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NOCO Hemp Expo 8th Annual

Business Conference and Investment Summit
March 24

Join us for the NoCo Hemp Expo Business Conference and Investment Summit — an exclusive one-day event featuring company founders and CEOs, industry leaders and experts, qualified and accredited investors, analysts, and financial professionals. At the Summit, we’ll cover the current hemp business and investment landscape, insights on trends and strategies, the global market, and evaluating opportunities for the future.

Farm Symposium & Ag Tech Forum
March 25

The NoCo Farm Symposium & Ag Tech Forum will present what’s next for hemp farmers and is dedicated to helping educate producers about the agribusiness of hemp and cannabis-related agriculture. Topics will range from regenerative-organic techniques, soil health, genetics, harvesting and processing innovations, new technology and equipment, updated regulations and compliance rules from the USDA, FDA, state departments of agriculture and other issuing authorities, and more.

The WAFBA Awards of Excellence Dinner
and Other Special Networking Events

This year’s NoCO8 will debut a new WAFBA Awards of Excellence Dinner on March 24 to recognize hemp industry founders and innovators of distinction. In addition, NoCo8 will present a Kickoff Conversation and Welcome Reception on March 23. Capping off the event, NoCo8 producer Colorado Hemp Company invites all attendees to its 10th Anniversary Celebration & After Party!

Medical Marijuana and Federal Prosecutions – A New Take on Protections for State Licensees

By: Ben Morrical, Brian Higgins, and Andrea Steel

In late January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued its opinion in United States v. Bilodeau, 2022 WL 225333 (1st Cir., Jan. 26, 2022), a case involving two marijuana growers from Maine who were indicted by the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) on charges of violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The growers were operating three facilities in Maine where they grew and/or distributed marijuana, purportedly as registered caregivers to qualified patients, which is legal under Maine’s medical marijuana laws. The growers maintained “facially valid documents” demonstrating their compliance with such laws.

However, after an investigation into the growers’ operation, federal agents executed search warrants for two of the growers’ facilities and subsequently indicted the growers for, among other things, “knowing and intentional manufacture and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in violation of the CSA and conspiracy to do the same.” The growers then petitioned the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine for an injunction preventing the federal government from proceeding with the prosecutions, arguing that the Rohrabacher amendment prohibited the use of federal funds for such an endeavor.

Rohrabacher’s Practical Limit on Prosecution

The Rohrabacher amendment, named for former US Representative for California’s 48th district Dana Rohrabacher, is a rider that has been attached to Congress’ annual appropriations bill every year since 2015. The amendment stipulates that none of the funds made available to the DOJ under Congress’ annual appropriations bills may be used to prevent any of the fifty states from “implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” As stated by the First Circuit, the Rohrabacher amendment “places a practical limit on federal prosecutors’ ability to enforce the CSA with respect to certain conduct involving medical marijuana.”

The growers asserted that, pursuant to the Rohrabacher amendment, the DOJ could not use federal funds to prosecute them for violating the CSA. They argued that because their allegedly illegal activities were authorized under Maine’s medical marijuana laws, a prosecution for such activities would therefore amount to the DOJ effectively preventing Maine from implementing its own laws authorizing the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana. The District Court did not agree with the growers, however, and ruled that the prosecution of all counts against them could proceed. The court premised this decision on its finding that the growers were “patently out of compliance” with Maine’s medical marijuana laws and were instead “part of a ‘large-scale… black-market marijuana operation’” that was clearly not authorized by such laws. The growers then appealed the Court’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

A Nuanced Interpretation of Rohrabacher

In hearing the interlocutory appeal, the First Circuit became only the second of the federal circuit courts to interpret the Rohrabacher amendment, following the Ninth Circuit’s 2016 decision in United States v. McIntosh, 833 F.3d 1163. In its opinion, the First Circuit began by agreeing with the Ninth Circuit’s reading of the amendment and its conclusion that “the DOJ may not spend funds to bring prosecutions if doing so prevents a state from giving practical effect to its medical marijuana laws.” The First Circuit further echoed the Ninth Circuit by acknowledging that “the prosecution of persons whose conduct fully complied with” Maine’s medical marijuana laws would prevent those laws from having much practical effect, which is “precisely what the rider forbids.”

Importantly, however, the First Circuit ultimately disagreed with the Ninth Circuit regarding the circumstances under which a federal prosecution would prevent a state from giving practical effect to its medical marijuana laws. Rather than adopting the Ninth Circuit’s “strict-compliance test to differentiate between prosecutions that prevent a state’s medical marijuana laws from having practical effect and those that do not,” the First Circuit opted for a more nuanced approach. It rejected the strict-compliance test promulgated by the Ninth Circuit in McIntosh on the grounds that “the potential for technical noncompliance is real enough that no person through any reasonable effort could always assure strict compliance.”

While recognizing that the strict-compliance requirement went too far, however, the First Circuit stressed that “Congress surely did not intend for the [Rohrabacher amendment] to provide a safe harbor” to those with facially valid documents “without regard for blatantly illegitimate activity.” The First Circuit stated that in this case, the evidence clearly showed that the growers’ outward appearance of compliance with Maine’s medical marijuana laws was a façade, employed for the purposes of selling marijuana to unauthorized users. Thus, the First Circuit upheld the ruling of the District Court, affirming its denial of the growers’ motion to enjoin their prosecutions.

Impact of Bilodeau on Medical Marijuana Laws

Though the Maine growers were unsuccessful in challenging their prosecution by the DOJ under the Rohrabacher amendment, the First Circuit’s interpretation of the amendment is an important development in the field of medical marijuana law. The only previous judicial guidance regarding the application and effect of the Rohrabacher amendment, provided by the Ninth Circuit in McIntosh, stipulated that individuals involved in the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana must strictly comply with all aspects of their state’s medical marijuana laws to avoid being prosecuted by the federal government for violations of the CSA. The First Circuit has now supplied a fresh interpretation in Bilodeau that is much friendlier to those in the medical marijuana business.

Close up of medical marijuana buds sitting medical prescription pad on black background

Under the First Circuit’s approach, one who is legally engaging in the industry under their state’s medical marijuana laws cannot be prosecuted by the DOJ for it unless their conduct rises to the level of “blatantly illegitimate activity.” If a medical marijuana grower or distributor is making a reasonable effort to comply with their state’s medical marijuana laws, they will be protected from federal prosecution by the Rohrabacher amendment, even if there are aspects of their conduct that are not in strict compliance with such laws.

Of course, it must be noted that the First Circuit’s interpretation of the Rohrabacher amendment in Bilodeau is not binding on other federal judicial circuits, nor does it provide a bright line rule. The First Circuit itself acknowledged that in “charting this middle course,” it did not “fully define [the] precise boundaries” of what types of conduct would qualify as “blatantly illegitimate activity.” The only activity that the First Circuit has clearly classified as “blatantly illegitimate” is that of the growers in Bilodeau – an operation “aimed at supplying [marijuana to] persons whom [none of the prosecuted growers] ever thought were qualifying patients under Maine law.”

Takeaways for Medical Marijuana Businesses

In light of Bilodeau, those engaging in the medical marijuana business should continue to make every effort possible to fully comply with all aspects of their state’s medical marijuana laws. Though it is promising that the First Circuit’s decision in Bilodeau interprets the Rohrabacher amendment as providing greater protection from DOJ prosecution for state-licensed medical marijuana growers and distributors, this is still a very new area of law which is rife with the possibility of conflict between the federal government and the state legislatures that have enacted statutes legalizing medical marijuana within their borders.

Those in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico who are legally growing, selling, buying, or using medical marijuana under their state’s laws can take some degree of comfort in knowing that they are not likely to be federally prosecuted for minor failures to comply, so long as they are not engaging in blatantly illegitimate activity. However, those in other states should continue to err on the side of caution when it comes to strict compliance, as there is no telling whether the First Circuit’s interpretation of the Rohrabacher amendment will be adopted by other federal circuit courts.

February Edition Now Available

The new edition of the Texas Hemp Reporter is available in Austin and Houston area smoke shops this week for free . . many growers and producers will also receive them by mail as well. This February we honor Jack Herer as his brand of genetics makes its way to Texas via the Texas A & M Hemp Breeding Program with Dr. Russell Jessup. Also profiled is Belushi Farms of Oregon, they grow some of the best cannabis in the Northwest US and Jim and his team share some of their success with us here in Texas. Also when it comes to merchant services we discuss how best to start using our friends at Flex Payment Solutions. Also we look at the Culture of Cannabis nationwide as the country moves into more states with legal programs. Introducing the Texas Agriculture Commissioner Candidates for the March 1, 2022 – Primary Election.

Dan Herer Podcast #63

Dan Herer grew up watching his father’s activism but it wasn’t until his father’s death that he decided to enter the business. He is the founder of the Jack Herer Foundation and Herer Group, where he is conducting research, developing products and producing cannabis. Herer Group is a corporate umbrella overseeing vertically integrated companies in the California cannabis market. The Group manages Herer Distribution, Herer Manufacturing, and Herer Labs & Research. All divisions are based in Santa Cruz, California. 

Tune in to this weeks show for a historical overview of the Legacy of “Jack Herer” as the Emperor’s Son follows his Father’s calling by advocating for Hemp and change in the US Drug policies and education the planet about the many gifts and wonders of natures greatest plant.

Jack Herer, sometimes called the “Emperor of Hemp”, was an American cannabis rights activist and the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a book—in 2020 in its fourteenth edition

The Story of Raw Papers

As a child Josh Kesselman would watch his father’s trick- lighting a rolling paper on fire throwing it in the air and POOF! It would vanish. Josh became obsessed with rolling papers and amassed a large collection as a hobby. In college during the 90’s he researched a class project of the aspects of opening a small smoke store in Gainesville Florida. “I got an A then decided hey what about really opening an actual store.” Josh tells. But nobody would fund or rent to a hippie, Harley-riding wannabe entrepreneur who would attract a stoner clientele. Finally someone agreed to lease an old record shop for 400 dollars a month. Being poor Josh moved into a friend’s shed. He was quite blank on how to move forward. He employed his “Tom Sawyer” theory of questioning customers what they wanted to see displayed, and would promise to have the product within two weeks. He always did and satisfied his clientele. People wanted oddities and Josh found that selling rarities increased his margins.

Then Josh sold a bong to the daughter of a US Customs Official. The police closed the store, confiscating bongs, pipes, but not the rolling papers.

Josh relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, a mecca for counter-cultural smokers. Josh found a pro-marijuana movement in the city as Arizona has become an adult-use state now. He did well with a shop selling hi-end European rolling papers. A Spanish craftsman came on and they developed an all natural product, no bleach, no chalk, vegan, plant-based. Some detractors called them brown bags but Josh was unmoved. Persistence paid off and RAW was born. In a year the papers had flooded the local market.

He approached a mill and promised to purchase one million tons. Once again he put all his money in his mouth. In 2008 hip hoppers began singing about RAW papers, Currency, Wiz Khalif, then 2Chainz, Chance, Rae Sremmund, Action, Chief Keef, and of course the Raw Song itself. Next Dom Kennedy, Ozworld and RAW became the shit.

Then there’s Josh the celebrity himself. YouTube, social media, gatherings, conventions, podcasts. Giving to charity: forming the RAW Foundation for philanthropy. Water is Life Intentional and Wine to Water, Trees for the Future,, Home “Fur” Good (for homeless animals), and KIVA, a crowdfunding source for the underprivileged.

Josh fought the FDA in their Tobacco Bill which banned flavored blunts, and there was a huge consumer backlash. “I believe in humanity strongly” Josh says of how inspiring it was to see regular people standing up for thier rights. Today Josh Kesselman employs over 2000 people and has a net worth of 42million. RAW is the most popular rolling paper brand in the world.

In 2020 a Spanish company HBI International sold rolling papers four times to hired investigators that were of an inferior quality under the RAW label. Mark Giangiuli and his partner Dawn were defendants as alleged operators. A lawsuit claimed the couple sold papers likely manufactured in China and India, whereas the bulk of rolling papers are made in Alcoy Spain. Pay Pay was the first rolling company in the world, in the 1700’s cigarettes used to be rolled in leaves and even newspaper. Mark Giangiuli responded to press inquires blaming HBI calling them “thugs” and referred to a prosecuting attorney as an “asshole”. Dawn his wife also left seriously viscous voicemails for inquiring journalists. Cited in court documents Giangiuli repeatedly denied selling counterfeit products and counter-sued. HBI also counter-sued asking for profit-loss of 2 million in damages. Neither side responded to journalist inquiries. In late 1990’s HBI had invited CEO RAW Josh Kesselman to Spain for a business meeting. In an article called “The Unfiltered History of Rolling Papers and Tommy Chong’s Big Jamaican Vacation” Kesselman admitted that he contacted a Niles from HBI.

Although the pandemic hurt sales RAW came out on top as the most health-conscious innovation in the smoker’s world. It’s hemp-based, burns slow, even, smooth and Josh reminds us “Blunts are not to be inhaled, just as cigars are not to be inhaled.”

MJ Unpacked

Post Event Stats

MJ Unpacked debuted October 21 & 22nd at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Event data

The event hosted 2545 total delegates.

  • 1054 retailers/verticals
  • 504 brands, manufacturers, processors, cultivators
  • 105 distributors/delivery services
  • 426 accredited investors

Last Prisoner Project

Over 1,000 tickets were sold to the MJ Unpacked Benefit Concert featuring the Blues Brothers & Sacred Hearts with 100% of the net proceeds donated to Last Prisoner Project.

Over $70,000 was raised to benefit Last Prisoner Project through the concert and event action.

Items were auctions from the Event floor that were donated by Green Broz, Cova Wellness Center, and Cannabis BPO.

Two individuals donated $12,000 each to get on stage and sing Soul Man.  They were both part of the GrowGeneration team.

Sponsors of the concert were GrowGeneration, Bubba Kush Wellness, LabWare Inc, Bhang Corporation, RedBird Bioscience, Budler, Planet Canit, Symphony Grow, and Ascend Wellness.

Next Event

New York CIty, May 4th & 5th, New York Hilton Midtown

About MJ Unpacked

All it takes is a spark. Premiering October 21 & 22 2021, MJ Unpacked is the first cannabis event of its kind that places passionate cannabis retailers and THC CPG brands at the center of it all, with unique opportunities to connect, collaborate and access capital. In a newly imagined format, executives are free to learn from fellow professionals, explore expansion opportunities and prepare to be competitive in a national market. MJ Unpacked is produced by Jage Media, Inc. For more information, please visit: 

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The Inside Story of How Wild Hemp® Won the Smokeable Hemp Ban Lawsuit

The Inside Story of How Wild Hemp® Won the Smoekable Hemp Ban Lawsuit

On August 23rd, 2021, smokable hemp products officially became legal to manufacture and sell in Texas. Many never noticed since the smokable hemp ban hadn’t been put into enforcement yet. Nevertheless, an invisible battle brewed between one company and the Texas Department of State Health Services, which ultimately decided the future of cannabis in Texas.

After the 2018 Farm Bill passed, legalizing hemp across the United States of America, an entirely new market emerged after decades of prohibition. At the that time, Global Tobacco® was the largest manufacturers of tobacco in Texas. Since tobacco manufacturing is a legacy industry with decreasing sales, Global Tobacco® was actively attempting to innovate and expand their product portfolio. When they heard the news that hemp was legalized, they saw this as their golden opportunity to completely revolutionize the smokeables industry. Under the brand Wild Hemp®, they created the first cigarette styled hemp pre-roll in the world, called the Hempette®. This product spread like wildfire across America becoming the first nationally recognized brand associated with the smokable side of the hemp and CBD industry.

This success was soon met with struggle when the State of Texas passed regulations that attempted to ban the manufacturing and sale of smokable hemp in Texas. Fortunately for the hemp industry, the parent company of Wild Hemp® put forth litigation to challenge this law, which ultimately became the case Crown Distributing LLC, et al. v. Texas Department of State Health Services, et al. Crown Distribution LLC is the distribution arm of Global Tobacco® and is owned and run by the same management.

While Wild Hemp® was challenging this case in court, Texas granted a temporary injunction allowing manufacturers and distributors of smokable hemp to continue operations while the case was being tried. If this injunction wasn’t granted, all retail and wholesale sales of hemp would have had to cease in Texas, and Wild Hemp® would have had to move their entire manufacturing base from Texas to a cannabis friendly neighboring state such as Oklahoma. Hundreds of Texans work in manufacturing smokable hemp, mostly for the Hempette®, and would have to either lose their jobs or relocate to continue making money. Moreover, many Texas farmers who are investing in and growing hemp would have a harder time selling their crops, since there would be no local market for smokable hemp. This would have put our farmers years behind other states in hemp and cannabis. Finally, Texas would lose out on millions of dollars in future tax revenue and economic growth.

The trial took over two years from putting forth the litigation to ultimately hearing the final verdict from Judge Lora Livingston. Not only did this take time, but it also took over $400,000 in legal fees mostly paid by Wild Hemp®. They also spent millions of dollars on a warehouse in Oklahoma before the injunction was granted, so that they could make sure their manufacturing continued no matter what happened.

Though the cost was steep, Wild Hemp® continued in their success and were able to grow their Hempette® to even higher sales and international recognition. Wild Hemp® have also expanded their smokable hemp line to include hemp wraps, disposable CBD vapes, and CBD cigarillos. With this victory under their belt, Wild Hemp® is excited for their future and are eager to develop and design more smokable hemp products in Texas.

To learn more about Wild Hemp® or the Hempette®, you can email us at [email protected], call us at +1 888 968 8273, or visit

TX Hemp Reporter blooming Circulation in Texas, Expanding to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

The Texas Hemp Reporter this November will be blooming itself across the Lone Star State in time for Harvest Season. With the recent expansion of Houston Texas market to receive the September edition, the Austin TX based Cannabis publication is headed north and south this November adding in two more metros totaling over a 1000 smoke shops in Texas. Dallas and San Antonio will begin receiving the free magazine in area CBD stores and smoke shops this holiday season. The expansion is a good thing for the growing Texas cannabis and Hemp market. With recent public awareness about new legislation and readily available medicines , cannabis has a growing fan base with fellow Texans.

The Texas Hemp Reporter is expanding the magazine across the state and will be offering a subscription base option for growers and fans of the industry publication living in more rural areas of the Lone Star State.

The producers of the magazine also host a popular podcast in the Texas arena , The Texas Hemp Show discuses legislative concerns, banking challenges, and often interviews business professionals in the Hemp space around the State. Tommy Chong, Sid Miller, Freeway Rick Ross, and recently Cheech Marin appeared on the podcast that also currently airs on local Talk Radio News Radio 590 KLBJ.

For more information or to advertise your business with the radio show or the magazine reach out to Publisher and Host Russell Dowden at 512-897-7823 or email [email protected] for more details on how to be a guest on the show or have your business profiled in the magazine.

TO Be Blunt

The moment I went from being a cannabis consumer to a cannabis brand owner, everything shifted. It’s like picking the red pill vs the blue pill, pick the blue pill and you can stay unaffected, unaware, and in contented ignorance. But pick the red pill and you are in for a truthfully rude but rewarding awakening.

That’s exactly how I felt when I launched RESTART CBD in 2018. I was now confronted with having to pick, and once I did, there was no going back.

Growing up I was a cannabis consumer. I was curious, passionate, and quite frankly, a regular. Austin, Texas had some effect on that being the live music capitol that it is. But I was also shielded. While marijuana wasn’t formally legal, our town is known for its relaxed stance on the plant.

Yes, legalization was a trending topic, but I knew it would be a long-shot before Texas got its head into the game. Plus, up until founding my own company, I had employers, and didn’t want to get myself tangled up in cannabis laws and regulations. It seemed daunting to even consider where to begin.

And then in 2015, as a pedestrian, I was hit by a car. I fractured my pelvis in two places and turned to cannabis as medicine. It soothed me and helped me heal, and in particular CBD was the active cannabinoid I accredited a lot of my pain relief to.

So when we launched RESTART CBD, my history with both personal appreciation as well as personal recovery from this plant was the foundation for our brand. But I didn’t go into it thinking this is how I’m going to change the world.

I did, however, know that by telling my story, I could help impact someone else who was on the fence about cannabis. I had short term vision in what would turn into a long term pursuit.

Quickly my one-on-one conversations with consumers began to multiply. I was watching this industry unfold before my eyes, right here in my home state, and I was a helping hand in that development.

I remember thinking early on in 2019, after we had been in business for a few months, wondering what the regulatory process was like and considering how to get involved. I determined that instead of waiting and being reactionary to the industry, I would be proactive and participatory in how things were rolling out.

Now that I was self employed and embarking on this emerging industry in not only Texas, but really in our nation, I decided I would take the red pill and journey into the unknown.

The work that I and others are doing in the industry is extremely important and perhaps this resonates with you as well.

The point that I’m trying to make is we are just in the beginning stages of a very turbulent endeavor. We’ve had smokable bans thrown at us, FDA warnings sent to prevent deviating from the law, and legislative sessions that seem like they’re going to make history for better and for worse all at the same time.

We have also made incredible discoveries of new and emerging cannabinoids. Hemp’s federally legal status has allowed for more cannabis related research on it’s long term effects relating to treatments and diseases.

In my short but deep time in the industry, I’ve learned a lot from running a cannabis business.

There is so much to unpack and understand. The nuances of the industry could keep you up at night. It can be overwhelming, but can also be rewarding. Both for the good and the bad guys.

There will be people who want to make a quick buck, game the system, and exploit cannabinoids to unassuming consumers. I see it happening every day. They exist and will continue to exist. You will have to navigate around them.

But there will also be people who are dedicated to making genuine change in this industry. And I’m a big believer in making the impact in your own backyard. So while it may feel like you’re taking on a mountain, you really just have to focus on your next best step.

Look, I’m not the enforcement agency. I’m truly just a die hard Texan who seeks to see her state have proper cannabis laws. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope for a future where I would have access to continue to sell, work, and educate in an industry that I love.

The hard truth is, we don’t know what the future holds. We can’t project how the politics and policies that govern this plant at a state and federal level will go. But we can sure as hell pull a chair up and ask a lot of questions.

It starts with you.

There are some amazing organizations who are truly dedicated to helping make change happen. I highly recommend getting involved with as many as you can.

Texas NORML has been a key resource from the beginning for me, in keeping me both aware of what is happening, as well as providing me with a path towards action. Another organization that has recently emerged is the Texas Hemp Coalition. As a business, I am in business for the consumer, and as part of that I need to band together with people who are motivated by similar reasons.

Working with both organizations has been integral in helping me be able to leave a mark in an industry that has given me so much.

We can make change, but we have to make the choice to do so first.

Which pill will you take?

This column is an extension of the To Be Blunt podcast, new episodes every Monday at, and I’d love to personally connect with you on IG @theshaydatorabi.

Rodkey’s Health & Wellness:

Rodkey’s Health & Wellness, San Antonio, Tx, I

Charles Rodkey Jr. is a true pioneer in the CBD retail and manufacturing space.  A self-proclaimed plant science savant, Charles had already spent years researching and studying cannabis when he left a successful 20-plus year career in the medical supply industry.  Motivated by a desire to follow his true passion, Charles formulated CBD products designed to grant his mother some much-needed relief from inflammation.  Recognizing the vast market for affordable salves and tinctures, he opened the first exclusive CBD retail store in Texas in 2017.  After enjoying immediate success and expanding the business to a second store, Charles and his family decided to move in a new direction.  They created Structure CBD, which quickly became a well-recognized manufacturing and wholesale brand, while staying active in retail with a combined store and coffee shop-Rodkey’s Health and Wellness.  The proprietary blend of ingredients in his formulations have taken the industry by storm, and he notes with pride that all of his products are manufactured in a Texas-licensed facility right there in his home city of San Antonio.

Texas Hemp Reporter: Can you explain the difference between plant and isolate products?

Rodkey’s Health & Wellness: Whole plant (full spectrum) extracts are going to contain a wide range of plant cannabinoids and terpenes along with trace amounts of THC. CBD Isolate is the isolated CBD molecule with all other cannabinoids and terpenes removed during the refinement process, it is a 99.9%+ pure CBD extract. Isolate products are a better choice for those who have regular drug screens or simply want to stay away from THC in general.

THR: What products do you offer for pets?

Rodkey’s: Rodkey’s carries the Structure CBD Pet line which includes sublingual tinctures and bacon cheeseburger treats.  Some pet parents also opt to use our Rodkey’s water-soluble CBD “Rapid” to add directly to their pet’s water bowl.

THR: You have many different coffees, teas and drinks, as well as kombucha and shots.  The shots can be added to any of the drinks?

Rodkey’s: Yes, customers have the option to add CBD, Immune Boost, our natural allergy formula, collagen, and several other health-based adaptogenic compounds to any beverage. We wanted to keep these offerings optional so our customers can essentially create their own beverage, there is truly something for everyone! We also offer a variety of craft pastries from various local businesses.

THR: You also have some cosmetics, tinctures and topical solutions, all with your name on the label.  Do you manufacture these yourself?

Rodkey’s: Yes, we procure high-quality, raw ingredients and produce all of our products in a state-regulated and licensed lab in the heart of San Antonio, Tx. Our products then go through a vigorous third-party testing process to ensure purity and potency.

THR: Rodkeys is a one-stop health and wellness shop.  Do you have plans to add any more products or consumables in the near future? Or more locations?

Rodkey’s: We are constantly watching this ever-evolving industry and adding new products, our latest addition being the new Structure CBD line of Delta 8 products. New locations are always a possibility!

THR: I see by your Facebook page you have also hosted DJ’s from San Antonio, the Panhandle and Austin.  Can you talk about your dedication to local talent?

I have been involved in the local DJ scene for many years and have always had a passion for house music. I decided to incorporate Friday night music into our business in light of COVID to help support local musicians during a difficult time, while offering a safe, fun, and relaxing Friday night option for our customers- it is a win/win!

In their 6+ years of being in the Hemp CBD industry, Charles and Meggie have seen “very positive results from thousands of clients.”

You can visit Rodney’s Health and Wellness and design your own drink at 9630 Huebner Road, Suite 101 in San Antonio, Tx.  You can check out their Green Couch Sessions on Friday nights from 6-9pm, when they have local DJ’s spinning house music, free coffee, CBD and pre-roll specials, and check out

Steve DeAngelo, Father of the Cannabis Industry

Texas Hemp Reporter: It is quite an honor to speak with you Steve. Most interviewers would ask this kind of a question toward the close, I’ll flip the coin. What is the future of cannabis?

Steve: The future of hemp is to become the most profitable cash crop on Earth. Dollar per dollar volume cannabis will begin to outsell actually any other single product. Here’s some statistics, since legalization in California alcohol use is down by 25%.. in most areas where legalization has occurred alcohol use reduction is between 15 and 20%. And I should mention Pabst Blue Ribbon has come out with a non-alcohol hemp tonic.

So many products can be replaced with hemp-based ones that are equal in price or cheaper to construct. If you press hemp seeds you get a wonderful emerald thick liquid that is bio-fuel for diesel engines. If you mix hemp seed oil with 10% ethanol, also derivable from hemp, you have a perfect bio-fuel for any diesel engine. Grind hemp seeds up you get hemp milk, a delicious beverage to put in your coffee or granola. Take a truck. Some of the truck’s body could be made from plastic from hemp oil, the engine could run on hemp diesel, the boxes the truck carries could be hemp fiber, the socks and shoes of the driver could be hemp..

Hemp is the toughest fiber, much tougher than cotton. They found wills and bequests from the middle ages where people would bequeath their hemp linens to new generations because they don’t wear out. The Levi

company has come out with jeans that are 30% hemp. That’s because they see that hemp is eco-friendly and sustainable. Using hemp paper and for furniture we could eliminate the need to cut down trees. Hemp wood is 20% stronger than oak and 100 times faster to grow.

There’s something like 25,000 products that are hemp-derived.

Texas Hemp Reporter:  You’ve co-founded or founded about ten businesses and organizations. Are you a counter-cultural hero?

Steve: I don’t think it is very heroic for someone to refer to themselves as a hero. I think that I am very lucky to have seen the light at a young age and to have the skills to organize things. I love to found, I love to get a business going then as it grows and others can manage it I move onto to something new. As far as the counter culture is concerned.. look the hippies gave us the personal computer right? The hippies gave us organic food to eat, the hippes gave us the electric car, introduced the west to yoga.

Texas Hemp Reporter: I personally believe there is a strong subculture surrounding the whole CBD thing, and medical marijuana. Do you think we can tap into this culture to make the industry more compassionate? To “love the plant” as you say?

Steve: Yeah. I believe so. Look we better, we’re destroying this planet real fast, we as consumers have a mission and we better act on it. I didn’t start

out to create a new industry but a new kind of industry. As with our Last Prisoner Project I approached the industry for support and they came through. In only a year and a half we have seen the release of thousands around the world, some due to Covid 19 petitions. Michael Thompson was released after serving 24 years of a minimum 40-years sentence. He was the longest serving non-violent prisoner  of Michigan. All for selling 3 pounds of marijuana.

Also we hope to widen the investment in new licensees, as with Arc-view. We are interested as much in how not to invest.. there is a large disproportion of new cannabis licenses in disadvantaged communities. We have to see black and brown people thriving in an industry they had a lot to do with founding. We need to find out how to support, create capital flow, sustain, educate and see those people grow.

Texas Hemp Reporter: I have been studying some of your writings. From your website, “A Lesson From Another Teacher” it is exciting because you’re talking about medical psychedelics.

Steve: Yes. I was traveling over four continents meeting with growing cannabis ventures when right in my hometown of Oakland California the city decriminalized natural visionary plants making psychoactive substances the lowest priority of the Oakland Police Department. I have always wanted to see visionary plants decriminalized as a Drug Reform activist. Also as a person who has incorporated psychedelics and cannabis into my own spirituality.

If you follow the history you know of cannabis, from the oldest known usages in central Asia, if you go east you find that marijuana became central to Hindu culture in India, and Buddhism such that it is a medicine in the Ayurveda canon. Excavations have found cannabis in temples, around statues, if you travel to Japan, the indigenous religion of Shinto, there will be a long hemp rope at the entrance to Shinto temples.

It has been shown in Israel use of cannabis as a grave offering, especially young women who had died in childbirth. And in Egypt it was burnt to clear temples. Really everywhere it is woven into the spiritual practices of peoples. It was central to ancient Greece, as were many other psychoactive plants. It wasn’t until Rome solidified their empire making Christianity the state religion which banned all psychoactive plant use. You see all those old Greek statues that are missing arms and such, that was hordes of Christians who would come in and search out anyone using any psychedelic plant, take them out of their homes and execute them. Even all those philosophers of the Academy which gave us western civilization they were using all sorts of psychoactive plants.

Interview conducted by Sana v’Ritzvah

Steve DeAngelo is a globally recognized cannabis leader who was dubbed “the father of the legal industry” by former Speaker of the California Assembly & 41st Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. From grassroots community campaigns to appearing on national television networks and every uphill battle for legalization in between, his trailblazing work and creation of a model medical cannabis dispensary that set best practices for an entire industry make him one of the world’s top cannabis experts, foremost thought leaders, and recognized entrepreneurs.

Steve is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Harborside, now a publicly-traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange with California dispensary locations in Oakland,  San Jose, San Leandro, and Desert Hot Springs-only the second dispensary in California to feature a drive-thru. The vertically integrated California cannabis company founded in 2006 has more than 300,000 registered patients. Rooted in Steve’s belief that cannabis use should be wellness centric, Harborside was one of the first in the nation to support comprehensive cannabis education for seniors, veterans, and families with severely ill children. Featured in numerous high profile media pieces and winning multiple awards, including Best Dispensary in California (2017), Harborside continues to set the industry gold standard and is a leading advocate for diversity, environmental sustainability, and economic justice in the cannabis sector. 

Steve is also Co-Founder of Steep Hill, Inc., the first commercial cannabis lab in the country, and Co-Founder of Arcview Group, the first cannabis investment firm. Steep Hill has grown to become a world leader in cannabis science and technology with extensive expertise in lab testing, remote testing, genetics, research and development, and intellectual property licensing. Arcview angel investment network now includes more than 600 accredited investors and has raised over $270 million for 200 cannabis-related companies to date. Steve formerly served Arcview as Vice President; the firm remains dedicated to galvanizing progressive drug policy reform by empowering a responsible, profitable industry.

Early on as an activist, Steve was skipping school to attend anti-war demonstrations and eventually dropped out to join the Youth International Party – also known as the Yippies. He went on to become the lead organizer of the annual Fourth of July Smoke-In in D.C., carrying the position for a decade. Steve graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland. He also opened a legendary D.C. counter-cultural gathering place that became known as a refuge for local cannabis and peace activists during the Reagan-Bush era, including William Kunstler, Wavy Gravy, and author Jack Herer. Steve helped Jack Herer edit and publish the manuscript for his soon-to-be-famous book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” and became a lead organizer of the first Hemp Museum and Hemp Tour. He created his first cannabis business, Ecolution; the company was one of the first to ride an industrial hemp boom, manufacturing hemp clothing and accessories for retail sales in 50 states and 21 countries during the ’90s.

Continuing to stand tirelessly for legalization and decriminalization of cannabis around the globe, Steve remained at the forefront of the cannabis reform movement, playing a pivotal role in the passage of Initiative 59-Washington D.C.’s medical cannabis law. After a legal battle lasting four years with the U.S. Department of Justice, he ultimately succeeded in defending their multiple attempts to close Harborside. He helped to pass Prop 64, California’s adult-use law, and making history on January 1, 2018, made the first legal cannabis sale in California’s first moments of legal recreational use.  

As an industry pioneer and progressive leader, Steve attracts global invitations to present and appear before audiences of thousands, reaching beyond cannabis and inspiring action toward restorative and equal justice, individual and community wellness, and cultural change for the sustainability of earth and humankind. At SXSW 2019, he gave the first-ever cannabis-themed keynote to be featured at the conference and was invited to return as a featured presenter the very next year.  A reputable and known American cannabis leader, advocate, and educator, he appeared by invitation to renowned Oxford Union in Great Britain for the 2017 ‘War on Drugs’ debate sessions. Appearing before audiences around the world is a natural progression of Steve’s life work. As a prime advocate of diversity, sustainability, and social justice, he carries his message to help build a world that lives by the same values cannabis can teach.

Steve is the author of The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness, and an originator of the wellness approach to understanding cannabis. His acclaimed book is a compelling account of a personal journey with cannabis that outlines numerous solid arguments for legalization while presenting research-backed benefits of the plant. In its first week of release, the title became number one bestseller in the Wellness category on Amazon-the book’s guiding statement: “Cannabis is not harmful, but prohibition is.” Steve DeAngelo’s special feature presentations for keynote delivery include The Cannabis Renaissance Global Edition, Whole Plant Medicine is the Best Medicine, North American Roots: The Cannabis Plant & Prohibition’s Truth, and The Cannabis Creed (debuting at SXSW 2020).

Steve’s great success and persevering advocacy draw top tier national media attention. In 2009 he was the subject of a NY Times cover, the first-ever by the publication to include a feature story on legal cannabis. He has appeared nationally on all major media outlets, including FOX, CBS, CNN, NBC, CNBC, and extensively in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. Special feature media projects include a starring role in Weed Wars, the first cannabis-oriented reality T.V. show (Discovery Channel), Ask Steve DeAngelo weekly web series by Green Flower Media, and development of entertainment works under DeAngelo Bros. Productions, a company founded by Steve DeAngelo and brother Andrew DeAngelo. A podcast and weekly television show documenting Steve’s travels to cover cannabis culture globally are coming in 2020 to Free Speech T.V. (FSTV), a 24-hour independent television network currently available in 37 million U.S. homes.  

Steve is the recipient of the 2015 High Times Lester Grinspoon High Times Lifetime Achievement Award and was named one of the most influential people and “gatekeeper of the industry” in 2015 by the International Business Times. In 2016 he was named one of the seven “Most Powerful People” in America’s cannabis industry by Fortune. Most recently, he was honored with the Peter Tosh Equal Rights Award and inducted into the Marijuana Business Daily Hall of Fame. 

Steve believes that an ethical and politically engaged industry will be the most powerful force in spreading cannabis reform to every corner of the planet. As Founder of the Last Prisoner Project (2019), he will not stop until the last cannabis prisoner is free. As host of the Radio Free Cannabis podcast-launched in 2020, his role as an activist seeking global unity for equal justice, advocating for human rights around the world, for cannabis legalization across planet earth, and the end of criminalizing medicinal plants worldwide, continues. 

Steve DeAngelo

Father of the Legal Cannabis Industry
Global Cannabis Ambassador

Founder of Last Prisoner Project
Host of Radio Free Cannabis Podcast
Author of The Cannabis Manifesto | Website

Steve DeAngelo | LinkedIn

@steve.deangelo Instagram 23K+ followers

@TheSteveDeAngelo | Facebook 4K+ followers

@stevedeangelo | Twitter  29K+ followers

Awards Highlights:

2019 MJ Biz Award 2019 Hall of Fame Inductee
In the computer industry, there’s only one Bill Gates. In the automotive space, only one Henry Ford. And the marijuana world has only one Steve DeAngelo –MJBizDaily recognizes Steve DeAngelo

2019 Peter Tosh Equal Rights & Justice Award
Recognized for making an outstanding contribution to the struggle of basic equal rights for all.
2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from California Cannabis Awards
2019 MGO ELLO Honoree
2019 Cannabis Business Awards Hall of Fame Inductee

2019 Harborside’s KEY Takes Home Top Spot at High Times Cannabis Cup Bay Area

2015 High Times Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award

Social Media Hits:
Harborside Desert Hot Springs Grand Opening feat. Steve DeAngelo & Jim Belushi DEC 2019

Marleys LPP Board Public Announcement AUG 2019

Willie Nelson LPP Public Announcement AUG 2019

TD Ameritrade OCT 2019

Top National Media Coverage (Video):
TD Ameritrade The Watch Oct 2019
Fox Business: Varney & Co Jul 2019
Cheddar Interview in Toronto CSE Open Jun 13 2019
BNN Bloomberg in Toronto Jun 2019
Green Market Report
Cheddar Interview SXSW Mar 2019
MSNBC with Jacob Soboroff Jan 2018
ABC Feds Drop Case May 2016

National Media Coverage (Online, Print):

Steve DeAngelo Inductee into MJBiz Hall Of Fame

LA Times-OpEd on Tax-July 15 2019

Green Entrepreneur-HBOR CSE- Jun 2019

CNN Business HBOR CSE June 2019

NY Times Cannabis Goes Industrial Apr 2017

LA Times-Weed Wars-Dec 21,2011

NY Times Don’t Call it “pot” 2010

Do Cannabis Entrepreneurs and Big Business Actually Need Each Other? 2015

Forbes-Harborside Going Public-May 31 2019

Variety Magazine-Last Prisoner Project-Jul 15, 2019

Hightimes Magazine-Last Prisoner Project-Jul 2019

Speaking & Appearance Highlights:

SXSW Featured Session March 2019

Oxford Union Debate – This House Would Say No to Drugs feat Steve DeAngelo Mar 2017
Harborside Desert Hot Springs Grand Opening DEC 2019

Arcview Investors Forums

ROTH Capital Partners Conference

Cannaciencia (Bogota, Col)

ExpoCannabiz (Cartagena, Col)
CannabiSalud (Mexico)
High Hopes
CannaTech Israel


Trailblazers Summit Series
O’Cannabiz (Toronto, ON CAN)
New West Summit

Aspen High

Imperious Expo


International Police Association (IPA)

Justice Clarence Thomas Questions Federal Policy On Marijuana

“A prohibition on interstate use and cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper for the federal piecemeal approach,” the Judge declared in a report. “Federal policies of the past 16 years have greatly undermined its reasoning. The federal government’s current approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.”

Erik Altieri Executive Director of NORML commented “Judge Thomas’ comments reflect what americans have known for a long time.” Federal law does not allow marijuana businesses to deduct their business expenses come tax time “Under this rule, a business that is still in the red after it pays its workers and keeps the lights on might still owe substantial federal income tax,” the Judge also pointed out. Since 2015 Congress has prevented the Justice Department from spending federal money to prevent states from carrying out their own laws. Yet the IRS continues to enforce its own rules against growers and dealers. “The federal government’s willingness to look the other way is more episodic than coherent” Clarence also said.

 Clarence has even suggested bringing a case to the justices so they can address these issues themselves. All this due to actual case: Untied States v. Raich “In the early days of the Republic it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession and consumption of a plant, any plant,” Thomas wrote adding that the court was “rewriting” the Commerce Clause allowing the feds to take away people’s marijuana plants. “This Court has casually stripped the States of their ability to regulate interstate commerce- not to mention a host of local activities, like mere drug possession, that are non-commercial”

Clarence Thomas is one of the most conservative on the Supreme Court. He recently called the federal laws regarding Pot “hodgepodge”

Beyond Raich in the past the same issue has arose in cases involving The Gun Free School-Zones Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and Thomas wrote in each case that the Supreme Court’s rulings had gone astray on the Commerce Clause. “If the government is now content to leave the states as laboratories, then it might no longer have the authority to intrude on the state’s core police policies” The Judge has been commenting on these type of cases since 2005.

The owners of the Colorado dispensary that ended up in court with the IRS stated “It’s hard to be treated like drug dealers. We’re being singled out” It’s known that Judge Clarence Thomas is one of the most conservative on the Supreme Court. He called the federal laws “hodgepodge”

“unstable” contradictory” “confusing”. It is true that under the President Bush Jr regime it came to public knowledge that Clarence had smoked marijuana in college. The real question is? did he inhale..

To Boldly Grow where no Man has Grown Before: Patrick “Picard” Stewart on Pot

     “The thing about Star Trek is you’re never dead, really. There’s always a way to bring you back to life”

     “People think I’m getting high everyday. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Sir Patrick Stewart is 78 years old and exploring the first UK’s initiative of the benefits of cannabis-based medicines led by Oxford University. “Four years ago I was filming in Los Angeles, I was examined by a doctor and handed a note to obtain legal cannabis to treat arthritis in both of my hands.” After fuddling through greasy balms and ointments Patrick found a spray that alleviated almost all pain and inflammation in his hands. “There are no side affects while Advil, Aleve, and other NSAIDS’s cause pressure on the liver.”

“This is an important step for Britain in a field of research that has been for too long held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance.”

In England in 1533 King Henry the 8th mandated that landowners grow allotments of hemp, Elizabeth the 1st later increased these quotas with punishments for not fulfilling.  In 1842 Irish physician William O’ Shaughnessy a medical officer in Bengal brought several specimens of marijuana back to England to study medical benefits. Cannabis prohibition began in the English colonies before the central island, yet the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission of 1894 judged “little injury was caused to society by the use of cannabis”

By 1928 Britain herself had classified cannabis as dangerous a drug as opium. Across the pond Attorney Jeff Sessions had this to say “I reject the idea that marijuana being sold in every store will make America a better place” while opioid addictions caused over 2000 deaths last year in Massachusetts. Sessions likened marijuana to heroin,

 Meanwhile back across the lake even though medical marijuana is now legalized in the United Kingdom “It still seems perverse that opioid prescriptions are such high levels when medical cannabis could be a much more safer system” Patrick went on to say “I see no reason why the legislation is not widened it so that doctors are allowed to prescribe it”

Whether Willie Nelson, Barack Obama, Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dog, Morgan Freeman, Sting Sir Patrick Stewart is one in a long line of pro-marijuana benefits.

Stewart has acted in “BluntTalk” donning a lobster costume, laughing at a Christmas hat,

“I believe this program at Oxford might just begin benefits for millions of people”