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tv   Political Leaders Activists Journalists and Industry Reps Speak at...  CSPAN  July 11, 2022 8:02am-10:34am EDT

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>> charter communications supports c-span is a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front-row seat to democracy. >> up next senate majority leader chuck schumer and congressman david joyce explain why they support cannabis legalization at the national cannabis policy summit in washington, d.c. this portion of the summit focuses on the interstate commerce of cannabis, , criminal justice reform and environmental impact of the cannabis industry. >> all right. well, good morning, everybody. i would like to welcome you all to the national cannabis policy summit here at the ronald reagan building and international trade center. first i would like to start by
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thanking our host venue. i think it's fair to say for a lot of the advocates in this room that seven t years ago, ten years ago, 20 years ago we couldn't have imagined having av conversation about cannabis policy reform and cannabis legalization at the ronald reagan building. so i'm very happy to be here with all of you today. next i would like to thank our sponsor we've met. we've met is a w company that really does understand how important it is that we support and provide access to events that don't cause people money to attend. we need to make sure that cannabis education is free and i'd really like to thank weed map for the continued support of the summit and of the festival. i would also like to thank our viewers onnk c-span today, thank you so much for being you today c-span. it really does mean a lot we are allowed to show this information, able to share this information with such a broad audience. and before i get started i have two more thank yous. i would like to thank the
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advisors to the national cannabis policy center, justin strekal, gordon cummings, michelle freberg, bob kopecky, amber and morgan fox. their advice and important support has been critical to the success of this event over the years and i really thank you all for your time. finally and most importantly i would like to thank the member organizations ofdv the national cannabis festivals advocacy committee. since the festivals conception we have had a group incredible nonprofit advocacy organizations who have notof only advised and helped work with us on education programming for the festival but they've helped to keepke us focused on the issues that matter most, and in doing so they have allowed us to provide further education to our audience to help really push issues around cannabis legalization forward. so thank you so much to the member organizations offer advocacy committee. if you haven't already stopped by the table today they are directly outside this room so
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you can chatt with them during networking time or at the reception this evening. i don't think i need to say too much about this but two years ago the world changed, and many people experienced profound loss where that was in business, personal or with personal health. i thinkle it's arguable to say that in her own lifetime we may naturally understand the impact of what we have all gone through in the past two years. along with all of the lost and hardships that many of us faced over the past two years the were also some bright spots. and for me and hope for many of the people in this room some of those bright spots included the work of the nonprofit drug policy organizations who never stopped work, who never stopped it never stopped pushing. in the past two years while we were all beingng spun around in the doldrums of the pandemic, these nonprofit drugpr policy groups past the more act.
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they expanded medical programs andd access to cannabis medicine for patients. they legalized in new york, new mexico and virginia. so it is for these reasons and more that i am truly thrilled to be back here in person with you all today. convening unlikely allies, sharing ideas, , but most importantly we're gearing up for the next big push towards cannabis policy reform. so as i was preparing for today's summit imi promise of watching a lot of videos from the just say no campaign that was a big campaign when i was in elementary school and growing up, and i remember it very well. i was struck by how such a simple words, just say no, were used to demonize entire populations ofs. americans. words are really such an interesting thing here it's funny how time and circumstance can take words, the same words, and make them feel different different meaning.
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i found myself reading over a lot of the things the nancy reagan said during the just say no campaign, and i was struck of the same words with a few minor adjustments could be real applied today as of the case against the war on drugs. and so before introducing our next speaker i would like to leave you with these thoughts from nancy and from me. i want all of you today to help create an outspoken intolerance for the war on drugs. each of us has to put our principles and consciences on the line whether in social settings or in the workplace set for a solid standards institution. the war on drugs has taken away the dream for many children's hearts and replace it with a nightmare, and this time we in america stand up and replace those dreams. for the sake of our children i implore each of you to be inflexible to your opposition a failed druged policies.
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and now it is my extraordinary pleasure to introduce our next speaker. if you've workedn in drug poliy in the pasthe five years this a good chance you've encountered justin strekal. justin has served as a political director of normal for the past five years before recently leaving to start the ball pack which i'm surel you'll do much more about this weekend. he oversaw thet most critical time for cannabis policy reform as well as national legalization movement in canada, malta, paraguay and mexico. some have described justin is one of the most efficient brawlers in the fight for cannabis reform. and i think if you ever encountered him in a working group meeting for hearing you will probably agree. not only is justin and efficient brawler but he's also one of the most sincere and supportive people i've ever met and it is been such an honor to work with him on the t national cannabis festival advocacy committee and a joy to watch him develop a better organizing for legalization packed.
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so now i would like to introduce you all to justin strekal. [applause] >> caroline is givinge claps here. good morning, national cannabis policy summit. this is a really exciting time. this is an exciting day. the summit holds a very special place in my heart, considering how it has evolved over the previous years, when we used to hold it at the museum. the significance of us having this conversation in this place, in this building, given its namesake, makes everyone assembled here today, a radical. we need to readjust the language and flip the script. as caroline just articulated, by just changing a few words from nancy reagan, we can redefine the debate. it is radical that marijuana has
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been prohibited for the last 85 years. it is radical that it has been a schedule one substance in the controlled substance act for 51 years. it is radical that 41 years ago, the president of the united states, declared that drugs were a national security threat. we have a lot to talk about today. today, i am very proud of the program we have put together. because we chose, not what is easy, for what is hard. what the problems of this policy reform faces, moving forward, in a divided and barely partisan senate and a house that seems to flip-flop back between the political parties every two to four years. we have a lot of work ahead of us. today i want to talk about some of the reasons why we chose these panels, that way you understand how these pieces all fit together. because these contentious topics are good problems to have.
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left and right institutionalist and reformers, we need to come together to find consensus for -- if we are ever to navigate the weaponization of the filibuster in the united needs. -- states. the first panel will be on interstate commerce. we have some of the for -- most thoughtful and brilliant tenacious individuals in this country who are going to be talking about the complexity and nuance of how do we balance allowing small businesses the space to compete and grow and thrive and access to consumers from producers, when we see ounces in oregon for $40 and ounces for medical patients in pennsylvania for $400. how do we also prevent something that is very complicated? in this country, all that happened -- all to happens often carb or --, happens -- in this emerging economy deserve
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something different. i hope you'll all pay attention to that panel it is very important. next up, we are doing an environmental panel. we are doing it differently than we have in previous years. there is a very important aspect as to why we are. for too often, other industries in the u.s. built up and scaled, things like energy efficiency, renewable energy, biodegradable products, none of these things were considered. at a time and day and age where we see catastrophic wildfires to the west, where we see hurricanes like sandy, maria and those who have yet to be named. businesses have to take into consideration how they will be able to acclimate to a rapidly changing climate. so, cannabis can lead the way and serve as a better example, as far as how industries can
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evolve and we can get it right from the start. we have some amazing talented individuals who are going to talk about the work they are doing. a note of appreciation to natalie, because she is going to be moderating that debate. she wrote one article that started more conversations on the intersections between the environment and cannabis reform that i have seen in my entire time working and lobbying to congress. then, we will be hearing about returning citizens issues. i hope this is something everyone in this room will agree to, but also appreciate the significance of the emerging left/right center coalition, that has normalized the concept that when you and the criminalization of something, you end the collateral consequences that so many millions of americans still have to carry, like a scarlet letter,
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when they apply for jobs or housing. it prevents them from being able to get access to health care. it prevents them from being able to get access to higher education. we are really pleased to be joined by both the aclu and the americans for prosperity to talk about where the alignment is and how absolutely critical it is that we address these issues when we address comprehensive reform. then, i'm very excited, we will be talking about something that a lot of people throw around. i think we need to do a much better job of the language we use, which is the term, social equity. i am very excited to hear from both ambers. moderated by one of my favorite colleagues, marissa of the drug policy alliance to talk about the landscape, what is working, what is not and how we can make things better. last but certainly not least, we have a banking panel. banking, banking, banking.
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part of me, likes to say that i want a bill to get there so i don't have to talk about it. many in this area are figuring out how to thoughtfully address as we normalize this industry, what that looks like, and that we don't leave people behind and we are going to have a conversation on that. that is our program for today. i hope that, when you hear these topics being discussed, you keep in mind the challenges that we face in the u.s. congress. because it was only 31 months ago that the safe banking act was brought up for a vote in the house of representatives. in those last 31 months that bill has been passed by that chamber in additional five times -- an additional five times.
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it has only been 17 months since the house of representatives has passed the marijuana opportunity and expungement act. that would actually address the underlying criminalization and prohibition of marijuana, incentivize states and localities to set up programs that promote local and diverse ownership in the emerging industry, as well as incentivizing them to facilitate records of expungement and resentencing. when we look at the united states senate, does anyone have the love --does anyone have love for the u.s. senate? does anyone not have love for the united states senate? [applause] it's a very challenging time in our country. as someone who thinks about marijuana policy reform on a daily basis, i have to keep reminding myself that we do not exist in a vacuum. we exist as part of the broader public discourse. things are bad right now in the
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u.s. senate. as i previously mentioned, the weaponization of the filibuster makes addressing any kind of problem that faces our community and society as a whole, is incredibly challenging. we don't have much margin for error once we open up the pathway forward. we are now on the precipice of opening up a pathway forward. so, 91% of americans support the legalization of medical marijuana, at a time when 60% to 62% of americans support the adult use. i am excited about this next poem warmer -- number. at a time when it 44% of the american population currently lives in a legal state where marijuana under state law is legal for adults. we still see, one arrest every
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90 seconds. since i started talking, on average, six people would have been arrested and had their futures jeopardized. so, the late paul wellstone used to say, we all do better when we all do better. i have hope. you will see it on these panels today. the cast of characters. the tenacity that these organizers and organizations and individuals are bringing from the libertarian right to the leftist of the left and everything in between. we can do better. we absolutely must do better, if we are to ever end the prohibition and criminalization of marijuana. so, with that, after i disparage the senate, it is my pleasure to
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introduce our first video from a lawmaker, who many of you are familiar with. i don't think he needs an introduction but i'm still going to give him one. years ago, this individual who was a senator, supported the prohibition and criminalization of marijuana. but thanks to the hard work of tenacious, dedicated, radicals like yourself, who kept engaging in that conversation with him, who kept lobbying him, who showed up to his office sent to his events, who threaten primary challenges earlier in his career, he started to listen. now, he is one of the most thoughtful legislators that we have in the congress. while, i know many of us were discouraged by the recent announcement that they are delaying introducing their formal legislation, i assure you, that i appreciate it. i would rather them do it right,
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then do it quick. as they announce, they are still looking into how drug testing policies will work, how we make sure we include indigenous people as part of the economic opportunities of the legalization of cannabis, how we make sure we respect workers rights are -- as we are unwinding this ball of prohibition in intersects with every aspect of american policy. i'm very excited for you to hear and for us collectively to continue to work with senate majority leader chuck schumer. [applause] sen. schumer: hi, everyone. thank you to the national cannabis policy summit for the chance to share a quick message. years ago, a summit like this would have been difficult to imagine. people across the political spectrum and from all walks of life joining in one force calling for cannabis policy
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reform. today hundreds of millions of americans live in states, blue and red, were cannabis has been legalized in some way. make no mistake i am working diligently with my senate colleagues, every day, to make sure that the federal government finally catches up. as i'm sure many of you know. i have joined with colleagues to develop the cannabis administration and opportunity act. not only will this legislation and the federal prohibition on cannabis, it would expunge records of federal offenders and finally reinvest in communities decimated by the war on drugs. nearly a dozen senate committees are working hard to helping draft this bill. it will be comprehensive and i promise we will introduce this important piece of legislation before the august recess. it's the right thing to do. it's about individual freedom. the war on drugs is one people and overwhelmingly on people of color.
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not only do we need to and decades of over policing and overcome elevation when it comes to marijuana, we also need to create real opportunities for small businesses to legitimately participate in the cannabis industry. comprehensive federal cannabis legislation is critical to reaching that goal. it's not easy to get done but we are going to do it. i promise to keep working until we get it done. thanks for all of your work. have a great summit. [applause] >> hello everybody. my name is morgan fox i'm the political director for the national organization for reform of marijuana laws. i am pleased to be here.
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it's one of those days. let's try this again. i am so pleased to be here with everyone in our nations capital to discuss the timely pressing issue of interstate commerce for the regulated cannabis marketplace and to be doing so in a much different context than in the past. couple decades ago when legal medical programs were in their infancy, interstate commerce headed towards a negative implications for cannabis consumers. the idea that a single person's cultivation and use of pedicle cannabis could affect interstate commerce was used by the federal government to justify the ability to arrest patients regardless of state law. this was affirmed by the supreme court. the concept was also brought up frequently by politicians opposed to medical cannabis, claiming even the most limited and tightly controlled programs would lead to out-of-state diversion. in the year since, as regulated cannabis markets has spread throughout the country, the idea
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of interstate commerce been permitted is so remote and theoretical that it was rarely explored. however, the nature of individual state markets crated by outdated federal laws have led to a relatively singular considerations and pressures when compared to the market for other products which in turn have led to the unique challenges for regulators, businesses, and consumers. with the prospect of ending federal prohibition, increasingly within our grasp and momentum building a congress to de-criminalize congress -- marijuana -- cannabis. and how different approaches would affect the interest involved. some advocates are in favor of ripping off the band-aid immediately, arguing this will lead to immediate improvements and drive down prices and open up new markets for existing businesses. some states are not waiting for federal change and are pursuing an approach of interstate commerce contact between individual states.
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still, others worry that allowing interstate commerce all at once will be too disruptive to existing state markets and make it easier for larger more well-funded operators to cut costs and quickly dominate the national market. they suggest a more measured approach. what is certain is that this is a very nuanced issue. one we must tackle without delay given the potential social impacts of the decisions we make now. that is why i am excited to introduce our panelists. michelle, senior policy analyst. with the alliance for central markets. tom, native american advocate and owner of carlisle consulting. and the cofounder of the. center. the panel will be moderated by a d.c. correspondent. and the former president of the national press club. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. our panel today will address
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interstate cannabis commerce, even with states legalizing cannabis, setting aside licenses and funding to ensure small businesses, especially minority owned can enter the new cannabis industry, many advocates are concerned about the best laid plans may fall victim to some national producer that will be the walmart or amazon of the cannabis industry -- just as it has killed, family-owned businesses break -- so too is they're concerned that the growth of legal cannabis sales will attract interstate giants that will dominate the industry. i work for the new yorker cannabis insider, we did a conference in new jersey, there was a big concern on what is happening in washington, that was on everybody's mind. we want our panelists to say a few words and we will get into questions. let's start at the end. >> hi, everybody.
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i want to think the advocates who have been in the space for decades, fighting, debating, thinking about these issues much longer than i have. i want to thank them for their work at length the groundwork and for maintaining an impressively open dialogue. it's depressing how rare this is in american politics these days. they really welcome new voices and perspectives to the conversation. i consider myself one of those newer voices. i work for the competitive enterprise institute, which is a nonpartisan free-market economic think tank. what it stands for is free markets. it's not because it's not for me or something inherently great about businesses or free markets, it's because we believe that freer markets benefit consumers, individuals and society. to put it in more negative
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terms, a lesser free-market harms individuals and society. that is my expertise for most of my professional career i focused on alcohol, gambling, food, cannabis, tobacco, these are all, what they share in common besides being vices, as they have all experienced big grand moments of emerging markets. whether it has opened up in some big way. what i have noticed is when that happens, there is a rush of special interest that always flows in to try and protect themselves, to try and corner part of the market to become gatekeepers. that has all of these harms a special on consumers. i hope that is what i can add to the conversation, to talk about how that can be avoided. how we can make sure that smaller businesses, local businesses have enough flexibility to be able to grow and compete, and we don't allow a few large businesses to granted themselves the favors
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that would allow them to keep out competition. >> good morning everyone. i am here representing the alliance for sensible markets. the reality is, interstate commerce already exists. the longer we delay addressing this in a meaningful manner, the longer we will continue to criminalize black and brown people. the longer we will have farmers, retailers and distributors throughout the country facing criminalization. the alliance of sensible markets is not waiting for federal legalization. or scheduling what we are adding -- asking the doj to do is to take a tolerant stance on interstate compacts between legal and state. california, oregon, washington, they all producer states. we also have to consider the distributors and retailers that exist on the east coast. a lot of the markets that are legalizing. what we saw yesterday in new
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jersey were adult use open up for a select few business owners is highly inappropriate. it is absolutely what we should not be doing. as we move forward, we need to think about the existing world-class supply chain that exists today and how we empower those folks to really create the industry that we all want to see. when i was the president of the minority cannabis business association, we started having real discussions about what interstate commerce would mean for the existing social equity programs that were failing people at the time. we started thinking about the fact that a lot of mergers and acquisitions that were happening and being able to delay interstate commerce for the existing nso, to continue to take over market share, to continue to not support the versa fine our industry -- diversifying our industry is unfair and it is something we cannot continue to do. in the last several years i have
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had the opportunity and pleasure of working with businesses of all sizes. . in the space what is important for us to think about is how we collectively work to ensure a place for every size the business in our industry. >> good evening. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i was at montana yesterday so i have my times mixed up. my name is tom rogers. everybody say it. there you go. now we set the spirit right. i have been involved, i am half irish. i always tell people i am extremely well-balanced because i've a chip on both shoulders. [laughter] a dear friend of mine says tom, your mother was native, they were the first ones and the only
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ones to encounter lewis and clark and threatened them with bodily harm. and i am irish catholic on my father's side so he says, few had been born 100 years ago you would've been shot or hung. which is probably true. it probably applies to today. i have had a wonderful life. i represent the people that i love, indigenous people across the u.s. and in the first nations of canada. we never respected -- i know we call it borders in polite, white society, we call the medicine lines. good medicine, bad medicine. we don't call it the border, between canada and the united states. we say is that good medicine or bad medicine. we did not draw the lines. coming out of this incredible public policy debate, it's good to see jonathan here. jonathan and i have known each other for a while. jonathan worked with me on the scandal.
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for those of you who are no are of a certain age are saying what was that? well, it was a very sad affair were native americans were referred to in email as sub humans. as -- even his associates on capitol hill would go back and forth in their email and said, what is actually a --? to read that about yourself and the people you represent as they cash their checks and made fun of us. we have always had our nose pressed against the mirror of this country. we are islands of poverty. we are not the south park caricature you may see on tv, that we are casino loving slot machine, generating. that is a minority. that is not the majority. most of us are extremely poor.
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my tribe, 85% unemployment in the winter. during the height of the great depression, the unemployment rate in this country was funny 3.5%. multiply that by three and a half times. the largest cause of death in this country for native americans is suicide. suicide. the absence of hope. so, as it relates to our topic today when it comes to commerce, the commerce clause and how it relates to the native people, the first nations need, weatherby on voting rights, abuse by pharmaceutical companies, they wanted to test the opioids on us first. look at the emails. let's use native americans as the first ones.
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so you dehumanize us, you use us as test cases like guinea pigs, and then he put us in the attic. recall them reservations. -- we call them reservations. because americans cannot confront what you've done to the first nations. so you need to put us out of mind. so that is why it is so important that this country have a reckoning with its history. and understand what they have done to the first people of this country and to protect them. protect us from the states who seek to tax us and take our name -- land. the biggest fraud was manifest destiny in the u.s. your ancestors use the divine to steal from us. and call that manifest destiny. so, i hope at the end of this
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discussion, we want nothing more -- i never want to use history to -- but you should use history to inform you. hopefully we can educate and create a teachable moment for you all today so that you can go out and one by one educate people and inform them as to what the first people of this country are about. at the end of this conference, you can say, here's your second native word -- it is good. [applause] >> goodi hope that is where we e
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away from today. >> michelle, let's start with you. we are talking about amazon of cannabis, the walmart of cannabis. that has all been done under a
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free enterprise system. do you think -- is there a role the federal government can play to make sure there isn't two or three national distributors that put everybody else out of business? >> there is a huge role, to make sure they do not functionally make that possible or allow that to happen. most monopolies are over consolidation in market and their temporary -- not temporary, it happened because somebody had new innovative technology or figured out logistics better than everyone else. pretty soon everyone else figures it out and competition starts. we saw this in standard oil. they were 85% of the market in 10 years they were down to 60%. that was before government intervention. what happens with the government getting involved is they see opportunities to help themselves, help the people who pay them, help the people who vote for them, so the institute
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protections against certain businesses or give them subsidies or access to scarce resources, so other peak -- that other people don't have access to two creates monopolies that last. it protects them from competition. that is one of the things i would emphasize. he saw this with the beer market, where we tried to institute after prohibition. . the three-tier system we were worried about the brewers that made it through monopolize the market and bully distributors. what happened after couple of years, because unknowingly or knowingly, that created a very protected market for the distributor. they grew into a huge political force. then managed to add in more, add any laws that required brewers, of all sizes not just the big ones, to forge lifelong contracts that they could not get out of. so they had total control over pricing and he kept a lot of
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people out of the market. it kept craft brewers out of the market. what we are seeing in the market now, they are up to 20% of the market share which is widely different than it was 20 years ago and that is primarily because the states have been chipping away at all of those protections that were put in, that were meant to protect the public health or to protect against monopolies that established monopolies that lasted for decades, a century almost. so by allowing smaller brewers, who can find a distributor because they're all taken up by established breweries that have lifetime contracts, you can soft distribute a certain amount of your beer and that allows them to get established and find a distributor. where talking about a new market like the soon-to-be new legal market anyway, with cannabis, we want to make sure that the chuck schumer's of the world, they will always do what they do, which is they have the power and the powers for sale. the advocacy community needs to watch out for that and make sure
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that they are really defining the market and honestly need to watch out for the public health advocates as well. we were talking about big tobacco and juul. a lot of the juul scare -- i'm not going to defend it as a company they are not angels but they were looking at a market as a tribal community. in the u.s. the average adult smoking rate is about 13 14%. in tribal communities it is 40% or more. they are saying we have a safer alternative, where is that market? go with the smokers are so you can try to do transition laws and make money. public health community which wants to benefit by becoming a gatekeeper, by adding barriers, the use stuff like that, they use the public health argument to scare people and say, this is big tobacco, this is why we need to control the market, we need
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to have them register with the fda. look at what is happening in the e-cig written market, after 11 years of fda regulation, their only two companies that the fda has approved. they are from r.j. reynolds, and british american tobacco. all of the thousands of companies have never been part of big tobacco, they have been denied or are still waiting and will probably keep waiting for a lot longer. the public health community will always try -- they'll have their own ends and we have to balance out. not that their ends are bad, but you have to be upfront about balancing against monopoly, thinking about state markets, and the consumers. sometimes these objectives can conflict with one another. >> one question on those lines. should there be special protections for minority businesses? in jersey it so long to implement legal recreational cannabis. there was a demand that you had
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to have a carveout. the communities were hardest hit by the war on drugs, cory booker will not protect the safe banking act. does there need to be a government regulation to make sure the minority businesses can compete against walmart and amazon? >> i don't know if there needs to be a protection, the best thing to do for it, whether it is a small businesses or minority business is to make the barriers to entry into growth as low as possible. whenever you increase the regulatory state -- stakes, the more complex it gets, the harder it is for small businesses to afforded, to understand it and to do it. the more capital it takes to get into the market. that is one of the reasons flex abilities open. that does not mean there is not a role for the waita structured to make sure that -- for the way it is structured to make sure that these social equity programs are optimized.
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i think the most important thing is making sure the federal government and state governments are not adding in an advantage for other types of businesses. >> i will just add to that. in addition to the federal government having a role to play, industry has a role to play. when you talk about what is happening with craft beer it is because the larger players did lend their infrastructure and their experience, their resources to these smaller businesses. so we need to do the same in cannabis, what we have seen promised in a lot of states, by larger cannabis operators is they will incubate a small or a social equity business or minority owned business. we have to create systems, programs that emulate what the small business administration would do for any other small business. right now we do not have any resources, especially at the federal level because finding -- finding private and public
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partnership to look a lot like what we saw with craft beer in the cannabis industry is of the utmost importance right now. a lot of the market share that we have seen acquired by these existing cannabis industry players comes at the expense of social equities, smaller businesses. it is not only up to the federal government. what we should also be looking at is is there oversight and some of those much larger industries where they have been able to manage mitigating that opportunity for all about police and monopolies. it is up to all of us, and i do not think anybody is going to be naïve enough to think we can depend on the federal government to ensure that black full and brown folk -- black folks and brown folks have access to this industry. we have to lower those barriers to entry. we have to increase the resources and we have to be open to what it looks like to partner with various types of
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businesses, various sized businesses to ensure that everyone has a lane in the space. >> on the question of protections, i wrote a paper with suggestions about how to prevent monopolies, hoping that other people with experience can refine those. michelle was one of those people. one of the suggestions was to prohibit integration. she suggested why not exemptions to the prohibition for certain businesses. it reminds me of a protection we have in massachusetts for delivery businesses. a couple of years after when we were seeing the equity programs were not where we wanted them to be, we did a course correction. that is a good thing about transitioning, slowly into a regulatory structure is that you can make course correction. so, there is a small business, if you have a small micro business, you can cultivate and process and deliver, all under
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one license, you are the only type that can do that. can call it a protection or exemption to prohibition or a timing advantage. but, the opposite because it is for small businesses. but it is for the first three years. so, the company that made the first delivery, they are minority owned, they are veteran owned, they hire veterans to make the deliveries and they are thriving now, year after the started. they are the only type of business that can operate in this particular space and in this way. it is a great example of how you can have a protection or something similar were of course we are to interstate commerce, to a place where all kinds of businesses can engage in deliveries but they had that head start and level the plane full -- and that leveled the playing field. >> thank you.
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this country is built on stories. from our founding fathers. to the discovery of yellowstone. yellowstone is coming up on its 150th anniversary. as you know, yellowstone park was discovered by a gentleman named -- by a white man. even though native people have been there for 20,000 years. it was discovered by white men. you should know that you were never taught in school that that same man massacred 200 of my native women, brothers and sisters and children on a wintry january morning. he recorded in his report, he
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instructed his soldiers, that when you run out of bullets, use the pickaxes on them. you hear those 200 women and children running towards the river, the screams, yet, he discovered yellowstone park. that will be celebrated this august the 26th. i don't use history to imprison you but you should use it to inform you. it is always -- we have always been at war and battle, because this country was founded on that. it has always been about the taking of the land. it has always been about the land, the homestead act, hear that in don't you feel just wonderful? it's called the homestead act. you're going home. come. we are going out west. find yourself.
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the homestead act was the largest land transfer in this nation's history. our most revered president, abraham lincoln, who could not love that man? he ordered the largest execution of native americans in this country's history. almost 40 lakota warriors were hung simultaneously at the same time. take that visual home. 40 minute dropping at the same moment -- men dropping at the same moment. the largest execution ever in this country. we need the protection of our trustee. the supreme court, you saw yesterday with puerto rico, the only one who knows anything about native american laws is sotomayo -- i will never ever
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agree with antonin scalia. but he was right when he said this. when it comes to native american law we make it up as we go along. you see justice clarence thomas in -- when it comes to native american law. his latest opinions on native american are embarrassing. i clerked for a federal judge. i know how they think. there is -- they are as biased as you and me. they see the world through their own prison of experience and education. justice is not blindfolded. and never has been. you cannot escape your own life experience. you cannot escape your own life education and you cannot escape how you view life. your parents, how the informed
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your life. -- they informed your life. to go before the supreme court as a native american is almost two commit malpractice. -- to almost commit malpractice. you don't play the patriots in foxboro and you don't go to the supreme court, this version. you will not find justice there. you will not find it with the states. the states have always been our adversary. they always wanted our land. and what they cannot take it by force, they text us -- taxed us. they had no authority but they would have their tax options they would seize our land and dispossess us. the federal government would terminate us as a people. yes, ladies and gentlemen d federal policy in this country in the 1950's was called termination. it was not in arnold schwarzenegger movie.
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i don't tell you this because the history of native people in this country is the history of this country. it is extremely sad. so, when we examine this new industry that is developing, once again, we are like children with her nose pressed against the window -- our nose pressed against the window, we need a protection from the federal government. we cannot seek solace with this version of the supreme court. far too many governors, too many attorney general's, just like they did with indian gaming, when the attorney general's and the governors of the state had a ruling from the supreme court at that version of the supreme court, said he did not have authority on the native land, stay out of it.
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they went running to congress. protect us from those native americans, they're going to gamble on their own land. sometimes life is poetry. now we are finding out that far too many native americans, the headwaters of all of those rivers out in the west, yeah, i know we put you in these isolated places so we could forget about what we did to you, while now we control the headwaters. how is that for poetic justice? so, yes, jonathan, we need our trustee. because he promised us. that you would take care of our health care. that you would educate us. and for that, we have pickaxes. yes, i would say we need protection. >> should there be a new federal agency or can the ftc
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commission, through drug administration, can the department of justice handle this new industry? >> i absolutely agree that we need to protect small businesses. we need to protect certain things. what i don't want us to be misguided into his protecting us out of the potential growth of real opportunity. i mean this as individual business owners and as an industry. we need to be intentional about the protections and exemptions we are putting into place so that they are not misused and so they do not turn into the loopholes that we have seen at the state level when they are insisting that they are protecting a small business and creating an opportunity where a larger business only has to give you 1000 square feet of space to operate in. no guidance, no access to resources. when you fail they have the early access, you are out of the way and even potentially take in
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some of your intellectual property, your customers, etc. i want us to be intentional about the protections that we are selling voters as we look through the pieces of legislation that will try to do that. then, to your question, i think that now is the time, i believe that the trio said it, they are taking the time to go to committee, -- to work out the detail that we have never actually done. we have the opportunity to be collaborative with any or all of the agencies so that there is oversight where it is needed. we are leaning and learning from the experiences that they have had with other industries but that there is not a requirement for a mom-and-pop shop to go through an fda process that they are never going to be able to afford, that is not necessary to protect consumers. i think it is important for us to have this out and government
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agencies, let us not hand them the cannabis agency to further mess this up. [applause] >> i will add to that. and may or may not be a good idea to have a separate federal agency here, but if the fda has anything to do with this, this is something that has not been talked about, there's been some discussion about which agencies should handle oversight for the national market, but congress has to make it very clear that what the fda's job will be is not to review every single product and give it a stamp of approval because that will take decades. the fda does not like to regulate thousands of businesses. they don't have the resources. they want a few big ones, that is how you get monopolies. will congress should direct them to do is create safety standards. not worrying about, is this attractive to kids? what are the ingredients, what combinations are generally safe?
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and at a different agency, representative suggested this, and agency like the ttd, ttb, one of the things they process -- they look at the labeling for alcohol and the company tells him what the ingredients are and if they do not meet the standards of safety, they look at the labels and say all of this is good go for it if they violate it then we will come for you. that takes a turnover of a couple of weeks. there are thousands, and they do that all the time. don't let -- i don't want the fda to be the gatekeeper because that it will be handed to businesses. >> >> i think that from the state perspective or from the experience that we have so far, generally new independent agencies, i think are slightly better than existing ones.
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there's obviously a balance there, but there's a really important role for new agencies to look at data and make informed, educated decisions. so i would suggest a new agency personally because we do not have a central way to look at what all of these different states have tried and how they're going. in new york, you know, we don't even have evidence yet, right, so we are in no way prepared to make decisions about what a federal regulatory structure looks like. so the first job, i think, of a new agency would be to collect that information from the states and then start to make a model, because absolutely nobody now knows what it should look like and what works and if they say they do, they're lying, we have to understand if we take the experience that we've had and talking about equity, we're talking maybe five years so far that we have
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tried, we can't make a final decision, flip a switch, start interstate commerce and then end up with the amazon basics of corporate weed and not be able to take that back. >> when the moore act passed the house and the same republicans voted for it a year ago, three years ago, and david joyce, from ohio, republican, co-chair of the congressional cannabis caucus voted no and he said, you're not going to pass a senate through 60 votes unless there's a federal regulatory part of any legislation. do you agree that yes, that's got to be required before you can see a national cannabis-- >> i'm sorry, can you rephrase the question. >> do you believe that there has to be a-- some sort of federal regulatory part of any cannabis legislation if the federal government is going to
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decriminalize? >> if we wanted to separate and we should, for the the top priority of legalizing potential and getting people out of jail and profit and other things as well. one is extremely urgent and one is not. you could do one without the other, but yes, eventually we'll have to have a regulatory session. >> once again, and played a role in litigating against open opiate manufacturers, does that
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make you afraid? essentially the f.d.a. were a turnstile for big pharma, that's been proven by some of the court records. do you know what some of the opioid distributors said in their e-mails, we need to treat these white pills like doritos, get them out the door. one of the sales executives said, i want a blizzard of white. now, can you imagine if your son or daughter had died from an opioid overdose? so i call it the goldilocks moment, jonathan. this needs to be just right. it needs to be -- proceed cautiously, yes, the federal government has a role and the states with their local authority, i understand that. but it needs to be informed. we cannot replicate what occurred if the dea and the f.d.a. with what happened here, eventually the opioid crisis
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will kill more people than the pandemic. the pandemic. we're at 110,000 last year. and you see the abject failure at the dea and the f.d.a. so, that is -- that needs to be informed as involved native americans. 33% of this country don't know that native americans still exist in this country, 30% think we're gone. now, if i encounter somebody who has worked at the f.d.a. and dea for a number of years, we have no cultural understanding of native americans, no awareness. you have to understand this is what our culture, our people are about, how we proceed to solve problems. like we were talking earlier, very environmentally conscience, extremely. we believe in our holistic environment, that climate change is a direct result of the rape of our land, the rape
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of our women, it's all interwoven. it's a woven thread, it's a tap industry, it's not siloed. so once again, we need to celebrate our public policy makers, congress and provide the resources, everybody thinks they have all of this money. on capitol hill, you're constantly starved for time and resources. we need to empower them given the resources they incredibly need with a cultural awareness and do not let money make you your master. that's what the opioid crisis was about. that's what the wall street crisis was about. remember that great line out of that great movie called "wall street", money makes you do things you don't want to do. let's not turn the f.d.a. and
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dea another turnstile for big pharma because that's what it was. >> we need a federal regulatory framework that addresses the gaps that haven about left by the state programs. we need a federal regulatory framework that looks at what's been done well at the state level and what has not been done well and more than anything, our existing businesses, small and large alike, need a federal-- need the federal government to take action on this because right now businesses are in crisis. there are folks that can't get into this industry and there are folks that are in and drowning and we can address a lot of issues and i totally agree with you, the criminal justice reform piece is a no-brainer and had we been better engaged with folks working on criminal justice reform and had been in a cannabis silo we might have
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gotten more things from the first step act. what we need to do is look at what the federal government can come in and help us address today and we know that these schedule addresses a lot of issues for a lot of folks and whether you're here thinking about, you know, criminal justice reform or you're here thinking about what the industry looks like, what i know is that federal framework will begin and create a space for all of our businesses, it should create a lane and a space for the future of cannabis medicine and for it to be treated as such and right now we depend on the f.d.a. to make things like that happen, but there are consumers and patients that should be able to access this medicine the same way they're accessing a more toxic medicine today. and it doesn't happen until we are educating and influencing our policy makers in a meaningful way with evidence-based data and science. >> we're almost out of time, so, to wrap up, let's each of
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the panelists want to say a couple of words to-- and in addition anything i haven't asked and any points you want to make before we adjourn? >> well, i want to agree with everything they've said and i understand the political reasons why it's not happening, but the decriminalization and something that we need to discuss among advocates, but there's no reason we should delay stopping people from arresting people and ruining their lives and their family's lives and defendant's lives. and the big packages when you come up with a big plan that includes social equity stuff. and we need to act on that now and some things that tom hit on are really important because what we're talking about, a lot of incentives.
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one of the things i said in the green room earlier was efor the most part people are not good or bad. they're average and responding to the conditions that they are surrounded by. there are outliers, and people who are just event no matter how good they have it. and for the the rest of us in the middle somewhere, how do we structure the market to incentivize small businesses, you know, businesses owned by disadvantaged people that have an opportunity in the market to be able to grow and thrive, feed into the communities, and those programs, and how do we disincentivize both the government and larger businesses from doing what they are inclined to do. the politicians out there are saying, i have control over this market, kind of like a bully, nice business there, a shame if something happened to it. it would be insane for most large businesses, even if they want to be moral and just and
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behave ethically, to leave that on the table because they know their competitors won't. their competitors will invest in that lobbying because the return on investment is big and one of the things we need to figure out how to do and obviously talk more about is, how do we take that away from politicians so they can't sell that power. how do we make sure that we are protecting communities and small businesses and new entrants into the market from the threats of better-- the combination of large, powerful businesses with big lobbying firms and lots and lots of lawyers and the people who are the gate keepers, politicians, who are supposed to be protecting us. and a lot of times are talking out of both sides of their mouths, so to speak. and using the words and embedding into policy things that help them and the people that help them. like chuck schumer. we saw a nice video from him,
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but when it came to internet gambling or sports gambling, end ago prohibition, failing massively for 25 years, one. things he tried to do in his piece of federal regulation, pieces of federal regulation, was he tried to functionally give the market to the nfl, to the leagues, which are housed, guess where? new york. that sports booking had to rely on data from the nfl they would have to purchase and nfl, for example, could then sell at whatever price they wanted. so these are the kind of things we need to watch out for when we're talking about this. i think there's a way to do. this advocacy community in particular is so vibrant and so open that i think it can be done it's just you have to be very careful about the other interests and what their incentives are. >> i'm going to say a few things that i've said before. again, interstate commerce is happening right now.
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we have a worldclass supply chain and we just have to end the prohibition that's preventing those business owners from thriving in this space. you made a great point. radical collaboration is key. we have to be in the room where the conversations are being had, we have to have the depend on policy to ensure that we haven't signing up for something that does not benefit us. we have to ensure that we are doing the work because we all have great ideas, but we have to make sure that we're doing the work to ensure that the solutions that we are proposing, that they are constitutional, so that we aren't further delayed because we have a grade great idea, somebody signed off on it and we can't implement it or there's a lawsuit that prevented them from implementing. i want to remind everybody, that there are things that we can do in the meantime, and if
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we are talking about business opportunities through social equity programs, interstate commerce is a solution. we have to be thoughtful about it and i want all of us-- i know a lot of folks in this room are working on social equity in the state where you come from. i want us to start thinking what's happening in oregon and california and those governors and policy makers are listening and now we're in a position to go after the doj to let us start to solve these problems, in the meantime. federal legalization is going to happen, but we cannot continue to sit by idly and let the cannabis industry continue to grow in the way that it is, because the folks that are left behind look like me, they look like you. so interstate commerce is here, let's make it happen. >> and just time -- we've all experienced great, great loss and death over the past couple
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of years, extremely loss and death. i lost my best friend and my mother, one to cancer, one to dementia, all over the past six months. and in our culture, they travel to the trail wolf's trail and what you call the milky way and now they've become stars so i look up nightly and i'll see my best friend and my mother in the milky way. what you need to do now that you can say anything, now that you've experienced all of this death and loss and extreme pain, what are you going to do? now that you can say anything, what will you say? shakespeare had it right. he knew we would have demagogues and tyrants like we have now. he believed in the citizenry.
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he believed in the individual. i am completely released. now that i can say anything, as you note, i will. please take that message to you personally. you, as an individual, can make a difference. say anything you want because at any moment, you will lose the two most important people in your life. >> you get the last word. >> i guess i'll pay homage to the building we're in, the idea that we flip a switch and state interstate commerce and give in to profit maximization as the goal will somehow trickle down to consumers and workers and small businesses is not the way that it will happen. and i care about this because i'm listening to you and i care
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about marijuana culture and the plant. i care about american marijuana culture and indian marijuana culture and the idea that we could quickly turn into it where money is the master and be here in a generation telling a story how it all went wrong. we have to really see how precious our opportunity is right now to make a choice. >> well, thank you very much. we thank our panelists, tom and michelle and shanita and shailene. thank you very much for your time. [applause]. >> thanks to all of you for listening, we have the next panel coming up right next. >> wow, one more round of applause for that incredible panel. [applause] >> fantastic, fantastic. you all look amazing, hello, my name is lindsey ayers, i'm policy counsel, a team of law and policy experts researching,
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organizing and advocating for large scale changes to the district's criminal legal system. we develop smarter, safety solution that are evidence-driven, community rooted and of course, racially just and we aim to transform the district's approach to public safety and make it a national leader in justin reform. today we're thankful to be included in the national cannabis policy summit. an incredible day with thoughts from geniuses in our community and i'm grateful to be here. the keynote speaker of the day, i've heard him before, i'm in awe of his wisdom and we used to be neighbors, but not so much anymore, but i'm a huge fan of his. mr. carey in his current role to break the cycle of
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recidivism, connect today essential programs and services in areas of employment, health, education, housing assistance and social services. as a returning citizen himself, mr. carey understands firsthand the many, many challenges of returning home from a period of incarceration, including rebuilding relationships with loved ones, friends and family. identifying safe housing, obtaining employment and implementing plans for his own personal success. in my own role as an attorney, and present role advocating for returning citizens i've seen firsthand how many barriers returning citizens face as they return to our world. the limits that criminal records place on people are atrocious and makes it extremely difficult to come back and live the life that they deserve. our neighbors, our loved ones, our friends, that are returning home from prison deserve so much more than what we've offered them so far and i'm so
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incredibly thankful for the work that director carey does. the people so often overlooked and discarded. his work is critical to our community. as all of our efforts to see a criminal legal system actually become a justice system. it's my honor and pressure to introduce him. please welcome our keynote speaker, mr. lamont carey. >> hello, so, again, my name is lamont carey, i'm the director of the mayor's office, returning sis -- citizens in washington d.c. >> so let me tell, but the magic of washington d.c. as relates to criminal justice reform. we are progressive in the sense
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that we have a mandated office that's focused on assisting returning citizens that are released from prison to ensure that they get a fair shot and a clear pathway to the middle class. so i'm going to tell you a little about my office. so my office is made up of four different buckets i like to call them. we have this amazing case management team that when a returning citizen gets released from prison and they come into our office, they do an intake and receive and assessment. and this assessment, they ask them, trying to figure out what it is that they need, but also, even more important what it is that they want to accomplish. so they come in and we help, we assist them with things like vital records. most individuals get search of their social security card and we assist them. we assist them to get an idea
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and if they have tickets that will prevent them from getting an i.d., we'll assist with that. and other other bucket, work force development, because the majority of individuals that get released and come to our offices are looking for a job. some of them are not at that point yet where they're ready for direct employment. some of them need some additional education, so we connect them to educational opportunities, job training opportunities, as well as employment opportunities. and then we have the outreach. because our office, individuals come voluntarily and they're not mandated, they're not forced, they have to choose to come to our office in the most special thing about those individuals that walk through our door, we know that they are looking for help and if you have ever worked or been around or have a family member or
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friend, that's a returning citizen, you know, asking for help, is not something that smoothly comes off of their lips. so he when they walk through that door, my staff are instructed because they know that these individuals are in search for some support. and that's what we do. we aim to support. so my outreach team gets out into the community and try to reach those that don't know about our offers and then we add peer navigators and their responsibility, when an individual sees a referral from our case manager, the navigator's responsibility is to contact them to see if they made contact with the referral and if not, figure out what is the problem, help them trouble shoot and so we can get them connected and move them forward because in my eyes, any referral that's not completed has a gap in their reentry plan
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and my charge for mayor bowser is that i help every individual that walks through that door get on that pathway to a middle class. and i know you're probably saying, okay, how does this relate to what we are here for? all of this is important because three of the main things that they're looking for, vital records, employment, and housing, and what our mayor's proposed bill, as relates to cannabis, will help with all of that. because revenue that will be received from taxes will go towards those communities that were disproportionately impacted by the wars on crime. those funding will go towards programs like the aspire program that teaches returning
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citizens, entrepreneurship. so we're making waves to provide and remove all the barriers that exist for returning citizens so that they can be safe, that they can advance, and they can live their dreams because a lot of times, people usher returning citizens into opportunities that have been known to welcome returning citizens. for people like me. i never lift weights in prison, some wasn't going on the construction site. and i needed an entrepreneurship program because that's where my thoughts lie because i knew all of the barriers that existed and i wanted the opportunity to excel. and as the director of the mayor's office on returning citizens affairs, one of my primary responsibilities is to advocate on behalf of returning
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citizens and to advise our mayor on what barriers exist for returning citizens. and so what are proposed bills, there's expungement for certain marijuana convictions. so, we're looking at how can we move barriers that's going to allow them to excel. so here are some of the other great things that we have been able to do and with the passage of the proposed bill would give us more leverage to support returning citizens and here are things that we have done already. in washington d.c., you can vote the second that you walk out of prison. [applause]. you're going to love this one. so we just passed a bill called restore the vote.
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now if you're a d.c. resident, you can vote in prison regardless of how much time you serve. and you can have a life sentence. or you can have one year and three days. [applause] >> and so what we have been able to see is that you give an individual the opportunity to change and the support that they need as they take on this journey, more and more individuals will you canis -- individuals will succeed. >> and let's return to restore the vote, prisoners can vote in prison and returning citizens can run for election while serving time. [applause] >> last year, we had an election, a gentleman, joel
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castton had been in prison and won a seat while still incarcerated. [applause] >> so are there still barriers? of course there are. with the passage of the proposed bill help support, not only creating a pathway for returning citizens to not only work in cannabis buildings, i mean, businesses, but also, own and operate their own business. so, that's what we're looking for. how to be equitable, safe, empowering and transformative of our communities. and i'll give you a few more things right that we've done because i want you to get the -- so you can go back to your states and demand that transformation takes place in your own cities and states. we have what is called the ira
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bills. so you know they say our minds won't fully develop until we're past the age of 24. and i was originally convicted -- charged as an adult as a 16-year-old so my brain wasn't fully developed, right? and so d.c. recognized that and so we passed the ira bill, what and what this bill does, individuals that was sentenced to long prison terms that were under the age of 18 can now petition the court to get back for reconsideration of their charge, i mean, sentences and be released and the last count, i think we were adding 109 individuals who have regained their freedom. [applause] >> and some of these individuals, some of these individuals had life sentences. and so the public was worried. are they deserving of a second
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chance? we're all deserving of a second chance, but i'm going to point out one individual that got released that deserved that second chance and not that the rest of them didn't because they all do, but this one, you can google and you will see him. flowers, a young man that wrote books in prison like i did. came home, then he delved into his individual arts and now this man is travelling around the world, selling artwork for crazy prices, right? because he was given an opportunity and he took advantage of the opportunity and excelled at it and i'm telling you, he's so inspiring, and one thing painting, the last time i heard was $25,000. ladies and gentlemen, i have never done stickmen in my life, but i have canvass and i'm in there painting, right, take advantage of all the opportunities and so when we
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look at what can be done, what is possible to transform and change the criminal justice system? you can look at washington d.c., for example, living examples of individuals who have been given an opportunity and took advantage of their opportunity. ladies and gentlemen, not only can we vote, but we can be cabinet members. and directors, of government agencies. we can be business owners we can be father we can be mothers, we can be everything that you all dream of for yourselves because we also harbor those same dreams. we just need the opportunity so i applaud you for being here and pushing for transformation
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with the cannabis so that we can have access, that we can have records expunged, that we can open, grow, feed our families, transform our communities that were disproportionally impacted by this industry. i applaud you and i ask of you, if you don't take away anything that i've said, know that your voice matters because individuals like me that live in states that you may live in that don't have banned, that don't have the right to vote, are being forced into the shadows over misdemeanor, minor drugs, marijuana convictions and so we need you and i know it's going to, sometimes it's going to be long, it's going to
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be hard. people are going to say things that's going to be discouraging for you, people are going to be looking for certain, certain situations to say, see, they don't deserve an opportunity, but i'm going to tell you, there's a minimum of 109 individuals that wouldn't be on the street today if we didn't enact the ira bills that are thriving. and so, with that, i tell you, you matter, we matter, and let's come together and continue transform this country because when you get a returning citizen a real second chance, a real fair shot, public safety increases. education of our children increases, and so i ask of you, continue to fight for us and so that we can stand next to you
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and remove all the other barriers that exist that prevent us from being your neighbor, your son, your cousin, because when you put us behind walls and gates, that separation keeps us from coming home and being assets to our community. so i thank you for this opportunity. take care. [applause] >> good morning. i'm joy hutchinson president and ceo of the project. the legal cannabis in the country, and policy reforms enacted over the last 20 years and we played a leading role in
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enacting 10 of the 18 ballot initiatives for adult use and 14 out of 37 medical legalization states. today's speaker could not be with us, but provided a special video message in lieu of his presence. this speaker has proved once again that bipartisan of this issue. he serves as the co-chair of the cannabis caucus and served two of the bills. bipartisan hope act, aims to for cannabis offenses and the small businesses and medical professionals act which would allow the u.s. veterans affairs to prescribe marijuana for ill or injured veterans and the co-sponsor of the safe banking act, allowing institutions to provide cannabis instances at the state level without federal overreach. ladies and gentlemen, it's a great pleasure for me to
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introduce to you, a video message by u.s. representative david joyce. >> hello, everyone, congressman dave joyce here, since 2013, i've fought for achievable cannabis reform and worked to educate lawmakers on my side of the aisle in order to pave the way for broader republican engagement. i'm pleased to report that i've seen a big shift on this issue since then. the reality is that continued federal cannabis prohibition is neither tenable nor the will of the american people. 91% of the american public supports legal cannabis in some way, shape or form. it's past time for congress to act. cannabis is no longer the bipartisan issue that it once was. i partnered with alexandria ocasio-cortez to expunge cannabis. the majority of cannabis
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charges are level. and bipartisan cannabis reform can and should pass this otherwise divided congress. if conservative former prosecutor like myself and a progressive can find common ground on the issue, it begs the question, why hasn't the president or congress acted? wii refuse to go take up increment reform bills like safe banking now passed the house six times, congressional leadership is allowing the unsustainability patch work of state and federal cannabis laws to fester. industry access most often for minorities and small businesses, prevents research and burdens that creation of federal rrevenue. the federal government needs to respect the states, to end prohibition, simultaneously, congress should help states and localities to remedy the
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disproportionate cannabis criminalization. and while there are decriminalization, the truth of the matter is we're standing on the brink on a critical inflection point when it comes to cannabis policy. if we don't act in a bipartisan manner soon we're going to lose this opportunity. as a co-chair of the cannabis caucus, i can assure you that i remain focused on achievable impactful cannabis reform that congress with pass and get to the president's desk and become law. with that, i hope you enjoy the rest of the cannabis festival and summit. god bless, stay well. >> for now, let's give it up for representative joyce. [applause] >> thank you for being here, i'm jason ortiz, executive director for students for sensible drug policy, "we are the world's" largest youth-led drug policy organization in the world. we have over 100 chapters here
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in the united states and 30 internationally so for us, protecting our planet is vitally important because we all have to share the same planet and organize together to create a more just society so we'll be introducing our going grown panel shortly. i want to let folks know that there have been some left out, but our good buddy, president joe biden. for folks maybe in the know, release add drug policy statement that he's going to be continuing not support cannabis legalization and other environmentally detrimental policies throughout the world. we currently, the united states, your tax dollar funds efforts to use aerial crop eradication to eliminate cannabis plants and cocoa plants in latin america. we're spraying toxics over the crops of farmers and we should force to change and we want to make sure as we're together in the face that we're learning
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from the other movements that have been for some time. the sunrise movement has been a fantastic movement of escalating the urgency of our issues and bringing folks to d.c. and taking direct action to make sure we get what we need because we could have fantastic ideas and plentiful plans, but if we don't have the power and urgency to make them into law we won't be able to change the world and save our planet. we're asking everyone here to put aside our issues for saving our planet and changing the world. any young folks in the audience or at home, change from the local space, the state space, federal and international because it's going to take all of us to actually end the war on drugs, to end the war on our communities and make sure that we do it in a way that actually brings environmental justice it our urban, suburban and
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international communities. so, with all of your help, we're going to be able to hear some fantastic ideas and different policies from the folks on the panel, but we'll have to make sure as the grass roots, as the support that could make this happen and take their ideas and apply real pressure to d.c. and the white house and make them a reality. with that i'll introduce our fantastic panel, kelly crawford for the environment. bob gunned, the ceo of synergy. from derrick smith of the research innovational institute and our moderator, natalie fertig, and gave it round of applause for our next panel, thank you. [applause] >> all right, we're live, great. well, welcome you guys. thank you for being here today. i'm natalie fertig, a cannabis
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reporter at politico. and this panel is something i've done some reporting on in the past, the environmental impact of cannabis is it go from my own reporting i've found is talked about at the state level, but as a federal report i went up to capitol hill and asked about it and pretty much nobody knew what was going on and it was kind of like, well, maybe these lawmakers who are talking a lot about the environment and a lot about cannabis, there's not an intersection yet so i'm excited we're having this panel in washington d.c. today. i'm going to start by letting you guys introduce yourselves and tell us a little about your work in cannabis and the environment. bob, why don't you start? >> sure, i'm bob gunned, i'm coming from the pacific northwest and i'm coming from the electric in the last years.
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and when cannabis was legal in the seattle area, what are people doing and what's the dialog on energy. are people talking about the utilities and energy investments in the long-term now that we have an opportunity to transition from a list at market to regulator market with facilities. little did i know that would be a pivot point in my career and my consulting firm that for now, seven, i guess eight years, we've been specialized in helping cannabis growers approach their utilities with their hopes and dreams. it might be they want to buy led's and can it cost more, for the incremental costs. and now, up to 35 utilities, over 330 cannabis projects have been funded by utilities, to help them invest in energy efficiency. so that's how i try to help the industry and we work in many different states, even medical states, and so, yeah, we have
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utility incentives to help, you know, help make the investments with energy efficiency. when it comes to energy policy. policy can help or hurt these type of incentive programs so we'll get more into the weeds on that. maybe that's a sufficient introduction, i'm glad to be here, thanks for having me. >> yeah, tell us more about you. >> and i'm the director for d.c.'s department for energy and environment for d.c. i'd like to welcome you all to my hometown, and d.c. occupies the ancesteral lands, and this is a day for my people talking about the climate impact of the cannabis industry and share what i've learned the last couple of years. i was in one of our national association of cleaner agent meetings a couple of years ago we had one of the round tables where the other air directors
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were sharing their, this is what's happening in my state, and i had a really interesting conversation with a pro regulators for maricopa county in arizona talking about how they were looking at some of the issues with cannabis issues and opened the door to paying more attention to what was going on in arizona and colorado and especially as medical marijuana cultivation centers were open and running in d.c. and i'm happen to be able to help my agency be at the forefront of addressing this issue. >> and everybody, i'm derrick smith with resource innovation institute. our mission or nonprofit organization based in portland on the pacific northwest here. and we were founded in 2016 to address the energy, primarily energy at the time impacts of cannabis just coming on in oregon following colorado and washington, and we knew that the federal government wouldn't be able to play the role that
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it usually plays in an emerging energy intensive industry to capture data and inform governments, and how there are states for policies and help utilities think about program design and really develop a system that is data driven and can support producers to become more efficient by coordinating all of those entities. the idea then was that we would start with cannabis and recognized the field of controlled environment agriculture was also coming on. this is basically any crop grown in the greenhouse or warehouse so we purposely did not put cannabis in our name and we knew that there would be money and research coming down the line to study indoor agriculture and that we would leverage all of that investment to support the cannabis industry even further. and then have the ability to compare cannabis to other crops, as well as different types of cultivation to each
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other, so that there could be informed decision making by policy makers and other key market actors. so, at this point we have funding from the u.s. department of ag and we're just excited to make the connections between cannabis and the rest of the agricultural sector. thank you. >> and can you actually start first, start back on derrick, give us the scope of this. because when i started reporting on this as a nonenvironment reporter, people kept throwing numbers at me, and i had no clue what it meant. what does this compare to lettuce, houses or data centers, a lot when we're talking about energy policy. >> yeah, so, a lot of people think that cannabis is just amazing and has zero environmental impact, it's just a plant. how could it possibly have negative impact. others think it's the most evil environmentally damaging industry on the planet and the truth is it's somewhere in the
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middle and it's actually a relatively large continuum of impact. depending on practices, technology, you know, et cetera. so, people like to make these claims without data and then also, not know really where to compare the industry in terms of its performance on environmental issues. if you really want to look at a horrible environmentally damaging industry, look to aluminum smelting or something like that. cannabis does have impact. it has a range of impacts. there is no one average thing that you can say it performs like this. it has to be broken down, defragmented, and, but if you look at the indoor sector and the greenhouse sector and you compare it to other crops that are grown in those
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environments, food and flora, culture combined, cannabis is eight times more energy intensive on a square foot basis and also on a greenhouse gas impact basis which is basically straight line from one to the other. so, that's the best context to have it in. now, of course, cannabis is also leading in a lot of ways on environmental issues, and we need to look to the outdoor regenerative farmers that the legacy farmers that have been doing this for a long time are doing amazing stuff and rebuilding soils, you know, sequestering carbon, you know, being very water efficient, being relevant to their local environment, which is a very relevant thing in the way you need to analyze the impacts is within the local eco shed. and then, also, this city has funded the r and d of the horticultural industry that is
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bringing led lighting technology and other efficient technologies that utilities are providing incentives on. this industry brought that to the rest of the agricultural sector that's now using that to-- at a minimum, create a more resilient future for humanity, where we are dealing with climate risks that are impacting agriculture, and so now farmers can have backup crops, you know, they can have genetics protected and all of that was trail-blazed by the cannabis industry. so the environmental issues are complex and dynamic, and what is most important is that we capture data from what's going on inside these grow environments, various grow environments and then make decisions from there, not to-- not rely on salacious, unsubstantiated information. >> yeah, so, when one of the things that i think that has
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complicated the environmental impact and how to quantify it is the fact that cannabis is federally illegal so every state that wants to sell cannabis must also grow its own cannabis. it's something that's been talked about a lot, hey, well, they grow outdoors in california. california cannabis can't come to new york and new jersey and legalize and having a lot of people buying cannabis so they need to grow it all themselves. so that creates a lot of indoor cultivation and we'll get into the whole drama of indoor versus outdoor later, but washington d.c. is not a place where there's a whole lot of farms, right? little tiny city, pretty much all indoor cultivation, as a city regulator, what are you looking at with the environment, what the are concerns that the city is looking at with all of this indoor growth? >> so, d.c. is in a nonattainment area, we don't
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meet the national ambient air quality standards for ozone. ground level ozone is a combination of, voc's, organic compounds in the presence of light and ground level ozone. at ground level it's like sunburn for your lungs. anything that contributes to ozone formulation is what the quality is focused on. it's our responsibility to reduce emissions for ozone in the district as we try to achieve the national ambient air quality. and epa proposed to bump up this from marginal nonattainment. because we did not reduce seven parts per billion. so what are the sources that contribute to ozone
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formulation? most of ozone contributors, inside the district comes from transportation, vehicle traffic, really, is the largest force that's home grown. we don't have energy generating and we don't have industry and don't have oil and gas here, the sources in the district that we can regulate are very limited. one of those being the cannabis cultivation centers. so in the district, any pollution force, this is an air pollutant. requires the quality permitting so we were faced with now we have an entirely new industry that we have to develop a permitting system for so there's not a lot of data on how to to that and quantify emissions. so we have things like boilers and generators now working on studies to try to quantify the emissions from the plants. the biogenetics from the plants themselves and the voc emissions during the drying and
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extraction processes depending on sol vensies of that. and contributors to the air pollution in the districts. >> bob, tell us quickly about the other things that indoor grows, that the cities and states are looking at regulator with energy and water. >> with regards to energy and water, states-- it's not just states, but it's often a local city council or a department of health and cannabis control commission or the department of public safety. whoever is looking at cannabis, and it comes out of left field. it's not just the industry board. >> it's the alcohol board. >> liquor control board in washington. cannabis control. >> makes a cannabis journalists job very fun. >> and also, trying to advise customers what they can and can't install. they don't understand. and it's coming out of everywhere.
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from a led standpoint. when they're talking the big energy mandates, it's mostly focused around lighting and drives the profile of an indoor-- a cannabis energy, and cannabis energy profile, indoor or greenhouse. so, they're looking at the efficacy of the standards themselves. and microand fotons for what, kind of like a miles per gallon. and that's common like fluorescent lighting and maybe some other technologies, but then you get into hyper, that has 90% market share for growers and that's starting to create hardship. some growers, say, like saying with a formula one race car, you have to use an electric car, wait a minute, that's going to change the standard operating procedures, and i
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need to change that. and derrick mentioned the footprint. how many lights you can install per table and in massachusetts you can only have 36 watts per square foot and only put in 80 lights and all of a sudden might change things as well. so those are some of the approaches to energy regulate efficiently. >> is anyone regulating water? >> waste water, yeah, they're start to go regulate nutrient concentration in waste water. >> and they require reporting. >> benchmarking, we'll talk about benchmarking, i hope, that's critical for this data and new york says you need to start to measure water in and water out. seems like a great starting point. three of us here are from the pacific northwest, accidentally, we didn't plan this. but, washington state, there's a lot of water. we're kind of known for it, but states like new mexico and arizona and you know, southern
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california legalized and a very different water situation there. are you hearing those places starting to talk about water regulating use and cannabis growth? >> i haven't seen regulations. it's sometimes difficult to get a permit if you don't have one, farmers are familiar with that. a lot of technology has been with waste water recapture and treating the water coming in, and we have-- you might have too many boren in your well and they need to treat that, reverse osmosis system and that can be high efficiency or low efficiency. and they'll pay for the high efficiency and when you water the plant and a lot of jurisdiction,s are saying you need to recapture that and reuse that. and we'll give you equipment. and dehumidcation system, that's of that goes up in and some grab that and ways to drain, but you can recapture
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and refuse it. there's equipment involved in that and water and utility districts are helping to offset the cost of those. so, that's a big one. and i just mentioned, dehumidcation and this is where the industry has not put pressure, but encouraged in the dehumidcation system. and there are existing equipment and making it twice as efficient as it was five years ago. i think that's been driven from the industry, but it's applicable wherever it's used. >> go ahead. >> and keep on water? >> let's come back to water in a bit, but also, if anyone is feeling overwhelmed by all of the words here, like i'm with you. this issue is so complex that i think that that's-- it's why it's good to be talking about this, right. >>, but i think that that goes into all the things you were saying just now, which is a lot
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of cool, fancy words for like the dehumidcation system, those are all indoor grow, and that takes us into the next thing i wanted to talk about is indoor versus outdoor grow. and you know, when i first started looking at this issue two years ago, there was this concept that, well, outdoor grow is the best because you've got sunlight. you've got rain. now, these things are just or coming out of the environment, so you're not really overusing those things, but things like dehumidcation systems i changing indoor versus outdoor. sometimes indoor can actually could be conserve better than outdoors. derrick, i'd like to you start, but this is open for everybody, indoor versus outdoor and what are we looking at? >> again, the earlier point of the local context is important. right, if you're in california or arizona or, you know, new
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mexico, you know, california right now has all 59 counties in emergency drought. there's evidence that if you you are growing outdoors in an arrid environment and not watering in a precision way, you're probably use ago lot more water than in an indoor environment where you can do circularity. circularity, so e world that we are heading in ... all that needs to be coordinated because it just happens one off here and there in the absence of data, and then it's too late. we need to study this asap and
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figure out what other regional strategies that make sense. it's really easy to throw out indoor is bad, you know, outdoor is good. the reality is outdoor agriculture one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions in the wedges of climate impact. it's not that simple to say things like that. we need to be more thoughtful about the way we think about our agricultural future and where we're heading as a humanity and how we need to ensure our resources are protected. cannabis can do a lot to lead through all that and it already has. >> one of the things that's different with indoor and outdoor growth, there's things that can't be controlled. in particular can't control odors. for indoor growth we have a lot
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of technology and knowledge about how to control the air quality world that are applicable to the indoor growth. we have an opportunity to control odor, and really limit emissions from the cultivation and processing of cannabis. another thing is some growers use carbon dioxide help accelerate the growth of the plans and in an indoor environment you can still take efforts to capture that carbon dioxide and ensure it doesn't contribute to outdoor air pollution. there's more opportunities from an environmental standpoint to control energy intensity, to control air pollution from a growing operation and an indoor environment. if we had outdoor grow operations like an urban environment, there's no way to control those odors. a lot of jurisdictions are faced
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with missing that point when they legalized rapidly not accounting for what will you do when this cannabis farm is next to this wine yard and they don't want odors affecting their operations? once it's outdoors, , what can u do could control it? >> a couple thoughts. i'm glad you mentioned co2. plants need co2. it's one of the inputs. in indoor or controlled, it's a supplement with high co2, i won't go into numbers, and supplement you can get twice the yield. you get a positive return on investment and the plants need co2. that's great. some benefits of outdoor through sunlight, but that's the biggest one. there's a couple of cons of outdoor growing. supply chain, food miles.
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i work with a lot of veggie growers as well. one of my clients, their growing lettuce, , vertical racks in mar cities around the u.s. they say 80% of the farmland is taken up, and there's not enough land ever social equity standpoint access to land -- on land tends not to be where population centers are, where these micro licenses tend to be issued, like in new york city. so access to land supply chains are more fragile. time-to-market and perishable, more in food then cannabis, they tend to eliminate some of that. water is a big one. there's one client of mine to claims 95% less water less water use by doing indoors. precision watering with moisture sensors and then they're capturing everything that comes off the bed and all the water
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evaporates there capturing that, treating it and putting it back in. if water is king then will be doing a lot more indoor agriculture and indoor cannabis cultivation. >> speaking of water use and outdoor cultivation, we can have the panel without talking about the illicit market. because that is still very present especially in places like northern california and southern oregon. you've got california, the drought issues. there's a big environmental impact of illicit cannabis market. derek, can you kindly give us an overview of that and what that is compared to the legal market right now? >> the illicit market is where you would find the most damaging environmental impact. obviously completely unregulated and there's no intention to trying to figure things out to do good, right? other objectives, right?
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we see dramatic pesticide use, dramatic water use from, pulled from illegal sources of water. you know, devastating energy, climate impacts. they are trying to grow and get the product out, and no real understanding of what the impact is though unfortunately because it's hard to measure when they won't give you their data. but we see studies like california department of fish and wildlife that come out based on very few samples of illicit growing and say that the average water consumption of cannabis because i had one extreme data point in a model from the illicit market, and then they conflate that with the regulated market and they say this plate is consuming six gallons per plant per day, which is nowhere
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near the reality. and we know that because we produce cannabis water report that was vetted by a whole bunch of stakeholders, and did our best with limited data we have available, thanks to berkeley cannabis research center and frontier data who are partners with that and a whole bunch of producers and supply chain folks who helped us do the best we could with what we have. we really need more data. we need to be able to compare the regulated market to the illicit market in some way, but we know without uncertainty that the illicit market is far worse from an environmental standpoint. worse from an environmental standpoint. >> there's no incentive for the illicit market to be environmentally sustainable and there's also no regulatory authority -- i can speak for the district -- we don't have the regulatory authority to regulate those operations if they are in
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the district. i will reemphasize the need for data. from an air quality perspective, a lot of people in my position are barred from even investigating the cannabis industry. we have medical marijuana licensees in the district. we regulate those. so we are working together to develop the study to give us better information about what the emissions profiles of these facilities can look like. we know it is highly variable. it depends on the strain of the plant, the size of the plant, where it is in the growth cycle. it depends on if they are using closed-loop extraction and condensers. there are so many variables and every operation is different, and no one wants to share their trade secrets, right? we know that the growing conditions are very specific to individual growth, so we are looking for ways to normalize and standardize how we evaluate emissions.
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as far as i'm concerned, it is a black box, not really what is going on inside of the source. it could be a boiler in there, a generator in their. one thing that we know is that carbon is a very good control technology. it also -- we are asking a lot of questions like how often are you changing your filters? is it working? is it not working? we have a lot of anecdotal evidence of what is working but now we are looking to get down to brass tacks and be very scientific about it so we can be fair and equitable and also make sure the industry is not holding us back from reaching our larger
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climate goals. >> do you see it as also in a very unique space? there's this great market that is not really legal but not really illegal -- during the pandemic, like, four to six dispensaries opened up on my road. you are not really able to regulate that, right? >> from an air quality perspective? >> right. we respond to complaints on odor. it does not matter what the odor is. if there is an odor -- sometimes we have had odor issues when we discovered it came from an unregulated facility, we can go in and address that. if it is an illicit operation, it is not save.
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my engineers in those situations never know what we are walking into. the regulated market share, we do it in close conjunction with the marijuana task force. the other inspectors are in the facilities more often. that really helps us to make sure that we are building on each other's work and that we are not over inspecting or over regulating facilities. >> do you have any worries about the ozone production coming from the gray market? >> we don't know yet. we don't have enough information to know how much of its impact it is. the atmosphere is chaos. there's a lot of disparate factors that go into ozone
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formulation, and a lot of it is outside the control of the district. 90% of our ozone is transported from outside the district, but we are also left with we have a responsibility and obligation to regulate air within our borders, but we also advocate strongly to make sure that our neighbors are good neighbors. >> i'm glad you asked about the illicit industry. i feel like the transition from the illicit to the regulated market is one of the largest conservation opportunities. i do believe that it is a traditionally commercially built purpose-built facility uses less energy than an illicit girl. i will give you a couple of ideas. >> that would be, like, and
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indoor -- >> yes, indoor illicit grow. oftentimes, we will compare energy use of a cannabis grower to a resident. when i worked at a utility i think 10 years ago, i had access to customer data and we could pretty quickly sort energy use divided by square footage, and it was obvious to us who was using cannabis -- i mean, who's growing. it was obvious. and we did not bust them because that wasn't our job. we were not deputized to arrest people, but was very clear, especially if you see 12 hours on, 12 hours off. [laughter] we knew. are job is to not share customer information. fast forward to now, that same utility, they can look at that, sort these growers, and now they can knock on the door and say,
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hi, i'm a utility, i'd love to see what type of equipment you have. maybe these lights, might extend your some terms to help you finance this equipment, and then one year payback after our incentive, so that is a conversation we can have in the regular market that we could not have before. also growers' investment time frames are much longer. clients tell me they build to grow, try to get money back on the first one, terror down and move to the next house. now investors are looking at they have investors, so it is a different type of conversation and it is much more productive and definitely results in fewer energy dollars program, per square foot, and per dollar revenue. >> i just want to add to bob's point of the opportunity of transitioning folks to the -- from the illicit to the regulated industry.
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policies and energy codes and other things coming into the market within that context, in california, they have energy codes that will require as of january 1 for not just indoor and greenhouse cannabis facilities but for any indoor agricultural facility, so this will create a blueprint for how energy use is regulated in indoor growing environments globally. it was inspired by cannabis but now applies broadly to agriculture. the cannabis context is that when a government requires certain restrictions on energy use or certain uses of technology, it makes that the new baseline. that is what is now required. utilities above can no longer
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provide incentives on those technologies. you are basically forcing upfront costs on technology in the absence of financing, particularly if you are an undercapitalized producer who cannot get financing because you are a person of color or disadvantaged in some way. there's a ripple effect down to its absorption of compliance basically that the illicit market does not have to bear. if you are not addressing the illicit market and the ability for people to transition, we are going to be where we are, right? we will make the regulation industry more efficient, but we really have to bridge it so there is incentive to come over to the regulated market, to get that bigger conservation opportunity. i don't want to steal your thunder. i know you have other things to talk about.
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>> no, not at all. that was great. in california, they were suggesting making efficiency standards really high for growers, adding $60 per square foot, about 600,000 dollars extra for a 10,000 square-foot grow, and that is a dealbreaker for many farms. many growers i spoke with, that's the straw that breaks the camels back, forget it, i'm not going there. utilities can help you with offsetting some of that incremental cost if you choose to do so. they've set these bars really high, and it just increases the cost, and other utilities say great, now i don't have incentives. i'd rather say i would like to help you buy this stuff, but i cannot help you do this anymore,
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so they no longer have a seat at the table in the conversation about energy efficiency and improvements. >> with leadership, it can happen. you can do both. >> please, argue about regulation. >> the district has aggressive global energy standards. we cannot get there just by expanding renewable energy sources. we also have to get there by reducing energy intensity, and we have some of the most aggressive energy performance standards in the country. there's an opportunity for the industry to come along with us on that journey and by optimizing growth and optimizing efficiency in these operations, the practice will be blocked -- broadly applicable to other sources, other high energy intensity operations. >> where does the federal government usually come in in regulating energy and saying to
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small businesses around the country, here are incentives? those broadly would not be available to the cannabis industry. >> usually, it is setting a new model code often formed by international codes, and so where they set the targets, they just have a reference point, so it is important to support the states, and it is important also to make it easy to adopt codes. again, there's opportunities for incentives, technical assistance. the reality is it is hard to use this technology. as bob said, to go from an hbf lighting grow environment to an led grow environment, you cannot just swap one light for the other and expect different results.
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you cannot even expect energy efficiency. you really should be thinking about indoor growing environments more like an industrial process than an office building. you need to be thinking about how much product is being produced per unit of resources consumed, right? not just on a square foot basis. it actually does not make as much sense in the environment. there's a lot of thoughtful rollout all the way down to the systems that needs to happen. >> i would just add energy benchmarking is a big one. >> i did not understand any of those words together. >> the portfolio manager is essentially a database of all of the energy usage for a particular facility.
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it will be this is how much energy we are using it for the district, we have been collecting data for a couple of years now, so we do also get fossil fuel usage for facilities that use generators and things like that. just reemphasizing the local contact. every state is going to be different and the energy profile of a facility over the energy impact of a facility is going to depend on how green the grid that that energy is being drawn from is. we are aggressively increasing renewable energy portfolio. the environmental impact may be different for a place that does not have renewable energy as part of their energy mix. >> certain jurisdictions might require in the real estate market mandatory energy disclosures is pretty common.
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it is really nothing building that matters. it is the industrial process you are measuring. derek has done great work in promoting the collection of data like that where we can compare and learn from best practices. imagine if the refrigerator code was different by every zip code. it would be ms and best buy did not -- would not know what they could sell to different customers. that is where we are now. >> you currently have funding from the usta to look at how other plants are grown indoors, but you cannot apply any of that to cannabis, so what kinds of depth and knowledge does even just that create for the cannabis industry?
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>> it actually creates an opportunity because we can leverage this federal investment into the cannabis industry, which we are doing. federal government is -- the thing that is missing in the market is a voluntary leadership recognition standard, a certification system, like you could say a lead for weed certification system. the federal government is funding us to bring that to the controlled environment, agriculture environment, right? but not cannabis, but there's so much we can set up in terms of infrastructure that then the cannabis industry can benefit from. taking on the workforce side, we have a tremendous opportunity to connect, job creation opportunities and indoor agriculture, to energy engineering, the design and construction, all of the architecture. all of that needs to benefit from pre-apprenticeship
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programs, workforce strategies, to lift people out of poverty and into career pathways. we have the opportunity to connect those who have been impacted by the war on drugs to get into that job pipeline and to get on a career pathway that kind of gives them a living wage and we can do that in a coordinated way through the federal government and leverage what they are already investing in in workforce and indoor agriculture. there's no reason why we cannot make those connections and really roll it out when we get to regulation. >> from a regulatory standpoint, there's a lot of regulators that are barred from even thinking about it or investigating or sending money to address issues with regard to cannabis because it is still largely an illicit market, so we missed the opportunity to apply to get
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great scientists and engineers that already know a lot about quality and how to control and missions to have the opportunity to really investigate best practices, to look at how these emissions are affecting the environment. we don't get the opportunities to do the research that will help drive innovation. by limiting our ability to participate in that process, it is really and mystery, these are the things that are working and these are the things that are not. it is driven by the industry and we are learning from that. >> that kind of reminds me. i talked to a regulator in colorado once who told me she has to separately keep her hours different because part of her research is funded by the federal government. she has to mark her hours down to make sure they don't lose their federal funding for other air-quality quality and other environmental research things while still being able to look into cannabis.
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that's, like, a lot of work. >> it is. did you want to add anything? >> taxes. the energy benchmarking, but i'm not going to talk too much about it. if you are anything but a cannabis grower and you make your building more efficient, you can take good tax deductions. if you cannot, take any deductions and leave it at that. i don't know what the solution is. >> can we really quickly run through -- there's three major issues, and we talked a lot about them, but just so people have a good idea of what the major points are or pressure points are in water, energy, and air quality?
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can you kind of give people an idea what we're looking at? >> for air quality, we are looking at voc emissions from drying, extraction facilities and we are also looking at local or hyper local air quality impacts for not just cannabis operations but all operations and kind of taking a better look at where these facilities are cited and which communities they are in because local air quality impacts have significant outcomes. they have much higher rates of diseases attributable to poor air quality solutions. those also happen to be the same areas where industrial zones are cited. we see this doubling down on environmental injustices were communities of color are bearing the brunt of air-quality omissions, not just from grow operations or illicit grow operations but run any and all
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air pollution sources in the district. >> something you and i have talked about before is odor. it is not just the funky marijuana smell you're talking about when you say that word. explain what you're talking about. >> the oversight we are more worried about are the odors from the grow operations. imagine if you go down the street, you smell a bus go by and smell the exhaust smell, but you go to the gas station, you get one drop of gasoline on your shoe, you are tasting it for three days after. that's the difference you get from someone smoking marijuana versus what you get from these grow operations. we are thinking about that raw odor, it lingers, it travels farther. if you don't see someone smoking, that's probably not where it is coming from, so finding the odors and tracking them down becomes problematic when you have a large market because again, you have
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inspectors who are going to the regulated facilities and showing that it is not them, but beyond that, it is about all we can do. >> you bring up a good point, but remember when we wrote this story at politico? everyone was like, why is smoking weed bad, and it was like, that's not really the core thing here. bob, really quick. >> energy benchmarking. let's transition through this market transformation business plan that exists. the transition growers, but without mandating them out of existence. >> and then really quick. >> i think we just need to study it more. i think that at the end of the days the issue and we need more data. yeah, it is all over the board,
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the usage. >> thank you guys for being here. thanks, >> thank you, guys for being here. thanks, everybody for listening and the presentations. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> all right. we're just about done with the morning session but for those of you heard by remarks earlier today i may and may not have made some disparaging comments about our elected officials. some want to bring out sam from the cannabis voter project. i do when give him a round of applause. [applause] >> just wantedow let you know en the midterm elections are little over six months away, primary season is about to begin to make registration is up to date ready to go pick you can find out if it is at cannabis voter dot info, the home of the cannabis voter project. you can also look up where every member of congress stint on number of cannabis related issues and find out where your
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polling place is, things like that. just wanted let you all know to keep voting e-mailke it's not quite the midterm elections. thank you. [applause]e] >> thank you, sam. so we are now done with the morning session. please, please, please try to find a good seat starting at 1:00. we're going to start on time at 1:15 with our moderated conversation with louisiana democratic candidate gary chambers. step outside, grab some coffee, grab some water. introduce yourself to someone you don't already know. make a new friend, make a new ally and let's make some reforms. thanks. [inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> congress returns this week following the july 4 holiday break. the senate is back monday at
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3 p.m. eastern. senators will vote later on the nomination of stephen dowdell boch president biden's nominee to serve as director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms and explosives. legislative work and house resumes tuesday. members will spend most of the week on 2023 defense department programs. the house does play to take up abortion related legislation including a bill to protect the right to travel for abortion services. members are expected to consider for a second time a bill to create an amber alert like system for active shooter events nationwide. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span2. you can also watch on our free video app, c-span now, online at >> c-span brings you an unfiltered view of government. our newsletter "word for word" recaps the day for you from the halls of congress to daily press briefings to remarks from the
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