09/29/17 Andrew DeAngelo

California Cannabis Business Conference: Andrew DeAngelo of Harborside Health, Ellen Komp of CANORML, Mathew Vera Acct, Steve Brown Evio Labs,Robert Chavez Seed to Sale, Michael Tesoro Search, Yaro Cluber Lucerne Realty, Brian Herman 3 A Light, Michael Heron Amercanex, Thomas Dorsey MJ Pkg, Ketch & Andy Elias Quicksilver - From Anaheim

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Friday, September 29, 2017
Andrew DeAngelo
Harborside Health Center



SEPTEMBER 29, 2017


DEAN BECKER: I am Dean Becker, your host. Our goal for this program is to expose the fraud, misdirection, and the liars whose support for drug war empowers our terrorist enemies, enriches barbarous cartels, and gives reason for existence to tens of thousands of violent US gangs who profit by selling contaminated drugs to our children. This is Cultural Baggage.

Hi folks, this is Dean Becker. Thank you for being with us on this edition of Cultural Baggage. For the last few weeks, we've been focusing specifically on the intersection of the drug war and racism. Trust me, we're going to be getting back to that very thoroughly here in the next couple of weeks, but today, we're going to focus on a trip I just took to California, Anaheim, California, to attend the California Cannabis Business Industries Convention. But I got a lot of interviews, let's just get to them.

ELLEN KOMP: I'm Ellen Komp, I'm the Deputy Director of California NORML, the state chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are basic -- primarily a consumer rights organization that's been around since '72. I've been with them since '92. And we're here trying to press upon the industry the need to get involved in the fight for the rights of the consumers, their customers.

In California, you can still be fired from your job for using medical marijuana. This is unlike eleven other states which have passed later laws that actually have more progressive language protecting employees. We didn't have that in Prop 215, and the courts ruled that, you know, our law didn't protect patients. We passed a law in 2008 to change that, but Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it.

So we think now, with the wind at our backs from Prop 64, which passed resoundingly in California to legalize recreational use for adults, that we are going to address this issue again. We're seeing a lot of movement around the country on this, I'm part of a task force with national NORML and Oregon and Washington, we're pushing for employment rights for recreational users, and it's the next hurdle to jump.

DEAN BECKER: You know, as of right now, we've got hurricanes hit, you know a couple of major centers in our nation over the last month or so, and we have big corporations stepping forward, giving money for, you know, those effected by these horrible storms. And at the back of it you've got to know this is in order to gain respect within the community, to be recognized as giving a damn about the people who use their product.


DEAN BECKER: And I think that ties into what you were just talking about, that those who are making quite literally billions from this new industry need to step forward with that same perspective in mind and give back to making progress towards human rights for cannabis consumers. Your response, there, Ellen.

ELLEN KOMP: Yeah, and of course, you know, the industry isn't really at the level of maturity of a lot of the corporations that you speak of, you know, people are still just -- just getting started, they're just trying to learn how to navigate all the regulations of California and stuff, but I, you know, I still have to get in there now and impress upon them the need, for example one of my flyers is, how are we going to build an industry if only the unemployed can buy our products?

Because 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies drug test. They're not really required to by federal mandates, unless it's, you know, maybe a truck driver or something, and they're, it's not a way to improve workplace safety, impairment testing is the better option for that. But it's a great way to discriminate against marijuana smokers, and I have a lot of people from all over the country tell me they'd love to use marijuana instead of alcohol or more harmful drugs like opiates for pain, but they're drug tested at work.

So it's actually playing into the opiate crisis, right? Because now, there's two studies last week about patients who use cannabis medically, are able to reduce drastically or get off their opiate pain medications entirely, so we're in the midst of an opiate overdose crisis in this country, and Doctor Oz just said it on Fox News the other day, that cannabis could be an answer to this. So this also plays into the workplace, where if someone has a job and they've been injured on the job or something, they're encouraged to use the more harmful opiate medications instead of something they could just smoke at night, not show up impaired during the day.


ELLEN KOMP: And, medicate themselves. So we're -- it's hard, because, you know, a lot of people think our battle's over now, we won recreational marijuana in California, but I knew, because I've been around since the days that Prop 215 passed, I thought my job was over then. Ha ha ha ha.


ELLEN KOMP: But, I realized, you know, no, there's so many other -- there's still stigma, there's all these ancillary issues. Pain patients are also being actually kicked off their opiate medication if they need both, if they're using cannabis, and that we think is malpractice. We have to change that. We just got a law two years in California, ago in California, to end the practice. They were throwing people off Oregon transplant lists.


ELLEN KOMP: If they were using medical cannabis, and this is another thing that the newer laws, you know, take care of, right in there, you can go to like ASA and see, they do a really good report on that every year. But California doesn't, didn't have that either, so we finally got, Governor Brown did sign that bill, to his credit, so we hope that he will sign some bills that we have -- we're still looking for authors for them, actually, but we hope in the next month or two to have an author and be able to announce that bill for next year.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Ellen, this brings to mind, this -- this paranoia, this delusion, that's lingering still from reefer madness.


DEAN BECKER: Continues to impact "progress," put quotes around that word. We have situations where cops are now being authorized, licensed if you will, as if they were psychics. If they can tell if people are high on cannabis, and they can make arrests without any evidence whatsoever, the same sort of perspective is now in Canada as well, they're trying to come up with means, regulations, whereby they can make determinations whether people are high on cannabis. And my sole question to any of these people is, if you cannot tell, what are you really doing in this further investigation.

ELLEN KOMP: Right, right.

DEAN BECKER: Driving down the street, if you can walk a straight line, you can count backwards from a hundred, if you can remember your kid's name and what you did yesterday, that doesn't show the normal signs of impairment of an alcoholic or a pillhead, it's unworthy of I think further investigation. Your thought in that regard, Ellen.

ELLEN KOMP: Well, everyone wants, again, law enforcement all want some kind of bright line, magic pill, like a, you know, the DUI standard, the blood alcohol standard for alcohol. Unfortunately, or fortunately, cannabis doesn't really fall into that, because the effects are so different and subtle and they vary so much from person to person, as far as how long it stays in the system, how much it actually impairs you.

You know, bottles of Marinol, the legal THC that you can get from the government, just say don't drive on this until you're used to the effects. So, a lot of people are used to the effects of marijuana, and it doesn't impact them, so the only fair way to do it, both for the workplace and for drivers, is impairment testing, which tests whether or not you're actually too impaired to drive or function on the job.

And, I have one on my phone now called My Canary. It tests your balance, it tests your memory, it tests kind of your coordination, and these are the things that you need to have if you're going to drive and could be impaired for a variety of reasons: other drugs, you didn't sleep, you had a fight with your wife, you know, something like that.

And so, if you really wanted impaired drivers off the road and away from, you know, instances in the workplace where they're a danger to themselves and others, then the way to do it is impairment testing. We've been saying this for years but we're finally getting traction on that, and there are more companies coming forward with impairment tests that are being tested on marijuana users, and we're really pushing for this nationwide for this switch, away from chemical testing, which is really more like a, you know, chemical loyalty oath that you're taking or something, and it only tests off the job use, not on the job impairment.

So, it's better for the workers and it's better for workplace safety to move to a different system, away from chemical testing and its true on the roadways as well.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Just because maybe you're hair smells a little like cannabis doesn't mean you need to go to jail.

ELLEN KOMP: Yeah, and hopefully, you know, you're not supposed to be able to have a warrant -- a search, now that you're going to be legal in California, we have, it's legal to carry an ounce around, and it's supposed to help. We'll see, you know, that's going to be another hard thing to get cops to let go of, that, you know, just if they say they smell marijuana they can search you and do whatever you like with you, we're going to have to do some test cases on that. We're gearing up for that as well.

DEAN BECKER: All right, once again, we've been speaking with --

ELLEN KOMP: Ellen Komp, from --

DEAN BECKER: Ellen Komp, with California NORML.


DEAN BECKER: Closing thoughts, website?

ELLEN KOMP: CANORML.org. Yes, do check it out, we've got a lot of great information and you can sign up for mailing lists, and we've got facebook and twitter and everything. I'm resisting instagram, but you know, I may even have to do that someday.

DEAN BECKER: All right.

BILL MAHER: We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super rich are the same. Like somehow the rich will eventually get so full that they'll expode, and the candy will rain down on the rest of us. Like they're some kind of piñata of benevolence. But here's the thing about a piñata. It doesn't open on its own. You have to beat it with a stick.

DEAN BECKER: Thought listeners don't know, I used to make my living being an accountant, an auditor, project analyst, so who do I run into here at the cannabis conference in Anaheim? Mister Matthew Vera. He's here to perhaps seek some clients. What brings you here, Matthew?

MATTHEW VERA: Just been -- got tired of the old way of accounting, it's kind of gotten kind of dry, and just want to be part of the movement. I've actually been crunching the numbers for the past five years as well, and now I'm just ready to dive into something more exciting.

DEAN BECKER: Well, I think you're at the right location to get the information that will help you to become more knowledgeable, certainly more knowledgeable than most if not all of your competitors, and, it's a growing industry. It's a place to get a head start on the future. Right?

MATTHEW VERA: I started this company Bookies just, actually just a few months ago. And, it's my slogan is accounting for the underdog. Never really been a fan of working for one of the Big Five accounting firms or something like this. Right now, I work primarily with mechanics, I've been building hot rods since I was 17. Grew up in a garage, and I just do accounting for money.


MATTHEW VERA: So, I know gearheads, I know mechanics, I know blue collar workers, and now I want to deal with some more blue collar workers.

DEAN BECKER: That's right, because this is an industry where it requires a little effort, a little sweat, and I think until it becomes legal in all fifty states, it's going to be a huge profit maker. I think once they legalize it everywhere, the price is going to fall like a rock. But, for the next five, ten, who knows, eternity, it's going to be a money maker. Your closing thoughts there, Matthew.

MATTHEW VERA: Closing thoughts are, my takeaway from this conference is really to just get a general idea of where the accounting industry is going, where the cannabis industry is going. Nobody really knows where it's going, I think. In California it's still being written, it's being written today, along with other seminars that are going to happen in the future, but really, it's just, people making business happen, and it's, like, part of history.

DEAN BECKER: Alto a la guerra contra las drogas.

STEVE BROWN: My name is Steve Brown, I'm the vice president of sales for Evio Labs.

DEAN BECKER: We're here at the California cannabis business conference in Anaheim, and, fixing to open the doors, fixing to see customers. What are you bringing to this conference, sir?

STEVE BROWN: We do analytical testing for cannabis, and we're based out of Oregon, and we have four labs in Oregon, two in California so far, one in Massachusetts, one in Florida, and then another lab in Colorado.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Well, this is, yours is one example of the, by god, varied, the diversity of this industry. I mean, we've got packaging, labeling, extraction, my god, the list is endless, of the, if you will, requirements now involved for the trade. Your thought in that regard, please, Steve.

STEVE BROWN: Well, in our particular case, we can only roll out in states that have regulations in place, and those regulations are for testing, and they're mandated by each state. Each state has a different set of regulations, but generally they're -- what they have in common is that, you know, for compliance testing, which is what growers, extractors, and processors need to do before they can take their product to market, they need to do compliance testing, which consists of potency analysis, pesticide analysis, water activity, and moisture content.

DEAN BECKER: Now, those are the requirements, but I think the customer and perhaps the state, some states, would also require a chemical analysis of property, how much THC, CBD, and whatever else is within. Right?

STEVE BROWN: Yeah, you know, typically the clients are looking for a high number in the THC, and no numbers in the pesticide, because that's a fail.


STEVE BROWN: And, it's, you know, in Oregon, at least, they don't require testing for mold, or any other toxins, but we have 59 pesticides that we need to test for.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Well, I, as a guy who's been smoking now for, let me think about this, just over 50 years, I smoked weed that had mold, and had bugs, and spider webs, and I think had been river dipped and stored in the desert and sprayed with paraquat, as dictated by President Nixon. And I guess what I'm saying is, for those who have medical problems, it's a wonderful thing. But, you know, this old hippy just thinks, some of this is a little extreme. Your response there, Steve.

STEVE BROWN: Well, it's -- it's gone from where there was no testing at all, to now, where, you know, the price of testing has gone from, in unregulated states, you know, $50 for a test, and in regulated states it's around $350, for a compliance test.


STEVE BROWN: And we also test for things like terpene, we do terpene analysis.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Well, I hear a lot of folks talking about terpenes these days, and some of the other, what, flavinoids, I think they are in there, all these --


DEAN BECKER: -- these component parts that make it a more enjoyable, if not a more pleasurable, experience. Your thought please, Steve.

STEVE BROWN: Well, yeah, just, some people like lemonade, and some people like Coca Cola, and these different terpenes that are in cannabis kind of stimulate the brain as to what you -- you like from your past experiences.


STEVE BROWN: So, if you have a strain that's high in limonol [sic: limonene], you know, you'll know it by smell before you even smoke it.

DEAN BECKER: Right. A lot of people, the nose knows.

STEVE BROWN: And that -- and, yeah, the nose knows, and, you'll be attracted to that strain rather than some other strain that has a different terpene profile, so ...

DEAN BECKER: All right. Well, we've been speaking with Mister Steve Brown of Evio. Steve, is there a closing thoughts, maybe a website you'd like to share with the listeners?

STEVE BROWN: Yeah, our website is eviolabs.com.

DEAN BECKER [MUSIC]: We all love it, brother.
He protects us from the evil one.
Bow down to big brother,
To his satellites and guns.
We need him and adore him,
Freedom is so over-rated.

ROBERT CHAVEZ: I'm Robert Chavez, I cultivate and grow marijuana.

DEAN BECKER: Now, you are California based, this is a --

ROBERT CHAVEZ: I'm California based.

DEAN BECKER: -- a legal profession in this state.

ROBERT CHAVEZ: Yes. In this state, yeah, in certain areas.

DEAN BECKER: Now, tell us about a typical cycle, if you will, from seed to sale. How long does it take? How much work is involved?

ROBERT CHAVEZ: It really depends. If you're trying to find new strains, then yeah, you're going to pheno hunt, and you're going to do your best to find those new strains, from seeds, so you pop them all and you look through, you grow them out, and then you put them in the flower room to flower. Usually it takes anywhere from nine to 12 weeks, depending on the strain as well.

So, after you find and pop all these new genetics, all these new seeds, you put them into flower, and you see which ones you like best. Depending on, I mean, strain flavor, or taste, structure, there's a lot of different variables that you really want to base your options off of, or your pick off of.

And then, from there, you just go on and you either chop down the ones that you don't like, and you keep going with the ones you do like, you keep mother -- what we call mothers, so, it's just a non-flowering plant, in a 24 -- 18 to 24 hour cycle, so, you could constantly cut new clones and new -- new propagations off of that. And continue your cycle.

DEAN BECKER: Now, I was privileged to be in Oakland one time, to tour the clone mother factory, whatever it was there, it was quite a, looked like to be a quarter acre of various plants. Mothers, from which people could propagate these new ---

ROBERT CHAVEZ: Yeah. The genetics. Yeah.

DEAN BECKER: -- plants and stuff. And I guess, you know, when these plants are brought to fruition, to completion, you know, you were talking about the structure of the plant.


DEAN BECKER: And, to me, I've heard people talk about, if I have the term right, the calyx, the way that it forms up ---


DEAN BECKER: -- makes a difference to the preference of the smoker in many cases.

ROBERT CHAVEZ: A hundred percent.

DEAN BECKER: Go ahead, please.

ROBERT CHAVEZ: A hundred percent. So, yeah, when, when I talk about structure, I talk about, yeah, there's calyx, the way the actual bud forms on the plant. Sometimes they're really, really small, like baby nugs, all over the plant, and sometimes they get, you get nice, big, fat buds that end up calyxing out a little bit, and, that's really what you're looking for, or what I look for, at least, is something that doesn't really stretch out and get all really lengthy, and lanky. Just because, it starts flopping everywhere, it's a lot harder to work with, whereas if you get something that stays like nice and short, and just has a, like, big, dense buds, that, it's really what you're looking for, as far as a grower, in my opinion. Just a lot easier to work with.

DEAN BECKER: I don't know, fill me in on this. I know the little hairs that come up, you know, they often, they're white to start with, and then they turn kind of yellow, red, whatever, later --


DEAN BECKER: -- but, those white and red flowers seem to disappear and it's left with not a seed, necessarily, but it looks like the beginnings of a seed structure.


DEAN BECKER: And that seems more dense, more weight, if you will.

ROBERT CHAVEZ: Well, usually, most -- most plants have that same type of structure, it just depends on how it's grown, like, usually a well grown plant that stays nice and healthy throughout the entire cycle into the harvest, you'll see a more defined, I guess, calyx or seed pod, that develops and like really blows up and fattens up, and when you break that up, of a -- off of a healthy plant, and it stays nice and healthy throughout the whole time, you actually, you can visually see those, and you could break them almost individually off as you're breaking your marijuana up when you smoke it.

Whereas like, if you have a plant that's not really doing that great, and is, yeah, just not a hundred percent healthy, it doesn't really explode the way it should during the ripening stage, then your -- all your calyx, they're there, but they're just really -- they're just smaller. They're a lot smaller, so when you're breaking it up, it just looks a little different. They stay clumped together most of the time, and usually it doesn't end up being as dense of a bud, it ends up being just really, really, really airy, and not the best. They don't really -- they're not sticky, usually, yeah, they're a lot lighter.

DEAN BECKER: All right. Well, Robert, is there a some closing thoughts, a website you might want to share?

ROBERT CHAVEZ: As far as -- as far as growing and cultivating, there's a bunch of different websites that you can go for knowledge and stuff like that. I think rollitup is one of the ones I used to look at back in the day.

VOICEOVER: When you've grown marijuana since 1873, you learn a few things about pride. About standards. About only growing the highest quality plants. Watered by pure Rocky Mountain streams. Some say Americans can't grow good marijuana anymore. We say, where you been, rabbi? Kush. The banquet weed.

YARO CUBER: My name is Yaro Cuber. I do some consulting space and well as work as the marketing manager for a real estate team in the emerald triangle and Sonoma County.

DEAN BECKER: Sure. Now, that area is renowned for its expertise, for its production, if you will, of fine cannabis.

YARO CUBER: A very interesting product, our very biased and specific lens on it, so my first job when I was in the sixth grade was trimming cannabis for my mom. And, so, I've seen what it's done for families generationally. You know, the way it's been an economic backbone for a lot of the region. And I think it can continue to be so, when you've spent as much money on criminal defense as I have, and gone to jail for cannabis, I think that the rumblings about lower cost per pound or, you know, a market that may be as, as it matures, you know, becomes less profitable.

You know, I would say those are first world problems, and if you're not -- if you're not fighting a case, and you're not risking being separated from your family, we've asked to be treated like a normal business, and so that's going to come with some negative stuff as well: increased regulation, increased costs, a labyrinth of rules and regulations that are changing, merging, consolidated, having to keep track of the bouncing ball, and -- and, but we've asked to be treated regularly, so as long as nobody's kicking down my door at six in the morning, to be in this space, I think the rest of it can be worked out.

And, you know, the idea that the family farmer and the small craft cottage cultivator's going to be able to survive the transition, those people are going to need to really think about other agricultural models that have supported small farms. Or, they're going to need to work collectively in the way that most of the people in this space are not used to working that cooperatively, because they've had to sort of be very discrete and less sharing about how and what they're doing. But people are going to have band together in order to have the economies of scale to have a place at the table in the future.

And there's a cliche, if you're not at the table you're on the menu, you know, and so, so I think that, you know, our area, you know, we can rumble and grumble about the cost per pound and all that, but I think that's -- that's better than some of what we've already been through, as a space, and you know, quoting like Hezekiah Allen, last month he talked about, you know, the California surplus of cannabis, you know, and the effect that that is likely to have on the cost per pound in the short term. I, you know, I would just add that, you know, at some point, I think there's a lot of hope that, you know, California would be able to become an export state.


YARO CUBER: You know, legally. And when that happens, I think that's a game changer.

DEAN BECKER: You bet. You bet. Right, the climate would certainly tend to indicate that possibility.

YARO CUBER: And, you know, and the other thing also is when we talk about the cost per pound decline, and what that does to the small family farmers in the emerald triangle, well, what, I think it's important to have that conversation is Prop 64 and adult use, and what is that going to do to the market, because, if consumption is going up quicker than prices are going down, I would still see that as a net positive.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Well, and I think, in the long run, legal in all 50 states, there's going to be a bottom end. Working man's weed, the roofers and the carpenters that smoke during the day, that's under 10 percent and it's going to sell for a hell of a lot less than now. Your thought there.

YARO CUBER: Well, I think for a long time, the general consensus is there's going to be a bifurcation in the market, which I just like using that word because it makes me sound like I know s--t. I think that, you know, bifurcating the market is, in layman's terms, means that there's going to be, you know, there's going to be an upper end product and then there's going to be a very pedestrian product, and what's going to be in the middle.

I think, people are not as certain that there's going to be, you know, your fine champagne, your opus one wine, your whatever analogy you want, and your Ferrari, and then there's going to be the Chevy, and I think that that's not a bad thing, because if you can lower the cost, thinking outside of the business perspective, and thinking more in terms of just lowest cost per unit of THC to the average American or global citizen, it would not, I would think, has to be the finest of this and the finest of that, especially when people are looking at different delivery systems and microdosing, and things like that.

I think we do want to see a drop in prices, if we want to ensure increased access at the lowest possible cost for people.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Well once again we've been speaking with Mister Yaro Cuber, he's marketing manager and an unlicensed assistant with Vanguard Properties. They're on the web at TheLuceroGroup.com

YARO CUBER: Yeah, TheLuceroGroup.com. Yeah, I work for Grace, she's the marketing manage -- I'm sorry, I'm the marketing manager for her team. She is the director of investment sales for Vanguard in Sonoma County. And I was a real estate agent for many, many years, probably about ten, and lost my license as a result of my cannabis conviction. And so, I went from having a fantastic day job, representing people in and outside of this space --

DEAN BECKER: Unlicensed.

YARO CUBER: -- to -- no, to now having an unlicensed position, and luckily that company took me back. I went through a very high profile cannabis trial, went and served time, lost my license. It was a great fall from grace, no pun intended, because that's who I work for, Grace. But now, I'm luckily with a company that understands and doesn't see a stigma with cannabis.


YARO CUBER: And has given me a place back on the team.

DEAN BECKER: That's pretty sweet.

YARO CUBER: And so, yeah, I'm pretty, I'm pretty lucky.

DEAN BECKER: That website, TheLuceroGroup.com.

Opening up a can of worms, and going fishing for truth, this is the Drug Truth Network. DrugTruth.net.

You know, once again, I'm somewhat astounded at the diversity of people who are attending this cannabis business conference here in Anaheim, and I run into Mister Michael Tesoro. He's with Get Page Hub. Tell us about Get Page Hub, what do you guys do?

MICHAEL TESORO: We handle local -- the map marketing on the google search engine. So basically, when somebody goes onto a search engine, looks for a local business, whether it be a dentist, or a dispensary, you know, you go on and you type in, say, Bellingham dispensary. You get the giant map up at the top couple of results right underneath it. That's what we do.

DEAN BECKER: It would seem to me business has got to be booming, that more and more people are curious and stepping into this industry. Your thought, please.

MICHAEL TESORO: Absolutely. I mean, the internet's growing and every company wants to be on the top of google. So, we help drive business at the point of intention, when people are going online.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir. Now, Michael, you're director of business development, I'm sure, the horizon continues to expand on what can and perhaps should be done. Talk about some of those component parts of driving these businesses.

MICHAEL TESORO: Well, when you're looking online, there's a number of different ways that you can have yourself listed. Part of it is through search engine placement, other is social media. You know, search engine placement, you're getting your website in front of the people when they're actually looking for a business like yourself. Social media, you're actually getting your customers to talk about you. So there's different ways to promote your business online, but you know, with the search engines, that's one of the reasons why everybody wants to be on the top of google. That's where the business is, you know, especially with the dispensaries right now, you've got, you know, all the patients, and all the people out there that are going online looking for something, and they're finding a lot of companies out there that either have poor ratings, that are just kind of fly by night companies, and there has to be a way to distinguish the proper companies from the improper companies.


MICHAEL TESORO: You know, with google, with the local listings, it allows their actual customers to leave reviews right on the page itself, so, you know, somebody who's going, a patient that's going to see a dispensary, they know how their customers are feeling about them.

DEAN BECKER: The perspective I get, attending this conference, it's somewhat different from what I've attended in prior years. There's less talk about cultivation, and more about driving your success through better means of production, of implementation, of extraction. Michael, I guess, to me, it just boils down to, there's a lot of opportunity right now, isn't there?

MICHAEL TESORO: Absolutely, especially with California going to recreational.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Right. What are your projections, do you have any available?

MICHAEL TESORO: I don't handle the actual dispensary side of it, I handle the marketing to drive business to them. But, you know, we're seeing in other states like Washington and Oregon and some of the other states where it's already legal for recreational, business is just booming, but it's so, so competitive out there.


MICHAEL TESORO: That there has to be able to be a way for a dispensary to have a leg up over another one, especially when they're doing good business.


MICHAEL TESORO: You know, especially when they're going over the top to provide the best service or the best medicine for their customers, you know, so, you know, we give those companies the opportunity by placing them up there, you know, and it doesn't have to be, it doesn't matter what the advertising budget is, with the local marketing, I mean, it's such a small rate, that the smaller companies, the smaller shops, can actually compete with the bigger ones, you know, at the same price.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Okeh. Well, there you have it, friends, some advice on those considering entering the cannabis industry. That was Mister Michael Tesoro, he's director of business development at GetPageHub.com.

VOICEOVER: Hello. My name is Borat. I am back from Kazakhstan, where my brother, where my brother Belo is now president, in order that we make billions by growing flowers. He's great success. Please don't legalize drugs, or I will be execute.

BRIAN HERMAN: Hello, my name is Brian Herman, I'm with Three A Light and Success Nutrients. We wrote a book teaching people how to do well for themselves in the garden. That book's called "Three A Light," which means three pounds per light, a measurement of, you know, success in the garden, if you will.


BRIAN HERMAN: But we also created Success Nutrients, it's kind of the backbone of the book. Just a real, indepth feed chart to feed your plants with a structured regimen.

DEAN BECKER: How to get those fat, juicy buds.

BRIAN HERMAN: How to get -- how to get what you want, yeah, exactly. Quality with some high yields.

DEAN BECKER: We're here at the California cannabis business conference. I'm really impressed by the industrial side of this that's really coming forward, the machines, the extractors, and all of the --

BRIAN HERMAN: Yeah, there's a lot --

DEAN BECKER: bubblers and testers and god only knows, right? And it's --

BRIAN HERMAN: Well, it's never going to end, either, it's going to continue to progress for quite some time.

DEAN BECKER: Right. And, I guess I was wanting you to talk about that. You guys kind of help people kickstart, meet those goals and obligations, how to get going, right?

BRIAN HERMAN: Yep. So, we have a system, or a methodology, that we run and we do very well for ourselves, and we kind of just teach people how to emulate that system in their facilities. You know, it's a lot different taking it from four lights to a hundred lights. But --

DEAN BECKER: Right, now --

BRIAN HERMAN: -- we kind of -- we kind of help, and assist in, you know, the business plan of the growing side of a commercial facility.

DEAN BECKER: Well sure, there's a lot of folks out there that certain industries are dying off, and this one certainly expanding, and seeing the opportunity, but they might not have, well, hell, the full requisite knowledge for this, because it's more complex these days than back when I was, you know, selling lids. Your thought there. There's a lot to it.

BRIAN HERMAN: Well, you know, definitely more complex. The government has a big hand in there, and just the regulations, MED, just state by state, it's different, so you've got to kind of just keep up with where you're at, and just make sure you're compliant. You know, they say, we're not in in the marijuana industry, we're in the compliance industry, and if you're compliant, then you can grow marijuana.

DEAN BECKER: There you go.

BRIAN HERMAN: So. So, that's a good way to put it.

DEAN BECKER: Well, what's your thought? I mean, California's fixing to go full, well, I'm not going to say fully legal, but approaching legal, here soon. What's that going to do for your business?

BRIAN HERMAN: You know, the business, just like I said earlier, it's never ending. There's so much to learn and so much to expand with. When other people here in California voted for it to be legal, everybody we talked to still can't believe it, you know, they still don't understand what that means, so in Colorado, we've been legal for a while, and, you know, it's, you can go to a store and buy pot, you know, buy some good smoke or an edible, or whatever you want. So, I think there's a big market of people that still don't realize what's coming, and it's going to be good for all parties.

DEAN BECKER: Well, there you go. Any closing thoughts, a website you might want to share?

BRIAN HERMAN: ThreeALight.com, that's where you can purchase the book or check us out.

DEAN BECKER: Now, is that the number three, or the word?

BRIAN HERMAN: ThreeALight.com. Another one is SuccessNutrients.com.

DEAN BECKER: This pot's so good, that when I smoke it, the government freaks out.

All right, it's day one here at the California cannabis business conference, I'm here with the president, the chief operating officer, of Amercanex International Exchange, Mister Michael T. Herron. How are you doing, Michael?

MICHAEL HERRON: Doing great, Dean, thanks for having me.

DEAN BECKER: Michael, this is becoming a true business environment, a true industry, is it not, this cannabis business, right?

MICHAEL HERRON: Absolutely. Absolutely, Dean, I mean, you know, I think there's a missed nomenclature [sic], for those people who seem to think that this is an immature business, I would say that, it's quite the opposite. It's a very mature business, in fact, in some regards, it's consolidating amongst industry leaders.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir. You know, I'm an ex-machinist, inspector, whatever, they've got a lot of machines in there, a lot of complex processes that are being conducted these days. I hear rumors at least of imprecise testing and so forth within the industry, or within certain communities, perhaps. We need true oversight to protect the consumer, don't we?

MICHAEL HERRON: Absolutely. Absolutely. But I also don't think that we need to go out and reinvent the wheel. I mean, after all, you know, the commodities industry has been governed by the federal government through an arm called the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the CFTC for short. A compliance system that was set up to maintain transparent and legal marketplaces for professional aggregaters or participants of an agriculturally based commodities market.

We happened to see, when we set out on our company, founding our company, over three and a half years, that we believed that the only way this marketplace would truly ever be able to become legal would be to adopt those very same practices that have been in place by the federal government and exercised by states across the country. And we built an overall marketplace, complete with compliance solutions, even including bank solutions, that actually follow that same type of legal framework and approach.

DEAN BECKER: I know there's been a large, a big problem with banking for dispensaries, for taxes, for other complications, if you will, that are fairly well exclusive to the cannabis industry. Those are being addressed, at least in the banking regard?

MICHAEL HERRON: They are, and again, once again, it's not necessarily reinventing the wheel, but actually applying solutions that have been in place, fragmented and utilized in other areas. For instance, banks, or companies, or businesses such as restaurants, pawn shops, bars, have all had problems over the decades dealing with the same challenges that face cannabis businesses, and that is, is they deal with cash. Any time you deal in a case based industry, you're going to face money laundering issues.

We have built out a mechanism through also working with two other leading bank partners, and technology solution providers, a different approach. An e-wallet solution on the front end, much like an Apple Pay. We happen to call it an ace pay solution that allows for a retail consumer, all the way through a dispensary, to be able to begin to create a closed loop environment, something that not necessarily actually helps to take legacy cash, cash that's already out there on the sidelines, and put it into the system, but rather stop actually making those same mistakes over and over, by actually reducing the pile of cash.

In addition to that, we've also adapted an actual solution that's used on Wall Street for many years, and that is adapting what we call a block chain type of technology solution. Dealing without a bank, you cannot move money by way of ACH or get funds wired when dealing with cash and cannabis, because it is a federally illegal product. Having said that though, by utilizing an actual block chain type of algorithm solution, laying on top of what we call intech platform, a platform that does follow the actual rules in the Dodd-Frank Act, and utilizes a technology solution base compliant environment to make it an efficient type of marketplace to manage, and most importantly provide a compliance infrastructure so that all participants can be transparent to any lawmakers.

We brought all of those worlds together and adapted those, and brought them and connected them directly into our overall marketplace. Marketplace that we call the Ace Exchange, that allows the cultivators, the manufacturers, and the dispensaries, to also have a transparent, legal, bank account, so that they can go out and operate their small or medium sized business, just like any other business that's out there. So they can actually pay their employees on time through payroll. They can get them healthcare insurance. They could pay their vendors just like any other participant out there.

DEAN BECKER: Wow. Well, again, it's a very complex industry, but trying to nail down the edges, trying to get it done right, and it sounds like Amercanex International Exchange is helping to get it done. I've been speaking with Michael T. Herron, the president, chief operating officer. Michael, is there a website you might want to point folks toward?

MICHAEL HERRON: Absolutely. You can check us out at www.amercanex.com.

DEAN BECKER: Marijuana: threat or menace? According to the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana use can lead to depression, suicide, and schizophrenia. Never mind that the rate of schizophrenia is unchanged since 1945, and that schizophrenics often self-medicate with marijuana. If you don't believe, you must be crazy.

THOMAS DORSEY: My name is Thomas Dorsey, I work for marijuanapackaging.com, in Vernon, California. We are a wholesale supplier to the public and to clients, internationally and nationally. I'm at the conference in Anaheim, what is this, September 22nd, and I'm here enjoying the vibe and helping everyone grow our business.

DEAN BECKER: Well, the heck of it is, Thomas, you've given me a catalog, I guess it is here, of all the various means by which you can help these retailers and distributors to put together a pretty and safe and, I would think, secure package for their product. Right?

THOMAS DORSEY: Yes, sir. What we specialize in is making sure it's childproof, meets regulations and standards, and we base that on, we have a strong presence in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, and each state has separate rules and regulations. We follow them to a T, and that is our main priority, to make sure in this business there is not one inch of doubt, one inch of anything, because they will be looking for this. So for us, we want to be the top of the top of the top, even, almost to a level of we scan to get in our building, we have badges, we finger print scan, we are like an IT company, and we work in a marijuana business. Hell yeah.

DEAN BECKER: Well, you want to get it right, because, this is an industry that is seeking respect, and we have to maintain that approach, do we not.

THOMAS DORSEY: Sir. Yes sir, being 50 years old, I grew up in a time where anything in this context was hidden, not talked about, never in the business perspective, I work with a company where the owners are full of glee every day for this incredible opportunity, the vibe, the profits, there's nothing negative about this field, in any capacity at all.

DEAN BECKER: Well, we hear those like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and some of the drug czars, and I don't know, the people in charge of making money off the drug war seem to think it's a good idea. Your response to that, Thomas Dorsey.

THOMAS DORSEY: It is very deep on the level of this incrimination [sic] causes poverty, causes schooling disabilities, broken families, it's a money maker for the government to imprison people that are not as fortunate as more wealthy people. It is targeted to minorities predominantly in poor neighborhoods. I have a military background, where it ruined people's careers, who would fight for your country, but you would lose your career for a joint.

I know the underground of how you had to buy it, from anybody, anywhere, on the corner, in the car, in an alley, in, that's all ridiculous. Now, the government wants a piece of this money, so until the government finds a way to get their hands on all these millions, they're going to try to dam this, to slow it down, to stop it until they can get a cut. That's what I believe.

DEAN BECKER: Is there a website, closing thought?

THOMAS DORSEY: MarijuanaPackaging.com is our company. I am the sales manager, and I'll just say, I work with great people. Everyone in this field, ladies and gentlemen, is awesome. I really mean it from my heart. Friendly, courteous, respectful, and the best people I really have met in business, ever.

DEAN BECKER: Darn drug czar, you're a coward,
A liar, demon, and thief.
Seems you can't face the truth for just one hour,
Too busy, looking at pee.
Dean Becker, DrugTruth.net

KETCH DEGABRIELLE: My name is Ketch, I work in the cannabis machinery manufacturing business.

DEAN BECKER: Now, you're here with ZL, targeted cannabis disinfectant. Tell me what that's about.

KETCH DEGABRIELLE: So, we develop machinery to reduce total yeast and mold count in cannabis, so that we can ensure patients are receiving healthy product, even if it's grown outdoors.

DEAN BECKER: Right. With the huge quantities being grown these days, occasionally, somebody forgets to do a treatment or whatever, and it becomes a minor problem, does it not?

KETCH DEGABRIELLE: Well, it's not so much treatment as it is just the organic nature of product. Most things that you eat are over 10,000 colony forming units per gram of total yeast and mold, but, we have to comply with regulations, so, you know, we need to make sure that everything meets those levels.

DEAN BECKER: Right, and I think at this particular point in time, the authorities are perhaps more paranoid than is necessary, but in order to meet their -- to address those fears they may have, this is a necessary item at this time. Well, tell us a little bit more about your company, the products, the services you're able to bring.

KETCH DEGABRIELLE: Yeah, so, essentially we manufacture this product, it's for post-process cannabis. It reduces yeast and mold, and that's pretty much all it does, that is, that's the primary function. It's very simple technology, it's been used in the food industry for quite a long time, to make produce and nuts and dates and various other agricultural commodities comply with regulations and, you know, make it so that the consumer's getting a safe product. We simply adapted that technology and applied it to cannabis.

DEAN BECKER: All right. Once again we've been speaking with Mister Ketch DeGabrielle.

ANDY ELIAS: My name is Andy Elias, I'm the director of business development at THR Technologies. We're a division of Quicksilver Scientific, a very, very well-respected neutraceutical company, and we are taking our very innovative nano-particle delivery system and we're applying it to hemp and marijuana products.

DEAN BECKER: Well, I was at your booth, I tasted a tiny sample of this product. What's it called?

ANDY ELIAS: It is the nano-emulsified Colorado hemp oil. That's our branded neutraceutical product for the CBD space.

DEAN BECKER: You know, I'm not a skeptic, and I'm not, you know, an advocate, either, I did feel it, kind of a gentle, relaxation, warmth spread through my body, a short time after taking it. It seems to be quite effective.

ANDY ELIAS: Well, what we're doing is, the important thing is, we're offering a product that is not a smokeable product. We're, what we want to do is we want to get these active ingredients, these active cannabinoids, into the blood stream and we want to bypass the digestive tract, your stomach acid, your liver, they destroy these actives. And it's also very hard to dose an edible product, you know, so this, we bypass the digestive tract, we bypass the liver, and you get really very, very quick, within a few minutes, as you said, you get that rapid uptake, and a very pleasant experience, and a therapeutic experience, without having to wait an hour and a half for, or at least an hour, for it to kick in.

And, it might kick in in a very unpredictable manner. This is very easy to dose, and very rapid uptake.

DEAN BECKER: And, you know, it brings to mind, for those who've, I didn't understand til just now, the nano-particles is able to sneak in. We, you had me just place it under my tongue for a short time, and it was able to bypass the blood barrier, I guess, and sneak right in.

ANDY ELIAS: This is how it goes. What we do, with the particle size of the hemp oil, we take it and we spin it down with our special chemistry, and equipment, we take these each individual globule of hemp oil, and we take it down to about a 40 nanometer particle size, and there's nothing to be afraid of there, what it basically means is, it's all very good, it's all natural ingredients, we just use pharmaceutical grade equipment to get this to happen, to make this product.

So, you put it under your tongue, as you did, it's a sublingual product, you put it under your tongue, you feel a little bit of a tingle there, maybe a little bit of warmth. What that's doing is it's going right into your oral mucosa, the membranes under your tongue and in your mouth, and the gaps in your tissue are much bigger than the particle size. So this stuff gets sucked right into the gaps of your oral cavity, and it gets right into your blood stream, and once it's in the blood stream, the cells in your body start gobbling these things up, because they perceive them to be food, they perceive them to be nutratives.

You get this really incredible blood uptake, with a really relatively low dose, because you did not take much, but you do get a good feeling from it, it does happen very quickly.

DEAN BECKER: All right. Amazing stuff. We've been speaking with Mister Andy Elias. He's with THR Technologies here at the California cannabis business conference. Andy, closing thoughts, website?

ANDY ELIAS: Yes. www.THRTech.com, for B to B information. If you're a consumer, general public, go to www.VitaExpress.com. And you can place an order, and we ship to all fifty states.

DEAN BECKER: Legal as hell.

You know, I was just commenting to someone that I've, this is the first conference I've been to that I didn't know anybody, and yet, there I am, standing next to the press registration table, in walks Mister Andrew DeAngelo.


DEAN BECKER: Compadre at Harborside Health Center. How are you doing, Andrew?

ANDREW DEANGELO: I'm great. I'm great. A lot of new faces in the industry now, absolutely.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and it's -- I took a, you know, walk through, and it's more mechanical and official corporate than ever before. Would you agree with that thought?

ANDREW DEANGELO: Yeah, I think that, you know, our industry's changing very dynamically right now, and we have a lot more mainstream business people jumping into the industry. And I think we'll continue to see that, but I also think that our legacy players are going to hang in there pretty good, and I expect to have a very diverse industry of both legacy players and new players coming in, and oftentimes those two elements will join forces together. Certainly that's been the case at Harborside.

So, you know we -- everybody on earth has an endocannabinoid system, and in order to take our medicine out to the seven billion people on the planet earth to try to heal the planet, that's going to necessitate a certain amount of scale, and a certain amount of expertise that, we just could not learn that being underground all these years, and caring for the plant the way we did for so many years. There was no way for us to learn that.


ANDREW DEANGELO: We were too far underground. If we, if we had scaled too hard, we'd go to federal prison for the rest of our lives. So, so this is -- it sometimes can be an uncomfortable process, and there is, there's sort of a storming phase that I think we're in now, but I think we will get to a, a norming and performing stage, you know, in the coming months and years.

DEAN BECKER: Right. I talked to a couple of folks already who are not cannabis consumers, who have friends that were involved in the industry, and showed them some medical benefits, showed them the reality of this situation, and they want to join forces, because they think they're doing some good. And that's --


DEAN BECKER: -- that's -- go ahead, Andrew.

ANDREW DEANGELO: Yeah, no, I mean, they, you know, one of the things about mainstream society is, there's not a lot of meaning in, oftentimes in people's work.


ANDREW DEANGELO: And, and people are hungry for that. And it doesn't matter really what your political ideology is, I think everybody wants to wake up in the morning and feel like they're doing something meaningful, and doing something good for the world. And so, I've met a lot of folks that have come into the industry with that in mind, where they just say, hey, Andrew, you know, I was in this industry or that industry, and it just, it was grating on my soul. I wasn't able to do something meaningful.

And, this industry allows me to do that, or at least allows me to take a shot at doing that. So, I'm thrilled with that development. I want to see people who want more meaning in their lives, and embrace the plant. I, you know, that's certainly one of the things that gave my life more meaning was embracing the plant.

DEAN BECKER: Sure. We have this situation developing, where it's being embraced, it's being recognized, it's becoming part of the general establishment.


DEAN BECKER: In many states now.


DEAN BECKER: And yet we have other states, like mine, Texas, where --

ANDREW DEANGELO: God, I was trying to get your decrim law passed in Texas this session. What a nightmare that was, man.


ANDREW DEANGELO: I'm so sorry. There were a lot of good people working on that, and, you know, the governor up there, and --


ANDREW DEANGELO: They're just, they're just, they're really obstructionist. Yeah.

DEAN BECKER: Right. But, I, the point I guess I'm wanting to get to here, Andrew, is that we have a recognition of the reality of this situation, that it is benefiting people. It's no longer anecdotal, it's millions of people now who are benefiting, and yet it's still discounted by those in positions of power, who, I use the term, made their bones through this policy, who demanded these millions of arrests. Do we have to just wait for that generation to die off, or are we going to make progress in states like Texas and others?

ANDREW DEANGELO: I think we will make progress, I just think it's going to be very slow, and it's going to be very hard fought. But when I was in Texas for the South By Southwest, there was a cannabis event there, and there was a bunch of activists I met that were working very hard to liberalize the cannabis laws in Texas. They were starting with decrim. But everybody I met there was smoking CBD, had CBD oil, CBD cannabis, CBD was everywhere, man, because it's legal.


ANDREW DEANGELO: Right? And that, that gave me a lot of hope and encouragement, because it showed that people are very well motivated, maybe a small band of activists in Texas, that are going to have to liberalize those laws, but it's always been a small band of activists that have liberalized the laws in all the states. So, that's no different. You know, it's -- there's some very powerful, wealthy people in Texas who are starting to embrace medical cannabis. I know this because a couple of the investors in my company are from Texas.

So, I think Texas is going to be a tough one, there's going to be certain states that are just going to be brutally tough. You know, Alabama's going to be tough. Mississippi's going to be tough, Georgia even is going to be tough. Texas is going to be tough. Oklahoma, I don't know if we'll ever get Oklahoma. So there's going to be certain areas of the country that are just, you know, it could take another generation, as you said. Unless there is a very brutal crackdown on us, which I would anticipate a pretty big backlash against.

I don't see the train slowing down. Maybe it will get slowed down in places like Texas, I don't see the train stopping.

DEAN BECKER: All right folks, there you have it, Mister Andrew DeAngelo. Thank you, sir.


DEAN BECKER: All right.

ANDREW DEANGELO: Have a good conference, man.


I want to thank all the good folks at the California Cannabis Business Industry Conference. We'll have more next week. That's all we've got this week, so once again I remind you, because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag. Please be careful.

To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the unvarnished truth. Cultural Baggage is a production of the Pacifica Radio Network, archives are permanently stored at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. And we are all still tap dancing on the edge of an abyss.