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059 A Lesson in Cannabis History with Etienne Fontan of Berkeley Patients Group

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“Go back to the basics, learn your history, learn the rules, so that you can break them properly.” - Etienne FontanWelcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi talks with Etienne Fontan about the Cannabis industry’s rich history, BPG medical cannabis, using hemp fiber and hemp textiles, and so much more.   [00:01 – 15:14] Etienne Shares His Experience in Cannabis  [15:14 – 33:55] Hemp Fiber and The Lack of Needed Infrastructure [33:56 – 50:13] How We Can Cut Through the Sensationalism and Properly Educate the Masses on Cannabis [50:14 – 57:19] A Little History on Hemp Genetics and Ridiculous Legalization Rules   [57:20 – [1:00:09] The Really of What Hemp Farming Needs to Become [1:00:09 – 1:02:15] Final Words Etienne is Vice President and Co-Owner of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG). BPG is the nation's oldest, and most respected medical cannabis dispensary, established in 1999. For two decades, Etienne has helped position BPG as a model medical cannabis dispensary, with a vision to lead the emerging industry as it expands, evolves, and becomes more professional. He has founded medical and recreational cannabis retail, cultivation, and processing facilities in Berkeley, Emeryville, Incline Village, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Reno, Sparks, and West Hollywood.Mr. Fontan has an extensive background as an engaged activist and public speaker, seeking to make cannabis legal and safe. Starting in 1993, he was a director of the Cannabis Action Network and traveled through 47 U.S. states speaking at rallies, teach-ins, and tours, and reaching out to the general public on all cannabis-related issues. He is a combat veteran of the first Gulf War and now lobbies on the veteran’s behalf for the use of cannabis to treat PTSD and post-war injuries.Mr. Fontan is a founding board member who served on the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Board of Directors from 2010 to 2020, including as Board Chair from 2012-2013.Connect with Etienne on Instagram (@my.bpg) and visit his website Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi Key Quotes:“There's a whole bunch of progress around CBD and hemp. But there's still so much more. I've seen the potential, but unfortunately because of the problems currently inherent in the CBD and hemp system, if it does not invest in its infrastructure, shortly, we will see a collapse of the CBD industry the same way we saw the hemp industry at the end of the 90’s.” - Etienne FontanSPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs!LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes. You can listen to my podcast onRESTART CBD RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.