The Global Investor

Episode 8: John Nemanic -- Serial Entrepreneur on Cannabis in LATAM

September 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 8
The Global Investor
Episode 8: John Nemanic -- Serial Entrepreneur on Cannabis in LATAM
Chapters
The Global Investor
Episode 8: John Nemanic -- Serial Entrepreneur on Cannabis in LATAM
Sep 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 8
Obris Podcast by Crown Private
John Nemanic is a serial entrepreneur, who after three successful exits from start-ups as co-founder, CEO and Chairman in his native Canada, relocated to Panama more than a decade ago. As an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, John is called upon to advise companies in the cannabis industry around the world.
Show Notes Transcript

John Nemanic is a serial entrepreneur, who after three successful exits from start-ups as co-founder, CEO and Chairman in his native Canada, relocated to Panama more than a decade ago. As an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, John is called upon to advise companies in the cannabis industry around the world.



Speaker 1:
0:01
Hmm.
Speaker 2:
0:23
Hey John, welcome.
Speaker 1:
0:24
Thanks for joining me today. My pleasure.
Speaker 2:
0:27
So where do we find you today?
Speaker 1:
0:29
Well, currently in Panama and enjoying the wonderful weather. Yeah, no, just the, just came back from the beach, right? World-Class beaches here on both sides of the country. Um, I'm actually taking planning on it, just relaxing a little bit because I'm going to be taking a trip to England next week. That'd be presenting on behalf of province brands. I'm chairman of the company and I'm assisting the president present before a group of family offices in London on the 11th and 12th.
Speaker 2:
0:56
Excellent, excellent. You know, we've given folks a bad background, a bit of your background and to, it all comes down to what are you involved with right now? And we know it's a cannabis industry. Uh, tell us about your current focus in cannabis.
Speaker 1:
1:10
Okay. My current focus, James in Canada's is, I'm involved with two licensed producers in Colombia. What does that mean? Uh, [inaudible], which is the company currently right now that's most advanced. We hold licenses in various aspects of cultivation non-psychoactive which is defined as my as less than 0.3% THC plants. Uh, psychoactive, which is clearly more than 0.3%. We have what's called transformation, meaning we can create derivatives like boils for example. We also have seed licenses which permits us to, uh, do research so we can pick seeds and do cultivation and do genetic testing and come up with our own strains. That's a research license actually. That's our one was rather difficult to obtain. And we also have registered c strange meaning our own proprietary strings that we've registered with government. This is breed mile. We have seven strains and plus we have over 50 in our genetic vault.
Speaker 1:
2:08
And our objective with green mile is to produce the best genetics possible for Columbia to sell to other companies. In addition, we're going to be providing product as well for export when there's those markets evolved. But our focus right now is to be a producer of genetics for Columbia and then eventually for the rest of South America. And why Columbia? Well, our strains are adapted to Colombia. So one of the common mistakes that are made is people will buy seeds from other countries like say Canada. They may be really good strains, you know, but um, when you take those proceeds, they're living organisms, you take those seeds, plant them, and what expresses itself can be a lot different than what expresses itself in Canada for for various reasons. The environment is totally different, whether it's the soil, lighting conditions, water and so forth, right? You might get a different type of plants further along.
Speaker 1:
3:03
The plants that come from North America are not adapted to deal with the pathogens experience in Columbia and the insects and certain things. So if you don't have the right genetics, it doesn't matter what you bring in, you're not going to get the results you expect. Finally, this is an industry that is still rather inconsistent in its output of parks. There is a certain passion of company from Holland where we, uh, purchased, um, Durban poisoned seats, six seeds, and replanted the seas. And we've got three different varietals of plants. I mean you look at them, one is like Endeca dominant, which is broadly, one of them is like sativa dominant narrowly and the other ones kind of in the middle. So if you're in a commercial operation, uh, and you want to plan a particular strain cause you want to harvest a certain amount of tsetse or certain cannabinoids, right? Uh, you want to have consistency in your plants. It's Kinda like you buy corn seeds, right? And you end up with Miller or oats, you know, it doesn't really work, right? Maybe it's not the best analogy, but I think it conveys, especially on a commercial operation. So a consistency is really important. So our focus with our company will be to provide other companies with genetics so that they'll know exactly what they're getting from selling clones. And we're probably gonna do tissue culturing as well. So,
Speaker 2:
4:16
and is your market focus, uh, so all of South America
Speaker 1:
4:21
ultimately, yes. Currently Columbia cause that's more than enough to do in Columbia. But I mean ultimately we saw no reason why you can't take our genetics and market it to other parts of South America as well.
Speaker 2:
4:31
Are there similar models in North America, in the U S and Canada?
Speaker 1:
4:35
Um, there it's evolving. It's definitely coming out. But the real issue is that there still isn't like an international legal seed trade as yet. Right? That still hasn't been determined. So technically, I mean, depending on who you believe, even those seats have no psychoactives in that they're gonna remember these are the seats. You have no cycle actors. I mean, there's still some restrictions on how they can be brought into other countries, right? I mean, that's just part of any, uh, organized any country that wants to make sure that their biodiversity is not affected by plants and ported from other countries that could change the ecosystem. We all know that when we fill out a customs form and asks, are you carrying any seats? I mean, that's an example of how those things are regulated, right? So, uh, right now it's in this nascent stages in that it's an interesting opportunity.
Speaker 1:
5:20
I mean, if you like cultivation, if you like growing plants, if you like genetics, if you like experiment and this is great sector to be in and we believe eventually these, some of these proprietary things that we're creating, we'll be able to mark them or DNA and we'll be able to Patton. So and that, and that is by the way, where I see a lot of this going now. There'll be a lot of people be upset to hear that. Right? You know, they'll think of, you know, Monsanto for example with the terminator seeds and that sort of thing. And you know, if something is, you know, something that could be immune to glyco phosphate, you know, so you can see a scenario where you have a bunch of cannabis plants. Monsanto has their terminator plants, so to speak. You spray with glycol phosphate and everything, but their plant dies.
Speaker 1:
5:59
I mean, I don't like that scenario, but I could see something like that happening. But that's where I see proprietary strains. Now there will always be room for craft growers. They'll always be room for people that want to do their own auto cultivation. What they call self cultivation, right? Meaning that they want to grow their own strings, but on a commercial basis, I see that concern. I see that coming out. I think that's going to be a major source of competitive advantage. There'll be genetic drift and there'll be a lot of people who have been mentally disagree with me. Right? And so markets are not necessarily perfect. You know, it's a lot of it is based on belief and we think that if, if consumers say, oh, I want to know this, a Durban poison strain, I'm using that as an example. Right? Or like Punto Roho and Califia and from Columbia or like you know, Panama Bolt, you know the ones that use it used to be here.
Speaker 1:
6:47
Those are good strains, but they're also very different too. Right? And you want to have consistency. What does that mean? You know, if you have it more than four or five generations and the plan is still the same, then you have what's called stabilized. And that's important, right? For people, for companies that want predictability, especially pharmaceutical entities, right? Pharmaceutical entities do not want to take any risk on genetic deviation. So that's why we also want to do tissue culture because that even more than on the coding side, we'll ensure that product be consistent. Well, sorry, go ahead. Carry on. Know I was just going to say colon clones, I mean in theory will always stay the same and they will, but there will be a little bit of change with tissue culture. We can really control not only the expression of that plant, but also there won't be any pathogens that come from the clone because let's say the cone is infected with something, you put it in a room with cleaning plants, you could ruin a model. So that's one of the reasons why tissue cultures pop culture means nothing more than taking a part of a plant, right? Some of the sales and putting it in a Patriot dish and growing it up until it becomes a sprout that you can then plan. And obviously I'm oversimplifying, but that's essentially,
Speaker 2:
7:54
no, I appreciate the over simplification. So I want to step back for a sec here and ask, how does a guy who has been very successful in the world of tech and has had multiple businesses find his way into, uh, this particular sector of the world?
Speaker 1:
8:09
Well, um, I've, uh, been involved in three different major exits, actually more than five. Three that I, you know, what I considered my most important exits. Uh, first company was in there, a direct, we've merged with teller globe in 1999 created an entity that was valued at 560 million. Then we had a company called two cows, which is still around. We sold an April, 1999 the Steinmetz group for 45 million. These are US dollars, right? That company, by the way, has a market capital over 800 million last time I checked. So we're not exactly geniuses. I don't know that what company, I'd have an extra zero after my name, but oh well, you know, and then we had a company called Hostopia, which we took public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in November, 2006 under symbol h we raised 29.2 less the green shoe. And we were on our way to do a Nasdaq listing for 40 to 60 million. And a company called the lexicon communications love their business model and paid us a 56% premium over the stock price. So we sold for cash and I figured, you know what, I had enough, right? I had more than enough money in my genes to keep you happy for the rest of my life. So I decided to move down to Panama and joy, the beautiful weather, you know, the lower cost of living, they will tax regime, the nice beaches. And frankly the women too. I don't know if I'm supposed to say that right.
Speaker 2:
9:28
Hey Jackson can be one. I can, I can edit anything, but no, that's okay.
Speaker 1:
9:33
Yeah, I have a bias. Right. You know, what can I say out of one marriage or single for a few years. So I thought, oh, this would be great. I love, I love Latin women, so you know, there it is. And anyways, I met my wife Doctor. Um, it was rather interesting circumstance. Um, I, the first year I was in Panama, um, I didn't wear my sunscreen. I would just walk around the beach all the time. So I ended up getting a little growth on my face. And, uh, one of my friends who's an MD said, oh no, John, that does look good. I want to recommend you to the aesthetic medicine specialist who can deal with this stuff. And it happened to be my wife, right, to be which question is, how did that happen? Well, I met her, she looked at me, she checked it out and said, Oh yeah, we definitely have to do something with that. And then I started talking with her, we got along great and I said, you know, we love to ask you out. And she says, I can't do that, you know, because it's against my medical ethics and you know, patient and the doctor, patient relationship ships. And I said, no problem. You're fired.
Speaker 1:
10:36
And then the rest is history. Right.
Speaker 2:
10:39
I have to tell you, I did that with my eye, my eye doctor, and she said the exact same thing, but I was not as smart as you. I did not fire her.
Speaker 1:
10:49
Yeah. Yeah, that'd be, it was a little crazy. But Oh, well, she, she enjoyed the boldness. So we, um, work together very happily. And my wife started studying cannabinoids about four years ago, right? She started really getting into it and I asked her why and she said, well, I really love the anti aging properties of CBD, but there's nothing I could do about that. Right? And they said, what do you mean? Well, it's not legal. And I said, well, why? What's so interesting about CBD? She says, well, it has about 30 times the anti aging properties, or the, sorry, the A, we'll call it out. They oxidant the, uh, ability to reduce inflammation by 30 x times that o say vitamin C. And that's when the light bulb went off for me. Cause I started realizing that, you know, cannabis isn't just something you smoke.
Speaker 1:
11:34
They get high. Right. And when my friends in Canada used to talk about consuming the medicine, my roster friends, I used to think, oh well that's just see you for this. And so they wanted their and high. But now I realize that in fact, that's exactly what they met and it is medication. So I started looking at the properties and I started investing in the cannabis sector back in 2000 2016 it was just sticking my toe in the water in Canada as well, rewarded by doc. Right. And by 2016 when in Columbia, they decided to allow cannabis to be cultivated, uh, for medical purposes. Uh, I thought, you know what, that's great. That's apply for the licenses. And that's how I ended up in Green Mile. You know, I was part of a process, part of a group where we applied for licenses from the government.
Speaker 1:
12:16
It's an arduous process. It's a long process. But bottom line is we obtained her licenses and this where I am today now, a cannabis farmer like dad really thinks that's hilarious. He's 85 years old. And he said, you know, John, I got off the farm so your kids wouldn't have to work on one and here you are back on the farm. I said, tell me the two. Didn't you like it? Yeah, I actually liked it. I said, well, you know, it's in the blood, right? I'm enjoying it. But kind of apartment. I'm doing this a little bit different from big enough potatoes. This is, this is a little more fun, a little, a lot more complicated and frankly more lucrative.
Speaker 2:
12:54
Yeah, absolutely. And I, the, the, I, I've seen photos of the, uh, of the farm and in my mind it's more of a, um, uh, a laboratory, a living laboratory than a, just a, just a functioning farm that your model is not, let's produce as much, uh, cannabis as we can and sell it wholesale. It's, let's create the strains and, um, I know I'm oversimplifying it, but let's create the strains or the clones that are specifically designed to, to solve such and such a problem, but also that are going to thrive in Latin American particular.
Speaker 1:
13:36
Exactly. Exactly. No Ar, we have outdoor grows, however, everything is within, within greenhouses, right? So we have climate control by our greenhouses, and we're also, because of the altitude that we're at, we're approximately 200, 200 meters above sea level, which is almost 7,000 feet. The metrically challenged, right? What we find is that the, I have an American audience, right? They don't know what meters are. The advantages of being up that high are that, first of all, the plant doesn't get burned because what happens is with cannabis above certain temperatures, right? The plant will just stop producing residents, right? So if it gets too hot, it just doesn't produce anything. It's just trying to survive. So at that altitude, in a place like Columbia where 60 degrees north of the equator, you're getting the full expression of the tropical sun. In fact you, since you have less atmosphere, uh, we've, we've done estimates according to one of our consultants who claimed that we're getting about 2.2 x 2.2 times as much intensity of Sun at 7,000 feet that we would get at sea level.
Speaker 1:
14:45
So really your sons are really, his plants are really getting the full expression, full spectrum of the sun and it's very intense. But the other hand, the temperatures are only around the, you know, low, low to mid seventies in the daytime at night it goes down to the 15th so it will sometimes get cool enough that it stresses the plant, which is what we want with cannabis. What is stressed? It starts to express residence. So what do you want to do is you want to push the plant the little bit, not too much, cause you know, obviously gonna want to kill it or stunt it. So it's a little bit is there's a balancing act there and it also depends on the strains as well. But some strange just can't handle it. We found other strings really thrive and we produced the CBD plant for example that produces the last lab testing we did was 60% but we think we can get that higher, went up to 20% and just loves being up at that two.
Speaker 1:
15:34
Just loves it. Cause if you take the same plant and we have the test gardens at lower altitudes, right? And different areas we can see, you know how the plants express themselves. And bottom line is that that particular lt, certain plants like that CBD plant we call it Charlotte's angel, does really well. And what we find though is the plants that really like the high attitudes are the sativas are actually, we prefer to call the narrowly right. And those are the ones that produce high THC and they seem, they seem to particularly thrive at that elder tune and that client, lots of water, all your son, a little bit of cloud and even when there is cloud because you're so high up, the acidic raised from the center is still very powerful. You know, James, I'll tell you it's, it's funny, it's one of the Columbia is one of those places where you could go walk out where our to spend an hour in the sun feel perfectly good, walk inside and you're as really, you're practically rad because the sun is so darn intense. That's why hats are good. And sunscreen.
Speaker 2:
16:36
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
16:37
Well the visit we say where you're a west Pfft, where it happened, where blasts and then they come out and they say, oh, this is great. I mean, I don't need any of that. They said, you just wait, so you'll be as red as a strike on my shirt.
Speaker 2:
16:49
I think it's fascinating. I remember, so in Panama, your wife Sandra spoke at our event and she spoke about, um, the, the, the, the properties of, of heating, particularly in THC that I'd never thought about that, that, that actually there, it's not just, it's not as simple as you, you smoke it or you take it by other means, but the actual heating process. So it it, am I correct that we can say there's a parallel in the formation of the plants that the having the intense heat and sun is actually altering the way the plant develops and its height, the, the, the heat is strengthening certain factors that you that are valuable.
Speaker 1:
17:29
Yeah, no, I mean there's a lot there. Don't pack in what you said James. And so I'm just going to oversimplify, right. So what I'm going to say is that what senator was talking about was the pocket car box Alation, which essentially is what you're doing is you're taking the THC a in the plant, right? And you're converting it into a becomes psychoactive. And you could do that through smoking, through vaporizing. You can also do that through various chemical processes. Like you heat the plant to a certain temperature and then those cannabinoids start to express if you go too high, they can be destroyed. So, uh, and the actual fact or the actual process of doing, oh, which I'll call distillation, that's really not just the ration. The actual process of transformation is actually quite complicated in the sense that you don't necessarily have to have a, you know, like a phd in molecular biology or molecular chemistry to do this. Right. But it's a, it is definitely an art form and just getting it right over time, learning how to do this, this type of process can be copied and different products will express. So for example, if you, um, okay, let's talk about the plant and I'm sorry if I'm going all over the place here.
Speaker 2:
18:39
No, I'm going to redirect us in a couple of minutes, but let's please don't want to, we'll focus more on the business structure. But yes, carry on with that. Absolutely.
Speaker 1:
18:47
Just very quickly with the plan. Even when you harvest the plant makes a difference in how many, what expression you have in TC or CPDs. So for example, if you wait too long, your cvs CTAC content will drop, but you might get more of a certain other cannabinoids. Probably like a, what they call a CPC or CPN and I won't spell it. Those acronyms, you know, people can look them up, they're interested. What does that mean? Depends on what your purposes are, right? How you cure the plant, how you dry out a plan that will also have effect on the content and the expression of see the THC, the CPG. So, um, being a grower, uh, although it would be nice, everybody thinks in, be able, nice to reduce it to where an AI could tell you what to plant, when to pick. It doesn't work like that.
Speaker 1:
19:32
These are living organisms. They're part of an ecosystem. They're part of a broader, they're with other class and they're affected by what's going on in their environment. In fact, the pets are even effected by the people around them. Our grower, for example, will not allow anybody who was in a negative mood to go in the greenhouse, just won't, he says it affects the plants and who might argue with the guy that knows what he's doing. Right. And we all remember the stories that people talk to their past that make them grow better. Right. Well maybe there's something to that, right?
Speaker 2:
20:02
Just a couple of days ago, I, my Gardner was looking at a plant and he was concerned that I wasn't talking to it, but I wasn't, I wasn't giving it positive positive vibes.
Speaker 1:
20:13
Aw, they really do.
Speaker 2:
20:16
Well. So what I'd like to go now is, I'm just thinking about how you structure a business around that because it is, it is very, what you're doing is very scientific, but it's also very agrarian and you're also, your end end game is you want to make money on this. So what, tell give, give us an idea of the structure of the team that is doing all this.
Speaker 1:
20:41
Okay. So I'm going to start with a master grower or not company, Jerry Jones. Right? And he is working with a number of growers that he is trade. Now one of the advantages to Colombia for setting up a cannabis operation is that you have a large pool of skilled labor. Well that'd be, I used to be number two or number three in the world in terms of illegal exports of cannabis and the rest of the world. So you have interesting situation. So, and I'm veering off a little bit, but those are pointing to this. Um, I had an agronomist phd agronomist, for example, that's been helping any teachers in university. I asked him for his bio and he shows me this information. I said, well, this is all interesting, but not just an academic, you know, as far as I could start, right? He goes, well, I spent six years in [inaudible], which is the center of the illegal production for cannabis. And I said, oh, so he didn't want to put that into your resume. He goes, and he just smiles, right?
Speaker 1:
21:36
This is what you're dealing with, is it industry? It's a lot of wink, wink, nudge, nudge. But then again, you have a government that wants to take people out of those black market and I'd say put them into the green. That is to have them selling legally. Right? So people that were doing this illegally before because they needed to make a living practically, right. Or now being able to do this legally. So this is one of the great things. So why don't we have, we have a master grower. We have agronomists. We have chemistry, chemistry specialists, we have soil specialists, we have, of course, you know the actual requirements to do the work. We have transportation, we have security. Security is really important. We have somebody that works for us without getting into specifics has an extremely valuable security background in terms of being able to do background checks in terms of setting up systems to monitor that our supply chain is, the integrity is maintained.
Speaker 1:
22:23
One of the biggest issues that regulatory officials have, and when I make this statement isn't just my opinion. I presented on behalf of the Super Lawler in Los Angeles in May of this year before a group of regulators on the subject of compliance. Right? And what do they say to me? Because I'm asking him, well what do you, what keeps you guys worried? They're worried about illegal supply being mixed into the legal supply. Right? And that's a great way to lose your license. So obviously we're very careful about what we plant are counting for each plant, tracking those plants. And then, you know, we'll get a keeping logs of it. And then who knows if we get rid of plants, you know, we lock that as well. Right? And I think over time, but I mean it's still, you know, it's early stages, but I think over time, and I could see a scenario five years hence where if you're a typical cannabis producer, literally every plant is going to be tracked in the same way that you would have any kind of inventory.
Speaker 1:
23:14
So on the agricultural side, there's going to be a lot more regulation in that area. Um, it'll literally be like you have a a hundred plants, that's your quota. Um, they'll be able to track where those plants are, yours or not because there are DNA markers that are being developed right now. There will be individual or they will be individual to a particular string. So for example, if we go to sell flour to somebody, if they want to do a random testing, it, it doesn't match that DNA profile and they might have some questions. Now there is issues that genetic drift, meaning that the plants change over time, they will evolve. And also since it's a male female plant, things can change too. But having said that, that's kind of where they want to take it. Right. And I like that regulation on it doesn't matter.
Speaker 1:
23:56
That's just what I see. All the other concerns of course do they have is you know, the providence of funds, where does the money come from? So yeah, another part of our team was uh, we have an excellent manager who was gone under their way to make sure that we're on side with all the regulations, right? So we have an attorney that we work with very closely that's necessary in this business. What does that look like? Um, I had to go through something called [inaudible], which is a basically a system of program by which they can make you are run your, your background is run through, I don't know how many databases, I think we said 30 or something like that. I don't know if the number, don't hold me to it, uh, where they check to see whether or not, you know, you have a non criminal background record that's important to them.
Speaker 1:
24:40
Right? So this is an industry you're not gonna speak it. I mean, the amount of due diligence that goes into people right now as we've taken this, I mean, I mentioned I sit on the board of Providence. Providence is totally separate from green mile. I'm just acting as a director for the company to help them with their scaling of this because clearly I have a lot of public markets experience. And bottom line is providence did their background checks on me, their underwriter did the background check on me, the exchange of their background check on me and Health Canada did a background show. What's a background check? Fingerprints, um, biometrics and conversations with your friends. In other words, I have a security clearance. I mean, that's literally what you have to go through. So that's remarkable.
Speaker 2:
25:22
There aren't many industries other than other than government that, uh, yeah,
Speaker 1:
25:28
it's a risk. I underestimated in this business, and I'll share this with everybody, is the regulatory. By that I mean, I knew it was gonna be highly regulated. I underestimated how much. Sure. And, you know, one of my friends pointed out to me, well, everything you're doing, John, that's what you'd be doing if you were handling opiates. Right. And I said, wow, I didn't realize I wasn't that. But that's how they're treating it, which actually on the face of it, to me is absurd. James, for the very simple reason that last year, depending on who you believe, maybe 37,000 deaths were attributed to opiates overdoses. Right? The comparable statistic for cannabis is zero. Correct? Correct. In the United States, a something like 7,000 people have died from aspirins. 500 people have died from V6. So in other words, you have greater risk of dying from a beast or a shark bite in the United States and from diarrhea, from consuming cataracts. But you know, this is the world we live in and this is the cards that we've been dealt with and we deal with the best we can.
Speaker 2:
26:21
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think, I appreciate that we're finally at a point in history that, uh, we can take cannabis seriously. I've never been a fan in my life. It's just, it's never interested me. And, uh, I live in a part of the world where a CBD, it has grown. It's really, it's all legal here and it's quite, CBD has grown quite popular terms of the medicinal effects and we're in a bit of a hype stage right now of people thinking that it will cure anything and everything. And as, as your wife, Sandra has pointed out, it doesn't cure everything. We're just at the beginning of discovering what it can actually be used for. So maybe that having it regulated and overly regulated right now, maybe that's going to help, I'm putting a positive spin on the regular regulation. Maybe that will help keep it folk keep a focus of proper focus, um, to be able to fully utilize, utilize this, uh, this amazing plant. Correct. I realize it's not just one plant.
Speaker 1:
27:27
Absolutely. And you know, having, and what you've said is absolutely correct. I mean, I talked to Sandra about this, about Santo Korea are empty.
Speaker 2:
27:37
Well, we will be interviewing her in the future. I haven't asked her yet, but I have an end to end to ask her.
Speaker 1:
27:42
Oh No, she, she, she's good. She's, she's extremely knowledgeable. As I'd mentioned to you, she just completed the canopy spectrum five day intensive. They invited her up to Ottawa and I mean they said at the end of the courses that you should be teaching us. So, uh, and she has her professorship, the University of [inaudible] at a university in Columbia called Sassy University where she's teaching other doctors how to prescribe cannabinoids. So she really knows her stuff.
Speaker 2:
28:08
Yeah, she does. I think we better not go down that road, John, because I know that you, you can't, you can, uh, you're, you're the biggest fan, her biggest fan. So few of us are not too far behind, but so I want to stay focused on you. So I've just thought,
Speaker 1:
28:23
no, I'm just the capitalist, right? My wife is the healer. What can I say? I do my best.
Speaker 2:
28:30
Hey, she healed you and let and let look what you got.
Speaker 1:
28:33
Yeah.
Speaker 2:
28:34
So here, let's redirect a little bit. I actually, I wanna focus on, um, making money. So our viewers and listeners are investors and, uh, tell, let's start at the general level. How do p, how can sophisticated investors, uh, where is there money to be made at this point in time? That's question one and question two is where do you see this going where people can make real money? I don't mean just buying stocks in a publicly traded Canadian company at this point in time. I mean, where can we see asymmetrical opportunities?
Speaker 1:
29:11
Okay, so I'm gonna make the following outrageous statement and that is that 10 years hence the cap, the whole cannabis slash hemp industry, all of it will be larger than the pharmaceutical and alcohol industry combined. Okay. And so we're talking a multi trillion dollar industry and I'm going to say that there's three paths that you can take here. Medical, I don't use and industrial. Okay. On the medical side, um, I believe that there will be major breakthroughs made and this is my opinion, I'm not a medical doctor, would be major breakthroughs that we made and isolating or developing compounds in combination with other compounds. It will be very effective against certain neurological disorders. So let's take epilepsy. There's no question, and this is proven, this is settled now that CBD certain types of CBBs will help refractory epileptics to matters are symptoms full stop in the store.
Speaker 1:
30:14
So that already exists. Yup. It's also known that cannabis is very effective at reducing inflammation. Right? So if you have, even if you have a cut in wound, you put a little bit of a, a CBD on it, you'd be amazed how that will reduce. Okay. [inaudible] and where are we going to see that go? Is One of the biggest issues as are the baby boomers. A, of course is outside outsiders is huge. Also other issues like Parkinson's, I believe that major breakthroughs will be made in those areas around Canavan's words. It's been shown, for example, that cannabinoids will, um, break up the bay. I mean, and this is a study that I recently saw. They will break up the Beta Beta amyloid plaques in your brain, which is they believe is responsible for the outsiders and they believe that THC may actually be effective and retarding the onset of Alzheimer's and may even stop it.
Speaker 1:
31:09
So, obviously there's a lot more research that needs to be done. And this is no, not in a medical opinion. I'm only expressing my view as an investor journalist, right? So you know, nobody, please take this as advice, pain management, that's going to be absolutely huge. Many, many studies have shown that cannabis is very effective for reducing pain, right? What does that mean? We have an opiate crisis. People are dying from this. So they need a substitute. A lot of doctors, United States don't want to prescribe opiates anymore because they don't have their license lifted and they don't want to be charged for obvious reasons, right? So what's happening is people are suffering. So what's the substitute? Well, it turns out that if you take cat, if you takes THC in certain capita cannabinoid derivatives, and even if you combine them with a little bit of opiate, you can get very, very significant pain reduction.
Speaker 1:
31:54
You can do without the opiates part. You can do it without. But, um, there was a study that I saw where a patients had reduced their opiod consumption by 90% by inducing CPDs. I don't recommend this to anybody, but by introducing this into their health regime, do this under the care of a doctor. So what does that mean? Well, opiates are toxic. They're going to kill you. But if you're taking 20 grams a day versus two grams, that's a huge difference. That's a huge pain. So pain management is going to be huge. So on the bio chemical side, there's going to be a biomedical side is getting Oh, huge opportunity. Recreational side, right? I'm trying to imagine 10 years hence walking into a bar and instead of having to drink alcohol, which frankly is toxic, hurts your liver, hurts your brain, hurts your heart. Alcoholism is responsible for well over 40,000 deaths a year in the United States. You'll be able to drink cannabinoid derivatives that will actually be able to help you experience that euphoria associated with alcohol without all the negative side effects of alcohol.
Speaker 2:
32:58
Are we not already doing a mixology in with cannabinoids?
Speaker 1:
33:03
Yeah, yeah. There's that. There's that. People are doing that already, but I'm thinking James is going to become a lot more refined right now, for example. Okay. And I mean, you know, here's my bias is showing up. Providence of brands produces a beer groups solely from categories, right? How is that different from some of the other products in there? Right now you're seeing what's called infused drinks, right? What does that mean? You take a beer, you're dealcoholize it, then you pour a cannabis infusion into it. Problem with that is it tastes lousy. It tastes from core, right? Not a great experience. Right? So, so what do they do to disguise that was sugar? So you'll find a cannabis drink for example, that'll have like 600 5,700 calories, I'll name it, right? But it's out there. Um, the beer that prominence is proposed is brewing. Currently we've tested it has about one third to calories of beer.
Speaker 1:
33:50
So for someone like my wife would count your calories if she has a choice between drinking a cannabis based beer that will make her feel good but well grossing and talks a fire and you know, won't have any negative effects versus drinking a regular beer which loaded with calories and frankly, you know, has other issues. That's what they can choose. And I and I, and I'm not going to pretend to understand the faith of others, like they've told doctor, but in parts of the world where alcohol is Bourbon, I suspect cannabis drinks will be well received. I won't necessarily be the same prohibition. It could be wrong about that. But I think that that's going to be the case. So there's going to be huge markets. So on the recreational side, you're going to have your gummy bears, you're going to have, you know, your chocolates and you know, in a cage, I mean you could put cannabis into anything.
Speaker 1:
34:32
I mean you're gonna have food based around chemists. They're already seen that already. So there's going to be this whole recreational side around branding. It's going to be big. So where's the money gonna be made? I think on the recreational side, it's going to be off of branding and lifestyle market, creating positions, creating like the next mar girls for example. And Americans are geniuses at marketing genius as sales and creating these kinds of concepts. So I think the United States, if I was going to start out now, I wouldn't even look at the cultivation side. I'd be looking at how to create brands and how to create products for distribution in developing distribution. So I think that's gonna be huge.
Speaker 2:
35:07
No, that's perhaps already in Canada where it's nationally legal versus here where it's just,
Speaker 1:
35:13
and by the way, just on a side note, um, what you're seeing in places like Canada. Now, I haven't got this quantifies statistics yet, but I've seen it in places like Colorado where cannabis is legal, alcohol sales have dropped. There are some places where I'd been told informally the receipts of down 10 50% with some bars. And then we're just into the legalization now, I think two or three years from now you might see that go down even more because the outcome, frankly, they've got serve it to the millennials, right? And most of them will prefer cannabis now. So we're going to see a huge shift there. So the recreational side is going to be, or the adult use side is going to be absolutely huge. Opportunity. Medical is going to be great too. Don't get me wrong, there's different sizes for the markets. I think on the medical side, if you get the, you know the right patents and you know you have your cell protect, you can do extremely well.
Speaker 1:
36:02
But I think just in gross dollars that the recreational for the uh, adult use will be larger. And then THC side, yeah, THC side, but also just CBD side. So let's say for example, you just pure cbds. No, you will not get high so to speak, but you will have a sense of wellness. So as my wife would say, a CBD is psychoactive, but it's not psycho tropic. Right? It doesn't give you a sense selling, but it doesn't affect your receptors. Right. It doesn't act on it. And so what does that actually look like? You just feel good. You don't have any aches and pains. You just feel normal. You feel stabilized because it turns out that we have something called the endocannabinoid system. That's something that she should talk about. But bottom line is if your endocannabinoid system is properly modulating, which for a lot of people it hasn't, that instead of feeling that underlying underlying stress or they don't have that anxiety, just consuming a little bit of CBD kind of just takes away.
Speaker 1:
36:56
That takes away. It doesn't mean your life has changed, it just means you don't feel as bad about it. And where we're seeing huge growth by the way, is in the over 60 mark. I mean there's a lot of people and so-called age or nursing homes, I hate that term, but you know, for people that are retirement communities where they're under assisted care, who are taking cannabinoids to help them look at pains, they're getting out of bed, their minds are clear, they just feel better. And that's because of, they've been having a deficiency of capitalists. Now on the industrial side, the third leg of this, okay, so I'm going to use an example we're called hempcrete. Turns out that if you mix hemp, the actual industrial hemp, which is a different, which is part of the cannabis valley, but it's a different plant and you combine that with other materials, you can create blocks, building blocks that are harder than contract concrete later than concrete, right?
Speaker 1:
37:51
Which are also much more environmentally friendly and much more resistant to insects, for example, and resistance. The other things, so you can take those hemp blocks, leaving them out, literally build a house for 50 years in the middle of jungle and that house will be fine. Now people find that to be an odd statement, but if we remember, you know, if you think of the titanic and you think of those ropes that they used for the titanic that was made from him, the United States constitution was written about him. I remember visiting my family in Slovenia at a church where they had a rope that was over 300 years old, at least meda ham still works. It's still in good shape still. And by the way, it's very high. It's highly fire resistant as well. So on the buildings. By the way, a lot of people don't know this, but Henry Ford in the 1930s made a car that was stronger than steel.
Speaker 1:
38:44
So you're going to see some really interesting changes in the material science. Sorry, lot of the plastics that you see around you right now, you can get rid of them. There's a substitute hemp for that, right? So you could have have cups and head bags, right? And if you don't need them, well you could burn them. And does that cause a little bit of pollution as it does, but it's a heck a lot better than burning plastics. Right? So that sector alone is going to be absolutely magnificent. Plus of course with him it's a great brain. You can eat it. It's a very healthy grain. It has a lot of good nutrients, nutrients in it. So that's when I, that's why I say when you take all those sectors together, combine it, that's going to be bigger than alcohol and pharmaceutical sexual. Actually I think I'm being conservative. You want to know the truth.
Speaker 2:
39:23
I think though just you've, you've just hit on multiple sectors where it's going to be useful. I'm glad you didn't start with hemp because we've always had people around us that are, that are, you know, favorable towards hemp and yes, it has amazing characteristics but that it's useful and marketable. But it's, something has always held that back. Uh, the, the hemp industry, it's, it's usually the slightly off person that's selling their hemp clothing, uh, that, uh, that talks about it. But you've put it into context of, of industry and how useful it is. And thank you in particular for providing the background of all of these uses of him going back hundreds of years politically fascinating. And uh, yeah, that's it. It is remarkable. I think we're, we're going to come to a close soon, but I want to ask him one more question and that is where else in the world are we seeing industry developing and developing on the scale that is developing in Latin America and North America?
Speaker 1:
40:34
Well, I forgot. It looks interesting and then I'll speak a little bit to Asiago. I know less about Kasia on the African side, right? There are a number of countries in Africa that have either legalized for medicinal or even were a recreation, don't hold me this, but I do. South Africa, South Africa has done that. Right? And I know that Lesotho, which is a kingdom located within South Africa, has gone legal. And what does that mean? Well, they have good growing conditions, four creating industrial hemp and they have good growing conditions for a lot of other types of plants. Do the ITC and low QC plan. So I think those countries have the potential. The big concern I have in Africa is can you get the skilled labor to help you do the full value chain? What do I mean by that? It's one thing to get, you know, manual employees, farm farmhands, you know, even to get growers and so forth.
Speaker 1:
41:28
It's another thing to get the scientists, the doctors, the engineers to get the chemist. And that's something that they're going to have to develop, I believe. Sure, they could bring in experts from the outside. Right. But that's going to be costly. And frankly, some people might be happy to work with that for a couple of years and nothing wrong. I visit Africa. I love the place, right? Went on safari for sixties but I'm just saying it's a different place. Have to be ready. You have to be willing to pull up your family if you have a family to go there. And there's a lot of people that just won't do that. So we'll see how that plays itself out. Europe, there's a number of countries that are going to be doing cultivation. I think they're going to have some success, but I frankly, I think their costs are going to be too.
Speaker 1:
42:08
Okay. Just like in North America. Um, people ask me, why are you growing in Columbia? Right? And it's very simple. I can buy banana, I can get banana plants, I can go to Canada, I can open a warehouse, I could put license, I can plant those bananas. I can grow the plant and I can harvest bananas in Canada that it's cheaper than Columbia. Same way cannabis production is just like that, right? You can produce it into our warehouses in Canada. And you're going to be paying anywhere from two 50 to $3 a gram. I've saw some reports recently costs, or you can produce cannabis in place like Columbia, where I can produce it for 20 sets of brand. It's just outdoor grow, different environment, different cane conditions. That's just what it is. Right? And that doesn't mean that there's an opportunity, you know, in other areas, this huge opportunities.
Speaker 1:
42:58
Others that I mentioned on the marketing sales, on the derivatives, I'm creating products, I mean massive mass. And when having to train people, I mean, I see scenarios, I know the scenario for fact in Mexico where there's, there's some research that is being done and they're taking the cannabis plants and they're bringing it up the United States and having it fully extracted all the rivers and the shipping of back the Mexican. Why? Because they can't do it there. So there's the, you're gonna need those people in South America, I think is going to be a cannabis powerhouse. Columbia in particular called me bias, but there's other countries like Peru, they're going to do really well. Uh, I think that, um, you know, Erg, why is legal but, and I think they have some opportunities there but uh, Chile will be interesting as well. There'll be countries in Central America, Mexico and I was recently at a conference.
Speaker 1:
43:45
I was invited by the Institute of the Americas in San Diego in this past month to us or in August cause we're now in September 2% on cannabis and the industry in from Columbia, even though their, they were focused on Mexico, they wanted to hear from somebody in Columbia. So they invited me out. Right. And I listened to what they're doing to me the bottom line is Mexico is going to be, has a really interesting opportunities but it might be one or two years away. So that's why I'm saying things like that. You know that I'm saying Columbia because right now Columbia, ironically of all the countries in South America I think is the most advanced. Even though there's definitely some issues there. South America is going to be great for producing it because I got the right climatic conditions and the right leave or nothing like that. Asia. Wow. I mean, God, there's going to be so many opportunities there.
Speaker 1:
44:36
I mean the Chinese are already producing hemp. So, um, there's that, uh, Thailand, I don't know enough about it. I applied to go visit next year. Uh, we were invited, uh, Sandra and I both to speak speaking presents, right? So we're going to go check it out. Uh, Sandoz was invited to, is invited to Osaka to go speak at Tokyo on medical cannabinoids. So we'll find out what's going on in Japan. Japan is very strictly regulated right now, but they're opening the doors so who can say, but right now I think the low hanging fruit from my perspective is North America. Uh, parts of South America and parts of your passwords in line Africa will definitely come on stream. But it's been awhile.
Speaker 2:
45:13
Yeah. Well we will stay tuned, uh, our listeners and viewers know that you're part of the Oprah's family. And so I'm expecting you, have you, have you turned to both you and Sandra to have returned to speaking at future events and uh, I love that you're, you're covering two, two things that are important to, to me into a lot of us. And that is, one is from the investor perspective, but then likewise, longevity and living well, living long is, is a significant focus for us. And that's really what what Sandra, a lot of what she does facilitates,
Speaker 1:
45:52
correct? Correct. And it was cannabis in particular. CBDS will be a major part of any regenerative medicine program. Any wellness program, any anti-aging program that I have. No doubt. Yeah, it's just amazing. If you have skin conditions for example, and you apply CVBs on it, it'll just clear up just things like, uh, arthritis. I have arthritis throw cysts in my right toe from too many martial art. Right. And it's painful. But if I take a South Mayo CBD and I put it out that joint, the literally watch a shrink and the pain to go away and to be able to walk, it's like, wow. You know, it's amazing. It's going to be huge. So it already is. But know, here's the other thing too, it's just one quick thing, James. For the benefit of everybody here, it's worth remembering that this market is a little different from other markets.
Speaker 1:
46:43
When I was in technology, one of the big questions, how will our services be receptive to the market? Does the market really want what we have? And you know, like some, like the iPad was a bit of a gamble for people that want to, you know, think creatively like what happened, right? And some of the things that we launched, you know, we didn't know whether people wanted or whether it was online chats or gaining applications, so forth. You think it's there, you don't know. But cannabis, the demand is there. So it's not a question, does the market exist? Oh, it exists. The question is, can you satisfy that market? So like Sandra, who's a medical doctor who can prescribe controlled doses to patients, they're willing to try cannabis under those circumstances, but I don't blame them. They don't want to buy from somebody who they don't know on the street who says, yeah, Hey, this is a good product. Ah, that's where I see
Speaker 2:
47:30
it. We've moved to a very different place in that it's, the model has changed dramatically. I watched that. I live, I live in a state in the u s where, um, we've seen that dramatic shift and it was a quick shift to, from, from people having to hide to people actually being able to have easy access and particularly from a medicinal standpoint, um, being able to have,
Speaker 1:
47:59
well, it's a human right in my perspective. I mean, I'm looking at these poor kids in Panama that are suffering, for example, with epilepsy and they listened to the equivalent of the FDA say, Oh yeah, take a pdox. It's only $38,000 a year. Yeah, right. You know, whereas these cannabis derivatives can [inaudible] PDFs is a cannabis derivative. Right. But there should be ways to provide people with medicine a lot more cheap. Sandra, for example, I'm wrapping this up. She has a patient,
Speaker 2:
48:24
no, I mean, [inaudible]
Speaker 1:
48:26
had 400 seizures a day. Couldn't go to school. Mother had to stay with her all time. Kid is now in class. Symptoms are totally under control. Mother and family has a normal life, but girl has friends. I mean, this is what we need. You know, we need this medicine to help people. So this isn't just like, oh, I want to have another way to alter my consciousness. There is that, there's nothing wrong with that. But I think on the medical side, what, how it's going to change the world we've just behind, we haven't even began to really see how this is going to matter, but we're going to be a lot different. That's for sure. Medicine is gonna change a lot.
Speaker 2:
48:59
Absolutely. And you've given us a great glimpse into this and I knew that asking you to, uh, to do a podcast with me that we could, uh, introduce others to what I and a lot of our members have experienced through you and Sandra. Uh, in terms of where we're at and where we're, where we're going with this. Thank you very much for, uh, for this time. And as I said earlier, we will, we'll be checking back. So a as thing go forward for you, we know that green mile could be, it will be moving, moving forward, and you will be continuing on, uh, with your various efforts as well. So, John, thank you very much.
Speaker 1:
49:41
Getting on other planets
Speaker 3:
49:44
[inaudible].
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