Jason DeLand | In episode 92 of Light Culture Podcast, Paper Magazine founder David Hershkovits talks with Jason DeLand, founder of Anomaly advertising agency and Dosist, a premier cannabis brand known for its dose-controlled vape pens
Jason DeLand has been selected to both Adweek’s list of “20 Most Influential People Under 40” as well as High Times “Top 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis.” As the founder of the ad agency Anomaly and the popular Dosist e-pen, he’s a defacto futurist who looks into his crystal ball to talk about the coming world of cannabis in New York, building brands in today’s changing world, CBD, sleep and his personal journey and the scientific learning that came with it.Read Transcript
Jason DeLand – The Anomaly Behind Dosist
Jason DeLand has been selected to both Adweek’s list of “20 Most Influential People Under 40” as well as High Times “Top 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis.” As the founder of the ad agency Anomaly and the popular Dosist e-pen, he’s a defacto futurist who looks into his crystal ball to talk about the coming world of cannabis in New York, building brands in today’s changing world, CBD, sleep and his personal journey and the scientific learning that came with it.
David Hershkovits (00:00):
I don’t know of anyone else who can make this claim to fame, being selected to both Adweek’s list of 20 Most Influential People Under 40, as well as High Times Top 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis. Jason Deland is an anomaly, which fittingly, also happens to be the name of the global advertising agency he founded in 2004 at the age of 27. He earned his exalted position in the world of cannabis when he launched dosist, a THC, CBD, wellness ePen in 2016.
David Hershkovits (00:39):
Jason’s well deserved notoriety has made him a popular speaker on panels’ TV shows, where he appears to discuss a broad range of topics, including technology, media, consumer behavior, macroeconomic forces, and of course, cannabis. Welcome, Jason.
Jason DeLand (00:59):
Thank you, David. That was very kind.
David Hershkovits (01:01):
I’ve been wanting to have you on my show actually for quite a long time, because you do have this unique position of advertising, executive, founder, as well as branching off into this other side project, I guess. (Laughs).
Jason DeLand (01:16):
David Hershkovits (01:16):
Or I guess it’s becoming bigger than that as time goes on. So a person, such as yourself, is expected to be not only an expert on contemporary events, but also a futurist of sorts. So let’s go there. New York, after the legalization of cannabis goes into full effect, what impact will it have on the city’s recovery, financially, obviously we have an idea about that, but also in lifestyle and the just overall vibe of the city?
Jason DeLand (01:46):
It’s a great question. I think timing is everything, in a lot of ways, particularly when you’re talking about, as, as you put it, like macroeconomic or macro-forces. When you have things that are going to happen meet the moment, it can become, you know, a force multiplier kind of effect.
Jason DeLand (02:07):
And what I mean by that is, coming out of COVID, which is now just basically a, a cliché to say, but coming out of it, and particularly if you think about American cities, or even global cities that were, uh, disproportionately affected, both from a human health point of view, but also an emotional point of view, New York City is certainly the epicenter of that. Right? And I think the world needs New York City to fully recover and lead the world back in a lot of ways.
Jason DeLand (02:42):
It’s always been that. it was certainly through, you know, other downturns, whether they be economic or even crises, such as 9/11. From that point of view, I think that cannabis being brought into New York State legally in a recreational way is very, very important for New York City, the economic impact is obviously there, but you know, once it’s in New York City, which is probably, the largest cannabis market in the world right now from a city point of view, just currently, whether it’s true or not-
David Hershkovits (03:21):
Jason DeLand (03:21):
It’s going to be a vibrant dynamic market. It’s going to be serving a major media epicenter, but it’s also going to be serving the most discerning consumer in the world today.
Jason DeLand (03:41):
And in order for brands and companies to be successful in a place like New York, they have to innovate, they have to be responsible, and I think it’s going to be good for the entire industry, to have New York have that sort of coming out moment, if you will. As it relates to the recovery of New York, economic activity, to me, is the lifeblood of New York City, and it’s proven, whether you’re in, Colorado Springs or in Sacramento, or in Toronto, that, cannabis being brought out into the open and being a, a real consumer good, generates a significant amount of economic activity.
Jason DeLand (04:26):
So from all of those points of reference and view, I think that there is a direct connection between the cannabis cognition and the recovery story of New York City.
David Hershkovits (04:41):
New York is also actually playing catch up here, Because so much of the rest of the country, particularly California, has been living this lifestyle for quite a number of years at this point, whereas here, people still have to hide and there’s still this whole history of stigma and everything else that other places, (laughs), have started to already, get rid of.
Jason DeLand (05:09):
David Hershkovits (05:09):
Do you still feel that New York is gonna have that edge, given, what we hear about people leaving the city-
Jason DeLand (05:17):
Oh my gosh.
David Hershkovits (05:18):
… all of the change?
Jason DeLand (05:18):
I’m with Jerry Seinfeld-
David Hershkovits (05:20):
Jason DeLand (05:20):
… on this. I mean-
David Hershkovits (05:21):
Jason DeLand (05:21):
… half the people who are predicting New York City’s demise, they’re wrong, they’ve always been wrong, and they will always be wrong. I don’t care if they’re arguing it from a social point of view, I don’t care if they’re arguing it from a taxation point of view. New York City is, in my opinion, the most vibrant city on the planet, because it’s the most diverse on the planet. It has rich, it has poor, it has all sorts of different religions and persuasions and races, and it’s all mixed together, and that vibrancy and that energy, you cannot replicate, and I’ve traveled the world pretty extensively. ( Laughs). I’ve never felt that anywhere else, like I feel it in New York City.
Jason DeLand (06:04):
Uh, human beings are attracted to it. I think it brings out the best in all of us. It’s hard there, and in that harshness and in that grit, people overcome and innovate and create new things that the world falls in love with. So anyone who is predicting the demise of New York City, I’m telling you right now, you’re wrong, and you’ve always been wrong, and you will always
David Hershkovits (06:28):
Jason DeLand (06:28):
… pretend to be wrong.
David Hershkovits (06:29):
(Laughs). That’s spoken like a true New Yorker, I guess. Right?
Jason DeLand (06:31):
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
David Hershkovits (06:32):
Jason DeLand (06:32):
David Hershkovits (06:32):
Dosist is generally discussed as a wellness product. I think that’s how you positioned it originally. Right?
Jason DeLand (06:40):
David Hershkovits (06:40):
It’s packaged beautifully, something people want to hold. It’s like a nice piece of jewelry almost. It’s just a nice thing to have. So do you think those things are an opposition, wellness and cannabis, that, this idea of getting high and having fun, as one branch of the cannabis plant-
Jason DeLand (07:01):
David Hershkovits (07:01):
… and this other wellness thing? Do you think that those are opposites that will eventually branch off into two separate things?
Jason DeLand (07:09):
I would say this as a sort of a closeted futurist. It’s very difficult to predict the future of cannabis, simply because the regulatory hurdles are just very difficult to predict. Like what’s going to happen exactly?
cannabis on one level is the most regulated substance in the world. It’s a schedule one narcotic. On the other side, it’s being decriminalized and deregulated everywhere. It’s kind of a push/pull kind of thing.
Jason DeLand (07:48):
As it relates to wellness, I was at a conference, in Northern California, and I’m blanking on the individual’s name, but he’s a pioneer in the cannabis space, who’s a former NFL football player, and he said to me, “There’s no such thing as recreational cannabis. It doesn’t exist.”
Jason DeLand (08:09):
Now, whether I believe that or not, it was a heck of a provocative statement, his idea there was that, even if you’re reaching for it to detach from some sort of reality, or to feel high, the underlying reason that you’re doing it has to do with your own wellbeing. Right?
Jason DeLand (08:35):
and that’s just for the high of cannabis, but we could talk long in the tooth about the analgesic properties, the antianxiety properties, the antiinflammatory properties, the wonders that it can do around mental health, what it can do for libido, what it can do for creativity, you could go on and on and on, and on.
Jason DeLand (08:55):
So do I see dosist as being a straight up wellness company? Right? I get that question sometimes. And I think when we started the company, I did, but as the cannabis market has evolved, it’s evolved towards real human needs, and humans have very different needs as it relates to cannabis.
Jason DeLand (09:16):
Some of them, right, some people truly do need it for sleep. I’ve had people, give me hugs because dosist helps them fall asleep, and to someone who struggles with sleep, you could ask them the question, “What is a good night’s sleep worth to you?’, and, and it really, it’s hard to place a value on that to someone who has difficulty sleeping. Right?
Jason DeLand (09:36):
Equally, a woman broke down in front of me crying, because she said that she was suicidal, and the dosist calm device replaced her Ativan, and she actually feels like that she can, you know, live. but equally, I’ve had people who just love cannabis, who love the feeling, who love the experience, who love the taste, who love the culture, and for them, the dosist, say live resin product portfolio is not a wellness tool per se. It’s more of a lifestyle companion. It’s something they will sit back and really enjoy. you could liken it to a fine scotch, or you know, Tito’s Vodka or something like that, something that can really be savored and enjoyed.
Jason DeLand (10:23):
So from that point of view, it’s not just wellness, but it’s not, not wellness. It sort of falls in between this kind of lifestyle product that people use for many different reasons, and I think from our point of view, we’re just trying to bring a higher level of quality, consistency, and ultimately, trust, to the category.
David Hershkovits (10:43):
There’s also disparity between the way it’s being treated legally by the government as a vice, it’s in this category of vices. It’s taxed way-
Jason DeLand (10:53):
David Hershkovits (10:53):
… above what a normal product would be. You think we’ll be able to overcome that in people’s minds at the same time, as we’re telling them, “This is recreational. This is no-
Jason DeLand (11:05):
David Hershkovits (11:05):
… big deal,” but-
Jason DeLand (11:06):
David Hershkovits (11:06):
… the government is saying, “No, that’s not true.” (Laughs).
Jason DeLand (11:09):
What the government says and what the government does is, you know-
David Hershkovits (11:13):
Jason DeLand (11:14):
… sometimes logical, and mostly illogical. I think if you just- if you just stop yourself and imagine five years from now, I don’t think the government will be viewing cannabis as a vice., and the reason why is, whether the government knows this or not, you know, cannabis has been used for thousands and thousands of years as a human wellness tool, and whether the stereotypes and culture and zeitgeists of the day believe that or not, ultimately, I’m a- an empiricist, and I believe that, the data will prove out, and what people will end up seeing here is cannabis can be used in a cornucopia of different applications, that benefit
Jason DeLand (12:00):
… human beings. Now, like all good things, they can also be abused, right? There is the potential for people to overindulge, to use too much of a good thing. And, you know, it’s not like I am, a cannabis zealot in that. I just see that it can only ever do good in the world. I do believe that it does more good than harm, and I believe that the data proves that out. And I think that over time, that’s how most regulatory agencies will see it.
David Hershkovits (12:32):
So how did you come to cannabis in, in this way, you, your first product is, is Dosist
Jason DeLand (12:37):
David Hershkovits (12:38):
Great success, Time magazine called it. One of the year’s best inventions. What was your thinking behind launching this particular product reflecting on your own history?
Jason DeLand (12:51):
I don’t like to generally do these things because it makes it sound like I invented it all, which is definitely not the case. but you know, there was a person there at some point that had to go, “Hey, how about this?” And in this instance, it just happened to me. I think most great inventions come from need, you know, the more acute the need, the more powerful the invention sometimes. I did not pick cannabis to make money and, and I will tell everyone, openly I have not made money doing cannabis, I’ve lost money doing cannabis. It’s a very expensive thing to do well.
Jason DeLand (13:32):
my need was, I could not sleep. I was an athlete growing up, I played baseball, I was a ski racer. You know, cannabis was not something that was in my repertoire of things to use, but I was quite honestly addicted to painkillers when I was a baseball player and would do anything to cope.
Jason DeLand (13:55):
But as I moved from athletics to business, you’re not training anymore, but you are enduring. And that enduring led me to New York, Hong Kong, LA on flights, constantly stressed out in different time zones. And all of that accumulated for me to have a very difficult time sleeping. Probably under incredible adrenal fatigue, um, you know, and, and, and other and other things. And also that kind of busy jet-lagged executive lifestyle of, living in airports and hotels, and probably drinking too much alcohol in the evening, too much caffeine in the morning and not enough good nutrition in between and physical activity.
Jason DeLand (14:40):
So I had trouble sleeping around 2013. Someone handed me a very rudimentary vape device that I believe had some sort of, phenotype of Girl Scout Cookies in it mixed with some distillate. And they told me to try it ’cause it might help me sleep. And, you know, here I am having done the Whiskey red wine Vicodin thing, and, and being addicted to opioids, having probably abused sleeping pills to some degree, or at least more than the labels would suggest I should take, you know, had very bad experiences with Ambien.
Jason DeLand (15:16):
and then also went to Ayurvedics and, really tried everything from Ashwagandha all the way down the line, other nutraceuticals L-theanine, magnesium, you know, tried melatonin, and would just basically invent my own stuff.
Jason DeLand (15:33):
Now, this came because for about seven years, I was responsible for functional innovation between the Coca-Cola company and Nestle, a company called Beverage Partners Worldwide. And there, I was responsible for helping to innovate new functional based products using flavonoids, catechins and antioxidants.
Jason DeLand (15:52):
Now, (laughing) you know, those are three words that most people won’t recognize just to say, they’re phytomolecules that do some good things inside of the human body. Particularly as protective agency, protective agents around cellular oxidization and stress and things of that nature. Now, so I ended up taking this vape device and I remember two things happening. So thing number 1, is I was high and I didn’t like it. Thing Number 2, is I fell asleep. So the next morning I woke up and I said, why did I fall asleep? What’s going on here?
Jason DeLand (16:23):
And of course my background in functional foods and plant-based molecules… you know, one of the things about plant-based molecules and plant-based nutrition is that the concepts are really quite similar depending on the molecule. So if, if you’re looking at certain things that are adaptogens versus, cannabinoids versus terpenoids versus, catechins, they don’t do the same thing. They don’t operate biologically the same way, but they’re understood in the same ways. And so I looked at this and I went, “Okay, there’s a class of, things in here.” And in cannabis, there’s really three major comp- well, there’s four, and we’ll call them fatty acids, flavonoids, cannabinoids and terpenoids, right? Those are really the main four phytomolecules found in cannabis. There are others I’m not going to get into them. And I kind of went, “All right, well, why did I fall asleep?”
Jason DeLand (17:24):
And I discovered the endocannabinoid system that Rafael Mesh ulam, him and his partners in Israel, really figured out. And then later, Dr. Khalid at St. Louis University on the other side of CB2. And I really went, oh, this is fascinating, like this endocannabinoid system. And actually maybe the reason why I’m not falling asleep so well at night is because my ECS is out of toner imbalanced. And the role of these cannabinoids and underlying terpenoids, which also affect the cannabinoid system, but also, the pharma kinetics stretch well beyond the cannabinoid system, into the serotonin, into the Terpa- and into others.
Jason DeLand (18:00):
And even the crosstalk between the cannabinoid system and the opioid system is now really well-established. And of course, the cannabinoid system being a great connector between our immune systems in our gut, in our own, neurology. So I really became a student of this. And I would say, you know, probably, I don’t know, 15, 20,000 pages later of digging deep inside of the science. I don’t know if I could pass a medical exam on the endocannabinoid system, but I’m pretty sure I could get darn close.
Jason DeLand (18:36):
Um, and I’ve been doing a ton of observational research and just understanding how these compounds affect us biologically, and what they do and what they don’t do. And that’s how I really got into it. And it sparked something inside me that led to dosist. and it led to, basically what I will, will characterize as a lifetime of learning, based on a passion for something that you feel like you’re at the ground floor of helping to discover and move forward. Although I will say humbly that I’m standing on the shoulders of many giants who came before me.
David Hershkovits (19:15):
Well, it’s amazing to hear you s- it’s, talk about it as an expert, sounds like to me, at least, and to know that that’s, what’s behind, the dosist product today, and I understand you also get involved in actually blending the various pieces that go into the arouse or the relax or the bliss or the-
Jason DeLand (19:39):
David Hershkovits (19:39):
… various, um, what do you call them?
Jason DeLand (19:43):
Need state formulas, I love-
David Hershkovits (19:45):
… formulas that go into your products.
Jason DeLand (19:47):
I love nerding out and being a bench work kind of chemist guy. Looking at things, we’re about to launch a sleep product in our dosist health lineup that is a blend of CBD and CBN with L-theanine and magnesium. L-theanine and magnesium are two compounds that I had been spending a significant amount of time researching and understanding over the years and stacking them in the right ratios with CBD and CBN make for an extremely effective sleep aid. It’ll launch in a couple of months, but when I give it to people to try, I say to them somewhat arrogantly, “I dare you not to try and fall asleep.” And I’m doing that because, this is one of those products that absolutely does work and understanding, the dosage between the, the L-theanine and the magnesium and the CBD and the CBN, the relationship between those dosage, precision formulating it and making it bioavailable, in the human body is, an art and a science.
Jason DeLand (20:54):
I love doing those things. I’ll stay up, I won’t sleep in that instance. (laughing) but it’s such a turn on, to be able to discover these things and also do it in a way that I know legitimately will help people, it’s a great feeling.
David Hershkovits (21:12):
Well, sleep is, a very concrete thing. People can judge whether it works or not very easily.
Jason DeLand (21:17):
David Hershkovits (21:18):
Whereas, some of these others are a little bit more in-between-
Jason DeLand (21:21):
David Hershkovits (21:22):
so you don’t know, am I relaxed? Somebody’s not relaxed. I can’t really say for sure, but they’ll know if they’re asleep, so you’re going to find out very quickly.
Jason DeLand (21:31):
David Hershkovits (21:31):
I think once this product goes out, I assume it will work, it’s got to be a major thing for people because yes, sleep is a huge issue and it apparently is only getting worse from all the stuff I read.
Jason DeLand (21:44):
There’s two crises in the world that I see from a human health point of view. More broadly, I think there’s an inflammatory crisis in the world. And I think there’s a mental health crisis in the world today. And when you think about the relation, when you think about the importance of sleep, of addressing both of those, the inflammatory side, as well as the mental side, eight hours of uninterrupted, high quality sleep is worth three months of working out, you know, I mean of eating well.
Jason DeLand (22:18):
There was another podcast by Nick Jikomes named Good Chemistry. And he had, um, Bob Stickler[sp?] who is a neuroscientist and professor at Harvard university. And one of the things that he described on that podcast, which I absolutely loved is he’s been studying, sleep his whole entire life.
Jason DeLand (22:35):
He said, what we knew about sleep and the turn of the century was nothing. We didn’t know anything. You asked the scientist, why do human beings sleep? They wouldn’t even know. There’s usually like, we know why we eat, we know the urge to procreate. We know a lot of the things we don’t know why we fall asleep. We don’t know what sleep does physiologically inside of the human body. But he said, 21 years later, we have a pretty good idea now, but we are at the inception of really understanding sleep as, as it relates to human health, as it relates to our own human psychology, as it relates to, everything from, um, neurogenesis to conception, to mental health.
Jason DeLand (23:18):
And, these things are really important. For example, many people wouldn’t realize that generally when people fall asleep, the part of deep sleep happens within the first hour or two of falling asleep.
Jason DeLand (23:29):
And that’s when, for example, HGH is released inside of the human body, human growth hormone, which is a very important function inside of the human body. But without that deep sleep, that’s just not going to happen. And so you’re going to have some retarded growth issues. You’re going to have some basic breakdowns, particularly as you get older. And these are just questions and concepts that I’m absolutely fascinated by, and to the extent that I can use that knowledge and put them into some Dosist products, I’m happy
David Hershkovits (24:01):
Let’s talk about post Dosist, after you’ve decided to do it and made it and, and designed it. You succeeded, I think, where nobody else has really managed to create a brand that is recognized in the space around. Whereas, I can barely name any other products. I don’t live in California. I don’t go into those places, particularly, to see what’s for sale. I hear about the strains. That’s about it.
David Hershkovits (24:32):
So when you get to that place where okay, I have a product. Now, you put on your ad exec hat, and you decide, okay, how am I gonna launch this? How am I gonna market it? What is gonna be the story? What was the process around that? and also, did people think you were crazy? Or why are you going off in this direction, when we have a really good business here? (laughs)
Jason DeLand (24:54):
I can’t answer the question if people think, I’m crazy, ’cause that would be an entire podcast. (laughing) Or it would be the shortest answer in the world, yes.
David Hershkovits (25:10):
How do you, how do you get people to know about Dosist?
Jason DeLand (25:11):
Yeah. It’s so…
David Hershkovits (25:12):
What is that?
Jason DeLand (25:12):
So for me, it, it goes back to, I obviously grew up in marketing, communications, brand management, consumer behavior, strategy, all that sort of stuff, right? And, and so it’s either a bunch of pixie dust or complete and total, BS. Or it can be very, very effective, depending on how those things are practiced. So for me, I do not believe in fame, in attention, very much, I’ve done a lot in the world and I’ve tried very, very hard to stay behind the scenes for a reason. I believe that products, ultimately, build great brands, not the other way around.
Jason DeLand (25:52):
Now, in the world of brand management, I’m probably in the minority in that field, right? But, I believe, if you take the best brand in the world, which I believe is either Nike or Apple, flip a coin and decide, I believe that they were, created by people who believed very, very strongly in the consumer product experience. And they resolve those experiences over and over and over and over again. Until they got to something that people absolutely, intuitively, loved. Whether they knew why they loved it or not, didn’t matter. That’s the power of a brand.
Jason DeLand (26:24):
And so when you tap someone on the shoulder on the street that you don’t know and ask them, give me one word after I say a brand, Nike or Apple. Nine times out of 10, you’re gonna get something that’s conjured up here in the brain, that sticks. And it’s gonna be relatively similar from person to person, country to country. That’s the power of a brand.
Jason DeLand (26:41):
And, and doing a brand well, in my opinion, is the most difficult thing to do in all business. It is truly difficult. So to the extent that we’ve been able to do it with Dosist, I believe, it’s not because we did flashy, snazzy, awesome advertising, We haven’t actually done that much and we certainly don’t do more of it than most people do, for example, in California. I believe we have a very strong idea behind Dosist.
Jason DeLand (27:06):
I believe that most people, when they’re talking about cannabis, they ask themselves two questions. What would it do to me and how much should I take? I believe, Dosist, answers those things, right on the package, which is very helpful to millions and millions of people. And I think that we have put in more effort and more resources into understanding the human physiology and biology of the endocannabinoid system and the relationship between, how exogenous cannabinoids and terpenoids work with the endocannabinoid system. In what dosages and how to formulate them and how to make them bio available. We don’t have all the answers. But we’ve worked really hard for a long period of time to get some of them.
Jason DeLand (27:52):
And, when we find something that we know works, we test it with consumers. And then, when we know it works with them, then we credibly put it out. What we are not doing is picking the low hanging fruit in the cannabis industry, about growing cannabis and selling it for the cheapest possible price. Which I believe, is a race to the bottom, which serves nobody, ultimately. That’s not to disparage the hardworking cultivators out there. Wearing my cultivator shirt. The hardworking cultivators out there, that are in the world of genetics. And really, trying to find the right strains.
Jason DeLand (28:25):
It’s just to say that the reason why, I think, that we’ve grown a brand, where others may have tried and failed, is because it’s hard to do so and we’ve done all of the hard things. And we’ve stuck with it, even when we weren’t making money doing so. And I think ultimately, that’s what most consumers appreciate. Because they see it when they hold it and they, and they feel it when they experience it.
David Hershkovits (28:50):
And they come back.
Jason DeLand (28:52):
David Hershkovits (28:54):
Beverage is an area that you’re familiar with. You’ve worked with Coca-Cola and Budweiser. And there’s a whole lot of interest in the beverage world, in cannabis, currently. Some like, Constellation, is a big player in that space.
Jason DeLand (29:08):
David Hershkovits (29:08):
And people in the beverage industry have gone over to other companies to be CEOs and help sell that product. Even though they didn’t come from the culture, like, you.
Jason DeLand (29:21):
David Hershkovits (29:21):
They didn’t have roots in the industry, to sort of, certify, their involvement in it, to people who care about things like that. And thirdly, the idea of CBD or infused beverages is also very popular now. Apparently, that’s one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. So are you advising any of your clients to move in that direction? Is that a conversation that’s taking place? And is Dosist looking into getting that space?
Jason DeLand (29:57):
Yes. So beverage brands are tough to build, building a brand in beverages is almost impossible, beverage is one of the most challenging spaces in all of consumer packaged goods. It’s also one of the, if you think about it, coffee, tea and wine and beer, are the four most consumed beverages in the world, over water. (laughs) Um, and they’re all functional.
Jason DeLand (30:21):
I think, beverage is ultimately, gonna be, 20% of how cannabinoids and how cannabis is ingested. How long that takes, remains to be seen. It’s a pretty small portion of the market, right now, although it’s growing. And I can’t help but, pattern match between, you mentioned, Constellation, which is, I know that business pretty well. I have tremendous respect for them and what they’ve done. In fact, from an LP point of view, I think, Canopy Growth has done it better than anyone else has.
Jason DeLand (31:03):
but, you know, most of the big players in America, they’ve all hired X beer or wine executives. And so, these individuals are gonna go to what they know, which is beverage. I think part of the issue, right now, is why the beverage hasn’t gone very high, is A, cannabinoids are very sensitive to oxygenation, heat, light and oxygen. So there are some things there.
Jason DeLand (31:31):
I think, from a distribution point of view, beverages are bulky and heavy. So the distribution models right now, in the cannabis industry, don’t cater to that. Particularly, the way some of the rules are written in the major markets around the country. The way to do bottling and things like that, that’s a very expensive, capital intensive business. And quite honestly, there are just ways for cannabis brands to make more money with less investment, than to do beverages well.
Jason DeLand (32:02):
That said, there are a couple beverage companies that I think are poised to do pretty well. Wnder, is a brand that I’ve paid very close attention to in California. I think they have tremendous products. Cann is another one that I think everyone would know. Kind of a Dosist-esque kind of story, like, one of the first there. The way we were first in, bringing a 100% clean supply chain to cannabis. Dose controlled vaporization, the first ones to do that. They were really the first ones to bring, a cannabis based beverage to the market that was palatable, that the people enjoy.
Jason DeLand (32:37):
So I believe it will be very significant, just based on an analysis of human behavior and how human beings like to consume functional compounds. Is Dosist looking at beverage? Of course, we are. Will Dosist have a beverage? Yes, we will. But timing of that remains to be seen. I see, ultimately, there’s two sides of it. You know, I think, there is a major play in just straight up, alcohol replacement. Sorry to my ex-colleagues and friends at Budweiser.
Jason DeLand (33:07):
But you know, the reality is, cannabis is non-toxic. It doesn’t leave you with a hangover. And a sessionable environment is an extremely enjoyable social lubricant. The occasion bases that cannabis can serve, in that category, I think, outweigh the occasion bases of alcohol.
Jason DeLand (33:31):
Also if you think about the wellness related aspects to other functional beverages that we see, um, with other botanical agents in them, that can help with stress, sleep, overall well-being, and overall human health. I think cannabis pairs very, very well with, with that cognition and that theme.
Jason DeLand (33:57):
So I do believe that beverage is going to be significant. And I do believe, Dosist will have a beverage play, probably within the next year.
David Hershkovits (34:09):
You mentioned that you were an athlete, played baseball. And, it seems like athletes are becoming very prominent in this area of cannabis.
Jason DeLand (34:19):
David Hershkovits (34:19):
The NBA, I believe, has stopped testing to cannabis.
Jason DeLand (34:24):
David Hershkovits (34:25):
how do you feel about that? Do you think that’s appropriate
Jason DeLand (34:29):
I think it’s well overdue. Athletes wanna be on the field, on the court, playing and competing. That’s what we’re about, that’s why we’re athletes. To the extent that, you know, what are the difficulties that athletes have?
David Hershkovits (34:49):
Jason DeLand (34:50):
Pain and injury. If you’re an athlete, you’re putting yourself out there at a high level, you’re hurt. And by the end of that season, you’re playing, hurt. And you know, the reality is, the opioid crisis, is related to pain, is related to the management of pain, which is a real thing. You know, chronic pain has basic work and drug status with the FDA. There’s no known cure for chronic pain, right? And about half of all chronic pain is inflammatory based pain.
Jason DeLand (35:17):
And, inflammatory pain is a hard thing to tackle. It’s a combination of diet, exercise, lifestyle, sleep, all of these things are right there. And when I think about a modern athlete, I think about an integrated human being. Someone who is a high performance human being, who is centered mentally, who is centered physically, who is healthy, who is operating in peak performance all of the time. And they encounter injuries and pain, and that pain and those injuries can inhibit their performance. Whether it’s sleep or anxiety or, or pain,
Jason DeLand (36:00):
Those are three areas in particular that athletes struggle with. I’ll give you an example. I played college baseball. Now I was never using cannabis in college, but I would take eight Advil before a doubleheader, right? That was my thing and I ended up with a stomach issue. My stomach lining was destroyed from years and years of doing that. I can’t even take an Advil today, and I have a hard time with that. It really hurts my stomach. What I should have been doing is I’d should have been eating better, sleeping better, and really thinking about my whole human health and how my body can heal itself.
Jason DeLand (36:40):
Now what I love about cannabinoids and cannabis is, cannabis is a really effective tool to allow the body to do what the body does naturally. And so, when you’re talking about healing, when you’re talking about recovery, right? Cannabis is wonderful at helping the body reduce inflammation. Agonizing that CB2 receptor and sending a signal that inflammation can be calmed here, can be stopped, right? It’s really wonderful at promoting healthy sleep, right? In the right amounts, so that the body can recover. And topically, what we’ve proven and we know what Dosist is, it can work locally or acutely on that injury, particularly an inflammatory injury, right? So that the body reduces that and you can get back onto the field or the court and recover quickly.
Jason DeLand (37:33):
So it’s, it’s not surprising to me at all that athletes are into this. I’ll also tell you that most athletes, when you travel, you’re traveling on buses, it’s very, very difficult to sleep. Unfortunately, most resort to opioids or alcohol or Ambien or a combination of those three to fall asleep because it’s very stressful to be on the road and in new environments and hotels right before a big game. Right? And when you do that, you drink alcohol, you’re dehydrated, you go out on the field the next day, boom, you go and all of a sudden you tear something because you do not have enough hydration in the body and the muscles lose their elasticity.
Jason DeLand (38:09):
These are all things that we know. My best friend in the world is one of the leading sports scientists on the planet and we talk about these things all the time. And so, is cannabis the catch-all cure for, for athletes? No it’s not. Is it a tool that can be used effectively in the right ways? Absolutely.
David Hershkovits (38:29):
you once, compared CBD to Bitcoin.
Jason DeLand (38:33):
I did, yeah.
David Hershkovits (38:34):
(laughs) Bitcoin in 2016, I guess, when it was still, you know…
Jason DeLand (38:39):
David Hershkovits (38:40):
Going up, I guess, in price, not-
Jason DeLand (38:42):
Yep, that’s right.
David Hershkovits (38:42):
Not today, who knows what’s going on today. But this whole idea of the decentralized economy where, the gatekeepers have lost the control of the story and the people are taking over, whether it’s Robinhood. And you see anything like that coming in to-
Jason DeLand (39:02):
I think, the decentralized finance sort of world in the cannabis cognition are absolutely interrelated with each other. You know, I, I think that people know best as opposed to regulatory authorities, feeling particularly as you look at people under the age of, say 40, for example. Because really, they’re just more clued in. And what I would say is, you know, you go to an older politician and you ask them about technology or social media or decentralized finance and they look at you with four eyes, but the person asking that question knows about them intimately.
Jason DeLand (39:42):
And of course the difference is this: That politician may go, “Oh that’s just a fad or a trend.” But the person asking the question goes, “That’s the future, dude.” And one is right and one is wrong. But the one that is wrong is the one controlling the story. I just see this generational push-pull tug-of-war kind of thing that’s happening and the things you just mentioned are that.
Jason DeLand (40:09):
When I said that CBD was the chemical equivalent of Bitcoin in 2017, what I meant by that was that everyone thinks it’s cool, everyone talks about it but no one knows what it does, And, the fact is, CBD has certain pharmacokinetics, they’re- it’s not really an agonist or an antagonist of the CB1 or CB2 receptor, more of a catalyst if you will.
Jason DeLand (40:35):
It’s an agonist of serotonin. You know, the serotonin system, the, the TRPV1 and TRPV2 and, you know, and it, and it also does some things with the enzyme side, on the endocannabinoid system, but you know, I like to call CBD is the catalyst cannabinoid. It doesn’t really do much by itself. But really what it does is it opens a lot of other possibilities up. And so as a platform, I think CBD is really helpful. In our business, many people have viewed CBD as in the THC category as a weakness.
Jason DeLand (41:09):
The reality is is that even the biggest stoners in the world, and I hate to use that word because it’s a pejorative and a stereotype, but even, the people who really indulge in cannabis and love it, whether they know it or not, a little bit of CBD in their preparation is going to make their overall experience better, smoother, and last longer. But yeah, the THC side of this business is all about 80% or greater THC potency with no CBD in it but what they don’t understand is that CBD is there to help smooth out some of the rougher edges of the THC experience and also allow that buzz to last longer. These are things that I think most people will figure out in the future but we know them now.
David Hershkovits (41:53):
One of the areas that I’m, I’m thinking about quite a bit, the culture that helped keep this cannabis alive, that created strains, the pre-legal world, the people who start growing it up in Humboldt who’ve been doing it for generations, who’ve had to struggle-
Jason DeLand (42:10):
Yeah, leave them alone, is what I say.
David Hershkovits (42:12):
And crossing over into this new world of commodities, let’s call it, because here, a lot of people just treat it as a commodity, as a product.
Jason DeLand (42:22):
David Hershkovits (42:22):
That you grow and it’s like corn or soybeans and it has a market value and it goes up and it goes down. So how do we bridge that? Is there a way- and also in a design way of, of graphics, for example you know there’s-
Jason DeLand (42:36):
David Hershkovits (42:36):
this whole stoner-
Jason DeLand (42:39):
It’s a really good question. I think there’s three areas. There’s art, there’s science, and there’s commerce, and what you just hit on is all three. Right? The art side of this is that of the horticulturalist, the botanist, the farmer, the cultivator, right? let me be in this environment, it’s what I love, it’s what I love doing, it’s what I love creating. The craft side of this business is really, really important, right?
Jason DeLand (43:07):
I come from an agricultural-based sort of family background, I respect that, I get it, and when I’ve gone up to Humboldt county and I talked to the people who have been up there for generations, I don’t pretend that I know anything more than they do, because I don’t. They have wisdom and they have a culture, which is actually really beautiful. There’s a lot to learn from Humboldt county. And people who have spent their lives dedicated to growing and cultivating cannabis the right way,
Jason DeLand (43:47):
There’s also an art side of this, what I will call the geneticist, the people who just love to talk about different phenotypes and chemotypes-
David Hershkovits (43:55):
Jason DeLand (43:55):
um, of cannabis, and, and love to bring out the wonder, and the delicacy, and the complexity of those things, in the cannabis that they grow and cultivate, that’s a real thing. As well as some of the people that bring very resolved, refined experiences, I think about, 710 Labs as being, the brand that bespoke in beautiful and handcrafted and exotic like, very, very, very high-minded wine, but cooler. (laughs)
Jason DeLand (44:32):
And then you get to the commerce side, which is, you know, the people who see cannabis as a cash business, as a crop, as a commodity, and I think that’s a really limiting idea unfortunately. But all three working together are really what the modern cannabis industry is, today, and they will grow together in my opinion in concert, uh, to serve the needs of consumers.
David Hershkovits (44:59):
Well I hope so, and it’s fortunate for us that you’re there. I think keeping an eye on things and having this high profile in this industry as someone that the media goes to for comments about stuff like this, as well as me going to you. So I want to thank you for being on my show today and, hope to see you soon. Jason DeLand, thank you.
Jason DeLand (45:23):
It was a pleasure, David. Thank you for having me on.