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Author Archive | Nick Opich

Congressional Cannabis Day Part 3 – Opioids, Is Cannabis the Answer? Panel

We’re onto part three of our special series highlighting the panels of the inaugural “KCSA Congressional Cannabis Day Forum” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. As part of the event, KCSA gathered a host of some of the brightest minds in the industry for a series of panel discussions aimed at addressing critical issues relevant to the sector, including capital markets and banking, CBD/hemp, opioids, veterans’ issues and social justice.

In the third installment of this four part series, we hear from our Opioids, Is Cannabis the Answer? Panel. We were privileged to have with us, Dr. Bonni Goldstein, Medical Director of Canna-Centers Wellness and Education Dr. Richard Boxer, Clinical Professor of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Patricia Frye, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD, and Moderator Carl Cameron, formerly of Fox News Channel.

So often the medicinal benefits and the real impact cannabis has as an alternative to opioids can be forgotten so it was great to have some of the foremost researchers on this topic speak to the tremendous value cannabis brings to those in need. What follows is a conversation that explores how cannabis affects our bodies, what benefits and treatments researchers have been able to garner from limited research to date and what next steps are needed to expand clinical research on the plant.

So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Gretchen Gailey of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Congressional Cannabis Day Part 2 – Social Justice Panel

We’re onto part two of our special series highlighting the panels of the inaugural “KCSA Congressional Cannabis Day Forum” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. As part of the event, KCSA gathered a host of some of the brightest minds in the industry for a series of panel discussions aimed at addressing critical issues relevant to the sector, including capital markets and banking, CBD/hemp, opioids, veterans’ issues and social justice.

In the second installment of this four part series, we hear from our Social Justice Panel. We were privileged to have with us, Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of National Holistic Healing Center and Women Grow, Jeannette Ward Horton, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the NuLeaf Project, James Watts, Senior Consultant with Cage Free Cannabis, and Moderator Leah Heise, Chief Experience Officer at 4Front.

This was an incredible discussion about the need for social equity to be a key part of any conversation around cannabis legalization, what is and what is not working in regards to legislation aimed at tackling this issue, the lack of funding and access to capital that minority entrepreneurs face, and the potential solutions to providing greater opportunities to minorities within the industry.

So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Gretchen Gailey of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Congressional Cannabis Day Part 1 – Capital Markets and Banking Panel

This week and next on The Green Rush we have a special treat for our listeners! Back in May, the KCSA team held the inaugural “KCSA Congressional Cannabis Day Forum” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to discuss the legal and regulatory headaches of operating in the cannabis space. As part of the event, KCSA gathered a host of some of the brightest minds in the industry for a series of panel discussions aimed at addressing critical issues relevant to the sector, including capital markets and banking, CBD/hemp, opioids, veterans’ issues and social justice.

In the first installment of this four part series, we hear from our Capital Markets and Banking Panel. We were privileged to have with us, Evan Eneman, co-founder and CEO of MGO | Ello Alliance, Codie Sanchez, Managing Director of Cresco Capital Partners, Edward Fields, Chair and CEO of Dionymed, Nick Kovacevich, CEO and Founder of KushCo, and Moderator Tim Seymour from CNBC. What ensues a tremendous discussion on the banking and regulatory hurdles that cannabis businesses must endure and how that affects investor activity in the space.

So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Gretchen Gailey of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Bob Luciano – Founder of Mr. Natural

Bob Luciano, the founder of the popular California cannabis brand Mr. Natural – is this week’s guest on The Green Rush! Mr. Natural brand is one of the longest standing and most successful cannabis brands in California, having won the first High Times Cannabis Cup in 2010. Since then, Bob has grown the company into a major player in the California marketplace and eventually caught the eye of Scott Dowty at Australis Capital which acquired the Mr. Natural brand in 2018.

In addition to his work with the Mr. Natural brand, Bob is a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD and has been a strong advocate for the medical use of cannabis for veterans. Bob continues his pursuit to cultivate strains specifically for PTSD, chronic illness and pain to enable other veterans to gain relief. Bob has actively worked with the Veterans Administration since 1972 to educate others on cannabis and its use for treating PTS.

In this week’s conversation, Anne is joined by Nick Opich to chat with Bob about his cannabis roots, the origins of the Mr. Natural brand and his work with the VA to bring medicinal cannabis to our veterans. Bob provides great insight into how he honed his unique growing techniques and why he never thought cannabis would be legalized in the U.S. during his lifetime.  

At a time where the medicinal benefits of cannabis and its influence in treating our veterans can be quickly forgotten, it was refreshing to chat with Bob about how this plant truly helps our men and women of the military.  

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Bob Luciano – Founder of Mr. Natural

A Vietnam veteran, Bob “Natural” Luciano’s continued cultivation of high-quality strains offers relief for people suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS), chronic illness and pain. During his military service, Bob and many of his compatriots discovered the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. When he returned home, Bob discovered access to cannabis, the only viable treatment for his ailments, was no longer available to him. This launched Bob’s lifelong mission to educate and advocate for medicinal cannabis.

A 100% disabled veteran with PTS, Bob has been a strong advocate for the medical use of cannabis for veterans. Advocacy and growing cannabis in a culture predisposed to view cannabis negatively was a constant challenge. Bob continues his pursuit to cultivate strains specifically for PTS, chronic illness and pain to enable other veterans to gain relief. Bob has actively worked with the Veterans Administration since 1972 to educate others on cannabis and its use for treating PTS.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Nick Opich and Anne Donohoe of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Everett Knight – Executive Vice President of Strategy and Investments for Valens GroWorks

Everett Knight – the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Investments for Valens GroWorks is this week’s guest on The Green Rush! Valens is the largest third-party extraction company in Canada. They work with most of the big LPs in Canada like Canopy, Tilray, TGOD and Organigram and their business continues to boom. The company also recently published a study on the Future of Cannabis in Canada (linked below) and provides valuable insights into the demands and trends in cannabis consumption, straight from Canadian consumers.

In this week’s conversation, Anne and Lewis chat with Everett about the company has been able to achieve these major partnerships and notoriety in the space despite not having a consumer-facing brand, how the company works with its major LP partners to deliver unique products, what Valen has planned for the future as both medical and recreational markets continue to grow around the world and how the Company is preparing for October 2019 which will open up new products for Candian consumers to choose from including edibles, oils and extracts.

Everett is truly one of the brightest young minds in the cannabis industry and his insights into the nascent oils and extracts space is something that every Green Rush listener is sure to enjoy.

Don’t sit back, lean forward.

Everett Knight, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Investments at Valens GroWorks

Mr. Knight is Executive Vice President of Strategy & Investments where he oversees corporate strategy including mergers & acquisitions, marketing, & investor relations. Mr. Knight is known across the cannabis space for his expertise and thought leadership where he has been involved with working, analyzing, lobbying, investing, advising, & consulting throughout the cannabis value chain. Previous to Valens, Mr. Knight was a portfolio manager at Matco Financial Inc where he ran the Small Cap Fund and launched the first long only institutional Cannabis Fund in Canada and led them both become the top performing funds in their corresponding categories. He has toured over 85 facilities worldwide and analyzed over 1200+ cannabis globally where he accumulated a thorough understanding of the industry, regulations, subsectors, and the companies involved in this fast-growing space. His focus in the cannabis industry has shifted in recent years to developing a specialty in extraction, testing, formulation, & value-added products. Mr. Knight has spoken at 150+ cannabis events across the globe including trade shows, corporate conferences, investor events, government forums, and legal/regulatory debates.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Anne Donohoe of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Todd Fromer, Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications

Todd Fromer, Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications is this week’s guest on The Green Rush! As we’ve regularly discussed on the podcast, over the past 5 years KCSA has established itself as the leading public and investor relations firm serving the cannabis industry and Todd has been a major catalyst in that practice. Todd manages KCSA’s investor relations practice and has been working in the IR field for more than 20 years.  

Recently, KCSA fielded a survey gauging retail and institutional investor sentiment and exposure to the cannabis industry and the results were really interesting.  It turns out average investors are buying a lot of cannabis stocks and plan on holding them for a long time. Lewis and Anne dive into the survey data with Todd to analyze some of the key findings, what Todd sees as the parallels between the cannabis industry and the tech bubble and how Todd counsels his investor relations clients on navigating the public markets.  

If you have a real interest in the investing side of the cannabis business, if you own any stocks in this industry, or if you “get” why this podcast is called The Green Rush then this is the episode for you.

Don’t sit back, lean forward.

Todd is a Managing Partner at KCSA and oversees the firm’s investor relations practice. Todd specializes in the implementation of proactive investor relations programs for public companies, including crisis communications and IPOs. He has led successful corporate communications campaigns for more than 100 micro- and small-cap companies and has provided strategic communications counsel to hundreds of C-level executives. Todd has been the recipient of the Silver Anvil award and The IABC Ace Award for Business Communications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Hofstra University. In is free time, Todd is a songwriter and plays lead guitar in a blues band.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Anne Donohoe of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Scott Dowty, CEO of Australis Capital

Scott Dowty, CEO of Australis Capital, the United States spin off of the Canadian LP Aurora Cannabis, is this week’s guest on the Green Rush! Since launching as the U.S. investment arm of Aurora in 2017, Australis has operated independently and most recently went public in September 2018 on the OTC. As CEO, Scott is on the front lines for Australis, helping the company navigate the highly regulated U.S. market to identify exciting investment opportunities for the company.

In this week’s conversation, our Green Rush hosts chat with Scott about the mission of Australis, what he is observing from the marketplace so far in 2019,  what he puts more value on – the management team or underlying business and provides some insight on what kind of deals he’s most focused on. The team also gets Scott’s perspective on the recent Canopy-Acreage deal and some of the concerns around well-funded Canadian LPs, like Canopy and Aurora, will swallow up U.S. companes.

If your a listener focused on investing in cannabis, this episode will touch on every aspect of that side of the business. So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Scott Dowty – CEO of Australis Capital

Mr. Dowty has 25 years of experience evaluating companies and markets to identify key business drivers, spur rapid revenue and profit growth in competitive and highly regulated global markets. Mr. Dowty has held executive and corporate officer positions with several U.S. based NYSE and NASDAQ traded companies, and founded several successful start-up companies in North America and abroad. Mr. Dowty’s extensive operational capital markets experience in the International fintech and gambling sectors is closely aligned to the regulatory path of the U.S. cannabis industry. Scott resides in Las Vegas, NV.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Anne Donohoe of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Shea Alderete, the CEO and co-founder of Gen X Biosciences

Shea Alderete, the CEO and co-founder of Gen X Biosciences, a cannatech firm focused on using innovative technology and scalable extraction methodologies to deliver premium cannabis products is this week’s guest on the Green Rush. Shea is one of the true “OGs” of the cannabis industry and has worked with some of the well-known brands in the space like Moxie and HTH, where he set the innovative standard for cannabis extraction and paved the way for their success. Now at the head of his own company, Shea has focused on revolutionizing cannabis and the extraction process in order to provide clean medicine and high-quality extracts to cannabis users.

In this week’s conversation, Lewis is joined by producer Nick Opich as the two chat with Shea about his bonafides in the cannabis industry and what his experiences have been like building a small business into an extraction powerhouse. Shea also touches on the company’s ongoing RTO process, Gen X’s proprietary molecular perfection extraction process and how he was able to shake down his 98 year old grandfather for some early investment cash.

For listeners interested in the growth of the extraction and distillate space then you’ll love this interview. So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!  

Shea Alderete – CEO and Founder of Gen X Biosciences

Shea Alderete is a passionate and strategic entrepreneur with over 15 years’ experience in the cannabis industry. Previously, Shea had a professional career in baseball and recognized that there was a gap in the market for anti-inflammatory medicines for pain relief. Shea has a long term experience working with famous brands in the cannabis industry such as Moxie and HTH, where he set the innovative standard for cannabis extraction and paved the way for their success. He won numerous cannabis product awards with the Cloud Vapes brand, which today is a $70M USD-a-year profitable business. In addition to this Shea has won the Chalice Cup of California for the best CBD products as well as the Canada Karma Cup for the best vaporizer and terpenes in 2016.

Shea Alderete has focused on revolutionizing cannabis for the past decade to provide clean medicine from its extraction. He brings the technical background to produce high quality cannabis and the innovation of such cuttingedge technological processes to Gen X.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg and Nick Opich of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

An Unregulated Interview with Willie Wonka

This week on the Green Rush, we wanted to take a step back in our look at the cannabis industry. For nearly 80 episodes, we’ve talked with some of the most influential leaders shaping the future of legal cannabis. But for this week, we decided to further explore what many in the industry refer to as the “grey market” – or the business of the industry that operates outside of the legal regulations within their country or state.

According to most projections, marijuana is almost a 100 billion dollar industry annually, both legal and illicit. Yet despite the emergence of a strong international legal medical market and an ever-expanding adult use market, only about 15 billion dollars of that 100 billion comes from legal sales.

To help explore this side of the industry, we were able to secure an interview this week with a guest who is regarded as one of the best artisanal small-batch marijuana edibles bakers in the country. Because he lives and works in a state where adult use marijuana isn’t quite yet legal, we’ve taken the steps today to filter and anonymize his voice.

What follows is a conversation that looks at the challenges a small business owner faces when trying to become a regulated company, the lucrativity of operating outside of the legal cannabis space, the growing popularity of infused meals and dinner parties and how underground edibles dealers market and build customer loyalty.

This is truly a must listen to episode, so don’t sit back, lean forward. Now onto the chat with the chocolatier who we affectionately call Willie Wonka.

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Anne Donohoe and Lewis Goldberg of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Keith Stephenson, CEO and founder of Purple Heart Patient Center

Keith Stephenson, CEO and founder of Purple Heart Patient Center in Oakland, is this week’s guest on The Green Rush. Keith was the first African American in the United States to run a medical cannabis dispensary. He’s the founder and CEO of Purple Heart Patient Center in Oakland, California. He started the dispensary 11 years ago and now he’s serving 10,000 patients a month. He implemented lab testing so rigorous that it exceeds the standards of Oregon and Washington. He was appointed to the California Cannabis Commission Advisory Panel, where he advises the state on regulations protecting consumer health and safety.

In this week’s conversation, Lewis and Anne chat with Keith about being a pioneering small business owner in the cannabis space for nearly three decades and how the industry has evolved around him during that time. They also touch on the issues of social justice and equity and the difficulties facing mom and pop shops in an industry that is increasingly being overrun by larger, corporate interests.

For listeners interested in the history of the California cannabis marketplace, the delivery lawsuit taking place in the state and the role of social justice and equity in shaping the industry than you’ll love this interview. So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!  

Keith Stephenson, CEO and founder of Purple Heart Patient Center

Keith Stephenson is a statewide resource on cannabis and has been recognized by the California State Legislature as a subject matter expert, and has been appointed to the State of California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee under the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). This 22- person committee advises BCC and other licensing authorities on the development of regulations that help protect health and safety and reduce the illegal market for cannabis.

After experiencing the health benefits of using cannabis for work related injuries and complications from arthritis, Keith Stephenson launched Purple Heart in 2006. Using a combination of Mr. Stephenson’s operational expertise acquired from a 15-year stint at United Airlines, and more than 30 years of experience in the cannabis space, Purple Heart is now the longest operating cannabis retailer in Oakland. Mr. Stephenson is the first African American to operate a licensed cannabis business in America. Mr. Stephenson has served two terms on the City of Oakland’s Measure to Tax and Regulate Adult Cannabis, which was the precursor to California Prop 19.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Anne Donohoe and Lewis Goldberg of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegreenrushpodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

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