If you’ve been following the podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard us ask our guests: “When do you think we’ll see full federal legalization?” We’ve gotten all kinds of answers, but most of us are making educated guesses at best.
To get more of an insider’s perspective, we’re thrilled to be talking to Jarrod Loadholt. He’s a partner at Ice Miller LLP’s cannabis group, where he specializes in cannabis law. Previously, he was the head of Credit Karma’s Washington D.C. office, and before that, he co-founded a full-service public affairs firm with a focus on government relations, public affairs, strategic communications, and electoral campaigns.
This makes him more than qualified to discuss this episode’s topic: federal cannabis legalization in the United States. In our conversation, we dig into why cannabis isn’t a huge legislative priority at the federal level right now despite massive support, the incremental changes that could help the industry right now, and what the SAFE Act is–and how you can help get it passed.
- Why the coming midterms will give us a much clearer picture of what’s to come for cannabis.
- What makes the cannabis industry so bad at advocating for itself in Washington.
- Why the SAFE Act has taken way too long to pass–and why the Cannabis Administration Opportunity Act (CAOA) is not happening.
- Why the Biden administration has yet to embrace mass clemency.
- How crypto can play a role in cannabis banking despite being a highly speculative, high-risk field.
- “When they’re not singing from the same sheet of music, that makes it harder for people to dance and listen to the music, just so to speak, in Washington.” – Jarrod Loadholt
- “I think John Fetterman is very much in tune with where voters are, and I think Democrats are kind of stumbling their way into getting to where the voters are in the cycle.” – Jarrod Loadholt
- Ice Miller LLP
- Jarrod Loadholt on LinkedIn | Twitter
- Credit Karma
- Cannabis Conference
- National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
- John Fetterman
CONNECT WITH US
SUBSCRIBE, RATE & REVIEW THE PODCAST
If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Green Repeal, hit the subscribe button so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.
And don’t forget to leave us a rating & review! Reviews on Apple Podcasts are greatly appreciated and will allow us to build awareness for the show. If you received value from this episode, please take a moment and rate and review the podcast by clicking here.
SUBMIT A QUESTION
Do you have a question you would like answered on a future podcast? Email us at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to answer it!
Rick Kiley: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of The Green Repeal. I am Rick Kiley. I am joined by my partner in crime, Jeff Boedges, who is back from vacation from the recreationally legal and sunny state of Maine. How was it, man?
Jeffrey Boedges: It was great. And they finally got their recreational dispensaries opened last I think two or three years. I have snuck out and tried to go and check out the different dispensaries and they were always med only and they still have them divided, which I was a little shocked by. I thought the meds and the recreationals would combine or would be in the same locations but they’re not. They’re very different. I got a feel like that recreational dispensaries are really kind of taking a lot of the wind out of the sails of these medical dispensaries.
Rick Kiley: I think that is probably going to continue to happen. You don’t see a lot of medical alcohol beverage dispensaries, for instance. That’s not a thing.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s what I tell my wife, though. It’s not just for fun.
Rick Kiley: Well, I’m really excited about our interview today. We’re going to get to talk about legalization quite a bit today. Today, we are welcoming Jarrod Loadholt, who’s a partner at Ice Miller LLP’s cannabis group. Ice Miller is a full-service law firm with more than 300 legal professionals specializing in more than 20 different areas of law. Jarrod previously served as the Head of Credit Karma’s Washington, D.C. office as its first Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, where he managed the company’s government relations functions. In 2016, Jarrod co-founded a full-service public affairs firm specializing in federal and state government relations, public affairs, strategic communications and issue, and electoral campaigns. Whew. That’s a lot of stuff, man.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. You’re going to have to explain some of that.
Rick Kiley: And I’m only halfway through here. So, as a principal of the firm, he developed and executed legislative, regulatory, and procurement strategies for a diverse range of commercial, governmental, and nonprofit clients. And then prior to creation of that firm, Jarrod functions as Policy Compliance and Product Counsel for SolarCity and Tesla. At Cannabis Conference 2022, he’ll be speaking on the panel of federal cannabis legalization in the United States. What will it mean? And that’s what we’re here to speak with Jarrod about today.
Rick Kiley: So, Jarrod, we are excited to dive in. Welcome to The Green Repeal.
Jarrod Loadholt: Oh, man. Thank you for having me and thank you for the kind introduction. And I also going to enjoy this, talking about much of the same stuff that we’ll be talking about today, particularly in the context of this fall’s elections. And so, by then, we will have known who won and who lost by and large. We’ll have a clearer picture of what the next two years in Washington I think will look like for cannabis.
Rick Kiley: Awesome. We’re going to get into that because…
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. We’re looking forward to that.
Rick Kiley: Awesome. Is there anything we missed on the intro there? It sounds like you have been dealing with a lot of great progressive causes. Anything there on the intro that we missed?
Jeffrey Boedges: The Cannabis Group, right, we didn’t mention.
Jarrod Loadholt: I’m a partner in our Cannabis Group, Ice Miller. One of the reasons why I joined the firm was that they had a cannabis group. Not all law firms have them. As a matter of fact, I think many of your larger law firms don’t touch it. I think the Ice Miller Advantage, I think, is that this group grew out of our liquor and gaming practice.
Rick Kiley: Right. That makes sense.
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s actually called Vice Miller, but when you think about it, it is very much…
Jeffrey Boedges: You are the law firm for us.
Jarrod Loadholt: There you go. Look, I’m all about vice. So, there’s very much a through line between liquor gaming and cannabis as highly regulated state-licensed industries. They have an interesting relationship in Washington. So, I think that’s cannabis. Cannabis is kind of the next one. So, I think it was a natural extension. But we do it all. I mean, we do mergers and acquisitions, we do the licensing, we do lobbying if need be. We do labor and employment. I mean, dispensaries have employees there. The larger companies have benefits. So, I mean, we do 401(k)s. I mean, all the things that you come to think of in the other business, we do them. We do it for cannabis businesses. So, we’re full service for the cannabis industry.
Rick Kiley: That’s great.
Jeffrey Boedges: My guess is the dispensaries aren’t doing drug testing. I’m just going to go out there and say that.
Jarrod Loadholt: Probably not. I mean, why does anybody do it? Unless you’re driving like a…
Jeffrey Boedges: Straight up, right?
Jarrod Loadholt: Like, unless it’s like a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification, BFOQ. Like, other than that, like unless you’re driving an ambulance or like heavy machinery, like, who cares?
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. We’ll come back to that because I’m totally hot on that same topic right now. I’ve had it a number of times in the last month or two because there are a lot of companies out there still doing it and I’m like, “You know that there’s this ad that you can get prescription now.”
Jarrod Loadholt: We’ll talk about that and the White House.
Rick Kiley: All right. So, let’s just get into it. Let’s just get into it. So, first question, this is I think the big question. We’re at this time in America. It’s the end of August 2022. More and more states are legalizing for adult use. I mean, almost the entire northeast corridor now at this point. There are nearly 40 states with medical programs. Talk to us about where the Biden administration is on legalization. I think my question is like if a bill came to his desk that said federal legalization for cannabis, be it medical use, adult use, would he sign it? Why or why not? Where are we at?
Jarrod Loadholt: So, would he sign it? Yes. The question is, would a bill get to his desk that he did not work to make sure that it got to his desk? That’s like the bigger question, which gets to priorities.
Rick Kiley: Well, the reason I asked it that way is because I’ve read that there are people for the more progressive caucuses that feel that the Biden administration is not super supportive. And maybe that just means it’s not a priority, but.
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s natural, right? So, I mean, there’s 0 to 10, right? And I think if I had to guess, I think the president himself maybe a 4, but I would imagine in administrations, maybe a 5.5. And I think the question is, well, why is that given all the things that are happening? And so, one, I think within the frame of priorities, the priority for this administration right now is keeping Democratic majorities in the Congress. And they’re not going to do anything that they think…
Jeffrey Boedges: Which is going to put that at that risk, right?
Jarrod Loadholt: No. I have a different view of the politics of cannabis, which I think a far more potent and positive for Democratic politicians that I think maybe this White House is given credit for. And I think John Fetterman in Pennsylvania right now is he’s writing a new playbook on the politics of cannabis. Put a pin in that. We’ll talk about that. I think he’s really important for this conversation. But I think in terms of priorities right now, it’s gas prices which are down, the price of groceries and everyday items are not. I mean, like we have like real inflation, the job market is solid, but the economy is always number one. And so, I don’t think in terms of priorities, in terms of like what you can get through this Congress. You only have so many days in a legislative calendar. And now we’re in an election year, we have even fewer days. We’ve got a compressed calendar and there are only so many things that you can do and you do the things that you think can get you to 217 and either 50 or 60, right? Those are the three numbers. 217 is what gets you out of the house. 50 will get you on a party-line vote for someone, a reconciliation of which cannabis would have to be in that 60-vote category. You don’t have ten Republicans right now who will come over and vote for virtually anything meaningful on cannabis, right?
Rick Kiley: You don’t. There’s not…
Jarrod Loadholt: You do. They do not.
Rick Kiley: Even though surveys will show that the public overwhelmingly is in support of it.
Jarrod Loadholt: Yes. So, political question. Which public?
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. The national public or state public, because I don’t think that some of these states are going to be carrying that water.
Jarrod Loadholt: I’ll take the step further. The only public that I think most elected officials care about is the public, their votes, and their primaries. And so, if you did a poll of Republican primary voters in, let’s say, Arkansas, again, you may have it. They may be 50 but it’s not like 80/20 pro-legalization either, right? And so, when you understand it from that perspective, you start to see, well, maybe that is why. Like, even if you put, for example, and I’ll throw Arkansas because that’s just what we’re talking about, they’re actually going to have a cannabis adult use amendment I think on the ballot this fall. It will pass. Now, the question…
Jeffrey Boedges: Bill Clinton smokes pot and he’s from Arkansas. So, I mean, he’s like…
Jarrod Loadholt: That was a long time ago. He said he didn’t inhale but I’m like, what was the point?
Jeffrey Boedges: Come on. I mean, at that time of my life we called weed, Clinton. “Hey, you got any Clinton?”
Jarrod Loadholt: Got a Clinton? Yeah. So, I think to that point, it’s like the public because sometimes people are like, “Well, it’s overwhelmingly popular. Like, why isn’t it?” I was like, “Well, how popular is it for the primary voters that get these folks elected?” That is far less popular than you’d think with a Republican primary voter in Arkansas.
Jeffrey Boedges: What we need to get is the primary voters that, sorry, we need to get the weed smokers out there to vote in the primary. Is that Republican weed smoker?
Jarrod Loadholt: Well, we need more Republican weed smokers.
Rick Kiley: Well, look, the country would definitely benefit if more republicans were smoking weed. Maybe chill out a little bit. That would be good.
Jarrod Loadholt: But I think that they’ll take it to the politics is you have a hard time if a bill came to the floor, both Democrats and both chambers I think would support. The question is, what would the bill say or do? And that’s the thing that keeps things from happening in Washington because there is a lot of noise within the cannabis advocacy world in Washington about what people want in a bill. And to be candid, that advocacy space for cannabis in Washington is not the best one. There are certain industries that do a good job of advocating for themselves. Cannabis is not one of them. And I’ve seen this. I’ve seen it for some time. And then I also contribute to this, too. And I think we talk a lot about the people in the chairs and the elected officials about what aren’t they doing and part of it is the advocacy world around cannabis has not been that effective for a number of reasons. And the quickest way to get a member of Congress or senator to say, “Eh, not a priority for me,” is when the industry doesn’t have… When they’re not singing from the same sheet of music, that makes it harder for people to dance and listen to the music, just so to speak, in Washington.
Rick Kiley: Is that because the industry is so young or fragmented in each state? Like, for instance, I look at the gun lobby, which is with a minority of people that want just to buy guns when they’re 12 years old, sort of ruling the sort of legislative process there is by I think it’s because the lobbying and the organization is very focused and very effective. So, it feels like that there’s a template, there’s a model for something out there that works but cannabis, the industry is not doing it yet.
Jeffrey Boedges: Why is cannabis doing it wrong?
Jarrod Loadholt: All right. So, they’re doing it wrong because there are a lot of different voices within the industry. You’ve got the MSOs who not all of them want to see federal legalization. Again, that’s not a knock on them. There’s some of them that like some of the state-by-state approaches, then they can kind of come into a state, implement a cap on the number of licenses, kind of control competition. And I’ve done state government relations at federal. And what people will tell you is like you can come into a state and with enough money and effort and energy and you hire the right relationships, you can get things done in the state. Congress doesn’t really work that way in that you’ve got to hire a lot of people, a lot of things have to align, there’s a lot of timing. Like, you’ve got to play the perfect game to pass a bill in Washington. I liken it to I’m a college football fan and if you want to beat Alabama, all of the things have to work.
Jeffrey Boedges: You got to play a perfect game. Yes.
Jarrod Loadholt: You’ve got to play a perfect game. That’s Congress. State politics doesn’t work that way. We don’t have to play a perfect game.
Rick Kiley: All right.
Jarrod Loadholt: And so, it’s different. I think the thing about the cannabis industry, here’s what I’ve noticed. One, there is a self-righteousness about the cause which is, I mean, it does make sense. This is something that should never have been illegal. This prohibition was costly in terms of human lives. The cost should never happen. It’s legal in a lot of places and not only is the world not fallen, we’ve raised tax dollars, has spent money on things that we’ve said we wanted to do in this country for a long time. So, I think there are people who feel like, of course, this is going to be legal. Why wouldn’t it? I’m like, there’s nothing in Washington that is like self-evident. Everything that you do, you have to assume everybody starts at zero and you walk them to 100. Like there’s no…
Jeffrey Boedges: There’s no slam dunks in Washington.
Jarrod Loadholt: I think there’s a philosophical like we’ve got to get the industry folks to realize, one, not only do you not get anything unless you go from 0 to 100 and spoon-feed everybody but you’re going to go from 0 to 10, 10 to 12, 12 to 20 and people want it all. I’ve seen a lot of the industry and by the industry, I mean the criminal justice advocates, too. Because there is a criminal justice element to this that should be front and center in these conversations but sometimes they cloud them because they’re also like 280E. They’re very mundane tax issues, not mundane to people who actually operate in the industry but like things that if you’re not in the industry and you’re a staff or a member of Congress, your eyes glaze over. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you may be far more interested in the criminal justice stuff than the tax or maybe more interested in the interest of smaller cannabis operators as opposed to MSOs. And MSOs kind of may have their own people and people aren’t necessarily working together.
Jeffrey Boedges: Well, everybody’s got different motivations and those motivations, everybody’s out there kind of preaching a different gospel. And like you said then, therefore, no one’s on this thing. I mixed my metaphors today, so excuse me.
Jarrod Loadholt: There you go.
Rick Kiley: But you’ve literally set me up for like seven of my next questions, and I just don’t know where to go first. I think one thing, let’s just start with this. We’re going to go in order, I think, of what will keep us on track. You mentioned getting 10%, 12%, and I think there’s a lot of legislation that is addressing incremental change. So, one I’m pretty aware of the Safe Banking Act as mentioned a lot. So, could you give us a rundown of some of these incremental changes that may, on a federal level, help the industry as a whole and just talk about where they’re at?
Jarrod Loadholt: Absolutely. So, how I got in this industry was when I was on the Financial Services Committee, I was the Banking and Consumer Credit Counsel to the House Democrats. My portfolio at the time included marijuana banking. And that’s how I really got into this because I was working with Ed Perlmutter, who was a member of our committee on what became the SAFE Act. And so, this was in 2014. I had no idea that eight years later, this would not be law. So, again, this is the game. It’s all a long game, right? Like, I had a full head of hair. I was like a healthy man, 190 pounds. I had a three-pack. You can see three abs. You can’t see in them anymore.
Rick Kiley: For those of you who can’t see Jarrod, he still has a good amount of hair and looks like…
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. And he’s got a two-pack.
Rick Kiley: Looks like a pretty athletic guy so let’s…
Jarrod Loadholt: I used to be, right? But the reality is SAFE has taken a long time and there’s no good reason for it to have taken as long as it has. But for the cacophony of interests that have come into Washington about, “Oh, well, we need to include equity considerations in the banking bill.” Now, one, again, I’m all for social equity but it’s a banking bill, right? I think the reality is like you have to fight the urge in Washington to turn every bill into the Christmas tree. Now, Christmas tree, it’s simple, vanilla bills are the easiest to get done. When you complicate them, any time you put something in a bill, you’ve added people who hate that and who love it, right? And you never really know who in that hate-love spectrum, what their interests are, what their relationships are, and how much you complicated a piece of legislation. So, the issue is SAFE is it didn’t do enough for, I think, progressives and for Democrats, and particularly Senator Booker, Senator Schumer, Senator Widen, who had their own legislation, which is the Cannabis Administration Opportunity Act. CAOA.
The reality is CAOA is not happening. It’s not happening this year. They don’t have the votes. I don’t think they have all the votes in Democratic caucus. So, put that aside, you had the MORE Act, which was a similar kind of descheduling, social equity, tax framework, kind of a comprehensive framework from the House but that was not bipartisan. That was a House Democratic bill, what we call messaging bills, i.e., bills that tell you, “Here’s where we stand.” They have no chance of actually becoming law. This is like our blue sky, perfect and all.
Jeffrey Boedges: It’s just about getting everything on the agenda.
Jarrod Loadholt: Bingo. Put it all in there so that when I raise money, I can say, “Look, I did it for you, right? Like, bringing you the things.” Not happening. Not going anywhere in the Senate. Put that aside. So, it’s the MORE Act then CAOA. Then you got the States Reform Act. I think the States Reform Act that came from Nancy Mace out of Charleston, South Carolina. And that is kind of the Republican cannabis legalization, the deschedules. There are some good things in there, right? I’m a Democrat but one of the things that we’ve got to be mindful of, of any federal scheme is like you can’t tax cannabis to death. And I think MORE, CAOA taxed to death and the effective tax rate on cannabis, if that would have become law, if you included the state taxes on these, I mean, you’re basically giving a gift to gray markets and black markets.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah, yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: The tax conversation you’ve got to be mindful of. So, States Reform Act is good on tax. I think it’s doing the regulatory side because it grandfathers in and acknowledges the work that states have already done. The problem is it’s solid on social equity and it’s also a partisan bill. I don’t think there are any Democrats in States Reform Act. SAFE Plus is our incremental potential win as a lame-duck proposition. By lame duck, I mean, there’s a period between when the elections are over and when the day the Congress gavels out. That is the busiest time in the two-year period of any Congress. Congress runs in two-year periods. We are coming to the end of the 117th Congress, and that lame-duck period is going to be chaos of everybody trying to get things done. For the cannabis industry, it’s SAFE Plus and SAFE Plus right now, as I understand it, is the financial services because people say banking but I’m like it’s banking, it’s payments, it’s venture capital. It’s all of the things that can help finance this industry. Anybody who uses the banking and payment system, if you’re operating and you’re supporting a legally operating entity per state law, you’re good. It’s a Safe Harbor, right? That’s what SAFE is. That’s why it’s called SAFE. We need that. We need that in a real way. Like, it’s not safe to have all this cash like there are a million…
Rick Kiley: No.
Jarrod Loadholt: We need SAFE, right? Like, we need that. But. SAFE Plus includes some expungement language. The idea that if you’ve got federal-related cannabis offenses, they should be expunged. I mean, yes, of course, they should, right? And I think there are some provisions around research. That’s what SAFE Plus would do. Now, is it 280E? No. Is it rescheduling or descheduling? No. With clemency, obviously, it’s completely an executive branch. But is it significant progress and a win? Yes. Is the cannabis advocacy industry in Washington at risk of screwing the pooch on this deal? Absolutely. Why?
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s right.
Jarrod Loadholt: The decision for more things than what people are willing to do.
Rick Kiley: Got it.
Jarrod Loadholt: Everything is math. Again, it’s 60. It’s 217. That’s it.
Rick Kiley: All right. So, I do want to ask you about clemency. So, if I were really to just dumb this down, SAFE Plus is the original Safe Banking Act will allow these businesses to operate like let me just say normally like a normal business.
Jeffrey Boedges: Closer to normal.
Rick Kiley: Right. And SAFE Plus provides that plus clemency.
Jeffrey Boedges: And social equity.
Rick Kiley: For people who have been prosecuted, not expungement.
Jarrod Loadholt: Not clemency. Yeah. Two different things.
Rick Kiley: Yeah, because you said clemency. And I’ve read about clemency and you said clemency is executive branch. So, you’re a lawyer, so you can help with these things. What’s the difference between clemency and expungement? And because clemency is an action that the executive branch, the president can take, but expungement it would be a law that’s written that would just like help everybody if the president signed it. Yes?
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. One is forgiveness and one is removal or erasing, right?
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. That’s fair. That’s a fair description. Clemency is I’m in federal prison right now for cannabis-related offenses, nonviolent cannabis-related offenses. I submit a petition to the Department of Justice that says, “Look, the world has changed, the law around the country has changed, and I should not be in jail. I’ve been here for 15 years for felon things that right now I could buy in my hometown of Philly and not go to jail. So, I shouldn’t be in jail either. Help me out, Joe Biden.” It goes to the Department of Justice. They have a clemency office. They review it and make a recommendation for it. The president can grant it and then that person is released. Expungement is I may not be in prison. I got arrested in college. I was selling a lot of weed. So, I got the attention of a U.S. attorney and fill in the blank jurisdiction in the country. Got arrested and did some time is on my records so when I go and get an apartment or apply for a job, it comes up. What an expungement would do is say, “Nope, we’re going to take that off. You fill out an application.”
Rick Kiley: Right. Got it. So, clemency would get you out of jail, but not erase your records. This would change the record so that your future would theoretically be brighter. Okay, that’s cool. So, I’m less interested in the clemency conversation now that I’ve cleared that up.
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s simple enough.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. No, I understand it is. And I read that like the Justice Department’s created a U.S. pardon attorney, and they are actually reviewing cases but they’re not reviewing them en masse. They’re only doing it one at a time. It seems very slow. And so, probably to me, I interpret that as checking a box without making significant progress but you can agree or disagree.
Jeffrey Boedges: And then there are a lot of people out there in red states, certainly, that feel like anybody who broke those laws needs to stay in jail, even if they are legal now. I mean, they don’t agree. I mean, I’m from one of them and I know that there are people out there that they know for sure are innocent but they’re saying, “You know what, we’ve already retried it. We’re not going to retry it again. You can stay there and rot.” And I’m like, “How is that justice?” but that’s kind of the attitude.
Jarrod Loadholt: That’s an accurate description.
Rick Kiley: That’s an accurate description. Because I just wanted to ask, I was like, who’s against this?
Jarrod Loadholt: Lots of people. The people who Jeff just described, right? And so, there’s a school of thought of, “Hey, you did wrong. You were selling dope.”
Rick Kiley: When it was illegal.
Jeffrey Boedges: When you knew it was illegal
Jarrod Loadholt: You knew it was illegal and that’s the cost you got to pay.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. And why would we spend money now to retry it? And that’s really the way they kind of think about it. It’s like, why would we invest?
Jarrod Loadholt: And I think this is another reason why we probably haven’t seen this administration kind of forcefully embrace mass clemency because they’ve only done 75, I think is last we checked. But there are probably a few hundred thousand people probably.
Jeffrey Boedges: Are you talking about the 75 like the number 75? So, not 75,000?
Jarrod Loadholt: Seven-five. Not 75,000. 75.
Jeffrey Boedges: Not 7,500.
Jarrod Loadholt: Hey, they just got a new person.
Jeffrey Boedges: They just added staff. Next year we’re doing 125. It’s going to be big.
Jarrod Loadholt: I’m from South Carolina and the state motto is, “As I breathe, I hope.” I’m breathing, I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic that this administration will embrace a mass kind of strategy for this. But there’s some politics involved, too. One is not going to happen for the midterms. And the politics you speak of, I think, is what I would call kind of red state suburban, Willie Horton. I don’t know if you all remember the Willie Horton.
Jeffrey Boedges: Oh sure.
Jarrod Loadholt: All right. The idea that you let people out of jail and they’ll just do crazy, you know.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. They’re going to go kill people.
Jarrod Loadholt: Right. You know, my story is I actually did a clemency petition for a family friend’s dad, nonviolent drug offenders, sold drugs years ago in Memphis. Had a life sentence for selling.
Jeffrey Boedges: Third-time three striker?
Jarrod Loadholt: He had some priors. Here’s what he’s done since he’s gotten out. He got out in 2015, 2016. He went back to Memphis. He spends weekends with his grandkids. He came to my two-year-old’s ice cream party. He takes pictures on Instagram with his kids and his grandkids, and he eats barbecue and he’s enjoying his life because he’s not in prison anymore. So, the idea that people would go and do these things, many of whom have been in prison for years so these aren’t like 19-year-olds. Like, the gentleman I worked with is probably in his sixties, right? And he spent almost 30 years in jail for selling drugs, many of which are now, not all, but many of which are now legal, i.e., marijuana. So, I think there’s a concern about these are people who should be in jail because they broke the law. Like, they’re very formalistic kind of people. Now, many have voted for Trump, which makes it all absurd because they’re the people who also want to defund the FBI post-Mar-a-Lago but I think that’s a different conversation, right?
Rick Kiley: Different podcast.
Jarrod Loadholt: Different podcast.
Jeffrey Boedges: It’s going to require a whole different blue flag right there.
Jarrod Loadholt: Right. But they’re people who have very formalistic views of the law that don’t really comport with the reality, which is the laws are changing, people change, attitudes change. And the clemency power gives an executive the ability to reflect the time and to do justice retroactively. And so, I’m hopeful. I think this administration understands that. I just think it’s something that they’ll do after they either get through this midterm or in a second term.
Rick Kiley: So, I think the latest projections on what’s going to happen in the midterms, I’m just going by what the prognosticators are saying, that Democrats may pick up a couple of seats in the Senate, but probably looking like losing control of the House of Representatives. How does that impact the next two years? Does that basically kill any progressive cannabis legislation?
Jarrod Loadholt: I think it would. I definitely think it would because the best you’ll get from a Republican House is Nancy Mace’s bill, which I think has some good elements, but I think ultimately would not gain any traction in the Senate. What should happen is what is happening on a much smaller scale with SAFE Plus and what is happening with SAFE Plus is you have Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate who are putting together a package of things that they want, i.e., many Republicans are like, “Hey, yeah, you got to bank this stuff. It’s legal in my state,” whatever, whatever. I think a lot of folks who are left are like, “Hey, we need expungements and the other folks who are like, “Let’s do more research because I don’t want to make a decision,” where research sounds like, man.
Jeffrey Boedges: It sounds like we’re doing something.
Jarrod Loadholt: Right. We’re doing something but on a much larger scale. In a perfect world, what the legislating should look like is some version. If the States Reform Act and CAOA had a baby, that legislation is something that’s like, “Alright. What would that look like? And can we get to 217 and 60 and 1, i.e., the Biden White House saying, ‘We want this.’” I mean, that should be the long-term playbook for the industry once we get SAFE Plus over the finish line in lame duck. If I had a magic wand, that’s what I would do. And I think that’s something that if you have a Republican majority in the House, I’m not saying that they would be all aboard with it but you will have a Republican marker that the Republican caucus could say, “Hey, this is our stuff.” I think there’s a lot the industry needs to do with Republicans. I think there’s a playbook, but I’m not sure how many folks in the industry are thinking this way.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I think you are discussing a term that I heard said a few times called bipartisanship, right? So, that seems to be something that’s been eliminated from their vernacular recently.
Jarrod Loadholt: It happens. It’s happening with SAFE Plus. It’s not happening enough with the bigger legislation. And the reality is like any legislation would have to go through House Judiciary. House Judiciary, if it flips, is very likely going to be Jim Jordan’s committee. Right?
Rick Kiley: He has a wonderful reputation.
Jarrod Loadholt: Right. And so, I just don’t think his priority would necessarily be this. I hope it would be. If the cannabis folks are smart, I think they are finding ways to understand what matters to Jim Jordan and having those conversations. But I think Jim Jordan may be more interested in investigating Hunter Biden. That’s what I’m hearing. I hope that’s not true. I would love for hearings on the States Reform Act and some bipartisan-bicameral conversations. There’s no reason why they can’t start now. So, you know what to do. And the White House could be doing that, right? There could be something that they could be doing but I don’t think this is as much of a priority.
Rick Kiley: You don’t think that SAFE Plus gets passed before the end of this legislative session?
Jarrod Loadholt: I think we can get SAFE Plus. I think we can get SAFE Plus but everybody’s got to play team ball and realize like this is just the first down, right? We don’t have to get a touchdown. We just need a new set of balance right now.
Rick Kiley: So, who needs to get on board that’s not on board? And what do they need in order to get on board? So, it sounds like SAFE Plus is because it’s addressing the sort of expungement and clemency issues that would seemingly get progressives on board. What needs to happen for the conservative members of Congress to a few of them to say, “Yeah. I’m on board with this?”
Jarrod Loadholt: I think it’s two-sided. To address progressives first, I think they’ve got to come to terms with SAFE is just financial services, right?
Jeffrey Boedges: They can’t make too much out of it.
Jarrod Loadholt: Like, we’re not going to solve mass incarceration with this. Like, let’s just get people to have checking accounts that don’t have thousands of dollars of fees or people just lose their bank accounts every day. And people who work in dispensaries should be able to get a mortgage. Crazy.
Rick Kiley: Right. Because they can’t show paystubs or whatever. Yeah.
Jarrod Loadholt: Crazy, right? So, let’s just get that done. Let’s just get that done. Expungements, I think that’s where progressives hang their hat on. Make it a thing and that’s the trade-off. If you get what you want in expungements, let a clean SAFE go. That’s SAFE Plus. Research is kind of like you go to McDonald’s, you get the fries, their fries at the bottom of the bag. I think that’s research. It’s like, “Oh, research.” So, that’s it. Like, that’s it. Take the Christmas gift. Growing up, I had an aunt who would give us, like my sister and I, jogging suits, and like she would give the pants to me and like the top to my sister. That’s like, “Take the pants, like, all right, you got new pants on. Make it work. Trade with your sister like figure it out.” I think that’s the deal. I think that’s the deal on the table. It’s going to be better. Don’t blow it up because it doesn’t have all the things you want because I think at the end of the day, if you don’t get this done now, I don’t see this Congress if it flips to Republican, a Republican House, even if we keep the Senate, I don’t know if we get any of these things in that configuration.
Rick Kiley: All right. Okay. So, that’s super, super helpful. I do want to ask because I always think about following the money here, as always, being the major incentive, driving everything. And you mentioned the IRS 280E law earlier. I’ve been sort of just like asking this question to myself without knowing the answer but I think we see states legalizing because there are some tax revenue that can be generated from it. I think common wisdom would say if the federal government legalizes, there will be tax revenue attached to it and they’ll make some money. However, this law that’s written that basically makes it so that these businesses that touch the plant cannot write off their common business expenses I would imagine generates a decent sum of revenue for the federal government. I don’t know because that’s now taxable. I’m just wondering and really I’m coming from a place of really having no idea. But are the economic incentives for the federal government on the revenue generation side perhaps not as great as we think they might be?
Jarrod Loadholt: I don’t think the revenue drives either way because whatever you would tax, I don’t think it would be that. I still think that the excise tax on alcohol would be more than what you’d get from raising money from cannabis. That’s not to say the number is nothing. It’s been significant in the states, but I think the federal pot is a lot bigger and there are so many things in the federal government taxes. Some people would argue not enough things they tax. But I think in the 280E conversation, it’s 280E is about deductions, right? Like any other business, like you said, travel, depreciation. I bought equipment and I’ve got…
Jeffrey Boedges: Cost of goods, man.
Jarrod Loadholt: Cost of goods, right? I got dehumidifiers and all these other things in mind, especially things that if I were a restaurant I’d be able to use 280E to deduct. Any business owner will tell you like lifeblood. Otherwise, I’d be paying crazy taxes if I couldn’t take these things out.
Rick Kiley: I’m deducting these headphones.
Jarrod Loadholt: There you go. The headphones, the TV, the light bill, whatever. That is a deduction. So, that’s money the government won’t get because you’ve been able to deduct it. So, they would lose money if 280E were allowed or extended to cannabis industry. I just think 280E would have to be a part of a larger bill, which would include taxes so they could be revenue neutral, right? Because 280E would you lose money, so you’ve got to have something to raise money. So, you got to have other parts of the bill that would raise money, i.e., taxing the cannabis itself at a reasonable rate. Now, what that reasonable rate is, I don’t know. I just know it’s less than what they put into CAOA. I think it should be less than that.
Rick Kiley: Can you quote the rate in the state? What’s the effective tax rate under that law? I have no idea.
Jarrod Loadholt: I don’t know that but it’s high.
Rick Kiley: Okay.
Jarrod Loadholt: I don’t want to google it and you can hear me tapping on the keyboard but it’s high, like it’s higher than it should be. And when you add it into what states have done, it would be…
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Are you approaching like 100% so a dollar cost and a dollar tax?
Jarrod Loadholt: No. I don’t think it’s 100 but it’s more than it should be.
Rick Kiley: Is it more than what’s on alcohol?
Jarrod Loadholt: Together, I think it would be.
Rick Kiley: Okay. Yeah. All right.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I don’t know why everybody just can’t say, “Look, we have a model that works. We have a path that we’ve already tread. Let’s just follow that same path.” And why go bigger or better?
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I mean, you have a taxation policy on alcohol. There’s one that exists on tobacco, too, which just pick one.
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s federal excise taxes like we know exactly what we do like we know the agencies, we know the rate, we know how much we collect, we know how we collect it. Like, we’ve done all these things. The war on drugs has done a number on this country’s economy.
Rick Kiley: Oh, yeah. Oh, man.
Jarrod Loadholt: Beyond the number it did on black people and brown people and black and brown communities that are still living with this war.
Jeffrey Boedges: The repercussions.
Jarrod Loadholt: They did a war on them, right? And so, I think ultimately, that stigma, I mean, people still look at this. I use my mom’s example. I grew up in the 80s and 90s. My mom was a Just Say No coordinator. Like, I remember Nancy Reagan telling me that my brain would be fried if I smoked a blunt. I mean, it’s absurd, right? In retrospect, all the things that we thought but the stigma attaches such that people will tell you when they open these dispensaries is I call them the wine moms. The wine moms like park in the back because they don’t want anybody to see that they’re whatever. It’s like, come on, man. Like, you got kids. You’re stressed out. Like, it’s Friday night and you want to roll up just like everybody else. And I think we…
Jeffrey Boedges: We call them the box wine moms.
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. There you go. Box wine moms.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah, because you can’t see how much goes out of the box.
Rick Kiley: Well, it’s going to take a little while. We have this conversation all the time. I’ve got kids, I have twins, and Jeff has kids and we’re dads. I grew up the same time you did. I grew up in Northern New Jersey. It was Just Say No. This is your brain on drugs the whole time. And we’ll sit there, we’ll pour ourselves a drink, we’ll open a beer, we’ll pour a glass of wine. We won’t even think about it. But if you’re going to consume…
Jeffrey Boedges: All at the same time criticizing weed smokers.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. And if you choose to consume, I think the feelings you still have to do it on the down low like that’s the psychology.
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. I mean, look, go to a smoking section somewhere and like light one up and see how people react. Alright. It’s like the dude smoking a cigarette. I’m like, “Bro, this is worse. Like, what you have is actually not better than what I’m doing.” But there is a stigma, but I’m sure it’s generational. And so, I know we talked a lot about kind of the partisan divide. The divide I see in Congress is younger Republicans are fine with it.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. That’s interesting.
Jarrod Loadholt: And I think younger Democrats, it’s not even a question but, I mean, you still have Joe Biden. I mean, President Biden is very much kind of a war on drugs-era policy maker. Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, I mean, these are all people who were very engaged in these Clinton-era and Reagan-era drug control pieces of legislation. This is just what it is. And I think a lot of people still view cannabis in that same way they view cocaine or crack.
Rick Kiley: Sure.
Jeffrey Boedges: Of course, they do. Yeah. Can I ask a question on that real quick? And that is really Schedule 1, that’s what makes this illegal. Is that a congressional thing? It kind of felt like an edict from Nixon, really? Like, I don’t really know the history on it like I should.
Jarrod Loadholt: Because he wanted it to be an edict, because the war on drugs came from Nixon because it was like, “Hey, if we beat up and lock up all the poor people, I get reelected.” It’s part of the Southern strategy. So, yes. So, the scheduling is a part of the Controlled Substances Act, CSA, and that is Congress. Congress can reschedule or deschedule a drug. And they are conversations about, well, maybe we should just reschedule cannabis. I’m a deschedule person or if you reschedule it, go to Schedule 3, 4, 5, but not 2. Because the Biden administration, I think right now their position is it should be a set of one, should be a two. And their view of this is 2 is still highly regulated, lots of bureaucratic hurdles to access but that will allow more research.
Jeffrey Boedges: Where is alcohol?
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s not on there. I don’t think it’s on there at all.
Rick Kiley: No. I think cocaine is on Schedule 2.
Jarrod Loadholt: Cocaine is 1.
Rick Kiley: Oh, cocaine is 1. There’s something that you would be surprised that’s 2, and I forget which one.
Jeffrey Boedges: I think it was some of the psychedelics we’re into maybe.
Jarrod Loadholt: But again, nobody in their right mind thinks cocaine and cannabis are like equally addictive, right? Like, no one.
Jeffrey Boedges: No one who’s educated but, yeah, to say no one does is not correct.
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. I take that back. No one who has thought about this, researched this, read this, experienced with the drugs themselves would tell you that they’re the same. They’re not. And so, I think the rescheduling conversation is a legitimate one. I agree with the Biden like, again, incremental progress. If I had the option between nothing and going to Schedule 2, I’m going to take Schedule 2. In a blue sky world, it should be descheduled. But if you put that option in front of me of, “Hey, buddy, you get the status quo or 2?” I’ll take 2.
Jeffrey Boedges: You know, when I think about the prohibition, the alcohol prohibition, and the repeal, it didn’t feel that we needed to operate in this same sort of five yards in a cloud of dust from a congressional standpoint. It felt like it was kind of like somebody threw a bomb and it got caught and they won that game. It felt like Auburn beating Alabama.
Jarrod Loadholt: Right. Yeah. I mean, look, again, the CSA, that’s a congressional thing. But again, you need 60 votes into 70.
Rick Kiley: Okay. So, 60 votes would be required to deschedule or reschedule cannabis.
Jarrod Loadholt: Unless you got rid of the filibuster.
Rick Kiley: Right. Okay.
Jarrod Loadholt: Which is a different. Again, get to the conversation of this fall, if you get two additional senators, maybe their names are Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania and you lose no other seats, you could have two Democrats who say, “Filibuster, get rid of it.” Filibuster is a rule. It’s a legislative rule that with a majority vote of the majority, they can change that rule. Then we could be talking to a 50-state threshold and then we may not care what Republicans in the Senate say, but you would need to keep the House to make that happen.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. It has to get the house first.
Jarrod Loadholt: That’s the best case scenario for the cannabis industry is Democrats run the table in their Senator elections. They don’t lose any and they keep the House.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Well, stranger things have happened.
Jarrod Loadholt: Unlikely. It’s like Ab state being Michigan.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Well, I think…
Jeffrey Boedges: It does happen once in a while.
Rick Kiley: There is some data showing that the amount of congressional representatives were in close districts to a Republican. It may not be as big as possible. And I think a lot of is because of the Dobbs decision and that’s driving a lot of young women in particular to turn out and register to vote. So, I think with this cause happens to be at least progressively aligned and let’s get more people registered and get them out there because that would be an awesome thing. I do want to ask one more thing. On that 280E, however, since that’s a tax-related law, that could be a reconciliation measure, correct?
Jarrod Loadholt: It could be a reconciliation, right? You could do that.
Rick Kiley: I just don’t think the incentives are there to do that yet.
Jarrod Loadholt: No, I don’t. Look, reconciliation, to get into something in reconciliation, you pretty much have to have uniform support across one of the caucuses. And it almost only happens with big ticket items like infrastructure or healthcare or what we saw in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Rick Kiley: Right. That act, yes.
Jarrod Loadholt: That kind of thing. So, I don’t know if cannabis raises to that level yet.
Rick Kiley: All right. Cool. We’re getting to the end of our time here, there’s one thing I didn’t get to that I wanted to ask you about. I have heard and seen that because of banking being a problem and accepting payments in cash is generally, well, risky, let’s just say that, people have turned to another type of risky way of payment through crypto. And if anybody that has anything any money in crypto that they put in there, let’s say, in the past 12 months, they’ve seen it go crash. I don’t know how involved you are in that but what are the implications of people using crypto primarily as payments for their businesses right now because there’s no other really safe way to do it?
Jarrod Loadholt: So, I think on the crypto question, one, sure. If you are a dispensary, you should absolutely think about how you incorporate crypto. I like to use the word digital assets.
Rick Kiley: Okay. Sure.
Jarrod Loadholt: Crypto makes it sound like it’s like you’re hiding and it’s like…
Rick Kiley: It’s actually the name of Superman’s dog but, like, that’s a different thing.
Jarrod Loadholt: It sounds like nefarious digital assets. So, should cryptocurrency of digital assets be a part of your payment mix? Probably. And there are payment vendors that allow you to do that where you can convert someone’s digital money into fiat and there’s an off-ramp. You can convert the money and you get cash. That technology exists now and I think if you’re a dispensary owner, yeah, it probably costs more. You can’t expense it because of 280E, but you should buy it because you have customers who this how they do. They pay for things where anybody lets them do in crypto, they do it. Now, look, the volatility of it is something where it’s like that’s why you want the conversion of fiat quickly, almost quickly.
Rick Kiley: Probably, yeah.
Jarrod Loadholt: So, that they’ll do some of the de-risking for you. Now, if owners themselves hold assets in crypto, I wouldn’t do that but some of them are crypto enthusiasts and they own dispensaries I think it’s kind of an assumption of risk. That’s kind of usually do but I definitely figured that it should be a part of your payment mix, just like in a perfect world, which again, SAFE Act would give us this, people can swipe. They can use credit cards. You can throw crypto in there because, again, you’re using the payment rails, which even with crypto, there’s still the Fiat conversion, which implicates the payment system. The payment system in this country is Federal, Federal Reserve, and controlled by the Controlled Substances Act. So, you need a carve-out. That’s the SAFE Act. So, again, back to the question of what incremental progress must we make now? I think it’s absolutely getting SAFE done so that people can experiment and do some of these things more than they are right now.
Rick Kiley: Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: Is there enough awareness around the SAFE Act amongst the general population? Because I would say that 99% of them don’t know a thing about it.
Jarrod Loadholt: It is not. Unless you go to a dispensary and you’ve got to go to the ATM.
Jeffrey Boedges: Right. So, we should be putting like pass the SAFE Act stickers on every ATM and every potential…
Jarrod Loadholt: I mean, I’d tat it on my face like Mike Tyson if I could.
Rick Kiley: Well, it’s funny because I think, like, there’s definitely a calm strategy that can come out of this here. I think people generally that are opposed to drugs like one of the things they’re worried about is crime. They’re worried about that sort of stuff.
Jeffrey Boedges: They’re worried about their children becoming addicts.
Jarrod Loadholt: They already are in Instagram.
Rick Kiley: And I got to think like you read occasionally stories about these dispensaries they do get held up. Like, it isn’t safe. It’s like you don’t walk into a bank and take out a whole sacks of cash like that doesn’t happen. People are stealing it like digitally.
Jeffrey Boedges: It happened to me in the old days of the restaurant industry. We would walk out of a restaurant with $25,000 in cash. Yeah, but you didn’t do it at night, and you sort of sh*t didn’t do it by yourself.
Jarrod Loadholt: And you had a safe, right? Like you did things.
Jeffrey Boedges: Absolutely.
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. Restaurants, strip clubs, I mean, cash businesses is cash businesses always have that risk.
Jeffrey Boedges: Easy target. Yeah.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. And I just think like a good educational campaign around like how do you run a business where you can’t put the money in the bank? I feel like there’s probably widespread support of that. I can’t imagine anybody being against it unless they’re just…
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I don’t know.
Jarrod Loadholt: When people know about it, I mean, of course. Why wouldn’t it? Most people don’t understand that because most people aren’t cannabis operators that have to go through. I mean, people literally lose accounts every day. Every day, people who’ve been doing something they can’t pay their people who work for them. There are folks, again, who work for them try to apply for a mortgage and they run into all these problems to you like, “I don’t know about that employment, like that’s illegal. I’m at a bank. I can’t give somebody who works for a drug dealer a mortgage,” which is this is how people are treated in some place where they go. Now, credit unions, to their credit, pun intended, have been far more progressive on this than banks have. And in part, because the NCUA, the National Credit Union Administration, their regulator, has been the most progressive regulator in Washington on this question of how do you bank cannabis? But credit unions tend to be a little bit more friendly, right, generally, like they tend to be more member-centric, whereas I think banks tend to be more compliance-centric and they are far more risk-averse than they think credit unions tend to be in this space.
Jeffrey Boedges: We should start our own credit union, like the Cannabis Credit Union, the CCU, man.
Jarrod Loadholt: Yeah. I don’t know. The challenge of credit unions is credit unions have fields of membership. So, anybody can’t be a member of any credit union, i.e., if you and the Nevada Credit Union has to be like residents in Nevada or if there’s something Veterans Credit Union, you had to be a family member of a veteran or the State Employees Credit Union has to be… So, there has to be a field of membership. So, it can’t operate like a bank because credit unions are tax-exempt. They don’t pay the same taxes that banks do.
Rick Kiley: So, one couldn’t start a cannabis business, cannabis license holders, credit union for the state of New York?
Jarrod Loadholt: You could. You could do that. You could have a state-chartered bank that only operates in the state. And the state-chartered, obviously, you need to get FDIC insurance, which is obviously federal. But you do have a handful of state-chartered banks who do this work. One of the thing that my group does is we do the compliance work for financial institutions who are banking the cannabis industry today. It’s just the suspicious activity reports, the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering compliance is significant. You’ve got to pay a fee. I’m not that cheap. I’m not the most expensive, but I’m not the cheapest lawyer in the world. And so, that cost that I’m charging this bank is going to be passed on to the account holder and those are going to be monthly fees because of the law. SAFE Act, I think would lower that. That would make it much easier where I have much more of a traditional relationship.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I just think the borrowing piece, you know, the folks that lend in this arena are charging such high. I mean, it’s borderline hard money lending. I mean, it’s really tough.
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s very much like hard money.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. All right. Well, look, Jarrod, this has been a really exciting interview. Honestly, I feel like we could talk for another hour.
Jeffrey Boedges: It has been a civics lesson times 1,000 for me so thank you for that.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I’m really excited. And, yeah, if I’m at a conference that you’re at, I definitely want to check it out. If somebody wanted to get in touch with you at your firm, how would they go about and do that?
Jarrod Loadholt: Send me an email. And it’s all on the Internet. So, crazy people email me too but it’s all right. Whatever. It’s Jarrod…
Jeffrey Boedges: There’s a few of them in our industry.
Jarrod Loadholt: Right. There are a lot. I talk to them. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. I know that’s too long but it’s…
Rick Kiley: No, no, it’s all good. Before this interview, Jeff and I were talking about when I used to drink Miller Ice back in college.
Jarrod Loadholt: I used to drink Icehouse in college.
Jeffrey Boedges: Oh, yeah.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Icehouse.
Jeffrey Boedges: Ours was Jo-bel, which was Gobel but we tried to French-ified to make it seem fancier.
Jarrod Loadholt: I did a lot of they used to sell 22-ounce Icehouses by my apartment in college and you get like 20 of them on Fridays.
Rick Kiley: That’s a party. I hope you had 19 other people with you. Otherwise, that’s a hard night.
Jarrod Loadholt: There’s about four for us but we made it work.
Rick Kiley: All right. Well, we end these interviews the same way it’s prediction time, and you probably are probably the most well-suited person to answer this in a long time. Given what’s going on, when do you think federal legalization might happen?
Jarrod Loadholt: So, in order for it to happen, I think you got to have a Democratic White House, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate.
Jeffrey Boedges: Supermajority.
Rick Kiley: 60 Democratic senators?
Jeffrey Boedges: Or 52 if we get the filibuster going.
Jarrod Loadholt: Got to have about 52, 54 like a really like almost like a blue wave.
Rick Kiley: How about this? 52, Washington, DC becomes a state then 54.
Jarrod Loadholt: So, that’s DC statehood. We can have our own like…
Rick Kiley: No?
Jarrod Loadholt: No. So, I think assuming Democratic House, Democratic Senate White House, I think second term Biden administration. Once he’s in the clear, and we’ve got some of our folks with us, the state work has gone even further because we’re really just starting to see Southern states legalize adult use. We haven’t even had a Southern state, I think, go adult yet.
Jeffrey Boedges: I don’t think so. I’m trying to think of one. I can’t think of one.
Jarrod Loadholt: Arkansas will be the first if they allowed the votes to be counted for November’s ballot initiative because right now there’s a question in the Arkansas Supreme Court that they are letting the ballot initiative go forward for a vote, but they may not count the votes. Imagine that. So, I know, right? It’s crazy. So, that’s still like pending open litigation, open question, but I think it will pass. I have a hard time seeing judges overturning the popular vote of people. Arkansas will make history this fall being the first Southern state to allow adult use. Amazing. And so, after that…
Jeffrey Boedges: It is or it isn’t. When you think about Arkansas Skunk and how many of us bought that in college, there’s a standing…
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s the natural state.
Jeffrey Boedges: Legacy market, yeah.
Jarrod Loadholt: And I’m a fan of Arkansas, matter of fact. I love the State of Arkansas. So, I think they’re going to come through. But I think as more Southern states do more medical and they open things up and time passes and some members of Congress go to glory and/or retire, I see a newer generation of elected officials. John Fetterman, again, I cannot emphasize enough. I think John Fetterman is rewriting the Democratic playbook on cannabis. He’ll get elected. We’ll have a cannabis center. I think if you’re out here and you’re listening, send John Fetterman $4.20 every week until the election because I really do think he’s doing for the cannabis industry what we’ve needed for a very long time, which is we have a champion in the way that single parent has a champion, in the way that certain issues need champions. And I think we’ve got a real champion in the Senate, which we do not have that I think he gives us. And I think John Fetterman is very much in tune with where voters are, and I think Democrats are kind of stumbling their way into getting to where the voters are in the cycle.
But I’m bullish on what I think cannabis can do to encourage the demographic that Democrats are hemorrhaging, which is voters between 18 and I think 35. Hemorrhaging, right? What are the issues that matter to them? Inflation, student loan debt relief, and cannabis. So, some of the people who understand that and operate.
Rick Kiley: Let’s get that stuff done. Let’s get it done. Well, Jarrod, it has been a pleasure speaking to you today. Anybody in the industry that has a question and I think go reach out, give them a call, check them out if you see them speaking at conferences and hopefully, we can get you back on this podcast another time in the future.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I feel like this only scratched the surface.
Jarrod Loadholt: It’s been a pleasure.
Rick Kiley: Awesome. Thanks so much.
Jarrod Loadholt: Thank you. You have a good one.