Deadhead Cannabis Show 0018: Vaping Crisis Continues | Jam Band's Fall Tour Update

The uncertainty of the vaping crisis has the cannabis industry calling for stricter regulation. Jim Marty and Larry Mishkin continue their discussion about how the vaping related illnesses are currently impacting the industry. They take a comprehensive look at some of the possible causes and solutions. At the end of the show they review this fall's Jam Bands concert schedule.

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Jim Marty:
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Deadhead Cannabis Show.

Jim Marty:
I'm here with my partner Larry Mishkin.

Larry Mishkin:
Jim Marty from Bridge West. Always a pleasure to be here and have a chance to talk and especially to be back in the bar here in Longmont. It's a fun place to be whether you're taping a show or not. So when I'm out the Denver area, I like to pop. I say hi to Jim, reminisce about some stuff and tape a couple of episodes in that regard. Special shout out to Hallstrom Future from the Hoban law. Group, who is helping us today with the video end. And as always, a shout out to our Dan Humiston, the show producer. And today, Dan gets the extra special award. He just said some surgery earlier this week. And the trooper that he is, he pulled himself out of the hospital and home in time to allow us to do this taping while we're out while I'm out here. So we appreciate that. Hope you feel better, Dan.

Jim Marty:
Very good. So I guess a lot of Cannabis things in the news this week and the more reported illnesses from the pens.

Larry Mishkin:
Yeah. You know, Jim, this this rape crisis is turning out to be a problem first and foremost. Of course, it's a problem for the individuals who wound up using these bad hands, because obviously the illnesses that they have are real. And that has to be our first thought was that people went out and enough to make whatever product it was that they chose. They got ill. And as we talked about last time, this is a real problem. And the industry, we believe, has certain duties to stand up and do something about it. However, the real question really is, can we get to the bottom of what's really causing this? And I know you had some thoughts on that.

Jim Marty:
Yes. Well, it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. So far, there's been very few that have been traced back to legal marijuana businesses, although I believe that may have happened. And we'll see. The industry needs standards. That's what's clear about this. They can't just introduce all these products. And I'm not just talking about Cannabis, but Hemp products as well.

Jim Marty:
We'll have whole rows of a CBS store with Hemp products. I've never seen such a rush to market without standards. You think people are putting in their bodies? So yes, a shame if this truly is related to the bait ends. These folks are getting sick. But let's you know, Larry said get to the bottom of it. And again, somebody told me this week standards were prohibition doesn't.

Larry Mishkin:
I think that's true. You know, last time we talked about the fact that there was some vitamin C acetate that was being used by the individuals who manufactured these products to help cut the the oil and therefore increase the vaporization efficiency of the product. And so that was one problem. Recently, I was able to attend some meetings with some of my colleagues to thank all of my colleagues at the Hoban law. Group just recently. And this was a hot topic of conversation because we all represent groups out there that are in the vaping industry, both on the CBD side and on the marijuana side. And some of the information that was shared actually took us a step beyond the vitamin C acetate and suggested that some of these pounds are made with inferior products. And so there could, in fact, be some leaching of the interior metals that are used to hold the oils as they get to a certain temperature. And that that could be contributing to a to the part that upsets me, Jim, is that we have some of these answers at least being thrown out there. And yet there is this terrible rush to immediately tie it to Cannabis, really to THC. And you and I were talking before we started today that there's probably lots of people out there, individuals and different types of businesses that would be just as happy to see THC not be such a success. I don't think it's important or appropriate at this point to speculate on who those types of people might be or other industries or businesses. But nonetheless, I suspect that there's a big pressure to try and find something bad with THC. And by God, this just happens to be vaping with some of the THC, some of it tobacco. What are your thoughts on that?

Larry Mishkin:
Sure. There's still plenty of people and a lot of and I think passing Amendment 64 was a mistake that was for adult use 2014. But the vape pen thing, for better or worse, it cuts across so many different types of products. I would say THC a state pens is likely not the. Charity, if you factor in CBD based vape pens plus tobacco, they say pens. THC is maybe a third of the total market. If you just divide it by those three segments.

Larry Mishkin:
Well, what's interesting is I think that one of the both of the factors that we just got to I'm talking about the vitamin C acetate as well as the inferior metal products could equally apply to any type of vaping product that you have. It doesn't just have to be THC. So the real question is, and this is going to lead in more to standards later on. But how is it that we allow certain products to reach the market? And I think that we're going to find, unfortunately, is that there's still a thriving black market for products like this. People can get them cheaply, I believe. There were these two brothers in Wisconsin who were just recently arrested and the police who arrested them were amazed at the size of the operation that they had going in their basement in terms of creating the products that we know have no safety standards. And that may very well be where this is coming from.

Jim Marty:
Yes, I heard a very interesting statistic earlier this year that cigarette smoking among high schoolers is way down from 15 to 5 percent or something. The percentages of people in high school vaping is way up.

Larry Mishkin:
Well, I think that that's probably true, too, both from a discretion point of view and ease of access. And there's no question that those products become very popular. But now, as some of these answers start to come out, I think that it is fair game to start looking at what is driving the news media and not just the news media, but so many governments, state and local, to immediately condemn every single form of vaping without really taking the time to look into this. And that's important for two reasons. Obviously, from our perspective, it's important because we represent businesses and individuals who were legally involved in this industry and are making products according to their standards. And this is bad for them. But number two, and certainly far more important is that if we don't come to the conclusion we as a society and really law enforcement as to who is the source of these counterfeit products that are causing health problems, it's going to continue. And there has to be controls as part of the industry's responsibility. But part of it is communities and states and law enforcement.

Jim Marty:
Right. And the point I was going to make is this is a these are products that millions of people like. And even with the most recent illnesses that they are related, it still pales in comparison to the people who have disease and passed away from cigarette. So these products still are way safer than cigarettes. But again, it has to get as you say, we have to get to the bottom in no rush to judgment. Yes. I would encourage government officials not to rush to judgment because, again, these are products that millions of people enjoy and they're not going to ready to give them up quite yet. We'll see how it all pans out. But yeah, go slow. See what's going on. Let's still at some point, there should be some standards and regulations. And who's to say what? Where does that come from? It's going to be the FDA. Well, the federal government's check out, which brings me to a point about Congress. I'd like to make. OK, go right ahead. That likely my list. I believe the safe banking bill will should reach the floor of the House either this week or next week. So that's up the safe banking bill. Yep. Yep. And it's one of those bills that requires a three quarters majority to pass, which is about two hundred and seventy five votes. I think they have over 300 supporting the bill. So if it gets to the floor, we should have say thank you, which is huge because it's really that's a public safety issue, among others, not being able to deposit your cash driving down to Ludlow with a couple hundred thousand dollars in 20s.

Larry Mishkin:
Well, that is a problem. And I think if they could get that passed, that would be a wonderful step towards normalization from marijuana. I know it's been something that's been in Congress for a long, long time. It has bipartisan support. Which to me is the most significant part of it. That is, my God, the. Without passing judgment one way or the other, because that's not my job to do. It seems like, you know, the people in the House and in the Senate especially, you know, can't even come to an agreement of what day of the week it is. And yet here they are, both parties supporting this bill. And I think it speaks to the fact that Cannabis is becoming more mainstream and that regardless of what state you come from, regardless of what your political ideology or affiliation is, people that like to smoke marijuana, like to smoke marijuana, and that's recognized everywhere. And the profits and the financial benefits. And the benefits to society that come from having a legal market benefit all states share. So it's wonderful to see that they're doing that with the same facts and that they're bringing it forward. It will be a real step forward for the industry, as you say, because you can get banks to take the cash. Finally, of course, the next big step is to take everything off the schedules and then we don't have to worry about the banking issues at all. But I think as we've discovered in this industry, it's baby steps.

Jim Marty:
We'll see. Yeah, we'll see what happens. We'll see when the federal government gets on board with this. But, you know, for now, in many ways, the marijuana industry is thriving. The stores are busy. Prices have stabilized and even ticked up a little bit in Colorado, where we have unlimited licenses for cultivation. So we, too, suffer from time to time with the production. But it's been interesting that there has not been overproduction this summer. Now we're a few weeks away from the outdoor crop and that usually hits around Thanksgiving. So we'll see. But right now, it's been nice to see a little uptick from eight hundred dollars a pound a year ago to wholesale top shelf as two thousand a pound in Colorado, again, for the first time in a long time.

Larry Mishkin:
I think that's great. It's wonderful to see in a state like Colorado that obviously now has the benefit of one, almost five or six years, have really put together an infrastructure. Sure. And like any other place, it's going to take a while. But I think that Colorado is a success story for anyone, no matter how you look at it, in terms of how they went from, you know, really being a Wild West Cannabis state to one that's really come around to having, you know, a pretty well regulated program, certainly good supply of, you know, adult don't use dispensaries available in the state. And they're you know, they're being very, very progressive with everything. And I think this kind of speaks to my final point that I want to make about the vaping. We made it last week. And I think it's just as important to make it now as as the industry comes along and as it really grows again. The leaders of the industry and I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, I'm talking about anyone associated in the industry, you and I and anyone who cares about what goes on. It has to be imperative that we don't sit silent and just accept whatever answers we can get for these pen situations. If we truly believe that the cause is a 9 THC related cause, we need to be out in the forefront. Companies need to be out there demonstrating and they need to be demonstrating the safety of their pens because they're going to run the risk in Illinois even. They've been talking about outline all the products and you know that that would be such a terrible blow for the industry and quite frankly, in this instance, one that it doesn't deserve.

Jim Marty:
Yeah, I agree with you. It has to be isolated to the pens because we know that THC by itself is not pops happening anyway.

Larry Mishkin:
And we also know that people have been vaping THC for 10 years and we haven't seen this type of a problem. So given the fact that it's all happened in a relatively short period of time, I think, you know, I would like to believe the logical conclusion is this. We've heard that there's a problem with the vitamin E acetate or there's a problem with the black market. And maybe there's no way to control that black market other than by having a fully robust legal market that can actually price itself in a way that could put the black market out of business. I don't know if that's something that we're going to see anytime soon.

Jim Marty:
Well, the black market is all but gone really in Colorado, within the state. The issues as friends and then in law enforcement will tell us is, you know, people export out of the states with legal Cannabis to the states was not legal. Right. And that's an issue for my opinion. The other states to kind of get on board with this and normalize your own Cannabis laws and then that will be an issue.

Larry Mishkin:
Yeah. You know what? I think that there is a lot to be said for that. And yes, it's true. It's going to take baby steps in this industry. There's a lot of good ideas out there and people are all moving in the right direction. However, something like this vaping crisis where an industry that's always on the lookout for positive news, we're going to get negative news. And we did in this instance. And if we're going to get negative news, we have to be prepared to respond to it. And we have to be prepared to step forward and to demonstrate to society like either, A, if this is our problem, we're on top of it and we're going to take care of it. If it's not our problem, that's fine. We want. We want everyone to know, well, we're still going to try to take care of it because we're going to make sure now that our our manufacturers and our producers of these products, we're not using vitamin C acetate, are using steel that measures out and tests out at the appropriate strengths and and the way it should be manufactured for these types of products. That's how we drive it going to be continued.

Jim Marty:
We'll definitely be on top of this over our next few shows and.

Dan Humiston:
I want to take a quick break. Thank you for listening to today's show. As the leading Cannabis podcast network, we're constantly adding new Cannabis podcasts to support our industry's growth. And that's why we're so excited to announce our newest podcast, The Cannabis Breakout, which premieres October 18. The show's about the thousands of Americans who remain in prison for violating Cannabis laws that have long since been overturned. The Cannabis breakout gives Cannabis political prisoners a voice. If you're a former Cannabis prisoner or have a loved one, who is Cannabis prisoner? We want to hear your story. Please go to MJBulls and sign up to be a guest.

Jim Marty:
Close up with a little talk about music.

Larry Mishkin:
Yeah. So last week, Jim, I think it was last week we were talking about, you know, what you jam band fans do in the summer when the summer's over and all that, you know, and we reach Dick's every year. And off we go. And then before we go any further, I just have to make a mention of this really quickly. I know you have someplace. I have some. Interestingly enough, although all of our boys share a lot of our interests, none of them have ever really been all that interested in taking the time to be part of our show. And I understand that as well. I do just have to shout this out, though, to my oldest son, who recently got engaged to a lovely woman from Atlanta, very excited about that.

Larry Mishkin:
However, their wedding is going to be next year over Labor Day weekend. This year, another one of the guys in my son's crew was married on Labor Day weekend. So all these guys who might otherwise be at Dick's every year are now getting married. So it just goes to show you don't ever go and you know, you have to pick those weekends when you can. So graduations, my son and his fiance say sorry to all those people that want to make it to Dick's, but now Dick's is over. So what do people do? Well, you know, there's this little thing that I've kind of forgotten about because my life and schedule just doesn't allow for it anymore. That's called fall tour. And, you know, back in the day, fall tour was a lot of fun. And, you know, you'd get up to the East Coast in the Northeast before, which are really set in. And, you know, if you were adventurous enough, you could drive around and see all the pretty leaves on your way from one show to another, sometimes down in the southeast part of the state. Do you ever have an opportunity?

Jim Marty:
You're going full tour was one of the bands not on tour, but I got to see plenty of shows at that time of the year because they come around the legal end and then later in my life. Colorado had a lot of really good shows in Denver in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, like 1991, 92, 93. So that was a plus.

Jim Marty:
That was an interesting time because that wasn't Brett Metal passed away and then they brought in both the fella from the tubes as well, Nikki Athens.

Jim Marty:
Well, as well as Bruce Hornsby as well as Bruce Hornsby.

Larry Mishkin:
So that's that's great stuff to in fact, I was watching a video on YouTube the other day of that that conglomeration of members of the band playing not long after Vincent and Bruce started playing with the band. It was really a lot of fun. You know, Vince was definitely in his infancy in terms of playing with the band, but he he fit right in and he seemed to be keeping up with everything. And Hornsby, who had played with them before, was just off on the side having a all. And Garcia was really loving it. You know, when I had to be a tough time for them with Brent gone, you know. But they really stepped in big time. What I love about fall tour these days, especially with Dena. Company, is because it's done in company instead of the Grateful Dead. You know, they know we're going to have the ability to go and play a lot of the venues that you always like to see the dead in, but just sometimes got too small for them so that companies can be playing at Madison Square Garden. They're going to pop up to Union Del on Long Island, which for people who don't know if you ever got the live Grateful Dead album Without a Net, which is really one of the last live albums they put out that was just a conglomeration of songs rather than an actual concert, although put in the order that they might be played if it was a concert they have they're probably, in my opinion, the greatest version of Eyes of the World ever played with Branford Marsalis, very famous. If you've never heard it, you've got to go listen to it.

Jim Marty:
It's an I think that and company playing the Nassau Coliseum.

Larry Mishkin:
They are indeed the NSG, NASA. And then you go. You know, maybe one of my top three favorite places ever to see the Grateful Dead, and that's Hampton Coliseum. So they'll be doing those shows while that's going on. Fish, as you know, tray playing all over the place that Mike Gordon band is playing all over the bass place. But Fish is recreating a little part of history. They're going to go on a four city tour. And I believe that they're starting in Providence and then they're going to Union Dale and, you know, food for fish heads who are certainly old enough to remember. That has to. Ring Back Shades of Alice A 1998. And what they called the Ireland Tour, which was a series of four shows played in Union Dale on Long Island and then Providence, Rhode Island. I will admit that that was actually before I started going to see the shows, but I bought that box set and it's one of my favorite sets of shows that I've, you know, that I've heard Phish play. So they're going back to their roots with that.

Jim Marty:
And then they play in Las Vegas for Halloween again.

Larry Mishkin:
I have not seen that. I know they're going to Pittsburgh and I know that they're also going to play three shows down in Charleston, North Carolina. But I am just not sure. I haven't seen anything yet about about Halloween, although would be fun to see if they come up with more good stuff. So at any rate, that is quite a bit for this show. But maybe that's what happens when we're in the barn.

Larry Mishkin:
We get a little inspired and you know, it all starts flow out and it's a absolute drop dead gorgeous day here in Colorado, just a blue sky and the leaves are just starting to turn. We're about 80 degrees. Just perfect.

Larry Mishkin:
It is gorgeous. You know, I heard it's raining back in Chicago and I'll be heading back there later. But in the meantime, it's great to be here. And it's a pleasure, as always, Tim. A real pleasure.

Jim Marty:
Over and out from the Cannabis, from the barn. Thank you all.

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