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Author Archive | Nick Opich

Amanda Siebert, Cannabis and Psychedelics Journalist

This week on The Green Rush, our hosts are chatting with Amanda Siebert, a freelance journalist covering the psychedelics and cannabis space and the author of “The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life”. She is a co-founder and editor-in-chief at Inside the Jar, a growing independent publication focused on drug culture in Canada and the United States and recently was announced as the new editor of the revamped CannabisHealth.com 

Based in Canada, Amanda is one of the leading journalists covering both cannabis and psychedelics space with her byline regularly appearing in Forbes and having been featured in the New York Times, Vice, Leafly, Calgary Herald, and Georgia Straight. We sat down with her chat about the latest headlines in both industries including drug decriminalization legislation, how much of the investor excitement permeating through these industries is real and what’s just hype, as well as her follow up book, “The Little Book of Psychedelics” which is due out later this year. 

So sit back and enjoy our conversation with journalist Amanda Siebert.

Amanda Siebert, Cannabis and Psychedelics Journalist

Amanda is a freelance multimedia journalist focusing on the intersections of business and culture in the cannabis and psychedelics industries. She is a co-founder and editor-in-chief at Inside the Jar, a growing independent publication focused on drug culture in Canada and the United States. Her first book, “The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life”, was published by Greystone Books in 2018 on the same day cannabis was legalized here. In 2019, the Toronto Star bestseller was also named the #1-selling non-fiction cannabis book in the country. A follow-up, “The Little Book of Psychedelics,” is in the works. Her byline has appeared in the New York Times, Vice, Leafly, Calgary Herald, Georgia Straight (where she received national and regional awards for her work), CannCentral, and Inside the Jar, among others. As an author, I have been featured on CBC and Global News, as well as a wide variety of national radio shows. I endeavour to cover cannabis from an international perspective and hope you enjoy reading my work.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Chris Driessen, President and CEO of SLANG Worldwide

This week on The Green Rush our hosts are chatting with Chris Driessen, the President and Chief Executive Officer of SLANG Worldwide (CSE: SLNG). SLANG Worldwide is a consumer-packaged-goods company that owns, licenses, and markets cannabis brands, serving the flower, concentrates, edibles, and beverage categories. SLANG has 6 brands in 15 different markets (12 states and 2 countries) in 4,000 retail stores. 

Anne and Nick chatted with Chris about the increasingly competitive cannabis marketplace, some of the Company’s partnerships including with Trulieve, Slang’s U.S. expansion plans and entry into the CBD space as well as what’s coming down the pipeline that has Chris excited for 2021. As one of the leading CPG companies in the cannabis space, Chris’ insights on the growth and potential of the space are really interesting and something we are sure our listeners will enjoy.

Now onto our conversation with Chris Driessen of SLANG Worldwide.

Chris Driessen, President and Chief Executive Officer of SLANG Worldwide

Chris Driessen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of SLANG Worldwide (CSE: SLNG). In his role, Driessen is responsible for the overall performance of the organization. His leadership has been instrumental in creating business processes that streamline efficiency, drive dramatic revenue gains and foster lasting, mutually-profitable relationships with the largest names in the marijuana industry. In his professional tenure, Driessen has led sales efforts for Fortune 500 companies including Starwood, Konica Minolta, Marriott, and Intercontinental Hotels Group. Outside the office, Chris can be found spending time with his wife and three children, hoarding airline miles, and cooking what some might call the best BBQ in America.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Jelani Gibson, the Content Lead at the NJ Cannabis Insider

On this week’s Green Rush, we are sitting down with Jelani Gibson, the Content lead at the NJ Cannabis Insider for NJ Advance Media, which is also home to NJ.com and the Star Ledger.

Having previously covered gun violence and other social equity issues at his previous stops in Kansas City and Texas, Jelani is well-versed on the intersection of public policy and social justice. We sat down with him to look at how issues around social justice and policing have stalled efforts to pass a cannabis legalization bill in New Jersey and what the outlook of that market looks like for both consumers and businesses after voters approved cannabis on the ballot last November.  

This was a tremendously thought-provoking conversation that will provide a ton of insight into how the War on Drugs still plays a heavy role in legislation around cannabis and potential solutions to empower communities that have historically been underserved and underrepresented.

So sit back and enjoy our conversation with Jelani Gibson.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of MAPS, at the KCSA Psychedelic Conference

On this week’s Green Rush, we have a special episode featuring Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of MAPS, who sat down for a special fireside chat with Anne at the virtual KCSA Psychedelics Investor Conference. 

Suffice to say, there likely would not be a revived psychedelics industry if it were not for Rick who has for the last 35 years worked with the FDA, Congress and researchers around the world to advance psychedelic science and medicine. Founded by Rick in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

Anne and Rick sat down to discuss the evolution of the psychedelics space, the latest on MAPS clinical trials and the roster of well-known capital market players supporting the psychedelic renaissance. Over the decades, Rick Doblin has established himself as a leading authority on the renaissance of psychedelics and his insights on how these molecules may be able to solve the global mental health crisis will not be something that you want to miss.

So sit back, relax and listen to our special fireside chat with Rick Doblin.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther and Allison Soss.

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

Marijuana Today – Marijuana’s Big Moment

This week on The Green Rush, our host Anne Donohoe jumped back in the chair with our friends over at Marijuana Today for a special episode to talk about the next stage of cannabis reform at the federal and state level! 

Chatting with friend of the pod Ben Larson of Vertosa, they look at the first federal cannabis bill for 2021 which would see cannabis rescheduled from Schedule 1 to 3. They also take a look at how states like New York and New Jersey are incrementally moving cannabis forward, but in a more lackluster fashion than constituents and advocates would like. 

In addition to the chat between Ben and Anne, Marijuana Today also explores the needs around social equity in the cannabis space and how to best provide the resources and education that’s needed to help those most negatively impacted by the War on Drugs to enter and be successful in the industry. Philly-based journalist and Executive Board Member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Tauhid Chappell joins to provide his thoughts

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 Anne Donohoe of KCSA Strategic Communications and Ben Larson of Vertosa. 

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Ryan Douglas, Former Master Grower for Tweed

Ryan Douglas, former Master Grower of Tweed turned cultivation consultant at Ryan Douglas Cultivation, LLC is today’s guest on The Green Rush. Ryan recently published his first book – “From Seed to Success: How to Launch a Great Cannabis Cultivation Business In Record Time” that aims to demystify the process of establishing a productive, profitable and rewarding cultivation operation. 

With over two decades specializing in horticulture and legal cannabis – Ryan has been one of the leading voices helping to establish industry standards for cultivation and is a must follow resource for cannabis entrepreneurs looking to break their way into the industry. We chat with Ryan about scaling cultivation operations to meet consumer demands, managing in an environment with constant regulatory changes, what the future of cannabis genetics looks like and how his book is helping entrepreneurs avoid costly mistakes as they build out their grows. 

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

Ryan Douglas’ Bio

Ryan Douglas provides cannabis consulting services through his company, Ryan Douglas Cultivation, LLC. He has worked in commercial horticulture for 23 years and specializes in legal cannabis start-ups.  As former Master Grower at Tweed Inc., Canada’s largest licensed producer of legal cannabis, and the flagship subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, Ryan was crucial to Tweed’s early success. He designed the production facility, selected the genetics, and hired and trained staff to produce 70,000 plants and process 6 tons of dry cannabis annually.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Anne Donohoe and Nick Opich

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Marijuana Today Crossover

Hi Green Rush listeners, we’re doing something different this week and instead of publishing a new episode of our show, we are featuring an episode from our good friends at the Marijuana Today Podcast.

This episode hosted by Kris Krane, Heather Sullivan and Ben Larson, dive into the results of the special Senate runoff elections in Georgia and what it could mean for the future of legal cannabis now that the Democrats control all three branches of government. Marijuana Today has long been a pillar of information for the cannabis industry and we are sure our listeners will appreciate hearing the thoughts and insights from these three season cannabis executives. 

 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 Kris Krane, Heather Sullivan and Ben Larson. 

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Hostful 2021

Kicking off 2021 the right way, The Green Rush is pleased to provide our listeners with our very first hostful episode of the New Year! Featuring Anne, Nick and Phil Carlson, Managing Director of Investor Relations at KCSA, our hosts offer a retrospective to the biggest news in cannabis in 2020 and what we’re looking forward to in 2021.

Following an exciting election season that saw a clean sweep for cannabis legislation and the wins by Democrats Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, 2021 is shaping up to be a monumental year for cannabis. Our hosts chat about what surprised them the most about 2020, what’s got them excited for 2021, what trends they expect to see or are following closely over the next couple of months and whether a fully Democrat led government will finally push the football over the finish line for cannabis. We also touch on the development of new state adult-use programs moving forward in New Jersey and Arizona and how we’ve all been trying to stay sane over the last 10 months. 

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

Phil Carlson, Managing Director of Investor Relations at KCSA Strategic Communications

Phil Carlson leads KCSA’s Cannabis Investor Relations Practice. He has developed proactive investor relations and communication strategies for several multi-national, micro and small cap cannabis companies. Through his extensive network, Phil has helped position his cannabis clients as thought leaders in the emerging cannabis industry. He has secured speaking engagements at premiere conferences and has organized several cannabis industry panels which have included himself as well as his clients. Phil is a Wall Street and Investor Relations veteran having worked at firms such as JPMorganChase and Merrill Lynch. His experience includes IPOs and reverse mergers, implementing retail and institutional road shows, and providing strategic counsel to clients. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kent State University.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Yaron Conforti, CEO of Novamind

Yaron Conforti, CEO and Director of Novamind Ventures (CSE: NM), which delivers psychedelic therapies to patients suffering from treatment resistant psychological conditions at its Cedar Psychiatry clinics in Utah, is this week’s special guest on The Green Rush. 

Novamind is a leading mental health company enabling safe access to psychedelic medicine through a network of clinics, retreats, and clinical research sites. Novamind provides ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and other novel treatments through its network of Cedar Psychiatry clinics and operates Cedar Clinical Research, a contract research organization specialized in clinical trials and evidence-based research for psychedelic medicine.

As the psychedelic renaissance continues to take shape, our hosts Anne and Nick sat down with Yaron to chat with him about the more than 4,000 ketamine-assisted psychotherapy treatments Novamind has administered, the Company’s expansion plans beyond its home base of Utah and Novamind’s RTO onto the CSE. As psychedelic investors look for opportunities, they won’t want to miss this interview with Yaron as he delves into how his company is focused on execution and bringing these next-generation treatments to the masses. 

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

Yaron Conforti, Chief Executive Officer of Novamind

Yaron Conforti is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Novamind. He’s an entrepreneur and the principal of Emmcap Corp., an investor in venture-stage companies. Previously, he served in senior investment banking roles at Desjardins Securities and Sandfire Securities, and in CEO, CFO and corporate director roles for private and public companies.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Program Director Shea Gunther.

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

Jim Belushi, Hollywood Star and Cannabis Entrepreneur

Happy Holidays to the Green Rush Family! Thank you all for being loyal listeners during what has been a crazy year. In honor of the holiday season, we wanted to give you all a little “gift” by way of a special episode. 

Back in November, Anne Donohoe hosted a live interview with Jim Belushi for the IAB Brand Disruption Summit. For those who don’t know, IAB is the The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), is the national association for digital media and marketing industries. The trade group that empowers  these companies to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is made up of more than 750 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. Full disclosure – IAB is a KCSA client. 

The third annual IAB Brand Disruption Summit took a look at this turbulent year and how brands navigated new risks – and in some cases, reaped new rewards.

How does cannabis play into this? When we talk about “disruptors” there is possibly no other industry as a whole more “disruptive” than the cannabis industry. After all – how do you build a brand when it’s federally illegal? By navigating through a patchwork of state-level regulations and laws, this industry has had to build itself through a web of complex – and dynamic – ecosystems that allow companies to bring their products to market. 

Perhaps no one knows this better than Jim Belushi, founder of Belushi’s Farm. And while he needs no introduction – i’m going to give him one anyway… You know him as a multi-hyphenate entertainer – actor, comedian, singer, musician, producer, director, but you Green Rushers know, Jim has made a name for himself as a farmer and an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry. He is building out an impressive brand portfolio from his adopted home state of Oregon – and has recently announced brand expansions to states including Illinois and Colorado.

So with HUGE thanks to the IAB for letting us repurpose this, on to Anne’s interview with Jim Belushi. 

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

Jim Belushi, Hollywood Star and Cannabis Entrepreneur

It’s been 12 years since Jim first came to Oregon’s Rogue Valley where his dear friend John has a sprawling property along the Rogue River, one town over in Shady Cove. Their children are the same age and attended classes together in California, so the families gathered for many activities over the years. With Jim’s own family’s experience and numerous others marred by opioids and the stigmatization of cannabis, Jim was incredibly grateful to have been led to the Rogue River where he first envisioned Belushi’s Farm and his own part in the agricultural and healing gift of cannabis.

A proud Chicagoan, Jim graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Speech, Education and Theatre before moving on to become a resident member of Chicago’s famed Second City for three years. In 1979, he left for Los Angeles, where he was cast on TV, launching his career as a performer. In addition to starring in a diverse and remarkable list of television and film— movies from Trading Places to Wonder Wheel, working with famed directors like Oliver Stone, Roman Polanski, David Lynch and Michael Mann—Jim wrote and appeared in Saturday Night Live for two seasons. He’s also served as an executive producer, music composer, director, book author, and Broadway star. His own television show According to Jim aired for 182 episodes during eight seasons before the family favorite launched into off-net syndication in 2007.

Locally, Jim is actively engaged in several projects benefiting the communities surrounding Belushi’s Farm in Jackson County, Oregon. In Medford, Jim is helping reconstruct the historic Holly Theater to bring the 1930s Spanish Colonial movie palace back to life as Southern Oregon’s largest indoor concert venue. In Eagle Point, Jim’s assisting with the reconstruction of The Butte Creek Mill, destroyed in a 2016 electrical fire, to preserve its heritage, build community, and improve the environment. In Los Angeles, Jim’s a benefactor of the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration, and Stuart House, a program of the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center Rape Treatment Center. Jim’s also a supporter of The Joyful Heart Foundation in New York City, whose mission is transforming society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, supporting survivors’ healing and ending the violence forever. 

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther.

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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