PODCAST EPISODE

BRT S03 EP13 (112) 3-27-2022 – Cannabis Supply Chain & License Structure in AZ w/ Demitri Downing of Marijuana Industry Trade Association

Business Roundtable

Mar 28 2022 • 1 hr 6 mins


BRT S03 EP13 (112) 3-27-2022 –

Cannabis Supply Chain & License Structure in AZ w/ Demitri Downing of Marijuana Industry Trade Association

Things We Learned This Week

  • Need for Strong State Level Associations in Cannabis industry
  • AZ Cannabis License Structure of vertical integration should be broken up
  • Recreational Medicinal should be open to more people & medicinal should not be taxed
  • Special Committee is needed to analyze industry – use, marketing, regulations, laws, etc. – Alcohol Prohibition Model is out dated concept
  • Supply Chain Issues – AZ long term could be a Cannabis exporter nationally & then internationally

Guests: Demitri Downing w/ MITA AZ

https://mita-az.org/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/demitri-downing-5250531/

Demitri Downing is a former prosecutor and industry registered lobbyist who is part of the original vanguard of Arizona medical marijuana industry leaders. Dedicated to building a vibrant and successful market, Downing has distinguished himself as a vested industry expert and influential trailblazer. With a strong understanding of both policy and operations on a local and international level, Downing was instrumental in drafting Prop 205, Arizona’s 2016 legalization bill and currently serves as an advisor to the 2020 Arizona recreational initiative committee.

In May of 2016, seeing the need for strong State level industry associations, Downing founded MITA-AZ, the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association, the state’s first and largest industry trade association. He is also the co-founder of the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo, which hosted shows in Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, and Miami. In addition, he has collaborated with other industry innovators to foster inclusivity and cultural and ethnic diversity in the cannabis space. As part Native American and Mexican, Downing is the founding member of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition (NICC), an organization focused on guiding native communities into emerging cannabis market opportunities and founding member of the Mexican Cannabis Business Alliance. Downing is also the co-founder of AMMA PAC, a patient’s first organization in Arizona, and co-founder of digital publication Arizona Cannabis Monthly.

Notes:

Demitri Downing – is an AZ native, U of A grad who worked as a prosecutor from 1998 – 2010 prosecutor

Has Relatives working in business and politics

Demitri got involved in the Cannabis industry in 2012, & MITA-AZ was started in 2016 as a Cannabis and Marijuana Networking Association

Nov. 2010  - AZ medicinal use, Aug. 2012 -  first licenses to start

Nov. 2016 – bill failed for recreational use for adults consumer use

Nov 2020 – legalized starting January 2021 for adult consumer use.

Therapeutic cannabis use – per Demitri it’s all ‘adult use’, whether medicinal (30%) or recreational (70%)

Recreational medicinal should be open to more people + medicinal should not be taxed.

Cannabis Laws & Regs are different per state, states are silos vs common laws

Recs Special committee to analyze industry – use, marketing, regulations, laws

Demitri believes Marijuana industry is about Choice & Personal Freedom – right to drink alcohol, or coffee, smoke cigarettes and now cannabis

Industry distribution has changed, Cartel and ‘the dealer’ at schools are gone now

Supply chain is business industry

Licensing system is done vertically in AZ – grow, cultivate, dispense

Should be split up – dispensing, retail, farming and cultivation, manufacturing

Prohibition concept (see Alcohol model) of Cannabis rules is outdated.

Limited licensing currently – 1 license tied to every 10 pharmacies

Demitri wants AZ to be exporter nationally and then internationally.

Inter-state Model – current vs Intra-state Model - future

Other states have different models – likes Oklahoma  - different licenses, not vertical.

Q’s why even have a distribution license i.e. – why can’t cannabis be sold in other places like a bar and why not have more manufacturers?

Get more licenses – merit based, specialized, limited, cost now is $20 million to buy license. Kick out wrong people and give more people opportunities – open access and open door, but limited.

Mint – example of a AZ based group

Rules of marketing and advertising –

Tax Issues with Federal 280 E reg, not legal, move to tax of 25% max

Free market economics& Supply chain economics

March 30, 2022 – MITA AZ has event, AZ Cannabis Week, business & networking

https://mita-az.org/events/

BRT Clip from 11/28/2021

BRT - Best of Women in Cannabis 2021

Guest: Melissa Diaz w/ Rebel Rock
- customized accounting solutions, HR, and M&A for the Cannabis industry in AZ
https://rebelrock.co/melissa-diaz/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-k-diaz-cpa-10215623/

Melissa Diaz returns to BRT to talk about the Cannabis business one year removed from recreational legalization (11/2020). She covers topics on licenses, M&A moves and consolidation, sales growth, current regulations and legal challenges. She is so well connected in the Phoenix market and nationally that the insights are of the moment and from the ground.

Melissa Diaz is one of the leading women voices in the Phoenix Cannabis industry. The Cannabis industry is so new, that pre-conceived business notions that usually favor men have not really taken a foothold. There are numerous dispensary and Cannabis support type business started and run by women in the last 5 years. Not only are there capitalism and growth opportunities, but also gender ones in this business.

Full Show: HERE

Cannabis Topic: https://brt-show.libsyn.com/category/Cannabis-Hemp-Marijuana

‘Best Of’ Topic: https://brt-show.libsyn.com/category/Best+of+BRT

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Business Roundtable with Matt Battaglia

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