In the latest episode of the Cannacurio Podcast from Cannabiz Media, how Ed Keating speaks with Kevin Hart, CEO and Founder of Green Check Verified, a leading provider of cannabis banking solutions and expert advisory services for financial institutions. Kevin Hart CBD Oil SALINAS, Calif., Aug. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lowell. NASDAQ-Listed Greenlane Doubles Down on Cannabis Consumer House of Brands Strategy Exclusive Interview with Legalized marijuana and CBD have been yielding very impressive profits, so it's no wonder a number of celebrities from various parts of the entertainment world have been trying to get in on the action.
Cannacurio Podcast Episode 36 with Kevin Hart of Green Check Verified
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In the latest episode of the Cannacurio Podcast from Cannabiz Media, I speak with Kevin Hart, CEO and Founder of Green Check Verified, a leading provider of cannabis banking solutions and expert advisory services for financial institutions.
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Cannacurio Podcast Episode 36 Transcript
Ed Keating: This is the Cannacurio podcast by Cannabiz Media, your source for cannabis and hemp license news directly from the data vault. So welcome to the podcast powered by Cannabiz Media. I’m your host, Ed Keating. On today’s show we are joined by Kevin Hart, CEO and founder of Green Check Verified, a SaaS solution that helps financial institutions serve the legal cannabis industry. Kevin, welcome to the show.
Kevin Hart: Thanks, Ed. Always a pleasure to talk to you.
Ed Keating: Yeah, same here, same here. Kevin and I go sort of way back. Our companies both started around the same time, around like 2015, I think, is when we kicked off at Cannabiz Media. That’s about the same time for Green Check, correct?
Kevin Hart: Yeah, it is. That’s when we started looking at this problem.
Ed Keating: Awesome.
Kevin Hart: I remember our early meetings.
Ed Keating: Yeah, indeed, indeed. And the fact that we actually both happen to be based in Connecticut, which is not all that rare. There are actually a number of cannabis service providers here in the state, even though it has few license holders. Although we’ll talk more about that later, because that’s about to change.
So Kevin, although I know you, I’d love for you to share your background. How did you come into the cannabis industry, and what did you do before?
Kevin Hart: Sure. So I’m a nerd by trade. I started out in late seventies as an assembler, a COBOL programmer. I then went to work for an enterprise software companies, global customer bases. My propeller got old bent and rusted through the years, but I’m still technically dangerous.
What led me to the cannabis industry is the iPads in the airports that you see across the US. I did that project when I was running the largest independent Apple dealer in the world. It was a company called Tekserve in New York City.
You wouldn’t think there’d be applicability to that, but I was approached to build a point of sale system based upon the iPads in the airports, because back in 2015, when you went to dispensary, you did not know what was available. You did not know it was available. You did not know the different modalities and the entourage effect and things like that.
And so I was flying around the country, meeting with cannabis businesses, including places like Harborside. They were the [inaudible 00:02:15] back then. Go to the source if you really want to learn what’s going on. They were actually on their third point of sale at that point in time. But the more I worked with them and the more I understood their operations, and I like to understand the complexity of the problem in totality before you build a technology, I kept hearing about the banking challenge.
I shelved the whole point of sale thing and said, “Okay, that’s where I want to try to figure out how do we solve that complex problem? How do you take two highly regulated industries that would love to work together, cannabis and then banking and financial and business services, and how do you connect them together?” And that became the data business process puzzle we sat up out to solve.
Ed Keating: Interesting, because as you probably know, Cannabiz Media for three years running has done our point of sale market share report where we called every dispensary in the United States and ask what point of sale are you using? I think last year we did something like 14,000 phone calls outbound to try and get information.
And I think at the end of the day, we found there were at least 80 point of sale software vendors. So it’s a pretty crowded space, and the top five have like 80% of the share and everybody else is scrounging around with a couple of installs. So it sounds like you made the right choice to pivot toward the money as opposed-
Kevin Hart: It serves me well once in a while.
Ed Keating: Indeed, indeed.
Kevin Hart: Experience. Experience.
Ed Keating: So in terms of like the software and the product, I come from like a legal compliance software background, worked on a lot of sort of processes where you’re trying to help automate things that can be done frequently, that have high risks and that because of the repeatability you want to have good research and whatnot.
So I looked at this and it looked like there’s kind of like an interviewer intake. You run it against the knowledge base that you’re probably always updating. And then you’re producing some sort of artifact. I mean, that’s sort of the model I had my head, but I’m not sure if that’s the model for you in terms of the intake, research, and artifact. Could you sort of walk us through what the big pieces are of Green Check Verified?
Kevin Hart: Sure. And you know, that’s a parallel, but we actually have a slightly different take on it as you could imagine. So the first thing that we knew that we had to do is we had to be able to work within the banking system, not around it. The banks, financial institutions, were never going to look at this industry if they ever thought there was any snip of anything that was wrong. So that became our stake in the ground.
And then what we did is I applied the supply chain of commerce thinking over the supply chain of product. Okay? So people talk about point of sale. We were just talking about that and seed to sale. Every one of those touch points has a commerce aspect to it, which is where the banks really are concerned. How does that money?
I have a lot of background in supply chain. So as you started looking at where those touch points are and base points, how does a financial institution know they’re letting good money in and keeping the bad money out? You have to be able to provide the proof points. You just can’t say, “The state gave me a license. Here’s my duffel bag full of cash. Here’s a spreadsheet that says what I did.”
No. They need a little bit more than that. And so we look at account identification, account enablement, and account onboarding, how does an FI know who this business is. There’s a lot of rules and regulations about beneficial ownership. Do they have a valid lease that? Do they know what that looks like?
You know what these things are, but the FIs need to learn what that looks like in the cannabis space. And so account identification, there’s that one aspect, but then it comes down to the money, right? It always comes down to the money.
Ed Keating: Always does.
Kevin Hart: Always comes down to the money. And so what we developed is a compliance rules engine that looks at the inventory, the sales, and the financial performance of a business at the detailed transaction level. We run it through our patent pending compliance rules engine that says that this transaction was to a valid person for a valid product at the right point in time, up against the rules and regulations, either in a medical only, or adult mixed use state, because those things change depending on the product potency, et cetera, as you know, and it passed all the other rules and regulations at that exact point in time.
Therefore it gets the green check. Hence the name. It’s verified, and that money can enter the US banking system. The financial institution and the examiners can look at that with confidence and understand the ethicacy of it, and then all the reporting associated with it.
Ed Keating: So interesting. I mean, one thought that just popped in my head as you were speaking was, as you’re checking against that knowledge base, which is a key component of most of the products I’ve worked on the last 20 years, that knowledge base in the middle. Is part of that knowledge base sort of the tax rates and things like that? Like was the proper tax applied because we’re in Denver as opposed to Connecticut? Does that come into play yet, or is that a future part of Green Check Verified?
Kevin Hart: That would be a future part, because right now we’re attacking access to financial and business services. So the bank wants to know that you’re paying your taxes. You’re not delinquent. Your business isn’t going to be seized.
But for them to be able to take, again, the commerce aspect of your operation and create those depository accounts and all the other services they want to offer you, they want to know that the money that you’re presenting for deposit matters. And then the rest follows later.
Early on we were looking at the tax as a method to work with the states, but the states started looking at seed to sale, et cetera. So just like we weren’t trying to solve point of sale problems, we aren’t going to try to solve the tax problems.
Ed Keating: Yeah. Yeah. Early days for me was working for one of the largest compliance tax publishers in the country. It’s a fascinating, messy, messy area, but certainly one word. Because you’re at that transaction level, there’s probably a lot of interesting data there. So certainly things to think for further on, perhaps.
Kevin Hart: Oh yeah. Mm-hmm.
Ed Keating: So dialing back into how long you’ve been in business and building this technology, I’m curious, as a guy who’s been at this for a while, how much pivoting have you guys had to do, and how has the space changed? Because we’ve certainly had to make changes to Cannabiz Media a lot. I don’t feel totally whipsawed, but it’s definitely been a dynamic five years. Has that been true for you as well?
Kevin Hart: In some regards 100%. I mean, working within the banking system, never around it, that has been a core. Earlier on, I had this idea of how we could actually become a bank and move money to the Marshall Islands through Malta, et cetera. We almost bought a bank in Malta. I wish we had.
Ed Keating: As one does.
Kevin Hart: Oh, gosh. Because this was pre crypto. You and I would not be talking if I had bought that bank in Malta back then. But anyways. There were a couple of other things that we thought that we really had to identify the individual in terms of a KYC.
But for the banks, it’s know your customer’s customer, know your customer’s business that matters more. So we kept some of those tenets, but we realized that the challenge for us was, and for everybody is, the rules and regulations are constantly changing. I mean, it’s almost daily, right? We’re going to talk about Connecticut, but boom, just like that.
And so how does that compliance rules engine and then the number of point of sale systems that are out there that are varied, and the fact that they’re changing those things, how do you ingest that data and keep the compliance rules engine, and keep that banking relationship going? That’s what matters. And so we spent a lot of time thinking about how to make it work. And then we wrote the system. We didn’t write the system and then try to back our way into thinking current.
Ed Keating: Right. Yeah. You don’t want to sort of beat it into submission.
Kevin Hart: No. No, no, no.
Ed Keating: Now in looking out at some of the stakeholders that you have to deal with, not all financial institutions are created equally. So, who’s willing to bank in this industry. Is it just credit unions? Are true banks that maybe aren’t federally insured, are they able to play in this space, or is it hard to find partners out there?
Kevin Hart: Well, it’s easier to find partners than it used to be. Okay? That definitely has changed. I think the current administration, or the belief that the current administration is going to make this easier, and that SAFE Banking Act is going to pass at some point in time. We can talk about what that looks like later. But more financial institutions are in.
We have five publicly traded banks in our portfolio. We have a $40 million credit union. It’s the same software. It’s the same opportunity, because they’ve seen the opportunity of these cannabis businesses, the demand is there. Back to supply and demand, right? The demand is there.
The supply for these financial institutions has to be available for the cannabis businesses, but it also has to be done at a reasonable rate. Okay? And then it also has to be able to scale so that the financial institutions have an incentive to, one, start a program, but also maintain that program.
Ed Keating: Yeah. No, that makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense now in terms of finding these institutions and others to work with. I always like to ask on a podcast, what’s your go to market strategy? Do you pick one state at a time and try and get all the stakeholders? Or one financial institution at a time, one MSO at a time? How do you figure that out, Kevin? I’m sure it’s a complex equation.
Kevin Hart: Well, we have over 4,000 clients to date. We cover every state, but one. Alaska. Okay? Right now. We have financial institutions that will cover any state, and by the end of June, we’ll have over a thousand CRBs actually on the platform.
Ed Keating: And CRB is a cannabis related business, right?
Kevin Hart: Right. Dispensary, grower, manufacturer, supplier, cultivator, any level one plant touching business. Shout out to Steve Kemmerling. He gets mad if you don’t give him that recognition. So any level one plant touching business actually can bank on the Green Check platform because of the compliance rules engine.
So when we look at it, there are people that raise their hand. So obviously we want to answer those phone calls. There are states where there are more market opportunities than not. In the early adopter states of California, Oregon, Washington, candidly, we didn’t even try to go after them in the beginning, because there were a lot of people that had manual programs.
I’ve heard this more times than not. All they want to be able to do is get through an exam. I don’t want to ace my exam, which was kind of a head-scratcher for me from a banking perspective. But we look at markets that are emerging and/or have that opportunity. And yet, we end up in all those other markets as a result. So we’re pretty prescriptive in our outbound approach, and we’re very receptive on the inbound approach.
Ed Keating: Yeah. Now, in terms of stakeholders, you’ve touched on this a little bit, but I’m just curious, almost like from a strategy standpoint. Who are the stakeholders that need to make you successful? Because in having seen you speak a number of times at conferences, I think you referenced regulators, license holders, financial institutions, Green Check Verified, like who else is at the table, or needs to be in order for this whole process to work because it touches a lot of people?
Kevin Hart: Well, certainly within the financial institution itself, there’s three key sets of stakeholders. So the way we refer to it is that you have to convince compliance that they can do this. So “can” the operative word. But then you also have to be able to demonstrate and show to the board and the C-suite why they would do this. And then ultimately when those three things are aligned in that triangle of influence, then you get to the how, which is Green Check. Green Check enables all of that.
So that’s the approach. And when we’re talking to any of those constituencies and your ideal client profile, so standard technology sales approach there in that regard, what you really want to make sure is that they’re talking to and are armed to talk to the people that they need to talk to.
So how does the compliance team convince the C-suite or enable the C-suite to be able to have those four conversations? How do they both enable that? How do you go to your examiner? How do you talk to your insurance provider? How do you talk to your corresponding bank that says you’re going to get into this?
Nobody likes a surprise, but when you create that opportunity and that ecosystem of shared information and documented approach that has gone through your audits and exam cycles, people start to become more comfortable. So there is a bit of a flywheel effect.
Ed Keating: Interesting. Yeah. That’s a good analogy. Just jumping ahead a bit, in terms of like strategy point of differentiation, how do you segment the market? I think as we’ve been looking at license holders and the companies that own them for the last five years, we have some views in our head. There are MSOs, there are SSOs, et cetera, but how do you break apart who’s most likely a client as you look across the industry?
Kevin Hart: That’s up to our FI partners, candidly, because we enable all that. So we have some FI partners that only want to talk to MSOs, or we’ll only talk to somebody who’s a $250 million plus annual run rate business. They’re not interested in the other market segments for their own reasons. Okay? And they testify that.
We have other folks, again, if it’s a $40 million credit union, how many clients can they actually take on before their concentration ratios start to become a challenge for them? And they always have to look at their exit and liquidity strategy. So that’s why we built all of this information into the platform so that you can actually monitor your program. So this is where I will get on a soap box. I promise it will be fast and you can edit this out.
People talk about cannabis banking. That sentence is backwards. This is about banking cannabis. Okay? And it’s not just flipping the words around. Okay? The verb is banking. Okay? Cannabis is the noun and the industry that you’re going to bank. You have to be able to run an entire banking program. You can’t just look at it in pieces and slices of information. It all has to be available to you in one umbrella. All the information. All the decision points. All the accents. And then the audit trail of what you did all has to be available to you. That’s how banks run for any other business, right? This is so highly regulated that it requires even that extra level of information.
Ed Keating: Yeah, it’s interesting. Because typically with anything, a piecemeal approach is not the best way to do it. You really need to have a strategic or environmental understanding of what’s happening there. So I like how you change that phrase and how people need to think about the industry.
So sort of part and parcel with that, let’s talk about how our two companies work together. Your firm uses Cannabiz Media, and I’m curious how that helps you and how your team utilizes the Cannabiz Media licensing database to hopefully achieve some of your goals.
Kevin Hart: Well, it’s interesting. You were talking about earlier how that information that you have, and when we first met each other. I remember that meeting very well in our conference room down in Science Park. We kind of both looked at each other at the end and go, “I think you’re onto something, but I’m not sure I see it.” Right? And we kind of constantly keep running into each other.
And I have to say, I’ve said this even outside this podcast, I love how your company has evolved and what it does. I think hands down you present that data the best, and the reason why, where we really enjoy it and why it’s relevant. And I’ll let a trade secret out here and watch how fast other people copy this. You can not go to a banker and say the cannabis industry is $50 billion, okay?
There’s no context for them. Okay? You can’t go to a bank, and I say, Toledo, Ohio, because I like Toledo. You can’t go to a banker in Toledo, Ohio and say, it’s whatever the number is for Ohio. It’s a $3 billion industry. There’s no context to that. You have to get it to what’s the context for them.
And for us to be able to use your information, your technology, to identify what that market’s really like, that helps us identify those FIs that we should talk to. And it helps them understand what that business is, because they know these cannabis businesses, as they drove by a dispensary or they heard there’s a cultivator over here.
But there’s still that perception versus reality that’s out there. And the information that you guys have is just so exceptional. It helps us keep our thinking clear.
Ed Keating: That’s great. I know there’s one CEO I’ve interviewed on the podcast before and he said the way he used it as a C-level executive is when the board calls and says, “I’ve got questions,” he says, “I’ve got answers. Because I’ve got Cannabiz Media, I can say how many cultivators are here in this valley of California or whatnot.” So that’s great to hear.
And I think you’re right about the context piece, because when I talk to people about Connecticut, like, “Oh, well, there’s some cannabis licenses here.” One, we know how many there are. But the interesting thing for me is how many hemp licenses there are in Connecticut. It vastly outstrips the number of cannabis licenses. Most people don’t know that because it doesn’t get the play, but it’s information that is available.
So I was going to ask you, from a hemp or CBD space, does that come into play at all for your financial institutions? Is that an issue for them, or because it’s kind of federally legalized it’s no longer a hurdle for those businesses?
Kevin Hart: It does come into play because a lot of folks still think that’s a toe in the water. And then what we actually show them is that you can in a more compliant fashion and easier actually bank a marijuana business than you can a hemp business, because of the information that’s available. And it’s information that you can extract.
Within the CBD and hemp space, there’s a lot of gray area there, right? Is it [inaudible 00:21:51], is it not? Who’s saying it is? Who isn’t? In the marijuana space, I mean, these are controlled products and you have a lot more information. And so we’ve had people approach us to say, “Oh, I never want to do marijuana. I want to talk about this.” We walk them through it. And they’re like, “Oh, I never want to do hemp or CBD. Let me get into the marijuana space.” We have mixed-use customers, but-
Ed Keating: It’s like are you a highly regulated business? So, for example, probably about a year or so ago that Florida licensed or allowed to be licensed, anybody who wanted to sell CBD. We added like 5,000 records to our database. And all they really asked people to do is check a box if you’re going to sell CBD. And as I looked at the data and analyzed it, it was sort of who you’d expect. It was every grocery chain, every gas station chain, every convenience store.
And why Kevin? Well, because they already deal in heavily regulated products, like gasoline, lottery tickets, tobacco, maybe fireworks, whatever. But all that stuff, they already have a whole compliance scheme for dealing with this. CBD, check that box too. Okay. Next. And it made sense.
Whereas I think other states just aren’t quite sure how to regulate that or if they want to dip their toe in. So interesting, because I think we’re going to see more of these products coming down the pike and seeing them in our local stores here in Connecticut and whatnot. Cumberland farms I’m sure will be selling CBD.
Kevin Hart: Right across the street. Right across the street, yeah. So the most fascinating thing about this, Ed, to me is, okay, so here you have the federal government, marijuana is illegal, and then you have all these states actually creating these programs. Okay? And very well-defined programs. Now you talk about hemp, CBD, and let’s flip the script. The federal government now said, “Go ahead and do what you want.” Okay. Farm Bill and everything else, you can go do this. And then the states are like, “Hold on, hold on. I don’t know what to do.”
Ed Keating: Yeah. Right. And some of them-
Kevin Hart: They’re from the same plant.
Ed Keating: And some of them have advocated license creation to the feds. Like, yeah, we’re not going to issue licenses in the state, the feds can do it. So yeah, it’s definitely made for a messy situation. So it’ll be curious. I mean, as this industry moves in fits and starts, it’s a challenge for all the, all the stakeholders.
So thinking of that, we’ve got expanding markets, we’ve got New Jersey, New York, Arizona. So the question I have for you, Kevin, is when a new state comes on or is about to come on, what does that mean for you? Do you immediately start reaching out to the financial institutions that serve New Jersey or do you have to wait for something else to happen, like licenses to be issued? What is that timeline like when a state goes legal or is about to become legal?
Kevin Hart: There isn’t a state that has a program or is about to have a program that we already don’t have a physical presence in, because this is about being prepared and this is about understanding why you may do that. You don’t have to wait for the laws to pass. You have to be ready to act upon what those laws look like. And in any of those states, right, there are startup businesses, there are startup costs. Start identifying those. Start establishing those financial relationships.
So we go into every state and we create outbound marketing, and we educate them about what the market was expected to look like. Here are the things that you should be thinking about and are you interested? And this helps identify the forward-thinking financial institutions in those states that want to be ready.
Ed Keating: So are you guys sort of, if you will, like the financial ambassadors, like perhaps the first people will knock on their door that says, “Listen, we’re in 40 states already. You guys are next. Listen to what we have to say.” How does that happen?
Kevin Hart: Yeah. That’s exactly what we do. And we reach out to them. Again, everybody else is going to start doing it now, but you know, that’s fine.
Ed Keating: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it makes sense. I mean, as these states come on and obviously there’s lots of others in the industry that try and guess market size or future market size, which is always a-
Kevin Hart: Do your homework. Just do your homework. Use Cannabiz Media. The information is available.
Ed Keating: It truly, it absolutely is. It absolutely is. So speaking of homework and home state, Connecticut. I just got the email from Governor Lamont a couple hours ago that he’s going to sign it once it makes it to his desk, which could be a matter of hours, maybe tomorrow. I’m sure, like me, you’ve read all 300 pages of the regulations.
Kevin Hart: We actually have.
Ed Keating: Of course you did. Of course you did. You have to.
Kevin Hart: The guy who wrote the Connecticut program originally, the medical program, works at Green Check.
Ed Keating: I met him at your offices,
Kevin Hart: John Gadea. Trust me. He’s read it.
Ed Keating: Yeah, yeah. That’s great. So what’s your take? I mean, it’s full of all sorts of compliance stuff, some interesting license stuff, social equity pieces. I mean, there’s a lot there.
Kevin Hart: There’s too much. Okay? 300 pages, right? 300 pages of legislation translates into how many pages of rules and regulation? I don’t know how you unpack all that and actually make it implementable. And I’m super happy that they put a lot of the social equity clauses in there. Way past due and that needs to happen.
But I think, in Connecticut, the land of steady habits, one of our steady habits is over-complicating things, unfortunately. And I think with 300 pages we might’ve gone a little too far and over complicated.
The other thing I think, the unfortunate thing, that I think is going to happen is it’s going to get jammed up in the courts. I think you’re going to see some lawsuits come out just based upon the fee structure that they’re looking to put on existing businesses. To charge an existing dispensary a million dollars to create an adult license, or $3 million for the growers, there’s no other fee structure like that anywhere.
Ed Keating: It’s a good point. I mean, as we were talking about in preparation for today’s broadcast, we were just looking at other states. Because back in 2017, Cannabiz Media wrote a book called the Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide where we looked at all the states and all the rules and regs and how they were different. It was kind of a by-product of building the database.
One of the things that we looked at was fee structure, tax structure, and whatnot. You know, just simply what does it cost to get a license in Oklahoma? $2,500. What’s it cost to renew a license? $2,500. Okay. And we’re at a million dollars to get a license.
Or Arizona, which has a rather robust program. It’s been around for years. They decided to issue adult licenses. Now they gave the ability to the med license holders to get an adult license. So that was kind of a built-in easy to implement program. $25,000 was the fee. And they all did it within the first month. And many did it within the first 72 hours. Like, “Hey, that’s an easy deal. $25,000 and I double the value of my license. Sure.”
So, yeah, I agree. Those are some pretty big fees. The only other state that’s coming up with fees like that, that I’ve seen lately, is our neighbor, Rhode Island. They have some pretty ridiculous fees as well. So I don’t know what that’s going to do since so many of our MSOs own a lot of these licenses.
Kevin Hart: But there’s still our independence here in Connecticut. If you look at 280 and everything else, I mean, quick math. You’d probably have to sell $5 million worth of product to generate a million dollars in income to just pay the fee. And you’re still not making any money still. So how long is it going to take to sell five million. You’ve got to pay the million and then you’re still chasing your profitability.
Does it enhance the value of your business? 100%. But are you going to put that much money out and bet on the [inaudible 00:30:15], especially when a dispensary, what did they say? For every 25,000 people in population versus 2,500 for a liquor store? You know, you’re adding a lot of competition nearby.
Ed Keating: Right, right. Although I remember currently looking at the state of New York. It’s like one dispensary for every 500,000 people because they weigh undered that one. So yeah, it’s definitely going to have, as you said, a lot of lawsuits. I mean, it follows a cycle where, yay, you got passed. Yay celebration. Now it’s going to be 18 to 24 months before anything happens because of the lawsuits and all the other stuff that’s going to happen. And they’re going to have to take those 300 pages of rules and regs and figure out where to go next.
But let’s take it to another level, looking at the federal level. So for all the years I’ve been in the industry, there’s been talk about banking and tax reform for the cannabis industry. What’s your take on that? And what impact would that have on Green Check Verified if suddenly things got closer toward federal regulation? Does that impact your business at all? Is it a boost? Is it a hindrance? Is it, who knows?
Kevin Hart: It’s gas on an open flame. It’s a gigantic boost. I really firmly believed this, and we talk to a lot of people, so it’s not just me free time thinking. We’re at the BSA low bar today for this industry. As more and more states come online and as more mixed programs, medical and adults, I mean, those lines are being blurred. You know, the federal government is never going to just simply green light this industry.
The cannabis domestic market, and you know these numbers way better than I, Ed. But domestic cannabis sales, legal, illegal, et cetera, combined is about a hundred billion dollars a year. Right? So right now, today, we’re talking about $20, $25 billion that are going to dispensaries or licensed cultivation. $75 billion in commerce is still going on. The Treasury Department under no circumstances is ever going to go, “Green light. Let it into the banking system.” Not going to happen.
So SAFE Banking Act, for all its language, there’s a few things. Okay? It says you will be able to bank compliant cannabis businesses without fear of prosecution. It’s not a period at the end of that sentence. Okay? The comma says, provided you’re following all the rules and regulations. So Washington can’t help themselves. There will be more rules and regulations.
We touched on the Treasury Department. They’re not going to just green light all the illicit money coming through. The BSA is at the low bar it is today, and I firmly believe too, because you’re looking at decriminalization of the plant, the product, et cetera, et cetera, not talking about expungement or any of those other things. What you’re going to see in the very near future in a corollary is interstate commerce. Now it’s going to get even more complicated for source and use of product, supply chain of commerce, supply chain of product.
And I firmly believe in the next five years, you’re going to see international cannabis commerce. There’s a reason why all that product comes from Mexico. Perfect grow climate, et cetera. We have million square foot growth facilities here in Connecticut. Cost per pound versus tons that you’re going to get out of Mexico, and so the costs.
So there’s just a lot of variables are going to come. And I think the folks in Washington are going to take that longer term view and say, “Okay, how do we not create these problems? How do we put the control points in so that they don’t become problems?” So again, with the compliance rules engine at its core, I think it puts Green Check in an exceptional position.
Ed Keating: Yeah. No, I agree. And with the international piece, that is quite interesting because we already see that happening now with Canada doing some exporting. But how long will that business last? Because in Europe, there are a lot of places that have really great grow environments that could become sort of like the green bread basket, I’ve heard it described, of Europe and supply all the continent.
Like in Portugal, Spain, et cetera, places where they can grow wine and other things just like California, why not do that here instead of shipping stuff across from Canada as a liquid or biomass from Columbia? I mean, that just is complicated and expensive.
So, well, it’s certainly been a dynamic five years and a dynamic interview today, Kevin. So I want to thank you for joining us. This has been great. I look forward to seeing you hopefully at a conference in person before too long. We’ve already sent our salespeople out to a couple of them so far in the past couple of weeks.
Kevin Hart: Are you going to be in Vegas in August?
Ed Keating: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Kevin Hart: I will be there. We’ll get together in person.
Ed Keating: Excellent. Excellent.
Kevin Hart: It’s odd we’ll have to go to Vegas when we’re only probably 30 miles apart here.
Ed Keating: Yeah, I know. Right. True. True. True. So, well, thank you. I’m your host, Ed Keating. Stay tuned for more updates from the data vault.
Kevin Hart CBD Oil
SALINAS, Calif., Aug. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lowell.
NASDAQ-Listed Greenlane Doubles Down on Cannabis Consumer House of Brands Strategy
Exclusive Interview with Greenlane CEO Nick Kovacevich Greenlane Holdings.
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10 Celebrities with Marijuana/CBD Brands
Legalized marijuana and CBD have been yielding very impressive profits, so it’s no wonder a number of celebrities from various parts of the entertainment world have been trying to get in on the action.
Here are just ten celebrities with their own marijuana/CBD brands.
Carlos Santana – Mirayo by Santana
In October 2020, Carlos Santana announced his cannabis line Mirayo by Santana, which offers tins of five 1/2-gram pre-rolls and 7-gram jars of whole flower. The brand consists of four different cannabis strains: Sativa, Hybrid, Indica and CBD.
Willie Nelson – Willie’s Reserve
In addition to actual marijuana, Willie’s Reserve also sells cannabis-infused chocolate and hard edibles.
Whoopi Goldberg – Whoopi & Maya
The Academy Award-winning actress and co-host of ‘The View’ got into the medical marijuana business in 2008 along with Om Edibles founder Maya Elisabeth. Their Whoopi & Maya line of bath products, body balms, tinctures and edibles is marketed toward women looking for natural relief of painful menstrual cycles.
Bob Marley Performs On Stage
Not only does Marley Natural sell its own “legal herbs,” it also features a whole line of high-end pipes and storage containers.
George Harrison – Collaboration with Dad Grass
Dad Grass, a federally legal brand of 100% Organic hemp CBD & CBG pre-rolled joints, has partnered with the estate of George Harrison for a collection honoring his classic album ‘All Things Must Pass.’ The collection’s name? “All Things Must Grass,” and it features a number of items including rolling papers, an ashtray, a rolling tray and other merch offerings. However, the highlight of the collection is the Special Blend George Harrison Dad Grass Five Pack, which is “. a pack of pre-rolled joints crafted from a mix of organic CBD and CBG hemp flower responsibly grown right here in the USA.”
Rob Gronkowski – CBDMedic
Gronk announced that he has partnered with Abacus Health in launching a new line of CBD products called CBDMedic. The former New England Patriots tight end said he “. immediately made CBDMedic part of my recovery. And now for the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free. And that is a big deal.” He hopes the NFL will allow players to use CBD in the future to help with pain management.
Melissa Etheridge – Greenway Wine
Etheridge used medical marijuana when she was battling cancer in the early 2000s, and since then she’s partnered with Greenway Compassionate Relief to create Greenway Wine, a wine infused with pot.
Ivan Moody – Moody’s Medicinals
The Five Finger Death Punch frontman recently announced his new CBD company, Moody’s Medicinals, back in June 2019 that includes CBD throat sprays and CBD water.
Tommy Chong – Chong’s Choice
The comedian’s product line is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Washington and includes pre-rolled joints to THC breath strips. Chong’s Choice has also expanded to include various CBD products, including vape pens, edibles and tincture.
Carey Hart – HartLuck CBD
Motocross athlete/P!nk’s husband Carey Hart recently announced his CBD brand, HartLuck CBD, which features tinctures, salves, and gel capsules.