38 episodes

Hosts Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein serve up unfiltered insights, reveal their insiders' perspectives, and illuminate transformative ideas about the cannabis industry for people who want to make sense of it all.

High Spirits AnnaRae Grabstein and Ben Larson

    • News
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Hosts Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein serve up unfiltered insights, reveal their insiders' perspectives, and illuminate transformative ideas about the cannabis industry for people who want to make sense of it all.

    #039 - Branding and Growing Craft Cannabis w/ Joyce Cenali

    #039 - Branding and Growing Craft Cannabis w/ Joyce Cenali

    Experience the fusion of cannabis culture and community as AnnaRae and Ben engage with Joyce Cenali, COO of Sonoma Hills Farm and Big Rock, in a deep-rooted discussion on the nuances of California craft cannabis. We traverse Joyce's fascinating journey from growing for personal use, to deploying capital through Big Rock, and back to the fields of farming, uncovering the organic movement's influence on cannabis and the unique terroir that sets California apart. Unpacking the hustle of event season, we reveal how community ties and personal stories shape the industry, lending insight into the symbiotic relationship that exists between the growers, the land, and the consumers who cherish their craft.

    Venture behind the scenes of cannabis cultivation with us, as we navigate the complexities of California's OCal program and how it's elevating standards for sun-grown, organic cannabis. As regulations evolve, we consider the future of cannabis branding in the wake of potential scheduling shifts and the delicate balance of cultivating both hemp and regulated cannabis. Our conversation opens up a world of possibilities, from the promise of full-spectrum hemp products to the agricultural innovations waiting on the horizon—each poised to redefine wellness and efficacy in the industry.

    Finally, sip and savor the cross-pollination of cannabis with the hospitality realm, where chefs and creators push boundaries despite stringent regulations. We highlight successful partnerships that have birthed cannabis-infused culinary sensations, creating a ripple effect across high-end dining and community interaction. Amidst these culinary adventures, we also spotlight the Cannabis Media Council's mission to reshape the public narrative of cannabis, aiming for normalization and fair representation within mainstream media, and ultimately, the hope for a Super Bowl moment that celebrates the plant in all its glory. Join us on this explorative episode where agriculture meets branding, and community converges with the culinary arts.
    --
    High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer.

    Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein.

    Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover?

    Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows.
    THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations.

    Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

    • 53 min
    #038 - How To Go Tax Free with an ESOP w/ Darren Gleeman of MBO Ventures

    #038 - How To Go Tax Free with an ESOP w/ Darren Gleeman of MBO Ventures

    Unlock the secret to thriving in the cannabis industry through the power of ESOPs, without getting tangled in the tax web of 280E. Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein, with the acumen of Darren Gleeman, bring you a timely tax season symphony that harmonizes the potential of Employee Stock Ownership Plans with the cannabis sector's unique challenges. As we navigate the vibrant landscape ranging from solar eclipses to surges in beverage trends, our conversation turns to the strategic utilization of ESOPs, not just as a financial tool but as a beacon of bipartisan agreement. 

    Imagine a scenario where employees morph into owners, engaging in the wealth creation dance without the usual fiscal footwork, thanks to the ESOP's deft choreography. We'll walk you through the financial scaffolding and intricate steps that could let your accountant take a well-deserved bow. From seller notes to borrowing terms that sing, we’ll orchestrate the complex score of ESOPs, making it as comprehensible as it is compelling. Our guest Darren Gleeman illuminates the path that cannabis businesses can follow to turn this intricate melody into a harmonious reality.

    Finally, feel the pulse of why ESOPs garner nods from Bernie Sanders to Mitch McConnell. As we unwrap this ownership model, we highlight its role as a catalyst for reinvestment and evolution, revealing when venture capital may steal the spotlight instead. Whether you're an employee with big dreams or a business owner plotting your next move, this episode is your backstage pass to mastering ESOPs in the cannabis sector's ever-evolving fiscal opera.
    --
    High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer.

    Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein.

    Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover?

    Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows.
    THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations.

    Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

    • 50 min
    #037 - The Rapid Rise of Retail in Hemp THC w/ David Gonzalez of Hemp House

    #037 - The Rapid Rise of Retail in Hemp THC w/ David Gonzalez of Hemp House

    Discover the seismic shifts in the hemp THC retail sphere and the implications of a national market in our latest deep dive with David Gonzalez. As Total Wine and DoorDash venture into THC beverages, we peel back the layers on the political and societal impacts of this move, emphasizing the triumphs in low-dose hemp accessibility while advocating for continued strides in cannabis decriminalization. We also analyze how the convergence of hemp and cannabis under potential new regulatory frameworks could reshape the industry landscape.

    Tune into a riveting conversation exploring the strategic advantages of e-commerce for hemp companies, with Hemp House at the forefront of innovation. The national market for hemp products is changing consumer behavior, and we're here to dissect how businesses like Hemp House are leveraging platforms like Shopify and USPS to reach customers across state lines. We also consider how online analytics drive smarter marketing, and the clever moves for dominance in both local and national markets, setting the stage for a new era of cannabis success.

    The episode culminates with a forward-looking analysis of Hemp House's national and international expansion strategies. We discuss the ins and outs of entering new markets, the importance of infrastructure and industry alliances, and the potential of an omnichannel approach, mixing e-commerce with brick-and-mortar. Hemp House's journey is a blueprint for growth, charting a course that could redefine the THC beverage sector and leave a lasting imprint on the global cannabis stage. Join us as we conclude with our bold predictions for the future of Hemp House and the strategic maneuvers they may deploy to conquer new territories.
    --
    High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer.

    Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein.

    Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover?

    Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows.
    THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations.

    Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

    • 55 min
    #036 - Conservative Cannabis: The Red Wave w/ Hirsh Jain of Ananda Strategy

    #036 - Conservative Cannabis: The Red Wave w/ Hirsh Jain of Ananda Strategy

    Discover how the tides are turning in America's heartland as we navigate through the unexpected 'red wave' of cannabis legalization with Hirsh Jain, an incredibly seasoned cannabis strategist. In our lively discussion, we examine the churning political currents within states like Missouri, where traditional conservative views are being eclipsed by progressive cannabis policies. This wave isn't just making waves; it's rewriting the playbook on industry growth and political discourse in regions once deemed impervious to such change.

    Wade into the intricate battle for cannabis reform in Florida, where the stakes are high and the rules are stringent. We peel back the layers of the state's single subject rule and Supreme Court reviews, considering the monumental task of meeting a 60% approval threshold for ballot initiatives. Yet, there's a palpable buzz of optimism in the air, fueled by the resounding success of Florida's medical cannabis program. Join us as we entertain the possibility of a domino effect across the nation, should Florida's green surge become a reality.

    Our journey doesn't stop at state lines; we cast our net wide, theorizing how local legislative shifts could send shockwaves through the corridors of federal power. From the role of state supreme courts to the influence of economic imperatives and political heavyweights, we dissect the complex interplay of forces shaping the future of cannabis reform. Tune in as we stitch together a tapestry of change, where even the smallest state initiative could be the thread that pulls national and global cannabis policy forward.
    --
    High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer.

    Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein.

    Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover?

    Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows.
    THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations.

    Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

    • 51 min
    #035 - Betting on Hemp Beverages with Mindset Capital's Aaron Edelheit

    #035 - Betting on Hemp Beverages with Mindset Capital's Aaron Edelheit

    Discover the thrill and potential of the THC beverage market as we uncork the secrets behind a sparkling $10 million investment fund with Aaron Edelheit. Our spirited conversation with Aaron will not only pour you a glass of industry insights but will also reveal how he transitioned from trading small-cap stocks to betting big on cannabis-infused drinks. As we tour through cannabis culture at events like the Budist launch party and Hall of Flowers, you'll get a taste of how THC is blending with mainstream social gatherings, promising a heady mix of innovation and investment.

    During our chat, Aaron elaborates on the disruptive power of legal hemp-derived THC products, especially within Minnesota's receptive market. We unravel the complex legalities and rapid growth within the sector, and why heavy hitters like Döhler are teaming up with market leaders like Vertosa to fortify their presence in the beverage ingredient space. Aaron's enthusiasm is infectious, and his insights are a must-listen for anyone eyeing the potential upheaval of the colossal alcohol industry. 

    We wrap up the episode by dissecting the evolving dance between cannabis and alcohol distribution dynamics, where hemp beverages are making a splash and altering consumer habits. We'll share tales of alcohol distributors finding new rhythms in the hemp space, freed from traditional constraints, and how this is shaking up industry standards. Lastly, we toast to strategic partnerships and management adaptability in a market that remains as fluid as the products it creates. Join us for this candid and in-depth discussion that not only forecasts the future of cannabis but also celebrates the communal benefits of a responsibly expanding industry.
    --
    High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer.

    Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein.

    Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover?

    Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows.
    THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations.

    Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

    • 56 min
    #034 - The Art of Data Driven Sales Success w/ Krista Raymer

    #034 - The Art of Data Driven Sales Success w/ Krista Raymer

    Unlock the transformative strategies of retail excellence with Krista Raymer, the visionary behind Vetrina Group, as she joins AnnaRae. Together, they delve into the art of data-driven decision-making, pinpointing why focusing on your top revenue-generating customers can supercharge your business. We're not just celebrating International Women's Day; we're drawing inspiration from the pioneering women of the cannabis industry, including Krista's trailblazing team. 

    Step inside the competitive arena of the retail market, where the battle for customer loyalty is fierce and the stakes are high. Learn how understanding customer behavior, from visit frequency to basket size, can turn casual shoppers into devoted patrons. We break down the anatomy of a successful loyalty program, exploring personalized communication and the tightrope walk between engaging customers and respecting their privacy. With Krista's expertise, we shed light on how retailers can leverage peak transaction times throughout the year, turning every calendar event into a golden opportunity for growth.

    As the episode wraps, we extend an invitation to our listeners to join the conversation, challenge our perspectives, and keep the dialogue vibrant. Every insight shared is a step towards innovation, and we're here to guide you through each revelation, helping you craft a retail strategy that's not just effective, but legendary.
    --
    High Spirits is brought to you by Vertosa and Wolf Meyer.

    Your hosts are Ben Larson and AnnaRae Grabstein.

    Follow High Spirits on LinkedIn.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Who would you like to see on the show? What topics would you like to have us cover?

    Visit our website www.highspirits.media and listen to all of our past shows.
    THANK YOU to our audience. Your engagement encourages us to keep bringing you these thought-provoking conversations.

    Remember to always stay curious, stay informed, and most importantly, keep your spirits high.

    • 59 min

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