the lobsterpot< podcast
By the lobsterpot< podcast
the lobsterpot< podcastJan 13, 2023
No Smoke? No Fire?
Big Tobacco is clearly making a play for cannabis. British American Tobacco’s recent £75M investment into cannabis firm Organigram is a strong indication of that. However, while the subject may be uncomfortable for many, we can’t deny that tobacco’s involvement in cannabis could benefit the cannabis industry in a number of ways – not least economically. We speak to Nick Kenny, a strategic advisor to large companies diversifying into highly regulated sectors, to better understand the challenges and opportunities.
Africa's Next Green Gold Rush?
While its neighbour to the south gets a lot of attention for its shifting stance on cannabis, Zimbabwe is a nation to keep a close eye on – given its climate, huge farmland areas, and huge economic potential. However, while export potential is lauded as the primary path to financial growth, getting the domestic market right first is essential – says TJ Chifokoyo, managing director of Charlie Bravo Delta, based in Harare.
Ahead of Drug Science’s UK Patient Conference on 3rd November we catch up with Sarah Sinclair, editor of Cannabis Health, and medical cannabis patient, Berta Kaguako. Both will be speaking at the conference, focusing on the topics of improving access to medical cannabis more broadly and increasing the number of NHS prescriptions. Let’s get a flavour of what’s to come.
Czeching It Out
While Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium continue to make all of the right noises around legalising recreational cannabis, they may yet be beaten to the punch by the Central European neighbour – the Czech Republic. We speak to Sean Carney, founder and executive director at Herbology Ventures, based in Prague about the moves being made.
Taking On Thailand
Though her career kickstarted in Canadian cannabis labs and grow ops, Atiyyah Ferouz – founder and CEO of AgCann – has now turned her attention to Thailand; perhaps the cannabis world’s most exciting emerging market, but one that’s ultimately misunderstood from a compliance and regulatory perspective. We compare notes and find out more about the opportunity she sees here.
Next In Line...?
Hirsh Jain, CEO and Founder of Ananda Strategy, is used to delving deep into the regulatory maelstrom. Formerly Global Policy Lead at Airbnb, over the last few years he’s switched the short term rental market for the curious world of cannabis. We chat with him about what’s coming next.
Can Big Data Save Cannabis?
In a world where data is seemingly at the crux of everything from online marketing success to operational efficiency; businesses of all kinds are doubling down on their stats and facts. But how can cannabis companies get on board? We speak to Eric Boone, CEO at Meristematix about the future he’s working towards.
House of Brain
If you’ve worked in cannabis for more than a few minutes, you’ll have realised it’s really tough (often illegal) to state what effects your product has. That’s a pain for brains, but it sucks for consumers too, particularly the canna-cautious who want more certainty around mind-altering experiences.
To help us understand what’s really going on and get a look at where the industry is headed, we spoke to someone with some answers – Israel Gasperin, the founder and CEO of Zentrela.
Ben Arn is the founder of CB Expo – a cannabis event that’s moving beyond its Swiss roots and embracing the changing outlook of medical and recreational weed across Europe. With the next event taking place in Dortmund this September, he gives us a sneak peek behind the canna-curtain.
Product Earth Preview
We catch up with Matthew Clifton, CEO of Product Earth. He tells us more about the challenges of running the UK’s biggest wellness, plant medicine, and nootropics event, and gives us a flavour of what to expect at this year’s show.
If you want to grab a 10% discount on Product Earth tickets, check out this link http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/450502443937/?discount=thermidor
Back To Black
Hilary Black’s reputation precedes her. Over the last 25 years she has tirelessly advocated for access to cannabis on behalf of those who need it in Canada – first via Hemp BC, then through her groundbreaking work BC Compassion Club, and more recently at Canopy Growth, where she served as Chief Advocacy Officer. Now, an independent consultant, she explains what the Canadian cannabis industry can teach the rest of the world as new legal markets open up – and looks at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
What Good Looks Like
Dr Gary Yates is a leading UK-based plant scientist with significant experience in the international cannabis sector.
As the global industry opens up, he’s tasked with helping companies determine the best way forward when it comes to selecting genetics, developing cultivation techniques, and getting the best possible crop yield. He tells us more about what ‘good’ looks, smells, and tastes like when it comes to quality cannabis.
With show season in full swing, head thermidorks
We Bid You Peru
With so much of the hype for Latin American cannabis centring on Colombia, how will the other players in the region get noticed? To help us figure that out, and to take a closer look at Peru, we speak to Jose Escalante, CEO of Futura Farms, to find out what we’re missing out on.
A Brit Abroad
Brit Smith is a journalist and podcast host for Different Leaf magazine – a cannabis–focused lifestyle publication. Originally from the UK, she’s been in the US for the last 17 years and has witnessed firsthand how the cannabis sector has grown from med use in California to the rec market that’s gaining momentum across the States today. She gives us her view on what’s coming next in America, and get her take on what’s (not) happening in the UK.
Katherine Golden, founder and CEO, at Leaf 411 is a firm believer in the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis. And as a registered nurse, she’s seen first hand what a difference the plant can make. However, the challenges surrounding consumption, dosing, and even product affordability mean that many looking to try cannabis-as-a-medicine struggle. Advice and education are critical steps towards wider adoption – but with so many people looking for help, the challenge is serving them all.
Plant Based, Machine Learning Automation!
Despite all the hype around different tech innovations, you don’t often hear the words ‘automation’ and ‘cannabis’ in the same sentence. But Shawn Deggans of Green Nanny Solutions is adamant that growers, MSOs, and others across the industry are missing a trick by not leaning into the best of what tech has to offer. He tells us what’s possible now, and what’s coming next.
Hiring On All Cylinders
Despite its unique challenges and achievements, the cannabis industry is like any other – powered by frontline workers. Without people to take on the critical day-to-day roles within a cannabis business, all the great strategy and inspired creativity we’re accustomed to seeing would be for nothing. We catch up with Sloane Barbour, Founder and CEO of engin, the recruitment marketing platform purpose-built for emerging industries, like cannabis, that powers companies to recruit smarter, hire faster, and retain longer.
Often eclipsed by its larger Lat Am neighbours, when it comes to cannabis, Ecuador is firmly on the map. Or at least it should be – and soon will be if Paul and Sebastian Moreno, chairman and CEO, of Ananda have their way. Their efforts to transform rural, indigenous community land into cannabis farms are firmly rooted in altruism, optimism, and a firm belief that cannabis can be a force for good in many different ways.
For The 'Many
As Germany *finally* unveils plans for cannabis legalisation, we speak to Stefan Röhrl, the CPO & Co-Founder of Hemp Group, based in Hamburg, and look more closely at what’s in the offing.
Beyond Window Dressing
Cannabis retail success is part art, part science. And Krista Raymer, co-founder and CEO of Vetrina Group, knows more than anyone how important it is to align a dispensary’s look and feel with a first class customer experience; alongside solid data and shopper insights. We catch up with her to understand what ‘good’ looks like… and how ‘great’ can be achieved.
Nurturing What’s Natural
With medical cannabis steadily gaining ground in Europe, it’s key that patient care is always the key pillar in its growth. We sat down with the founders of Nurture Nursing, Elly Owen-jones and Sophie Hayes, to find out why nurses play such a vital role in this process and how their expertise is being put to work educating patients and medical professionals alike.
Hitting The Sweet Spot: Cannabis x Marketing
Cannabis and marketing are, well, slippery bedfellows. The market demands one approach; but the law requires another. And the disparity between the two varies enormously – depending on where you are.
John Shute, founder and CEO, at Colorado-based cannabis marketing agency, PufCreativ, is no stranger to figuring out how brands of all ilks can make their mark – in spite of the fluff and the flux. But where exactly is the marketing sweet spot for cannabis?
The State of Delta-8
Delta-8 gets a bad rap. Or does it? Recent news reports about the misuse of the cannabinoid – known as ‘regular THC’s younger sibling’ – have cast a safety shadow over its use and brought its ‘synthetic’ status under scrutiny.
But, to give delta-8 a fair hearing, let’s chat to Sam Taylor from Heartland Works in Ohio to better understand the challenges and opportunities. We do know that it takes *a lot* of hemp to create a delta-8 product that offers the same THC potency as other products… Let’s find out more about delta-8.
Bricks and Malta
Malta made history back in 2021 by becoming the first European nation to legalise adult-use cannabis. However, other than homegrow, legal ways to procure products have been limited. But that’s all set to change in early 2023, as Malta ushers in a wave of cannabis club licensing applications. Amna Shamim, chief growth officer at Parsl, long-time industry advocate, and island resident gives us the lowdown
The View From Across The Counter
Rebecca Crewe, director of sales at Calgary-based marketing and growth agency, Maggie Jane, has worked in cannabis retail as a buyer, vendor, and sales consultant. But even in Canada, where the recreational market stretches from Nanaimo to Newfoundland, understanding what makes dispensary owners tick is just as crucial as consumer insight.
Cannabis and Coffee Parallels
Cannabis and coffee share something very important – they’re both mind altering substances. People seek them out with varying degrees of interest, and for those passionate for either or even both, there’s a huge amount to learn and even more to gain in that pursuit of knowledge. We speak to Omri Almagor, inventor of Keiko – a cannabis infusion machine, to see how far those parallels go, and what the cannabis industry can learn from its coffee counterparts.
Dotting I’s and Crossing T’s
Like any other industry, cannabis can’t escape the need for rules and regulations. Whether that’s in how businesses operate in the market or with one another. Bob Hoban is the Co-Chair of the Cannabis Industry Group at Clark Hill law firm and he knows a thing or two about the letter of the law, so we sat down with him to see if we could get up to speed.
Wellness, Wellbeing, and…Well…Tourism
California is seen by many as a pioneering state for modern legal cannabis. Because it’s bloomed into such a weed powerhouse, it’s little surprise that more developed parts of other markets are making their roots in the space. Speaking to Brian Applegarth, of the Cannabis Travel Association and The Cannabis Trail, we dig deeper and find out what it really means to be a cannabis tourist.
Getting Bud To Bloom
The cannabis sector needs little persuasion when it comes to embracing edginess and innovation. But building a brand in an emerging market category takes some serious upward punching.
Veteran brand marketer, and author of ‘Branding Bud’, David Paleschuck, needs little introduction to the global cannabis fam. He tells us more about the challenges and opportunities weed brands face as they figure out the way forward.
The Bigger Picture
Jamie and Dave meet two proud Canucks whose passion for pot goes above and beyond. Alison Gordon and Amy Weinstein are two passion advocates for their cause. They give us the 411 on Canadian cannabis, creativity, and the Commonwealth (!).
The World’s Worst Boy Band(!)
Time for a key change… *stands*. We swap show notes with some guys who definitely feel like old friends now that we’ve met a few times! We chat some good green gossip with KD Khairah from CanMar, Brian Roth from Elevated Signals, and Chris Day from the GCNC.
Working For Tips
Given that us thermidorks< were green when it came to MJBizCon, we thought we’d get a steer on what to anticipate from two seasoned pros – whose first rodeo it definitely was not! Big up to Danny Gold at ZolTrain and Juliana Whitney from CannStrategy for tutoring us in the ways of BizCon righteousness.
Tracking, Traceability, Transparency, & Tech
Cannabis and technology are a curious pairing. But aside from the paraphernalia – the digital dab ribs, vapes, and the like – lies an urgent need for tech that furthers the cause; that gives businesses, governments, and consumers actionable insights. Yup, things like safety, transparency, and accountability are crucial components in cannabis compliance. Orland Yee and James Black from Kanha know this only too well. Here’s their take on how tech can futureproof the cannabis industry.
South Africa’s quickly making a name for itself in the ever-changing cannabis landscape. And companies like MedCan are looking to get a foothold on the global medical scene. We speak to co-founder Micael Zollman to find out more.
The prospect of broader cannabis legalisation looks to be a certainty across Europe, when you look at what’s happening in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, and other nations. But one major country that’s strangely quiet on the topic is France. Joanna Weaver-Pelissier, Co-founder and CEO, Be Cann, gives us an insider’s view on all things CBD and THC.
HØJ Hopes For Innovation
While famous the world over for hygge, Lego, and Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark isn’t exactly known for being at the forefront of cannabis innovation. But Simon Villum Folmann, founder at herb accessories brand, HØJ, is doing his darndest to change that: one Mako shark-inspired pipe at a time.
All's Sell That Ends Sell
Sales is a dark art to many, but particularly in cannabis, it has to tread carefully between customer expectations, market limitations, and of course wildly varying legislation. In this episode, Brian Roth, head of international sales of Elevated Signals, helps pull back the curtain, showing us how someone slingin’ cannabis’ ancillary products needs to tackle the particular complexities of the cannabis industry to get deals done.
Rolling Another Fat One
Long-time cannabis advocate, Dustin Hoxworth, is a proud, self-proclaimed ‘Stoner’. As editor of Fat Nugs magazine, he’s keen to give Stoner Culture the platform it deserves and celebrate it in unique and innovative ways. But what exactly is a Stoner? Let’s find out!
The Vape Escape
Vaping remains a popular consumption method. However, filling and capping cannabis oil cartridges is a fine art. It takes a lot of precision engineering to get the right amount of product into them – and comply with GMP regulations and other international standards
Hogan, Managing Director of Portland, Oregon-based Thompson Duke Industrial and sales director, Vlad Valme discuss the joys of one-size not fitting all – and how cannabis never fails to present the right sort of challenges for an inquiring mind.
German News Special
Recent news from Germany – in the form of unofficial announcements and early stage leaks – may leave many in the cannabis industry feeling frustrated. We speak to Benjamin Patock, Head of International Relations at Boveda, who is also on the Executive Board of the German Cannabis Industry Association, to get his take on what this might mean for Germany and the wider European market.
Justin Ihnken is CEO and co-founder of QTNM Labs, an advanced analytical laboratory providing research, development, and regulatory compliance services for pharmaceutical companies. What he doesn’t know about testing isn’t worth knowing so what are we all in the dark on when it comes to understanding great product?
Mile High Club
Colorado is home to one of the US’ longest established cannabis markets. And Chris Day, CEO at the GCNC – the Global Cannabis Network Collective – has been working in the sector right from the get-go. He gives us the d-lo on this OG market and sheds light on what the rest of the world can learn from the Mile High State.
US News Special
News that US President, Joe Biden, is making good on cannabis campaign promises got tongues wagging late last week. But what do these statements actually mean? Are they big strides towards federal legalization, or baby steps that could easily be felled at the first hurdle?
We asked someone firmly in the know – Chris Day; founder at GCNC and CEO at Gateway Proven Strategies.
Bermuda’s Tried Angle
Recent news that the new UK government has blocked Bermuda’s plans to legalise cannabis have soured relations. However the overseas territory’s ruling party plan to carry on regardless But what exactly is the state of play when it comes to cannabis on the island itself? What would legalisation look like in Bermuda? We speak to local entrepreneur: Khomeini Taalib-Din.
Arjen Melis, Co-Founder and President of Djot, is no stranger to getting product to market. Now, he’s focusing on innovating the cannabis beverage space by creating a product that enables considered consumption for consumers and pairs their individual needs with the drinks they already know and love.
Overcoming The Fear
Following our vox pop interview with Dr. Callie Seaman at Cannabis Europa in June, we pick up on her assertion that UK doctors are afraid of prescribing medical cannabis, and ask how and what we can do to help educate and assure them of the plant’s legitimacy and viability.
The Future of Hemp
Jamila La Malfa Donaldson is a PhD student at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK. Specialising in testing, cultivating, and processing industrial hemp, she tells us more about her work in therapeutic compounds, and the role hemp could play in challenging cannabis stigmas.
Shedding Light On The Canopy
As former Chief of Staff at Canadian cannabis behemoth, Canopy Growth, Marnie McKinstry excelled in process and project management at a time of insane expansion. Now, a few months after striking out on her own, she gives us an insight into what the big market players are doing right (and wrong), and what smaller, fledgling companies can learn from them.
Chasing The Sun – How New Zealand Is Getting Medical Cannabis Right
When it comes to operating a domestic medicinal cannabis market, New Zealand has a lot to teach the rest of the world. And Carmen Doran, CEO of Auckland-based Helius Therapeutics, is at the forefront of these efforts with their Full Spectrum Extract recently verified by the NZ Medicinal Cannabis Agency. She tells us more about how she and her fellow Kiwis are getting it right.