The popular weed podcast First Smoke of the Day recently put on a “Family Reunion” in Los Angeles, inviting supporters of the show and everyone who has appeared on it. Hundreds gathered, coming from all over California and all over the country, giving tangible evidence to the passionate community that has been built around the podcast.
The podcast is the work of its two hosts, Cody and Lance. When First Smoke of the Day first appeared in 2021 it was audio-only. That’s because the topic had to do with the real underground culture of growing and selling weed. The first guests were well-known on the underground scene but would never show their face.
From the start it was clear that the podcast was all about providing a platform for those in the cannabis industry to tell their stories.
Once the podcast turned the cameras on and began to feature big players in the weed game in California and beyond, its viewership skyrocketed. 2022 proved to be a year of massive growth for the pair. The show has so far featured interviews with high-profile brand owners including brands like Doja Exclusive, Insane, Fidel’s, Fiore, Ball Family Farms, Viola, B Eazy Buds, Cookies, the Backpack Boyz, Jungle Boys, Runtz, Connected, Sherbinskis, Alien Labs, Squintz, Blueprint, and many others. The show provides a who’s-who of California weed, plus national and international guests.
With every new episode, there is hype and excitement online. Inside the weed industry, everyone wants to get their spot on First Smoke of the Day. To be a guest confers instant clout.
The show features Cody and Lance, two weed insiders, chopping it up with industry legends. Episodes usually run well over an hour and the unscripted conversation is allowed to flow without constraints. The result is a sense of spending time chatting and hearing stories from big players like Berner, Kenji Fujishima, Ryan Bartholomew, Ray Bama, and Juan Quesada.
The Origins of First Smoke of the Day
What would appear to be the podcast’s almost instant success was in fact a long process that began years earlier, when Cody and Lance became friends in their home state of Florida. Cody approached Lance when he saw that Lance had tried to enter the legal weed market in Colorado, but returned to Florida when he found only corruption and onerous expenses in the recreational market.
“I was just compelled by his drive and his passion, his calling,” Cody said of Lance. “That just spoke to me. And I love good weed. And I could see he had played with a lot, in his mind, he stopped believing in the dream at the time, I could see that. But I was like, I’m a dreamer. I just can’t help it,” Cody said.
Around 2014 the two would regularly meet in the mornings and have conversations while enjoying Lance’s freshly-cured weed.
“The whole time having that first smoke of the day, this goes back to even before we moved to LA, we’d have these five to six hour conversations that would lead into manifesting business and dreams. What are you trying to do? Talking through these motions that then become reality 10 years later, 15 years later,” Cody said.
The two decided first to launch a clothing and lifestyle brand in Florida, which made them feel like a big fish in a small pond. They felt like they wanted to go somewhere where they were “celebrated, not just tolerated.” The lifestyle they were targeting with their brand made more sense in California. So, they moved.
Lance was inspired by Cody’s vision and was ready to follow his lead.
“There are two things we knew,” Lance said. “I knew for a fact, he’s a great businessman, and his branding and marketing is 100% on point. I knew I grew great weed. So, together we’re a good team,” Lance said.
The two came to California around 2015 during the Prop 215 era of medicinal marijuana and started Blackleaf as a weed and clothing brand. They went all in with marketing and pushing their brand, making connections all throughout the industry.
“The whole reason that First Smoke of the Day is popping right now is because we hit the sessions hard and started popping up on the scene and meeting everybody. Literally meeting everybody,” Cody said.
They entered their weed into competitions like the Cannabis Cup, and got a great reception.
“It turned out to be a real thing. We felt like we were really chasing legalization and we’re fucking putting out our own shit. He’s growing it, we worked with a few breeders, I don’t want to say to create a strain but put a few strains on the map,” Cody said. They had success with strains like Dirty Sprite and Fruity Pebbles.
“We were just letting shit happen organically. I didn’t really plan for any of it,” Cody said.
But with the coming of recreational legalization in 2018, Blackleaf began to struggle. Their grow operation was broken into more than once, at one point putting the two in a very dangerous situation. The competition in the industry was fierce. Cody thought about taking another direction in business, and handed Blackleaf off to Lance to maintain.
“Our dream took a hit,” Lance said. “The dream that we had together.”
“You got to work through those hard times,” Cody said. “But we never crossed each other. We never betrayed each other, never fucked with each other. None of that,” he said.
They kept their connection even through this particularly rocky period.
“That’s what means a lot to me about our friendship is that like, we’ve been through a lot of shit. We’ve been through a lot of tests. And neither of us ever buckled. So, that’s really rare, in my opinion,” Cody said.
It was 2018 when a “first draft” of a podcast between the two had a false start. They recorded a few episodes that they weren’t happy with, and then shelved it.
But in 2020, Coronavirus changed things. Cody found himself stuck at home consuming all the online streaming content he could find. He realized there wasn’t enough content for the weed community. He started to hatch an idea for a podcast that would become First Smoke of the Day.
“We came back around, and we went through COVID. And I know that changed a lot of things. And then I saw the need for media and the need for content,” Cody said.
He became determined on the idea.
“This is like my baby right here. This idea is probably one of the first times where I’m like, now, let me figure it out. Let me have the idea. Let me come off and let me create. Let’s see what I can do,” Cody said.
He saw that there was an opportunity in the media landscape.
“What there was out there for us is very little. I love it, though. Marijuana Mania. Shout out to Berner, I love that shit. Shout out to Strain Hunters. I love that. All those shows highly influenced me,” Cody said.
He wanted it to be for insiders but also for a wide audience.
“I didn’t want to make it a grow show. I didn’t want to make it a fucking hustle show. And I wanted to make it for the smokers. If you are on any level, if you smoke weed, you could fuck with our show, you’ll like it,” Cody said.
He brought Lance back in to the picture. Between the two of them, they thought they could recreate the intense conversations they used to have as far back as Florida over the first smoke of the day, but with people that are actually in the weed scene.
The two had a strong idea of creating community and connections through the podcast.
“I told him, we have to just go into people’s stories, everyone loves a story. So, focus on the story. That’s the thing, everybody loves a story because you can relate, you can connect, you have that compatibility that you’re looking for. At the end of the day, people just want to connect, and they can only connect through a community of like-minded people,” Cody said.
Once they created a platform for people in weed to tell their story, it seemed that everyone wanted their chance to appear on the show. After years of hustling in the industry, Cody and Lance had built up a reputation that was trustworthy.
“They really fuck with us now. We put our stamp on shit. We take that shit serious. We can’t play games. My face card is 100 in the streets. It’s gold. So, I don’t waver on that shit for nothing. That means a lot to me. It’s been a lot of years now,” Cody said.
For Lance, it’s an opportunity to give the spotlight to industry veterans.
“We just want to shine a light on their journey and let people hear it because people don’t know what a lot of these guys or girls have been through to get where they are here. ‘Oh, he just started a weed brand.’ No, it’s like, 15 or 20 years or 30 years in the making, the guy had life in prison, wherever their journey started, it’s relatable to somebody,” Lance said.
Cody says that a bond is formed when someone tells their story through conversation.
“When people sit down in that seat and tell me their whole life story, it means a lot. You just gained a relationship with them because who do you know that meets for the first time that they tell each other their life story?” Cody said.
“You feel it. You build a deep relationship and a deep respect. This comes with great responsibility, what we’re dealing with. People really rely on us to keep it real and remain that way. And we’re blessed too because, we get to keep good relationships because people trusted us. We trust them and it’s not to be broken,” Cody said.
Cody realized that with the podcast, he could approach media content his own way, with a vision that he shared with Lance. Beyond that, he lets the episodes happen organically.
“We don’t ever know. At eighty five episodes, I’m proud to say we didn’t premeditate any of those. It happens week by week, month by month, we just do the work. It’s been all organic. There’s no way you could really redo it this way or plan it this way,” Cody said.
Finally by 2021 the two were back together, producing content and going fully forward in a fresh direction, yet harkening back to ideas that they percolated almost ten years prior.
For the two, it was a moment of revelation.
“We can do it our way,” Cody said. “I don’t have to just be another brand and try to chase the shops and do all that, because I was exhausted with that. And I was like, let me let me do this immediately, I will do content and hopefully it’ll work out because people fuck with it, then it could be big.”
The Future of First Smoke of the Day
Cody says that what First Smoke of the Day is and represents is still in its infancy. He and Lance plan to continue to build it up, broadening their scope, doing more international content, staging events, and building an online digital platform.
“I know within a couple of years, there won’t be one place in this globe we couldn’t go to and get love from people who are doing this shit,” Cody said. “It just shows you how many people around the world are living this life too. And they needed a home. So, we are street family,” he said.
Cody says he can’t help but feel that he’s just getting started. He’s pumped about the growth and success of the show over the past two years.
“With all the shit I’ve been facing through this past year, I’m like, man, the growth is crazy and I feel unstoppable at this point. I’m at the point where I feel like, I got nothing to lose. I’m all in, this is it. I’m all in with this vision. The shit got to pop,” he said.
“We got the wheels rolling, now it’s like to really start being able to hit the gas,” Cody said.
While they’ve been applauded by industry greats, they are by no means done with what they started. They have much further to go, Cody says.
“If people really knew like the struggle, this is by no means a success story right now, we’re still in the trenches, we’re digging, we’re marching,” Cody said.
At January’s Family Reunion event, Cody recieved tons of congratulations. He wasn’t ready to rest on his laurels.
“I told everybody coming up to me saying congratulations, I told them, it’s a start. It’s a start. It’s a start. That’s where we’re at,” Cody said.
Even the Family Reunion event is one that the guys see becoming a regular event. They see it growing beyond what was surely a successful night.
“I think that by next year it will be really something special, it’d be something no one wants to miss if you are in this game. If you’re in the weed world, you’ll want to be there,” Cody said.
Cody wants to expand the topics of the show to include other related content, bringing guests from the world of business or entertainment or sports.
To that end, the crew is ramping up to post not one but three episodes a week, with a plan to eventually upload seven days a week.
“That’s what will be a network. That consistency is just going to compound. Content is crazy,” Cody said.
The community being built around the podcast is what Cody and Lance are most passionate about. By gathering people of a like mind, opportunities are created that, the guys say, could have broad impact.
“There’ll be brands built, there’ll be collaborations done, there’ll be people partnering, there’ll be people funding other people’s stuff, there’s going to be real friendships and bonds made out of this community,” Cody said. “It’s going to shape the culture of cannabis, ultimately.”
Financially, it’s a rough business. “But,” Cody says, “as long as we can create freely in the process, we’re winning. We won. We are paid. That’s the money.”
Cody has no doubts about the strength and resilience of the weed community that he’s a part of, that the show puts the spotlight on.
”This community is strong. I don’t think people realize how strong this community is. We’re all freedom fighters. We’ve all been through a lot of shit. Even if you just smoke weed you’ve been through a lot. When we come together, we’re strong enough not to be fucked with, we’re resourceful. We’ve got real motion out here, real power, for real and it’s high up, it’s much higher up than you think,” Cody said.
New Jersey’s cannabis legalization law initially went into effect in 2021 with a cultivator cap set at 37 licenses. Adult-use sales launched in April 2022, but at the time only seven cultivators were licensed to supply cannabis 13 dispensaries across the state. Last month, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) allowed the cap to expire on Feb. 22.
“The market is developing, and we don’t want to hinder that. The New Jersey canopy is currently only 418,000 square feet—far below the average of other states with legal cannabis,” said Commissioner Maria Del Cid-Kosso. “New Jersey currently has only one cultivation license for every 197,000 residents. The national average is one license for every 31,000 residents. We have a lot of room to grow. We expect that lifting the cap will open the space for more cultivators, ultimately resulting in more favorable pricing and better access for patients and other consumers.”
As of March 2, the CRC has granted licenses to 17 operational cultivation facilities. But even with the cultivation license cap change, many New Jersey municipalities have opted out of adult-use cannabis. One year ago, the Ashbury Park Press reported that nearly 400 towns had opted out of being home to any cannabis businesses. The co-founder and president of New Jersey-based Premium Genetics, Darrin Chandler Jr., told MJBizDaily that finding potential real estate opportunities is “almost impossible,” and described prices as “astronomical.”
On the patient side, New Jersey is still the only state with a medical cannabis program that does not allow patients to grow at home. In the past, many bills have been introduced to permit home cultivation to allow medical cannabis patients to grow for personal use. Bill S342, which is sponsored by Sen. Troy Singleton and Sen. Vin Gopal, would allow patients to cultivate at home. However, a report from Politico states that opposition from Senate President Nick Scutari is a significant roadblock for the bill.
New Jersey’s industry is continuing to attract outside cannabis businesses. Brands such as Al Harrington’s Viola products are expanding into the state this month, starting on March 24 at RISE dispensaries. According to Harrington, he wants to expand his brand to support the local community. “I want to make sure that we are educating our community and empowering them with knowledge to understand the cannabis plant and the benefits that come from it,” Harrington told Business Insider.
Similarly, Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan is preparing to open Hashtoria Cannabis Lounge in Newark, New Jersey as well. “Getting excited yall!!! @hashstoria coming to the brick city !!!!! This is going to be flyest consumption lounge to hit the east coast. This will be monumental ! All hail to the mighty green ! Be strong, be wise and be the best version of you!!! #newjersey#cannabis#hashstoria” Raekwon recently wrote on Instagram.
Recently, the CRC held a public comment period to discuss its draft rules for cannabis consumption rules, which ends on March 18. This includes restrictions for on-site food sales, but permits food to be delivered or brought in from outside, and prohibition of tobacco and alcohol sales on-site.
In late February, the New Jersey Attorney General released an updated drug testing policy for law enforcement. Under the new revision, law enforcement officers will only be drug tested if they appear intoxicated at work. “Agencies must undertake drug testing when there is reasonable suspicion to believe a law enforcement officer is engaged in the illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance, or is under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, including unregulated marijuana, or cannabis during work hours.”
Cannabis retailers in Missouri rang up more than $100 million in sales in February, the first month of legal recreational marijuana sales in the state. According to information from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released on Friday, total cannabis sales came to $102.9 million last month. The figure includes nearly $72 million in adult-use cannabis retail purchases, while sales of medical marijuana in Missouri topped $31 million for the month.
Andrew Mullins, executive director of the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association (MOCann), said that the opening month of regulated sales of adult-use cannabis in the state eclipsed the launch of recreational pot sales in neighboring Illinois in 2020.
“That’s more than double what Illinois did in a state with twice the population,” Mullins said about Missouri’s $71.7 million in adult-use cannabis sales last month. “So it really shows the interest and excitement for the new adult-use industry in Missouri.”
Mullins noted that if the pace of sales during the first month continues, Missouri cannabis retailers will sell more than a billion dollars worth of weed this year. He attributed a portion of February’s sales to visitors from adjoining states. Out of Missouri’s eight neighboring states, only Illinois has legalized recreational marijuana to date.
“Canna-tourism folks that may decide to come to Missouri to access and utilize cannabis,” Mullins told St. Louis Public Radio. “That seems to also be having an impact on the amount of sales that Missouri’s experiencing.”
Laurie Gregory, the chief marketing officer for Good Day Farm, said that the company’s dispensaries in cities such as Kansas City and Independence located near the borders with other states saw significant traffic from out-of-state customers.
“Opening weekend we had patients who drove from Texas and Illinois,” Gregory said. “There are states around Missouri that don’t have a program. Anecdotally, what we hear is that the border town dispensaries are having significant sales because of that.”
Regulated Weed Prices Lower Than Neighboring Illinois
Prices compared to cannabis retailers in the one neighboring state with regulated recreational marijuana sales were also cited as a factor behind the strong numbers in Missouri.
“At the different stores, we have flower strains priced from $25 to $40,” said Gregory. “In Illinois, it’s anywhere from $30 to $60.”
Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for MOCann, said that better access for consumers is largely behind Missouri’s strong sales numbers, noting that the state has 196 dispensaries to serve a population of 6 million, while Illinois has only 113 retailers but a population of 12 million. He also noted that taxation exacerbates the price difference between the two states.
“Not only are the retail prices lower in Missouri than Illinois, but when you actually factor in the higher taxes in Illinois, the take-home price is significantly lower,” Cardetti says. “We’ve seen time and time again, if you tax marijuana too much, people will continue to access the illicit market, which is exactly what legalization is meant to prevent.”
Former NBA star Al Harrington’s company Viola is backing two cannabis dispensaries that opened in St. Louis over the weekend, making the shops the only Black-owned retailers in the city, according to Daniel Pettigrew, the CEO of Viola STL. He said that the city has given the company a warm welcome and noted that the company’s dispensary on Iowa Street in St. Louis is the only cannabis retailer in the city with a drive-thru.
“We want people to be able to come into a safe, secure place, get their product and then get out, so that’s the main thing. It will really allow us to serve more customers,” Pettigrew told KSDK television news. “This neighborhood is in the community, so it was important to them, as we met with them, that they didn’t want a lot of people standing around and lingering in the area. It just allows us to complete the transaction in a safe secure environment, facilitate it, get everyone what they need and let them get on their way as quickly as possible.”
Bryce Chapman, a consumer who previously purchased marijuana from the unregulated market, said that buying from dispensaries is easier than buying from underground dealers. He added that he appreciates the consistent quality and clear pricing at regulated dispensaries, factors he said make him a repeat customer of the new shops.
“You can just go in, get what you need and leave,” said Chapman. “You don’t have to find the guy with the right kind of stuff or anything like that – you can just go get exactly what you need. I really like how scientific it is. Like, ‘Do you want this much THC or do you want a higher dose? Do you want sativa dominant?’ Before it was just like, I’ll just get what I can get.”
With a week left until the big day, you know I couldn’t let you go into the holiday without some new heat to celebrate! Although a bit earlier than usual, I wanted to make sure you had some time to get set up before our favorite day, as, like any vet knows, it’s always a bad look to shop on the actual holiday. That day’s meant for smokin’!
With this in mind, I present to you a special 4/20 edition of the Cop List. Dedicated pretty solely to California this time because you know I gotta get hands on before I recommend something, though we’ve got some new Michigan heat and a universally available, although extremely limited edition, treat I think everyone will dig.
As always, don’t forget to hit me up on twitter to let me know what you picked up, and what you’re excited to try next!
I’ve long celebrated 710 Labs direct to consumer play, the List, and while I’m not sure this is the first time they’ve done this, I’ve got to call out how they’re operating at a whole new level right now. Their latest List-exclusive, the Starburst 36 Pheno Pack, featured 5 different expressions of the aforementioned cultivar in one kit. While this is an awesome varietal to consume, what’s more exciting is how the brand is educating consumers on just how different plants can be, even amongst siblings. From different terp profiles to the differences in consistency, this flavor flight does a great job distilling how many different ways what consumers often consider the same thing can actually exist.
I recognize this is a bold statement, but although these are just on the cusp of releasing, they may already be the best edibles on the market. Similar to Nerds Clusters (my current candy obsession), Alien Labs Galactic Gummies are vegan gummies in the shape of their iconic alien head, with a delicious sprinkling of softer, but still nerd-like candies on the back. Available in Cotton Cluster (cotton candy), Blue Moon (blue raspberry x coconut), Lunar Orange (you can guess this one) and my personal favorite, Cherry Eclipse (cherry vanilla), these are going to be DANGEROUS for microdosers simply because they’re impossible to put down. No joke, I’m really hoping they make a non-medicated version of these because I will eat them by the pound.
Since I might’ve just put the microdosers safety at risk, here’s another one you’re going to want to overdo it on, though these guys make it a bit easier to keep your portions in control. Widely regarded as the most successful beverage brand in the cannabis category, Cann has another hit on their hands. While I’m not the type to drink a small number of mgs, I do love delicious, and the Blue Rhuberry is nothing if not that. While I don’t typically rush to blue colored drinks, this is the one I’ll surely be grabbing going forward. I was a big fan of their Pineapple Jalapeño flavor, and while I’m not saying I’m retiring that one forever, the Blue Rhuberry is for sure my new fav. It’s also just so fun to say!
Coming in as the early contender for hype strain of the decade, The Cure Company has done it again. Taking arguably the two most popular strains of recent years and smashing them together to create something truly special, the brand’s new Curelato Runtz should be every trappers dream. Combining the best elements of their Curelato, which remains one of the best Gelato expressions I’ve ever seen, with the hype-leading Runtz, this cut provides all the gas and candy terps the streets could ask for in a new pheno, and it improves upon both parents’ legacy. You’re not going to want to miss this one, especially if you get off on impressing your smoking circle.
This is a special one. The team over at High Rise are dear friends of mine, and while pretty much everyone we know now has a weed brand, there are few people that I know who respect the culture as much as this crew. While it admittedly took me a bit longer than expected as I sort of hibernated for the winter, I’ve finally got my hands on the gang’s products and I’ve got to say, they did it right. While I had no question that they’d immediately become contenders for best packaging design in the space, I’m proud to report that the flower (and price) are even better than you’d expect given their flashy bags. What’s more, they’re leveraging their thorough understanding of the market to ensure the best trees are ALWAYS in their bags — not just your first taste!
So this was on my 4/20 list last year, but they’re doing it again and this time you’re getting more notice in case you want to participate. To celebrate the holiday, Old Pal introduced their ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign, which provides consumers a living plant to raise, as opposed to just light up. While I admit, they are leaving the hardest part up to you, this is a great way to get some hands on plant experience — especially if you’ve never grown before. Besides the ‘teenage’ plant, they provide some tips and tricks, as well as a fun playlist to play for your new lady to keep her feeling the love. While you probably won’t be winning any awards for the harvest, few flowers are better than those you grew yourself.
Michigan, this one’s for you. You might’ve seen all the noise about Viola’s first collaboration with hall of famer Allen Iverson, ‘96, last year. The second edition is here, and this time it’s a daytime vibe, not a knock out. A true hybrid, and dubbed ‘01 in honor of Iverson’s MVP year, the new cultivar is a cross of F1 Durban x Gushers x Runtz, which while seeming heavy on the Indica side actually presents itself as a bright and uplifting smoke. I’ve been rinsing this in the early afternoons and it’s been sure to chill out my frustrations and help me focus on the task at hand. Although launching exclusively in Michigan, I have a feeling they’ll be taking this star out on the road before long.
Microdosers, you can skip right over this section. Where Cann fills your needs, this one’s reserved for the big boys. If a measly 5 mg isn’t enough to get you going, how’s 100 look for you? If you answered ‘desirable’, it’s time to tap back in with Uncle Arnie’s. In the past I’ve written about their Arnold Palmer, and their Peach tea is a sure favorite for those of us with a sweet tooth, but over the past few months the team at Arnie’s has turned toward a new challenge: fruit punch! Their latest, Pineapple Punch, shows there is truly no beverage they can’t infuse in a way that you’ll actually crave, and given all the tincture-based nonsense on the market, this one’s a welcome addition. Also worth noting that they make an Apple Juice for those with a more refined pallet!
Y’all know they’re making papers out of fruit now?? I’d smoked the Tradecraft cacao joints in the past, so I knew these guys were forward thinking when it comes to acceptable wraps for their product, but this one amazed me. As soon as I picked it up I couldn’t wait to spark it up, just like the first time I got a pack of Juicy J’s when I was a kid. But even better than those, goji smokes GREAT. Like, so good there’s barely anything there, great. I was expecting a bit more of the sweetness to come through from the berry, and while it may be because it was processed and not hand rolled that it lost a bit of its flavor, but this was one of the smoothest smoking experiences I can remember. Shout out to Tradecraft for continuing to stay on the forefront of paper tech!
Now I’ll be honest, when I first heard about this I wanted to hate it. It seems like over the past few years EVERYTHING has had a Doritos collab, and I’ve never craved that nacho dust in my ear canals, so why would a pair of headphones make sense? Well y’all, maybe it’s the pre-4/20 glow, but now that I’ve actually got them in my hands, these things make me weirdly giddy. Not only is the sound quality great, but they’re Skullcandy so they’re much lighter than they look like they should be. While normally that wouldn’t be a great sign, it definitely works for this brand, as you’ll likely forget you’re wearing them. I’ll tell you this, as I often say, what I thought would be a joke is actually heat. I’m leaving my AirPods at home when I go to New York next week, bc these things bang.
I’m going to make a longer post about this in the coming days, but in case you’re not following any of us on social consider this your notice: High Times is headed to the Big Apple for the big day. We’ve got a whole slew of treats lined up for you, and a whole lot of friends from across the country in tow. Don’t miss our Secret Smokeout, which will take place at an undisclosed location somewhere on the island. It’s totally free and open to all plant lovers in the area, RSVP here. We’ll also be pulling up to Webster Hall that evening to close out the night with performances by Inspectah Deck & Cappadonna at New York’s first-ever state-sanctioned cannabis event. Let’s celebrate!
Welcoming back the High Times 100—our celebration of the top market movers and culture creators in the cannabis space. Although we took a brief hiatus while the world shut down amid COVID-19, we’re back this year with a vastly different landscape. Enter 2022, and there are more public companies than ever. It was difficult to narrow the list down to just 100 entries, as there are many more fighters who are not included. Browse through the list of honorees that were selected this year.
Leo Gontmakher CEO, 4Front Ventures Leo Gontmakher is CEO of 4Front Ventures—a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator that manages over 25 different cannabis brands and strives for high quality as well as efficiency. His leadership has kept 4Front Ventures on the path to success—so much that the company was recognized as one of Inc.’s “Best-Led Companies of 2021” at the end of last year. Gontmakher co-founded Northwest Cannabis Solutions, and he previously served as the COO at Cannex until it merged with 4Front Ventures in 2019.
Brad Melshenker Co-CEO, 710 Labs Brad Melshenker is a successful entrepreneur, having founded The Greenest Green in 2009 and 710 Labs in 2012, as well as creating ancillary businesses The Faulty Pelican and Green Life Consulting. Aside from these efforts, he also put his best foot forward to help the Colorado Department of Revenue create draft rules for extract regulations. Melshenker embraces a great commitment for his companies to produce excellent product that he himself would buy, and is devoted to embracing social equity involvement and other community services whenever possible.
BigMike Straumietis CEO, Advanced Nutrients LTD. A grower since 1983, BigMike is founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, creator of the ONLY complete cannabis growing system that Hits the Shift and optimizes all phases of the vegetative and bloom cycles to bring the plant to its true genetic potential. BigMike has dedicated his life to decoding the cannabis genome and making cannabis an acceptable and everyday part of healing humanity. For his work he’s been featured on HBO, Showtime, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar’s, CannaBiz, Kennedy on Fox; and in High Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Rolling Stone, and Playboy.
Ted Lidie Founder and CEO, Alien Labs One of the world’s most recognized cannabis brands, Alien Labs has become a huge success since its inception in 2014, thanks to founder and CEO Ted Lidie. His vision and relentless passion for cultivating cannabis led him to create a premium-flower empire—strains like Melonade and Kryptonic might ring a bell as some of the winners at the High Times Cannabis Cup Arizona: People’s Choice Edition 2021 (not to mention many more products like pre-rolls and edibles, too).
Shanel Lindsay CEO, Ardent Life, Inc. The Boston-based biotechnology company known as Ardent Life, Inc. was founded by CEO Shanel Lindsay to bring about real change for medical cannabis patients. Lindsay spent over 15 years using cannabis to treat pain from ovarian cysts, and after witnessing the inconsistencies of decarboxylation methods, Lindsay invented the Nova Precision Decarboxylator. She’s also retained a strong presence in the cannabis community, having served two terms on the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board and is the cofounder of the nonprofit Equal Opportunities Now and the Northeast Cannabis Coalition.
Abner Kurtin Founder and CEO, Ascend Wellness Holdings Abner Kurtin, Founder and CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings, has been managing capital for two decades. The Harvard Business School graduate initially began his career at The Baupost Group, was a member of the Presidents Council of Massachusetts General Hospital and Chairman of the Hill House. He is also the founder of the K Capital Partners (a multibillion dollar hedge fund) and Ca2 Group (a Massachusetts-based real estate firm), before he founded Ascend Wellness Holdings in 2018.
Miguel Martin CEO, Aurora Cannabis Inc. Miguel Martin has been an integral part of Aurora Cannabis Inc. since September 2020 when he was appointed the role of CEO. With over 25 years of background in consumer-packaged goods paired with firsthand cannabis industry expertise, Martin is leading Aurora to succeed in the Canadian and European cannabis industries. His former roles include President and CEO of Reliva, CBD Wellness, and President of Logic Technology Development Inc, one of the largest e-cigarette manufacturers in the US.
Hugo Alves Co-founder and CEO, Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. Tasked with directing Auxly Cannabis Group Inc.’s strategic vision, co-founder and CEO Hugo Alves is a longtime cannabis industry pioneer who has had many interactions with various Canada-based companies, brands, patient access groups, and events and played an important part in Canada’s recreational cannabis industry. Alves also co-founded Hope for Health, a registered medical cannabis charity, which focuses on medical cannabis access and education, and is an adjunct professor who teaches Marijuana Law and Practice at the University of Western Ontario Law School—the first ever course of its kind offered at Canadian law schools.
Jonathan Sandelman Chairman and CEO, Ayr Wellness Jonathan Sandelman is a 30-year veteran of Wall Street and former President of Bank of America Securities, but his experience in the cannabis industry launched when he founded Ayr Wellness—a vertically integrated cannabis company operating in multiple states—with brands such as Kynd, Origyn, Stix Preroll Co. and Levia. Sandelman shares on his LinkedIn profile that he personally values investing in his “employees, customers and communities,” and strongly supports the company’s approach to capital and expansion.
Bernard Noble Co-founder, B Noble Bernard Noble was sentenced to 13 years hard labor in 2010 for being in possession of two joints. After having served seven years of that sentence, he was released in 2018, and the experience inspired him to create his for-profit cannabis brand, B Noble, with Fab 5 Freddy. B Noble has become an important representative and advocate in ending the War on Drugs after personally being convicted for small amounts of cannabis. Most recently, the B Noble brand partnered with Curaleaf, where 10 percent of the proceeds from every two-joint pack go toward helping those who have suffered as a result of the War on Drugs.
Amy Ralston Povah Founder, CAN-DO Foundation Clemency advocate Amy Ralston Povah was imprisoned for nine years, out of a total of 24-year sentence, for “conspiracy” in a trafficking case related to MDMA. After being commuted by former President Bill Clinton in July 2000 (and a full pardon later by former President Donald Trump in January 2021), Povah founded the CAN-DO Foundation, which strives for clemency for anyone who is convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. A majority of her life has been dedicated to fighting for criminal justice reform and against the War on Drugs.
Dan Daviau Canaccord Dan Daviau is President and CEO. Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. Mr. Daviau served as President of Canaccord Genuity’s North American Capital Markets business from February 2015. From 2012 to 2015, he was President of the firm’s US Capital Markets business, where he helped to structure the firm’s investment banking, research, sales and trading operations in the region and improve cross-border capabilities. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Daviau was Head of Investment Banking for Canaccord Genuity.
Neema Samari Owner and Co-founder, Cannabiotix Born and raised in Santa Monica, Neema Samari first got into the cannabis industry as a youngster over 22 years ago. Samari co-founded Cannabiotix back in 2014, and quickly garnered the brand national attention as one of the elite connoisseur cannabis brands in the space, after building and running the brand’s first legal, vertically integrated facility in Las Vegas. After Samari and his team grew CBX into the #1 brand in NV, he returned to CA to blueprint and build the company’s second vertically integrated headquarters. Since re-launching into the CA market in 2020, Samari and his team have quickly grown Cannabiotix into the #1 selling premium flower brand in the state. This year Samari decided to try his hand in a different sector of the space as he recently launched his new brand Highatus, an edibles company that produces some of the best tasting infused sour gummies on the planet.
Barrington Miller Director, Canadian Securities Exchange Director of Listed Company Services at the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) Barrington Miller works to help retain listed companies who work with the CSE through promotion and marketing. He also helps the company with business development, education and outreach regarding the programs. Before joining the CSE, he worked as a professional trader through Dundee Securities and Raymond James, as well as trade work with Weyerhauser and ED&F Man. He is a leader when it comes to cannabis trading and someone with a unique understanding of the industry.
Dennis Hunter Co-founder, CannaCraft CannaCraft Co-founder Dennis Hunter grew up in Mendocino County, California, and tuaght himself to cultivate cannabis from an early age. With his roots and experience stretched deep in the famed Emerald Triangle, he was destined for it to become a lifelong career. Early on he developed large-scale grow operations in California, which were raided in 1998 and forced Hunter to spend six-and-a-half years in prison. However, this event only fueled his passion for the industry, as he proceeded to found Left Coast Garden Wholesale, a company that specializes in cannabis-related equipment. This led Hunter to meet Ned Fussell, a one of Left Coast Garden Wholesale’s biggest customers, with whom he partnered with to found CannaCraft.
David Klein CEO, Canopy Growth Corporation As CEO of one of the world’s biggest cannabis companies, David Klein is one of the people behind Canopy Growth Corporation’s ongoing success as a leader in the cannabis industry. Klein formerly worked for Constellation Brands (known for managing a wide variety of beer, wine and spirits) for over 15 years where he held numerous roles, such as Executive Vice President and CFO. With his resume of experience, he transitioned to the cannabis industry as a member of the Board of Directors in 2018, followed by his current role as CEO in 2020.
Robert Beasley CEO, Cansortium With over 10 years of experience in many facets of the cannabis industry, Robert Beasley is a dedicated leader who has been instrumental to the success of Cansortium. In the past, he co-founded a law firm, Litvak Beasley Wilson & Ball LLP, in 2001, which assisted cannabis businesses in obtaining licenses in California, Florida, Oregon and Washington D.C., followed by taking part in crafting the Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act and Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. Now he is not only CEO of Cansortium, as of 2020, but in early 2021 he was also appointed to the Board of Directors.
Jacques Tortoroli CEO, Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. Jacques Tortoroli assumed the role as CEO of Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. in December 2021. His 40-year career includes launching ecommerce platforms, global finance, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnerships through various senior executive roles at Bacardi, Viacom Inc. Young & Rubicam Inc., PepsiCo Inc., and KPMG. Charlotte’s Web of course was named after Charlotte Figi, a child with epilepsy who went on to inspire a CBD movement before passing away at age 13.
Nicholas Vita CEO, Columbia Care LLC One of the highest honors from the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp is the “Captain of Industry”—and Nicholas Vita received this award at the 2021 Marijuana Business Conference & Expo. Vita is CEO of Columbia Care LLC, one of the largest multi-state operators focused on medical cannabis in 18 jurisdictions, and his leadership has led Columbia to great heights in the industry, including leading corporate strategy and expansion into new markets among many other responsibilities.
Rachel Wolfson Comedienne Rachel Wolfson, native of Las Vegas, Nevada, is a stand-up comedienne known for her intimate hyperfocus on cannabis, which typically is part of her highly-esteemed stand-up material. Wolfson is the latest major cast member to be included in the fourth installment of the infamous Jackass franchise—Jackass Forever—which debuted in theaters in February 2022 and pushed her further into the public eye. She was the first Jewish person to score significant airtime on the show. Wolfson resorted to weed for relief, which she says works wonders for ADHD. Wolfson has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dish Nation and Entertainment Tonight.
Felipe Recalde (CEO) and Christopher Lynch (Chief Executive Wizard) Compound Genetics Felipe Recalde is CEO of Compound Genetics, while Christopher Lynch serves as Chief Executive Wizard and Founder. Compound Genetics is a seed breeder. Through rigorous phenohunting, collecting and collaboration—Compound Genetics combines rare and sought-after flavors to create the best cannabis on the market.
Caleb Counts Founder, Connected Cannabis Co. Caleb Counts, founder of Connected Cannabis Co., has spent over 10 years building the brand with his passion and dedication to creating the highest quality strains imaginable. The journey began in 2009 when the first Connected Cannabis Co. medical dispensary opened in Sacramento. Since then, the brand has been phenohunting and cultivating numerous highly sought after strains, which are available in many dispensaries across the country. Under Counts’ leadership, the brand has grown exponentially in Arizona and is continuing to build in California.
Gilbert Milam Jr., aka Berner CEO and Co-founder, Cookies The word “cookies” is no longer just associated with a baked good, but represents the massively popular Cookies cannabis brand, founded and led by CEO and Co-founder Berner. With amazing positivity as he endures chemotherapy as a result of a recent cancer diagnosis, Berner’s Cookies empire continues to thrive and expand under his leadership, which now offers a wide variety of brands, products, unique strains, clothing and more. The Cookies brand is also well-known for its collaboration efforts, such as Cookies x Snoop Dogg, and its dedication to its Social Impact Program.
Charles Bachtell Founder and CEO, Cresco Labs Founder and CEO of Cresco Labs Charles Bachtell has a myriad of unique corporate and legal compliance experience that has led to the company’s ongoing success, including eight years working at the nation’s seventh largest mortgage bank prior to his involvement in the cannabis industry. Aside from his role at Cresco Labs, Bachtell is also one of the founding members of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association, as well as various cannabis-related trade associations in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and is an adjunct professor for the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
Kurt Schmidt CEO, Cronos Group Kurt Schmidt entered the cannabis industry as President and CEO of Cronos Group in 2020 and was chosen to usher in the “next phase of growth” for the company. Schmidt’s resume showcases an extensive background with consumer products, with leadership roles both in the US and internationally, including the Campbell Soup Company, The Blue Buffalo Company, Nestle and other roles in the food and beverage industry.
Joe Bayern CEO, Curaleaf Holdings With over 20 years of experience in consumer goods, Joe Bayern has a successful track record of business transformation. He was appointed as Curaleaf Holdings’ CEO in November 2020, following previous roles as President of INDUS, a vertically integrated cannabis company, as well as CEO and COO of VOSS of Norway. Among his many accomplishments, he lists his role in the creation of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the evolution of Cadbury as a leader in the confection industry.
Patrick Stad CEO, The Cure Company, The Originals, Jungle Boys CEO Patrick Stad is behind some of the most legendary cannabis companies in Southern California, dating back to The Cure Company’s Proposition 215-era founding in 2006. Today The Cure Company is behind some of the most beloved strains in the region. Instead of wasting time on sleek packaging and branding alone, The Cure Company is instead focused on great top quality flower. The Originals family-run grow operation and Jungle Boys award-winning phenos are highly respected within the growing community and the cannabis sphere.
Julie Barron Decriminalize Nature As a psychedelic/cannabis therapist, Julie also now works outside of the therapy office to promote healing on a larger scale, healing in community and healing through our own personal relationship with nature. Barron is an activist and pioneer of the Michigan psychedelic community. Barron led Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor’s win to successfully decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi in September 2020. Barron then helped to create Decriminalize Nature Michigan who is currently collecting signatures for a November 2022 statewide vote to decriminalize plants/fungi and reduce penalties for all drugs. She also sits on the national board of Decriminalize Nature.
Matt Stang Co-founder and CEO, Delic Corp Matt Stang is Co-founder and CEO of Delic, which he founded with his wife, Jackee. Delic is a leader in new medicines and treatments for a modern world, improving access to health benefits across the country, and reframing the conversation on psychedelics. Stang arrives in his latest role after 17 years serving in the cannabis media industry before shifting gears, moving into private equity funds.
Scheril Murray Powell Attorney / Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair and Dishowitz LLP Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. dedicates this award to the “BRAVE ONES”…The ones who risked it all to use cannabis because they did not like how narcotics made them feel…the ones who contributed to biodiversity by transporting genetics around the world…the ones who baked herb brownies for HIV/AIDS/Cancer patients…the ones who risked incarceration and personal freedoms to develop a market, law enforcement who turned a blind eye because they know what addiction really looks like, and the physicians that were the first to recommend cannabis for their patients. She is a Cannabis, Agricultural, Dietary Supplement and Trade Attorney and the Cannabis, Food/Beverage/Entertainment, Transportation and Healthcare Business Development Manager at Creative Services, Inc.
Kassandra Frederique Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance Kassandra Frederique is always busy. Drug Policy Alliance is a national nonprofit that works to end the War on Drugs, which has disproportionately harmed Black, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant and LGBTQ communities, and build alternative solutions instead grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights. Frederique was the architect of the campaign that cut the number of New York City cannabis arrests by more than 99% since 2010—an astounding feat for the largest city in the US.
Ross Lipson Co-Founder / CEO, Dutchie With the help of the remote needs of the pandemic, the U.S. cannabis boom and need for accessible cannabis services, Ross Lipson, co-founder and CEO of Bend, Oregon cannabis delivery service Dutchie, is helping to usher in a new era for our favorite plant. He’s versed in the delivery biz, with 15 years of experience working within food ordering systems, eventually taking that expertise and applying it to the cannabis space. The Dutchie platform works with dispensaries to manage their ordering systems and will soon celebrate its fifth birthday.
Javier Hasse Founder, El Planteo We have to give a shout to our fellow cannabis journalists, especially one with a portfolio so massive. Along with his best-selling book, Start Your Own Cannabis Business, his managing director role at Benzinga Cannabis and more than 4,900 articles published on outlets including Forbes, CNN, CNBC, Entrepreneur Magazine, Leafly, Yahoo! News, Nasdaq and many more, this media hound founded El Planteo in 2020, a Spanish-language outlet focused on cannabis, hemp, psychedelics and other topics scarcely covered by local media.
John Fetterman Current Lt. Gov. Pennsylvania Acting as Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania between 2005-2019, and sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in January 2019, 2022 is going to be John Fetterman’s last year in office—but it’s certainly not the end of his extensive career. Fetterman shared in November 2021 that in his role as a chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, he wants to see as many people pardoned for cannabis convictions in 2022 before his run ends. Fetterman also announced his run for Senator of Pennsylvania, the primary of which is approaching on May 17, 2022.
Trevor Fencott CEO, Fire & Flower Trevor Fencott is President/CEO at Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. Mr. Fencott has been an executive in the cannabis industry since 2013 as a co-founder of Mettrum Health Corp. where he also served as its chief legal officer, corporate secretary and director through its go public transaction in September 2014 and its subsequent acquisition by Canopy Growth Corporation in January 2017. Additionally, he is a director of Push Capital Limited, an early-stage venture capital company focusing on the high-growth cannabis and digital technology industries.
Chad Bronstein Founder and CEO, Fyllo Founder and CEO of Fyllo, Chad Bronstein is passionate about leading by example in the world of business and focusing on the technological aspects behind cannabis. Fyllo is a technology company that deals with data, media and regulatory solutions for the cannabis industry. Bronstein has helped lead Fyllo to become an innovator and major player when it comes to compliance and regulation in the legal cannabis industry. He’s also considered a go-to source of social commentary on regulations in the industry.
Fabian Monaco CEO, Gage Growth While Fabian Monaco has a vast investment banking and legal background, he’s found his home in the cannabis space as CEO of Gage Growth, centering the mission of providing premium cannabis to market, positively shaping cannabis culture and nurturing the community. Currently, Gage is working to build itself as the most dominant brand in Michigan, though the goal is eventually to expand into other states. Along with prioritizing top-shelf retail and premium cannabis products, Gage also looks to give back through volunteer engagements and their social equity program.
Graham Farrar CEO, Glass House Brands Inc. Graham Farrar owns and operates Glass House Farms, located in the Santa Barbara County coastal city of Carpinteria, which comprises two greenhouse operation sites totaling 10 acres of cannabis. Farrar launched Glass House Farms in 2015 when Proposition 215 was still in effect. Farrar grew up in Santa Barbara County and studied molecular biology and biochemistry in college. After college, he got into the tech side of cannabis cultivation through marketing and selling a variety of products to support the industry, including fertilizers and growing systems.
Mike Robinson Founder, Global Cannabinoid Research Center As a multiple cancer survivor who has used cannabis oils and CBD extensively for those and other symptoms, Mike Robinson knows firsthand the healing benefits of cannabinoids. As the founder of the Global Cannabinoid Research Center in Santa Barbara, California, he’s shared his journey and analytics on cannabis medicine research globally, helping to assist patients and teach clinicians globally. Additionally, he’s founded multiple nonprofits for children with disabilities and boasts an extensive history of leading programs to provide disadvantaged cannabis patients with medicinal alternatives.
Adam Schoenfeld and Nick Kovacevich Co-Founders, Greenlane Holdings Greenlane is a leading global platform for the development and distribution of premium cannabis accessories and lifestyle products, serving global markets and more than 11,000 retail locations—including dispensaries, smoke shops and specialty retailers. It’s led by Co-Founders Adam Schoenfeld and Nick Kovacevich. As CEO, Kovacevich ensures the company executes its mission and is integral to the company’s most crucial decision making. Chief Strategy Officer Schoenfeld was an early adopter and pioneer of vaporization, playing an integral role in the adoption and success of numerous successful brands in the vape space.
Ben Kovler Founder, Green Thumb Industries With extensive experience managing complex-operating companies and his deep commitment to philanthropy, Ben Kovler moved forward in 2014 as the founder, CEO and chairman of Green Thumb Industries, a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer manufacturing and distributing a wide portfolio of branded cannabis products. Kovler is also the co-found of Invest For Kids, an annual forum meant to share investment ideas to benefit children in Illinois.
Darren Lampert CEO and Co-Founder, GrowGeneration Darren Lampert has been CEO of GrowGeneration since 2014. Lampert began his career in 1986 as a founding member of Lampert and Lampert, where he concentrated on securities litigation, NASD (now FINRA) compliance and arbitration and corporate finance matters. GrowGeneration Corp., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates retail hydroponic and organic gardening stores. It engages in the marketing and distribution of horticultural, organics, and lighting and hydroponics products, including lighting fixtures, nutrients, seeds and growing media.
Dani Diamond Founder, Hall of Flowers Dani Diamond is founder of Hall of Flowers—an industry-only, highly curated, B2B tradeshow, specifically inspired and designed to facilitate the trade of premium cannabis products. With over 30+ years experience producing the most influential fashion & music tradeshows, the founder of Hall of Flowers understand the importance of providing a professional platform for buyers & sellers to conduct business.
Cy Scott CEO/Co-Founder, Headset Cy Scott, a self-described “entrepreneur at heart,” traversed his career working in startups and large organizations, though he’s no stranger to the cannabis space. Prior to Headset, he helped accelerate the adoption of legal cannabis as the co-founder of Leafly, now serving six million monthly visits. His current venture, Headset, is an analytics company for the cannabis industry, made to help operators make informed business decisions based on data, helping their customers to navigate the rapidly changing and emerging industry.
Leo Bridgewater National Director, Heart Community Capital/Minorities for Medical Marijuana After enlisting in the United States Army following the events of September 11, 2001, Leo Bridgewater has been a longstanding cannabis advocate in his home state of New Jersey for many years. He was a co-founder of the NJ Cannabis Commission between 2016-2018, and proceeds to act as the National Director of Veterans Outreach for Minorities for Medical Marijuana and most recently became a partner at Heart Community Capital in March 2021 to collaborate with numerous “pro athletes, creatives and activists, and cannabis industry experts” and invest in minority owned-cannabis businesses.
Michael Beaudry Vice President of Business Development, HERBL Solutions Michael “Mikey” Beaudry is the Vice President of Business Development at HERBL Solutions, California’s largest cannabis supply chain company. An integral part of the leadership and strategic team since the company got its start in 2018, he has had a key role in developing over 30 partnerships with many of the top brands across the California landscape. With both the assortment and infrastructure Beaudry has helped to build, HERBL has sold over a half-billion dollars of cannabis products in California, becoming one of the most robust and scaled distribution supply chains in the country. Passionate about building relationships and successfully helping businesses grow, Beaudry’s continued focus is to build on ensuring cost-effectiveness to meet beneficial long and short-term goals for both brands and HERBL. His extensive knowledge of the industry, the strategic partnerships he has built, and his ability to understand and adapt to the evolving landscape make Beaudry the strong leader he is in the industry.
Adam Arviv Investor, HEXO Corp Adam Arviv invested in HEXO, through his fund KAOS Capital Ltd.. Adam Arviv is currently the Chief Executive Officer of KAOS Capital Ltd. and a Strategic Advisor for ORYX Gaming. Previously, Mr. Arviv served as the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Bragg Gaming Group Inc., a publicly-traded company on the TSX, and President of Will-Power Management Inc. He was also the co-founder of Gaming Nation Inc., Green Growth Brands and the BRN Group. Mr. Arviv also serves as a Chairman on a number of boards, including, GhostRetail, the BRN Group, and Legacy Eight Gaming.
Raj Grover CEO, High Tide Inc. Establishing himself early in his career as one of Canada’s most prominent business strategists and deal makers, Raj Grover moved forward in 2009 to found High Tide, which has grown from a small shop of two employees into one of Canada’s largest cannabis retailers. He’s also founded High Tide’s subsidiary companies, Valiant Distribution and Canna Cabana, and co-founder of subsidiary Famous Brandz. Though he’s committed to his business, Grover believes that those who enjoy success should give back, spearheading High Tide’s support of World Vision, which sponsors children in under-developed countries.
Ricky Williams Founder, Highsman Best known as a professional football player and running back for a number of teams, featured on the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Toronto Argonauts and Baltimore Ravens, former player Ricky Williams has since shifted his focus to the cannabis space with the Highsman brand, which he defines as an “appreciate for greatness.”. He cites the scrutiny for using cannabis to “take care of his body,” hand-picking his favorite strains and breaking barriers in streetwear, sports and cannabis to further destigmatize cannabis in the sports space.
Jessica F. Gonzalez Attorney, Hiller, PC Jessica Gonzalez currently serves as a Cannabis attorney at Hiller, PC, as well as outside General Counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. Gonzalez led the social impact committee for NJ CAN 2020, the coalition that ran one of the most successful cannabis legalization campaigns in the country and helped shape cannabis policy on the statutory, regulatory, and municipal levels in New Jersey. Gonzalez assists clients in navigating the legal cannabis industry in the areas of IP and state licensing applications. She has been designated as a Cannabis Law Trailblazer by the National Law Journal, named on NJBIZ’s 2021 Next Generation of Leaders list and recognized as one of the top 20 cannabis influencers in New Jersey three years in a row.
Seth Rogen Founder, Houseplant It’s no secret to most that funny guy and comedian Seth Rogen is a fan of weed, but the Pineapple Express star has since moved forward to embrace the plant in a larger capacity, co-founding cannabis brand Houseplant. The cannabis at Houseplant represents the strains that Seth and Co-Founder Evan Goldberg love, along with the “finest product that growers across the state of California have to offer.” The brand embraces THC-rich cannabis, prioritizing the top colas of the plant where the biggest buds are found, hand-picking, -trimming and -packaging each Houseplant offering.
Alan D. Gold Executive Chairman, Innovative Industrial Properties Since the formation of Innovative Industrial Properties, Alan D. Gold has served as a co-founder and as executive chairman of the company board, also serving as executive chairman of IQHQ Inc., a privately-held life science real estate company, with an impressive resume of leadership positions in the life science industry and beyond. Innovative Industrial is the pioneering real estate investment trust for the regulated cannabis industry, founded in December 2016 as the first publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange to provide real estate capital to the regulated cannabis industry.
Raquel Peyraube Doctor, International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines Specializing in the problematic use of drugs, with abundant training in psychiatry, toxicology and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Raquel Peyraube has 28 years of experience in the field. Over the decades, Peyraube has made contributions in training, prevention, treatment and damage reduction, including innovation of theoretical and methodological developments with a focus on ethical issues. She’s currently working on the development of clinical trials, medical education of medicinal cannabis and dissemination of information and advice for reform of drugs policies in a number of countries.
Bruce C. Cozadd Chairman, CEO, Jazz Pharma Helping to innovate and transform the lives of patients as the CEO and chairman of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company, Bruce C. Cozadd is pushing the company forward to set a new standard of care to those living with complex conditions who deserve new and improved therapeutic opportunities.. He’s been with the company since 2003, moving into his current position back in 2009, which is developing a cannabinoid platform to help further navigate the healthcare space. Outside of Jazz Pharma, Cozadd is passionate about education and the arts, especially music.
Jim Cacioppo CEO/Chairman/Founder, Jushi Holdings With a resume spanning more than two decades, managing the business and allocating capital in senior management positions at several large hedge funds, Jim Cacioppo brings his start-up, operating, financial and investment know-how to his role as the CEO, chairman and founder of Jushi Holdings. Jushi is a national, multi-state cannabis company focused on developing and operating high-end retail locations, premium brands and state-of-the-art cultivation, processing and manufacturing facilities. Under Cacioppo’s leadership, Jushi looks to set a new standard for a sophisticated and modern cannabis experience.
Michael King and Charlie Kieley Co-Founders, Kings Garden Inc. Kings Garden started in 2015 in the Coachella Valley region of California, since growing into a profitable cultivation company birthed through funding from friends and family. With Michael King’s financial savvy and background on Wall Street, along with Charlie Kieley’s experience working directly in the cannabis industry, opening and operating our retail and retail cultivation facilities, the two joined forces. Kings Garden is continuously building and prioritizing the production of high-quality, indoor flower; giving back to local communities and prioritizing the advancement of the cannabis space as a whole. Kings Garden is currently operating 3,400 indoor lights via 250,000 square feet and is in the process of building out an additional 8,500 lights via 415,000 square feet, thus bringing the total operational footprint to 12,000 lights via 665,000 square feet by 2024.
Mary Bailey Managing Director, Last Prisoner Project The Last Prisoner Project was founded in 2019, centering the belief that no one should remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses. Managing Director Mary Bailey similarly believes that everybody fortunate enough to benefit from cannabis legalization should feel a moral obligation to assist those still suffering due to prohibition, dedicated to helping right the wrongs of cannabis criminalization. Prior to launching Last Prisoner Project, she was the CEO and founder of a Maui, Hawaii-based production company that specialized in events that inspire positive social change.
Daniel Chu CEO, LoadedCo. Founded in 2017, with quality craftsmanship in mind, LoadedCo. Takes pride in its reputation for collaborating with some of the best brands in the industry, and for creating unique high-end products. LoadedCo. Are the makers of handcrafted pre-rolls and a variety of collaborations frequently involving infused flower and other ingredients.
Rick Doblin Founder, MAPS Richard Elliot Doblin is an American drug activist and executive who is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which he launched in 1986. MAPS is on the forefront of psychedelic research and development. Since 1986, MAPS has distributed over $20 million to fund psychedelics and medical cannabis research and education. Doblin received his masters and PhD in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His 2019 TED Talk explored the vast potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Rosie Mattio Founder, Mattio Communications Rosie Mattio is CEO and Founder of Mattio Communications, which was ranked as the number one cannabis PR firm by Green Market Report. The company can be found practically everywhere in the cannabis space. Mattio was able to land the first-ever cannabis article in Oprah magazine. Based in New York, Mattio Communications represents 50 marquee cannabis clients, including Headset, Green Thumb Industries, Papa & Barkley, LeafLink, Greenlane and Curaleaf. Long ago, Mattio learned to hustle, growing up in the Bronx, and it’s certainly evident in her firm’s success.
Lewis Koski COO, Metrc Lewis Koski is the Chief Operating Officer for Metrc. Before joining METRC in 2019, Lewis ran his own consulting firm, helping agencies develop smart cannabis regulatory policies. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Senior Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Enforcement Business Group, directing state policy surrounding regulated markets and its enforcement. Lewis also served as the Director of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). At MED, he helped build the first state agency in the US to develop and implement medical and adult-use cannabis policy.
Christopher Alexander Executive Director, New York Department of Cannabis Management Christopher Alexander works with the New York Department of Cannabis Management to help move policy forward. A New York resident from birth, his passion is for policy and politics, as well as enacting change through the democratic process. He formerly served as a legislative aide, advocate and attorney, and was appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul to lead New York’s Office of Cannabis Management. The agency oversees all things policy for the newly budding New York cannabis industry, as well as all procedural aspects of legal marijuana.
Rusty Wilenkin CEO and Co-Founder, Old Pal Can flower be both affordable and beautifully crafted? For Old Pal’s Co-Founder and CEO Rusty Wilenkin the answer was a resounding “yes.” After spending 4+ years in the cannabis space, Rusty started Old Pal in 2018, creating one of the industry’s most recognizable brands— and also one of the most successful. Currently a top California brand, Old Pal has expanded into seven additional states, and in 2021 they were the #3 brand based on units sold in their five active states (according to BDSA).
Skip Motsenbocker CEO, Pacific Stone As CEO of Pacific Stone, a state-licensed California-based cannabis brand, Skip Motsenbocker has more than 25 years of professional experience in asset management, private equity and corporate finance and management. Pacific Stone provides both large scale greenhouse cultivation facilities and over one million square feet of flower. Pacific Stone Brand is offered in over 600 stores and includes packaged flower, pre-rolls and cartridges. Motsenbocker oversees the brand’s product launches and expansion, among other strategic initiatives.
Troy Datcher CEO, The Parent Company With a background in the consumer goods market and experience with consumer products, sales negotiation, strategic planning, and trade marketing, Troy Datcher brings myriad business skills to his role as CEO of The Parent Company. He has a background in Political Science thanks to a Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, and Datcher actually worked with Clorox Co. before he joined forces with The Parent Company. Today, he is responsible for their worldwide success and leadership in the cannabis market. He is also the first Black CEO of a major, publicly traded marijuana company.
Robert Groesbeck Co-CEO, Planet 13 Holdings As Co-CEO of Planet 13 Holdings, Robert Groesbeck is a long-time entrepreneur, starting and assisting in the creation of a number of businesses, including work in the cannabis industry. Mr. Groesbeck was designated as one of the top 40 Southern Nevada Business Executives under the age of 40, on the basis of his professional achievement and community service by the Las Vegas Business Press. Planet 13 has opened some of the largest dispensaries in the world, with impressive locations in Las Vegas and in Orange County, California.
Roger Volodarsky CEO, Puffco Roger Volodarsky is founder and CEO of Puffco, and has been working to perfect the company’s handheld vaporizer device over the course of the last decade. Volodarsky is described as a serial entrepreneur, a tech fan and cannabis connoisseur, who is highly successful at a relatively young age. Volodarsky helped introduce the Puffco Peak Pro—now a standard in vaping technology. Developing vaporizers for cannabis concentrates and “turning consumers into connoisseurs” is one of his long-term dreams. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey.
Josh Kesselman Founder, RAW Papers He’s quite the personality, which is great for marketing and branding in the world of cannabis-adjacent industries. RAW papers are a go-to standard for rolling paper needs, and they’ve been around forever. RAW Founder Josh Kesselman is on a mission, “Uplifting the world one beautiful natural sheet at a time.” Kesselman launched RAW clear back in 1995, and the company’s success has been linked to his continued presence in the public. Kesselman was arrested for selling a bong to a federal informant, and continues to fight for the right to sell cannabis accessories.
Heather Jackson Co-founder, Realm of Caring As co-founder of the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Realm of Caring (RoC), Heather Jackson is also president of the board. RoC is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization who serves anyone in need of more information about cannabinoid therapies. Through revolutionary research, innovative education, and life-changing grants, RoC seeks to facilitate and encourage the mainstream acceptance of transformative, plant powered therapies to benefit individuals and families and serve healthcare providers as well as the hemp and cannabis industries.
Ann Lee Co-founder, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition Ann Lee and her husband Bob founded Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) based on the belief that the prohibition of marijuana is “diametrically opposed to the Republican principles of limited government,” and personal freedom. Lee has been a leader and activist in the Republican Party since 1970. That year, she became precinct chair in the Harris County Republican Party serving from 1970 to 1992. Her first campaign activity came in 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater. In 1983, Lee co-founded the group Women for Reagan.
Brad Rogers CEO, Red White & Bloom Brad Rogers is CEO and Executive Chair of Red White & Bloom. He has an extensive track record of building tremendously successful and profitable businesses in the cannabis sector and beyond. He also grew two of Canada’s largest licensed cannabis producers to a combined market cap of $2 billion. Red White & Bloom’s growing portfolio boasts strong brands and proprietary product development capabilities—focusing on a “house of brands” strategy in both cannabis and hemp-derived product lines.
Jason Gellman Owner, Ridgeline Farms Growers up north all know the trusted name of Ridgeline Farms. Ridgeline Farms owner Jason Gellman was honored for the 2018 Business of The Year Award at the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce—the first time for the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, and for Jason Gellman, to have the award go to a local craft cannabis farmer. Humboldt County-based Ridgeline Farms focuses on quality over quantity, family values and environmental stewardship in the company’s owner-operated cannabis farm. Gellman and Ridgeline Farms have won multiple awards including Emerald Cup wins.
Matt Zingler Co-founder and Co-CEO, Rolling Loud Some careers are more exciting and rewarding than others. Co-founder and Co-CEO of the Rolling Loud Festival Matt Zingler works with his business partner Tariq Cherif. The two of them also founded Dope Entertainment, Florida’s premier Hip-Hop touring company. The Miami-based festival Rolling Loud has turned into one the hottest lifestyle events. In past years, the company’s massive lineup has featured superstars such as Travis Scott, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky. Part of his resume includes adapting to the massive setbacks from COVID.
Tony Gallo Managing Partner, Sapphire Risk Advisory Group Considered in the industry as the “O.G. of Cannabis Security,” Gallo is the Managing Partner at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, voted one of the Top Cannabis Ancillary Firms. Since 2013, Sapphire Risk has been focused on developing cannabis security strategies for businesses and has worked with over 500 clients in 35 States. Tony has spoken at over 100 conferences nationwide on cannabis security from application to operation. Tony received his degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey, and is a published author.
Andy DeFrancesco SOL Global Andy DeFrancesco is well-known for being a dealmaker on wall street and in cannabis, not only as a co-founder of Aphria but through his investment company SOL Global Investments. DeFrancesco pulled off some of the biggest success stories in the cannabis industry. Deals include Liberty Health Sciences, which was sold to AYR for $290 million, and another Florida-based operator Bluma Wellness which was acquired by Cresco Labs for $230 million. He co-founded both of those companies. DeFrancesco plays a major role in Simply Better Brands, which owns PureKana.
Jim Hagedorn CEO, Scotts Miracle-Gro Jim Hagedorn is Chairman/CEO at Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., a household name in nutrients. Hagedorn’s father Horace launched the original Miracle-Gro in 1951, and later, he grew up watching the Miracle-Gro brand earn the trust of gardeners all across America, and he’s committed to maintaining that legacy with gardeners today. A former fighter pilot known for “boldness and ingenuity,” Hagedorn helped orchestrate Miracle-Gro’s merger with Scotts in 1995, creating the leading consumer lawn and garden business in the world. He became CEO of the combined company in 2001.
Dr. Sue Sisley Scottsdale Research Institute Dr. Sue Sisley’s unparalleled research into medical cannabis broke through boundaries. As President of Scottsdale Research Institute and best known serving as Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial in the world examining safety/efficacy of smoked marijuana flower in combat veterans with severe post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Her studies were approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and she runs a thriving private practice in Phoenix as well. Sisley’s research has been supported by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based nonprofit psychedelic organization.
Michael Serruya Serruya Brands Michael Serruya began his fruitful career at age 20 as one of the co-founders of Yogen Früz®. Michael was also the CEO of Coolbrands®—then home to CPG brands including Weight Watchers®, Eskimo Pie®, Tropicana® and Godiva® Ice Cream. Serruya joined MedMen’s board in August 2021 as part of a $100 million investment in the Company by Serruya Private Equity to expand its operations in key markets and identify and accelerate further growth opportunities across the United States. Michael has also participated on the Boards of Directors of a number of both publicly and privately traded companies.
Zachary George CEO, Sundial Zachary George is CEO at Sundial Growers Inc. He is an entrepreneurial and seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in alternative investments and evaluating opportunities across the capital structure of North American companies with a focus on real assets. George previously worked in senior management and board capacities focused on large-scale restructurings and operational turnarounds, influencing corporate action and governance policies in order to maximize shareholder value. He also founded FrontFour Capital Group LLC and he has been the head of five different companies.
Jason Wild Chairman, TerrAscend Jason Wild is the President and Chief Investment Officer of JW Asset Management, LLC, and the advisor for five investment partnerships with over $2 billion in assets under management. Mr. Wild received his license as a pharmacist in 1997, and subsequently founded JW Asset Management, LLC in 1998. The firm has a strong history of finding opportunities within the healthcare sector. He is a graduate of the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy. Mr. Wild is the Chairman of the Board of TerrAscend Corp. and Arbor Pharmaceuticals. He is a board member of Vensun Pharmaceuticals and Vitruvias Therapeutics.
Irwin Simon CEO, Tilray Brands With more than 30 years of experience building industry-leading, consumer-packaged goods companies—ranging from foods, dietary supplements, personal care and cannabis—Irwin Simon now leads Tilray Brands, a global leader in cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution, as CEO. Tilray is the first GMP-certified medical cannabis producer to supply cannabis flower and extract products to patients, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, governments and researchers on five continents. Irwin is also the executive chairman of Whole Earth Brands, Inc., a leading platform in packaged goods and ingredients, and lead director at Stagwell Inc., a digital-first global marketing network.
Chrystal Ortiz Advocate, True Humboldt Sharing the core community values surrounding sustainability, community service and mindful cultivation that her “Back to Lander” parents held close in the Emerald Triangle region, Chrystal Ortiz since returned to the hills of Humboldt County in the late ’90s, raised their two children off the grid and embraced her current role at True Humboldt. The group is composed of Humboldt cannabis farmers who have joined together to support one another through the ever-changing-and-evolving cannabis industry, with the aim of preserving the unique heritage of the area.
Kim Rivers CEO, Trulieve Kim Rivers joined Trulieve, an industry-leading, vertically-integrated cannabis company and multistate operator in 11 states, at its inception and has been a key player in the company’s customer-centric vision, growth and expansion. Rivers oversees every part of the cannabis process, from the seed-to-sale. She previously worked in a private practice as a lawyer, specializing in mergers, acquisitions and securities for multi-million-dollar companies. When she’s not busy at Trulieve, Rivers also plays an active role in her community and serves on numerous charitable boards.
Brittani Cushman Senior VP and General Counsel, Turning Point Brands Brittani Cushman is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Turning Point Brands, Inc. As a female leader in the industry, Cushman works on public policy, legal and governmental affairs in the heavily regulated tobacco products industry. She specializes in tackling complex policy matters and legislation in the areas of federal and state regulation, marketing and taxation. She also helps to execute strategies as part of the senior executive management team.
Tyler Robson CEO and Chair of the Board, The Valens Company With over a decade of experience in cannabis science, research, and development, especially focusing on propriety extraction processing and medical application, Tyler Robinson came to his role as chief executive officer and chair of the board with The Valens Company with plenty of established science experience. He graduated from University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences and a biology focus. He has been with The Valens Company since 2012, moving from COO to CEO and growing alongside the company.
Karson Humiston Founder and CEO, Vangst Karson Humiston is the Founder & CEO of Vangst, the cannabis industry’s recruiting platform. Since launching in 2016, Vangst has connected thousands of people with jobs at leading cannabis businesses around the world. Karson was featured on the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list and Vangst was featured in Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies of 2018. Prior to founding Vangst, Karson founded On Track Adventures, a student travel organization based out of St. Lawrence University.
Gary Vaynerchuk CEO, VaynerMedia and Co-owner of Green Street Gary Vaynerchuk, aka “Gary Vee” is the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, and the active CEO of VaynerMedia. The Belarusian-American is a renowned entrepreneur, author and personality. He’s also the co-owner of Green Street, a full service creative agency that built a seven-story cannabis incubator in the heart of Los Angeles. Most people are drawn to Gary Vee’s no-nonsense attitude, as he effortlessly motivates his audiences.
George Archos (CEO) and Sam Dorf (Chief Growth Officer) Verano Holdings George Archos is CEO and founder of Verano Holdings. He has experience coordinating complex freight delivery and operating successful restaurants. He first joined the cannabis industry in 2014, and since then has risen in the ranks at various companies to take on a leadership role in this one. Sam Dorf, chief growth officer of Verano Holdings, has a background as a criminal defense attorney, and became a cannabis entrepreneur in 2013. He is known as a revered merit-based cannabis license application strategist and is responsible for supporting the growth of the team.
Brian Vicente Lawyer, Vicente Sederberg LLP, Lawyer A passionate supporter of cannabis reform, Brian Vicente, lawyer, founding partner, and one of the major players behind Vicente Sederberg LLP, has over a decade of experience helping to shape cannabis law, the area he specializes in. One of his major claims to fame was helping to draft Colorado’s historic Amendment 64 and co-directing the campaign in support of it. Vicente has worked with cannabis entrepreneurs, investors and businesses all across the US. His focus is on helping folks start and grow compliant and profitable businesses in the cannabis sector.
Al Harrington Founder, Viola Most well-known for his storied career in basketball, Al Harrington was pro for 16 seasons, but that’s not where his legacy ends. He is also a major player in the world of cannabis now. He founded Viola Brands in 2011, a cannabis company that now spans multiple states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Michigan, as well as a recent expansion to Oklahoma to work with their medical market. With the success of Viola, Harrington has shown that celebrity partnerships can be a lot more than lending a name and clout to a company.
Brian Malin Co-Founder, Vital Grown Founder and CEO of Vital Garden Supply and co-founder of Vital Grown, Brian Malin strives to show the world the importance of organically grown cannabis for both growers and consumers. He has been learning about organic farming and soil biology for over 25 years, and his mission is to use his natural gardening experience to help cannabis teams grow, both literally and figuratively. Malin is well-known from appearances on the Hash Church podcast, judging cannabis competitions like the Emerald Cup and Ego Clash, and spreading the gospel of organic pot.
Nancy Whiteman Co-Founder and CEO, Wana Brands Nancy Whiteman is co-founder and CEO of Wana Brands, an edibles company based in Colorado. One of the leading edibles brands in the mile high state, Wana Brands has grown-from a start-up to a successfully bought-out company, as Canadian-based cannabis giants Canopy Growth bought the business for $297.5 upfront. Whiteman is a legal in the pioneering industry of legal edibles, and her name is known throughout the industry. She’s known as both “the queen of legal weed” and “the Martha Stuart of edibles.”
Mike Glazer Comedian, Weed + Grub Weed + Grub is exactly what it sounds like—a comedy routine about cooking culture, comedy and cannabis. According to Emmy-nominated comedian Mike Glazer and cannabis culture writer Mary Jane Gibson, it’s also about “calling shit out” as the two smoke, snack and interview celebs. Glazer is known for his work on Night of Too Many Stars, Worst Cooks in America and other media featuring comedy, food and cannabis. He has cooked with Gordon Ramsay and was named as a 40 Under 40 Rising Cannabis Star.
Sean Kiernan President, Weed for Warriors Project Sean Kiernan is president of the Weed for Warriors Project, a well-respected veteran advocacy group that speaks out about the need for veteran cannabis access. He also served in the Army airborne infantry/pathfinder until receiving an honorable discharge and attended UC Berkeley. His background after college was in finance, working for companies like JP Morgan and Caxton Associates. He has contributed to MAPS research on cannabis and PTSD, and his goal in life is to help veterans access the medicine they need.
Dasheeda Dawson Founder, The WeedHead & Company Dasheeda Dawson is founder of The WeedHead & Company and author of the bestselling workbook, How to Succeed in the Cannabis Industry—now in its 3rd Edition. Dasheeda is a corporate-to-cannabis crossover pioneer and business strategist with experience as senior executive leader and strategy. More recently, she was selected as the Cannabis Program Supervisor, to oversee all regulatory, licensing, compliance and equity initiatives for the city of Portland, Oregon’s cannabis industry. She is a co-host on She Blaze, an award-winning weekly cannabis news and culture podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and iHeartRadio.
Chris Beals CEO, Weedmaps Chris Beals is Chief Executive Officer at Weedmaps LLC. Weedmaps is a tech company serving the cannabis industry, founded in 2008. In March 2019, Beals was named CEO of Weedmaps. A few months later, in August 2019, Weedmaps launched a 30,000 square-foot Museum of Weed in West Hollywood, California. Weedmaps not only connects people to cannabis retailers, but the company recently explored a social media platform alternative to Instagram with Berner.
Weldon Angelos Founder, The Weldon Project In 2003, a low-level cannabis case put a halt to Weldon Angelos’ budding career in the music industry, though it also helped to birth a national movement aimed to reform the U.S. criminal justice system. He became a bipartisan symbol for justice reform, and in 2016, he was finally released from prison after serving 13 years for a first-time, cannabis-related offense. Angelos moved forward to help others with similar experiences and founded the Weldon Project, dedicated to funding social change and financial aid to those serving prison time for cannabis-related offenses.
Daniel Carcillo Founder and CEO, WeSana Prominent athlete-turned-cannabis-entrepreneur Daniel Carcillo is founder and CEO of WeSana, a Chicago-based ketamine clinic. During his hockey career, he won two Stanley Cup Championships. Because of what he noticed first-hand while playing hockey, he became an advocate for mental health, concussions and traumatic brain injuries. His interest in how those things can be treated with plant and psychedelic medicine triggered the opening of WeSana. The Chicago-based business is currently making a splash in the world of ketamine medicine.
Kevin Jodrey Owner, Wonderland Nursery Kevin Jodrey is one of the most well-known growers in Humboldt County and is an internationally respected cannabis expert. As a world-renowned hunter of ganja genetics, Jodrey is fascinated by the search for rare, desirable, and marketable traits. Jodrey is the creator of Port Royal, owner of Wonderland Nursery, and co-founder of The Ganjier. He’s been cultivating for decades, running his own operations and offering consulting services. He’s spoken at universities, judged at the Emerald Cup, and consulted on cannabis related educational shows for National Geographic and A&E.
Tom Zuber Managing Partner and Founder, Zuber Law Tom Zuber is managing partner and founder of Zuber Law. Zuber is a litigator who specializes in intellectual property disputes and global intellectual property council for the cannabis industry on a worldwide scale. He manages Fortune-level clients through the firm and celebrates and advocates for his cannabis clients. He founded Zuber & Zuber, now known as Zuber Law, in 2003. When he started out, he had no clients and was a third-year associate. Now, Zuber Law is a world-known cannabis firm.
There’s a lot of reasons to love Viola. Besides attracting consumers with their high-profile founder, the heart-warming story of the company’s origins or their extensive equity work with Viola Cares—these guys just make great products. Now in their 10th year of operation, today Viola is easily one of the most talked about brands in the cannabis industry, and one of the most popular in terms of sales too. With operations in six states and a licensing deal that will bring the brand into Canada, Viola has long been a shining example of cultural relevance driving sales in this burgeoning space.
Founded by former NBA first-round pick Al Harrington, who was drafted at 18 (as the 25th pick overall in the 1998 draft), Harrington isn’t your typical cannabis executive—even though he did play for most of the teams with names stoners would choose, like the Nuggets, the Magic and the Wizards. After suffering numerous injuries while playing professionally and having been prescribed countless pharmaceuticals to quell his pain, it wasn’t until after his career was over that he began to fully comprehend all the healing properties cannabis offered. The NBA didn’t look too kindly on the plant back then, after all. But after medicating himself, it was actually his grandmother’s relief that motivated him to build the company. She had been suffering from glaucoma for years, and cannabis was the first medication that brought her lasting comfort. He immediately realized the potential.
While the goal is of course to grow the business and provide as much access to the plant as possible, it’s important to note that this isn’t just some celebrity cash grab. On top of making quality products, Viola’s mission is to “increase minority participation and ownership in the cannabis industry while positively impacting and reinvesting into communities most affected by the war on drugs,” which is best illustrated through their expansive work with Viola Cares.
The brand’s latest release brings another NBA icon into the cannabis spotlight.
“The Answer” Has Joined the Team
Viola’s newest line was created in conjunction with NBA Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson. The frequent NBA All-Star (not to mention two-time All-Star Game MVP, a league-wide MVP and a Rookie of the Year award), on the other hand, is no stranger to the plant. Having gotten arrested for possession in 1997 while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, just one year after joining the league, Iverson’s time in the limelight was often viewed through a critical lens. Although undoubtedly a monster on the court, with over 24,000 career points and being widely regarded as one of the best ball handlers ever, it was his antics off the floor that unfortunately made the biggest headlines. With a career that often had him considered the “bad boy” of the league back in the days of prohibition, it seems uniquely appropriate for this All-Star to lend his star power to championing the plant now that the tides are changing. “I couldn’t be happier to team up with my brother, Al, on this. I love what he’s doing and am excited to help share his mission in the cannabis space for our community,” Iverson said.
For Harrington and Viola though, as with their entire business, this is bigger than just a celebrity play. “The partnership with Chuck [Allen Iverson’s nickname] is the first of its kind in the industry. For us it’s more than just throwing his name on a bag or merch.” Harrington told High Times. “We really wanted to create a product he was proud of.”
And it looks like they’ve succeeded. Since its launch—whether it was at one of the several launch parties or from shares on social media, few hype launches get this kind of attention. But how’s it smoke?
Dubbed “‘96,” after Iverson’s rookie year in the league, the pilot cultivar is an indica-dominant cross between Grape Stomper and Secret Kush Mints, and it’s one that will put even the most experienced smoker down. With a vibrant, sweet and piney aroma punching out of the bag, the buds look just as attractive as they smell. The dense, dark purple—almost black—buds are absolutely covered in light trichomes, providing a gorgeous juxtaposition, especially paired with the bright orange hairs sprouting out from the seams.
These nugs are so sticky that you’ll be left with a residue after breaking up only your first nug, so you’ll want to use a grinder, and prepare for an even more impressive aroma once you start crushing buds up. The mint nose really presents itself once it’s been torn to shreds. In terms of the smoke, it’s hard to complain with this one. You’ll get the candy flavor you hope for on the pull, and the ash burns clean, but beware of the high. Unlike many imitators on the market, when these guys say something is an indica, you should take note. Don’t smoke the ‘96 too early, this one is a sleeper—like, Nate Robinson sleep.
It’s no secret that if you’re working in the cannabis industry, you need to be on top of everything coming your way. One woman who’s dominating her role in the industry is Stephanie Arakel, Vice President of Strategy and Product at Viola Brands. Arakel’s journey into cannabis grew organically starting with her culinary college career, to a few post-college cannabis enterprises after recovering from cancer, which eventually lead to the current position she holds now at Viola Brands.
Highly successful and tenacious, Arakel manages many things behind the scenes at Viola Brands, including all six markets that it currently operates in. Aside from the daily management requirements of those markets, Arakel was also given the responsibility of choosing the first strain to be a part of the recently released Iverson collection, aptly named ’96, which celebrates the official partnership of Allen Iverson with Viola Brands’ Founder Al Harrington (’96 being the year that Iverson joined the NBA). In fact, she very proudly shared that she took over the role of working on Viola Brands’ products in all markets earlier this year.
High Times spoke with Arakel about her cannabis industry roots, her experience being diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, how she ended up at Viola Brands, and the state of women in the industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Did you attend college? Was it with the intention of pursuing a career in cannabis, or something else?
Well, I am a born and raised California Valley girl. I grew up in Chatsworth, California, [and went to] Chatsworth High School. I went to culinary school for college. That’s how I kind of got into marijuana; I started making edibles. I majored in pastries and cakes, and I had a friend that was really into weed, so I started experimenting with his shake, and before I knew it, I paid off my college tuition selling brownies, candies, and eclairs. I ran a bakery out of my house for a little bit. My major clientele was either moms who needed cartoon cupcakes for their kids’ birthdays, or just straight stoners.
Would you say you had more moms as customers, or more stoners as customers?
Definitely the stoners. Honestly, back then I was younger, I was in my early 20s, so I didn’t really understand the magnitude of what I was actually doing. I grew up in a very strict Middle Eastern household. Any type of drinking or drugs or you know, it was forbidden. So when I did move out and I got a little acclimated to the college lifestyle, everything was a real big shock. I didn’t realize, like, “Oh, I’m a drug dealer.”
How did you end up working at Viola Brands?
I was diagnosed with cancer a little over five years ago now. Prior to being diagnosed, I had worked in Hollywood, so during the day, I was selling my baked goods, going to pre-ICOs, and getting acclimated to a lot of the heavy hitters that you would talk to in the industry now. And basically, my network just kept growing and growing. At night, I worked at the clubs in Hollywood. I was dealing with bottles and dealing with DJs and everything, so I learned who the trappers and all that kind of stuff were, and then I was selling to them during the day.
During that time frame, I stopped working in Hollywood. I’ve always had this really raspy voice, but it aggressively got worse instead of better. I thought it was actually bad because I was always yelling over music and stuff, so for an entire year, I was misdiagnosed.
When I finally got diagnosed correctly, they diagnosed me with laryngeal cancer. My whole life completely went from being the underground baking trapper to “you have cancer, and you’re locked in an isolation room in the hospital, and none of your friends can come into the room and see you.” So naturally, during my time, I couldn’t smoke; no edibles, like nothing could come into me, and I lost my mind.
When I got out of there, I launched the delivery service with a couple friends that took off pretty quick. We catered to a very, very large portion of Southern California, and it caught the attention of a couple people. I was already following Alan [Harrington] on Instagram, so he kind of saw what I was doing but he never realized the magnitude of it. You know, no one’s really just on Instagram like, “Hey, I sell weed.”
So two associates of his that he had teamed up with to get the licensing and everything to go for California knew me from my prior life, and they basically told Al and the president at the time that “we need this girl, we need this girl.” They were trying to get me to come in, and I kind of brushed them off. Why would I want to go to the legal market?
I actually talked it over with one of my business partners. We knew at some point, we were gonna have to transfer over if we want our delivery to be legal, or I want my edible company to be legal or anything, it would be good to kind of have the inside source. So naturally, I slowly decided “All right, I’ll do it.”
I started out as the brand director for the state of California [for Viola]. I opened way, way [more] stores than we could have even thought to have in the first 90 days, and it just kept growing and growing. Over the course of the last three years, I’ve taken on many roles and many hats, and now, I’m the Vice President of Strategy and Product for all of the markets.
You know, they say when you love what you do, it’s not work. Although it’s work, and it definitely does feel like work, I am very happy and blessed to be where I am right now.
What are some of the noteworthy challenges that you’ve encountered during your time at Viola?
I think being a woman in this industry is probably one of the hardest things I ever do. Really, being a woman in any industry, but this industry specifically because there’s not that many of us especially in authoritative positions. Adjusting to personalities is something that I have not mastered, but I’ve definitely maneuvered. I think this industry requires a lot more energy from women than it would a man, and I don’t think we are recognized for it how we should be.
What do you think about the current state of women in the cannabis industry?
I think there needs to be more women-focused campaigns from a product perspective, and just in general. But really, more women-focused products. At the end of the day, when people spend money, it’s usually to impress a woman or a woman is buying it.
I think just women having the opportunities to be in roles like the one I’m in or higher, just in general. It’s imperative, and it doesn’t happen as often as it should. I’m really blessed and lucky to be where I am at with Viola because Al definitely values me. He sees the work that I put in, and he understands, like, “She’s about us.” He recognizes it, you know? I just hope that for other women and other companies, they get that same recognition.
What do you hope changes for women in this industry in the future?
Who run the world? Girls! I would just like to see more women in these higher roles. I want to see more women-driven brands, whether it’s their own brand, or they’re running it for somebody else.
I want to see more campaigns with women that are dressed. Though, I think that the community has done a really good job of steering away from that. There’s a few, like, accounts here and there, brands here and there that are still stuck in that mindset. I mean, I get it—sex sells—but I would love to see women portrayed in a more, you know, professional, wholesome way.
Who or what inspires you?
I think overcoming everything that I did. I think I kind of push myself knowing what I went through to continue going so that I could help people the way I needed to be helped when I was sick. I’m also completely obsessed with Dr. Sebi. He’s an herbalist. When I was diagnosed the first time, I went through chemo and radiation, and it literally nearly killed me. I got re-diagnosed three years later; they told me “Oh, you know, we caught it early.” And I literally told everybody to fuck off. I came home; I cleared out all my kitchen cabinets. And I literally only followed Dr. Sebi’s food list, and I cured my cancer, along with a boatload of other things that happened to me.
During the course of going to chemo, I developed weird skin rashes. My hair fell out; my hair grew back, stronger. So I look up to Dr. Sebi the herbalist, and I think more people should look into natural remedies, which is also why I love working in the industry that I do, because it’s a plant. Dr. Sebi actually touches on weed a little bit too, and how beneficial it is for helping people and curing people. That’s who I look up to, and [also] my dad. I’m first generation here, so both my parents came here and started from scratch.
Do you have any advice for other women who are looking to get into the cannabis industry?
Always be cognizant of your surroundings. That would probably be the best advice. You never know who’s in the same room as you. So, just be cognizant of who you are around at all times.
I get a lot of heat for being aggressive, or I was labeled “the bitch.” Everyone that works with me knows how caring I am, but at the end of the day, [if] something needs to be done, it needs to be done, and it needs to be done correctly. So I catch a lot of heat for like, “Oh, you don’t know how to talk to people.”
Don’t ever take anything personally. Keep being a beast, tunnel vision and keep going. Obviously, be nice; make sure people are taken care of and whatnot, but at the end of the day, don’t deter from what your goals are because of other people’s chatter.
What can our readers expect from Viola Brands now that Allen Iverson has joined Al Harrington?
So we’re launching in Canada next week. We are ramping up in the state of Oregon. We have a rosin launch coming in Colorado. We just launched Harrington Institute, which is a program through Cleveland University in Ohio. I believe open enrollment is right now, where we teach people the ins and outs of the business, how they can get into it, from cultivation to manufacturing, managing stores, inventory; we go through the whole gamut. We have a couple of other really cool collaborations we’re going to be announcing, too.
*Read this story originally published in the January 2022 issue of High TimesMagazine.
The state of New Jersey has finally begun to accept applications for recreational cannabis licenses on December 15. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) announced that within the first four hours of applications opening, 500 people had already submitted their applications, with 635 accounts created by the end of the day.
“We are happy to reach this milestone,” said Jeff Brown, CRC executive director. “Applications are coming in, the platform is performing well, and we can officially mark the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis industry. Getting cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs licensed and operating will set the framework and establish supply for retailers who will start licensing in March 2022.”
The CRC also noted that highest priority would be given to “Social Equity Businesses, diversely-owned businesses, microbusinesses, and conditional license applicants” when being reviewed. This includes applicants who were previously convicted for cannabis crimes, live in “economically disadvantaged areas” or fit the criteria of minority, women or disabled-veteran owned businesses.
Following Governor Phil Murphy signing three cannabis bills earlier this year in February, the CRC created the Office of Minority, Disabled Veterans, and Women Business Development in order to follow through with the promise of supporting diversity. A category was specifically created for Social Equity Business applicants as well, which includes “people who have lived in an economically disadvantaged area or who have convictions for cannabis-related offenses. Those areas are defined as places where individuals earn 80 percent or less of the state median household income ($90,444), and also have an uninsured rate of one to one-and-a-half times more than rates throughout the state, according to NJ.com.
“The annual license is the bread and butter of what we typically think of when someone is applying for a license. It gives business owners the authority to operate the cannabis operation year round,” said Houenou. “The conditional license is meant to give applicants extra time to get all of their ducks in a row… They then have 120 days to meet the additional requirements for the annual license.”
Houenou also spoke about how conditional license applications would be prioritized over annual licenses. “If you look across the country, historically you can see how the need for property control has posed a barrier for a number of applicants looking to operate [a cannabis] business… We decided to lessen that burden as much as we could.”
Despite the promises of fair consideration for diversity for recreational cannabis licensing, there has been some concern about considerations for the medical cannabis grower licenses recently. According to NJ Advance Media, most of the recently awarded licenses went to white women, leading some applicants to question if they actually received any extra “points” for being a minority applicant during the scoring process. Brown addressed the concern. “In the eight months since the CRC was established, we have completed key tasks started under the Department of Health to increase supply and provide additional access for patients in the medicinal market,” he said. “Now we have begun accepting recreational cannabis business applications under our new rules which prioritize equity.”
Al Harrington, former NBA athlete and owner of Viola Brands was one of the minority applicants that did not receive a New Jersey license. Harrington’s application writer, Jamil Taylor explained to NJ.com how difficult it is for Black-owned businesses to grow in the cannabis space. “It’s sad how they’ve structured the process, but that goes to show how valuable these licenses are,” Taylor said. “They’re limiting vertical integration, but they’ve already given vertical integration to the majority white companies.”
Number 13! Not going to lie, I never expected my attention (or anyone else’s) to last so long that I’d ever be at the 13th edition of my Quarantine Cop List, so pardon me for a moment while I relish in the irony of the old adage that stoners don’t get anything done… Apparently they do when they’re talkin’ about weed!
I know times are still tough for us all, and despite having already suffered through around 16 months of the that-which-shall-not-be-named period, things seem just as tremulous as ever, so I’m back again to throw some hot fire at ya. This edition of the Quarantine Cop List gives a lot of love to the trap, praises to soda, tries to dabble out of state, and includes a Delta variant you’ll actually want to catch, so peep game and let me know if there’s something else that should be on my radar for the next one: @joncappetta
I post about a lot of exciting products for this list, but few are as explosively innovative as this. While I’d heard folklore about this type of doob for years, the mad scientist behind Pixie Stix has finally made it a reality—joints rolled utilizing almost exclusively THC products (save the glass filter of course—you can’t smoke that)—REAL hash-paper joints.
Now I’ll admit, I’m a skeptic, so I wasn’t sure if this was going to smash or devolve into a giant mess, but friends, I am pleased to report these things are real hitters. While certainly not an entry level product, Pixie Stix smoke smoother than you’d probably expect, with the hash complementing the buds far more than a paper or even a hemp wrap ever could, but you’ll feel the difference in the high. These guys weren’t kidding with their tag line “for pros only”! These drop in very limited supply so if you ever get the chance to grab one of these DO NOT SLEEP, you’re not going to want to miss it.
I sometimes get slack for talking too much about California, but it’s where I live, so here’s one that, while operational here so I can attest to the quality, is also setting themselves up for a play back east in Massachusetts. The first product line from Belle Fleur, Rapper Weed, is definitely going to make a splash as it launches on the East Coast.
Their first two strains, Pink Panties (modeled after the V.S. Aesthetic) and Fonzorelli (after the notorious icon from the cult-classic show Happy Days, Arthur Fonzorelli), are cuts the market is familiar with, and loves, but rebranded in a play to reach a wider audience. While normally I would assume this was some scale move just trying to profit off the game, I know the team behind the brand are true culture guys, so I’m excited to see where they go. As we all know, the right branding can make ALL the difference…
I’m going to start this by saying I’m not here to pitch you moonrocks. While a million people have tried it in the past, I haven’t seen any that I’m stoked about smoking, and I’m not here to shill you on things I don’t personally consume. That said, whatever the hell the Delta Boyz have going on with their Delta Diamonds is most certainly working.
While definitely NOT moonrocks, or asteroids, or any of those other products trying too hard, the Delta Diamonds ARE premium indoor flowers that get doused with a healthy coating of water hash. Unlike the other players that coat low grade in disti then throw keef on top to trick you into thinking you’ve got something better than you do, with the Diamonds you can clearly see what you’re smoking—you can even shake / rub off much of the hash if you’re so inclined. Even better, they SMACK—so all those looking to moonrocks when traditional flower just isn’t cutting it anymore, here’s the actual solution to your woes.
Desto Dubb doesn’t stop winning. From the insanely popular That’s An Awful Lot of Cough Syrup clothing, to the music, to his cannabis play That’s An Awful Lot of Gelato (keep an eye out for a story on all that and his rise to stardom coming soon!), it’s clear the man’s hustle knows no bounds.
So why should I be surprised that he recently teamed up with Exotic Pop, the hype soda distributors pushing everything from Crip A Cola to Wu-Tang’s Pineapple C.R.E.A.M.?
The latest play, That’s An Awful Lot of Pina Colada, seriously tastes like an authentic Pina Colada (just carbonated and bottled), and is definitely going to delight sippers across the nation. While I don’t fuck with lean whatsoever it’s worth noting that this is just bomb ass soda, and no cough syrup is required for others like me who just pack a wicked sweet tooth. Just another stop on Desto’s plot for world domination!
If there’s one takeaway I’m sure you’re getting from each of these lists it’s that flavor is king. While much of the industry is running after THC percentages, this has been the gospel for the gang over at The Cure Company for years, and as such they’ve consistently brought to market some of the newest and most unique varietals, like their cult-favorite Curelato for example (my personal favorite Gelato cut).
Knowing these guys’ history it should be of no surprise to our readers that their upcoming line is bringing the heat in a major way, debuting Fritz crosses across the most in-demand strains in the game right now. While Animal Fritz dropped last week, the pure Fritz drops today, and there’s a gang of new cuts coming including Miami Fritz, which is sure to make some real noise out here.
If you’re looking for the plug City Compassionate Caregivers in DTLA gets it first, but you’ll be seeing this cut across the retail ecosystem very soon.
Y’all know I’m not the world’s biggest dabber. I love cannabis in all it’s forms, but I just don’t consume concentrates out of rigs very often, it messes with my flower tolerance too much. That said, I HAVE to give a shout out to Royal Key’s latest product Grape Royale, which was processed by Suprize Suprize.
I was in the Bay for my dear friend Jimi’s birthday bash, and this product was on the tasting I partook in, and let me just say, this product was MILES above it’s competition. You don’t gotta be a massive dabber to appreciate good terps, and boy these were some of the best I’ve experienced. While I didn’t realize the jar they gave me wasn’t actually for keeps (sorry Jim!), I’m very excited to bust this out from time to time for a special flavor experience.
P.S. here’s a public acknowledgement that the Devine Cannabis guru is welcome to any of my terps at any time. (Note: Image is of Zookies extract, not the Grape Royale)
Keeping with the grape vibes, I want to give a big shout out to the Viola team for once again bringing an exciting one to market. Their latest collaboration will see NBA Icon Allen Iverson enter the cannabis industry, and the first product they’re dropping, ‘96 – in honor of the year the all-star joined the big leagues, is a board-breaker. A grape stomper & secret kush mints cross, the candy nose is strong with this one, with a unique minty finish that will have you huffing the bag trying to lock the flavor into your nostrils. Similar to the Grape Royale mentioned above, the flavor profile on this is so satisfying that I haven’t been able to stop myself from going back repeatedly just for sniffs. Save this cut for the post-game though, because this is not suitable for practice.
I dropped a full review on the new heat from the Jungle Boys last week, but the Sour Apple Killer is so good it’s worth mentioning again (and again, and again!). I’m not shy about the fact that my nose dictates most of my smoking decisions, and this one smells RIPE. They say that most scents people are attracted to have some beauty, and some funk to them, and I don’t know if that’s true but it’s definitely true about this cultivar, and I’m thoroughly attracted to it. Not only that, but it’s also consistently putting me on my ass, which is always an important thing to look for when looking for an evening smoke. Get you some fire to play with.
Another preroll not for the faint of heart, the new line from Heavy Hitters’ is no joke. Infused with THCa diamonds, these one-gram bangers are filled with fan-favorite flowers like Sunset Sherbert and Black Cherry Gelato, and from what I’ve seen they’re all testing above 50 percent THCa. They’re also pushing these across the Sativa to Indica spectrum, with a measure on the back of whether it’s leaning more up-py or down, but you should know that no matter which type you choose, you’re going to be really freakin’ high. Those familiar with the Heavy Hitters’ brand know these guys are known for the strength of their products, and this latest tool in the arsenal lives up to the hype.
I’ve followed Stone Road’s ascension for a while now. They’ve got a great story, their product is quality, everyone I’ve met from the team has been excellent—they’re the kind of people you just want to win. And while I’ve been a quiet consumer for a while now, their latest format is one that I think is worth celebrating. Releasing half-ounce, pre-ground ‘Rollie’ packs, Stone Road has successfully pivoted a familiar product into a more holistic, and healthy one.
Maybe it’s because I come from the festival circuit, or because I grew up around cigarette smokers, but there’s something I’ve always found magic about Rollie packs, and the people that can just roll on the fly wherever they are anytime they need a smoke. That takes skill, and actual effort. However, it makes perfect sense for cannabis, and I’m actually a bit surprised we haven’t seen this MORE. That said, Stone Road’s crushing it, and their Banana Split is particularly good for a daytime smoke, should you be so inclined!