At our fourth annual Meadowlands, Meadow CEO David Hua sat down with the newly appointed Director of the Department of Cannabis Control, Nicole Elliott, to discuss the state of California cannabis. The one-on-one conversation between Hua and Director Elliott was based on community feedback that Meadow gathered from industry operators and stakeholders, held on October 2, 2021, on the main stage of Camp Navarro in Mendocino, California.

Listen to the full conversation with Meadow CEO David Hua and Director of the DCC, Nicole Elliott, or read the full transcript, below.

Hua: Okay. Let's get started. What are you grateful for?

Director Elliott: I'm grateful for being in the redwoods with you all. That's what I'm grateful for.

Hua: That's such an easy one. I'm super grateful too. Let's do it. All right. So we're just taking a moment to think about all the things that had to have happened for this moment to exist and to be here with you. And, we're really grateful for it. So for those that aren't familiar with, Nicole, we've been in this for a bit.

We started in San Francisco. And then you left to be the liaison to the governor's office for go biz cannabis for cannabis. And now you're at the top. So what's that started from the bottom. And now we hear it's my walkup song. Yeah. And congratulations on your first major effort, which is a consolidation of the regulations.

Director Elliott: Thank you. Thank you. I would say the consolidation of the programs proceeded that and that's old news and the news is the emergency regs. But it was a tight timeline. You got some amendments made what, and you read a ton of comments, everyone here for those that participate in the comments. Thank you.

Hua: What were some of the comments you saw? Where do you see this next iteration of the regs going?

Guests at Meadowlands listen to cannabis conversations

Director Elliott: Great question. First, I just want to acknowledge, we actually had a milestone yesterday, post the approval of the emergency regulations. We also managed to roll out yesterday a $100 million grant program. So we're getting things done, but we can talk about that later.

With the emergency regulations. First, I think it's really important to contextualize the work that we did there. With the emergency regulations, we were statutorily legally obligated to focus our efforts on consolidating, making clear and concise, the three sets of regulations. That's all we could do.

We couldn't do more through the emergency regulation process. We got over 200 sets of comments. We read all of them. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for participating. A lot of the comments suggested things that we should do that we legally couldn't contemplate as part of this package, I'll get back to that in a second.

But a lot of the comments informed what I think were some significant modifications that we made after that five day comment period, two days, we were able to review all those comments in very short order. Make some changes that hopefully we think help you guys operate in the regulated space a little bit better.

Those are things like, you know, allowing the district, the distribution, transport license to move trade samples, to retail, really allowing that sort of direct. The, the producer to retailer relationship and allowing you guys to market those products, things like that. The comments around residences on premises that was really important.

There was a lot of good stuff in there. So I hope you guys felt like we heard you for those things that did not get incorporated. We're slotting a lot of that for evaluation. Those are things like, I mean, some of the things that have been discussed outside of your comments, the co-op cap, right? That there was a lot of comment about the fee structure that's going to be subject to review.

There's some other stuff outside of the emergency regulation comment, like shrimp chips, right? That's another one we're looking at. Those are the types of things. All these comments are getting captured. Got members of my team here who are capturing those comments too. And we want to be able to start not just evaluating those, but turning that into texts, turning that into policy, getting those in the regulations, which will now all be 45 day comment periods.

So you will have more time to really engage, really share with us the practical implications of the suggestions that you're making through your comments and allowing us to turn around something that's meaningful and helpful to you guys. Nice job. Did I answer that question?

Meadow CEO David Hua on stage at Meadowlands

Hua: Oh, well I think sort of, it's like sort of, now that you gave the context, where do we go from here? You have a consolidated budget and consolidated team. How should we move forward? With you and the next set of regs?

Director Elliott: So keep commenting, nothing prevents you guys from prevents you guys from sharing comments with us any day of the week. So we highly encourage that. We want to be partners. We want to better understand how the framework is.

Impacting your operations and where there can be improvements. That's a huge part of our mission is to start making those improvements and to start improving overall improving the regulatory framework. So there's that there's also going to be future regulatory efforts. This is a commitment that we've been very transparent that we're going to be changing the regs.

We're going to be modifying them, we're going to be enhancing them and we're going to be doing that on a rolling basis, but we have to, as part of the emergency regulation process, we now have to go through a regular rule-making process and that's going to really open up opportunities for more regulatory changes in the coming months.

Hua: So I guess what's the vision for the next 6, 12, 18 months milestones that we should be looking for, or look ahead to get to?

Director Elliott: A lot of stuff is going to happen. There are a lot of things that we need to do by law within those timeframes. You guys saw that we, the governor signed, the fee waiver and deferral program. That's something that we need to have in place by January 1st for the waivers, and by January 1st, the subsequent year for the deferrals. That's something where we're pouring a lot of energy into figuring out how to do that well, how to do that, right. How, how to roll out those thoughtful regulations to implement that program by the deadline. The same goes for things like the $100 million grant program where we're pushing money into 17 jurisdictions to try and see to, to resource the effort of transitioning provisional licenses to annual licenses more quickly.

That's not necessarily time bound, other than you guys have to make transitions. You have to meet certain benchmarks now by law, and we want to help you meet those. And we want to work with your local, local regulators to help you meet those requirements. And so it's really important for us, that we put in place meaningful, modifications, funding structures within those local jurisdictions to support those dollars actually being helpful.

And that takes a lot of work. Cause 17 locations are many and it, it represents two thirds of the provisional licensed population. So there's a lot of work to do, but that's just a taste of it. We're also ourselves becoming a department, right. So we have three programs we're integrating into one department we're finding our culture and how we want to engage as a department, how we want to do that thoughtfully, with integrity and compassion and. We're doing a lot of work. We're doing a lot of work as a department to, to determine what our culture should be. And then to start to really implement those values in, in all that we do every day.

And that takes some time. And so we're doing that assessment. And as part of that, we're also assessing everything that came into the program, all of the processes, all of the contracts, everything. I know you have something to say here, Hua, but my point being everything is subject to this evaluation, our culture, every, every process, every contract, every relationship. And we're looking at how we want to use, not use, modify those things moving forward so that we are unified and thoughtful in our approach.

Hua: No, I like that. I think, I mean, culture in itself has this rippling agent, right? And at the speed of what is you're moving and getting things accomplished, how are you incorporating the locals, incorporating community and people that have been in it for a while, people that are operators to give you sort of that feedback and on the ground knowledge and, you know, keep us in sync, so that way, when something does come, we're not falling behind. And I think one thing you talked about existing regulations are so much maintenance on that and there's still so much things to revisit. I mean, two issues that we're seeing kind of pop up recently is CEQA differences. Which is pretty bad if you're able to have a local group county come in and demand, some sort of CEQA requirements that aren't necessarily as aligned with what's going on state. There's a lot going on there. There's also a due process and how that's working. So could you speak to some of the gaps there and how we, you know, as you build your internal culture in the department, bringing that as well forward with the community and the local municipalities?

Director Elliott: Yeah. So I think a couple of things to that point, we're, we're trying to work really closely with our local regulators and local jurisdictions now as a department, which makes it a little bit easier, because there's one of us, to stabilize operators in the context of some of those CEQA challenges that we've seen. Trinity, for example, that was one where we came in and we let Trinity operators know, "Hey, in the eyes of the state, CEQA's underway in Trinity county and your licenses are stable."

That's really important. We did it pretty quickly after that ruling came out, if I'm not mistaken. And because we think it's really important that operators have that sense of stability and clarity about their business. So there's a lot of that type of engagement going on. We're also back out in the field as of last Friday, which is great. We spent some time in Nevada County, in Nevada City meeting with a number of businesses in that area. And it's really about seeing how the rules and requirements are impacting the business and hearing directly from you guys about that, not just how it's impacting you, but ideas to change it, to meet the same objectives that we think that are trying to be met by those regulations. So spending a lot of time with you guys, I think, is what you're going to see representatives of the department doing. For of, of the department staff, my teammates here today, please make a point to meet all of them. But we are going to be out in the field a lot more talking to you guys.

Hua: That's great. So if we look objectively back at this journey so far, are there areas that come to mind where we did well areas or experiments where we didn't do as well? Or areas where you're like, you know what, that, that was a good concept. We could reform that or make that. I mean, you start like all the way from local to state, whatever, whatever area you want to touch on. I just think you have such a unique perspective there.

Director Elliott: Yeah. I mean, when I think back to my time in San Francisco, I think very fondly of the amnesty program that we ran in San Francisco. I think that was really effective in, trying to build trust with operators, but also to stabilize their operation through the transition into.

Post 2018 activity. And so that's one area that. It takes a unique environment to make that type of policy and programmatic element work. But it felt successful. You tell me if it was successful.

Hua: Yeah. There's operators who are operating.

Director Elliott: I see a number of them here today. And so it's really great, to see them still active and present in this space. So much of our work is acknowledging the imperfect nature of the framework that we all operate in, that you all operate in, that we work in every day. So there are plenty of things I could point to that perhaps were not the best policy, but now it's figuring out what the path forward is in, in place of that. And that's where we're focusing a lot of our time outside of our core scope, which is licensing and regulating. That's something we do every day and that's really important to our work. But is also that sort of policymaking, modification to the framework work that we'll be driving. And then we'll be that sort of core focus outside of licensing and regulating for the next couple of weeks.

Nicole Elliott DCC Director

Hua: Yeah. I mean, there's still, I mean, there's still a lot of work to do at the local level. There's a lot of, I mean, 60%, 65% of municipalities still, still have no commercial cannabis activity. That's bananas.

Director Elliott: It's bananas.

Hua: What are some creative options here? If you're sitting there as a county, I mean, you had an impetus of criteria that kind of came through that allowed the amnesty program. We still have temporary licenses, provisional licenses. We had the ability of looking at previous activity and reporting it and uploading and seeing all that, all these different counties still haven't come through yet. What can we do to create a program like that or something that can catalyze it?

Director Elliott: Yeah. So, like I said, with the amnesty program, I think, you know, what you, what made, in my opinion, what made amnesty so successful was that you had a city that collectively across all layers of government embraced that concept or where they didn't embrace that concept. They were forced to embrace that concept. Right. You had an executive who said get it done. So, but I think there was a sort of overall buy-in to the, to the goals of the amnesty program. And there was, there was an effort to establish that level of trust with the operators. I'd be hard pressed to see how that would work in a jurisdiction that has been antagonistic and has endorsed prohibition for so long, but I won't give up hope. I mean, I think, you know, we're seeing LA county have conversations about creating a pathways. They're putting equity at the front of that. This is all happening, you know, soon in November, they're bringing this back up for discussion. Perhaps that's a space where they can embrace that concept. And wow. When that make a difference in LA.

Hua: Yeah, touch on that. We have the equity grant funding. We have this a hundred million. I mean, there's a lot of money flowing to these local municipalities. So if they're not interested in some sort of cannabis activity, they may be more interested in following the dollars and benefiting their county. But I guess like when you look at this money that's being put out there, what's the oversight on this money going through and making progress and getting applicants to their pipeline and getting people through, you know, the launch phase.

Director Elliott: Well, if you're talking about the a hundred million grant program, which is specific to the department, that program is, has pretty robust oversight. There's going to be yearly audits, not by us, but by the state auditors. We also will be reviewing those dollars. We have the ability to claw back those dollars if they're not being used effective and in the ways that meet the intent of the program. So there, and we will have teams of people who be, who will be working with those jurisdictions to see progress, and to see those dollars get utilized in appropriate ways. So we're really committed to moving those dollars through the local jurisdiction, in a thoughtful, but expeditious way to see results. The state is also very interested in making sure that's done well, too. So they want to see those, those general fund all tax dollars be used, wisely. So there will be a lot of oversight of those funds.

Hua: So maybe a good time to be an expediter. If you want to go into local towns and help move things through, that'd be nice. You know, I think one of the things that we deal a lot with is death by a thousand cuts whose, whose feels in the audience a little bit death by a thousand cuts a little bit.

Director Elliott: We saw that in your comments.

Hua: Yeah. Just, you know, we hear it a lot and you know, I think a lot of it is because it's just, sometimes it just doesn't feel like there's any sense to it. You're like, why am I doing this? And it's just this waste of human effort. A waste of human energy. It oftentimes accumulates environmental waste or people staying up till three in the morning, trying to input some spreadsheet to get something, to interface with something that fucking loads...

Director Elliott: ...wheel of death.

Hua: It's like... I guess I'll take a shower. Should I press refresh? And so where do we cut some waste here? Where do we honor this community's energy? Because when it's not focused on the plant, it's taking care of this and the plant needs, and the people should have their energy to do that instead.

Director Elliott: Yeah. So where we can control those thousand cuts, right, is in the regulatory framework. So as we're doing rulemaking, that's where we want to try and take away a couple of hundred plus of those cuts. Right. So. Again, I just want to thank you guys for engaging in the comment process and really encourage you to continue to do that because that's how we learn what those cuts are and we learn how we can modify the framework to, to address those cuts and ideally get rid of them.

Hua: So like getting electronic, COAs?

Director Elliott: I saw that comment too.

Hua: Electronic COAs! Save the toner! Do you know there's a shortage on printers? We tried to get a printer and there's a shortage. So even if we wanted to print a COA, we'd have to go to Office Max and they charge a 50 cents a copy. And you're like, dude!

Director Elliott: Ugh. I would say that's on our list for evaluation.

Meadowlands cannabis retreat

Hua: Great. Great. It'd be nice. All right, I'm just, whoosh. Alright, let's talk taxes. So for everyone that filled out the survey, thank you so much. That was really helpful and insightful, and we do appreciate your comments. Every word was read, that helped influence this conversation at the top of everyone's list was taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes. Number two is access. "Tax-ess". That's our problem within the industry. But you know, Nicole, you only have so much leeway on waving your wand and lowering taxes. Can you kind of walk us through your view of where we are with taxes? Where your responsibilities ends and where we need to work to bridge the gap to get us to where we need to be?

Director Elliott: Yeah, I'd be happy to. So just to clarify, the department of cannabis control is not the taxing entity. I just want to be really clear about that. That is CD TFA. Now, with that said, contrary to what some may say, the governor cannot change taxes through executive order. This has to be done through the legislature. The legislature has a key policy-making role in the tax space. They own it. So I really think it's important that we acknowledge and respect their role by taking ideas to them. Getting their buy-in. And I will say from the governor's side, it is clear to me that you have a very receptive audience. So we've got to get it through the legislature. You got to start there. That seems pretty direct.

Hua: That was pretty direct. You heard it right? The governor's office is willing.

Director Elliott: Yes, we will show up. We will partner in these discussions. You have a receptive audience from the governor's office around tax reform.

Hua: So, I guess it's just up to us to figure out what that looks like as one voice, which would be nice.

Director Elliott: It would be nice.

Hua: I mean, it's pretty complex when we think about, if you break it down between cultivation tax, excise, tax, local tax. Yep. And I would say that that's one area where the, where you've seen the governor be pretty explicit is the simplification. And he's very open to the simplification and restructure. Very open?

Director Elliott: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. That was a conversation he broached in early 2020. So we'd like to see it happen.

Hua: Great. Well, I mean, what's wonderful is at two o'clock today in the amphitheater, we do have a session called big ideas with the DCC. And you're welcome to attend and bring your big idea. Your big idea could be a small idea that we put into other small ideas to become a big idea, whatever you want, but that will be a great time to discuss some of these topics that we've kind of touched upon and go a bit deeper. So we get a little bit of the detail that you're all going through and bring that all together. Show up with solutions, or get a massage, obviously, whatever you want.

Director Elliott: Big ideas.

Hua: Okay. So, you know, there's a, there's a looming timeline on type five licenses, big cultivation. We have a ton of product, way more tons, lots of tons of product that is sitting out here. With harvest coming in the cultivator community, especially smaller operators are getting for lack of a better word devastated from what's going on in market forces, where are we at here in your view of the number of cultivation licenses? The, the large scale grows that are continuing to open up, or how many more large scales are going to keep going on? Where do you see the, the future of craft and all of this? How do we all work together here?

Director Elliott: Yeah, I mean, I think it's really important that we preserve craft in all of this full-stop. Absolutely with that said the provisional licensing framework acknowledges that we're phasing out provisional access for some of these larger cultivators that will not prevent them from seeking annual licenses. But, It will not provide us a speedy entry point through provisional licenses. And there's more information about. There's more information about provisional licenses. Who's eligible for what, when requirements is. So I know it got a little more complicated this last year, so we put some information on our website related to that. I encourage you all to go take a look. Ask questions if it's not clear, we want to make it clear. We want it to be a resource for you guys. And I think it will be so take a look. But there's a lot, I think there's a lot we could do. There's also a lot. We are doing that. We just need to make sure we see through to the end. Right. As it relates to trying to stabilize and preserve a space for craft, but we are taking. Other policy opportunities in that space, but to your point about "tax-ess"...

Hua: Hashtag Taxess!

DCC Director Nicole Elliott with David Hua Meadow and Meadowlands cannabis camp

Director Elliott: ...access is a really important component of that. We still have a lot of consumption occurring outside of the legal market. And it's important that we open up access so that we can get that product to the people who would otherwise consume it. Yeah. And there's actually another way that you're able to get some of the supply through compassion.

Director Elliott: And, you know, I know a guy who can help, I know a guy Joe's over there.

Hua: I mean, let's give away half pound units to medical. Just, let's do it. Right. But I think there's a lot of areas where we can also improve on that and, you know, welcome that conversation and the big ideas area in the amphitheater.

Director Elliott: As do we.

Hua: So another area I think there might be some area for reform is just the medical program in general. The number of actual state card holders is pretty small in the prop. Two 15 days you can get a recommendation. You can go in. You're good to go. You can get your recommendation, but not get the state card, but you're not get the state sales tax benefits of not having the card in a lot of ways now. So do you see an area where with medical, improving that, bringing those benefits to recommendation or opening up medical? Like how do we bring medical back is, is where I'm kind of at to give people, you know, access.

Director Elliott: We are asking very similar questions, right. How are we ensuring that the card program is actually working is meeting its intent. That program, just for context, stayed back in the department of public health, when we consolidated, We will eventually get to a point where we're looking at is that right to come within the department. And if, and I know we're already having conversations about what that could look like, with stakeholders, so that discussions happening, but also how are we supporting, access in the context of medical more broadly, is something we're looking at too. We're also really committed to ensure. All of the retailers that have that medical component are providing, the appropriate tax compliance when it comes to, to operator or to individuals purchasing with their card. So just a heads up to our retailer friends out there. We're watching.

Hua: Yeah, come on then. All right. So we touched upon sort of the oversupply issue that we sort of have here. There's a couple areas where it's sort of, apparent to us where it could go, which is federal legalization or interstate commerce, or maybe interstate commerce without federal legalization. You know, California cannabis just recently jumped onto the national round table, CANNRA. That was recent. And so where do you see California? Interstate commerce taking a lead on sort of where all of our supply goes legally. Cause we needed an outlet.

Director Elliott: Yeah. We recognize that. And it's a tricky component of the legalization discussion because we recognize that there are benefits to providing pathways for our farmers to put their product legally across state lines, into markets where there's a demand. As it relates to federal engagement, one of the bonuses of having this department is previously where you had these programs that were part of these other departments and other agencies they were a bit stifled in how they could engage on federal discussions. The department situates the state to be a much more active participant in those discussions. And I think you see, you know, the CANNRA participation as a first step, but we have a huge delegation in Washington, DC that we really intend on tapping into. And we have a lot of representatives that are super engaged in the cannabis discussion. I mean, we have some newer senators who are also, we think probably very interested in being engaged in this discussion. So we, we really intend on tapping into that delegation. But part of the bonus of having this department is it allows us to speak with one voice pretty confidently when it comes to federal activity.

Hua: Does anyone on that delegation smoke weed?

Director Elliott: Probably.

Hua: Great. Just making sure. Who's writing these laws?! Jesus. Okay. Thank you for being with us so attentive. You're doing great. We're doing great. Everyone's doing great. Okay.

Cannabis camp Meadowlands

Director Elliott: You're doing great. Keep it up.

Hua: Another topic that's come up recently. I know you're not able to speak to the lawsuit.

Director Elliott: I will not speak to the lawsuit.

Hua: You will not speak to lawsuit, but I guess what is your general approach or as you see it with enforcement. You have the budget, you even have headcount. You have all these priorities. You have this lawsuit, you have a lot of product. Where do you see this going?

Director Elliott: Yeah. So, when I say we're assessing all of our programs, all of our divisions, the work of those divisions licensing is a component. Compliance is a component. Enforcement's a component. So that's all under review right now, as we're trying to figure out how we best proceed. But with that said, enforcement and compliance and enforcement are parts of, of the regulatory framework. For us, it's an important component. It creates integrity in the market, and it creates legitimacy for the market. So it is something that is important to us and it is something, that we will be working to make more present in the marketplace in the coming months and years ahead.

Hua: All right, so we have a few more questions, then we're moved to the next panel. And then, are you going to stay around for a little bit?

Director Elliott: Yep. I'm here. Rasha. Christina, Matt, Eugene. They're here. They're going to be milling around. So make sure you guys get to know them, too.

Hua: Yes. And they have their notebook. Give them all the things.

Director Elliott: We're taking notes.

Hua: A few more questions here. Oh, what's our relationship with METRC? You know, it, that's a loaded question. As far as in like your hour, this is a shared trauma. There is, there is one question that we asked in the survey and it was just capital "HELP?!" I was just like, oh man. So this is yours now, right? CDFA used to have the contract now it's under the DCC. Where are we at with it? What do you see it?

Director Elliott: Yeah, I mean, contracts all subject to review as well. Part of the mandate that we are legally obligated to implement is to track and trace the product. How we do that, I think is where we're really delving in and trying to figure out how we do that, that doesn't result in the death by a thousand cuts. METRC is a part of that conversation. But as far as my experience with them so far, they've been responsive to our requests.

Hua: You're the client.

Director Elliott: Exactly. I know it's harder. I know it's harder, but we're like less than three months into being a department. So that's all I can say on that. I mean, they've been responsive. It's nice.

Hua: It's nice to be responsive. Hey, your house is on fire. I see your house is on fire. There's smoke over there. Can you call for help? You actually have to call the person that called for help.

Director Elliott: Here's what I'll say. I mean, I think that it's not lost on us. You guys hate METRC.

Hua: I think people would say hate is a very light and easy word.

Director Elliott: It's not lost on us, but I think what is most important is that, you know, as we visit you guys, as we hear from you guys, that you tell us how, that you show us how that's hard, and how that's challenging so that we can work through that with you too. It's so, so helpful to hear how long it takes to punch holes.

Hua: If you're doing plants and you have to punch a hole off of every low Jack tag on every plant, it it's a lot of time or like...What was another stats when we're shared, it's 160 plants results in a pound of METRC tag plastic. What!

Director Elliott: Yeah. That kind of stuff, but also the amount of, capital you're putting into staff necessary to support that. That's yeah. That's the kind of stuff we want to continue to hear. And then we want to also, when we're visiting, we want to see how that plays out. So if, if I could just make a special request that as we're out and about in the weeks and months ahead, you guys just set aside some time to do that with us. That'd be super helpful.

Hua: We'd appreciate that. Yeah. Got it. Any, any time you can come over 3:00 AM and push the button. That's all you. Okay, actually, this was a question we asked for the last three years. This is our fourth Meadowlands. Believe it or not, which is kind of crazy. But we did ask this question to Lori and, you know, there was some progress, but it was a public database of all the questions that you guys get, and you can remove the name or whatever, but the reason why we asked for this is there's all these questions that we have, but there's also questions you don't know that you should be asking. So if there was a repository of all the questions that you can put it up somewhere and I can look up, oh, someone asked about this specific thing, then I don't have to pay a lawyer $450 to find that information for me. Yeah. It would be a huge help. I don't know what to extent of what you can do, but, that public knowledge that you're already disseminating to another individual should be shared knowledge in a lot of ways. Yeah. I appreciate that sentiment. And we don't, I mean, no offense to lawyers. Thanks for sponsoring all the things we love.

Director Elliott: Yeah, I absolutely think that's something we can look at doing. I will also say, I think part of that request was born out of wanting to have consistent responses from the state as well. And I just, I want to acknowledge that the department has a goal right of really being consistent in our responses to you guys moving forward. That is obviously an objective of consolidation. And so I just want to make sure that's not lost in this. Consistency is important to us. Uniformity is important to us. But absolutely we can look at doing that.

Hua: And, I guess we'll leave it open to you. If you have any last comments or things you want to share with the group.

Director Elliott: I mean, I'm just going to double down on the partnership guys. I just really hoping that you can. You know, work with, with what I think is an incredible team. It's only going to get more incredible as we continue to make a few more hires, and share your experiences. I know, like to, to Cat's point, I know there's fatigue, we're all tired. But it's so, so important that you keep sharing with us, your experience. This is a new day. Please think of it as a fresh start, and, and be really open with us because we want to figure out how to make things work in partnership with you guys. And it's going to take two to tango on that. So thank you in advance.

Nicole Elliott California cannabis and David Hua Meadow CEO

Hua: Thank you. Thank you. See, we like you. Thank you. There was a great quote, during Bea Arthur's, session, which is there is wisdom in wounds. And we've been through a ton of battles and this is not just our battle. It's going to be for future generations as well. We're sort of just passing the baton and, you know, there's this sentiment that past is not prologue. Let's use that wisdom. Let's sort of chart the path forward, run through some scenarios and see if we can figure this out better together cause we have been fighting a lot on very different fronts. And as you can see from the collection of people here, it's a lot of battles going on and all different types that we can sort of get some, shared perspective on. Give Nicole a round of applause. Thank you.

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