To Be Blunt: The Professional Cannabis Business Podcast

093 California Cannabis Highs and Lows with Skip Motsenbocker of Pacific Stone

March 28, 2022 Shayda Torabi Season 3 Episode 93
To Be Blunt: The Professional Cannabis Business Podcast
093 California Cannabis Highs and Lows with Skip Motsenbocker of Pacific Stone
Show Notes Transcript

“Here's the thing, though. If you're the kind of person who really masters things quick, and you like that challenge, then this [cannabis] space is perfect. If you really like repetitiveness, and you don't like change, then you really don't want to enter the cannabis space at all, period. Because it will change. It perpetually changes.” -  Skip Motsenbocker

In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Skip Motsenbocker of Pacific Stone to paint a clearer picture of the Californian market, taxation, and regulations. Despite the numerous challenges in this landscape, Skip believes that considering customer experience and delivering the best way you can is the most important ingredient for brands to power through.

 

[00:01 – 10:56] California’s Heavy Taxation and Regulation on Cannabis

[10:57– 22:24] The Push Towards the Industry and Pacific Stone on Navigating the Market

[22:25 – 38:17] What It Takes to Keep Up with the California Cannabis Industry

[38:18 – 44:22] Introducing New Cannabis Products to the Market without Misrepresentation

[44:23 – 01:02:20] The Harsh Implications of High Cultivation Tax and Intense Competition

[01:02:21 – 01:04:29] Food for Thought: What do you observe about this “green dream” of operating in the regulated cannabis market?

 

Skip Motsenbocker has more than 25 years of professional experience in a variety of industries including asset management and private equity, consumer packaged goods and retailing, as well as real estate development. This wealth of experience has led to his initial entrance into and subsequent success in the regulated cannabis industry. His passion for the plant also stems from personal tragedy, as he became a vocal advocate for cannabis’ therapeutic and medicinal properties after losing his mother to opioids following multiple car accidents and back surgeries.

In early 2021, Motsenbocker was named CEO of Pacific Stone, a market leader in California cannabis, with both large-scale green-house cultivation facilities and more than a million square feet of flower. Pacific Stone is offered in over 600 stores and includes packaged flowers, pre-rolls, and cartridges. Motsenbocker will oversee the brand’s planned new product launches, expansion, among other exciting initiatives.

 

Connect with Skip

Visit https://pacificstonebrand.com/ and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @pacificstone__brand

 

Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi

Key Quote:

“Circling back to how do you continue to try to be number one, just think about what that experience is for your customer, you know, and try to always deliver on that.” - Skip Motsenbocker

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Skip Motsenbocker  0:00  
A lot of times people from the outside looking in believe, wow, you're growing a bunch of weed, you're selling a bunch of weed, you're in California, you just must be making money just hand over fist, right? Because that's just the perception. And the reality is, is that it's very difficult, very complicated business, and a business model to effectively run and do so with the right economics so that you can effectively be profitable. We have figured that out, and we do everything 100% compliant. I can't say this 100% Because I don't see all the tax rolls. But I would imagine, probably one of the largest, you know, taxpayers, certainly in the space in the state just by virtue of who we are and what we do. And this is the only crop still of all crops, this is the only one that's actually taxed at the cultivation level. I don't know that there's any other crop that gets taxed at the cultivation level the way that cannabis does in California and it's just difficult. It's challenging.

Announcer  1:08  
You're listening to to be blunt, be podcast for cannabis marketers, where your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing, educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here's your host Shayda Torabi.

Shayda Torabi  1:31  
Hello and welcome back to a new episode of The to be blunt podcast. I'm your host Shayda Torabi, cannabis business owner and brand marketer. Now, if you've been paying attention to California cannabis, there has been a lot of discussion around the heavy taxation and regulation facing the state's regulated cannabis market. Not to mention the illicit cannabis market that is driven by vast overproduction and certainly part of the demise of the regulated market. Quite simply, those who play by the rules are being punished by the rules, while those who choose to remain in the black market are profiting all while the state is aware of the gray area. And creating change is happening but very, very slow. And the legal California cannabis market is ultimately paying the price.

In fact, just to brush up for this episode, I did a quick Google search on California cannabis. I was really curious kind of what is the most recent pulse of what's happening in the state and you're welcome to do the search yourself. You will see a lot of these headlines are very recent. I'm talking the last couple of days, weeks and certainly since 2022 has begun. The headlines range from fact checking misleading claims that California's cannabis industry is suffering to inside California's cannabis crisis. In one article by the Orange County Register reported in 2019, the Legislative Analyst's Office found California's marijuana taxes were too high, and it's taxing mechanisms to inefficient for licensed cannabis companies to successfully compete with the illicit marijuana market. So even as the marijuana industry thrives in most other parts of the country, a coalition of licensed marijuana businesses recently complained that the entire industry in California is collapsing. Unfortunately, a majority of the proposed changes would make it even more costly and burdensome for cannabis industry businesses to operate in the state's legal marijuana market. For instance, the Department of Cannabis Control is considering banning the use of shipping containers and modular buildings on the premises of legal marijuana licensees which would require many marijuana companies to build costly permanent structures. Existing licensees are only offered a six month grace period to erect these permanent structures and come into compliance with the new rules, further raising the cost of compliance and making it harder to compete with marijuana prices on the black market. So yes, change is happening but at what cost? I saw another headline by High Times stating Sonoma County California drops taxes by nearly half in bid to save cannabis farmers. James Gore from the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors told High Times that this tax reduction is in line with the market impacts that cannabis producers are encountering right now with a drop in wholesale price per pound. The reason that this was justified and warranted is that their cannabis tax, like many other jurisdictions was based on coverage or square feet. It was intended to be 5% of gross receipts, but when you have a drop in wholesale price and you're still tax taxing based on square footage, all of a sudden that potential three to 5% grows into not just 15 or 20%. But upwards of that. I'm sharing all of this in an effort to educate you and bring to light the very real situation, the state of California Cannabis Industry is going through, and the perception of success that neglects to highlight the true reality that so many California cannabis brands are navigating, trying to stay afloat and operational in their industry. In fact, according to a 2022 survey of 396, US growers by the National Cannabis Industry Association stated only 37% of participating California cannabis growers said they were profitable. The competition with illicit growers represents one in four challenges cited in the survey and other obstacles include overtaxation, price volatility and the lack of the ability to open bank accounts. It also listed some other challenges which I'm sure do not surprise you or won't surprise you or really shouldn't surprise you but lack of investment capital, large corporations dominating small craft operators market saturation, negative impacts of not having federal legalization, substandard cost structure and unfair criminal justice concerns. While the state of California has legalized recreational marijuana, only a total of 281 out of California's 539 cities and counties, which is equal to about 52% of municipalities actually allow retail cannabis sales either through storefronts and retail or delivery, and approximately 60% of California residents reside in those jurisdictions. What most people do not realize is the local government imposes its own rules through ordinances and when less than half the jurisdictions throughout the state welcome cannabis. The lack of access to sell the plants and products is a sticking point. The lack of retail space to sell the plant is having a negative impact on sales for legal operators. The NCAA study found the illicit and illegal markets combined generate 100 billion and national sales. Looking ahead, the legal industry is forecasted to total 45 billion in revenue by 2025. With 39 states now allowing for medical use and 18. Opening up to adult recreation. The industry employs more than 400,000 workers in total. As we get into today's episode, I wanted you to be armed with a real picture of the California cannabis market. It is not that businesses can not find success. In fact, today's guest is a prime example of a successful cannabis brand in California. But there are many ways to the top and how you structure your business and how you grow your brand will be components that could separate you from success or failure. I'm super grateful to sit down with skip Matson Bakker, the CEO of Pacific stone, a brand of cannabis cultivators and sixth generation Dutch greenhouse growers, who only sell what their team grows cures and packs. Aside from growing great flower that is award winning in the state of California. They are a family owned and operated brand founded in Santa Barbara in 2015. That has taken no outside investment to date. Since founding they've won leaf links top selling brand in North America. From 2019 to 2020 and 2021. They won trees bronze Award for Best selling brand in 2020. They've been six of Weedmaps top 10 selling products in California for both 2020 and 2021 and three of headsets top 10 Selling flower brands in California for 2021. Skip stepped into the CEO role in early 2021 with a 25 year background in a variety of industries, including Asset Management and private equity, consumer packaged goods and retailing as well as real estate development. This wealth of experience has led to his initial entrance into and subsequent success in the regulated cannabis industry. His passion for the plant also stems from personal tragedy, as he became a vocal advocate for cannabis as therapeutic and medicinal properties. After losing his mother to opioids following multiple car accidents and back surgeries. Skip is a fourth generation San Diegan who grew up 10 minutes away from the flagship urban leaf cannabis dispensary. In 2013, he became directly involved in building out and managing this retail location becoming an integral part in urban leafs success. By 2018. He was named CEO of urban leaf holdings, overseeing an explosive time where the retail chain grew to over 400 employees, seven dispensaries and a diverse product portfolio. Now at Pacific stone which is a market leader in California cannabis with both large scale greenhouse cultivation facilities and more than a million square feet of flour. Pacific stone is offered in over 600 stores and includes packaged flower pre rolls and cartridges. Skip oversees the brand's planned new product launches expansion, among other exciting initiatives. And in today's episode, we get into the state of California cannabis, from his perspective, what it takes to survive and navigate the industry there,

and how Pacific stone does it differently and what has contributed to their success. So again, very excited, very grateful to have skip with us on the show today, with everything that I've included above lots of food for thought. So let's get straight to the episode. Please join me by lining one up. And let's welcome skip

Unknown Speaker  10:55  
to the show. Skip Matson Barker, CEO Pacific stone, a cultivation brand in the state of California, running quite a bit of cultivation these days, and I'm happy to be doing so I've got a personal story similar to yours, where my mother had some injuries, and as a result passed away directly because of opioids. And really, that pushed me into the whole industry really hard back in 2013, mostly because I just you know, felt that there had to be another way for people to have some form of pain relief, beyond something that was potentially deadly. And I think a lot of people are completely aware of that scenario, certainly in the United States these days.

Shayda Torabi  11:40  
So I want to kind of touch on to first off, I have to say, you know, definitely my heart goes out, I think their relatability of pain and their current like presentation of what solutions are present to all citizens of the role. But obviously to you know, American citizens, it's pretty much quickly getting you into the cycle of opioids and navigating chronic pain from I don't want to always be the person either who's so anti Western medicine, but where it's contrasted against cannabis, right? I think that's where it's really become a really powerful dialogue. Because, I mean, you can pick any stat you want over the past, you know, three or four years, cannabis is increasingly becoming more popular, more adopted and more accessible. Certainly, most people have access to it in states like yours, California. You know, I always feel bad for myself here in Texas, we're fighting as desperately as we can to get access to more plant medicine not as accessible. But with that said, you know, it is something that I think a lot of people can relate to. And so understanding that little motivation behind you, I think is really, people are gonna resonate with that because it's myself included, like we were talking about before we started recording, you know, just how the introduction of cannabis really shifted. I've always been a cannabis consumer, but it shifted when I was starting to navigate from a chronic pain perspective, for sure. But I want to kind of kick off from your perspective, you're in California, you're running Pacific stone, you have a lot of accolades under your brand's belt, you're doing some really incredible things. You just introduced a new specific cannabinoid pre roll to the market. And so I have a lot of questions that I want to ask you. But I want to kind of start things off with what is specific stone? Like, how did Pacific stone come to be? What is the history? What's the lineage? What is your, you know, Gem creme de la creme? Like, why do people gravitate towards your brand?

Unknown Speaker  13:37  
Sure, it makes sense. And real quick to before I answer that, our form that I always think of is Western medicine. That's the weed from California.

Shayda Torabi  13:48  
So people are taking their medicine

Unknown Speaker  13:50  
out west, right. That's, that's your medicine? Yeah. So in a simple statement, really, quality, consistency. And value, I think is what are the driving factors behind why pack stone is a brand has been so successful. We were running about a million square feet of canopy right now. So there's a lot of product that's flowing, we're still a tirely private company. So got zero outside investment to date. And as a result, there's a lot of there's a lot of head down. Just good enough isn't perspective and attitude towards our organization towards our product. And we think about everything from the perspective of the consumer, right? So we don't ever really believe that. Well, you know, we're really good. We did this, we got this award. And, you know, you can go ahead and mention them or you can look them up or anybody can. It is what it is that's in the rearview mirror. What's really important is what we're doing today, what we're focused on for tomorrow and the day after that. But the history. It's really unique history. If you imagine a group of people there's really two different groups of people that came together To effectively create PAC stone or Pacific stone, if you will. And you've got some legacy operators that were working under to 15, doing some really amazing things with indoor cultivation. And then you had some sixth Gen, Dutch farmers who understood large scale greenhouse growing. And those two groups ultimately came together. And that morphed in 2015. And so effectively, you had a group that understood the art of the plant, you had a group that understood the science of large scale Ag in a greenhouse, because everything that we grow is effectively out of greenhouse. And so as a result, that's I said, you know, that's really the whole impetus behind why the organization grew. And, you know, today, we're going to drop in 37,000 plants a week, plus or minus minutes, not, it's not a small operation by any stretch of the imagination. And it takes art and science to effectively really make that work at a large scale, right, because it is delicate, I often like to refer to it as the factory, because it sometimes seems like a factory when you're producing at that level, and that scale and that quantity. But I'm reminded by everybody who's in ag, which is our whole team, you know, we've got environmental factors, you know, we rely on the sun, we rely on weather conditions, you've got terrible weather conditions in your backyard right now, that would not be conducive to growing, we're less than a mile off the ocean here in Santa Barbara County, and the climate shifts, but it doesn't shift that much. And you know, that's that's really conducive to creating a consistent quality product. And that's something that definitely we pride ourselves on. But as I said before, good enough, isn't, we just keep trying to be better.

Shayda Torabi  16:48  
I love that ethos. I think it's certainly important. And like we were talking about, and my listeners know this about the podcast, for sure. I'm like a brand A Holic, I think having a unique way of framing it, even if you're saying things that are maybe, and I don't mean this, obviously, to any extent against your brand explicitly. But you know, you can say things that maybe seem generic, but it's like, what's the heart behind it? And like, how do you actually power that day to day? And what do you bring to market and you're mentioning consistency. And, and certainly, I think consistency is an interesting challenge in the cannabis industry for a myriad of reasons. But especially on the growth side. And so just talking about the magnitude of kind of like what you're doing, and also understanding that you're, I read this, you're the number one privately owned cannabis company, and you just re emphasize that, like, why is that? And why are other people not doing that? And what is the capacity? Like, is it? Is it because like, you're the only one of your size is it just people are not doing that, because they can't afford to? Is it a licensing thing, I guess a little bit behind that, too, is like understanding what's going on in California that allows you guys to kind of step into that position. So I'm curious to get some clarity on that.

Unknown Speaker  18:01  
I think most of it just has to do with the fact that, you know, early on the profits that were made, were able to be reinvested into the company, rather than pulled out and, you know, doing other things. And also, you know, really kind of keeping our head down and being focused, you know, we're not trying to do 1000 different things, we're trying to really do one thing, and one thing really well grow great weed, right, at least from a greenhouse perspective. And as a result is that has happened and occurred over the years, then we've really tried to lean into those efficiencies, and think about what the bottom line effectively really looks like. And, and be able to reinvest in other forms of efficiency that then just make either a better product, or just make it more efficient for us to grow the product that we are. And I think that it's not wrong for other companies. But I mean, Shayda it's a really challenging industry, especially in California, you know, there's four taxes, right. So you've got a cultivation tax, you gotta say the excise tax, you got a local or municipal excise tax, you got a sales tax, and they're all compounded. And on top of that, you've got a lot of compliance and regulatory elements, you know, metrics, seed to sale tracking, et cetera, et cetera. And it's arduous process to navigate. And in contrast to other states, where maybe there's just an excise tax, and a sales tax, or maybe just the sales tax, and maybe it only takes one license, not multiple licenses, because you're limited and you have capacity issues with, you know, just one license. And so you have to have multiple licenses for just one facility. It makes it difficult. And one of the most interesting things about that, is that I think a lot of times people from the outside looking in believe, wow, you're growing a bunch of weed, you're selling a bunch of weed, you're in California, you just must be making money just hand over fist, right? Because that's just the perception. And the reality is, is that it's a very difficult very complicated business and In a business model to effectively run and do so, with the right economics, so that you can effectively be profitable, we have figured that out, and we do everything 100% compliant. I, I can't say this 100%, because I don't see all the tax rolls. But I would imagine, we're probably one of the largest, you know, taxpayers, certainly in the space in the state, just by virtue of who we are. And what we do. And this is the only crop still, of all crops, this is the only one that's actually taxed. At the cultivation level, I don't know that there's any other crop that gets taxed at the cultivation level the way that cannabis does in California. And it's just, it's difficult. It's challenging, but like we said, before, you know, if you try, you can try to be better. And I'm looking for those ways to just be efficient and reinvest the money. So that it's not that taking money. I guess, taking outside capital is a bad thing. That's just what your uses. If you're gonna raise money, you must be wanting to spend it on something. We just haven't done that to go spend it on something. But yet, it could happen. We got lots of plans. But it hasn't happened yet.

Shayda Torabi  21:07  
No, I'm so glad you brought that up. And from that perspective, because I do think that's something that I certainly have heard just by having the podcast and having access to the guests that I've been able to converse with, you know, you start to build up a better understanding than what you're saying, right? The perception of what California cannabis is. And I think the other side of that conversation for me to really emphasize to the listeners, which my listeners are really national, there are a lot from Texas. So you have people who are eager to be in the industry, but don't really know a lot about how they're going to do that once things flip. And then you have people who are maybe in a legal state, but every state, as we know, has different regulations, laws, taxes and understanding. I love that you highlighted you know, again, it's not that taking capital is bad. It's like what are you going to do with that money? And so understanding, which I think the podcast has afforded me the opportunity to be very blunt, in a conversation where normally I'd be like, No, I'm not gonna say this, but like, I really want people to be definitely like your attitude, right? It's like, this is a fucking, I'm gonna say grind, like, it's a challenge. And you can welcome the challenge, and you can navigate through the challenge. But you also need to just be like, really confronted with the realities of it's difficult. And so kind of going off of that, you know, I would love to learn a little bit more and like, bend your ear around just like what maybe do people not from California and not in the California Cannabis Industry know about the California Cannabis Industry. You mentioned, obviously, some of the taxman, which I think has come up in more national conversations, I certainly hear about it a lot more frequently. It's like, oh, they're California. But then you look at the taxes. And I just keep hearing stories after stories of big brands that people recognize, and they're either going bankrupt, or they're going under, they're being acquired because they're not able to be profitable or be successful. And so the point to me is like, you can build a brand. But if you haven't figured out how you're going to sustain the brand and be relevant, ongoing compliance, you're not going to be you're just because you have a lot of quote unquote, money and a good package, you know, so I'm curious kind of with that, from being a leader in the California cannabis space by a lot of effort and energy that you've input into, not only your business, but but like you said, into the state really to help kind of define and establish and navigate through some of these things. What do people not really realize about California cannabis, that is your everyday life,

Unknown Speaker  23:43  
everyday life? Let's see, let me put it into categories. Anybody who I've ever recruited, I've told them, This is going to be the hardest job you've ever done. And no matter what warning I give people, they generally come back a month later and say like, to, I did not realize how tough it was gonna be. I mean, you told me, but I did not realize how difficult this space was to navigate them. Like I know. Here's the thing, though, if you're the kind of person who really mastered things quick, and you like that challenge, then this space is perfect. If you really like repetitiveness, and you don't like change, then you really don't want to enter the cannabis space at all period, because it will change. It perpetually changes. So that's one thing. Second thing. I think a lot of people have that sort of, I don't know, you think about that perspective of just like Spicoli right? From like, Fast Times, return on like this, the stoner mentality right. And lazy, not doing anything couch lock, eatin, whatever. Funyuns and Dr. Pepper, whatever it is. My observation, the people in this space, the ones doing it, right, work harder than anybody who I've ever worked with before. It's crazy. I mean, that was up till 130 Last night, and not because we were Parliament because we had a big hearing today. And that's what it took to get prepped for it. So that's the second thing. Third thing, you have to keep your head down. And like you think about the marketing side of it, like what makes that so difficult. What makes it so difficult is that unlike CPG, where I started originally and the chemical business, you can mark it at a national level, you can mark it at a regional level, you don't have a lot of barriers to entry once you can go market your product, and then you can continue to build off that over time. Here, you're almost only as good as the last dollar you just spent. And that's why you see a lot of brand rotation? Because it depends upon who's doing the most that they can on Instagram, before it gets shut down. How much can they do on Facebook before it gets shut down? How much can they do on billboards until they get taken down, because the laws changed, you can't really do much traditional, but all say CPG marketing, so you're spending a lot more money. And back to that other comment that I made before about, you know, everybody perceives that you're making so much money, that there must be a green tax on everything, for everybody in the space. Like you have to pay more to get less than other industries. So you want to go out you want to build that brand. But you have to continue to invest and reinvest over and over and over. And that's why you see that flip. take it another step further, because I was in retail before. And you know, you're who has the ear of the bud tender, you know, who is able to tell that story the best and get the brand love today. But that's just today, you know, a year from now, it'll be different two years from now, it'll be different. The predictability makes it almost impossible. And big picture from a CPG perspective. Anybody can sell anything one time, that says that it doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, you can sell anything one time to sell it twice, it actually has to be a good product. If you want a customer for life there, I say it's got to be a great product period. So if you're not thinking about your product and your brand, from a consumer focused or consumer centric perspective, and what that experience really is, and always working to deliver the very best experience, and you're probably going to lose, right. And what then makes it more difficult is you're always looking for ways to cut cost to be more efficient. But often that cost cutting technique is a sacrifice of quality of product, which then degrades over time. So then you lose your customer base. Again, circling back to how do you continue to try to be number one, just think about what that experience is for your customer, you know, and try to always deliver on that.

Shayda Torabi  27:38  
Well, so kind of going into that you sit in a leadership position from a branding perspective. I mean, I will quote it because I pulled it you know from his website, I mean, leaf links top selling brand in North America 2019 2020 2021 Trees bronze Award for Best selling brand 2026 times Weedmaps, top 10 selling products in California for 2020 and 2021. And then three of headsets, top 10 Selling flower in California for 2021. I mean, those aren't small things right to go achieve. But to a little bit of your point, you achieve it and then you kind of just have to keep chasing that next achievement because the market is shifting, the regulations are shifting. And so kind of knowing that, again, you're in this leadership position. And also with the to me the forefront is like ultimately like what are you selling right and you're selling a cultivation, you're selling a product, people are going to consume a flower. How do you balance that? I guess, marketability? Navigating the bud tenders? Do you change cultivars frequently? Are you known for certain strains with then actually what you're growing? Like, hey, we were growers were add guys and gals, we just want to grow the plant. But oh, by the way, now we have to now go take it into the market and make it sell. How do you view that balance? I guess a little bit too, like what is your team dynamic look like? And how do you go break that down to go achieve these successions successes?

Unknown Speaker  29:06  
Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I like the way you say it. It sounds like a lot. So

Shayda Torabi  29:12  
it is a lot. It's a proud thing. Yeah. To be accumulating the hard work. It's showing, right it's it's what you want. You want to grow good weed and you want people to recognize it.

Unknown Speaker  29:21  
Right. I think candidly, you know, one of the distinctions and one of the advantages, I believe that we have is that everything that we sell as a brand is something that we've grown as a cultivator. Right, so we're not a brand that just aggregates product from other people. And so it's perpetually in rotation, and you get what you get, you know, we're, we're literally growing everything that we manufacture all the way down to a pre roll. And like, for instance, all of our pre rolls our whole flower. That's it, we don't put anything else in that whole flower. So that quality and that consistency is always there. It's critical. And so, I mean, think about this, think about Your preferences as a consumer, right? There are certain things that you like whether it's a restaurant, and it's the same meal at that restaurant, or it's a certain article of clothing, or it's a certain pair of shoes, or whatever it happens to be. The reason why you selected a particular brand, is because it is consistent. It's the same experience almost every single time. And I know whether it's you or whether it's anybody else, for instance, you go to a restaurant, and then you find something that you liked, chances are next time you go to that restaurant, you're going there, because you're going to order the same thing, because you want that same experience. So when I think about certain strains that we have, whether it's for the dream, 805 Blue, our wedding cake, they're very consistent. And part of the reason why we had that consistency is because we've generated so much scale, at this point, that the product just doesn't sit around. And as a result of that, it's a very consistent and so whether or not you bought it today, or you buy it two months from now, or you buy it two years from now, it's still going to be the same experience, that's very difficult to replicate at large scale in this space, it just is. And as a result, that's a huge, that's a huge benefit. I don't think that people, though, truly understand the things that we do at the scale that we do, because they haven't actually seen it, if you go to our website, you can actually see, okay, look, this is this is large scale greenhouses. They're, they're very, very big. But people see that they're like, Wow, that looks like big cannabis that looks like corporate cannabis. And then they find out No, totally privately held company. I mean, but 10 people in a room, and whatever decision needs to get made, gets paid. That's it. It's very quick. It's very nimble. And we still think about what is it like to do the consumer? How do we effectively make ourselves better? What strains over the next quarter? Are we going to delete? And which ones are we going to add? Because that's the direction we think the markets going. And yet, then I get reminded occasionally that, well, it's not the direction the markets going, it's the direction the market is shifting, because you guys are making that decision. And I forget that, you know, we do things at scale. And a lot of times it pushes the market in a certain direction. That's not really our intention, our intention is always deliver the best product that we possibly can, because that's the experience. That's all that matters. And whether or not it's today, I'm saying that or a month from now, or 10 years from now, that mantra doesn't change, because that is CPG. That is what customers really desire from a branding perspective. Right? And it's tough, because, you know, I'm sorry to be gentle, long winded on his answer,

Shayda Torabi  32:43  
let's keep going.

Unknown Speaker  32:44  
But it's, it's, it's difficult, because, you know, you watch the polls, that happens in the industry, in the sector amongst the consumers over time. And you know, one year, this is the hot item, or this is the hot brand. And next year, it'll be a different category or to be a different brand. And you see this rotation as people are going through the experimentation of the product. And I mean, try to think about any other product, whether it's caffeine, or sugar, or food or any other virus. And think about the various delivery systems that are available to ingest cannabis, you can pretty much take it in just about any form possible. And everybody's trying to push an agenda based upon the products that they have, as it relates to the best way to consume cannabis. And we're just sitting here as a cultivator gone. Pretty much people have been smoking forever, it's probably not going to change. Fact is, it's not going to change. That's the way people have been consuming it. They'll try other things. But this core method is the way that people know. And so it's important and as a result, you don't get to hide behind a lot of things. You know, it's not like we get to manufacture and add flavors and do different things and do this and hey, try this. We don't get to do that. You know, you grow the plant. You grind it up, you roll it up, you smoke it, you get what you get, and you either hit a homerun or you didn't. And you got to be quick and you got to be nimble, but a million square feet difficult to be quick and nimble. But we do a pretty good job of it because we learned so much product on a weekly basis

Shayda Torabi  34:29  
Hello, just want to take a quick moment to thank my sponsor and full disclosure, my company restart CBD, restart CBD is a brand that I built with my sister so we are family owned and women owned we do operate a brick and mortar in Austin. So if you ever find yourself in Central Texas, we'd love for you to come say hi, but we also ship nationwide and we carry a wide range of CBD products. We really care about this plant we really care about education hitting our customers, this show would not be possible without their support. So please go check us out at restart cbd.com and use code to be blunt for $5 off your next purchase. Thanks. And let's go back to the show. Well, I love what you said too, about being at the scale that you're at and realizing that that is also kind of helping drive the consumers and the market, which is an interesting shift. And I think I'll also contrast that with for the listeners too. You know, I think as a nation, we do look to California for indications on trends on quality, on best practices when it comes to cultivation. I think when it comes to introduction of aside from which I'll mention this, you know, candidly, from my perspective, too, I think, I think California cannabis introduces a lot of new things to the market from Canada's perspective but I also think hemp has as well, just personally speaking, I haven't seen a ton of minor cannabinoids being introduced into marketing labeling, even just like genetics to the extent that I've seen it since hemp became legalized. With that said, I am seeing a lot of unique kind of additions, nuances, maybe they're trying to improve genetics and a particular strain to bring out a, again, a particular cannabinoid that they know is going to drive a particular effect like I've started seeing, not necessarily in flour because I haven't really seen and you might be able to speak to this more clearly just from a cultivation perspective, but like, I know you can grow heavier CBG strains or higher percentage CBG strains but like I don't know if you can do that with CBN for example, but and so there are certain cannabinoids that really come to the forefront through the extraction through the manufacturing through the kind of judging up of products but again, to your point when you're dealing with a flower you can I think eventually get higher percentages of THC as we've seen over the years. I mean, I love looking at like the old High Times and it's like, this is what was the best weed of like 1976 And it looks like are we but that was like the best they had and it was like maybe you know a 12% THC and you know, I'm I'm curious a little bit what is the highest THC percentage that y'all are growing and kind of in comparison to maybe what the market is doing now that you've observed and obviously you and I know it's not always the highest THC percentage. There's other things that go into it. But the follow up to that is like I mentioned when we were interviewing I saw you have a THC A diamond infused pre roll. I'm curious as to talk about not that THC is a minor I don't know if I'd call it a minor because it's the acid form of THC. But I don't think people realize what THC A even is in some markets, you know. And so I'm curious from your perspective on THC percentages, other cannabinoids introducing you know, a THC A diamond. How do y'all view that? How do you bring that to market? Do you see that, you know, brands like yours Pacific stone, are able to, again, introduce those products to market and kind of help bring about a new, like, again, I don't tell people doing THCA diamond infused prerolls Do you think I mean, I met imagine y'all will now be you know, creating a trend of people wanting that particular cannabinoid emphasize and a product.

Unknown Speaker  38:25  
Yeah, that that actually, that product in particular, I believe is a response to the market where people are perpetually at least these days, looking for greater potency. So you know, in specific response, let's say to your question, you know, we've got a cush mints, strain that's out. We released it here in the last couple of quarters. It's consistently running THC in the high 20s, low 30%. And that's just legit. I mean, you know, we perpetually run various lab analysis with different labs just to verify and ensure that, you know, we're, we're as accurate as possible. And right now, that's not necessarily the way that the market is, there's a lot of people, there's a lot of products that I would say are kind of gaming the system and pandering, if you will to consumers who are just saying, you know, I want I want the maximum percent and, you know, percentage or the maximum THC potency that's out there, you know, because they read an article and so they walk into a dispensary and say, you know, I want this strain, and it's got to be above 30% or something like that. Because somehow they are under the belief that let's say like alcohol, you know, beer is 6% and wines 12. And rum is 40 and Scotch is 80. And therefore it's some sort of linear equation as it relates to potency. And, you know, reality is that's just not the way weed works. You know, THC potency, has a lot to do with all those other minor cannabinoids, that you're talking about Shayda but there has to be some education that goes along with that. So you You know, from our perspective, I mean, I'll tell you, like our newest infused pre roll is probably one of the most favorite products out there ever. And here's the reason why it's only a half gram. And its whole flower. So you don't sacrifice any the flavor. But at the same time, you know, it's got a little bit of an extra kick, and you don't even have to smoke the whole thing. So you get the extra kick, you get all the flavor the whole time. And it's just a great experience. Right. And so that is addressing, I think, some of the market demand that's out there. But you know, the idea that people are out creating flour, that's, you know, north of 40%. That's just ridiculous. It's ridiculous for a couple of reasons. And I believe that it really exists, honestly. Because we've seen how, you know, you take product that's out there that's making that claim, and you go run into a lab, and you find out that it's really half that. So they're an effect, you know, misrepresenting things to their customers, which I think is a losing game, at the end of the day, because you're telling people something, and then they believe that, you know, that's what they need, but then they're going, Gosh, it really doesn't have an effect. You know, I mean, let's be real. If you're smoking good weed, right? You're smoking it. And if you're smoking, puff, puff, pass, and you're with somebody, you're looking at somebody going, Wow, you're not asking, if they're feeling anything, you're sitting there going, oh, man, I'm high as fuck right now. Right? That's exactly what you're saying to somebody. Versus if you are smoking, and you're looking at somebody going, you feel anything. If you're asking if somebody feels something, you're probably not, right. And you don't ever want to sell a product, or somebody's using it and saying, I don't know, you feel anything. And it happens to a lot of people, because people make companies make pretty, you know, bogus representations out there. But they think they're covered because they went to a lab, and they got some sort of, you know, percentage testing out there. But really, all they did was just duped the customer, and longterm for a brand. That's a bad play just is, you know, continue to focus on creating the best product that you can. Because when you do that, you'll create the best experience. That's why people use the product. They're either looking for, from a medical perspective, some sort of pain relief, which is real, or they're looking for some other experience, because that's just what they do. You know, you're looking for that moment. And you don't want to have to go buy a product and think, am I going to get the moment? Or am I not going to? I don't know, I'm gonna roll the dice, let's find out. It seems so obvious sitting here, thinking about it just from a CPG perspective. But the reality is, is that there's still a lot of people trying a lot of brands, trying to do things, you know, manipulating whether its results to the product or something. It's a very short term perspective, honestly, because the consumers are smart, and they will figure it out. And what they're going to figure out is, here's a product that always tastes good, that delivers the effect that delivers the experience, that's enjoyable. And if they want to go back, whether it's today, tomorrow, next week, a month from now, or not until next summer, when they're on vacation, whatever it is, like they want to know that that's going to be the landing spot where they end up, not, baby. Nobody wants that.

Shayda Torabi  43:19  
Yeah, I completely agree with you. I understand what you're saying. I think that, unfortunately, oh man, where do you even begin right with like, so many inconsistencies, like just when it comes to testing? Like, I think I say it too much, but I'm gonna say it again. You know, for me, that's a big challenge with federal legalization is like, if we can't even get testing figured out on a state to state basis, like how do you anticipate federal legalization where you're supposed to have consistency that's going to have interstate commerce involved, and every state supposed to have their own, you know, understanding of everybody's laws. And so I know, is a leader when it comes to cannabis. But there's so many aspects unfortunately, that I know, I don't feel like I'm putting words in the mouths of Californians, I feel like California has been very clear to articulate the pains that they are enduring in the cannabis industry. And, and so this is just like another cycle that you kind of have to like iterate through, but kind of in that vein, I'm curious from your perspective of, you know, you mentioned you're launched in 2015. Correct. So from 2015 to 2022. What are some of the differences in the industry in operating Pacific stone that you had to go through maybe some challenges or maybe some wins? Maybe there were wins early on that are now challenging? Maybe there were things that were challenging early on that are now wins? Like, I'm just curious being in the cannabis industry in California for that duration is a huge milestone because we know not a lot of brands stay in business to that extent. So it's a huge testament to the energy and work that your team goes and puts in and and ultimately, like we're talking about the product that you're so focused on delivering to the consumer and, and that really is that the consumers pay People spend with their money, right as as marketers, as business owners, that's kind of what our guidepost is, it's like, well, if we're not making money, well, what are we doing? We're not in business, right? And so I'm just curious knowing how fast paced the cannabis industry is even from like, six months ago, things are changing what it's been like, you know, to go from 2015 to 2022, to kind of watch maybe the rise and the continual rise, or maybe it's the rise in the fall, or maybe it's, you know, a slow climb, I don't know what it's, you know, what has it been like?

Unknown Speaker  45:30  
Yeah, there's, I mean, look, probably the most notable challenge, let's say, in 2021, as an example, is that there was a massive glut of products that hit the wholesale market, specifically in California. But that's also because there was a lot that hit the market across the nation as well. And I don't think it's any secret that, you know, the vast majority of product that is grown in California, actually goes out of the state, right, it's, it's not hitting the legal and regulated dispensaries that are licensed, that are all trying to do it, right. Because there's so many that are still just, you know, trapping it out there. And just, you know, going around every other law, and so they continue to pass like every other industry, you know, you continue to pass laws, those who follow the rules, it just gets harder for them. Those who don't follow the rules, they're not following the rules anyways, it doesn't matter if you pass more rules, if you're not following them. So who cares. So that that's an interesting dynamic that we saw really sort of play out in the back half of 21. That's starting to change right now, you know, we see here wholesale pricing and early 22, effectively, going up, certainly hasn't recaptured where it was at. But it seems to have somewhat stabilized. Unfortunately, the downside is going to be there's going to be a lot of smaller operators and cultivators, that are probably just going to get to that point where, you know, they don't have the cash flow now, because of that price implosion to effectively even pay their 160 plus dollars per pound cultivation tax. So they're just going to, you know, hang it up, and not replant. And that's a thing that's very real right now. So how that ultimately plays out, and does that end up, reducing availability in the market. So the supply line somewhat dries up, but the demand remains the same. So that, you know, adjust the price. Like I said, we see that happening. Now, I don't know how hard that pendulum ultimately swings, though. But then, you know, the year before that you had the 2020 phenomenon, you get the government, as a result of COVID, dropped about 6 trillion and liquidity into the system sent people a bunch of money, told them to work from home, lowered interest rates, everybody felt, you know, Richard, because effectively they were, and they took a lot of that free money, and party. And that's what happened. And so, you know, demand into 2020 went up tremendously coming off of 19. So you had 19, spiking up and 20 settling back down and 21, you know, what are we going 22 It's just one of those things, you just continue to just watch. And you look for the trends. I think that this year, in particular continues to be, you know, relatively stable. But those are the things that that are just the random occurrences, and I'm just talking about cultivation. Clearly, if you look at the brand cycles that are out there, I mean, that's just a function of Which brand is going to go spend $20 million this year, to try to get in front of everybody to try to be the next best part, or to try to be the next best edible. And, you know, the problem is, is that you can go do it, you can do it one time, and be really strong and be number one and post it up. But then somebody else comes out with just a different product, maybe people like it slightly better. Or maybe it's just discounted, or maybe they're just being reminded all the time, because they're spending 10s of million dollars of marketing, because it costs that because you can't do traditional CPG style marketing. So you get that brand rotation effectively happening at the retail level. And it's just, it's what makes the industry so competitive. We could just keep going on and talking about all the other deregulation that may or may not happen at some point, the safe banking that hopefully eventually will happen. I don't know that it happens this year. Now, unfortunately. But you know, I think that I think that those who are already doing it, right? They have all of their mousetraps in place, right? Like if you're doing it, right, you already have banking in place. You already have your protocols, you've got your competitive advantage already set up. Those who say that they can't do it, probably just don't want to do it. Right. They're doing something else. And so they're just looking for a way around it. And they're just use that as the example as to why they can't do it. But the reality is, if you want to do it, right, you've been able to do it right, and be able to be compliant for years at this point.

Shayda Torabi  49:52  
No, I appreciate that sentiment, because it's an interesting kind of confrontation right? I don't think people really I understand you can be in the cannabis industry, it's going to cost you maybe yes, finances, but also time and energy and resources and all these other categories. I agree with you to the extent of there are ways to get it done. There's ways to get your brand out there. I think what I'm curious a little bit as a follow up to that is, given that it seems like such a big mountain to kind of face if you're, let's say, a small brand, what options do you have? If you're looking at like, Okay, well, I want to launch a brand. I want to be in the industry, I want to create something, whether it's California or New Market that's coming online. Do you think essentially, do you think people can do it? Do you think people can start a brand and let's say, 2022 2023, and compete and go up against, you know, everything that you're saying, is the reality of businesses having to navigate through the industry right now?

Unknown Speaker  51:00  
Yeah, totally. That's a great question. And it is a challenge. And it is a struggle, because you know, if you're, if you're an up and coming brand, and you've got a great idea, and you want to lean into the market, I don't know that it's any different candidly, in cannabis, than it would be in any other market, right? If you were starting a traditional CPG brand, whatever that might be in whatever sector that might be. And you've got aspirations, ultimately, to sell every mass merchandiser, all the top retailers, either it's in the US or around the globe, I mean, you're not gonna walk in day one, and say, Hey, I've got the best new product out there, whatever that widget might be, and then turn around and and effectively, you know, be sold everywhere, all at the same time. It just doesn't happen that way. Right. Now, with any product. In cannabis, I actually think for a smaller brand, to a degree actually has a little bit of an advantage over traditional markets for that reason, because you can walk into a dispensary. And you can work on that relationship. And you can be able to demonstrate that product. And ultimately say, look, it is a better product, you should give it a try, we really want to be supportive. And we really want that help. And we want to give you the help to make sure that our product and our brand is going to be successful in your store, the thing is, you're going to have to do that with every single store that you're going into. And the industry is slightly changing. Because you know, rather than having, you know, wherever we're at right now in California, call it 850 to 900 stores, with 850 to 900 different owners, there is starting to get some level of consolidation, right, so you can go into a chain that has five or 10 or 15 stores, but you're not going to be able to just walk in and go meet that buyer and instantly get up on the shelf of five or 10 or 15 stores out of the gate, you know, you're gonna have to prove yourself a little bit. And so that is a change that definitely has happened, and will continue to happen, I think as we continue to see more consolidation in the space, and it will then follow that classic pattern of CPG, if you will, you know, what is it that you're going to do? How are you going to be compliant? What is it that makes your product truly distinguishable and different? And why is the consumer ultimately going to come in and ask for your product, because that's really what you want as a retailer, right? You want a product that you know you can buy, you can put on the shelf, somebody's going to come in and ask for it, you're going to be able to sell it, you're gonna be able to make a decent, dare I say a great profit on it, you're going to be able to dead reorder, and cashflow and rinse and repeat over and over as a retailer. That's what you want. That's the story that you have to ultimately come up with. It's compelling. But again, that can that compelling story has to also be rooted in the idea that you have a product that consumers are going to look for. And they're only going to look for a product, if it's a great product that they're going to continue to come in and rebuy like, again. Anybody can sell anything one time, doesn't matter what it is.

Shayda Torabi  54:12  
That's some really sound advice. I appreciate the opportunity because I think that sometimes I get caught up in thinking it's impossible. How do people navigate this? Especially from the perspective of a state that's not fully online? Yet? It's like, okay, well, what opportunities are there going to be? And is, Are we late to the game are we just, you know, going to be at the mercy of a lot of MSOs who are coming in, especially when we go towards federal legalization. I don't think really anybody can project what that's going to truly open up and unpack for the industry. And so, yeah, I just think it's really interesting to get that perspective of Yeah, there's definitely opportunity and there's different ways to be creative and kind of navigate to get your brand around and in front of the right people who can, you know, put you in front of consumers. So kind of like Final question. I am curious just from a marketing perspective, because this is a marketing skewed podcast. asked, you know, we talked a little bit about investing in marketing, and you know, you can be on Instagram and you can spend money on Instagram, but maybe your accounts gonna get shut down, maybe those ads are gonna get taken down. How do y'all approach marketing by saw, you know, you're on social media platforms? Do you put a lot of emphasis on there? Have you been dinged or hurt by some of them that have maybe scarred you from? You know, investing more heavily into those now you've built the brand, but how do you now maintain the brand? is really the question.

Unknown Speaker  55:29  
Yeah, that is the level set of the playing field, whether or not you're a big brand or a small brand, right? Because if you invest more, and you get 10, or 50, or 100,000 followers, but then your account ends up getting shut down, really doesn't matter what the size of your brand is, you're starting over every single time. And I think it's absolutely ridiculous. I really do that I don't think anybody's account should effectively be getting shut down unless they're doing something, you know, egregious that truly violates, but by virtue that they want to use some sort of federal protocol, when you know, the state that said the state that you're working in is that it's okay. It's like saying, Mom says it's okay. Dad says it's not okay, well, therefore, we're just going to shut it off. Or vice versa. You know, dad thought it was okay. And Mom said it wasn't, you're still gonna shut it off. It's silly. It's frustrating. And it's very difficult because that is, I would say, still kind of a competitive edge for a smaller brand. Because doesn't matter how many followers you are, doesn't matter how long you've been around, doesn't matter how many people know you, and what your reach is. If your account gets shut off, then you're done. You used to be that you could put advertising on vehicles, and buses can't do that anymore. There's many places where it used to be able to have billboards, can't do that anymore. We already know the issues of many social media accounts that get shut down. You can't really run it on posset, you know, radio stations or television because those are under FCC guidance. So that's a problem. So what's really left? I mean, maybe you can find local magazines that are willing to do print. But again, like how many local magazines do you got to hit to hit a market like California? 1000 minutes a lot? Right? So like, what do you do? What do you do, you continue to just market where people are going to where people are going to go into dispensaries. So that becomes the mindshare grab, that ultimately everybody's looking for. But then you've got a workforce that's somewhat transient, that continues to float in and out. So you might do really good at getting a particular store, really well trained, and be a brand advocate for whatever the brand is big or small. But if that whole team transitions and rotates over the course of three or six or 12 months, you're going to start all over again, which is the reason why it ends up costing so much money to invest and build a marketing program, and then maintain that marketing program. Because it's like you don't ever get to leverage ever, because you always have to perpetually start over again. Because it's either gonna get shut down, or the whole deck is just gonna get shuffled, it's like an etch a sketch, right? It's so true. It gets shut, that shakes up. Okay, we're gonna start all over again, here we go. And that's, that is the level playing field for everybody across the whole industry.

Shayda Torabi  58:29  
That's the best analogy for what I feel like my life is on a day to day basis. It's like, oh, laws are gonna maybe change. Let me just shake it up. Oh, you know, someone had this feedback on branding. Okay, let me just shake it up. And you're just constantly I don't want to say at the mercy but you know, you're at the, you're, you're taking the bull by the horns, you're taking the challenge head on, which is an exciting, you know, position to be if you are getting hired by yourself, and you're giving them the conversation, and it's that you better be prepared, you better be ready, this is what you're going to be strapped in for, which I really appreciate, again, the candid and transparency that you've you know, given to the conversation today. Final question that I love to just kind of, you know, ask is future thinking. So, you know, as we're going into 2020 to 2023, you touched a little bit on you know, I know safe banking probably isn't going to happen this year, but that are other, you know, areas aside what is, you know, your opportunistic view and something that you're kind of looking forward to seeing potentially happen in the future of cannabis this year or you know, kind of just future?

Unknown Speaker  59:33  
Yeah, I think I think the real advantage I mean from from our perspective, obviously as a brand that has captured as much market share, as we have certainly in California, which I think you know, most wouldn't even argue as the largest is, you know, is the largest weed market on the planet I often equate. California is to weed as Napa is still One, right. And I don't think that that's going to change anytime in the near future. But still, as a CPG company, I often look at it and I say it's about doors. It's about skews. It's about velocity. So you have to think about what's that global perspective? You know, where else do you want to go? How else do you make your brand? Really well known, not just in, as I would say, the fifth largest country in the world, which is California, but you know, around the United States overall, and how do you continue to grow and build? And so we're already having those conversations, because we're being approached by people who say, Look, you guys have done some great things. You know, you've got some amazing protocols, how do we export those to other states? And I don't mean, you know, export in terms of loading up a Penske Truck and driving because that's just not, that's not who we are. That's not what we do. But how do we replicate the success that we've had in other places and looking for what those opportunities are, while continuing to just maintain that focus of having the quality of the product? And that can be a challenge? Because I'm going to tell you, you know, growing the quality of product that we do a mile from the Pacific Ocean, you can't always replicate that. It's just it's a challenge. Right. And that's, that's one of the disadvantages of being, you know, a cultivator, if you will, because I don't get to hide behind a manufacturer product, where here's just the recipe, and they just go out and then just replicate it anywhere you want to the recipe is be a really good cultivar have the right facilities, follow all those SOPs, but the SOPs might involve, what's the air? What's the medium? What's the water? But the genetics, you know, what's, what's the climate? Like? How are you controlling that climate? What's the sunlight? What's your, what's your light value? I mean, there's so many other elements, which, again, is that ultimate blend of art versus science, and trying to replicate that on a state by state basis. That presents challenges, but I definitely know that, you know, there's, there's an interest because I know there's plenty of people who are out there saying, Gosh, like I said before, how do you get, how do you get California we and how do you do it legally. And so those are things that we're continuing to explore. I think those are, for us at least some of the greatest opportunities over the next year or two. I

Shayda Torabi  1:02:21  
hope this episode was as confronting for you as it was for me. Again, my hope with these episodes is to inspire and encourage you while also painting an accurate picture of the cannabis landscape as possible. There will be winners and there will be losers. There will be successful brands today that are not successful tomorrow, there will be successful brands at a state level that struggle as we go towards federal legalization. And I'm extremely grateful for skip sharing. So candidly, on the podcast what his experience navigating California cannabis has been and how his company Pacific stone has risen to the challenge to continue to do better. We need companies and leaders like skip and Pacific stone to continue to challenge the regulations and legislation so that California and other cannabis programs have fair chances to thrive and flourish. But it is a process and not always viewed transparently for what it is. Clearly success is possible. But it comes down to a combination of things and as a business. You want to be realistic, and set yourself up for success always. So be vigilant, do your homework and continue to educate yourself. I'm curious, was any of this information surprising to you? Or does it fall in line with what you observe about the quote unquote green dream that is operating in the regulated cannabis market? I always want to keep you operating in reality as much as possible. As always, thanks for keeping it blunt with me. I will be back next week with another episode of The to be blunt podcast every Monday and encourage you to keep championing cannabis in your community. Thanks y'all. See you later.

Announcer  1:04:02  
I love this episode of To be blunt. Be sure to visit the Shayda torabi.com/to be blind for more ways to connect new episodes come out on Mondays. And for more behind the scenes follow along on Instagram at the Shayda Torabi

Transcribed by https://otter.ai