1 Episode results for "Icbc Barcelona"
BTS #23 Andrew DeAngelo on Cannabis Activism, Healing From Stigma, Social Equity
"My Name's Andrew Diangelo. I've been doing cannabis for thirty seven years. I'm best known as CO founder of Harbourside were Vertically Integrated Company in California. We have dispensaries in Oakland San Jose desert hot springs and now San Leandro. You're listening to the curious about cannabis. Podcast everybody. This is Jason Wilson with curious about Canvas podcast. Thanks much for tuning in once again So I am beyond delighted today to be able to sit down and talk with Andrew Dangelo at you. Know there's so many ways I could introduce you. Activists you know co founder of Harbourside. You're involved with the last prisoner project now. Which I know you've been bringing lot of tension to but welcome Andrew Dangelo. Thanks so much for being willing to come on the podcast today. Thank you Jason. It's great to be with your community today. Yeah totally. I'm really stoked to see where our conversation goes. I've been following a lot of your press over the past several months. Some of the interviews you've been doing and keeping up with some your work and there's a there are a lot of milestones to go through but then I know there's a lot you've been talking about lately that I don't WanNa make you regurgitate the same stuff that you've been staying over again someone to try to go in some unique directions here but there's all sorts of stuff for us to Go into right now. One of the kind of segue into a lot of things one of the first things I wanted to ask you about. Is you recently took a trip to Barcelona didn't you? I did I was there for. Icbc Barcelona and span of this. Yes yeah and you. You didn't make it out to the hashish and hemp museum. That's out there I did. I had a great time at the museum. That's Ben drunker zones and operates that museum. He also has one in Holland. Amsterdam and Ben's been old friend of the family for decades and so it was great vehicle able to see his newest outposts there in Barcelona. It's a beautiful building. He's done all this wonderful stained glass work and yeah and if you if you haven't been Barcelona the architecture Barcelona's just every single building every single doorway window archway. is just extraordinarily well-crafted. Beautiful beautiful work and the the hemp and Marijuana Museum. There is no exception and they've ban in his team just done a stellar job with that museum. I encourage everyone to make a pilgrimage to check it out. Yeah I saw some of the photos posted on social media and I was fascinated. How beautiful some of you know the way. Everything was presented the design architecture and everything and I wasn't even really familiar with that museum. Can you describe a little bit about what that museum is like? And kind of how things are presented. And what your experience. There was sure. The museum has multiple levels. So it's two or three stories. There's elevators and stairs that you navigate through it and it's part a history lesson of the plant and and specifically Ham You know the two. The two tracks museum really talks. Most about is is as cannabis as medicine and as an intoxicant and ham has a industrial raw material so so that those are the two focuses. I would say of the museum. And Ben's just got an incredible collection of ancient hemp materials and modern hemp wears also that are represented by some of the leading can't cannabis hemp companies of today. Of course UH sense. He seeds is right next door. Okay Marijuana Museum both in Barcelona Amsterdam and and you can purchase CBD products there and genetics and a whole bunch of really cool will art and culture and Swag from both the museum and since he seats and I was just thrilled to be in Barcelona and an experience that you know we we in the United States. We don't we have cannabis with sort of the first cannabis museum or installation in Las Vegas. There we'd maps just did a big installation in Los Angeles. That was a museum. But we don't have permanent cannabis ham. You know that I'm aware of that's that's as large in a serious As bans I'm sure we have lots of small Wonsan and probably millions of small ones in people's homes. I certainly is yeah I got. I got some in mind mile in my altar of course but you know so when it. It's not easy to have a museum. You know museums don't make money. They lose money and they are about building culture and about keeping something alive for future generations to learn about an and that's hard work to do in our movement in our industry is still in the embryonic stages and I look forward to the day and I hope Stephen I get to be a part of it Where there are something like that. The Hemp Museum here in the United States a- every city should have won. Every every community has cannabis story that goes back hundreds of years and and we can all tell our own version of what's happened over the last hundred years so it's part of the cultural work that I think we're moving into sort of a cultural renaissance canvas. We've had you know we had to legalize and that was just brutal. One hundred year war you know and now we have all these little battles to get legalisation right which we have not done and and of course you know. We have a lot of work to do to get legalisation rights. So that's going to be ten thousand battles that we're GONNA have to fight for that. The cultural work is really something that I think our community is going to have a lot more fun within the political work and I I really. Creativity and culture is been one of the strengths of the cannabis movement community for forever. Going back to the jazz age you know going back to the brothels of New Orleans going back to Jamaica going back to India Longtime in this plant has inspired the creativity of men and women all over the world and so we get to come out of the shadows culturally now and into the light and Where are colors loud and proud and and talk about the plant in ways like a museum? There's millions of ways to express cannabis culture but a museum certainly one of them and you know the there's a big wide open cultural world out there that I hope your listeners will will embrace. There's also I know you know. Science on this podcast. There's a big sign this world of cannabis scientists just like just like culture. It's in the embryonic stages in Gosh. I can't I can't I can't think of something more exciting right now. Then to be working with canvas science or cannabis culture. Yeah Yeah no. I totally agree. It's the research going on with cannabis. Now it's like we've hit a breaking point and now there's just idle waves of information coming out people interested and I know things are are right. Now we're in the disruptive period Dealing with the coronavirus and everything. But I've I've been very blessed in my life to have the chance to work with some universities that you know are now now that hemp is legal. We can touch the cannabis plant. And even though it's not hd rich cannabis were still able to touch the cannabis plant. We're still able to a lot a you know in do some work that you know a lot of these institutions have been wanting to do for a long time and like. I mentioned to you before we started. I'm originally from Mississippi I. What did my Undergrad work at the University of Mississippi and spent some time at the cannabis lab at the University of Mississippi and so on the farm or I? I didn't work on the farm so I worked for the. It Department for the university. And I was one of the go-to technologists that worked on instruments and different things like that in the lab during the time. I was there so I spent a lot of time when I when I was there. I spent most of my time in the research and development lab indoors but I did get tours of the outdoor facilities. I saw how they processed everything it is fascinating and talking on what you just mentioned the different perspectives of our culture around cannabis. That's something that weighs on me heavily coming from Mississippi coming to Oregon the culture shock of like brand. I have friends that are still battling to avoid going to jail over. A half gram of cannabis in their cars whereas now I'm in Oregon where people are driving around with pounds of cannabis in their cars. You know legally as part of their business So it is fascinating and I think it's something that is under appreciated that we have so many perspectives around the cannabis plant in our relationship To cannabis laws in cannabis culture And I I agree with you. That work that I look forward to seeing done is promoting these stories and helping people get a more rounded understanding of how society has been interacting with cannabis You know throughout time but also in different places in the world at the same time. We're in a fascinating place and your activism work. I think is. It's really great that you get to interact with all of these people that are fighting these different battles and learning their stories and being able to share those with people to kind of open people's eyes a little more that there's more going on here than maybe you see in your just your immediate community. Yeah well actually. Jason Wants Stephen. I learned that the most powerful way to do cannabis activism is to tell the stories of people who really need cannabis and whether that the HIV and AIDS patients in the late eighties and early nineties. And and some of that pioneering work that was done by Denis Perron Brownie Mary And all of us at that time or kids with epilepsy more recently. That is how you really. We have to go through the heart it. We made all these rational arguments for decades of personal freedom and cannabis's natural plan. And you can't criminalize something like this. And it has historical significance to the human race in. It's been with us for thousands of years and we went on and on with these rational arguments and they went nowhere. And of course we didn't mind making the argument because we got to be in front of cameras or the two cameras that showed up at the press and are the one reporter sitting there with a notepad or tape recorder But we enjoy being the voice but we just weren't that effective and and once we made other people voice patients and an people who need this regular everyday people that America could relate to them. We started to make more progress politically. And then you know mainstream to build a bridge. We could stand on to mainstream society heart and We're still building that bridge in You know thankfully we've made so much progress You know you're in Oregon. I'm in California and and cannabis's legal for anybody over the age of twenty one in end. What a far cry from folks in Mississippi or even my hometown where? I grew up Washington C. Area which has allowed more legalisation than Mississippi does but still doesn't really have access. Yeah Yum yet So you know it's it's it's one of the reasons I lacked was because we could not change it and California. We could change it so sometimes you have to go to to where you can be most effective and and then sort of allow that to be a foundation you build on and and you know the fact that you'll and I another person I know Brad craft in. I don't know if you know Brad craft in but he also went to university Mississippi. He also worked on the farm. And he's also the cannabis industry he's a farmer and You know similar story to you. He heard the call from folks like me and my brother from other places. They are Mississippi and was working at the University of Mississippi was working at the farm. Saw a disconnect between what what was legal not legal in what was being studied and not studied on up at the farm there in University Mississippi Everyone should know. That's that's the only place in in the United States where the federal government has a licensed to grow weed and they grow. That's where they grow all the Federal Resource. We down there University of Mississippi. So you know it's through those stories That we move people to to come in to the movement to come into the industry to come into the culture to come into the science and it's GonNa take millions of us of village. A tribe of people to it took a lot a lot of villages people to prohibit cannabis. It's GonNa take it's GonNa take a village people to free cannabis. I'm I'm that that's the work that's great work. We're involved in right now. Yeah yeah totally one question I had for you given that you have a you know your background in acting and theater and everything which is fun because Myself and my wife were also theater. Geeks says well one thing I wondered in and I asked this because of some experience I've had as well as your background in acting assist in your work in activism given that it kind of prepares you to be in front of people to. You're already sort of thinking in this sort of narrative. Storytelling away Are there have you found that there are ways where you're acting background has benefited your work activism? Oh absolutely the ways are endless. You know you go to Acting School. You go to College. You study acting. That's what happened to me. Anthony the acting bug bit me right around the same time the cannabis bug. Bit Me in High School so I was athlete in high school. Then I got her. Then I started taking cannabis. I felt better than than all the people in the theater. Department at. My High School seemed really fun and cool and they all smoked weed so I and was nice to be on stage and get the attention and tell stories and be in that ancient communion that live theater. Yeah there is something that that just spoke to me. It made me so I studied that in college and at the time this was one thousand nine hundred eighty five and a much different time in and to study. Acting in those days was insane. People said you gotta be out of your mind do anything. The old same was if you could do anything else. Besides be an actor go. Do that. House went all your teachers told you. And that's what all the acting books in said. Luckily more stubborn than that So and but I also love cannabis and I was advocating for cannabis even as I was learning to be an actor and and and there came a point where I had to choose between acting cannabis. I was unable to do both. There is no way I was going to be able to do. Both the world was not gonNa let me same demand insane demands and just you know frankly. The the American theater that I grew up in that time was very sober. And there was a lot of stigma against anyone who advocated for we. News very much considered a hard drug and like to that. Yeah sure Mississippi. Same thing right so so it was hard to get work as an actor with that sort of around my neck but but what I did find and it was painful because you know your dream of being the next Jack. Nicholson is is something that you harbour closely in your heart. You work very very hard. I spent years and years dedicating myself to that craft and making a lot of sacrifices to do that but then I learned wow I started selling weed and I start being an activist and and all the sudden these skills started coming in handy and I found myself more disciplined than most we dealers because I had background in acting. And you know you had to go to rehearsal to be an actor and you had to study singing and dancing and meditation and relaxation on voice and all these things to study and learn and you the practice And though it instill the discipline me that few of my we delaying appears had so that was sort of a competitive advantage. I guess you could say that. I had from that and then of course. Being a leader leading cannabis activism leading cannabis companies leading teams. To get. Either you know engage in canvas commerce better and bigger and stronger and faster or did you change. Because both of those things require leaderships of leading teams and people getting everybody so a row in the same direction and get things done acting skills and my study of the humanities as a young man translated Harry very well into that I think that perhaps you know the being an actor is the study of the emotional life of characters and the emotion. Yeah and the emotional life of human beings and and so you develop an emotional intelligence as an actor that that normal person who doesn't study acting perhaps doesn't have an and then as a leader. I found particularly in a cannabis EGOS SYSTEM. That's filled with constraint and contradiction an absurdity endanger. I found that that emotional intelligence was very helpful in terms of being a leader manager and getting people to believe in a vision in and sacrificed for. Because you can't be in this game without making sacrifices and and when we asked people to do that as leaders we have to show up in the right way and and lead by example and do a good job as leaders are. You'RE NOT GONNA GO. Whole lot of cannabis people follow you for very long right. Yeah have an immersion leadership authority. Well in I'm on that train of thought you know what were some of the I guess. Kinda growth milestones for you as you know starting in the eighties and then working into you know. Now in twenty twenty. I'm sure you've gone through a lot of evolution as as an activist and how you communicate and as a leader how you manage. I remember seeing one quote from you sometime about When you're working harbourside that you learned that you realize as a manager that you had to treat everyone more as family rather than you know. Just the employees manager employer kind of relationship and that was the big you know sort of turning point for you so can you kind of go through some of the that evolution that your loved you. I'm a very passionate about leadership. Kids I do I learn how to do it in the underground environment and then I had to learn how to do it in a in a complex retail environment. Where the you know? Thousands of members of the public were coming every day so that those those are too much different management and leadership ecosystem. So when you're in underground system that I grew up in your freedom depends on your team executing the instructions exactly right and so you tend to lead with a command and control back French bowls of command and control. Do this do it right or you will be held accountable in a pretty serious way Because you know you're risking my freedom you're risking your own freedom. You're risking the freedom of our network our community So you have to lead and manage people with a heavy hand. Oftentimes the folks that you're leading a manager. Managing in underground economies are folks that perhaps have less education less formal training. Perhaps hat more traumatized upbringings And so You have to manage in lead in such a way that that gets people to execute without everybody getting busted when you legalize and you have a license that sell cannabis in a retail environment like we did in two thousand and six. It's a much different world and you have complexities constraints involved in that. You have the public coming in involved in that you have. You have a workforce of mainly people in the beginning of their careers Whether they be bud tenders or inventory managers or safety. Insecurity people or bookkeepers. Whatever they're they tend to be at the early stage of their career and require training and require a type of management that encourages development. Because in those early days. I can just hire anybody. I want it right and you had to be a medical canvas patient to work at harborside when we first opened and you had to be willing and able to work in a we shop and most and there were a lot of people that just the reputational risk or they had a better job in a mainstream industry. Or You know. Who's too risky on? Yeah to go work dispensary. So the Labor Pool that we had to pool from was very constraint and I had to develop people and develop their talent and develop their skills and that required more of my skills as an actor as a theater person because in the theater were dealing with things. You can't touch of human emotion you know we're the commerce is a story or a song or poem it's not something you touch and It so so. That's where the skills really helped me right where. I'm banging my head against the wall doing this command and control thing to not working. Yeah I mean two or three months in harborside. We're starting to grow. The people are starting to come in. The patients. Love our model and I've got people that are quite a bit younger than me working under me. And they're in the beginning of their career and they're fantastic. People are all candidates their patients. They're fantastic people and they're smarter than me. In a lot of ways they know how to do technology and they know how to Social media which was basically just being born at that time they were way ahead of it on. They understood how to gather information better than I did. So I quickly learned that what I had to do was treat everybody like they were doing a play together rather than rather than we were doing underground lead together and it took me. It took me a couple of months to make that adjustment because I would go home and the command and control would just fail. And they wouldn't do it. I mean they just would not do it and then I would have to do it. And then I'd be worried at be at work at five in the morning and that stay in there and all yeah just tired and just a I've felt ineffective go home. Just sat him like something's not working. You know and and eventually you know I realized it was me not them and I had to look within myself and I had to discover new ways of being leader being a manager and once I had that read revelation and by the way I got that revelation by consuming a lot of cannabis in a distress state of of being where. I'm just trying to find the answer in some common home taking my cannabis and being a good Canvas person and I'm meditating on this yet and once I realized hey I gotta get my ego out of the way here and I have to lead way and the next day. I'll never forget it. The next day I my main right hand person at that time was a woman by the name of Adrian. I sat down with Adrian. I said look. I'm sorry if I haven't told you this before but we're a team and I'm going to treat you with respect and you're gonNA come in here and together. We're going to do all these things we have to do. 'cause I'm figuring out as we go to. I've never run a retail shop. And you know we got to figure out how to manage this inventory and keep track of it Because at that at that moment in time that was the big job I had to to face and and once I did that and I had that frank and honest conversation it was more light to actors talking about how we're GonNa do this scene together or to artists trying to figure out creative problem together. Then things started to connect very quickly We started to get a lot more done very quickly. My assignment started to get executed and and and we built trust together and and then Adrian was able to come into work feeling better about her job on knowing that. I trusted her do it on. I would let her do it. Yeah sometimes she'd make mistakes And I had to her make a mistake and then and then say hey look. Let's review this work. And and I think there's some mistakes here so once. You know. That all dawned on me Dan Dan. I was off to the races and I became very curious about this and I started reading all the management books. All the leadership function is started taking classes at the University of California Berkeley Extension Night School program and I became somewhat obsessed. Obsession is something Stephen. I always sort of cultivated. I became obsessed with. How do you lead people in a complex constrained environment where the whole world's against you How do you do it And and that emerging into study was also very helpful. Because I would learn something in or class and I'd bring it into work and I try learn. Yeah and it will work. I keep doing it if it didn't work. You know I try to figure out why didn't work. It makes adjustments in. And that's that's what a truly good leader does all the time every day where we should constantly be in that conversation with with ourselves as leaders were always developing leaders. Leadership is a journey not a destination. Anyone who thinks that you know leadership is a destination is not really a leader because you you learn over time that you learn overtime young and myself as a as you know. So there's the scientists hat that I wear but I'm also an educator and it reminds me of this dynamic that always happens in education where you know you're a student for X. amount of time. Then you become a teacher you're thrust into the world and in your mind you're like I don't know what I'm doing or why even teaching people because I'm still learning so much myself and you have to you. Learn what this dynamic about more about the dynamic the interpersonal dynamic than it is almost anything else and figuring out that it is like even as a teacher. You're on a journey with your learners to navigate waters and discover things explore things. And you're always learning things as a teacher. And if you ever think as an educator that you already know what you need to know and that you're just you know by your own grace bestowing this you know upon other people you're in bad shape that's a recipe for For disaster. You're so you're so right. It s some things. You mentioned Some other things that I wanted to make sure talked about. One of those is stigma. So this concept of stigma. You've you've touched on several times now. Ways that you've experienced stigma along your journey. You mentioned that in acting school. There was that stigma. They are against cannabis that you couldn't really you know. Be Very Open about cannabis for fear it. How you you know I was I was open about it and I was somewhat blacklisted. Because of yeah yeah. Yeah Yeah Yeah and then you. You mentioned going in harborside dealing with stigma around dispensaries whether that be from people that might want to visit a dispensary and don't know what to expect or people are working there. So can you talk a little bit about other ways? That you've encountered stigma maybe in Sometimes some not so obvious ways because I think stigma around the industry in ways that are very subtle especially now as legalizations coming about and culture is changing were in this weird mosaic sort of Where a lot of people that have changed their minds about cannabis or are very friendly to it. People that are on the fence and then you still have the people. That are very averse. But it's so much more a sort of mixed pool now. I think than it ever has been people I mean. It's one reason why I have this podcast. And the book that have curious about cannabis so many people are curious and trying to figure out how they feel Though can you speak to that a little bit about some of your experiences stigma and maybe things that you've that you've learned over time to deal with that experience the you know. There's some sense of bread when you feel that stigma there. I mean even as a scientist I feel data Like you know me. Getting involved with cannabis. Is that like putting a mark on my record. Somehow you know our my colleagues going to interpret that There's so many directions we can go in. But that's a topic. I wanted to make sure talk to you about. I'm glad he did because not too many people ask me about. That and stigma is our next big war that we're going to have I'm mean legalisation was the first big war and Lord knows we had plenty more places that we have to liberate legalize but the wind is on our backs with respect to legalization with respect to stigma not so much I while I share your positive Outlook in terms of more and more people become curious about cannabis. More and more people are opening their hearts and minds to different story about cannabis. So I think that work is is is. We've started to do that work. But the stigma is terrible. I mean here we are in California. The state that was the first thing to legalize medical. We didn't obviously didn't become the first legalize adult. But we did in two thousand sixteen legalize adult and because of stigma sixty percent of California is banned. You can't add mind-blowing sixty percent of California's banned because of stigma because the local when you ask people do you want cannabis dispensary in your neighborhood. You have this nimby response. That's absolutely baffling absolutely badly. In in the county. That voted seventy percent sixty four. Which was the legalisation for adults? That county has been dispensaries. Just it's it's the most phenomenal perversity of democracy. In a case like that data I've ever seen seventy percent of people voted for it and they've banned it So at the local level with a few political elites That made those decisions against the will of the voters and you know. We tried to fix it for two years. And we haven't been able to again because of the stigma Dan. That's just the political stigma right. If you get into the cultural stigma you know I used to have to answer the question you know. I started selling weed in nineteen eighty three and by nineteen ninety two. I was a wholesaler. We and I was selling huge amounts of we'd underground and I would go interact with the theater. World or the film world or the academic world or mainstream society. People I would meet they come up and say oh hi. You'RE ANDREW THE ENVELOPE. What do you do for a living? Yeah and justice question was traumatic for me to hear news. An wasn't Enron was. Not just the stigma that society had on cannabis. It was. It was the stigma. I was placing on myself even Yeah and I remember growing up in the eighties and nineties and you know if something went wrong in your life you would say oh God maybe it's because all the smoke and you know maybe it's you know all these lies and all. This BS that was planted into your head about cannabis would start to rear. Its ugly head. You Know I. It's almost like it's just it's terrible demon That you have to exercise up from the early agree. Yeah from inside you and it took me a long time not until the opened harborside and even after even at our remember the woman. I'm in love with right now. I've been with twelve years when I first started dating her twelve thirteen years ago. We had just opened harborside a year prior and I to go meet her parents. Go meet the pair. Yup I'm the guy with the dispensary. The what do you do for a living. So what do you do for a living right and And and so that was after we had harbourside illegal and I had a license. It was still you know I remember talking to Samantha. Well how to answer that question. Do you think should be totally honest. Be totally honest. I'm like okay. How's that GONNA go? I guess we'll see I was honest. Very nice actually Her father her mother were very very supportive and Nice And kind and a very conservative people so it or somewhat conservative. I can't say they're very conservative. But some conservative and and and I was grateful that we were able to get over that and then I was very you know in the subsequent years. Both both of SAM's Parents used cannabis for their own health and wellness So you know we got to know each other Over time but that's that's you know. An and and if you think about stigma and all the different ways you know. I think about a place like Mississippi. Were where you grew up in. Just wow you know where people really really believe that cannabis causes insanity and murderous behavior and people in all. And it'll send you to hell. I mean that's you know. And he's there right you know and and So so the the the stigma any now. There's there's actually a long tradition of of of the Catholic Church churches. I'm sort of marginalising. Canvas people for using our sacrament Over the years particularly in Mexico and Latin America So there's a there's a history there so and the way how do we deal with it okay? Great we've talked about it persists. I don't know how do you deal with it an and one. You have to get validation from people in your immediate circle and community right and I just just like we're doing right now to canvas people were were talking about canvas or communicating with our own community and were validated in each other's sacrifices that were making right now To be in communion with this plant right now is hard. It's still somewhat risky. There's so much stay on. It's still somewhat risky. So so that's one way. We create our own validation circles and stories The other the other ways we have to manage ourselves You know I it. I was lucky enough that the acting training instilled in me a practice that I do every single day That allows me to manage my physical mental health in a way that that allows me to be a little bit. Detached emotionally spiritually From and and it's only really been last few years that I've been able to practice meditation At a place at a point where I'm able to experience this detachment Where where an and for a long time? I was very judgmental on myself because I wanted to. I was striving to to get so much done at and when I didn't get it done or failed. Be Very judgmental myself. And now we're that would also happen with stigma Where I'd feel guilty Or some I would internalize some of that. External Stigma and meditation and and helped me a lot with that internal work so we have to have the external validation and then we have to do our internal work and and and you know ultimately. This is a hard path to follow and you have to enjoy the journey. If you if you don't love this journey you will experience depression at burn out and sadness and and you may feel marginalized and excluded from from society and and then that stigma can really be harmful though so it's hard it really is. Yeah very very hard and there's moments of maybe I you know I'm now fifty two years old. I've been doing this work for a long time. And I I I've I have community around be now that it's it's Kinda strange it if you're not into cannabis in in my work but you know it's taken me a long time to develop that and many people that are you know earlier in their careers and their journeys as leaders may have moments where they just feel terrible because of the stigma and the only thing. I can say in in those dark times is is is take deep breaths and and understand that. What's happening to you in? That moment is a part of you. There's a part of you that has gotten bigger and has overtaken you and that part of you has listened to ally and and in fact is lying to you right now. Our minds play these tricks on ourselves when when we say Oh kinda failure. Nobody's a failure okay But worked so hard on ourselves. You know and the stigma. A the the the most insidious part of the stigma is what it causes us to do to ourselves. And you see this. With other forms of stigma whether it be racism or homophobia or it. All kind of works in the operating system of stigma and hatred is is very similar to each other and you know people what ends up. Happening is our very bodies through slavery or or imprisonment or even death in lynching Become victim to this stigma to this lie to this craziness and and so that's why we have to take care of ourselves and surround ourselves with a community people and work like hell to change it So that our future generations are kissing. Grandkids don't have to experience this torment that we do. Yeah it's intergenerational trauma for sure and I think you you just explained Perfectly you're mirroring my experience so well as far as you know when I moved to Oregon from Mississippi so I had all sorts of trauma from growing up in Mississippi in being involved in cannabis and everything I though I injured my back When I was a teenager and A realized after going through drug trials and everything I realized that cannabis was something that was probably going to be a part of my life forever because of how it was able to help me function. And and that's where thing but I came to that realization in the middle of Mississippi Where you know. There's obviously no access and your whole life will get ruined if you're you're caught with it and everything so that it starts to generate all these different patterns of thinking of like Oh. I can't let anybody know I've got to hide this part of my life away And so even when I moved to Oregon and had that was before Oregon has legalized so I had a medical card. And I knew like I can use cannabis legal aid. There's no risk anymore for me. Just using cannabis in my home you know but still. I would still. My heart would start racing like you know I might use cannabis and then I'd sit there and think about what if someone comes through the door you know or what if someone smells it. What what all these would. If that I would normally go through in Mississippi and I sit there and know to the point I was having panic attacks about these sort of issues and it. It took years and years and years for that feeling to slowly come down and to feel more comfortable but it is still something to this day. I've been in Oregon for seven years and still have you know a much quieter voice or feeling in my body now than it than it has been But it is still there. It's still whispering. Is The bits that you know of feedback that you were fed and your upbringing these cultural messages and everything that we whether conscious or not that we integrate into ourselves and so when things happen. That's what we draw from these these different pieces of programming. That it's our it's it becomes our life's work to Reprogram Nutley. True what you said so true. I mean when I get out of the California bubble and I have to go to a place like Texas. Yeah Oh my God. I'm hiding bathrooms. I've got you know I I'm worried I'm GonNa get busted and Lord knows headlines. All OVER THE PLANET RIGHT. Canada's leader musty with Gosh only knows what they do to me you know are so and all that goes through my mind Ted Day when I go to places like Texas or or I. I haven't been to Mississippi Man I I'm not. I'm not brave enough to go there yet but if I was invited to go definitely go And and we'd have to go through all those those those those traumas all over again because we're not gonNA stop taking cannabis and and and you know so. Wow it's so hard isn't it's one of the when I hear the stories like that when you find yourself locked in your own bathroom in your own home in your own heart right back on you know things are are are weird and you know it's it's it's it's And it's just terrible and and it does. It takes a lifetime to program. That good news is it can be done. Yeah and when you when you get back on when you get to the other side of that and you you can laugh at it and and and realize it's absurdity And what a powerful hold it has on us all. And so you get that detaching I was talking about a minute ago At the end of the day you know visionary plans like cannabis. Teach us to lighten up. Man We all work really really hard. We try sometimes things go well. Sometimes they don't Right now we're dealing with a pandemic and clearly we're not prepared for clearly clearly not prepared for it right and should have been prepared for an and so so But we have to deal with that in an honest way and and and we can't all jump off a bridge right We have to say okay. We end up. Let's fix it And and And so that's that's sort of place I I'm I'm at with it now. Where where you can just kind of laugh at the absurdity of of all those things that that the stigma did them to us and and work really hard to eradicate it from our culture in our society and that's GonNa take a multiple generation. It will it really will but gosh won't be wonderful. Whenever that time is yeah multiple generations from now where you know the world of canvas just like you know the world of apples and oranges right. Yeah Yeah I mean. I had a big moment for me of getting past my own. Stigma was taking a leap of faith and essentially a you know sort of coming out to my family saying that this is the thing that's part of my life that. I know you know probably have problems with but we need to talk it through because it's not going anywhere and you know we need to come to some solidarity. How old were you when you do that? I was probably one eighty or twenty one. Twenty one twenty okay and Because it was right after That whole incident was saying we're went to trials from my back and everything came to that conclusion so then my next step was like well. I need to to my parents about this. And I've been using cannabis for a long time before that But I'd never you know made these connections that it was benefiting my wellness in such a substantial way. You know that I needed to really take it seriously. And that was a really hard thing to do and it was a painful thing to do. My parents and I didn't talk a lot for a couple of years after that. Wow it was. It was really hard. You know a lot of tears were shed and my parents. Just you know at that time so also my dad is a southern Baptist preacher. So let's throw that into the WHO so. There's a lot of lot of dynamics. They're trying to figure out how to wrestle with this news and so it took a while but where I'm at with my relationship with my parents now is though immensely better than it's ever been. And they now use cannabis products for different things that they have issues with. And we've made it to that other side at least within our own relationship with each other and that gives me a lot of hope for what can happen And sometimes what it takes for people's minds to change is for someone they love that then you know be affected by something that they've held this stigma about for so long and then they're kind of forced to decide like. Do you want to hold on to that? You know that negatively or do you open your mind a little bit and Depp into the unknown and see what happens and I mean. Your story is the same mind And the same as my girlfriend Samantha story with. I just told them minute ago. And there's a reason they're the same story You know the fact that your dad is is a a preacher in the community definitely complicated. Things must've been berry. You must've been really nervous right before that conversation. I'm sure because My brother had we had to have that conversation with arquette. At one point you know many many many years ago. I know exactly what it's like. And and yeah you go through this this period just pain and just everyone's angry and hurt and feels betrayed right. There's like feeling of US and confusion right. I mean I remember. They're both my dad would felt betrayed and we felt betrayed. You know and she was just such a hard time to get through that couple of years after the conversation and it was you know after that conversation our family my brother my father did not speak for a number of years and I had to work really hard to build that bridge you know as a younger son and brother And and we were able to do it just like you your story by you know. By the end of my parents life. Everybody Union might parents gave us the loan that we needed for harborside. You know. Wow I didn't know that. Wow Oh yeah well we sold. My Mom's house moved around with us. We were taking care of my mom by that point and and and so she invested that and then my dad. My Dad actually help us because we ran out of a little aloe more and my dad helped us to and we pay those loans back with a nice interest them and and that's how we started harbourside so these family stories. There's a full circle effect. That occurred bright. And and so for for people that are dealing with this right now on your at that beginning. Stage that hard and painful stage. It does get better. Because now the the the cannabis prohibition statement is built on a lie and anything that's built on a lie just can't live in the hearts and minds of people a long and sustained way it just can't especially when presented with evidence like a hurt back or a child epilepsy or somebody's dying from HIV. What really and so. When and a Prince Sense it contradicts the Lai and contradicts the lie on notional level on emotional. And that's an and when you start to do that at the emotional level. That's really where people make decisions. People don't make rational decisions as people make emotional decision so so that story That those family stories. Because it's really it's the first act of activism is is is is is coming out of the to your family and friends and bosses and Co workers and that's the first act of activism. That's when you decided to be an activist and often that that first step is the hardest because You are exposing yourself to the vulnerability of your own family and community and their judgment of you. And so it's very vulnerable emotionally vulnerable thing to do and anyone who does it is brave and to active activism and and it's the first activism. I remember you know Steve is my older brother and so I was raised to be to do this. I was raised to go. Raise Hell legalize weed. But but even I remember when I went to College. I I wore shirt with weed leaf on it and nineteen eighty five and you know is a big deal to do that and I. I was trying to send a message to other people that might be. We people to to come say hi right. Yeah Yeah You've got a friend in me but I didn't realize because Stevens my brother and I was. I was determined to do this anyway. I didn't realize what kind of reaction that was going to have in one thousand nine hundred five in Orange County. Al And so You know he's almost like coming out to my parents. The way that the teachers and the administrators all my God they. They marched me into one office after another. I eventually went back to the dorm. Room changed my shirt because it was just not that you know I was the second or third day of school and I want to work anymore. Kicked out before even started. Yeah but I was selling weed in the dorms too. So it was it was we were we were we were on the razor's edge bit by But now the the that's that it that's early activism you take those risks and it's it's a little bit dangerous Because it's it's not so much that you'll get busted. It's that you'll get rejected by your own family and community and that's almost worse than getting busted. Yeah Yeah Yeah I mean that. That of like exile and something. I appreciate that you say a lot in a lot of your interviews and presentations and things. You bring attention to the concept of cultivating community and even in our conversation. Today you've talked about. You know how to deal with stigma. Develop that community around yourself. You know as well as taking care of your internal self but that's something that I really appreciate that you're consistent about in your message. Is that one of the things that helps with so many things related to the issues that we're trying to deal with alternating community trying to you know in expand that community whether it's you know within your family your friends and when people take that leap of faith of their first moment of activism. It doesn't always go well. It's not always not. Everybody has a positive outcome with that. Like we did. And so then it becomes figuring out that mission of cultivating that community trying to find you know those people that can support you and and and help and and the segues into you know one of the Other things I wanted to talk about before we sign off here which is the last prisoner project. So this relates to stigma released community. It relates to everything That we've been talking about in various ways So can you speak a little bit about that as far as What less prisoner project is trying to do? It's something that I am very excited about coming from Mississippi like I said I have friends that have been busted. You know I fortunately have not been to jail That's just look. That's the only reason but I have plenty of friends that have And so can you speak a little bit? Not just to what less prisoner project is trying to do. But why why? It's so important and why People that maybe are not so pro cannabis to take notice of this and in think critically about what you're trying to do. Well there's nothing I like talking about more than the last prisoner. Projects is big passion project of ours right now. I'm putting a lot of my time and energy into it and the simple. Why of it is cannabis is becoming legal? All over the world and people are making millions and billions of dollars of market share is being created right now And all that market share is being created by people growing and selling and transporting we'd get one way or another. They might be making it into fancy vape pen. But at the end of the day they're growing selling we and manufacturing so and it's the same and there's forty thousand people in prisons who did the same thing and they're in prison. They're not in board rooms. They're not in fancy offices are not publicly traded their their act their bankrupt their loved ones are growing up and and and dying without them their their children are don't have their parents on their their communities is without them their freedom has been taken away their their lives have been totally destroyed going and the stigma and the trauma as well that they've now had to live with you know all the time. Oh yeah the trauma of going to prison and then being in prison during a pandemic when you're not supposed to be there in there in the first place and then you're in there and you're watching the TV and there's a dispensary that's opening right down. The street from the prison. Essential Service declared a sense of service in their publicly traded in the CEO. Just made five hundred thousand dollars last year so That would drive you and me and anybody in prison absolutely insane depressed sad suicidal and and Steven. I WanNa do something like a nonprofit for prisoners for a long time when we opened harbourside we had a program where people could write letters to prisoners canvas prisoners in. We give you a free gram of weed in exchange for writing a letter and the last prisoner project probably had some genesis from from that early program. Thirteen years ago that we launched But you know about a year ago I I stopped running the day day. Harborside and I had more time to to devote to another type of activism and so last prisoner project is a nonprofit organization. We launched about a year ago where we have executive director Sarah Gerston and a a managing director named Mary. Bailey fantastic people. We have a website called last tourism project. Dot Org You can reach Mary at last prison. Project DOT ORG or Sarah at that you are Allen you know. We were looking for people in the industry to partner with us to raise money and we have several programs that you can learn about on our website to do that. and our mission is to get people out To expunge records once they are out and then to reintegrate them into society with housing and Training and a job in the legal cannabis industry so we partnered with a multi-state operator called harvest and We are going to be training prisoners. Who were released and placing them in the cannabis industry So all three of those programs Clemencies enormously expensive and hard to do expunge. -ment is not as hard as clemency but still difficult and and certainly getting people trained and employed and housed Is is not cheap either. So so were. We've got a lot of work ahead of us and many millions of dollars that we need to raise two to achieve those three things and it it may take you know a generation or two To to get it all done because we want to do this. Globally not just in America North America. We'd like to do this work globally. And and you know we're close. We've already collaborated with some of these early releases with other social justice groups so there's many social justice groups now. Social Justice thanked police An issue that sort of becoming Popular as issues go And I'm glad on the needs to be a long overdue and and and so that that's what last prisoner project is and that's why the we have to restore justice and we have to get people out of prison and and you know. I don't think it's right for any of us to be in this industry. Without doing something to to solve this social justice inequality and and and problem that we're having now and it's not just people in prison. It's making sure that we have social equity program that works We don't have that yet Like I mentioned earlier both legalization and how social Equity Works within legalization is not quite designed very well yet It's very clumsy and it's not working so good and and we have lots of fixed their So yeah and that's when you're describing. I mean that's kind of how St the last prisoner project is big Social Equity Project Because I mean let's face it. We're in a situation. Now where legal cannabis? Getting majorly whitewash. Because you've got people of color that are disproportionately affected by the cannabis laws in the first place. So you see who's in jail and you've taken essentially large a population of people of color and taking them out of the game completely while you've now got dates legalizing and all of these companies. Starting to get involved in a lot of them are not diverse. And this is an issue that I'll be talking on another interview very soon with somebody about specifically just about that problem but this is related. The problem with the prison issue social equity all of these things are interrelated and if we don't address them with urgency then the industry is going to develop on the current path that it's on now Which I mean to put it. Diplomatically is not ideal You know if we were to see it run. Its course so I view this as something very urgent for people to pay attention to notice and understand. These dynamics that are at play that this isn't it is about getting people out of prison. That shouldn't be there but it's also about reestablishing the social equity piece That these these people should have a right to well. Here's the thing about social equity that I think is the key and and this is a controversial thing to say but we can't just give social equity lip-service yet way. Social Equity is going to succeed. Is these companies are going to be diverse. And we're going to have a whole bunch of companies owned and operated by people colored that are going to have market share be successful and those of us that have white skin and have grown up with privilege have to be willing to sacrifice for that and that's where it's harder it's easy for people say. I'm all for giving these folks licenses. It's harder for us to say I'm willing to give up some of my market share for social equity and that is bath wear. That's the place we need to get to Be and an until we get to that place. We're GONNA struggle with this diversity issue and the social equity issue because that's the only way it can be done and what happened. Yeah is and we saw this academe. We saw this with affirmative action in academia on K. isn't is at people sue. And they litigated against it. And if if you start giving exclusively or preferential what quote unquote preferential treatment to people of color to try to make up the wrongs and I remember in the seventies and eighties. There is lawsuit after lawsuit and Supreme Court when all the way as big culture war over -firmative action and ultimately you know the court struck struck it all down and and and until why people are willing to make that satisfies and say you know what I'm Gonna I'm GonNa do with a little last so this immunity can do with a little more until we're willing to do that. It's GonNa be hard I think And and that's what I encourage us all to do. That's how he makes social equity work and otherwise were were setting ourselves up for something very contentious within our own community and and that's not what we want. We there's plenty of room for all of us Everything everything you see around you right now should be made out of hemp and is GONNA to be made at him or flax or plance of some kind or another car. What you how you heat your home. All these things is going to be driven by plans or dishonor the wind national thing. So you know it's it's just it's it's time give the program. Yeah and I think that's the big life. Lesson that extends well beyond cannabis that we have to Learn how to see the bigger picture and be willing to sacrifice a little so that we can all Get along better in this life in general and it's hard got digos at play and everything else and you know it's something we all struggle with. It's yeah it's something that we've gotta take seriously in cannabis n n beyond It's something that's becoming a bigger and bigger reality you know just with the pandemic and things that we're seeing People that are struggling and our going to you know tackle some of these issues food supply issues. You know helping people that are less fortunate than ourselves. People that don't have work. You know all these different things like we've got to start thinking about You know what can I do without that others? Can you know have something? It's an important thing for us to have. Yeah I think. Learn except canvas. People haven't chance to league because here because I think one of the things. Many of us who have a deep relationship with the plant have learned. Is that happiness is not something that happens by accumulation of things Happiness is something that happens with the the the the people you have around you demeaning you have in your life the work you do and how all that aligns with with your values. So that's you know whoever has the most friends at the end wins is GonNa go. You know if you WANNA put it in win loss competitive sort of analogy read that I think that's what canvas taught me And I don't need six houses. I need why I don't need ten cars. I need one and and I think that we can recalibrate in such a way that that you know it's a little more equal because otherwise it's just it's not sustainable. The way things are right now. Look what's happening all around us. It's just clearly not sustainable and and you know. Human cooperation has a tremendous Tremendous progress in an economy wealth and and and science. And just. It's all because of human cooperation. Look at any city. Skyline is because of its human cooperation and so human cooperation is how we're going to solve all of these problems that that seem intractable. It's just the compacts. We used to cooperate like capitalism. Aren't working anymore and we need new nuance and And and and you know we can't keep growing and growing and growing we're going to grow to exchange and just at some point we have to say okay. A post growth world is needed here. And Wow it's gonna be really fun because you know we don't have to worry about growth anymore. We can worry about instead of worrying about going wide we can worry about going deep you know and and know and creativity and arden music and these things have opportunity to have a real renaissance You know if if there really is enough wealth in the world to make everybody middle class. If we just figure out the Compaq's we need to cooperate to do that. Shouldn't we do that? I mean right. Yeah at like dearly up to think about should do that. We do that and if there's a way to do that sustainably might not be. You know I mean we might. We might say. Wow you know we need three billion people not eight right and so let's figure out a way to trend that to to that you know and and we have to start thinking of humanity is a global family. And and and stop with all this other. Y- these other models that that may be more nationalistic or more tribal or I mean I mean. Even the canvas community were big tribe. I mean it's it's it's we could be our own country if if I was some way to define that without landmass borders And strong central governments is spiritually. We are our own sort of trivandrum. Country Tuning. My brother talks a lot about this in canvas renaissance in the canvas creed and and you can follow my brother and learn more about this but but this this idea you know this this this is is you know. We are tens of millions hundreds of millions of us. Now that love this plant have the basically the same value system and there's tremendous power and that that we have not even begun to leverage. That's that's absolutely true and it'll be interesting. You know as people get more creative and especially you know when times get tough sometimes that drives some really interesting innovation So it's going to be really interesting to see how the cannabis industry adapts to the Times. We're in now. And how it progresses forward at a really interesting opportunity It seems like Right now that that we can grasp if we can find a way to get our wits about us then and see the vision. I think you know what you're pointing out of needing that higher vision of what are we going towards and not just our little group but as you know society in its totality what are we moving towards and how do we get there and yeah we just haven't had that Leadership I don't think from from very many people that have that level of vision. That's trying to coordinate. You know something like that I agree. It's we're still extremely nationalistic and antiballistic and It seems like Maybe more and more people are starting to clue into those dynamics But you know we still have a long way to go And my hope is that when times get tough like this and provides an opportunity to do things differently and that new standards to lead. Like you're saying the cannabis industry has this chance to lead and set examples for other industries and other other ways of doing things like you know we need to take that seriously and recognize opportunities in grab hold. Yeah we're at a real crossroads. I wrote about this in. I was grateful at Ben's Inga. A published my my piece val prop sixty four and how to fix it here in. California and and you know what's happening in California is metaphorical for what's happening with legal cannabis in Canada again and Massachusetts in lots of places We you're you're absolutely right. We're at a crossroads here and we have You know there's there's the legal industry is really on the verge of collapse in pretty serious way And and and you know we also have to get our own house in order. One of the things I talk about is here in California if we just raised somewhere between twenty five and fifty million dollars we could write our own law. We could ride our own regulations. We could ride our own taxes. We could take the local control away from the people. We could do it all we could win. It's pay to play political system out here and most places in the United States. We didn't build that system a scan of people but we have to learn how to win within it and we can Because now you know our industry however fledgling however constrained by bad public policy. We still did three billion in. California in two thousand nineteen. We only need like one tenth of one percent of that to to pay to play in the political system and win so That that we do have to get our own house in order and and certainly diversity and social equity is part of that Getting Nap House in order. And that's why we have less prisoner project were yet It's worth fighting. We used to have to fight a war to legalise cannabis that and usually when you do war metaphors. You talk about it all the battle. I lost the battle but I won the war. You know the old saying well. Now we've won the war but we're losing the battles. Yeah I mean we're losing the battles And you know and that's where we need to start winning and and we have to pivot. I spent two years in California. Doing this. With the California Cannabis Industry Association. I I'm now private citizen so I'm trying to do this a little bit more from the outside than inside. But but you want you've changed law you're now no longer political activists your political and you have to get in that system and you have to create the change in need to make legalization work better for everybody. You have to do that within the system And that's a whole nother skill set were were. I'm still just learning how to navigate all that I learned a lot in the last two years in and I talked about that. That article and But our primary you know we can't get too angry and frustrated with the politicians for getting things wrong when we don't have our own house in order And and so we're very fragmented right now. If you Google trade associations for canvas in California you'll come I mean there's got to be one hundred and fifty of them We need one really good one big one. That represents everybody that has a ten or twenty million dollar annual budget just for California or eight hundred million even back. Then we start to win. That's what the that's what the NRA and conservative groups. They don't have one hundred fifty. Nra's okay they don't have one hundred and fifty different trade groups raw. They know man they have you behind one they get behind one. They consolidate and boom. They hit your heart right in the face And and politics is competitive and contentious. That's the way the system setup and that's hard People don't like that But I think we can like you said create a new political order as an avenue industry. Order it there's no reason. Politics should be as contentious as it should be collaborative at should be collaborative. And disagreements are supposed to get us to a better solution not not terrorists to pieces. The dispose be like. Oh okay now I have to compromise. Wow that thing in the middle ended up being better than thin way out there to the right or way out there to the left anyway And when you you know I it's not it's so so it's a different thing we're doing now with with fixing all this Because we're we have to win all these little battles now that we've won the war. Yeah exactly on so and last prisoner project is one of those battles and getting people out of prison is one of those battles on And you know making sure. We don't overtax cannabis so that we can absorb the legacy market. Not Launched Pro Vision two point. Oh against it you know An and there's any number of other things. We need to do to reform legalization so that we can create a more inclusive ecosystem And you know the high tide will lift all boats and right now the politicians in the regulators who deal the details of implementing. This are scared cannabis They're just terrified of it And they're afraid someone's going to get sick or some kids going to hurt themselves or someone is GonNa get in a car accident or you know whatever it is they're just terrified of it and they don't realize how good it is and and and all the good stories don't penetrate their minds is as as much as the fearful ones. The haven't even happened yet now. They're right yeah. Better hypotheticals and the real. The good ones actually have happened. Yeah and so you know And so we have. That's that's why goes back to the stigma right And and and starts us back. In the beginning of this conversation. That's doing the cultural workin and telling our stories to make sure and Suratman creating those communities around us to validate us And those communities get bigger and bigger and bigger and everybody within those communities decides to come out of the closet to their parents like you did and their communities and they take that first step of activism and then they go through that process of every want shock and awe of that of that realization in their community and then and then they build then they transform that community from from being against canvas being poor cannabis and oftentimes taking cannabis themselves because the architecture prohibition is built on a lie and and once we can connect people with the stories of the plan helping people and some of those people end up being people they now and love boom. We've we've created change and transformation. Now it's very well said well to begin wrapping up our conversation. I'm so glad you're able to kind of tie a bow on so much of that going back to the beginning. I wanted to throw in there going back to the beginning if we can just get to the point where we've got our museums in every state seriously In Our last few minutes here well one I wanted to. I know a run over. I want to be conscious on your time. Are you still good for a few minutes here I am? I've got a few fun questions for me. That wanted to throw out. That aren't quite as heavy as some of the other stuff that we've talked about. I'm just things I wanted to pick your brain about So one thing I wanted to ask you about is you casually and you might have been joking. I don't even know but you casually made comment. I think it was on your Talk that you did for Green Flower Media. Are you talked about Running a dispensary but one point in that talk. You mentioned something about Jack Herrera dollars or like a currency and you mentioned he said my brother and I are going to work on on on this of trying to get a unique currency or something like that. Were used serious about that. Well I WANNA get Jack Hair's face on currency unthank- Gosh I. I'm not actively working on a campaign to get Jack Errors. Face the one dollar bill We're GONNA have to take that up at a later point but but there are a lot of groups doing you know digital currencies for Canada best. That's what I thought about. My brother and I are not actively working on one. We've certainly had a lot of conversations with people about that and I am probably the last of the analog generations and even understanding digital currency is been a challenge for me to. Yes I understand how it works. How it draws its value. How it draws in like okay. I'M GONNA go pay my mortgage. Can I use? I use? Joined do that on now. I can't oh well. How about groceries? How Bill now how okay. What do ideas illegal stuff off the dark land with it all right? Well something on your end. Someday you might be able to rent with well okay. All right So and it's probably just a function of where I stand on the generational curves of things I think that there should be I worry about the fragmentation. You know how many digital cannabis current race can there be and will any of them have any value if there's fifty five hundred of them and if five hundred of them all have twelve hundred members right out. Is it all work But I I love the idea of digital currency the decentralisation of it and this this idea that were hundreds of millions of tribes strong across the globe. And how do we unite the Outta? We unite that with political even financial economic power. A digital currency might be one way to do that So I'm I'm very curious about ways in which our global community can get connected so that we can leverage that community for political and economic power. I think it's time for us to have political and economic power. I think we've earned that now and deserve it. We deserve seat at that table and but but I don't know how to do it Yeah Yeah and so. We're we're still trying to figure figure that out because we're but I there's a lot of power we have so much political economic power that we're not realizing that that in some ways we're wasting Yes and it's just tremendous when you think about when you think about how divided the world is cheese. Were pretty strong in terms of our unity around this plant that the unity around this plant is very very strong. As as as Unifying PRINCIPLES ARE GETTING. We hear and weaker as just the general principle. Right now a the cannabis might be a unifying principle That's that that can work So so that's some of the more philosophical spiritual things. I was talking about right there with Jack Hair. Jack Hair was man that was possessed with divine madness in and Elliott. Yeah you know in the seventies and eighties and sixty then to to work with this plant with that war going on against it you had to be yet to be a little crazy To make the kind of sacrifices that Jack my brother myself and whole bunch of other people May You had to have that divine madness pulsing through you and and you know our our our founding fathers that are on those dollar bills the day sort of were possessed with divine as well. You know that's what I was GONNA say. It's entirely appropriate jacket. Say GotTa have that divine madness to do really great things I think sometimes so yes according to turn my brother Join Divine. Yeah being willing to kind of jump into the fire So another Kind of a one off question I have for you About your relationship with Denis Perron though that somebody that you know growing up I've studied had a lotta respect for. Unfortunately you know never had the chance to meet or anything but one thing I want to ask you. What's your favorite memory with him? Wow well when I was when I graduated college in Nineteen Eighty nine. I decided I I went to college in Southern California and I just had enough of it at that point. I decided to come to the bay area. I was lucky I was. I was studying acting in the bay area at a conservatory and I didn't know anyone in the Bay area and I was twenty one. I just graduated my older brother. Dennis rolled friends than he said. Well I know you can stay. Denis's house because the you're young and male. Yom and his house that time was a Mecca for young gay man and there were about thirty of them living there at that time. He had this big giant. He's still still his husband. John Still House the House And it's a it's a it's it's sacred ground that house in that how she'd be museum actually someday. I hope that But yeah yeah yeah right now still being used as activist and house in Living House. Oh but you know That journey is ongoing. But I'd like to see that some day and you know I was twenty one and Dennis took me in and I was straight sexually and and and that was interesting. And he my favorite memory when he first met me and he was smoking joining me join us and he looked at me and he said Well Andrew. Your brother tells me your straight. He had kind of New York accent. Yeah Yeah and you know. It's okay if you're straight Andrew in this House. It's okay if you straight as long as you don't flaunt it And and I would always blush when he said because I was surrounded by all these gay men and they were all looking at me and I would and they would all laugh and laugh and Hal and make fun of the straight straight boy in the house and we had a good time with that and That dynamic I got to be in Dennis ouster on no five or six weeks until I found my own place and and and and Dennis was a real mentor to people. He was a father. Figure THERE IN THOSE DAYS. A lot of gay men were kicked out of their homes. Grew up in place in the south. And we're ostracized than were disowned by their own families. And they didn't have anywhere to go and they were homeless and Dana's took them in and fed them and the ruling Dentists House that I loved. Was you the only one rule You could do whatever you want in Dennis. Tasked with But if you wanted to sleep there and not pay money you had to follow one rule now yet. Be there for dinner and he. He insisted on insisted that that everybody had dinner together. and that we broke bread together and and make a big meal. There's big buffet style meal Rainbow Rainbow Family China style meal. Yeah Every night at data's house and that was the rule and he insisted and he would get and he would remember if you weren't there and he would buster. I mean he would get really mad and he called you out. He like the he called out the next day and say well I? You couldn't make it to dinner last night. I guess we'll I guess we'll let them stay here even though we stray. Mamba these not flaunting it. It's okay but make sure you're here tomorrow. And so he would you know he would shame you a little bit that way and you know you bet your darn ask. She'd be there the following night. Because you didn't want to let Dennis now because he was your leader and he was provider it was a real provider news. A man of love and And I'll just never forget that I that was an act of kindness. Not only did he want to stay in his house. We got me started in the we business up there and and and and that's how I got through acting school. You know was selling we that from denison eventually. Who's able to sell him? We to and and and help with that But you know he he. I was just one of hundreds hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of people that Dennis mentored and nurture and inspired and he gets statue. Jack Jack GETS TO BE ON THE DOLLAR BILL. A dentist should get. Dennis should get a monument somewhere. He should have a monument. Yeah I like have a monument. He's gotTa Mural right now down in the Castro. I like to see him out. I like to see him have a monument. Well Yeah I remember Though you know when I was growing up in studying cannabis activism and learned about Denis Perron and his relationship with Harvey Milk and all that separate activism. I remember thinking by the time. I sort of like kind of learned what I could about the story of activism through the eighties and nineties and the connections between you know the cannabis activism communities then lgbtq plus communities and all that coming together. I remember thinking like man. Harvey Milk got a movie but like Denis Perron. Jeez like see how all these worlds interconnect and how. He's been at the center of so much of that because like he. He deserves his own movie to probe everything. Everything maxine like. I said just everything that I've heard about him for many one. That's this known has been very warm and positive That's that's very cool that you've got to spend that time with them As you were you know trying to make it out here very very cool so one last question. I have for you. So you know we talk about cannabis and and that's really great. I know you have other passions though so one thing I like to ask a lot of my guests are what are a few other things that you're especially passionate about other than cannabis that may be Folks might not necessarily know about For instance I know just from following your social media that you're into You've been doing some gardening and working outside and things Though just in general yeah what is what is Andrew De Ngelo. Passionate about besides cannabis. Well I have a lot of different things. I'm passionate about just on the lifestyle level. Gardening as you as you mentioned is one of them right now encouraging people to plant healing gardens so that you have food and even cannabis if you're legally able to So that you know as food shortages shortages happen you know. We can be a little bit more self reliant not so that's one thing I'm passionate about. I'm not very good at gardening. Pat I I. That's Okay I love doing it. It makes me feel really good. It's part that internal work Being in the garden and outside is There's something healing about it. So I'll like to cook Mom taught us about cooking so I love to cook food and and when you can grow food and then cook it asked. It's really great so That's and of course I love. Going theater are still experiencing plays Hopefully we'll all get to do that again soon. passionate about the grateful dead and And you know all the various offshoots therein in that whole culture is something I grew up in an and and and the grateful dead tours were where the counterculture sort of one of the grounding forces of accountable. Yeah alive. Yeah and you know. I haven't done as much pure travel for pleasures. I would like to in my life because they cannabis mission has just been so demanding. But I would like to do more than I'm passionate about going places. I haven't been before meeting people I have met before. Everywhere on earth. There's cannabis and cannabis people and I love going to I got to go to Mexico steed last year. Right Round You know Halloween and and the day of dead celebrations in And I got to meet all these great cannabis growers in Hash makers and activists and it was just such. Oh I opening experience to be able to meet other cannabis tribe members and other countries speaking other languages but having so much in common with them. So that's probably the thing I'm most passionate about right now. We've mentioned a Spain minute ago. I went over there to to experience. Some of that Passionate pursuit of international candidates people in cannabis scenes And united just got a little taste of it before the pandemic hit. But you know these associations non profit associations that are happening in Spain are really exciting. They're gray community centers the weed and the Hashes topnotch in there and they're very social places. People are in there. Working People in there drinking coffee and tea and A little bit different than a dispensary per se but but has aspects that are similar to a dispensary in and. I was really fun to be in another country so far away to experienced that level of freedom and commerce and culture. So I think that's the thing I'm most passionate about now. We can't do. We're we're learning how to do that. Virtually and I think that We may have to learn how to do that. Virtually more and more In the coming months a year or two But it's it's it's it's it's a really tremendous thing to be able to meet canvas people from all over the world and we we have different backgrounds. Different Religions Different Cultures. We different kinds of food. But we have very similar values in spiritual orientations around cannabis. So I've been fascinated by that because You know I for a long time. We didn't know if if our message was gonNA spread as wide as it has And you know I. I experienced that phenomenon going to Amsterdam back in the nineties and just experiencing that Cannabis Freedom Amsterdam off. What could be possible? And now you know the the associations in Spain are doing it and I think we'll get to see a lot an explosion of that kind of activity globally in the coming years and decades. It's going to be a lot of fun to you now. It's party connecting that whole tribe together now and and and we'll we'll be able to visit each other's consumption lounges and dispensaries and yeah and and farms in all be legal out in the open in. We'll be able to share information and knowledge And and then we'll be able to share our customs in our food and our religions are things that that made a special to the place. We were from I- discovering all those awkward being in Spain and not knowing the language it makes me feel bad but at but I also Enjoy the poetry and the the beauty of the sound of of of Spanish in Spain It sounds different than the Spanish being spoken. Mexico for instance That I'm more used to and it's fine to be exposed to these different things. It's it's it's it's it's it's it's part of of learning how diverse humanity is and and gaining respect for for that and and and so. I think that's the thing I'm most about right now. Is is is is connecting with the international canvas community. Yeah Yeah me too hoping I'm able to. I guess once things settle down and get to whatever. The new normal is Be Able to to get out. I mean there's there's great research come out of Spain. I've always wanted to check out that area. I'm connected to Israel's huge and I'm connected to a group that a nonprofit research group that is basically like Slovenia Austria several of those countries. That have kind of come together and are trying to share information and get Funded research going and everything. So have a lot of motivation to try to get out and explore. Look forward to when the unity comes because there's yeah there's so much to learn one of my favorite interviews I've done is with the guy that travels around Asia electing landrace and abilities and in the process he gets to you know meet with people from all sorts of different cultures. That are all connected around cannabis. Then he said something very similar to something. You said that no matter where he goes. There's always a canvas community that he can connect to even if he doesn't know the language and he's totally disconnected from their customs and everything. You can still connect with one another over the plant and that's just been. It's an incredible thing for me to watch him. Do this work that. He's traveling to Afghanistan and all over India and Thailand and Laos. All these places. What a great job right. Yeah and doing it at a lot of risk too. I might add but that experience of connecting with these other cultures and communities. It goes back around once again to what we're talking about at the beginning of recognizing that when it comes to our experience with cannabis there are people all over the world with different experiences that we can learn from and and And we can all grow together by being these different perspective than and getting connected so Yeah I think that's really great. Yeah the magic of the plan. You know it's just it's a it's a magical magical plant and it speaks to us and we here and you know in that bats what we share. And that's what's so magic. I mean it's just a plant right but but breaking transcend it can transcend so much of the boundaries. Human beings put it up between themselves. And what could be more important than transcending those boundaries? Right now so. My brother talks a lot about that. Also In his talks But it's it's it's it never ceases to amaze me the magic of the plant in the intelligence of the plant Every day I learn something new about likewise from and that's one of the great things of being able to talk to people like yourself on this podcast and everything having these conversations. There's never a conversation. I have where I don't learn something new or gain some additional perspective And it's it's exciting And you know at this point. We can start wrapping things up. I WanNa make sure you know. We've mentioned a lot of different things that you're involved in between Arbor side. Which right now. You're an adviser to size that right. They're still involved with operations there. And then and then you've got the last prisoner project and other things going on so at this point. I'm just GonNa Kinda give you the platform and please let listeners know any and everything you want them to know as far as projects you're working on where they can learn more whatever you want to get out into the world even musings. Whatever you feel is important. You HAVE THE PLATFORM. Well thank you. We've covered so much territory. I will say that you have a website. Andrew de Ngelo DOT COM. You can keep up with some of my thought leadership there you can also inquire to work with me or collaborate with me I advise and consult all over. The industry I do some of that. Work Pro Bono particularly persona folks in and others And so I guess I I should let folks now that I'm available to do that now. I don't run the day to day of harborside and and but I am an advisor to harborside and contractor with them big shareholder of course in and just You know still trying to make harborside a company more Greater than it was the day before Is Is it's it's a it's it's our legacy so something I care a lot about instill work on quite a bit And you know I some creative projects some storytelling projects. It's a little premature to talk about them. Right now but Hopefully people keep an eye out for some things with my name on it on that level Things are a little bit on pause in terms of how Roman television production but I hope to get some of those going because I like. I mentioned in the beginning the cultural I've done a lot of can't I can't as commerce in my life and and I love doing cannabis commerce. There's just nothing. There's no greater feeling than selling somebody some week. There really isn't there's that it's not a commercial exchange for me. It's a cultural human exchange And it it thrills me to this day did the very first time. I did it when teen thrills me today? But the culture work is what speaking to more and more because an telling the stories And making it about. I want to rebrand cannabis in pop culture And and I want I want the images and the people that that you think of when you think of canvas to change a little bit and get a little bit more diverse right now and More mainstream right now and And and I want us to also preserve our own unique Called Culture whether that be Hippie Culture Cheech and Chong or snoop and gangster rap culture and Rainbow Culture and REGGAE ROC- culture or all the different tribes within our tribe. I think it's important that we keep those traditions going to and and and and between all of that will create a really beautiful tapestry that will grow in live on unchain every day And and and and and we'll see you know our value system that we've taken from the plant other people take from the plant and will contribute to the culture and and and the renaissance will be on And Future generations will be able to look back at what we're doing right now and feel proud that that their ancestors did took the risk in made the sacrifices so that they could enjoy a cannabis economy. Yeah now very well put I keep thinking about my daughter when she gets older and tell her the stories you know of how far things have come even just in my lifetime. What I've experienced in the prohibition that I've experienced promise you know the changes the evolution and you know in only match and where it's going to be you know when she's in her late teens and starting to wrap remind around all of that You know despite how frustrating sometimes it gets when things don't evolve the way we'd like to see them don't you know. Sometimes it feels like take two steps forward steps back sometimes The ball is still always moving in the bill. Always EVOLVING. And it's moving into a better position than yeah. I think you know what we've talked about. Today is really about being more mindful of that evolution and our contributions in how we drive that evolution. So it's nice to see people like yourself and your brother that are using part of harbour sides deal was setting a new standard and trying to present a new image and new story a new way of thinking about cannabis users and cannabis commerce. And all these sort of things and Everything that we've talked about about stigma you know. That's what it's all about is recognizing that all of us players in this dance that we're in that we have this opportunity to set a new standard that new examples and you know as far as convincing people that don't necessarily agree that some of the best things you can do. Give them a new framework for thinking about this topic altogether and new images that come to their mind. When they think about a canvas user or a cannabis company And you know. That's that's how that change will happen so I appreciate the work you're doing. I appreciate you know the the activism and you know the sort of grand vision that you and your brother are trying to really You know realize and make happen here. It's it's inspiring like I said it's inspired me since I was a teenager and now here I am in my thirties and you know having the chance to connect with everything. It's it's honestly a little low mind blowing how this whole you know your involvement in the candidates space. You never know where it's going to take you and and what's going to happen next but I appreciate all of your work. I really appreciate you being willing to take the time today to chat with me for as long as we have It's been grade. There's a million other things we chat about I didn't even get into talking about Steep Hill and how harbourside was the first dispensary to get into testing. You think as a scientist. That's something that I would have gotten into but so much other. I think really important things talk about that. We'll find another time some time to get into into that but Just want to throw that nugget out there. That Harper side was the first dispensary to do lab testing to so as far as setting standards. You guys have done a lot of great work so thank you for that. Well it was great to be with you today. Jason and we'll see you next time. Yeah sounds great. Look forward to our paths crossing again. The take it easy and anyone listening. If you want to learn more about curious about cannabis you can find us at C. A. C. PODCAST DOT COM. And you can find us on twitter. Facebook instagram And you can find me on link in. Do you want to connect with me personally? The thanks so much and take it easy day. Curious bye bye you want. WanNA LEARN MORE ABOUT CANNABIS. You can check out. The curious about Canada's both available now on Amazon Dot Com and other online. The curious canvas podcast is presented by natural learning enterprises a science education company dedicated to the enhancement of public scientific literacy through education about the natural world. Curious about cannabis is just one of several learning initiatives produced by natural learning enterprises to learn more go to www dot natural learning enterprises dot com or connect with on facebook instagram or twitter.