Cannacurio Podcast Episode 31 with Lewis Koski of Metrc

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In the latest episode of the Cannacurio Podcast from Cannabiz Media, my co-host, Amanda Guerrero, and I discuss speak with Lews Koski, Chief Operating Officer of Metrc, a leading seed-to-sale track-and-trace technology company for the cannabis and hemp industries.

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Cannacurio Podcast Episode 31 Transcript

Amanda Guerrero: Welcome to the Cannacurio Podcast, powered by Cannabiz Media. I’m Amanda Guerrero, joined by my lovely cohost Ed Keating. Ed, say hello.

Ed Keating: Hey there.

Amanda Guerrero: Hey, Ed. We’re so excited to bring a very special episode of Cannacurio to you guys today. We’ll actually be moving away from our traditional format. We’re going to skip the data highlights today and dive right into our very special interview.

Today, we are joined by the Chief Operating Officer at Metrc, Lewis Koski. Lewis is someone that, if you’ve worked within the Colorado market, if you’ve worked pretty much within most legal markets, you should be somewhat familiar with Lewis and his team at Metrc. But without further ado, I’d love to welcome Lewis to our stage here. Welcome, Lewis.

Lewis Koski: Thanks, Amanda. Thanks, Ed. Appreciate it. Really looking forward to having a conversation with you.

Amanda Guerrero: Yeah. We are so excited to have you on the show. I can say this candidly. When we first started Cannacurio, Metrc was one of our top guests that we were like, “Yes, we want to get them on the show. We want to have a conversation.” So we’re just so grateful to have you join us today, Lewis.

Lewis Koski: Oh, we’re honored. So thanks for having us.

Amanda Guerrero: Of course. So Metrc, Franwell, you guys have been providing supply chain solutions since 1993. What industries did the company get started with, and how did you settle on cannabis?

Lewis Koski: Well, you’re right. The company started in 1993, and it was founded down in Florida, just outside of Tampa in a small city named Plant City, which is probably known more for its strawberries than it is for its plants, especially this time of year. In fact, just this morning, I had a bowl of fresh strawberries, here at the peak of strawberry season, just before we’re about to have our Strawberry Festival down here, which will be somewhat truncated, I think, because of COVID. But it’s a heavy agricultural area here in Florida. There’s a lot of different crops.

And Franwell, when it was founded in the early ’90s, was very focused on supply chain solutions that served the agricultural community. And so I wouldn’t say that the company had an intent at the early years of getting into the cannabis industry. It just had spent so much time from the early ’90s all the way until roughly 2010 honing their skills, tracking agricultural projects, and tracking agricultural product and offering supply chain solutions. When the cannabis opportunity came up, it was something that they saw as an ancillary opportunity to help with the business.

And so in 2010, it became the contractor in Colorado to provide the track and trace solutions, to monitor every cannabis plant and all the packages that were created from that in that particular regulated environment. So they won that contract, and then just a couple years later, they picked up a number of other contracts.

And by the time 2018 came along, Metrc the product became Metrc the company. And so Metrc was formed in 2018 into 2019, after they raised some capital through some capital partners, Tiger Global and Casa Verde. And so it’s been a pretty incredible run on the cannabis side of the business, in so much as that it’s probably become the most predominant area that we’re currently operating in.

Amanda Guerrero: So when Metrc came to Colorado, that’s where your engagement or your interaction with them came into play. Correct?

Lewis Koski: That’s correct. Yeah.

Amanda Guerrero: Yeah.

Lewis Koski: I was a … I spent a career in law enforcement and as a regulator in Colorado in a number of different heavily regulated industries. And so that’s where I was positioned as cannabis legalization, or at least the licensing of the commercial side in 2010, started to come into play.

Amanda Guerrero: Very cool. Very cool. And now looking at, today’s February 9th, 2021, looking at Metrc, how many states do you guys cover now? And can you describe a little bit about what you guys do within each of those markets?

Lewis Koski: Yeah. So we are currently in 15 states plus DC. And we cover most of the large adult use cannabis states for seed-to-sale offerings. So just to maybe go a little bit in depth into what our system is and what it does, so if you picture yourself going to a restaurant and ordering a salad, and you get that salad and, different from what it’s really like today, you actually know that the product that’s on that salad has been tracked from its origins all the way through testing. It’s been monitored while it was transported to make sure that that was done correctly and on time. And it was received by managers at the restaurant who accepted that product, knowing that it had gone through all of these processes.

And I don’t know about you, but I still get a little nervous eating lettuce, because it’s not uncommon for there to be a number of different recalls. And because they don’t really know where the product origins are, it’s always hard to do the more surgical recall of the product.

So our system has really helped to do a number of different things, but not the least of which is create a lot of confidence in the regulated framework, knowing that the product had gone through certain milestones on its way to becoming a consumer product that someone was going to consume, right? So our system is really good at being able to help track that and give people a sense of confidence when the product makes it out to the consumer.

So the way the system works is we’re … think of a really sophisticated, centralized database that licensees in the regulated community report all of their product into, not just the product itself, but where it originated from, how long it was in a vegetative state, how long it was in a flowering state, when it was harvested, when it was tested. All those things are captured when the licensees report that information in the system, all the way until it becomes a product that is ready for a consumer to purchase.

So between the … The call sign for what we do is, what, seed-to-sale tracking? In between seed-to-sale tracking, we collect upwards of 370 different unique events in the supply chain, that then the state agency has complete visibility into so that they can monitor for compliance. They can do targeted recalls if there’s something wrong with the product that could affect public health or compliance issues. And it gives them a clear view into what’s happening into the industry so that they can monitor and regulate efficiently.

So licensees have efficient ways to be able to report into the state, and the state has efficient ways to be able to pull it out. So over the last few years, we’ve become the most trusted and experienced track and trace system in the world, and we’re looking forward to what the future brings on that. There’s 16 states and … Or I’m sorry, 15 states and DC. To put that into perspective, there’s over 150,000 users in the system. And there’s thousands of different businesses that report into the system on a daily basis.

Ed Keating: Wow. So one of the things that I learned in reviewing Metrc was that your system has handled over a billion events tracked in Metrc, which is just remarkable. And I’m curious, how do state policies impact that? And how much do you, Metrc, impact that?

Because I would imagine when a state brings you on board, one of the reasons they chose you is this is not your first rodeo. It’s going to be your 17th. It’s going be the next one. So how does that interplay work between what the regulators are looking for and what you already bring to the table, having done this successfully many times?

Lewis Koski: Yeah. Well, so the billion events that you read about is a pretty staggering number, and the likelihood is that number is significantly higher than when we last calculated that, in so much as that 2020, there was a tremendous surge in use of Metrc during the pandemic. So we know that number to be greater.

The relationship with us and state policy is pretty well-established. For one, state policy on this still remains really dynamic. So there’s constantly a lot of changes. Remember, earlier I talked about 370 events. Well, back in 2014 in Colorado, we probably weren’t tracking that many. We’re tracking a lot more events now, because as state policy has continued to evolve and develop, Metrc’s had to keep pace with that.

And so those 370 have increased over time as states have added delivery services or on site consumption or various other things that are unique to the jurisdictions. We’ve continued to add all that into the functionality of our system. And the great news on that is that we continue to work with new states, whether it’s a really big state like California or a smaller program like we have in Louisiana.

The size of the program really doesn’t matter as much, because we’re able to leverage all of those experiences and all of the additional functionality that we put in the system to help new states get off the ground and up and running on their product accountability system in a relatively short period of time. In fact, we’ve done in as early or … or as quickly as two months, where we were ready to go, for example, in Maine. And then a couple years previous to that, we were able to do that in Nevada.

So we come from the perspective that policy’s going to remain dynamic on this. We have to keep up with that policy, with new functionality into the system. And even though that’s sometimes a challenge to do based on the timeframes that legislatures give you, we know that at some point in the future, that could become a best practice that will really help another program that’s adopting more permissive cannabis policy down the line.

Ed Keating: Yeah. I would say that any of those regulations changing are really merely business roles that you have to figure out how to wind the way in or beat the way into the system so that it works out, because, as we’ve seen, if it happens in one state, somebody else is likely to adopt these rules and regulations or the next state might.

So speaking of states, over the last couple years, one of the states that we’ve tracked a lot and our customers have is Oklahoma. They’ve generated so many licenses. And I know that they’re one of the new upcoming states that you’re going to be bringing on. I’m just curious what that process is like of bringing on whether it be Oklahoma or any state. How does that process work and what is it like for the regulator as well as the license holders who have to interact with the new system?

Lewis Koski: So I mentioned a couple times that we’re in 16 different jurisdictions. So we’ve got a lot of reps implementing our system, and we bring with it all of these areas of functionality that we’ve developed over the time.

So it’s really more about, when we first get in, really taking a deep dive and continuing to understand more fully the public policy that’s in place that would have an impact on what functionality is going to be necessary in the system. So we spend a lot of time understanding what that is, and also, too, how agencies are interpreting a lot of the content that’s both in the law and in the regulations.

And by doing that, we’re able to really understand what functionality is existing and off the shelf for Metrc that we can get configured relatively rapidly, and then if there’s any new development needs that they need. So we’re really working closely with the regulator to make sure that we take advantage of everything that’s in the system and identifying areas where it might take a little bit more work to fully customize it to the state’s needs. So that’s on the state side of things. So we work very closely with them to get all that done.

On the other side of it, too, there’s … We’re known for our technology, but we’re also known for having some really incredible teams. And one area that we really developed and honed over the years is that initial socialization and training in the system to get companies on-ramped, sometimes from an unregulated environment into a regulated environment, or from a cold start into a heavily regulated environment, get them into that system as seamlessly as possible.

And we do that in a number of different ways. We’re almost always doing road shows that were in person, now done via webinar during the COVID pandemic. But we do a number of road shows to demystify what it’s going to be like to report into this system, some of the advantages of using the system, the openness of our API and the ability to continue to use the systems you have. A lot of work is done to just take the edge off and really demystify the system for licensees that are going to be using it.

And then, on top of that, we do some initial training with licensees that they’re required to take so that they can get credentialed and start using the system once the state’s ready for them to be licensed and start participating in the regulated environment.

Ed Keating: And Lewis, is there much difference if you roll it out into a state that let’s say is maybe limited license, where there’s only a few handfuls of license holders versus others? Or is it just it’s a set of rules and it’s something a lot of the similarities from implementation are going to be the same, whether it’s for one or a thousand people?

Lewis Koski: Well, so just by virtue of having more licensees on board creates the need for us to do more work in terms of training and credentialing and making sure that we have enough of those services available for a large licensee base versus a smaller licensee base. But when it comes down to it, that’s an area of public policy we just haven’t gotten all that involved in, because it doesn’t relate directly to the seed-to-sale side of things.

Now, we do know that when it comes to limited licensees, there’s advantages to that. Sometimes, it’s a little easier with large, not just seed-to-sale tracking for regulators to get that type of regulated environment off the ground and operational, just because of the limited numbers. But we’ve also seen some disadvantages there, too, where a lot of times those licenses become so competitive that there’s oftentimes litigation that follows licensing decisions. And also, too, we’ve noticed that it ends up being a lot of the bigger companies, right?

And so that limits then small businesses. And I’m sure you all are aware, with all the work that you’ve been doing in the cannabis industry, that social equity, inclusion of minority communities in the industry, is a top priority for almost everybody that’s involved in the system. And so limited licenses can have an impact on that.

Conversely, when you open up licenses, then you ended up with a large number of licenses, and it can add a little bit more time to getting things off the ground and implemented. It could also make it a little bit more challenging for regulators to have to monitor that many licenses. But like I said, too, in comparison to limited licensing jurisdictions, it seems to open up a number of other opportunities for small businesses to participate in the license community.

Ed Keating: So digging into the special situations, I noticed that I think there’s one hemp implementation you have in Colorado. I wonder, do you see any more coming in the hemp side? And also, international, do other countries want to replicate this, or do you think what you have is uniquely for the US regulatory system?

Lewis Koski: Yeah. So first, I’ll address the hemp piece of that. We do see a lot of potential for a track and trace implementation in the hemp industry, and we probably will see more of that coming down the line. I think part of the reason we believe that is that, to most people, hemp and cannabis are somewhat indistinguishable from one another when you see them together.

So if you move hemp, especially if there’s going to be any form of interstate commerce really solidifying, which I think to a large extent already exists, there will be, I think, incentive for hemp regulators and hemp industry to take a second look at being able to use the verification and the credibility and the confidence that comes from tracking agricultural products and finished consumer products and a little bit more confidence in being able to move that interstate or between states and give law enforcement a view inside of the regulated market.

So on the hemp side of things, we certainly see some opportunities. Whether or not it’s going to be exactly analogous to cannabis or not, we don’t know that for sure. But we think that there will be some developments in that over the coming years.

I would also say, too, I think that the vape crisis that we had late 2019 coming into 2020 really highlights the importance of being able to track a consumable product or something that you inhale all the way back to its origins. Even to this day, we really don’t know for sure if it was widespread problems or if it was a few large, but fewer actors that were responsible for a lot of the problems that we saw during the vape crisis.

And so since CBD product is a consumable product by consumers, and especially given some of the concerns that we still have around the vaping crisis, you might see, just from a consumer protection, public health, and safety standpoint, more interest in the hemp industry adopting some of those best practices that have been proven successful and efficient in the cannabis industry. So that’s the hemp side of it.

And then I think you asked, too, the second one was international jurisdictions, Ed?

Ed Keating: Right. Yep.

Lewis Koski: Yeah. Yeah. So I think to a large extent, track and trace has been accepted across the boards in the US. And I think international jurisdictions have been a little bit slower, but we’re starting to see a lot of interest international in being able to leverage some of the benefits of track and trace like we’ve seen in the US.

Now, they may have a little bit different focus. So our focus was originally on limiting inversion and diversion of cannabis in and out of the regulated environment or unlawfully between the two environments. But I think there’s a lot of other opportunities. Again, tracking product back to its origin all the way until it’s a finished product ready for consumers has a lot of benefits, whether it’s research or security of the product or other things.

So I think international jurisdictions are certainly starting to take notice of that. We’ve seen some movement for sure in the Caribbean, and we’ve also seen, I think Netherlands has their own track and trace system that they produced in house. So I think you’ll see that demand for it continue to surge outside of the US, because the benefits are just too good to ignore.

Amanda Guerrero: And do you see any potential partnerships or countries that you guys are potentially looking to work with in the future in terms of identifying and adopting a track and trace system?

Lewis Koski: So like I mentioned earlier, we’re seeing some movement down in the Caribbean. I think we’ve been doing quite a bit of outreach on our own, too, out to a number of jurisdictions outside of the US. So I think as that continues to develop and it gets a little bit more firm, we’ll know for sure when we start to see countries putting out proposals or bids to procure the system.

But like I said, it seems really clear to us that, and to a lot of other people, too, that the benefits of the track and trace system are just so positive that they could get a lot of benefit from being able to adopt those types of systems.

Ed Keating: And Lewis, you touched on this a bit. It seems that the states can get a lot out of a system like this. You gave a couple of examples of helping with recalls, compliance. I also heard one of the states talk about they like the benefit of having this as a way of, I think, managing the black market. Is that a common use case or benefit that states cite when they’re like, “Yeah, we need to get this in place. Help us do it quickly?”

Lewis Koski: Yeah. I think probably one of the best ways is discuss a little bit of how seed-to-sale has evolved over time. So I remember when we were first implementing seed-to-sale in Colorado and I was still in office as the director of the Marijuana Enforcement Division. Prominent in our thinking was creating a credible regulated framework on paper and in practice. And the reason for that was that the federal government was out there with a little bit of guidance through the Cole Memo that said, “Hey, if you meet this criteria, we won’t make you an enforcement priority.”

So we were really taking our role seriously. And a lot of that criteria that was in the Cole Memo was related to diversion of cannabis out of the regulated environment, into the criminal market or the unregulated environment. So we took that responsibility very seriously.

And so I would say that the initial focus, and I think as new states come on board, they’re also still focused on that as a top priority. They’re focused on the regulated environment being regulated well enough that you do not see widespread diversion of cannabis out of the regulated environment or you don’t create a conduit for illegal cannabis to come into the regulated market.

So that was early on a top priority for those reasons. It still continues to be a top priority. But we’ve just learned so much more about how to use the system to help make government even more successful than we were just in that particular aspect.

So I mentioned a couple of these before, but it’s worth noting again, that the data out of the system is used to protect public health and safety and it’s done in a very efficient, almost business-friendly way, in so much as that we could put an entire facility’s product on hold if we were concerned about the compliance or something that was going on there that could really offend criminal justice … a criminal offense, or if it was something that was really violating the regulations, we could do that.

But also, we could narrow down a recall or putting product on hold to a very narrow portion of product that was within a facility’s inventory levels. So there’s a lot of flexibility that the system gives government when it comes to protecting public health and safety. Broad recalls on product, everything that’s in the supply chain prior to point of sale can be put on hold if necessary. And also, one batch of product could also be put on hold. Very helpful to be that granular, not just for the regulator, but it also helps businesses as well.

Going back to the vape crisis, if we would have had something like that systemically in the vaping industry, we probably would have been able to narrow down the offenders much quicker and prevent that widespread damage to that portion of the industry.

Ed Keating: Absolutely.

Lewis Koski: I’m sorry. Go ahead, Ed.

Ed Keating: Yeah. I was going to say absolutely. The point I wanted to make that came to me as you were speaking was the other benefit about managing the black market is they pay no taxes, and the states certainly want to get that revenue back to them. So it makes a lot of sense as just a public policy benefit, I think, that comes back to these states.

Lewis Koski: Yeah. And there’s a lot of states that use the data that’s in Metrc for that purpose. You can see a licensee’s or business’s tax returns and what they report to the state and how they pay taxes. You can overlay that with some of or a lot of the data that’s in the Metrc system as a way of being able to verify that what they had on hand was actually reported accurately.

And we see that in a lot of different ways, not just taxes, but there’s a lot of opportunity there for government to be able to use the data that’s in system to inform policy going forward.

Amanda Guerrero: So we’ve talked a lot about some of the benefits that states can have when working with Metrc and working with your team, Lewis. But I’m curious, what kind of challenges do you guys face when implementing your product and educating these markets, especially when some of these license holders don’t even know the importance of seed-to-sale or aren’t coming from that sector?

Lewis Koski: Yeah. Well, I think we have a little bit different perspective than most people do. Metrc was designed to address challenges that government was going to face regulated cannabis, right? So we were focused … As a company, we were focused on being able to help government be successful with regulating it. And there’s a lot of challenges to that.

So make no mistake about it. The government agencies that we partner with, they’re doing an amazing job. In fact, I’ve been really impressed with … especially after leaving Colorado and working with some other states as a consultant and then coming to Metrc, been really impressed with how dedicated the regulators are to leveraging tools like Metrc to be successful in monitoring licensees for compliance.

So we look at the challenges as part of our role in this and being able to address some of those. So given our position in the industry, we look for challenges and we look at them as opportunities to continue and evolve the system.

I had mentioned it before. We’ve tackled some pretty challenging public policy changes that have changed our way of thinking, at least from originally, on how track and trace could be best used, and then be able to expand it beyond that wholesale tier into delivery and more robust testing and a number of different things.

So we have a really strong history of being able to keep up with those. So I think, again, we look at challenges a little differently, and we carved a niche for ourselves in the industry by taking those challenges on as opportunities and really evolving the system.

Ed Keating: So one area that I wanted to find out more about, and it’s one that I’ve studied a lot, is looking at the ecosystem of all the companies that connect to Metrc. I think by my count, there’s, I think, over 300 now. And they run the gamut. They’re seed-to-sale, they’re point of sale, they’re grow software, delivery, et cetera.

So I’m curious, from Metrc’s side of things, what kind of training and support do they need and how do you work with them? Because they’re obviously an important part of what makes you successful, I would think.

Lewis Koski: Yeah. Well, you’re absolutely correct. They are very important to the entirety of the ecosystem. And just to set the stage here, in every state that we operate in, we offer an open API for other systems that licensees use to integrate into Metrc so that they can send data into Metrc and pull data out of Metrc and keep things reconciled between the two.

The centralized system, which is Metrc, is what the regulator looks into to monitor and to audit and to investigate. Licensees can actually in many ways be able to use some of the third party integrators that you mentioned, Ed, and not have to do dual entry into Metrc. And they could do it through an API or also CSV upload. So that’s how those businesses that you mentioned interact with Metrc. It’s through the API.

Originally, again, going back and discussing little bits of my experience around the API, originally it was just to eliminate dual entry between a point of sale system or another ERP type system. Dual entry in those systems and in Metrc, we were really concerned, I remember, as a regulator at the time that that type of dual entry would lead to less accurate data in the system that we were reviewing. So the API’s really been able to help that. And we started with probably a half a dozen or a dozen different integrators back then.

And you’re right. There’s literally hundreds of different companies that integrate through the API with Metrc. And over time, the needs have certainly gotten to be more than just eliminating dual entry for the licensees. They’re trying to create a number of different efficiencies for their customers. And we have a lot of opportunities to share in each other’s success by continuing to expand and evolve the API program.

To that end, most of 2020 and coming now into 2021, we’ve done a lot of outreach with the third party integrator community. Initially, it was because we had the intention of implementing rate limiting through the API. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that. But in talking with the third party integrator community, we learned a lot more about other things that they have an interest in us continuing to expand and evolve that is maybe even a separate product for the company.

So real quick on rate limiting, so I’m not going to give you a real detailed, technical explanation of it. But if you do not have rate limiting through your API, chances are good one integrator could potentially make so many calls into the system that it could slow down the system at the API level, making it hard for other third party integrators to communicate with Metrc.

So during 2020, we implemented two phases of a three phase rate limiting project, where we started limiting the number of calls that the third party integrators could make into the system. And it’s had a real positive impact on the performance of the API level of our system and, ultimately, the performance at the user interface, where licensees use it.

And again, during that time, we had an opportunity to work with the third party integrator community, and we’ve started creating a list of things that we’re going to be working with them on to improve the level of technical support, finding new ways for us to share in each other’s success, better communication when we move development work into the production environment. So they have the tools that they need to effectively test changes to their integration.

There’s just a number of different things that we’ve been able to learn from them. And I reflect back on my time in Colorado. Part of what made Colorado a successful regulated environment is not just a willingness to engage with other stakeholders, but understanding it’s actually essential. And so we’ve applied some of that level of interest in the third party integrator community, and we’ve been doing a lot of work with them to better understand their needs.

Amanda Guerrero: Well, thank you so much for that really detailed insight into the relationships. I know that’s something that Ed and I have looked into, primarily Ed, I’ll give him the credit there, but especially when looking at the software stack and which groups fit in with Metrc. We have been able to observe that over the last few years.

Now, looking into the future here, we’ve got a lot of activity coming in for new markets within the cannabis space, hemp licenses growing. What’s next for Metrc, and what do we have to look forward from you guys?

Lewis Koski: Yeah. Well, I think 2020 was a really good year for the industry, in so much as that it was deemed essential during the pandemic. One of the side effects to that was, though, that as state legislatures were grappling with some of the challenges of the COVID pandemic, cannabis legalization fell off the policymaking agenda, right?

And so now, this year, post-election, we know who the new administration is, they’re in place. During the same election cycle, five new states adopted more permissive cannabis policy and expanded or created new markets for cannabis legalization. We’re already seeing a lot of activity in other states and their legislatures looking to adopt legalization policy. Just yesterday, I think I heard something about Wisconsin and the Wisconsin governor making that a top priority.

So we’re going to still … It’s not just going to be the five states that resolve some of that during the election cycle. There’s going to be more work that gets done at the legislature. So 2021, going into 2022 promises to be, I think, a couple of years of expansion. And then also, too, there’s some potential for some incremental change at the federal level, too, over the next couple years.

So I guess all that is to say we expect more jurisdictions to come online with legalization frameworks. And as those jurisdictions come online, we certainly have an interest in being able to partner with them, like we have 16 other jurisdictions around the country. So I think that’s number one.

I think number two, since we are, I think, the most trusted track and trace system in the country, and I think we’re best positioned, not just because we have a system that works really well, but also, too, we have teams now that have been involved in a dozen or more implementations or a dozen or more evolutions of cannabis policy across the country. And so as we continue to grow our footprint with our core product, we also see an opportunity for us to expand some of the service offerings that we have to continually make that a better option for the regulators and the licensee community.

So we see opportunities in the area of more robust and systematized training opportunities. We see opportunities for more robust reporting and visualization of the data and a number of different other areas that we see going into the future. And I think our recipe for success to do a world class track and trace system and do it very, very well. And we’re really established in that area. And so now, I think there’s some opportunity for us to be able to expand that service offering and continue to make it more and more effective as the cannabis legalization frameworks continue to evolve.

Amanda Guerrero: Do you have any new market predictions that you want to lay on us here on the Cannacurio show?

Lewis Koski: Oh, everybody likes the predictions. I would bet … So I don’t know that I have any state specific predictions, but I think similar to what I was talking about before, I think you’re absolutely going to see more conversation at the federal level about cannabis, and whether that’s more focused on social justice or reparation, restorative justice of some form, or if it’s focused more on what a nationalized legalization would look and the impact it would have. On the commercial market, I definitely think we’ll see a lot more conversation there and maybe even some movement in that area over the next year or two. So I think that’s one prediction.

Maybe on another … at another time, we can talk a little bit more about the pros and cons of such an approach. And then I think, too, you’re going to see probably close to as many states, if not more, pass legislation this year, that you’re going to see just as many of those as you did see the five states that passed something during the election cycle. And that may not seem like a big deal, but up until this point, by and large, most legalization frameworks have come as the result of some sort of voter initiative.

And now, I think since most of those states have already … they allow for that type of public policy process, the balance of those will have to get it all done through the legislature. So I think you’ll start to see a trend going down the way where the legislatures and the governor administrations are working together to put a framework together for legalization.

Amanda Guerrero: Very cool. Well, you heard it here first, folks, straight from Lewis’s mouth. We’ve got a lot to look forward to, not just with the five states that just passed this past November, but also from a federal standpoint, legalization standpoint, and from a new market growth as well.

Lewis, it has been such a pleasure having you on the show. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, your knowledge. This was great.

Lewis Koski: Well, I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you, and I look forward to the next time.

Ed Keating: Great. Thanks, Lewis.

Amanda Guerrero: Of course. Thank you. Well, everyone, this was the Canancurio Podcast. I’m Amanda, joined by my lovely cohost Ed. We just wrapped up a conversation with Lewis Koski, COO of Metrc. We’ll have more conversations to come. So everyone, just stay tuned for more updates from the Data Vault.

Ed Keating

Ed Keating is a co-founder and Chief Data Officer of Cannabiz Media and oversees our data research and government relations efforts. He has spent his whole career working with and advising information companies in the compliance space. Ed has overseen complex multijurisdictional product lines in the securities, corporate, UCC, safety, environmental and human resource markets and focuses on workflow products over the last twenty five years. During that time he has worked for both startup and established information companies where he has led marketing, product management and sales organizations. These companies include Wolters Kluwer/Commerce Clearing House, CT Corporation, EDGAR Online and Business & Legal Reports. At Cannabiz Media Ed enjoys the challenge of working with regulators across the globe as he and his team gather corporate, financial, and license information to track the people, products and businesses in the cannabis economy. Ed graduated from Hamilton College and received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

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