Deadhead Cannabis Show

0051: Pandemic Influence on cannabis | Revisiting past Dead shows

Episode Summary

Jim and Larry talk about some of The Grateful Dead's most legendary shows, and how Covid-19 has influenced the cannabis industry.

Episode Notes

As the country slowly begins to reopen we look at how the pandemic has impacted  the Marijuana industry.  Jim and Larry talk about recent cannabis politics and some of the changes the industry is experiencing. With concerts and public gatherings being cancelled for the rest of the summer our hosts re listen to the some of the Grateful Dead best shows from their 1977 run, and reflecting on some of their own personal experiences seeing the Dead back when Jerry was still with the band. 

 

Produced By MJBulls Cannabis Podcasts

Photo Courtesy of Jay Blakesberg

 

 

Episode Transcription

[00:00:36] jim Marty

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Deadhead Cannabis show. This is Jim Marty reporting from very windy Longmont, Colorado. And I have my partner up in Chicago, Larry Mishkin from Hoban law..

[00:00:49] jim Marty

How you doing there, Larry?

[00:00:51] Larry Mishkin

We're doing great today. Thank you very much. It's a lovely day in Chicago. Bright and sunny, a little bit on the chilly side, but not Sunday. We don't mind the chill.

[00:00:58] jim Marty

All right. Well, yeah, it's full blown string now that we're into May and summer's just around the corner. I don't
think there's gonna be too many shows for us to attend this summer, but hopefully the pandemic will pass here in a couple of weeks and we may see some activity on the music scene. Yesterday was my my birthday. 64 years old now. Never thought I'd be sick before. It's kind of a funny feeling, but physically, I still feel like I'm 40. So that's good. And I've got some good news.

[00:01:34] Larry Mishkin

That's why the Beatles wrote a song about it.

[00:01:36] Larry Mishkin

Well, Larry, I mean, I was gonna say that's why the Beatles wrote a song about when I'm 64, right?

[00:01:42] jim Marty

Yes. My family's saying that to me yesterday. Perfect. Anyway, yes, I did. Caught up with you. And I got the June 1976 box set. Excellent. I haven't listened to very much of it yet. It's just I just got it yesterday, but it's just beautiful package. It is just a beautiful box at five shows, I believe. Fifteen days. And it's some of the first live performances of Health Flip Franklyn's from Blues for album.

[00:02:15] Larry Mishkin

Right. This is the this is capturing their first shows back after their yearlong sabbatical where they made the Grateful Dead movie and all that other stuff, although it really wasn't a sabbatical for jury, because I think that was his busiest year ever from Jerry Garcia band. However, this is a tremendous box set, and you're absolutely right, both about the quality of the songs that they put on there and the packaging. And I have to tell you, you can go and you can go. There's an app called Realist's and I think you can download it from the App Store. And what we discovered is RELISTEN has like life versions, live concerts from most teddybear, including pretty much every Grateful Dead concert that there ever was. So, you know, people say to me, why do you still spend the money to buy these C.D. when who listens to these anymore? You've got all these ways to access Grateful Dead cancer. But like you just said, Jim, I'm a sucker for the packaging. I love the booklet. I love to read the little stories in there. I love the pictures. I love all of that stuff. So I'm the guy that keeps spending money on Grateful Dead cities, even though you can download them for free.

[00:03:25] jim Marty

Yes. And sometimes the mastering of the recordings on the C.D. is very superb and sometimes better than what you might get in a download.

START OF TRANSCRIPT

[00:03:37] Larry Mishkin

Frank? I agree with that for sure. I agree with that. So, yeah, I'm all in on it. You've got a wonderful birthday present. And if you're just starting to listen to it, you have a number of wonderful nights ahead of you soaking it all in. And then as soon as I listen to the whole thing, I went back and listen to it all again just because it was that good.

[00:03:53] jim Marty

Yes. Set up to listen to many hours of it out in my barn. The other my barn for this show right now. But it's so windy. We were getting background noise back in the house. But, yeah, I'm going to be heading out there after this to start to break into it. I also got to go see a live Volume 10 from Hawaii in 1990. And boy, when you listen to that one, too, it's really it's really hard to believe that Jerry only had five years left at that time because he was just so healthy and playing so well. And he's the pictures on the liner notes are Jerry in his shorts in Hawaii. And I'll tell you who dominant on that C.D. is Melvin Fields. I mean, it's just I listened to it last night, that pretty high volume. And God, Melvin feels Auriga just to screams he was free.

[00:04:44] Larry Mishkin

Love Melvin SEALs and what he did. You're right. That's it. That's a tremendous album. And I just recently received the newest release, the Gursel Life series, number 13, which is a show from September of 1989. Eighty nine Poplar Creek Music Theater, which no longer exists, but was in the western suburbs of Chicago. It was just a tremendous show that a whole whole group of us were out and it was absolutely amazing. And what's great about this show is that Clarence Clemons played with them. And so you got Clarence on the saxophone throughout the whole show. Well, in a way, Gerry, one of the best tangled up in blues I've ever heard. So, yeah, it's just wonderful, all of the Spreecast stuff that's out there to listen to. And I think you were mentioning we were discussing you and I both just recently received Dave's picks number. 34, which is also a 1974 show from from the Highlife Frontline in Miami, Florida.

[00:05:42] jim Marty

Yes. Yes, I got that the other day and have not had a chance to listen to it. But the phone list was really interesting, including the full prate glued to a weather report suite.

[00:05:54] Larry Mishkin

Well, you're absolutely right, Jim. And it does have the full with reports there I've listened to and I can tell you that it's amazing. But when I listen to it, I say this, you know, half jokingly and half seriously. It always makes me a little bit sad because I have never heard either the Grateful Dead or Bob Weir in any other combination since that time form the full weather report suite. You know, for years, the dead only played let it grow. The back end of it without the introduction to the introduction is beautiful. It's a lovely guitar melody. Garcia sings on it. Are sings on it. It's just great. It's such a powerful lead in. Let it grow. And I always joke with my friends when we go to see Dudding Company. Why the heck does Bob feel the need to cover all the Jerry tunes when he's got these wonderful songs of his own? He's not playing them.

[00:06:44] jim Marty

Yes. No, I could be mistaken. My memory gets thorny sometimes that I believe I did see the full weather report suite performed at Red Rocks in the mid 80s. And that's the look that up to see. I know that we definitely got the weather report sleet to finish a set one, but I think it was a full blown intro as well. So I think I have been fortunate enough to have seen that.

[00:07:12] Larry Mishkin

That's a great thing I did. And that's that's that's a major gap on my list of dead songs that that I never got to hear. There's not too many of them, but that's that's that's one of the big ones that Casey Jones I never heard the dead perform. Casey Jones. I've heard it since debt and company and other groups. But I never got to hear them do itself. Yeah, it's weather reports, which is a great tune. They capture a great I think you and I already talked about that. One of the highlights of this whole box set for me is the first night in Boston in the first set with a cover vs. mission and the raid. They only did that maybe three or four times as the Grateful Dead. That's such a beautiful song. And they really were still on base and it's such a wonderful version of it.

[00:07:54] jim Marty

Yeah, I'm looking forward to listening to that. So will you talk a little bit? What's going on with the licenses?

[00:08:05] Larry Mishkin

Ok, so here's what's going on with licenses in Illinois. And quite frankly, it's it's unfortunate we have to laugh at Illinois because we're kind of used to this kind of stuff. But my clients aren't laughing. We did finally have a duly enforced deadline this past week or week or two ago on April 30th, at which time all applications for free throw and for processing and for transportation were due. That deadline had been kicked two times already. But this was just one held. And so those were all filed on April 30th. Then the big news is, is that on April 1st, excuse me, May 1st. This past Friday, the state was supposed to announce the winners of the 75 adult use dispensary licenses. But two days before, Governor Pritzker came out with an announcement that those licenses. The announcement of the licenses would not be made on May 1st due to the Corona virus. They had not completed all of the review yet. And there is no new date that has been offered. So it's very frustrating that we've already gone past the date everyone

was keeping an eye on. And what's even worse is now we don't have any real expectation at all as to when we might hear back and find out who infected, get the licenses and who didn't. So, as you can imagine, that could be a little frustrating for some of these groups who've spent so much time and money putting their applications together. And are you really anxious to get moving forward if, in fact, they've gotten the license? So we'll have to see how that plays out. But it also calls into question whether or not the state will be able to meet the July 1st deadline for announcing the letters of the licenses for the cultivation and processing and transportation of the applications we just heard. So it's a little bit of a Wild West show here right now until we get it all figured out.

[00:10:01] jim Marty

So so what's going on then is all the applications are now in the hands of the state government of Illinois. So everything has been turned in and now we're just waiting on the bureaucratic machine to spit out the licenses.

[00:10:17] Larry Mishkin

That's it. And when you say bureaucratic machine in Illinois, you have to capitalize the de India because that's a well-defined thing here. And it's unfortunate. And, you know, certainly during this time of crisis, far be it for me to suggest that anyone should be engaging in any. That might endanger their health, but hopefully the state will recognize and understand how important this is to the people who are waiting to hear and figure out a way to get those things scored and announcements make.

[00:10:47] jim Marty

And I know that and caught up in all this are the craft licenses, the 5000 square foot cultivations for Recto.

[00:10:56] Larry Mishkin

That was one of the things the CREF pro licenses were just filed last week on April 30th. Those are scheduled to be announced on July 1st.

[00:11:05] jim Marty

Ok. Well, and I hope that happens. And virtually all those licenses, whether it's craft adult, the various types of licenses, do they all contain a social equity component?

[00:11:21] Larry Mishkin

Every type of license that you can apply for in Illinois allows you the opportunity to qualify as a social equity applicant. And if you do, you'll get a significant number of bonus points for having been able to establish that status. So, yes, it's throughout the entire the entire program, the entire adult youth program.

[00:11:40] jim Marty

Yes, because I help with the licenses and, you know, the social equity component was part of part of those applications. I think maybe you and I had a couple of mutual clients and some of those. So we'll see what happens here in Colorado. They've opened up curbside delivery. It's going very well. And now they are allowing people back in the dispensaries. The dispensaries have plexiglass lined up at the cash registers now. But it's going pretty well. I haven't seen the April numbers yet. I do think they will be below two thousand nineteen in many states, including Colorado, just because the 420 the marijuana national holiday didn't happen. They had a few clients in Denver. It would really start out for 20 and found themselves with access inventory. But the good news is, are both our medical and adult use dispensaries have stayed open. The cultivation facilities, they somebody said marijuana has gone from eley illicit to essentials.

[00:12:54] jim Marty

Yes.

[00:12:55] jim Marty

One of the many ironies of the pandemic.

[00:12:58] Larry Mishkin

Well, I agree with that. And here in Illinois, we had another record breaking months on the adult youth side, just under 40 million dollars in sales. Which is amazing, considering that pretty much. Well, for the entire month of April, Illinois was under a shelter in place order. We still have a limited number of dispensaries and we still have a very limited supply chain smokes. It's just astounding to me to see how these numbers have held and maintained for the first four months of the program. And, you know, it leads us all to start speculating just how successful this program can be. When we finally have an adequate supply and we no longer have the VA, the social distancing they have to contend with for purposes of being able to go and buy the product. So the future here in Illinois is looking wonderful right now. We're all very excited about it. And yes, we love Governor Pritzker. We also have the curbside service, which is just tremendous. And the accommodations that have been made to support this industry is really outstanding. And you're right, Jim, to think even just a few years ago that in the face of such a crisis that something like marijuana would be given the treatment that it is being given is I think it speaks to a new age of Cannabis in this country. And it's a positive and a wonderful thing to see.

[00:14:19] jim Marty

Now, how do they handle the shortage of inventory? Do they limit how much you can purchase? Yes, which would be imagined quite a bit below your legal limit.

[00:14:28] Larry Mishkin

Definitely. I believe that in most of the adult use dispensaries, they still have limits of a quarter ounce of flour and maybe only one or two grams of extract per customer of these. I'm not sure exactly what your situation is with cartridges, but they do have these. And again, they have limited hours. So, you know, people know that if you want to go and get in and buy something, you know, you have to get there right when they open in the morning because within a few hours, whatever they were able to get for that day is usually sold and gotten, you know, that's similar to Massachusetts.

[00:15:03] jim Marty

So prices and, you know, all over Denver, you can get a perfectly fine one gram wanted a quarter gram joint through between six and ten dollars. What does that say?

[00:15:15] jim Marty

Joint sell for another one, but the same, you know, probably a little bit closer to ten dollars.

[00:15:20] jim Marty

Well, that's surprising with your shortage of inventory that they're keeping prices in line.

[00:15:25] Larry Mishkin

Well, you know, I think that that's part of the idea that, you know, otherwise, you know, look, we've already slept such a high excise tax on top of it's. That it really gives that helps. I mean, I suppose you can say, well, hey, what other choice do they have? Like you? And I know that there is another choice called the black market. And, you know, a lot of these places have really, you know, bent over backwards. It seems to keep their prices in line to maintain a flow of customers coming through.

[00:15:58] Jim Marty & Larry Mishkin

I want to take a quick break to thank you for listening to today's show and to invite you to listen to all the other great MJ MJBulls Cannabis podcasts like Raising Cannabis Capital, the show, which features Cannabis entrepreneurs that are raising money to expand their organization. Tune in each week on Thursdays and Sundays to hear founders of awesome Cannabis companies talking about their business and their fundraising plans. Who knows? Maybe you'll discover the future Amazon or Apple of Cannabis and the Raising Cannabis Capital podcast.

[00:16:33] jim Marty

I have been doing some studying for some clients and some podcasts and other things I've been working on, and, you know, Colorado is just under two billion a year in sales. That's medical and adult use combined. And when you add up all the taxes, income tax, sales tax, excise tax, Estra syntax at the cash register, if you will, for adult use, Cannabis, that comes in just below a billion. So we're right at about 50 cents on the dollar going into the state and local tax coffers from our Cannabis industry.

[00:17:11] jim Marty

And while in the green and Dana, things, you know, with a multi-billion dollar budget, tens of billions of dollars, the state of Colorado's budget saying that the municipalities. That's not a lot of money compared to their whole budget. But I think we've mentioned this maybe another other shows in the past. The politicians like it because it's number one, it's new money and it's unencumbered of money. So they can put roofs on schools, they can do things with their money that they wouldn't have had been able to do before, because, as you know, especially with the pandemic. Every dollar that comes into the state and cities and counties is already spent, you know, many times over pensions, payroll. So the fact that it's new and unencumbered money makes this very exciting for the politicians to focus on. They're aiming at their pet projects.

[00:18:12] Larry Mishkin

Yes, I agree with that. We will see that here as well. But, you know, it's just. At the end of the day, it's a wonderful thing because I get calls from friends and other states. How's it going with adult use in Illinois? It's what do we have to do to get it in our state and things like that. And, you know, it's a conversation whose time is long past due. And it's nice that the politicians, you know, in the midst of everything else, take time to acknowledge that. You know, I'd like to think that who knows? Maybe that means we're not that far away from seeing more of a change on the national scene, although I'm not holding my breath.

[00:18:49] jim Marty

Well, we'll see. You know, you could be pessimistic and say, you know, with a pandemic and we have a presidential it's a presidential election year, so nothing's going to happen. On the other hand. And I specifically think about Cory Gardner here in Colorado, very tough election. Many he'll be in his seat as being targeted nationally by the Democrats. So he may come out and try to spring freeze some legislation in Congress for the Safe Banking Act,

where the States Rights Act, a bill that would eliminate IRS code Section two 80. So even though it's an election year and Congress is definitely in somewhat disarray with the pandemic, we may actually surprise, surprise and see some legislation come through, I think would be great.

[00:19:40] Larry Mishkin

Listen, you know, as you and I have long discussed, it's all bipartisan to me. As long as it relates to marijuana, if they can pass, it doesn't matter to me who sponsors. It doesn't matter to me who votes for it. As long as it gets passed and it makes our lives, you know, easier and it benefits the industry, I think it's a wonderful thing.

[00:19:57] jim Marty

Yes. So we shall see what comes of it. Anything else we got for today's podcast?

[00:20:04] Larry Mishkin

Let me ask you this question, Jim. And and we're starting to get a lot of questions asked of us here in Illinois, especially thinking that the dispensary applications were about to be dropped, because what I found in every state I've represented people in the licensing process, is that once once the licenses are awarded, those who did not get a license. There is a measurable percentage of them who then want to go out and immediately start looking into the possibility of buying a license. And so I'm wondering, you know, given the work that you do and the relationship you have with your clients during this pandemic, have you seen an upswing in mergers involving marijuana businesses? Has it been. Has it been quieting down or is it kind of play? Tell me, what what are you seeing with regard to that?

[00:20:50] jim Marty

No, we're seeing a lot of merger and acquisition activity now. Can you. Maybe Missouri, for example. There were very few lucky winners in Missouri, and we had lots of clients who had applied, then turned down and I told them, hey, don't be discouraged. That was round one. You know, if you guys have your capital raised, some of these license winners don't have capital or they don't have enough capital to build one hundred thousand square foot cultivation. So, yeah, once the licenses are awarded, then there's a whole second round of. I would say call it marrying up. People with money is people with conservation skills. We have a dozen probably clients that have licenses, but no cultivation skills, so that that makes for a natural partnership.

[00:21:42] Larry Mishkin

Exactly. Exactly. Interesting. Well, yeah, it's just, you know, look, it's an exciting time all around. We're very, very excited for the licenses to be awarded here because whoever they go to, either way, there's going to be another flurry of activity. Getting those people are registered and ready to go, dealing with possible sales or mergers, as you're discussing. And then before you know it, Illinois is scheduled to have another round of licenses next year. So that next year they're scheduled to have another hundred and ten dispensary licenses and another 60 craft grow licenses. So we're far from done with that process in this way.

[00:22:16] jim Marty

Yeah, to give you an example of what needs to happen. Very smart attorney in Massachusetts told me, and they're very similar to Illinois and that they have a shortage of product. So it is a cultivation. One of Massachusetts drivers, as they're surrounded by states that don't have adult use, save a lot of cross-border traffic. New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, none of them have adult years. And it's a very small geographic area. So you can expect this attorney was telling me to judge him. I think we have about four million square feet of cultivation, either under glass or indoor cultivation in Massachusetts. He said just to meet the minute, just even get close to meeting demand. We probably need eight million square feet of cultivation in Massachusetts. So when you think a hundred thousand square foot of new cultivation license is a lot. It's not a lot when you compare to eight million square feet.

[00:23:16] Larry Mishkin

True. You're absolutely right about that. And that's the kind of stuff that I love to hear because it just speaks to the success of the industry. But, you know, it's also a little bit frustrating. I guess the states have to go and baby steps and, you know, do it at a rate that they feel comfortable doing it. But, you know, if you want to go buy marijuana, you could under the adult use dispensary and there's still a line around the block that can also be a little intimidating sometimes.

[00:23:42] Jim Marty & Larry Mishkin

Yeah. Who has that kind of time? I've had that experience in Massachusetts where we had to wait in line and be bused, that you had to park so far where they had a bus to take you to the dispensary. Then you had to wait in line. Then our praised the prices were much higher than Colorado. Yeah, there is word, you know, including tax out the door. Sixty sixty five dollars for an eight versus twenty. Twenty five dollars for an eighth in Denver.

[00:24:10] Larry Mishkin

Now that we were on the high end here in Illinois, was that for sure. And I see that self. Well it'll look like anything else over time. You know, the market will stabilize and reach a little bit of an equilibrium and you know, we'll all be the better for it.

[00:24:25] jim Marty

Well, let's hope that we'll be talking about some live music soon. Talking to my friends around the country. Oh, man. I had tickets for Jazz Fest. They had tickets for dad and company at Fenway Park. I was gonna go to the gorge with the sons. So we'll get back on track.

[00:24:43] Larry Mishkin

We will. And one of the things that I've been doing, and I know that there's so many different opportunities right now to go online and everybody's streaming shows dad and company and the dad and fish and all. And it's great. It just doesn't always line up with my schedule. And what I find is it's not necessarily always the show I want to do. So it's what I do is I just thought of my C.G. collection and I find a C.D. show that I have from whatever day it is. And so I listen to that. So just new box set will be rolling into June. Pretty soon we'll have a whole bunch. But this time of year, April and May for me always is Europe 72. So I've been listening, you know, every night that there was
Europe 70 to showcase to Europe 72. And what's interesting is tonight is the show that they played at the Becher Schaff Festival in England on May 7th, 1972. And one of the little trivia points of this show, and I think you and I have discussed this, Jim, is that one of the people standing in love listening to the Grateful Dead play that day was none other than Elvis Costello?

[00:25:40] jim Marty

Yes, I've seen that picture where he circles himself and draws an arrow.

[00:25:45] jim Marty

Yep. So I'm very excited to listen to this show tonight and, you know, and hear the music that that Elvis listened to.

[00:25:53] jim Marty

Yeah. Well, not only do we want to play music that we want to get our sports back to, and I think people are really ready yet. My prediction is when we come back, we're going to come back really fast. People are really going to want to get out to shows. They're going to want to get out to the ballparks. There's talk of having the NBA and NHL playoffs in July without fans.

[00:26:14] Larry Mishkin

I've heard that. I've heard that. And they're talking about. Well, apparently, according to one of my Hoban law. colleagues who's so much of a baseball fan, he stayed up last night all night because they had the opening day baseball game and the Korean Baseball League in front of the stadium with no fans. But he had. I'm like, wow, that's hardcore. If you're going to watch Korean baseball at two o'clock in the morning in the stadium with no fans, you're a baseball fan.

[00:26:37] jim Marty

Oh, very good. Like I said, we'll be back. We'll be back. Although some of the venues in Denver where our son, Jack's band, Kings of Prussia plays, there has been some rumblings that they may not reopen, that there's just too too many challenges to reopen. But I told them, I said they'll reopen the building, still going to be there. Somebody else will take over the venue. If your old boss was, I want to do it.

[00:27:02] Larry Mishkin

I was just going to say, if the current owners are ready to back out, there's always going to be the next guy who wants to step in and create the next hip music scene. So, you know, I'm not I'm not worried about that. There'll always be places for them to play here.

[00:27:15] jim Marty

Very good. All right. Well, good talking to you. Good podcast. I'll say over and out from Longmont, Colorado. And, Larry, go ahead and take us home.

[00:27:25] Larry Mishkin

We'll do Gemma over and out from here in Chicago. A. A one day belated happy birthday to you again. Hope you had a great day and that you enjoy your wonderful gift. And to all of our listeners, stay healthy, stay safe and enjoy marijuana. OK.

[00:28:08] Jim Marty & Larry Mishkin

Im Joy Beckerman, and I'd like to invite you to join me with my Hemp industry leading guests on Hemp Barons. During my over a quarter century at the forefront of the Hemp movement and emerging Hemp economies, I've had the privilege of working with many of the world's most dynamic, innovative, trailblazing, Hemp pioneers. And now every week I have the honor of speaking with them and sharing their stories with you on Hemp Barons. You can download the latest episode every Wednesday at NJ MJBulls.com or from wherever you listen to podcast.