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Author Archive | Nick Opich

Dr. John Oram, CEO and Founder of NUG

Dr. John Oram, the CEO and Founder of the vertically-integrated, California cannabis company NUG is this week’s guest on The Green Rush!

Since its founding in 2014, NUG has grown into one of the strongest brands in the nation’s largest cannabis market offering consumers its well-crafted edible and concentrate products as well as flower. In addition, the company recently opened its first retail shop in Sacramento in April 2019 and is on track to open two more retail locations in late 2019 and early 2020.

Our hosts sat down with John to discuss the NUG business model and better understand how the company has been able to achieve success in one of the world’s most crowded cannabis markets and what else it has in line for future success. In addition, we explore John’s chemistry background, the company’s current capital situation and John’s work with Oakland Cannabis Equity Program.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Bio: Dr. John Oram, CEO & Founder: 

John entered the cannabis business in the early 2000s (practically the stone age for cannabis) and in 2009, with a chemistry and engineering background (he holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in environmental chemistry and engineering from the University of California Los Angeles and bachelor’s degrees in analytical chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder), founded CW Analytical Laboratories—now recognized as the most trusted analytical laboratory in California for cannabis. He then set out on a mission to elevate the industry to a higher standard across all verticals – from cultivation to distribution – and in 2014 NUG was born from a home equity loan. Little did he know how quickly it would take off. And even in uncertain regulatory environments, NUG has remained profitable each year. In addition, John and his team at NUG play a major role in the Oakland Equity Program; NUG incubates businesses run by area residents who had been targeted by the war on drugs. They are also building new greenhouses for these companies, set to be complete by the end of this year.

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

Ken Alston, CEO of Hydroponics, Inc

Ken Alston, CEO of Hydroponics, Inc., a premier provider of global agricultural supplies, logistics, and procurement for large scale, commercial farms is this week’s guest on The Green Rush.   

At its core, Hydroponics makes life easier for cultivators by streamlining the cannabis supply chain. Working with cultivators to decrease supply, logistics, and procurement expenses through their best-in-class agricultural solutions, Ken and his team allow companies to better focus their time on increasing revenue and developing their brand.

Our hosts sat down with Ken at the Cannabis World Business Conference and Expo in Los Angeles to discuss the company’s business model, how companies can fill in the gaps within its supply chain and what the future of cannabis cultivation will look like as cheaper grow alternatives in Latin American become more commonplace.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Ken Alston, Chief Executive Officer

As the CEO of Hydroponics, Inc., Ken oversees the growth and success of the Company’s strategies and business operations. Since acquiring the Company in 2018, his management team has expanded Hydroponics, Inc.’s geographic footprint and customer base while providing best-in-class agricultural solutions and analytics for many well-known farms in the Western US and Canada. Previously, Ken was Executive Chairman of Eventide Risk Management, one of the most successful search funds since inception of the asset class, as well as the CEO of MedVision, recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in California. Ken also serves as a periodic lecturer on entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California. Ken holds an MA from Columbia University and a BA from Southern Methodist University. 

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

Marion Mariathasan, CEO of Simplifya

Marion Mariathasan, CEO of Simplifya, a leading provider of regulatory compliance software for the cannabis industry is this week’s guest on The Green Rush.

Simplifya is every cannabis operator and compliance managers best friend due to its web-based, self-auditing system which distills complex state and local regulations into a series of simple yes-or-no questions to facilitate self-audits, identify areas of non-compliance, manage remediation efforts, and generate management and audit reports.

In addition to covering how Simplifya is able to decode complex regulations on a state-by-state basis, our hosts also cover the company’s recent hire of John Vardaman, the author of the Cole Memo as well as Marion’s incredibly unique entrepreneurial journey including his Sri Lankan royal background.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Marion Mariathasan, Co-Founder and CEO at Simplifya

Marion is a serial entrepreneur that has founded, invested in, or been an advisor to over a dozen start-ups. He is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-up Week, CU Denver’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. Marion studied Architecture and Computer Science at the University of Kansas and Computer Information Systems with a minor in Business Management at Emporia State University. He enjoys time with his family, cooking spicy Sri Lankan cuisine, traveling, and connecting with people.

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

Chuck Smith President and CEO at DIXIE Brands

Chuck Smith President and CEO at DIXIE Brands is the guest on The Green Rush this week! DIXIE has quickly cemented itself as one of the leading house of brands in the cannabis space in no small part due to Chuck’s leadership. Since launching over a decade ago, DIXIE has become a powerhouse multi-state operator (and soon to be multi-country operator) focusing on building, developing, manufacturing and distributing premium cannabis infused products.

In our conversation with Chuck, we’ll chat with him about his vision for the future of the DIXIE including its expansion outside of the U.S., the recently announced venture with AriZona Brands and when we may begin seeing some of those products hit the shelves and what else the company has coming down the R&D pipeline.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Chuck Smith, President and CEO at DIXIE Brands

Charles “Chuck” Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer for USA Inc., the parent company of the Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, as well as Therabis, and Aceso Wellness, two of the leading hemp supplement brands. As one of two original founders of USA Inc., Chuck helped the company grow from a “garage operation” to a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility that was the first-of-its-kind for the marijuana industry.

Prior to building USA Inc. and the Dixie brand, Chuck was President of Bella Terra Realty Holdings where he oversaw all aspects of the Bella Terra Resort Development Company. He was also President of Sagebrush Realty Development and responsible for developing, selling and managing residential condominium projects valued at over $85 million in revenues.

Chuck has over twenty-five years of experience in a variety of industries. He has a strong financial background, holding the position of Chief Financial Officer for a mid-sized retail apparel chain and has built and managed sales and marketing teams for private and publicly traded technology companies.

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 from the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in Los Angeles, CA. 

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

Irwin Simon, Interim CEO at Aphria, Inc

Irwin Simon, Interim CEO at Aphria, Inc. is this week’s first guest on The Green Rush as we give our listeners a rare two episode week! A Canadian LP, Aphria is listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange and has a market cap of around $3 billion, making it one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. The company is also one of the rare in the space that can boast that it is profitable, making it one of the few bright spots in the legal cannabis space in 2019. 

Our hosts chat with Irwin to get an update on the state of the company since he’s taken over the CEO role and how his Company is weathering the storm that is the cannabis public markets. We also cover Irwin’s entrepreneurial journey, why he thinks consolidation is on the horizon for Canadian cannabis and a preview of Aphria’s new edible and vape products set to hit the market later this year.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Irwin Simon, Interim CEO at Aphria, Inc.Irwin Simon is a business executive who founded The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) a leading organic and natural products company in 1993. As Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Irwin Simon led Hain Celestial for more than 25 years and grew the business to $3 billion in net sales with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East providing consumers with A Healthier Way of Life™.

Irwin Simon has more than 30 years of business experience spanning many domestic and international leadership and operating roles. Prior to Hain Celestial, Irwin Simon was employed in various marketing and sales positions at Slim-Fast Foods Company, a dietary supplement foods company, and The Häagen-Dazs Company, a frozen dessert company, then a division of Grand Metropolitan, a multi-national luxury brands company.

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 from the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in Los Angeles, CA. 

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

Matt Gerson, founder and CEO of Foria Wellness

Matt Gerson, founder and CEO of Foria Wellness, a cannabis company that sits at the intersection of cannabis and sexuality.

Foria Wellness is a different kind of cannabis company, one that, at its core is about women’s empowerment and sexuality. Our hosts chat with Matt about the unique link between consumption and sexuality. Foria goes beyond marketing gimmicks to educate its consumers about how CBD works with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to enhance the functions of our daily lives. Matt also goes into detail on the company’s fundraising efforts and what it was like to go into his first VC meeting to pitch a sex-tech/cannabis company.

For listeners interested in discovering more unique ways consumers are looking to add CBD and THC to their daily lives this is the conversation for you.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Mathew Gerson Bio – Founder & Co CEO at Foria

In 2014 the available options for women’s sexual health & enjoyment were few to none compared with the huge number of products available for men. With a focus on female pleasure, Foria developed a first of it’s kind sensual enhancement oil with cannabis inspired by the historical celebration of cannabis as an aide for intimacy. The reported benefits of Pleasure led to the invention of Relief, the first cannabis-infused suppository for menstrual cramps and discomfort, soon to be the focus of a first of it’s kind Harvard researcher lead observational study.  Foria now has a line of THC products in California and Colorado as well as a CBD powered line available globally online.

Prior to the creation of Foria, Mr. Gerson founded Sir Richard’s Condom Company, helping to address the unmet need for condoms globally with a “buy one-give one” business model in tandem with Partners in Health in Haiti and retail distribution in Whole Foods Market. Prior to becoming a socially-minded entrepreneur Mathew spent ten years studying Buddhist meditation in Asia, Canada and the U.S.

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 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

Kevin Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Acreage Holdings

On this historic day, The Green Rush is publishing its 100th episode! After launching the podcast two years ago, Anne, Lewis and Nick want to express their gratitude to all of our dedicated listeners who have stuck with us!

To treat our audience, we are celebrating with a very special guest, Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage Holdings. We think an interview with one of the top CEOs in the cannabis space is the perfect treat as we set forth towards our next 100 episodes.

Kevin Murphy is arguably one of the most powerful leaders in cannabis having built Acreage Holdings into one of the leading MSOs driving the U.S. cannabis industry forward. We sent Lewis to the Acreage offices in NYC to chat all things Acreage including the acquisition arrangement the Company announced earlier in 2019 with Canopy Growth and where that deal stands today. We also discuss how Acreage is using its political might to drive reform to cannabis banking regulations, the Company’s “house of brands” strategy and how the SAFE Banking Act could transform the industry.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Kevin Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Acreage Holdings

Prior to his role at Acreage Holdings, Kevin was most recently a Founding Member and Managing Partner of Tandem Global Partners, a boutique investment firm focused on the emerging markets. Previously, he was Managing Partner at Stanfield Capital Partners, where he served as a member of the Operating and Management team that oversaw all aspects of Stanfield’s business, including risk management, sales and distribution, client services, legal, compliance and operations. Mr. Murphy also previously worked at Gleacher NatWest (Partner and Dir. of Marketing), Schroders (Sr. VP of Sales), Lazard Freres (VP) and Cantor Fitzgerald (VP). Mr. Murphy graduated with a B.A. from Holy Cross College.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by 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

Matt Hawkins, Managing Partner of Entourage Effect Capital

Matt Hawkins, Managing Partner of Entourage Effect Capital (formerly Cresco Capital Partners), is back on The Green Rush this week as we get his take on the latest news and earnings reports from around the cannabis industry.

Since its inception in 2014, Matt and Entourage Effect have invested over $100 million in the cannabis industry helping to give accredited investors access to a diversified range of investment opportunities in the space including cultivation, retail, and ancillary services. To date, the Entourage Effect team has done well in recognizing cannabis ‘unicorns’ having been early investors in power players like Acreage Holdings and Green Thumb Industries. 

With regular appearances on CNBC and Cheddar – Matt is one of the most sought out voices in the cannabis investing space, so you won’t want to miss this episode.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Matt Hawkins, CEO of Entourage Effect Capital

Matt Hawkins brings an extensive background in building large alternative investment firms and scaling the companies he invests in. In 2014, Matt had a vision to launch Entourage Effect Capital and create the leading private equity firm focused specifically on investing in the legalized cannabis industry.  Prior to diving into the cannabis realm, Matt previously served as Partner and President of Tucson Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on multifamily residential and self-storage assets. Between 2008 and 2013, the company completed more than 55 bank-direct acquisitions, deploying over $500MM of capital. He successfully exited in 2013. Matt also was Principal & Co-founder of Adjacent Capital, a private equity/specialty lending fund where he oversaw the sourcing, origination, structuring and closing of over 60 transactions in a 3 year period. He also became a turnaround specialist through his time at Treadstone Partners and San Jacinto Partners. He is known and respected in the cannabis industry as one of the successful early investors and serves on the board of numerous cannabis companies.  

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg 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

Ted Lichtenberger, the CEO of Flower Co.

Ted Lichtenberger, the CEO of Flower Co. Flower is this week’s guest on The Green. Flower Co. is a “Big Box Retailer of Cannabis” that is bringing wholesale cannabis prices to consumers. With delivery increasingly becoming a critical access point for cannabis patients and consumers to obtain the plant, we want to speak with Ted about the issues around delivery in California and how the company is working with its drivers to ensure safe and timely transport of its products.

Ted will also chat with our hosts about why he thinks Flower’s business model is suited to thrive in the modern cannabis economy, what he is seeing from consumer behavior in the California cannabis market and how his background at McKinsey has prepared him for success in the cannabis industry.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Ted Lichtenberger, Co-Founder & CEO 

Ted is a serial entrepreneur whose most recent endeavor, FLOWER CO., has helped him deepen his connection to the beauty and nature of Humboldt County. As CEO of this startup, he feels carrying the integrity and legacy of Emerald Triangle’s textured past into the new era of cannabis is of utmost importance. At FLOWER CO., Ted brings his multifaceted background to everything from fundraising and brand partnerships to customer acquisition and hiring team members. His expertise in operations and structure has allowed FLOWER CO., to break into the largest legal cannabis market in the world with a fresh business model. 

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Lewis Goldberg 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

Lizzie Post, Author of Higher Etiquette

Lizzie Post, the author of Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties is this week’s guest on The Green Rush. Lizzie is also co-president of the Emily Post Institute as well as a co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast (now in its fifth year), a weekly Q&A show that explores the topic of etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect, and honesty.

If you think Lizzie’s name sounds familiar, she is the great-great granddaughter of Emily Post, who’s numerous books, syndicated newspaper columns and regular radio program made her the leading authority on etiquette in America. Now in the “post-prohibition” era, Lizzie has followed her great-great grandmother’s lead to combine cannabis culture’s long-established norms with the Emily Post Institute’s tried-and-true principles to provide a thorough and accessible guide for everyone, from newbies to cannabis enthusiasts, on the proper etiquette within the cannabis community.

Anne and Lewis are chatting with Lizzie about her new book, her work at the Emily Post Institute and what she thinks her great-great grandmother would think about her foray into the cannabis space.

Don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!

Lizzie Post, Author of Higher Etiquette

Lizzie Post, is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, and author of Higher Etiquette, and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette 19th edition as well as Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette 6th edition, and The Etiquette Advantage in Business 3rd edition. She is a co-president of the Emily Post Institute as well as a co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast (now in its fifth year), a weekly Q&A show that explores the topic of etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect, and honesty. 

Lizzie does speaking engagements across the country sharing advice about lifestyle and wedding etiquette. She has worked as a spokesperson for brands including Bank of America, American Express Platinum, AirBnB, and Marshalls. She has held columns with Good Housekeeping, Women’s Running, and Houzz.com, The Farmhouse Movement, and Broccoli Magazine. Lizzie Post holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from The University of Vermont and currently lives in her native Vermont.

Links and mentions in the show

Links to the guest’s company and social media accounts

Show Credits:

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

Special thanks to our Executive Producer Nick Opich 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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