• Navigating Cannabis Insurance with Jay Virdi

    We welcome Jay Virdi, Chief Sales Officer for Specialty Practices at HUB International, to discuss the evolving landscape of the cannabis industry and the complex world of cannabis insurance.  

    Jay discusses the intricacies of interstate commerce limitations and the potential scenarios if neighboring states collaborate on cannabis trade before full federal legalization. They delve into the recent DEA rescheduling of cannabis to Schedule III, its impact on the industry, and the possible effects on insurance premiums and coverage.

    The conversation also covers the substantial growth of HUB International's cannabis practice group, now serving over 1,000 clients with a dedicated team of more than 300 members. Jay shares insights into alternative risk financing strategies, such as parametric derivatives and captives, and the proprietary HUB Cannabis Benefits Captive designed to cover employees.

    Additionally, we discuss the increasing number of insurance carriers entering the cannabis market and the ongoing challenges cannabis businesses face in securing comprehensive coverage. They highlight the importance of specialized knowledge in underwriting and risk management to address the unique needs of cannabis-related businesses.

    Listeners will gain valuable perspectives on how HUB International leverages its expertise in emerging markets, including psychedelics and cryptocurrencies, to support the cannabis industry. Jay also emphasizes the company's commitment to human-centric programs and the integration of artificial intelligence to enhance service delivery.



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    40m - Jul 10, 2024
  • Cannabis PR Chronicles: Insights with Jordan Eisenstadt Jordan Isenstadt, SVP, Marino PR / Founder of Marino Cannabis Practice

    We dive deep into the evolving landscape of the cannabis industry from a PR perspective with Jordan Isenstadt, SVP, Marino PR / Founder of Marino Cannabis Practice. In this episode, we explore the synergy between strategic PR efforts and the dynamic changes in the cannabis sector, particularly in light of the recent DEA rescheduling of cannabis.

    Jordan shares how he prepares clients to comment on pivotal industry moments like rescheduling reform and safe banking, which play a crucial role in destigmatizing and normalizing cannabis. He also discusses the tailored media strategies they employ, balancing mainstream and trade outlets, and the unique challenges faced by different types of cannabis businesses.

    From matching clients with the right media platforms to managing the shifting dynamics of news coverage, Jordan and our host Brasco navigate the complexities of promoting the cannabis industry. They touch on the importance of local media, addressing state-specific trends, and the careful messaging needed to avoid misrepresentation.

    Whether you’re a cannabis industry insider or just curious about the interplay between media and marijuana, this episode offers valuable insights into the strategic communications that shape public perception and policy. Tune in to learn how effective PR can drive acceptance and growth in this rapidly changing field.



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    42m - Jul 3, 2024
  • Beniznga Miami 2024 On Location: Matt Hawkins with Entourage Effect Capital | Rick Cytrynbaum and Christian Hegeseth with VIST Labs

    More of Blunt Business, recorded live from the floor of Benzinga Miami 2024. We hear from three key figures in the cannabis investment space:

    Matt Hawkins, Managing Partner at Entourage Effect Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on the cannabis industry. Matt shares his expert perspective on the current investment landscape, discussing emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities for investors in the cannabis space.

    Rick Cytrynbaum, Founder and CEO of VIST LABS, a pioneering cannabis product development company. Rick delves into the world of cannabis innovation, showcasing VIST LABS' groundbreaking technologies and products that are shaping the future of the industry.

    Joining Rick is Christian Hegeseth, Chief Science Officer at VIST LABS, a renowned expert in cannabis science and formulation. Christian provides a deep dive into the science behind VIST LABS' products, explaining how their innovative approach is revolutionizing the way cannabis is consumed and experienced.

    We take a comprehensive look at the intersection of cannabis and investment, exploring the factors that drive investment decisions, the importance of scientific innovation, and the potential for growth in this dynamic industry.



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    23m - Jun 26, 2024
  • Beniznga Miami 2024 On Location: Kyle Sherman with Flowhub | Jeffrey Trappe,with Planet 13 Holdings, Inc.

    Blunt Business is on location at Benzinga Miami 2024. In this episode, we sit down with Kyle Sherman, CEO of Flowhub, and Jeffrey Trappe from Planet 13 for exclusive conversations about the future of the cannabis industry.

    Kyle Sherman shares his insights on the evolving landscape of cannabis technology, discussing how Flowhub is empowering dispensaries to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive sales. Jeffrey Trappe dives into the world of cannabis retail, revealing the strategies behind Planet 13's success as one of the largest and most iconic dispensaries in the world, and more specifically their ongoing expansion in Florida.



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    32m - Jun 19, 2024
  • Cannabis Rescheduling Implications for International Trade and Industrywide

    Kevin Williams & Craig Small, Attorneys at Clark Hill, discussed the recent changes in the classification of cannabis and their implications for international trade and the cannabis industry. 

    Kevin clarified his expertise on importing and exporting of cannabis accessories, while Craig, based in Colorado, offered insights on other areas of cannabis reclassification.

    We also discussed the upcoming changes to the classification of cannabis, which would allow for greater scientific research into its health benefits and risks. He and Craig discussed the potential implications of the U.S. Drug and Drug Administration's decision to reclassify cannabis to a less restrictive category, expecting it to lead to more federal permits for cultivation and increase participation in the cannabis industry. However, they also highlighted uncertainties regarding FDA oversight and compliance, and raised questions about the potential impact on paraphernalia and support products for cannabis.



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    35m - Jun 12, 2024
  • Cannabis Investment Opportunities, and Regulatory Hurdles with Anthony Coniglio

    We discuss cannabis investment opportunities, and regulatory hurdles with New Lake Capital Partners. CEO Anthony Coniglio, 

    Anthony highlighted the importance of cash flow, cost reduction, and operational efficiency in navigating challenges and seizing growth opportunities. 

    We also discuss the potential for individual investors pre-institutional entry, strategic investments, and regulatory complexities affecting the industry's trajectory.



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    42m - Jun 5, 2024
  • Legal Challenges in New York and New Jersey with Robert M. DiPisa

    Robert M. DiPisa from Cole Schotz discusses recent developments in the cannabis industry in New York and New Jersey, with a focus on concerns about third-party advertising leading to consumer confusion. Legal challenges such as Leafly litigation and supply chain issues due to licensing delays were discussed. Additionally, insights were shared on proposed bills for psilocybin legalization in New Jersey for medicinal purposes. Robert highlighted his firm's emphasis on serving clients in the east coast region within these markets, providing a comprehensive view of the legal landscapes impacting cannabis businesses in both states and outlining key challenges and opportunities for industry stakeholders.



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    34m - May 29, 2024
  • Navigating Diverse Markets: Investing Insights with Will McDonough

    We dive into the world of investment with Will McDonough, a titan in the financial industry and co-founder of Nancan Companies, as well as Chairman and Founder of Corestone Capital. With a track record spanning across continents and sectors, McDonough's insights are invaluable.

    In this episode, we explore McDonough's journey through the financial industry, from managing billions at Goldman Sachs to co-founding ventures like Atlas Mara. We delve into his foray into cannabis investments, discussing the strategic moves and considerations behind portfolio entries.

    McDonough shares his perspectives on emerging markets, including Green Energy Metals, the EV Market, and Bitcoin, shedding light on his approach to identifying opportunities and taking calculated risks.

    We also explore McDonough's recent ventures into the adult beverages market with Nancan Companies. We discuss the launch of Nantucket LONGBIRD™ drinks, infused with hemp and CBD, and McDonough elaborates on the flavor profiles and the company's focus on serving the Massachusetts cannabis market.

    Finally, we tackle the topic of investing in cannabis, analyzing the recent performance of cannabis stocks and the potential rewards and risks associated with this volatile market.



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    44m - May 22, 2024
  • Florida's Adult Use Cannabis Legalization and Amendment 3

    Matthew Ginder, Partner in the Cannabis Law practice group at Greenspoon Marder talks about Florida's adult use cannabis legalization, with a focus on achieving voter approval for Amendment Three in 2024. Matt Ginder and Brasco debated THC restrictions, consumption locations, and industry support, highlighting concerns about opposition from healthcare industries and the importance of strategic messaging by Smart and Safe Florida. They contrasted failed ballot initiatives with Smart and Safe's streamlined approach, addressing legislative challenges and market influence concerns. The meeting highlighted regulatory hurdles, industry influence, and the strategic lessons guiding Smart and Safe Florida's approach post-legalization, including legislative discretion, industry funding impact, public messaging strategies, and tribal involvement under Amendment Three. Compliance efforts by current operators were commended for maintaining industry standards and perception.



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    55m - May 15, 2024
  • Vaping Safety Measures, Regulatory Challenges, and Quality Assurance with ISO and GMP

    Blunt Business welcomes Michael Wang, Co-CEO and CFO with ISPIRE, a company specializing in e-cigarettes and cannabis vaping products. Discussions included collaborations with Hidden Hills, new device launches like Switch One, and partnerships with Burna Boy. Safety measures, regulatory challenges, and quality assurance with ISO and GMP certifications were highlighted. Market trends indicated a rise in vaping products in cannabis sales, with projections of vaping reaching up to 50% of retail sales. Strategic global expansion plans were explored through partnerships outside North America. I Spire's role as an innovator in hardware design for over 400 brands without direct branding association was emphasized, showcasing their forward-thinking strategies for staying ahead in the industry.



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    38m - May 8, 2024
  • "Safe Harbor Financial's Strategic Success: Sundie Seefried Shares Solutions and Strategies for Cannabis Business Bliss"

    Blunt Business welcomes Sundie Seefried, CEO, Safe Harbor Financial to talk about Safe Harbor Financial's recent operations and future plans. Seefried highlights the company's successful earnings call, showcasing an 85.3% revenue increase in 2023 and strategic moves to expand services and launch new lending products. We delve into topics such as lines of credit for clients, challenges like 280E tax burdens, and the impact of rising interest rates. They explore underwriting requirements, lines of credit based on cash flow analysis, and reliability factors setting Safe Harbor Financial apart in supporting cannabis businesses.

    We also talk about possibilities post-280E burden relief, reinvestment options after descheduling, and market dynamics related to taxation changes affecting business growth strategies. Both parties emphasize the importance of advocacy for business integrity and compliance in the industry. Seefried's company is noted for prioritizing serving members over profit-driven motives, echoing principles of a credit union. Brasco appreciates this approach for offering better access to lending and services than traditional banks supporting cannabis businesses.

    Criticism is directed at government inefficiencies in managing tax revenue from the cannabis industry, with concerns about licensing fees overshadowing potential tax revenue gains. Despite legal complexities, both parties stress the importance of selecting reliable partners for sustainable business operations. The exchange concludes with plans for future communication regarding shared insights into industry practices.



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    39m - May 1, 2024
  • Minnesota Adult Use Cannabis Plan Examined with Sara Gullickson

    Sara Gullickson, Founder and CEO from CB Advisors offers a sneak peek into her upcoming presentation at the Lucky Leaf Expo, where she will unveil strategies for executing operational plans for a successful cannabis launch in Minnesota. As the state gears up to join the ranks of legalized cannabis territories, her expertise promises to shed light on navigating this burgeoning market.

    We also tackle the ongoing debate surrounding the licensing process in Minnesota. With the proposed changes aiming to prioritize social equity applicants, Gullickson shares her thoughts on the merits of both merit-based scoring systems and lottery-based approaches. Drawing on her extensive experience in the industry, she offers valuable advice for businesses looking to thrive amidst these regulatory shifts.

    Furthermore, we explore the implications of temporary licenses and their potential impact on fostering diversity and inclusion within the industry. With Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's ambitious timeline to open dispensaries by 2025, Gullickson weighs in on the state's progress and assesses the framework laid out by the Office of Cannabis Management.



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    53m - Apr 24, 2024
  • Standardizing Laboratory Practices in the Cannabis iFor Accurate Testing

    Blunt Business discusses standardizing laboratory practices in the cannabis industry for accurate testing. We welcome Breanna Neff, Founder and Chief Food Scientist at brelixi, who shares insights on vetting labs for data integrity.

    Breanna introduced brelixi's products like THC/CBD powders for fast-acting functional solutions in daily life. NFL-funded research on cannabinoids as pain management alternatives, with two trials approved, was discussed. Neff also detailed brelixi's customizable shakes with low sugar content and unique electrolyte blends.

    We discuss the importance of education, diverse perspectives, and destigmatizing cannabis was stressed for potential funding rounds, as well as future product visibility strategies and collaboration enthusiasm.



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    42m - Apr 17, 2024
  • On the Current State of the Canadian Cannabis Market

    Blunt Business welcomes the CEO of Motif Labs Founder Mario Naric. We discuss the current state of the Canadian cannabis market, with Mario sharing insights on Motif Labs' success in the vapes and infused pre-rolls market. We highlight the significance of the upcoming review of the 2018 Cannabis Act, while later discussing the ongoing review of the Federal Cannabis Act and its impact on public health, consumption patterns, and indigenous communities. They also discuss the challenges and opportunities of navigating cannabis regulations in Canada, emphasizing the importance of compliance and exploring potential export opportunities.



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    41m - Apr 10, 2024
  • Assessing Biden Administration Attempts for Cannabis Reform

    We continue our discussion with Cat Packer, Director of Drug Markets and Legal Regulation, Drug Policy Alliance about the Biden Administration's proposal to reschedule cannabis from schedule one to schedule three under the Controlled Substances Act, arguing that while this move is significant, it falls short of the promise of decriminalization made by President Biden. 


    We also the federal government's recent analysis acknowledging the medical uses of marijuana, but also emphasized the need for further action to address the ongoing stigma surrounding marijuana use. We also discuss strategies for ensuring equity in cannabis licensing, including prioritizing social equity applicants, providing resources and education, and addressing predatory practices.



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    38m - Apr 4, 2024
  • A Comprehensive Approach to Cannabis Policy Reform

    Cat Packer, Director of Drug Markets and Legal Regulation, Drug Policy Alliance joins Blunt Business for a 2-part interview where we first discuss the need for a comprehensive approach to cannabis policy reform that prioritizes social equity and harm reduction. We talk about the importance of addressing social equity concerns, such as the concentration of unlicensed activity in local jurisdictions, and responsible and equitable enforcement strategies to encourage consumers and businesses to participate in the legal market.

    We also delve into Cat's experience from her previous tenure where she served as the first executive director of the city of Los Angeles Department of cannabis regulation, leading efforts to advise and implement cannabis business Licensing and Regulation in the world's largest cannabis market.



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    38m - Mar 27, 2024
  • Cannabis Licensing and Regulatory Compliance Challenges and Opportunities

    Paula Savchenko, Esq. Founder, Cannacore Group discusses cannabis licensing and regulatory compliance and the challenges and opportunities therein.



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    50m - Mar 20, 2024
  • Current State of Cannabis Legalization and Industry Development

    Robert Hoban, Chair, Cannabis Practice, Clark Hill discusses the current state of cannabis legalization and industry development. We also discuss recent halts in licensing due to court decisions and Robert sharing his firm's expansion into the European Union. We also highlight discussed difficulties faced in New York's licensing process, challenges in social equity licensing, and legal and regulatory obstacles. We also debate the impact of scheduling marijuana on businesses and public health, weighting potential benefits while raising concerns..



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    56m - Mar 13, 2024
  • Payment Solutions and Loyalty Programs to Drive Cannabis Industry growth.

    Blunt Business welcomes Jeffrey Harris, the CEO of springbig to discuss the importance of loyalty programs in the cannabis industry, We follow up on Springbig's growth and expansion to over 3000 retail locations. We also look into the challenges and opportunities in the industry, including investment strategies, regulatory changes, and tax benefits. Both emphasized the need for convenient payment solutions and loyalty programs to drive industry growth.

    We go through Cannabis industry gift cards and loyalty programs, loyalty rewards program design., retailer loyalty programs and bonus points during holidays., loyalty programs and customer expectations in business., The challenges of taking a company public during a stock market downturn and Cannabis industry growth and challenges



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    50m - Mar 6, 2024
  • Building Celebrity Cannabis Brands with Iconic Celebrity Figures

    Adam Wilks, CEO of Carma HoldCo is back on Blunt Business to talk about his work operating his global licensing company behind the nation’s fastest-growing celebrity brands, working with icons like Mike Tyson (Tyson 2.0), Ric Flair (Ric Flair Drip and Wooo Energy drinks), Future (EVOL) and Hulk Hogan (Immortal) to turn their cannabis brands into lucrative businesses.



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    48m - Feb 28, 2024
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