“Anybody who doesn't understand it's a PR war is really kind of missing out. OK. If they say something bad, they're influencing hearts and minds. We need to counter. We need to be thinking in terms of public relations and PR because if we don't, it's just going to be more headaches.”
— Curt Robbins
Few people know more about the business of cannabis than Curt Robbins. Under the pen name Gooey Rabinski — he worked in insurance and banking, and wanted to maintain his anonymity — he wrote more than 500 articles for High Times and other publications. Today he consults with cannabis companies on regulatory compliance and marketing. Listen to hear about:
- the medicinal efficacy of cannabis for a variety of conditions
- the politics of the evolving legalization movement
- why we have to listen to the opponents of legaliztion
- why indica and sativa are meaningless labels
And much more!
12 | Kannaboomers Podcast, Curt Robbins, Cannabis Professional
Kannaboomers (00:00): Hey, it's Tom, we're back with episode 12 of the Kannaboomers Podcast. This week we have Curt Robbins, also known as Gooey Rabinski. You might recognize his byline from High Times or the other publications. He's written for about 500 articles, all so he really knows his stuff about cannabis and he's written for a lot of businesses as well that are getting off the ground, has deep knowledge of the regulatory environment out there and what to expect as legalization rolls to the states. We talk about what's going on in Canada about various strain names and the differences between indica and sativa. Many aspects to talk about a really great episode. I hope you enjoy it and drop us a line if you have questions or if you want us to interview a certain person who has expertise or, um, just to let us know how it's going. Tom, at kannaboomers dot com.
Kannaboomers (00:48): Enjoy the episode. This is Let's Talk About Weed, the Kannaboomers Podcast: CBD, microdosing, and all things related to medical cannabis for baby boomers from San Diego. Here's your host, Thomas J.
Kannaboomers (01:01): Curt Robbins, Welcome to the Kannaboomers podcast. We're connecting both in California. You're up in LA and I'm in San Diego. Really happy to connect. And can you tell our audience about your experience in this industry.
Curt Robbins (01:15): For almost 15 years I wrote under the pen name Gooey Ribinsky and you know, that was all great, but the whole reason I did that was because I was earning my living. I was supporting my family by doing technical writing for corporate America. The fortune 200. I was within the IT shops and banks and insurance companies. They're conservative organizations. You don't wave the cannabis flag. Uh, so that's why I had to hide behind the Gooey Rabinski pen name. Quite honestly, I'm shedding that name now. I just had a business meeting last night with a guy I've known online for years and years, but we never met face to face. He's in LA for a meeting once he say when he walks up. Hi Bob, how are you? Can see the look in my face. And he goes, Oh, I'm not supposed to.
Kannaboomers (01:58): So you have like 500 articles out there as Gooey Rabanski, correct?
Curt Robbins (02:01): Yeah. Every, the majority of my writing has been in the it segment for software developers and audiences like that, uh, in 2004 for a variety of reasons. I got interested in the cannabis culture and immediately kind of gravitate toward the efficacy science, the cannabinoids, the terpenes, the CB1 receptors that, that was really what interested me. Well, I couldn't express that interest through corporate America and my day job, so I invented Gooey Rabinsky, started hitting up magazines like High Times and Cannabis Culture and probably a few dozen that are no longer in business, uh, and started researching the efficacy in the science and the culture in the business of cannabis in that respect. And it was just a fun outlet. Uh, and, and I enjoyed it. Well, 15 years later, the landscape is very different, right? It's everything you and I have been talking about. We have a legal medical in dozens of U.S states, which compared to a decade or so ago is like amazing. Uh, and now we have almost 10 states now, don't get what the count is nine now that our adult use legal, technically speaking, that's still very new and it doesn't mean we have safe, easy access for consumers or patients in those states. We need to realize this. It just means they're kind of getting started and this is a multi year launching adult use legalization or medical legalization in any jurisdiction in any state is a multi-year effort. People tend to think on all sides of the fence and bureaucrats, voters, uh, entrepreneurs that this happens within months. But unfortunately we would love that, but that's just not the reality. It takes years to,
Kannaboomers (03:47): Right. I mean each state has its own machinery and there's probably an instinct to let county by county or even city by city, every little community decide for itself as I guess shouldn't be the case, but in some want multiple dispensary, some don't. And, and everything else that goes along with a growing operation. So deliveries, all that stuff needs to be sorted out. Right,
Curt Robbins (04:09): Exactly. It's extremely complicated. And one of the things that makes it complicated is just that there's so many diverse parties involved. You have small entrepreneurs, big companies, the small guys are afraid of the big guys. We hear this all the time in California, right? 20 slash 23, he's going to come up. The moratorium on the big guys coming into the California market is going to end. And a lot of your craft companies, you know, mom and pops, technically the US government categorizes you as small business if you have fewer than 300 employees yet. So if I have a buddy who has a company with 250 employees, I consider him to be pretty big. But technically speaking, according to the federal government in the US, he's a small business. So we have all these diverse parties and we've got the government and it just, it just gets really complicated. Those parties typically do not agree with one another and sometimes they just flat out can't stand one another. But this is a negotiated process. Uh, I think the most unfortunate part of it is that entrepreneurs, like you and I do not have a lot of spare bandwidth, right? Things are happening right now. They're very excited and I don't know about you, but I just don't have a lot of spare time to be attending city council meetings and all these things that I would like to be doing quite honestly. Um, but as an industry we need to be doing that, you know, we need to have people who are tapped into the lobbying side of the industry to the politics side. People like Tom Angel who I kick him money every month, uh, in the marijuana movement because I love this guy because that's all he does is politics. And he helps me serve my clients. My 50 bucks I give to him every month. There's some of the best money I ever spent because I just had a client call this morning directly before this podcast. And sure enough, some of the stuff I learned from him and, you know, I, uh, I'm not a friend of his from college or anything. I don't get any Brownie points for promoting them. All I can say is that because I don't have time to attend those city council meetings and to tap into all of that, I like a roundup and a summary that helps me serve my clients and there are sources like that out there. So I guess I'm just trying to tell your listeners if you can't be there yourself, tap into somebody or some media source or some expert who was there who is smart on that topic, who did participate in shake hands at the street level and you know, analyze and summarize for your own purposes, their data.
Curt Robbins (06:42): Uh, and, and, you know, just don't forget that, uh, if we sit here and we bitch about local ordinances were just talking about dry counties. Right? Okay. I've got a complaint. I have a friend in LA, she and her husband own an infused ice cream company. Now you live in San Diego. What's the problem with this? The problem is California did not ban in the regulatory oversight infused ice cream. What they did do is they said nothing below 40 degrees. So now my friend and her husband, they have to completely rejiggered their brand, their marketing strategy, everything about their company because their main product, it's like telling Porshe you can't sell turbo sports cars anymore. They're like, what? And now they're having to transition to cookies and brownies and infuse into edible products that sit on the shelf it at room temperature, obviously above 40 degrees.
Curt Robbins (07:35): So one little line and the regulatory. I mean California, there are regulatory oversight here is from three different government bureaus and it's more than 200 pages. It's a. it's complicated, but when you got one little line like that, that determines the fate of a business, you know, it's a big deal. And do I wish that I'd had the bandwidth and time to attend those meetings and to really put my heart into it and try to influence a regulatory oversight like that? Yes, I do. I don't. So I think we need to do a better job of handling our lobbying dollars, giving our support in whatever shape. It's not always dollars to the lobbyists and the people on the political scene and the journalists who were reporting all of this and trying to keep us informed, uh, I don't have the time for it personally. So I'm glad that the industry is getting more complicated, more sophisticated, and everybody's beginning to specialize. I mean, that's really what we're seeing. We're seeing people migrate into specialization,
Kannaboomers (08:36): I follow Tom Angle's stuff and as you mentioned, he's absolutely invaluable in, as a watchdog on what's going on with there, letting you know which government agencies are pro cannabis in which are anti and which candidates and in, in all of that stuff on the other side that you mentioned keeping an eye out on ourselves as small business people. But in this case I think you can make the case that consumers should be hand in hand with small businesses too. I mean, we're all kind of in this together trying to get access to good products at good prices before the big guys come in and elbow everybody out. Right? I mean Philip Morris could come in and squash all kinds of farmers. So you have a market that's just coalescing and what can we do through, you know, NORML or Americans for Safe Access, all these organizations that are there and who's on the right side of this thing and all of that will, will play out. I guess we'll see as we go.
Curt Robbins (09:28): Yeah. Uh, well I have, I have two responses to that. One. You know, I think end consumers. I'm not a big fan of laziness. I'm always preaching to my kids, you know, don't be lazy. It's not going to get you very far in life. And. But I think ironically, I think consumers should be allowed to be lazy. They're consumers. It's their dollars that fuel the entire industry and that feed all of us. So I think consumers should be lazy. They have, they have the right to do that. I think as entrepreneurs, as we, you and I, we got a pound of flesh in this game. Okay. We can't feed our kids if we don't survive in this up and coming industry. Whereas consumers, if you're just truly a consumer, you're not an entrepreneur. You're not part of the cannabis industry. You should just be able to walk into a dispensary or tap into a dot com, you know, here in California and get your home delivery, uh, and really not worry about all the rest. I think it's the responsibility of, of entrepreneurs and companies like us to educate the consumers. And back to your earlier question, you know, what am I doing now? I used to write all these articles for these media outlets and I'm doing a lot less of that and now I'm focusing on writing business plans and operational plans and license applications. Why have I made that transition? Well, I want to get those companies in place and help them do it right. Because if, as an industry, if we do that correctly, consumers have an easy path and they should have an easy path. They work hard for a living. They work hard for their money. They have to give too much of it to the government. What they have left over. They should not get screwed over on that. We, if we do our job correctly, they have a smooth path to acquisition, if you will. Okay. They, they, they walk in, they have clearly described, fully tested, honestly represented products through marketing and branding. They can quickly tell what works for their particular lifestyle, ailments or desires, and they can just go through with the transaction and get it, and if they find brands that are reliable and sustainable, well they're going to come back again and again. Look at General Motors, look at Coca Cola, look at Phillip Morris, right? Those are reliable, sustainable brands that consumers know, that they can weave into their lifestyle until the day they die.
Kannaboomers (11:42): Right? A true, unfettered free market. Let's talk about distribution. Do you see this like a drugstore model? Is it a pharmaceutical model where your doctor writes a prescription for you? Is it more like buying a six pack or is it more like buying Melatonin?
Curt Robbins (11:59): All of the above, and sometimes we're going to see all of the above within a single jurisdiction, right? Like the state of California in the state of New York, however you define that, and obviously this is one of the biggest stressors right now in the cannabis industry, uh, is when you look in Oregon, Washington, California patients and the medical community are crying out and saying, well, we predicted this adult use slack, you know, quote unquote recreational is coming in and now it's pushing away medical and we're seeing politicians and leaders and influencers in states like Washington and Oregon and California. It's an easy political message and sell for them when they say, well, you know what, it takes a lot of resources, a lot of time time, money, effort in order to maintain two separate systems for medical and adult use. You know what? It's just a lot more efficient if we just have one system now. In theory, that's correct. Okay. That's a logic that we cannot deny. However, if that single system is implemented in a manner that is not helpful to patients and they noticed a decrease in quality or service or whatever, they're looking for safe access, right? Where prices go up and suddenly, like in Canada, they're arguing over, I'm a patient, I should not have to pay taxes on my medicine. So, uh, so we're gonna we're gonna. Go back to your question. We're going to see all of it for awhile, but it's in transition. Everything's just training wheels right now. And that's why I tell people, especially my clients, don't freak out over the current regulatory oversight because it's way messed up. It's, it's just experimental. We need to really kind of gamify this and take it with a bit of a grain of salt and a sense of humor a cause because none of this is permanent.
Kannaboomers (13:45): I'm just last week Jerry Brown in California, uh, made some sweeping changes, right?
Curt Robbins (13:49): I believe there were four different I saw on cannabis wire and I'm sure Tom's reporting it for different, uh, bills signed into law that affect the cannabis industry, at least here in California and indirectly will affect the industry globally, uh, just because of the precedent set by California. Uh, those are big deals. Okay. Now that's post prop 64, which went into effect on January first of this year. Obviously that's posts a lot of other regulatory updates, so this is in continual flux. Anyone, consumer, entrepreneur or politician or otherwise who assumes that this is locked in and Oh shit, this sucks because it's going to be this way for the next 30 years. That's completely false.
Kannaboomers (14:31): We got to keep an eye on the ball and it's not a binary state where it's legal, not legal is. It's an evolving scenario in every state. It's extremely complex.
Curt Robbins (14:40): Yep, and we. And you said it right, we got to keep our eye on the ball because if you don't have the time to put your eye on the ball, you've got to hire somebody to put their eye on the ball and if you don't have the money to hire them, then you might not be able to afford to be in this industry because we didn't invent gravity. This is complicated and this is. We have to realize that. Okay, look at Sam and Kevin Sabet. All right, now this is not going to get me a lot of followers. I'm probably going to notice a little decrease in my social media, but I respect these people in terms of their professionalism and their ability to lobby congress and to lobby other influencers and power brokers in the United States to get their message across and to achieve their goals. They're good at it. Now, the cannabis industry, if it wants to survive and be viable and sustainable, we need to be good at it too. And I find a lot of people in the industry, even executives in charge of multimillion dollar companies, I'll retweet something from Sam or Kevin Sabet with, you know, kind of a little critical analysis of it. Like, Hey folks, let's think about this. Right? And it's interesting, I've gotten communications on the back end from people saying, why are you, why are you giving them a voice? Why are you amplifying their.
Kannaboomers (15:53): I'm sorry, I don't even know who these guys are. Who, what sort of content are they putting up?
Curt Robbins (15:58): Uh, they are prohibitionists. They're modern prohibitionists who are opposed. They are blatantly. This is part of their mission statement. They're blatantly opposed to the legalization and normalization.
Kannaboomers (16:09): Okay. So the other Jeff sessions side of things.
Curt Robbins (16:12): Uh, exactly. And guess what? He knows who they are and they're all. They're all pals. Okay. Now that's a problem because yes, the cannabis industry, we have pals in Congress too, right? We could, we could name them and we could spend our time going through all that right now, but we need more pals. We know conservatives like to make money too, and there's going to be a lot of money made in the cannabis industry. Now this is about more than money, at least I would hope, right? I think we can. We can feed our families and improve the world. But if back to my problem with, you know, with the people who say I'm amplifying Sam or Kevin Sabet, a lot of these people say, I hate them so much, I have them blocked. I said, okay, so, so you're so pissed off at these guys that you blocked them. I understand they're not on our side, their opponents, they're modern prohibitionist, but now you can't hear what they're saying because they're influencing hearts and minds. Very, very effective.
Kannaboomers (17:10): Right? I agree with you. You have to have an ear on, on the ground and know what arguments are being made or, or you can't refute them.
Curt Robbins (17:17): Exactly. I mean, here's the reality of this and I try to be an optimist. Okay? I, I just, you know, optimism is just a much better path in my opinion, but I've been talking to a lot of really smart kids on the playground over the past few months. You know, things really started to heat up, at least here in California during the past two to three months, I've noticed I'm doing like 300 percent the business that I used to. It's insane. And we did, you know, the people making all this happen. This is happening for a reason. You know, this is not an asteroid from outer space. We're making this happen. This is a man-made thing and we want it or we don't want it. We've got a lot of opposition, but we need to. We need to tap into that opposition we need. In other words, if Sam or Kevin Sorbet says, hey, cannabis is bad, and they typically don't say cannabis, they say marijuana because this is a PR war. Anybody who doesn't understand it's a PR war. It's really kind of missing out. Okay. If they say something bad, they're influencing hearts and minds. We need to counter. We need to be thinking in terms of public relations and PR because if we don't, it's just going to be more headaches. It's just going to be more. Sorry, nothing below 40 degrees. I mean, why is that in the California regulations? Let's ask ourselves, who put that there? Who allowed that to be worthless?
Kannaboomers (18:36): Probably an entrenched interest. I guess. I mean, that's one specific instance, but what I hear you saying is, you know, PR is always strategic. You have to think about again, hearts and minds and what is the narrative that's being advanced and how do you counter a false narrative. That's a full time job in itself.
Curt Robbins (18:54): There you go. Exactly. Right, exactly. And now you know, why kick, Tom Angell a 50 bucks a month because I don't have the time to do it. Plus, I'm not the mad scientist genius with it that he is, you know, he's so freaking good at it, dude, go do your thing someday. I want to give him $500 a month because that's what he deserves because he takes all that burden off my shoulder, yet still does a good job, right? It's trustable, it's reliable. Um, and, and, you know, we, we've got to do that. If we start blocking the opposition, if we start to ignore, you know, putting our head in the sand, putting our fingers in our ears, La, la, la, la, I can't hear you. That's really not smart. And when I hear that executives of multimillion dollar companies, hey, we all have emotions, I get it. But when those emotions erupt in such a manner that you start not listening to the opposition, not listening to those countering voices were, we're going to suffer a lot of heartache and, and it's gonna cost us a lot of money as an industry industry. If we continue on that path, my humble,
Kannaboomers (19:57): Right? You know, you started talking about efficacy science and that's what's kind of drew you in in the first place. And for a lot of us, um, I, I did some freelance writing for a cbd company five, six years ago and that's around when Sanjay Gupta was coming out with his specials on CNN, showing how Dravet syndrome was just totally obliterated when you started giving kids a lot of CBD and it worked miracles for people with a life threatening disease. And then you rolled from there into, well helps veterans have PTSD. A lot of people, Rick Simpson Oil for cancer, people take it for anxiety, for insomnia, for inflammation, and there's all kinds of studies. There's hundreds of studies, thousands of studies that show that it's helpful for these things. We don't have the clinical studies yet because pharmaceutical companies aren't going to do that, but our knowledge continues to evolve. But the evidence is on the side of cannabis as a medicine. That makes a lot of sense for a lot of conditions. And does it make sense to keep bringing it back to that message of efficacy rather than, you know, what is it about cannabis that scares America so much? Is it our Puritan roots are what? The fact that it sometimes gets you high. I mean, what can we even take that on? Or do we just focus on, hey, it can help you in all of these disease states?
Curt Robbins (21:20): Wow, that's a great way of saying it. Um, you know, we have a lot of science. We have a lot of anecdotal evidence personally. One of the public relations strategies that I'm going to try to weave into my work, especially my content marketing work and any kind of articles, quote unquote or podcasts like this that I do a, is that we, we really need. Okay. There's this lawyers called argumentum ad misericordiam appeal to pity. You just mentioned your vase and from four year old kids have an 800 mike procedures per day. They get a little CBD. Now. Two thirds of those children when they get a little THC mixing with the CBD, they do better. Okay. Now, let's go back to what you said about Puritanism and euphoria. Yes, many, not all, but many fundamentalist many religions and when you, especially if you go fundamentalist, hardcore, uh, are, are, you know, a delayed gratification and gratification comes in the afterlife. I don't, I don't want to get into that. I don't want to criticize anybody's belief system. I want to respect their belief system, but all of those belief systems must recognize science. Again, we didn't invent gravity and if there is a molecule that gets into the body of that four year old child or combination of molecules to the entourage effect, and it helps improve the health, wellness, and happiness of that child. Are we not bad, bad people? It's the best way I can say it and keep this pg rated. Are we not bad, bad people? If we make it difficult, in fact, if we don't do everything in our power to make sure that the parents have that Dravets, send them child can get the best medicine possible. I think that makes us kind of evil. Why? Because it's science space, so I don't care what your belief system is. Science is science and if you don't want to recognize that a molecule plugs into a CB, one or CB two receptor and improves the health of a child, I don't think you're a good person and I'm going to fight you until the day I die.
Kannaboomers (23:23): That's messed up. You just defined a moral high ground. I don't know that we want to fight it on, on moral principles, but yeah, efficacy and saving lives of children is a pretty defensible position to begin with.
Curt Robbins (23:37): It is very much so. And I, I agree with you entirely, Tom, that uh, yeah, back to argumentum ad misericordiam them. Uh, even the most, and I don't want to be stereotypical or I don't want people using no bias and stigma against me and the cannabis industry, so I'll try not to use it against them, but even the most cold-hearted Republican conservative, you know, they have children and grandchildren, right? They are not just, we can't stereotype them as just these cold-hearted vampires who don't want to help anybody. I've seen Republicans, not so much. I don't even want to frame this as Republican versus Democrat. I've seem conservative people who did not believe in the efficacy of cannabis medicine who had say a niece or a nephew with autism and and that child gained significant relief and their parents and other caretakers and all these dozens of people around them who were charged with their care. It improves their lives too. It's not just the life of the child, it's better for the overall system. It decreases expenses where we can take the money, you know, and shifted to better places in society. So I, I personally am going to weave a lot of this appeal to pity into my work. I don't think it's a, you know, we want to be very careful that we don't take an innocent child and turn them into a poster child and just start seeing dollar signs. Right? I want to counter that right now. That's not what it's, Oh, we've got to pay the bills. You gotta pay your bills. I gotta pay my bills, but if we pay our bills in a way that hurts that child, if we pay our bills in a way that helps that child and all their caretakers and we have that opportunity to forgo that opportunity, I don't care what side of the fence you're on. If we forego that opportunity were not good people,
Kannaboomers (25:28): That's often is the case that in your personal life, if something happens, I mean my episode number seven is with Ann Lee, one of the founders of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. Her son Richard Lee was in a car accident and became a paraplegic. I believe he brought some cannabis, almost said, mom and dad, I'm, I'm smoking marijuana, and they did not want to hear that. He went on to start Oaksterdam University, which is incredibly successful and they started this organization to promote the idea that this is a viable medicine and it should not be prohibited. And again, it gets back to the narrative and people's ability to have some empathy for suffering. I agree. You don't. You know, Charlotte's Web is one instance, but you don't want to focus it too much. On a, on a suffering child and then everybody's trying to make money off that kids back. I mean there's veterans who need this medicine. There are people. My Dad is taking CBD right now and it's helping with his prostate cancer. There's no doubt about that in my mind. There's so many people, millions of people who can use this medicine. And why would you want to prohibit it? That's the narrative we have to tell and shout it loudly.
Curt Robbins (26:34): Exactly. And you know, I don't like we saw the news, I'm sure we got it through, through Tom, uh, where a new has preemptively. It's now the article last week was 37 jurisdictions in New Jersey have, I don't know if you know, this is mostly cities, municipalities, I'm sure it might be some activity at the county level, but uh, I, I have a friend from New Jersey on the east coast and we worked together with a certain frequency and she says it's now over 40. Uh, they have preemptively banned cannabis businesses in their jurisdictions. Officially New Jersey's legalization adult use legalization is only rumor now. The rumors are very thick and we know something's going to happen and we know something's going to happen probably within six to 24 months. We don't have a crystal ball, but when you have jurisdictions who are they afraid of the euphoria because of their religion, what is it that makes them so opposed to cannabis and I would like to add the tax revenues from cannabis. Everybody loves money, conservative, liberal, progressive, Republican, Democrat, gay, straight, tall, short. I don't give a shit. Everybody loves money. Money is the fuel that lets us do good things. You know the medicine for the kid with down syndrome or autism costs money. We didn't invent gravity. That's the way.
Kannaboomers (27:54): I'm not that familiar with New Jersey, but my stereo typically in the mob is there. Is there, is there some kind of corrupt influence going on where they want to protect a black market or who knows, but New Jersey is famously corrupt politically, but I what? What else could explain it? I don't know.
Curt Robbins (28:12): Well, yeah, I think you're taking it to the next level and the response is, well Curt, they do care about money and they're trying to protect their current revenue sources because they view hemp and cannabis as competing.
Kannaboomers (28:22): That's ridiculous. I guess. I don't know. It's just hard to figure out. It's just what you said earlier. It's going to be case by case state by state. There's going to be a lot of different scenarios as this unfolds over decades. Yeah,
Curt Robbins (28:36): Yeah, and in fact, from business perspective, one of the biggest issues when I'm onboarding a new client, if sometimes they know exactly the jurisdiction in which they want to operate and the industry segment that they want to be in, that's sometimes that's just locked in stone from the first minute they talked to me. Other Times they come to me specifically to resolve those issues. Curt, we don't know what industry segment we should do. We're sitting on a pile of money. We think this can improve the world. We really want to be players, but we don't know the industry segment. We don't know the jurisdiction and one of the first things I tell them is, well, this is a big science project. We're going to create a big spreadsheet and we're going to gather a lot of data and we're gonna because holy cow, if you want to do adult use, you've got nine different states. If you've got the, you know, if you have the resources to be able to work outside of your home jurisdiction, you've got a lot of territory you can deal with. Just in, United States alone, if you want to go international, Hey, now you've got all of candidate to deal with too. That's why is it getting so exciting, right? If you want to work on the medical side of it, well Gosh, we've got dozens of medical states. Most of them suck. Quite honestly like what we got going on in Texas and some of the southern states is just a joke. It's not even. Doesn't even constitute a medical program helps such a small slice of their patient population that it's like insulting. Okay. But still it is progress. I always hear that opinion. They're like, what Curt? It's progress. I know it is progress and it, it's helping a few people, we need to broaden that, but from an entrepreneurial perspective and what's going to fuel the growth of this industry and bring safe access to both patients and consumers is companies intelligently locating themselves were where it's the best fit for their resources, their goals, you know, all of that. And so I want to encourage all of your listeners too, don't limit yourself to your home jurisdiction if you have the resources or you can form partnerships, you can somehow have the luxury and the power of looking at all of North America and saying, okay, for what we want to do and the resources we have, where is the best fit? That is the way to approach this industry. Okay.
Kannaboomers (30:40): Right. And there's so much more data becoming available for all kinds of consumer products, but we know much more about the demand for cannabis. I think that data is coming out everyday, right?
Curt Robbins (30:52): Oh absolutely. I just hired a research assistant last week because I cannot keep up with this stuff. I, I just, you know, I'm just one human being and I started really looking at the opportunity here and uh, I knew I needed some help, right? I've known that for a few months, uh, and I was like, okay, where do I need that? I'm, I hiring an editor, am I hiring a technical writer? And it soon became apparent to me that this is research, this is okay. There's so much data being produced on a daily basis, our metrics and this is the exact opposite of the problem we had 10 or 20 years ago where there was nothing, right? It was high times magazine and a couple others. It's like, this is not business metrics, this is now we've got MJ Retailer and we've got all these business publications. We've got all this great data coming in. So much so that, uh, we don't have time to go through all of it. So one of the best things you can do, no matter what your scale, I mean, I don't have 200 employees. I'm a lone wolf, but I've got just enough resources to bring in a really tight research assistant. And to answer all these questions that we're talking about, because we can just answer them from the gut, know we can go, well, I think no, my clients aren't going to make a $10,000,000 business decision over. I think they want hard metrics. They want objective, logical direction. When they make those deep pocketed decision,
Kannaboomers (32:15): It's a bit of a gold rush. I mean, the opportunities are unfolding and do dig for gold or you sell shovels or um, there's a lot, a lot of things happening. Levi Strauss, right during the gold rush, since we use that analogy all the time, did the guy dig for great and it became no. And he sold a lot of blue jeans. That's right.
Curt Robbins (32:34): Ancillary services, sell the pick axes, sell the blue jeans and that's, you know, that's, that's a real opportunity. I, I would tell so many of my clients are like, Gosh, I want to do cultivation. I'm going to do an extraction. I want to do retail dispensary. Those are the two most popular, uh, industry segments. And I'm always suggesting to them, think about ancillary services. You know, you really might want to do transportation testing, distribution. There's going to be so many opportunities in distribution with jurisdictions like California, you know, in by California's regulations, the cultivators and the manufacturers cannot sell directly to a retail dispensary and this is what a lot of consumers and professionals in the industry right now don't understand, is that they are forced by law to work through a licensed distributor. So there are sea. Now what if all these new states, New York is going to come online? Jersey is going to come online. Florida is going to come online as they come online. What if they do the same thing? What if just a slight change in the regulation says, well, you must work through just like California. You got to work through a licensed distributor. That's one little nuance and the regulatory oversight that creates a trillion dollar industry segment and it's okay.
Kannaboomers (33:48): They're mind boggling. So here's another thing that I know you talk about and that strains and strain names in particular. I mean there's a lot of confusion about sativa and indica. We know the basics of that. You know, indica makes you sleepy, sativa is more of an energy high, but does that even apply anymore? And those are just the strains. When you get down to the product that you're gonna see on the shelf and the, you see Gorilla goo or you know, all these other things, what's going on there and how does it, how does the consumer began to make sense of that in terms of getting the product that's gonna work for them.
Curt Robbins (34:23): You know, it's, it's, that's a great question. Just, uh, just last night I met with David Ryans from the MJBA, the Marijuana Business Association. They're celebrating, uh, six years now. We've been doing this for awhile and key and I came on the topic of strains and sativa versus indica. And so I'll quote him. "It's total bullshit. It's total bullshit. "And the reason I say that, and I can say that with such a cocky tone, uh, is, that's what the chemistry tells us. That's what the science tells us. If we get confused, we need to go back to the science. And I've been talking to people who have been consuming cannabis for decades, like myself, and we're breaking out of that mindset and we're starting to smoke joints of quote unquote indica in the morning. And guess what, you don't, you don't necessarily get couch lock, you don't necessarily go to sleep. Um, this gets really complicated and we can obviously talk about it for hours. Here's what it comes down to. We've got 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant. Now those terpenes are possible to express themselves in the genome, right? They're programmed into the genome and they don't express themselves in every cultivar or phenotype or strain or however you wanna label, right? So some strains have so little mercene as it might as well not be there. That's called trace amounts, right? So I need mercene to stay healthy. Guess what? Don't go with this quote unquote strain because it doesn't have much. I need my money or I need a ton of that. You know, my doctor got smart on cannabinoids and terpenes and said, Curt, you need, you need limonene. And uh, and you need piney and you don't need winnable. And you don't need mercene, let's just say that's what happened. I'm not saying that's reality. Then I'm going to seek out those terpines and those cannabinoids and that doesn't even assume this. It's, it's poorly labeled. A people need to tune into Kristen Yoder a, she's real active on LinkedIn. She's been in the cannabis industry for 13 years here in Los Angeles and she does a podcast series and I really like her approach to it. She calls herself the bullshit detector, the BS detector, so. And she is one of the first intelligent voices in the industry where I sat down with her in Venice beach a few months ago and she said, God dammit, sativa versus Indigo is the most stupid thing. I just wish people would quit saying that because it's holding us back from advancing our science and advancing our understanding of this plant and the way we're turning it into consumer products, which therefore confused as consumers to now you know, I see $80 bottles of CBD tincture and stuff. This is expensive stuff and a lot of desperate parents are buying it for sick children or for themselves or for ailing parents. Right, and if they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the science and chemistry of this plant via something like sativa versus indigo, that's not a good thing.
Kannaboomers (37:22): Is there so much education that needs to take place. People are just hearing about CBD and now there's terpines that affect the receptors and affect the expression of the cannabinoids. There's a lot of education that needs to take place it meanwhile, you know when you walk in and a bud tender who's probably stoned himself says, try this. I love it. I mean I've. I've had that experience where I go in and I'm looking for something energetic or. But yeah, if those terms are essentially meaningless, then what do we need it some sort of classification system and will there be competing classification systems until we get one that everybody is invested in.
Curt Robbins (38:02): I'm talking to people right now who are either just because they're either going to profit on this or not, regardless of their motive. They are talking to me about forming industry standards and some of those industry standards would be us or state based, but, but you know, hey, everybody wants to shoot for the stars. Some of these people are talking about international global industry standards for cannabis and now, okay, I liked the wave of 21st century marketing that doesn't label something indica, sativa, but it labels it. This is our relaxed product. This is our chilled product, this is our energy product, this is our productivity product. This is our go run a goddamned marathon. This is whatever there is performance enhancement, cannabis. Maybe we can talk about that future. It's a big interest of mine. Uh, but, uh, so, so yeah, we see all these different efficacies. What I do like about the sativa versus indica it does give late people, consumers a mental framework, you know, a mental model with which they can approve approach to the industry and being a consumer of legal cannabis products because yeah, I don't want to see. We've all heard about the first time, bad experiences, right? Where somebody like a veteran like you and I had a really potent sativa, let's say, shared it with a newbie, not always the wisest thing to do, right, and they had a panic attack or they fainted or something negative occurred. So if that person can intelligently choose quote unquote and indica, even though that might be kind of a fallacious a label on the science side, then that's a good thing. You know, if, if your goal is to go to sleep because you suffer insomnia and and a lot of pain, then you want to decrease your pain, get a little sleep so you can have a good day the next day. If your goal is I roll out of bed at 9:00 in the morning and you're a person who suffers just really severe social anxiety and by the way, 330 million people in the United States, $100 million of them suffer from social anxiety. Sometimes so severe. They get agoraphobia and can't leave their damn house, which does not help anybody, right? That doesn't help society. It doesn't help. That person doesn't want to go to sleep at 9:00 AM or whenever they get up and try to get on with their day. Right?
Kannaboomers (40:25): Right. Another layer of complexity that that you kind of touched on there is that we all have different genetics and we may have a different response to the exact same cannabinoid.
Curt Robbins (40:37): You're hurting my brain because now it's getting complicated. It really did take everything we've been talking about here. We haven't even talked for an hour. We're just scratching the surface and add to it a layer of subjective efficacy and I've. Let me give you just a 32nd story of this is the best illustration of subjective efficacy I've ever personally encountered. I had a client here in LA last year. We're standing on the veranda overlooking West Hollywood. It's a beautiful evening. We had a successful business day. This person did not smoke cannabis. They did not take cannabis. She had kind of a rare disease, a unique physiology, and she took the Petra mints that are two point five milligrams THC microdose like those things I need to love. She got me hooked on Kiva confections break company. Check them out anyway, so we're standing on his veranda just and really bright day bright future for everybody.
Curt Robbins (41:36): I'm smoking a bowl. I like my glass spoons. She's doing to keep immense. And I just said, you know, I think cannabis has a sharing thing. I feel bad and not sharing it with you. And she said, Oh, what the hell. I'll try a little, just a little puff. And I said, all right, well we can only if you're comfortable with it. So we talked about the particular strain that I have in my bowl. Little she took one little puff and painted right in front of me, fell to the ground. I'm glad she didn't fall over the veranda because we're on the second floor and her mother would have sued the shit out of me. So yeah, I'm kind of happy. So it was like my third bowl. Okay. I've been smoking this stuff all day. She had a micro puff and fainted right in front of me. This is a great example of subjective efficacy.
Kannaboomers (42:24): You just can't tell.
Curt Robbins (42:26): Curt learned a lesson that day and you know, uh, yeah, don't, don't make people pass out. It's not a good thing.
Kannaboomers (42:34): I mean, maybe someday you're 23 and Me results will say you're going to react this way to this terpene.
Curt Robbins (42:40): I would love that. Yeah. Let's, let's, let's get all these different tools. Yeah. Bound together. I think it's going to go that direction from I, I, I really think somehow we're going to come up with the tools I'm working. There's people are going to get rich doing this quite honestly, where there's 23 and Me or whatever, uh, saying you know, I want to go to somebody and say, look, based on my particular physiology and genetics and me, I want to be totally self centered based on me. What are the best terpenes and cannabinoids and flavonoids to put into my body to get the results I want. And quite honestly as a libertarian, the results I want results I want. I don't necessarily even want a doctor telling me that. I'm going to tell myself I'm going to do my own research and then. But I want some experts on the outside, some third party resources to dig into the chemistry of my body and my genetics and tell me, well, well, Gosh, Curt, the reason you've noticed you don't like strains that have a whole lot of myrcene and, um, is because it does this and that goes counter to your lifestyle and to your health and to your receptors and you know, you need to be focusing on strains with a lot of my money need or accumulating or whatever.
Curt Robbins (43:49): Right? But, but that's the way we need to be thinking. It's what's best for me because you sit down with one of your buddies and he's like, Oh man, this, uh, you know, this great bay, but it's just, it's the bomb. I'm loving this stuff. You've got to come over and check this out. Okay, that's great. Don't anticipate that you're going to love it too because you might actually hate it
Kannaboomers (44:08): Until we get that crazy matrix of things, you know, desired effects that we're after and how we may react to them. That'd be great to have. But until then, I guess, do you recommend people go to those dispensary, get the smallest amount you can, which I found last week was I had to get three grams, three grams of an indica, three grams of a sativa and three grams of a high CBD strain. And by the way, I, I tried the indica last night and I was up reading much later than I normally am.
Curt Robbins (44:35): I think that's due to the terpines that were in there. Did are there test results? Do you have the lab analysis for, for those particular strains?
Kannaboomers (44:43): They're on the jar.
Curt Robbins (44:45): Excellent. Check those out and look at the. I'm very interested in the results of this if that's a quote unquote in camp, but yet it didn't give you a cash lock and put you to sleep. I think that may be due to one, your subjective efficacy to the terpines and I'm not minimizing the influence of the cannabinoids, but the first thing that comes to my mind is your subjective efficacy and the terpene is what I would dig into on the leverage. So, but that's the experiment of one person and that's
Kannaboomers (45:15): what we all have to do, I guess is, you know, just try small amounts, see how they react to see what you liked and what you want, you know, do you want to go run a half marathon or do you, do you want to knock out, do you want to get.
Curt Robbins (45:26): Exactly. Exactly. And those are different terpene profiles, different cannabinoid profile is different modes of work, if you will. And yeah, that's exactly the way as and learn that we covered a lot of stuff here.
Kannaboomers (45:39): Thank you for taking the time and just, um, appreciate your expertise. You know, maybe we can do it again.
Curt Robbins (45:45): Um, I, I hope we do Tom. Yeah, let's, let's definitely do it again.
Kannaboomers (45:48): Alright, thanks, Curt.
Curt Robbins (45:50): Hey, you bet. Tom, thanks for the opportunity and I appreciate you helping me kind of amplify my message here and the. I think there's plenty of stuff we can do.
Kannaboomers (45:58): You've been listening to them. Let's Talk about Weed, the Kannaboomers podcast with Thomas j. For more on medicinal cannabis for baby boomers, visit us at Kannaboomers dot com.