Episode 102

A Sound Bath & Beverage in Venice

Mar 31, 2020 | Length: 37m 19s

In February Donny traveled to Venice, California for a sound bath guided by the musical duo called Dynasty Electrik. This week, Alex Halperin unpacks what his co-host learned about this trendy form of sonic healing and what happens when it’s enhanced with the cannabis drink called bhang.

Dynasty Electrik
www.dynastyelectrik.com

Dynasty Electrik on Instagram
www.instagram.com/dynastyelectrik/?hl=en

Mystic Journeys
www.mysticjourneyla.com
Alex Halperin’s Cannabis Dictionary
weedweekreports.com/the-cannabis-di…-alex-halperin/

Sign up for free WeedWeek newsletters, to get weekly info on North America’s most interesting industry delivered to your inbox: www.weedweek.net

Email us your comments, questions or suggestions at hello@weedweek.net

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Podcast transcript

Alex Halperin (00:07):
Welcome to WeedWeek. I’m Alex Halperin.

Donnell Alexander (00:09):
And I’m Donnell Alexander.

Alex Halperin (00:11):
This is the WeedWeek podcast. You can subscribe to our free newsletters WeedWeek, WeedWeek California and WeedWeek Canada all at weedweek.net and you can find us on Twitter and Instagram at WeedWeek news. We love to hear from you. Write to us at hello@weedweek.net and we appreciate it if you can subscribe and review or like this podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher, but especially iTunes.

Donnell Alexander (00:34):
This week we share a very relevant interview for these trying times that was recorded in February. It’s with a musical group called Dynasty Electrik and they do Sound Baths. Alex, are you familiar with Sound Baths?

Alex Halperin (00:47):
I think I am, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a really good one.

Donnell Alexander (00:51):
It’s weird because the first one I had was the best one I’ve had and it’s been a little bit diminished ever since, but I still find them fascinating because it’s a sound that deals with healing and i’s extension of yoga. The way these two approach it is pretty unusual. They’re musicians who come at it with a really thoughtful perspective and the reason they’re on WeedWeek this particular episode is we were celebrating the night of Shiva with Bhang Are you familiar with Bhang.

Alex Halperin (01:18):
The chocolate company? Yeah.

Donnell Alexander (01:20):
There is a company called Bhang that takes its name from this particular cannabis drink.

Alex Halperin (01:26):
Oh right. The Indian cannabis drink.

Donnell Alexander (01:29):
Seth made it. He made it from his own home grown stash and I’ll let him explain how it’s made and how it tastes because he gets the nuance of it, I just get high and I have to say here, this is a night, one of these Friday nights completely baked in the city and there was something special about it. It’s something I bring up because I miss that, I’m endorsed. I don’t touch anything outside. It seems like another lifetime ago.

Alex Halperin (01:51):
It’s wild times for everyone. Of course, their initial sales spiked at stores as people were probably hoarding and that makes sense, but it’s not yet clear whether people are going to be really using that much more. They just wanted to make sure they had an adequate supply. And certainly, I think the industry is going to be hurt in a lot of ways.

Donnell Alexander (02:16)
Tell me about those. I mean you’re talking about just supply chain stuff or are there other matters we should be concerned with?

Alex Halperin (02:22):
No, I mean there’s other stuff as well. Right now, supply chains seem to be holding up, so everyone, but people in the industry are concerned that cannabis is expensive and it’s a luxury good to some extent. You know, people aren’t necessarily going to have the money to buy their supply and folks may be more willing to turn to the illegal market, especially in a place like California where that doesn’t mean that a 40% tax is on their product. And at the same time a lot of businesses are going to see some kind of federal assistance and cannabis businesses are largely ineligible.

Donnell Alexander (03:02):
Is that strictly because of the federal policy.

Alex Halperin (03:05):
Basically. Yeah. I mean, plenty of states, as we’ve discussed are calling cannabis businesses essential. And I think that’s an ultimate endorsement that the industry is here to stay. But, if you’ve got a pot shop, you know whatever your business is, there’s going to be a real struggle and there’s really not going to be much help for you.

Donnell Alexander (03:28):
And that’s why I say we were talking about a timely conversation because these are very stressful times.

Alex Halperin (03:32):
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still far away I think.

Donnell Alexander (03:36):
Well, let me talk about this thing that’s a little more pleasant. I’ve been taking a lot of online yoga. Have you done anything like that?

Alex Halperin (03:43):
No, I haven’t done any annoying yoga classes but maybe I will.

Donnell Alexander (03:47):
But you’ve got another online project coming on. Tell us about that.

Alex Halperin (03:51):
We do. So we’re starting a brief weekly recap of the news called the WeedWeek News Brief and it’s going to be a free webinar format on Zoom, the video platform. It’s going to be with me and Canada editor Jesse Staniforth for us every Friday at 10:00 AM Pacific time, so at the end of these long weeks you’ll be able to quickly catch up with Jesse and I on what’s going on in the world of weed.

Donnell Alexander (04:17):
It’s a good thing Jesse is an early riser. It sounds like a good one. I was asking about online yoga because yoga is a big part of what we’re talking about this week and it’s weird because I know you do some yoga.

Alex Halperin (04:29):
I don’t do any yoga.

Donnell Alexander (04:30):
Oh, excuse me. This is absolutely the perfect episode for you. You like Shavasana, you like that part. Do you know that part of yoga? Savasana is the final rest. You just lay there and generally it’s like a “Whew, I made it.” This is right up your alley. It’s like 45 minutes to Savasana except with Sound Company. And the idea is that it augments your healing and rest through sound waves. And as far as I’m concerned, you can do that really badly or you can do it amazingly. You know, letting someone fool around with your sound waves is pretty personal stuff. And I kind of trust these people. The night that we did this, it was called Maha Shivaratri, the night of Shiva, and we celebrated with Bhang as I told you. And the thing about the drink is that Seth grew the weed and he’ll do a much better job at explaining the nuances of Bhang than I ever could. So if we’re done talking about the Coronavirus, I’d like to talk about something a little more healing. Let’s talk about Dynasty Electrik.

Alex Halperin (05:27):
This is what everybody needs right now.

Donnell Alexander (05:30):
Okay. So I want to introduce you to Seth and Jenny. It’ll be calm, it’ll be healing and there’ll be no mention of the supply chain.

Audio (05:46):
Good evening everyone and welcome to the Friday Crystal Sound Bath. Such a blessing to be here with all of you this evening.

Donnell Alexander (06:04):
Okay. We’re here in Venice with Seth and Jenny. Seth and Jenny, welcome to WeedWeek.

Seth (06:09):
Thanks so much for having us.

Jenny (06:10):
Thank you. We are so happy to be here.

Donnell Alexander (06:12):
And can you describe where we are right now?

Jenny (06:16):
So, we are in a Crystal Gallery in Venice. We just set up for the Sound Bath this evening. There’s a full set of crystal bowls and there’s a gallery right out there with geodes and crystals that are some of them like eight feet tall and huge.

Donnell Alexander (06:32):
I don’t know a lot about Sound Baths, but I’ve experienced four of them, I think. And the first one was out in Landers by Joshua Tree at the Integratron, which you must know. And then the other two were in a backyard, aside from the one I have with you guys which was unique and what I’m coming back to, the other one in a backyard in Griffith Park was super amazing, but they were all different. I guess I want to know what constitutes a Sound Bath and what do you do that sets you apart?

Seth (07:04):
Really a Sound Bath is an ancient practice. A Sound Bath is just the modern term for it. But just throughout civilization and throughout our history, we’ve always used music medicinally. And formerly it was shamanic ritual, drumming, dancing and other kinds of sounds that would activate at people’s energy field or put them into a trance and heal them from different conditions. With the rise of yoga studios and new age music and both the sixties and seventies, the idea of the Sound Bath came into play where all of a sudden we have lots of people coming out and meditating, practicing yoga and Sound Bath would be the sonic and musical aspect of that practice. And so rather than being instructed specifically through a guided meditation, in a Sound Bath people meditate with the sound and allow the music to take them on an inner journey.

Jenny (07:58):
Also, it’s really nice, in our modern society, balancing activity to all the activity. So, it’s the inactivity and relaxation and rejuvenation and just the quieting the mind, the body, the emotions.

Donnell Alexander (08:14):
I came in here last time and felt vibes that are very specific. Is it you all or is it the space as in Venice in general.

Jenny (08:22):
I would say it’s all three of those things. I mean, some people believe there’s all these crazy lay lines and portals in Venice. I mean perhaps there is perhaps there’s one of the reasons we’re here, but also, I helped open this gallery mystic journey crystals in yoga. And actually, someone told us many years ago at this music festival that we would be performing with huge crystals. And at the time I had no idea what they meant because the most I’d ever had was hand sized crystals or a little bit bigger and to develop this space and sort of have that vision come into fruition that somehow the crystals being vibrational healers as well as sound would connect and create this whole field of energy.

Donnell Alexander (09:50):
What’s going to happen in the space? Because I was talked about a Sound Bath, but I don’t think the average person really knows what happens. I’m looking at a gong, I’m looking at the bulls and I see a lot of yoga mats, what’s going to happen here in an hour or so?

Jenny (10:04):
Yeah. Lucky for most people what they need to do is basically just fully relax. So there isn’t any particular protocol you can sit, you can lay down, most people lie down. But really the main purpose is just complete relaxation and then you just allow the sound to take you along on a meditative journey. So rather than necessarily being guided by a voice or going into some specific meditation practice, it’s really the sound that is the journey that allows you to have your experience. And so we open the meditation with the blessing of the space and then just move right into the sound and allow people to have the experience that they need to at any particular time.

Seth (10:57):
Going back into your original question of why every Sound Bath is going to be unique because each artist is going to approach it in a different way. And really one of the commonalities would be people are in a resting pose, typically in Shavasana, which is just lying flat on their back. And in a yoga class, you would normally only practice this pose for maybe five or 10 minutes and enter into a relaxed state of mind in this pose, in a Sound Bath, you may enter into this pose for 45 to 60, even 90 minutes of very deep relaxation. And this is the most relaxing yoga pose. And the other commonality with most Sound Baths would be that rather than watching the musicians perform as you would at a jazz or a rock concert you typically have your eyes closed and you’re experiencing the music and the inner sensory dimension. Both your inner auditory and your inner visual senses are stimulated. So people frequently have flights of imagination where they see different environments and landscapes or different animals, sometimes even mythical type creatures. Now, another common element of Sound Baths would be the gong, which is an ancient Chinese instrument. I was actually introduced to Sound Baths through the gong, through the practice of Kundalini yoga. And I just discovered that it sent me into a kind of cosmic dimension that while listening to the gong, I would just feel transported. So I wanted to acquire my own gong because I wanted to experience this on the regular, not just at the studio or in a class, but during my own meditation practice and at home. So many Sound Baths do employ the gong. Many sound bass also employ the crystal singing bowls, which are based on an ancient instrument. The traditional use of them is as bronze or brass singing bowls, metal singing bowls. And these have been used for many centuries in Asia by monks in their meditation practice. The crystal singing bowls are actually a technological innovation that have been with us for the last 30 or 40 years that by liquefying quartz crystal and pouring it into mold and creating these molds and very specific tunings and frequencies, they were able to industrialize the part of the process of making the crystal bowls. And all of a sudden now we have crystal balls with us, which have a very pure sound and are very loud in comparison to the traditional metal bowls. And so many people use these in their practice because they are so powerful and they create such a pure frequency. And they also typically don’t require microphones because they’re able to fill a space with sound.

Donnell Alexander (13:40):
I can’t imagine that you guys came out of the womb doing Sound Baths. I looked at some videos, I’ll just cut to the chase. I saw some videos online. You have a past in music that is different from this.

Seth (14:23):
We do a bit of a cross between the (inaudible) and maybe like an LCD Soundsystem with electronic and rock vibes mixed together. And then we also worked with the hip hop producers ski beats on one of our albums. And so we brought in elements, we brought some heavier kinds of beats at that time as well.

Jenny (14:44):
Even at that time, there were so many instances of people coming up to me after a show and sort of their minds blown like, wow, that was a really transformational music experience. So it wasn’t like all of a sudden we just started doing music that was, or vibrations that were transformational and healing. It always was. It’s just taking on this particular expression at this point. But I feel we always had that reaction.

Donnell Alexander (15:12):
It seems just from the stuff I saw that it was in you and this Sound Bath expression is like a more pure direct extraction of that spiritual self or something.

Jenny (15:23):
That’s a good way to put it in, and as Seth mentioned earlier, and I really do appreciate this aspect of it because people’s eyes are closed. It really takes the egoic aspect out of any of it, really becomes about the person and their own journey. So it’s not so much that they’re coming here to watch you do a performance. They’re coming here to have their own true, authentic inner experience that you’re just helping to guide or creating a safe space for.

Donnell Alexander (15:52):
Speaking of guiding this experience, I understand that tonight there’s going to be a special component, an additional enhancer, perhaps.

Seth (16:01):
Frequently we actually do Sound Baths in collaboration with different cannabis companies. We’ve done a number of CBD events for example, where people take tinctures or use different lotions.

Donnell Alexander (16:19)
Who are some of the companies you’ve worked with?

Seth (16:23):
Make & Mary’s one of them, New Highs is another.

Jenny (16:26):
We’ve also worked with different than cannabis with a chaga mushroom elixir, Black Magic Alchemy was that company and they used to come a lot and serve.

Donnell Alexander (16:35):
How did they find you? How does your audience find you? I feel like this is an emerging topic, but that’s something everyone knows to go to a Facebook group. How do your people find each other?

Seth (16:46):
We’ve been very thankful to be here at the Crystal Gallery in Venice every Friday night now for the last two and a half years. And so that’s really created a wonderful word of mouth for us that people come. And the great thing about sound healing is it basically it just works for people that it puts them into a relaxed state of mind. Each person will have a slightly different experience, but the overall impression is one of relaxation and healing for people. And so it’s jut a simple way to enter into this state and people then pass that on to their friends and family and say, “If you’ve had a tough week, why don’t you go unwind at the Sound Bath at the Crystal Gallery? They’re there every Friday night.” And just this kind of organic spreading of the word has just been really helpful for us.

Jenny (17:31):
Also we had a really nice article about our music, spiritual music and cannabis in Forbes last year. So, you know, that probably got to a few people. It was a really interesting article. Actually, we want to think it wilder for connecting us, but just really making the connection between vibrational healing and plant enhancements or connections.

Donnell Alexander (17:58):
So back to the plant enhancements, people use cannabis ordinarily. How does that usually play out? I mean, I was here, there was nobody’s smoking in the room. How does cannabis enter into it?

Seth (18:12):
Cannabis is a perfect complement for a Sound Bath since it enhances both relaxation and sensory experience. And so if they like to smoke, they may take their smoke out in the garden, for example, or in their car before they come in, but many people will enjoy a bit of cannabis and also many people enjoy edibles as well. And then back to your question about tonight it’s actually a special Hindu festival today called Maha Shivaratri. And that is the great night of Shiva. And Shiva is known both as the first Yogi and as the (inaudible) of meditation and the arts and also as an enjoyer of cannabis that when he was in a difficult time, the legend has it that he found himself underneath the cannabis plant growing wildly in the forest, and that just the aroma of the cannabis put him into a relaxed state of mind. And that he actually then took up the practice of enjoying smoking cannabis. And so each year on Maha Shivaratri the different Shiva monks not all but many consumed cannabis. And actually in countries where it’s illegal in India and in Nepal, on this particular holiday, the government turns a blind eye to it and it’s considered a religious expression. And the followers of Shiva, enter into a deep trance through cannabis, meditating upon Shiva and offering their intoxication to Shiva. And this holiday was the day when Shiva consummated his love for his wife and led the world out of darkness into light through his love. And so people express this idea by chanting together, by smoking cannabis together and by drinking Bhang, which is the true traditional milk based version of a cannabis drink. And that’s what we’ve prepared tonight with some home grown cannabis and some organic milk and mint and honey and just a very natural dairy product that has a similar effect as edibles or to smoking. But because it’s dairy-based, it actually has a slightly different effect just as each edible may have a slightly different psychoactive effect. It’s very psychedelic. It has a slightly faster onset time than most edibles since it’s in liquid form. And it’s used traditionally in India where there are Bhang shops and particularly by the followers of Shivait is a very popular drink.

Jenny (20:58):
And the milk would be sacred because cows are sacred in India. So of course, it would make sense to combine these two sacred things.

Donnell Alexander (21:08):
So Larry, you’re sure you’re not going to stick around tonight. Psychedelic man, he’s making a maybe face, I want to ask do you make this yourself and you know it from where? How did you learn to make Bhang? Is it something ordinary people can make?

Seth (21:27):
Absolutely. I learned it through folklore actually and through the mythology that this was one of the ways that people consume cannabis in India. And I was looking for different ways to consume myself and to cut back on smoking. And seeking different avenues for exploring the cannabis experience. And just through my research, I was able to find a few different recipes online. And the basic idea is very slow cooking the cannabis in milk without burning it. So at a very low temperature and always keeping your eye on it to make sure that you’re not exceeding the temperature and that it is bubbling up too much. It’s really about finding the ratio of how much cannabis to how much milk. And I find it’s approximately an eighth of an ounce to a quarter approximately. And then it can be tailored to each person’s taste. And then it also would depend on the strength of the flour as well. Interestingly, you don’t have to cure or dry the flour necessarily. You can use dry or cured flour but in India they would typically use fresh cannabis plants and fresh flour and fresh leaves and stems and just putting the fresh plant into the milk.

Donnell Alexander (22:47):
Is there a benefit that comes from that or is that’s just tradition?

Seth: (22:52):
It changes the flavor slightly. And what I also find is that male cannabis plants can be employed, that when male cannabis plants flour and the pollen also saturates into the milk really well. And so I do find that there is a bit of an added potency perhaps and flavorful effect as well. And then, we typically had different herbs and flavorings. I like to add mint and honey myself. But in India they might add different fruit juices and they might add a nut garnish, nutmeg and maybe make it more like an eggnog or perhaps more like a fruit milkshake. It really ultimately would depend on just the taste of the person preparing it and whoever is about to consume it.

Jenny (23:43):
And today’s batch is made from the mile high retreats drain, right?

Seth (23:50):
Yes. So I’ve been cultivating my own cannabis and I find in the age of legalization is really a way of getting back to the roots where you really form a relationship with the plant from seed to a little plant to flower.

Jenny (24:08):
Crystals and Ravi Shankar, they’re all happy in the back and our mountain cabin back area. So yeah.

Seth (24:17):
And also cannabis, it grows well at a higher elevations, it’s thought that perhaps cannabis is more potent at higher elevations in the mountains. And so many of our legendary strains do come from mountain regions. And so in that tradition, we’ve just been crafting our own strains. Today’s Bhang was primarily based on an Indian landrace strain called Kerala. It’s interesting because this strain when smoked is a powerful sativa, but it takes on more of a hybrid sativa Endeca effect in the Bhang where I find the Bhang puts one into a heavy trance and it can be used for waking activities, but it’s also a very powerful tool for relaxation and sleeping as well.

Donnell Alexander (25:30):
Just from talking to you earlier, Jenny, I get the sense that things are happening and that you’re doing more gigs. What sort of stuff are you doing outside the studio?

Jenny (25:40):
It´s really a combination of things. We’ve been doing anything from private Sound Baths at people’s houses, group sessions, do private one-on-one sessions with people. I created a color therapy room in this space that I sometimes use, not only sound frequencies but color frequencies in the healing sessions. And then beyond that, we’ve been working with different corporations, different companies. We did a really awesome event with Females to the Front in Palm Springs.

Donnell Alexander (26:10):
Can you talk to people about Females from the Front? Not everyone knows who they are.

Jenny (26:13):
Well, it’s female leaders in the cannabis industry, which is an incredible organization to support. They bring everyone together from different parts of the country. And then they all just connect with their different ideas, different visions, and also the state of legalization in different places in the country and world. So it’s really powerful for the women to get together.

Donnell Alexander (26:38):
Do you get like groups of 12 or a small group?

Seth (26:44):
Well the overall group there was maybe a hundred of women leaders from the cannabis industry and then in the Sound Bath there was between 20 to 40 in each session.

Jenny (26:54):
We did multiple Sound Baths. So we did several throughout the day that people could kind of come in and out of as they did like other breakout sessions.

Donnell Alexander (27:01):
I want to ask you, do you feel like there’s a reason it’s taking off now? Why is there something that set off an interest in Sound Baths? I didn’t know what one was last decade. Is it the times?

Jenny (27:11):
Yeah, I mean, I feel that in light of just the modern-day speed of life and people not necessarily finding their health and balance through the regular workweek, through the regular medical connections that we have. Wanting to go a little bit deeper and understanding that, you know, we don’t want to just treat symptoms but rather go to the root causes of things and heal ourselves from our spirits out. So rather than just being a physical healing, it’s something a little bit deeper. Vibrations are affecting us on the cellular level, on the molecular level, on the spiritual level. And also you can clear disturbances in your thought fields, in your emotional fields before they get lodged into the physical body. So it’s also a preventative measure. So I think people are just seeking something a little deeper and a way to harmonize and balance the mind, body and emotions. That’s something a little more than just the traditional medical approach.

Donnell Alexander (28:28):
You agree with that?

Seth (28:29):
Absolutely. And I do think that we live in a discordant time that we see simultaneously the rise of the light and the dark and we see the light in the form of Sound Baths and meditation and people connecting with their inner selves and having enlightening experiences. And then we see the dark in the terms of the depression and the drug abuse and the violence in our society and the political discord, the financial discord, economic strife and people are feeling it. And, Sound Bath is just such a simple technique for feeling whole again, even if just for an hour of just entering into this zone, it’s again being an ancient practice. So we’ve always have turned to music. When we are in an emotional strife, for example, music can console our emotions and quiet our mind and allow us to heal. And so the Sound Bath is just an extension of that and a very intentional practice.

Jenny (29:33):
We´re coming together as a community as well.

Seth (29:36):
And coming together as a community is an important part.

Jenny (29:38):
The community coming together at regular times throughout the week, throughout the month. You start to process everything. And to feel in together as a community and realize we’re all experiencing these things on some level, even though they’re having their different expressions individually. So it’s connecting us a little better. And especially in these times of a lot of the connection being online or displaced and not in person to actually in real life experience a community vibe.

Seth (30:10):
Giving a name too, that becoming known as a Sound Bath, which nobody even is exactly sure where that term came from. But within the last 10 to 20 years, it’s become a popular way of describing it, as opposed to just say a sound meditation experience or whatever other terms we may use. A Sound Bath is a nice visual where we can actually see the sound washing over energy field and clearing our energy. So I actually think that the term itself has helped the field quite a bit.

Donnell Alexander (30:40):
Is there like an all-star team of Sound Bath orchestrators? Are there people you admire who are doing it? That they really kick ass as Sound Baths.

Seth (30:50):
There are many of wonderful practitioners. One of our great inspirations, our teacher Lisa Ishwari Murphy was a really an amazing inspiration for us and she was doing Sound Baths many years before it became more popularized.

Jenny (31:08):
Right after the invention of the crystal bowl essentially, which was invented sometime in the nineties. I think she started using them pretty early on.

Seth (31:16):
And then there’s an artist named Deuter who’s a composer that has been writing essentially Sound Bath music, but it was just called new age instrumental music, but he’s been creating this kind of music since the seventies and has many albums which have are played in many yoga and meditation classes and have been very inspirational for us.

Jenny (31:40):
It really brings you there. Every time I listened to certain tracks of his, it’s just, I immediately go so deep emotionally and it really just triggers something, you know how certain music you may go back to just really puts you in this place or without fail I feel like I just go there.

Donnell Alexander (32:02):
Well, we’ll put some of his music on the show page and some of yours. But it’s so odd to bring this up after talking about how we did lack connection online, but how can people find you online?

Jenny (32:16):
So it’s Dynasty electric. And then we’re on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and Spotify and Apple music. And all the places you can be, I guess.

Donnell Alexander (32:37):
If you want to catch them in person, they’re on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice, California.
Thanks a lot for your time. Thanks for letting us hang out and hear all this and let’s do the Bhang thing.

Seth (32:47):
Absolutely. Thanks so much for having us.

Jenny (32:48):
Thank you so much, Donny. What a pleasure.

Alex Halperin (32:52):
That was great. And I hope it’ll help everyone have a healing and rest for the week. We’re introducing a new audio op-ed feature where we reach out to folks in our WeedWeek council and throughout the industry to sort of sound off on some of the issues that are occurring to them. So WeedWeek council is WeedWeek professionals from diverse parts of the industry that we ask for their thoughts on various happenings in the industry. To give our audience more of a perspective from a wide variety of experts. This week we’ve got an audio op-ed from Matt Victoriano who’s a security consultant.

Matt Victoriano (33:34):
My name is Matt Victoriano and I’m from Sacramento, California. I’m the founder of Sabai, an integrated online training, employment and social networking platform for the California cannabis industry. The past year has been pretty rough on cannabis companies. MedMen stocks have lost 95% of their value over the past 12 months. Tilray stock has done 90% Aurora, 91% and Canopy Growth, 60% and many small and medium sized cannabis companies who’ve either gone out of business or struggling to stay afloat. There are many factors that hinder a cannabis company’s success, but perhaps the most frustrating is regulations. There’s no place where the adverse effects of regulatory compliance are more evident than California. With over 300 pages of combined cannabis regulations, the burdens licensed businesses must contend with or immense. Some companies print out these regulations and tell their employees to read them in their free time. Some companies hire expensive compliance managers or consultants, and many companies simply choose to ignore the regulations. For those companies who do stay compliant, doing so is difficult, time consuming and expensive. For those companies who don’t, some get away with it, but others are fined or forced to destroy their product. Some California cannabis regulations are passed due for change. Taxes are too high. Local governments have too much control. Testing requirements are too inflexible and the track and trace system’s a mess. But most compliance requirements serve a purpose. The legal cannabis market is highly symbiotic, but consumers, businesses and investors all relying on one another for protection and success. When a cannabis company fails to be compliant, the founder isn’t the only one hurt, the company’s investors, employees, business partners and consumers all suffer. But when a licensed cannabis business complies with cannabis regulations, it protects the consumers. It ensures consistency and reliability in the market, and it protects the business partners that rely on it. As California’s cannabis industry matures, regulatory agencies will start to focus more their enforcement actions on licensed cannabis businesses in order to ensure that the market is safe and stable. And reputable Cannabis companies will start to focus more of their business partnerships and companies who stay compliant. With California’s highly regulated market, compliance is the first indication of a company’s professionalism, reliability, and potential for success. But how do companies ensure that their employees and business partners are compliant, and how do consumers ensure the products they buy come from safe and reputable companies? In California, at least one license owners require to receive track and trace training, but that’s it. Unlike Colorado, Illinois and Massachusetts, California doesn’t require a responsible vendor compliance certification for cannabis retailers, but retail compliance certification isn’t enough. California needs compliance certification for all licensed types. When all employees and owners complete compliance training and certification that shows investors, owners, employees, business partners, and consumers that accompany takes professionalism, reliability, and success seriously. Until the state makes this training and certification mandatory, businesses and consumers should take it upon themselves to demand it from one another. Learn more about our services at sabi.works.

Alex Halperin (36:36):
All right. That’s our show. As always, you can find this on Twitter and Instagram @weedweek news or email us at hello@weedweek.net.

Donnell Alexander (36:43):
For more weed news you can sign up for the WeedWeek newsletter, WeedWeek Canada and weed week California, all at weedweek.net. If you’ve gone this deep into the episodes, you’re going to want to subscribe and review. Give five stars on iTunes, like us, review us on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and wherever you do your podcast listening.

Alex Halperin (37:00):
And Alex Halperin.

Donnell Alexander (37:01):
And I’m Donnell Alexander.

Alex Halperin (37:03):
Our show is produced by Donny Alexander and engineered by Larry Buhl. Alicia Byer wrote our theme music. We’ll see you here next week.