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Episode 61:

How New York and New Jersey Are Legalizing Marijuana with Evan Nison

Activist and entrepreneur Evan Nison speaks with hosts Jordan Wellington and Andrew Livingston about how their home state of New Jersey as well as New York, has legalized marijuana, as well as some of the work he’s done and is doing through his PR company NisonCo.  Originally aired June 29, 2021. 

How New York and New Jersey Are Legalizing Marijuana with Evan Nison
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About This Episode:

Activist and entrepreneur Evan Nison speaks with hosts Jordan Wellington and Andrew Livingston about how their home state of New Jersey as well as New York, has legalized marijuana, as well as some of the work he’s done and is doing through his PR company NisonCo.  Originally aired June 29, 2021. 

Hosted By:

Jordan Wellington

Partner at VS Strategies and Counsel for Vicente LLP

Jordan Wellington is a partner at VS Strategies and serves as counsel at Vicente LLP. Jordan has played a key role in drafting cannabis legislation and regulations in Colorado and other states and regularly advises government officials, businesses, and organizations from around the U.S. and across the globe on responsible cannabis regulation.

How New York and New Jersey Are Legalizing Marijuana with Evan Nison

Other Episodes

Brian Vicente of Vicente LLP on “The Absolute Landmark Event” that is Cannabis Legalization in Ohio
Episode 80 Part II:

Brian Vicente of Vicente LLP on “The Absolute Landmark Event” that is Cannabis Legalization in Ohio

In the second half of our two-part series on cannabis legalization in Ohio, Cincinnati native Brian Vicente of cannabis law firm Vicente LLP discusses the “absolute landmark event” that is legalization in the bellwether state of Ohio. Brian and Jordan get into the details of what will be allowed under cannabis legalization in Ohio, how many recreational dispensaries and cannabis grows will be permitted in the state, how the lottery for adult-use cannabis dispensaries works, and the emphasis the state is putting on social equity. 

Brandon Lynaugh on Cannabis Legalization in the Great State of Ohio
Episode 80:

Brandon Lynaugh on Cannabis Legalization in the Great State of Ohio

In the first installment of a two-part Weed Wonks episode on legalization in Ohio, Brandon Lynaugh, managing partner of Strategic Public Partners and a leader of the Issue 2 campaign, discusses the initiative’s passage and efforts currently underway to implement the measure and establish the state’s legal cannabis market. Brandon and host Jordan Wellington also dive into what it’s like to run a legalization campaign, the roles played by polling and technology, and why voters’ political leanings are not always an indicator of their support for reform.

Dan Smith of VS Strategies on Why 2024 Will Be One of the Most Interesting Years Ever for Cannabis Policy
Episode 79:

Dan Smith of VS Strategies on Why 2024 Will Be One of the Most Interesting Years Ever for Cannabis Policy

From coast to coast in the U.S. and across the pond in Europe, 2024 is shaping up to be one of the most interesting years ever for cannabis policy. In this episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Dan Smith of VS Strategies for an in-depth look at what we can expect in newly legal states like Minnesota and Ohio, what could happen with legalization in Europe, and the pros and cons of state-run cannabis stores.

Jeff Brown of the NJ-CRC on the State of Legal Cannabis in New Jersey
Episode 78:

Jeff Brown of the NJ-CRC on the State of Legal Cannabis in New Jersey

In the latest episode of Weed Wonks, Jordan Wellington hosts fellow New Jerseyan Jeff Brown, Executive Director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, for an up-close look at how the Garden State has handled cannabis policymaking and regulation. From social equity, to the importance of data and stakeholder engagement,  to the question of whether cannabis-infused smoked salmon can be shelf stable, the two leave no stone unturned when it comes to legal cannabis in New Jersey.

Former Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board Executive Director Tyler Klimas on What the State is Doing Right on Cannabis
Episode 77:

Former Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board Executive Director Tyler Klimas on What the State is Doing Right on Cannabis

In our latest episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Tyler Klimas, the former Executive Director of the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board, for an in-depth talk about how the state developed its cannabis regulations and why it’s so important to have accountability and transparency when making cannabis policy. The pair also discuss how Nevada is handling non-compliance and what the state is doing to make sure cannabis consumption lounges are a success in the entertainment capital of the world.

Top Maine Cannabis Regulator John Hudak on Why Legalization Requires Preparation
Episode 76:

Top Maine Cannabis Regulator John Hudak on Why Legalization Requires Preparation

In our latest episode, Jordan Wellington hosts John Hudak, Director of the Maine Office of Cannabis Policy, for an in-depth talk about the state’s cannabis program and his journey from the Brookings Institution to the world of marijuana regulation. The two also discuss how states can work together both with supporters and opponents of legalization, why the 2018 Farm Bill was a “disaster of legalization without preparation,” why state agencies should regularly clean out their regulatory closet, and why Hudak will never buy medical cannabis in Maine.

Chris Tholkes on Minnesota’s New Approach to Legal Cannabis
Episode 75:

Chris Tholkes on Minnesota’s New Approach to Legal Cannabis

In our latest episode, Jordan Wellington speaks to Chris Tholkes, Director of the Office of Medical Cannabis at the Minnesota Department of Health, about the state’s unique approach to legal cannabis. They discuss the state’s intoxicating hemp and medical cannabis markets and what to expect in the 15 months or so before adult-use dispensaries open their doors. They also look at what Jordan describes as how Minnesota represents “a complete paradigm shift on what we’ve seen” in legal cannabis markets today. 

Jason Tarasek on Why Minnesota Will Be Such a Fascinating Legal Cannabis Market
Episode 74:

Jason Tarasek on Why Minnesota Will Be Such a Fascinating Legal Cannabis Market

In our latest episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Jason Tarasek, the head of the Minnesota office of the cannabis law firm Vicente LLP for a deep and nerdy dive into what is shaping up to be one of the most fascinating cannabis markets in the country. From the popularity of intoxicating hemp beverages in Minnesota and the fact that you can drink them inside a bar in the state to the future of the medical marijuana market, Jordan and Jason leave no stone unturned. 

Colorado Governor Jared Polis Shares his Cannabis Proposals for the New Budget and How Colorado Can Remain a Leader in Cannabis
Bonus Episode:

Colorado Governor Jared Polis Shares his Cannabis Proposals for the New Budget and How Colorado Can Remain a Leader in Cannabis

In this special bonus Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington and Mason Tvert host Colorado Governor Jared Polis for a whirlwind talk about the Governor’s cannabis proposals for the new state budget released a day earlier, why they’re important for cannabis operators, and how the state can continue to be a leader and an innovator in legal marijuana, more than a decade after legalization. 

Hirsh Jain and the Ongoing March Towards Progress in Cannabis
Episode 73:

Hirsh Jain and the Ongoing March Towards Progress in Cannabis

In the latest Weed Wonks session, Jordan Wellington hosts Ananda Strategy Founder and California Cannabis Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair Hirsh Jain for a fascinating talk about the work that remains in legal markets long after legalization is put into effect. From how states can ensure protections are in place for cannabis users to what Colorado and California are doing right and what makes Michigan great for investors, it’s an episode you won’t want to miss. 

What Makes a Cannabis Market Successful?
Episode 72:

What Makes a Cannabis Market Successful?

In our latest episode, Jordan Wellington hosts longtime policy partner in crime Andrew Livingston of Vicente LLP for a long discussion about what makes a legal cannabis market successful and how the concept of “success” in legal cannabis has changed in recent years. The duo also looks at how attitudes and approaches to cannabis social equity programs have changed and what this means for the industry. 

The Push for Universal Standards in Cannabis - and Why it Matters
Episode 71:

The Push for Universal Standards in Cannabis - and Why it Matters

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Jimmy Farrell, the Standards Development Manager at ASTM International, and David Vaillencourt, the Founder and CEO of GMP Collective for an in-depth talk about what it takes to develop standards in an industry that is still illegal on the federal level. The trio also discusses consensus-building on cannabis standards and why it matters for all of us who care about cannabis testing, packaging, labels, and safety.   

The Weed Beat - Ricardo Baca, John Schroyer, and Mason Tvert Discuss How Journalism Affects Cannabis Policy and the Industry
Episode 70:

The Weed Beat - Ricardo Baca, John Schroyer, and Mason Tvert Discuss How Journalism Affects Cannabis Policy and the Industry

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington hosts a panel of cannabis media experts including Ricardo Baca of Grasslands (and formerly “The Cannabist”), John Schroyer of Green Market Report, and Mason Tvert of VS Strategies for a look at how the media has impacted cannabis policy, how the cannabis beat has changed over the past decade, and what happens when a hot story like legal cannabis stops driving traffic like it used to. 

Joshua Kappel Takes Us on a Long, Strange Trip into the Intricacies of Psychedelics Legalization
Episode 69:

Joshua Kappel Takes Us on a Long, Strange Trip into the Intricacies of Psychedelics Legalization

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Joshua Kappel, a founding partner of cannabis law firm Vicente LLP and co-founder of the Microdosing Collective speaks to Jordan Wellington about Colorado’s Natural Medicine Health Act, what it takes to pass psychedelics reform legislation, how to educate lawmakers on psychedelics and the idea of community-based health, and what happens when this model clashes with the state’s desire to exert control.

Adria G. Berry, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, Sets the Record Straight on “The Wild West of Weed”
Episode 68:

Adria G. Berry, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, Sets the Record Straight on “The Wild West of Weed”

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Adria G. Berry of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority for an in-depth discussion of how the state’s wildcatter history is reflected in its medical marijuana market, how much oversupply there actually is in Oklahoma, and how the state is taking the reins on quality control.

“It Just Gets More and More Complex” - Making Sense of the Intoxicating Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids Market
Episode 67:

“It Just Gets More and More Complex” - Making Sense of the Intoxicating Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids Market

In our latest session, Jordan Wellington hosts a panel including Dr. Priyanka Sharma of Kazmira, Stephen Cobb of DOSD & Nomad Extracts, and Bia Campbell from VS Strategies for a deep dive into the intoxicating hemp products that have swept across the country in the past few years. It’s a very complicated landscape with a bit of “straight-up alchemy” tossed in, and who better to make sense of it all than some Weed Wonks?

What Maryland is Doing Right on Legalization with Andrew Garrison of the Maryland Cannabis Administration
Episode 66:

What Maryland is Doing Right on Legalization with Andrew Garrison of the Maryland Cannabis Administration

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Andrew Garrison of the Maryland Cannabis Administration to discuss the state’s rapid move from the legalization initiative to actual sales, how the state has prioritized social equity and patient access, and how Maryland is investing its own time and money to ensure legalization is done right. (Featuring a cameo from Andrew’s dog, Francis Scout Key) 

“The Coolest Business Trip of All Time” - Mike Hennesy of Wana Brands’ Weed Journey Across Morocco
Episode 65:

“The Coolest Business Trip of All Time” - Mike Hennesy of Wana Brands’ Weed Journey Across Morocco

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Mike Hennesy of Wana Brands for an eye-opening talk about Mike’s recent visit to Morocco, where he took to the Rif Mountains to learn from the cannabis traditions of the Amazigh people (what most of us usually call “Berbers”) and what they can teach us about cannabis cultivation and landrace strains, the global impact of the U.S. War on Drugs, and much more.

“It Was Never About Science” - Shane Pennington of Vicente LLP Talks Federal Rescheduling and the Status of Cannabis
Episode 64:

“It Was Never About Science” - Shane Pennington of Vicente LLP Talks Federal Rescheduling and the Status of Cannabis

In the latest Weed Wonks episode, Jordan Wellington hosts Shane Pennington, counsel at Vicente LLP, for a deep dive into federal cannabis policy, what the different levels of scheduling mean, how illegality isn’t binary, it’s a spectrum, and why federal prohibition and scheduling levels were never really about science to begin with.

Meet CANNRA’s Gillian Schauer, “Queen of the Cannabis Nerds”
Episode 63:

Meet CANNRA’s Gillian Schauer, “Queen of the Cannabis Nerds”

Weed Wonks returns! In our first episode back after a rollercoaster year for legal cannabis, Jordan Wellington hosts Gillian Schauer, the Executive Director of the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA), for an in-depth talk about CANNRA, product safety,  “intoxicating hemp,” and the important role the federal government can and should play in the regulation of cannabis.

A Tribute to Steve Fox
Episode 62:

A Tribute to Steve Fox

Betty Aldworth, Andrew Livingston, Jordan Wellington, and Mason Tvert join host Kris Krane to talk about the life and legacy of our friend and activist, Steve Fox. Originally aired 2021.

Safe Access to Medical Marijuana with Michelle Walker
Episode 60:

Safe Access to Medical Marijuana with Michelle Walker

Michelle Walker, patient advocate and director at Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, speaks with host Jordan Wellington about her journey as a cannabis activist and the work she’s done to change medical cannabis policy for the better in Colorado, Texas, and on the national level. Originally aired May 18, 2021.

Microbial Contamination and Testing with Benjamin Katchman, PhD, of PathogenDx
Episode 59:

Microbial Contamination and Testing with Benjamin Katchman, PhD, of PathogenDx

Benjamin Katchman, PhD, of PathogenDx, speaks with Jordan Wellington about legal cannabis, microbial contamination, and the testing chain. Previously aired May 6, 2021.

New Mexico’s Foray Into Legalization with Emily Kaltenbach
Episode 58:

New Mexico’s Foray Into Legalization with Emily Kaltenbach

Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director of Resident States and New Mexico at the Drug Policy Alliance, joins host Jordan Wellington to talk about the growth and ongoing advancement of marijuana legalization in the state of New Mexico. Previously aired on April 27, 2021.

Federal Marijuana Policy Reform with Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer
Episode 57:

Federal Marijuana Policy Reform with Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D) joins hosts Jordan Wellington and Andrew Livingston to talk about the ongoing push to reform federal cannabis policy, this week’s vote on the SAFE Banking Act, and the legacy of friend and marijuana activist Steve Fox, who passed away last week at the age of 53. Previously aired on April 19, 2021.

The Nitty Gritty of Cannabis Finance with Charles Alovisetti
Episode 56:

The Nitty Gritty of Cannabis Finance with Charles Alovisetti

Charles Alovisetti joins hosts Jordan Wellington and Andrew Livingston to talk about the finer points of legal marijuana finance, equity, and investment. Previously aired on March 30, 2021.

The Evolution of Arizona’s Legal Marijuana Industry with Sam Richard
Episode 55:

The Evolution of Arizona’s Legal Marijuana Industry with Sam Richard

Sam Richard, Executive Director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association, talks with host Jordan Wellington about the history and ongoing evolution of Arizona’s legal marijuana industry. Previously aired on March 23, 2021.

Can Virginia Legalize This Year? with Ngiste Abebe
Episode 54:

Can Virginia Legalize This Year? with Ngiste Abebe

Ngiste Abebe joins host Jordan Wellington to talk about the latest developments in legalizing adult-use marijuana in Virginia. Previously aired on February 11, 2021.

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