Elevated Talks: Luxury Meets Cannabis — Wellness, Beauty, Media, and Design

Hello everyone thank you for
coming we’re gonna get started. First and foremost welcome to NeueHouse
I run membership here and we’re really excited to be collaborating with Jed
Wexler who is a long-term NeueHouse member and this phenomenal list of
panelists, so welcome and please enjoy Wow. Welcome everybody, and thank you NeueHouse. Before we get started so who here is in a cannabis-related business? Anybody? Ah, a sprinkling of hands. Who wants to get into a cannabis-related business? Ah
more hands! Okay, who knows someone who’s in a cannabis-related business? I
think we covered everybody. This is a great group, we’re we’re along for the
ride together, and it’s really a pleasure. There’s this new wave of
modern cannabis and hemp-derived products that has entered the retail
mainstream thanks to these guys and really up until very recently, the
cannabis industry seems like it really didn’t have a lot of space for modern
design and presentation, let alone luxury while being under the veil of the black
market, but that veil has been lifted now there’s a lot of people entering the
space realizing that there is this upscale market and I’m really pleased to
have these four visionaries pushing this and creating a new path. These guys are
at the tip of the spear, so I’m going to go ahead and do my introductions. Right
there we have a Anja Charbonneau, the editor-in-chief of Broccoli Magazine, an
international magazine created by and for women who love cannabis. This is my
favorite quote of hers, “our purpose is to normalize Cannabis by discussing it
through the lens of art, fashion, and culture. She’s joining us from Portland,
Oregon, a legal state. Next to her, on her right, we have Cindy Capobianco, founder
of Lord Jones, a luxury CBD brand that Into The Gloss recently referred to as,
“the chicest line of cannabis products that ever existed.” She flew in from Los
Angeles, also a legal state. Sitting right here next to me, we have
Andrew Goetz, co-founder of apothecary brand (MALIN+GOETZ) and although he
doesn’t actually put cannabis in his cannabis collection of candles, fragrances,
and handwashes, he was definitely one of the first to reference
cannabis in the modern apothecary space, and in the process we feel he
transformed the category. And as we all know, New York is not a legal state. I’m
sorry Andrew. “Yet”. But that’s coming. And then on the end here, we have
Megan Villa, creative and content director of @SvnSpace an e-commerce and
storytelling site focused on hemp and CBD-derived wellness for women. I’m going
let her video do the talking for her. [Video Plays] I I love that video Megan. I’m gonna go
down the line and start with you. “So what is driving this new “Modern Green
Evolution?” Is it wellness, beauty, skincare, fashion, design, what’s
the opportunity here? I think it’s all opportunity — but if I had to pick one, I would probably say wellness, because I think that’s the most accessible, I think most people are
interested in that these days, feeling good about themselves. A lot of people
have ailments that they’re looking to cure, and a lot of them are looking to
natural remedies, and cannabis is a plant and it’s natural, and I think that’s why
a lot of interests lies there with CBD obviously, that’s the hot topic these
days, and I just think the plant in general is amazing and the more people
learn about it the more people are going to become engaged with it so I would say
probably the wellness side of the plant, I think is what is really driving
driving this on the product end. and Anja, from where you sit,
creating stories and storytelling and imagery around this what are you seeing
driving it from a publishing and media end? I think there’s so many
different sectors like you’re saying like wellness and beauty and that are
going to blow up in a really huge way and while we’re not making products that
you can consume or rub on your skin or anything, we do have a chance to tell
some really interesting stories about what people who are getting into the
industry or who have been part of it while it was illegal or still illegal,
we can really bring those voices forward and make sure that the cannabis
that’s happening now still really pays attention to like who was there first
and how we can like make it a really responsible and ethical industry. And
Cindy, I think I know what you might say, but what do you think is driving this
market from a products perspective? Well, you know, I think cannabis is
the most exciting category right now in the health and wellness
sector, and cannabis is like no other business I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
We believe that we’re part of a revolution so we don’t think about
CBD, we think about this ancient plant- based medicine, which has been
stigmatized for so long and we’re committed to de-stigmatizing, normalizing
and bringing this plant to the level of awareness that it deserves so I
think the possibilities with cannabis are endless and infinite and you know
we’re committed to educating people so that they can really understand what
this is and how it works. And Andrew, from where you sit? So we looked at it from a little bit of a different perspective because we were literally as a skincare brand, about wellness and
well-being for for your skin, and cannabis for us was an opportunity to
look back at the history of cannabis because it really went back to old
apothecaries to the early 19th century and it was a very much a
staple of it, and it was about wellness and it was used for glaucoma and anxiety
and all sorts of reasons and we thought well this was an opportunity to sort of
bring it to the forefront but also to be a little cheeky about it. We also have
been rebellious within our within our sector and so we thought we’d stir the
pot a little bit by making it a cannabis candle, an eau de parfum, and handwash.
And to that, experts say the next trillion dollar industry is health
and wellness, and Andrew isn’t and wasn’t the original intent of apothecaries
wellness — so is the apothecary the the new dispensary or is the
dispensary the new apothecary? Or is it both? I think it’s probably both.
It’s the dispensaries that are picking up where the traditional chemist and
apothecaries have left off. From a completely different perspective I think.
And Cindy are do you feel like you’re going to be in apothecaries and high-end
retail? What are your thoughts on what Andrew just said? I think cannabis is
unfortunately far from being legalized that broadly, and we feel like this is
just the tip of the iceberg this is the beginning of consciousness about this
plant which of course is thousands and thousands of years old, but you know I
think that what’s happening is that people are realizing that prescription
medication has tremendous side effects at some point in taking it for whatever
ailment, it can stop working and it’s not
effective any longer, and what we’ve learned through our business is
that the possibilities around cannabis are really endless. So I feel like this
is just the beginning. I don’t know if we’ll be on the shelf in
standard apothecaries but I’m hoping that this is the beginning of the tide
that will continue to turn. Speaking of the market, we love
that women seem to be driving this new upscale market — skincare, beauty, media — Anya, you were recently quoted in Vogue as saying, “no one was speaking to
this massive group of women who are creative, driven, intelligent, and have a
lot of interests outside of weed.” Can you expand on this? Is this true?
What is the demographic? is it women? Yeah, for people who are creative, really hard-working, and enjoy using
cannabis, it’s not often the 24/7 focus
of their lives right and until these new things have started popping up like
really great little ceramic pipes like the ceramicists have done a lot of work
for us I think making things look better and make it fit into part of everyone’s
daily life in a way that feels comfortable and to like really show that
that moment that you take if you are someone who uses cannabis it’s like you
know it’s a ritual and it’s something that should be treated the way you would
treat any other important part of your life. So, when we were treating it like
something special, it fits in. Megan your site is geared
for women’s wellness — what are you seeing? Did did you start the
site because something was missing filling a void? Is this a
women’s market? Is that the customer? Yeah, definitely. Women
are our direct customer and we came across a lot of amazing female platforms
in more of the cannabis/marijuana space but there was a huge hole in the hemp
space and you know hemp’s kind of like the redheaded stepchild that people
don’t talk about much it’s not quite as glamorous but you know the more and more
that we learned about the plant we just were like we have to tell people about
all of these amazing things that it can do and so we just want to educate women —
and men — if they want to come to the site but we are focused on beauty, wellness,
and lifestyle, so that’s all aspects of the plant from CBD and hemp oils, to food
products, to apparel like this dress is Mara Hoffman. it’s 100% hemp. When you’ve
got people like Mara Hoffman that are moving into this space, it’s going to, like you said, change the tides. I think people are going to start learning
more about it, how amazing it is, how sustainable it is,
and we just want to kind of scream it from the rooftops and just
educate people on it. And Cindy, you know and then back to Megan, can
you discuss the CBD, “cannabidiol” is a hundred percent legal
it’s non-psychoactive it’s showing up in a ton of products. What
challenges are you facing even though it is legal and growing your CBD business, you know with regulations, or gray areas and things
like that? I don’t think it’s true to say
it’s completely legal— it still exists in a gray area and you know it’s very
tempting to you know because it’s being accepted at the in the culture so
quickly to to feel like it is legal but CBD, hemp-derived CBD is
still under the cannabis plant family of plant and umbrella — cannabis is a
“schedule 1” narcotic just like heroin. A “schedule 2” narcotic is cocaine, so in
the in the eyes of the federal government, cannabis is highly illegal so it’s a very gray area, it’s very
complex ,the laws, the federal laws and municipal laws are changing daily so we
are constantly monitoring these laws. Anyone who’s in this business knows that
you have to take, you have to shoulder some risk to be in this
business and you have to figure out what risk is right for you. So just briefly
kind of a 101, CBD is “cannabidiol” it’s one of the over a hundred active
compounds in the plant that are called cannabinoids. The other very well-known
cannabinoid is THC, “tetrahydrocannabinol” which is the psychoactive compound. It
gets you high, it’s a euphoric compound. There are many, many, many, other
cannabinoids — the research and the understanding of this plant is changing
everyday and that’s incredibly exciting but it’s a very
complex and a legally gray business still to enter, and to be in. I mean there are, you know, gray
areas, and Megan you carry CBD products hemp-derived products how does that
impact what you’re carrying and what’s tracking in terms of products?
How do you select products with this new avalanche of products?
What is your methodology because there are these regulations. The
biggest thing for us right now we’re sticking to topical CBD products,
we’re staying away from tinctures and vapes and all that kind of stuff, but
one of our biggest problems has actually been promoting who we are and getting it
out there. Facebook and Instagram have denied any post that we’ve tried to
promote. You know, an example is, we did a Father’s Day gift guide the other day, we
posted an image of a father and a little girl — we did not even mention the word
hemp in it and we got declined because now we’re on a flag list. So we’re just
trying to educate people about a plant, everything about this plant is amazing
and we’re getting shut down by these big monsters companies like Facebook and
Instagram, and I know a lot of other brands are dealing with this. And then
just really quickly on the hemp side of things and the laws — literally two days
ago the Senate committee just actually approved the farm bill which has a hemp
bill as a part of it that Mitch McConnell actually, it’s a bipartisan bill,
it’s just a really big deal to basically legalize industrial hemp under the farm
bill so it would take it off of that “Schedule 1”
and people would be able to farm it and grow it and so that’s a really big deal
it’s supposed to go before the Senate I think before July 4th so that’s a huge
win for the hemp industry and that would eliminate a lot of that gray area with
hemp-derived CBD and kind of give that safety net to a lot of the
companies that are creating these amazing products that they don’t have to
kind of hide in the shadow. That was actually my next question
so thank you very much — let’s talk tactically, the only place
that the Google and Facebook duopoly isn’t dominating is the cannabis business
because they’re not allowing this to happen. People are getting shut
down accounts, it’s impacts people’s customer acquisition, every other
business and e-commerce business can run customer acquisition campaigns
so I would go down the line, Megan you’ve even had some issues
with SEO, so what is working to build audiences and and do customer
acquisition for you and then we’ll just kind of go down the line. Well something
I have to say really quick about Lord Jones is I feel like Lord Jones has done
a phenomenal job of PR and I think that’s a great way of getting around
advertising and getting the word out about your brand or your product.
Influencers too — you kind of have to skirt around the traditional advertising and
like I said Lord Jones I’ve seen it pop up everywhere and it’s actually been
huge I think just for the industry as a whole because it’s getting eyeballs I
mean even Broccoli, the coverage that you guys have been getting in mainstream
media I think is helping a lot just with people being interested and them wanting
to learn more and seeking out certain brands in certain media outlets so I
think PR is huge and influencer marketing — but it’s it’s hard it’s really hard. Cindy you’re a fashion industry veteran and you’ve come from
from Donna Karan and Banana Republic, how has PR and then we can even
talk about “experiences” how is it measurably impacted your business
because it does seem like that traditional avenue is what we have to
work with for now. So you know we have never paid for any placement we
we’ve never used anything but earned media. Our product has been lucky enough
to have you know very powerful word-of-mouth and that goes beyond the
packaging, the packaging will only get you so far because if the product
doesn’t live up to your expectations around what the box looks like you won’t
get a repeat customer and a business is built on repeat customers so so you know
word-of-mouth is very important. We were lucky enough to have a lot of
influencers who were really kind of the first to put themselves out there,
Jessica Seinfeld and Mandy Moore and Amy Schumer who really wanted to
join this wellness movement and the movement around de-stigmatizing and
educating and so we feel that we’ve really been fortunate but we just
you know we keep it real, the brand is authentic, it’s a real extension of you
know mine and my husband who’s the founder, I’m the co-founder our, beliefs
and our values and it takes a lot of diversity and a lot of different
voices who have shared values to create a revolution so as far as your question
about women dominating this business I actually I don’t think that’s
necessarily true there there are a lot of female voices and I really think
because you know there’s so many caregivers and cannabis really attracts
caregivers because it’s very powerful medicine but we are
longtime believers and proponents of social justice
so you know we love many kinds of kinds of diverse voices, male, female, any gender
any belief system as long as they’re kind of part of
seeing cannabis as what it really is and spreading the word.
That’s what’s meaningful to us. Thank you. Andrew, from where you are
building a more traditional modern apothecary brand, what has
worked for you on the traditional side and are you facing any restrictions when
you’re rolling out your “Cannabis Collection?”
What’s working for you in the and what’s not?
To go back a little bit for the women’s perspective, when we first
created our our cannabis scent it’s very peppery, it’s spicy and one
might say that it could possibly skew more to men than women and interestingly
what we found is that we had a really strong female following with the
fragrance, that it definitely tapped into a female movement of some kind and we
were super pleasantly surprised by that because the scent is a little bit, it’s
maybe more traditionally spicy than a woman might wear but I think women
really were attracted to the concept of of it being cannabis and making a
statement, probably a little bit in the name as well as the the fragrance. From a
regulatory perspective, we we faced two problems. One in the U.S. having actual
cannabis in it was problematic for so many regulatory reasons — we
originally had cannabis in it but we had to take it out because it became too
problematic with all the different municipalities and states and then
ironically, we are not allowed to sell this product in the European Union
because it does not have cannabis in it so you you can’t win of course. So the
more that things evolve and the more the things change, it
becomes gentrified so to speak then we it will be better for all of us. Anja
you’re actually creating a tactile experience,
we didn’t really talk about the personal experience, you’re creating a
printed magazine, you don’t have a ton of content online
that’s by design, Can you talk about this kind of analog kind of personal
experience maybe we can all talk about that why that is kind of special to
cannabis, CBD or what we’re talking about? I mean we get to exist in a cool
space because we’re making something that is all about well you know 80%
about cannabis but it doesn’t have to — we don’t have to worry about regulations
because it’s a magazine so we get to talk about all of the topics that might
still be illegal or gray and we can be kind of free with it because we are
totally independent and have that have that flexibility to explore it in a
really interesting way and I think with with cannabis, I mean I love print on
it’s own and I come from a publishing background and the experience of
cannabis is so sensory and really takes you away like I don’t want to look at a
screen if I’ve smoked weed you know, I want to have my moment to dive
into the details, so I think that’s just something that works a lot better when
you’re holding a real thing in your hands and you can really dive into like
the images and the feeling of it so we take a lot of a lot of notes from that
internally on our editorial team too we try to consider like what our reader
might want to listen to and maybe a little music recommendation and a
caption or what scent or something like that they might want to explore along
with it so we try to touch on these different parts of life that cannabis
really is part of like it’s such a sensory thing, and that can exist in
print much better than I think it can digitally. This next question
was actually planted on LinkedIn through Travis Stratford where are you? Is he here? Ah Case Agency, yes thank
you! So, Travis had a great question… How do
you build a prestige brand in this space? Andrew, you’ve kind of
started in the traditional space and now in the cannabis space so I’ll
start with you. What are the lessons that you can apply to building a
prestige brand like skin and beauty care have traditionally done with
experiences and brand experiences so how do you do that? What are the
pitfalls? We hopefully started already with a prestige luxury brand and
when we introduced cannabis it was really looking back again to the roots
of the traditional apothecary and the thing that’s so wonderful about
fragrance it is by nature Proustian. It’s about telling a story and it’s about
evoking memories and in thinking, and so all these things are very, very, elevated
by nature. We weren’t going in a hippie direction, in a “Fast Times At
Ridgemont High” direction, it was always like how are we going to elevate this
very sophisticated plant that has so many amazing properties and bring it
back to something that was very about wellness, and something that was very
beneficial. So it was it was sort of built in already with the brand and the
way that we were angling it. Cindy from where you sit, you’re coming
from in to coming out to being a prestige brand, is it messaging? I noticed
in your packaging when you open it there’s a little message that says, “The
Lord works in mysterious ways,” and I was very tickled by that, your
packaging has been referred to as the “Hermes of CBD”
with good reason so how do you build a prestige brand?
We we built the brand that we were looking for and couldn’t
find. I’m a low dose user so that was very important. We couldn’t
find anything that was under 20 milligrams of THC which is a very high
dose. I take two milligrams and I’m perfectly happy, so I had to cut a cookie
into 17 pieces and it was like Russian Roulette you know you take a tiny crumb
of 180 milligram cookie and sometimes you’d had to have a great experience and
sometimes you’d be in the corner for 36 hours praying, so so we knew we wanted to
create a brand that was a low dose brand, it was one piece for one dose —
you weren’t cutting anything, we also we set out to create a brand that
overall would elevate the category but we wanted whatever the product was we
wanted it to be a great experience, to taste wonderful, to feel wonderful, to
have terrific ingredients even if it weren’t infused so you weren’t choking
down some terrible confection just to get high. We wanted to figure
out how to actually dose the product so you knew exactly what you were getting
and our topicals are dosed so every pump you know exactly how much medicine is in
it so we set out to to create a brand that that was transparent, that
stood for quality and efficacy, that was consistent most importantly — that every
time you bought it you had the same experience. So we created the brand
that we wanted to see in the world. You’ve also mentioned how important
education is right so that’s whatever level you come in at —a
Sephora counter or something that really requires education and reduces the stigma.
What are you doing in terms of education to build the brand as well? Is
it workshops? is it on-sites? Is it focus groups? Right. Out of the gate we positioned
ourselves as a health and wellness brand because if we knew anything about
cannabis we knew that when we consumed cannabis in whatever way, the
anxiety that we were experiencing was diminished, so we always
thought about it as having powerful medicinal properties but we also
partnered with many mainstream brands that people would recognize like the
Standard Hotel, and hopefully, if everything goes as planned, we’ll open the first
Lord John’s store in the lobby of the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood. We
partnered with Equinox. We partnered with NeueHouse and Neuehouse was really
such a pioneer in terms of us reaching a like-minded consumer. We
hosted medicated sound baths. Sound baths are a modality of, it’s basically
meditation for dummies. There’s some kind of sound modality you come in you lay
down and you’re put into a really incredible state of calm and
presence, so we would medicate on the front end, have a sound bath and NeueHouse was the first the first place that hosted our sound baths and had the
courage to get into this space and take great risk with us so we are very
grateful. We thought about the mainstream, we thought
about, “how do we cut into the zeitgeist” and our packaging starts a
conversation and then we just went from there.
Andrew, taking it back to design you know your packaging has been
featured and I think at the cooper-hewitt San Francisco Museum and
what I think may have been missing for a while in this space is great
design, modern design and doesn’t great design create trust in a sense? Or
an emotion or is it storytelling? Yes it creates great trust, it
inspires and it also provokes, I mean you know listen the reason we named our
product “cannabis” was to be provocative and to de-stigmatize, it was meant to tell a
story but also turn the knife a little bit and say well you know this is a
unique product and it’s really special and it’s not what you necessarily think
it is and design features into into that very, very,
very heavily. I’ll go down the line with this. What happens when there are no
more restrictions? How does that impact your business?
Megan, what do you do? And then Anja and then Cindy and
Andrew. What happens when you can do anything? Does it remove the allure? Is
there no more creative tension? Is there no more rebellion about it? I
feel like you want to answer this first. As a personal, well my
journey with cannabis back in my high school days was always more
about rebellion I always thought of myself as a pot smoker manqué. I
like the idea of it more than I actually was good at it and so I think part of
the allure is of course being contrarian and being a little bit on the outside
and but eventually we do want to bring people into the fold and we do want to
demystify it but sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination.
Megan ? I agree with the journey but for us it’s like our dream world to have everything legal
across the country because then everybody can access all the medicinal
qualities of the plant all of the you know there was like over a thousand uses
for hemp alone, known uses for hemp —from hemp concrete to build your
house, to clothing, to car doors, bio plastics, so the day that it’s legalized
a hundred percent across the country I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. I completely agree. The
more accessible to everyone and you don’t have to hear these stories of
children being removed from their parents because they’re trying to help
them. I think that the takeaway is you guys are
positioned. You guys are at the tip of the spear and you’re ready for it
so once that happens you know Cindy do you just go full-on into
more products more marketing because you are a very senior
marketing executive that’s your a background, very sophisticated.
I hope that that’s the future I think what we’ve discovered
about this plant through working with patients who have so many
different very, very serious ailments from migraine sufferers to cancer
patients to patients who are addicted to opioids are allergic to opioids and have
no other options for pain management and are post accident or post-operative,we hope that that is the future and what happens when we get there I
can’t say, every single day we assess all of the
changes in the federal and municipal and state laws on a day by day basis.
It’s looking good. Things are going quickly in some ways but you know I
think we have to worry about Big Pharma coming in what does that look like?
Mitch McConnell’s interest in hemp is really driven by money not about
wellness but we’ll take it so you know I think it’s it’s hard to predict the
future and everything has changed so quickly in so many ways but we remain
hopeful. I’m just gonna add one other thing that the in defense of
legalization is one of the great injustices of marijuana has really been
social justice and that kids in privileged neighborhoods who and go to
fancy private schools when they smoke pot you know it’s cool it’s fine they
get a slap on the wrist, and if you live in the inner city
three-strikes-you’re-out so there’s a terrible terrible price to
pay that happens with the divisions and class and ethnicity. This is a
perfect segué because this is the question that we’re going to end on
before we open up the Q&A. As you were saying you know cannabis forever has
been in the benign way for young white, mostly
men, to rebel but non-white men are put in jail and continue to be in
jail so in our quest for the elevation of this and design and luxury,
what can we do about creating a positive impact an embracing diversity on a
consistent basis? Is it messaging, imagery hiring? This
many panels worth, but we have to discuss this so I’m thinking Megan, if we go down the line like what do you do? What do we do to
kind of create this path and take everyone with us? Well, I think because
this is a new and fast-growing industry it’s a perfect opportunity for
us to start off on the right foot you know to start brands that are our
conscious brands that are hiring, they’re diverse brands and even making products that are transparent
from the beginning. I just think it’s a huge opportunity to really take hold of
the whole package because this is such a new industry it’s just
wide open and it’s you can start from the beginning instead of
getting twenty years down the road and saying, “oh we only have thirty percent
women and seventy percent man we need to hire more women,” we can actually start from the
beginning and make sure that we’re diverse from the start and that
everyone’s getting an equal opportunity. And Anja, what are your
thoughts? I agree. I think it’s a lot about the the transparency and what not
only product quality but like who’s running the company? When we talk about
women entrepreneurs in the space the numbers are really low, they’re
higher than the other industries but they’re low and it’s not going to be enough
for a company’s design to look great or maybe even for their products to be
great, we need to see that people are spending their resources where they
can on social justice because cannabis and social justice are the same thing.
You can’t have one without the other. On a consumer level we can
ask for those things, we can go in a legal place like to a dispensary and say
do you have any women on farms represented here or
participating in those things on a consumer level and as well on the
business level if you’re the person controlling the money like do that work.
And Cindy? You know all the entrepreneurs out there can make a decision
to run their companies in a way that promotes social justice, paying a living
wage, making sure that you are running your company in a
way that promotes diversity, promotes social justice. Anyone who knows anything
about the licensure process, it’s complex to say the least, but you know the
municipalities are really forcing companies to take a very strong stance
on social justice and diversity and if there’s
anything that anyone in the cannabis space knows it’s we have deep
respect for those who came before us and took tremendous risks and cultivators
who’ve been doing this for hundreds of years and people have
been incarcerated and that’s incredibly meaningful to us, those who
started this this revolution and continue to speak out so it’s
all about the values of your company and the choices that you make and that
translates to the consumer. That authenticity is really kind of the
essence of your brand and the essence of your voice. and Andrew? Your thoughts?
I mean we’re in a little bit of a different category obviously but again
I think when we look at why we named the product “cannabis” was to sort of yes be
provocative but provocative for change to demystify it to quote-unquote
decriminalize it and that if we made it something that you walked into someone’s
bathroom and they had a cannabis parfum or
handwash or a cannabis candle burning, wow that’s sort of edgy but then you see
it over and over again it’s sort of like ah yeah it’s kind of a scandal so we’ve
we’ve taken a little bit of the badness out of it. Yeah I think in
in closing out, I mean luxury today is accessibility and being inclusive and
and as we you know move forward together and Megan as you said a redo is
long overdue and honestly you guys are the ones doing
it and we appreciate you coming in. if you’ve noticed the common thread here
it’s an entrepreneurial and activist streak so I think we have some very
talented people up here and I think we’ll open it up for a Q&A. Thank everyone on the panel. One quick question
we talked you talked about noticing on top of all of the legal know that all
the changes in the judicial branches and talking about just on the last question
about giving back or what are you doing — my question is what what is the
actual thing you’re doing to actually help people who probably have been
incarcerated because of the industry? Good question! Because it takes about
$2,500 to expunge a person who has been convicted of
what exactly are you doing to help these people? Anja: there’s
a really cool team of all women lawyers in LA — some people are
sponsoring these events in really great ways. They’ll help you
fill out the forms, some like Marley Natural sponsored one and maybe a year
ago up in Washington that they covered the fees for everyone who did it which
was like really cool to see because they they have the resources to
do things like that and yet the same kind of thing with these women in LA
they did work, an open day where you could
sign up and come and get your questions answered and they would
help you make a step forward. So we don’t really have the resources yet but
we can help lift up like those people who are helping so we try to connect
people who are doing good work and those are the people we write about in the
magazine. Our best move is awareness at this point without the
cash. Q: in terms of the payment
processors and banking if it’s federally illegal and then legal by
States how do you navigate that? That’s the $10,000 question? You get a
really good lawyer to start. That’s than more than $10,000 🙂 Banking is very
complex. It’s federally regulated and payment processing is another
complexity it’s hard for me to tell you and get into it here but you have to find
the right partners, local banks who can give you the support that you need and
payment processing is a whole other universe so there’s no easy answer
to that question, but that’s why I always try to correct the
idea that you know cannabis is legal because there are so so many different
aspects of business that make it challenging to operate and and
every day there are you know ways in which we’re making headway as a country,
and ways in which we’re still really restricted in this business. I can talk
to you a little bit after if you like. Q:I’d like to know who the next Lord Jones
is? Maybe it’s an easier question for Megan or Anja but I I do I hope that
there’s one brewing and I want to know who you think it might be? I hope so too.
I mean I don’t I don’t know I think there are lots of great companies
doing great work in the space and I know there are a lot of people who are
interested in getting into this space so I hope they’re there are many more
companies. Do you mean like specifically in
edibles are just who’s exciting to us? Just exciting. Well, I really love
this brother and sister fashion duo called “Sundae School” like ice cream
sundae with an “AE” and they are just super fun korean-american duo that make what they
call “smokewear” and their fashion line is so playful, so fun ,their look books
are amazing they’re having such a good time with it and they have such a sense
of humor and are bringing the fashion side into it in a way that I just adore,
like everything they do, so watch them, They’re fun too. Q: guys thanks for so much
for hosting this. I’m active both on the hemp side in the State of New York
and in the cannabis side in multiple states but what I’m struggling with
right now is taking a look at when you might get some “280e relief” you know to
be a tax nerd, it’s when you can deduct your operating expenses while being
involved in a cannabis business or when we may see the Congress push a more or
take more of a formal stand in delegating you know states rights and
letting them really run a you know a full cannabis program on a state level –
do you guys have it any view on that? I think it’ll be interesting to see what
Canada does with that because it it is federally legal
now, they’re kind of working province to province so there are still
specific rules for each each province so it’s like a little of what we have here
but also something new that I think will be really interesting to watch how their
government like shapes that whole system. That’s my best idea. It’ll be really interesting. if the Republicans stand for anything
they stand for states rights so you know that’s the silver lining maybe, so you
know in some ways the momentum is going in very positive
direction so we’re hopeful that it continues. We have a question over there. Q: hello, thank you again and for who
invited me, Anja thank you. I wanted to ask, like I’m lucky I have a mentor, she’s
an angel investor, that’s the only reason I’m in this whole cannabis industry but
if you don’t have somebody like that if you don’t have an angel investor you
don’t have a mentor how do you recommend people getting started in the business? I
had a lot of phone calls and honestly those calls and those conversations that
I had with mostly other women who are already in the space were the thing that
really convinced me that it was worth doing. I think anytime you’re
bringing something new into any market or any industry you there needs to be a
need for it and if people have a real personal desire to see this thing come
to life then you find yourself with a really tremendous community right away
and that’s been something that I would never ever expect to find jumping into
any other industry like the support and the sense of community that I’ve been so
welcomed into just keeps me motivated. It blows my mind and I do
everything I can to pay it forward to because every conversation you have you
think of five other people that that person should meet and talk to and
they’re met with that same enthusiasm right now because we can’t do it by
ourselves. It’s too new it’s too I mean, we need each other. I’m just gonna
put a button on this if I could get one sentence from each of you — what
are we gonna be talking about a year from now? Trump. Are you all gonna say the same? I hope
we’re not talking about that, wish not. I mean, in this space.
Trump, but seriously I don’t know honestly you know I um,
a month ago there was a new discovery a discovery of a new organ, “The Interstitium.” I know it sounds like I’m making it up but I’m not and it is four
layers below the outer layer of your epidermis and there have been many
questions about how acupuncture works and how cancer metastasizes and it’s
it’s The Interstitium is seen as a channel,, a fluid that runs throughout
your entire body and we have had so many questions about how CBD works and the
incredible efficacy you know you use it on your shoulder, and your foot that
hurts feels better, which makes no sense at all. if there are conversations about
transdermal is it topical so you know a new organ was just discovered the new
information that we’re learning every single day is changing this conversation
evolving this conversation on every single level so I hope that in a year we
know much more than we know now that many more people turn to plant-based
medicine than prescription medication and that the awareness spreads and that
the acceptance is more evolved than where it is now. Great. Anja?
I really want to see us finding new ways to experience cannabis together and
in groups like you can’t consume in a public space in legal states together so
they’re really restricted to these private homes and I’m ready for the
like Museum of Ice Cream but for weed. Where you can wander through some really fun sensory
space. Megan? They’re coming to get us because they know what we’re talking about… again speaking on behalf of hemp,
if this farm bill passes that’ll be huge and it’ll just create a whole new
industry for farmers instead of subsidizing corn you know paying people
to not grow corn hopefully the government can pay farmers to grow hemp.
I just see this whole new industry coming out and hopefully in the next
year you know it’s it’s it’s a long road but if they can legalize hemp and get it
off of the “Schedule 1” classification it’s going create a lot more jobs. We
don’t want coal workers, we want farmers to create this new miracle plant and
growing it and getting it out there in the country. I mean it’s all very
exciting it’s only tracking upwards. I really want to thank all of you for
coming before we send you over to the tables
over there our panelists have provided you all some goodies, in an orderly
fashion, I really want to thank our partners, Andrew, Cindy, Anja, Megan for coming out here, and I want to bring Anna Cogswell head of
memberships at NeuHouse. They’ve been an incredible partner she has a few
comments to make and thank you again. I really don’t have much to say I just
want to say thank you all for coming and definitely please go over to
the table the products are incredible thank you.

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