The audience for cannabis content has grown rapidly over the last decade – but who writes it, what value does it provide, and what challenges make this niche so unique?
Here to answer these questions is Lauren Yoshiko. She’s a writer, cannabis journalist, magazine editor, and the host of Broccoli Talk, Broccoli Magazine’s official podcast. She’s a cannabis speaker on branding and women in weed, a budtender, the harvest manager of Cannabis Farm, a copywriter, and a well-respected advocate for women, minorities, and small businesses within the cannabis space.
Twice a week, she publishes the Broccoli Report, where she writes about topics including industry news and stoner lifestyle accessories, giving both entrepreneurs and users the inside scoop.
Today, Lauren joins the podcast to talk about how she entered the cannabis industry, and what cannabis tourism may look like post-COVID.
- The stigmas and myths around cannabis that Lauren encountered in her early twenties, the cultural shifts that helped her get her first cannabis column, and why she had to write under a pseudonym to protect her corporate job at a Fortune 500 company.
- Why so many brands are looking to shake the legacy of stoner imagery while retaining parts of it – and why so many brands are crashing and failing.
- How illegal dispensaries successfully operate while masquerading as legitimate ones.
- What cannabis tourism and consumption spaces may look like.
- How working as a grower helped Lauren better understand the labor that goes into cannabis production and led her straight into her career in journalism.
- How Broccoli differentiated itself from publications like High Times, and why Lauren’s work stands out in a culture that can be very “bro-y.”
- Why Lauren hopes to see interstate commerce before full federal legalization.
“All the people that I know that smoke weed, they’re passionately into other things as well. They’re very interested in art and fashion and books and movies. They often are creative people, like there is this link between creative people and the act of being creative and making things that is connected to the weed high for decades.” – Lauren Yoshiko
- The Broccoli Report
- Broccoli Talk
- The Floret Coalition
- Willamette Week
- Portland Mercury
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Rick Kiley: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The Green Repeal. I am Rick Kiley, one of your co-hosts joined by Jeffrey Boedges out in sunny New Jersey. It’s sunny.
Jeffrey Boedges: This is like an old slice of LA here in Jersey today.
Rick Kiley: Nice. We’ve been talking to a lot of California people, a lot of West Coasters, but we’ve been mired in the doldrums. So, it’s like lockdown plus bad weather has been equaling very bad moods, I think, but we’re going to hopefully have a great conversation today. Today, we are joined by Lauren Yoshiko. She is a writer, cannabis journalist, magazine editor, and co-host of Broccoli Magazine’s Podcast, Broccoli Talk. So, she knows what she’s doing. With Lauren’s experience, she’s a cannabis speaker on branding and women in weed. She’s a budtender, harvest manager at Cannabis Farm, copywriter, and more. She’s a well-respected advocate for women, minorities, and small businesses operating within the cannabis space. She’s awesome. Lauren’s twice-weekly industry dispatches from the Broccoli report cover off on a number of topics from industry news to stoner lifestyle accessories, given both cannabis entrepreneurs and cannabis users a unique way to get the scoop on all things cannabis.
Rick Kiley: Hello, Lauren, and welcome to The Green Repeal.
Lauren Yoshiko: Hello. Thank you so much for having me.
Rick Kiley: We’re thrilled to have you here. We like your publication and there are several people who work for us who subscribe, which I learned after I told them that we were interviewing today, they were like, “Really?”
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh, cool.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. It’s very cool.
Jeffrey Boedges: I’ve read you the first time on Rolling Stone actually.
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh, nice.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I came into the side door.
Lauren Yoshiko: That’s cool. That’s really cool.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I came into the bathroom window but that’s a different type of podcast. Is there anything missing there? I think we’d love to if you could start us off and tell us how you got involved in the cannabis industry and kind of arrived where you are today.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. Happily. Yeah. You definitely covered all the current bases and a lot of the steps. I really was somebody who graduated college and had been like an overachiever my whole life and was definitely getting the vibe that people were sort of like, “So, like when are you going to quit weed?” or, “You know, I smoked weed too but we all got to stop sometime.” And I hadn’t really enjoyed alcohol as a teen or in my early 20s even. It was just something that it was fun and I would feel terrible later that night or the next morning, and I just thought that was the deal. And it was such a weird thought that I would need to just change and there would be this moment where you would acquire a taste for alcohol and lose a taste for weed but that was sort of what it felt like everyone was waiting for, that like maturity switch to flip. But weed made me feel good and so I didn’t stop. And then when I moved back to Oregon, I didn’t know anyone because I kind of picked up the habit in college in California. So, I got my medical card because it’s expensive, but the doctors are pretty friendly here. So, it’s easy. It’s just expensive to get a medical card and…
Jeffrey Boedges: The card itself is expensive, not the weed after you get the card.
Lauren Yoshiko: Exactly. The weed is insanely affordable. And at the time in 2014, there was still sort of a weirdness about it. Even my parents who are like liberal people who have enjoyed weed and it’s been a part of their lives for a long time, they were weirded out a little bit about me getting a card and like my dad would never ever have gotten a card because he was sure it would jeopardize like something with his law practice or put him on some blacklist. So, I did like to me coming out of UC Santa Cruz where weed is like a mascot of the college.
Rick Kiley: I went to a college like that too.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Pot college.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. So, I kind of expected it to be a social thing for me like, “Oh, I’ll make friends at dispensaries,” and then I realized it’s really just like college kid dealers and college kid dorm dealers and medical patients. Those are the people with medical cards in 2014 because it was still a little sketchy but at that moment, the local alt-weekly started running strain reviews like it’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning alt-weekly, the Willamette Week. So, it’s taken seriously on like the national newspapers’ scale. They like win awards in journalism and they’re taken very seriously. And they started doing real strain reviews that someone who had a medical card would write and used a fake name called Willie Weed and I was like, “Wow. This is happening. This is real. I want to be a writer. I have a lit degree. I had a sh*tty desk job at some manufacturer in North Portland and just knowing that I had a card and I hadn’t seen a lot of other young women at dispensaries. It was 2014. The conversations were around more representation, more bylines by women, and like the weed gave me the confidence to email the editor, not my writing prowess or connections. I wouldn’t have felt confident emailing anyone and saying, “Hi. Can I write for you? I’m a lit grad.” But I said, “I have a medical card and I’m a woman and I can write. Let me know if I might be a good fit for this column.”
And I had a strain review in the next Wednesday’s paper. They picked a name for me, which really was not funny at all. It was like this weird inside joke between warring alt-weekly editors of Portland. So, I went by Mary Romano. My first weed articles were written by Mary Romano, and that is because little insider Portland drama here. The Mercury and the Willamette Week were used to be more direct competitors. Things have changed post-quarantine. I think they should probably just merge to survive. But Mercury had a very popular pop culture column called Day by Day by Ann Romano and she was sassy and talked about Keeping up with the Kardashians and it was surprising. And it was actually the male owner just writing under a fake name.
Rick Kiley: Nice. Sure.
Lauren Yoshiko: So, my name was making fun of Ann Romano and then they added a Mary to make it weed-ish. Anyways, my name made sense to two people in the entire world, not including me but that is technically my debut as a weed writer was just because I still smoked.
Rick Kiley: I was picturing like a screenplay where that character from the SNL, Corky Romano met Mary Jane. They had a baby named, I don’t know, Mary Romano.
Lauren Yoshiko: That’s kind of the tone of Willamette Week’s column so not far off.
Rick Kiley: All right. Cool. So, now we run a lot of events and we worked with a lot of Alcohol Beverage companies and we have like ambassadors that we go out and talk about whiskey and they always start off like their presentation. They say like, “I have the luckiest job in the world. I get to go around drink great whiskey and talk to people.” And I am just wondering, I imagine when people hear that you write about weed, that might elicit a similar response. Do people say like, “Oh my god, that sounds like the greatest job in the world?” I mean, and then is it the greatest job in the world or are we wrong?
Jeffrey Boedges: I think really how much free weed do you get?
Rick Kiley: Right? Is that what we’re asking?
Lauren Yoshiko: I used to get more but no. That is the question and it is probably an assumption that I get to smoke weed and write all day. I do technically do that often but it isn’t often free weed and really, the strain reviews are the ones that are like $50 a pop maybe. Those are not the ones that keep you alive as a weed writer and in the end, writing is like many creative fields, and probably more so these days. It can be hard to make a living and for most of my career, for the first five years, I was making maybe $200 a month in writing income for my weed stuff because the people who could afford to pay you were these alt-weeklies. Rolling Stone was my first real paycheck from a larger outlet really and half hat for me coming up. It’s like half the gigs I got never even came to fruition. They bomb before they ever even went published. There are so many wannabe civilized media sites that tried to get going over the past five years that paid writers a couple grand to get like 20 articles ready or whatever and then never even came to fruition. I got most of those paychecks in the end but it’s still so shaky. It’s still writing.
So, I was not making a living off of me doing this for a long time and it’s like a double gamble because everyone does that when they go for a creative endeavor. But it’s kind of that extra gamble because, in the beginning, I really was not sure whether writing about weed was going to tarnish my name to write about anything else for the rest. And now we talk about that and it’s hilarious like everybody’s writing about weed, great new writers, great cultural writers. But at the time, it was still very much a question of like, “Will I be able to ever write about anything else again if I write about weed regularly for a couple of years?” And now that’s the best decision I could have made and gave me a career but at the time, my family, my colleagues, everybody was sort of like, “Hope you don’t get stuck in that weed hole. You don’t get stuck in this like little pigeon-holed identity.” And fortunately…
Jeffrey Boedges: You have to change your clothes and everything. You have to start wearing just like hippie stuff all the time.
Lauren Yoshiko: More tie dye. Embrace it.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Exactly.
Rick Kiley: You have to get weed friends, only them.
Jeffrey Boedges: Stoner friends on there.
Lauren Yoshiko: Now, it’s like if you wear tie dye, you’re the bold weed person in the room. Everybody’s trying to do the California chic, keep white linen and suits and make it look like a Goop retailer.
Rick Kiley: I think the industry, we talked about this a lot. I’m sure we’ll get into it but, I mean, there is definitely a need to shake some of the legacy imagery associated with the category and I think a lot of brands are trying to figure out the best way to do that.
Lauren Yoshiko: And there’s also an art to retaining it because we were also seeing a lot of brands crash and fail and create these soulless brands that stoners don’t give a sh*t about because this is a very passionate product. The community that buys this product regularly and loyally they are not the average consumer. It’s not just that they love good branding or that they love good flower. They love weed for philosophical reasons. They love weed despite all these things that tell you in society you shouldn’t love weed. So, I think we’re actually reaching a point like past that where it’s like, yes, we’ve shown things can be shiny and beautiful and slick and win design awards. But are they the ones that last? Are they the ones that really get cannabis smokers excited? If I go to Tokyo Smoke’s Instagram profile right now, I have two or three mutual followers. None of the people in my community give a sh*t about Tokyo Smoke. They don’t pay attention to what they’re doing. They don’t get excited to visit their stores because it’s just kind of boring. It’s like it’s pretty, but it’s kind of soulless. And that’s not what they’re wanting to write about and read about and take pictures at. They are looking for more interesting experiences. We’re like a little bit past that hump and we’re in this next chapter, I think, which is good. It’s nuanced. It’s a developing industry.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. No, that’s cool. Awesome. So, I was going to ask you about the pseudonym but you mentioned it already.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. And it was – sorry. Go ahead.
Rick Kiley: No. But I wanted to make sure it was clear. Was the pseudonym idea was the idea of the publication, not you?
Jeffrey Boedges: Or your parents? Did your parents then ask you?
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Who made that determination?
Lauren Yoshiko: I was still under the impression that there was no other option like I didn’t think it was safe for me to publish my name. And the other guy was doing Willie Weed so I was like, “What’s my name going to be?” Because I did still have a corporate job at a Fortune 500 company and I was super scared about them seeing me even like emailing the Willamette Week my drafts at work. Yeah. My dad’s a lawyer and had been investigated before for basically being like the lawyer for a semi-large drug ring on the western half of the United States. So, I was like,
Jeffrey Boedges: Drug ring or like a weed company?
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh, no. Like a drug ring. Yeah. Some people that he had represented in the past happened to have worked together on some other things. He was never charged with anything but he was investigated and our phone lines were tapped.
Jeffrey Boedges: Freelance pharmaceutical company. You might want…
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Okay. Cool.
Lauren Yoshiko: But, yeah, it was all different when things went legal.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. And when you’re saying safe, you mean damage to your professional reputation?
Lauren Yoshiko: And even legal prosecution. In 2014, most dispensaries were still prepared to be raided by the FBI any day like a lot of them still had criminal defense attorneys on retainer. The medical industry didn’t feel that secure and, I mean, we still see.
Rick Kiley: In 2014? Wow.
Jeffrey Boedges: Can I ask a corollary question to that though? So, you were working at a corporate to the Fortune 500 job. Most Fortune 500 companies that I know of have drug testing policies and they say if you had pot in your system, they could terminate you. So, I can imagine they catch wind of the fact that you’re writing weed articles that they might say, “We probably need to test this person.” Was that ever a fear or an issue?
Lauren Yoshiko: Absolutely. A huge fear. I was sweating bullets like, again, like I said, emailing the Willamette Week from my work computer scared me because I was worried about that. I did drug tests at the beginning to get the job and the longest break I’d had from THC in five years. When we went legal, I got my first job. I basically got a job offer to help open a dispensary and I quit my job at the Fortune 500 company, told them I was working at a health company, although I think word got out and everyone was very concerned for my safety and well-being leaving that job.
Jeffrey Boedges: And your sanity too probably.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And then the really satisfying thing is, yes, I left them. I was full into weed working at a medical shop and then we went legal and we as a paper decided to come out and we each kind of wrote a little coming-out paragraph on like why this is meaningful and why it does mean something both like journalistically and culturally to not hide our bylines when we write about this. And then maybe less than a year later, I worked at Cummins, like the biggest generator company in the world and they have a big division doing it was like focusing on the natural gas generators at that location and they took me out to a really nice lunch and we’re like, “Do you think we should sell to cannabis companies?” And I talked to these 60-something-year-old CEOs at the local branch, basically talk them down from like decades of stigma in that lunch hour to like help them open their eyes that these are just customers like anybody else. They might want to pay in cash but you would be missing out.
Jeffrey Boedges: Those generators are expensive. That’s a lot of cash.
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh my god. It’s such a great vertical for them. Weed people run that sh*t throughout the day like, yeah, I mean, at this point, I’m sure nobody’s holding back from working with bros like that but it was very validating to have that closure with them. They came back to ask me about weed stuff a year later.
Jeffrey Boedges: Did you hand out joints at lunch?
Lauren Yoshiko: No. But now I wish I would have sent an invoice.
Rick Kiley: Solid.
Jeffrey Boedges: No sh*t. Yeah. You should have gotten something.
Rick Kiley: Nice commission out of that. Yeah. It’s okay. Well, you live and you learn. It’s amazing how fast it’s changed like you’re talking about this professional concern as recent as seven years ago, maybe even less, depending on when we’re talking and today you sit here, with your own name, your own byline like that’s fast.
Jeffrey Boedges: But that’s in Oregon. I mean, there are people in Texas, there are people in Alabama, there are people in Georgia who are in the same boat as you were that long ago. It’s really a tale of geography.
Lauren Yoshiko: And we still see raids happening in California and like they’ve still got illegal shops that somehow operate on the street like the idea of going through that trouble of opening up a fake storefront to do business is wild to me, but like that still happens. So, I mean, I read a horrible story about a budtender who’s working at one of these shops and I don’t know if staff knows that they’re illegal. Like if I’m hired as a 20-year-old, I guess I don’t really know what the forms look like, what the processes look like so I maybe wouldn’t even know the difference. I’m not sure how different they look inside. Maybe these kids know they’re working for an illegal dispensary. Maybe they know the danger. Maybe they’re told everything will be fine but this kid was killed. I mean he was like went to work, never came home. It was a huge LA time story and the mom like tracked them down, forced them to give camera footage, and you see this kid like gets shot in the middle of the dispensary and this camera. It’s awful.
Jeffrey Boedges: By the authorities?
Lauren Yoshiko: No. By sketchy weird dark crime stuff either like literally someone who worked there, a customer. It was like a very strange crime-y situation but this was by all intents and purposes from the outside look like a regular dispensary and this is just in the last six months.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s a new one. I had never heard that story. I’ve never heard of that phenomenon.
Lauren Yoshiko: It’s sad but, yeah, it was an illegal dispensary and it’s really common in Canada too just because the weed sucks at the legal dispensaries. There’s a lot of illegal shops that basically open up, do business seemingly like a legal dispensary. And until the cops show up and tell them, “You can’t do this,” they just keep going.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Well, I suppose it’s probably the margins there, right? Especially if they’re not legit, they’re not paying taxes so they’re pocketing a much larger chunk.
Lauren Yoshiko: They’re like, “Screw it. Six months business will be paid off.”
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Well, I also think in a lot of these states like you mentioned in Oregon, it’s surprising me, you said the prices were pretty affordable on the weed when you got your medical card and like there’s MediCal program here in New York. The card is free but the weed is really expensive like you’re paying the guy. You know, if you buy from the guy it’s significantly cheaper than what’s going through a medical dispensary.
Lauren Yoshiko: Well, I do believe that. Yeah.
Rick Kiley: And the same issue is all over California as well. That’s why this.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s why the illicit market continues to thrive. Yeah.
Rick Kiley: That’s why the free market still exists.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. Well, Oregon is such a saturated state, our illicit market prices and our legal market prices aren’t that different.
Rick Kiley: Got it. All right.
Lauren Yoshiko: You know, there’s still a difference. I’m sure there’s still a degree of illegal business happening but, I mean, you can go and there’s at least 30 dispensaries in town with $5 grams right now.
Rick Kiley: All right.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s cool. So, all you listeners out there looking for your weed travel, Oregon needs to be at the top of the list.
Lauren Yoshiko: It is. I really wish we would invest in that and I think Oregon’s got its own struggles with tourism, period like we can’t get a music festival to stick. In Portland, we just had a lot of cool institutions close over the last five years. We’re like in this weird transition phase.
Jeffrey Boedges: It rains a lot there.
Lauren Yoshiko: It rains a lot. It does. And we’ve got food. We’ve got like the Bon Appetit Festival happens here.
Rick Kiley: You have I think the second most important bartender mixology trade conference. I think the West, I’m going to get it wrong and I’m embarrassed but there’s like a Portland Cocktail Festival or something like that it’s called.
Jeffrey Boedges: I think there’s the Portland Drinky Maky Drinky Mory.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yes.
Rick Kiley: No, no, no.
Lauren Yoshiko: The 30-year-old Alcoholic Convention. Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah, that’s it.
Lauren Yoshiko: I love this town.
Rick Kiley: A lot of bartenders congregate there for that once a year and obviously COVID has – it’s the West Coast tales of the cocktail.
Jeffrey Boedges: One of my best friends lived in Oregon until like a year ago and he’s just like, “It just rains every day. It’s like I can’t do it, man.”
Lauren Yoshiko: I know, but I do have hopes for weed tourism. I think figuring out consumption laws is going to be the biggest hurdle for Oregon because we haven’t even started that. We like had a conversation, ignored it, and then we shut it down. And there’s like not even a channel to get a licensed consumption space even when COVID ends right now in the state. All these states that are coming online are making provisions for that. I want to say even…
Jeffrey Boedges: Are they?
Lauren Yoshiko: Yes. I want to say even Arizona intends to have a license for consumption spaces. And even if you put that line, not until 2023 or whatever, they are going to be ready to do that when they can. And you look at these crazy licensed bottlenecks that keep happening. Everybody’s fighting over retail licenses and delivery licenses. Why not have another option like lighten that load a little bit? There’s still a lot of fears around people seeing people smoke weed is still so scary to lawmakers. But if we get over that, it will save so much money and time because a lot of people just want to have a weed business. They’d actually probably prefer to not be a retailer because they’re going to see what the overhead is like but still, anyways, I think that’s a key to the future of weed tourism here.
Jeffrey Boedges: Well, you’re talking to the guys that like to throw events. That’s what we do for a living.
Rick Kiley: Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s really what it’s about for us is creating these moments of community. I feel like that’s what’s missing from this industry in general. And we talked to a number of people that are producing drinkables right now. So, from Syria and Colorado to a young lady we had on with the whole series of cocktails out of California a couple of weeks ago, and we said, “How long until we have bars that you can go and just enjoy or until, frankly, you could enjoy a THC-based cocktail at a regular bar instead of alcohol. Why wouldn’t you?”
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I’m waiting for that. That’s going to be quite disruptive in the industry to create fun, safe places where you can go and vibe and enjoy yourself like you would anybody else. We have to get it out from being on the DL the whole time.
Jeffrey Boedges: Instead of like showing sports events though, they’re going to show cooking shows. It’s good.
Lauren Yoshiko: I know. Yeah. First baking show. Everybody’s there just silent.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. That looks good.
Rick Kiley: Someone told me there was this bar in Minnesota that what they would do is just bring out trays of bacon every hour, right? And people would just be going after the bacon, eating the bacon, and then buying a lot of beer. And I could totally see like you put on the TV, some sort of cooking show or something like that and then you’re like, “Well, here’s the thing, everyone, if you want to buy it, it comes through.” You don’t like that idea? All right.
Jeffrey Boedges: I think it’s good.
Lauren Yoshiko: I like that.
Jeffrey Boedges: You could sell $10 Oreos.
Lauren Yoshiko: I think there’s actually a dive bar in Portland that has like bacon strip Monday, and people totally go there because they give you like two strips of bacon and a little white napkin.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. You should do that. Well, they also need to sell food if like it needs. Now, within the COVID times, if you want to like buy alcohol that you’re going to take with you from restaurants in New York, you have to buy food too. So, there are some bars that are like putting out like their $1 menu. It’s like a handful of peanuts.
Lauren Yoshiko: How bizarre.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Just so that you pay something.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. It’s another workaround. We live in the age of the workaround, right?
Lauren Yoshiko: We do.
Rick Kiley: So, I want to talk a little bit I want to get to the podcast but there was one thing we saw. You did work at a cannabis farm at one point. Is that correct?
Lauren Yoshiko: I did.
Rick Kiley: How did that happen and what was that experience like?
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. So, I got that job opening that dispensary that got me out of my real-life job fully-in. That, like many medical dispensaries opening in 2015, was like a semi-retired, semi-millionaire of Portland who was like kind of always into weed and was like, “I think I’m going to do this,” and had…
Rick Kiley: What is a semi-millionaire? Hold on a second.
Lauren Yoshiko: I mean, semi-millionaire is this man…
Jeffrey Boedges: 500,000 man.
Lauren Yoshiko: I watched this man have like multiple failed businesses and he still bought a Tesla with cash. That’s what I call a semi-millionaire but he basically found a couple of guys that had a great idea for a brand and he had the money and the construction know-how to accomplish the build-out, and it was great. The pitch was an apothecary-themed Prohibition-era like very deeply-themed dispensary like beautiful hand antiqued wood finishes and rich carpets and old-fashioned music and we were wearing like prohibition-style stuff every day. It was so cute. We look like little flappers. I loved it. We failed in six months maybe because in 2015 everybody learned that you’ll be able to transfer a medical license to rec and so everybody was like, “Well, I’m getting in on medical so then I can be set up to quickly trigger to rec.” So, something like 100 medical dispensaries opened in like the first couple of months. At one point, there were 500 medical dispensaries in Portland, not even in the whole state, in Portland. It was obscene. There was one on literally every mile. And then they all…
Jeffrey Boedges: Glad there were Starbucks.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. There were only 12 Starbucks, which is crazy.
Jeffrey Boedges: Remember that Simpsons where there was a Starbucks in the bathroom at Starbucks?
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh, my god. It was like that. It was like that. It was strip clubs and dispensaries.
Jeffrey Boedges: Again, all of you guys looking for a fabulous place to go for vacation, you can’t leave Portland.
Lauren Yoshiko: Those have opened somehow. Anyways, they all failed including ours and he was like not ready to give up so he was like, “I have some unused property in my home county of Southern Oregon. Do you want to go manage our grow? My sons are going to grow weed. They kind of are interested in doing it. You want to manage it and sell it?” And I was like, “I need a job. The dispensary just closed. Yeah. I’ll keep doing it.” So, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. I had two friends who read all the right books and were smart guys but had never ever, ever grown weed in their lives. And they went out, they bought the stuff. We had 35 plants that first year. I brought like three friends and family members to come help trim and just like talk to all my contacts, talk to every grower about advice. So, I’m texting like the people I’ve interviewed over the past couple of years like, “Hey, how do you know when the harvest is ready? Like do you mean like looking under the leaf is this like this part?” Like I had no idea but we knew what we wanted and we had the right goal of like the purest, chillest weed and I wanted it to look good. I was a shopper. I knew how things needed to look on the end.
So, I was a mean trim boss. We did lots of rounds. We did lots of hand inspections, actually, still have a cyst on my hand from the trim days of just like repetitive motion. Yeah. So, it taught me so much about the hard work of the industry. And honestly, it wasn’t even something that made me fall deeper in love with weed or made me want to be a part of this industry. It was a lesson in economics that I never thought I was going to understand. I was definitely one of those young women that like flipped off my brains when we talked about just supply chains, business management, and anything to do with these sort of like boring businessy terms. And then when you’re in it and you’re deciding what is the profit margin I can make? How low can I go on this? What do I want to pay my trimmers? What is a fair wage for this? How do I want to conduct business? It taught me so much and it really for a young woman to have that opportunity to be on her own at 23 to arguing with a business owner about the value of the product that she saw grown from seed, it was a huge confidence builder for me in every way. And in every job since, actually, it’s really benefited me because there’s nothing like knowing your worth and fighting for it and being very confident and having people smoke it and be like, “Alright, tested at 28. Hell yeah, I’ll give you 2,000 for that pound.”
Two thousand a pound for nobody? We were nobodies. We had no brand. It was a very, very important experience and the next year we did 100 plants, which was a lot. That trim stress taught me a lot about respecting what growers accomplish because it’s such a laborious plant and it really is. It takes love to make it the way we want it to be. And then they didn’t want to go rec and I didn’t want to keep running that farm because it was really hard work for many months of the year and I hated driving jars of flour up and down I-5 in the back of my Toyota Avalon and it was just like a little stressful. We got vandalized one time. It wasn’t competitors or anything crime-y like that. I think it was like working in a poor county where there’s a lot of kids that are looking for trouble. I come from a town where most people ended up pregnant or in jail by 18 and we had a couple of kids walk up to our farm and burn it down like burn down our trim shed, all of our water tanks. We had left some gas tanks outside and they just poured it everywhere and lit a match and it was ash. Like a nice shed with our curing area, our trim area, a stove, sliding glass doors, I mean, ash on the ground.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s a ballsy move for anybody to do just because, I mean, I wouldn’t want to mess with anyone who was in that industry on the legit side because of the…
Lauren Yoshiko: No. People have guns on their properties. Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. That’s crazy.
Lauren Yoshiko: But it taught me, yeah, it was quite the experience but not one that I was ready to continue with.
Rick Kiley: It sounds like very formative and I’m sure it’s informed all your writing and everything that you’ve talked about.
Lauren Yoshiko: And it actually did lead to Broccoli. It was my set.
Rick Kiley: Good because that’s the next question.
Jeffrey Boedges: There we go.
Rick Kiley: As we get to Broccoli.
Lauren Yoshiko: It’s such a perfect weed industry anecdote. So, the farm is shutting down. We know we’re not going to go rec at this point. I need to just get rid of the rest of this flower that is literally sitting in my apartment. I had towers of boxes. We didn’t pay for storage anywhere. We couldn’t trust it. We weren’t really sure what to do. I was selling it all over Oregon, anyone who would take it. So, anyway, I am sort of taking any calls at this point whether it was like above the board or not. And there was this company that was rec already but they could technically as a processor, the laws were still coming into place for processing and you could still kind of do some things under the radar. We found a rec processor who was willing to just take the rest of our trim. And that process or the very last hand-off, the last garbage bag of trim from my trunk and I’m getting the last paycheck from him, he goes, “My girlfriend’s about to start a weed magazine. If you’re interested, you should email her.” And it was Anja Charbonneau who went on to found Broccoli. So, we connected right as she was getting the first issue together and she needed someone like me who was of the industry to get her just like briefed on the Portland scene, similar to that Rolling Stone article you probably read, and just get an idea of like who are the players, who are interesting things, what are interesting trends that you haven’t been able to write about.
And then she featured me in that first issue as well and that sort of helped kickstart me and sort of coining me as a weed journalist and whatever that word means. I contributed to her as like a – she comes from the magazine world, from the art world, and weed was a part of her life but she wasn’t like a heavy consumer. And she lives in New York for a long time and wasn’t a part of that weed culture. So, I was like this infusion of stoner-ness that Broccoli needed at the beginning, I think.
Rick Kiley: Yeah.
Lauren Yoshiko: That she wanted. Yeah.
Rick Kiley: Well, for those who don’t know it, Broccoli Magazine, they state this, it’s created by an all-women team and I have this in quotes and written down so I don’t mess it up, “All women team in a wide network of contributors.” And I know a few weed publications but I think most people’s relationship that’s like High Times and they probably couldn’t name anything else. And this is a super stylish, total departure from everything that I think High Times stands for. I think it’s really cool. So, are you in a position to talk about the idea behind Broccoli and how it came to life? Like, talk to us about that and I think the other thing purposefully we’re trying to have a lot of women and female voices because we think it’s really important and I can tell this. This publication is focused on strengthening the female voice in the category and I’m wondering if you talk about both those things.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. Well, when Anja got started, I know her. She was with somebody who was working in the industry. She was starting to pay a little more attention and see it through his eyes and see some blank space in the form of media and seeing how limited the audiences still because the mainstream reporting up until now really has just been like this FBI bust or this legalization progress and not so much on the culture end and, yes, High Times was that like the weed culture element we’re familiar with, but it is just about weed. Especially like growing, smoking it like it’s very literal about the plant. And Anja was like all the people that I know that smoke weed, they’re very passionately into other things as well. They’re very interested in art and fashion and books and movies. They often are creative people like there is this link between creative people and the act of being creative and making things that is connected to the weed high for decades, and she wanted to just sort of investigate that connection and create something that would be like food for people who love weed. There’s weed-centric content in there but there’s also just beautiful editorials to look at or interesting, weird reads to read that are going to be fun to enjoy when you’re high or when you feel like altering your mind a little bit in a way that weed can.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I mean, it’s one of those publications where when we were younger, we had like a bunch of the National Geographics but we always like kept them because they stuck around a long time. I feel like this is also the type of publication you want to keep in your home like you come back to it. It’s beautiful.
Lauren Yoshiko: It is a piece of art.
Rick Kiley: It’s really different and I think it’s really cool. The people I know who read it regularly, I’m not one of those people yet, but I plan to be. They really do love it and connect with it. So, I think you guys are doing a really good job.
Lauren Yoshiko: And to speak to your comments on the construction and the female presence, I mean, I think any business Anja would have started would have been like this. I think her approach had everything to do with just like how businesses can and should be run versus like this is an important thing to do in weed. It’s very much community-centric like we have a really collaborative creative process and like you saw contributors all over the world because it’s really important to her to have just a diverse voice because that’s a good voice. That’s a true voice. And having an all-woman group producing it so far in the back, I think that probably would have looked like that regardless, just the people she works with, the artists she looks up to, the colleagues she’s made over the years, people she works with well. And frankly, I do think we have a different experience because of the environment. It’s just like every editorial conversation we have, every thought exchange, every group text is a uniquely safe space in a way. There’s the lack of a power dynamic that I think innately can arise even with the best of colleagues. We work with plenty of men. We’ve had men on the podcast, male contributors. We’ve had male advertisers. It’s not like we’re against men but the way things have gone, this is where we are and it’s worked quite well for us so far with what we’ve been trying to create.
I think because so many women have not felt spoken to in the weed media space ever and because Broccoli looks so different from High Times, people are like, “This is a weed magazine for women.” And it’s really not. It’s really a weed magazine by women, I guess, technically but it’s a magazine for people who love weed and we have I’d say probably a pretty even split of readers. Maybe it leans feminine but there’s a lot of male readers. Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I think it’s just creative. The ego part of it is really, in my mind, tamped down quite a bit and I think that is what comes across to me first and foremost like I didn’t know until we were preparing for this article that it was a women-owned business and women-run business.
Lauren Yoshiko: Right. That’s not like a bylaw. It’s not a subhead for the article.
Jeffrey Boedges: No. To me, it was just a much more creative outlet for the topics and you nailed it. It’s really about lifestyle in a more inclusive way where weed isn’t the end, right? You know, it’s not the end game. It’s the means to a richer lifestyle. I think and that’s what I loved about and when I think about the periodicals I love, they all do that. I’m a huge magazine freak.
Lauren Yoshiko: We’re nuanced people. Humans like all kinds of stuff and we want to be stimulated like all of our senses. And weed has a really versatile place in so many people’s lives. We did a really cool consumer survey where we just asked like, “What do you smoke? Why? How do you smoke it? Why?” And there was nobody who smoked weed one way, first of all, like everyone who enjoys weed is pretty open-minded to how they enjoy it. Like, yes, they have their go-tos. I love my bong. I’m a bong girl. But I love edibles. I love a non-edible. I enjoy them. I don’t like avoid them. I use topicals like they work. Of course, I’m going to use them. And so, it’s like our media should be multifaceted because our experiences within our relationships with the plant are really multifaceted.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. It’s like music or food or wine. You don’t want the same thing every day. I think about just the evolution of the industry and what it’s going to look like. And it used to be when it was illicit, you took what you got, at least where I’m from. I mean, yeah, it was like, “What do you got?”
Lauren Yoshiko: In college, that was still for me, yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: It kind of gives you a headache. Alright. I’ll take $2.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. This one’s a little better.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. You know, you take whatever you got especially if it was dry.
Rick Kiley: Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: But nowadays, I mean, my own humidor has got five different types of weed in it now and I love that. It’s like, what am I in the mood for?
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Well, we’re tapping into that discovery-minded individual like there’s always more you can keep learning, experiencing, and enjoying, and I think it’s great that the category is getting there and I think it’s our job. I mean, we’re all coming at it from different angles. You from journalism, us from events and education, and we’re all trying to get people more empowered, informed, so they can make the best choices for them and for their life. And I think it’s a cool space, cool category, a cool time.
Jeffrey Boedges: It’s a cool time. Yeah. I was going to say, it’s the best time right now because it’s just so wide open, the palette, or the canvas is really blank. And that’s why it’s good to see you guys doing this really colorful reimagination of what it can mean because I think.
Lauren Yoshiko: And I think that’s why we get put in that bucket sometimes of like women in weed or like women doing stuff, look at this phenomenon, and then weed. It’s just because it’s something new to see women embrace something that culturally was not cool for women for a long time, you know?
Jeffrey Boedges: We’ve talked about it a lot.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. It’s a bro-y culture and I think the sort of historic images of the stoner, the ones that you see sort of out in the world, the Cheech and Chongs, the Dazed and Confused. It’s all-male imagery. There’s not a lot of…
Jeffrey Boedges: I’m trying to think of one like heroine and I don’t mean the drug. I mean, like a leading woman in a movie ever even for fun that was a stoner. Well, I’m sure I’m missing something. I’m going to get 100 texts now. Let’s ask your forgiveness.
Lauren Yoshiko: That will be fun to bring them all together, though. I only think about the, it’s such a horrible example, I can only think about Nicole Kidman smoking a joint in that intense scene in Eyes Wide Shot.
Jeffrey Boedges: Oh, wow.
Lauren Yoshiko: You remember that? When they have that long couple conversation? I know but you’re right. It’s true. We have nothing and I talk a lot about like pre-Broad City and post-Broad City because I still felt very self-conscious. It was like when I was on Tinder talking to guys, I would need to do this weird like, “By the way, I do smoke weed,” as if I’m somebody with like three kids and two ex-husbands and I need to give a caveat. But I’m not joking whatsoever like it was something that I would have to bring up.
Jeffrey Boedges: Did guys drop off?
Lauren Yoshiko: Absolutely. I would never hear back. Guys that told me I haven’t dated anyone all pandemic, “You’re gorgeous. I would love to,” whatever. I still hear that stuff. I still hear that this year a guy dropped off the face of the planet because I told him I smoked weed and it’s still a thing. It’s still something controversial so it’s good that there is this annoying marketing trend of like women in weed because that’s fine. I like getting speaking opportunities. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy. Give me a microphone, y’all. I’ll say whatever I want to say and there are lots of things that have not been heard yet from the voices of women who enjoy cannabis. But it’s also kind of not true. Like, there’s still a huge, huge imbalance in male business owners and male representation, the guys making the ad campaigns, etcetera, etcetera. Like it still absolutely swing to male. So, it’s something that we reckon with a lot because it drives us nuts, because a lot of the times it’s like, “Boy, I wish I could have a woman to call on for this,” or when we’re getting together, even lists of directories and stuff. It’s pretty depressing how sparse they can be sometimes.
Jeffrey Boedges: I want to coin a new phrase here real quick. Weed ghosting.
Rick Kiley: Weed ghosting?
Jeffrey Boedges: I got weed ghosting.
Lauren Yoshiko: The guys can’t hang.
Jeffrey Boedges: I’m sure the door swings both ways. It probably swings more the other way.
Rick Kiley: That’s cool. All right. Well, look, we’ve been having a good conversation here and I don’t want to run out of time. I want to ask about the podcast because you have a podcast also, Broccoli Talk. We have a podcast. We like podcasting. We like talking, listening.
Lauren Yoshiko: There’s lots of conversations to be had still. This is a cool format for it.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I agree. So, what’s the idea behind Broccoli Talk and like you have some favorite guests, moments, anything that you want to share?
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. The magazine itself only comes out three times a year. So, first and foremost, it was like we need something more regular to interact with people that is more than Instagram. At first, we were doing twice a week pandemic kit and our schedule got a little more wonky and we’re actually just now deciding to do once a month because things are moving again. And we’ve got some different bandwidth. My co-host, Mennlay, she founded. She’s based in Mexico City. She’s a really fascinating writer, researcher, chef personality who has done a lot in understanding the movement and history of food and cannabis between different cultures over the hundreds of years of our relationship with these things, and her brand, Xula, is based in Mexico City and sort of embraces CBD and some ancient traditional herbs and really interesting stuff but we’re going down to once a month because she busy and I’m doing the Broccoli Report weekly newsletter now. So, anyways, the podcast is fun because as you guys know, it’s kind of an ideal forum to have these casual chats about cannabis because some things are still so stigmatized. People would rather chat about them one time than have it written in ink in an article.
So, we have interviewed some people that are previous guests or previous people we’ve written about in the magazine that we kind of go deeper with so there was one Mennlay interviewed, Jasmine Stanley, who was a yoga community figure that has done a lot of things with black and bigger body representation in the space that can be so white and skinny and cold. And she just has like a really lively yoga session that is pretty awesome. But we have also spoken with people doing weird stuff that maybe wouldn’t fit so well in the magazine so I still am so fascinated by this conversation I have with a woman called Olivia Jezler who works in smell science and we talked about like the stigma of the smell of weed because I am fascinated by the ongoing issues we have with that especially with like living at home pandemic leases at jeopardy across the nation for smelling like weed complaints. So, anyways, we talked about that but she like is somebody that engineers smell for like Apple phones and your fucking desk that you take out of the IKEA box. Like, yes, everything has a scent first of all. Everything in the world has a scent. When you walk into every single business, there is scents engineered to make you feel and think a certain way and we had a really cool conversation about all that.
And then sometimes we’ve gone into like we talked to a Canadian sociology professor about the really weird dynamic of cannabis social justice in Canada where like they literally don’t even have the data to talk about social justice issues yet because they don’t even know the race breakdowns of arrests for the past 30 years. Fascinating stuff about the industry. Also, just weird stuff so we like to call it more casual weed chats with your weed BFFs.
Rick Kiley: Right. Got it. Cool. I’m wondering if you guys being in media do you get access to things people are trying to bring to market or people pitching you ideas? Like will you please write about this next cool thing? Like, what’s the next cool thing and what’s the next thing that somebody thinks is cool that you’re pretty sure is not going to be cool?
Jeffrey Boedges: The next cool thing is The Green Repeal so you’ll definitely want to write about that.
Lauren Yoshiko: That’s right.
Rick Kiley: That’s fine. Yeah, obviously, but I’m just saying if somebody’s got a bong that you can watch movies in or something?
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. Oh my god. I will…
Rick Kiley: Curious if there’s anything like crazy like that coming out?
Lauren Yoshiko: I have a perfect example of something that is new and unlike anything I’ve ever seen that I know no one is going to buy but it is interesting, I guess. Okay. So, somebody they just launched an Indiegogo campaign so it doesn’t technically exist yet but they have a thing called like Puff Puff Pass Football. And it looks like a smaller size football.
Jeffrey Boedges: You can play catch with.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yes. But even more so, you screw off one end, you place a lit joint inside, screw it back on. So, when you throw it, air passes through the football, through the joint filling the ball with smokable smoke. So, when your friend catches the ball, they’ll go and get the hit.
Jeffrey Boedges: I just absolutely love this. I can’t believe you think no one will buy that.
Lauren Yoshiko: And it’s purple. Maybe.
Jeffrey Boedges: I know exactly what I’m getting ripped for.
Lauren Yoshiko: Maybe because I don’t believe that it will work. Maybe because I’m like, “Oh my god, seriously, there’s no way that joint is going to stay in place.” Maybe. If they’ve figured it out and it works well, maybe.
Rick Kiley: I think it’s the wrong delivery system. They got to go with a frisbee that if you could make it a frisbee I think that would be bold.
Lauren Yoshiko: There you go. I just think that will be more appealing to a broader range of people.
Rick Kiley: Yeah.
Jeffrey Boedges: If it wasn’t a joint though if it was a Zeppelin? So, the little contained canister that smokes.
Lauren Yoshiko: A Zeppelin? I don’t. Wait.
Jeffrey Boedges: Oh, you don’t? I’m dating myself. So, in the old days, I never did this, but I heard about it. I was holding it for my friend. It wasn’t mine. But basically, it looks like a blimp but it basically is a cylinder that’s narrow on both ends, narrower on both ends, and you fill it with weed and then you usually smoke a bowl on one end of it through it, and then it basically resonates all that weed that’s inside the Zep for a while and then what you end up with is something akin to hash.
Lauren Yoshiko: So, while you’re smoking weed, you’re creating hash?
Jeffrey Boedges: You’re creating this other thing and then it feeds itself over and over again but you can actually light the hash inside of that Zeppelin. It’ll stay lit for…
Rick Kiley: So, you’re giving away this golden idea right now?
Lauren Yoshiko: I know. I was going to say that’s a great idea for a product.
Rick Kiley: Frisbee Zeppelin?
Jeffrey Boedges: Sorry. I thought everybody had a friend that owned one of those. Yeah, I hope my kids never hear this thing.
Lauren Yoshiko: It’s new tech for me.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I hope my kids never hear this thing, by the way.
Lauren Yoshiko: What else? I think something that really needs to be innovated more speaking of smoking at home is personal air filters. If someone made a handheld or a standalone…
Rick Kiley: It’s a paper towel holder with dryer sheets, right?
Lauren Yoshiko: If they made a better version of that, it would make so much money. I mean, so this guy I’m holding this thing called a smoke buddy. It’s just this like cheap plastic thing that’s like the size of a tennis ball but this like has saved me. I don’t know what I would have done without this. You blow into it and it’s got I think a bunch of carbon filters and right now, I can barely blow through it. It’s almost a year old. High resistance from that Zeppelin build-up.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yes. Well, then you could smoke the filter.
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh God, I know. But if they created something better than this that I liked and could reuse and looked cooler, looked like something I’d want to leave out on my desk, I would pay good money for that.
Jeffrey Boedges: It sounds like a job for Dyson.
Rick Kiley: I feel like we need to call.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yes. Oh my god.
Rick Kiley: I feel like we need to call-in Joe which is can I smoke this filter? It’s like, “So, I’ve had it for two happy years.”
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh, my god.
Jeffrey Boedges: They say it will cause brain damage.
Lauren Yoshiko: There’ll be so many call-ins. There’ll be so many calls.
Rick Kiley: Should I smoke the filter? I don’t know. Cool.
Jeffrey Boedges: What we should do because we come up with a new product idea every single show.
Lauren Yoshiko: I bet, every episode.
Jeffrey Boedges: I think we need to go back. That might be our 420 episode, these products that we invented on the show.
Rick Kiley: Yeah.
Lauren Yoshiko: It’s good advice.
Rick Kiley: We have to do a fun episode for that. We got to figure that out. So, cool. So, we got to wrap up. I just wanted to before we go, what’s next on the horizon for Broccoli for you? Are there any initiatives? Anything new that you’re looking forward to doing in the not too distant future?
Lauren Yoshiko: Yeah. I mean, personally, super excited about The Broccoli Report. We started it in mid-September. So, it’s only a few months old. I’m still getting out there but I’m really proud of what it is. I mean, what we’re building as far as a library of newsletter back posts, it’s like a guide to doing business and starting a cannabis business in 2021 like I’m really proud of the resources we’re making available. The trends we’re talking about and we’ve gotten really cool responses from new brands that reach out and are like, “Thank You, Jesus. We’re working up such an uphill battle. It’s good to see these conversations being had.” Like, we talked about the fact that low dose really doesn’t exist yet and kind of broke down how like 5 milligrams is a base amount for an edible. It’s kind of just an arbitrary number that exists because of culture and test limits, it’s not really a base for anybody. Most people that do want a low dose, have to bite it into half or in thirds. But anyways, that’s just like a tiny bite of the exciting things we’re talking about there. And we have a new issue coming out soon. Definitely subscribe and check out BroccoliMag.com for they just started doing more merch and fun things that are really cute and different if you like weed scrunchies and stuff.
Also, the Floret Coalition for anybody who’s looking into any sort of ways to give back in a more meaningful, in a more impactful way because I think at this point, every cannabis business recognizes a need to do their part to contribute to righting wrongs committed in this industry that we are all now benefiting from and we’re having a lot of fun with. I mean, even if I wasn’t making a living yet, I’m happy to be here and I get to tell stories that I never, ever thought I’d be able to tell. And I get an email from a girl every single day from somebody on Instagram or Twitter or my Gmail that’s saying, “Thank you. I’m glad I’m not alone. I’m glad there are other girls out there like me that get their sh*t done and are creative, and have good jobs, but I like smoking weed. Sorry.” And that is worth it to me. Anyways, paying your dues is vital and doing so in a meaningful way that isn’t just like checking the box and leaving is what matters. I got a really good quote, an interview with a woman about equity over the summer and it was, “It’s okay if you’re late to the party. We are happy that you’re here. But when you’re late, you need to bring two bottles of wine and you might need to stay up afterwards to help clean up.”
Rick Kiley: All right. Cool. That’s good stuff. So, we have to end our every interview, do it the same way. And you, I’m sure, talk to a lot of people in this space. It’s prediction time. When will cannabis be federally legal in the United States of America?
Lauren Yoshiko: Has someone already been in edgelord and said, “I think interstate commerce will happen before federal legalization?”
Rick Kiley: I think Jeff and I said that actually in response to somebody but we said in the northeast because of what’s happening in New Jersey.
Jeffrey Boedges: Tristate area. That just local northeast, we think there’s going to be a little interstate commerce thing is going to happen. As soon as New York legalizes, I would imagine that’s going to happen shortly thereafter.
Lauren Yoshiko: Well, I like that because if they do it, everyone else can and I think that is easier and allows us to retain the current industries as they are in the different states longer because even with the recent hemp laws that are requiring a new federal licensing process for hemp processors like there is going to be an annoying shifting time getting everyone online to that same system that is going to affect the way people have gotten used to doing things. And in a lot of ways, like these states have figured out what does work best for them. And I am super nervous about the federal government deciding one way for everybody to do things. I can’t even wrap my head around what that would be. So, I hope interstate happens before federal, frankly.
Jeffrey Boedges: Good insight.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I mean, in alcohol beverage, though, like the local state still set up their own compliance.
Lauren Yoshiko: That’s true. That doesn’t mean, yeah.
Rick Kiley: I think that part’s going to be okay and I think you’re evading the actual answer to the question.
Lauren Yoshiko: I know.
Rick Kiley: You don’t want to go on the record, and that’s cool but we will be called out on that later.
Lauren Yoshiko: I don’t know. I don’t think…
Rick Kiley: Put a date on the big board. Just say…
Jeffrey Boedges: The winner, whoever gets closest by the way gets the Puff Puff Pass Football.
Lauren Yoshiko: That’s right. Or I will donate on your behalf the Puff Puff Pass Football Indiegogo campaign.
Rick Kiley: Nice. We’re giving these guys a lot of free press.
Lauren Yoshiko: Because I’m making fun of them, I feel bad.
Rick Kiley: No.
Lauren Yoshiko: 2030. I’m going to say that far away.
Rick Kiley: Wow. Okay.
Jeffrey Boedges: Wow. 2030.
Rick Kiley: That’s the longest.
Lauren Yoshiko: I don’t think it’s going to be that simple. It’s taken banks this long and they still refuse. I mean, honestly, even like two years ago, the Oregon school boards were still kind of weird about accepting legally the tax income that was tagged for them from legal cannabis sales. It was sitting in a pot for years. They were still scared to touch it even if it was state legal because they’re scared.
Rick Kiley: Ironically, that money’s just coming around full circle because it’s all the kids in school that are buying the weed.
Lauren Yoshiko: Oh my god.
Rick Kiley: Good night, everybody.
Lauren Yoshiko: The weed’s lame to them now. They don’t care.
Jeffrey Boedges: For the record, though, I will say that we did have somebody say never.
Lauren Yoshiko: Wow.
Jeffrey Boedges: You’re the one I think definitely has the longest.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. You have an actual date that’s longest.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yes.
Rick Kiley: But we have a lot of optimists on this show. We have some people who’ve already lost.
Lauren Yoshiko: I’m still optimistic about the cannabis industry of America but, yeah, I don’t know where federal legalization actually fits into that.
Rick Kiley: And just got a lot of people, they just got to get out of the way. Cool. Well, Lauren, it has been spectacular talking to you today.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yes. So fun. Thank you, guys. Tomorrow is actually my birthday so this is like a fun little pre-birthday hang.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Normally, we sing happy birthday and wear hats if that happens on our show.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. If we know ahead of time because if we don’t, we don’t have the hats nearby.
Lauren Yoshiko: I should have said something.
Rick Kiley: That’s okay. Hopefully, we can talk to you again. If you ever need us to come chat with you guys on Broccoli Talk, we’d love that and good luck with everything in the future.
Lauren Yoshiko: That sounds great. Thank you so much for having me and see you guys around the weed world.
Jeffrey Boedges: Well, we’ll see you when we’re in Oregon.
Rick Kiley: There you go.
Lauren Yoshiko: Yes, please.
Jeffrey Boedges: I’m going to be coming there for the tourism.
Lauren Yoshiko: Good.
Rick Kiley: All right. Cheers.
Lauren Yoshiko: Bye, guys.