Why Joe Davis can't wait for Legacy Cannabis to disappear
Updated: Sep 10
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.
Joe Davis: But, um, I think this is the year for it. And I don't think that to your point, corporate cannabis. If you look at corporate, anything else it's not like that. Look at, uh, what is it called AB in Bev or in AB Bev, whatever they're called in, uh, in Canada here, they own all the craft breweries. Okay. They operate them as if they're craft breweries, but they're actually owned by a massive conglomerate.
Joe Davis: Um, and that's, what's happening in cannabis. You see this with canopy plea, gobbling up brands, and they're just brand. And that's what's gonna happen in cannabis is you're gonna have these massive corporations company constellation brand, the beverage company that owns can essentially owns canopy food.
Joe Davis: Now. So I think that legacy is great. I identify as legacy. My friends are legacy. I would love to see legacy survive. But the reality is, is that we got what we asked for. We wanted legal cannabis. We wanted cannabis to be a product like every other. And if that's what you want, and you're gonna get the cheese screens of cannabis, you're gonna get the Kelloggs.
Joe Davis: You're gonna get CPG consumer package goods of cannabis. Very soon. Um, and so I think that legacy is gonna go the way of the Toto with very few examples of, of its true legacy remaining in the next few years.
Andrea Meharg: So why were you excited about that? Cause you were excited about regulations and yeah. So tell me like.
Andrea Meharg: What, why are you? Yeah. Why are you excited?
Joe Davis: I'm excited because I want the normalization of cannabis. I'm excited because it's time to end the stigma, the stereotypes and stigma associated with cannabis have caused a lot of detriment to individuals. And I think stoner iconography is over. Um, the idea of being a stoner is immature and, and kind of irresponsible at this point.
Joe Davis: It's almost like being a cowboy at the end of the cowboy days. Um, you know, you gotta hang up your hat and your spurs and your revolver. You don't need that anymore. We're not riding around on horses. Shooting people anymore. And I think that's kind of the same thing with the cannabis industry is we don't need to flip act anymore the illegal cannabis industry and being a stoner and, and being that kind of person behaving in that way, dressing in that way, taking on that persona and identifying in that way.
Joe Davis: Cause we were a counterculture it's coming to an end. We're no longer at counterculture. We're just culture. We're just becoming culture. And that means that we're normalizing formalizing. And I am excited for that because I can't wait for the end of, uh, disproportionate arrests of people of. I can't wait for all of the people who are still locked up and still have charges to be, to have all those charges expunged, not just, not just pardon, not just forgiven, like, oh, we under, we you're.
Joe Davis: Okay. We forgive you for what you did, but it's still on your record. No, I mean, expunged, like if your company's making millions and billions of dollars on this thing, there should be no one locked up and there should be no one with a criminal record for it. So I'm super excited for the end of legacy. To me, the end of legacy also signals the beginning of normalization and formalization of cannabis industry into an industry like every other.
Andrea Meharg: I, I really like that perspective on it. I've I've never heard that take on it. You were talking earlier about, um, moving away from smoking. Like you're not people aren't gonna be smoking. People are gonna be drinking beverages. That was really where you were going.
How do social justice and the war on drugs fit in?
Andrea Meharg: And I love how you brought in. To this, the social equity piece and the war on drugs piece, how does all that come back in and fit?
Andrea Meharg: How are we going? It doesn't like, what are we gonna do in cannabis to make sure if corporate cannabis is running the show? How do we make sure, even as we're coming up on four years, legalization that those who have been impacted disproportionately by and still are every day it's 2022. It's still, I, I am much less likely to be, um, pulled over on the street for a smoke at a joint than my black friend.
Andrea Meharg: Um, What are we gonna do? How can we fix this? What is the future for you as somebody who's so passionate about all these issues yet also are excited for corporate cannabis. Like I wanna, I wanna, how does this work going forward?
Joe Davis: Yeah, that's really tough. Um, we have some examples out of San Francisco, for example, of a one button erasure of, uh, of records, criminal records.
Joe Davis: They literally just pushed a button and all criminal records related to cannabis in San Francisco were deleted over. Here in Canada. Unfortunately, records are not maintained that way. They're not maintained in a central system. And this is actually information that I got from David Brown, who runs a publication called Strat can here in Canada, wonderful sorts of cannabis, uh, news and information across the country.
Joe Davis: He's following every new license that gets issued, who cancels their licenses. He's on top of every kind of news information. So if you're looking for Canada news and Canada Strat can, is the. And David and I had a chat about this and his whole thing was like, yeah, it's idealistic to think that we could move to expungement that quickly because Canada's just not our, our infrastructure is not maintained like that when it comes to managing criminal records and documentation, they're all in separate places.
Joe Davis: So I'll give you a big reveal here. Reveal cannabis. Um, I had to get criminal records cleared. I have my health Canada security clearance now, but I had to do a lot of work to get my records expunged in order to do so. And again, we're using a different word, not pardon, but expungement. Mm-hmm the process for me is the process for any other Canadian.
Joe Davis: And it's a process that very few people know you actually have to call the very same, uh, police precinct, where you were arrested. You can't just call a headquarters or a central location. You have to call the exact precinct where you were process. You have to remember which one you were processing, whether it was RCMP or police.
Joe Davis: Uh, you have to remember the charges that you. You actually have to find that out yourself. They're not, you can't just call and say, Hey, I got arrested for something so many years ago, and I'd like you to delete my records. You actually have to call the place where you arrested fingerprinted and held or processed.
Joe Davis: You have to ask them after seven years to destroy your records, you have to fill in documentation to officially ask for that information. And sometimes you have to pay processing fees. It took me about seven to 10 years to get that all. It's a, it's an onerous process. It's not easy. They make it very difficult.
Joe Davis: They've made the pardon process since legalization much easier, but the expungement process is no easier. It's very difficult. And that's all that matters when you cross the us border. When, when you cross the us border, they don't care if you had a part and that's, that's only something you can get from the president of the us there.
Joe Davis: They don't have something called expungements. So they don't, and you
Andrea Meharg: can't, you can't work. You can't have certain licenses to work in the cannabis industry. If you don't have your record expunged as well. Right. You said you had some. Clearance.
Joe Davis: Yes. I have a health cannabis security clearance, which allows me to be, um, what's called a responsible person in charge at the, at the cannabis facility where I'm working right now, which you mentioned at the beginning, black rose organics.
Joe Davis: Mm-hmm . It allows me to be, um, the individual who has security clearance so that people can work with cannabis, plants and cannabis material. If there's nobody with security clearance on site at the time here in Canada, the regulations say you can't go into the rooms that are cannabis, present rooms. It's cause it's so dangerous.
Andrea Meharg: You know, like I killed billions.
Joe Davis: I was doing a security walkthrough today, just going around the fence and looking at our barbed wire and our fencing. And I was like, thinking to myself, has there ever once in all of the years of legalization been a, a robbery of a legal cannabis, has anybody ever tried to break into a legal cannabis facility and steal can like, that's the stupidest thing that anybody could ever.
Joe Davis: To do, and I just don't think it's ever happened. So these regulations are definitely overboard. Um, Canada in particular has decided to create a regulatory framework for Canada. It's not an economic. Framework, and that has caused the big problems. We don't have economic incentives to succeed just regulatory incentives to like restrict our ability to succeed.
Joe Davis: Um, and to that end, I think that, no, I think it's gonna be a very long, hard road to expungement for people and to equity for people who identify as victims of, uh, the war on drugs. I, I think that we see examples of failure of this all over in every different region that is legalized. We see the failure of equity and diversity programs and inclusion programs for candidates in.
Andrea Meharg: Yeah. Even recently in New York, when they're going through their legalization process, they said that they were gonna have like a special program for those who were impacted by the war on drugs and to be able to enter the legal cannabis industry. But the barriers to entry are enormous financially, knowing people being able to fill out all the.
Andrea Meharg: Paperwork paperwork, et cetera. So it was like, it, it looked good. Do you know when they came out, but they didn't mean it. There's no teeth behind that regulation as far as actually helping the people who could benefit from legalization, get in there that's
Joe Davis: is in Oakland. Sorry to interrupt. But before we go, I know you want to go onto something else cuz you, you get onto an idea and you wanna just unpack it all.
Joe Davis: So I wanna do that with you, but before you do, let's talk about social equity programs in Oakland. Before we get topic. because there are examples of them, but they're failure. There was a social equity program in Oakland, outside of San Francisco that created a fund. So everybody who did get a cannabis license had to put into this fund that would help to raise money for people who were victims of the war on drugs, and they could start their own cannabis facility.
Joe Davis: However, what happened is that fund didn't get refunded. So once that was de deleted, and other companies were now all those same companies who paid into it were growing, growing, growing, growing, growing, and all those people who got the micro loans outta the equity program couldn't grow anymore. Cause there was no money to refund them anymore.
Joe Davis: So effectively they were gained into these small micro loans, and they couldn't get money from anywhere else. So, these big companies that paid into the fund initially to look good, Optics then grew their companies huge, bigger than the small companies that they helped to fund. And it became again, a huge and like bought them up, like for pennies on the dollar, like, come on.
Andrea Meharg: Okay. Yeah. I mean there's loads of failure in the cannabis. Space just in general, there is the Canadian corporate cannabis industry seems to just be constantly falling apart. I don't know. I don't follow it super closely, but it seems like that, um, in the states there's various states that are doing things that, that look pretty good.
Andrea Meharg: And then various states who are again, falling apart. I wanna see some hope from you.
Why Joe, a joint smoker, looks forward to the end of cannabis smoking?
Andrea Meharg: Like, what do you see? What's bright in the future for you
Joe Davis: a of, and this is somebody who really big joints, like. I smoke. I smoke a bunch of those every day. They're full of hash. Um, so I am a smoker, but I think that we're coming to the end of smoking. It's again, it's a cowboy thing. The it's like how many people roll their own tobacco anymore? Carry around a pouch of tobacco.
Joe Davis: It's not a thing. I think that dried flour in a pouch is going to be gone in three to five years, maybe 10 years max, but this whole idea of having a raw flower and a bag being break up and roll. Over, we're going to CPG really fast. And to me, that's exciting because we know that burning and combusting something and inhaling.
Joe Davis: It is not good for your health. Now research does show that actually smoking cannabis is not like smoking tobacco. It increases your lung capacity, believe it or not. And it's even been, um, acknowledged by insurance companies who know who, when they ask you, if you smoke can give you some points. If you say tobacco, but not, if you say cannabis, that's how deep the research goes on consuming cannabis.
Joe Davis: And it's a function of pulmonary function inhibition, or not on your pulmonary. So, I still do believe that inhaling burning paper is not good for you. I think that inhaling resin like that is probably not good for you. I, as somebody who's into fitness and training, feel the impact of smoking burn cannabis and paper.
Joe Davis: I'm trying to minimize my use of it. I'm trying to smoke
Andrea Meharg: only seven of those big ones a day now. Oh, I'm down to five. Okay. It's down to five folks. I'm with ya. I'm also trying to get off the joint,
Joe Davis: you know, so I'm smoking bongs and pipes more, you know, frequently, cause glass is such a beautiful way to consume cannabis.
Joe Davis: And if nobody's tried to hash pedal yet, To consume some hash, I would recommend trying a hash kettle. Uh, it's a way I don't even know what a hash kettle is. I need now I need to go Google it and put a picture up so everyone can see it.
Joe Davis: Oh, it's this device that I conceptualized with, uh, a friend of mine to smoke hash without doing, it's like a bottle to, uh, without tap a tobacco or cannabis.
Joe Davis: So you can smoke hash in a glass device without, um, mixing it with. Um, so the hash cattle, I think is exciting and glass of all different kinds and I think is a great way to consume cannabis, but we're still talking about combusting.
What cannabis products is Joe excited about?
Joe Davis: So, I think that we're talking now, uh, what's exciting me is all the new form factors of cannabis beverages in slips, the things that go under your tongue today, first time ever. I'm doing, I don't know if you can see it, but a transdural is on my arm. Oh yeah, I can. Yeah. So I'm trying to trans dural right now for the first time.
Joe Davis: Um, and I think that's really exciting, especially from a medical perspective. Think about the baby boomers, the oldest population, uh, in north America, in the world. And they're all kind of cannabis friendly cuz they come from the sixties. Um, they don't wanna smoke when they're in their sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, but they'll take one of these.
Joe Davis: And if they're in an old folk home and they're dealing with fibro or they're dealing with Alzheimer's or they're dealing. Pain in their hands. Uh, they can get relief in a much better way. That's, that's easier for their body to absorb it's more bio available. In other words, smoking is not the most bioavailable way.
Joe Davis: You're losing a lot. This is this transdermal patch under the tongue or a beverage that's, Maning emulsified much more bio availability. In other words, your body. Re up taking more of that cannabinoid or whatever it is you're putting in your system. Um, so I'm excited for all those new form factors. Like you can hear it in my voice, right?
Joe Davis: I'm not a big drinker of cannabis. I'm not a big vapor of cannabis, but I think that's the future that the future is. And you can see it in all CPP. Look at, look at beauty products, for example. Future is this it's taking a small amount of something. You take a little Coq, 10 or a little lavender, a little of this active ingredient.
Joe Davis: You put it in this product covered with a whole bunch of foofy stuff and some fancy packaging. And you price it up at 39 99, and everybody's super happy to buy it. That's the world we live in and that's the world that we're moving towards in cannabis too. We're moving towards, uh, a world where nobody handles like beer who handles hop.
Joe Davis: Show me a bar that lets you handle the hops before you drink here. Hmm. Raw cannabis is a commodity, just like hops it's cousin. You know, they're both from the family. Uh, but nobody handles raw hops. Nobody goes to the store and buys hops in a bag. Um, you know, it's just not a thing. And I think the cannabis is going that way too.
Joe Davis: I think it's a beautiful flower, which is very different from hops and I acknowledge that it's gorgeous. It's smell. It's look the way it grows. Very, very. And there will be some people on a surge of the world who just like going to a tequila bar or a whiskey bar or a vodka bar will continue to want to see the raw flower.
Joe Davis: But most people, the middle of this world who will spend the most money on cannabis, the new generations of kids who don't smoke. They're not gonna be buying, uh, raw flour. And I don't think they'll care about it much. They're gonna care about fakes, edibles, drinks and different ways of consuming cannabis.
Joe Davis: And that kind of excites me, even though I'm not, uh, you know, a big user of those things. You're
Andrea Meharg: actually making my stomach hurt a little bit because. I think I'm still stuck in the stoner. Like I smoke joints and this is what the cannabis industry is. And you're 20 years in the future and you're totally right.
Andrea Meharg: I'm going to interview Angelina blessed who makes this beautiful chocolate bar for the cannabis industry. And I was thinking about how much I would much rather. Purchase horrors than some other, not so pretty, um, cannabis chocolate, even though you're right. It's the same tiny, little bit of THC in the boat in both of them.
Andrea Meharg: Um, yeah, you just really struck a chord and made it hit home where you see cannabis going. Cause when we were talking earlier, you're like, yeah, like people are gonna be consuming it in lots of drinks and stuff, but you're. That's not the point it's gonna be cannabis is just an ingredient that's going into other products and it's not gonna be a thing anymore, which is so exciting for you.
Andrea Meharg: That it's not a thing because that means so much for so many. Hmm.
Joe DavisJoe Davis: I love it. I think the plus bar is a really good example too, because, um, I, and you may not know this, but it's a partnership also with a, um, well-known chocolate maker named Brandon. And this brings in that CPG experience. Brandon Olson is really well known for making chocolates that look like little asteroids or geos or planets or galaxies.
Joe Davis: They're really like beautiful little chocolates. And that's why the bless bar has that splash on it and has the stuff underneath it. He really does think about the presentation of the product. And I think that's something that cannabis is still really working on. The presentation of the product that, that gives merit to that price.
Joe Davis: When you go to the store to pay for it, you know, you still have a whole bunch of people who are buying cannabis in a plastic baggy for half the price, uh, as the legal, because it's illegal and it's in a plastic baggy, but people will be willing to transition over to the legal when you give them the right kinds of products at the right price.
Joe Davis: And they feel like their value for dollar. And I think the blast bar is a great example to your point of when you want a cannabinoid, you want some THC and some CBD. How do I want it presented to me, that's a bar, that's a bar you could have at a dinner party, you could give to guests. And that would look really classy like that.
Joe Davis It's not just chocolate and people would be like, what is this? This is a, a kind of a piece of art that you're providing to people. So I think that's a great example of where we're going in terms of CB in the cannabis
Andrea Meharg: And it's a beautiful bar of chocolate that doesn't scream at somebody. This is weed.
Andrea Meharg: This is the devil's lettuce. When you consume this, you are probably gonna go murder your spouse. Like it doesn't have any of those hints at all, which is so, so, so important for so many people. When you were talking earlier about. Seniors. Um, maybe being much more open to this. I see that. I also see so many seniors who are so scared because their whole life they've known that cannabis and marijuana is awful.
Andrea Meharg: And the thought of touching THC is terrifying for them. So to show them something that doesn't look like weed at all, um, I can see that being super, super appealing. Yeah, I was at,
Joe Davis: sorry, go ahead. One last thing. I was at a golf tournament, the other. Uh, for kind, it was a kind summer fair fall tournament, and people were kind of going around, handing out samples of things.
Joe Davis: And there were these older guys who were playing golf, obviously it's kind of their generation thing. And they were being offered THC gummies. And they were like, no, no, no, no. And then they were offered CBD gummies and boy, oh boy. Did their hand go out? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's just funny how, um, a certain product or a certain cannabinoid can be an entry.
Joe Davis: To people and I just experienced that last week. So I thought I'd share that story is it's just really interesting how, um, you know, cuz the blessed bar has a hundred milligrams of CBD and it, how that for an older person is like, oh, okay then if it has CBD, I'm okay with it. It doesn't have that huge amount of that THC stuff that makes you go ill people.
Andrea Meharg: Yeah. I always wanna, like, when somebody's like, oh, I'll only have the CBDs. I'm always like, did you know? It's we too. That's also we, same thing. exactly. I'm so grateful that you came on again and like gave me more time and we're able to, I, I still have questions on here. Like we didn't get to the mall.
Andrea Meharg: It's gonna have to be around three at some point, but I really appreciate you doing this. We will link up where you can find Joe down below, and please go reach out. I'm assuming that you'd love to answer questions. I'll get them down below here too. So, um, yeah. Thanks for being with us and sharing all of your awesome knowledge with the YouTube world.
Joe Davis: Andrea. Thank you so much for having me. We'll definitely do this again. I'm happy to answer any of your questions. We never have enough time because you and I, as educators could just talk about this, a nauseum forever. Right. Um, so please invite me back. I'd be happy to come back again and answer any questions.
Joe Davis: Thank you so much.
Andrea Meharg: All right. Um, I will see you all on the next video.