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Cannabis 2021

Were The Sick Just Dying to Legalize Marijuana for the Healthy?

The drive to legalize marijuana seems unstoppable. Arrests are falling (but still over 400,000 annually) and the various cannabis industries (plural) are booming. Hooray for our side!

If present trends continue… In a few years, people will have forgotten that marijuana was ever illegal. The memory hole really works.

So how did a hundred years of maximum government and medical and media industry propaganda fail? Or did it?

We owe it all to medical marijuana. It wasn’t just that cannabis was medically useful. It worked when nothing else did, and so the medical establishment, the American Medical Association, etc, the Quackocracy, simply lied about it, and, outrageously, they continue to do so.

See: The Individual Courage And Collective Cowardice Of The Medical Profession

Then “People With AIDS” got uppity. In San Francisco, my late, great friend, Dennis Peron, a gay rights activist and a remarkably brave human being, took a stand.

“In 1991, Peron organized for the passage of San Francisco’s Proposition P, a resolution calling on the state government to permit medical cannabis, which received 79% of the vote.”

Five years later, Peron backed Proposition 215 which won 55.6% of the vote and demonstrated that the people could bypass the politicians and the medical establishment … in states that allow the people to vote on issues.

See: Pride Month: Celebrating ties between California’s cannabis and LGBTQ movements.

Then the internet emerged as a way to bypass the “gatekeepers.” Journalism in the “Free World” has utterly failed by its own standards. Even now, the arrest numbers are rarely reported, and the federal government continues to block cannabinoid research, and millions of sick and dying Americans still cannot get medical access to a plant, and it isn’t reported.

The problem is actually much worse in Britain and the EU.

See: WHY DO THE BRITISH INSIST ON CONFUSING CANNABIS WITH TOBACCO?

As Dave Berry quipped, “It is better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick.”

While over-regulation and high taxes are problems for the recreational market, they are much worse for the patients.

Ironically, our medical marijuana system resembles the rest of the American medical system economically. It’s the best in the world, if you can afford it.

Even more ironic is the sad fact that this is especially true in California, where patients complain about the high cost of over-regulated and over-taxed medicine. Consequently, the black market marijuana business in California is booming.

See: This State Is Home To The Largest Marijuana Black Market 

And: Why The Law Of Unintended Consequences Is The Only Law That Always Works .

In some ways, these regulations are beneficial to patients who may be at greater risk from contaminants such as mold. However, there were few problems reported in the AIDS community when only black market weed was available. Similarly, in Dutch cannabis “coffeeshops,” weed is sold from open bins and there have never been any major problems.

Obviously, medical marijuana should be covered by both private and government health insurance, which would make it much more affordable. There may be political problems with that, but far more dangerous and addictive drugs are covered by insurance.

See: How Psychedelic Medicine Followed Medical Marijuana But Don’t Mention the Drug War

Patients should also be encouraged to grow their own, either in co-ops or in conjunction with artisanal growers.

See: Let Artisanal Marijuana Growers Replace Black Market With Home Grown

Of course, patients need more than cheap weed. They may need more guidance about which strains are best for people with their particular problems. Many older patients may even need guidance about how to smoke or vape.

The first time I visited Peron’s San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club it was obvious that it was more than just a store. The patients could sit down and smoke their medicine with other patients and be treated like human beings. Many of them badly needed to medicate, but there may not have been anyplace else where they could smoke.

The recreational market is finally getting “Consumption Lounges,” equivalent to Dutch “coffeeshops.”

See: MARIJUANA SOCIAL CLUBS ARE THE LAST MAJOR STEP FOR LEGALIZATION

Again, hooray for our side, but medical patients need and deserve it even more. The booming marijuana industry and the “cannabis community” truly owe their freedom and businesses to the patients still living and to the memory of those like Dennis Peron who fought the good fight to get us where we are today.

See: Why The US Has Made A Complete Mess Of Partial Marijuana Legalization (So Far)

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of What You Need To Know About CBD And Drug Testing.

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Cannabis 2021 News 2021 THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Legal Cannabis Comes to Connecticut

Connecticut is on the verge of becoming the 19th state to legalize marijuana, with the bill now on its way to the governor’s desk. 

S.B. 1201 would legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and over. The effort passed the Senate by 16-11 and House of Representatives by 76-62 votes. Governor Ned Lamont is expected to sign the bill, after previously claiming that it didn’t go far enough to address the wrongs of the war on drugs. The opposing side argues that Lamont’s preferred language doesn’t clearly cement the victims of the drug war as the actual participants in the equity program. 

“It’s fitting that the bill legalizing the adult use of cannabis and addressing the injustices caused by the war of drugs received final passage today, on the 50-year anniversary of President Nixon declaring the war.” Governor Lamont said yesterday in a statement after the bill cleared its final hurdles on the way to his desk. “The war on cannabis, which was at its core a war on people in Black and Brown communities, not only caused injustices and increased disparities in our state, it did little to protect public health and safety. That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity. It will help eliminate the dangerous unregulated market and support a new, growing sector of our economy which will create jobs.”

Governor Lamont went on to point out that opening Connecticut’s market makes sense given the fact that the state is surrounded by legal cannabis. While the legalization debate has stalled to the east in Rhode Island, Massachusetts is already absorbing Connecticut’s would-be tax revenue into its own adult-use market, and Albany certainly looks like it will beat Hartford to the finish line in getting dispensary doors open. 

“The states surrounding us already, or soon will, have legal adult-use markets. By allowing adults to possess cannabis, regulating its sale and content, training police officers in the latest techniques of detecting and preventing impaired driving, and expunging the criminal records of people with certain cannabis crimes, we’re not only effectively modernizing our laws and addressing inequities, we’re keeping Connecticut economically competitive with our neighboring states.” 

The D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has played a crucial role in the legalization process in many states and now adds Connecticut to its list of success stories. The MPP spoke to the ways in which social equity was embedded in the plan. S.B. 1201 includes expungement of lower-level cannabis records and dedicates the bulk of excise tax revenues to a Social Equity and Innovation Fund, which will be used to promote a diverse cannabis industry and reinvest in hard-hit communities. Half of new cannabis business licenses will be issued to social equity applicants, who can receive technical assistance, start-up funding, assistance from an accelerator program, and workforce training.

But the center of much of the debate in the week prior to the victory was who actually would qualify for equity programs. Many argued that the language Lamont favored made things a lot murkier around delineating a clear line of ownership from the communities impacted by the war on drugs to the state’s forthcoming legal market. One of the big problems with equity rollouts over the years has been investors using those who qualify for the advantages of the programs as figureheads to front their businesses. Fear of deep-pocketed speculators taking advantage of the situation is still there, but if you block them out, do you at the same time inadvertently prevent people who were impacted by enforcement from taking part?

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The devil’s advocate argument in Lamont’s favor is that not everyone impacted personally by the drug war ended up in handcuffs. Some argue that just the PTSD of living in overly policed communities should qualify a person for social equity programs. Even having to listen to the sirens go by your window more frequently than others while you were trying to study could be considered another challenge put in front of people by the war on drugs.  

But apart from the ownership debate in equity, as critical as those finer points may be, advocates had plenty of positive things to say about the rest of the bill. 

“So, in the beginning of the campaign, we had seven demands that we outlined, which was the difference between HB 6377 and the Governor’s bill, including home grow, priority licenses for equity, including our native tribes, protection for students, and we got all seven of them,” said Jason Ortiz, a longtime Connecticut cannabis advocate who also helped found the Minority Cannabis Business Association. “And so I’m pretty happy, especially around the home grow for everyone. That was one that was definitely up for debate and wasn’t in a lot of the original bills but did make it in the end.”

But Ortiz admitted that it wasn’t quite perfect when speaking to the social equity debate. 

“The one thing that we didn’t get that we did fight for was the thing that caused the governor to almost veto, it was the criminal history as a qualifier for the equity programs,” Ortiz says. The argument in favor of using criminal history as a main qualifier in equity programs is that it is the most surefire way to make sure the program’s resources are being dedicated to people who directly had their lives impacted by enforcement. Most advocates would group the children who lost their parents to drug-related incarceration into this group of people who qualify based on history. “So aside from that,” Ortiz says, “even though I truly believe that should be a foundation of any equity program, we were able to get $50 million in state bonding to jumpstart the equity programs, which I don’t think any other state has done thus far.”

Ortiz was quick to focus on the positives, in closing, commenting on components of the law where he felt Connecticut was ahead of the pack. “There’s just a tremendous amount of different types of protections for families and for students and for housing and for employment, that just aren’t in most bills.”

Advocates in the nation’s capital shared the joy of their peers in Hartford. 

“Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming the latest state to legalize cannabis. This year has shown us that state legislatures are capable of rising to the challenge to end cannabis prohibition. A supermajority of Americans have made it clear that they favor a system of legalization and regulation rather than the status quo. This victory will add to the momentum towards cannabis policy reform in other states and at the federal level,” says Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.

NORML joined MPP in applauding the effort and focusing on the positives. 

“Connecticut is just the latest domino to fall as states begin to repeal their failed prohibition of marijuana and replace it with a sensible system of legalization and regulation. Never before has the momentum for legalization looked as strong as it does in 2021, with four state legislatures already approving bills to ensure state law reflects the overwhelming will of their state residents in just a few short months,” says Erik Altieri, NORML’s executive director. “Federal lawmakers need to stop dragging their feet and get the message: it is time to take swift action to end our federal prohibition and allow states to legalize marijuana as they see fit.”   

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Categories
Cannabis 2021

Retired New York Prosecutor Doesn’t Mention the Drug War In NY Post Op-Ed On Black Lives

Last September, an NYPOST.com op-od by retired New York Prosecutor Jim Quinn argued that “Crime, not cops, is by far the largest threat to black lives.” (He was the senior executive assistant district attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. He retired in December 2019, after 42 years as a prosecutor.)

Quinn explained:

“In New York City in 2019, 319 people were murdered. Fully 88 percent of them — 280 people — were black or Hispanic. And 93.2 of them were murdered by other people of color.

Almost 96 percent of all shooters and shooting victims in the Big Apple in 2019 were people of color. People of color also accounted for 73.8 percent of rape victims and 81.3 percent of the rape suspects; 69 percent of robbery victims and 93.3 percent of the robbery suspects; and 79.5 percent of felony ­assault victims and 86 percent of the assault suspects.

People of color, in other words, are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violent crime in New York City. That is a cold fact. These proportions have remained remarkably consistent over the past 12 years.

Murders in New York are up 30 percent so far this year (2020)  — 60 more people killed so far than last year. Close to 90 percent of the victims were people of color. There have been 1,095 shooting victims in Gotham so far this year — 514 more than last year. And 95 percent of these additional shooting victims were people of color.” 

It has gotten even worse this year. “In 2021 alone, 299 people have been shot, a 54% increase over the same time last year, and the most the city has seen since 2012.”

See: Why Are Shootings And Murders On The Rise In NYC?

And: Don’t Mention The Drug War. We Must Decriminalize Being Black Because Black Freedom Matters.

Unfortunately, New York is not unique. A 2016 report from Chicago showed similar numbers: “75% of Murdered Are Black, 71% of Murderers Are Black.”

These numbers speak for themselves, but among unarmed victims specifically, Black people were killed by the police at three times the rate of white people.

See: Racial inequity in fatal US police shootings, 2015–2020

The fact that more Blacks are killed by Blacks does not mean that we can ignore that disparity in police shootings, especially given the racist history of the Drug War.

Like the Post op-ed, the Chicago article doesn’t mention the Drug War, but one of the comments points out, “No one is talking about ending the drug war. It’s an utter failure. That needs to be done through the ballot box first, supporting candidates who will act. I appreciate your vision of a heavenly future, but people are dying now, fueled by gang warfare and the drug trade. End the drug war intelligently. Let’s see what happens then and act accordingly.”

The Drug War creates global violence between gangs, especially in Mexico, but also between the police and minority communities in the U.S.

Of course, the Drug War may not have been the immediate impetus to most of the violence, but it has contributed to both the acceptance of violence as a literally inescapable part of life in these communities and to a well-justified fear of law enforcement.

The behavioral problems associated with substance abuse, especially including alcohol, are also major contributors to public disorder. Alcohol abuse actually kills more Americans than illegal drugs, but not in Drug War shootouts.

“Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day. These deaths shorten the lives of those who die by an average of almost 29 years…”

See: Deaths from Excessive Alcohol Use in the U.S.

More than 70,000 Americans died from a drug-involved overdose in 2019, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids.

See: Overdose Death Rates

Of course, alcohol is not an “illegal drug” but public drunkenness is a major cause of interaction with the police among the poor.

Meanwhile, “People of color made up 94% of marijuana arrests by NYPD in 2020, data and Legal Aid says.”

Fortunately, the long-term effects of marijuana legalization on public order can be seen in the Netherlands, where marijuana has been sold over-the-counter for almost 50 years. The police are rarely called to the cannabis “coffeeshops.”

Simply ending marijuana prohibition is not enough. Venues, where people can gather socially (peacefully), should be an essential part of the urban scene. Unfortunately, marijuana retailing and social consumption are being treated as a source of political patronage and tax revenues.

See: Marijuana Social Clubs Are The Last Major Step For Legalization

The Drug War has created a culture of fear and violence and it will not be easy to change, but let peace begin with us.

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Veganism And CBD.

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Cannabis 2021

DEA Eases Restrictions on Marijuana Research But What About Research on Marijuana Prohibition?

It seems a bit odd when news about scientific research tells us more about the past than about the future. However, that is certainly the case with the DEA’s announcement that it will finally allow easier access to marijuana for medical research.

See: DEA proposes process to expand marijuana research in the United States

The DEA’s press release does not explain the history of the decades of suppression of scientific research by the agency with the complicity of NIDA and the scientific establishment.

Heretofore, the DEA maintained a monopoly on all of the marijuana that could be used for research, allowing only the use of marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi under a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the bureaucracy in charge of subverting science to serve the Drug War.

See: DEA Issues Final Rule For Licensing More Growers Of Marijuana For Research

This monopoly allowed the narcocracy to veto any research that might undermine the prohibitionist propaganda that sought to justify over 20 million arrests and the suppression of scientific research.

See: One doctor vs. the DEA: Inside the battle to study marijuana in America

Millions of people across the U.S. can legally buy pot at dispensaries — but scientists aren’t allowed to study it. 

And: DEA Admits To Blocking Vital Research On Medical Marijuana Costing Thousands Of Lives 

The really important point is that no other drugs are subject to such restrictions, but the medical establishment and the so-called “scientific community” never objected to these scientifically absurd restrictions, and will not object to these new absurdities.

Nonetheless, they will all go on braying that, “We don’t know enough about marijuana and/or medical marijuana to legalize it.” And yet they never even mention the DEA/NIDA restrictions on research.

See: We Know Too Much About Marijuana for It To Be Illegal

The American Medical Association even opposed a medical marijuana bill in Mississippi.

See: AMA urges court to overturn medical cannabis ballot initiative

The AMA opines, “While it is possible there may be beneficial medicinal uses of marijuana, numerous evidence-based studies demonstrate that significant deleterious effects abound,” the brief tells the court, going on to say that “without question, the public health risks are immense.”

See: The Individual Courage And Collective Cowardice Of The Medical Profession

See: Mississippi Supreme Court overturns voter-approved medical marijuana initiative

Questions for the AMA: What do you think about 20 million arrests? What do you think about sick and dying people being driven to suicide? What do you think about the suppression of scientific research? What do you think about decades of lying? Never mind that question, because they are still lying.

As my late, great friend, William Buckley, said, “Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”

But don’t tell the AMA! And don’t mention the Drug War!

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Best CBD Beverages For You To Try.

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Cannabis 2021

How Psychedelic Medicine Followed Medical Marijuana But Don’t Mention the Drug War

It was a total coincidence, but in 1993 two books were published about the same time. One, Listening to Prozac by psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer, got national publicity and was widely reviewed. Kramer graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1970 and an MD in 1976.

The other book, Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine, by James Bakalar, and my old friend, the late great Dr. Lester Grinspoon, was aggressively ignored, even though he “was associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He concurrently served as a senior psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts for 40 years. Grinspoon was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychiatric Association. He was founding editor of The American Psychiatric Association Annual Review and Harvard Mental Health Letter. Grinspoon was editor of Harvard Mental Health Letter for fifteen years.”

The book was actually published by Yale University Press because the quackocracy at Harvard did not have the intellectual integrity to acknowledge its importance. To get some idea of how intellectually and morally corrupt one of the world’s leading medical schools had become, four years later, Harvard Medical School actually gave the U.S. Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, an award named for the deceased Dr. Norman Zinberg, who was a friend and colleague of Grinspoon’s, and who had been on the NORML Board of Directors!

See: Profiles in Prohibition: General Barry McCaffrey’s War on Marijuana Users and see Controversy Follows Drug Czar Invitation.

In fairness to Harvard, Kevin Sabet, America’s leading Reefer Madness propagandist is actually an “Assistant Professor Adjunct/ Yale School of Medicine Yale School of Medicine; Institution for Social and Policy Studies.”

See: The Big Problem with the “Big Marijuana” Bogeyman and The Individual Courage And Collective Cowardice Of The Medical Profession.

Nonetheless, Yale Press is widely respected, so they naturally expected the book would be reviewed by the “quality press.” Nope.

By coincidence, I was the National Director of NORML at the time. So I decided to write a review that NORML would distribute. I was very aware of all the attention given to the Prozac book, so I called it: “Listening to Prozac, Silencing Marijuana” and sent it to Yale Press for their approval.

They were very nice about it but asked me to wait because they still believed that surely someone somewhere in U.S. journalism would have the courage and/or intellectual integrity to just review it. Nope!

I had graduated from Yale in 1962, so I just laughed and said that after 30 years I was still getting Cs from Yale. Unfortunately, I was right and it was months before anyone even acknowledged it.

Now, almost 30 years later, 90% of the American people support legalizing medical marijuana, and psychedelics are finally being recognized as very effective antidepressants. On the other hand, addiction to Prozac and other pharmaceutical antidepressants has become a major business.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

“Stopping fluoxetine (Prozac) abruptly may result in one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms: irritability, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, nightmares, headache, and/or paresthesias (prickling, tingling sensation on the skin).”

But you can still get Prozac online: “Get genuine Prozac® prescribed online for only $19/month. Get genuine Prozac® prescribed, plus unlimited online visits with U.S. licensed doctors.”

Absurdly, there are also articles on treating marijuana “dependence” with Prozac.

See: Effectiveness of Fluoxetine in Young People for the Treatment of Major Depression and Marijuana Dependence 

Perhaps psychedelics would work better. In any case, the medical psychedelic movement has been very different from the drive for medical marijuana. First, it benefited from the recognition that the Prohibitionist police state had lied to the American people, and there is a growing recognition that the Drug War has been a disaster.

Nonetheless, some psychedelics are still Schedule 1 drugs which include “heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.”

See: The federal drug scheduling system, explained 

Also, they have chosen to go through the FDA process to isolate the active ingredients, which was never possible with marijuana because the DEA/NIDA has effectively blocked all research on the plant.

See: The Acquisition Of GW Pharmaceuticals Raises Many Interesting Questions

By going through the FDA system, they will bypass the Quackocracy, but we will still need to legalize the freedom to use natural psychedelics, because if we don’t own our own minds, what do we own?

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of the Role Of Terpenes In CBD Products.

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Cannabis 2021 News 2021 THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Talking Cannabis Industry Financing with Casa Verde

We chatted with Casa Verde, one of the most talked-about venture capital firms in the cannabis field, to see how things played out for their well-positioned investments over the course of the pandemic.

Beyond the hype of being founded by Snoop Dogg, any group of investors would be thrilled to have the stuff in Casa Verde’s portfolio. Names like Eaze and METRC are competitive or dominate their respective spaces within cannabis.

We caught up with managing partner Karan Wadhera and started the conversation by asking about their plans for the $93 million dollars they reported in their coffers. Since then, they took part in Bespoke Financial’s $8 million program to provide financial services to a cannabis industry that continues to wait for regulatory relief from lawmakers.

“You know, to that degree, on what you’re referring to, that was like an official SEC filing. So, from our standpoint, obviously, we have not announced anything but of course that’s a government thing we did file,” Wadhera told us with a laugh. We quickly moved to current events, which generally have not been going bad for the VCs at Casa Verde.

Even with the perils of life over the last 15 months, Wadhera basically kicked off the conversation explaining life is pretty dope. He’s particularly enthusiastic about the pace of change in cannabis.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt this much momentum before from investors, from entrepreneurs, from even consumers,” he told us. “It feels like a completely different landscape and I’ll have to say that the regulatory momentum is probably some of the most interesting. Just how quickly states are now coming online in a way that they never have before.”

Wadhera was particularly excited that it doesn’t need to happen at the ballot box anymore. This is an important aspect of things because not all states even feature a ballot initiative process in their constitution.

Federally, banking reform seems to have the most steam at the moment. We asked what it meant to a company like Casa Verde.

“It will depend on exactly how SAFE banking fully shakes out,” Wadhera said. “For example, it seems unlikely that SAFE banking will be a conduit to, let’s say, capital markets activity in terms of listing on U.S. exchanges. It also looks like SAFE banking may not be a direct conduit to payments in the space. But, you know, it will help solve a real major issue which is that so many businesses in the cannabis space are still unable to open bank accounts at a minimum. Just that change will be incredibly useful.”

Wadhera admits the legislative stuff on the table at the moment doesn’t fix everything, but at the very least, it’s certainly a sign of the momentum we’re seeing right now. He noted it’s been pretty clear each one of those steps gets investors, consumers, and legislators more comfortable with the industry.

With much of the cannabis pie chopped up already, we asked Wadhera how much trickier it is to evaluate new talent for the portfolio.

“It’s a great question,” he replied. “I think there continues to be lots of areas we have yet to touch. And while it may seem like we’ve hit many areas, I think the cannabis industry is super nuanced. And it’s very complex from a compliance and regulatory perspective, which always makes room for technology to come in and help solve some of those issues. So I think there are still a number of areas where we are super excited.”

Data compliance and consumer-facing brand development are a couple of places he’s keeping an eye on.

A lot of people believe that if you had your ducks in a row going into the pandemic, and you were a cannabis company, it probably went pretty good for you. We asked Wadhera if that was the general spirit for the companies in their portfolio.

“Yeah, I think so. Again, I think it depends on where you were, but I think largely, for 90% of our businesses, that was true,” Wadhera replied. “Some of the obvious ones are businesses like Dutchie which saw a huge transition to delivery, and it helped their business tremendously. And then, obviously, anyone who was sort of involved in the retail side. You just saw so much more consumption.”

Wadhera felt like things in the space looked a little weird at times in 2019, so those companies that battened down the hatches early were in good shape for what was to come.

“We were already prepared for what we felt was a potentially dire scenario. You would cut a lot of the fat. You had gotten more efficient. You were putting yourself in a really strong position for any kind of volatility.” This put cannabis businesses in a much stronger position, Wahhera argues. Then the icing on the cake was obviously the fact that cannabis became “essential.” He reasonably believed that such a designation was a large inspiration for the amount of reform we’ve seen in the year since.

As we noted, Casa Verde certainly raised a lot of cash during the pandemic. But the early goings weren’t always as easy.

“There was just a halt on any kind of conversation around any funding from anyone. People just got nervous and didn’t know what to do,” Wadhera said. “But I would say as we hit into the fall and the numbers were clear — how well some of these businesses were doing — a lot of activity sort of picked up. And I think you saw within our portfolio and the businesses that raised some pretty significant rounds, Dutchie and LeafLink in particular. It showed that there was still a tremendous amount of excitement.”   ❖