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We have all witnessed the laws and governance around cannabis changing everywhere in our county but with news out of Washington, D.C. last week about federal changes in the Schedule 1 status for a medicinal plant, our Chief Cannabis Officer Wendy Bronfein of Curio Wellness tells us what it all might mean in the near future.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

week, talked, curio, product, schedule, state, store, tastes, baltimore, good, 25th anniversary, issue, documentary, hydrate, happen, launched, greg, point, federal, sale

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Wendy Bronfein

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we’re gonna be taking the Maryland crabcakes we’re on the road. Next week on Fridays. We’re going to be fade Lee’s. Honestly, I’ve been making this crazy documentary. I’ve been a little lazy. We’re gonna get the crabcake tore back out and rolling. We got the election coming on through vignarajah. Last week, Sheila Dixon, we’ve invited other mayoral candidates. I don’t know what I’m doing next Friday other than Luke will be there. And it’s bobblehead night for the splash zone guy. I’m gonna have the Pac Man scratch offs to give away at Faith these next Friday. It is the new fate Lee’s It is lovely. It is a block closer to Camden Yards. Also our friends at Liberty pure solutions keeping my water clean and Jiffy Lube, multi care making it happen. These folks have made it happen for me this year. I went to Wendy brown find her family last year said I got this 25th anniversary I want to do an educational series on cannabis and adult use. And it’s coming online. I think it’s important. It’s a big part of everything culturally that I know about in music, athletes, the bombs, the rubs the all of this stuff and the science of all of it. And invite everyone last year said I want you to sponsor 25th anniversary. I’m doing these 25 stories of glory. I had no idea I was gonna make a documentary that is child friendly, which is important for you, Wendy but, but I haven’t had you on in a couple of weeks. I tried a couple times before. Before 20. I’ve got together with your sister and we in Syracuse and we talked we actually went to a store and did a little shopping and talked about things I haven’t had you on and the whole 420 experience. I am the customer that signed up the night before I am the guy and I’m gonna show you this. I’m gonna show you how this is how depleted I am. This is all I got left on my move product. This is it. So but I came over to the store twice on 420 at different times. There was a line I got an email that point of sale like all this stuff happens. Now I know why you skipped on me last week. I you know, you were not off doing what I was doing checking out the Black Crowes and Bruce Springsteen last week right

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Wendy Bronfein  02:03

now. Now, you know, it’s it was a very unfortunate thing. So the point of sale system that we use, it’s one of the main providers in the industry had a server malfunction on for 20 across seven states and a number of partners in those states. And it’s it hit at 12, about 1230. And it really kind of persisted for the rest of the day. And the problem with it is that when it happens, it doesn’t just go dark, it sort of has these blips where like a transaction will go through and gives you this false sense of like, oh, it’s going to be better. And so you know, people held out like, oh, okay, I think it’s you know, and so people are waiting forever, we ended up handing out coupons and saying please come back. And ultimately, we’re

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:54

also in an industry where you can’t just hand somebody the product and say go home, right, like, right, well, yeah, it’s not your so regulated that you can’t just say, I’ll see you Monday pay me later, or do we’ll take a swipe of this or a credit card or that just not available, right.

Wendy Bronfein  03:09

So everything has to be scanned in and out of the system. And you need a monetary transaction for it to leave the building. And so with the software system malfunctioning, we couldn’t do any of that even at the front part, like just in the check in like pee that gets people into the queue. It suspended the ability to do that. So it was a real nightmare. We ended up basically running our for 20 promotions all of last week. For anyone who came back and just said like, let’s just make it good this week, whether you had to preorder you waited in line, whatever it was, it was like we were trying to rectify kind of the day being destroyed, which was very frustrating, but really, like, it speaks to this bigger issue we have, which is that federal state conflict because well, I read

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:55

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the news and I text you so I want to give you the floor on this because anybody that’s in the space or knows about this knows, like, we’re getting to the absurd part now, right? I mean, and look, we’ll talk law and abortion and, and like all of these things that we vote for in the country, state by state and regulations. But this is a federal issue that goes back to Richard Nixon. And we’ve talked about how it really cripples your business, you know, like and it’s made it even harder to to get things normalized just to be normal, that you can’t come in with a credit card. And that’s not just for you for curio for foreign daughter for anybody in the state. That’s really in Colorado in places where it’s been 1012 years now, a normal transactional purchase for most people, most grownups all grown ups, but for anybody who’s grown up and what’s participate, I’ve always felt like there’s going to come a point and maybe was just a tipping point moment what happened with federal,

Wendy Bronfein  05:03

I think, I think that’s the hope I mean, so right now we are classified as a schedule one substance, which is akin to like LSD and heroin and things like that. It also means that there’s no, there’s no recognized medical value. And so the discussion has been across the last year or so has been around a move from schedule one to schedule three. Now, I would tell you that as an organization, we firmly believe that we should be D scheduled, so we shouldn’t be on the schedule at all, and that the existing industry should be regulated, similar to a dietary supplement under the FDA, but schedule three is a very meaningful step nonetheless. And part of what this issue is that you were speaking about is how we’re constrained in our operations and financially. So because we’re scheduled one, many states don’t have banking access, there are no access to capital markets. So all investment in the industry is private, you can’t get loans from banks to start your business, really. And then you have an element of the tax code 280 e, that creates a federal effective corporate tax rate. That’s like 80 90%. So the majority of money that’s made by the business is paid in taxes, because we’re scheduled one and we can’t make deductions that traditional businesses can make. So if we moved to schedule three, one, it does correct, it does help that issue of 280 E. Mainly, we are not legal, by moving to schedule three. What would be legal in a future state under schedule with three would be if somebody developed a drug that became approved by the FDA, and was available for sale, as a Schedule three substance, that product would be legal, right? The things that fall in that category today are like testosterone, ketamine, and those are scheduled three items. So it really is I think the hope is, it truly is a tipping point, because it shifts perception, and it takes us out of schedule one. But it is not the final solution at all. Ultimately, we still need I think enabling legislation from Congress, a bill like the one that David Joyce of Ohio has it’s a bipartisan bill is a pretty good place to start. It has a lot of like the basic pieces that start to solve the puzzle. But I don’t know how quickly we’ll see that move. take place. And I think, Wait, now the thing that’s closest to happening is a bill called safer. That is out there that allows people to have access to banking. So meaning your money is safely in a bank, you can pay through things like ACH and use direct deposit for your employees. In Maryland, we don’t have that problem so much, because we do have some banks here that work with us. But that’s not the case across the country. So it is a problem that needs to be solved. And back to this issue that happened on 420. Right? Like, we don’t have the ability to work with all the vendors that everyone else in the world does not everyone will not like a normal

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:03

business in that way. Anybody that comes in and transact with cash and and says I have my visa, I can use it anywhere else. Why can’t I use it here? You’ve gone through that. But therein lies the issue on a day when you can’t operate like everybody else. Yeah.

Wendy Bronfein  08:20

And a lot of times, honestly, this over the years, we found ourselves in situations with potential vendor partners where you’re engaging, and there’s interest and whether it’s things we need for infrastructure software systems. And it goes, the conversation goes so far. And then it gets brought to the General Counsel of the organization. And they shut it down. Because they don’t want the risk of being associated with a company that may be legal in the state where they operate, but it’s federate seen as federally illegal because of schedule one. So it’s definitely a meaningful change in shifting perception and allowing, ideally, a lot of partners begin to work with us because it would be great to be able to say, you know, we have the same type of point of sale systems that you might have in any retail store or retail chain in the United States, which probably has a lot more capacity, and is less vulnerable to sort of the malfunctions that we can deal with in our industry.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  09:18

How did last week go? I mean, obviously, there’s a frustration level for everybody on 420. But like I said, like, I was gonna use four of my move bombs on Saturday night, you know, right. You know what I mean? Like, but I was stocking up. I mean, I had probably $300 in my basket, because it was 40% off. And to your point, it’s exactly what you wanted everybody to do, which would and and you’re finally equipped to have enough of this, that you don’t run out of it. We talked about that. I was worried about that. Then you have the week long afterward. I would think everybody came back right took advantage of it. Yeah,

Wendy Bronfein  09:55

yeah. I think that inconvenience was extremely frustrating. meeting, I think most people were very pleased to know that like, the the promotions would be honored. And we, you know, to see it through because it was completely out of our control. And we were equally frustrated by what was happening. So, yeah, I mean, we had, you know, up until about 1230, that day was going really well. And then we did you know, with the on and off, we still did get some transactions through as it went on. But then we saw a lot of people last week who who came back to reconcile what they didn’t get to do on Saturday. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:35

it was a hell of a sale and I’ll just say yeah, when he brought find his he or she is tough. I’m curious. Well, as you know, I talked about this move product a lot. And, and I’m on my, I use this, I actually have the gel, but I because this, I’m running out of this. But I was in New York, I walked 20 miles in New York on Sunday, I mean, flat, but I told my wife I was walking like the penguin by the time I got home, everything every single cell in my body below my navel heard from walking around New York and having a good time. But see the products that you have a stock up point. I’m not the only one that wanted four of these that day, right? Like, especially with the things that keep a little Wildflower. There’s a period of time and different things like that. But most of your products are stay a while that it was crazy stock up week, in addition to everything else, I’m sure that maybe you did run out of some stuff

Wendy Bronfein  11:28

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as well. So anything that was curio, I mean, because we had its us, we had that direct line. I mean, I think we actually had our team deliver to the store day of when we when things started to go low that we wanted to be able to have available. So we were we were really well stocked across the products and yeah, I mean, people definitely use it, whatever, whatever. Whether it’s sort of you know, the the thing you love that you got a lot of or getting what you love and then adding some things that you don’t normally get because hey, it’s on sale. Why not try it today? Yeah, there was, I think people definitely maximize the opportunity. I there was a group of women who came to the store who had like this, like, girls day of it. And they were like they’re they did their shopping. They took advantage of some of the stuff in our front of house retail. They were like Black

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:24

Friday day, it was like a brunch day. Yeah, like it yeah, they

Wendy Bronfein  12:27

had made like a thing of it. And like were out having a good time doing their shop and participating in the festivities. It was really cute.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:34

Wendy, you know, I guess I want to pay tribute to you because I had a friend of mine and knows I do business with you guys. And she said to me, tell when do you when you ever the best tasting gummies I’ve ever had, I always thought those things tasted horrible. And the chocolates and this and that. But and I said you’ll be pleased to hear that. Because I know I love that how much effort you put in, I always see was it the black cherry vanilla some some. And I’m like, I haven’t tried that. But it sounds appealing to me. Because really, across your lines, and I’m a flavor. I don’t really have a flavor snob, but I have a palette, I taste stuff, you know. And I had a hydrate problem. I lost this hydrate problem that I use for my yoga and I sweat a lot and class, whatever. And I couldn’t find a product that tasted good. I finally, but it took me oh my god, I went through bags and little packets of 30 different items before I found two that I’m like, well, that really tastes like fruit punch. And that really tastes like lemonade. And I’m just gonna use these two products too. They don’t taste like cotton candy. I know how much effort you put into it. So when she paid compliment. She talked about the pineapple, which I’ve told you before, because it’s a sleep issue for her. It’s more of an indica product and that terpene profile, but but she loved it. So I just want to pay compliment to you. Oh,

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Wendy Bronfein  13:53

that’s great. Well, you know, we just launched in Missouri, and we’ve been hearing that feedback there that people are like, these are the best tasting ones in the state. So it’s really exciting. I mean, yes, we are pretty anal about that, that process. And we do a lot of work before where we were, we’re figuring out the right flavor. We’re doing an infusion round to make sure that it really tastes good. So there’s a bit of work that happens before it even makes it to the store to make it very palatable.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:28

I have one I think I have one left. I have one of these left in here. Yep. We’ve talked about this last couple of weeks because I’m guinea pigging it, you know, on your behalf. You know, I mean, I’m like, All right. I kicked myself. I’ve been home alone for a week talking to myself, so don’t let too much of me but I was like from a focus standpoint, right? This is why you want me to try this product. And I guinea pig myself every time don’t. I’m taking Greg Landry. And sitting in the curio seats from Blue Rock productions, he was the executive producer of the 25th anniversary document if you haven’t seen yet, we’ll talk about that later. And in the final editing stages, I thought, I’m going to try this from a focus standpoint, when I’m sitting in the editing suite, annoying the living crap at a poor Greg Landrieu Blue Rock productions to try to make this movie palatable for you and your child and your husband. And I, I’m not sure I you know what I mean, I, I’m trying to figure out where the coffee and the fruit and my typical breakfast kicked in. And this and my hydrate because I’m a hydrate nut is what we talked about. I don’t know, but I’m trying it. I think the movie turned out really well. So if that helps, I’m gonna give you credit curio wellness about that.

Wendy Bronfein  15:47

Okay, yeah, I mean, I guess it’s probably not ideal to take it like in conjunction with something like coffee that’s giving you caffeine because you wouldn’t have a clean HDMI to this thing, right? Yeah. Because I don’t find that it gives any jitter factor. I just think it’s like I tend to have a reflective like, Oh, yeah. Kind of got like some.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:12

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Right, yeah. Okay. All right. But yeah, just trying to paint the house I was trying to focus on Alright, we gotta get this movie done. Let’s get this right. Let’s get the sound right. Let’s get the you know, like, that’s where

Wendy Bronfein  16:26

the right well oriented project. Yeah, it was

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:29

a fair it was incredibly poor Greg. I mean, thank you for the baseball tickets, by the way on his behalf because he loves the orals and I’m wearing my you know, I wore my purple curio shirt all week because of the draft. Actually, you know, I mean, it’s a little it’s a little warmer. It’s a winter where this is where 85 and sunny. We’re kicking the Yankees ass. This with this witness more of this week? I think so. Yeah. I

Wendy Bronfein  16:52

was there on Sunday when it went sour. But yeah, well, the same way when

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Nestor J. Aparicio  17:00

Kimball’s arm I’m telling you right now. I mean, it was Oh, I

Wendy Bronfein  17:03

heard that somebody uses the bomb on the team. If I had made me so happy,

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:14

yeah. All right. Well, I’m gonna I’m gonna have to, there’s gonna be an investigation into that. Wendy brown fine is here. She brings good news about schedule 123. And all that stuff. It’s certainly good news on the floor 20. Stale that lasted another week. Hopefully nobody took advantage of that and understands that. Nobody wants to wait. Nobody wants to lie. Nobody wants things to break. I am the guy who launched a note to steep Ashati two years ago and promoted it for five days, and my website crashed because of it. So I understand things that happen. And you know what it wound up doing? When do you end up building a bigger, better website so that when I launched the video this week, it didn’t crash. And we are launching the all new Baltimore positive website this month that two weeks away, Jessica has been working on that. So I’m like feverishly paddling like a duck underwater, while you all are coming up with new flavors and all of this different stuff that you guys do out there talking about how to find you and just on an educational level that you’re there for them in that way. Like we have a good time we talk about this and adult use but you could stop in foreign daughter anytime and get a really nice education, in addition to the website in addition to all that, that you’re open for business and you have a lot of products that work and a lot of different ways other than maybe the way Reefer Madness told you back 50 years ago.

Wendy Bronfein  18:32

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Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, look, if you want to do research on your own, go to curio wellness.com You there is a page for every product, there’s a page for every strain. If there’s any female listeners out there, I tend to like it to be kind of like when you’re on Sephora looking at products and you want to know every little thing about that product. There’s a lot of details there. So you can familiarize yourself before you even go to a store at the at our stores. really sit down with anyone and talk you can also meet with the pharmacist on staff you can book time with her to really dig in and understand what might be good for you but anyone who’s there working is well qualified to help you. One in Elkton, Maryland, one in Timonium, and then our products are available in nearly every dispensary across the state no matter where you’re listening. It’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:21

amazing. I was going to New York and I go to New York often you know they’re even during the plague when Springsteen was playing I go up for a day and kind of get lost and eat good food and do all that. And it went from five years ago smelling weed everywhere on the streets and the illicit all the awful fentanyl all the stories we could talk about as to why that’s a really bad idea. And it was clear it was a bad idea when it was going on and then it came to okay some stores are popping up that aren’t food trucks selling weed. And then it was I went up last year and you know I got a card Marilee Can you let me know I can’t get to now. like I literally went into a store over the weekend and sort of the normalization of it in, in the biggest city in the world, right and or at least in our continent and our culture, that from California, years ago with cards to Colorado and Washington, the normalization even to the point where I texted you two days ago, and it’s Joe Biden’s talking about this and the government’s don’t we, I mean, I don’t want to Mary Tyler Moore you but we’ve come a long way baby, right. I mean, it’s getting there, right? I’m

Wendy Bronfein  20:29

throwing that hat

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:33

where the broad find is here you can find her as far a daughter as well as carrier. Well, we I gotta get that picture of you for the front of the new Baltimore positive. We’re launching that next week as well. We’re gonna cartoon eyes you so if that bothers you that you look like Josie the Pussycats or you look like a cartoon from the 70s on Cartoon even even me, I’m cartoon

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Wendy Bronfein  20:53

Josie that’s, that’s cool.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:56

I love that one. That was a good one. Well, it’s not like HR Puffin stuff. It’s not like big animal. It’s it’s cartoon. It’s almost pretend I don’t know what it is a new Baltimore positive.com. Big thanks to Jessica phallus in Hartford designs, because she has been working very very feverishly on that project and emits a bunch of other things. And kudos to her husband as well, who was a true hero and was one of the rescuers at the foot of the bridge 3am to go so yeah, I have really special people in my life. So when I bring them all together for a night or for this crazy documentary, one day, I’m gonna throw like a real party. Because Greg was like, You should premiere the video and I’m like, who’s showing up at the Senator? Maybe if I brought crab cakes with babies or costus they would but or coco Yeah, I’ll probably bring them all down. But like I got to do a party where I put all the coolest people in my life together in one room. Maybe it’ll be that Oreo World Series parade at the end of the summer, right? Maybe I’ll take it to the Osher concert and see if she banchory I don’t know. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking important stuff. Go watch the documentary you’ll laugh you’ll cry you’ll hurl

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