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E90 - Nathan Mison & Diplomat Consulting

We had a plan. Back in March 2020, Kirk and Trevor were going to host an event that served cannabis infused food in a restaurant in Dauphin. Then, the world shut down with the pandemic. As we're coming out of the pandemic, we thought we'd revive the plan, but the Manitoba Government gave us a hard no. Now we're talking to Nathan Mison, from Diplomat Consulting, for a brief history of cannabis legalization in Canada, what regulations are different in which provinces and maybe a way to resurrect our dream to throw a cannabis consumption event, properly.

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 13:13

Meet our guest

Nathan Mison

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Music By

Jason Segel and the Muppets
Desiree Dorion
Marc Clement

(Yes we have a SOCAN membership to use these songs all legal and proper like)

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Episode Transcript

Trevor: Kirk... Okay. For those of you who can't see him, Kirk, you have an exciting, exciting beard right now. 

Kirk: Yes, yes, yes. I'm getting ready Cossack Camp. We head back up to Selo grounds. People might remember the Selo grounds is where we have Dauphin's CountryFest. So, this is a great big, privately owned campground amphitheater that festivals are held at. And Canada's National Ukrainian Festival is happening and I'm part of the group of Cossacks, the Canadian National Dancing and Riding Cossacks and Troop. 

Trevor: And this is the first time in how many years that UkieFest has been back? 

Kirk: Two years. Yeah, it's been two years. So, we'll have the horses out and we'll be cooking on open fires. And I carved up my great big old beard that I had. I thought I was starting to look like some sort of Plato or something at one point. So, I got rid of the beard and I've hacked it up and I've got a little thing going, a little braid here, some mutton chops. 

Trevor: I'm sure this is the beginning of a trend. So, Kirk, not quite over an open fire, but just but you know, segue nicely through pandemic times. Just pre-pandemic, March 2020, we were trying to do an event. Tell the people what we thought we were going to do. 

Kirk: Well, we had partnered with Corrina’s restaurant, a privately-owned restaurant, and we had a local cannabis chef involved and we were going to gift cannabis. We had Dr. Shelly Turner scheduled to come and talk and we're going to hold an educational dinner and serve cannabis. And we thought we had... 

Trevor: Like Cannabis infused food. 

Kirk: Yeah, cannabis infused.  People would have a choice of an item that had cannabis and they'd have a choice of an item without cannabis. And during the dinner, we would have education on cannabis. And we figured, we had it made because as long as we weren't selling the cannabis, we figured we had it, but I guess we didn't. 

Trevor: No, so maybe a plus side of the pandemic, you know, like many, many other things, March 2020, this did not happen. And then, you know, coming out of the pandemic. So, we thought we would try to restart this or cannabis education dinner we had been talking about a couple years ago. And you did you sent a few more E-mails out to Manitoba Liquor Gaming and Cannabis. And what were they saying about our whole idea of having it in a restaurant? 

Kirk: No! 

Trevor: Pretty much, yeah. 

Kirk: There is no law. There is no ability for us in Manitoba to consume cannabis publicly, anywhere, anywhere. You can have beer gardens, you can get beer licenses at your wedding, but you cannot have cannabis in a public building. 

Trevor: They can add in a in a restaurant or a hall or. 

Kirk: Anything, anything that can be rented out and made, I mean, it can be private, but if it's rented out with public access, you cannot have cannabis there. The reason why we got cannabis at Selo grounds is because they have, what, a thousand campsites, if not more, and it is private land. And when you rent, when you rent that space, you can consume cannabis in your dwelling. So, it's your temporary home. It's the same with National Parks, right? You can have cannabis in your campsite right. Now at the Selo grounds, even though it's a private-grounds, because the celebrations, the concerts were held in a public place. You cannot consume cannabis within the grounds, but you could in the campsites. But alcohol is everywhere. Alcohol is allowed. We can give it to children to advertise alcohol. But we could not have cannabis but alcohol fine. Just saying. So rather than just rant about the Manitoba government because I can do that later your guest is a pretty interesting guy. He brings a he brings a lot of business sense to the to the cannabis sector.  

Trevor: Yes. And the legislative and the regulatory and the zoning. So, Nathan Mison, like bison from a Diplomat Consulting, they consult on lots of different things, including specifically cannabis catering. So, we kind of stumbled across Diplomat on the Twitter and really glad we did because Nathan was a ton of fun to talk to and really informative as you hear. But I just want to set this up. Nathan had to be the most relaxed Zoom interview I might have ever done. He was obviously at some sort of outdoor patio, under an umbrella with a beer in his hand. You know, he. 

Kirk: But not consuming cannabis. 

Trevor: But not consuming cannabis. But he did look like he was having a very pleasant afternoon. 

Kirk: What I really liked about what this guy was saying. Nathan was saying was how the cannabis industry is a big economic driver, which many of our past guests have said. One in particular that I remember is when we Episode 86 - Healing Communities, when we talk to the Victorian Cannabis Buyers Club and they can't understand why cannabis is under the Justice Department, as Nathan was saying, it should be agriculture. It should be health. I'm all for health. Yeah. 

Trevor: And we'll let Nathan get into it. But yeah, he like he says he's a stats guy. So, his stat on that is cannabis is now bigger than lumber and dairy. So, you know, why isn't it promoted as an economic driver? But you know what? Instead of listening to us babble, let's listen to Nathan and we'll come back at the end. 

Trevor: So, Nathan, you've been around the cannabis industry for a while. Let's talk first about what sort of got you, where you were before Diplomat and then then we'll talk a little bit about Diplomat. 

Nathan Mison: Sure. Yeah. Thank you very much for the opportunity. I look forward to the conversation. So, the cannabis sector, I come to a little bit circuitous alley. I was primarily an advocate in health care and agriculture. And there's actually quite a lot of parallels towards that, of course, within the in the cannabis space, because cannabis should be primarily health care and agriculture and unfortunately is a little bit limited sometimes, but it is not. But I was lucky enough to be representing a couple of LPs. When Harvey Shapiro who was the executive chairman of Fire and Flower, approached me to help bring Fire and Flower to Alberta. The original plan for Fire and Flower in 2017 was 5 to 7 stores in Alberta, in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton. And within the first month of us talking, Trevor Fencott came on board as the CEO. Trevor had just left the first super deal in the cannabis sector as the co-founder of MettrumHealth towards Canopy. To make Canopy the goliath that they are today and brought in a very different mandate. The mandate was going to be 15% market share and any market that would have us. And Fire and Flower was going to be a ubiquitous name in cannabis retail. And I was lucky enough in the first, I believe it was eight months of the Fire and Flower experience as the sole Alberta representative to help build up the company in every aspect, save finance. So, threw me really into the deep water and got to do real estate, zoning, advocacy, branding, marketing, hiring, staffing, the whole kit and caboodle. And that was an incredible process, culminating on March 8th of 2018, where we submitted to the maximum in Alberta, 34 licenses to be the first retailer to do that. And in the next 30 months, Fire and Flower was expanded to be one of the largest retailers in Canada and in the world and be in the most provinces and territories. And that was my role and responsibility as the Director of Strategic Communication, Marketing, Communications and Government Relations. So my job was to help write the rules. 

Trevor: Wow, it's exciting time to be part of all that. 

Nathan Mison: So I think one of the things that, it was an incredibly exciting time because of the experience of Mettrum and Trevor and Michael's role in that they understood the ability and the necessity to invest on the forefront of emerging opportunities. So, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Yukon, Ontario, Atlantic Canada. You know, I spent two and a half years on a plane, 3 to 5 days a week traveling between I think the final number was 68 municipalities across Canada being the first, one of the first representatives of the cannabis sector that municipal planners, city councilors, Chamber leaders got to actually talk to. And that was an incredible opportunity to be a representative of what the cannabis sector, could be was and could become. And that was a really exciting opportunity to feel a little prescient with people who were saying, oh, yeah, it's going to be this, it's going to be this, it's going to be this. And, you know, hoping with bated breath that it was going to be that. But luckily enough, it ended up being the economic engine that we thought it would become. And a significant new opportunity for Canadians, both domestically and internationally. And Fire and Flower was, allowed me to be at the forefront of not only those conversations, but helping found and chair a lot of the associations across Canada, including the Alberta Cannabis Council, the Ontario Cannabis Policy Committee with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. And I'm still luckily enough to be the co-chair of the National Cannabis Working Group or the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. So, you know, really afforded us the opportunity to to represent the entire cannabis sector instead of just cultivation or retail and talk about the opportunity it was to have cannabis normalized and an economic driver in Canada. 

Trevor: That's very comprehensive. So, you're from a hard core, we'll call it business retail. And so now you're into Diplomat Consulting. What's different about your role now? 

Nathan Mison: So, we primarily focus on writing rules for emerging sectors. Of course, cannabis. I think one of the one of the wonderful things when we actually take a step back and analyze the cannabis sector, we'll realize the fact what an unusual moment in time it was in Canadian history that we have three orders of government at a municipal, provincial and federal level, write a new regulatory regime, including two taxation regimes at a federal and provincial level. In 11 months. That is something that has never happened in Canadian history. So, deploying that opportunity to be involved in a new regulated sector, of course, representing the cannabis sector both domestically and internationally, but also finding parallels to other emerging sectors: psilocybin, lab grown meats, electric vehicles, hydrogen. And we really focus on regulatory affairs, government affairs and public affairs. And, you know, we're those geeky guys that try and write rules to take advantage of what can be both for cannabis, but for other emerging sectors as well. 

Trevor: Wow. Okay. Now, because we're eventually getting to edibles. Let's but first because stay with us people this is interesting background stuff. So we, Kirk and I just came back from Dauphin's Country Fest. So, Dauphin has a big country music festival every July long. And one of the interesting developments there is they had a mobile cannabis store. Delta9 in Manitoba had one licensed. And so that was a big development here. They were allowed to sell it, but people weren't allowed to consume it in any version of a cannabis garden, like a beer garden. Whereas last fall we were lucky enough to be at Hemp Fest in Calgary and they did have a cannabis consumption area; cannabis garden. So, and when we have asked both Delta9, just say what was involved and then we've, you know, been trading emails with the Manitoba government and at the moment our understanding is Manitoba government is saying no, there is no possible way of doing any sort of cannabis inhalation consumption at any event. I see you. I know you guys are across Canada now. How has that been rolling out? Are other jurisdictions getting cannabis consumption, cannabis gardens at outdoor events? 

Nathan Mison: They are, yeah. No, I think that a couple of things on that. So, you know, one we need to give credit for the fact that Delta9 and Manitoba government should be commended. Other than the Cannabis NB, which can kind of do what it wants because it's a crown corporation in Atlantic Canada. Delta9, it has the first private mobile store in Canada. That's something that we should really talk about it and use as a template for other jurisdictions. So well done for them on that because that's a big step. Now, it's truly unfortunate to be able to sell something and then not be able to consume it. That seems like a fairly significant disconnect. But so, a couple of things. One, cannabis consumption is a unique circumstance because there's enough bandwidth in most provinces and under the Federal Act that actually cannabis consumption could be allowed. Now!  The really interesting thing is it's primarily not allowed because of the municipalities, because unless a municipality has created zoning for it, it is not allowed. And so one of the things that we're pushing really hard and we'll be announcing a campaign right away is actually to get municipalities to start considering cannabis consumption. We're primarily focusing on at the on the first go around because we need to get politicians to feel comfortable, comfortable in approving it on ingestion. So, drinks and food. Combustion, unfortunately, represents too much of the tropes of the past and politicians' eyes. And then it ropes into that nimbyism, Oh the smell. It's terrible! 

Trevor: Right?

Nathan Mison: So, it's much easier to focus on ingestion, right? And there are some interesting statistics on that. So just, you know, a couple of things. The estimate is between 28 and 35% of Canadians are consuming cannabis. Currently, at this time, 65% of Canadians are not consuming cannabis. But 66% of Canadians who have never tried cannabis have indicated they would like their first experience to be through ingestibles. Right. That's a big potential market. So, an incredible opportunity. Combine that with the fact that there is recent research that came out of the United States, that 29% of worldwide travelers would like to have a cannabis experience when they travel. So that's a significant portion of the population. And considering that, you know, Canada is unfortunately, tourism and hospitality was waylaid during COVID, going from $105 billion economic contributor to a $50 billion economic contributor, losing $55 billion of economic impact into the Canadian economy. While also being the largest employer of the underemployed 18 to 25, which right now in Canada is running at 14.8% unemployment. There's a real opportunity for cannabis, tourism and hospitality to be a driving force for tourism and hospitality in Canada. And I think some of those tropes in the past that we've seen apprehension like in Manitoba. Jobs, new opportunities, new capital spend and worldwide tourists might be a way that we push this forward. So, we've seen success utilizing that argument in British Columbia, who is about to have a What We Heard Report announce this fall in cannabis consumption spaces.  Alberta, on March 8th of this year approved live events and festivals, including public consumption. Unlike yourself though, due to unfortunately The Act and we did submit to red tape reduction. You are not allowed public sale onsite. So, the product has to be delivered to the site, which makes it very clunky. But we did work with the regulator to submit the red tape reduction, which would allow us to have stores on site. And last week, Klein did the first sample sampling event in Canada in a major way, giving away 30,000 kilograms of or 30,000 grams of cannabis over two days. So, there's momentum to start to see cannabis, tourism and hospitality. And the focus for us is going to be at a municipal level because there is enough room in most provinces at the province and the federal level to actually have it happen. 

Trevor: That all sounds very promising. So, again, just because they only have you for a short period of time, let's move on to cannabis catering, which is something else you've been involved with, but just a background story for the listeners who haven't been following. Kirk: and I almost had a cannabis consumption event, a food infused with cannabis event in March 2020, and then, you know, the world shut down. And so we thought we would get it up and going again. So, we were trying to do all our due diligence and talk to Manitoba Liquor Gaming and Cannabis and you know, how could we do this in a restaurant and sell tickets and all those other things? And we were basically told, no, there's just no way you can do a cannabis consumption event in Manitoba. And we said, Well, that's too bad. 

Nathan Mison: That's not entirely true. Can I interrupt you for one? 

Trevor: Absolutely. That was the email we got. We would love to know what else could be done or if we a client, what we would do. 

Nathan Mison: We'd love to help you in the future and we can have that conversation. But home based catering is absolutely allowed. Right now, today. Right, because you are not allowed to not share cannabis within your home. So as long as the caterer is not remunerated for cooking with the cannabis and if the host shares the cannabis with the caterer, it is not a violation of the Cannabis Act because they are not charging. So therefore it is not a cannabis server, a service, and the host is allowed to share whatever they want in the comfort of their own home as they can with alcohol. So you're right. So you are not allowed to do a restaurant. There is no cannabis licensing. And this really, again, comes down to the municipalities because there's no business license. There's no zoning. So that's why we're advocating at a municipal level, because it could be something as simple as alcohol, comma and cannabis, and therefore that would now be a zoned use at a municipal level. We can have fights with the province at that point, but that's a pretty foundational point. But you can do cannabis catering at home right now. In fact, we've done over 15 events across the country with a cannabis catering company. I'm also a partner with chef Jordan Wagman and Potluck Entertainment, which has a mandate to bring cannabis catering and infusion of food and drink across the country. And that's legal underneath The Act right now. And there would be very, very different, difficult for the province to tell you what you can and cannot do in your own home.

Trevor: Okay. Well, I've got to jump in, because we, a year after cannabis was legalized, we actually oops, don't lose the camera Trevor. We actually did throw a cannabis dinner party just for and, you know, recorded it because that's what we do, where we cook with cannabis. And then, you know, our guests were, you know, had the chance of having the meatball with the cannabis or the meatball without. And then that all went really well because again, like you said, we were we were gifting the cannabis. But let's say hypothetically, we were a podcast trying to raise money. Can we, could we, what could we charge for? If it's an event that had cannabis at it.

Nathan Mison: You could charge for the food and drinks. You can never remunerate for the cannabis because that would be a cannabis service. And therefore, you as the individual or the caterer would be in violation. So, the host has to be willing to share the cannabis for it. With the event. And then the event could charge for tickets to the cannabis event or professional development and education is allowed. So, you could actually charge for food and drink and professional education. That would be something that would be very difficult underneath the rules in Manitoba or the federal government to be upset with as long as it was in a private domicile. 

Trevor: Okay. Well, that is interesting. So, let's say we get a few either municipal leaders or people at Manitoba Liquor Gaming and Cannabis to listen to this podcast. Where could we go next? So, you could, you know, consume cannabis either edible. Let's let's stick with edibles for the moment. So, you know, if suddenly there was a cannabis company in Dauphin that made fantastic chocolates and it had both the non-cannabis chocolate and wanted to sell it, how people consume it, what would need to change first? Would it be a municipal regulation, a provincial regulation? How would that go forward? 

Nathan Mison: It has to be a municipality first. It has to be allowed on the space, because if you could if there's no zoning for it, it will always be non-compliant, even if it's compliant, provincially or federally. Right. Technically to the letter of the regulations. Right. So, you cannot rent an event hall and do a cannabis event because there is no zoning for cannabis consumption in that space. Right. It is just it's not a verified use. So that's the thing. Even at Parks. So, Parks still have zoning. Right. So, you know, there's still been discussion across the country from Alberta and Ontario about alcohol in Parks, for gosh sakes. Right. So, you know, the municipality really has a lot of control at that point. There is ways to come about it in very different ways. So, here's an easy one for us to put forward. Why can't it be used in a spa? Why can you not have a cannabis lotion that has topical utilization being used by massage therapist? Is that not wellness? Is that not health care? It's literally because it is not zoned to be used at a spa level, and that should be one that you would imagine would be a fairly easy one to change. Right. So, because we have to break the representation of the past in a lot of our decision makers. Right. Like who really hold on to Reefer Madness or unfortunately, depending on it, have their own proclivity towards religious beliefs that hold on to cannabis consumption as as negative. There's ways for us to break that those stereotypes in chunks so that we can really take the apprehensive to make them at least conditionally acceptance and Spas and Wellness Centers are going to be, I think, a way that it's a first step for those municipalities and those provinces that are really, really stuck on cannabis. Like Manitoba, to be perfectly planned. Right. You know, so I think there's ways for us, you know, as advocates and regulators that we have to understand we're four years in. This is a now a sector from the Stats Canada that is larger than the lumber industry or the dairy industry, yet at a provincial and federal level does not have an economic mandate. Like, we have so much work to do to change the narrative, to get the political class to even talk about it. We have to figure out which are soft ways to sell it. And I think, you know, Spas and home-based parties to invite people in who are apprehensive, where they can control inebriation, they can have a drink or not have a drink. You know, that is a way for us to slowly start to steward in a new populace that this is not what they think. And to create real societal changes. And I think that's where, you know, little steps like a first store approved is a first step. Right. So, you know, we have to celebrate those successes and then continue to say, hey, you know, Rome didn't burn. Cats aren't marrying dogs. Dogs aren't marrying cats, you know, so it's not Sodom and Gomorrah out there. So how else can we push to create new jobs, new opportunities and new opportunities at home? One quick one for you. You have a 6% Social Betterment Fund that you guys collect in Manitoba. 6% out of every cannabis sale. Where's that money going? 

Trevor: No idea. 

Nathan Mison: Neither do I. And that's my job to figure that stuff out. You have two. You have a multitude of incredible research institutions in Manitoba. Why are we not taking that money contributed by the cannabis sector, for the cannabis sector to do research and education, to create peer reviewed research and opportunities to further the sector. Spa utilization. Horses. Equine. Veterinary sciences. Food research and innovation. You have incredible hemp. How about utilization of hemp? There's ways for us to start creating change, utilizing the tools that the government took, where the government isn't deploying it in ways that are actually designed and legislated to be done. To actually create jobs at home, where it's harder for them to say that it's an ill of society instead of it's a boon to society. And I think those are some of the ways that we can create those change. 

Trevor: Those are great. And if anyone from the government of Manitoba is listening, once we do all that fantastic research, say, at the University of Manitoba, I think it should all be distributed via podcast. You know, just throw it out there. 

Nathan Mison: And perhaps this podcast just saying. 

Trevor: Just could be.  This has been really good. Before I ask you if you have any final thoughts, can you walk, since you've done the, I forgot the number, but you can tell us again, a cannabis catering event. Just sort of walk us through what has happened at some of the ones that you've been involved with just so people can get an idea about, you know, what's happened at one in the past. 

Nathan Mison: Yeah. So, we've so we've done now 15 events across the country. So the catering companies name is CBD, CBN, Cannabis By Day, Cannabis By Night; Catering By Day, Catering By Night. We're really excited to bring that forward right away. We've been doing lots of testing because we want to be really conscientious and how we're going to be stewarding in the under initiated into the cannabis sector. It is a non-combustion focused catering. So, it is through food and drink. The food is infused with raw cannabis that has not been decarboxylate. So it is primarily so it is primarily used as a flavor agent or health benefit. And almost all of the inebriation is put in the drinks because of the fast absorption and the parallel to alcohol. So people know what it's like to have an alcoholic drink. So the fact that you can use isolates and distillates, pair it with the meal and pair it with the a great drink or a great mocktail allows people to have the effects in 8 to 15 minutes ish, so that they can feel what it's like to try and consume 2.5 milligrams of cannabis so that, you know, they have a draw parallel to something that they know already. Like alcohol. And that allows people to have a different approach with a personal connection with their own experiences when it's something new. 

Trevor: Now, that's fascinating because as people can go back and listen about what we did our cannabis dinner party, we went to large lengths about decarboxylating stuff ahead of time and to make sure the intoxication happened with the food but like everybody knows with that also meant the intoxication happened you know, 1 to 2 hours after consumption, which like you said, is significantly different from alcohol. So, it's very interesting that you're doing it predominately through the drink and using raw cannabis non decarboxylated through the food. That's completely different from what we were doing. 

Nathan Mison: Yeah. And so, you know, I grew up in kitchens. So, I used to pretend I was a chef and then I married a chef and realized I was a cook for all those years. So, we've been involved in festivals and restaurants in the past, so we've really taken the food science approach to it and the drink approach to it. And, you know, to speak a little bit plain, 65% of Canadians not consuming cannabis, 66% of Canadians want to try cannabis. They want it through ingestible. Everybody's fighting and killing themselves for 35% of cannabis consumers that were consuming cannabis prior to legalization. Right. We have done a fairly poor job ingratiating new consumers. I personally believe this is a way that it's going to allow the uninitiated into the cannabis sector in a way that they can understand what it's like to be high. Because that's the fear for people. Right? They've heard the stories, right? Like you have an edible and then you have another edible and then you have too much cannabis and you green out. If they have that negative experience, they won't have another one. So, you know, as for some of us who really want to push what cannabis tourism and hospitality can be, we have to be stewards and we have to make it as a way that it can be aggravated. And, you know, again, your province is a great way to show, to represent that because there's a lot of apprehension about cannabis within your political class right now. 

Trevor: A little bit, yeah. 

Nathan Mison: We're going to need to give them a way to see that cannabis is something they already understand instead of something foreign. And it's something they believe all the tropes of the past. And I think food and drink and inebriation in a way that they understand is a way that we get greater buy in faster. So, when we've been advocating for, you know, cannabis gardens, it's for drinks and food. It's for mocktails that are infused. It's for food that's actually cannabis is added on site. You know, it's the utilization of Terpenes. You know, that's a whole sector that needs to be rebuilt out of COVID when it comes to tourism and hospitality. And we're one of the only federally regulated countries in the world that can do it. So why can't we be a place to marry new cannabis consumers with helping rebuild the tourism and hospitality sector that was devastated by COVID. Because cannabis was one of Canada's true COVID success stories. You know, we grew exponentially. We opened 2000 stores during COVID, you know, so why can't cannabis continue to be a Canadian cannabis success story? But we need to help the under initiative and the tropes of the past get there because Canadian citizens have moved on. But our political class and our bureaucratic class still are representing the 9 to 19% of Canadians who don't like cannabis and never will. Well, that means there's 91 to 81% of Canadians that have moved on. Let's start talking to them. 

Trevor: That's a good a place as any to wrap up. Anything you wished I had asked or I wish I had covered in our chat. 

Nathan Mison: I think you guys have an incredible opportunity in Manitoba with the 6% Betterment Fund. The Social Betterment Fund, as attached to that is a lot of fricking money. Where's it gone? How is it being deployed and why isn't it being used by post-secondary research to actually move and create commercialization opportunities in Manitoba for use in Canada and the now 57 nations around the world that are going through cannabis legalization. And that's something where the government should and could and has legislated to actually spend that money to actually do research and education. And that's an incredible opportunity for Manitoba to go from behind the leading. And I think that's something that's really exciting and we look forward to seeing if there's any way that we can help. But Manitoba cannabis businesses and leaders have a real opportunity to drag the sector at driver. 

Kirk: Trevor... How's it going? That was, it was fun listening to him. He definitely is an upbeat guy. 

Trevor: He really is upbeat and informed and has been to Manitoba. And I liked because again, we've mentioned a couple of times but worth mentioning again, he gave a lot of kudos, before we start complaining about the government. He gave a lot of kudos to the Manitoba government for licensing Delta9's mobile cannabis shop. He said. You know, they really were, as far as he's aware, they really were the first in Canada. So, kudos to the government for doing that. Interesting that he said Alberta is getting into having cannabis gardens like a beer garden, but cannabis consumption garden in outdoor festivals. But for whatever reason, the twist there is you can't buy it on site. So, you know, in that way I guess Manitoba's a little farther ahead but behind on the actual consumption. So no lots of lots of good grist for the mill from Nathan. 

Kirk: Yeah I am. I found it really interesting some of the comments he was making, you know, when you raised the you've got you've got a bunch of notes there. What are some of the high points you wanted to. 

Trevor: Oh, he's got he's got so many without going through the whole thing, the whole that you know, we've got somewhere around a third of Canadians who are who are consuming cannabis right now, meaning you got somewhere around 66% of Canadians who don't consume it. But of them, about two thirds of them would like ingestion to be the first way they do it. So, you know, the whole if you think about sort of low hanging fruit. So if he's right that municipalities are probably the place where we might have to go next to say, if you're going to get cannabis consumption, you might have to go to municipalities to get it zoned properly. And if you're going to zone it for something, maybe zoned for something that people could ingest, since that's what they seem to want. They being the public and the other low hanging fruit that I I'd never thought of, I thought of, but not in this context, was that around a third of international travelers would like to have some kind of cannabis experience, and another low hanging fruit would be, let's Spas, and massage therapists use cannabis infused oils. You know, if municipalities, one of their big fears is, quote unquote, the smell. Well, start with something that doesn't have the smell. And I just thought that was a really interesting way to slowly get into cannabis consumption. 

Kirk: Mm hmm. Yeah. I also liked that is not decarboxylating also. So, they're using the raw form of cannabis just for flavors. 

Trevor: Well, yeah, but that. And it'll be a little ways down the road, but that gets into a future episode we have. But that was just in the food. So, it's using the cannabis just as flavor, like you said. But they put basically decarboxylated powder, more or less, into drinks. So you get the you get the high. The intoxication from the drink through, they're called Nano-emulsions, we don't need to go into that now because it's a future episode. But the cool part is now you get the intoxication in like the 8 to 10 minutes, kind of like alcohol instead of the 1 to 2 hours like you normally do ingestible. And that's something people just more familiar with and something and not too much for the future episode, but even it's got medicinal implications because right now, if people are taking, you know, a cannabis oil medicinally, it still takes of that 1 to 2 hours to come in. These nano-emulsions and other ways of getting it into people would get in faster. So, you know, as a pharmacist, of course, that gets me excited. 

Kirk: Yeah, I know. You also got an upcoming episode on that too, I believe. 

Trevor: Yeah, it's going to be a little bit down the road. But, you know, a preview we're going to we're going to spend more time on Nano-emulsions down the road. Pharmacy nerds get excited with me. 

Kirk: Nano-emulsions. I like that. I really got a kick out of him talking about the Social Responsibility Fee. 

Trevor: Yeah, you were looking into it a little bit, right? 

Kirk: Yeah, I did. I sent an email to the Newsroom. So this is a couple of things. First of all, it can of cannabis, taxation and revenue in Manitoba. They have a good web page on it, the Manitoba government as a good web page on cannabis, and I just referring to it here. The Manitoba government will also collect a Cannabis Retailer Social Responsibility fee on an annual revenues from the sales of non-medical cannabis. So the question that Nathan asks is what's happening with that money? Yeah. But I also I'm also reading here, did you know that they do not charge PST on non-medical cannabis? 

Trevor: I did not know that. 

Kirk: Yeah. Manitoba will not apply Provincial Sales Tax on non-medical cannabis, but will continue to apply it to the sales of medical cannabis. 

Trevor: That seems very wrong. 

Kirk: That seems really wrong. Yeah. Yeah. Federal tax applies to both medical and non-medical. But we also we also have another charge. Manitoba, Liquor and Lotteries has a retailer charge of $0.75 per gram. So, it's about a 9% there, too. There's all sorts of little fees they attach on. And I remember John Arbuthnot talking about it in episode. Season 2 Episode something on Legal Cannabis. 

Trevor: Head of Delta9 just to throw it out there. Hi, John. Hope you're listening. 

Kirk: Yeah, hope you're listening. Yeah. It's interesting to see. But anyways, so getting back to the Social Responsibility Fees, so I sent an email To Whom it may Concern. So this goes to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. To Whom it may Concern, we are a podcast with a focus on cannabis. Please check out our web page to better introduce us as two health professionals. We would like to learn more about the social responsibility fees being distributed. Will you please inform us on which programs have received dollars from the 6% tax on recreational cannabis? Also, is there someone we can interview to discuss the successes? Thank you for consideration etc. I got a response back saying that the company... Of course, I sent it after hours. I got an automatic bounce back that said we received E-mail but the office is closed, etc. etc. Someone will look at it and respond to you, right? Well, within a half hour of that, someone must have been sitting at their desk and I got this really interesting E-mail and there's nothing to it. It's just I sent them my E-mail and I read it to you. The response back, no greeting. Just this. "This is managed by the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, and they do their own media response. You'll have to ask them.". 

Trevor: Okay.

Kirk: Yeah. Okay. Which is fair, but there's a tone. There's nothing. There's nothing like, who sent it to me? Like, you know. Thank you for your question. It's just very terse. I found it very terse. Not very friendly. 

Trevor: Fair enough. 

Kirk: So, of course, I go to the Liquor Lotteries and Cannabis website to contact them and they have an embedded email similar to what we have I guess, people can email us that way and I just cut and pasted the thread and sent it to them. So, we are anticipating them in response. Now remember, this is the same company that I sent an E-mail to last month, four or five weeks ago, about following up on the no answer, because I think it was I talked to a guy, I think I talked to a guy on that one. So, I followed up with an E-mail asking Who could we interview and how do we lobby for change? And I've yet to hear back. So, two E-mails are out there in the Internet waiting for the government to respond to us. 

Trevor: Fair enough. So, getting back to catering and cannabis and the potential Reefer Medness event down the road. Do we think we're a little farther along? I kind of like the idea of, you know, maybe the food is not infused, but maybe the drinks are. Maybe it's at a private residence. 

Kirk: Well, no, it will be at a private residence. 

Trevor: Yes, it'll be a private residence. You know, maybe we charge for the food and the education as a fundraiser for a podcast. I don't know. That's kind of what I'm thinking. 

Kirk: I'm still working. I'm also working with tourism because I would like to I'd like to hold a conference on cannabis up here and get some of our guests. Oh, yeah. And then maybe what we do is we build a dinner around that and we'll find somebody with a great big house or a big, big, big garage. 

Trevor: Yeah, no, either one of those will work. So, it's trying to wrap up our thing with Nathan. Thank you, Nathan. You gave us lots of stuff to think about. Lots of stuff I hadn't even thought about, about cannabis consumption and how it was done. And like I said, the the fact that municipality is really might be a place that we have to apply some gentle pressure as advocates for, you know, hey, could we zone this X as a place that cannabis could be consumed? How about a spa? How about a coffee shop that serves cannabis infused chocolates? How about a you know, because if it's not zoned, if I am understanding this right, if it's not zoned pro cannabis consumption, then it's automatically not cannabis consumption. So those might be some interesting places to advocate for down the road. What do you think? 

Kirk: I think we're going to do nothing but advocate. I want to get I want to do more advocating for medical marijuana. You know, I'm sure I'm sure we knew this at the beginning, but it didn't hit home. With all the stories we've done on medical cannabis and the difficulties it is for people to afford their cannabis, I'm really quite thrown that PST is charged on it. It just seems all sorts of wrong. So, I got all sorts of advocacy things I'm going to be sending off E-mails for people not to respond to. 

Trevor: No, sounds good. And the occasional, you know, government people don't be afraid. We just want to ask questions. Talk to us. We're very, as you can hear, very friendly. We just want to hear what's going on. So, anything else other than saying, Hey, Kirk, I'm Trevor: Shewfelt. I'm the pharmacist. 

Kirk: Oh, and hey, I'm Kirk. I'm the Registered Nurse. Our web page is always open everybody. It Is updated; We've got a blog on there. We've got sponsors on there that have helped us along the way. We are looking for people to sponsor us if you're interested in sponsoring us. Those hemp pillows are still available. All sorts of stuff happening. Reefer Medness - The Podcast. I even I even posted something on social media today.  I took a month off. 

Trevor: It's okay, it's the summer. So, we really enjoyed this one. Nathan, we, for better or worse, you're on the Rolodex now. You and Diplomat will be people we talk to in the future. He even mentioned there's another side of Diplomat that does more of the medical end. So, I'm thinking we will be chatting with them once or twice more down the road. I really enjoyed this one. Kirk, any last thoughts? 

Kirk: None. 

Trevor: Okay.

Kirk: I'm looking forward to E-mails being answered. 

Trevor: All right. Have a good day, everyone. Another good one. We'll talk to you next time. 

Rene Yeah, that was another great episode. It's Renee back here in the studio. A couple of things that we need to do to finish off the show. The one thing we like to announce is that Reefer Medness - The Podcast always likes to acknowledge that we produce our shows on Treaty two territory and the Homeland of the Metis. And we pay our respects to the First Nations and Metis ancestors of this land and we reaffirm our relationships. The other thing we like to do is to ask our guests if they wanted to end the episode with a song of their choice. And Nathan suggested a song here a little bit different than what we normally run. It's Life's A Happy Song. With Jason Segel from The Muppets because he thought the world needs just a little more happiness. So another great one, guys. Thanks a lot. Look forward to the next one.