• Celebrating Cannabis Culture with Les Stark, Executive Director at Keystone Cannabis Coalition

    Les Stark is a Pennsylvania hemp historian who has spent thousands of hours researching the historic Pennsylvania hemp industry. He has documented the existence of hundreds of hemp mills throughout the state and uncovered an epic tale of the days when nearly every farmer in the state grew hemp.

    Since 1997 he has been teaching this information to farmers, farm organizations, historical societies, community groups, the media, weed, legislators and the general public. He is the author of Hempstone Heritage

    Les served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a tank crewman on the M60A1 tank from 1984-1987.

    31m - May 16, 2024
  • MSOs and Social Equity in Pennsylvania's Emerging Cannabis Market

    The cannabis landscape is evolving rapidly, and Pennsylvania stands at the cusp of potentially transformative legislation. In the 8th episode of Planting Seeds with Senator Sharif Street, distinct perspectives converge, offering insights into the complex interplay between large multi-state operators (MSOs), small-scale operators, and the pursuit of social equity in the cannabis industry.

    In this episode Senator Street, Joe Hodas and Bryan Murray, EVP of Communications and Government Relations for Acreage, discuss the balance between large multi-state operators (MSOs) and small craft cultivators in the cannabis industry. They emphasize the importance of creating a diverse market that includes both MSOs and smaller independent cultivators. They also touch on the current adult use bills in Pennsylvania and the need for a comprehensive social equity program. The episode concludes with a discussion on the definition and implementation of social equity in the cannabis industry.

    32m - Apr 2, 2024
  • Pennsylvania's Path to Ideal Cannabis Legislation: Insights from Steve Bevin and Brett Goldman, Partners at OCan Group

    Pennsylvania is at a crossroads in crafting cannabis legislation that could set new standards for regulation and industry practice. With the influx of expertise from seasoned growers and the progressive vision of Senator Sharif Street, the Keystone State is poised to lead in creating a blueprint for cannabis legalization that benefits producers, workers, and consumers alike.

    Today our guests Steve Bevin and Brett Goldman of OCan Group, an advocacy group working to create global access to cannabinoids, join Senator Street and Joe Hodas to discuss the future of cannabis legalization and regulation in Pennsylvania. They advocate for treating cannabis as an agricultural crop, with the Department of Agriculture overseeing regulations. The goal is to create a robust market that benefits both small and large businesses while ensuring access to safe and affordable products. This episode offers valuable insights into the potential of Pennsylvania's cannabis market and the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework.

    34m - Mar 25, 2024
  • Social Equity Programs And The Grassroots Influence With NORML's Chris Goldstein

    As conversations around cannabis legalization gain momentum in Pennsylvania, Senator Sharif Street, Joe Hodas and Chris Goldstein, a regional organizer for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), discuss the path forward. Their insights reveal the intricate dynamics at play, from political influences to the importance of social equity and grassroots advocacy in shaping policy.

    One of the most significant themes to emerge from the transcript is the focus on social equity programs within cannabis legalization. Senator Street and Goldstein discuss the need for licensing, building knowledge bases, providing mentorship, and ensuring access to capital. Diving deeper into the social equity discussion, the necessity for knowledge dissemination and financial assistance emerges. Mentorship programs and training academies have been touted as solutions for bridging this knowledge gap. Pennsylvania is considering integrating similar approaches within its framework, inspired by successful initiatives in neighboring states.

    31m - Mar 12, 2024
  • Pennsylvania Legislators Discuss Social Equity and Regulation in Cannabis Legalization

    Pennsylvania stands on the brink of transformative action in cannabis legislation, with discussions that carry the potential to shape the justice system and economic landscape of the state. In a detailed and enlightening conversation with State Representative Rick Krajewski, Joe Hodas and Senator Sharif Street, we are given a candid look into the intricate process of crafting a law that hopes to balance social equity, taxation, and education in ushering in recreational cannabis use.

    Representative Krajewski makes a compelling argument that any framework for cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania should integrate criminal justice reform, specifically the expungement of past cannabis-related convictions. "If we don’t do that, we don’t fully address the social and racial equity component of it," Krajewski states, laying out the direct connection between expungement and the ability of previously criminalized individuals to enter the burgeoning industry. This inclusion in the legal canvas is not without its challenges, as Senator Street points out the need for bipartisan agreement to ensure such components are a part of the final legislation.

    29m - Mar 5, 2024
  • Advocating for Inclusion and Local Supply Chains in Pennsylvania Cannabis

    The future of cannabis is envisioned through a lens of globalization and diversity. Countries like Ghana are stepping into the cannabis market, creating a bridge with US communities. Today's guest, Cherron Perry-Thomas, underscores, "It's happening slowly," indicating that there's much work to be done in crafting an industry that doesn't mirror the exclusion suffered in the past. The transference of knowledge and land use rights are key aspects in ensuring inclusion and participation from communities on a global scale.

    For communities in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, it remains paramount to acknowledge cannabis as a formidable vector for economic and social transformation. Legislators need to be made aware of the lived experiences that underline the pressing need for equitable cannabis legislation. This coversation between Senator Sharif Street, Joe Hodas and Cherron Thomas serves as a catalyst for change, envisioning a world where the cannabis industry thrives on inclusivity, community investment, and fair representation. The path toward a unified and equitable cannabis industry is laden with challenges, yet it promises empowerment and progressive change for local economies and marginalized communities worldwide.

    31m - Feb 27, 2024
  • Changing Perceptions and Building Equity in the Cannabis Industry With Tauhid Chappel and Tsehaitu Abye

    Changing the perception of cannabis in the media industry requires educating journalists and newsrooms about the history and medicinal uses of the plant. In this episode, we have two special guests who are working to change perceptions and build equity in the cannabis industry. Co-host Joe Hodas from Wana speaks with Tauhid Chappel, an executive board member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and Tsehaitu Abye, founder of the Black Dragon Breakfast Club, share their experiences and insights on the intersection of media, advocacy, and cannabis.

    43m - Feb 20, 2024
  • The Proposed Pennsylvania Cannabis Decriminalization Bill 1028

    One of the key motivations behind Senate Bill 1028 is to address the racial disparities prevalent in cannabis-related arrests. In today's episode, Senator Street and Wana's Joe Hodas shed light on the importance of this bill and its potential impact on the lives of Pennsylvanians. We explore the resistance faced by the senator in pushing this bill forward, the role of the media in shaping public perception, and the broader implications of decriminalization. Let's dive into the details. Senator Street acknowledges that one of the biggest challenges in pushing for decriminalization is the lack of understanding among legislators. Many still hold onto outdated misconceptions perpetuated by the "reefer madness" era.

    29m - Feb 13, 2024
  • Planting Seeds: Exploring the Journey to Cannabis Legalization in Pennsylvania

    Over the years, the perception of cannabis has shifted from a fringe issue to a mainstream topic. With 33 states now having some form of legalization, there are lawyers, lobbyists, and business people involved in the industry. However, this evolution has also led to an identity crisis within the cannabis industry. Some see it as a movement for social change, while others view it as a business opportunity. The challenge is finding a balance between the two and recognizing the benefits that come with the industry's success.

    Planting Seeds is the podcast where we dive deep into the issues surrounding cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania. Your co-host, Senator Sharif Street, will be discussing a range of topics, from social equity to the legislative process to best practices from around the country. Joining him on this journey is Joe Hodas, the Chief Marketing Officer for Wana Brands, one of the largest and most trusted edibles manufacturers in North America. Together, they will shed light on the path to creating one of the best legalized systems in the country.

    32m - Feb 2, 2024
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Planting Seeds with Senator Sharif Street