balance – not trying to continually climb a ladder to success.
1284 – Julie Berliner
- Dispensaries were popping up all over the place, but it was obvious to me that there was no yet any regulation. Anyone could do anything. Anyone could grow anywhere, or bake from their homes, like I did. It was sort of a free-for-all back then, like the Wild West.
- It takes a certain kind of person that has grit, resilience, and a stomach for challenge and all the things that come along with entrepreneurship, but on steroids. Because we’re still dealing with a brand new industry.
- Sometimes you just need to do something bold. Just go for it. There’s no dipping your toes in the water and seeing how warm it is. Just do it, or don’t. That’s my advice.
Chains & Lanes – David Hua
- You can see how many more steps there are now. Because of that, it’s so important to use technology, to work with really good partners, and to help streamline a lot of these pieces in order to get to as close as what we had before.
- You can see the consistency of an operator, and how they’re submitting their products and creating branded experiences that really can speak to the consumer. And that, ultimately, can create a unified sense of purpose for the cannabis industry.
- This isn’t a dense jungle where everyone has to grow as big as possible in order to get the light. This is open field. No one person can gobble this all up right now. And they shouldn’t. And there’s enough for everyone to go around.
- Unfortunately, because everyone’s in survival mode, the compassion part has really been taken over with more of a capitalistic slant. But as we get our bearings underneath us, now that we have permanent regulations, everyone can stabilize and advocate for change. This industry is going to continue to evolve. We have to continue to advocate for what’s right. Compassion’s a big piece.
Jefferson, IA – Ro Khanna
- There’s an urban-rural divide in this country. When I was in rural Iowa, one woman stood up and said, “When my kids turn 18, I buy them a one-way ticket out.” It made my heart break. One solution is to create new jobs and industries in these communities and towns of just a few thousand people.
- The people in Jefferson value their education and resourcefulness – we need to create pathways and bridges to make the most of these qualities.
- There are countless jobs which have been outsourced that I believe can be placed in rural America. These are the types of policies I think that can give hope and opportunity to people in communities across this country to start stitching the divide back together.
Sailing – The Paxhia
- There are variables that can be analyzed before moving forward, but once we’re out there, those variables change. To invest effectively, the phrase “expect the unexpected” very much applies.
- While we do our best to take a 20,000-foot view in both sailing and investing, there is still a lot we can’t see, because there are so many variables constantly at play. Whether it’s on the water or on Wall Street, the trick is to focus on immediate action with a long-term mindset.
- Plans change, and how we reach our objective may be different from the initial plan we started with, but the goal remains the same. That’s what’s so exciting about investing in cannabis. The industry is highly dynamic. It isn’t established, by any means. The ability to stay focused yet flexible, and the willingness to adapt to shifting dynamics means we’re constantly readjusting the sails to the winds, readjusting our course heading, while maintaining our focus on the ultimate destination.
The ‘00s – Ethan Nadelmann
- It was a complicated time. The public support for medical marijuana and more broadly for decriminalization and legalization was slowly increasing.
- There’s not much point in running a ballot initiative until you have upwards of 55% support in polls. There’s not much sense in running ballot initiative where you have a very good chance of losing. You’re going to spend a lot of money to lose initiatives.
- Once we legally authorized medical marijuana dispensary, state regulation 07, virtually all of the subsequent medical marijuana initiatives and laws included legally regulated dispensary. It was a first step in bringing medical marijuana out of the underground to where it could be seen by people. Where it could be legally regulated. Where there would be higher levels of interaction between people in the emerging industry, law enforcement, and government regulators. It was part of the legitimizing process.
The House – Mike Gorenstein
- It’s really about having a very close-knit feel, but it’s not really a conscious thing. There’s just so much interaction that it becomes both your social and your professional network. Traditionally, when recruiting, you might look for someone who you would be okay having a drink with. We say, “Recruit someone you’d be okay living with.”
- We try to find the right culture by finding the right fit. It means always keeping a business startup mentality.
- Whatever your culture is, whatever defines you, you should put in place. It will go a long way in ensuring that as you grow you don’t lose your identity.
Manufacturing – Rick Trojan
- Hemp is allowing small farmers to have an impact again, both in the product they harvest and the revenue they bring back into their community.
- From the stalk comes plastic, paper, and textiles. Hemp can do everything timber, corn, cotton, and petroleum can do. While these traditional sectors still remain, the alternative source hemp provides is nontoxic, renewable, and grows quickly and inexpensively.
- It isn’t unrealistic to believe that in just a few short years, you may be unwrapping your favorite candy bar or the new Star Wars LEGO set from a hemp package.
- There is a perceivable impact of hemp manufacturing on every corner of every industry. As more and more corporations jump on board and hemp becomes mainstream, our small towns and farmers, manufacturers, citizens, economies, and environment will benefit.
The Beatles – Don Fertman
- Today, there’s much more openness into how people go into recovery and a lot less restrictions.
- [John Lennon’s] arc was very short because he got addicted in the late-60s and he got un-addicted in the late-60’s, or by 1970, and then went on for peace and marches and rallies, and got more into an addiction of more political-type of things.
- What [George Harrison] found is something that I also found and I think is a very common thread among people in recovery, is that we find some kind of higher power. We find something greater than ourselves that is no longer alcohol or heroin or cocaine or crack. We find something outside of us that helps us find a greater purpose in the world.
- I think of George as the enlightened one because he found recovery in that enlightening way. And I venture to say, after listening to Ringo, when he talks about peace and love, I think he’s got a higher power going too.
Normalization – Charlie Bachtel
- If cannabis was going to graduate into something that states would feel comfortable legalizing, it would need a “facelift” in all respects.
- It can change the way that people had thought about cannabis previously by putting it into packaged forms that look and feel like other common consumer packaged goods. It will feel like buying any other over-the-counter medicine, food, or beverage.
- The normalization and professionalization of cannabis did not mean deviating from the people and processes that were already in place. Rather, it meant building on those efforts and the learned knowledge from the long history and pioneering markets out west. It was about incorporating traditional ideas and folks that had the understanding of food manufacturing, commercial agriculture, and product formulations.
Human-Made Marijuana – Hinanit Koltai
- The origin of cannabis is not entirely certain. The earlier records for this species are mainly from China and Japan, supporting an East Asian origin of cultivation. However, botanists suggest an eastern central Asian origins.
- The earliest human use of cannabis in Central Asia and China is dated to 5,000 – 6,000 years ago, hemp being one of the earliest crop plants used for fiber and food. However, cannabis was used for medicine, ceremony and recreation as well.
- Indeed, cannabis was used in deliveries until the 19th century, believed to increase the strength and rate of recurring contractions in women giving birth.
Meaningful Innovation – Ben Larson
- Everything that we’re doing in this industry should be meaningful. If what people are creating doesn’t have a strong “why” or purpose, then it’s merely time being wasted because there’s so much to do in this great industry that we get to work in.
- As soon as you’re attempting to find customers to look at your app, or you’re looking for people to give you money to pursue your dream, you’re going to find out very quickly that if you don’t have a wider purpose or great meaning, then you will fall upon deaf ears. You will not raise funds, and you will not be different.
- Meaning doesn’t always equate to impact, or even capital return. There are many non-profits out there that have meaning, but they aren’t interesting investments.
HB 1090 – Andy Williams & Sally Vander Veer
- As we’ve all seen by observing companies in the news lately, there is a lot of value in going public. Not only for the shareholders of the company, but in growing the company and being able to expand and attract capital.
- As time went on, we had to educate the lawmakers on [going public]. They are not experts in public companies, and they saw this as an opportunity for organized crime or cartels to take control of a cannabis company in Colorado and do nefarious things. In their minds, their fears were that a drug cartel could have so much influence on a company that it could become the largest shareholder, controlling votes, and install their own people in the board. But that’s pretty far from the truth. It’s like one plus one equals purple.
- All these small companies, unless they have a niche market that can keep them in business, are going to dwindle to nothing. But these little operators right now have the opportunity to band together and be part of something big. They can actually receive some kind of payout for their 10 years of sacrifice and work in this industry.
Fortune 500 Lessons Learned – Jeannette Horton
- I learned a lot working in Fortune 500 Companies. Lesson number one – it’s about people. Interacting with people and knowing their needs and wants is the biggest key to success. Starting with this foundation, companies can then build their core identity.
- In cannabis, you have to pull together all of these lessons – precision, automation, and entrepreneurial spirit. You refine all of those skills, add politics and relationships, and they all kind of weave together in this industry.
- In cannabis, the entrepreneurial spirit is probably the most obvious. It’s an industry of entrepreneurs and, I would say, extreme entrepreneurs. Right now, cannabis has people who are at the leading edge of an industry willing to be here when it’s still federally illegal, and take that risk.
All Boats – Debby Goldsberry
- Here we are, being pushed out of this burgeoning industry that some of us have been making a living in for 20 or 30 years. Until now, this industry has provided us a life of healthcare, family security, and dignity. Now, we’re fighting for survival.
- We can’t be naive about how unfair this war on drugs has been to people of color. We need a fix, and we need to figure out reparations.
- An equity divide also rears its head when talking about the capitalistic impacts of marijuana. The rich are getting richer from the cannabis economy. The fact is, on paper, these rich are white men, cashing in at the top, and taking the money home.
- The government is jumping on board with medical marijuana, but in its wake, they’ve left behind a broken criminal justice system and broken lives. And they’re going to get away with it. Along with curing cancer, we need to be focusing on what to do about this economic problem.
Massachusetts – Shaleen Title
- In the time since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, it has become clear that certain oversights in the writing of the bill resulted in an unbalanced system where those who are profiting do not come from marginalized groups. Our goal in Massachusetts is to create policies and procedures that have a positive impact on disproportionately-harmed communities.
- The key to the success of the mock bill was the diversity of the board who dreamed it up. Representation included so many communities with so much experience inside and outside of the cannabis industry.
- When the time comes to legalize on the federal level, all angles will have been examined, and we can make reparations to the marginalized groups who have been harmed in the past, while continuing to build a bright and budding future in the cannabis economy.
Immigration Reform – Carlos Curbelo
- We aren’t going to magically have a lot of babies in this country who will grow up quickly to join the labor force. That’s why immigration is the lifeblood of our country. It is the reason the United States is what it is today.
- As the [cannabis] industry grows, if we can’t find workers, the effect is devastating for both company and consumer. The labor market is tightening, and as it does, it will get harder and harder to purchase products at an affordable price.
- We must work together in a bipartisan way to pass laws that move the solution forward, however imperfectly. Then, we improve upon those laws. This is the American way. We must abandon this all-or-nothing ideology in favor of an approach that benefits the greater good. It is imperative we destigmatize immigration and recognize it as the backbone of America.
Intersectionality – Betty Aldworth
- The data bears out that race is the most salient point by which people’s power and privilege are leveraged or not.
- The prison system is being packed with men and women of color at a rate much higher than whites despite, again, very similar behaviors among those communities. Centering race in any discussion about the progression of marijuana in society is imperative.
- Corporations must create a set of values that aligns with their vision and take actionable steps to live out those values as part of its corporate culture.
On Course with Change – Chuck Smith
- Here in Colorado, we’re seeing the public company investment bill that seems like it’s moving well through both the House and soon to be Senate. This is going to allow for outside investment, all the way up to ownership by public companies here in Colorado.
- We still have to adapt, because every state has a little bit of nuance difference. This could include labeling requirements, colors, and shapes of products, or the way that they can be packaged and marketed. Having that kind of base foundation we knew that we could keep going. We’d figure it out as it was thrown against us.
- There’s a level of responsibility that we have to take. In that case, overregulation isn’t great, but if it gives us a safe, strong foundation to grow from. It’s our responsibility to do that.
Thesis – US Congressman Seth Moulton
- We live in a world that does want to help veterans, but people just don’t know how.
- Veterans deserve the best healthcare in the world, period. That’s my policy without exception.
- One of the problems is that a lot of veterans want to use cannabis. They know it will help and they know it’s safer than a lot of the other drugs out there, especially opioids. Yet you can’t get it at the VA. You can’t even discuss it at the VA because of federal restrictions. This is not giving veterans the healthcare that they deserve and have earned.
- Veterans aren’t looking for handouts. They are looking for advice, a chance, and opportunities. I think you’ll be really rewarded if you give veterans an opportunity to work with you, to serve with you. But don’t just say thank you. Do thank you.
Regulatory Hierarchy – Tim Cullen
- Now we’re seeing this sun-setting happen where these two ideas of medical and recreational are starting to blend together. By the end of 2019, we’re likely going to see a whole meshing of the two, and from an operation standpoint it won’t be the regulatory nightmare that it is right now.
- We still operate under some of these really archaic rules that were formed before people understood how this business actually worked. It’s time now, ten years later, to go back and use our improved understanding and increased data on the ground to change these rules to make more sense.
- If you’re a consumer in Colorado, cannabis is just legal to you. You can shop, the hours are very clear, the limits are very clear, the consumption rules are very clear; it’s very legal for you. If you’re a business owner, on the other hand, you have all these things to overcome.
- The current system treats legal, licensed cannabis businesses like second-class citizens among all businesses in the country, and they’re not.
The Kitchen – Julie Berliner
- Back in 2009, the rules were such that – well, there were no rules. That is to say, they were being developed. At the time, anything and everything went. I could bake out of my own home, and anyone could buy or sell cannabis to anybody. It was really, truly the Wild West.
- One of the few rules required licensed holders to operate out of a true commercial kitchen, which makes sense. But the extra step there was that the commercial kitchen had to focus on cannabis only, and be associated with only one license.
- The lesson that I took from that has everything to do with resilience, grit, and perseverance. The cannabis industry is really challenging, and I love it. There’s no shortage of obstacles, and that’s part of it. When I’m faced with a challenge, even though it’s incredibly hard, I view that as my opportunity to live my purpose.
The Planet – Rick Trojan
- Jack Herer used to say that hemp is the only thing that will save the planet. I’ve added to that a bit to say that hemp will save the planet, but there’s still the matter of whether humans will be here to see it.
- What it comes down to is that everything is connected. Whether you’re a vegetarian who eats the plants directly, or someone who eats products from livestock that have consumed the plants; whatever goes into the soil then goes into plants and eventually comes back around to us.
- There’s this parallel between the planet and our bodies. The streams and soil are like our arteries and heart, our bloodstream and lungs. It’s a very similar in concept. We’ve put toxins, pesticides, herbicides, and more into our rivers, streams, mountains, and oceans. Toxins can start to build up in both Earth systems as well as the systems within our own bodies. The toxin levels are becoming so high that it’s not sustainable, for the Earth or ourselves.
- Hemp can act as a digestive to help get a lot of those toxins out and clean the system. It allows the body’s systems to repair themselves in the same way it helps repair the Earth.
Whitespace – Ben Larson
- The only way to make sure that your actions are leading you to where you want to be is to take that time for yourself. Really just clear your mind, center yourself, and realize that each thing you do is getting you to where you need to be.
- You want to constantly make sure that you are marching on, staying ahead of the competition, and building your vision. And you need to ask yourself if that vision still makes sense? Do your customers still want your business? These are all things that you need to consider every day. If you don’t leave time to think about everything holistically, you might stumble too far down one path.
- It’s important to break up the day, putting thoughtful energy into organizing your thoughts and realizing that there are much bigger priorities in life than just work. Sure, some investors don’t want to hear that. But the thought around it is becoming much more progressive.
- Everyone needs to understand that if we don’t have good mental health awareness around all of this, we’re just going to burn out. And that doesn’t help anyone.
2020 Predictions – Kris Krane
- Heading toward 2020, the globe has widely recognized cannabis as something worth considering in new and positive ways. Even the World Trade Organization agrees that further research on the production, uses, and benefits of cannabis deserve attention.
- While the United States government still largely pushes its prohibitionist policies onto the world, their influence has begun to wane. Cracks in that global consensus are showing.
- While the particular path to a general acceptance of the legalization of cannabis at the federal level remains unclear, I believe 2020 will finally be the year we see positive, actionable reform.
HB 1090 – Chuck Smith
- In the early days, the path to cannabis legalization wasn’t necessarily a collaborative process. While the key players had the right intentions, the operators ended up bearing the brunt of the legislation without having a seat at the table. Now, it is a collaborative process with the Department of Revenue, the Marijuana Enforcement Division, industry, and even the governor. It allows the industry to bring their voice to the table and work in concert with the regulators and lawmakers to make sure that, again, we can continue to build a responsible and safe industry here.
- Colorado was the pioneer in building innovative products and a strong and responsible regulatory landscape. I think we can keep that reputation as the epicenter of cannabis with the help of outside investments.
- Colorado accommodates some of the best cannabis companies and industry leaders. Our goals are noble. We aim to continue to build a responsible global industry. With the passing of 1090, we’ll now have the funds to do it.