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High Spirits

Business & Economics Podcasts

Hosts Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein serve up unfiltered insights, reveal their insiders' perspectives, and illuminate transformative ideas about the cannabis industry for people who want to make sense of it all.

Location:

United States

Description:

Hosts Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein serve up unfiltered insights, reveal their insiders' perspectives, and illuminate transformative ideas about the cannabis industry for people who want to make sense of it all.

Language:

English


Episodes

#032 - Cannabis Experts & Consumer Reviews with Budist’s Jocelyn Sheltraw & Claudio Miranda

2/22/2024
Join Ben Larson on a solo flight through High Spirits, as we navigate the ever-evolving cannabis landscape with industry luminaries Jocelyn Sheltraw and Claudio Miranda. Get ready to unravel the intricacies of cannabis consumerism, from the birth of Budist—a game-changing social review and rating platform—to the seismic shifts happening with brands like Kiva Confections and Curaleaf. This episode is your backstage pass to the strategies, companies, and people shaping the market. Embark on a sensorial journey as we bridge the gap between cannabis aficionados and the casual toker. We dissect the alchemy behind critiquing THC delights, shining a light on the parallels with the wine industry's path to connoisseurship. Budist is setting the stage for a 100-point rating system that promises to revolutionize your green experience. Discover how Budist is cultivating a community of informed enthusiasts, ready to guide you through the diverse offerings of this burgeoning industry. The episode culminates with a peek into the hive consciousness that powers dynamic duos like Jocelyn and Claudio, illuminating the importance of synergy in both the creation and enjoyment of cannabis products. We address the balancing act of navigating the complex regulatory terrains of THC and hemp, while fostering an inclusive community spirit reminiscent of the early tech pioneers. Whether you're deep in the industry or simply cannabis-curious, this session promises rich insights and a few good laughs, trademark of High Spirits. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:59:15

#031 - Infusing Trust & Leadership into the Cannabis Supply Chain w/ Dr. Harold Han & Ben Larson of Vertosa

2/15/2024
When passion meets innovation, magic happens. Just ask Dr. Harold Han, Ben's partner at Vertosa and the maestro behind some of the most pioneering infusion technologies in the cannabis space. This episode isn't just a peek into the lab where homogenous and stable infused products are born; it's a heart-to-heart with the man whose influence extends far beyond emulsion chemistry, touching the very fabric of our personal and professional lives with love and gratitude. Navigating the cannabis industry isn't for the faint of heart, but with a story that spans from China to the cutting edge of cannabis emulsion technology in the U.S., Harold exemplifies the bold spirit needed to forge new paths. We track the serendipitous events that shifted his focus from ddPCR technology to perfecting cannabis emulsions, and how a meeting with Ben morphed into Vertosa, a cornerstone for cannabis-infused brands. As we recount tales of early failures and learning curves, we underscore the importance of trust and transparency with partners – values that have not only fostered growth but also cemented our reputation in a market that's as diverse as it is demanding. The future is bright, and it's infused with a plethora of possibilities. We wrap up by casting a gaze into the horizon of THC beverages, discussing how brands like Keef are riding the wave of multi-state expansion, and how advancements like fast-acting nanoemulsions are elevating consumer experiences. We're not just talking trends; we're living them, as Vertosa continues to craft wellness-focused, plant-derived emulsions that resonate with the health-conscious consumer. So, pour yourself a glass of innovation, tune-in, and keep your spirits high! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:57:15

#030 - Cannabis Business News Round-up: THC Beverages, Pennsylvania's Legalization, Gallup Poll Results: America Loves Cannabis

2/8/2024
Join Ben Larson and Anna Rae Grabstein for a spirited recount of CannaDataCon 2024 in Miami, where the mingling of cannabis industry titans led to a rich harvest of insights. Imagine a world where savvy discounts don't just cut costs; they build brand loyalty and encourage adventurous trials of new products. We toast to the innovation bubbling up in hemp-derived cannabinoid beverages, with marketers now skilfully quenching the digital thirst on platforms where traditional cannabis marketing was once parched. Take a sip of our discussion as we explore the buzz around THC-infused beverages, which are shaking up industry events and luring the attention of alcohol heavyweights. As people who favor cannabis over cocktails, we reflect on how this preference resonates with the values that are increasingly guiding industry trends. We're stirring the pot on the potential for mergers in the beverage sector, the role of advocacy, and the crucial call for a united voice within the cannabis movement. Cap off your experience with us as we shine a spotlight on Pennsylvania, where Governor Shapiro’s proposed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis could spark economic fireworks. We hash out what this means for dispensaries on the frontlines and how it could ignite cross-state rivalries, especially with New Jersey. Wrapping up, we revel in the shift in American attitudes toward cannabis, recognizing a need for the hemp and cannabis industries to band together to blaze trails for clear policies and consumer clarity. This episode is all about fostering connections and fanning the flames of strategic conversation within the cannabis community. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:43:46

#028 - The Complexity of Cannabis Distribution w/ Will Brophy of Nabis

1/25/2024
Embark on a voyage through the world of cannabis distribution with our esteemed guest, Will Brophy, COO of Nabis, who unveils the secrets of managing the ebb and flow of the wild world of cannabis in California. As AnnaRae and Ben Larson chat with Will, they dive into how Nabis is reshaping the distribution model by empowering brands to take charge of their sales cycles while they handle the heavy lifting of logistics. This episode promises to give you the insider’s perspective on nurturing brand growth, fostering strong dispensary relationships, and ensuring products blanket the state effectively. Strike up a conversation about the fiscal challenges that keep cannabis entrepreneurs awake at night, and you'll find our discussion on accounts receivable and collections relatable. We take a magnifying glass to Nabis' proprietary credit scores and the formation of a cannabis industry credit group, showing how these tools are essential for brands navigating through financial uncertainties. As we unravel the realities of late payments and cash flow issues, you'll learn how Nabis' strategies not only keep their head above water but also propel them forward in a market that's as volatile as it is vibrant. We don't just stop at California's borders; we cast our gaze across the nation, contrasting the Golden State's approach with the distribution strategies budding in states like New Jersey and New York. Will guides us through the challenges posed by diverse laws, geographic complexities, and demographic variables, revealing how a tailored approach is key for each unique market. From the COO’s journey of scaling Nabis to the potential future of cannabis distribution, this episode equips you with knowledge as potent as the industry we’re chronicling. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:57:54

#027 - Corporate Responsibility, Expungement, and the New Jersey Update w/ Chirali Patel

1/18/2024
It's Ben's birthday bash of an episode, and we're unwrapping the complexities of DEI, ESG, and CSR within the cannabis sector, with New Jersey's recent advancements serving as our case study. The brilliant Chirali Patel of Blaze Responsibly graces us with her insights, illuminating her influential work on expungement initiatives that both navigate and shape New Jersey's legal cannabis landscape. Her fiery dedication to community and legal advocacy is a beacon guiding the industry towards a more equitable future. As we explore corporate social responsibility, we go beyond the buzzwords to dissect how cannabis companies are repairing the past wrongs of criminalization. We highlight meaningful partnerships with organizations like Ascend, Ayr Wellness, and Wana Brands that offer a beacon of hope, clearing minor cannabis offenses and uplifting lives. This episode is replete with heartfelt stories of individuals reclaiming futures once stifled by unjust laws, all thanks to these transformative efforts. The discourse then shifts to the profound interplay between CSR and DEI, forecasting a growing trend of outward-facing, socially impactful initiatives that are reshaping the cannabis industry's public persona. Venturing into the Garden State's cannabis market, we survey the diverse retail operations and the cultivation landscape dominated by multi-state operators. We shed light on New Jersey's market peculiarities, including notable product absences and the urgent need for more topical producers. Furthermore, we scrutinize the state's burgeoning retail expansion and the opportunities it presents, despite challenges such as funding, real estate, and municipal restrictions. This episode peels back the layers of the cannabis industry, revealing both the hurdles to overcome and the ripe prospects for those ready to navigate this green maze. Whether you're an industry insider or simply cannabis-curious, these insights will arm you with a comprehensive understanding of this revolutionary sector. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:53:18

#026 - Inside Minnesota's Cannabinoid Revolution w/ Leili Fatehi & Laura Monn Ginsburg

1/11/2024
Hosts Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein dive into the heart of the hemp revolution as we navigate the intricate waters of Minnesota's march towards cannabis legalization. Discover the strides made in the medical cannabis program, the booming hemp industry, and the anticipated arrival of adult-use cannabis. With Laura Monn Ginsburg and Leili Fatehi from Blunt Strategies sharing their firsthand experiences from the 'Minnesota is Ready' campaign, this episode offers a unique glimpse into the legislative processes reshaping Minnesota's approach to cannabis and hemp. Ready to understand the compelling dynamics between Minnesota's local businesses and the emerging cannabis market? We're peeling back the curtain to reveal how craft breweries are not just fermenting hops but also reshaping public perception of hemp. An in-depth look at the significance of introducing an office of cannabis management spotlights the state's commitment to a seamless industry ecosystem. Our conversation bridges the gap between traditional industries and cannabis, illuminating the collaborative potential in a state where even bowling alleys might roll into the cannabis scene. Anticipation is high as Minnesota gears up for the green wave of adult-use cannabis legalization in early 2025. Join us as we dissect the minor legislative tweaks and the major role of scientific expertise in rulemaking, ensuring the industry's integration is as smooth as the lakes dotting the state. We wrap up our exchange by acknowledging the invaluable contributions of our listeners and guests throughout our podcast journey, reiterating our commitment to delivering 52 episodes of thought-provoking content this year. Stay informed and elevate your understanding with us in this spirited and insightful episode. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:56:14

#025 - How Hemp Will Reshape Cannabis in 2024 w/ Bob Hoban & Xavier Jaillet

1/5/2024
Embark on this hemp-infused adventure with Ben & AnnaRae as we ring in 2024 with a burst of enthusiasm and a treasure trove of insights from the cannabis and hemp frontier. Promising an episode that will peel back the layers of the industry's legal landscape, we chat with Bob Hoban and Xavier Jaillet, whose expertise ignites a robust discussion on the economic forces and policy shifts shaping hemp and cannabis' future. As we dissect the Farm Bill's fine print, we shed light on the misunderstood THC threshold that separates hemp from marijuana and tackle the truth behind the alleged loopholes—spoiler alert, the law's intent is as clear as day. From here, we pivot to the dazzling array of hemp derivatives now gracing consumer goods, illustrating the plant's remarkable versatility. Within the heart of the industry, there lies a call for unity—to move beyond internal skirmishes and toward collective progress that amplifies our voice and shapes the sector's destiny. Our finale is a masterclass in seizing business opportunities amidst the ever-shifting cannabis landscape. We delve into the savvy strategies for capitalizing on the ephemeral, yet lucrative, arbitrage scenarios, walking the tightrope between growth and compliance. Furthermore, we tease the tantalizing prospect of cannabis-infused beverages merging with mainstream alcohol distribution, a potential game-changer for consumer experiences. Sit back, stay high-spirited, and join us as we uncover the rich narrative woven through the hemp and cannabis industry. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:01:04:43

#024 - EOY Cannabis Business News Round-up | December 28, 2023

12/28/2023
Strap in as we take you through a rollercoaster ride of market trends, legal battles, and news stories that defined 2023 and what Ben & AnnaRae believe it all means for 2024. From the interplay of live music and cannabis culture to the fiscal health of public companies, we've got you covered. We cover the broad topics of Finance, market Dynamics, Cannabis vs. Hemp, Federal Policy Changes, and the various Legal Battles plaguing the industry. Finally, we opine on what it all means for 2024. As states like New York and Ohio surge ahead with their cannabis markets, we break down the legal intricacies and market growth trends that could define the future of legal cannabis. We cap off our discussion with a look at the increasing number of lawsuits and how they are reshaping cannabis businesses. It's clear that the legal landscape is as intricate as it is critical, with the outcome of these disputes setting the stage for what's next. So, if you're looking to stay ahead of the curve in the cannabis scene, this episode is your golden ticket to understanding the maze of market dynamics, legal hurdles, and the movers and shakers steering the ship into 2024. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:55:36

#023 - Leveraging AI to Increase Cannabis and Hemp Sales w/ Ben York of Genetica

12/22/2023
Discover how the world of cannabis is being reshaped by AI, with our revelatory exploration into the industry's most cutting-edge technology. Before diving into all things AI, join Ben and AnnaRae as they weigh-in on the buzz around Snoop Dogg’s Do It Fluid and Dr. Carl Hart's passionate advocacy for critical thinking in drug policy. We're joined by Ben York, former investor and CEO of cannabis AI technology company, Genetica. As we peel back the layers of AI's influence on cognitive functions, we balance the scales of optimism with caution. Systems inside and out of the cannabis industry are all up for discussion as we examine their impact on how we process information and arrive at decisions. We consider how strategic questioning powered by AI, like Genetica's, is essential for businesses to stay competitive in a fast-evolving market with thin margins. Wrapping up, we tackle the thorny issues of trust and data standardization in the cannabis industry, revealing how AI is sculpting new levels of confidence among B2B customers. We're not shying away from the big questions: What does AI-driven data cleanliness mean for other sectors? How does automating analysis empower business teams? And how will AI redefine compliance management within the regulatory labyrinth? Get ready for an episode that offers a panoramic view of AI's pivotal role in the cannabis sector, as we discuss its promise and the people leading the charge towards a smarter, more trustworthy industry. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:54:26

#022 - What You Thought You Knew About Terpenes w/ Max Koby & Dr. Oswald of Abstrax

12/14/2023
Are you ready to unlock the fascinating science of terpenes in cannabis and hemp? Hosts Ben Larson and AnnaRae bring the latest cannabis industry updates and delve into an engaging discussion with our esteemed guest from a leading terpene research company. We unravel the enigma that is terpenes, examining their potential benefits, their impact on your body, and the crucial role they play in crafting the cannabis experience. This is not just about getting high; it's about understanding the profound connection between nature and experience. Our journey takes us into the heart of cannabis research, with our erudite guests Max Koby, CEO, and Dr. Oswald, Director of R&D at Abstrax Tech. We tackle topics that are on the cutting edge of cannabis science, from challenging the notion that terpenes alone define the cannabis experience to probing into volatile sulfur compounds and the importance of shelf stability testing. It's all about breaking the mold, diving into the unknown, and navigating the tricky currents of the cannabis industry with courage and curiosity. But we don't stop there. We understand the importance of making this information accessible to the average consumer. With the help of our guests, we present a fresh approach to understanding and communicating cannabis effects. We discuss innovative metrics for aromatic qualities, study how terpenes can enhance your mood and overall experience, and stress the importance of educating consumers about specific terpenes in products. So come along, join us on this journey, and discover how terpenes continue to reshape the world of cannabis. This isn't just an episode; it's a revelation. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:57:26

#021 - How to Build an Iconic Cannabis Brand like Old Pal w/ Rusty Wilenkin

12/7/2023
Grab a seat and prepare for a 360-degree view into the world of cannabis branding and marketing, as we welcome the CEO of leading cannabis brand Old Pal, Rusty Wilenkin. Rusty shares the rollercoaster ride of his professional journey, leading us from the bustling streets of New York to the vibrant West Coast. We dive into Rusty's successful creation of Old Pal, highlighting the struggles of scaling and dissecting strategies that helped the brand stand out in a competitive market. We're not just talking business, but more specifically, Old Pal's identity-driven success. Discover how Old Pal resonates with its audience and became the renowned brand it is today across so many markets. You'll hear the benefits of an asset-light model and the uncertainties that come with it, and learn how focusing on building a brand can fundamentally shift the game in the nascent cannabis industry. We wrap up our conversation with Rusty providing a valuable perspective on marketing strategies across different states and the significance of local adaptations. Hear about Old Pal's commitment to authenticity, their approach to inclusivity, and how they maintain a strong community presence. We also explore the brand's plans for geographic expansion and how they manage to stay ahead of competitors in such a dynamic industry. Get ready for an episode packed with insights and actionable tips from one of the top CEOs in the space. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:56:56

#020 - Live from Las Vegas! ft. Michael Cooper (MadisonJay Solutions) and Chris Lindsey (ATACH)

11/30/2023
We're live in Las Vegas for MJBizCon 2023 and giving you the realtime update with some surprise guests. Join Ben and AnnaRae as they welcome Michael Cooper from MadisonJay Solutions and Chris Lindsey from ATACH. We discuss the main takeaways from the week and the general sentiment felt in and out of the conference and the numerous events surrounding the show. Navigating the labyrinth of rules in the cannabis business is a sport in itself. But, much like sports, it’s all about strategy and adapting to ever-changing rules of the game. That’s why we'll take you inside the MJ Biz conference to learn from industry pros about the latest developments and strategies. And let’s not forget about the world of hemp. We discuss the extension of the farm bill and what it means for hemp legislation, while exploring the exciting burgeoning market for cannabis beverages. We share insights on everything from the need for a federal framework to the dangers of unregulated products. We also chat about the lessons learned in forming effective trade associations and the importance of representing diverse interests. We wrap things up with a call to unify our vision to end the war on drugs, and discuss the pressing need for a clear strategy in the cannabis industry. We did it! 8:30 AM on Thursday of MJBiz. Episode 20 is in the bag! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:48:22

#019 - Ben & AnnaRae's Gratitude Episode

11/21/2023
The Gratitude Episode! Ever wondered why cannabis sales escalate during Thanksgiving week? Turns out, Green Wednesday, the day preceding the holiday, is one of the biggest revenue-generating days for dispensaries. Join AnnaRae and Ben as they discuss how this trend is shaped by consumers' desire for cannabis treats over the long weekend or as a coping mechanism for family gatherings. We also explore how holiday deals influence sales in a broader context and share our personal cannabis shopping preferences. The conversation extends as we delve into the opportuntities of talking about our cannabis industry roles during Thanksgiving. As professionals in the sector, we feel the responsibility to educate people about the progress made, like the recent legalization across four new states. We emphasize the need for openness to de-stigmatize the industry, and express our gratitude for the growth in the cannabis beverage sector. We also touch upon the strides made in the industry and the power of advocacy. As we navigate the complex world of hemp, we discuss its recent legalization in Minnesota and the impact on the market. The rising popularity of hemp beverages and the potential for further normalization is also brought into focus. Even as we celebrate increased access to cannabinoids, we don’t shy away from talking about the ongoing issues with equity and regulation. We're revved about the upcoming MJ Biz event and as we step into 2023, we reflect on the importance of content creation and the role of AI in enhancing our creativity and research. So, tune in as we dive into the intersection of cannabis, holidays, and its impact on consumers and businesses. We promise, it's a high you won't want to miss! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:44:07

#018 - Oh. Hi. Oh! And what you need to know. w/ Erin Gore from Garden Society

11/16/2023
Meet Erin Gore, the powerhouse behind Garden Society, a California-based brand and manufacturer that's making waves in the cannabis industry, and now expanding into Ohio and New Jersey. With an impressive background in chemical and biological engineering, and a track record of topping the charts of women in cannabis, Erin brings a wealth of knowledge to our conversation. We tackle the recent legalization in Ohio and Erin's journey of building Garden Society from scratch to working with some of the biggest brands in the space. As we pull back the curtain on Ohio's recent cannabis legalization, we dissect its adult use and medical programs, drawing comparisons with the markets in California and New Jersey. Diving into the intricacies of policy, population, and regulation, we try to make sense of the effects on both local and national cannabis businesses. Also, we delve into the unique challenges and opportunities in Ohio's cannabis market as a result of its adult use legislation. From the lack of a B2B marketplace to the regulations for sourcing ingredients, Erin helps us navigate the seas of uncertainty, always hinting at a brighter future. Finally, we shift our focus to the wider picture, discussing the importance of educating policy makers about the cannabis industry and the potential influence of the Farm Bill and D9 market on its future. Erin shares intriguing insights into the budding opportunities in less mature markets like Missouri and how strategic decisions can lead to success. As we wrap up, we reflect on the essentials of advocacy for good policy and how our collective efforts can shape a promising future for the legal cannabis industry. So, whether you're an industry insider or just interested in the buzz, this conversation with Erin Gore is sure to pique your curiosity. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:56:28

#017 - From Big Bev to Big Cannabis, and Back Again w/ Paul Weaver

11/9/2023
Picture this: You're standing in a liquor store in front of a new display. Instead of bottled beer and wine, you're looking at cannabis-infused beverages. Intrigued? So are we! This week, we're taking you on a journey through the unexpected twists and turns of big beverage companies like Boston Beer Company making their mark on the cannabis industry. Navigating the world of cannabis beverages isn't just about the high. It's about breaking down the barriers of stigma and learning how to market responsibly within the confines of strict regulations. To help us understand this better, we called upon Paul Weaver, Head of Cannabis at Boston Beer Company. With his insights, we explore how decades of craft beer experience can apply to cannabis beverages and how creativity can still shine through amidst regulatory restrictions. But the exploration doesn't stop there. We're also looking into the evolving relationship of legal drinking age consumers with alcohol, non-alcoholic products, cannabis, and wellness. Are we witnessing a shift in drinking culture? And what role does the success of brands like Boston Beer Company's Teapot play in this changing landscape? So grab a seat, pour yourself a drink (whatever that might be), and join us as we push the boundaries of what we know about the beverage industry. Buckle up, it's going to be an intoxicating journey. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:50:30

#016 - Why Washington State is a Different Kind of Cannabis Market w/ Dr. Jordan Zager

11/2/2023
Ever wonder why cannabis delivery and many MSOs are missing from Washington State's cannabis industry, and how none of the operators in the market are carrying an AR balance? Tune-in as AnnaRae Grabstein and Ben Larson embark on an in-depth journey to uncover the fascinating dynamics of Washington's unique cannabis market, with special insights from our esteemed guest, Dr. Jordan Zager, CEO and co-founder of Dewey Scientific. This episode is a treasure trove of knowledge, from how the 2018 Farm Bill and the Delta 8 craze have not impacted the cannabis market like they have so many others, to the intriguing science behind cannabis genetics. As we spotlight the challenges and opportunities faced by cannabis brands in Washington, from residency requirements to intensive background checks, we reveal the reality of small brands battling for market presence in an otherwise incredibly stable market. Our conversation takes a deep dive into the retail landscape and the restrictions hindering the growth of the industry. Join us as we stay curious, informed, and keep our spirits high in this exploration of the world of cannabis in Washington State. -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:54:20

#015 - Decoding the Science and Strategy of Hemp Derived Cannabinoids w/ Dave Neundorfer

10/26/2023
Are you ready to embark on a thrilling journey through the intricate world of hemp-derived cannabinoids? This episode promises a deep dive with Dave Neundorfer, the CEO of Open Book Extracts who has an intriguing tale to tell; from co-founding a leading Ohio medical marijuana company to leading his current venture. Open Book Extracts is a unique ingredient manufacturer and product development house focusing on cannabinoid-enabled health and wellness. Dave reveals how the company traversed through a rapidly evolving customer base and navigated regulatory challenges to offer a transparent and reliable industry presence. The hemp industry is an exciting yet complex landscape. This episode will clue you in on the regulatory dynamics and the significant strides made in the collaborative process outlined by the FDA. There's a lot to chew on here, from discussions on the One Hemp coalition - a unified voice of responsible operators in the space - to finding a compromise that will set a bar for regulation that is palatable to the FDA. It's a must-listen for anyone curious about the regulatory aspects of the hemp industry and the importance of a unified industry stance. But that's not all; we get to the heart of intellectual property development around minor cannabinoids. Open Book Extracts has been on this research journey since 2019, and Dave shares some of the fascinating insights they've unearthed. We also discuss their strategic business decisions, including the pursuit of EU GNP certification and the role equity capital has played in their growth. Plus, we delve into the current state of the cannabis and hemp markets, supply contract changes, and a call to action for industry support and progress. Prepare to be enlightened, entertained, and inspired! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:52:38

#014 - Secrets to Earning Press & Thought Leadership in Cannabis w/ Rosie Mattio

10/19/2023
Join us on a deep dive into the world of PR and marketing in the emerging cannabis industry with our guest, Rosie Mattio. As the founder of North America's largest cannabis-focused marketing and PR agency, Mattio Communications, Rosie's insights are invaluable to anyone looking to make a mark in this competitive field. We'll talk about how to establish yourself as a thought leader, strategies for personal and company branding, and how to stay controversy-free in this growing sector. Our conversation with Rosie was buzzing with insights on effective media pitching, leveraging data, and fostering relationships within the media for successful client coverage. We dissected, among other things, the stunning success of campaign like the MariMed Boston Tea Party stunt. But remember, it's not just about company branding; individual branding, especially for company leaders, forms a crucial part of PR strategy. Rosie helps us navigate the tricky balance between the two, providing crucial tips for executives. One can't ignore crises and public perception management, especially within the B2B space. Rosie shares her expertise on managing such situations, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing customers, families, and employees. Our chat isn't just restricted to the cannabis industry. Rosie takes us through the expansion of Mattio Communications into new industries and talks about the significance of attending industry conferences. Amidst these challenging times, we also discuss encouraging support and positivity. Tune in for a fascinating episode packed with Rosie's extensive experience and industry insights! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:54:10

#013 - Cannabis Business News Round-up | October 12, 2023

10/12/2023
Are you ready to grapple with the complex realities of business leadership during crises and the shocking truth of war as an economic boon for certain sectors? That's just the tip of the iceberg in this episode. Delve deeper with us as we explore the emotional aspect of leadership, offering empathy and support to teams, colleagues, and peers navigating these challenging times. It's not all doom and gloom, though. We dare to hope and pray for peace, shedding light on the harsh realities of conflict while pondering the disturbing concept of war as a potential economic catalyst. Switching gears, we sort through the following current events in cannabis: Governor Newsom has been busy in the great state of CA signing and vetoing cannabis bills. Connecticut is experiencing steady growth with monthly purchasing exceeding $25M for the first time.The hemp market size has surpassed legal cannabis! What does it mean?US Census Bureau released their inaugural report on state level taxes levied from legal cannabis businessesWe dissect the implications of Assembly Bill 1207 and Assembly Bill 374, among others, considering their effects on the packaging, marketing, and expansion of cannabis cafes in the State of CA. We also touch on the steady growth of the Connecticut cannabis market, detailing their unique approach to licensing. We journey to the booming hemp market, a sector surpassing legal cannabis in size, and discuss what that means for the broader hemp and cannabis conversation, as well as lobbying power of the two sides. Finally, based on the inaugural report from the US Census Bureau, we delve into the state-level taxes collected from legal cannabis businesses, revealing fascinating insights. Our exploration raises questions on the US government's perception and management of emerging markets, the 280E penalty, and the influence of taxes on economic activity. As we wrap up, we encourage you to engage with us. Who knows? Your thoughts could spark our next enlightening conversation. So, don't forget to like, subscribe, and share our podcast! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:54:57

#012 - Cannabis Beverage and the Legacy Consumer with Ave Miller from Uncle Arnie's

10/5/2023
Get ready for a spirited discussion with Ave Miller from Uncle Arnie's as we navigate the fascinating universe of cannabis beverages and the legacy consumer. We'll take you on a journey through the expansion of Uncle Arnie's into multiple markets, building a unique brand that defies the norm, and the keys to success in launching and growing a beverage brand. Ave shares his wealth of knowledge on cannabis beverages, discussing everything from product types to flavors and availability across the U.S. You'll hear first-hand stories about the challenges faced when launching a product, the importance of customer engagement, and the adjustments Uncle Arnie's made based on consumer feedback. Ave emphasizes the importance of investing in real data and consistent growth, sharing his unique perspective on navigating this dynamic industry. Join us as we continue the conversation, diving deep into the cannabis beverage industry with one of its most passionate advocates, Ave Miller from Uncle Arnie's. This is an episode you don't want to miss! -- High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer. Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein. Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover? Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows. THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations. Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

Duration:00:56:10