Every Monday, Donnell Alexander and Alex Halperin break down the latest news and bring you conversations with the people shaping the future of cannabis.Copy a direct link to our podcast feed
This week’s episode comes to you from the New West Summit, held in San Francisco two weeks ago. Alex and Donny spoke to cannabis entrepreneur and P.R. maven Cynthia Salarizadeh about “vape-pocalypse,” how the industry can better communicate its message, what cannabis brands should know about public relations, and her own route into cannabis. They also discuss Alex’s latest story on dark money in cannabis in "The Ebbu Files."
This week, Alex and Donny talk to Liz Jackson-Simpson, the Chief Executive Officer of Success Centers, and her colleague Angela White, Success Centers’ Equity for Industry Program Manager. Success Centers is a San Francisco Bay Area-based nonprofit, originally founded over three decades ago by judges to help provide opportunities to youth in the juvenile justice system, and has since expanded to empower marginalized communities in the Bay Area -- including through job training in the cannabis sector. We also discuss the niche sector of military veterans providing security for cannabis cash, featured in Los Angeles magazine.
Alex and Donny talk to pot comedian Michael Glazer on how he's built a career around pot jokes, cooking, and even spirituality. The conversation gets deep -- but it'll still make you laugh.
This week, Donnell and Alex talk to Andrea Drummer, the chef behind Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, during a live recording at Weed Week Recharge, about how she went from a anti-drug counselor to a creative chef in the cannabis industry. They also discuss the biggest story in cannabis today: the vaping crisis -- beyond the headlines and the hype.
This week Alex and Donnell talk with Daniel Yaryan, publisher of Peer Amid Press, about Jerry Kamstra's 1974 memoir, Weed: Adventures of a Dope Smuggler. Just released as a 45th Anniversary Edition, the book tells the true story of Kamstra smuggling a massive amount of weed out of Mexico in the 1960's.
Alex and Donnell talk with John Wordin, founder of No Vet Alone, an organization that supports veterans dealing with mental health issues. Wordin tells us how his history as a professional cycler led him to No Vet Alone and how cannabis plays a role in his organization. Wordin has partnered with Mario Guzman (Sherbinski) to identify which strains help specific mental health issues. No Vet Alone claims that 62% of current participants have reduced or eliminated prescription drug use.
This week Donnell and Alex discuss Donnell’s visit to Bakersfield and the most populous California county without legal cannabis. Then Donnell introduces Jim Jarvis, former president of Kern County Citizens for Patients Rights, who takes us through the difficult journey toward—and away from—MED and REC in his Central town, including eyebrow-raising politics and an outsize movement figures.
Alex and Donnell talk with Ryan Munevar about decriminalizing mushrooms at a state-wide level. Munevar tells us about the origins of the California Psilocybin Decriminalization and Research Initiative 2020, how he approaches such a massive endeavor, why he prefers decriminalization over legalization and what he thinks of 9/20, the mushroom holiday.
This week Alex and Donnell bring you two interviews. We talk with Bloomberg journalist Jordan Rubin about a bizarre story he wrote about spice (or synthetic cannabinoids), two film makers facing life in prison, the Grateful Dead, a chemist who works for the DEA and a little-known Reagan-era drug law. We also speak with Aaron Trahan from the cannabis data company Headset about product trends.
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with Sahar Ayinehsazian, an attorney with the national cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg. We ask her why banks are hesitant to service the cannabis industry and we talk state and federal banking laws, the NCIA banking committee and what it looks like to lobby for cannabis. Also, what's the deal with the caves full of cannabis cash?
Donny visited Elvis McGovern’s extraction manufacturing company and sat down with McGovern to talk about how he has "MacGyvered" his machines to work for the specific needs of cannabis oil production, the increasing demand of concentrates, changing extraction technology and his recommendations for entry points into the industry.
For this bonus episode, Alex and Donnell chat with Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of America's etiquette queen Emily Post. Lizzie is co-president of The Emily Post Institute and author of Higher Etiquette, a book about cannabis etiquette. We ask Lizzie all of our burning questions, from what to do if your friend is smoking up your weed to the best way to politely decline a slobbery blunt and we discuss how the etiquette of buying and consuming weed has dramatically changed with legalization.
This week we bring you a conversation with chef Marcus Colbert and his partner Alex that Donnell captured on the road. LoudVision, the duo's cannabis cuisine enterprise, is part of the East Bay's He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother collective, which includes the Munchie Movement and 4&20 Blackbirds. Marcus and Alex tell Donnell about hosting high-end private dinners with a focus on infused food and beverage pairings and explain the ways that sharing opens the door to conversations that challenge the status quo. Plus, be careful with your weed if you aren't a U.S. citizen.
This week Alex and Donnell talk with Shaleen Title, one of five commissioners on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Title's goal is to ensure legalization has economic benefits for victims of past injustice. She updates us on the status of licensing in MA and what she has learned from mistakes in CO and the west. Plus, we have an update on cannabis banking.
Alex and Donnell sit down with Bruce Linton, former CEO of Canopy Growth, who started Tweed in a defunct chocolate factory and turned it into the world's largest cannabis company. He tells us how he approached running Canopy Growth in his "own way," investing in exploration and growth with a goal to create a dominant company and how that eventually led to his termination. He also talks extraction, international markets, the future of cannabis beverages and what he plans on doing next.
Donnell and Alex recap some of the biggest stories from the first half of 2019. We cover the growing power of multi-state operators, Oregon’s interstate commerce wishes, the past and future of equity programs, California’s crack downs, consumption laws and much more.
Jesse Staniforth, Editor of WeedWeek Canada, updates Alex and Donnell on breaking Canadian stories. There is no lack of scandal: Cannabis giant Canopy Growth fired founder and CEO Bruce Linton and CannTrust, a major licensed producer, is estimated to lose C$350 Million for ignoring the law. New regulations limiting THC in edibles exacerbate the over-packaging crisis. The country continues to battle the illicit market which is now also available online and is known by the cool name "MOMS" (mail order marijuana sites). Plus, Alex and Donnell discuss Jay-Z's partnership with Caliva.
Portland's 2017 Budtender of the Year, Tiara Darnell, tells Alex and Donnell how budtending prepared her for cannabis advocacy, from studying strains and fielding medical inquiries to witnessing the ugly truth behind "inclusive" brand marketing. Darnell says she has not lost hope in cannabis equity programs and she introduces us to her forthcoming podcast, High, Good People, which explores the relationship between people of color and cannabis in the new age of legalization. Also, an interview with Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy drops today on WeedWeek.net and Italians are smoking "cannabis light."
Double Blind editors Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin stopped by the studio to update Alex and Donnell on the change lapping at the shore of the psychedelic realm and explain why starting a magazine in 2019 "just felt right." Forthcoming policy around decriminalization, the psilocybin trials underway, and hallucinogens potential for improving mental health all contribute to that righteousness.
Alex and Donnell sit down with Ophelia Chong, founder of Stock Pot Images and Asian Americans for Cannabis Education(AACE). We talk with her about the importance of inclusive representation in stock photography, battling hate groups with education, her struggle with alcoholism, getting sober, and how she approaches using cannabis as a former addict.
@donnyshell comes to us from Camp Navarro in Mendocino County, where canna-tech company Meadow created a “weed camp” called Meadowlands. @donnyshell spoke with Meadow's CEO David Hua about the vision behind cannabis camp, the journey to creating one of the most popular dispensary POS systems, and how he stays positive in a sometimes brutal industry. Follow David Hua on Twitter at twitter.com/hua and check out Meadow at getmeadow.com. For more information about Meadowlands getmeadow.com/meadowlands
This week @donnyshell and @alexhalperin sit down with comedian Glenn Bolton to talk about smoking weed and growing up in Kansas City and how he uses cannabis to write jokes. We also discuss retired NFL players coming out in support of marijuana, and everyone shares their favorite stoner comedies!
This week @alexhalperin and @donnyshell call up writer and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich. We talk with her about discovering the allure of weed in Jamaica, exploring drugs in college, the capitalization of weed and the privilege of “wellness.”
This week @alexhalperin and @donnyshell sit down with Christian leader and founder of xxxchurch.com, Craig Gross, about his new mission: getting Christians to embrace cannabis. The edibles enthusiast founded christiancannabis.com after having a life-changing experience with cannabis and now he wants Christians to feel free to try weed for themselves. Also, the Oregon senate passes an interstate commerce bill.
This week we bring you an episode recorded live at WeedWeek's Recharge event. Alex and Donnell interview Nicole Elliott, senior advisor on cannabis to Governor Newsom, in the office of business and economic development. She talks with us about her experience ushering in legal cannabis in San Francisco, the challenges of California regulation, social equity and Governor Newsom's vision for the future of cannabis in California.
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with interior designer Danny Gonzales to discuss emerging trends in dispensary branding, the future of canna-lounges, and the unique challenges of designing for dispensaries. Plus, is cannabis addictive?
This week Alex and Donnell talk with hemp expert and consultant Joy Beckerman about discovering her passion for hemp at a Grateful Dead concert in 1990, the environmental and economic benefits of the plant and the complicated legality of hemp.
This week we bring you an interview with Portland-based artist DJ Verbz. Donnell sat down with him in March to discuss his transition into working in cannabis and the terpene extraction lab he runs, as well as how weed changed West Coast rap, and Verbz' monthly live hip hop show, The Thesis. Plus, we talk about oversupply in Oregon and an intellectual property dispute over the term "Women of Weed."
This week Alex and Donnell talk about weed and literature. We also speak with critically acclaimed author Gary Phillips about his new graphic novel BeBop Barbarians, how weed affected the music of late 20th-century South Central Los Angeles, Phillips' anthology The Obama Inheritance, and his new steps into Hollywood.
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with LGBTQ activist and cannabis entrepreneur Buck Angel to talk about the queer community's role in cannabis legalization, Buck's experience being the first trans man in LA to have hormone replacement therapy, and how he made his way from porn star to public figure. Plus, CBD is on the rise.
This week Alex and Donnell speak with Steve DeAngelo about his long history as a cannabis activist turned entrepreneur, and the integral role he played in merging big business and cannabis. Plus, Donny remembers Nipsey Hussle.
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with Cannabis Wire reporter Julia Barajas to talk about the illicit market, CA cities banning home grows, reporting weed stories from Latin America, and how she doesn’t tell her grandma she's a weed reporter. Plus, more and more aging Americans are using weed!
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with educator and activist Tamara Pettigrew, a.k.a. @thecannabiscutie. We talk with Pettigrew about her work as a market leader for WomenGrow, being a cannabis educator and a mom in the traditionally Republican Orange County, and the potential role of cannabis in the NFL.
New York-based reporter Jeremy Berke joins Alex and Donnell to discuss how Wall Street banks are wading into the green rush. Plus, a few words on data firm Headset’s partnership with mainstream data juggernaut Nielsen and the accounting giant Deloitte.
This week Donnell talks with Gregorio Gomez, the mayor of Farmersville, CA, about how he introduced recreational cannabis to an agricultural town of 11,000 people, why the mayor views marijuana like any other industry, and the road bumps to implementation. Plus, Alex and Donnell highlight some of the new weed bills introduced in Congress.
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with Sherbinski, a.k.a. Mr. Sherbinksi, an underground pot legend and creator of the Gelato strain. We talk with him about getting his start in San Fransisco in the early 2000's, the origin of Gelato, and how he marketed his weed organically through Bay Area hip hop. Plus, Alex discusses his story about cannabis impresario Dooma Wendschuh, who co- founded Ebbu and is now CEO of Province Brands.
At the end of 2018 Donnell spoke with dispensary owner and cannabis advocate Kimberly Cargile about how Sacramento found success in the wake of legalization, her unique business model with A Therapeutic Alternative, and her activism work over the past 15 years. Plus, cannabis makes it's way to the Oscars.
This week Alex and Donnell speak with Alex Berenson about his controversial book, Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence. Donnell and Alex (Halperin) push back on Alex Berenson's premise that marijuana use is linked to mental illness and an epidemic of violence.
This week we bring you an interview with former Fresno councilman Clint Olivier. Donnell sat down with Olivier at the end of 2018, days before he left office. Olivier talks us through his strategy for legalizing medical in a conservative city that was very anti-marijuana.
This week we bring you an interview that we taped last month at MJBizCon. Alex and Donnell talk with Jesse Staniforth, editor of WeedWeek Canada, to find out how Canada is doing one month into legalization. Plus, we bring you a story with a new twist on this time-tested pairing: getting stoned and playing video games.
This week Alex and Donnell talk with Allison Margolin, a cannabis lawyer known as "LA's Dopest Attorney." Margolin tells us about the latest developments in cannabis law in CA, the legacy of activism that she inherited from her father, and about her forthcoming book about the drug war. Plus, we bring you harvest themed cannabis news to kick off the holiday season.
This week Alex and Donnell talk with Keegan Peterson, founder and CEO of Würk, about reinventing HR in the cannabis space. Also, we recap MJBizCon in La Vegas and WeedWeek has a party.
This week Alex and Donnell talk with Jeffrey Hank, Executive Director of Michigan Legalize, on Michigan's progressive cannabis law that just passed on Nov 6th. Plus, we take a deep dive into the most significant election results and how they will shape the future of the industry. Keep up to date with Michigan Legalize's work by visiting www.milegalize.com Utah Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Legalization Ahead Of Compromise Deal: www.marijuanamoment.net/utah-voters-a…promise-deal/
This week Alex and Donnell talk to Bryant Mitchell, founder of Blaqstar Farms, on his history as a consultant and how that lead him into the cannabis world. Plus, we discuss a lawsuit brought against a Colorado dispensary, and is Paul Ryan looking for a job? You can buy Blaqstar product at California Cannabis dispensary on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles. Visit their website at www.blaqstarfarms.com or follow them on Instagram @blaqstarfarms coloradosun.com/2018/10/31/colora…-lawsuit-verdict/
This week Alex and Donnell come to you from the cannabis tech conference, New West Summit. We talk with two big players in the business of cannabis data: Giadha De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, and Elizabeth Stahura, president and co-founder of BDS Analytics. We also discuss the effect of the Marriott strike on the conference and the industry as a whole. Find out more about New Frontier Data at newfrontierdata.com. You can follow Giadha De Carcer on Twitter at twitter.com/GiadhaDeCarcer or twitter.com/NewFrontierData
We’re back! And we have a new co-host, Donnell Alexander! This week Alex and Donnell talk with Bonita “Bo” Money. She is the founder of Women Abuv Ground and NDICA, two organizations dedicated to paving a way for people of color in the cannabis industry. You can follow Bonita Money on Instagram at bomoney27 (www.instagram.com/bomoney27/?hl=en) Find out more about Women Abuv Ground at www.womenabuvground.com and NDICA at www.thendica.org or in Instagram at thendica18 (www.instagram.com/thendica18/?hl=en) The Diversity and Inclusion Social Equity Expo is October 27th at LA Trade Tech: www.eventbrite.com/e/national-expu…ets-51126975159 Read Shaleen Title's open letter to the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition: digboston.com/guest-opinion-thanks-but-no-thanks/
For our Valentine's Day episode, we sit down with Molly Peckler, founder of Highly Devoted, a cannabis-friendly matchmaking service. We discuss finding someone to share life (and a joint) with, dating around the stigma of weed, and how cannabis can help you find love. Plus, legalization is creating well-paying jobs.
This week we talk with former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, about his second career: pot entrepreneur. He tells us about being too famous for his own good, how weed has impacted his life for the better, and all about his upcoming cannabis-friendly music festival. Also, vape pens are failing safety tests in California.
This week Alex and Donnell talk with Cat Packer, the head regulator for Los Angeles (the world's largest cannabis market) on creating a cannabis department from scratch, the origin of her interest in drug policy, her comprehensive perspective on cannabis equity and what she sees for the future of cannabis regulation.
This week Alex and Donnell speak with cannabis journalist Amanda Chicago Lewis about her work on cannabis patents, social equity programs and predictions for the industry in 2019. Plus, Donny and Alex discuss the testing facility fiasco in Sacramento and what it means for the industry.
This week Alex and Donnell speak with Dr. Sherry Yafai, an emergency room physician and consultant for High Sobriety, an organization that uses marijuana to help people get sober. Plus, rapper Smokepurpp has a new THC product to help people kick lean (a codeine-based syrup) addiction.
Alex and Donnell spend the episode recapping 2018, a landmark year for marijuana. We bring you the big moments from this past year: 280E, the debut of social equity, the still thriving illegal market, rec legalization, and more!
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with Cannabics Pharmaceuticals co-founder Eyal Barad. Barad tells us about their latest research using cannabinoids to combat certain kinds of cancer. Plus, Canadians are mixing curling and cannabis.
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