Why Joe Davis can't wait for Legacy Cannabis to disappear
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Meet Joe Davis. He's been in the legacy Canadian cannabis scene for a LONG time, but he's excited to see legacy disappear! Joe teaches about cannabis at a variety of places, and you'll learn A LOT in this video.
*Note: I know many people would rather read a blog than listen to or watch a video. That's why I provide this rough transcript of our conversation, which is not meant to be a perfectly edited blog post. Thanks for your understanding (and not blasting me in the comments.)
What You’ll Learn In This Interview
Joe Davis' (Impressive) Bio in the Cannabis Industry
How did he get started in legacy cannabis?
Joe is an autism therapist who introduced CBD to clients
Teaching About Cannabis is Joe's Passion
Using Cannabis for Fibromyalgia
Does an undernourished endocannabinoid system need more cannabis?
What does the research say about driving while under the influence of THC?
The Social Costs of Legalizing Cannabis.
Using Cannabis instead of Opiates.
Why this legacy cannabis guy is excited for legacy cannabis to disappear?
How do social justice and the war on drugs fit in?
Why Joe, a joint smoker, looks forward to the end of cannabis smoking?
What cannabis products is Joe excited about?
Andrea Meharg: Welcome back to another video at www.Revealcannabis.com. I am Andrea Meharg. I'm a certified cannabis coach and educator, and I'm really passionate about learning about cannabis and teaching you about what I learn.
Andrea Meharg: And one of the ways that I'm doing that recently is by interviewing all these awesome people who I got to meet at recent cannabis conferences. And Joe was one of these people who I was like, oh, I gotta talk to this guy. So we've already had a conversation off camera. And then I roped him into coming back and talking to me about some of the things that we discussed, because he has such a fascinating take on the industry, but because of his education and what he's done in the cannabis space, he has like fingers and kind of pies all over the place.
Andrea Meharg: So, if you're new to this series, please make sure you check out the other interviews that I've done with other canna professionals. And don't forget to like, and subscribe. All right, I'm gonna start with your bio Joe.
Joe Davis' (Impressive) Bio in the Cannabis Industry
Andrea Meharg: Joe Davis, master of education is well recognized in the Canadian cannabis industry.
Andrea Meharg: He built out Meds Cannabis Incorporated by the Toronto Pearson airport. And opened the second farm gate cannabis retail store in Canada called Royal Cannabis Supply. Joseph was a key team member in creating the CannSell retail training program in Ontario.
Andrea Meharg: That is a program that all Canadian or all Ontario, budtenders have to take in order to be certified to sell cannabis in this province. He's also the lead faculty and curriculum developer for the cannabis programs at Durham College and Centennial College. So he is teaching about cannabis all over the place.
Andrea Meharg: Recently, Joseph left his position as director of business development for the Hash Corporation and accepted a position as quality assurance manager at Black Rose Organics, a facility in Toronto that is quickly becoming, becoming known for their new brand, the gas station. Thank you so much for coming on and, um, being willing to talk to me again about this, even as I'm reading your bio it's, um, like you've been in this space for a long time.
Andrea Meharg: So this is actually where I wanna start.
How did he get started in legacy cannabis?
Andrea Meharg: Why are you in the cannabis space? Why is this important to you? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
Joe Davis: Absolutely. Andrea, thank you for having me and thank you for the introduction. Um, my cannabis story goes very far back. Um, it starts at about age 11 or 12.
Joe Davis: I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at a very young age. And I found a pound of pot in my parents' closet at a very young age. And so, um, this combination of events kind of conspired to put me on a certain trajectory. And I also happened to be in obviously a cannabis friendly home, which made it a huge impact on my life rather than having parents who Refused to have the conversation about cannabis.
Joe Davis: They rather opened the, the discussion and led the discussion and it became a very cannabis friendly home for me at a very young age air that with a mother who ran Toronto's largest tropical maintenance company. And I grew up at a very young age with my fingers in the dirt.
Joe Davis: Um, working with plants in greenhouses at a early, very early in the morning, all summer when I was a kid, I was working with my mom, uh, Toronto, um, the young egg England center, the Western Harbor castle hotel, Royal bank, ed bank, all of those places where you'd see live plants, I would be working with my mom, uh, with fingers in the dirt pretty early in the.
Joe Davis: And so, uh, you know, in my teens, I was dealing with physical pain and then I had cannabis at my disposal and I had the ability to grow plants. So very quickly I started growing cannabis, um, growing my own cannabis at a very young age, consuming cannabis, obviously sharing my cannabis with other people and then converting that cannabis into other products like hash, for example, or, um, early kinds of edibles that were made like brownies So I was doing that at a young age and then I grew up, right. I went Tover high school and university. I went to university on the east coast for psychology and sociology in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. And then I graduated and became an autism therapist out in California. And in California, I also learned how to grow, uh, cannabis outdoors using greenhouses hybrid greenhouses.
Joe Davis: And I started helping friends in different business. Growing cannabis and hybrid greenhouses in California under prop 15, the first cannabis regulations in the world. And I felt very lucky to be a part of that program, the medical program in California, uh, as a patient and as a grower.
Joe is an autism therapist who introduced CBD to clients
Joe Davis: And, uh, as an autism therapist, I worked for the United States Marine Corps, which was a pretty great opportunity.
Joe Davis: So the families of soldiers who were being shipped out to Afghanistan and Iraq at the time I was working with their kiddos who were on the spectrum or who had a T or dual diagnoses or complex diagnoses of different types. So I was working in cannabis and I was working in autism. I moved back to Toronto, um, and I started working with private.
Joe Davis: Families. And those families were searching for solutions because traditional ABA, autism therapy, wasn't working for everybody. And I actually got into some new modalities of autism therapy here in Toronto, um, called integrative multi treatment disciplines. So, we were doing play therapy and joining therapy where we literally do the same behaviors as the and really innovative different things.
Joe Davis: And so these parents were open to different ideas of. Healing autism could look like. And I bought three of the families of the 50 plus families that I worked for to try CBD oil for their kiddos. And they worked with clinics here in Toronto to acquire their CBD. Of course, they weren't just getting it from anyone.
Joe Davis: Uh, they went to Cano clinic at young egg Clinton, actually, that was the clinic that I got them into. And I think NAAC was the other one. Um, before they. Switched into another entity, but some of the early clinics here in Toronto and Canada were linked up with these families, uh, who had autism were on the autism spectrum.
Joe Davis: They got CBD oil and that was kind of my foray into the legal Canada. Um, at that time, Ford became premier of Ontario, the province of Ontario, and he threatened to cut autism. And what happened is I, I really had to take a look at my life and these families couldn't afford my special services anymore of, uh, you know, doing this kind of intensive treatment.
Joe Davis: There's not a lot of men who do autism therapy. And so I was kind of a rarity in, in the field. But, um, with that my income, I decided to pair my passions for cannabis and education and found an opportunity, which you mentioned in my introduction at Durham college to build out the cannabis program there.
Teaching About Cannabis is Joe's Passion
Joe Davis: And it's kind of. Gone forward from there. Cause of my formal, I also have an E D as you mentioned in the introduction in instructional design and curriculum development, which qualifies me to do that kind of thing. So I have a very unique set of skills where I, uh, have a passion for and an interest in cannabis.
Joe Davis: And I really understand the language of cannabis and. Speak with it about it with confidence, but I also have this formal education and education mm-hmm , which allows me to create curriculum. Um, and so that pairing of special skills allowed me to flourish at Durham college, getting college can sell, as you mentioned, and, um, building out facilities as well.
Andrea Meharg: okay. This is where I wanna like a little bit nerd out. And like, if you're not a cannabis educator, just like, I don't know, go sing a song for a little bit. um, this is also my passion is teaching about cannabis and it's fascinating to me that you have this like super specific set of skills.
Andrea Meharg: You're not like I'm a teacher, but you have actual education in how to design curriculum. Um, so I'm. I'm really just fascinated by that aspect of your life. And it's amazing that you've been able to create curriculums for three different, um, com well not, I mean, the colleges I imagine were pretty similar, but three totally different types of, um, learners.
Andrea Meharg: So yeah, I just, if you are also a cannabis educator and there's lots of us who watch this kind of thing, go check out Joe, cuz he is got lots going.
Using Cannabis for Fibromyalgia
Andrea Meharg: Okay. I wanna go back to also, you said that your journey started with fibro and cannabis around 12. Now we know now that, um, cannabis can be extremely helpful specifically in this trifecta of conditions, fibromyalgia, um, irritable bowels syndrome and migraines.
Andrea Meharg: Um, we know that now, but at 12 years old, Were you connecting fibro to cannabis? Like how did that work? You found a bag of pot. You weren't like this might help my fibro
Joe Davis: I'm glad you mentioned that. So, I did try several, uh, standard medications, pharmaceutical medications that didn't work for me, but no, I didn't actually consciously think of cannabis as an alternative.
Joe Davis: It became an alternative through self, um, cell diagnosis and I was kind. I realized it later as an, as an adult, I'm like, okay. I was clearly, um, self-prescribing with cannabis, but at the time, no, I thought I was just having fun. Um, now I will say that I, I don't get high from cannabis and, and that started at a very youngie like I got high the first couple times that I consumed cannabis, but very quickly I had to get into higher doses, like hash and edible.
Joe Davis: Because I wasn't feeling what my friends were feeling. My friends were describing these highs that I was not getting. And so I guess that, you know, in hindsight that looking back, I could think that that was the first indication to me that what it was doing to my body was actually creating a, a state of homeostasis rather than intoxicating me.
Joe Davis: And, and I think that that. Also gave me some kind of an idea that cannabis, um, had some ability to do something to us that wasn't just about getting messed up or getting intoxicated, but did I directly connect it to helping with my fibro? No. I realized that like I realized that all kinds of drugs could help me kill me.
Joe Davis: And I went down that road, unfortunately at a young age, um, of trying all kinds of different drugs to heal that physical pain. Uh it's in my older, more mature years that I made that direct connection and was able to make a more formal, take a formal approach at healing or managing my condition with cannabis in a much more organized way and thoughtful.
Does an undernourished endocannabinoid system need more cannabis?
Andrea Meharg: I have a couple of follow-up questions about that one. Do you feel like, is it your understanding that the more malnourished, the more, the more malnourished your under cannabinoid system is, or the more, the more chronic your condition is, or the worse shape that you're under cannabinoid system is in? For example, That, when you're consuming THC in that state, that maybe you're just bringing yourself back up to normal and that's why you're not getting high.
Andrea Meharg: Like, is this something that you would say that you see in like bigger populations? I'm the same? I also don't get high. Like, I can't remember. Last time I got high, I used cannabis for depression. For me, it just makes me feel like I'm normal. Like, oh, I can get up and get up around, around the, the, you know, around my life kind of thing.
Andrea Meharg: But I. Okay. Just, is that your understanding that I. Bringing myself back up to normal.
Joe Davis: I love that again. I love this question. That's a great question, Andrea. And we had this discussion about body temperature a few weeks ago on a, in another discussion. Like does it just always do the same thing to everyone and no, I, I don't think it does.
Joe Davis: I think for me, I need a lot of cannabinoids in my body. I need to be saturated with them in order to feel normal to your point. And in fact, one kind of cannabis doesn't do it. When I consume cannabis, that's not just one strain. I usually have a salad of strains, like multiple strains.
Joe Davis: I put hash in everything I consume. Uh, so I'm never just consuming one genetic or cultivar of cannabis. I'm consuming multiple times at all times. So, I can get that broad spectrum, not even full spectrum, broad, like beyond fault. Um, uh, and, and I find I get some relief normalcy out of that. You asked if you think that, um, consuming cannabis just brings you back to that normal, and I don't think that's true for everyone and here's a bit of science and research.
Joe Davis: It helped contextualize my answer. We know from research that individuals who are on the spectrum to keep pulling from that population. Since I have that information to top of mind, um, many people who are on the spectrum, autism spectrum of disorders. Have a, a different endocannabinoid system than ourselves.
Joe Davis: In fact, they're receptors, they're CB two receptors, which THC binds to, um, uh, they are more there, there are more of them. They have many more of them. And so that starts to beg the question of does that mean they need more cannabis? So, in order to bind to all of those receptors? Well, actually, no, the opposite of true is true.
Joe Davis: They actually need much less cannabis because they have so many receptors. So, I mean, I think your question is a great one because it gets us into this interesting dialogue about edge of science on cannabis, which we don't have answers to yet. We're still learning. Every single day. And, and that's, what's so exciting about this industry is we don't have clear answers to this yet.
Joe Davis: Is it changing your body temperature or mod body temperature or Jeff's body temperature or Muhammad's body temperature? We don't, we don't know yet. Uh, and those studies are still being done. I'm very excited to read about those kinds of studies, where people are actually consuming cannabis and getting, um, F MRI functional MRIs or biofeedback or something like that.
Joe Davis: Looking at athletes specif. In cannabis, what that's doing to repair the body. We don't know.
Andrea Meharg: I'm gonna link to a video that if you're interested in this conversation specifically with autism, and I know that there's so many people who are investigating cannabis now for autism, Dr. Bonnie Goldstein did a really quick, like, I think it was like a seven minute video where she talked about, um, using cannabis to bring these kids back into just their own state of balance.
Andrea Meharg: Um, and I think it would pair really well with this conversation. So I'm really glad that you brought that up. Thank you so much.
What does the research say about driving while under the influence of THC?
Andrea Meharg: Let's talk more about research cuz on our last call you were schooling me about, um, what happens when we consume THC and then go drive. There's been a lot of studies on this over time and the general consensus among cannabis consumers is.
Andrea Meharg: I'm totally fine to drive, right? Like I'm gonna go and I'm gonna smoke a joint and I'm gonna be totally fine to drive. And a lot of us feel like we're definitely much more safe than people who consume alcohol and go drive. Like, if anything, I drive slowly and more carefully, but the research plays out differently.
Andrea Meharg: Doesn't it. So, tell us about that.
Joe Davis: It really does. And I mean, this was in the context for you and I in our original discussion of actually the cost to society. And I think that's a good place to start for us is that, is that we think that when we legalize cannabis, there's gonna be a huge influx of tax revenues and everybody's gonna save money and make money, but that's not actually the case.
Joe Davis: These, uh, traffic related incidents actually cause society quite a bit of. And I think that's a good starting point for this discussion is that when you look at different regions around the world that have legalized cannabis, not only do we see some tax revenue, like the, the great stories out of Colorado, a few years ago of the abundance of tax revenue that led to the building of schools, right?
Joe Davis: Like that wonderful story, but we're not reading the headlines about the social costs. And this is one case that I think is a really good one to talk to about people. Cause we have the data to back it up. Um, so I'm, I actually have my slides. And cuz this is my Centennial students get this class, right? Ooh bonus. We're gonna pull a little bit of content from one of my classes. I think this is week six. Okay. I'm not even gonna go into presentation mode because we're both teachers here and there's probably a lot of your, um, Watchers, your viewers who are also educators, uh, we're not gonna get into tree mode, but I did wanna share this information with you rather than just, um, trying to paraphrase it.
Joe Davis: I, I wanted to give you the real numbers and provide you the sources of that information too, to see that I'm not making this. I will also provide the caveat that at a personal level. I think there's also another discussion to be had about, um, people who have a medical recommendation for cannabis and people who use cannabis recreationally, so to speak.
Joe Davis: Or I don't use cannabis. I will never not have cannabis in my system. At any time, if I get pulled over by a police officer and I get one of these, um, drug testing kits, I would test positive and, and tens of thousands of Canadians who are, um, medical patients of cannabis. Would also constantly test positive.
Joe Davis: So I think that's important to discuss, and that's still not resolved. You use a Drager 5,000 device, which is unreliable here in Canada. Been proven to dysfunction in cold weather. Hey, did we know that Canada's cold? Maybe we shouldn't use that kind of a device. Um, and it also doesn't prove intoxication.
Joe Davis: It just proves the presence of THC, which is the most important thing. In other words, the police still need to bring in what's called a Dre or a drug recognition. They still have to give you the same tests as if you're drinking alcohol, like walking on a line and doing the alphabet backwards and touching your nose and all that stupid stuff.
Joe Davis: Um, and they could still test you as positive and they could then take your blood. So the police now have the right to actually take your blood and keep your blood to prove that you're intoxicated with Oh, wow. Yeah, it's pretty serious because lawyers are all over that saying, Hey, the police don't have a right to keep your genetic material.
Joe Davis: Um, but that's essentially what they're doing in the extreme. And before we get
Andrea Meharg: into this. Yeah. Is it your understanding that this is gonna have to play out in court? Like somebody who's a chronic cannabis user, um, who has a medical recommendation is gonna test positive. They're gonna get their blood, their blood serum.
Andrea Meharg: Level's gonna be too high and they're gonna have to have the ability to take this to court to prove that they weren't
Joe Davis: intoxicated. It has happened. And in this class on another few slides, uh, I actually do discuss the case of a woman from Nova Scotia who was pulled over if this was already five years ago.
Joe Davis: Now I think at least maybe even seven years ago now, I think it might have been 2015, 2016. She was pulled over. She tested positive for cannabis. She was, um, Uh, rain for impaired driving her car was impounded. Her license was suspended. She went to court, she fought the charges. She proved to the judge that she was not intoxicated at the time.
Joe Davis: The charges were all dropped. However, the reality of the situation is her car would still impounded. Her license was still suspended and she had to reinstate her license and get her car out of impound, which costs. Money and time and effort, and she was without a car and a license for time. Um, so that's just a reality of that situation.
Joe Davis: And the other reality is these are police officers, they're individuals, so speak to police officers with respect and try to appeal to their better selves and try to educate them on some things, if you possibly can, because they're human beings and you know, being nice helps. Um, so who knows what happened in that interaction that.
The Social Costs of Legalizing Cannabis
Joe Davis: But with regard to the data that you were asking about and social costs of cannabis, the traffic injury foundation research foundation has found that cannabis related traffic deaths are increasing in Canada. And this is post legalization, even medical legalization. We're seeing that between the years, 2000 and 2014, which overlaps the beginning of legalization here in Canada, in Canada for medical purposes, the percentage of alcohol related traffic deaths in Canada declined.
Joe Davis: So T I T I RFS national fatality database shows that 35% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for alcohol in 2000 as compared to 12%. Who tested positive for cannabis in 2014, 14 years later, alcohol related traffic that's fell to 28% while fatal cannabis related accidents increased to 19%. And what's interesting about these figures is if you can do the quick math there, the difference 35 and 28% and 12 and 19% is 7%.
Joe Davis: So that just, uh, it didn't decrease. They just switched. Now the other slide, which I think is more telling is the next slide. So in 2012 cannabis attributable traffic collisions were estimated to have cost 75 deaths, 4,407 injuries, 7,794. People were involved in property damage, only collisions. And all of this was at a cost of 1,094,000,972 $62.
Joe Davis: Yeah, that's significant. That's significant. We're talking about, I'm gonna stop sharing now and bring it back to us, but that's, that's more than a billion dollars in social costs, just from traffic related, uh, cannabis attributable incidents.
Andrea Meharg: And is there any data that you know of there must be about traffic related incidents and deaths due to prescription drug fatalities?
Andrea Meharg: Like. I get this, I see this, we're using more cannabis as it's being legalized. We're having more cannabis related accidents. I can totally understand that. But as you and I were talking earlier about like both of us testing positive for THC in our system, I know many people who are, you know, taking a couple of popping a couple of perks before they head off to work in the morning because they need to, to manage their back pain and are, do we.
Andrea Meharg: Like, are we tracking that when people get into accidents? Oh, was he on way too much prescription drugs? Um, there's, there's just this isn't this isn't just like, it's not just one issue is, is where I'm getting at. And maybe I'm just feeling, Like attacked cuz sometimes I drive when I have THC in my system.
Joe Davis: So, uh, yeah. I mean, yes, there, that data is definitely capped because any kind of incident like that, you'd probably, um, be asked for your blood alcohol levels or your like in that incident, in those incidents, getting somebody's blood level is warranted. There's merit. Yes. I think that there is a lot of, uh, data gathered on prescription medication use related to cannabis attributable incidents.
Joe Davis: And I don't know what that research is, but I'd be very curious. I'm so glad that you brought that up, cuz I think that is very relevant. Whether it's alcohol or cannabis or prescription drug or distracted driving, I think that this is, this is the discussion we need to have. Um, but what you are raising, which is, I.
Joe Davis: Context of our discussion in entire is the stigma against cannabis is still very real. And when you're dealing with a police officer, you know, talking about this Nova Scotia incident, um, police officers are not very well educated on cannabis. And when they hear about or see cannabis, they equate it with crack and cocaine and heroin.
Joe Davis: Just like, uh, Reagan. Yeah. Some of those in the seventies, because that's the age. These cops come. And
Andrea Meharg: because it's a drug, right? For many people, this is still a drug that, you know, the same way that we lump them all in together back then. Um, just so much to think about there. Okay. As far, if we're still gonna stay in this whole, like, Total cost to society when we're legalizing cannabis, which I really love this idea.
Using Cannabis instead of Opiates
Andrea Meharg: We talked earlier about how cannabis proponents often don't talk about like the downsides of cannabis use. I do wanna talk about what it means when we're, um, getting to a place maybe where we're starting to consider cannabis instead of opiates.
Andrea Meharg: Do you know like where, where, where could the societal costs be benefited there? When we know what's happening with opiate overdoses and how cannabis can be such an adjunct medicine, if not take it right over. Um, what do you think about that whole situation?
Joe Davis: Great discussion. Love diving into that. Um, so there's good research on that already here in Vancouver, Canada, not here like in Vancouver and Canada, uh, they already have a program for people who use opiates to get free cannabis.
Joe Davis: And there's a clinic where they can go to get free cannabis, to help manage their opiate addiction. The concern with that is that now you've created an opportunity for people to do, um, polysubstance. As it's called in the industry in, in addictions counseling, poly substance use. So now that you had somebody who is just using heroin, well, now they're using heroin and cannabis and the research on polysubstance use is not very good.
Joe Davis: As you can imagine, any more substance you add to your behavior, your activities, you're increasing the statistical odds for car accidents or. Loss of income or relationship problems or anything like that. So I think that it's, uh, a tricky topic. However, at the same time, we have great documentaries out by companies like weed maps who created a documentary called the exit drug, which discusses and shows cases of people who have replaced their opiates with cannabis.
Joe Davis: So, I mean, something you'll learn about me is I don't take sides. I see the merits of both sides of many contentious issues. And this is one of them where I really do think that, uh, there's a, there's a strong camp with good research that says that cannabis can be an exit drug, but there's also good research that says that cannabis is addictive, and it can be very damaging.
Joe Davis: I mean, you can go on YouTube and. Google, some videos of like us Marines who had cannabis addiction, and they're crying. You're looking at these dudes who are like historically really well trained, be tough as nails, and they're crying about their cannabis addiction. And you have other people out there being like no one can be addicted to cannabis.
Joe Davis: Yes. Yes you can. Uh, because it's not the addiction it's, uh, gab or Monte, very famous. Addictions researcher said, don't ask why the addiction asked why the pain. And so it's not what they're addicted to. It's why they're addicted to something, be video games, pornography, cannabis, anything. Right. Um, so yeah, I think that that cannabis can be a good replacement for opiates, but there's a whole other side of the discussion, which is this in it called the substance use that we have to be very careful.
Andrea Meharg: And this is also not like this. Isn't something where you're sitting at home and you're watching this and you're like, oh, I'm using way too many opiates. I'm gonna start, um, increasing my cannabis use to see if I can't level this out. Like, this is something that if you're considering this doing it alongside a doctor or an addiction, somebody who's helping you do this, obviously.
Andrea Meharg: Yeah. I hadn't, I'm all on the pro. We should be using cannabis instead of opiates. And I, yeah, I'm so glad that. That you brought that up.
Joe Davis: I am too. I I'm all about cannabis instead of opiates. Um, I have known people in life who have gone down that road and I have seen how cannabis can help people. Uh, I see how it's helped people who have cancer and they don't wanna take their Daud all the time because it makes them fuzzy and they would like to be still around their family, uh, and be conscious and available.
Joe Davis: So I, I see the merits of it. I think it's just to your point, we need to have it be clinician guided. For most people. Most people probably cannot, um, wean themselves off of a tough thing, like opiates into cannabis, and it should probably be responsibly guided by a clinician. Although
Andrea Meharg: on the flip side, like the reason that I feel really passionately about this is because I see it over and over and over again at, with students at the cannabis coaching Institute where the reason that they wanna go spread the word about this is because they themselves have come off multiple medications and are now managing their back pain or their lung diseases with cannabis.
Why this legacy cannabis guy is excited for legacy cannabis to disappear
Andrea Meharg: Okay. I wanna dive into, um, more the industry side of the cannabis industry. Let's do it, especially because you've been here in this space for a long time. Um, you and I were talking a little bit about the difference between the legacy market sometimes called the black market or the gray market, and, you know, the future of corporate cannabis and corporate cannabis here in Canada is.
Andrea Meharg: I'm sure. It's like corporate everything, right? Corporate beer, corporate cars, corporate, everything else. That's how cannabis is here, which is for me super disappointing. Cuz I kind of thought that everyone should love the plant a little bit. And it turns out that that's not the case, but you, you said to me in our last conversation, you're like, yeah.
Andrea Meharg: Um, you know, I'm really grateful that we're here, but I'm excited for legacy to dis disappear. And I was like, what is happening? So tell me about that.
Joe Davis: Yeah. I mean, um, let's just back up a little bit to black market gray market legacy. Let's talk about that and unpack after a second, because I don't think they are all the same thing.
Joe Davis: Um, okay. To me, there's a big difference between black market gray market and legacy to me, the black market is the market or the illegal market long before any form of legalization ever existed. That is completely unregulated. There was no semblance of regulations whatsoever. Gray market for me is the market that existed when the regulations were kind of gray and fuzzy and unclear.
Joe Davis: And we had a lot of shops opening up that thought that they were legal and presented themselves as. They had clinics in front of them sometimes. Um, these for me were gray market, uh, access points for cannabis because they really did try to go legal and they really were trying to work within the regulations to see where they were gonna fit and, and try and be, you know, get first movers advantage, which is fair in a new industry.
Joe Davis: Like we created a new legal industry overnight, uh, of porch. It was gonna be a little bit fuzzy. And so I do think that. To me, the gray market. And then when we use the term legacy, really what we're trying to talk about is we're talking about the people and the brands and the companies that created real companies in, in that fuzzy area.
Joe Davis: And we used the word legacy as a way to respect the people who did that work in a time of legal, um, And it was dangerous, right? These people got locked up, they took risks, they lost their children. They like these people took a lot of big risks to be involved in cannabis because like us, they had a passion for it.
Joe Davis: They believed in it. They saw what it could do and wanted to work with it. And it just happened to be illegal at the time. And they couldn't work within the legal framework. So they took that risk. And the way that we respect those people is we call them legacy. Um, and that's a word that. View. I, I identify as somebody who's a legacy community member.
Joe Davis: Now, as you mentioned, I do think that there, um, has been a time for legacy. This is the year 2022 in Canada has been the year for what we call legacy to legal, this transition of the people who were working within the gray market as legacy operator. Fully contextualized the language as I use it. Um, they were legacy operators in the gray market and sometimes in the black market.
Joe Davis: And now they're transitioning into the legal market, using the regulations as they're written to formalize their businesses legally, which I think is wonderful. It's inspiring. This is the year for it. We have otros Ash corporation. Fritz's. Flirt blessed. This is like the year where Canadian brands who busted their chops at the green market, uh, rep to Lisa Campbell and Macari agency.
Joe Davis: Uh, the green market here in Toronto was a huge thing for many years where these vendors who created brands like branded product and packages with labels and every warnings and dosages and recommended direction, like everything they could possibly do to legitimize what they were doing were vending this stuff at green markets.
Joe Davis: And. Creating booths and then stores would pop up. It was selling their. These vendors are transitioning over. And, uh, this has been a great year for them, for us. And we're very proud to finally work our way in through those big corporations, because it's been a slog it's been incredibly difficult and not all of them are doing incredibly well.
Joe Davis: It's a very, it's a huge challenge and insurmountable calendar really bring a formally illegal company into the legal. But here we are. This is where we're at. As we have this moment in time, this kind of flash in a pan where the legacy can shine a little bit. Those drops open to flagship store. They took over high variety, pretty huge cookies.
Joe Davis: Moved in on queen west here in Toronto. This is a formally illegal legacy brand that made the flip. And I think that, um, it's really important that we have this in the cannabis industry. Right? We need more of this because we don't. We don't have equity in the industry. We have people who are victims of the war on drugs.
Joe Davis: As I call them, we had a war on drugs. Right? Thanks, Nick Nixon and Reagan for that term, what do you have in a war? You get victims. We have victims in the war on drugs. We're trying to operate in the new legal cannabis industry and it's not working very well. So kudos to all of those who have found their way in.